by an audience
who enjoys the smell
of their own assholes
Is like expecting
them to feel
of their own shadow
No need to behave
we're only on
a first name basis
first base is more
already I feel
as though I've struck out
I'm calling a foul
for that signifies
common and complacent
words like fuck you
flow outside my mouth
Banality is suicide
I used the box cutter
to step outside
through the struggle
speak from the
same flat line
I can't get
has eluded me
I'm dealing with
who isn't on
Bio: Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he's not writing, he's volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man's work, please check out his blog:www.thoughtsofapoeticmind.blogspot.com for his latest poetry and short stories.
Sit down in the drift and a pocket of night comes to you.
It could be the heat. It could be this sentence
turning to day. Turning today. Of black mirror.
The camera lucida & Pepper's Ghost.
The stand aside revenant.
You inhabit a room like a sail
that swells and fills
with a fluttering of white wings
and eventually gives way.
To a visitation of seas.
Then one sea.
One blue desert and the sense of a ship.
And the sun.
An endless burnished blade.
Everything in clouds. The bus driver
wearing clouds in a long room of clouds.
And the wings return.
Beating imperceptibly at first,
gaining to the whump whump
of rotors in the television of shadows.
The other television that yields
the bombs uplifting, rising out of the desert,
into planes flying backwards
And the wedding party reassembles.
The incinerated unburn.
Limbs and heads fly back, reattach to torsos.
Blood seeps back into the dancers.
Eyes blink open. Legs kick. The table resets.
Goat cheese, olives & a kiss.
The sun the only blade.
Part Of Myself Across The Splitting Night-Day
Today Everything comes through the window
Now my sensibilities strung like pearls
Waiting in the center
Outside the trees are misplaced
The sea belongs to them like a scream…
Last night I watched a spiritual lesbian
Terrorizing the children of a crime
She cut their tongues out
Asked each of us
If we needed an extra tongue
But we didn’t
Another woman was trying
To force herself to cry
I understood but I knew
she was alone in that
I’m learning to be like some of the weather
A lot of times I just happen now
Like a breeze that owes no allegiance
My house…is under temporal invasion
Most of my weaknesses are now
And there’s a coolness
Like a ribbon running through
The approaching summer
One Is To Sleep And The Other Is To Travel At Dawn *
And there are others. The half-finished house says
see me I am changing. Even before dawn you ring yourself,
not unlike the bell that strikes open
in the township's plaza. Deserted.
All before the blue arrival.
There are historical forces at play. The little ruins of living.
Accumulation. One measure of blessing is
lack of interference. But that never lasts.
In waiting there can be solace.
Mayfly being metaphor for _____________
what is the metaphor for mayfly?
Now and then. They say the summers
down here will fill you
The twilit preludes of rain.
The city remains itself in distance
its people living out.
power the next breath
in soft asylum.
Amidst erasure (only cypress saplings)
you begin from somewhere, resemble
the man on the street, a thud, toss out
the extraneous solutions
and recount the crows anyway.
*The Doors “The Soft Parade”
Your hands beginning with ocean
Then foam ending on a displaced shore
I go to you thinking through clouds
Of blankets and maps because
My body only exists in another age
Yet my fingers glow across these times
As if a lamp had a voice
And if once by accident I thought
I could guide the sky in its journeys
Through the wilderness of ancient city states
Where the sentries keep time with black robes
Over the fallen with wet tongues
Smoothly bought and paid for
With hordes of windswept eyes
It comes to me now as a house
Existing outside of houses in light allied
Magnificent and only found
In the eyes of taller orphans
Bio: Marc Lengfield lives in Florida where he teaches Mathematics at a local university. His work has appeared previously in Dogplotz.
A Sharp Dark
I have created some dreams
And a prayed trench with sharp dark in hand
The combative mind in tune
Exult with ancient light
The lost love revives in indifferent behave.
Your smooth bed is yearning
Drunken bird in upcoming uncertainty of fire
Suddenly return in available beauty
Wherein boundless recreation
And a magic body colored with water melon.
Oh dear, don’t give forbidden pain
With the name of Radha
Taking sharp vermilion in your forehead
Set free the balloon of fire that flames up slowly.
Perhaps, it will fly in as ash
In the night of separation
To give a sharp dark.
The Gloomy Heaven
Dark gathers before sunset. I have thought what a corporate cataract comes
in my eyes! Rubbing eyes with hand, I have entered in the primal hole with
sun in armpit. Grown moon and Helium star are glimmering in hole. The
goddess of Binoy has been caught in strange art. A fairy put off her colorful
resources in love of dark. Drunken fairy with great wine said, why my body
collapse with your touch? Oh sunken man, don’t touch me dear, just drink.
South and West
My south cries restlessly, dreams call from west. A brave tune spread all
around, give her some from them. Beautify my hand with tiny colored
flower and sweet smell. Nights are lightening with glow-worm of inner pain.
Dam-breaking boundless waves swing a ship of mind. Mind said what
fragrance do you get from ear-drop of Karnafuly? I have a great empire in
sky but society. I find eternal haven exchanging your mind. I am innocent
hearing the south, Nights stay up after passing days and nothing comes in
fix. Months are floating away, years lost, increasing narcissism. The
sleeping bird opens her eyes, future is appeared. Pavement will be created
with dense smile if the love is true.
Bio: Shekhar Dev was born in 1985 at Chittagong in Bangladesh, a South Asian country. Poet's language is Bengali. Two of his poetry collections have been published in Bangladesh. These are 'School of Ancient Practice' (2014) and 'Supreme Liberal Mind' (2016). He completed his degree in Mathematics and post graduation in Pure Mathematics from Chittagong University in Bangladesh. These three poems are from his 2nd poetry collection 'Supreme Liberal Mind.'
A fish who forgot what gills were for
Dreams float, a bird gliding
on its last breath.
I want to hear the way it sings
going down even though
I can not rescue it. An organ elegy
reaches my ears, a tornado of smoke.
it sits on my eyes, keys on a piano.
Some say this is an unknown room.
No one one says dreams created it.
Long ago, a fish forgot what gills were good for
and walked out of the stream.
It was not dreaming
It had no ambition but confusion.
With eyes like two candles, her waist
with a night white glow.
a ceiling light now turned to low.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was the wrong idea ,
staring directly into the eyes of a
great hungry African cat.
But anything worth doing
is worth doing badly.
Being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of things while
the sun was fading out of sand
until this cigarette is finished,
A little moment at the end of it all.
While the quiet ashes fall.
Bio: Luke Skoza is a twenty seven year old poet, teacher and model. He has been published in Retort Magazine and Bareknuckle poet along with numerous other journals. He has lived in three different states and two different countries in the last two years but feels at home in New Orleans. If you want to find out more about his life, his facebook is https://www.facebook.com/luke.skoza
While they sleep
I am up sweet girl
mama can't sleep
after hours of watching you toss and turn
eyes transfixed to the monitor
I exhale softly as you finally locate dolly
running her ragged stitched body
over your face
her ponytails stiff
from last night
her body limp
but still-you cling to her tightly
my heart swells
the way my stomach did while you were growing inside of it
I think of all the unborn
poor little Berkley
who would never forgive his mother
a screaming fetus
that was ripped away from my lean fifteen year old body
I couldn’t have understood then
the regret that I would feel
every time your sticky hands reached for my face
and pulled me in for a kiss
this love is so fierce
this mama love
her tiny fingers clasped a diaper wipe
and pressed it to my nose
she loudly instructed for me to “blow”
and waited inquisitively
she wiped my face delicately
the way mommy and daddy do it
and blotted my eyeliner
with a look of disdain
she didn’t know what to do with the ugliness
the long black streak of make-up
her eyes, wide and innocent
I spent five years crafting perfectly written stanzas
about a boy who twirled his hair like my mother
the loss of him at fifteen
and the baby we would never speak about
I emptied my soul on those pieces of paper
and then folded them neatly
into tiny little squares
and tucked them away
like the judge who sealed our mistake
his final thesis at Kalamazoo was a satin heart
sewn together like a pillow
he hammered that delicate heart to a wooden board
and pierced every square inch with nails
we see each other occasionally at the bar,
there are no sideways glances
no talks of missed opportunities
he stares past me blankly and says hello to my husband
an awkward moment
stinging every inch of my skin
revealing my discomfort
fifteen years later
a working mother, with a small child
I still feel his judgement
of every single word
I am writing in this poem
Bio: L D Diem is a high school English teacher, and a mother to a very active toddler. She survives by consuming large amounts of caffeine on a regular basis.
How Could I Know
I could have done more
Her pain touched my heart
I heard the agony in her barely audible voice
Tears flowed down her cheeks
I squeezed her arm trying to encourage her
Could I have done more?
She sat for a moment longer silently crying
choosing to leave class and her things on the table
We innocently continued
How could we know?
Despair had completely engulfed her
the pain inside too much
she had to stop it
Jumping didn't kill her
Now her physical pain crowds out
the grinding emotional agony
Soon she'll have to suffer both together
Feels like I should have done more
What? I ask myself
How could I know?
Musical notes shine down
in the rays of rhythm
a tune for this moment
only this one moment
never to be repeated
exactly the same song again
Stop! Give me more than glimpses
I want to paint you
exactly how you are
Help me savor you in my heart forever
I want to take pictures
Help me savor you in my mind forever
I want to record you
Help me savor you in my soul forever
Bio: Shelly Miller lives in Creswell, Oregon a town of about 5,000 people. She enjoys hiking, photography, reading and even coloring. She started writing poetry to help her express her feelings and emotions in a way she'd never been able to before. She suffers from mental illness and is working very hard to not let it define who she is.
A Mourner Out Of Luck
You were a mourner
out of luck, a transient
grew idle in transit.
You made cold sheets
your lone lover, and
time, your sympathizer.
You hadn't touched
another skin for so long
now, can anyone see
your posture, straight
and steady, despite
the host of sinews and
fat leaving your bones?
Toppling over many
slopes of sighs and trails
of smoke, you had sped
into yourself, holding
silhouettes of sadness
and spume, always
changing, into someone
When she left,
it was said she had
the fungal blood
of a thousand men
Most days she
was inflamed to
the sky’s touch,
the bony horizon
to skipper her
towards the rapine
of someone else's
But to be not at all
nearest to forward,
she peeled those
from the gaps of
skinned the hot-
plate of pulses
before the sun's
alkali flow arrived
only to snatch up
her low oxygen diets.
And as if the tender
spores of her were
forgone in profile,
she rose, palms
reached out to
the rivets bytes of
the dulcet shoal,
with the exquisite
corpses of the water.
Bio: A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 200 journals, including Columbia Journal, Gravel, elsewhere, among others.
Your past and present weavings
(the inevitable shroud falling between
you and your desires,)
will not ensure partings.
You remember furtive moments
(from the icicle beast, dreader of ties,)
but trapped by reluctant hungers
in a world of no reassurance
(coincidence shapes configurations)
subtract another unkindness
from men of perpetual motion.
The strange time flow passes all men in the hot flush of day and lengthens
into the lonely, silent watches of the hoar-frosted night. Along a dark,
deserted street a figure breaks the long pause of desolation, a night
wanderer searching the lost midnight streets for an unknown face, the face
that once in a dream of passion spoke in a night of fiery waste, long past in
the days of youth’s hunger. And now, pausing to look into the store
windows, at racks of new crisp books, and feeling a twinge of regret at
seeing the standard publishers junk, instead of the great bawdy tales of
Chaucer, Boccacio, Rabelais, The Chinese classic Ming novels, the
wondrous storytellers who have elevated man, now mouldering somewhere
on neglected shelves.
Bio: Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Perceptions, Tremors and Perturbations will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Press). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.
Fat Girl’s swollen fingers finally find a CD the glow of her song in the air
waking Catatonic Man who belts out the tune better than Mariah
eliciting joyful giggling glances pinging from one eye to another after his
serenade he lowers his head back to his knees his hands whispering
quivers there is no reaching him Elvis has left the building…
Normal Looking Girl who slashed her neck in a blackout rakes the
lounge with baby-blue reality-lost disbelief-fog eyes hangs tight to a
plastic cup full of Ginger Ale originally from a can wow no cans
shoelaces pens bras jewelry metal nail files stabbing tearing hanging
items its happened before gory violence red soon in restraints doctors
nurses whoever silently screaming at each other with big swoopy
hands outside the quiet room I am calm cool collected insane…
Screaming Man big guy throws himself at doors at walls imploring
demanding crying to go home defeated surrounded by orderlies and
men in black copish suits with copish radios a shot in his ass sleeping
calm cool collected suddenly awake shuffles into our realm invading
our snug clan a Russian spy eyeballing all around disappearing in the
couch in the wall he slowly enters our fucked-up version of a micro
society if he says the wrong thing or acts the wrong way banned gone
sayonara don’t act crazy on the psych ward where ravaged normality
55 Stitches Man vertically cut each palm half way up both arms the
bandages gone all kinds of pain written in tiny metal clamps holding all
of him together bloated hands gently holding fork cup suicide he says
to quickly eyes and feet dancing electronically in no real pattern not
looking at his arms not looking down…
Sick green walls that vomit the floor shiny white beige treaded slippers
scrape along the endless square around the unit can’t lift their fucking
feet that fucking sound follows me darting around the shadowed
corners evil cheating cat’s eyes creeping around toward me tail’s
twirling winding around the legs of the table in my room fear giant
Bio: Catherine has her BA degree in Professional Writing in English from Carlow University. She has had numerous short stories and non-fiction published. In continuing to write vigorously, she puts all of herself into expression and words. Writing is her savior, experience her muse.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.