Sunday, December 26, 2010

Eleanor Higgins


(Mommy, what did you do in the war?)

warm-up bands
warm us up
through pot clouds
we wait
now calmly

without knowing why,
we all stand up
there is banging
and feedback,
other false alarms
I can’t remember

and from the black,
glints flicker off metal
we stand, and…blink

they are already there
floodlights flash
there is yelling
and the spilling of drinks

a base drum thuds
screeches into lead guitar’s solo
spiderweb intricate

lead singer tosses
a sequined shirt
we roar too loud to hear the music
hissing metal feedback
drowns the melody

but we sing in unison anyway

the lead guitar plinks a jellyroll finale
on heart strings
throws a kiss just to you and

Flood lights
find your ”Heavy Metal” jacket
midget steps along
a fat column of fans

fanning out
coming down


(Daddy, what did you do in the war?)

radio music
warms us up
through pot clouds
we wait
now calmly

without knowing why,
we all stand up
there is banging
and feedback,
other false alarms
I can’t remember

and from the black,
glints flicker off metal
we stand, and…blink

they are already there
floodlights flash
there is yelling
and the spilling of whiskey

a mortar thuds
screeches into our foxhole trenches
spiderweb intricate

lead sergeant tosses
a bloody grenade belt
explodes too loud to hear their bombs
hissing metal feedback
drowns our shooting

but we fire in unison anyway

the lead corporal dodges a tracer
with a jellyroll roll
onto the dirt road
throws a come-on wave to us and

flash lights
find your heavy metal jacket
midget steps along
a fat column of noncoms

fanning out
coming down

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scott C. Kaestner


it whispers as it screams
improvisation is the moment’s
eternal presence

toes tapping, brass blaring
percussion, keys, and cocktails
clouds of smoke

transmit sublime soundscapes
“go, hepcat, go!”

now the beat is bop
souls shall be lifted
time doesn’t exist

in the vacuum of your creation
“blow, miles, blow!”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Helen Graziano


After reading Billy Collins fantasy on Emily Dickinson

I tread
on newspapers unread
Spread across the floor
Like checkers or Spanish dominoes
White pearl buttons on my chemise
are open at the neck
It’s my cleanest dirty shirt
Am I all white?
I do not love
riding in the back seat with boys
Totally obscene
Where there’s no light there’s fear
God I love cashmere (and a string of pearls)

I fear an all white calendar page
No appointments or flowers to arrange
Hope must wait for moonbeams when
My whiter thighs loosen
Like Leda
Diamonds crystals calcite white
All translucent
Float in the firmament
Whiteness is all
Sybaritic pure like swans on ponds
Or white winds with sails luffing
Forget all punctuation
just pronounce
You come too
Where there’s white there’s hope!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eric Lawson


Between smaller towns I amble
Never near the urban areas
and always with a new tale
I am the wandering minstrel
The melodies are all the same
but by the time I make it back
to your forgotten town again
you have forgotten my scam
Only the words have changed
Call it verbal sleight of hand
Call it a trick of the trade
Call it whatever you will
Just as long as you call me
back here for more next year
I come with news of the day
I come with the latest fashions
I come here to entertain you
Just as long as it's entertaining
and different from last year
Stop me if you've heard this
Stop me if you are now bored
Stop me if I do not impress
Just as long as the impression
has eventually won you over
I shan't play my enchanted flute
I am afraid you would follow me,
breaking the simple musical spell
and be bad for minstrel business

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Maja Trochimczyk


- inspired by The Yellow Submarine and a drawing of Interior Courtyard, Rajput, Bundi

Did the Beatles see this Interior Courtyard
of Rajput, Bundi, in opaque pigment and gold
before filling it with strange creatures
running around during one stop
of the Yellow Submarine?

Indian women listen to the sitar’s drone,
waiting for countless doors to open and close,
for a Blue Meanie to chase George and Ringo,
and for Terrible Flying Glove to ominously giggle,
before a convertible arrives like deus ex machina
saving the boys from vile monsters
under tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

It is all clear now, all tranquil.
The swans doze in the pool,
flowers spread their fragrance,
the sails flutter in the breeze
of a pleasure ride on calm seas.

The attendants
rest in the wings.
The British play,
the invasion,
will soon begin.

Sunday, May 30, 2010




capped cat

capped cat
in goatee

capped cat
in goatee
behind jazzy shades

capped cat
in goatee
behind jazzy shades

capped cat
in goatee
behind jazzy shades

capped cat
in goatee
behind jazzy shades
blow job

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scott Kaestner


“emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;

none but ourselves can free our mind.”

as the lion who roared

melodic whispers –


is but a spliff

and a song








a heavenly ascent



music soothes

spirits dance

bob marley





Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jim Moreno


He's x-marine, one hundred per cent disabled,
Got full vet's benefits from the V.A.,
He's x-marine working in this hardware store
Cutting dog house wood, helping me beat the pet store price
130 bucks - a custom doghouse for my husky pups,

He's x-marine, and I, x-sailor; you can tell
He's a hero because he tells no stories
about being disabled― there's no swagger―
The real heroes, the real ones, never say they are,

He's x-marine, x-cellent artist, shaping the cuts
As the wood falls, the smell of sawdust
Steady hand, thick muscled, skill quick,,
Makes the saw fall, cutting one piece in two,
Like choices a man makes in life
What he doesn't choose must be split in two,
To be kind or cruel, to forgive or abuse,
To live or die, to walk or stay,
Or simply run away― leaving
The piece that won't fit behind,

We talk about our children and
He cuts another piece, 4 foot long, please,
One more choice, in one more lean, lonely life,
Live in the Sunshine State or the Left Coast,
Marry the slender dancer, or answer the call of the road,
Drink yourself to death, or get a leg up on the wagon―
He tells me he's not smart in math
Couldn't hack it in school; but his son's
So savvy with sums, he admires; a father amazed.

He's x-marine and cuts more wood,
Shaping the sides of my doggies' home,
Shapes another secret side of me,
Asks me what I do and I take off my mask,
I tell him I'm a poet and he takes off his mask,
He tells me he loves poetry, loves Robert Frost,
So I recite Stopping by Woodside on A Snowy Evening,
The magic, like a fresh cut golden sunflower
Turning on tabletop to face the sleepy, morning sun,
The magic, like the silent moon rise
In the hot, summer desert,
The magic, like a magician pulling
A dancing dragon out of his hat,
The muse magic happens again,

He's x-marine, blue collar, salt of the earth,
Frozen by Frost's rhythmic flow,
Or is it the love in my voice for magic memorized
40 years now, 50 years after my youth,
He's x-marine, frozen, transformed,
Holding dog house wood suspended in time,
Transfixed by shared reverence for the sacred,

No longer x-marine, no longer disabled―simply human,
No longer the grunt cowed by math―simply human being,
In love with the sound of spoken word,
In love with the sounds of here-and-now,
He moves back to the wood and, in silence, moves the saw,
He helps me cut the wood; shaping a house for my pups,

Woodcutter of the semper fi,
Woodcutter of the hardware store,
Woodcutter of this house for Huskies,
Brother woodcutter of the artful cuts,
Humble hero: changed, transformed,
Reborn in my house of sacred words;
Shaping a reverence for words, nor world,
Never wooden.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Michael C. Foran


He had been in a hell of a fight
like being kicked twenty times in the head,
of course, he would know,
like that time coming out of Driscolls
and fighting those three guys the flats,
the tall one saying,
This stupid shit won’t stay down.
But they just didn’t get it,
no one ever put him down.

In our garage the heavy bag swung for years
like the weight of some dead reputation.
In our world, there was no such thing
as a sucker punch.

It happens sometimes to boys,
the ones brought up on myths,
on the souls of men who always
took the first shot.

Home now, after five days in the hospital,
after ten hours of surgery,
my brother, sober for years,
his neck carved out like a tree though wires,
turns to me, dips low, feints to the right,
--and hisses—
“Tumors are some nasty shit man”

Then comes up fast with a hook to my body,


Sunday, January 31, 2010

David M. Harris


Cozy little hillside house, big enough for books
and dog and me, safely wedged
into the earth. An hour from the hospital
of my birth. Terra cognita. Happy,
I guess.

The earth opened with an email,
blew me up with words and dreams.
A thousand miles later, I landed,
beyond the map's edge,
struck by you.