"Chew You," A New Poem From Ana Caballero
I’ve always loved left overs
Cold, by the kitchen sink
With dirty fingers and appalled mothers
These, though, I will eat alone
It was a good, unapologetic lay
The day we tried
To play for good
But, it was really only a day
One good day
Into one good chew
One Strained Swallow
Down the Hollow Drain
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New On VerseWrights' Pages: Mark Windham
It is difficult to decide
between the complex flavors
of the house noodles
and the fire of the spicy chicken.
She was the first -- a rare beauty
in an east Texas town -- with burning
desire and a rebellious nature.
She searched for something
the boys who surrounded her
could not provide. She tired
of me faster than the fill
of the lo mien fades,
or the fire of the sauce subsides.
Lately, I order the noodles more,
preferring to savor the layers
of life embedded in each bite.
Occasionally though, there is still
an appeal to the heat.
Mark Windham lives in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, two of his three children, and three dogs. He is self employed. His writing may be found on his personal blog entitled AwakenedWords. Publication credits Include Poetic Bloomings, The First Year, The dVerse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, and The Dead Mule School Of Southern Literature among others. Read.
"two good wanderers" From Joanna Suzanne Lee
two good wanderers ☊
our tongues travel
in dreams as if
they were camel-borne
on some silk road, as if
were tied in tangos, as if
the sum of our kisses could
account for something.
your words are rain-
drops that coalesce
into the sadness
of my plateglass thought-
stream. they make for good
poem weather, wet &
expectant & yet
a color is too weighty a thing
to give singly and before a storm.
still, it is better to build bridges
from the edges of oceans:
i would give you the blue
in my eyes, except
on the days they are green.
there are many true worlds,
poet, and the night
See this poem read by Joanna Suzanne Lee
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From Debbie Strange, A New Poem: "folding"
the faded pink sweater still hangs
by the unravelled threads
of her life
from the broken hook
of my heart
edges worn thin and frayed
warp and weft remember
the shape of her body
the scent of her skin
seams gaping as wide as grief
i fold into her
fingering the torn pocket for shreds of comfort
from the last crumpled tissue
Hear this poem read by Debbie Strange
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One and Three Line Haiku From Christina Nguyen
pulling a weed
from the empty garden
amethyst dusk crosses the lake
seemed like a good idea
at the time
the harbor seal's eyes gathering clouds
of robin's eggs
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jacob erin-cilberto's Newest: "Zoom Zoom"
i was not going to write yet another poem
about writer's block,
but then, well
i heard a poem blocks away
revving its engine
so loud the window of my mind shook
in its loose frame
and then i heard the roar of it approaching
braced myself for the vision to go with the noise
and finally there it was, driving past my house
past my pen, past my thoughts
shifted gears, dropped a few words
in liquidated form from the tailpipe
revved again just to taunt me
then sped off down the block
to another block but kept me
in writer's block shock
shaking like my window
as i started typing
a poem about writer's block
on my block
still hearing that engine roaring
a block away
in the back of my mind.
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We Welcome Carey Rose O'Connell to VerseWrights
The Feaster ☊
I am the individuality of five
helically wrapped into the
hologram of one
I speak the voices exhaled
by the stones and translate
the songs of the sun
I am the feaster
I breathe energy
and eat rising fear
I am the feaster
I bleed synergy
and drink falling tears
I am the feaster
I walk in spirals
and die with each step
I am the feaster
I love in sacral
and translate our next
I am the feaster
Hear this poem read by Carey Rose O'Connell
Carey Rose O'Connell resides in the American Southwest. She has written for a number of years, but her "calling" as a poet did not come until late in 2010. This change in her writing life inspired the launch of her website, The World Poetized, in early 2011. She constructs poetry in all styles, but enjoys sharing her inner musings first in free verse and then into a poetic form, often a variety of micropoetry. She has found a connection to this style, which is featured along with her photography in Snapshots, her recent self-published book. She is presently working on a new manuscript of her work, and will soon complete a compilation of her poetry readings to be entitled Walking Enchantment. Read.
MD Friedman's Poem, "Finding My Own Moon"
Finding My Own Moon ☊
in this skinny howl
as if it were
of dark chocolate
its own tail
in wild circles
with the joy
of a dervish
in that slide up
to the high howl
and in the quivering
sustain that follows
and makes me stop
whatever I am doing
my own moon
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We Welcome Poet Stephanie Brennan
Her new coffee cup is matte black
on the outside
the inside is a
beautiful porcelain of lime
the color of rice paddies
three weeks old
The particular shade of lime
of the trip they took
to Vietnam, years ago
At a temple
a dozen children
their tiny hands
palms up, pleaded
eventually she handed one
a few coins
And all the rest of them
down their dirty
and so she ran away
having no more coins
She sips that coffee
and thinks how angry
she’s been at her
husband, for years
It dawns on her
that it’s the sound
of those children
that slams doors
storms out of rooms
raises her voice
with palms up
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Stephanie Brennan has settled, at least for now, amidst redwoods and fog in northern California. She has a B.S. in Education, but never taught anyone anything. Instead she roamed the world, returning to the U.S. to work at a wide range of jobs, and then hurried off again to another far-flung destination. She’s been writing fiction for many years, some of which may be found at her blog: People Do Things With Their Lives. Only recently has she ventured into poetry where to her great surprise she finds calm, and now can’t stop, doesn’t want to stop. She started a poetry blog, restraint unfettered, where she hopes to expand her micropoetry into longer pieces. Read.
Laura Madeline Wiseman Is Now On VerseWrights
After lunch had been put aside in plastic wrap
and the radio, tucked under the cabinets,
had lost the orange glow of its face,
those hours were made lawless on the acre
on the rise above the lake’s slate surface,
like the dark forest that banked the river
and the prairie soil once tilled for corn
had a hold of time and could pause it,
while you, with a preference for the wild life,
reached for me beneath white sheets
and quilts, on lace trimmed pillowcases,
as the shadows stilled below the trees
and the only sound anywhere for miles
was the gentle creak of the springs
as the tabby purred at the foot of the bed.
Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of nine collections of poetry, including the full-length book Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012) and the chapbooks Men and Their Whims (Writing Knights Press, 2013) and First Wife (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her chapbook Stranger Still (Finishing Line Press, 2013) is forthcoming. She is the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). She lives in Nebraska, where she teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Visit her Web site at www.lauramadelinewiseman.com to learn more about her and her work. Read.
A New Poem From Natalie Keller
What I Don't Understand About the Universe
They say light is the absence of darkness
and life is the absence of death,
but how can love be the absence of hatred?
How can love be anything less than a
drawer full of handwritten letters from my
shaking, unnerved hands to your
crescent moon eyes, taking me in
like a night above the water?
How can love be a leap,
a flick of a light-switch away
from you being my entire world
or just a stranger down the street?
There are no simple things in this life,
love alone being the most complicated thread -
strung through us all until we hang like
paper people on a wire, shaken until
there is nothing left to us a but shells
and a promise that something once
lived in them.
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Poet Gary Maxwell Is On VerseWrights
Have you ever mourned your way
from Christmas to Epiphany,
worn out by the weight of streaming shoppers
darting madly through the maze
of lights, partaking of the sacraments
of savvy salesmen, easy marks
for mercantile manipulators – priesthood
of the golden calf?
Have you smoked and screwed your way,
Fat Tuesday clear to Pentecost,
never coming up for air,
pituitary pitted like a peach seed,
keeping its own calendar,
counting down the days until you drown,
stone like, having skipped the sea
and then, well spent, you’ll seek the bottom?
Spare me all those Etch-A-Sketch
constructed constellations, I’ll take
fists of stars straight up, flung carelessly
where velvet shows, most intimately,
all the acts and outcomes of creation,
having no regard for cardboard boxes,
shipping crates or inventory tags
we use to keep that Power in its place.
Gary Maxwell was born in north central Kansas and lived there a grand total of six weeks before hitting the road for a life of wandering with his Air Force family. He started playing the guitar in high school and began writing songs shortly thereafter, but it wasn't until the final semester of a BS degree in Computer Science - 30+ years ago - that he started writing poetry (Shakespearean sonnets, to be precise). Gary divides his time between reading (his first love), writing, and keeping body and soul together as a day laborer on the information superhighway. He maintains an online presence at Fools' Blog, and tweets @yeoldefoole. He currently resides (appropriately) in Reading, Massachusetts - just north of Boston. Read.
Two New Poems From Leslie Philibert
The Crystal Palace Is Burning
You do not expect glass to burn;
letting out the fire trapped in panes,
white light having been caught before.
But it does.
They say you can see the flames
as far away as Brighton.
The end of an age.
A widow in a frame of
melted lead and cast iron.
Flowers of smoke.
A fallen bird,
with ribs of a serious time.
Walk Slowly At My Burial
take the pace out of step;
the black beetle crunches over gravel,
a block of ice, stupid silence
carried like a china cup
nearly down, a ring of flowers,
the first prize packed like a gift,
six strong men are needed to carry
my boxed bag of bones;
flaps of skin and the old-man smell.
Hold on. A moth in a lampshade
couldn`t bruise its wings less;
scared of the fall into cold loam.
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New Poem: "Original Nassoon," from Janet
A "Letter" From Kelli Russell Agodon
Letter to an Absentee Landlord
I write letters to God
and answers don’t appear
in words, but in blue jays
and beetles, in hummingbird
beaks. I’m spinning
my wings and hungry.
What God doesn’t say is,
You are not your salary.
Practice this a million times.
God says through the honeysuckle:
Allergy season is three weeks away.
And sometimes: Your father died
and you still feel that pain. No one
wanted my father’s birdhouses.
No one wanted years
of soap on a rope. I donated it all
to charities. I didn’t eat
for weeks after losing
my opening act, the comedian
with wide ties and broken body.
Now in my reflection, veins appear,
lines where there were no lines
before. I finger a prayer
on a steamy bathroom mirror.
Practice this a million times.
I dust, fill a closet with linens,
a comforter, pillows.
What I really need is sleep,
what I really need is the squawk
of a blue jay to wake me up.
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Poet Christopher Clark Now On VerseWrights
distracted with the burden of guys,
sideburns caught up in cornered eyes
of girls who sometimes play guitar
their rucksacks stuffed side by
side, across carriages where
feet spread wide, angled exactly
perpendicular. this is where I asked how many lies
you could tell over potential courses, like sixty seconds
in the potent manner of the most heavy
of your forlorn lovers. You smiled, in reply -
you only counted the backs that bled
where scratched flaws fell like songs
in heavy rafters, waiting to tiptoe out
from covers, at some time
like six in the morning.
Christopher Clark is a London based poet currently entering the final stages of study at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has previously been featured in various publications such as Astronaut Zine and has worked on commissions, including The Royal Philharmonic Society. He enjoys mediocre 90's television and has a penchant for cheese. His website can be found at neveraboutyou.com and you can follow him @chriswillclark on Twitter. Read.
Daniel Klawitter Joins VerseWrights' Pages
The Scripture opens and a multitude of voices,
assaults your ear. But you can only hear
the one Voice. The one that echoes what
you were taught: that God is truth, not love.
And truth is a club to be used in war.
So you shouldn't be surprised that it strikes me
as being somewhat medieval, this small fortress
with very high walls that you would die for.
I prefer the cathedral, where there is more space
for grace to overcome the evil that men do.
Men like you, for whom certainty is a relief,
prove only one thing: you don't really believe
in God. You believe in belief. That's why any
contradiction results in a fatal hemorrhage...
a faith without a doubt, is a god in your own image.
Daniel Klawitter lives in Denver, Colorado, where he has been an actor, a singer/lyricist for the indie folk-rock band Mining for Rain, and a union organizer for mental health care workers. His poems have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines both in the United States and in England, including: Colorado Life magazine, Focus, The Journal of South Texas English Studies, QuietMountain: New Feminist Essays, and Shot Glass Journal. He invites you to his website, where you can learn more about him. Read,
Poet Robert King Joins VerseWrights' Pages
Life, I seem to recall
from a year of Anglo Saxon poetry
in the old days, is like a bird
flying out of the cold and dark
in one door of the heroes’ mead-house
through the smoke and warmth of fires,
earth-smell, sweat-stench, roasted meat,
and winging out the other door
into another cold and dark.
I remember this suddenly
on the bank of a mountain stream
watching an ouzel flutter
into the shining, its body
dipping and bobbing as it feeds
under the push of the current,
and then flutters out again
to its rock: wet and satisfied.
Robert King Lives in Greeley, Colorado, where he writes his poetry and directs the website for the Colorado Poets' Center. His first book, Old Man Laughing (Ghost Road Press), was a finalist for the 2008 Colorado Book Award in Poetry. His second volume, Some of These Days, was published this year by Conundrum Press. He recently won the Grayson Books Chapbook Competition with Rodin & Co. Read.
Diana Matisz Is Now on VerseWrights
i thought about her today
where she'd gone,
braving the gusts
of an ancestral spring
on a two-tree hill
i remembered that day
and the ease with which
she held herself
once they could cajole
her into actually looking
at the camera
clasping her own hands
as proof of her comfort
in her exotic singularity
i recall she was a dreamer
lost in worlds of knights
on white stallions
and sword bearing
princesses in hennins
the haunting poetry
of a whip-poor-will
she hadn't a care
in the world that day
there wasn't much of a past
to remember and the lumbering
weight of her future had yet
to settle on her shoulders
she was living in her moment,
i thought about her today
wanted to take her
by the hand, run
up the two-tree hill
and hide away,
just the two of us
but i was too late
by the time i'd found
my way back to her,
she'd gone ahead
into our future,
never once looking back
Diana Matisz is a late-blooming writer and photographer. She was born and raised along the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh, PA, and it is the river which is a constant source of inspiration for both her poetry and her photography. Diana has published one book of poetry, two photography books, and is currently in the editing stages of a collaborative book with a colleague in Portugal. During this last summer, three of her photographs were selected for display at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She tweets @Diana605 and maintains a page on Facebook. She invites us to visit her main poetry site at Diana's Words, and her photography page, Life Through Blue Eyes, where she has found the means to combine her love of short form poetry with her photography, as well as her joy in collaborating with other writers. Read.
"Hummingbird II," New From Barrett Dillon Hycner
Bring on the young virgins
Blood and sacrifice
Missions of doom
On the altar lay
The machine in us
Or are we the dream
Sweet grinding tears
Drinking milk from the teat
Like we were born from it
We are all calves sucking
We are all drowning
Mired in the snow
No sustenance in weeks
We are all burning
The opiate of our needs
Turning toward heaven
Like there is something there
Like someone cares
Oblivious to the leaves
Falling around our heads
The masses sprawling
Controlling our fears
Can you feel the mob rising
Can’t stop the dying
While the dancers gyrate
Wish I could be a martyr
Feel the pain of religion
But a deep cold flows
From the soul leading
To the edge of the abyss
I can feel Rome threatened
All the spies
To save our lives
Because witches float
And people spurn
The god they believe in
God, I want to be a martyr
I want to die
Sucking Existence Dry
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New From Marsailidh Groat: "Ida"
I felt once a strength
that people listened to.
I held, for a second,
a voice that carried
me through skies and into
Possibility. I was
a child tasting champagne;
I didn’t understand the
taste, or that which comes
Later, a bitterness, loss,
obsession, fingers gnarled in
Forgotten. I saw once
whole halls filled with
understanding, not of my life
but the purpose. Now, I speak only
To give others voice.
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The Newest Poem From Paul Mortimer
Sheep Spine ☊
Life and death,
bleached on to this peaty moonscape.
Here it is elemental.
Moor and sun,
a harsh unforgiving beauty.
Knuckle on knuckle.
Each notch etched clear
in its whiteness.
Purity laid bare.
Simplicity of structure in
the chaos of wilderness.
This is where it all ends.
Bone and earth.
Hear this poem read by Paul Mortimer
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"unprotected," A Poem From Marie Anzalone
The problem is my heart,
It just plain refuses
to hard boil, no matter what
I do to it.
I have tried full immersion
in roiling hot seas
pickling spices, microwaved
depravity, open flame,
abdication of duty.
And I tell you...
after these decades, still
if you pried off its shell,
pricked it with your fork,
sliced its midline with
a sharpened knife-
you would find the center
running into the shadows of your life's
serving plate; and utterly
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Rowan Taw Gives us "The Wrong Winter"
The Wrong Winter ☊
I wish for a winter walk.
Not the cool, clear, sun-burning walk of the blue skied South,
but the bladder tightening winter of the North, where...
Blood brambles through hedgerowed fingers pricked
leaves crack, twigs snap, echoing the rise and fall of brittle bone,
as each breath smokes numb, chill-toed warnings.
Branches, sparse stage, for a frugal Robin’s
solitary song of seasonal poverty,
bow humble, unlike..
Proud Ponga, warrior Nikau – always fully robed,
leaving me.. ever-green for a British winter.
(Ponga: New Zealand tree fern; Nikau: New Zealand’s only endemic palm tree.)
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