Burning Man Diary
blasphemy courted with anecdotal perversity
limitless chatter echoes through the canyon
all now weeping at the sight of blind hypocrisy
catching the orbs dancing with a butterfly net
seeking a peace but tripping through garbage
sands stained with the blood from star shards
music calms the beast, deep the jungle roars
pinnacle of life, enchanted in an icy cold desert.
tutelage from shamans moving to a spirit drum
casting vows of pious devotional decadence
earthy spirited flute touches the heart and soul
the burning man tosses ink onto the parchment.
Read the poetry of Ken Allan Dronsfield
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Sister Mary's Eyebrows
Summer evening with visiting
Sister Patricious and Sister Mary.
Sister Mary has been teaching us
to chase the devil.
But now playing cards are packed away,
and Horlick’s is being made.
There is a firm knocking at the door,
Sister Mary seems surprised that
an unexpected visitor could be
calling at such a late hour.
The visitor is my 6ft tall,
long-haired friend, Aidan.
Sister Mary looks shocked that
I should have a gentleman caller
so late in the evening.
Her eyebrows are somewhat raised.
Aidan is ushered in to the dining room,
where we are all gathered.
He needs to speak with me about
our plans to attend the Glastonbury festival.
Sister Mary’s eyebrows are now
walking up her forehead.
We continue our discussions
and Sister Mary gathers I’m
going to be in all male company.
Her eyebrows climb closer toward
Simon has his own tent,
and Aidan has secured a
good sized tent for me,
him, and Joel to squeeze into.
Sister Mary’s eyebrows are now
teetering on the brink,
eager to escape and throw
themselves off her cliff side face.
If it weren’t for her habit,
keeping them from encroaching higher,
I do believe they would have taken
the leap and fallen off.
Nasty Girls Pantoum
“Do you think I'm a nasty girl?” ~Vanity 6
“The only nasty thing I like is the
nasty groove.” ~Miss Jackson
Am I such a nasty woman?
I’ve cleaned my hair, I’ve clipped my nails,
I have made sure to smile and baby,
I’m not being so mean.
I’ve cleaned my hair, I’ve clipped my nails
I washed each inch of my body
So I won’t be so mean
And dressed in well-laundered clothes.
I washed each inch of my body
And didn’t linger on the special parts
Got dressed in well-laundered clothes
Left the house with good intentions
I didn’t linger on the special parts
So I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings
I went high, I stay high
When the rest of the world went low.
So I wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings,
I acted like a perfect lady
When the rest of the world went low.
Am I such a nasty woman?
Read the poetry of DeMisty D. Bellinger
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Dream on the Balcony
frosty silence without the pigeons
dumbed the miserable cooing
a load of shiny white shit
on the railing of the balcony
the wind pulls the curtains in the air
wave, white flag
sign of surrender, sign of peace
I step outside
put the air rifle beside me
down on the pavement
riddled with hail
flaunting lifeless feathered bodies
with eyes closed
I come upright in the pale sun
spread my arms
take a deep breath
soon the street will flood
the crowd, provided with flags
cheers, chants, claps for the brave
calls my name
just one more moment, one more dream
it feels good to be a hero
inside in a little time
the loneliness of a tired man
Read the poetry of Edjo Frank
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from Selected Haiku
summer heat -
on the bamboo twig
tipping point -
on the church's window
autumn wind -
the loud gyration
of maple seeds
fading dusk -
beside the highway lane
a dying pheasant
Read the poetry of Goran Gatalica
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Once, a therapist showed me a chart
of the upper and lower intestines
diseased and distended from
years of laxative abuse.
I’m telling you this because
of all the times you said
Pretty in the cradle means
Ugly at the table.
My belly has its own orbit
of lovers who circle like
the three suns of Kelt-4Ab
I am the hot Jupiter
I am a planet made of cake
sweet dense creamy
with frosting to make one swoon.
I have the teeth marks to prove it.
My hips and breasts are asteroids
their trajectory knows no boundaries
outside of gravity and the fullness
of the Universe. My purview
is a constellation. I am called hot tomato/
Goddess / siren / curvy
Buxom / shapely / voluptuous
and those who grab on don’t let go.
Read the poetry of Janette Schafer
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Light Is Just the Dark
there is no glory in death,
the remembering of others
and much forgetting
until there is nothing left
but the whimpering
of rangy pack animals,
the mailman out of the job,
leaking jars of sea water
the myth and the
sit in the dark, no matter,
the light is just the dark
pretending, sit there as well
if you wish;
squash a bug underfoot
then ask it about glory
and the bug will not answer you
as it is now busy
with the business of
Read the poetry of Ryan Quinn Flanagan
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from More Selected
Haiku and Tanka
the first bumblebee
drunk on so little sunshine
blunders through the wood
the space inside trees
full of green shifting leaflight
sliced through by finches
with scimitar certainty
in the quickening of spring
darkness before dawn
sliding off a wet slate roof
the eye of the moon
how flimsy the fence
that keeps me out of the wood
its firm intentions
shouldered aside by badgers
and ducked by the dancing hare
Read the poetry of Catherine Baker
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called my attention
not to mention
what it spoke
—Whenever you weep
over unfulfilled dreams
call me over
and I'll cric- cric
A cricket hopped
just in front of me
it caught my sight
as it might
again speak to me
And so it did
—Whenever you are sorry
for unfulfilled doings
call me over
I could see
hopping around me
but for my delight
during all that night
inside of me
But I knew
what they meant
Sorrow crept over my heart
and I wept all night long
Read the poetry of Amauri Solon
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interior of a poem
Skewed merciless geography
That does not know my name,
A river of inksome potential
And tiptoeing displacement.
A coterie of critics gathered
To ponder the intricacy
Of its structure, unstructured,
Yet vibrant in its build,
And applaud the mishaps.
And a famished reading
Audience, deaf of one
Ear, thirsty for ink.
When you’re here, I dream
Of the beginning of every
When you’re gone, I feel
It all, in convulsions
Of something bearable
And I come to inhabit
The distance, in maiden words.
Read the poetry of Witty Fay
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Do you want to stone me
because I might be
or an agnostic
to your faith?
Maybe you should just
tie my limbs
and nail me
with old rusted
upon an intersection
of fact and fantasy.
Will you do this
for my redemption?
I’m not worthy
let the blood rush
to my head
you can cut me down
chop me up
feast on my body
drink my blood.
Take what is left
of my remains
in a sacrificial flame
scatter the ashes
in the wind
in your chalice
keep them in your private
And then you can try
to resurrect me
in your holy water
to make me
Read the poetry of Peter V. Dugan
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Under this last snow,
my garden Virgin grins
beneath her tippet,
my resin rabbit
endures the drifts
salting his ears,
my rooted pots
in seeming emptiness
March. But I see
November’s firefly flakes
sizzling on the grass--
cool enough then
for you to shiver
on your front porch
in a flannel shirt,
your lighter’s flame
a signal flare--
shadowing your face,
your false perfection
Read the poetry of Angele Ellis
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The giant’s pebble is caught
mid-skim, wedged on dry stone
pillars. And underneath
the East Dart river is a reluctant
slip of amber. It drifts away
through gorses that rake the eyes
with spines and yellow. Tight fists
of bracken wait for spring’s looms
to tease them free, weave them
into summer’s patterns. Larks
swallow sky and air, pour
it back in a stream of song
and you stand on
the clapper bridge
that goes nowhere
A granite staple
Read the poetry of Paul Mortimer
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They visit my dreams of late.
In daylight hours, glow in memory.
The twinkle, blinking lights,
Worry these wondrous visits might disappear.
I travel in night,
without moon, stars, sun.
My Labradors, my partner guides,
sleep unconcerned nearby.
What will happen— will,
in its time.
Still, I dream of fireflies.
Desire to whisk their energy
out of the black night.
As one tickles my fisted palm
with gentle flutters,
I reassure this nervous fairy,
no sealed jar for you.
Drawing her close, I urgently whisper
Tell me, firefly,
your secret of light.
Maybe it will unlock mine.
Read the poetry of Rea Meade
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“I ain’t no sit-down man”
his spine bent beneath
he works silently
without pause, intuits potential
in scavenged objects. Push-pull
he hauls metal scraps―
sharp edged wire, mattress coils
bicycle parts, paint cans―
to his 60-watt shed
gathers lighter scraps―
twigs, bird feathers, acorns, splayed leaves
brittle with death
boils coffee in a tin pot
crumbles, smears an earth cake on wood
textures violet wall hangings with house paint
bought on sale
the afternoon light fades
as decay’s vintage heaps up around him.
a shape emerges beneath
scarred fingers that wield a welding iron
and tame the jagged remnants.
Read the poetry of Judith Dorian
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She called the white ducks with a soft
Clucking of her tongue and they came to
Her busy hands for the hard corn she shelled.
Taking a fat one up in her arms, soothing the
Down with her cheek, she cooed and sang to it,
While the eager beak bit at her palm cup.
She bowed the graceful head down to sleep
Beneath the perfect white wing and keeping
Her place on the long neck, like a finger in a
Book, she brought up the porcelain bowl to
Hold in her knees, in one motion. I can still
See the shining blade layering through the
Orderly feathers, through the sleeping veins.
Headless, featherless duck swam in clear water,
Dark blood, carrots and apples, black prunes,
Parsley, pepper, thyme until the meat fell
Away from the bone and pieces floated among the
White kluski clouds in a dark brown broth. Every
Bit of the down she saved for small pillows.
When she gave them to my children, she said
They won't remember me, so tell them these
Were from the duck feather woman. They took them
Eagerly from her knotted fingers.
Read the poetry of Phil Boiarski
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The White Boat
The child's world
is born on a white boat
but these children have fixed on
dead birds and dead suns,
a papier-mâché baby wailing
littered with old cartons,
without magic or mercy:
their multiple-voice shrilling.
It spits in your eye
dropping warnings over plugged-up rivers
as a frilly lady smiles papery
out of the crumpled span of her hat
and the last white boat
sticks on a black canal.
Read the poetry of Katherine Gallagher
Read a profile of Katherine Gallagher
Before I walk away,
returning to a new season of my life,
let’s rewind this journey for one
last view. The thrills, near misses,
and countless conversations melted together,
making me the true color I have become.
Wherever I am
is your home
to come back to.
A Mindful Vacation
Between each breath
one, maybe two seconds at most,
a tiny space of nothingness.
My passport can’t get me there.
Driving faster, running harder,
multitasking while eating lunch
working later, doing more…
no closer to my destination.
“Where would you like to travel to?” they ask.
Read the poetry of Ali Grimshaw
Read a profile of Ali Grimshaw
across the hardtop
back into the hallway.
run circles around
the slower children.
“tag, you’re it.”
falls to the ground
after Ellie pushes him.
“She hit me,” he cries.
He’s cheating,” she yells back.
Tommy pulls Mary’s hair,
Mary kicks him.
Rousseau and Calvin
tumble into the classroom
wrestling with each other.
Cal mocks Rosey
“Your whole nature
is a seed of sin.”
“We are noble savages.”
The teacher closes his eyes
to the noise for a few seconds
and shakes his head before
breaking up the fights
and getting the children
“They both are wrong,”
He mutters to himself.
“They don’t know
what they are doing.
Read the poetry of Frank C Modica
Read a profile of Frank C Modica
a thousand feet of ravine
so steep the road insinuates
itself back and forth climbing
the dry ground a tangle
of overgrown brush, wild
peas, pines, half-dead oaks
the stream long dried
it flows only in the wettest
years, a few hours at most
the land parched despite
the daily fogs that rise,
and birds— quail, jays
juncos must forage beside
rabbits and squirrels for
water to sustain them--
how in this wide vista
they know the one tiny drip
of a broken garden hose
and land one by one to sip
carefully from this small leak--
my silent form immaterial.
Read the poetry of Emily Strauss
Read a profile of Emily Strauss
erect and shiny
Press on the pleasure
Stoke the Freudian fire
It was supposed to be about liberation
but turned out to be about
how unfree freedom is
Early on Freud pressed
the foreheads of his patients
forcing down what they’d exposed
stood by themselves at night
like a fireman’s uniform
Freud slid down the panic pole
to rescue us from
what we didn’t know
His pants stood alone
like those awful elephant legs
turned into garbage cans
and proved once again
what was erect
And those cigars
A caesura in the preconscious
A vagina dentata that analytic floss
can’t repair or prevent
Only an opera of operations
A prosthetic jaw that made
the professor whistle when he spoke
So he rarely uttered a sound
which caused his American sycophants to ape
a gaping analytic silence
What they thought was psychoanalytic technique
was actually the old man’s vanity
Read the poetry of Charlie Brice
Read a profile of Charlie Brice
The Ego's Embrace
It’s hard to avoid the embrace
of the Ego, it’s a charismatic, sexless thing
that steps in when you are praying
or simply taking a walk
offers you heady opportunities
like world power, a trophy wife
or a brand-new Ferrari.
You say “let go of my hair,
don’t pull like that
I am just taking a walk in the woods
reciting Psalm 23
watching the way the veins
of this leaf are opening
taking me to a deeper understanding.”
But the Ego, as always,
has a different idea of pleasure
fogging your glasses with excitement
putting you on stilts
that no one else owns
saying you will see over mountains
then leaving you just as suddenly
with no more eyes to see
how you and this leaf are one
both breathing the air of the universe
season after season
arriving at a depth of your own.
Read the poetry of Mark Gordon
Read a profile of Mark Gordon
A Poem Found in a Cave
~Discovered behind a stone
in deep, barren dirt.
Off on ancient ridges by
Falls that tumble down to
A hand that waves at
Me in the dark I
Seem to see walls in mist and
Gray men in suits tapping
Down alleys that I knew I could
Find once but lost
To a song sung on cold
Nights by fires that burn in
Deep canyon caves that we
Can only find by the bright
Lights of hands traced on
Ancient ridge walls. I…
Think so much of days in
Forests and feelings of running
Like a child lost…
In the dark.
Read the poetry of Matthew Henningsen
Read a profile of Matthew Henningsen
to my own devices,
and i found myself
from this somnolence
to curvilinear ridges
to the hard insistence
of cool rough planes
to grasp every surface inch
of raw hibernal pleasure
you've been storing up
until i wanted you
in my fevered dreams
Enjoy the poetry and art of Diana Matisz
Read a profile of Diana Matisz
L.L. Barkat: A Photograph, A Painting
After a Photograph of Dark Firs
You see how the trees are touching
how the gap in the sky is only white space
how they are drawn to traverse, extend, find
each other over time,
and the road keeps going
over the lip of what is seen.
On the wide space
where the windows overlook
their blue squares
Let’s lean away
together. You with your emerald
hair. I with my gold—creating
a single amber shadow.
Read the poetry of L.L. Barkat
Read a profile of L.L. Barkat
If you were my daughter:
you would know the joy
of walking barefoot on a rainy day
And how mud squelches just so
between your toes
And how the air smells of rebirth
and uncried tears from what life
throws in your direction, every day.
You would know the stars in their constellations better
than the ones on television, and the color
of your dreams would matter more
than the color of your nail polish.
You would know how to enjoy going to the movies
or to the beach or on vacation, alone.
You would enter the playing field
in tennis shoes, not sandals. The integrity of
your “no” would value as much as your “yes,”
and you would know to reject anyone
who thinks otherwise. You would learn
how to forgive, walk away from, and firebomb
your enemies- and which application
suits what situation. Without apology.
If you were my daughter, you would never need
to hide or deny or negate your love,
and its expression; you would never
be ashamed of your desires and passions.
your boyfriend or girlfriend
would be welcome in my home.
And when love forsakes you,
when dreams elude you,
when employers overlook you,
when life abuses you in the street-
you will learn the truth
That the same genes that give compassion
also produce warriors- and they
are hereditary in the maternal line.
Read the poetry of Marie Anzalone
Read a profile of Marie Anzalone
you ask me
are we close
but I have never
heard your laugh
or felt beneath
the cotton of your shirt
or had the pleasure
of this dance
the female cardinal
rams her body into glass
my sister looped a rope
around her neck
and hung her body
in the shed
the secrets that I kept
the secrets that you kept
I never knew you had a twin
until the visitation
and that he died and that
you died along with him
I ask you
are we close
we are matchsticks
in a matchbox
send me some skin
a sentence that you penned
nothing more intimate
than an exhalation
Read the poetry of Reka Jellema
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Xanax & Chocolate
When the clock’s hands strangle
the honeymoon phase, I’ll remember today.
When the laughter turns to crying
and we glare more than screw ––
when the passion starts to shrivel
in a drought of lust, I’ll remember today.
When this quiet bedroom becomes
a full-blown warzone
and our hearts are fighting to the death ––
when flower-vases shatter upon
peeling-paint walls, I’ll remember today.
I’ll remember today ––
your hand on my chest, your Xanax tongue
against the roof of my mouth. Today:
before “darling” and “baby” are replaced
with “asshole” and “douchebag.”
Before a light caress turns
into a close-fisted punch. Before my knees
are bruised from begging you to stay.
Today: before our chocolate charisma
melts in the poison sun. Before the thorns
grow bigger than the head of the rose.
Today, you are far from gone.
Your eyes are loyal dogs. They do not
wander. They’re fixed on me
as though I’m made of something pure.
But even as you’re perched
on my bed with that firecracker grin,
and the past and the future simmer
in the dreamy heat from the present ––
and even as you lean in for another kiss
while everything around us
runs like fresh paint
on the hottest day of the year,
I think you should know
that I already miss you.
Read the poetry of B. Diehl
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