Monday, June 29, 2015

Wars not make one great

The Peaceful Warrior

His fight
isn't, quite.
by James B. Nicola


in aisle five
bruised oranges
by James D. Fuson
both in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, June 22, 2015

American Summer

To the Sale Lovers to Kick It into High Gear
with apologies to Robert Herrick

Gather ye bargains while ye may.
The big-sale days are flying.
If we don't dash to town today,
tomorrow we'll be crying.

Before the rising of the sun,
the battle will be raging.
Come on! Let's break into a run,
our own war to be waging.

The time is now. When that first door
flies open, we'll be leading.
We'll wildly race from store to store,
withstanding all stampeding.

Let's grab our credit cards and cash
and let them work their magic.
Such chances vanish in a flash.
Now wouldn't that be tragic?

by Janice Canerdy
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Ode to a Transformation

Keats Becoming Yeats

If you were dark, I'd praise your darknesses;
if you were easy, I would praise your ease,
but you are palely loitering—lilies, yes,
upon your brow—and breast—this sans merci's

for you—I can provide no easy answers—
can't foretell the future—how am I
to tell you Yes—or how to No the dancers
from the dance, or separate the lie

from what it lies in, or disguise from what
it dies in? Here, where no birds sing, and sedge
has withered by the lake and where the gut
unsettles once we pass the paling's edge –

I dream of your Ledean body, dear,
as I put on my feathered glory here.

by Lee Warner Brooks
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Better than your Average Cruise Captain

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Blackbeard
with apologies to Wallace Stevens

Across the placid sea
The only moving ship
Was eyed by Blackbeard

Blackbeard was of three minds,
Like a pursuing hammerhead shark
Which seemed as though three Blackbeards.

Blackbeard's beard whirled by sea spray.
It is a small part of the terror.

Blackbeard and his buccaneers
One motherfucking terror.
Blackbeard and his buccaneers
Are a seafarer's fucking demon.

Blackbeard does not know which to prefer,
The beauty of eviscerations
Or the beauty of a rapier thrust to the liver.
Blackbeard's steaming blade
Coming clean after.

Lit fuses sputter from his black tricorn hat
With barbaric gusto.
Visage of Satan's shadow, Blackbeard
Smoldering forward and aft on deck.
Tracing in fearsome shadow
His indecipherable rage.

O trembling men being boarded
Who could imagine more incited fear?
Do you not see how Blackbeard
Will stroll your blood slick decks
Eying the women trembling behind you?

The women know ignoble assents
Heed illicit, inescapable cheek.
But all the captives know, too,
That Blackbeard is roused
In bloodlust rhythms.

When Blackbeard's ship was out of sight
Over the horizon's edge
The target ship's crew danced on deck in circles.

At the sight of Blackbeard's ship
Flying Teach's skeleton-spearing-a-heart flag
Cries of terrible euphony
Rose up sharply.

Blackbeard strode across his deck
Three brace of pistols hung in holsters.
Thick beard braided into pigtails
Tied with colored ribbons.
Always, fear pierced a pursued ship
Equipage unprepared for Blackbeard's speed.


Closing for a starboard broadside.
Blackbeard's Adventure, horror flag flying.

By late afternoon miscalculating
His boarding party floundered into defeat.
Blackbeard’s corpse tossed into the sea.
Head suspended from Lt. Maynard's bowsprit
Proof to collect a never paid Admiralty reward.

by Ed Higgins
in volume 4 issue 1

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Have you heard?

After Reading Too Much Verse One Night, a Young Poet Struggles to Compose Something Original

I sing the bard eclectic,
quoth the shaven troubadour
on his IBM Selectric.
And what's more, so much
depends upon a dead
white chicken glazed
for whom the dinner-bell tolls.
It tolls for cheese.

Glory be to God
for dapper things:
the little lame saloongal,
the sunflower wary of mime.
Had we but whirled enough
the pedals on our wet, black
bikes, we could have overtaken
the best mice of our generation.
April is the crucial month,
when the center cannot hold
the rain-soaked football.

Typist, typist, burning bright,
whose words these are
I think I know.
A pomegranate should not
mean, but become the light
around the bodyguard.
To beam or not to beam,
that is a quest to shun.

Should I get harried?
Should I be good-natured?
My name is Ozzy Mantis,
thing of things. I spent
a season in Helsinki.
Into the alley of debt
strode the sex hunters,
muttering over and over:
I have wasted my life-savings.

by Cliff Saunders
in volume 4 issue 1

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