Fool or martyr… by John E. Epic

Posted in John E. Epic with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

Neighbors,
Seniors,
Father or mother,
Brother or sister,
You or me,
All of humanity,
Can paint such beauty,
With strokes of the paintbrush,
And such murder,
With the pull of the trigger.
The contradiction
Lies within the confliction
Between these two extremes,
As you or me
Can be
Slave or master,
Creator or destroyer,
Fool or martyr,
All based upon
Jurisdiction,
Justification,
Of how we perceive This contradiction
Between the two extremes.
We,
You and me,
See
Not in the middle,
But relate
To one of these extremes,
Thinking black & white,
That delight
Will lead to either heaven
Or hell,
That lack of sight
Is good or bad,
And the middle is forgotten,
And those that do wrong
Are not all rotten,
And those whom do good
Are not all given sainthood;
That sometimes martyrs are fools
And sometimes fate can be so cruel
Because this confliction between two extremes—the unobtainable intrinsic purities—
Does not exist
So, why should we persist
To expect That you or I
should pretend to define
ourselves and others
with terms so black & white,
such as wrong or right,
when we are human beings
than live someplace between those two extremes?…

1978 by Mike James

Posted in Mike James with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

my grandmother burned her outhouse down
insisted, at last, on indoor plumbing

my brother quit high school, amid my
father’s curses and my mother’s sighs,

joined the navy which sent him nowhere
more exotic than california in his three years

uncle mason finished building his fishing boat
used scrap lumber (called it crap lumber)

a heart attack took him the next summer
aunt virginia left the boat to rats and squirrels

around the world jim jones led the guyana mess
also a new pope came and left, quickly, in rome

i learned how to peddle my bike downhill
saw superman three times with my then best friend

This Is Not A Poem by JAMES DIAZ

Posted in JAMES DIAZ with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

 

I’m more of a Cassandra with
my fingers on the pane
of Gettysburg
and early in the morning
it’s the birds territory
we step into
borrowing things
that belong to them
not just songs
but language barriers
and sometimes
falling out of trees
at night
even if only on the inside

____________

JAMES DIAZ is the founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in HIV Here & NowFoliate OakChronogram, and Sick Lit Magazine. His first book of poems, This Someone I Call Stranger, is forthcoming from Indolent Books (Fall, 2017.)

A 35 year old Girl by Jon Bennett

Posted in Jon Bennett with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

We talk about money
her parents don’t
give her enough
“At least they pay
for my apartment.”
Sad brown eyes
she hasn’t had a drink
yet today
and it takes me
off balance.
“What’re you thinking?”
she says
but not that way
only to fill
an awkward silence
“Looks like I’m not
going to get fucked,” I say
and those sad brown eyes
begin to cry.

Poem by Victor Clevenger

Posted in Victor Clevenger with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

III.
for nadia wolnisty

i assume that it is hard for people like us to keep
secrets from the coroner when our body is up on
the slab & our blood is no longer imprisoned
death & coffee are only as dark as you wish them to be
human brains confuse me a switchblade
penetrates & i’m not sure i even mind i once
wrote that i felt like a drunk hummingbird you
once wrote that you felt like a firefly leaking light
it’s 5:06 pm as i sit here writing this raindrops
fall down the window pane & two black birds sit on
the power lines outside clock hands chase the
ghost of a second ago & with a finger in the
hornets’ nest we are all eventually bound to have
something wet on the laces of our souls

For a Moment by Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

 

I wake from a dream,
fingernails dug into his back,
his mouth hard on mine,
remembering those days that were
siphoned away and won’t return
in this lifetime.

I was the one to leave,
so why the crocodile tears now?

One of his emails popped up
in an old folder yesterday
and, for a moment, I forgot he was dead,
doctors exhausted from attempts
at a heart restart and I want to answer
the email all over again just
like when I called mother’s old number
until the line went silent,
telling her secrets I never
could utter when still alive.

____________

Pris Campbell has been mostly housebound with ME/CFS since 1990 so writes her poems to escape into the world again. In addition to numerous journals, she has published seven chaps/books of free verse poetry and, most recently, her first romantic tanka book, Squall Line on the Horizon, through Nixes Mate Press. She makes her home with her husband in the Greater West Palm Beach, across the waterway from where Trump twitters in his southern White House.

Foreign Policy by Ben Rasnic

Posted in Ben Rasnic with tags on May 9, 2017 by Scot

 

A lunatic
is spraying nuclear missiles
over the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, the leader
of the free world
spends weekends spraying
Titleist golf balls

over manicured grounds
of his private
Country Club,

crying about fake news,
cheating on his scorecard.