Archive for June, 2013

The Alone Factor Place by Winnie Star

Posted in Winnie Star with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

Outside, a yard with weeds
Strangling the life out of real flowers
And my attempts at revision

But I side track…

Under the sheets wet with hot flashes
I live in a dream place
Changing nightmares
To night visions of sea waves
Tumbling me over and over to a new place
And I recognize the fresh me in such dream

Upon awakening I look at my flesh
See the old wearied me
And realize the alone factor
That got me to the place I am
In the first place

Stand Down By Linda Lerner

Posted in Linda Lerner with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

I’m tearing up lettuce  cutting up cucumbers  tomatoes
not thinking about the upcoming week’s problems
turn the TV volume down on  some sports event till  60 minutes
begins: its news story  Stand Down  shoots the volume  up

out of my control into another tense
a truce between the past and present is broken

I watch vets crowd around tents  asking for help: treatment  jobs
and it’s 1993 again…we are at the first stand down
a vet salutes him and he salutes back  salutes a future intuited

I do not travel beyond that day  an outsider
I am taking it all in happy just to be together

the news commentator focuses on some homeless vets
he was never homeless  not physically  but was
mentally  he told me years later  trying to make me understand
what it’s like to become voiceless:
“can hear the tune   can  t sing”*

I couldn’t stop    and he didn’t want me to
but there it was   impassible

stand down: at ease  a temporary ceasefire
a Walt Disney survival fantasy:
word like a rock someone on a cliff throws off
hitting a person in a passing car

sniper word no one is ever prepared for…not I
not then  not now  not
that  Sunday  October 10th  2009


From “ the boys in the band” by Andrew Gettler

Parting Wounds by Helen Losse

Posted in Helen Losse with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

–for Valerie

Sometimes looking back,
we see details we missed:

monsters swim in a glass of water
that sits on the table between us. Yes,

several jealous demons we should have
beaten until dead appear in sweet tea.

Our parting—an incident both tragic
and inevitable—is due only in part

to cruel and tragic words I can never
un-speak. There were hints I should have

heeded, sheets we should have stripped
from the bed, laundered and aired

in the sweet southern breeze
months ago.  Through life’s changes—

health, power, and inevitable loss
of our mothers’ unique wisdoms—

two southern women have become,
perhaps, too tired to overcome pain

that stands where they once danced
in sisterhood, sweater-clad.

Some days turn out better than others.
Some days I utter words I should never

have spoken. Some days a hurricane
smashes the land.

My mother died in March, you know,
but I  learned from FaceBook

we were undone. Our parting wounds
became a second death, a second need

for freedom to grieve. Yes, time provides
space between events;  it guarantees us

nothing more. But looking forward
instead of back, I still choose to love you.


Posted in J.R. Brady with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

Poet man…lost and found in a city of angles…didn’t anyone ever tell
you…to get to La Cienega and Sunset you need good freeway
directions and at least…three sets of wings?

It’s strictly a seraphim town…and if the cherubim forget their
diapers and arrows…they never make it to central casting.

And if you don’t have a car you are left flat…on streets stretching from
Santa Monica to Pasadena…waiting for buses that run once every three hours.

And no matter how long you wait…think twice before you get on one…
unless you know who is driving…otherwise you might wind up some place unimaginable.

Just ask the Black Dahlia. She’ll tell you…if you can find her head.

It is all who you know…or say you know…and you did say you were
going to shot those videos and make those recordings…but something
went wrong and word was you were almost homeless…and then you
vanished…and we thought you were dead on a morgue table with a
tag on your toe saying… ”Poet…DNA determined…name unknown.”

And then there you were again…found by that friend on a book tour…
.internet moment. Picture posted in a room sitting cross-legged on an
unmade bed chanting, “monkeys and sparrows…caught in the wind…
nothing to loose…nothing to win…this is not a mask”

Form is tighter…more focused…but the vision has shifted. It’s clear
you’re not in love with that girl from Chicago anymore…and sanity is
a daily determination… but still…you do see horizons to wander into…
if you squint.

And I do have some advice…because…you see…I was born down
there in Angel Land…so I do happen to know a few things about it.

First of all…about that wing thing…you’ll never fly if you don’t try.
It is all a matter of place…they say…at the right time.

Just remember…ultimately…all angels descend…so forget Icarus
and think Pegasus. (As Roy Rogers used to say… ”horse sense
is the best sense.”)

And…if you do make a crossroads bargain…insist on…at least…
seven figures.

And if you ever do happen to move to Topanga…
like you say you want to…be sure to keep your cats locked inside
at night…otherwise…coyotes will eat them.

Sincere by Neila Mezynski

Posted in Neila Mezynski with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

She leaned over  her fake eyes,  knees,  remember please do her close face disbelieve,  a
movie,  no one else. Important. Look.  Sad not even though he was sick. Tis true.  A year
supply of popcorn for this one or two.  Depend.

Stranger I Have a Question by Melanie Browne

Posted in Melanie Browne with tags on June 28, 2013 by Scot

I am watching you walk away
as I stand in line at the Yogurt shop,

You half-heartedly check your phone
and hesitate as if the choice

Is between a million shark bites
or a drop off a long, long, pier

I want to ask you about
Man’s future,

Will you stay here on Planet Earth
or will you go off-world?

An asteroid is only a matter of time
Or so they say,

There are Plagues, overpopulation, wars,
And let’s not forget boredom,

Stranger, I have a question
It will only take a second


Posted in Neeli Cherkovski with tags on June 23, 2013 by Scot

In memory of Miriam Patchen

when the crow and I are alone
life is much easier, he alights
onto my shoulder and listens
to the traffic as a crow must do
in order to survive

he keeps a list of other birds
on a tablet in his heart

I scream and the crow caws
I rage and the crow
ruffles his feathers

a people must understand
what is important
in the life of a crow

love is important
and thus I offer mine

a man and a crow

the crow and ceremonial song

come along and speak to the bird

he has a hallway of his own

he loves the gold chain
in his cage

he likes to come out and fly in his hall

one day he took me up to the sky

out of my window we soared

over the low fog

and the other crows gathered in flight


look into the mind of this universe
take your storage boxes and toss the souvenirs
into the sky

crow is not a god

crow is not a medallion

the crow is not a charm

he will look for seed on my open palm

he will roost on a branch of the cold tree

we sit around together

he wrote this poem in order to save himself

he looks for redemption

he says Miriam dear Miriam so long ago

now you are a plant in the window

the great talons of this crow

I feel his power when sleep comes
rushing into the room

the dark is like his feathers

I have seen the cruel white hand of night
and my forehead beaded in sweat


you know he rests
alongside all the crows imaginable

and they are beautiful
and primitive
just as we are, primal
and dangerous, heading forever toward disaster
this is what the fire is for
not only for warmth

here in the cold
it is possible to believe
that one may die a better way
not suffer so much
make it easy to disappear

the crow comes into the room

he flies into the room and I shut the window

dear Miriam there is a reason
and I have held it in hand

the crow is alive

“I say the drums are going like mad”

when the crow and I are alone

–March, 31, 2013

What To Do by Dan Nielsen

Posted in Dan Nielsen with tags on June 23, 2013 by Scot

To become

one must stare
into the glass

until the last
drop evaporates,

or take
a nap


As we wait for the moment when I disappoint you by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on June 23, 2013 by Scot

We both know it’s coming as sure as the dawn
but for now let’s put it in the place
where we keep all the things
we don’t think about
until we have no choice

because it’s a lovely afternoon
and we’ve found a pretty good place
to hide

and seeing my face
from a certain angle
and in a certain light

it’s possible to imagine
that this love has transformed me
into something bigger
than I am

and it’s true that sometimes people
have been known
to rise above their baser selves
to forge the future like a

and for now it’s much more pleasant
to think of that
rather than the other

because this thing inside me
could be mistaken for love

the sex is really good

and sometimes it’s fun
to believe in things.

Truck Driver from Missouri by Moriah LaChapell

Posted in Moriah LaChapell with tags on June 23, 2013 by Scot

He’s been coming here
for 9 years
hauling plants
from Oregon
to any garden
center that buys
the green
distinctively better
He has kind
brown eyes
and a drawl
that’s slow
like molasses.
We ate lunch
together and talk
about storm shelters,
and our children.
When lunch ends
he tells my boss
“You should let her
take the afternoon
I laughed
and walked away.
15 trucks
will leave this place
and roll down I-5
by the time
Friday evening