Archive for November, 2020

IT WAS IN FRONT by J.R. Solonche

Posted in J.R. Solonche with tags on November 30, 2020 by Scot



It was in front of the Zion
Baptist Church on Main.
It was parked between
two long black limousines.
The most beautiful hearse I’ve ever seen.
It looked brand new,
looked like it was just driven
out of the hearse showroom.
The three were so polished, so glossy,
they sparkled like onyx rings.
They made the sunlight do soft shoe
on the roofs and hoods.
They made the sunshine sing
the blues in the night fields of Mississippi.


J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 400 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He lives in the Hudson Valley.

DONE TO DEATH by Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on November 30, 2020 by Scot


I’m watching a poetry program
on Youtube.

At a round wooden table
with their glasses of water
3 poets snicker
at the idea of death
because in poetry death
has been done to death,
frankly everyone is sick and tired of death
and it is time for a revolution

and at this moment I swear to God
I get an email
from an old friend who tells me
he wants to kill himself.

He’s told me this a few times.

How tiresomely the poets make
their suffering macramé,
how stern and serious their devout replies
to clown questions,
how they wave sanctimony and sass
like lassos
over the necks of plastic ponies.

The last time we emailed each other
he was sober,
getting married and having a kid.
I had just got out of prison
and he kept asking me questions about it,
kept telling me I should write about it.
We grew up together
and he remembers
the dumb stories I used to write
in study hall, those dreams
and long-gone days.

These poets
are brave souls,
they’ve been to Vienna,
they’ve been to Bangladesh
and Disneyland.
They fell in love with language
at an early age,
words are all
they ever needed.
Well, words
and round tables
and cameras and microphones
and reading gigs and applause and grants and sabbaticals
and hair dye and nose rings and nice houses
and health insurance and easy jobs
and the purest safety.

He doesn’t tell me any details
about why this is happening.
He wants me to write him back.

Next up is a woke gangstress
with tats and a full ride
to Berkeley.
She explains her pronouns and recites a medley
of middle-school quatrains
about how powerful love is
and how whites must die in the fires of hell.

She tells us, “Language can save you”
as if she’s ladling soup
in a Gulag.

I turn it off,

sit looking at his email.

I am sorry
but I don’t know what to say
to people who keep talking
about death,

it’s just so much more
bad poetry
and frankly everybody’s sick of it.

OUCH IS ALL YOU NEED by Brian Rihlmann

Posted in Brian Rihlmann, Uncategorized with tags on November 20, 2020 by Scot


a woman I don’t know
posted a question
in a Facebook poetry group—
explain love in one word
and it only took a fraction
of a second
and I already knew
but first I
scrolled down the page—
truth beauty selflessness
trust infinite god christ
and then
with my middle finger
I tapped out the word

Chanel #19 by R. Gerry Fabian

Posted in R. Gerry Fabian with tags on November 17, 2020 by Scot


Looking down from the upper floor
of the local Mall,
I see you walking below.
that raven hair, lanky stature
and butt twitching walk
are ingrained in my heart.
It’s been over a decade
but I know that face.

I’ve kissed that forehead,
those smoke eyes, that straight nose,
and those vacuum lips.

You are carrying
that long strap blue purse
I gave you for Christmas
when we were that first Christmas,

I remember how your elation
exploded in to kisses
which lead to carnal Christmas joy.
(Would that every present I give
elicit such a response.)

I stop at the escalator.
You are coming up,
I choose to go down.
When we pass,
I smell the perfume
that is always you
as you go up and
I go down.

Altar Boy by John Macker

Posted in John Macker with tags on November 17, 2020 by Scot


I woke up an altar boy all
over again after all these years
I didn’t know godhood
from my neighborhood,
I knew the monstrance
held the mysteries,
I knew Father Ryan’s
hands were as fragile as white orchids
ritual like his cassock was applied to my
soul in layers. I rang the bells
I moved the Book
the other boy lit the candles,
went mute disappeared.
The mass abandoned Latin.
When I wrote myself into adulthood
Lorca said
The poet is an anarchist
the voices that rise from his being
are death, love and art but the bells still
ring in my darkened sleep, the voice of the
homily alive in my dreams, in the winter darkened
church all that’s left of my childhood is
my first and last confession.

Lew Welch Going Into the Mountains with His Rifle by Mike James

Posted in Mike James with tags on November 10, 2020 by Scot

for Jacob Johanson

He didn’t walk all the way to Mexico to see any dancers
He didn’t learn how the moon tastes in May rain
Or how to drink the sun off any green leaf

Some paths never circle back no matter how far they stretch
Even paths that reach above the tree line
Where clouds moisten breath