Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Three Poems by Catfish McDaris

Portrait At 37

Living each painting
in a dark palette of
potato eaters & miners

Colors drove him mad,
lips quivering with emotion,
tears filling his eyes

His painting of Sorrow, a
naked, pregnant, starving
woman, he lived with in

Capturing rivers, making
flowers grow, old empty
shoes dance

His brother loved him
& now the world.

The Spanish Juggler

Mandolin & Guitar,
The Jester in bronze,
Triumph of the Dove

Three Musicians,
Young Girl On A Ball,
Family With Monkey

Two Saltimbanques With Dog,
Night Fishing At Antibes,
Lanterns & Spears.

No Remorse
"A nest of vipers is not as deadly as the hunger of one man." an old Shinto proverb

Often I sit in
the parking lot
at work

Watching the sea
gulls & tug boats,
with men wearing
blaze orange caps
at the helm

Listening to David
Baerwald with his
bloody hands on
the cover of his
tape, Triage

Always thinking
about how easy
it would be to
just drive away
from my job

Head for Taos or
Mexico & look
for my amigo,
Torres the matador

I think I too
could kill bulls

Then I look up
from my daydreams
& see a beautiful
woman in a black
patent leather coat
with matching stiletto
high heels

She walks by &
stops in front of
my car & smiles

& I forget who
or where I am.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Morning Jewels

Richard Hartwell

Swung from tips of tender cypress boughs,
Beads of brilliant dew bejewel the morning:
Fairy ointments, night oils on new growth,
Globular prisms gather to split the new day,
Light from the narrowly degreed dawn
Hastens horizontally across the garden,
Compressing shadows with each moment;
Illuminations of diamonds and emeralds
Explode from feathered, evergreen tips,
Regally attired, awaiting supplication.

The LA Moon

Amit Parmessur

The pregnant American moon dies away
from the unkempt LA sky
From the wide window,
perched in near emptiness, I can see
an empty page
in the bittersweet sky, one upon which
I am trying again to decipher the pledges
made by an unfaithful angel

I have traveled from clime to clime,
from sky to dark caves,
like an orphaned heart
chiming with sorrow and dread,
and the American moon is nothing different

To every place I’ve gone,
the moon is suffering enormously
from those intent looks of hungry folks,

She is suffering from the severe scars that
exaggerate what she wants to unveil,
her sore flesh looking like a very
pale reflection of a confident Goddess

Is the stained Los Angeles moon
another unsuccessful project?

Is she another incomplete canvas deserted
by a painter tortured by visions too
beautifully painful, just like those

I regret when
I think of what has vanished from my life?

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Carmen Rabil-Eichman

Let me disrupt you,
whip my bellicose bead upon,
secure you in a Jacque Louis David
vexing vision. I carefully place pearls of
clarity, hindsight rhinestones
hammered against equivocal edges, unbalanced
Neoclassic beauty, our deep hues inhaling
stark shadows desecrating diaphanous dimensions,
cut-chipped diagonals gouged, a heavenly attempt
to direct lackluster moments, dictate Romantic shifts,
force us to die-cast dynamic motions
that rival Napoleon commanding winds and fate
while crossing the St. Bernard. Our passion-storms of antiquity
raise his stallion, his arm compels us to follow, our historic
battles hurling straight into hell.


Peter Magliocco

Now I wonder how the stars
regard us majestically
during the long midnights
of summer, when we contemplate
the enormity of space.

Do astral sentient beings stare
back through their own telescopes?
Those living in stellar architecture
vacuum stardust from the cold
landscapes of desolate silence,

perhaps like ghosts waiting
to manifest themselves someday.
Draining energy from our future
digital instruments, waiting
for our knowledge to equal

their own erudite sciences.
Those ancestral gods will awake
from a long, cosmic hibernation
to scan the heavens at last.
Will their bulbous eyes be peeled

through squamous orifices,
writing new testaments in
words of alien language
describing the last remnants
of earth's inhospitable barrenness?

A geography toppled by some
civilization nearly extinct,
except for the lingering microbes
of human origin, now hiding in
terrestrial oceans of dust.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I was never clever,
never inspired envy.
I found my own island,
closed up my feeble mind.

I learned how to float one
morning with my face up
to the sun. Shadows all
around me. My island

was sinking. My island
was without fish. There were
wild birds in the sky. They
started to talk to me.

I longed to fly like them.
I wanted to fly to
the sun. I wanted to
catch fire, be the sun’s food.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gossamer Threads

Carmen Taggart

Disappointment, and frustration erupt,
Words as sharp as the knives you so carefully tend sever the ties that bind,
Neither of us knowing how to fix them or even if they should be fixed,
You simply drive away.

I can’t see your smile to know that you are still mine,
The voices in my head tell me that you are moving on,
The phone a poor substitute for the feel of your embrace,
A tentative thread binds us still.

I want to be in your arms,
Your hands cupping my face,
Eyes locked as I tell you that I love you,
That you will always own a piece of my soul.

I settle for phone calls and laughter,
Weaving a net of gossamer threads,
Our spirits dance across the divide,
Cold comfort as we relinquish our ties.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Panos Panagiotopoulos

I'll be reborn tonight, into the streets I'll be reborn
tonight, I have a thought, it's pouring out of my eyes
it flows down from the open window like a desire but it's a thought
and it sprawls like a red stain across wet asphalt.
Take me on an ambulance ride into the night,
tonight, I'll be reborn and we can spread ourselves like a
red stain on wet asphalt, chasing that thundering thought down,
I want the sirens howling above and behind us,
a trail of smoke and sirens behind us, tonight the city is
a red stain on wet asphalt, into the streets I'll be reborn
as a thought pouring down the open window like a thunderous desire.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gossamer Threads

Gossamer Threads
Disappointment, and frustration erupt,
Words as sharp as the knives you so carefully tend sever the ties that bind,
Neither of us knowing how to fix them or even if they should be fixed,
You simply drive away.
I can't see your smile to know that you are still mine,
The voices in my head tell me that you are moving on,
The phone a poor substitute for the feel of your embrace,
A tentative thread binds us still.
I want to be in your arms,
Your hands cupping my face,
Eyes locked as I tell you that I love you,
That you will always own a piece of my soul.
I settle for phone calls and laughter,
Weaving a net of gossamer threads,
Our spirits dancing across the divide,
Forever entwined.
My Bio ~ Carmen Taggart writes and photographs when the muses speak from the mountains of Pennsylvania. Most recently Carmen's writings have been published at The Camel Saloon, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Ink Bean. More of her ramblings and musings can be found at her virtual home

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cold Feet

Rebecca Gaffron

my feet are cold but my hands are warm,
rejoicing in sentient flames reawakened,
fearing this too will pass.
your tear drops into the corner of my eye,
a drowning man's cold fingers clasp mine
one more time.

Two Poems by Zaina Anwar

Fragment XI
(The Oyster)

One day, the oyster
would give birth to a pearl

so white and glistening,
it would cultivate light

as if through a prism
in the anonymous depths

of the raging


He came to me
with hot caresses
and lilies and solemn

By the time he left,
my heart
was a broken mirror.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

True Art

Joseph Farley

you paint yourself
and others
blue, green, orange,
making exotic beasts
from women and men
already carved
in bone and sinew.
even this wild beauty
can be made
more sensuous,
more animalistic
with zebra or
tiger stripes,
fur and fangs,
and then the descent
into nature


Larry Ziman

boys trying to prove they’re men,
men trying to prove they’re heroes,
heroes trying to prove they’re gods,
gods trying to prove they’re worshipped

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Sandy Benitez

Miscreants and midgets amble
ahead of me. I fall behind.
Soles of my converse sneakers
sticky with bubble gum and taffy

droppings. A red velvet curtain
parts like a rose in bloom
and I pick up the pace so as not
to miss the bearded lady's show.

She appears in a long, black gown.
An hourglass figure reminiscent of
Marilyn Monroe. My eyes become magnets,
attracted to the surreal image

standing before me. I imagine Dali
courting her, asking her to smile
as he paints her face among landscapes
of melting clocks and cracked eggs.

Behind me, a lizard man snaps his tongue
like a whip. Flies swarm away.
In the distance, a werewolf howls
at the tapioca moon. The crowd

dissipates into fog, leaving remnants
of footprints--some human, some animal.
Things better left unknown.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Alan Britt

What’s this?

Concrete particulars without waists,
without hope of contracting STD’s,
without possibility of guilt?


Touch not,
see not,
hear not,
taste not,
but smell the exhaust of abstractions!

Such is the plight of the literati
forever shivering in a sea
of nothingness, as if tubercular verbs
& anemic adjectives
could pour the bristling wine of intelligence
from an albino flask,
as if desire alone
could rattle the angels of reason
from hibernation,
as if, only, as if words,
naked, or half-dressed
in tailored Italian suits,
words in Victorian nightgowns,
words stitched together
as bombs, IED’s, switchblades,
words pulled from color-coordinated cardboard boxes
popping like popcorn or newly improved tissues
guaranteed to soothe
the cumbersome souls
of humans vaguely hot on the trail
of something hitherto unknown,
or at least lethargic
like the government drugs of choice.

I say inhale the feathers
of lightning-streaked, ochre-winged
words the size of an index finger
flocking the imagination’s branches,
chattering, otherwise preoccupied,
words dying, staining the psyche
with the purple berries of the crowberry bush
bleeding the sidewalks of…ahh… whatever,
you know, words, words, words,
that shiver their archetypal hindquarters
whenever they spot the aberrant hyenas of truth
loitering nearby.

Music by Suchoon Mo


For music, please click on the post title.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Poems by Anna Donovan


Sometimes her hands rest
pale and poised
as deep desert doves
on age polished sand,
every gesture soft
as grass under a moonlit night.

With mournful countenance
she tells of eleven windmills lined
as soldiers on a hill
to guard an ancient pine forest
where Moors still harvest
sacred saffron crocuses
and olive groves behold
orange and lavender clouds.

And I wonder,
as my grandmother turns
the frail pages
of a most precious book,
if she took the old world
with her when she went
beyond the hills.

She looks up
from the rolling vines
of a watermelon patch,
all round bearers of sweet joy
in her mind's eye.

"It is fragile things
that continue."

She says, as she folds
her hands in the shape
of a tall steeple
before morning prayers.

No Mountain Climbers

They pose before a glacial valley
with the mountain rising in the distance,
their complacent smiles tell
of amenities, cheap female companions
and a steady flow of whiskey sours.

They're no mountain climbers
my father and his best friend,
but mountain climbers
celebrate with them.

Perhaps team players
secretly admire
the few who go about
unencumbered by bonds
and filial attachments,
or the simple matter
of the wealthy
carelessly spending
on vacation.

They all know,
even soccer players
down in the city's heart
will share the spoils
of this mundial.

A crimson pink sunset lingers
in the distance,
and my father looks like a man
shrinking in his own clothes,
trying to be who he was
and exhausted by the effort.

And his best friend
stands a few feet away,
already removing himself
from my father,
lest Death also chooses him
by mere proximity.


Even as we cross
every line ever drawn
on the sand,
with a want flailing
our bodies
into the eye of the storm,
the two-eyed violet
golden and nubbed,
I see the end
from the beginning.

The bleary eye
of a spent storm
will pause ripened
with second thoughts.

Troubled you'll linger
in an absent touch
and stand still
while the day blurs
furtive oranges
a rustle away from fire.

Cloistered and conjoined
in accumulated ambivalence
we will move manacled
by manic passions,
secretly longing for
the piercing scream,
the flaying flares,
shrapnel and flesh wounds
round the seething monster,
the bare light bulb,
pendulum in the crime scene.

Two Poems by Donal Mahoney

Sounds of Summer

If you can hear
as I can now
the rose of noun
the bee of verb
the hive of mind
then you can hear
as I can now
the zither
of the siphonings
of day
the last
letter of
the alphabet.

Meeting Dad Again

Thirty years later, Dad came back
and we met for Ham and Yams at Toffenetti’s.
Pouring his tea, he told me he had
to restore power once
at a newspaper warehouse
and the storm broke again
and the lightning cracked his ladder.
He spent the whole day, he said,
sitting in that dark warehouse,
waiting for the lightning to stop
and for the truck to bring a new ladder.
He had a great time, he said,
sitting next to a flickering lantern
and reading for hours the Sunday comics
printed and stacked
six months in advance.

Three Poems by Gordon Mason

Lot 208
A Russian lacquer novelty box in the form of an armchair, painted with a woman and a cat, 12cm high

cat and barinya

share golden gloss,
glazed diamond eyes,
and dreams of a chair carved

by a moon-chipped sickle,
where a secret compartment
will take them on another path

to spot the first star
in Russia’s icy sapphire sky
and she will become

Pushkin’s Tatiana
and the cat will return
to the Siberian forest

Lot 312
A 1920's child’s chain driven Alfa Romeo P2 pedal car, with spring suspension and rubber wheels, 150cm long

Ascari’s ghost weaves
through a dusty sunrise.
Fingers grip the shifting skin

of his silver coffin.
Uncertain yellows skim
fields of ripe grain.

His burning ears are heckled
by the rush of wind.
Red crystal tears

blur wounded eyes.
Gulps of black rubber stun
his heartbeat at thirty-six.

Lot 596
Kathleen Haldane SSWA Sentinels Watercolour, signed verso, 34cm high x 24cm wide

intrusive silhouettes
on peeling carcasses
of mountains

that fold to a horizon
by another language
stiff fingered

to split the sky
at its seams
in January’s
sullen light

frozen dumb
in chiaroscuro silence
for crows
to hang their music

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Howie Good

The horse collapsing on the bridge,
the fire in the background,

the use of the moon,

its flesh and fur stripped away
with elk-bone scrappers

and its hide made pliable
with the buffalo’s mashed brains.

The wolf sits back
on its haunches and watches.

The eye is the hammer.

To polish a diamond,
there is nothing like its own dust.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Snapdragons Crackle

Donal Mahoney

Snapdragons crackle
in the air for Maura
and her flowing gait,

a swagger neither Nora
nor Maureen would ever
let a suitor savor.

Maura knows
that in her wake
men with scythes

and burlap sacks,
creep like gators,
eyes afire, jaws agape.

Nora and Maureen
can smell these men.
Unlike Maura

and her flowing gait,
Nora and Maureen will smile,
take their time and wait.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Approbations 449—after Mal Waldron’s Nervous

Felino Soriano

Deportation my
silence erupts
innate, cloistered closure
my tongue aptly denies
commentary, collocated
ending rivalry with reflectional
depictions of mind’s wandering
unaccepted glory.
Démodé moments
those of temporal
deceiving modes of a life’s
unlived hitherto, inebriating
slurs of rhythmic devotion
my doorknocker knees
clash and destroy
pivotal enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Ross Vassilev

of gone empires
in the opiate
of fakirs and sages

gone religions
are mountain flowers
while the faiths
of Abraham
wait to join them
in eternal sleep

the only constant
is the rape of the people
and the blood-red
poppies at the doors
of the angels.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blossom Eight - We Meet Again

Russell Streur

I was born in Peach Blossom Month
You when Morning Glories Bloom.
After all these years it is no accident we meet again
In the other land, with pomegranates ripe.