1. Ramisi’s Fife
Come home now
Raise your eyes now
Call your power now
Don’t stay away
Don’t ignore us
Play your flute
It’s a time for standing now
not kneeling now
It’s time for fighting now
Grab the sky with your claws
Make it rain heaven’s blood
The red cells will wash us all
The white cells will cleanse
Heaven will die from the loss
And Earth will leap into Spring
k shawn edgar
♦“Should we offshore the homeless to the moon Europa? Or a giant space station in orbit? Or perhaps relocate the wealthy to Mars…?”… K Shawn Edgar can be found at: Carbon Noise Poetry and Pull of the Sun♦
2. My name is Henry
The place I used to visit,
On bad days,
With yoghurt and spoon,
The leaves are raked,
Into a neat pile,
By the bench,
And except for the newspaper,
Blowing about in the wind,
There is no-one here.
The river beyond,
Is a murky brown,
Same as it’s always been,
Over the concrete wall,
On the sandy bank,
Is a briefcase.
Is it yours?
My name is Henry,
And I’ve been disappearing for years.
I can’t seem to find my way home.
He knew all the right buttons to PUSH,
and he PUSHED them again and again:
She looked so fat in that dress;
her hair style was out of date.
The lamb shank was overcooked;
she had the brain of a canary.
Their house was always a mess.
She didn’t talk enough, talked too much,
ate too much, drank too much,
laughed too loud, snored too loud,
drove too fast, drove too slow.
If he didn’t marry her, she’d be an old maid.
He knew all the right buttons to PUSH,
and he PUSHED them again and again
until the day she PUSHED him downstairs
and then………she PULLED the trigger.
4. Ghosts in the steam of soup
Kabero comes to my apartment
Via Africa via Canada via New York City
Kabero says you people eat food so bland
As he piles black pepper on his soup
Canada is too cold
the people in New York call me double dumb ass
But he likes it here
in the south
At school he is tired from the night shift at the motel
The motel he lives in
Kabero gets confused because he is so tired
He wants to write and read right to left
But he is not at home
He is in this left to right bland world
Kabero says not to be scared of his girlfriend’s son
When I meet them
He is just touched
He will not hurt you
He will only hug you and be happy
That is the way it goes down
everyone is smiling
In my memory of Kabero
Summoned by the steam rising from my heavy peppered chicken soup
Don’t worry my friend
It’s been twenty years and I haven’t told hardly anyone
You eat sausage
5. How to loose an elephant in tall grass
He came down the rocky side, red-eyed, half-mad
From mountain living, lagging behind the storm,
The rain that soaked his clothes, the metallic parts of him,
Glowed in the dark, teeth, nails and bone,
Come on, Pyrrhus. Come on, Pyrrhus. Come on, Pyrrhus, one more victory
There are secrets and there are secrets and someplace in some hell, there are answers but here, in this world, there are secrets. Nothing but. Just that and penumbra, something growing below, something that moves roughly over the barely varnished slick surfaces of this now, something real, germinating underneath.
He came down the rocky side, red-eyed, half-mad,
From mountain living, lagging behind the storm,
Behind the rain that soaked his clothes,
A baby in a bundle in his arms.
Come on, Pyrrhus, one more victory.
jesse s mitchell
Jesse S. Mitchell (this poem!) is the author of several works of fiction, including the novellas ‘Mythic Creatures’ and ‘The Autobiography of September Marx’, as well as the forthcoming book of poetry, ‘These Little Episodes’, out in late-2012 from Chromatopia, LLC. He also blogs at Modern Rage (modern-rage.com) and La Societe de Liberation (lasocietedeliberation.com), and he spends his free time raising five very excitable children with his wife in ruralSouthern Illinois.
Mirrors are cruel.
They never say she’s
the fairest one, yet she
dares another look.
She doesn’t see
herself, she only sees:
Horrible acne, festering, hideous.
A lump is in her throat as she
steps back for the full-length view.
Flat chest, not the
jiggling fullness boys like.
Hips SO not there.
And her hair, a disaster
of biblical proportions;
not really blonde,
not exactly brown,
more like puddles after
a long, soaking rain…
or the worms that come out to
get squished on the sidewalk.
And the scars on her wrists,
constant reminders that she
tried to rid the world of
this pustule of a person.
Rubbing lavender lotion on her
warm belly (at least I’ll smell good,
not that they’ll get very close),
then, donning the final insult:
(Bifocals at 16. I mean, really?)
She sneaks downstairs for breakfast
before catching the bus to school.
Her mom, who is of course GORgeous
and dressed the same, pours juice.
See her hands, perfectly manicured,
her flawless skin, and long,
auburn hair pulled back carelessly
in a scrunchy. Effortless.
She measures herself against
the impossible, easy beauty of her mother.
(I’ll never be that pretty, never.)
Mom turns and says,
“Paul, remember your biology test today.
Oh, look, you’re wearing the shirt
I got you at the mall!” A kiss on the forehead.
“My handsome boy. Don’t break any hearts today!”
Don’t worry. She won’t, not while
that worrisome bulge is in her jeans.
The thing that doesn’t belong on a real girl.
Gym today… she shudders,
takes a bite of a muffin,
feels the Adam’s Apple
bounce with the swallow.
amy barlow liberatore
♦Amy Barlow Liberatore is a published poet living in Madison, WI. She is a mother of a gender queer daughter and wife of a UCC pastor. She is also a Jazz Singer. Find her at: sharplittlepencil – photo – Fateless Gypsy at Fickr♦
7. City Life
take company with you
when you go
into the city
mazes and patterns
is always a good idea
geometry isn’t always
easy to apply
in the real world
if you should happen
to encounter a whale
you can get
an immediate opinion
about what to do
you can update your social status
” i saw a whale
in the sky today “
and it would be true
♦PhotoDiction is Mario Cerroni, fine art photographer and poet, living in the Ottawa area. To view more of his photos; www.photodiction.com, and to read more of his poetry (this piece@); photodiction.blogspot.com♦
My brain, see, now has to consciously
tell my feet to move.
I mean, he tries a laugh, your brain
always tells your feet to move
on some level, but now
I have to remind them how.
I do see what he means soon enough, as
my father, the opener of all
that needs to be opened, and the keeper
of all that needs to be kept safe, targets
a key towards a door as
one might aim a dart, his forearm moving
back and forth as if to throw it,
though he pushes now–
here–here–trying spots about the knob
as one might poke
a needle into the fabric backing a button, pricking
one’s way to its eyes, or as one
might thread the eye
of the needle itself, poignantly.
But the disease progresses, as territorial
as Genghis Khan, and soon all
the buttons in his world are blocked, refuse
to be battened, will not even
be pushed down, until finally, his own eyes
seem locked behind the placket
of stiff lids.
I see the strain of forehead, the
conscious manipulation of muscle, nerve,
above struggling chest, until at last
the mottled blue of his pupils targets
our own. I love you, he whispers, the opener
of all that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all things safe.
http://ManiKarin Gustafson, a/k/a Manicddaily, is a writer and illustrator. Her books include a collection of poetry, Going on Somewhere, a children’s counting book, 1 Mississippi, and, most recently, Nose Dive (available in Kindle and print), a light-hearted mystery novel about love, youth, noses, and music on the brain in downtown New York City. (More information about the books may be found at www.BackStrokeBooks.com and at Amazon.)cDDaily.wordpress.com♦
8. 1. pm
There are moments
In which I find myself,
Wishing to don a
Lab coat and dissect
Complete lack of,
Training and the
c j parker
♦C. J. Parker lives in the raw state of Montana. “I write poetry as a reflection of myself; my body, my mind and my soul. I try to be honest in my writing, even if the truth is unpleasant.” c.j. parker
He does not blog. Find what he’s doing at REDDIT – (Himself) http://www.reddit.com/user/ctron3
picture – webstockpro.com♦
10. For the Sixth Form Reader
don’t read odes, my son, read time tables:
they’re more exact. unroll the sea charts
before it’s too late. be vigilant, don’t sing.
the day will come they nail lists to the gate
again and paint marks on nay-sayers’
chests. learn to go unrecognised, learn more than I:
how to change your district, passport, face.
be skilled in small betrayals,
the dirt of daily survival. useful
are the encyclicals for making fires,
the manifestos: for wrapping up butter and salt
for the defenceless. anger and patience are needed
to blow into the lungs of power
the fine deadly dust ground
by those who have learned much,
who are fastidious in their ways, by you.
hans magnus ezensberger
♦Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Goethe Institute) is an 83yr old German poet living in Munich, Germany. WIKIPEDIA. IMDB. He is still active and his translations – “… His translations contain traces of the recontextualising language of a postmodern condition…” In 2009, he won the Griffin Poetry Prize. This Translation by memengineering (At Worpress.com)♦
TEN OF THE BEST – JULY 2012