Poetry # 134

There’s this rumor going around that the world didn’t end May 21, 2011, as some had predicted. Well, after looking around locally and reading the

international news, I think the Jesus freaks had it right – sorta. The world did end. But it’s been a process. Not a day, but rather the stretch of our recent history. This issue brings you the subterranean perspective from the ones – the majority – that didn’t ascend.

Yours Truly,

The Poetry Editors

Luis Rivas

Henry Ajumeze

Amber Bromer


By Nils Michals

And at dusk when men in rolled shirtsleeves

give themselves up to newborns I couldsee

for once the trees as nothing

of any concern to anything except other

trees, the uninhibited turning of their leaves

as no leap skyward in me, nothing atall,

no beat ampersanding in the chest nor good

intention unfolding in the slow terror

of a rudderless body blindered, starstruck.

To shepherd an error in some practiced cripple’s rhythm—

one leg feather, one leg jackhammer—

as the town fills with whirling bits and turned-out umbrellas

is nothing kind, is no pure burning color

to expect the sky to receive.

One child draws a blue boat where the heart’s supposed to be.

Another says give me red I must make

thegrass on fire, and the landscape in a far

corner explodes, form and color slapdashas cornfields

before the specter of a twister, its bruised end

essing like a massive anchor awry.

Leaves, rooftops, cattle chucked silly.

After, a boat and some pieces of a lake

where a barn used to be.

What is a child to the maple still standing?

To burn darkly or brightly just for

the mere fuck of it, to set ablaze the skyline

leaf by leaf so fiercely

the child watching from his father’s forearms

years later cannot discern which came first:

the fire,

or the memory of fire?


By Simon Perchik


And the sun too, goes south

–in back its cave

it could outlast the winter

though I grind this axe

from behind, the stone

turned over and over

for rivers hid under

slowed down, flickering

with gills and those pinecones

who still have their scales

hang around for showers

–I name this grindstone

Angel Falls and between two fingers

the needle thin afternoon

stays green, filled with bees

with honey, berries

and the smoke sweetening

–I name every tree

so what I say is like yours

a good name, that’s warmed

from further and further away.

Bio: Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

Generation Chasm

By Ian C Smith

He would silence them, his own best, his blessed

press Mute if he knew how, their mouths moving.

Life’s changed, he is told.  They don’t evenread.

His shelved books consign him to then, not now.

He turns from today like a slow, bruised beast

from their texting, quarantined by smug sneers

OMG, like, he h8s th@ word salad

Stricken with understanding, swamped by years

he shies away from spin, ghost-written greed

they swallow from rogues of their own choosing.

His slash and burn wit tires, locked blow for blow

with their hedonism, dues invalid

their naïve jabs through the bars of his cage

this abomination, this plague, old age.

Daily I Fall out of Love with Investment Bankers

By Lara Dolphin

in response to Daily I Fall in Love with Mechanics by Susan Thurston and Daily I Fall in Love with Waitresses by Elliot Fried

Daily I fall out of love with investment bankers

with their vanity license plates


and fat rubber tires.

I hate how they bend over numbers

massaging their internal models.

Their hand-tailored Italian suits jockey behind Chinese walls

like ginned up bulls

hang around the financial district—

shards of broken dreams.

I feel their hard money

primed with a steady stream of funds

slide over me.

Their hands lithe and subtle

keep moving so . . .

misdirecting and pilfering so unnoticeably

that I am left insensible, defenseless.

Daily I fall out of love with investment bankers

with their scheming quant buddies.

They sell secrets in the backroom

and I want them.

I don’t know them.

They tranche securities

their legs triple-A-rated prime.

They have spouses or lovers or hookers

or all.

They are off-balance-sheet smug —

they know how naked credit default swaps work.

Their unnaturally white smiles

distract you from the fine print.

Daily I fall out of love with investment bankers

They buy you steak and get you drunk

but they never see you safely home

as they take the money and run run run.

Bio: Lara Dolphin is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in print and online in such publications as “Pulse Literary Journal,” “River Poets Journal,” “The Foliate Oak Literary Journal” and “Calliope.”

The Offender Recalls the First Time

By Jennifer Clark


He did it in the kitchen.

In the tidy room that mocked him–

with the faucet he couldn’t turn,

refrigerator door he couldn’t open,

where strawberries as big as fists

pounded out patterns onto curtains

he could not draw aside.

He chose the room where the girl lay

on her belly, feet dancing in the air,

as she played with her dolls.

His mother had left him alone for a time.

Keep an eye on your niece, she’d said.

Gotta run to the store.

Be back in two winks of an eye.

She was always saying that.

God, how he hated that expression—

and the lilt in her voice, as if everything

was fine—but he boomed out

a reassuring will do as she

headed out the door.

Uncle Lenny loves you

he would say

in a voice that would

melt her heart

and freeze it

all at once,

that instructed her

in the rules of secret play:

to remove

his sock and shoe and then

her princess panties

and lay herself upon the floor

–cold linoleum squares

connected by black diamonds–

(the shape of jagged tears

she would recall years later).

He felt so strong

as she lay silent,

still and small.

From his wheelchair

he would murmur

Uncle Lenny loves you

as his meaty toe

burrowed itself

inside her moist cave

and sighed.

Bio: Jennifer Clark’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Pain and Memory (Editions Bibliotekos), All Poetry is Prayer, Raven Chronicles, Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon Press), Astropoetica, Driftwood, Defenestration, and The Seventh Sin (Shade City Press).


By Mbizo Chirasha

somalia walking through doors of statism

refugee camps swelling from sting of scorpions

blog sites congested with obituaries and epitaph litteriti

politburos exfoliated by fissures after sprees of wines and malt whiskies

warlords seeing through lens of holocaust

bring ngugi and keita

to give biting lyrics and deep rooted sense of belonging

we belong here

parliaments choked with propaganda toxin-ed emails

i saw las vegas walking side by side with khayelitsha through the

heart of tali ban

corruption smiling through half smoked cigarettes of cartoonists

reading wilkpedia and encyclopedia

literists tasting the bitter taste of vietnam disidents,dissidents

dumping consciences in garbages of politrix

paparazzi dipping nostrils into broken pavements

where politics is pizza,celebrity is diet and royalty is nutrition

i see shikota and khoikhen gupling white wine

and gorgonzola sauce in surbubs of pont de- lama

i see magic slogans of ruffians welding pks,ak47s in mydan villages

heavy smell of diarhoea whipping our faces

the heartbeat of warizstan

literary doyens writing rude graffiti on eczema eroded walls

pundits shitting in ballot boxes

bandits urinating every where in the name vendetta.

Bio: He is widely published in more than thirty-five journals, magazines, and anthologies around the world in countries including Canada, Germany, Finland, South Africa, United kingdom, Ghana, Turkey, Grenada, India, United States, Norway, Zimbabwe among others. He Co- authored a poetry anthology titled Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi with Sweta Vikram, an Indian born, New York-based poet. He is profiled in international, local and regional journals, magazines and cultural websites.

I Fell Asleep

By Scott Laudati


i fell asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she’d

never show

them to me.


she let me


everything no one

else is

ever supposed to


now, at night

i don’t stay up


about our bar


or parking lot


i fall asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she

never showed

them to me.

Bio: My name is Scott Laudati. I’m 25 and from New Jersey. I live with my band NO! and my evil iguana. I keep a blog where I post my rejection letters and my progress in getting published at http://www.STDSandIOUS.com.  I’ve written a novel called Pool Boys which is about two pool service technitions trying to achieve the American Dream. Starting in August in will be available to read off of my website. My e-mail is ScottLaudati@gmail.com.

Late For Breakfast

By Joseph M. Gant

talking head

inside the box:

recycling military

statistics, enlistments.

and I remember paychecks,

days when graduation meant opportunity,

when education was attainable.

and meant something.

watching him prepare for the day;

school is too easy for him. he knows it.

I cringe at what no longer stays,

and send him out with hope.

but enlistment is down;

(remove a generation’s opportunies

by omissions.

make children stupid

and know we are doing it

with toys in the yard

of something more like truth,

and there is staffing for war).

that’s good economic policy

Published by peace is illegal

I am a writer of pornography, of politics and murder.

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