Poetry Issue # 147

In this issue we have poems from highly-educated individuals that waste their time writing poems, by and large for free.

But, hey, I aint hatin’.

On a serious note. I wish I would have received some Sept. 11, 1973 poems on the late President Salvador Allende of Chile and the US/CIA-backed coup d’état. Every year there seems to be an ideological struggle to bring awareness to this crime, which remains by far uncovered by mainstream media. Even before Sept. 11, 2001.

Irrespective of this, below you will find poems on adolescent arrogance, North Englander Bukowskians and your standard literary sadomasochists.

Yours truly,

Luis Rivas

Henry Ajumeze

Poetry Editors, Gloom Cupboard

When I was Younger
By Saleem Patterson

When I was a young man I fought against things I didn’t understand
Being a not so young, young man I fight less and understand more

I now know that a fight starts in the mind not in the bottle
That loneliness is just a feeling not a death sentence

I know that women will always hurt you if you let them

Family is just a word that can be attached to anyone

I know the sweetness of a fine whiskey when you have nothing else
I know that there is always something else

I know the sting of love lost
The relief of a woman’s touch when all she wants is you

sometimes it doesn’t matter what you know
cuz the feeling is just that much stronger

Bio: Saleem Patterson is a San Fernando Valley scumbag who makes his living selling alcohol to other scumbags at local bars. When he’s not writing poetry, he’s in jail. When he’s not in jail, he’s painting, smoking, drinking, fighting and capturing the beauty of a pornographic world.

The Lobbyist
By Yevgeniy Levitskiy
Computer keyboards

are today’s

weapon of mass

destruction. Equipping

quips upon

soldiers and tyrants

and politicians. Whereas, streets

and self-conscious protestors

are protesting the test. K street

firms throw money; washing

wars with water.
Bio: Yevgeniy Levitskiy has received a B.A. in English-Education from Brooklyn College, and is currently pursuing a M.A. His writing has been published in Hot Summer Nights (Inner Child Press), The Fiction Shelf, Everyday Other Things, and elsewhere. His forthcoming publications include The Books They Gave Me (Free Press/Simon & Schuster), Unshod Quills, and Yes, Poetry. He is currently at work on a middle-grade novel.

First Real Job
By William Davies, Jr.

The boy stands

In the middle

Of the thoroughfare

Directing traffic into

The amusement park

Or, trying to.

He just completed

His freshman year

In High School.

Still as sweet

As a strawberry,

Already a girl

Loves him

And now

One motorist gives

Him the finger

Another spits at him.

A woman on a cellphone

Nearly runs him over

Until a supervisor finally

Comes to the rescue.

His arm movements

Decisive, authoritarian,

Pointing the only way.

All the while whispering




Bio: The writer lives in rural Pennsylvania and has published poems in The Cortland Review, The Blue Lyra Review, The Wilderness House Review and others.

“I ain’t necessarily a communist, but I’ve been living in the red most of my life”
Woodie Guthrie

By Stephanie Smith

These days we hardly speak
You drop your boots off at the door
Love becomes dormant
in the throes of redundancy
and all the plants have shed their leaves
in mourning
The wind rattles windows, shatters souls
We lie reluctant to the sound
of ghosts scraping the sides of the bed,
shaking the headboard,
invading our dreams
We sleep back-to-back these evenings
in the midst of cold black sheets,
waiting for it all to end

Bio: Stephanie Smith was born in 1978 in Scranton, Pennsylvania where she still resides. Her debut poetry chapbook, DREAMS OF DALI, was released in 2010 from Flutter Press. Her work has appeared in such publications as PIF MAGAZINE, DECOMP, and EVERYDAY POETS.

we looked at the world
By Ross Leese

and were dismayed
at what we

in the corn

and murderous
cars let

on the city

we turned away
looked in at

and saw nothing
but fools


Things I Couldn’t Tell You

By Mary Shanley

Mom, you’re living in a Nursing Home

and I hate coming to visit you.

Your father isn’t taking you to work on his coal

and ice wagon this morning.

Dad is dead. He isn’t coming to see today.

The way you slide back and forth through time

it’s draining to continue playing along with you.

Lisa and I love each other. We are partners for life.

I have always been queer and never interested

in marrying a man.

Last week, your favorite brother, Christy, was beaten to death by his son.

Two planes flew into the World Trade Center.

I watched the towers burn and collapse from the roof

of my building. 3,000  dead. I was never so scared in my life.

I wish I could tell you. I wish you could hold me.

Two months later, our apartment still smells from the Towers fires.

Schizophrenic sister Patty escaped from Pilgrim State hospital again.

She is shooting heroin and has abscesses on her arm.

Cousin Joe was recently arrested for attempted to kill his mother-in-law

and is now housed in a facility for the criminally insane.

Your cousin and pen-pal, Betty Gaynor died.

I am emptying out our family home.

Three generations of Buckley and Shanley belongings.

We have mice in the house and they shit and feasted

on everything you put in the attic and the basement for safe keeping.

I am in a state of shock and horror as I throw everything out.

Except for Theresa Walsh’s Melodeon.

I was able to salvage that.

Your leg was amputated because you threw a clot.

You will never return home.

Your sister died in 1955, she didn’t just stop by for a visit.

You no longer live on Reservoir Avenue, around the corner

from the Nursing Home.

I can’t visit you anymore.

: Mary Shanley/Poet/Writer/Lives in NYC/ 2 books: Hobo Code Poems and Mott Street Stories and Las Vegas Stories. She drinks espresso and has conversations with whoever is in her orbit.

By Liana Kapelke-Dale

i don’t feel
too clever

i wait
for something concrete
to sneak by
my internal sieve

to creep by
my instinctive censor

to avoid disintegration

to stick
in my faculties

something substantial
to supplement
my diet
of mist and driftwood
darkness and light

but everything trickles away

i seek cruelty
broken guitar strings
crushed shells

a witness

i pursue pain
to help me remember
how i shred
my clothes to strips
my fingers to bone

i follow noise
to drown out
my oppressive clumsiness
cumbersome fragility
naïve sensibilities

my longing

i wait
my squandered wit

Published by peace is illegal

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

One thought on “Poetry Issue # 147

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