Poetry Issue # 150

Valentine’s Day is a day away. Christopher Jordan Dorner is presumed dead. So let’s take this time now to enjoy some war and destruction poetry by people with names so good they sound fake who address me as “Mr.”

Count how many times god or God is mentioned in this issue. Hint: less than three, more than once.

This semester I’m taking a Chicano studies class on religion and spirituality and last week we learned some Nahuatl terms. The one that stuck out was Tlamatinime, which roughly means poetic theologians. The Tlamatinime were revered as ancient artists who had the divine power to communicate with the world’s energies through creative arts.

Essentially, that has been the permanent task of the poet, either to document and communicate with god-things or document its non-existence.

In longing,

Luis Rivas
Poetry Editor

Valentine Poem for the Tired
By Zach Fishel

Of all the women
I’ve shared
the fragile death
of holding hands
with or the dinners
eaten alone
as the neglected
flowers crumbled
in their vases
with the wasting of
time Failing us,
It’s always a result of
looking back
to each new
first kiss,
reaching for the
wisdom teeth
of our ghosts.


My Genealogy
By Dane Karnick

is overshadowed by
a stolen hammer
pounding away
in the attic
a constant response
from my shoebox of
still-life faces that
laid the blueprint for
social poverty
sewn between homes
of current relatives
still lingering on
like a demitasse
sipping our tongues.

Bio: Dane Karnick grew up by the Colorado “Rockies” and lives in Seattle.  His poetry has recently appeared in Ditch, Jellyfish Whispers, The Neglected Ratio and Dead Snakes.  Visit him at www.danekarnick.com.

IN dreams i’m MAD, have VISIONS
By Tom Pescatore

Once I wrote it all out, tho

you won’t believe me,

it was splattered on my floor

in rich, vibrant colors and non-colors,

non-existent breaths and streaks of sky,

I stepped around the letters

each morning when I awoke

from heavy sleeps with hair

tangled about my sweaty face,

everything was there, all we wished to say,

it was perfect, beautiful, a world unto itself,

the etching, the care, each curve and straight line

of it a truth much like death unavoidable, each fucking

lettered space unbelievably serene, I’ll tell you

I kept each thought in pristine condition,

never dropped a sandwich crumb,

and it was hard, and it weighed on me

until I forgot

and I scuffed it, until I hated those old gashes and

lovely curls, that truth I’d seen enough of,

I spit on it this morning, in the cool

light with the toilet running,

I wrote your name on the walls.

Bio: Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia, he is an active member of the growing underground poetry scene within the city and hopes to spread the word on Philadelphia’s new poets. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he’d rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row.

By Holly Day
they found her small body wired into the heart
of the church, small LEDs sprouting through her skin
blooming like tiny red flowers
too far deep for sunlight to reach.

she was sheared clean through to bone
by claws big enough
to belong to the God hanging
over the spot her mangled body lay.

Bio: Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Worcester Review, Broken Pencil, and Slipstream, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published book is “Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch,” while her novel, “The Trouble With Clare,” is due out from Hydra Publications in 2013.


By Joan Glass
Drool flows enthusiastically

down your chin as though

your salivary glands keep

a mythical fountain ruled by

the insatiable god of curiosity.

Lap after lap in your walker,

you ride around the house,

opening drawers and pulling

over garbage bins.

Occasionally you find some

forbidden item and carry it high

above your head like a sword

in your tight little fist,

grinning wickedly at me.

You squeeze your treasure

with such ferocity, I wonder

if you hope it will implode

under the pressure and produce

something extraordinary.

After you have emptied

every drawer and yanked over

every bag, when the floor

is littered with your discarded spoils,

you waddle over to me

at the kitchen table

where I try to write

and shake my arm vigorously.

As though I too might break

open and surrender to you

whatever is left inside.

Bio: Joan Prusky Glass is a graduate of Smith College (B.A. History/Women’s Studies, M.A.T. Education).  Half Korean and half Irish/Polish, she is the product of Detroit, South Korea, and New England.  Joan is a recovering Baptist, disillusioned feminist, former school district administrator, and mother of three young children.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Offcourse, Bone Parade, Haggard and Halloo, Parable Press, Smith College Alumnae Quarterly, The Rampallian, Visceral Uterus, Conspire, Harpweaver, and Emprise Review, among others.  She resides in Connecticut with her family.


a lifespan
By John Grochalski 



by the cosmos

sent here


indoctrinated into

systematic insanity



turned into

sons and daughters

siblings and sycophants




and lovers by the dozen



made husband and wives

made to beg

by politicians

under the veil of government

weeping in the dirt





this life

this sickness

this death

only to return

to the cosmos again

as specks of chemicals

waiting to




what was thus business all for?

Published by peace is illegal

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

2 thoughts on “Poetry Issue # 150

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