Category: 1999

PROVINCETOWN HARBOR by BRIAN KATES

We watched the mermaid comb seaweed from her haughty breasts as moon-pulled waves sang their timeless John Cage song beyond our outward gaze beneath the pier that August night in Provincetown. Only silence passed between us. And wonder. And a night of blissful sleeplessness.

–clast (to break) by Liza Bachman

Hands whose folds and creases _______spoke not of rail splits or nails A mouth whose cough sputtered _______angels into the dust of a long road I saw women dry his gentle _______feet with their hair I saw men covet _______and beg to know him…

Eyes like pigeons by Liza Bachman

Found in the last stall eyes swollen . . . . . . . gray, fat, glinting bloodshot considerate gaping wrists dangling in the bowl kneeling, poised, limp pallor . .What right? . . . . . What right? . . . . ….

Opheliac by Liza Bachman

There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. xxxxxxxThe first time you overdosed xxxxxxxxxxxxxxit was a dead bluejay by the side of the road, xxxxxxxtwisted but unblemished, and I knew your taut lines had broken. Next it was a hawk lost in…

SOUNDS by elaine blodgett

The squeaking of the pail handle, the dogs’ bark and, in the distance, something more ominous. The doves I have been feeding all summer will now feed someone else. Such a world is not mine, but it’s not quite the shooter’s either. Years pass…

Searching for Scent by Jeanne P. Donovan

The trace is growing into fetor the flint that stained your hand with ash-burns drifts the room wears you as a drape the cat sniffs in circles searching for you in your scent his whiskers spring over the dress of the bed the skirt…

Inorganic by Steve Gerstung

We’ve met here before. I remember the skin I wore at the time Stored in my closet Along with the husk of words you assured promised our future

Refrigerator Art by Steve Gerstung

You stoop and scramble picking up pieces of myself   scattered on the floor refrigerator magnets of words and phrases you live to assemble telling you what you want to hear lifeless, silent arranged neatly thoughtlessly in a dissintegration of meaning.

DiggDigging by Peter Hugginsing by Peter Huggins

On the Bay of Naples Medwen’s bones Tell me that when Vesuvius erupted, Waves of lava covered her.  With my brush I uncover her and give her life back to her. In her arms she holds her master’s son, Who mouths a gold teething…

The Biltmore House Peace Accord by Peter Huggins

This house is preparation.  An atrium Of light invites us up a curved Marble staircase.  When we ascend, A long hall opens into a library With ten-thousand volumes and heaven Painted on its blue ceiling. A black limo crouches on the pebble drive. In…

The Naturalist Fabre Observes the Scorpions’ Dance of Death by Peter Huggins

The male approaches the female with caution. He wants to mate with her not serve as prey. If she accepts him, then he grasps her claws With his and they parade for hours. Sometimes the male ends this display as dinner, But not until…

legacy by Tobey Kaplan

Jan was sitting at a table in February of 1995 Enrico’s on Broadway  before her kidneys shut down completely I wrote out a check after talking with some people then sat down with her looking at her profile searching for her father trying to…

Amagon, Arkansas by Ed Madden

– after David Baker Small towns punctuate the highways leaving Newport, the county seat, their smallness a kind of grace. Everything has been left out to weather, a car on blocks, a plastic horse faded to dusty blue. To drive through is the prevailing…

Clay Marble by Ed Madden

It was the delicate blue of the phrase that held him, like a neutral sky in which the sun rests, a white clay marble, burnished pearl by palms and sweat, the marble he found buried in the soil of the barn near the house…

The difference the rain makes by Ed Madden

Bath, England, July 1992 Rain descends like afternoon. There is nothing to do but find a doorway, or a convenient shop, or walk into the English light, where girls in slickers of primary colors line up a covered stairway, waiting for the rain to…

A Fascination in On-Coming Cars by Michael McClintick

There is a certain fascination in on-coming cars Wheeling out of their subtangence to a curve Which arches unsubstantial to a partner on the move. There is in that severed second when the curve appears unreal, Magnetized self-conscience between bodies on the move Pulling…

Visiting the Globe Theatre by Michael McClintick

Effeminate male Antony kissing All female Cleopatra: She had balls And the asp to go with them. But we went to see The new Globe Theatre. They thought The play was good, I mediocre. And we agreed on the Globe’s Magnificence: a child’s crying…

The Gentle Fire by L. David Ryals

I bring the gentle fire That moves through you With the celerity of Spring time. In forgotten times, Covered by the mists Of fecund dreams dancing Beyond reach, your moist Thighs were the beacon That guided me home. I bring the gentle fire.

Bjoin Park and Beyond by Lori Kean

  Though it looks so different it still feels like home to me where you and I used to play, getting lost in our imagination day after day while mother worried. And John there with us, talking of friends getting shot in the leg,…

Parting by Lori Kean

I remember the dress, red and white and swollen with expectant child. I remember the bench, ordinary meaningless bench, but I remember its rough nothingness like yesterday and how I kicked at the stones, afraid to look into the eyes of goodbye. I remember…

Some viewers may be disturbed???. by Caroline Lloyd

They carefully warn us, On the news Of ugly scenes To come, And then we watch with horror, The evils men have done. But it only lasts a minute, Or maybe even two, Before the next commercial, Selling something new to you. And following…

Dysfunctional Dog Camp by David Newman

It was rough. Carlos pumping iron A helicopter putters by, then Birds chirp Someone is near the bushes turning on an antennae t.v…     off & on every few minutes letting the fuzzy noise (& only the fuzzy noise) emanate A child squeals & calls…

The Fire by David Newman

A million shades of bland ripe perfection succulent to the ______cornea, ebullient polychromatic shape festivals parading back n forth through the mirrors never in focus bits of desire that burn in the fire.

AN OLD MAN ON HALLOWEEN by D.J. Pink

His love song long sunk in silence, He contemplates doing himself violence, Pumpkin skin thin as parchment. Achy groans risen into rant, He goes unnoticed on the pavement, No wilder-eyed than any other phantom. Bats cup darkness in wings of skin. Amazing, how they…

LEROY’S TEMPTATION by Michael Puttonen

Lurking near the bottom, I drift lazily among the rotted tires and beer cans, algae-tinted sunlight reflecting off the bullet-shaped bumper of a two-tone ’56 Packard. It’s a warm Sunday morning, and I am stuffed to the gills with stale duck bread. (The featherheads…

Grace by Anthony Robinson

It was supposed to be January because it’s always January in the folktales, because a hoary landscape gives the icy crunch, the frozen leaf, the piper’s footprints along the road, a mailbox row hemmed in by snow. So much exists just beyond the Sunday…

Mulberry & Mott Street by Ray Bianchi

“Scent of their very Bread caused their ire” NEW YORK TIMES, 1914 talking of the riots of white Americans in New York’s Little Italy and the reactions of the native born who burned the Vesuvio Bakery. colors and lights quadrangles and circles small white…

Plaza De Mayo Buenos Aires 1995 by Ray Bianchi

The curve of a woman’s knee Crossed Beneath an elegant silk dress. I look at her and inquire, with my mind When encountering another, who is strangely familiar A face that haunts and gives you the dryness In your mouth, like a fifteen year…

Robie House by Ray Bianchi

When a work of art is experienced walked into breathed in through the nostrils it takes on a different feel almost like savoring a good meal. noticing the little things, opens new doors, and closes drafty windows. letting out the musty air daring to…

Municipal Court, 3 p.m. by V.P. Crowe

“City Ordinance 60301.925  specifically prohibits grass or weeds  over 12 inches in height  on residential or commercial property” I explained that I’d begun to cut the lot, meaning to ease around the buttercups, but farther on I found the tiny purple and white and…

Hoover Dam by jim dolan

he pulled the blue ford business man’s coupe over to the side, a gravelled stretch, and out we climbed, onto the hoover dam.  the concrete shell blocked the black rock gorge, and behind it all the blue water in the world waited, angry at…

Liftoff by jim dolan

below, the desert is already tucking itself into night, the tan mountains shining on their western aspects, with purple robes unfurled from their pinnacles to the east.   the land is deeply carved with light and shade, running east to the severe corrugations of…

summer in mimosa by jim dolan

one summer, my tenth, i think, we spent living on the roof of the garage. we kept a pair of ten foot tall stilts leaning up against the edge of the roof, and would from time to time step onto them, go striding down…

Holding Pattern by Steve Gerstung

My open palm continues your lifeline etched forever on my skin I scrub to erase how you’ve bore into me how I carry you. My hand reaches to clasp a future carrying the scar of things past a neon sign    lights flickering  …

River Music by Padi Harman

An electric guitar strings itself onto the air high eeeee soft sugary voices mesh unheard lyrics softing floating like waterfall spray rebounding up up up to hit my ears this only happens at night in bed my head emptying out the days parables as…

the girl by Padi Harman

sat in the car w/the visor down the overhead light on the tape deck playing guns & roses she saw us but kept her face to the mirror red lipstick on huge puckered lips vanity was my first impression dead battery was my second

Boomerang by Jason Hensel

This is the angle of explanation: Because I always boomerang back to you, I know the figure of your desires, how coming close is a crash landing into closed hands, how leaving is a giveaway ending. Blue is such a small word for feeling….

Shakespeare and Trains by Jason Hensel

With Othello in the trees and Viola waiting in the wing, the tourist train came steaming, its belly announcing its arrival. The turn of words could not be interrupted, but our attention, subverted, snapped into this year. We almost slipped on future plans, and…

15 Minutes by Scott C. Holstad

Every 15 minutes. That’s how often they came in my locked room at night with their flashlights shining in my face to make sure I was still alive.  Nighttime was OK.  The screams were minimal. The day was something else altogether.  Like I have…

GREENSPOT by John Horváth,Jr

GREENSPOT (I’ll never wear anything green as long as I live) in front of the searchlight Hanoi static loud and clear on the radio on top of the sandbag bunker reading playboy after dark not to be swapped even for Bangkok R-n-R in the…

PURPOSE OF MEMORY by John Horváth, Jr

PURPOSE OF MEMORY (Lebanon, Panama, Grenada, Kuwait) something to drink to to drink for the pieces of time that hang on like flesh in the bars stateside where if you listen you’ll hear them remembering the loudest have nothing to say

At Wildwood Beach by Ann Howells

It’s summer. Our dusty orb revolves slowly on its axis, angled into sunslant for maximum absorption; its thin, dark skin blisters and cracks. All day I stand idle, waiting once again for magic to tumble into my life–the mythical poor fisher who nets a…

It’s all in how you look at it, really by Ann Howells

I mean, a thistle among roses appears a rude thing, slow, cloddish country cousin who visits, whose awkward manners do not fit–you apologize, make excuses, feel mild embarrassment.  Then, place that same thistle atop a peck of turnips. No longer simple produce, it becomes…

Grace by Anthony Robinson

It was supposed to be January because it’s always January in the folktales, because a hoary landscape gives the icy crunch, the frozen leaf, the piper’s footprints along the road, a mailbox row hemmed in by snow. So much exists just beyond the Sunday…

“V.G. Found” by L.David Ryals

Utopia isn’t round the corner I shall paint infinity I shall                    obtain a mysterious effect Like a star in the deep blue sky. Between being a good painter Or a bad one, I choose The…

Back Turned by Marin Sorescu Translated by Adam J. Sorkin & Lidia Vianu

The clock has turned its back on time. The clock was ill and, feeling the end draw near, Probably had its own particular notion Of a heaven for objects that die, Where clocks synchronize themselves To God’s heart, And night and day, alarm clocks…

Ring Around My Eye by Marin Sorescu Translated by Adam J. Sorkin & Lidia Vianu

Last night I neglected an open eye, And all night long I was drawn into The darkness. It was like the black dregs Left at the bottom of things In which I had to divine The world, history, the trees And the progress of…

If I had lonely by Seth Stauffer

If I had only known, and now I am lonely Planning for the rightest of myself to stay strong here. I stumble around, slipping throught sweaty palms and kissing them Softly with fingertips, And lose My anger, younger hands now lined, Now eyes that…

Cook’s Work by Sylvia Riojas Vaughn

She could pare apples and oranges in a continuous spiral. Skin slipped away from flesh, obedient to her will. I watched, fascinated, longing to learn how a paring knife with a simple brown handle could separate protective rind from vulnerable juiciness, could tear pocked…

She wears Ophelia’s dress by Patti White

She wears Ophelia’s dress wrung out and hung to dry on the frame of her shoulders. Or what, perhaps, the creek saw as it gazed up at a surface broken, shattered by flesh, the watery trees and golden herbs floating around her like cloth…

Courtyard four hundred miles inland by Joe Ahearn

Courtyard four hundred miles inland Hunger. Thunder. High chalk cliffs. Not-blonde neighing in the rain, head down, arms crossed over her breasts… These grays do not stride as we stride, but linger as mist in the clefts of green hills. & plums reign at…

How I View the Coming Years by Joe Ahearn

God those sentences fields full of them Sentence last remains laid bone-to-bone Fields fractured by sentence tombstones Tooth sentence fractures skewed and chipped Names dates of weary argonauts

Refrigerator Poem by Joe Ahearn

Is it enough just to say what I like, that I ate three cold plums, that I grieve for the day? This morning I grieve because grief is my queen. Let us make a bad song of that lingering taste.

so i am not ray carver by ron androla

maybe you require my face, features, presence, audible voice, & the light in my eyes to appreciate & picture me fishing with my son at gravel pit lake. my line is wrapped in absurd chaos thru leafy branches, & half my yellow pole is…

A Sunday in the Early Fall by Dale Boyer

You walk the streets among the gathering debris, the detritus of summer underfoot. It crackles brittlely with every step. The neighbors in the house next door are readying for fall: the blue steps leading down into their drained white swimming pool. Their daughter Emily…

Monologue Inside a Bar by Dale Boyer

I’m too much in my head. Tonight, for instance, I was standing talking to a man: good looking, waspy-thin, a baseball player type with blond hair, wire rims. Told me that he was going off to Yale divinity, and that intrigued me — that…

The Man in Walgreen’s by Dale Boyer

Standing there as gorgeous as a man can be, the man I’d seen so many mornings on the train dressed up in business suits and starched white shirts now wearing crumpled tennis shorts, a sweaty Harvard t-shirt, stopping off to buy a few last-minute…

conquistador by jim dolan

now, my street runs   northsouth  curves west then back east again becomes Sylvan, the old forest road to the trinity bottoms, then, across and into town there’s a place where 5 mile creek appears above ground awhile then hides again on it’s way…

man, stick, black lab by jim dolan

holding a long stick the man steps through leaves like piles of hardened flame the black lab leaps gleefully his pink flag tongue hangs from his red mouth  white teeth gleam   he knows the stick will arc through the sky  he’ll run joyous…

The Revenants by jim dolan

(from the Fr. revenir-to return; those who have returned, the spirits of the dead, returning to the site of their deaths) he was just back     from africa, where he’d caught the spirochete, or a virus, syph–who knows?  maybe he just cracked in…

Sushi on McKinney with Yvette by Meghan Ehrlich

This is what I remember, before you left: The fibrous tearing crunch through seaweed into rich salty salmon, the calm click of slides changing (the sea; gliding fish; anemones like reaching hands), our sensual conspiracy of smiles, your extravagant thinness and elegance of line,…

This Day by Meghan Ehrlich

This is a day to wear. Grackles whistle and click in the leaves, damp plaid flannel shirts salute, flap from balconies, fragrant green horse-apples molder underfoot. I lay out my laundry, too, like an offering, like a sponge.  I will keep this sun in…

Bucolic Memory by Kenneth Elliott

You made your lovers’ songs thin with malice Those summer days we danced waist to waist In grass high as our navels and milky with summer Blowing locust flaps and Sirocco reed sounds. I would not sit down. I wanted to leave the crawling…

Frogs by Kenneth Elliott

I took her to the marsh edge at night’s threshold. The frogs cricked and moaned and I was flustered and apologetic. “I wanted to take you someplace quiet.” She adjusted her shirt, cocked her head, and smiled. Crickets sawed their legs off, and some…

Bellyful by Tracey D. Mahon Elliott

A woman should have, okay, must have, several things– a small square bar of soap that smells like honey, something silky and lovely to sleep in on a special occasion or a not special occasion and preferably purple with velvet trim, and a place…

Five After Wonderland by Alan Gann

rabbit dens, though alluring and fun always reminded her — of him but blue bonnets in an open field no longer seemed enough    so… I Alice chased a gray schnauzer down an ocherous brick path discussed Goethe/Freudian allusion in the early Mamet plays…

Sitting on a Manhattan Stoop Wondering at a Million Strangers by Alan Gann

Are those gang colors? Does that heart beat beneath a pointed white hood? Why must they jabber like that?  How to hold another’s eyes in mine without fear, reveal the shared desires? Struggling to walk streets free from a history of pain and twisted…

TOSAITHEOIR by Seamus M. Murphy

My buck-toothed & aching father would laugh at things he didn’t understand.  Aaron had a star & crescent moon beneath his eye & he’d lie down at the barber shop. Red used his hand for a razor strop, & long leather hanging down gave…

NECTARINE by Seamus M. Murphy

She spent the rosefish hour being new, & lay across my mouth & whistled to stars that fluttered across the gingertops. She was conjured by the fragrance of heat   & sliced peaches.  It was in late July when the cicadas mutter in the…

SWEET TOOTH by Seamus M. Murphy

In November darkness, the closed stars shine like yes in a crowded room.  We assign some type of feeling to events like these. We want, & tremble like your mother’s knees after hours spent behind some foolish contemplation.  We love the things we wish…