Category: 2000

Fulfilled by Jennifer Rightmyer

Our first time together. You kiss my berry lips So tenderly. As I unwrap myself From my shell Your hands search My body: Uncovering every hill And valley. My Flesh is like a peach That you devour. Your love Melts in my mouth As…

Sentiments in Raw Heat by Tyurina Allen

You stand still, the pom pom of a world. It’s revolver voices loom over the budding announcements, Like black morning coffee. It exclaims nothing of my true disability. The New York birth to the foreign parentage. Whispering voices: “are you transparent?” No, I was…

April Afternoon by Nancy Arbuthnot

On this windy April afternoon cherries in full bloom and hemlock bowing and bamboo bending as the zen proverb tells us we should learn to do; on this afternoon I lie on the couch watching clouds pass and think, first, of that almost other…

eye on the ball by Sienna Baskin

from the bank where we sit, rain on our knees, its a chalked smudge, but I see it clear. Like a spotlight focused on me. Like an eye, coy. It winks out behind the partner dance of teams, bodies threading, near collision disappears into…

Religious Music by Michael Bigley

Walking through the front door, drunk, and the piano waltzes in the dark towards me and back. As today, when she played Monk, her forearms quivering over the last chord, the E way above the root F, clear, repeated. We had wine downtown. Stepping…

poem by Toby Leah Bochan

This poem is about a rhyme. It was written by a small white boy at school, at lunchtime. No. It is about a juniper tree that breaks its branches against a wind blasted from the blind bomb of Hiroshima. A Japanese woman wrote it….

It is in dying by Alice Bolstridge

_ “It is in dying that we are born” – St. Francis of Assisi How do you help your brother die? I asked the hills along my drive to see him. What do you say? What do you do? Wind rattled the windows, shook…

Guy in Paris by Beau Boudreaux

On my last evening with Dominique, we sat at one of the outside tables at Vidanges while les voyou on Vespas wailed through the Rue du Faubourg-St-Honere and spoke again about changing my life: start doing something meaningful — perhaps taking tennis seriously or…

Piety and Desire by Beau Boudreaux

We should have known. Without a hint the moon darkens on time and I get bored about three or four A.M. You’re off with friends or working in the basement of the house. So I go out to stroll down one of these streets…

Marilyn and Jonalyn by Deborah Byrne

Twice a month, our mothers went to the Kontiki Palace. Told us tales that made us want to be old enough to date- gussied up in rhinestone strap dresses, shoes dyed to match, going with the greased-back-hair guys dressed in shark skin suits that…

Honey by Dane Cervine

Waiting amid rows and rows of cars thick as a beehive waiting for the shuttle that will carry me to the plane that will carry me to the next place I must be waiting in this catacomb of drones each car the armor that…

Assimilation by Rebecca Clark

The man stands here at the edge of our road crowned by a fur Cossack hat robed in leather jacket pondering the muddy ditch as if the answer runs there to questions that sit in his dark eyes, rimmed by something not yet grasped,…

MOMENTS by Lucille Lang Day

1. Black waves break in full moonlight, making liquid silver slip across the strand. We step back from the froth, stand in the roar of surf, arms wrapped around each other while all the fires on the beach burn low and I dig my…

I Have Left the Moth on the Wall Alive by Rebecca Jean Dosch

as one of my desperate prayers. I am waiting to be unfolded like a guest towel in your hands. Desire stole away on the four a.m. train, crazed fool. Pressing the bullhorn more than necessary, she shatters the neighbors’ dreams into the icy shards…

Front Porch at 1:00 a.m. Monday by marion k. dunn

______instead of sleeping: empty wine bottle reflects the glow from used cigarettes solitary tea rose incenses my arm faint sirens call thin clusters hide dippers in a slow drift Aaron Neville crickets & cicadas freed from little monsters stuck to red brick harmonize instead…

Ennui by Claire T. Feild

When he scratched his matted gray hair that looked like the throw rug on the floor, the only reminder in his house of his grandmother, the one who raised him with the belief that he was sweet gold, he cried, not the whimper cry…

Sunshine Dried Fuzzy Navels by John Micheal Flynn

Venice Beach Sunday afternoon roof she was completely naked tanned nipple-pierced and blown-out-on-crack surrounded by stud muffins, surfers and gangsta rap wanna-bees she shouted her free speech anthem at a pair of sandaled black women, who as fearful pedestrians wanted nothing but a little…

Thoughts Of An Actor Employed As Goofy by John Micheal Flynn

Escape beckons their type. ____Son, nervous on Ritalin mass-produced by Disney ____paying homage to deities. Mother tells him he should not forget ____those others…the unlucky ones. Mother and son pray together. ____A father has never been in the picture. Little in the air smells…

The Boy Found Floating in Mud by Larry L. Fontenot

He was shaped by the absence of earth, day-dried clay scooped away to reveal the clean smell left when mud failed to kill him. Stranger’s hands drilled into his dying, lifting him like a bridge to starlight. His body arched in homage to fingers…

El Parque Central by Kevin Frey

El Parque Central, Antigua Guatemala two young girls in traje crying their mother laughs and comforts them and returns to work selling camisas to tourists seeking some local color the older homeless woman is still on her feet, her thin dirty legs poking out…

Lampreys by Kevin Frey

And through the gaps between the bodies tightly pressed around me I see others staring at this young white guy as he sucks the lesions on his skin, bites off the festered, clotted blood; scabs on his face, scabs on his arms. Spatters of…

Stowaway by Marcia Griswold

My blood in a tube in a room far away from here from me. Prophylactic hands amputated from sense numb to me decide the recipe of my future. Or not. And the rest of me far away from there this film a worthless balm…

I Knew a Black Man by J. Wesley Hall

I knew a black man once. He stood laughing darker than night, invisible in the absence of light, seeing only the comic in our gross misperceptions. “What a collection of brown fools,” said he at his recognition of our folly in the foolhardy race…

At the Audition by Tom Harmon

She slid tiny feet into ballet slippers and soared in swirls around the room arms extended body-suited defying gravity. Suspended in that moment I wished my fingers could dance across strings making the old Martin sing songs worthy of her sailing space and time…

At the Audition by Tom Harmon

She slid tiny feet into ballet slippers and soared in swirls around the room arms extended body-suited defying gravity. Suspended in that moment I wished my fingers could dance across strings making the old Martin sing songs worthy of her sailing space and time…

Saturday Morning by Tom Harmon

In simple single water orbs winter fell from the eave _______drop _______plop _______drop _______plop with interminable spells between. We watched and listened _______through windows yawned wide _______for spring’s first breath nursing coffee in the breakfast nook and musings on time’s incongruities: how quickly the…

LIMIT by Dale Jordan Heath

She took the stash from a flowerless vase and wiped her streaked face–again, and took the box that stored tiny shoes unraveling pink and blue and Winnie the Pooh bibs amid other what might have been. A suitcase holding little more than a memory…

O’Toole in Heaven by tiff holland

No doubt the God of his childhood will come for him, despite the killing, war another sort of religion, after all, and the profanities, including those impossible for corporeal beings, because it’s obvious he didn’t mean any of it, just trying to survive through…

A Drowning at the Beijing Opera by Li Min Hua

Ravaged, she jumps Miming a horseman, her lover arrives too late; peers down the well; guesses what we just saw: With five perfect somersaults he hurls himself in air, lands on his feet, but leaves us there. The west buries such talent at the…

LUCY by Karen Jobst

Just off-center of her crown was a wound, a ration of scar tissue we’d run our fingers over whenever we called her to sit, or to go fetch a chew from across the floor. She’d been found down by the creek. Her oversize paws…

Summer Storm by Karen Jobst

Longer than we could safely stand at the window, rain and hail razed our lot and midway through– the willow’s limbs, some the circumference of telephone poles, had jackknifed over the fence. Half a tree– one side wistful, the other serrated stumps, still had…

Akko: The Memory of the Prisoners of the Underground by Steven Joyce

Like a Chihuly glass chandelier these lives drawn and pressed in the heat of political fury the artisans of this work neither Brits nor Jews Etzel and Lechi fighters spun like glass this heroism breaks in the dark room in the unrecorded moments smooth…

Flap by Nathan Julian

A tribe of birds gather, drab, on my neighbor’s roof. Clawing shingled ledges, they squat single file on power lines, in the gut of a morning fog. Furtively, the fowls scatter like a winged cluster-bomb at the alert of a squirrel’s frantic scampering; making…

Undone Paralysis by Brian P. Katz

There is nothing worse than “nothing worse” — the scene of childhood trauma absent familiars and useful fingers throttle the estrangement of face the turtleneck doesn’t conceal. The rip along the shoulder line is cause — I am open to everything. Lay it on…

Early Signs by Lori Kean

The road ban notices went up sometime last week, forcing the low howl of 18 wheels down my way. And after them will come the gravel trucks, back and forth, back and forth; always another load, another job, all summer long. But for now…

In God We Trust by Lori Kean

The copper (or whatever they’re made of these days) glints in the noonday sun, pulling my attention away from other, less sparkling thoughts. I stop and stare for a moment, deciphering and distinguishing, quickly executing my singular health ritual of always assessing worth versus…

The Dead Leaf by Lori Kean

I watched it through the blue-green bar of my upper windshield while waiting for the light to change. It was a Monday. I sensed before it even happened that this pneuma of summer, this once giver of shade and refuge would surrender its instinctive…

Vegas by Joseph Kerschbaum

She stands by the velvet rope. Keeps minors out of the casino. Watching her father stand at a table with his back to her. She isn’t dressed like the whores. Yellow sunshine dress. Sky blue shoes. Frail like a twig she begins to twitch…

Ms. Doe by Ron. Lavalette

She was old, so they beat her severely. She was old: they kidnapped her, drove her away stuffed in the back of her own stolen car. She was old. When she regained consciousness they stabbed her repeatedly with her own stolen steak knife and…

What the River Knows by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

The river remembers nothing about the string of white pebbles that moments ago gleamed from the edge of the bank where I kneel. Nor does the river recall the splash of the child¹s shoe when it slipped from that bank the feel of its…

Sweet by Rebekah Love

In the absolute darkness of your front porch I kissed you like I’d wanted yesterday in the gallery as I watched you pull prints of the bull snake who’d climbed the back of the tapestried chair at your old landlady’s house and all I…

Bulb by Tom Moore

The first fall it stayed in the shoebox in the closet in the hall it talked to itself about the dog that once ran its tongue along the lid of the box that went away when it heard a sound that never came back…

the airplane by J.B. Mulligan

Taken for granted: a plane: thin, high, distant, silver. Noticed, then forgotten, like a breath. Or not noticed, part of an empty sky over empty scurrying, or dull, purposed, hungering endeavor. Who thinks of the dreamers, drawers, builders and early fliers? Da Vinci, the…

woodswalking by J.B. Mulligan

Leaves of the previous autumn are mulch between the trees, the speckled skin of a leopard stretching up the hill to the charcoal rocks, slick and jumbled, and the setting sun. Beyond the rocks, I see an off-white building with a red roof and…

5 Haiku Concerning Chicanismo by Daniel A. Olivas

I. Chicanismo? you ask. I do not understand what the big deal is. II. I try, using my Stanford and UCLA degrees, and you shrug. III. Born in this great land, but of Mexican parents, two cultures beckon. IV. So, I say to you,…

The Asking Tree by G.L. Pettigrew

The tree wants a brighter sun. The Tree wants clearer,cooler rain. The Tree, its old limbs and buds cut away, want itself shaped and Frost burns The Tree’s tender new shoots in early Spring. High Summer’s heat withers it. It is delicate and tiresome….

“Happiness is an Option” by G.L. Pettigrew

There will be moments When the shrieking banshee storms the fierce beasts are at bay the face of night is no longer black as perdition but freckled with soft stars, light by the moon’s glowing beauty mark And all will be peace. It will…

Shovel-song by Eric Plattner

Brain-coral of that time, arrested, mouse- tethered to the ditch, communion- hair-sift, her braid, her braid, her braid. . . You were there, Rosa, un- exhumed: pocket-full of soil and poems– a silence, a crack, a silence– the echo before the echo before the…

Perspectives by Gordon Purkis

At this distance the crows That are about to fly by the window Are the same size as the A-10 that Was just overhead a moment ago but Now far gone. And “the sound of the men working On the chain gang” clues me…

AN END TO DREAMING by Joanna C. Scott

…Manila, the eighties Under dawn-bursting mangoes, skies dropping starfruit, _______lean palms slung with orchids like Christmas streamers in a child’s nursery, beside a glazed pool to which frogs _______and thin snakes fled during typhoons and were trapped there next day by two yipping spaniels…

REFUGEE by Joanna C. Scott

(Philippine Refugee Processing Center, Bataan, 1985, since destroyed in the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo) . . . for Roel, my driver He would squat in the shade All day beside a hulk Hoisted off some beach Where boat people had run Aground. Brushing away…

Are You Angry When You Write These? by arthur simoni

I once left one of my poetry journals on the table I was sitting at while I was tipping a stripper on the main stage, I went to take a piss and when I came back a stripper named Laylay had read some of…

AUTOPHILIA by Bradley Steffens

Stood up for lunch, I visit the deli anyway, order, and wait outside. The sun is hot on my arms. I roll up my sleeves. I love to tan, freckles stippling the backs of my hands, forearms, wrists. Hairs brightening. The waiter brings my…

Broken Glass by Victoria Tester

On December 22, 1882, an old newspaper reports a demented woman was sent from Georgetown to the Grant County Jail. Sheriff Whitehill is at a loss, poor creature, New Mexico law makes no provision for paupers or the insane. Her name, where she was…

Descent by Victoria Tester

I come from people who would not forgive. They were Spanish Protestants who ran like hell from Cortrai to Holland and New Amsterdam, damning the Inquisition, and they were the Inquisition. They were Puritans who painted their kitchens _________in Connecticut and Massachusetts the bright…

Blue Jeans by Kenneth Wanamaker

They might as well be relics from the Middle Ages, Shrouds of Turin paraded through the Vatican, or Fremont Street. Torn faded and fraz- zled in the knee you can barely read the words on the right rear pocket: Levi Strauss Original, Riveted, Quality…

Village Voices by Frances White

I hear of runaway dreams Lost in urban places, spilled Over in halls used as personal Urinals, a nodding head stills, A once promising voice. I hear of deferred dreams Lost on manicured lawns, Spilled over in suburban walls. Shouts of “Daddy’s home” Stills…

A SMALL BOY by Patsy Ruth Williams

A small boy smiles to think he can be anything when he is a man

AN EYE LOOKS by Patsy Ruth Williams

Though an eye looks with a tear, A hand reaches with a smile. You know it’s another year. In life we will persevere And start to walk our next mile. Though an eye looks with a tear, There are things we hold with fear….

TEARDROPS by Patsy Ruth Williams

I’ll catch your teardrops one by one in a bucket when they start to fall.

Dance of the Trees by Sallie Mattison Young

Verdant willows, xanthic yews, zestful aspens bounce, carefree; dancing elms, festive green, hootchie-kootch in jubilee. kiwis leaping, maples nod, oaks pulse quickly, resonate; spruces tremble, undulate.

Appendectomy Over Axis Waters by Liza Bachman

I snap the blade into the scalpel’s handle . . . Metal tongue, the violator’s shaft, is familiar to my hand . . . . . . . . . the long nails of a vamp should suit me better The brusque soldier, ….

It was spring and the aliens had landed by Liza Bachman

Landed for real this time and not just another tale by Old Man Haggardy of Martians crushing his mailbox or souring his cow’s milk. No, the aliens were here, and here to stay, applying for Social Security and buying double-wides down by the quarry….

A Final Note On The Weight of Breath by Andy Buck

napping… one eye (the Left) to the public’s people naked and the Other sliced by shadow breathing inches into the upper arm: of Me, hidden this is me dopey eyed for a buffet of strangers (or “By”) but all at the same time darting…

A Strong Desire for Something Filling by Deborah Byrne

I spend time in grocery stores. Eying food, touching the lightness of bread, savoring the dirt smell of tomatoes. I’m a hungry person. Our mother brought home a puppy we couldn’t afford to feed. She locked it in the shed that held ghosts of…

Devil Sighting in Kidron, Ohio by Deborah Byrne

The women stir cauldrons of apple butter in rhythm to screams. They don’t look up as windows shatter and animal howls strike loose the last leaves of a sugar maple. I am told this is how the Amish take care of their insane. They…

Farthest Thoughts by Deborah Byrne

Mummy fragments were stolen, broken up and crushed into powder, which was sold as an aphrodisiac well into the 18th century. -From The Search for Ancient Egypt No stone husband. No clay lovers. She’s been left with alabaster servants to face the length of…

After Fumigation by Dee Cohen

A week after fumigation the Jade plant out front dropped its leaves, small fleshy pads littered the courtyard and I pushbroomed them into piles, the cement stained and slippery with their juice. Within a month the bark puckered and pulled away from the inside…

Another Country by Dee Cohen

There is a problem with the calendar. Days flip by like cards from a deck and years change number without warning. All those holidays circled in red belong to people that don’t belong to you. Your house is a shell that the seasons bang…

Catalina by Dee Cohen

The ocean is strange from this direction, sharp stoned and bottle green. Waves wear down the rusty cliffs and spill out over the coarse sand. You are on the other side, waiting, your mouth a thin horizon of doubt. At night the hills lean…

Another language by Solana (Sunny) d’Lamant

When I learn to read, I’ll write in a language which describes in one sentance clear spaces, that will explain the depths of transparent water, that will depict the value of eddies or darkness, that will verify what the wind said through flight-feathers of…

Sylvia’s Fire by Solana (Sunny) d’Lamant

I want to be kissed until I free-fall from pink marble cliffs into the unknown canyons of your mouth. I want to fall into the feathered softness of thick lips like lippows from where I¹ll have to float back to conscious light. Kissed until…

LINDO BRUCHE by robert klein engler

And now that I have seen what he’s become, I pause surprised! Why he is mortal, too. For just as I have soured, and bent from plumb, So he refused the grace from false to true. There was a time when I was starved…

Beyond the Foliage by David Harbilas

___A man from a slate quarry saw leaves turn their colors and sensed his imminent death. He paced his bags and drove south, beyond the foliage. ___The trees there changed, so he drove away again. This continued for a while until he came to…

Midnight Snack by David Harbilas

Unfinished arguments left on dinner plates, with a telephone that speaks of adultery.

The Conversation by David Harbilas

__A room talks to itself, the man inside doesn’t answer, and it raises its voice. Down the hall another room hears this ranting and answers in a raised tone. Neither can understand the other,these two rooms speaking in tongues. __After a while, the man…

The Critics by David Harbilas

The party crowd under dire lights holding false sacraments, and the laughing couple in the corner with sharp tongues.

La Lumièr (For Carole) by Miriam Kalman Harris

Sometimes it’s hard to talk. Lines of communication grow dusty and sag under the burden of time. I emerged from my study for a breath of fresh air — it gets stagnant in there: papers pile up and I trip over my own debris…

Of Headlines and Morning Coffee: A Sestina by Michelle Holland

How persistent is the round morning sun to belong over the rocky pipes of the Organ Mountains? The rays like a bell have rung out each day clear to the west for eons of peace long before our human gaze. Now, we ignore the…

A Dream of One Autumn by J. Anna Jacus

In the late afternoon a woman kneels before another woman’s grave. She is laying down some orange flowers on the dead leaves. She is burning incense. When she is done, she rises and walks southward, past the trees to another grave. There is a…

The Razor by J. Anna Jacus

My father is dead this morning. I must wash my hair. (Mother says the guests will soon be here.) The water must run from the tap a while before it warms. He must have waited earlier. … Impatient man.

those days… by Tobey Kaplan

It’s people like you who make a difference __________a note sent to the 49er’s Eddie DeBartolo from a child, and appeared on a milk container those days we want to smoke cigerettes or throw away rather than diligently recycle plastic bags as if language…

Joe’s Siblings by Lori Kean

They bake a cake every year and we celebrate you. They know your name and they know how old you would have been this year. They don’t know about the aching that creeps into my arms in the night still. After all this time….

Hometown Song by Melody King

My hometown ___slick .45 smoking ___burning like a cigarette butt ___wasted in the gutter Ugly ___steel gray smokestacks ___fingering the sky ___with ruthless claws Frustrating ___promising trains sighing freedom ___catch me ___vanishing ghost in the mist Siren’s screaming bass shaking cadillac slammed down to…

Run for It by Susanna Lang

At the end of its oh so very long string the kite whipsaws its way into the air red-faced and angry that it cannot go where it will like the dark blur of the dragonfly down near the grass

She Really Did by Susanna Lang

She said, My birth mark is the shape of Africa. So now you try: lift an entire continent up in your arms and then walk down the hall, your hips still dancing wide beneath that weight. Now just you try.

Shiva by Susanna Lang

Murmurs a little in his sleep lips push in push out wakes up hungry hungry Can’t be still can’t can’t not cry fist clenched, ankle flexed jerks his head back, holding the nipple still in his mouth ____________In New Delhi the price of milk…

Blue Rain by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

If you’ve ever seen blue rain please explain to me when and where. I promise I won’t steal so much as a fringe. Tell me if it was closer to a peacock or prairie-grass blue, the blue edge of elegant paper, blue thread inside…

Color Key by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

* To burn off the layers of sleep the red poem appears all at once in the scrawl of a dream hastily recalled before its fire dies leaving neither ashes nor a fine black linen rash on the bed-clothes. * An acquired taste, the…

rain shadows by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

Long a student of rain I was glad to discover yet another dimension of its many shadows. This time not feathery stripes or braided strands but white-rimmed dark ovals scudding across a page. If I didn’t know they’d been cast by the rain streaming…

Those Left Behind by Barbara F. Lefcowitz

For Jackie Robinson, W.B. Yeats, Schubert, Blake (both Eubie & William), Einstein, Christ, my mother & my Uncle Leo. . .and especially all who waved from the train stations in Vilna & Riga & Pinsk, ca. 1900 After the last wave, they walked home…

Lone Wolf @MM by Timothy M. Leonard

everything here comes from somewhere tibetan prayer wheels spinning mantras, thangkas, prayer flags, delicate chinese snuff bottles, old tomb warriors guarding shy women caught in foreign relationships living in clever cities crowded by historical mystery and world children geringsing – magical protective purity cloth…

BIG KNIFE POET by Fred Longworth

He was the kind of poet who threatened to commit suicide right there at the microphone if the audience didn’t clap loud or long enough, or if they didn’t drop enough money into the tip jar, or if somebody in the back was jabbering…

Conch by Ed Madden

(at a tourist shop on the interstate, north Florida) No, not ruddy, but pale rust cut with yellow-bone of ocean, a chunk of dawn sky. Across the knots and jags that swirl the crown: a gash. No, not the crack of beak or tooth,…

The Walls by m k mcclure

Pickets pay no mind during weekday release. Legally on the ground, he walks away with 50 bucks & a fair voucher in second hand pockets. First expenses: a jalepeño burger instead of chow & sunmart beer instead of chalk….a smoke… In La Libre, he…

The Sea from San Pedro, Pt. Fermin Park by David Newman

The waves come in optimism, two seagulls mimic nonchalantly & one swoops down, then upwards floating – it’s sea – the air Off the sad horizon a jagged long stretch of mountain leisurely boasting, “it is, I, you’ve no doubt heard of, the California…

The Fort by Bobby Offerdahl

I don’t know how we got there Or why they let us play that day, But some of the details are still clear Of the fort they built out of Fallen trees and pieces of dry rot tarp fashioned like a tepee. It was…

The Longing by Bobby Offerdahl

Trying to find solitude In red and yellow Tumbling fall leaves And a kite flying breeze Blowing in from the west. It’s the fifth year I’ve been on my own Since that fateful day When I nearly never saw This season anymore. Time spent…

slow notes found rhythms by Rex Pryor

they move slow 27 days in the state pen and they already know there is no hurry they them and it will be there when they arrive whatever time that may be sure enough they move faster to chow it is scheduled at a…

The Cut by Shoshauna Shy

Receiving the championship trophy can be bittersweet Just ask any player on the best team for a 60-mile radius how it feels to have the coach call day the season ends Sorry, bud, you been replaced Didn’t want to do it but your timing’s…