Saturday, April 21, 2018

Matt Borczon With War In His Boot, The Cross Of Another Day, Dire Body Bags, And The Village Elders

Favorite  song

some days

this  song

is an

ace up

my sleeve

when the

war is

a loaded

gun in

my boot

and my


love is

the nail

I use

to hang


up on

the cross

of another


Compassion fatigue #4























Winter in Helmand

The first

night I

saw a

group of

village elders

asleep on

the ground

no blankets

or pillows

just paper

thin robes

on a night

the wind

cut so

cold it

hurt I

think I


we were

never going

to win

this war

Matthew Borczon is a poet from Erie, Pa he has written seven books of poetry so far. His new book Code 3 the prison blues is now available from Alien Buddha press. When he is not writing he is a nurse for developmentally disabled adults.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mark Young Returns With Egregious Windmills, Circumsized USB Ports, Cosmic Emanations, And The Hubs Of A So-Called Civilization

geographies: Ciudad Bolivar

                   Now that the instruments
                           of the national orchestra
                have been turned into
                       mulch for the cacoa
                           plantations, it's easy to
                             see why US president
                  Donald Trump's decision
                    to send a task force of
             egregious windmills into
                   Venezuala to resolve the
                  country's political crisis
                           was anathema to the
                     local musical community.

geographies: Antalya

                              One of the hubs in this so-
                 called cradle of civilization is a

                           treasure house of circum-
                     cized single USB ports. It also

                         includes a kitchen that uses an
                   obscure cosmic emanation known

                as "fast radio bursts" to facilitate the
                  production of their artisanal craft

                          beers which are now available
                            in cans & bottles or on tap. 

geographies: Qaraghandy

                       CCTV allows the large
              Coyote Canyon framed print
                      currently occupying wall
                   space in a small Melbourne
                                  based design studio

                          to also be on display in a
                          place considered by many
                                  in the former USSR as
                   the middle of nowhere without
                having to be anywhere near there.

Mark Young's geographies have, over the years, been collected as e-books, chapbooks, & full-on collections from Argotist Ebooks, Dysphasia Press, Beard of Bees, & One Sentence Chapbooks, as well as being included as separate sections in The Codicils from Otoliths Books, & the eclectic world from gradient books.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Beau Blue With A Jade Dragon, A Cherry Nightstand, A Slender Syringe, And A Finale In The Mourning


     dried wine roses
     surrounding a jade dragon.
     the mantel's vase empty
     save a layer of dust.

     an urn, centered
     over the fireplace waits
     for its mate upstairs
     sleeping with tubes.

     a watch nurse prays
     into her black notebook,
     'the patient asks
     for more heat'.

     the cherry nightstand,
     inlay of rosewood,
     the brass handled drawer,
     a slender syringe.


     the moon reviews
     our tufted landscape
     dry spikes needle the air
     silence tills your desert
     bright night sands fill
     my retreating footsteps
     witness we were never there

Beau Blue has been around a while. Currently, he is the force behind 
animatedpoets.com, virtual stage manager at the Cruzio Cafe.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Leonard Gontarek Withstands Her Labyrinth, A Yard-Sale Military Lapel Medal, The Philosophy of Muggings, And A Lost Scarf

To Withstand Evil 

A Mistranslation

Live with Katerina. And marry her. And sleep with her.
And sleep with her again. She knows many more
things to do in bed than you. You are after all very
shy and inexperienced and reluctant to admit it.
In the climate of change it is as though
there is a second summer in the middle of fall.
Hydrangea re-bloom beside the peaked trees.
Hope that Katerina is still living with you in spirit
and not pretending to love you.
The light weakens. Keep in mind, Katerina has
nightmares too. Can we only replace a villainous
leader with another villainous leader?
This is not a good dream for her to be having.
The mice are sucked up like shadows
by light and the holes in the wall close.
And this is only the first part of the night.

Katerina goes out into the world.
She is committed to learning everything
about the world and falling in love with it again.
But there has been war. And she
must become a nurse in the land
of the dead where the chickens are frozen.
She celebrates healing, starts a garden,
grows cool tulips and swims
in underground rivers at night.

Far from her home and the man
she loved who is lost in a labyrinth.
Fuck him. I’m tired of getting
him out. It’s Sunday there
or Monday. She never understands
the time change. Katerina draws
a cross between a mandala
and black and white reproduction
of a Pollock abstract. She says
this is what the breath of
many years looks like. What she
knows the trees know and there is
not an ounce of God in it.
This is difficult to accept and
she must keep it to herself.
The stinging wind and morning of loneliness
she must bear too and bear alone.

Battle For The Soul Of The Country

Panel a

He would go back when
the first gun was guided into his hands.

He has filled in a heart
with black and cut it

and pinned it inside his coat.
A yard-sale military medal on his lapel.

A memory of his mother saying,
Look, it is a carpet of flowers.

Panel b

I sit between two men in a diner booth.
On my left, the man is on
a talking jag, wooing me
with anecdotes, arm around me,
spitting and narrating, salting my food,
while the one on the right lifts my wallet.

Panel c

The storm approached.
They removed the stained glass
windows from the church
and placed them safely

in their basements.
After the bombings and the rain,
after the mist cleared,
they emerged from their homes

as though into a new world.
They replaced the windows,
but they were never the same.
At times, the wind whistled through.

Panel d

I say to the mugger:
What of the one town,
the god’s or devil’s pocket
in all of the madness,
does this not suggest
that the country is good
and there are riches beyond
our beliefs, homes with
true works of art?
What about the child
who has drawn a peanut
shape with a worm in it
to indicate the earth?

Federal Land Grab

Dream 1

I left a beautiful scarf
in a restaurant
that closed within a year
which I saw trailing
from the antler of a deer
in a field.
I didn’t make much of it.

Dream 2

He had hoped it would
rain and it did when
he was on the plane
returning to the desert.

Dream 3

I wept about something I read
in a newspaper.
I say wept but I mean
I froze and was able
to step out of my body
and walk a long distance
till I came to a stream
and sat down and wept.

Leonard Gontarek is the author of six books of poems, including, Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva and He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs. He coordinates Poetry In Common, Peace/Works, Philly Poetry Day, The 
Philadelphia Poetry Festival, and hosts The Green Line Reading & Interview Series. He has received Poetry fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Mudfish Poetry Prize, the Philadelphia Writers Conference Community Service Award, and was a Literary Death Match Champion. His poem, 37 Photos From The Bridge, a Poetry winner for the Big Bridges MotionPoems project in 2015, was the basis for the award-winning film by Lori Ersolmaz.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Adrian Slonaker Chronicles Epistolary Embraces, Undulating Longhand, Hotel Mattresses, and Psychobiddy Melodramas


For as long as she'd filled out her census forms,
Shirley had been a one-person household,
and she wasn't a hugger, concluding that,
unless a kid is clutching you to
prevent plummeting to a painful death,
a hug is superfluous.
Yet she posted epistolary embraces to
a penfriend named Ahmet,
the fiftyish Turkish typing teacher who wrote in
dreamy undulating longhand
and sent selfies of a mustachioed face with smiling eyes
and a solemn mouth.
His warmhearted words, eagerly gulped down-
like cloudy lemonade with clinking shards of ice in a heat wave,
sustained her in stoic solitude as her humdrum haze
of postmenopausal puttering progressed
from tolerable to acceptable.
Their correspondence continued until year six, when
Ahmet vouchsafed that he'd be visiting her,
snaking a romantic route from Izmir to Yonkers
by ship and by train.
On April 12th she put on her chartreuse shift dress
and Chanel No. 5
and waited at the railway station
for a passenger who never stepped onto the platform.
Shirley shuffled back every morning
for nine Ahmetless days
before she shrugged her sloping shoulders
at the ninth shrinking caboose
and silently slaughtered hope. 

“The Hotel Mattress”

The mattress is long in the tooth,
if mattresses could masticate,
having dazzled in its debut in the city's haughtiest hotel,
bolstering the sweat-blotched backs of visiting VIPs
and their lovers.
But mattresses, like Hollywood honeys,
have a best-before date,
so as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were found featured
in psychobiddy melodramas in the sixties,
the mattress was next cast in a mid-range motel,
braving ravioli smudges, incontinent seniors, sick anklebiters,
and cursing couples cross at the requirement to rise
at three fucking a.m. for cheap Continental flights.
The mattress continued its descent
down to a roadside flophouse,
suddenly smeared with hookers' rouge and vodka-scented vomit
and grossly groped during demoralizing drug busts.
The mattress is beyond knackered,
yet pleased with its red-letter rips, stains and sags
as a valiant vet is proud of the Victoria Cross or L├ęgion d'Honneur.

Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor, dividing time between Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA and St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Adrian's work has appeared in Squawk Back, The Bohemyth, Queen Mob's Tea House, Pangolin Review, The Honest Ulsterman, and others.  

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Rus Khomutoff Chronicles Realm Navigators, Love Pavers, and Spellbound Speculators

Prisoner of infinity
To Felino A. Soriano

Oh Prisoner of infinity
countercurrent between transgression and transaction
insinuation of eternity’s unrepeatable coalescence
poise deposited in an effervescent aye
on this iron chain of birth and annihilation
you espouse your catastrophe of charm
surefire voices that furnish the kiss of death
an unwearying impulse
to decrypt and decipher longing
like an idea infested with platitudes
realm navigator on the edge of consciousness

Sonic threshold of the sacred
To William Carlos Williams

What waxes wanes
the enforced reincarnation hour
and green quartz veins
over the mind of pride
Nowhere you!
Everywhere the electric!
the golden one
living in a poetic world, devouring words
these are the thoughts that run rampant
love paves the way tour existence

Paradise & Method
To Lovebug Starski

An exasperated sigh of grammar and spice
rendered in haphazard lew
vintage wise vanity
lactose intolerant daunt
a dilatation of the dead body of reality
where spirit is no longer
anything but adventitious memory
spellbound speculations
phraseology in completeness
beyond our understanding
the finiteness of type

My name is Rus Khomutoff and I am a neo surrealist language poet in Brooklyn,NY. My poetry has appeared in Erbacce, Occulum, Rasputin, Poethead, and Hypnopomp. I just published my first book entitled Immaculate Days (Alien Buddha Press).

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Joe Balaz Returns To Bare Knuckles, Grunge, The Bovine Consciousness, The High Heavenly Rafters, And Why Not To Sell The Farm Just Yet


Da head librarian is wun poet.

Metaphorically speaking

in da suburban pastures
and da fenced in meadows of da city

I stay looking foa Bohemians
dat should be sprouting like mushrooms—

I tink I found one.

It’s not easy to do

cause in dis metropolis
all I see are institutional ivory towers

and other likewise establishments
catering to artistic big wigs.

I need some grunge
and bare knuckles

scraped raw wit experience.

Da head librarian
self published wun book

dat wuz on wun display table
by da back door at da library—

I wen read ‘um.

Den I wen find
his impromptu videos on Facebook.

Da buggah is animated
and he stay in wun way out orbit

so dere’s some kine of affinity dere.

I wrote him wun email

cause I got his address
from da information desk

wen I wen make wun phone call latah.

I wuz investigating
his existence on da local scene.

Funny ting
he wen do da same ting

and he did wun online check on me.

As foa now
dats as far as it goes

cause me and him
are like two  independent mosquitoes

buzzing da same ears
of wun big Cleveland cash cow.

Metaphorically speaking again

I can see it standing
out dere in da fields

wun humungous golden calf

dat all da academics
are dancing circles around.

Beneath da wise sacred mountain
of muse and plenty

in northeast Ohio and beyond

got all kine different voices
doing various and interesting tings.

Still yet all da academics dance
wit dere shiny grants and credentials

as dey scratch dere own backs

and toss flowers at da hooves
of da big gleaming bovine.

It’s wun good ting
dat grass is free

cause anybody can munch on it
and nourish anyting dey like.


Keep looking up to da rafters

cause you going see
wun slam dunk extravaganza.

Somebody should have warned you

cause it’s no fun
being da tallest midget on da basketball court

wen da seven-footer walks in.

No contest.
No trophy.

No certificate of participation.

Only wun idiot will stay and fight
wen warriors run foa da hills.

Bravado and self-confidence is admirable

but dere’s wun limitation scale
dat you got to pay attention to                          

adahwise you going get squashed
like wun bug.

No try be
wat you tink you see

while you take off
on dose flights of fancy.

Dere’s wun reason
dat reality is filled wit cuts and bruises
cause it’s hard and unforgiving
wen you end up falling on your face.


Before you sell da farm
to get in on da ground level

make sure you know wat you buying.

Wat you may tink is wun great bargain
offered in heartfelt sincerity

could actually be wun beautifully designed rug
placed ovah wen deep dark hole.

Watch your step
cause da shifty dealer certainly is.

All of da tricky methods

are incorporated
into wun greater shell game.

Some choice too—

It’s like picking between
flesh eating bacteria, Ebola,

or wun non-existent pea

dat will make your arms and legs disappear
along wit your purse or wallet.

always glitters like shiny gold

but dats wheah
you really have to pay attention

cause hard earned cash to most people
can be easy money to somebody else.

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole English) and in American English.
He edited Ho'omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.  Some of his recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Unlikely Stories Mark V, Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and
Heavy Feather Review, among others.  Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature.  He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.