Saturday, November 01, 2008

Issue 27

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Image (Copyright © 2008 Michael Lee Johnson)

Megan Burns

Jefferson Hansen

Lois Marie Harrod

Michael Lee Johnson

Christopher Barnes

Linda Graham

Laurie Cook

Megan Burns

from Anatomy of Depression

the world as ordered                      if you depend

on your mind for translation

sit down

if you recognize these thoughts as other

                                            or if you deny easily that

                                            which could be defined as disturbing


                                                        a romantic indisposition

I believed I had a right to my wrong thinking on some level.

                             it was mine and to be defended

imagine:             healthy

                              as a species of flower

                                                             as a turn in the weather

                               as a geographical pinpoint

                                                             as a location found by vertical and horizontal planes intersecting

it’s one thing to speak of what is misfiring
and another to locate

here in the deep, deep recesses of porous organ
           half able to function coherently
                                                                       what half is left and is this accurate

what percentage and on what days and on what dosage

                                                   Are you beginning to divide
                                                                       the notion of trust?

animate object: as other that lives in me
inanimate object: as quieted by this medicine and
put to sleep, a wild animal stuffed and mounted
glassy-eyed wonder
of how it arrived


                               as a gift from those before me

a realm of suffering

to greater clarity

here is the diseased mind realm

                                         am I making too much of it?

I’d hate to draw attention to it, the gaze then lends it value
but to ignore—does “not seeing” mean… what am I afraid of is that
the reader will think it is simply the vehicle for my desire, for my
identity but I am the vehicle, I’m certain, that it has gotten in
beside me

                                                               where are we going?

a small insect blows onto the open pages of Brenda’s book

lands on “Rare held over world”

from here on Folsom Street

I can see Jack Collom bringing in his dirty laundry

                              define the hidden: as dirty laundry
                              skeletons in the closet
                                                                          dirty skeletons

bone left
                                         (dirty organ)

skeletal: tactile, able to walk out on its own

laundry: tactile, able to be cleansed

                                                   this is a map of hope in revelation

mind as imaginary, as illusory, as porous

the examiner knows that when you open the skull
the brain can crumble within seconds
upon losing its container
upon touch

fragment                                fragile                                fingered mush

must be poisoned further to provide the perfect specimen

formaldehyde, spun in a web of fluid and glass
           suspended and sliced to millimeter
  slid onto thin sections of plastic and caught under the magnifying glass

                               this sheer exposition

                                                             what went wrong?

even then how to connect dead tissue to the imagination
to the cellular experience
to see how the drugs changed the identity

                                                       my place in the world

the amount of space I took up

                               the gap left that haunted me

where the I     I was not fell behind
                                         but followed me

I can see her out of the corner of my eye.

                               who said this?

                                         Am I too gone to be

Being healed is a misnomer.

Health in that sense is not
something attainable.

Remove heal from thy language.

Insert “contained”
Insert “changed”
Insert __________

Megan Burns is the author of Memorial + Sight Lines (Lavender Ink 2008). She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry and has been published in Exquisite Corpse, Contance Magazine, YAWP and Callaloo. She lives in New Orleans and runs the 17 Poets! Reading Series with poet Dave Brinks.

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Jefferson Hansen


where we depend but don't know
a shiver comes
at the intensity of
burst glass

a trickster's
attempt at lost heavens
short and shorter
stout like brick
and thick like
wall gone paranoid
rolling dark clouds
stretch and leap
nerve to wind

and the historical autopsy
'hidden geography of body'
what liver
in coil of what kidney
what place the aorta
of the nerve
in the pinkie
the past returning in furls
of flesh where is the edge
of seeing the beginning

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Lois Marie Harrod

At the County Fair Lugubrious

The peaches stood
in dark rows like mourners
at a funeral, the zinnias
bowed their heads

as if they knew they had worn
the wrong riot of color.
Some said it was not the rain,
some said it had rained

nine days, enough to carry
the chest of doves
from Mississippi to Spain.
We curled in our coffin

like those lovers
in Plato’s cave, the ones
he forgot to mention,
this time sure that when

he opened the lid
there would be more
light than shadow.
But no, more rain,

and everyone looking
down on us like saints
with gray umbrellas,
even the rabbits

in their rows of wire cages.
Too much sanctity
for so little salt, I said,
thinking of an old theologian

who seemed to be missing
in the damp crowd. I was thirsty
but no one gave me drink.
There’ll be a heaven to pay.

Of course, I knew
I was sick again, weeping
as if the sky were falling,
which it was, in big, fat drops.

Lois Marie Harrod’s ninth book Furniture has just been published by Grayson Press where it was awarded the Grayson Poetry Prize. She is a 3-time recipient of poetry fellowships from the NJ Council on the Arts.

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Michael Lee Johnson

Willow Tree Night and Snowy Visitors

Winter is tapping
on the hollow willow tree's trunk--
a four month visitor is about to move in
and unload his messy clothing
and be windy about it--
bark is grayish white as coming night with snow
fragments the seasons.
The chill of frost lies a deceitful blanket
over the courtyard greens and coats a
ghostly white mist over yellowed willow
leave's widely spaced teeth-
you can hear them clicking
like false teeth
or chattering like chipmunks
threatened in a distant burrow.
The willow tree knows the old man
approaching has showed up again,
in early November with
ice packed cheeks and brutal
puffy wind whistling with a sting.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. He is the author of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom. He has also published two chapbooks of poetry and is presently looking for a publisher for two more. He has been published in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, Algeria, Africa, India, United Kingdom, Republic of Sierra Leone, Nepal, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Finland, and Poland internet radio. Michael Lee Johnson has been published in more than 240 different publications worldwide. Audio MP3 of poems are available on request.

He is also publisher and editor of four poetry flash fiction sites--all presently open for submission:

Author website:

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Christopher Barnes

Sterile Surfaces

Away from the lab-bench’s proving ground
The naked eye’s lame.
The moon’s heart
In an impulse swirls.
Triple-check – it’s far off,
Wide of the mark
Of swabbed feelings.

If the love-gene’s spliced
There’ll be a syringe
In the throat,
A hitch to swallow
Like fish-scaled GM apples
Or the troublesome underbreath
Of Dolly, the sheep.

Christopher Barnes: in 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection Lovebites published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

On Saturday 16th Aughst 2003 I read at theEdinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.

I also have a BBC webpage and (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.

Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho. I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life. I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children's literature building. In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website

The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on

REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Linda Graham

burn my heart[1]
       for george wallace

yesterday, i was reading K-PAX[2]
and i noticed Prot or should i say prot
doesn’t use capitals for names
and neither do you
your poetry and you are both lower case
and you say
that’s ok sugar
in that rich full bodied aromatic
coffee sounding new york tone
that reminds me
of tennessee williams plays
and hot nights in the deep south
(because i’m english and have no sense
for american accents)
and i read in your introduction
how you write from dreams
and i wonder how you write
so vividly from dreams and i say
you must have marvellous dreams,
more vivid than everyone else

and you reply no different
from anyone else

so i think about my dreams
but all i see when i sleep
is blood and shit and black
everything black
and every night i’m running
in worlds i recognise and don’t
in streets i recognise and don’t
with ghosts i recognise and don’t
trying to dodge the bullets they spit at me
trying to stop my knife blades slicing skin
trying to stop the devil striking me down
trying to stop my lover saying he doesn’t no he doesn’t
his spent cock in his hand and behind him she’s smiling
and every night I moan in my sleep
moan over and over in my sleep
wake me up wake me up
please someone wake me up


[1] George Wallace, Burn My Heart in Wet Sand, (Troubadour, Leicester, 2004)
[2] Gene Brewer, K-PAX The Trilogy, (Bloomsbury, London, 2004)

Born in 1971 in the seaside town of Cleethorpes, England, Linda Graham organises arts festivals and programmes spoken word and literature events in the beautiful Lake District. Her poems have appeared in magazines and newspapers in the UK and US as well as online, and her first collection will be published by Bluechrome Press later next year.

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Laurie Cook


part of me
part of you
anyone can be
will shine
will be

Megan Burns Jefferson Hansen Lois Marie Harrod Michael Lee Johnson Christopher Barnes Linda Graham Laurie Cook

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Issue 26

Dimitris Lyacos

Z213 Exit (extracts 11-12)
Translated from Greek by Shorsha Sullivan


I think of you but not as I used to. My eyes open in
sleep, a hand seizes me. And in the sweetness of
somebody’s touch. I am falling, and the same dream
again of a child’s breast that a woman holds in her
arms. Lips on it, wet, blood-soaked her lips. I start
upright. The others are sleeping. Days walking uphill,
view of an evergreen plateau, stay there. Quiet.
Except when the wounded mumble close to your ear. I
took something that made me get over my fears and then
I didn’t care about anything. I did not care about
anything. I couldn’t care about anything, a knife cut
took off my finger, and I couldn’t care about stopping
the blood. Nothing to stay for. The daybreak of a Pel
re dawn without light. And around one side and
the other monasteries empty nests and a whole crowd
there, a river between. And there were a lot. They are
singing, the bridal chambers are filled, holding
hands. Below bodies the stream hustles along, on the
bank a row of them fallen face upwards, I run around
like a madman looking for you, a woman presses her
daughter to her, poor, we haven’t eaten for days.
Gleam without hope still gleaming. In the dreams
jostling the one in my other. As then a boy on top of
his mother, help me to lift her, he was holding her
tight by her soaked rags, have you got matches strike
one, as if in her hands. Shows me black avenues and a
door at the end. My name that I saw written on it.
First time I felt this kind of pain, like a bite. I
saw, yet another soldier fallen nearby. Tears in his
eyes, called out where are you. Could not see, black
with the soil, don’t drink from this water, couldn’t
hear, the march past blanked it out. And it was the
memorial chanted for us. On our backs, above us the
poplars all round. For what was lost, country and
youth we had lost. For the horses rolling in blood.
And then their carcasses rest under the olive trees.
When the sacrifice starts and they pour something over
us. Where are you. And they are all gone there are
only the gods that off their jackets and give us
cover. Dead holding on to images scattered until they
too fade forever away. And I see the others, do not go
near leave them get up by themselves. Like the bare
ramrod hitting you in the stomach, a saw, an empty
water-bottle. I recall. New Year’s Eve. And deep down
a knot. Sleeping beside me, who. As if to my words he
whispers an answer. Now it grows dark, I am a child, I
encounter the gypsy. Who takes by day to the roads and
sings. In distant villages, in the graveyards for
charity. They said he was dead. And during Carnival,
in the squares roaming about. Comes and asks us to
light a cigarette for him. Deep down a knot, memory,
poor girl. Working all night, ruffling through
uniforms. In the cloakroom of travelling players,
should you find something to change. Your face fading
again, to hold your head for a while, and your body is
warm and when you are bending to kiss me you hesitate
for a moment, as if you catch the sound of them
coming. Or the sound of water or wooden fingers on
drums. Beside me late flowers on your mouth and it is
your kiss. The eve of the lights do you remember? On
the day itself I dig into the stone wall and bury
there the crown of a fir tree. Scapegoat, then, then
we were together.


Cruel the evening again in the station the train and
another station silent and the train tail of an animal
somewhere ahead, and another station alien eyes not on
you yet you want to hide again, a long narrow passage
that flows away in the rain covers you. Sitting still
you can’t manage your thoughts cannot make you stand
up you cannot go forwards or backwards. Socks wet,
take off your shoes, not yet, you stay still, almost
as to abandon the world, the lights go by, nothing but
lights, nothing exists besides this. No thought moves
your body not even a pain. One by one all those that
fled all those you left, pieces, pieces like ice
breaking and falling in front of your feet. And it
melts before you can move. The rhythm of the metal
draws you with it a shadow out in the corridor
lighting a cigarette the same tree that had passed
before you so many times. You smoke too. You take off
shoes socks lie down. Cramp in the stomach, the usual.
You cover your feet with the pullover, fall face down.
Chilly berth that sticks on your face. You wear the
pullover, you put the Bible under the jacket for a
pillow. Her breast, her half-opened mouth. Some life.
You unbutton your trousers put your hand in. A hand
that holds you a body you stretched on top of. She is
there you almost touch her and she is gone again,
saliva, pale light and the listless pulse of the body
powerless almost. You hold your breath, her breasts
come, you press it hard, comes inside you, from inside
you squeeze as many drops as you can, from inside you.
Stay still, calm, empty, darkness hides you, then
sleep. A nudge, you slip all but fall, you put out
your hand, below the palm crumpled paper, a dog-eared
book open. Turn over the cover: The First Death. You
would smile. This too for a pillow, on top of the
Bible. When you wake again two bodies entwined, the
flesh between them in pieces, that melt, breast onto
breast, that fades one into the other, fading out when
you decide to stand up.

Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death) has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary dance version of the same book was showing in Greece between 2006-2007 culminating in a performance at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaro Mousikis). Lyacos' work has been the subject of lectures and research at various universities, including Amsterdam, Trieste and Oxford. The German translation of The First Death is due to appear by J.Frank Verlag in the forthcoming months. For more information on the author visit

Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has an interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry.

Dimitris Lyacos Steve Dalachinsky Carrie Hunter Lauren Joslin Charles Frederickson

Steve Dalachinsky

another cloud poem (sunset)

i bruise easily
these days come hither
to the underbellies of (the) clouds
this sunset too true to be
the bruised to a cinder
the gulls have found something
to squabble about
& fill their bellies with
down there just below the water's
ripplin surface
little mountains of eruption
moving against eachother where i banged
my knee (almost) & it burnt
like the orgasm i had this morning
that spewed forth nothing but
smarted more than this bulbous sun
as i walked into it &
burnt like the underbellies of these clouds
2 ticks of a rereflection
or myriads of 'em
bonifide doowop (g)list'nings
& short of what double means
& the new trees planted around my feet
i kissed 'em all the other day
& bade them grow
in good spirit
then walked to the river
tied a rope around my bruises
& threw 'em in
the gulls went diving & squawking
all the way under
then spit when they discovered there
was nothing there to
nourish them
& as it turned dark
the bellies of the clouds turned
grey again
& i rose up &

             the lights of the other city
             came on unnoticed
             & my footsteps became

steve dalachinsky nyc 4/14/08

steve dalachinsky was born in 1946, Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared extensively in journals on & off line including; Big Bridge, Milk, Unlikely Stories, Xpressed, Ratapallax, Evergreen Review, Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat Jacket, N.Y. Arts Magazine, 88 and Lost and Found Times. He is included in such anthologies as Beat Indeed, The Haiku Moment and the esteemed Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has written liner notes for the CDs of many artists including Anthony Braxton, Charles Gayle, James "Blood" Ulmer, Rashied Ali, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp and Roscoe Mitchell. His 1999 CD, Incomplete Direction (Knitting Factory Records), a collection of his poetry read in collaboration with various musicians, such as William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Thurston Moore (SonicYouth), Vernon Reid (Living Colour) has garnered much praise. His most recent chapbooks include Musicology (Editions Pioche, Paris 2005), Trial and Error in Paris (Loudmouth Collective 2003), Lautreamont's Laments (Furniture Press 2005), In Glorious Black and White (Ugly Duckling Presse 2005), St. Lucie (King of Mice Press 2005), Are We Not MEN & Fake Book (2 books of collage - 8 Page Press 2005), Dream Book (Avantcular Press 2005). His books include A Superintendent's Eyes (Hozomeen Press 2000) and his PEN Award winning book The Final Nite (complete notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook, Ugly Duckling Presse 2006). His latest CD is Phenomena of Interference, a collaboration with pianist Matthew Shipp (Hopscotch Records 2005). He has read throughout the N.Y. area, the U.S., Japan and Europe, including France and Germany.

Dimitris Lyacos Steve Dalachinsky Carrie Hunter Lauren Joslin Charles Frederickson

Carrie Hunter

The Unicorns


A unicorn for Iyanna,
                 with an 80's asymmetrical haircut.

If I had any power.

Luck twists itself out of me.

My insistence on.

Red buttons drop like seeds.

I may have entered.

Everything I see is.


Orange cones in snow.
         One or more bound variables.
Crystal seer.
         "What you need to know."
         "What you need to know."
                                         Yell it louder.


Every constellation is not made of stars.

Stairs that turn,
         I want to be them.

What my mother would tell me
                 if she were here.

The windowsill hurts.

Every fear protecting you from what is feared.

Apple. Jacks.

         Putting things away.

A wish for stories
                 and stones to throw.

Glinted gift you carry back.

A smile in poverty,
                         but not amongst.

         Having never learned to can.

What he said about what I could not understand.

There are no bumblebees here.

Yellow laughter could be what you wanted.

Carrie Hunter has been published online in Moria Poetry, Eratio Postmodern Poetry, Aught, Turntable & Blue Light, Dusie, Parcel, and Sawbuck, and in print in SCORE magazine, CRIT Journal 2, and Small Town XII. Her chapbook Vorticells was published by Cy Gist Press, and an e-chapbook Kine(sta)sis was published by Dusie, a portion of which is also featured in Jacket 35. She received her MFA/MA in Poetics at New College of California, edits ypolita press (, and lives in San Francisco.

Dimitris Lyacos Steve Dalachinsky Carrie Hunter Lauren Joslin Charles Frederickson

Lauren Joslin

at the grave of anne sexton

knee over knee like a maltese cross
madonna, mary of the misused.
you're thin as a stripped fence post next to squat gray graves,
your white arms like cigarettes (and how you burn, burn)
how the world loves a good-looking suicide.

her voice purrs like humming exhaust
i think about my grandmother's car, perfume and tobacco
how she bought it when she was manic, paid in cash
now the former beauty is muddy with meds.

do it the right way and it's almost like one last poem
and i told you, you write poetry just by existing
with your black dress
your black lungs
your black heart.

Lauren Joslin: I am a native of Melrose, Massachusetts; and I am studying History at Boston University. I have a passion for the Victorian Sensationalist Novel and pressing flowers.

Dimitris Lyacos Steve Dalachinsky Carrie Hunter Lauren Joslin Charles Frederickson

Charles Frederickson


Rapturous sensual mysticism extends limits
    Of human existence beyond nature
       Utopia overshadowed by elliptical duality
          How and Why mindfully unified

One single original source interconnecting
    All things with one another
       Balmy skies mirror reflections of
          Who and What we are

Vast ocean engulfing life itself
    Generating waves through causal actions
       Moonlight reaches darkling bottomless depths
          No water trace left behind

By cultivating tranquil quiet reserve
    We bring flowers to perfection
       Emanating seductive fragrance radiant beauty
          Simultaneously nurturing our own earthiness

Morning glory dewdrops unveil hazy
    Majestic cosmic spirit universal truths
       Ultimately soiled imaginary garden paradise
          More satisfying than metaphysical abstracts

Enlightenment hovers behind invisible boundaries
    Interlocking rings of luminous infinity
       Gravity field blocked out lost
          Macroscopic vision refocusing newfound eyes

Eternity lies within manifest destiny
    Fleeting world seemingly beyond undoing
       Exposed tendril taproots craving transplant
          Freshly awakened senses inspiring enchantment

A fiercely independent unbridled maverick, No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson bucks mundane routine with ticklish fancy gusto, feisty vagabond moxie and feigned hyperbolic flair. Check out and

Dimitris Lyacos Steve Dalachinsky Carrie Hunter Lauren Joslin Charles Frederickson

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Issue 25


Image (Copyright © 2008 David McFadden)

Stu Hatton
Linda Benninghoff
Danielle Adair
Mary Kasimor
Bobbi Lurie
Tim Martin
David McFadden
Gertrude Halstead
Bruce Stater
Patrick Mc Manus

Stu Hatton

Down slow (song of samsara)

Beneath the drugs
this is what I am

(very naked)

this is my face:

skin torn up
like carpet,
pair of choking eyes

Have to get sick to slow

standing in the quickfire
the lanes of dust
grabbing at particles

my hands
trying to eat clouds

the roads between us
the fish of light
the millions

have to get sick to slow down,
freeze the eyelake over

see the fish of light
frozen swimmers
a library of ice

let's learn to swim down here
while we're dark
our bodies solved

our bodies are much older
than we, than we think

our bodies know everything

have to get sick
to glimpse you
not some death girl
forearms awarded
parallel wounds

(you were laying new roads
with the knife)

skin torn up
like carpet,
pair of choking eyes

this is what you are (too)

beneath the drugs
down slow

Stu Hatton is a poet based in Melbourne, Australia whose work has been
published in various journals, e-zines and anthologies. He recently
completed an MA at Deakin University, where he teaches professional
and creative writing. In 2006 he was awarded an Australian Society of
Authors mentorship, which he undertook with Dorothy Porter throughout
2007. He has a book-in-progress entitled How to be hungry.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Linda Benninghoff

For Yvette

After your husband died
you left the burners on
to warm yourself
waking and inhaling smoke.
The burnt-down house sat condemned for a year,
And you cleaned it,
Wearing a hospital mask and gloves.

Taking breaks,
you wandered in your car
down undulating roads
to a field where two horses swished tails,
dropped heads

The roan with the white star let you pet her,
but the Appaloosa, who you nicknamed Tommy,
ate raw carrots from your hands.
It brought you peace, you said,
to be feeding horses.

For miles pines, oaks, maples, poplars ran.
The little enclosure where you stood
was capped by the roaring summer sky.
A child again,
you could play,
feel only from a distance
the urgency to mourn.

Linda Benninghoff: I am published in The London Times Online and Agenda, among other journals. I have published two chapbooks and translated The Seafarer from Anglo-Saxon.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Danielle Adair


Rose said she didn't "know where [she was] to or where [she had]
been," but that that was okay because she knew that this is where she
was supposed to stay, today, and tomorrow, and the day after, because
her life had "become dull," she said. She said that in Paris,
"Everyone speaks English, Darling." She said she admired Selma for
traveling there alone, and that if Selma had just stood there in one
spot she imagined that "Frenchmen would flock to [her] in dozens."
That Frenchmen would flock to her. Selma tells her that she knows
"everyone there speaks English." That Rose is to be admired for the
glamorous life she has led, and that all the Frenchmen must have
flocked to her; 'how pretty she was.' But when Rose speaks to Selma
she looks into her eyes directly. Despite her faux feelings she looks
straight in. She tells Selma that she is beautiful this day. Selma
contributes in Rose's luxury affair with words, and truly feels their
emptiness there, because she knows them well, but not from that
position. Not from sitting, leg asleep backwards, on her bed. Not from
being taken in so trustfully by someone on her way out who can't name
her the following day, can't discern her own place. But. Now she knows
them from the position of someone watching it all, disconnected from
her past because past brings it feeling. Of someone who can echo
shame but must choose now to rename her secrecy of character. Can't
shadow the discomfort but can't consider it either. What it brings
even its passers don't know.


The bird walked like an Egyptian, and Rose said, "My, those trees are
so big." It was funny how the other day Benny told Selma that all the
trees had stopped, not a leaf was moving. And on the following, she
had asked him if he heard that cricket, and he thought she was conning
him, nodding on her imagination by saying, "It's a good thing." Selma
sometimes gets a glimpse at the pillars of trunks on her way
approaching home, and she thinks it isn't all bad to be constantly
falling into bouts of naiveté; drawing all inside the lines is equally
as naive as absurd. Even early, "Running a Redline" had always tried
to be her mantra, but then there are others that attach themselves to
her, like Yesterday's "It's all beneath too much" or June's "No, I
didn't say anything. I thought a few things, but I didn't say much."
It was all as if she'd already told herself it. Too pardoning to be in
field research and too troubled to be in field research. Too insane to
be driven into that small gated community where no one lies, again,
protecting their sphere from the world outside to instead speak plain.
Too antsy to be pulled into that period of nurturing…and she realized,
it's difficult to eavesdrop when you are repeating your own thoughts
and trying to act sincere. Benny told her today that he didn't think
enough before now, and in old age, he thinks too much. It bothers
Selma that she likes him most when he is starving.


In this Republic, with him at her flat, Selma learns the meaning of
depression. She's deadened, and she often cries when riding the bus
out to work in the country- the country where her students await her.
"In the nature," some of them say, those who have cottages there to
visit on the weekends. Selma can't not cry, and she is supposed to be
"the strongest one." She pulls out her book even though she hasn't yet
devised her lesson plans. Everyone in Prague brings a book. The Czechs
are indelible students. Selma fake reads to have her head in something
and her eyes on something else. What she thinks is not what she sees,
but she's no prophet. The future's always too predictably predictable
for her. Later after getting off the bus and returning home in this
catatonic winter and with wet boots that crystallize her stride, Selma
wants to, again, cry. Sometimes when she feels this she tells him that
she must go walking. Then she walks around the reservoir and thinks
about that word. "This must be it," but she hears no music. Selma
feels betrayed by the likeness of the words "dreary" and "dreamy"-
"that's not quite right." And she cries, beside herself, on a bench.
It is hard returning home this particular night. Every second person
is a fucking asshole and Selma's mind is not minding her again. Like
not knowing how to say, "bless you" in another language, an awkward
moment is all that she can surrender when passers-by question her
tears through their skittish looks. It's safer there in walking
though, in being just a wanderer rather than one without a title.
"I'll erupt a few stories down I suppose," but length is a
measurement, and, Selma, you're only falling from one place.

Danielle Adair is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles.
She carries an MFA in Art and in Writing from California Institute of
the Arts and has both performed and exhibited her art extensively
within the US.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Mary Kasimor

as she admires herself

you as I am one

then you tear it
apart it is admissible
trees grew their fingers
out scraping away

another system specific
with what I don’t want

the girl is still within
and without you I would

be still

I admire the symmetry
of asymmetrical time
in motion cracking stones

at the settlers’ edges

control our depth
if I were not brought up
to avoid the essence
of stinks
coming from the essence

oh well

it will come
back to show off

I will decide to undress it

I will want to sleep
with the imposters of
perfect skin

Mary Kasimor: I have been published in many journals, including GutCult, BlazeVox2k3, moria, How2, Ensemble Jourine, Coconut, among others.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Bobbi Lurie

I am sorry.

dark and blue evening/ urban noise but quietness in the crevices of my thought system.

increasingly i characterize my life with a busyness seeking obstruction.

the text becomes part of my breath though few will listen.

hyacinths are a famous flower but famous to WHO is the question.

listeners are the fewest things. and the least.

i am later apologizeing for whatever meaning i produced in you.

this world of unstable selves, the way you changed when you weakness was revealed...

the caption beneath your portrait does not illustrate the loss.

Bobbi Lurie: My two poetry collections are Letter From The Lawn (CustomWords, 2006) and The Book I Never Read (CustomWords, 2003). My poems have been published in numerous print and on-line journals including APR, New American Writing and Shampoo.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Tim Martin

Stop and Ask for Directions

i will forgot the name Alison
it's a problem when adapting
her visit to the bar had apparent
lost connection that is second sight
veteran nose bends toward books
in a new reaction to illumination
to a family who will never read this
with a sense of twelve turned backs
our occupations in the old country
that have no electronic calendars
is the unsettled arrival of winter
one month returns to empty houses
we are so accustomed to old pains
these are things we fail to notice

Tim Martin works in theatre and mental health in the Philadelphia, PA area. He has lived with depression since he was young. He attended the Naropa University. Tim's work has been seen and heard in: I-Outlaw, EOAGH, Altered Books Project, One Less Magazine, Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, and many others. Some of his plays have recently been seen in Philly: Echo, The Ballad of Joe Hill, Tales From Turtle Island and several adaptations of children's stories.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

David McFadden

A Song for Slack

The morning has become resolute
-within her boundaries-
of light
and song
to awaken the dreamer
into wide afternoons
of curved spines
and to sing for slack
with its dense and obsessive words
that are better left

David McFadden: I have been involved in the Fine Arts for over 17 years and have been writing poetry over 2 years. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for over twenty years and find drawing, painting and writing very therapeutic in discovering the reality of the situation. I have a website that you can visit that displays some of my artwork. The site’s location is at

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Gertrude Halstead

I wonder if

Long tubes hang

from the ceiling

light     undresses

I cling to layers

left      I hunch

sweat   soaks

I wonder if I

can  tell  you  why

I am here

Gertrude Halstead was born in Germany in 1916. She escaped to France where during the war she was interned in Camp Gurs in the south of France. She volunteered to work as an interpreter and subsequently was allowed to be released. She eventually made it to Portugal where she was able to get passage on the last ship leaving for the United States. Her work has appeared in Sahara, Diner ,VOX, Amoskeag , Surroundings East and Columbia Poetry Review. Her first book memories like burrs was published by Adastra Press. She has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is presently Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA, USA and recipient of a 2008 Cultural Council Fellowship Award.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Bruce Stater

from Shaman-Machine

Systems Collapse in the Face of the Real

Day One

A pattern is running through my mind
I have thought that it stands
on its own two feet regardless of twists & turns
pushing towards new outcomes of fate
new separations between inside & out
locus solus & societas
the expansion or reduction of circles
eyes fixed forward on that tree
which blossoms on the horizon
in the summer encrusted with dark memories
of cold skies, of lesions which separate us from
you from me from the sensation of light
from the miraculous union of the seasons
from sensation from depth from the playfulness
of memory from life itself

To repeat it & repeat it again
as if any reparation were adequate practice
& training for the fantasy of winning that race
finally arriving there alone or with others
beyond the line in that moment or event
where anguish & bitterness
emptiness & despair
wave their final farewells
bleak & teary eyed
filled with the sentimentality of departing trains

It is as if day one does not know
the meaning of first day
of dawn, horizon, of feather & caress

I waste more time writing these words
they are not mine
they belong to my mind
as alcove belongs to cave
or guardian to gate
as muse belongs to the impoverished poet
as magic helper belongs to frightened child
as aphasia belongs to word
the arc traced around the invisible center
the skin of the apple or the peach
which protects the ripe flesh within
ready to burst in the season of new beginnings
in which eyes open to the orange and pink rays
of dawn to the morning flight of pigeons & doves
to the excess of beauty of my beloved's skin,
the curve of her waist, the softness of her thigh,
the weight of her breasts, of the pain & beauty of growing old

When the trains departed we thought of the sky
when the sky fell we thought of a place beyond time
practically unfathomable, resistant & impervious to harm
to war & sickness & the darts of the angry angels
the frightened ones who would whisper their horrible
names & desires in our ears
for we had ears & were forced to listen
though we stopped them up
with wax & hope & even wisdom
projected into the push-pull of our dreams of utopia
of lion & lamb
of the absence of goods
where the idea & abstraction of what was possible
replaced the materiality of excess imposed upon us
from the outside

At night we sleep
that is my vision my dream
I enter the bed before you do
you stay up late & read through the darkness
the emptiness of memory the hopelessness of future
the refusal of fatality
each night I wish that you were there with me
from the outset & invent excuses & lies to achieve this end
sometimes it is a sore back that needs the affection
of your hands
sometimes a fear or need to complete the distracting
conversation complete the task or come to terminus
though both of us know in our unspeaking that end
is illusion that we are given what we make that the beyond
is now & that beyond the sense of nothing in now
which we struggle endlessly against & into
there is a greater & more infinite emptiness
which touches & somehow inexplicably kisses the process
of dancing atoms, of thoughts formed from spiral galaxies,
of actions taken in those universes whose geometric configurations
& metaphysical self-awarenesses lie beyond our capacity to conceive

Invariably I startle within the hour
& lie awake awaiting some miracle
demanding from sleep the capacity to dream
within my own necessity for freedom
in the direction that I would take the dream
always dreaming of that beautiful dream
I would call breakthrough & meaning
the feeling of feeling unnamed
resolute, inspired, sincere, purposeful, & mine

You enter the bed & sleep disturbed
by my wakefulness, my obsessive disruptions,
the distance between my unbridgeable now & walled off then,
my gray is & my blue could be
my nameless desire & impossible contentment

40 milligrams of temazapan
dissolves on my tongue
its bitterness
covers our eyes with the sand of forgetting
protracts the discussion of what is missing
& what happened
what we never speak of
so that this excess of the unbearable
leaks onto my pillow in the form of sweat
& exudes from my stomach
as vomit & bile
though I do sleep I sleep through it
forming lesions inside that we hush
with maternal words, comforted in darkness
because what moves within light we know
will blind us with the madness of its unbearable truth

Because I have failed you once, twice, over a dozen times
each night I fail you again in the decisive moment
which determines who I am

It is as if, worse than choosing flight over courage
I simply do not exist
or choose to fade into self-protected nothingness

In a crowded room I will point at you
& you will point at me
words are unnecessary
this means
"you make me who I am"
if you return the gesture I will know
that you feel the same
it is not that we are one
we are more than that
it is not that we are two
we are more than that also
we know that the others cannot understand
the depths of what it is to be through the lover's
eyes, ears, lips & skin,
through the thought completed before it is uttered
through the completion fragmented so that it can be
completed again
through the memory of the storm weathered without fear,
through the burning heat at the heart of the sun,
through the sleep of bears, through the company of wolves,
in the face of contagion and irreparable loss, of dandelions in
spring, the startling rose which blossoms in winter, the absence of
the confines & vicissitudes of what cannot be,
of the tools that are available & those which we invent,
of the knowing & the yet to be known

A pattern is running through my mind
that is the nature of the instillation of society's dreams
that is the nature of unresolved doubt
of the fear before becoming what one means to be
that is the nature of the paranoid creature
ever watchful & wary of the escape routes & openings
to his burrow
that is the nature of the wall
of the flight from demons one has not yet learned expel with a word
with the power of one's own breath,
in the communion of the ten thousand fists
raised against the tyranny of power,
of the joy of laughter at the swarm of locusts
which one crushes into bread,
of the barbed wire we use to cut the ropes from our wrists,
of the prisons whose walls we enter in order to teach those who need
our teaching most,
of the silence which emerges through our deepest being,
which cannot be thought, expressed, or uttered
except in that silence which resides beyond the silence of words

Day Two

Day two says
this is not consciousness at work
this is not consciousness at play
this is the desire to resist necessity
this is the impulse to hide
within the interior recesses of cavern
of darkness, to resist tension
this is the desire to separate water from water
to count out measure in syllable sense
or carve niche in comfort of concrete glyph
to place the inconsequential slide beneath the ridiculous microscope
to contemplate the film on the surface of mirror
this is not the consciousness of hewing stone
this is not the consciousness of letting blood
of erasing the first, second, and third gateway of unknowing

Day two says
this is the mantra of continuous forgetting

Day two wants the poem to end at this moment
will mark a turn in the road
will begin again tomorrow

is forced into the discomfort of remembering
the violence of speech forced upon itself
& against its will

A pattern is fragmenting the lavatory of my mind
a word chosen randomly from the dictionary of memory
a sword or word replacing the phoneme used to hush
or stifle the confused indiscretion of passage into deposition

One finds oneself there
before the jury of outsiders
eyes fixed on the unmoving lips
on the trembling lips
on the sweat which pours from one's brow
internalizing the dream in the image which exudes
from the back of the throat
from the breath which heaps up in pants
from the muffled cries one wishes at once
to hide & inhabit

& so choked thus
day two says
let the beautiful dream enter the poem
express the laughter of communicated meaning,
of resolution & new beginning,
of the absurd expression of that actual moment
in which the deepest fear of those poisonous serpents
kept in glass cages
by the machiavellian corsortionists of imposed desire
is transformed into the gentle acceptance
of giving it all away
at the inception of the secret order of mystical herpetologists

For that is the pattern
that is the dream, the nightmare
for years it slithered into my nights
always of reptiles kept in a cage
& among them those I would have cared for
& loved
were it not for the others
whose fangs and poisons kept me from opening the lid
that would express the purpose of who I am

For that is the pattern
that is the meaning of dream, nightmare, hesitation, & indecision
fear transformed into guilt
inertia before action, love, care, responsibility, & understanding

For two decades I have dreamt of poisonous serpents
kept in cages with beautiful lizards, helpless birds, & beloved cats

For two decades I have dreamt of the paralysis of fear
& the guilt of placing my safety before the needs of beings
crying out for sustenance, deliverance, comfort, & care

& yesterday, which is a figure of speech,
I dreamt that I had given all of my reptiles away
to a man who understood, who knew, who could teach
& show me through demonstration
that the smaller ones could be raised in canopies
above the larger
that the weak & strong could be kept within the same cage
that the powerful & aggressive could be given the run
of the ground floor
while the soft & meek could be cared for above
that even the poisonous serpents could be handled
by one who understood their nature & could substitute caution for fear

& so day two utters its first truth
or interpretation of truth
it is not stupid, careless, or simpleminded
it knows that its words, its stories, its meaning & interpretations
are fragmented & out of order
it knows that it has not yet found its way
on the road of becoming
that it has uttered the letter h without reciting
the alphabet which comes before & after
that a glimpse is not a vision
that a patch of light is no evidence of cloudless sky
that a dream is neither state nor action
that the clarity of desire is not a course unstrewn with stones &

Day Three

Composed of brachae or filligree
constructed of moss, sod, hope, or desire,
I wait inside the waiting gate
despondently tired of waiting for first glimpse
of the origin of universe, light, partition, & departure

In water I turn to you
toward the sea beyond sea
in horizon I interpret you against the venoms of hazard

In ringlet I see you as rhizome of the particulate
in substance you are present in absence you turn to memory
in fire the air
in bread the act of kneading
in etcetera the ellipsis

Day Four

I cannot forget the day I turned away from you
encrusted with the gold leaf of class-envy & ambition
with the barnacles of narcisistic desire
wandering lost with floppish gait
on the road divided by so many misdirections
each with its sign bearing false witness to belonging
each with its siren song of horded treasure & crown
each with its promise of one-eyed kingship & the eternal sleep
imaginary needs

I have read through the journey
what has been written so far & no further
though I would push into the beyond to coalesce & merge
into greater meaning, particulate & sedementary
into fusion metamorphic, metastable, multidimensional

On the road confined by maps
we adhere to the surface seem bound by it
as one is bound by inarticulate gesture & subterfuge
within the prison house of language, Limited Inc.

As I being of fire I bring fire
burn the map & the bound words behind it
as a being of fire I speak of fire
draw burnt signs upon my wrist to mark new direction, twist, & return
as a being of fire I burn fire
against the institutions of lie
against the codes of demise, promise, & compromise

& so without maps we wander, carry on
in daylight under the burning sun
at night by the glow of moons we name according to the beauty & care of

past and future guides
in the night without moons by the embers of certainty
that persist within what cannot yet be said

Since 2002 Bruce Stater has produced several collections of poetry,
each touching in different ways upon the experience of trauma, loss,
abandonment, psychic reintegration, and psychotic semiosis. They
include: Wound Flower Heart and Memory-- Poems for Paul Celan, The
Language of Angels
, A Labyrinth of Visions, Shaman-Machine, and What Happened. Selections from A Labyrinth of Visions have been published in PoetrySZ, Of(f) Course Journal, and Golden Handcuffs Review. This
work was recently published in its entirety as an echapbook and is
available online from Ahadada press at their web site.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus

Patrick Mc Manus


to help her
after her
hard day
at work
they took to
role playing
the tense moments
threatening situations
that sort of thing
but one day
sometime later
terribly injured
awfully scarred
touch and go
he woke up
in intensive care
on a drip
they then
thought that
perhaps she
could learn
some nice relaxing
breathing exercises

Patrick Mc Manus is a retired architect-survivor poet published in ‘Beyond Bedlam’ ‘Magma’ ‘Under the Asylum Tree’ and more latest books ‘Cement and Water’ and ‘Bricks - kept relatively sane with painting ex potter -ex voluntary work mental health-running poetry workshops groups helped by doses of Poetryetc and Britpos- -has –partner Janet ,Cat Vile Boris and grandchildren.-saw second world war -born London long ago.

Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus