Thursday, February 25, 2021

STRUGGLING WITH THE VASTNESS OF INNER GRACE by R.M. Engelhardt

Hate
Anger 
Flowing 
Thru
Words

Veins

Expelled
Thru
Poems

Voices


Somewhere
There 
Must 
Still be
Beauty 
Left

Look 
For it




R.M. Engelhardt is a poet, writer & author who's work over the last 20 years has been published in such journals as Thunder Sandwich, Full of Crow, Rusty Truck, Writers’ Resist, Dry Land Lit, Rye Whiskey Review, Hobo Camp Review & many others. He currently lives & writes in Upstate NY and his new books of poetry are entitled "DarkLands" (Published By Whiskey City Press 2019) & "Where There Is No Vision, Poems 2020"  (DeadMansPressInk)

Both are now available on Amazon.com

http://www.gentlemanoutsider.com


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cold Gray by Michael Lee Johnson

Below the clouds
forming in my eyes,
your soft eyes,
delicate as warm silk words,
used to support the love I held for you.
 
Cold, now gray, the sea tide
inside turns to poignant foam
upside down separates-
only ghosts now live between us.
 
Yet, dreamlike, fortune-teller,
bearing no relation to reality-
my heart is beyond the sea now.
A relaxing breeze sweeps
across the flat surface of me.
I write this poem to you,
neglectfully sacrificing our love.
I leave big impressions
with a terrible hush inside.
Gray bones now bleach with memories,
I’m a solitary figure standing
here, alone, along the shoreline.




Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 2,013 new publications, and his poems have appeared in 40 countries, he edits, publishes ten poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.  Two hundred twenty-three poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze:  
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. 

Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings:  The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Lee-Johnson/e/B0055HTMBQ%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Michael+Lee+Johnson&type=.  Member Illinois State Poetry Society:  http://www.illinoispoets.org/. 
 

Liquor n’ Things by Tanita Cree

Dewdrops on Bud Light and coasters on tables
Glistening beer taps and premium labels
Slinky red dresses that ride up and cling
These are a few of my favorite things
Beautiful makeup and those second glances    
Fully clothed sex that we lie and call dances
Low riding jeans that show off a g-string
These are a few of my favorite things
Fiery flirts who can play all the bases    
Just enough whiskey to forget their faces
A tramp stamp tattoo in the shape of wings
These are a few of my favorite things
When the day dawns
When my life calls
When I’m feeling slammed
I simply remember my favorite things    
And then I don’t feel so damned
Boys in mascara and girls kicking asses
Just the right music that will tame the masses
Curses and insults I’m ready to sling
These are a few of my favorite things
Some vodka for sass and whiskey for courage
Gin if I gave up and think it’s all garbage
Watching drunks do karaoke and sing
These are a few of my favorite things
Warmth in my belly and dancing with strangers
The buzz in my veins that hides all the dangers
Just enough liquor to ignore the stings
These are a few of my favorite things
When the day dawns
When my life calls
When I’m feeling slammed
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so damned




A permanent resident of Canada and citizen of Australia, Tanita travels between the two when finances and pandemics allow. While earning a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Griffith University in Australia, she also worked as Production Manager to help create the art television series Put Some Colour In Your Life. Her recent poems and pieces have been published via sites such as HerStry and FeminineCollective. When not working, writing, or reading, she spends a disproportionate amount of time overthinking everything and trying to distract herself with friends and sushi.




Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Near Joseph Brodsky by Mike James

Not in a long brown coat, alone on a bench,
Gazing across Central Park’s privileged expanse. 

Not clearing his throat to quote Lowell 
Or Auden. Not saying, the thousandth time, 
The poet’s one job is to write well. 

Not flirting. No prepared smile to hint at later interest. 
And not correcting upstarts in need of reading, 
Discipline, and (the hardest) long patience. 

He stood away from party table food and students. 
Foraged in his pockets for something missed. 
Never brought out coin, key, or cigarettes. 

He drank his glass of wine. Kept a distance. 
He might have been in a dark forest with miles of snow. 
He might have been in the silence he carried from home. 


Mike James makes his home outside Nashville, Tennessee and has published widely. His many poetry collections include: Red Dirt Souvenir Shop (Analog Submissions), Journeyman’s Suitcase (Luchador), Parades (Alien Buddha), Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor (Blue Horse), First-Hand Accounts from Made-Up Places (Stubborn Mule), Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He served as an associate editor of The Kentucky Review and currently serves as an associate editor of Unbroken. 



Monday, February 22, 2021

Roofless by C.L. Liedekev

Inside, the walls still need paint, open can
next to the dried roller, all crust and loss.
The clump of his boots on empty wood
returns no memory- the smell
of her black dye, the way it stained a
simple print on the skin when she wore her
pave ring. Crossed lines that faded as she
eats dinner, one hand raised in wine, other
cigarette stained and conducting each
time she made a point on her day. Now
it was the click of her tongue
on her teeth that he missed most, as the
night settles in the house, another stranger.





C.L. Liedekev is a writer/propagandist who lives in Conshohocken, PA with his real name, wife, and children. He attended most of his life in the Southern part of New Jersey. His work has been published in such places as Horror Sleaze Trash, Television Religion, Open Skies Quarterly, The Red Hibiscus, River Heron Review, and Impspired. His real goal is to make the great Hoboken poet/exterminator Jack Wiler proud. So far, so good.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Lines Written After A Friend Called From The Dublin House by E. S. Slater

My friend, the message that you’d called,
(And where you called from)
Sent me outdoors; the stillness of all
The snow, blue in the city lights, mum
About my long, jealous smokes and envious ales.
 
I thought of you alone, if solitude loving
Is ever lonely in such ease and comfort.
I was here, and wondering what you were having
And what small talk you made, and to what effect.
 
To that splendid day my mind returns
What, four years past? Edward in the library
With maps of yore, us finding Scott and Burns
And laughing under the Manhattan sky.
 
The Dublin House was pink-harped serene,
The barkeep in white apron and shirt
Smiled, his face another map, the scene
Lamp-lit wood and mirror, saloon as flirt.
 
Beside ourselves, we pleasured lascivious stout,
Wanton, drawn out smokes, the barroom tarrying.
Like Tam we bowsed and reveled in not
Being in at home with attendant harrying.
 
Then, the seducer made his move,
Inveighing with whiskey two unbidden jars.
That sly, twinkling Hibernian cove!
(His sort has long made for happy bars).
 
Setting them before us with the élan
Of a fellow sufferer. “Something to start
Your motors running?” Our delight childlike, and
How our motors ran! How loath we were to part!
 
 
Thus more pints, black as deprivation, bitter as obligation
Appeared and disappeared, as they so often do.
One loves a gusting January afternoon libation
As night slips into our grateful purview.
 
For me, this unplanned jollity far surpassed all our planned
I like to think that your motor, anyway, continues humming
As well as when I saw you last; that you, sir, are with dram,
Are well, and that like hours are in our life forthcoming.




 
 E. S. Slater is a writer living in Cambridge, MA.  He has recently completed a novel, Just This, and is working on a series of pandemic-themed short stories and poems. He is in the throes of submitting short stories and poems at present.



Saturday, February 20, 2021

trying to write by Scott Ferry

and my 1-year-old son grips my leg
and slams the keyboard with a wet lego 
+
+
**--
4123
i push his hands off but 
0 ; ;’’ 
so i throw another lego which he follows
but he shuffles back in milliseconds
pulling my arm hairs with a clammy palm
so i set the computer down
lift him cradle his downy head
until he kicks fishbodied 
back to the floor

after many hours of fathering 
i hide in my daughter’s room with a whiskey sour
and try to write again after i stare at the wall 
and the starry night reproduction with its oblong 
mauve swirls and nothing comes except
“fathers don’t have the luxury to be depressed”
my daughter comes in and demands that i read to her
like i normally do and i plan to just read 
the standard one chapter but it is the end of the book
and the mist-demon-blood-moon-goddess 
squelches the fire magic of our hero
until the golden time rope can be lassoed 
around her to send her into a timecage
three-and-a-half chapters later

i retreat to the living room with my laptop
and my wife greets me and we speak about interviews
new schools annoying neighbors pumpkin mochi which
gave everyone diarrhea and then she wants to show me
Instagram videos of sassy nurses in drag pretending
to be Kim Kardashian, ICU nurse
which i sadly laugh at
and succumb to writing this
real stretch of time with my actual family
outside of this cage of 
words 




Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in the American Journal of Poetry, Misfit, and Spillway. His second book, Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies, is available from Main St. Rag. You can find more of his work @ ferrypoetry.com.

STRUGGLING WITH THE VASTNESS OF INNER GRACE by R.M. Engelhardt

Hate Anger  Flowing  Thru Words Veins Expelled Thru Poems Voices Somewhere There  Must  Still be Beauty  Left Look  For it R.M. Engelhardt i...