Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kayan and Never too close by Aline Rahbany


We can sit there for hours
In our favorite bar
The hub of people like us
Sipping our wine
Smoking our lungs off
Observing other people
Their gestures and how they dress
Observing and analyzing
Thinking that we know it all
Thinking that we are, at it, the best
Observing and criticizing
Yet failing to see ourselves
Our gaps and misfortunes
Our inabilities and imperfections
During moments
We are god
And god is us
Watching and waiting
To make his move
But that move is what we miss

Never too close

He was slow speeding
His body to reach mine
Crawling, face down
Thoughts up high
Just to touch me
To feel my skin
I was lying next to him
Yet, so much efforts was put
For his hand to reach me
I was out of energy
Out of words to guide him
Through my curves
I lost my sense of direction
Long ago
And he failed to use his
All the efforts tired him
He fell asleep
Right under my arm
Head on my pillow
And I was lying there
Eyes wide open
Wishing I could watch his dreams
Maybe in his dreams
He was actually touching me

Bio: When I am not dreaming, I am another 24 year old distorted person living in Lebanon and indulging in –down to earth – humanitarian field of work for the past two years. I have been published in Shoots & Vines, Opium Poetry 2.0, Black-Listed Magazine, Calliope Nerve, the NOT and Crisis Chronicles.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Unraveling and Redemption by G.D.Anderson


After he shattered the longneck
on his foot emerging from the car
the young doctor in the emergency
ward looks pissed off, ‘You’re lucky
mate, you didn’t sever an artery’.

Now stitched up & on his back deck
beer in hand
it strikes him that something is amiss.
Some aching twitch of doubt.
The late summer sun of the escarpment
slowly sinking into his arm.
Between drinks, he sits in the dark
his mind sniffing in straight white lines, unraveling.

The sweet pulse of his long improvised desires
now sprawl wasted,
like the mangled wombat corpse of his thought.


One year ago they carted
him off the train at Springfield,
a quart of Canadian Club
whiskey in his lungs. When he

sprang to life six weeks later
in intensive care he reckoned it was a miracle
he had survived. Yet soon he was back
on the grog on a permanent blinder

& now he lies immobile on the bed
arms outstretched, a long plastic
tube feeding him oxygen.

He confesses to me
gasping for each goddamn breath
pausing every few words,
‘I thought I’d turn to… gawd
on my deathbed…
but now…
I’m more convinced
than ever…
It’s all…
gawd’s a fucken sham.’

Lately, I try to keep this little piece of him alive
his mocking defiance
his refusal to be bluffed
to give in to false hopes
to the shameful bullying of fanatics
& mythologizers

I try to keep this little piece of him alive
where the hypocrites can’t reach him
where his ugly, cruel death
can now resurrect, purify him.

BIO: G.D. Anderson lives in North Wollongong, Australia. He has published hundreds of poems since 2002. Some new material can be found at Black-Listed Magazine, Asphodel Madness, The Legendary, The Stray Branch and many other fine magazines. He blogs at:

Safeway by Jack Ohms


Bagging canned soup, frozen peas,
just-add-boiling-water sauce
and something for the long weekend,
I smirk to see the teenagers
huddled against the plate-glass window
of the supermarket foyet,
not sensing the urgency of Time.

From under tousled, bleach-dry hair
in bedroom-studied boredom
they watch, grin, sneer and nudge each other
as down the numbered line
old farts fumble cash and cards
and three-for-two-bit cut-out coupons,
then totter, gathering, to snoring cars
and bull-nosed buses to blank estates,
or taxi's ticking over awaiting the elderly
with their barely-a-portion ready meals,
carbolic soap and tinned peaches
swinging like quickening pendulums
between zimmer frame and bingo wings.

They snigger at the way we look, dress,
scowl and hobble about our daily 'business';
our almost totally meaningless movements -
because they know: they've seen the clear,
bright vision of their youthful senses
and it has not told them a lie and I
like to watch them watching us,
as the security guard in antique volume green
hoofs them out into the cold afternoon,
over the tired and endless truckscape;
bankrupting, writing-off their precious identity
against our out-moded machinery;
sending them to Sunday-coloured idleness
until their time comes to stand in line
for want of anything much better to do.

The porridge oats go through with a BLEEP.
I pay up, smile and quietly - and to myself -
wish them well and walk the long drag home
to re-fry yesterday's beans and rice,
stir in those frozen peas and light a fire.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To The Sentimentalist,The Life Of A Writer,AS I LONG TO AVOID THAT HUGE WRECKING CREW CALLED LOVE by Mike Meraz

To The Sentimentalist

“your heart’s door. may I come in?”

it’s run down and cold
there is nothing here
but dirty dishes
and old linen cloths
hanging from stained
windows and doors
to keep the onlookers
from peeking in.

“your heart’s door. may I come in?”

oh, there is a madman
in here rummaging through the
hanging from the ceiling fans
drool hanging from his mouth
spewing out curse words and
love songs
confusing the passers-by.

The Life Of A Writer

I am in bed
and I can hear the boats go by
along the Mississippi.

I ate Raviolis today
and worked a hard 8 hours
for 9.25 at Matassa’s Market.

there are special things
I must take note of:

the 500 dollar computer
my father bought me
out of the blue.

the way the wind has seemed
to carry me along these past
two years.

my health, although, it was failing,
has seemed to come alive again,
not by nursing it, but by hard work
and diligence.

strength through resistance
is often the key to longevity.

I am in bed
and I can hear the boats go by
along the Mississippi.

such a calming sound of life,
not a crowd of chattering zombies,
but something working its way slowly
down a huge stream,
a destination incomplete,
but keeps going, in the silence,

the life of a writer.



Bio: Mike Meraz is a poet from Los Angeles who currently lives in New Orleans. He is the author of two books of poetry Black-Listed Poems and All Beautiful Things Travel Alone. Both are available at and He is also the editor of Black-Listed Magazine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

even hell and back,lerry and i should have drank more by J.J. Campbell

even hell and back

your hatred is a
beautiful light
that blinds me
every time i fall
to my knees

i always wanted
my love to win
this war

and as i lay here

another night


i realize losing
is one sour fucking
taste that is hard
to get rid of

no matter the
lengths one is
willing to travel


there's a
few stray
cats that
hang out
by the big
barn out

they are
leery of
me when
i set out a
little food
and water
for them

they are
than they
even know

i should have drank more

another morning
where i had exactly
no intention of ever
waking up

and after my third
trip to the bathroom
in the first hour of
being awake

i once again proved
myself correct

Bio: J.J. Campbell (b.1976) lives, writes, but mostly dies a little each day in Brookville, Ohio. He's been widely published in the small press over the last decade or so, most recently at Opium Poetry 2.0, Zygote in My Coffee,, Art:MAG and FUCK!. J.J. also had had many chapbooks published over the years. You can contact J.J. via email at or via his homepage

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I was so hungry I almost ate your jacket and The twitter Writer by Melanie Browne

I was so hungry I almost ate your jacket

The one with the

pot leaf designs,

I almost ate

your jacket,

the one you left on the

floor by my side

of the bed

the one you wore

just the other

day to cash

your tax refund

and I was a little

embarrassed at first

and you teased me

and said don’t be

silly kitten,

you called me kitten

which seemed kind of

silly and stupid,

but I played along like

I liked it and said

meow and purr

and stuff like that,

That jacket is

a little itchy

by the way,

I know

because I wore

It to visit

my friend who works

at the adult video

store, the one

that has all

those lesbians

That work there.

The twitter Writer

Is very serious

about his literary


these aspirations

might or might

not include


women who

like to

read small,

bite size

bits about

shoes, opiates,

or the

small mole

on his favorite

porn star’s neck

Bio: Melanie Browne
Co-editor of Leaf Garden press

Essence and Existence and Let Any Agnostic Provide a Reply by Donal Mahoney

Essence and Existence

Part readily the skin
and readily the pulp,
as readily the tongues
wild apples bore,
eviscerate the cores,
and watermelon spit the pits
they cannot swallow.
Let this be done before
the tongues
wild lemons bore
find no cores.

Let Any Agnostic Provide a Reply

after reading too much Aquinas

Would an aphid reside in an onager’s ear
if the onager’s master spoke Twi?
Or a Gascony scop with a leper elope
if a civet leapt out of a tree?
You doubt it? Read Thomas and see.

Would an addax in Denmark gyrate
if an emu in Sweden bore freight?
Or an eland in Chile complain
if jerboas in Goa refrain?
You doubt it? Read Thomas and see.

For really I thought ‘twas the onager taught
the aphid the tenor of Twi, and that
Gascony scops with Norwegians eloped
when Danes had lepers to tea.
You doubt it? Read Thomas and see.

Bio: Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Super Highway, Pirene's Fountain (Australia), Opium Poetry 2.0, Asphodel Madness and other publications.

just warming up by Steve Clamars

i punt bullets into the earth’s atmosphere

that fall back to the surface with the weight

of boulders

reducing tokyo, barcelona and new york

to little more than empty craters

i sprint and kick tanks across the planet

like field-goals

hunks of metal raining down on the streets

of paris and seattle

i cock back and hurl mini-vans reckless

as hail-marys

rubber, glass and steel crashing thru rooftops

in lima, omaha and berlin

i toss up telephone poles like free-throws and

fade away

like giant tooth-picks pummeling the pavement

of toronto, houston and washington dc . . .

Bio: Steve Calamars lives in San Antonio, TX. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and works in a grocery store. His first poetry chapbook, American Violence, will be released April 2010 from New Polish Beat. He blogs

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bio: Ross Vassilev

Ross Vassilev was born in Bulgaria and now lives in Ohio. He's a poet and the editor of Opium Poetry 2.0 and Asphodel Madness blogzines. He's been published here and there.

dig? by Ross Vassilev

worms devour the night
as the Tao drinks wine in a tree
he’s no help at all
just like the rest of you.
humanity, you remind me of
the headless mice my cat
leaves in the yard
or the pigeon’s head
she once left by the door.
while Nazis bury Jewish gold
at the ends of rainbows
the angels
of our better nature
are tied to trees
and sodomized
the angels
of our better nature
have slashed their wrists
and hung themselves
with piano wire.

lost by Ross Vassilev

the stars are

and this moth
circling the room
is even more lost
than I am.

my family came
to America when
I was 3

before that
I had a country
to call home

but with the fall
of Communism
that country
is gone now

it starts to rain
outside as
the moth tells
me about fate

and things lost
and left behind.

small paradise by Ross Vassilev

staring at grass
and red brick
afternoon light
of Ohio autumn
the point is
just to be
like the white clouds
and the sparrows
the only sound
is a girl’s
on the pavement.