Adam Levon Brown Debuts

Opportunistic
 
Dead silence
Breaks my fall.

The darkened corners
of my misbegotten laugh

Crack the edges of
the perforation
that is my mind.

The distant call
of dismal reckoning

Pushes the barrier
of right and wrong.

 

Doing Time

I sometimes sit and think about my past life
and the crimes I have committed
I wallow in guilt ridden despair,
I am morose and seem pitted

Against my own spirit and mind
What solace is out there to find?
Is this just me, or a symptom of all humankind?

I try to focus on the good times and run to reminisce
about the days I was free from my mental prison
It’s those days I cling to, and those days I miss.

What I have left is my ability to write and to rhyme;
I sit here and think about my most insidious crime;

When people ask me what I’m doing,
I just tell them “I’m doing time.”

 

Human Condition
 
This human condition placed into words;
muddied and discarded with no form
My mind going, my heart split into thirds
Mental distortion becomes the norm;
while greed is virtue, caring is for herds
Hating the weather,  riding the storm;
Was I blessed with this knowledge or was I cursed?
I am able to dance with the wind, but cry at the rain
Is there hope for us, or should I fear the worst?
Am I there for my family or am I their bane?

 

Bio
Adam Levon Brown is a poet residing in Eugene, Oregon. He suffers from
Schizoaffective disorder and identifies as Queer. He has two collections of poetry published with the group Creative Talents Unleashed. He has also been featured in several places including Section 8 Magazine, Leaves of Ink, and First Literary Review – East.

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Nancy Scott-McBride

CROSSING

He was my first love, a small-town boy
who taught me many things, like
how to drive a car, work a gear-shift,
and ride on the back of a motorcycle.
Mostly, he showed me how to get from
where I was to where I wanted to be.
He was wheel-crazy, and it didn’t matter to him
where he was going, just so long as he was moving.
We might have married, but went in different directions,
he into the navy, I to the big city.

Now, many years later and miles apart,
I hear he’s on his last legs, won’t see another day.
I wake in the night, try to find his spirit in the dark.
I know he’s okay, because journeys are his thing.
But maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a crossing guard at the intersection,
like the one who helped my children when they walked home from school.

MILK AND HONEY

They say we need both, girls,
in order to survive,
and what we don’t get as kids
we’ll look for all our lives.
If we didn’t know love (honey),
we’ll be fools for candy shops
and sugar daddies.
If we lacked nurturing (milk),
we’ll suck on what makes us feel alive—
pop, pot, hooch, you name it.
I’m an old broad now and haven’t
all the answers, but this I know:
If help’s to be had,
it’ll come from inside.
Somehow we must find the
Bread-of-Life,
the Manna-from-Heaven,
and feed it to ourselves
the way a mother would,
the way a mother should.

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Geosi Gyasi Debuts

DANCE FOR MOTHER

by Geosi Gyasi

Our heritage is rooted
in the hearts of our women
who through many toils & heartbreaks,
bring forth weeping babies
at the stroke of dawn when oura
men are deeply asleep.

My mother died a painful death after my birth.
The oracle of the village cast a
dice of death upon our house
that the belly of any womb
shall die at labour.

The Abusuapanyin’s attempt to
overturn the curse ended with death.
The sky turned the back of her palm
against my mother.

Even the outpouring of libations by the
fetish priest could not save her life.
She left me to a world where the sun
turned black in my eyes.

Yesterday, at the center of our compound,
I undressed & openly danced azonto to
the ghostly tunes from the cemetery,
in honour of the woman who saved
me eighteen years ago,
through her bitter death.

SOMEWHERE IN DURBAN
by Geosi Gyasi

Somewhere in Durban—
One early morning,
I arise to the snoring of ghosts.
My heart beats like thunderbolt.
I walk over the dead soil.
Skeletons sing melodious tunes
like angels in Heaven.
By midnight, the moon
rests upon the new entrants of
ghosts & assigned strange roles.
Each new day is a new story:
of bodies that perish in the street
of ghosts.
The city lives with a nightmare—
of ghosts that yell to come back to earth.
When the snowy winter sets in,
the ghosts too weary of the cold,
cower in their rotten coffins.

AS THE WORLD PLOUGHS A CRACK IN OUR HEARTS
by Geosi Gyasi

I glance through my windows
as the world ploughs a crack in our hearts.

My father runs away from home
the day mother’s illness worsens.

For months, there is scarcity
of food on the table

‘til a new man
fills the void.

My little sister frowns
to the new entrant.

Mother dips her head in the acidity of the past
& lives in the boredom of the old room

Despite how fully charged the new man
ejaculates. Oftentimes, I wonder how long

mother will continue to dwell in the past
even as her health ameliorates.

 

 

Geosi Gyasi is a book blogger, reader, writer, and interviewer. His work has appeared or forthcoming in Visual Verse, Verse-Virtual, Piker Press, Misty Review, Silver Birch, Linden Avenue, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. He is a reader for the U.S based literary magazine, Indianola and the author of the forthcoming book of interviews (2016) from Lamar University Press Books in Texas, U.S. He is the winner of the 2015 Ake/Air France Prize for Prose. He blogs at http://www.geosireads.wordpress.com”

 

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Kushal Poddar Debuts

Almost

Almost was a word I spilled
on the dinner table.
You almost had me there.
I almost kissed your mouth
and obliterated
a long sentence from my lips.

Almost, and then
we turned towards father
grabbing his heart with all his might.

Bio
Kushal Poddar, widely published in several countries, prestigious anthologies included Men In The Company of Women, Penn International MK etc, Van Gogh’s Ear, been featured amongst the poets for the month December by Tupelo Press, Vine Leaves Literary Journal’s Best of 2014 and in various radio programs in Canada and USA presently lives at Kolkata and writing poetry, fictions and scripts for short films when not engaged in his day job as a lawyer in the High Court At Calcutta and an English Language Trainer in various universities. He is editor of the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’ He authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio) and “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs). The forthcoming book is “Understanding The Neighborhood” (BRP, Australia).

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Len Kuntz

Your Spot On The Mattress 

The bed moves on its own volition
Like a slain elephant squirming away from poachers
Sometimes its sheets try to strangle
Pillows want to smother
Coiled springs search for a jugular
But there is no light in here
And the moon outside the window is shy
Or too embarrassed by my foibles
It’s been sixteen nights
A friend has recommended therapy
The neighbors cower and look away
My son says it’s not healthy it’s sick it’s not right
Yet I cling to the sheet anyway
The part with the large crimson stain
Where you once lay
I keep my voice soft and steady
Asking was it me
Tell me please
Was I the reason you did it

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Laura Zucca-Scott

Pansies

I still remember you as a child

Offering me a bouquet of pansies

Their bright yellow eyes

Hiding in a velvet touch

Of a violet dream

I placed it on the handlebars

My motorbike next to me

Red and bright as youth

Trusting and restless

As tomorrow

You seemed pleased

And just smiled

The breeze from the ocean

Tangling your hair just a little

You memory never fades

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Michael Ceraolo Debuts

Cleveland Cinquains

Creek’s edge-
in the backyard
of a suburban house
carved deer are permanently on
patrol

Fake deer
at a second
suburban residence
is unartistically posed as
a pet

Roadside-
deer’s dilemma:
to opt for death by car
or death by suicide leap from
the bridge

 

Michael Ceraolo is a 58-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had one full-length book (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press) and a few shorter-length books published, plus numerous magazine publications.

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