Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ali Znaidi


J.P. Dancing Bear


“…it seemed that the scaramouch in question had  gained a wonderful 
ascendancy over almost everybody in the
                                                —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
            Punch: What have got there, sir? In your hand?
Scaramouch:  A fiddle.
                                                —The Tragical Comedy
The sky breaks apart and of what falls,
scatters, becomes the sea, cheered on
: a fanfare of sails flapping.
You cannot remember the tail splashing
water : evaporated into a cloud :
you throw your hands up to the sky
: so certain of His work. 
Your body is clown white : your heart
: the moon rising
from the ocean’s side, wrapped
in three missing pages from your bible,
yellowing with age. 
You are God’s comedian though
only the gulls ever laugh. 
What's left to you : memories
: bread from another life :
a beaten dog : years training
the fiddle.
The waves are alive : sparkling
dark wraiths : greener than your
envy : fear whispers : crew is
creaking planks : you no longer
listen : too busy preaching : spin
the gospel : slap the cross :
book slam hand : a lapping ocean. 
Forget the stars : Callisto eyeing
the north : forget cruelty : scar
and mended bone : aching
with the change of weather.  
You are the Chosen : Messenger : 
Puppet of the pulpit.  Leave fishwives
to their gossipy shores : God still punishes
: flesh of the flesh of one apple.  Think not
of happiness : of pleasure : flog it
out of your mind : let the tempests
wash it away : you know you’ve always been
The gulls punch through cumulous
musings of the Lord : hover-cry
parablic tragedies over men :
O thrown shadow : O harlequin
: no one heeds your warning :
soon they’ll beg to repent
: throw your dagger words :
curse the captain :  his ship  

to the white, angry tongue of God


Charles Taylor


What do I know about pigs? You might ask, said Vampire. Well, I am not always in immediate need of blood—or chasing humans. My first acquaintance with pigs was on a family farm in Illinois, where the pigs kept chasing m,e wanting to sniff and playfully nip at my leather shoes.

Perhaps they picked up on some wonderful smell left over from the curing of the leather, which neither humans or vampires are able to pick up. Pigs’ noses are much longer and thicker, like dogs, and no doubt much superior at detecting odors. I had to laugh at the situation, a pack of pigs after a vampire just beginning to experience the rumblings of hunger in the belly.

Farms are generally far from the law and from prying eyes—good places for vampires to operate. Well, I didn’t get any supper that night, but I did begin my long love affair with those smart and social animals we have misnamed pigs.

I knew a pig once that lived on a lovely beach in Mexico. I have a photograph of him singing to the full moon, which he did often. Pigs are stuffed in small pens and left to defecate on themselves. A pig’s skin is highly sensitive and often lacks shade. They are forced to cover themselves in mud to protect their pink skin from horrible sunburn.

Whenever I’m working a farm, after I’ve supped, I will always set pigs free from their pens. I can see in their eyes a gratefulness, and love to watch them move into the fields under the wide stars, noses to the ground, searching out squash, cucumbers, green beans—whatever crops they can find.


The Dreams Do Come

A beast holds Poet upside down with a hand so large the creature can wrap his fingers around Poet’s two ankles. The beast is eyeballing Poet, and with a heavy machine manipulated carefully, removing, with tiny tweezers, all Poet’s eyelashes.

When the beast is done he’ll return Poet to his metal cage at Plato 666, the metal barn of steel cages where poets are stacked one on top of another. The poets can get their heads through their cages’ bars, and eat from a conveyor belt carrying scraps of meat and vegetables sweeping slowly before them.

The beasts do the eyelash plucking every six months, when the poets’ lashes have grown fully back. Still, Poet is as scared, as a child petrified by an imaginary monster under the bed. Poet doesn’t know for sure what his eyelashes get used for, but he suspects they get crushed into a light oil that’s needed for the miniature gears in Nano robots. Lashes are too small for stuffing—the elder down that’s plucked from living geese to put inside pillows.  The beasts are convinced that the eyelashes of poets make the finest oil, as a result of the poet’s sensitivity.

The poet’s worried because he does not know how long, with all the plucking, his lids will hold together to create more lashes. If they fail the poet could get chopped up and cooked up like chicken friend steak--or killed and tossed into the trash, to be buried underground to ferment into agricultural fertilizer.

On the other hand, the poet has never felt so important.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Sue Beere

A Matter of Time

Scene: The interior of a train. LIGHTS come up FULL on Woman seated next to the 

window, her hat on the seat next to her. A MAN enters.


Excuse me, but is this your hat? 


Yes, it is.


 (picking it up)

Really quite a remarkable hat. A friend of mine had a hat something like that once. She 

was a tap dancer, liked to do "Tea for Two." You know that song. It goes:

(singing and dancing)

 Picture you upon my knee

 Tea for two and two for tea

 Me for you and you for me


(moving towards her and more seriously)

 Nobody near us to see us or

 hear us

 (stops singing)

and so on. Yes. Really a most remarkable hat. I think I know where they make these. I 

think I visited the place. It was in the country. There were young girls working there. 

Sewing on the beads, making flowers. They were very young. It was hot. It was summer. 

Some had taken off their dresses and were working in their slips. I remember watching 

their soft round arms moving slowly at their work. I could see the outlines of their breasts 

through the thin cotton. They were half naked--because it was so hot you see. They were 

half naked. (Pause) Quite a voluptuous brim.


Oh, it's just a hat. It's the hat I always wear when I travel. Because if I lean my head back 

(Their eyes meet) ....

If I lean my head back against the cushions of the chair...then it's the kind of hat that 

doesn't get crushed. That is, it does get crushed but it doesn't matter if it gets crushed. 

You just puff it out again...very easily...and it goes right back to its original shape. It 

resumes its original shape.


Yes. (Pause) My hat is different . Rather expensive. Imported from Russia. So cold in 

that little town. so cold, that sometimes in the winter when there isn't any wood to make 

fires, to keep warm, the peasants--very simple people--dig holes under their houses and 

huddle there together. It's very dark, deep down there, very snug and happy and warm--

usually: But sometimes something happens between them--a man and a woman perhaps 

and then they struggle and fight and tear at each other in their frenzy. (Pause) Sometimes 

I don't wear my hat.


I see you're wearing it today.


Yes, I'm wearing it now. I wear it when want to. I want to wear it now.


Will you be coming to your stop soon? Will you be getting off?


No. No, I'll be going the whole way.


It's not very crowded, is it? The train.


No. It's less crowded than it was before. Soon there won't be anyone left-- except us, of 





No, no one left. The further on you go the less crowded it gets.


Then it's just a matter of time, isn't t?





Monday, May 19, 2014

Lynda Schor


Lanny Quarles

The High Stone Sawtooth of Double Excess

you are Mr. Fang’s lover
you, and
in the bright shower of useless days
which wends its spray from down off the mountain
Chuang Tzu's carnival honeysuckle rose
a gnarling

standing tall for sprawl
to block the path
whose face wood be
a would end tornado
the tour nadiring
around the bends
rising too fast to be scene
and save its samples
they confer
around an unholy magnet
no will confess

the many meaning one
in sicknames

what towers oft
is in the same tribe
the black sun
which the strange romantic
touched a stick to
poking it to test

are you in there
old thing
and all the old coins
have pictures on them
of that ugly old stick

which makes of repellent larvae
the beautiful forms of words
sewn deeply in the skin

thou shalt have nothing before me
thou shalt have me only
unto the end

this rare punctum
like an all devouring


John M. Bennett



blaze your name in
heridance em
blazoned in the
wind beneath your
table will a sing
le signature sta
pled was the
ash empacted
in the corners
is a sodden
frenchfry where’s
the stool your
dad’s direction w
here’s the air
connected to yr
dict ionary was a
dumpster b
urning in the alley
wet down the b lock

the real moon


back across the door

when it works the sw
eaty fork instills a
rain will worked the
faucet forked and
still the fork instills
and sp linters ,cha
sing what the arm
has re ached the wall
of cups and inches tr
embling on the tine
to go your pants in
habit was that d
irty bowl reme
mbers in the sink
the bowl the work
abandons inistilled
and stt ill

r ice .



fin por fin por
fin por fin por fin
por fin por fin por
fin por fin por fin
por fi foco n por 
fin por fin por fin
por fin por fin por
fin por fin por fin
por fin po
r fin por



the rent

flickery thru the if off
if flicker crawler’s crus
ted in flopping news was
pills and top ,off your
wheezy sleep’s was
pesantez is if ,when
off will crystalize
ligera mente was ,if
off ,the Thursday
swallows in my sing
ing c ash ,if off ,en
hancement while the
bocas estentorizadas
silenced in the street
cadáveres son ifoff
if off

b ulb b


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Felino A. Soriano

query notion clarity

gray morning, this one
gregarious in its whispering clothing,
curtain-behind the voice of its
    not yet vertical in
the awakening portion of these bodies’ abbreviated
translations . . .

why a sort of similarity to
the nakedness of a birth truly witnessed, each
sound of smile serenades the burgeoning of

of what appearance labels                           abstract

and the watchers—

they’ve music inward

                                       music’s introverted symphony    a
swing saluting rhythm

hearing, viewed-full extract
and the whole of this morning’s elongated           extending,

remember     ?


Ali Znaidi

Hymn to the Wind 


Friday, May 2, 2014

Allen Bramhall

24 Visits to the Nail Salon

The Inquisition resembles framed debate, with flowers
transmuted into toads. Toads are all right, fictions with
tongues. But we must remain cognizant that climate
change and claptrap produce farms. Why is the big

Benches of grey strokes produce futile farms. Fluency
exercises create our future. We aren't tractors, we are
men and women, perhaps a few lorn children, okay some
dogs, cats, a dolphin or two, some wax figurines, a bit of
lint, the point is, we create meaning just by standing by
as time passes and then passes again.

This is the signal moment, complete with commas. Semi-
colons mark the moment when something included could
be left out, straightway to the center of backing away.
That's why we bully children.

When not bullying children or implying immigrants or
examining our inner lint, we have the scrumptious duty
to appear focal. The farm must feed the billion openings
that may say Yes to the right No. It's a program or
problem, whatever.


produces candlestick

wainscoting in a brilliant

littoral waistcoat. Wow means

faddish brilliance, same as

children. Our best pants tell us everything.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ric Carfagna

from Symphony #10


This light 

that has gathered

is intrinsically other

forming obdurate angles

from a late afternoon sun

where the awakening eye observes 

changes in a burgeoning field 

the growth of many days

of what is felt in the heart

to be something 

other than tares 

something of substance

viscerally grasped 

an ontology of belief 

fears or fate 

or a leaf 


in a spider’s web 

a movement 

through a galaxy’s 

inner recesses 


“as if we instinctively know”

the reason finalities arise

a continuum’s quanta 

to define 

an anthropocentric logic


and is it 

enough to know 

what is unsullied 

is unmanifest 

a Gnostic forest 

lost among trees 

a path to differentiate 

signal from noise 

stalemate from semaphore 

identity from anonymity 

death from… 

And this ocean becomes 

an indeterminate factor 

a random outflow 

of occurrence 

on a landscape 

where only names survive 

and where dust follows 

a wind’s nomadic trance 

through time’s diminishing wake


and speak to this 

as a moment stolen 

from the pendulum’s swing 

from the prismatic labyrinth 

of photonic entanglement 

and from mass given 

to a consciousness unfolding 

within the immateriality of thought


and who can pierce the veil 

which occludes yet reveals 

subtle rendering of a faceless deity

the halcyon wind 

of passing angelic wing 

and a universe forming 

in the blink of an averted eye 


and now 

the moon 

at perihelion 

the burnished shadow 

of a future made present 

and of Orion’s glittery sword 

rising behind the grass-blade meadow

and the gun-metal-grey skyline’s expanse


And to not speak 

of death 

as occurring 

outside this room 

of florid wallpaper patterns 

and a glass vase 

holding a plastic rose 

where the weight of gravity 

is decay 

and the evidence surrounds 

this incontrovertible conclusion 

that blood does not flow 

from the stone god’s 

heart and limbs 

and the intimate faith 

is desolation 

calling into 

a cognitive void 

calling into 

a landscape 

set ablaze 

leaving embers 

to contemplate 

a shell 


into a corridor 

of sleep 

where revelation is 

a cresting ocean wave 

and desire is hidden 

in transcendental recesses 

untorched by human hands 


And the eye is an ocean 

“as we moved in circles 

against the tide” 

losing a focus 

blurred by weaker harmonies 

resonating beneath 

a turbulent skin 


“and we noted 

distinct features” 

losing their identity 

in the proximity 

of a canvas 

portraying an abstract landscape 


“and we recalled 

Rothco’s metaphysical vision” 

one note 

on a stave 


a celestial music 

of the spheres 

one image 


from a cognitive fog 

and one eye 


in isolation 

how the ocean moves 

in cyclical pulsations 

refusing to be contained 

by one species 

seeking order 

or by one mind 

which ebbs and flows 


across a windless strand 

Interlude III 

Time exists 

as a primordial abstraction 

present in the cellular structures 

which materialize 

as a physical world 


and the sea 

brings life 

through an open doorway 

brings perception 

through time 

leaving spaces 

where dust collects 

in rooms of small hours 

where ghosted appendages 

trace polygons 

on a glazed pane 


and winter is 

what is 

left behind 

the fragments 

of a sculpture destroyed 

a perspective 

through a bricked up window 

and pages torn 

from a book of days 


And she sleeps 

in a cloistered room’s 

intimate enclosure 

a shaft of sunlight 

moving across 

an ocean 

at dawn 

a sparrow 

in a hedgerow 

and the spiral geometries 

of fractal time waves 

hidden in corners 

and unfathomed by the eye 

and she wakes 

from her dream 

to an insular expanse 

peopled with gelatinized wraiths 

and nameless faces 

martyred torsos 

lying beside 

the iron cathedral’s gate 

and a song thrush 

preening itself 

on the prow of a barque 

littered with 

moldering autumn leaves 


and there are shadows 

of what is not 

left behind 

residual debris 

coiffed from a collective memory’s 

primordial wreckage 

weeds in a field of lilies 

reflecting the sun 

on a north facing slope 

the silent ending of many lives 

hidden by lunar penumbral drift 

and sentient breath drawn through 

dimensional curvatures in lifeless space 


and she wakes 

from her dream 

recognizing a self 

as a terminal entity 

abandoned to a nomadic anonymity 

a mirror’s blank stare 

and the disembodied dead 


as voiceless gods 

passing from sight 

and returning to dust 


“And we observed” 

where the scars formed 

and understood 

how the eye is 

the maker of illusion 

and how the day follows 

like numbers 

removed from an equation 


“and we saw the flower’s bloom” 

desiccated and 

black with age 

sag and drop 

from its spindly limb 

and the wind 

morphing the surface 

of the vernal pool 


“and the apparent illusion 

in all external motion 

giving rise to the internal 


that essence exists 

apart from an ontological entity 

determining its being” 


and at mid-day 

the eye follows 

 light through an aperture 

each photon 

a distinct act 

of inarticulate will 


“and some muse” 

that a higher power 


all things physical 

yet stands 


in impermeable distance 


“and some formulate” 

the outcome 

as discrete variables 

in an indeterminate equation 


“and we observed” 

 how the wounds heal 

and scars form 

“and we interpreted” 

what is before 

the eye 

as mere shadow 

casting what is 

isolated and abandoned 

on the rising tides of deeper seas