Friday, August 30, 2019

Two Poems by Sam Silva


The brain floats away
on flute and guitar jazz riffs.
Summer stillness wafts!

Keep being mindful
of the egg in your skull case!
Beautiful thoughts hang!

Do not be fooled then!,
Summer is a distraction.
Dishes lie unwashed.


Those pagan sprites of legend
once fleshly and alive
in their pure passion
full of the fornication of the sky
with muddy clay creation.

Now they lie down dead
or worse than dead
in a Hell made for angels

and those of us with a spark
have fallowed them also
down to ash
and wind-blown dust!

Sam Silva has published at least 150 poems in print magazines, including Sow's Ear, The ECU Rebel, Pembroke magazine, Samisdat, St. Andrew's Review, Charlotte Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, and many more. Has published at least 300 poems in online journals including Jack Magazine, Comrades, Megaera, Poetry Super Highway, physik garden, Ken again, -30-, Fairfield Review, Foliate oak, and dozens of others. Three legitimate small presses have published chapbooks of his, three of those presses have nominated work of his for Pushcart a total of 7 times. He now has many books and chapbooks available at most major online bookstores and his spoken word poetry is available at the major digital markets such as Apple iTunes.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Two Poems by Laurie Koensgen


I know that is the moon
and not your lambent absence
but you’re everywhere tonight.

You’re reclining in this room.
You’re the loom on which my senses
weave their synesthesia.

You’re a figment of my body.
You enfold me like a sun-
spun shawl that no one sees.

They only feel the warmth
that radiates, from you,

through me.

Laurie Koensgen’s poems have appeared in Literary Review of Canada, Arc Poetry Magazine, In/Words, Barren Magazine, Juniper: A Poetry Journal, Ottawater, Burning House Press, Kissing Dynamite, and elsewhere. She was shortlisted for The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry 2018 and received the Honourable Mention in Arc’s 2018 Diana Brebner Prize. Laurie is a founding member of Ottawa’s Ruby Tuesdays poetry collective.  

Friday, August 23, 2019

Two Poems by Andrew Reiff

The Boom

Everything I say is true.
I sit in front or in the back pew
among the heavy smokers and their beer carts.
My feet hurt but it has all happened as said, not imagined,
where the back of the hair is parted,
 And locks change color among the forgiveness.
 Large people, flowers, people with headaches,
aspirins for a rough week, volumes of Hopkins speak,
there will be eight, there will be light.

Passion stands up for thanksgiving.
Its name notwithstanding well known.
 Take a picture today, but it is not my name I came to sing.
 Trees grow in the window glass.
 Silence grows too. Collections are quiet.
 Nobody wears a coat
I get in trouble sitting at the back with the smokers’
fantasies of life lived happily after nosebleeds
when people hold hands.

Andrew Reiff is involved in the likeness of the native and the captive, one of the early degrees of surfactant hydrocarbon reduction. He has published “Angel Standing in the Sun” in Penny’s Poetry Blog.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Two Poems by Michael Lee Rattigan


Rock-scraping closeness    to miracle    carried from home   
unlettered blessing    in faith's    slow-breathing current
that breaks     through unplugable breach    new beginning’s      

mortal descent    not fallen away    from arms   
sonic boom's silent force    helped by hope-labouring
breath broken    by water's force   

welcome    from no verbal root    explodes   
through every nerve    on musical string    of suns   
backward glance    unstayed by compassion

torn knees lightened    by final entry   
swooping beside bank    to counterpointed breath's   
exact leading    blurred sight's legible joy    given

promise to granted thanks    chance-unfailing algorithm
longing ache    deep mouth-counting holes
in undiminished wait    sun’s cordial scent

non-physically determined departure    taken owl-instructed
steps    call of unfurled blossom    seen   
before as tree    growing by growth   

with untrimmed grief    gifted only to all   
in confirmation     of neutral difference    ripples   
born from overpowering urge    stand by   

hidden support    on day's crushing conception
exceeding strength to bear    alpine blossom
inheres to sight    what it is   

dropped now    from each age    between the shoeless      
remembered    through all we are    unfathomable effort   
to catch air    fidelity to life    unseen. 


Answering likeness of welcome                                                       
withdrawing from loss
comforted in fear   
a storm's deeper tone        
holding out peace                            
unknown in birth

taken step    
bidding goodbye in advance             
to scent of self       
immediate sign
accepting the here of hereafter                      
a hundred times   

the yellow rose's early bloom                                                            
spanning a day made known                                              
to other eyes

all that is given away                                                                                                                                  
within the self  
into the heart
a hoped-for repetition      
footing the sky at dusk.

Michael Lee Rattigan is a poet and translator based in Caterham, Surrey (UK). He has translated the complete collection of Fernando Pessoa's Alberto Caeiro poems (Rufus Books, 2007). His poetry collection Liminal was published in 2012 (Rufus Books). His latest collection Hiraeth was published alongside its French translation in 2016 (Black Herald Press). 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

To Be Born Everyday: In Conversation with Rus Khomutoff


DCW: Your latest chapbook, Radia, was released earlier this year, in June; I am hoping you could break down portions of the book, for a prospective reader. What has the reception been like?

RK: It has been a delight!....Placing the emphasis on the elusive, tangential and abstract, the poems in Radia came from a place mystic Osho called the ‘no mind’, a kaleidoscopic collage so to speak. Most of the poems in Radia were written at night-they are seeped in nocturnal stillness. The earliest poem in the book was written in January, it was the dedication to Scott Weiland. I even thought about another project centered on this poem with Kristopher Biernatsky of Dink Press. Undertow was another early poem that set the tone of Radia. I posted it to my blog at Authors database, and it got a healthy reaction. At the time I was reading a lot of experimental writing, and one day I discovered Louis Armand’s Menudo, this book breathed new life into me-especially the fragmentary nature of its narrative. I dedicated a poem to Armand! Jackson Pollock was a huge influence in writing Radia, my words are applied in the same way Pollock painted. Another poem I am really proud of is Imminent connoisseur of heaven & abysses. It is dedicated to French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard, whose latest film Image Book startled me! Another special poem for me is my collaboration with the late Felino A. Soriano, who you also knew.  The influence of poets like Ric Carfagna, Jukka- Pekka Kervinen and Peter Ganick on me is immeasurable. The book has been very well received by people. I have people who live in France and Australia who have bought Radia

DCW: What brings you to poetry?

RK: It’s been quite a journey really! I only started thinking about poetry in 2015. I had a near death experience earlier that year, it was when I returned home from the hospital a voice urged me to write!

DCW: So far, you’ve released 2 books of poetry in as many years. What do you do to stay motivated, to keep writing, to keep working? What inspires you these days?

RK: I’ve been blessed….I never expected to be an author! Immaculate Days was first published as an ebook on Smashwords. I discovered Alien Buddha Press from Felino A. Soriano! Radia was a tad easier. I published several poems in Void Front Press’s zine Explaining death to children, after that James Harris the head of Void Front Press asked if I was interested in putting together a chapbook, naturally I said yes. Many things inspire me: Art, music, news, a beautiful concoction of everything. I draw inspiration from the askew, occult and paranormal- a kind of unauthorized reality

DCW: Do you believe in the muse? What are your ideas of the muse?

RK: Strongly!

Oftentimes there’s a charge propelling my words that’s hard to explain. That’s when the writing is raw and palpable. I love this Osho quote:

The really creative person is not interested in dominating anybody. He is so utterly rejoicing in life — he wants to create, he wants to participate with God. Creativity is prayer. And whenever you create something, in those moments you are with God, you walk with God, you live in God. The more creative you are the more divine you are. To me, creativity is religion. Art is just the entrance to the temple of religion.

I have a line in one of my poems “I forced myself to be born everyday.” This is basically my motto.

Rus Khomutoff is an experimental language poet based in Brooklyn, NY. Poetry has appeared in San Francisco Review of Books, Proprose Magazine, Mojave Heart Review and Hypnopomp. In 2018, Immaculate Days (Alien Buddha Press) was published. In 2019, Radia was published by Void Front Press.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Empire of the Fireflies by Lauren Scharhag

Spring now:
the great pulse and push,
bulbs thrusting upwards
at their earthen ceilings,
stalks raw and cut-looking,
gasping at the sky.
Buds burst forth,
painfully wet and green
as exposed nerve endings,
still clenching secrets,
like modesty,
of petal and leaf.
Thawed pond, where koi
shy away, in the throes
of hibernation hangover,
from the hand that
scatters the feed pellets.
Songbirds screech,
all insistence,
quickening tempo,
soaring rush, all haste
toward their mate and
blind, pink children
quivering in a nest
of shell and reeds,
needy maws.
Want begets want.
Wanderlust surges
like sap, overflowing,
seeping from bark,
a sticky tide that sweeps
thoughts away
from the mundane
and onto the lilac paths,
airborne, where dog-star nights
and trenchant heat await.
Sloe-colored dusk. Fireflies.
Like eyelids, like empires,
they fall and rise
and fall again.

Lauren Scharhag is the author of eleven books, including West Side Girl & Other Poems and Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 literary venues around the world. She is the recipient of the Door is a Jar Award and the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry, as well as a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit:

Monday, August 12, 2019

Three Poems by Sanjeev Sethi


Bleep from catenation of calls is for errand boys.
Water of Pierian Spring wets when silence prevails.
Nurse of nothingness sustains and splays dispatches
from concealed wellsprings by cleansing pulverulent 
knobs as blueprints mount up. Corybantic music takes 
me away from myself. I solicit notions of nihility 
to scrive. In textures of my palm eidetic storms lose
their way, soldiers begin to sing, calm gets a new text.


Honeyed words take you nowhere.
You allow them to enter and they
eat you up. I am well-versed with
pretty speeches and snow jobs. This
time I didn’t truckle to exaggerated
arcs and eyewash: foreboding is my
default position. That is the good
thing about experience. It guards
your gyre.

Wishes and Wants

I wish to hold you in my hand.
Will happiness reintroduce itself?

Let the power in your palm lull me.
Will the acuteness of your breath
sanctify my unbeliefs?

I’m tired of togs. In our atelier
let nakedness be the new dress.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). He is published in more than 25 countries. Recent credits: Talking Writing, Packingtown Review, Abstract Magazine, PCC Inscape Magazine, The Sandy River Review, The Piker Press The Sunday Tribune, Fixator Press, The Poetry Village, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Two Pieces by Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Equation: A Conversation

~ - :
= ?

< > +/- (?) =

* @ [  ] =

(∞ )

*Editor's note: 'Equation: a Conversation' will appear in the forthcoming Maximum Tilt anthology.

Marian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988),  a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and  two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often embeds the  topics of peace and violence by addressing one within the context of the other. A resident of Lexington, she is a five-time Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Three Poems by Philip Kobylarz

Strike Here

Home-coming. Leave taking. That place, again to and from, where lights scintillate,
                                                                                                et cetera, with no
where like the smell of baked bread. How predictable traffic is, obeying false stars.
                                                                                                Money, brightly colored;
stain left by lawns too much watered. Time resists its table, whereas wind knows
                                                                                                what to do with matches.


Scribe. With a name known only to himself. Waits to pen letters to friends in Tunisia
                                                                                                Algiers, Morocco, or
Amsterdam. Writing to family, we scribble thumbnail sketches of ourselves, or who
                                                                                                we remember startled us
this morning in the mirror. Hindsight is 20/20, and rearviews are reserved for blurs.


Forever and the time it took to return. Walking a plank, weather underneath is the same. Smells of salt,
                                                                                                            mermaid foam. Call it
a day with teaspoons of regret and honey. As detritus is detrimental to one's health, hillocks
                                                                                                            fade into sea. Placidity
twirls its thumbs. Flowers begin to flower, not knowing the month. Sundays, all in a row. To
                                                                                                            speak is to beach comb

Philip Kobylarz is a teacher and writer of fiction, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has worked as a
journalist and film critic for newspapers in Memphis, TN. His work appears in such publications as 
Paris Review, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry series. He is the author of a book of poems 
concerning life in the south of France and a short story collection titled Now Leaving Nowheresville. 
His creative non-fiction collection All Roads Lead from Massilia is forthcoming from Everytime Press 
of Adelaide, Australia and he has a collection forthcoming from Brooklyn’s Lit Riot Press titled 
A Miscellany of Diverse Things. More at:

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Three Pieces by Mark Young

geographies: Gladstone



Mark Young lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, & has been publishing poetry since 1959. He is the author of around fifty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, & art history. His work has been widely anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. His most recent books are les échiquiers effrontés, a collection of surrealist visual poems laid out on chessboard grids, published by Luna Bisonte Prods; The Word Factory: a miscellany, from gradient books of Finland; The Perfume of The Abyss from Moria Books; & A Vicarious Life — the backing tracks from otata.

He is the editor of Otoliths.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Two Poems by Paul Robert Mullen


the final act of parting

is not so different to how it started

anticipation                 waiting for intervention

the first / last contact              eyes

            smile               touch

first / last consummation of something

parting                         escape or desecration

                        or both


the sea spreading out

distant olive silk

            but it took him           

and so it is the beast

home is not a poster with your face

            your age          your height & weight

missing since  . . .

volunteers crunching razor shells

backdrops of grey-blue

pennines                      like God      
distant / massive


high-viz theories         roadside cafes

                        must be gay

loner perhaps              stressed at college

            bullied by the fuckers       
crazy /  irrational                   accident?

toast arriving              runny egg

slurping bitter coffee with dishcloth tang

Paul Robert Mullen is a poet, musician and sociable loner from Liverpool, U.K. He has three published poetry collections: curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018). He has been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies worldwide. Paul also enjoys paperbacks with broken spines, and all things minimalist.