Monday, October 28, 2019

The Deserter by hiromi suzuki

Roses in desert;
Blossoms colored in yellow, red, orange
Have thick stems such as tree trunks
Thorns like the knives hidden in a dry well

Deserter with bird cage in his hand;
There is no choice to drink something but vodka
He is dreaming of catwalk show in fireworks
New Year celebrations throughout the world

The catwalk show models are roses;
Dresses made of chiffon, silk, organza
Rotate the beauties in kaleidoscope on runways
Mirror reflects the knives cutting off the flames

Words to spill out of roses' lips;
Petals colored with lithium, barium, strontium
The deserter empties the bird cage and his
Pocket full of sand     to

Fly   away      to

Free space

hiromi suzuki is a poet, fiction writer and artist living in Tokyo, Japan. She is the author of Ms. cried - 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (Kisaragi Publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018), INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018), Andante (AngelHousePress, 2019). Her works have been published internationally in poetry journals, literary journals and anthologies.

Friday, October 25, 2019

ATLANTIS by Oriana Ivy

In the Eye of Silence by Max Ernst

We’re wreathed in robes of seaweed,
air bladders’ amber beads,
the hood of water
over the face of things.

Fish weave in rainbow veils.
Kelp sways like soundless bells.
we cannot tell one day
from a thousand years.

Here are our amulets, good-luck
crystals, diadems and crowns.
Here tilts the headless
statue of our god,

Lord of Mercy in whose name
we killed. Mudworm burrows
in the marble palaces.
Our purses fill up with silt.

We remember pine forests,
resin scent of the wind.
We remember having held
someone’s hand.

This glitter on the waves
like bent echoes,
those are our last words:
Hold hands. Hold hands.

Oriana Ivy was born in Poland, and came to this country when she was 17.  Her poems, essays, book reviews, and translations include Poetry, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, Nimrod, Spoon River Review, The Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review, and many others. She’s the prize winning author of the chapbooks April Snow (Finishing Line Press) and From a New World (Paper Nautilus), and has a new one, How to Jump from a Moving Train, forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. A former journalist and community college instructor, she leads the online Poetry Salon and writes a poetry-and-culture blog.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Two Poems by John Guzlowski

On My 64th Birthday I Think of Dostoevsky

He had no 64th birthday, his death
put a stop to that—a late winter’s day,
a dropped pen holder he couldn’t pick up,
an argument over payment for some work,

the usual trivia triggering the blood
spilling out of his lungs, into his throat
and mouth, his wife Anna screaming,
pleading with him to stop the red tide

vomiting past his teeth and lips, but how
could he?  He knew what he knew. 
There is no cure for death.
It stopped when it was ready to stop. 

And then there was just her weeping
begging for some hope, some words
that would tell her he was still there
gaining his strength in the darkness.

At a Conference on “The Road and the City:
Mobility and Stasis in the Twentieth Century”

Somebody reads a paper about Primo Levi,
The Holocaust as just another road trip:
The dying road of the cattle cars and rail lines
That led to Auschwitz, the dead city of the 20th
Century where everything we learn about freedom
Vanishes in snow and pain and gray smoke;

And he tells us Levi’s death on the stairs
In Turin, his suicide’s hands reaching
Like the wings of a phoenix for the sky,
Pays homage as only a great artist can
To James Joyce’s dream of Dedalus’s flight
Into a world beyond the poor Mick’s world
Of bogs and lime and ice-forming crystals
On the graves of all those who don’t seek
The road that leads to the final city we dream of.

And I turn away into silence, to my own graves,
Those of my father and mother who came
With nothing and left with nothing, watched
Their roads disappear like the smoke from the bodies
Left in the roads and on the sides of the roads
By those who drove past in armored cars and tanks
Heading for the Holy City on the Hill
Where their own graves waited for them like
Children hungry for their mother’s touch
And the happy sound of their father’s voice.

John Guzlowski's writing appears in Rattle, North American Review, and other journals.  Echoes of Tattered Tongues, his memoir about his parents’ experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany, won the Benjamin Franklin Poetry Award and the Eric Hoffer/Montaigne Award.  He is the author of three novels and a columnist for the Dziennik Zwiazkowy. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

6.0 by Daniel Y. Harris

disallow purity with neuromodulators,
ion channels, epoxy oxygen,
genome omens, below a tedious umlaut. Interpretosis,  
with its faciality, rites lack. Half Hyksos, half Mongol, repairs
            Christ’s tunic for the nine dark calends gone.
Starve macron, breve ribs when frailty takes toll,
dispatch stibnite (Latin: lapis philosophorum). Thanks
kinescopic mesoentax. Stride out the ninth
module (which is just below the sixth).
            Ricochet the semtex (“rabot”): discomfiture’s
ebb and flow, demophobia. The convex mirror
in van Eyck’s Arnolfini Wedding reflects a JAIL THREAT
00/05/2004,x86,win32 substitutes Hamlet for Alceste.
Not a thing-in-itself, but rather as a compounded unity,
comeuppance, implanted in vitro in host mothers.
(Scholium BLT on Iliad II.27=21B32). Score pedantic points
with the Übertragung, the transferre, the crossing over, back
            and forth. Curb head. Sieg it up, Bobby Wheelock. 
Delta 87. [SL 2004 IRL] Let a1, · · · , an be positive real numbers,
n > 1. In the crowd, tutelage agents collect refuse, build
            cairns, inhumate or aspirate on ε in the word ‘εν.
Dentition [… ] exceeds elysium, in bliss, the nominalist curve
cuts zygotic. Declare szenery, blots out pauses and upbears
insensate systems. Order = disorder; I= not-I; affirmation
            = negation: Kohanim offer the Priestly Benediction:
(Nu. 6: 24-26), the ‘anti-demonic psalm’ (Ps. 91), Lev. 26:42,
Ezek. 45:12, Deut. 11:12, Is. 62:4, Is. 45:18, Ps. 85:2, Ps. 67:2,
            Deut. 28:8. “Blurb on!”—slurp on, Anna Phylactic’s
progress from farce has its symbolacric arena, (e.g. zombie
SS super-soldiers). Here’s a usurer’s rerun in disavowal’s

Daniel Y. Harris is the author of numerous collections of xperimental writing. His individual collections include The Tryst of Thetica Zorg (BlazeVOX, 2018), Volume II of his Posthuman Series, The Rapture of Eddy Daemon (BlazeVOX, 2016), Volume I of his Posthuman Series, The Underworld of Lesser Degrees (NYQ Books, 2015) and Hyperlinks of Anxiety (Červená Barva Press, 2013). His xperimental writing and sauvage art have been published in BlazeVOX, The Denver Quarterly, European Judaism, Exquisite Corpse, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Stride. He holds an M.Div from The University of Chicago and is Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of X-Peri. His website is

Monday, October 14, 2019

Two Poems by Miggy Angel

The Portal

Day, and its falling through
itself. Trailing the legion particles
of morning, uncountable

tentacles of noontime. London,
transmutation in moon-blue.
Stone transistor broadcasting

alchemical spells, and you
its loyal receptacle. Curriculum
of metropolitan delirium

in bruise-hue at hound hour.
Studious, observe in abeyance
this detritus syllabus. Pupil

with pupils ablaze, kindling
like tulips. Death and its
diaphanous trick. From the vault

came a voice, no mouth. Spoken
lexicon of light. Sapphire
hieroglyphs, phosphorous

hexagons crown conurbation
in cyan. Eyes, opals.
Portals, open. Listen.


Sleep is a pristine state. Hypodermic lamb
leaping the gate of the skin. Love
is a phantom limb, always
itching. The tenements attuned

our antennae to the testimonies
of the territory. Borough was a bow
for the arrow of childhood.
No gauze for the lost cause

of your days. Saliva mirrors
quicksilver. When you open the home
of torso, or so they say, organs
resemble almonds adorning

the abattoir floor. Past ultraviolet
walk far enough into darkness, until
your body is enveloped in night, and
          you will never be photographed again. 

Miggy Angel is the author of the poetry collections Grime Kerbstone Psalms, published by Celandor Books - Extreme Violets, published by Hi Vis Press - and Boy, Bestiary forthcoming from Ice Floe Press in Autumn 2019. Miggy is the editor and founder of Burning House Press. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Rare Earths by Dave Shortt

deeper into the interior,
vanishing exclusive rights & claims
on my darling Clementine's mind,
her 'spiritual shareholdings'
bamboozled by primal hordes
quietly flowing in superundercurrents of consumer plunder, of
googles of evolving visions in recreation

raw promethium victories over national armies
are swapped on the market
disguised variedly as 'free'
in integrations of creation's Bluechip
moving between desirous technopop chart peaks proving
funk disaster avoided, CD warehouses left dry
& heated

this was the scandium idea:
develop everyone's deepest internal lode
of egolessness-expertise,
a theory of richesse in universal application
convulsing the standard of living throughout belt-tightened dockyards,
recalling unscientific polemic of saints,
causing trembling in animus prophecies cast down
from cooling towers of fission salvation

to each then his own experience
of the atoms' Poverty, till nothing's
recovered from the cavernous mineshaft
leading down beneath 'great things,'
beneath innocent dark roots of trees,
& kiss from then on
every bit of venture capital goodbye,
even what surfaced as a ringtone
embedded in an abundant supply of friends,
who were changed to mythless strangers:
loved ones: strangers:
loved ones: strangers:
flickering on & off around the clock (in radioactivity),
angstrom'd colors black-lit with angst

meanwhile one G20 goal was to put a yin landscape into space,
where yuan geology & new disneyfied avatars
would attract tourism of a shrinking point of view:
while haves & have-nots might sleep
with phobias stuffed into their pockets
with their childhood tors if they're lucky

'more abstraction,' more abstraction
is talked about, like
'beautiful w*m*n'  still coming from inside the earth?
the close-packing laser gazes
& 'hard-to-get' magnetic attractions
that come to critique the polarity
of 'm*n's creations'?
(as a few chemists arrive to interview per usual
the unsmelted & unstable love-at-first-sight
in advance of being handled & crushed)

did weathered Frigg & Odin
leave them as concessions to human invention
in a birch-covered archipelago
when the gods disappeared into tailings?
when finally earth's bloodletting instinct suffocated,
down below?

earth, picked apart scientifically into give-&-takes,
original creature comforts, therapeutic blood draws,
unified redemptive clots,
(like reincarnated myths)
partially encrypted in shell 4f:
where once upon a time,
donor plasma gets squashed?
lumps of aerospace get strewn?
along a road leading to another vestige
of habitable-planet luxuriance?

Dave Shortt is a longtime writer (from the USA) whose work has appeared over the years in a number of print & electronic literary-type venues, including The Ekphrastic Review.  More of his poems can be found in recent or archived issues of Blaze Vox, Blackbox Manifold, Ygdrasil, Peculiar Mormyrid & the print anthology Emanations: Chorus Pleiades. Silver Pinion published two of his poems earlier this year, & another was posted this summer in Amethyst Review.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Two Poems by Charlie Becker

After Rilke

My own life timid
standing high and growing,
my own quiet and breathless
the song of summer birds
in tune with church carillons,
round and solid
everyday stronger
like the oldest redwoods
at the height of June,
my own,
opening its eyes
smiling from the corneas,
sure of itself
and what it has become,
the next moment
being a star
holding onto sunlight
jumped from silver to setting
and used for a galaxy
that has never been so visible.         

When We Sleep

Winter nights
I lie
in bed 
and wait
for rain,
something I seem
to want
more and more,
its quiet empathy
from frivolous snow
or a perfect cloudless sky
more internal
less transient
and I listen
for the space
between drops
so in the morning
there might be
song sparrows.

Charlie Becker is a retired speech and language specialist who continues to bring poetry to under-served high school students in Los Angeles through the Living Writers Series. Charlie uses poems from his book, Friends My Poems Gave Me, published by World Stage press in 2016, to inform and sensitize his students to issues confronting marginalized LGBT-Q seniors and disabled seniors, as well. Charlie has been part of a writing group, which meets on the University of Southern California Campus, called the Community Literature Initiative (CLI), for the past six years. Some of his poems have been published in Rush Magazine (Mount St. Mary’s University Press, 2018), Passager Books Poetry Contest (Honorable Mention, 2018), Extreme: An Anthology for Social and Environmental Justice (2018), and The Dandelion Review (2019). 
Charlie lives in West Hollywood, California.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Three Poems by James Cagney


1.         Think of yourself a medical specialist, puzzling how to diagnose a machine's stubborn silence.
2.         Dip the doughnut of your torque converter into a steaming cup of black oil. Stainless steel                 carbide bologna sandwiches. Fan belt licorice.
3.         A bowl of lug nuts bubble the red milk of transmission fluid like tadpoles. Brackets and                     spark plugs breach the greasy cookie jars on your automotive spice shelf.
4.         Examine your patient through a stethoscopic sheet of Marlboro smoke, an x-ray on a                          light-board. Translate the fevered gibberish of an engine in idle.
5.         Let the sun pause before your workshop and hang stars above the door. Ignore the son                       and its failing starter. Consider you might be a better god over a fickle society of steel. Know                   how to put them in their place.
6.         Give yourself a fuel treatment. Lunch of bourbon on kerosene rocks. Brake Fluid ice                         cream. Backfire of kick-started beer cans spewing.
7.         Witchdoctor with a ratcheting wrench through your nose – Your ignited blue hands                           assemble metallic dreams.
8.         There is no better mattress than cardboard on a sidewalk or
           driveway Rorschach
patterned in oil, a crunch of sand sprinkled as before a tap-dancer.  Your wife and son know this,                  too… Stranded on the porch,
watching you,
ready to run.


A dead satellite in a room
with children bouncing like atoms
off the walls.   They are faceless,
sweaty & every storm-based verb.
I corral them before the television—
an antique microwave cooking
colorless cartoons.  As the constellation
of them settle, I move to the next room & see it.

The ceramic planter which held
a tittering ficus
had been kicked into slices.
This sight weakens me.
I pull shards from the black
custard soil as if harvesting tombstones.
I caress the roots squiggling
in my fingers, the hand of a dying grandparent—
my heart cursing, pouring itself empty
thru disbelieving eyes.

& to think I was a hero once.

I followed a pack of thieves
hiding in a darkness unnamed by science,
yet I could still see them—
& felt sorry for them
as I levitated above the yard.
The stitching in my palms itched
emitting ophidian beams of flame
igniting every wet, incombustible
thing, synthesizing everything else
to greasy ash.

            I could not be defeated.
I was so alone.

Look at me now.
Stacking broken pottery,
pawing through soil as hissing
tears drop like dead moths.
Only a ______ can be bested
& crushed within by indifferent


milky floral buds

snap open
traps broken

pistil pores pop
pushing out

a porridge of sautéed cells,
melted to malted—

globules of grease
molded to the body

sends me further
down the street

than I'd ever gone before

dizzy               with questions
unspeakable, unanswerable

my brains compass
a helicopter
of dandelion
petals               /          spinning

over estates of skin

boiling in upheaval
            itch of cascading petals

primer of tongues’       tickling touch

tearing like a lucid dream animal

through the black chaparral

James Cagney is a poet from Oakland, Ca. He has appeared at venues in throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Vancouver, and Mumbai. He was profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle and on His first book, Black Steel Magnolias In The Hour Of Chaos Theory, is available now from More of James' writing can be found at