Poetry and an essay from Mahbub

Poet Mahbub, a South Asian man with dark hair and glasses and a suit and tie
Poet Mahbub

The Sad Morning of 15 August at Dhanmondi 32 Number House

As the water flows, you are shining in the mind of the people
The Banglalees will remember you forever and ever
You are twinkling in the darkness of night
Where there is no shade of exploitation and torture of Pakistanis
Your name always floats in the air by the singing birds, in the tune of flute
Wherever we go in the world-
Your love for the people, the bounty of heart always opens the page 
What a patriotic feeling you paid for the nation!
Standing on the Padma barrage I look over the sky -land- water-green trees and fields
How the barrage protect the people of the riverside village!
Though the mainstream of the river has turned back to the other side 
The role you played for the country
Made free all people from the bondage  
The nation enjoys the scent of the tuberoses at the moonlit night
But my heart sinks into the depth 
When the clock strikes on the 15 August of 1971
The misleading soldiers attacked house numder-32 at Dhanmondi in Dhaka
Where Bangabandhu lived with his family members
And the petals of the roses fell down to the ground
It was raining early in the morning - all vanished. 

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

The 7 March Speech of Bangabandhu 
(On the death Anniversary of the father of nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman)

The historic time was 7 March of 1971, at Suhrawardy Udyan, Dhaka
A poet of politics stood on the stage and started his speech ----
Always reflects in mind ------
"This struggle --- struggle for freedom
This struggle ------struggle for independence
Joy Bangla"
With this slogan the speech came to end
The whole nation got ready to fight against Pakistan
Now this sound is not common at all 
It has got the honor getting enlisted as one of the world's best speeches by UNICEF
This speech vibrates our blood for unification as Banglalees - generation after generation
Tears drop down with respect and honor
Our Great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Have you heard the news of your 7 March speech for world's recognition?
We know you will never respond 
You are in such a world that no news will reach you --good or bad
But you are always as bright as the sun removing the darkness of night
Though you were shot by some derailed Banglee soldiers at the early morning of 15 August, 1975  
A barbaric death occurred by killing all the members of Dhanmondi 32 number house 
Except Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana living in Germany then
The little baby, Sheikh Rassel - his crying prayer to live - did not touch the miscreants' heart
We know you did have a great belief on every Bangalee
So instead of living Bangabhaban you liked to live at Dhanmondi 32 number house
In the liberation period Paki Government could not have the courage to give you death penalty  
Your popularity among the people of the then East Pakistan kept you in such a secured place 
Unity is strong, - they knew it
But after four years of independence the Bangalee wicked conspired and killed you
What they did they lose? They shot him like the ancient mariner killing the Albatross
This killing crime can't have any other way for salvation 
It snatches away mental and physical fitness for breaking the law of conscience 
As we see Lady Macbeth passing her sleepless nights always seeing blood of Duncan in her hand
And Macbeth hallucinates the murder weapons, 
"Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand." 
This is nature fixed like the software in the system of body
Breaking once, it does not work any more
They have killed you but not the nation
You are always flowing in every touch of wind  
You are living in every Bangalee's heart
May your soul rest in heavenly peace 
We all pray for you on this anniversary of death, 15 August, 2022.

Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh

                                          Beautiful Nature in Life
           The sun is reflecting on the water of the pond. How sweet the scent of the roses! The colors of the dew drops spark in my eyes. Today after many years when I am standing on the stage to play the role, there are two things always floating on the surface of mind to go in this world; the sights of roses and the sights of the burning red iron. I can recollect here ‘Songs of Innocence and of Experience’ by William Blake. Blake saw the lambs as the innocent picture of life. At our childhood we all are innocent like the lambs grazing in the field. At that time we all bloom like fresh flowers on the branches of the trees. On the other hand, when we grow up day by day and started to get experienced, we become tigers. Though tigers have no power to resist their rage, they crave for the lump of meat. By experiencing day by day the world seems to be hard.  Hard realities make our heart rude and crude. Then we rush to the beauty of nature. So many flowers, so many green leaves, waters, so many birds are there around us to look for. 

          When I see the various types of birds with their different colors, sizes and voices over my head from trees to trees, I get fully lost finding peace and happiness in mind. Their voice and color, their love nature between each other, their collection of food and shelter, always reflects on our life. Not only they please us but they teach us also in so different ways. Their struggle for life and ways of life are very regular to follow in our practical world. 

          At the age of twelve, I bought a pigeon from a market. I made a wooden room for it to live. After some days I bought another female one to make them live in harmony. It’s beyond my capacity to express my joy with them I passed through. Whenever I would go near the first one, it started calling, ‘Bak Bakum Bak’, with round motion raising the throat circling around and placing the deep dark and blue eyes on mine. Its dark blue eyes, grey feathers and strong sweet note of voice always enchanted me.

One day at evening I saw that my hearty pigeon, my loving caller had not reached. All other pigeons came back from fields and the only that did not reach. I totally lost my heart and I could not understand what I should do. In this way one day, two days went by. But it did not come back. I did not know how I tolerate this absence of that pigeon. There were many other pigeons. But only for this lost one, my total arrangement appeared to be empty and hollow. After that one voice said from above, ‘Wait and you can see the pigeon if it survives.’ 

Then with courage in my heart I thought I had to have patience and it must come to me back. Then one day after forty days suddenly the pigeon was seen to call with its past glory of voice in the morning on the roof of our cooking room. I saw and observe whether the pigeon was mine or not. O no, there was no wrong between the connection of the bird and me. What a touch of love! I overwhelmed with joy. I saw that the feathers of the pigeon were cut. But they grew again, small but able to fly and at last flew away to me. It’s called beauty of love. Nobody can stop the flow of love that has already been built up. Nobody can snatch away one’s glory of beauty without causing death. After so many days when I feel very lonely I think of the beauty of the bird and the flowers where I regain my beauty and love in heart.   
It was early in the morning we reached the Kuakata sea-beach.  After getting down from the bus we rushed to the spot from where we could see the sun rise. We looked at the horizon where water and sky had already been mixed. The sun was rising and thousands of people were standing there waiting for sunrise. What a nice scenery the sunrise was! The sun was, as it were rising from the water of the sea. After some time we went through the sandy area to see the red scorpions. They were playing hide and sick in the morning soft sun light on the sand. How wonderful their moving! How wonder their color! We saw the sun set there just like rising from water; the sun sank gradually into the vast water of the ocean. This glory of beauty appears before me as a colorful light when I see nothing to move in my practical life.

When I was very little I walked through the aisles of the green fields. The murmuring sound of rivers, hearty songs of the farmers, the fishermen and the oarsmen always turn me to that world, a world of peace and harmony. I cultivated various types of vegetables in my garden such as brinjal, tomato and many others.  I also planted many fruit trees like jack fruit, guava, mango etc. When the vegetables and fruits were born in my garden I was astonished to see them. They looked like the stars twinkling in the sky. My heart overwhelmed with joy by the sight of the brinjals, tomatoes.  I saw again and again, loved them and showed others telling how nice they were! 
Cox’s Bazar is the largest sea beach in the world. It’s a hilly area covered with large and small trees. Bounty of the Bay takes us to the unlimited glittering world of love. Water swells, water dances, water washes away all the germs of our body and mind. Water touches my knees and whispers in my ear what I never heard before. 

What a wonderful place Saint Martin’s Island is! It’s an island surrounded by waters. It’s a very small island. It’s called a coral island. The coral in different shapes and colors can make anyone excited. How clean and blue the water is! What a lovely sound of the water! How the palm trees rise high! How the beautiful turtles and their nests are! After all, anyone can be spell bound to see its sight.                 

Sundarban Mangrove Forest is a world heritage site. The forest is very beautiful regarding its trees and animals. Royal Bengal Tiger is the attraction of this forest. When I was visiting on a wooden boat, a deer came beside water and raised its neck and head towards us. It was looking like my dear from long waiting situation with its dark eyes. And it seemed to say what I would like to listen. Our boat ran forward and a large golden snake came again to drink water and went away on the blink of the rainbow in the sky. Every after some distance there went through a canal. The forest is like the sacred womb of a mother that keeps her baby safe and healthy with much care and certainty. And side by side there goes the vast sight of water to run through day and night and enjoy the beautiful watery world. We can enjoy the play of dolphins flying towards the sky and the rainbow in the sky after raining.  How charming and adventurous life here!  

In the last autumn I was walking through the way beside the Mohananda River. It was afternoon. There were light clouds in the sky. The sun was reflecting on the water of the river. I looked at the sky. But the color of the sun was spreading out over head and around me. Mingling different colors- red, green blue, yellow, magenta etc. have made a deep symbolic one throughout the clouds. It was shining on a large leafy tree. When I threw my eyesight on the leaves of the tree my heart overwhelmed with joy how charming and colorful the leaves of the tree were! Different types of deep colorful sun were sparking throughout the leaves. I had no idea before this sight that the sun also can have such these colorful sights. And it’s no fun, original colorful sun. If I would float on this colorful sun!

While coming back from that shining place suddenly a sunny bright rosy light was raying on a certain place of the water body. The water was whirling and there playing light and shade on that spot. Nothing to say, nothing to express the joy I found in my heart. When I see my four year old little daughter's face and hear her free loud laugh, I can see the sight of the whirling water on her face and can hear the sound of the whirling water.    
What a pure, what a mind blowing sight it was! 

Every season has its own beauty. When it’s winter, it’s cold always day and night.  In winter, morning dew drops on the grass and when the sun rays on it, the drops glitter in our eyes though it vanishes within a moment. Sometimes fogs are so deep that we can’t see anything to move on the way. But the fog has its own beauty that the world seems to be covered with a white piece of cloth. After dispersing fog, when the sun rises, we sit together in the sun light to warm up ourselves. Even the sunshine in the winter morning is more valuable than the gold to the poor. Many new birds come from Siberia and they fly beside the rivers. It’s very enjoyable to see the varieties of birds in the winter season.  

 In spring, we see the flowers blooming in trees after trees, a sign of prosperity and happiness in life. Every tree is filled with new green leaves and flowers. Cuckoo sings from branches after branches. Suddenly it calls cu-u-u, breaking the silence of painful thought. All seem to be glorious and the sweet scent of flowers charms us all.
When the dry leaves fall down from the trees, it also takes its own color and view. We walk through the solitary shady place on the red carpet in the palatial mood.

Once I went up over a hill. I looked at the sky and the ground. Here is a fantastic establishment and a direct connection between the sky and me. After evening when the moon and the stars rose in the sky, it looked like a wonderful dreamland. The moon, as it were was calling me to fly on the soft shining light from mountain to mountain and watch the whole world throughout this feather of light. Here light acts as the source of power to express many languages from the trees. They open their mouth and speak to me so many stories of love and pain. It does not break my heart to hear the story of pain and sorrow but it refreshes my mind and mentality to absorb more painful thought.

This mountain is mysterious. When the water was falling down from the highest peak, my eyes could not believe it at first. Is it possible to fall water from the highest peak? Where it is difficult to reach the peak of the mountain, water falls from that place! It flows without any break. This wonderful flow of water goes through her way to the unknown vast area where we find ourselves flowing over time after time. This sight of waterfall refreshes our eyes, body and mind.

When the ducks walk together, beside the lake or when they swim in the river or lake, how nice they look! Once I have some cocks and hens in our home. I was then High School Student. Early in the morning the cocks started to call and by their sound of calling I woke up from bed. I left them to go outside of the wooden room and they ran quickly to the open field. Whenever I spread out my hand, the hen sat down. The hen as if knew me from long time. When I gave them rice or wheat, they all came very near to me and I enjoyed their taking foods. It is also very exciting to look at the new born hens and cocks from eggs.  How nice the days were!    

The tea garden of Sylhet is an excellent sight. Here the green leaves of the tea garden can be compared with the green decorated world. Visiting it, anyone must say ‘Wow’. The green leafy trees can make our eyes fresh and when we keep our lips on the cup of tea, again the sound automatically comes, ‘Wow’, removing our fatigue.   
In every sphere of life may it be good or bad, we want to be in touch of nature. When I look at eight or ten year’s students’ face, they all look like the petals of the roses. A glow of red always flows on their face. When they laugh, they seem to be butterflies flying on the green leaves. I can see a glorious nation throughout their all activities. 

Like that if we, the grown up people stand beside the poor to support their condition, stand beside the wretched, beside the suppressed then the world would be a heaven for all of us. Nobody would suffer, nobody would die. If we would not think for torture of others, would not cause death only to show power, then we all would live in peace and happiness. This is the glorious side of human nature.  

I like the drops of rain very much. When it rains, I observe the drops how they fall rhythmically, how they sound growing a new image in our mind, how they make our environment clean and fertile. We find our best thought of musical journey with every drops of rain; we find new idea to write a prose, poetry or fiction. I see how the children run to and fro and make fun in the rain. I wonder how the new blades of grass sprout! How the dead can get back life in all the elements of the environment!

When I walk through the open field, the green sight of paddy or wheat softens my eyes and sitting under a large banyan tree I inhale the fresh air. Just at that time a flock of birds fly over my head in the blue sky. On the other side a pea-cock appears before my eyes from a bush and stared to dance with long colorful feathers. What a beauty! I fly in the sky with the birds. I dance with the pea-cock on the ground. From this suffocated life in cities or towns, we always wish to wander about a place where we find a beautiful natural sight that refreshes our heart and mind.  We like to worship of beauty. So in any condition, joy or sorrow our heart wish for the beautiful sight of nature, a world where there is always a fruitful meaning of life.

Poetry from Jake Cosmos Aller

The Last Race 
Five Poems
Jake Cosmos Aller 
The Last Race

An Aging car racer
Racing in his last race
Driving too fast
Around the curve
Blowing himself up
In a fiery crash
The rating score 
In his last race.

Association of the Living Dead India

In India, several years ago
A man falsely claimed his brother
Was dead so he could inherit the family assets,

The dead brother had to fight 
To be declared legally not dead
And contest the will.

“The Association of the Living Dead” 
Became a movement
Of thousands of people.
For in India apparently,
It was a thing to declare
Your relative is dead.

I never thought 
That the US would have 
To form their own 
“The Association of the Living Dead”
Until this week.

The cyber ninjas 
In their infamous non-forensic audit
In the 2016 Arizona election 
Claimed that hundreds of dead people
Had voted.

They gave their list of the alleged dead voters
To the attorney general
Who contact all 300 dead people
Found that 299 of the 300 were in fact
Not dead and none of them knew
That unnamed political operative
We’re claiming that they were dead.

The one dead voter was alive 
when he voted early.
But died before election day
Thus making his vote not valid
But there was no fraud involved
As he was alive when he voted.

Perhaps they need to form 
The “association of the living dead”
To fight for the right of the non-dead people
To continue to vote and receive other government benefits?

What a sad commentary 
On the farcical nature 
Of contemporary life
In these disunited States of America.

Secret Gateways Photo Challenge

There are secret gateways
Portals to other dimensions
All around us
Hidden deep in the mountains.

Leading to other worlds
Other times and places
Where time runs differently
And humans are unknown.

The lonely mother duck
Watched her eggs hatch
In the nest by the lake.

She was worried
About the foxes, wolves
Lions and tigers

That was all around.
Ever since the humans
All disappeared.

The Secret Fly Drone 

The fly on the wallpaper
In the CIA director’s office
Was not a real fly
He was an enemy spy drone
Secretly controlled remotely
Listening to all the secret conversations
Until the director smashed him
With a flyswatter
Then realized that it was a spy fly
He had dispatched to bug hell.

Poetry from Michael Robinson

Middle aged Black man facing the camera with his face resting on his hand
Michael Robinson


The creation begins among the stars in heaven.  

Heaven’s eternity from the first star’s birth. 

Heaven is my father’s house of grace for me.  

Heaven with a soft fragrance of sweetness.    


My soul witnesses the birth of the first star.   

As the candlelight flickers, there is solace,  

Angels’ wings reflect light thru the stained glass. 

God’s house brings recollections of heaven to me.  


Short fiction from Mike Zone

Dead Film Pitches
Mike Zone

Mike Zone “Black History XXX- kinda like Green Room American History with a dash of blacksploitation… rappers in white-face open firing on audience in neo-nazi club. 

MZ “Ice Cream Soldier- Legless Alaskan vet returns to the Middle East to serve ice cream and inspire freedom.

MZ “Werewolf biker gang, self-loathing monster can’t kill self, draws attention through bloody siege of a smalltown.”

MZ “Zombie STD…hooker and lowlife meet. Wakes up without his heart. Guess she was undead.”

MZ “Last ditch effort, got this plot about hyper-localization and narcissism… Live Local”

Boardroom Mutants “Get the hell out.”

Poetry from Timothy Jonathan


I always thought life was easy.
But now I know life is tougher than the hardest rock.
It keeps getting harder.
But I'll keep fighting on till it's over.
If life is a war then am a soldier. 

I find myself doing things I swore never to do when I was younger.
I see myself doing what I condemned other people for doing.
I keep finding myself under bad influence that I find difficult to manoeuver. 
I find myself giving in to the pressure around me. 

I kinda feel that my life is about to take a new turn.
I feel my life is about to change. 
But everyone around me seem to be asking me if I'm actually ready for the pain ahead.
Voices Keep echoing.
Asking if I'm ready for the pain. 

I've got a lot of friends and foes.
Some praying not to see me fall.
And others praying for my downfall.
I've been on the highway speeding.
Afraid of ever crashing.
I see myself on the battle field.
With no commander.
With no weapon for defense.
Wondering whether to quit or to keep fighting. 

I know I've made some decisions am not proud of.
I know sometimes regret is impossible to overcome. 
But sometimes it's better to regret things you've done than to regret things you haven't tried. 
So I keep working hard to correct my mistakes.
Because working hard is what successful people do. 

Many people have been asking who I am.
I keep telling them am just a boy with empty pockets and a bag of dreams. 
A boy that has been through a lot.
A boy that has seen it all. 
A boy that has cried streams of tears. 
Shed tears of blood. 
Been to hell back and forth. 
Been through many rise and falls. 
Trying to make it to the top. 
Trying to be the best my generation has ever seen. 

Poetry from Chris Butler


Why is the only question
that possesses no answer
and is the only retort for sons
born into this life so unsure.

Why is for the philosophers,
lacking any explanation of the essence
of what it means to truly suffer,
and to find oneself inside mile high fences.

Why is for the cowards,
afraid of the dangers of knowledge
hiding inside hospital wards,
instead of free falling over the edge.

Why is for the hopeless
seeking truths that speak only in lies,
as all logic becomes helpless
force feeding propaganda into our eyes.

Why is for the lost,
when even the cold crawls beneath the covers,
paralyzing the mind with frost,
permanently burying secrets under fresh powder.

Why is an answer without proof,
such as how ages pass by so quickly in youth
during their quest of spoken truths,
despite the extraction of each wisdom tooth.

Why cannot change the past tense
and grant time to a supernova sun,
so why make the end of each sentence
the end of one’s big question?

Byproducts of Our Environment

Byproducts of Our Environment

We plugged the hole
in the ozone with the rubber stopper
that once clogged the ocean closed,
as round and round we go,
swirling counterclockwise like coils
in this Pacific toilet bowl
we call home.  

 burning book

flame ate the paper. white sheets torn off the spine and thrown into the hell of the home. ink bled as it is
consumed and coughed up as smoke, escaping the mouth of the brick throat. storm clouds, with no rain,
blow slowly away. the wind is white hot. the pages become black. the embers fade. another page is written.
another moment of fire. Inspired.   

Poetry from Livio Farallo

fingers of the hairdresser

part I.

around my head is a pony that changes shape.
the crystal daylight kisses my tail
                                        and is forgotten.
the color of a dewdrop stings.
the plow is a mothball of song
creamy stucco for
                           benthic pilgrims,
                           sky’s burning feet.
the blowgun is a mace
                           for maori who care to notice.
above tablelands crawling boulders
                                                pick fights.
handsome and benighted,
sugary and cracked and limpid
                                   as a devilfish,
a noose is pulled around weeping.
museums in-
                  sist on
not dead. tank convoys,
                  butter pats,
                  sequined eyelids,
                  barrel-chested animations
threaten my good name.
                                             the handle
                                             of messiah
dances with cupcakes in his hands.
i am finished when anemones soil
                        the water and clownfish

part II.

there is something.
               listen to bravery
as a suffocating
searches for ice floes.

                                         tides are unguarded by gravity.

whiptails smell ancestors in every direction
and they usher along the squeaking pebbles that could
have filled
buckets. so even though
                               the fingerprints
mine, they moved like my hand dipped in

part III.

once kings were graphics for birds of paradise.
the flannel crisped in
were glass-
boats trailing horse latitudes. the volcanic
are still iceland without strings,
tristan da cunha
                  without wind.
i am forced to listen to roll-
                                          ing wagons
of the donner (bless the noisemakers) party.
where are the women who sell candied yams
? where is the perfect sprinkle
of a coma-diet? which element, do i guess, is
filthy enough to chew?

part IV.

queens were publications of cassowaries -
thick fibers of falling clouds. chicken 
at any throat are ribbons of the maypole.
the scheme of taffy bites down
                                              here in
                                              this jagged
sequestration of rice.
poor sacks. prisons of agriculture.
a sign for evacuation is not to be taken seriously.
scraps of
cancelled out
tion. my coconuts lost bargaining power once
they hit the ground. beetles
of                                  the sharpness
knives. little bones pressed in cages
             were beating hearts. little test
             tubes were songs of another
             monkey. my contrapuntal history
             is a burlap finger in ice.

part V.

singular attention is drawn to the caustic
                                                             veil if
it minimizes your image or
a bagful of mussels never escape.
when you eat that fruit
there are deviations for vegetables:
i call you one.
                  through pekoe tea
the apartment you live in
                           is cherry soda.
with the wash-
         your caramel eye-
are underwear closer 
than                               all the
                                        dirt in the world.

livelier than christmas ornaments
salt and pepper snakes observing
is the fir tree caught on fire. but
no one on the face of civilization
                          will listen if i
global                                      aphasia.
and gingivitis is
yellow drool not to be traded for
persimmons or
oleander       or
bottlenecked blood going northward.

part VI.

luxury quakes/small eyelets are untied/ wounded
basilisk/ sand unperched to drift/seventeen hours
and no baby/ tears are muttering/ soft beans don’t
need midwives/the car hisses a sliding coatrack/don’t
fear the penumbra of any fool/image of goatcheese
and i shrivel/we pick crescent moons/
                       the sky waits for fingernails/
surgeries in greenland and antarctica/sun-browned
furniture/poodles vomit at curbside/one polyester-
wheedled touch/one picture of dorian gray/ one
for the money/ and my nose ziplocked/ passenger
pigeons/moas/great auks/dodos/incognito/and we
have billions.

part VII.

that symbiont has exposed herself to self.
that matador waits for blood and capes.
that southern conference of bishops is sissifying birth
and piliated woodpeckers are the souls of silence.
and the aquifer percolating –
and the tongue dyspeptic –
and the ugly confluences of spittle and chess 
are where my napkin ends,
and stitches of the penguins’ wings
are dreams of the night.

bird province

small concrete confections slurped through prehistoric teeth
are the crumbs of castanets gnashed too wildly.
they fall like feather,
float like rain in a wind that is chocolate and
vanilla and brick.
in a somewhere of temperature and
breadth and pressure
and whispers of crying,
dreams are infantilized
that clutch like skunk stink
with colorful warnings.

i said to you that limitations are folded
into prerequisites of dying; that cold
noses are a prelude to suffocation;
that passenger pigeons never really
disappeared. and
bird pain, nonetheless, jimmies
a lock on time, and look
what dinosaurs have become in the
midst of extinction. soporifics
blight the need for breaking mirrors
although i could use some bad
luck to pat down a new grave-
or to compress minor delusions
into the speak of a helium balloon
that bellyflops and spits without fear
dripping from its eyes. and when
i pass the tungsten and bitterness
flooding the road, a caramel color
is a flightless ditch and
my knuckles are butterscotch
tasting of rain. hold your screams,
I’m not listening. the fabric of
lamplight pours off your plucked skin
and witches tell 
tales i can’t ignore when forests
are broken and i see you hardening in mud
at the mouth of a river.


i wasn’t afraid of the wolf,
it salivated like a warm sponge
and lowered its head like a bull.
there was a current in the water
singing past palisades;
timbering sunlight.
and i was sure that coming home didn’t
require a key or fishing for loose change.
the canoe wouldn’t take me that far, anyway.
i could’ve carried time in wheelbarrows
if clocks were, in fact, hands without bodies.
or weight scurried down pointless years,
and chimneys had never smoked.
the sundried cats i see are apple cores
grown cerebral in asphalt.
mercury still measures temperature but
no longer poisons.
there’s too much rubble here to cascade
only from skyscrapers bent and chewed on but
boots are water cannons
and insects are filigreed and heavy
with the muscles of condors and
carnage plummets from the sun.
forests are always in the way:
i’ve found a blanket of painted burlap with
the crispness of fog:
when i find a door half open, half decided,
i’ll re-schedule a greeting: lift a hand
in a gesture of morning; bring down
the axe on the rest of the day and asphyxiate
with one lung in my hand.
there was a cold front waiting for me;
the breath spirited away and
buried itself like a spore.


the prison suppurates in shock;
creased with jacketed stone.
carry the dentist’s drill.
                 spill a caravan of sand.
i can’t fill a fleshy hand with bone -
sing in a vacuum. i will replace
blood flow for breathing; i will suture
a bull’s snout to a faceless minotaur. and

i’ll spit proteins to gel in
atmospheric grease,
resonating like wind

cauldrons are ripe with recipes:
bluefin tuna on archaeological expeditions:
those ocean trenches dry as stone.

sundown is waiting for me as
a canyon buys time: the purge
of a mirror is the fear i want.

and maybe
the morning’s butter can slip
                                              my fingers
in cataracts
    and billfolds and
                                  euclid’s elements will
stay still until they are finally counted.    

Livio Farallo is co-editor of Slipstream and Professor of Biology at Niagara County Community College. His stuff has appeared or, is forthcoming, in Helix, Rabid Oak, The Blue Collar Review, Call Me, Rise Up, Old Pal, and others. His collection “Dead Calls and Walk-Ins” chronicles his work as a taxi driver several centuries ago.