Poetry from Gordon Hull

The Boggling Facts

As my mind is boggled,

Boggled I will be,

Begging to stop the boggling of what I see,

Boggling is what they do,

Boggling me and you,

Boggling what do I mean?

Boggling you have seen,

Boggling they think we believe,

Once the boggling has stopped then life will be true,

So why are we boggled or baffled if we believe what they say,

Boggling is the governments way,

Boggle us here,

Boggle us there,

Boggle us everywhere,

So let’s stop the boggling,

Or as what our government likes to say,

Alternative fact by the way…

 

Poetry from Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Gratuity Rex

 

He told his driver to take him to the airport

and since he was the driver

he drove to the airport

and he thought about tipping the driver

the conversation was friendly

enough

 

but something about the driver irked him

some people just don’t get on

 

so he decided to be polite

but firm

 

unloading his own bags

from the trunk

 

and since the airplane would not be invented

for another half century

he had to sit in the airport terminal

for quite a while

 

before his

flight.

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Poetry from Joan Beebe

 

Universal Human Sorrow
There are times when life seems to overwhelm us
We become trapped in a world of our own and
Imperfect we are not,  but
 We still strive for peace and harmony in our home
Sadly it seems all efforts are wasted.
Our hearts cry out for love and understanding.
Time seems to stand still in this place of longing
Nothing seems to change and we become
A prisoner of a broken heart
Untitled
The day is ending but the lowering sun
Has not given up its radiant glow across the sky.
Watching this beautiful panorama before me,
I see a streak of silver as the sun reflects its
Light upon a plane causing an almost
Magical luminous effect.
I am entranced by the sight above me
And as I continue to watch that plane,
I feel and sense the awesome power of nature
Because, in unexpected ways, we are able
To witness such a blending of nature and man.

Poetry from Allison Grayhurst

 Love is not a shell
  
I tell you I am waiting for a new friend
to share these beautiful riches, to feel
safe with and to feel whole.
I tell you I am waiting for new and
permanent members of our clan – for all of us
here, striving for rich connection and finding
that most people will only go so far, most people
blend in without steam and then move on, on to where
the demands of intimacy are minimal and accountability
means making, defending, excuses.
I tell you I am happy for those who walk with me, and
my arms are open. Food is on the table.
 
 
By the edge,
  
the fire drifted from the sands
and all my tribe bit the bolt
hard. For life was hard,
and our ceremonies of perseverance,
of letting go, and of holding on
were all we had.
Shadows and senselessness walked
across our movie screen.
I put it all in our backyard –
the carcasses of mourned dead animals,
the memories of betrayal and grief, people
that never tried and those
that tried but just not hard enough.
I put them there and buried them close to the fence,
behind the evergreens, near where the sandbox used to be.
I told everyone tales of ‘true blue’
and the phone would ring
and then it would stop
and everyone of us held hands. We prayed.
We knew this was just a time of scarcity and soon
it would be a time of plenty:
We knew the joy of loving one another.
 

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Poetry from Mahbub

If You Don’t —-

How do I move foreword

If you don’t tell me

Show me how to start

How do I do something better

If you don’t light on

How do I step right or left

If you sound less

How do I brood over

If you don’t hang me in blessed

How do I snap the glory of nature

If you don’t  accompany me

How do I laugh from heart

If you don’t open your eyes to me

Soft and see the blush

How do I think the world

If you don’t hug

All the things will run away behind

If you don’t respond

All the things are in dust

If you don’t come to me with the face of love.

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Poetry from Sudeep Adhikari

 

Ethics of Space Exploration

So I finally learned the ethics and politics

of space exploration.

 

Try to find life at the far corners

of unforgiving solitude. Shoot the kids

in Yemen and Afghanistan.

 

Go bonkers about the discovery of habitable

planets. Bomb the shit out of Aleppo

to make it  look like poor people’s Mars.

 

Hope the aliens from space are nice

and friendly. Kill the brothers from another country

if they drink beer in your bar.

 

So the space moralists told me,

“Nobody owns the moon”.

 

Damn fucking right!

I told them nobody owns Earth either.

 

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer  from Kathmandu, Nepal.   His recent publications were with   Red Fez , Kyoto  , Your One Phone Call, Jawline Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Yellow Mama, Fauna Quarterly, Beatnik Cowboys, After The Pause, Poetry Pacific, Silver Birch Press and  Vox Poetica.

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

 

temptation
 
that gnawing ache
 
complaining about
pain makes some
people believe you
are crazy
 
temptation makes
it so easy to want
to make them feel
your pain
 
swallow your pride
and become a martyr
 
i’ve heard good
things
————————————————————————
the responsible one
 
i have always felt
like the stranger
in a strange land
 
i so want to believe
that i’m actually
allowed to be happy
 
but i have no fucking
evidence at all that
happiness is even
a fucking option
 
this is what happens
when a father decides
that work is more
important than family
 
there is no joy in
being the responsible
one making sure this
bloodline fucking
dies
—————————————————————————–
call it art
 
spill some
paint on a
canvas and
call it art
 
up is down
 
low is high
 
you may
zig and i
will not
zag
 
i have no
desire to be
better than
you
—————————————————————————
a chunk
 
the nagging aches
and pains of getting
older
 
the years of being
care free and living
life always find a
way to take a chunk
out of you before
it’s all over
 
a homeless guy once
told me that he never
trusted any fucker
interested in having
a pretty corpse
 
i passed him a bottle
of whiskey and said
amen
—————————————————————————–
all you need to hear at your high school graduation
 
seek out
the truth
and let the
monsters
roam free
 
there are
no special
snowflakes
 
embrace
death and
only then
will you
understand
the
importance
of now
————————————————————

 

Christopher Bernard reviews Territory of Dawn: The Selected Poems of Eunice Odio

Celestial Objects

Eunice Odio

Eunice Odio

 

 

Territory of Dawn: The Selected Poems of Eunice Odio

Translated by Keith Ekiss, Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza

The Bitter Oleander Press

$20.00

 

A review by Christopher Bernard

 

It has often been said that modern man is in need of a new religion, of a new God, that the old religions and old gods, apparently resurgent throughout the world, are in fact in a battle to the death with a vision of the universe offered by modern science that differs so greatly from that of the Great Axial age from which most of the world’s great religions emerged that they cannot hope to remain relevant for long.

Either they will die, or they will destroy the scientific vision of the world, and by so doing, since they will find themselves unable to renounce the instruments of power science has made possible (though, to be consistent, they should renounce both subatomic theory and nuclear bombs, the theory of evolution and the internet, climatology and drones – but when has a fear of logical inconsistency ever stopped a martinet more powerful than a schoolmaster?), they will destroy the world, or, if not the world, civilization, and thus bring the human experiment to a spectacular end, to say nothing of the Final Judgment that a number of religions have long portended.

There is another way to our own suicide, and that is through a form of radical secularism fomented by the scientific worldview itself, a view purportedly hostile to religion of all kinds—seeing religion as irrational, intellectually presumptuous, morally hollow, hostile to knowledge, reason, and humanity—and yet which turns out to be itself irrational, cruel, presumptuous, hostile to reason, humanity, and even science.

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Poetry from Michael Robinson

Conversations

For Angie

When I was little, I would talk to God

Waiting for his response.

“God is listening!” said my foster mother.

 

I wanted to live with God,

Just like the black women would say—

To go home to Jesus.

 

Wondering if black boys could go to Jesus,

Or did we just go to jail,

Or just lay in the gutter alone.

 

When the Doors Close

In the darkness of the night,

I seek the light of the moon,

Coming to greet my soul.

In the darkness of the night,

I pray that God will hear my heart,

In the darkness of the night.

In the darkness I smell the candle burning,

I’m safe with the burning candle in the darkness of the night.

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Poetry from J. K. Durick

Convenience stores

Convenience stores must be easy, out there alone, late;

around here two or three get held up each week, as if

there were a quota on them. It’s easy to picture, the lone

clerk dozing a bit by the register when the guy comes in,

the only person in the store, brandishes a weapon, they

always say brandish for these guys, either a gun or knife

or what looks like a weapon, and the minimum wage night

clerk always turns over the cash, an undetermined amount

they always say, and then he’s gone back out into the night,

so often around here the bandit leaves the scene on foot, as

if familiar with his or her surroundings, some local talent

perhaps; then on the evening news they will show pictures of

the thief, caught on the convenience store’s security camera

and we are told to call the police if we recognize this person,

a person who someone will know, a person who, more often

than not is caught. It’s as if convenience stores have become

the stage, the backdrop for this predictable play, this tired story

about our world, a dark lonely place where it seems as if we

either tend the till or come in from the night brandishing or

pretending to brandish a weapon, then leave with a hard to

determine amount of money, leaving behind each time just

enough of ourselves that we get our picture on TV and finally

someone recognizes for what we are and calls it in.

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Poetry from Benjamin Blake

 

benjaminblake

Alis Volat Propriis 

Wandering the desolate Oregon coast

Salt-swept rocks shrouded in ocean mist

Something flutters in the pines positioned on the cliff-face

And somewhere not too close

A dog barks, ceaseless and urgent

Joined by the cries of plaintive gulls

I always dreamt of shipwrecks

And lamp-lit smugglers’ coves

Of sun-bleached bone

And sand-worn bottles

Their messages long lost at sea

So it is here that I’ll sojourn

Lay down with someone else’s wife

This old body needs its rest

And it’s time we moved on from writing letters

At least for a little while

Sophie, for the sake of Conversation

 

Alone again in autumn

The leaves drift down from the trees

Dew drops accurately reflect isolation

Newly departed from a passing bus

She’s standing on the roadside

Clad in a plaid jacket and over-sized white headphones

And I could have been hit by it

By the way I’m feeling

If only I could

Catch more than inquisitive looks

From such a pretty face

I’m fumbling in the outfield

From the prettiest face

Tripped and fallen again

Why am I still writing these stupid songs?

A whimsical by-product of delusion

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Poetry from John Grochalski

marin says

 

marin says,

like what am i supposed to do?

like i’m just

supposed to take it

and they know that

i mean

i’m their waitress

 

marin says,

they knows this

but they still try to bait me

like they ask me

if i voted for trump

because i’m latina

one of them keeps asking me

what i think about his policies

 

what am i going to say?

 

like

i think trump is a sexist, racist ass

but i need your tip money

even though i know the whole group

gives rachel more money

when she waits on them

 

marin says,

the one in the make america great again hat

he’s always talking about

all the great things trump

has done already for america

like they say to me

even though i’m mexican

i was born here

so i should be cool with the government

kicking the illegals out

 

i’m not even mexican

i’ve never even been to mexico

 

marin says,

i want to like tell them all off

show them a map of south america or something

show them what chile looks like

but the little bit of money

that they do give me

i actually use

for like college

for like my rent

 

it’s just frustrating sometimes

 

marin says,

the job is all right otherwise

families with loud, messy kids tip well

you get college kids in

people my age

but they just sit around drinking coffee

and playing on their phones

sometimes they forget to leave anything

 

but i like them

better than the people who come in

on my morning shift

 

at least we don’t always have to talk politics

 

marin says

on the days those people don’t come in

it’s pretty okay working

at donnie’s

like i can almost forget that trump

is the president

or like my feet are sore

or that i’ll be smelling like bacon all afternoon

 

and how when the shift ends

i only have an hour to race over to manhattan

 

or i’ll be late

for my calculus class

or sometimes my biology 101

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