Monday 24 December 2012

3 Poems by Alan Botsford

a mamaist journey

The word I heard

The word I said

The word I felt

The word I saw
Was law.

The word I remembered
Lifted as a bird.

The word I sang
Gave wings.

The word I loved
Stood neither below nor above.

The word I entered
Tempered me

And took me everywhere
The sound of the temple bell went.


Nobody wants to go down
There. The pearl
Mirage all but
Faded from view.
Fathoms of an ocean muddied
With oil slicks, garbage, and soap
Detergent churning suds ashore
On waves of desire,
Tides of longing, as breath conspires to be held
Long enough for the blood
To go coursing, palpable pressure
In the veins felt, until…
Oxygen surges back into your moon-split lungs.

I Shot the Poet

Shot him in the foot
Now he can’t walk
Shot him in the chin
Now he can’t talk
Shot him in the groin
Now he can’t take
The ladies for a spin
Shot him in the shoulder
Now he can’t carry
The world around any longer
Shot him in the eye
Now he wears a patch
Shot him in the back
Now he’s slow to trust
Or become too attached
Shot him in the heart
Look at his dust
All got up and never,
No, never out-classed.


Alan Botsford is the author of mamaist: learning a new language (Minato No Hito, 2002), A Book of Shadows (Katydid Press, 2003), and Walt Whitman of Cosmic Folklore (Sage Hill Press, 2010), a hybrid of prose, dialogues and poetry. His work has appeared in several anthologies and in many print and online journals such as American Writing: A Magazine, BlazeVox, Confrontation Magazine, Cortland Review, Ekleksographia, Mickle Street Review, River Styx, and Yemassee Literary Journal, among others. He lives in Japan where he is a professor of American Literature at Kanto Gakuin University and serves as editor of Poetry Kanto, Japan’s longest-running bilingual poetry magazine. His website is:

Monday 17 December 2012

3 Poems by Kevin Immanuel

Medical Marijuana Industry Is Unnerved by U.S. Crackdown UKIAH, Calif. — An intensifying federal crackdown on growers and sellers of state-authorized medical marijuana

Tethered and said

Semi make up

jump for
Prototype skies

It seemed like it could
Be her

T-Mobile and AT&T Edge Closer to Scrapping MergerWASHINGTON — AT&T and T-Mobile USA edged closer to scrapping their proposed merger

Usual modes
Just ask apply prescient
Dominance vaults op

Laugh along the red flag

Slumber not rainfall
Dance straight very

Under new

Sarkozy and Merkel Push for Changes to Europe TreatyPARIS — Under the pressure of financial crisis and with the euro currency at stake

It’s a trap
It’s a trap
It’s a

Nice ice celebrity cell

Her piercing eyes
Were typically
Sublimely anger
And love

Total drug slugs


Kevin Immanuel has studied art at five universities in Canada, Europe, and the United States. Published in seven poetry journals, including The Text (UK), Grain (Canada), The Filling Station (Canada), Ditch (Canada) and The Graphic Tales of Mr. Todd and Associates (Canada), Immanuel explores experimental poetry. 

[Editor's note: In the above-featured experimental poems, the titles are, according to the author, taken from the New York Times, Global News articles.] 

Monday 10 December 2012

1 Poem by Paul Sohar

Non-Euclidean Geometry Lesson 

Rectangular is the god
of those who hate one another;
his blunt weight first flattens them,
and then his sharp corners crumple them
into schizoid patterns of
puzzle pieces clinging together
in an funeral monument.

The god of those who love
one another shines in a circular form
like a big bubble until it starts
rolling over picture frames
and doors and becomes
a spinning blade sawing off
unphotographed nights.

The god of the indifferent
appears in a point of infinitesimal
dimension piercing the wall of silence
letting invisible light shoot
through like sand driven
by a desert storm;
eyes can smart and drizzle
even in total darkness.


Paul Sohar ended his higher education with a BA in philosophy and took a day job in a research lab while writing in every genre, publishing seven books of translations. His own poetry (Homing Poems) is available from Iniquity Press. Latest book: Wayward Orchard  (Wordrunner Press: 2011). Lyricist to G-D is Something Gorgeous a musical produced in Scranton, PA (2007). Winner in 2012 Lincoln Poets Contest. His magazine credits: Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle,  Seneca Review, etc. 

Friday 7 December 2012

Solicited Poems by Mark Smith-Soto

Lost and Found

The way objects wait, how their patience shames
us! The loved comb lodged behind the console, years
yawn, presidencies tumble, irreplaceable dogs die
one after another after another, and still, still
behind the console, the same straight smile greeting
the dust of yet another winter, grooming each
disheveled morning with gentle teeth, the same
teeth that drew dark parallels, perfectly spaced
rivulets, the length of her long hair back when
she wore it long and pecan brown—why did
we have to find you when we already mourned
you? Ah, there you are! she cries, as if the years
meant nothing now, and all she had to do was
blow it clean and draw it through her hair.


Where is the beginning of this
thread I’ve found wound into my hair
on waking? All morning pulling at it,
gently, gently, wanting not to break
the story of it, tugging at a meaning
that would not mean completely, even
as noontime beamed with explanations.
Now evening relaxes at the core, and I
find I have unspun half of myself
into my hands, the thread a web, my
mind gone to gauze in a strange light.
Where is the end of this unspinning?
What is this freshness in the air?
What are these wings?

Night Watch

Chico whines, no reason why. Just now walked,
dinner gobbled, head and ears well scratched.
And yet he whines, looking up at me as if confused
at my just sitting here, typing away, while darkness
is stalking the back yard. How can I be so blind,
he wants to know, how sad, how tragic, how I
won’t listen before it is too late. His whines are
refugees from a brain where time and loss have
small dominion, but where the tyranny of now
is absolute. I get up and throw open the kitchen door
and he disappears down the cement steps, barking
deeper and darker than I remember. I follow
to find him perfectly still in the empty yard—
the two of us in the twilight, standing guard.

[published in Poetry East]


Mark Smith-Soto is Professor of Spanish and editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  He has published three prize-winning chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections to date, Our Lives Are Rivers (University Press of Florida, 2003), and Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006).  His poetry, which was recognized with an NEA creative writing fellowship in 2005 and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Nimrod, The Sun and many other publications.  In 2010, Unicorn Press brought out his work of translation Fever Season, the selected poetry of Costa Rican writer Ana IstarĂº.  His most recent works are Berkeley Prelude: A Lyrical Memoir (Unicorn Press, 2012) and the chapbook Splices, due out next year from Finishing Line Press. 

Thursday 6 December 2012

1 Poem by Lisa Aldridge


When the d becomes b, I dug my bug, I dig the big, and dog the bog.  When d became b I knew it, but I couldn’t do anything about it, so I went beer dancing.


Lisa Aldridge is a writer who miraculously tears herself away from writing long enough to teach her sociology students.  She has had poems published by the University of Arkansas Press and the online literary journal, Lunch at Giverny.  She received the Samuel C. Dellinger Award for academic writing.  She also presented her research and writing “Pregnant Women Can’t Make Pickles” at the Scholar’s Symposium at the University of Central Missouri.   

Monday 3 December 2012

2 Poems by Denny E. Marshall

Night Songs

Her lips were like silk sheets
Wrapped loosely around my mind
Aboard a magic carpet
With our hearts intertwined

Super Nova

Stars drop from the sky
Like raindrops
With all the storms in my life
That can surround me
I am still blessed
With your warmth
I find myself sprinkled
In your light 

Denny E. Marshall has done art and poetry for years, but just started writing fiction and articles in 2011. Recent credits include cover art for Unspoken Water 3 (The music issue) and Dreams & Nightmares 93, interior art for Night To Dawn 22 among others. His first article titled “Rejection Is A Good thing, Stop Whining” is online at Eclectic Eel on the All About Art page. More of Denny’s previously published works can be seen at

Monthly Call for Submissions

* All kinds of poetry in terms of style and subject matter are equally welcome, though we tend to love shorter pieces more;

* All poems are carefully considered year round and, upon acceptance, will be eagerly posted;

* No author information except names and email addresses in your submissions please - we will ask you for a professional third person bionote upon acceptance;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions are encouraged;

* Previously published work is always okay with us insofar as you still hold the copy or publishing rights;

* From time to time, we solicit poems from established as well as emerging poets;

* Neither money exchange nor publishing right is involved, except a genuine love for words, and perhaps for artfully articulated wisdom;

* Please paste up to 3 poems in the body of your email text and send them over to;

* Our response time is shorter than 2 weeks after the receipt; 

* Only those accepted will get a reply - Gooooooodluuuuuuuck!

Friday 30 November 2012

1 Poem by Melyssa G. Sprott

Not the Mirror

It’s not the mirror glass that’s cold,
it’s my reflection—I’ve been told.
So comes the fall, the frigid shiver
of my soul, such tiny slivers.
Little shards of time forgot—
instant reminders that all is lost.
It’s not the mirror glass that’s chilled—
it’s my frozen soul, empty and killed.
Tiny fragments of calm unretained,
all this loss—inside contained.
Such minute slivers—this fractured soul,
so comes the shiver—uncontrolled.
It’s not the mirrors shiny sheen,
it is myself—I have seen.


Melyssa G. Sprott is dark and disturbing and has been expressing it with poetry and short horror stories since her birth. Her existence itself is an affront to all that is right and good in the world.

[Posted on 30 November 2012]

Monday 26 November 2012

Solicited Poems by John C. Mannone

Dawning of the Dark

Day shuts the door and darkens
with purple sky. After the bolt
of sun flashes orange, it unlatches
the night below horizon. And dark,
no longer sullied by light, is unhinged.

Inverted Flight

Dust from trees
will swirl up
but only ash
incinerates us.
Soon sin will, too,
where the fire glows.
Deep into the pit
we have fallen
to assuage the guilt
that cannot be washed
with tears of wet remorse,
nor elegies — the purple
plaintive chant.
Our song, now
lifts into wind
stealing our breath
as the chokeberry
cupping soft fruit
with prick of briars —
its beaks we didn’t feel,
our movement, innocent.
A flick of eyes, swift,
from the lush tree,
but from the thistle,
a begging to pluck the berries
as meadowlarks
flying into starlight,
as an uncaged moon,
as the sun.
We once were free
as swallow birds,
now, into the abyss
pulling us down —
on our wings,
the weight of sin.


I want to forget.
When I press my eyes closed
to shut out the light, I see
a diamond mine as if the coal
blackness is squeezed until
sparkles grow from the dark.
They turn raven black to purple,
then fly into thick webs of indigo.
In patterns, dots stream
from inside me,
red, green, transforming to rings
as if pebbles rippling a pool of dark.
I rub my eyes
through thin fleshy lids. And rings
couple to form trains of yellow
that traffic on invisible rails. Hauling.
They carry me atom-by-atom
in carloads: my carbon, my soul.
I open my eyes
and it’s raining outside. The coal tar
shines in lamplight, the moon
swallowed by clouds.
I don’t see
the hard coal anymore. Disappeared
as dust washed down the black street.
I blink and it is gone.
But I want to remember.


John C. Mannone, nominated three times for the Pushcart, has work in The Baltimore Review, Conclave, Prairie Wolf Press Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Pedestal, Rose Red Review, The Hellroaring Review, Curio Poetry, Vermillion Literary Project, Medulla Review, Glass, Lucid Rhythms, Pirene’s Fountain and others. He’s the poetry editor for Silver Blade, an adjunct professor of physics, and a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry at

[Posted on 26 November 2012]

Thursday 22 November 2012

Solicited Poems by Kristin Abraham

Bigger than a Bread Box

A man who thinks
about awe, stops
to think, just a moment;
in the canyon, armadillos
scuttle by like bald little
men, everywhere on their
toes.  But he’s not thinking
about them, their shyness;
he’s looking for the negative
spaces, needing a little more.

God’s Country

In another version
she makes him put his boots
outside in the evening
to air; she has war fatigue
but is not fearful, just
sometimes it’s good to pray
she tells the baby’s small fists
at her lips.  It takes a lonely,
an angry person to live
on a mountain like this;
it becomes easier to mourn
people than to wait for them.


To get out

of his constant slice

this house needs windows




Kristin Abraham is the author of two chapbooks:  Little Red Riding Hood Missed the Bus (Subito Press, 2008), and Orange Reminds You of Listening (Elixir Press, 2006); her full-length manuscript, The Disappearing Cowboy Trick, will be published by Horse Less Press in 2013. Additional poetry, lyric essays, and critical essays have appeared in such places as Best New Poets 2005, American Letters & Commentary, Rattle, Court Green, LIT, Columbia Poetry Review, and The Journal. She currently teaches English at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, WY, and is editor-in-chief and poetry editor of the literary journal Spittoon.

[Posted on 22 November 2012]

Monday 19 November 2012

Solicited Poems by Joneve McCormick

Back to the sea

I want to go back to the sea
where light and dark are one,
where I come from.

Back to sea waits and wiggles
where the will to be
(not greed) trumps right and wrong.

I would be a tiny fish, alive one marvelous moment
or a big one, snapping up the little.
The sea sings, ‘the one who doesn't know me is an orphan.'

I will go to the deepest space I can find
and listen to OM -- I want to fly
where my wings first formed.

Who are you?

You, behind the dark and light forms flowing near,
Behind the mirrors and doors,
Behind the angels and the demons,

Behind this versus that,
Behind thoughts and their frames,
Behind desires and fears...

Who are you
Who teaches that the less there is between us,
The higher I fly on my own wings​

Regarding Van Gogh's Advice
Not to Be Afraid and Not to Try
to Make a Painting Pretty

It takes courage not to try
to make a painting pretty.
Few souls can resist,
the desire to please requiring
that ugliness be hidden.

Tell it like it is,
beautiful and ugly,
the best you are able -
serve no other master!
Was that commandment made for man
who has so much to worship, and forget?

A Van Gogh baby is big,
drooling, eternal -
a fat promise
held by a vigilant mother,
her apron wrapped tightly
over simian bones like a second skin,
strings hanging like tails.

It is in related gestures too -
their straight backs,
a jutting hip,
a small leg dangling
and hands ready to reach -
that love and attitude
raise immortal heads.


Joneve McCormick’s poems have been published in a wide variety of hard copy and online literary and art periodicals and in several poetry anthologies.  She has two solo collections: Small Bird Bones and The Visitor. Joneve hosts the international online poetry journals, Poets International, Poetry Soul to Soul and The Peregrine Muse.

[Posted on 19 November 2012]

Sunday 11 November 2012

Solicited Poems by Koon Woon

A Smoke Break at the Nuclear Command

We multitask — chop, grill, wok, and pickle.
They are fickle, can come all hours, drunk,
after sex, before meetings, during greetings;
hucksters, gangsters, no telling who wants what
stir-fried, steamed rock cod with its head and bulbous eyes.

My father at the meat block hacks spareribs, carves bone from chicken,
minces onions, six sons chow the mein, French-fry the sausage,
whip the gravy, beat the eggs until you can fool the young
into thinking that’s sperm yanked from a calf.
Smoke signals say the pork chops are burnt,
the white sauce turning yellow, while the waitresses ladle soup.
Sounds like feeding at the zoo. Chopsticks tingle from a corner booth.

On and on motors start and stop, doors open and shut, ice water is
set down as menus are tossed. You need a minute? Mom is helping the girls to wash
glasses and tea pots. It would be sinful to run out of hot mustard during the rush.
My father drinks my coffee and I smoke his Marlboro,
Two cowboys in a cattle drive fending off rustlers, and damn!
The waitress says that the women’s toilet has overflowed!

We are going to go fishing as soon as our mental breakdowns are over with.
And we are going to take a smoke break from the nuclear command.
Just then ,a party of 12 comes in – well, put two tables together,
like a man joining a woman, the yin and yang, and kids with yo-yo’s.
We are a family doing family business, money for school books,
Mom’s dentures.

A Season in Hell

“When you come in to work each morning, remove your bodily organs and limbs
one by one. Hang them up on the hooks provided in the walk-in box, then put a white apron
onto your disembodied self, pick up a knife,
and go to the meat block,” said Alex the manager.

I was also drained of blood and other vital bodily fluids.

After the morning rush preparing pork adobo and chicken curry, I ate lunch with Fong the chief cook and Lee the dishwasher.
In the afternoon, I examined souls and kept their merits and demerits in a ledger. For the three months I worked at City Lunch near the Bart Station,
I paid my rent and gradually became robust enough to walk to work. The entire city of San Francisco swung with the rhythm of my walk,
and stars appeared in the middle of the afternoon with a sliver of the moon.

Meanwhile, at Fisherman’s Wharf, the stingrays came to the jetty and whipped their tails against rocks; tourists paid me to dance on the waves. I carefully tread water and remembered to breathe.

In the end, I was evicted anyway from my castle that glowed at night. For lack of anything better to do, I walked from hilltop to hilltop,
burned newspapers to inhale the smoke, then climbed down to the water
beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and harvested seaweed.

I waited until one sunny day when the water was warm and calm,
then swam all the way to Asia and got replacements for my disembodied self.
I did not forget that I was a ghost. And that was my first season in Hell.

Aberdeen, 1966,
Or, driving around for a poem

Driving behind a logging truck with dancing flags
Pinned on the logs, I listen to “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles.
Miss Freeland wants a poem for her creative writing class.
In the pulse of sawmills, I cut this logging town
Into board feet with my ’55 Plymouth, with saw dust
Plenty to make ice cream cones. I tend to forget 
The manure that gives us Red Delicious, or this memory.

Between windshield-wiper swings, I hear the tugs’ blasts.
Perch and red snapper flap on Scandinavian boats,
Neighborhoods where I sold subscriptions of the Reader’s Digest
In Finnish or Polish editions. Catching a glimpse 
Of a girl at the S.H. Kress coffee counter, I think
Of the book on the back seat, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness.
The doctors in the antiseptic Backer Building can’t take away
This and other pains of a small town.

It is near Xmas. My little brother peeks out the window 
Of the car. He is promised hot dogs and ice cream for coming along.
If a pretty girl raises her umbrella, I’ll write a long poem.
No such luck. We cross over to Cosmopolis to see
Boys fishing the Wishkah for sturgeon.
The car is damp, the heater doesn’t work.
In the monotony of rain and windshield-wiper swings,
I think I have a rhythm to beat the words against.
My brother and I settle for hot dogs and milkshakes
At a drive-in going out of town.


Koon Woon, residing at 2012 18th Ave. South, Seattle, was born in a small village near Canton, China in 1949, immigrated to the United States in 1960. He has been a Chinese waiter and cook, US postal and factory worker, mathematics and philosophy student, a former resident of Seattle’s Chinatown district, newspaper reporter, activist for housing and tenant rights, and finally earned his right as poet. His first full-length book, The Truth in Rented Rooms, from Kaya (NY,NY 1998) was a finalist in the Norma Farber first book award from the Poetry Society of America and the winner of the Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence from the Pen Oakland Society. Since his appearance in the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in 1985, Koon has published his poetry in dozens of journals in the US and abroad. He has given many readings and judged poetry contests, held workshops, and organized readings, including the sponsorship of Jack Foley and John Holbrook at the Hugo House in Seattle with the funding of Poets and Writers, Inc. His book has been used as a text for critical studies at several universities and colleges, including Bard, Sarah Lawrence, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. His poems have been read over the radio by Garrison Keillor and he has been interviewed by Jack Foley on KPFA radio in Berkeley. Koon has formed Chrysanthemum Literary Society and Chrysanthemum Publications, Inc., and he is now preparing for admission to the Psych D. program in clinical psychology at Antioch University Seattle. His much-anticipated second book from Kaya, Water Chasing Water, is due October 15, 2012. 

[Posted on 11 November 2012]


* All kinds of poetry in terms of style and subject matter are equally welcome, though we tend to love shorter pieces more;

* All poems are carefully considered year round and, upon acceptance, will be published respectively on 5 Feb, May, Aug, or Nov;

* No author information except names and email addresses in your submissions please - we will ask you for a professional third person bionote upon acceptance;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions are encouraged;

* Previously published work is always okay with us insofar as you still hold the copy or publishing right;

* From time to time, we solicit poems from established as well as emerging poets;

* Neither money exchange nor publishing right is involved, except a genuine love for words, and perhaps for artfully articulated wisdom;

* Please paste up to 5 poems in the body of your email text and send them over to;

* Our response time is shorter than 6 weeks after the receipt; 

* Only those accepted will get a reply - Gooooooodluuuuuuuck!