Sunday 5 November 2017



[autumn issue 2017]

Editor's Notes: for Kate Emily Yuan

dear PP Friends,

one thing related is the fact that about two weeks ago, we opened a facebook page Happy Yangsheng at to share insight, knowledge and experience about yangsheng (literally 'nurturing life' in Chinese, or the Way towards holistic health, happiness and longevity). whoever interested in becoming a yangsheng practitioner please feel more than welcome to take a look and even join our community/discussion.

to all submitters in particular: three important things we hope to remind you of are:
1. when submitting to PP, please paste up to 5 poems together with a brief 3rd person bio note in the body of your email to us; we do not open attachments, nor will we request any bio upon acceptance - this will help reduce our computer time;
2. once accepted, please wait at least one year before submitting new work again - this will allow us to feature more authors.
3. as our attention span is short, we always prefer shorter lyrical poems.

In addition, as 11 November 2017 will be our 5th anniversary, we would like to recall that our impulse to found Poetry Pacific on the Canadian Remembrance Day five year ago was to have a platform for our then teenager editor Allen Qing Yuan to practise his editing skills. Since that time, he has certainly been learning a great deal. At the same time, it is Kate Emily Yuan who has been functioning as our spiritual supporter; otherwise, we would not be able to have persisted and prospered in a sense. So, this issue is dedicated to her.


in this issue, we are honored to present 73 poets and 3 visual artists. if you have nothing better to do, enjoy reading/viewing...

with warmest regards,

- eds. @ PP

POETRY PACIFIC (6.2): Call for Submissions



By submitting to PP, the submitter warrants that 
s/he alone has created the work s/he is submitting and that 
s/he owns all rights to it. The submitter will indemnify and 
hold PP and its staff harmless from and against any and all loss,
 damage, costs and other expenses arising out of claims, 
whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly 
from breach of this warranty. At the same time, 
the submitter/contributor agrees that PP can use 
part or all of his/her accepted material, including responses 
to PP's interview questions, on its Facebook and/or 
other similar social networking vehicles for promotional purposes.

* All poetic and photographic works are carefully read/viewed 
year round on a rolling basis for PP's spring or autumn issue, 
to be released respectively on 5 May/November;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work, 
are all equally welcome insofar as you still hold the copy/publishing rights;

* We wish to pay our poets and buy certain rights from them,
 but there is no money exchange involved, 
except a genuine shared love for art and wisdom;

Please send up to 5 of your best shorter poems each time 
by pasting them all together with a brief 3rd person bio note
within the body of your email
or visual artworks as individually separate attachments. 
Before acceptance, we will NOT open any attachments/files
 for virus/spam-related concerns, but we may ask you 
to send the accepted work as an attachment;

*  Please feel welcome to send us a query if, for instance, 
your accepted work does not appear as scheduled;

* All submitted poems or responses to interviews may be posted on our facebook 
or other networking vehicles for promotional purposes;

* Our response-time is 6-8 weeks at latest, usually shorter than 4 weeks: 
since we never give anyone any 'rejection notice,' please feel free 
to do whatever you want to with your submission
 if you do not get any response/acceptance from PP within two months
 after you send it over to us. In other words: 
only those accepted will get a reply.

Once accepted by PP, please allow at least one year
before submitting new work to us

- Many thanks for your kind support of PP & Gooooodluuuuck!


book/chapbook manuscript submissions 
are closed until further notice

5 Poems by Wayne-Daniel Berard

When I became my love for you

When I became my love for you
my hair was your words standing
on no end, my skin was your breath
in and out expanding just enough
contracting not too little, my eye
lids were your touches shading
the overtness opening to
subtleties, and my heart  --
do not even ask about my
heart -- it was your step,
to, fro, closer, farther, obvious,
subtle. Now I am disembodied,
flat, amorphous and stretched,
and my bootless heart goes
nowhere.  Everything is you
but me. To unbecome your
love is to die in reverse.

Aphrodite Finds True Love

It has been forever.
gods, heroes all sought me
but none saw me.
looking in my eyes
they saw only themselves
and me straddled across them.
I cut myself
but I just grew back;
Eternal Beauty
is Eternal Condescension,
so often taken,
never seriously.
I tried the blind
(Homer, Tiresias)
but I didn't want
to not be seen at all.
could I not be
beautiful and
without exception?
Then you.
Heart as open
as your eyes,
"You are astonishingly
lovely," you said. "You
are also good looking."
"Nothing I could do
with you," you said,
"is as important
as you." I saw a
self mirrored in
your eyes that
none had ever seen,
entirety without
echelon, body
and body of work. Oh
but old self-myths
die hard. "Ask anything,"
I say, hating myself
for saying it. "Wealth,
power, wisdom. Ask.
I'll give it." "An undefended
heart," you answer.
"Yours or mine?"
"Yes," you say.
"Yes," I say.


I know how it must feel to have no one
I'm almost there, having no one but you.
one word, one slip, one kid with a gun
and I'm one of them, the Finished, the Through.
I hate myself for sleeping next to you
so soundly, grateful when I wake and run
to the bathroom, how can I be
unconscious a minute with you,
every blink a regret if/when the
sight of you passes and
almost becomes here.


More important
than no longer
extended families
More important
than faith
and the embrace
of its condition
More important even
than you
who I put aside everything
to have yes
More important
than anything.
May you never
need to understand


I know the sound
the sun makes
as it rises
I know the note
the soul strikes
as g*d draws
it like a bow
returning to its
violin, the body
I know the stage
whisper with which
everything is
cued each morning.
(I lean across
the bed, kiss
your hair before
going. "Know
you're way home
to me"
you sigh,
you day unbreak,
you night sans fall.


Wayne-Daniel Berard teaches English and Humanities at Nichols College in Dudley, MA. Wayne-Daniel is a Peace Chaplain, an interfaith clergy person, and a member of B’nai Or of Boston. He has published widely in both poetry and prose, and is the co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry. His latest chapbook is Christine Day, Love Poems. He lives in Mansfield, MA with his wife, The Lovely Christine.

4 Poems by Koon Woon

Cocaine Streets

In the dribble of mornings wrapped about
The homeless in doorways like a pastrami sandwich

Ordered by mistake, while the scent of cheap bath oils
And colognes parade by on the pretense of work.

So these men are buried if they fail to retreat to alleys.
Their epitaphs may be read as follows:

“He smoked over 38,000 cigarettes,” as there is
Nothing like a slow slaughter that lines our cocaine streets.

I achieve bowl-bottom existence in my tenement where time
Is measured by eight cuts of the fish head

In Cantonese, Toishanese, and Mandarin as the wash
Flies multi-colored on the fire escape like United Nations

Flags and where I intersect my fantasies with the many points
Of a slow existence, while the manager’s daughter sort

Poker chips, as Buddha would sort souls…

Because your present life is coke and planning,
You can blame it on the previous generation of a previous life

As I wonder about the last remnant of opium as we all do in order
To suppress our sex like nuns and monks

And so in our frustration, we retreat to the top of the dresser
Where a bottle of pills are waiting with a glass of water for doom.

I did come to watch the sea

I did come to fish. I stood for hours in the surf but I was not minding the line – my one connection with the ocean. I had done the preparatory work of digging up sand shrimps and impaling their bright orange bodies to the hook and tossing the line with sinker out twenty feet. Sometimes I pull in a perch, occasionally a sea bass or a flounder. But I am sad this day. As for the beach I remember was in a mist.

The townhouses paraded by one by one as I drove through Ocean Shores. The crabgrass unruly and thrusting strong out of the white sand dunes. In the summer tourists come to support this town, but today the weather is all wrong. I am the solitary figure at the surf – the only person within miles watching the sea.

Someone must watch the sea.

The Proprietress of Love
“Something there is making my heart empty.”
She is fond of divulging.

My Uncle pens firmly from China, “Ai mo nung tsor (love to but unable to help).” As Lorca in his somnambular ballad, “Mocito, si yo puedo, este

trato estaba cerraba, per yo no soy yo, y ni mi casa es ya mi casa (If I am able, young man, this bargain would be closed, but I am no longer I and neither is my house my house).”

The cracks in the sidewalk are not a match for this day of thunder in the sky, the sixth day of the storm season, and the wind forebodes downed power lines, like the pain of jilted love.

She is fond of giving me her hand, when no customers are in the store and says, “Look how fast my hands are aging!” I cast a lazy glance toward the videos of love, and say, I can, I can manage you. And as she smiles, a customer walks in.

I return often when either she or I need a boost from each other.

Somewhere hidden in the city Mr. Five Willows is staring at the computer screen, with a glass of wine within reach, and as he pours from the bottle to refill the glass, a sudden downpour of rain outside.

It is too early to trust the weather.

At the barbecue shop a man purchases a roast duck, cleaved and boxed by “the chop-chop man,” who laments he is not an old “wah queue (long-time immigrant).” His cleaver swings up and chops down all day long, and no, this is not a persistent mirage.

Someone is eating with oily lips tonight. Someone who is already fat.

One of the places I have spent time orienting myself...

Locate yourself inside a seaport city
Locate yourself inside the inner city
Locate yourself inside a small square
Locate yourself inside you
this is you

You are the dragon on the wall
 You are the railroad when America was young
 You are the immigrant hands that lay the tracks
 you are here
 it is you

This is a place where you come to
 This is a place within you
 You were here when the sky was born
 you are here
 you are you

 America I have no other place to go now
 But to go within myself and find all that is still new
 This is too a place for you as well as for me
 you and I are both here
we are here

 Of all the places where I have spent my time
 Of all the places that have bruised my heart
America you are deep within my heart now
 The pain was enormous
 yes, it was you

 Now don't tell me now to go back
 Back to Wales or to Bavaria
 America I am now a Native as any Native can be
 to have withstood the pain
 and yet still be free...


Koon Woon is the author of two award-winning books of poems from Kaya Press: The Truth in Rented Rooms, winner of the Pen Oakland Award and a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America; and Water Chasing Water, a winner of the American Book Award. Recently Koon has self-published a memoir with his own Goldfish Press titled Paper-son Poet with a grant from the City of Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture.

Koon has been in the Seattle poetry scene since 1985 with his appearance on the Bumbershoot literary stage after taking poetry workshops from Nelson Bentley. He edited the print journal Chrysanthemum from 1990 until 2006 and currently hosts the online journal Five Willows Literary Review. He is the editor and publisher of Goldfish Press since 2003 and has published over a dozen titles of all genres of work from local and national poets/writers/playwrights.

Koon's poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 3 times and two of his poems have been nominated as the best of the Internet.. He has appeared in dozens of journals, print and online, and have been internationally-anthologized as well as nationally-anthologized and most recently in Quixotica, an anthology celebrating the life and work of Miguel Cervantes, published in Hong Kong

5 Poems by Allen Qing Yuan

The Titans

Rampaging and desecrating the walls with the blood of those who built them
they turn all classes into livestock and consume them slowly, not for needs
but for pleasure

They destroy the homes where people felt comfortable
and they make sure no one is comforted

“Show me the money!” they declare; instantly
We see the blood on the money
We see that blood does not equate money
We see the blood of money

But what difference does it make when blood drips from your hands
Any witness would just see the colour of red and not the shades in between

To Change Yourself Is to Change the Whole World

You know little, you know nothing
About quantum entanglement?
Don’t feel ignorant. Me either

But listen: once you’ve changed
Your own inner being, you will
Be better off, and once your self is
Better off, so will your family; so will
Your neighborhood; your village or city
Your homeland; your (and our)
Whole world. The same is true

With quantum physics, exactly
As in human society

Inside vs Outside

Even if, as you choose
You are already deep inside
The circle, inside
The trend, inside
The office, inside
The fashion, inside
Her body, inside
Their book, inside
Its record, inside
Our archive, inside
Your heart, or even inside
The very core, your inner being
Is still lingering in the outside

The way I always prefer
To see, to watch, to think

In No Particular Order

Trees are much more beautiful than humans

Because each has a deep root
Because each root grabs earth tightly

Because each has a strong trunk
Because each trunk is supportive of all its branches

Because each has a unique shape
Because each shape is graceful in its own way

Because each has only one position
Because each position is firm for a lifetime

Because each has a natural environment
Because each environment is a perfect fit for its soul

Because each has a solid heart
Because each heart is full of rings of love

Time against Subjectivity 

No sooner had the ice sheet moved an inch

No sooner had dinosaurs extinguished

No sooner did they come down from trees

No sooner did the gambler stops casting the dice

No sooner was the book written

No sooner have the snags drifted away

No sooner did the politician finished his speech act

No sooner has she left the house… Are you listening?


Allen Qing Yuan (born in Vancouver in 1995), author of Traffic Light, is a 2-time Pushcart and one-time Best of the Net nominee. A former co-editor of Poetry Pacific, Allen is currently working full-time for Canada Revenue Agency as an intern from the University of British Columbia. Since grade 10, Allen has had poetry appear in more than 70 literary publications across 16 countries, which include Cordite Poetry Review, Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Scotland, Shampoo and Spillway.

Allen is also the co-founder of a popular clothing brand Above the Movement. For more, please visit his websites:: ; ; Twitter: @ATMovement

10 Photos by Tao Zhijian


Tao Zhijian is a translator and scholar, with a doctorate from McGill and a membership with the Chinese Writers Association in Quebec, Canada. He has taught at several universities and worked also in the hydroelectric and hydrological fields. His published works include monograph Drawing the Dragon: Western European Reinvention of China, translations of scholarly work Bibliography Complex, and art album Chung Siu Yau Series: the Golden Age, both from Chinese to English. Under his name are also four poetry collections in translation, entitled respectively The Fortuities of a Shoe, A Line at Dawn, On the Shore Beyond, and Upon the Flower, totalling some 320 poems. He has also published numerous critical essays, prose writings and poems in scholarly journals, newspapers and literary magazines in China, Europe, the US as well as in Canada. He is presently engaged, as one of the translators, in the project of creating Chinese-English editions of two of the most authoritative Chinese language dictionaries, a project jointly taken by the Commercial Press and Oxford U press.

5 Poems by Lenny DellaRocca

A Book Arrives in the Mail
for Denise

I'm sending a check.
I'm writing the history of gratitude
on the back where you'll write
“for deposit only”
in case a poor stranger finds it
should it slip from your hand,
cashes it in South Beach
where he'll skip down a neon street
arms held up to the sun
singing about theft and luck.
My check is only a portion of the payment,
there will be a festival: floats and Margaritas,
glittering costumes, fireworks
spelling your name around the moon;
accept the baby leopard-
give her a name worthy of a poem,
walk her on the beach at night;
the postman with first edition Nerudas
will ask you to sign, please do so
with those shooting stars in your little finger.

Earth Becomes Earth

Peter’s father buried what his family didn’t eat or smoke:
Coffee grounds, dead cigarettes.

We hid behind the compost
smoking stolen Chesterfields,

puffed away, talking like grown-ups,
making the faces of our fathers

in finger paint and stick figures.

Smoke fumed from our mouths
as we leaned against the mound of egg shells

crushed under peat moss and steak bones,
from which would grow

tomatoes and pumpkins
for sauce and Halloween.

Hang Man

He is the sum of an
unfortunate handful
of pencil lines,
condemned by a single word,
executed letter by letter
mute, stiff as a stick.

None have ever
drawn his mouth
rendering him
unable to call for a T
to save his neck,
an A to stop the drop.
He can’t shout E
to avoid that F
which will murder him.

What was his crime?
Maybe he befriended
a garden snake
which told red delicious lies
while dangling from the branch
of a tree.

And so he’s eternally at the mercy
of children getting
the hang of letters
They don’t know the power
of connecting them, how they kill
letter by letter
making him live forever.

Let it Be

What if there is no answer?
Or worse, the woman consumed by light
whispers but no one is there.

Birds prosecute the apocalypse against the dead.
Though the last sonnet is uttered in defense,
the world has already ended.

Flesh smokes on the bones of those who waited
for something else to happen.
The soft woman in blue and white robes
hovers over the hopeful dead.

Other Lives and Silences
A Collaborative poem by Michael Hettich and Lenny DellaRocca

The woman in the painting above our bed
leans against a gate in her garden
sweetened with summer, while dark birds
swirl around her head. She's wearing a dress
the color of a beech tree a little boy climbed once,
too high, and disappeared into the man he is now.

I imagine myself that boy, peering from branches
as the woman looks out from beneath that tree,
and I imagine her calling out to me, as I lie here in my bed,
dreaming of other lives and silences.

Once when I walked from a dream into
the rooms of my house, wallpaper emblazoned
with chameleons and Florentine suns,
I seemed to lose myself in someone else’s memories
and move with another person’s body, until
I hurt things without meaning to, trying to caress
the delicate face of someone I used to know,
who is not here, not anymore, who sees what I cannot:
the secrets of my beating heart, the sadness in my eyes.
The woman in the painting heals me
with her far-away look, makes the very things
she sees, and makes the small birds cry.


Lenny DellaRocca has had poems in Poet Lore, Poetrybay, Albatross, 2River view, Fairy Tale Review, Chiron Review, Seattle Review, POEM, and Nimrod. His chapbook, The Sleep Talker, is available at Night Ballet Press.  His latest collection, is Blood and Gypsies. DellaRocca is founder and co-publisher of South Florida Poetry Journal- SoFloPoJo- and Interview With a Poet both at

5 Poems by Anthony Ilacqua

Cracked Lips

At the art museum
we told each other lies
through cracked lips

Empty Bra

near the poppies
we slept in the grass
and spiders made nests
in the empty bra

 The Dark Side of Town

We read books
late nights
incandescent bulbs
and overflowing ashtrays

Untied Shoes on a Sunday Afternoon

In her room
she put her shoes on
for some reason
she was not dressed otherwise
it was a rainy afternoon
we spoke
of laundry
vaguely of love
and a future
we would not see

Untied Shoes on a Sunday Afternoon

In her room
she put her shoes on
for some reason
she was not dressed otherwise
it was a rainy afternoon
we spoke
of laundry
vaguely of love
and a future


Anthony Ilacqua's third novel Warehouses and Rusted Angels is forthcoming. His novels, Dysphoric Notions (2012) and Undertakers of Rain (2013) are both published through Ring of Fire Publishing. He currently functions as editor in chief for Umbrella Factory Magazine that he co-founded in 2009. Meet Anthony at his blog:

2 Poems by Michael Seeger

Closet Narcissist

I want to know if I exist,
Not some simple aphorism;
Am I a closet narcissist?

Should I ask a pharmacist
About this painful euphemism?
I want to know if I exist.

Or will it simply be dismissed;
Labels are a barbarism.
Am I a closet narcissist?

It seems even the arsonist
Eludes judgmentalism —
But without the fire does he exist?

How long will these symptoms persist
Without causing a schism?
I might be a closet narcissist

Or is it simply Darwinistic,
Or worse —existentialism?
I want to know if I exist —  
I am a closet narcissist.

Why My Daughter Loves One Direction

I am my mother's son
And she loved Frank Sinatra.
And always did.

I grew up to the sound
Of Sinatra singing.

Her music I heard.

When I listen,
I am her.

And when I'm obsessed,
She is me.

I am my daughter's father.
I love Bob Dylan
And always did.

She grew up to the sound
Of Dylan singing.
My music she heard.

When she listens,
She is me.

And when she's obsessed,
I am her.


Michael Seeger is a poet and educator residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, he worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm.  He considers poetry a passion and writing generally a way of life. Michael’s poems have recently appeared in US poetry journals/publications like the Lummox Press, Better Than Starbucks, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Mindful Word and as finalists in several GoodReads contests.

5 Poems by Russell Jaffe


What we need is a state budget.
What we need are human services.
What we need is human.
Tissue paper falling in layers in the soft of the breeze.
The sun falls upon our faces. Woke.
What we are getting are throats
Caught & poured
Full of molten gold.
What makes us forever in struggle


So I said information.


We should all be broadcasting our visions.


Things are not ok.
Doomsday's at the don't of every corner.
We are waiting for the storybook someday rocket ship to take us away.
Storybook endings—what the fuck have we done?!
Answers, the split divided cells of the body
Of the mind.

The knife always goes in slow
Over many generations.
Blood learns to move out
Of its way​.


The diagnosis is that these
Are deeply spiritual times
That must be protected.

We Americans
Down dreams
Just right.

But we must have learned to from somewhere.

Repetition is classically American:
And deeply sexual.


Russell Jaffe is the editor of TL;DR magazine, a magazine of what's now. He is the author of the poetry collections This Super Doom I Aver (Poets Democracy, '13), INTROVERT // EXTROVERT (Punk Hostage, '14), Civil Coping Mechanisms (Civil Coping Mechanisms, forthcoming '17) and the chapbook LA CROIX WATER (Damask Press, 16). He films study guides for canonical literary texts, teaches English, and collects 8-tracks.

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

Quest for Light

in a world always half in darkness
your body may be soaked deep
in a nightmare, rotting

but your heart can roam
like a synchronous satellite
in the outer space, leaving
the long night far behind
as long as your heart flies fast
and high enough, you will live
in light forever


At the same height of
Every rocky mountain
       Above all seasonal change
You are widely and cursively cut

As if to bite a whole patch of
Sky from heaven
With rows of rows of
Whale-like teeth

Let Alone

Man, as he really is, is far beyond
God’s imagination, let alone understanding

If you really love Earth, you wouldn’t be
Afraid to show it to the world, let alone her

Most websites don’t even last fourteen
Months, let alone fourteen years

They never thought they’d be able to do
Any serious reading, let alone thinking

Some people can’t help inventing lies
Let alone telling them

The sun shines on you but not on me
Let alone my shadow

I always expect the world to leave me
Alone, let alone my poetry

Daoist Harmony between Man and Nature

One Way // One Selfhood

Two opposites // body vs soul

Four seasons // four limbs

Five elements // five senses

Seven days // seven emotions (sins?)

Twelve months // twelve energy channels

Twenty four solar terms // twenty four spine vertebrae

Thirty hundred sixty five days // so many meridian points

All so exactly correlated, corresponding, cooperative
To be balanced, between yin and yang

The Origin of a Family Name 

Y: You are haunted by ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter in your
Family name, but because it’s like a horn, which the water buffalo in your
Native village uses to fight against injustice or, because it’s like a twig
Where a crow can come down to perch, a cicada can sing towards
The setting sun as loud as it wants to; more important, in Egyptian hieroglyphics
It stands for a real reed, something you can bend into a whistle or flute
In pronouncing it, you can get all the answers you need, besides
You can make it into a heart-felt catapult and shoot at a snakehead or
Sparrow as long as it is within the wild wild range of your boyhood

U: is surely a part of you, while you sound no more than a s single letter
U, which is nothing but a copy of a chick; you used to be on the bank of
The Nile, where u can be changed into v within a european word as in yvan
It’s said you have the makings of a victor, a powerful us or un representative
Who begins the unit, the union, the uniform, the university, the universe

A: As the first born to the Semitic family, A was originally
A picture of an alef or ox, the agricultural energy that was rotated twice until
Alpha loomed up in the Greek psychoscape even before
Adam became the chosen father of all Europeans close to
Athens, where Apollo had acupunctured wisdom and knowledge into
Aristotle, the intellectual ancestor of modern man, who inspired
Alexander to make the first effort of globalization, which did not reach East
Asia, the land of Ah Q’s, the largest hotel for
All travelers until centuries later, but it is
Atomic bombs that will blow up all our pasts and send us through
America to a higher civilization, where the drop of an
Apple is to enable us to fly to the other side of the universe
Along the cosmic string as Africa, the heart of human darkness
Awaits for Buddha, Jesus, Allah or an other unknown
Author to come and rotate for the third time
A scarlet letter of A

N: No, nobody knows this but you are really no more
Or no less than the old Egyptian metonymy of  a stream, river
Lake, sea or even an entire ocean, where there is always water
Where there are always fish rather than a synecdochic Z
Pushed straight upright On the bank of the Euphrates


Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart nominee and author of seven chapbooks (including Dark Phantasms [Flutter Press, Nov, 2017]), grew up in rural China, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai as an ESL student at age nineteen, and published monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition, BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry in Voice, Threepenny Review and 1,369 others across 40 countries.

Recently, Yuan has just created a new facebook page Happy Yangsheng [快乐养生]at to share insight, knowledge and experience about yangsheng (literally 'nurturing life' [to attain wellness, happiness and longevity]).

5 Poems by William Minor

In sacred cultures,
the head was an object
of tremendous significance,
but in normal cultures
it was just a head.


Animals can stand outside for hours.


How does
one investigate
the conditions
in which a woman
might appear.


The oddest use
for a seated man
is thought.


in extreme form
can be



William Minor's first book, tree on the outside, was published by Coracle in 2010. His second book, pigeons and pussy, by Shearsman in 2013. His poems have also appeared in Dusie, Coconut, 6x6, DIAGRAM and others. He lives in Los Angeles.

1 Poem by S. A. Gerber


daffodil in
the dust
surviving the
rain falling
slow, like
molasses, against
a red
morning sky
of no consequence.
over crashing waves,
call upon
the sort of saint
that can be
bought for
four beers,
to make the
ground sacred.
no person
dies quickly
on their watch.
it takes longer
than it should…
perhaps a lifetime.


S. A. Gerber is a native and resident again of Los Angeles, CA. after having spent twenty-four years in a neighboring “city of sin” in the Silver State of Nevada. His work has appeared in such diverse publications as Desert Voices Magazine, Subtopian Magazine, Talking Sidewalks, Mad Swirl, Sediment Literary and Arts Journal, Poetica Magazine, Black Heart Magazine, The Blue Collar Review,Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles, The Linden Avenue Literary Journal, The Poet’s Haven, Stray Light Literary Magazine, and Literature in Los Angeles Magazine. He is a member in good standing in the Los Angeles Poet’s Society, when his work has been “Spotlighted” on their website page. His two (2) volumes of poetry, Under the Radar and Inventory can both be obtained on Barnes & Noble and, as well as Beyond Baroque bookstore in Venice, CA. and The Amber Unicorn in Las Vegas,NV.

2 Poems by Mark Mansfield


Angel is the only word in the language which
cannot be worn out.
                          --Victor Hugo

Hello.  Have you been touched by an angel yet?
If not, you may be the last living creature
on the planet not to be.  I can’t so much
as peek outside my door these days without
some other angel groupie gushing about
his or her miracle du jour.  What in
the name of Whomever happened to dumb
blind luck?  Maybe it’s time for the thrones, powers,
dominions, and such to start frugging once more
on the head of a darning needle, blessedly one
in some galaxy without a return policy.
Or take a couple of eons off, and drop
in on Pops, still hustling the night shift out at the Old
Immortals’ Home.  Yeah, and drag along young Whozits.

Useful Insights 
is thinking of you without
being aware of it.
                      —Amy Gerstler

Let's try another example.
It's Wednesday,
late evening,
the planets and stars,
the moon most probably
are out there trining, sextiling,
etc., so that you can enjoy a meal with friends,
but don't overeat or spend too much.
You are sensitive to your surroundings now
and may have useful insights.
Why not make a to-do list of household chores?

Might you feel better
if you let someone get close?


Mark Mansfield is the author of one, full-length collection of poetry, Strangers Like You (2009, revised 2016 Van der Decken).  His poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review, Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Deep South Magazine, The Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, The Ledge, Limestone, Magma, Potomac Review, Salt Hill, San Pedro River Review, Scrivener, Unsplendid, and elsewhere.  He was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee.  Currently, he lives in upstate New York.

2 Poems by Gary Duehr

American Gothic

Has my subject been wrung dry
By 20th-century novelists—who wonder why
A regular guy
Halfway through his life would suddenly find that he's
Without belief, adrift? Am I
That guy? I don't want to be. Still, these
Days keep piling up.
Once I found myself wiping my face
With a washrag in the bathroom mirror, trying to erase
The feeling I'd fucked up.
Does that count? I haven't sobbed out loud
For 20 years or more.
Maybe I should. That scary place at four
In the morning, when a crowd
Of strangers line up in dreams to accuse you—
That's when things get shaky.
Does that amuse you?
Can any of us truly locate the unique aching
In those nearest to us? Imagine staring
At "American Gothic" and seeing a startling
Truth about a man and wife
Behind the pitchfork and grim expressions, like a palette knife
That scrapes you. Here we are
Like any couple, driving in our car
To some friends' house for dinner. Conversation slows.
On Sirius, the CNN shows
Bark out the latest snafus. Every moment
Thrums with wariness, a foment
Of ideas assembled, piece by piece, on short notice.
The headlights scoop a tunnel
Between the snowy mounds. We pull
Into the driveway, kill the engine. Below the surface,
Nothing's happened; everything's happened.
Language fails.

Breaking News

It’s hard to keep up with each new disaster.
They just keep coming, faster and faster. What’s the last error?
Take your pick.
A phone call here, a phone call there, the tick tock tick
Of hourly disgraces. Hanging up
On the Australian PM, threatening the Mexican Pres.
With sending in U.S. troops to round up
All the “bad hombres.”
Jesus, hit pause. There’s no time to get nostalgic
For last week’s gaffe: using the CIA’s wall of heroes
As a backdrop for a narcissistic
CV: number of Time covers, despite the media ho’s.
Never mind the farcical rollout
Of the ban that’s not a ban, the national fallout
From nominees whose nominal expertise is close to nil.
Timeout for a photo-op. See the sparkly Harley cycle
On the White House lawn?
See the president’s tie, so red and long,
As he strides down the East Room’s carpet
To announce his latest get?
It’s hard to come up with enough quick rhymes
For the worst of times.
What’s to be done? Another rally? An online petition?
Post more angry poems? Acts of sedition?
This just in: the Sixties you missed
Are back, from UC Berkeley to DC, and they’re wicked pissed.


Gary Duehr has taught poetry and writing for institutions including Boston University, Lesley University, and Tufts University. His MFA is from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. In 2001 he received an NEA Poetry Fellowship, and he has also received grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the LEF Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Journals in which his poems have appeared include Agni, American Literary Review, Chiron Review, Cottonwood, Hawaii Review, Hotel Amerika, Iowa Review, North American Review, and Southern Poetry Review. His books of poetry include In Passing (Grisaille Press, 2011), THE BIG BOOK OF WHY (Cobble Hill Books, 2008), Winter Light (Four Way Books, 1999) and Where Everyone Is Going To (St. Andrews College Press, 1999).

3 Poems by Jaron Saturnino

​Advanced Poem 

I cheat when I write poetry
I use a rhyming website
Collected by a guy named Van
I emailed him one night

How it reminds me of this type chess
Where competitors use the help of AI
Humans still choose the moves
But blunders don't pass by

I haven't heard back yet
I don't like the nervousness time creates
An admirer joked I should write about it
So I wrote this poem that demonstrates

Of Van's chest:
Advanced chess
A fan's jest

The Stack of Cats 

There once was a stack of cats
Who owed dues to top hats
They conducted legal combat
Against the top of the bat
It was
Feline Fee Line v. Lion

I Haven't Cleaned My Car in 6 Years 

Ten realizations I came to while cleaning my car so I could sell it:
1. McDonald's fries are forever.
2. Here is a book that I thought I would read when I found myself bored in my car. I never made it past the first chapter.
3. Taco Bell cheese shreds are forever.
4. Someone left a banana peel underneath my passenger seat and I somehow never noticed.
5. Here is a tennis racket that was supposed to be used to play rounds with random strangers at the park. I have never used it.
6. Here is a bag filled with swimming stuff that was bought in the hope of developing a daily routine. It was only used once, and it smells heavily of chlorine. I will have to burn it.
7. Pennies, more so than other coins, are not forever. They rust so badly that they look more like flattened breath mints than a valid form of currency.
8. I am cleaning my car to not embarrass myself in front of an auto interior detailer who has already seen worse and knows that being embarrassed by the cleanliness of your car is a slippery slope towards giving up on your car.
9. The car is just a machine to get you from point A to point B. Any meaning that you place beyond this is an expression of your personality and moral framework.
10. The boogers that you wipe underneath your seat as the driver- those are forever.


Jaron Saturnino is a web designer and editor of <a href=""></a>, a literary journal that randomly generates its 30 minute issues and masthead poem every day.

2 Poems by Frank Cavano

I Make Myself the Center of Things

I make myself the center of things
like the Earth before they knew
like the hub of a phantom wheel

can you hear my cry
all you tiny eyes
do I make a spark
somewhere out in space

perhaps at the periphery
I'm more than I pretend to be
centerpieces are for show
centerpieces never know

published in 2014 by vox poetica

Of Pain

In the blazing of a dawning sun one
may sense a flight of angels but
only in the rain can one
see the face of God

published by visionswithvoices [winter 2013-2014]


Frank is a retired psychiatrist living in South Carolina with his wife, Carol. In recent years he has been fortunate to have had more than 120 poems (and short stories) published online and/or in print. Credits include; the Aurorean, Lalitamba, River Poets Signature Series, The Heron's Nest, Modern Haiku, the Penwood Review, the Whirlwind Review, Indigo Rising, visionswithvoices and vox poetica. He is always grateful when an effort stimulates new thought or strikes an emotional chord with a reader.

4 Poems by James Diaz

Close Enough

you bring me dark mouth
and on the inside
where none can find you
that haunted hollow
where you stir up dreams
and throw throw them on the floor
one by one
I count the magic
you've lost
one of the first and only casualties
I pocket it like a tooth
I go deep toward you
nothing can break us now
we are in pieces already

It's Not As Easy To Be Loved As You Think

I look for horizon line
something descending
like I don't know what
to call it even
maybe the sound of dying
or shattered things brought indoors

a name on paper
little to no reassurance
we are more than fragile
I want to say we are more than we know what to do with

I want to fight you
but I don't know the method here
the math is odd
and your mouth fierce
a furnace eating poems
I can't write fast enough
to keep up with your not needing to know how human we are
and deserving
and belonging here
almost more than you

I want to say goodness will win
but I'm not so sure anymore.

Simply Breaking

Artificial light
will only illuminate
artificial things

it's so familiar
to be this broken

sound of cars
misfiring in the parking lot
of sadness drawing the shortest straw
every night
the day dreaming of its longest run
across thighs quivering from too much
sex, drugs, cutting-

and the angular rush
toward whatever form
oblivion takes
this side of nowhere at all
comes like a haunting
all over your face
as if you've seen too much life
or suddenly forgotten your words

as if you are just figuring out
how badly the world will break you,
how much you'll let it.

Small Talk

The colliding in your heart
the arriving at the party too late
and how painful living is
hand me down reminders
of rags to rags
to wondering
where all the years went.


JAMES DIAZ is the founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in HIV Here & Now, Foliate Oak, Chronogram, and Cheap Pop Lit. His first book of poems, This Someone I Call Stranger, is forthcoming from Indolent Books (2017.)

1 Poem by Cathy Van Berkem


They say trees scream when you cut them, even a gash from a wayward stick releases their voices.Birds know.  Winds that sift through the leaves whisper to them.  The

birds chitter, the trees sigh spent from their injury.  We do not hear them.  We cannot be still enough.  We cannot be silent enough. We cannot be formless, let their pure energy join with us, or invite ourselves into their ineffable lives.

The ginko tower above the pool wall, the humming pumps, peeling rubber rafts, tangled bougainvillea.  They are Siamese twins, sharing a single trunk below, then at the crotch dividing into separate trees. The right is golden, turning coppery early in the season, a brightness you can see after dark, an illusion of light still trapped in its shimmer.

On the left, the tree is summer green, no curling brown leaf edges signaling a new season.  Vibrant, defiant.  Are they speaking, in each an expression to what is leaving, what is coming?  Or is one simply closer to the sun’s relentless light longer, drying fast within the space of those extra hours?  The other, shaded by the big house, bathed with the sea fog drifting up at dusk?  Leaves flare and flash brightest before their death.  We see them, but even when quiet cannot know any melody in those last songs and sighs.


Cathy Van Berkem is a writer living in California. She was introduced to poetry as a toddler by her mother, who read many things to her not the least of which was Child’s Garden of Verses.
This began a lifelong love of poetry. Educated at University of California Berkeley, her cum laude
degree was English with concentration in poetry. She has been an English teacher, a corporate
Learning and Development executive, an executive coach and management consultant to business,
academia, government, and non-profit organizations of all sizes and services. She has written poetry
since her teen-age years, but recently retired to become a writer full time. Writing poetry is as
important as breathing to her.

2 Poems by Rick Hartwell

The View Across the River

Unnatural lines, unwieldy, graceless, and cumbersome,
Yet possessed of elements of durability, hardiness and comfort.

These were houseboats on the lower reaches of the Umpqua,
Homes to river folk, present eyesores and presumed potential hazards.

Those whose interests lay with eradicating waterway squatters
Continued to press politicians, floating resolutions to change river codes.

Myriad moonbeams shone at night from every window across the waters,
As current, riffles and eddies shattered reflections.  Focused on the moving element

Bound between majestic, pine-seeded mountains towards the potent Pacific,
Occasional individuals would reflect on the contrasts among mountains, river and light.

However, over years the mountains are denuded, the Umpqua is fouled, and shimmering
Splinters of night-light shatter, one by one, as the houseboats sink to rules and regulations.

The last, impotent houseboat burned to the waterline a while back as adolescent amusement.
Dancing lights were beautiful from the south bank, as the final iridescent withdrawal was made.

previously appeared online in Pigeonbike, now defunct, in June 2011

Morning Memories

There was a blond bombshell
seated in a red Corvette
flying new paper plates.

She was headed east
in the morning on the 215
into a glorious newborn day.

A quick glance to the side,
captured in my memory.
a porcelain face, rouged, ready,

Framed by white-rimmed
sunglasses and pouty lips
steadied in a purposeful smile.

I’d hoped for a glimmer of
eye contact reflected in her mirror
as she pulled ahead of me,

With nothing but exotic fantasies
beside her in the empty seat
of my peek into paradise.

previously appeared online in The Rainbow Rose, now defunct, in November 2011


Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity.

4 Poems and 6 Haiku by James B. Nicola


Hot mustard, soy and duck sauce stains
on off-white cartons start to reek.
We’ve ordered in, for Thursday’s gains
     must make up for the week.

Management’s picked up the bill
so everyone can work straight through.
Friday at five, or quarter till,
     the week of work is due.

If one dropped in on Thursday one
would think we were a den of slobs.
But we won’t stop till we get it done—
     or get other jobs.

Humor of an Age

I told an old friend an old joke, to no applause,
no snort, no snicker: only a courteous turning
to face me, a half-smile. And in the pause,
an ash long embered, on the verge of burning.

(I used to see it in your eyes
—but was it you?—right before
the moment you would recognize
my tale as humorous and roar
with the unbridled laughter
of childhood. You recall?
No rudeness between friends. After
that rambunctious phase, a veil of cool

descended, which a soul might misconstrue
for darkness. But the adolescent dark
could not extinguish the embers in you,
and every now and then I saw a spark
wanting to ignite.
So I kept on joking,
trying to free the fiery light.

Then you started smoking
and instead of laughing, or appearing to listen,
you would simply nod, or shake your head, and puff.
But even containing, you seemed to glisten;
as if the coals within you never got enough.

The decades subsequent, what you became
was hardly recognizable: proper,
polite; our conversation turning tame,
neither of us a ghost of who we were.
It was nobody’s fault.
It’s how life was, and is,
when you’re an adult
and in business.

And now:)  “Congratulations! Truth told, I doubt-
ed you would ever get the business sold.
So do you want to hear the one about—”
(But are you—you? Or have we grown too old?)

I told my friend the joke, to no applause,
no snort, no snicker: only a courteous turning
to face me, a half-smile. And in the pause,
an ash long embered, on the verge of burning.

A Moment from Now

One stands
 at the door
  of a moment from now

   and can only
    go through.
Of course

 when the room
  appears dark
   One listens

    and hearing a sweet air,
     breathing it in,
      makes the essential easier:

       to stand
        at the door
         and go through

          that One

             But even
              if We hear

                even if We see
                 but darkness
                  even if We hear

                   but silence or see
                     or oblivion

We stand
 at the door
  of a Moment from Now

   and can only
    go through
of course.

[end of poem]


How bold you rant
And brave you act
How fast you play
How loud you talk
Because you can’t
Deny the fact
Of—Let’s just say
The Ticking Clock.

So we are but
The same, you see,
Both more than what
You thought of me
Or, if that’s not
Precisely true
Both less than what
I thought of you.

6 haiku, 1 with title

cone. sprig. pine. lumber
stripped, nailed for a span of use.
bench among the cones

* * *

I’ll turn the last leaf
of this book like the autumn
to wait for the next

* * *

midnight—smells ’n’ sounds
daylight—added sights abound
till they trickle down

* * *

noon glare’s glad, invites;
afternoon’s exhilarates;
evening’s, muted, calms

* * *

whimsy looks back on
inaccurate remembrance
seeding the future

* * *

winter thermostat

     getting on in years
I tend to burn a candle
     in the evening hours


James B. Nicola's poems have appeared in Poetry Pacific, the Antioch, Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, and Poetry East. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His two poetry collections, published by Word Poetry, are Manhattan Plaza (2014) and Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016).

3 Poems by Ross Jackson


as dusk falls through red gold forest
fiery ripples bleed at the edges
of moonlight lake
where typha rushes sussurate
the breeze's kisses flow along the borders
between day and night
slow rain rinses between teeth of trees
chill crosses the slowly growing
moss of your thoughts

Timid Swimmer

fresh awake, my mind scans in details
of sun, sea and sky, yet I’m still startled
each morning when that first cold wave
like an odd idea jumps at my face

in ears and eyes there’s salted wrack
though warming sun covers my back
I’m anxious about humming turbines
from the undertow, tell me why

I always shiver and hold back
for in each new day
a brand new ocean!

Where stillness drowses 

from a photo
a pier thrown up
for enclosing boats
yachts bare of sails
and bare of souls
originals and duplicates
of their masts and jetty posts
hinged on a shimmering skin
the torpor of a dozing watch
harboured there as haze


Ross Jackson is a retired school teacher and long term resident of Perth, Western Australia. He has had poems in many Australian literary journals and his work has also appeared in New Zealand, Ireland, England and Canada. He writes about the experience of aloneness in the suburbs, about aging, landscapes, the companionship of dogs, visual art and many other topics. Ross has led an unexceptional life but he is not complaining.

3 Poems by Bruce McRae

A Journey

Laden with kisses
and other burdens
of the fuddled flesh.

Weighted with bone
and blood and brain
matter, grave matters

of the psyche and physical
realm. Being human
and all its transport,

this existent train
we travel upon
to the farthest reaches,

our madwise journey
through proud seasons
and breathless beauty.

Going and going
and we never arrive.
We never get there.


 Our waiter has gone wandering
the wildwoods and wastelands.
Our waiter was last seen heading west,                              
along unchartered waterways,                                  
and may very possibly be following the wind,
his absence revealing our limitations,
our frailties, our flaws.

Our waiter has abandoned us to fortune.
The seasons change. The constellations alter.
And still no hope, no sign of his return.
No amount of wailing or gnashing of teeth,
no appeal, will keep us from our predicament.
We are as if little children after a plane crash,
stunned and bloodied, whimpering softly.
We sit. We await our inevitable end.

Invitation To A Party

Momentary and experiential,
as in all good comedies,
time tying its sailor knots,
bloated and gouty, consorting
with a damaged umwelt…

You’re in Sleepytown,
and there’s nothing for it
but to drive round and round
in ever-decreasing circles,
driving at night
with the headlights off,
swerving to avoid yourself,
sounding the horn at the ineffable,
reading the address on your invitation
by the light of a waxing moon.
Arriving late. Departing early.


Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press), An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy (Cawing Crow Press) and Like As If (Pskis Porch), all available via Amazon.

2 Poems by Agbaakin O. Jermiah


we do not mind death today
so that tomorrow may live.

the papers say
you'd compensate our mothers at home
andwives who fondle our absences,
elusive as shadows in full nights.

a soldier is nothing
but fingers in the trigger of a city
trying to shoot
the treasonous letters of negotiation.

so we do not mind to die
as seeds do on fields;
our blood shall be the manure.

for tomorrow, tomorrow shall live
with songs of how much I wanted to die,
that I buried a lead in my head.


(for Nigerian Returnees from Libyan)
a flee does set man free.
you were a jailed spittle in the lips
of a city locked in the kiss of civil wars.

home-coming is like the folly
of holding faith as if it were solid
like cookies or cheese.
your heels put a knife to the throat
of Tripoli sebaceous with petroleum.

in her dessert,
cactuses, incandescent by tropical heat
twirl gently in the peaceful breeze.
but the Beaufort operator repeats:
this breeze now is a storm.

on the Atlas,
home too, is a graffiti drawn in blood
by the brushstrokes of Jihadists
and a sloppy Media on cable.

you ignore the European salvation
above theMediterranean
for the year before now,
men became fishes with no gills
to wade to a nearby shore
from the stormy sea.


Agbaakin O. Jeremiah, an aspiring poet and campus Editor reads law in University of Ibadan. His works have graced several publications (and are forthcoming) like Liquid Imagination, Antarctica Journal, Wagon Magazine, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, African Writer and elsewhere.

2 Poems by Marc Carver


You can't kid yourself forever
You can't really kid other people either.
They believe
what they want to believe,
good or bad.

It has taken me a whole life
to work that one out.
I guess I learnt a few other things along the road.

They say you never stop learning
but who are they?
A thought,
an abstraction
a postman farting in the wind.

whoever they are
won't kid themselves about me either.


I wake up from my nap
it is still morning.
Think about going out into the world
but find it hard
after all saying hi to a stranger that you never see again
gets you down after a while.

I woke up to a drilling in my head
it could be one of all those people in my head.
You can look at my poetry and think it was written by a hundred different people.
A whole legion
up there.
Yea perhaps it was one of them trying to spear his way out of my head
but hang on little man,
where would you go
after all Rome is a long way.

3 Poems by Neil Ellman

How to Look at a Spiral
(after the art cartoon by Ad Reinhardt)

Look closely.
Study it from every angle
and from within.
Measure it with calipers
in inches and miles.
Observe it through a microscope
and watch it move
at the speed of light
or lethargy of a sloth.

It can be seen
In fingerprints, galaxies,
Peacock feathers and DNA
in neoliths, Nazka lines
vipers and snails
everywhere you look.

Ever-tightening, spiraling
like tornadic winds
like life
winding down to its final hour.

How to Look at Space
(after the cartoon by Ad Reinhardt)

Through a telescope
space seems a circle
on a petrie dish—
know it as it is.

Through a microscope
a boundless universe
filled with galaxies—
it is.

With the naked eye
scan the skiy
for signs of life—
they are surely there.

Fruit Man
(after the painting by George Condo)

I know I can’t
but I would be a cantaloupe
if I can
a melon heavy in the hand
so sweet
the tongue would sing and dance
like a Dervish in a trance.

If I can, I would also be
a strawberry, grape or peach
soft, ripe, like water in themouth
land a sultry rain upon the face.

I would be a topical fruit
of any kind:
banana, jujube or honeydew
guava, papaya or nance
any fruit whatsoever
but never, never again a man.


Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published numerous poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

3 Poems by B. Z. Niditch


Not allowing any space
of our love impulses
to divide my time
outside Paris
with poems on Picasso
for our surrealism
will be made in the snow
from our ice sculptures
we share in common
with a painted picture
of birds flying over
our sound proof studio
when this still life is reality
transforming what will grow
into fulcrums of romance
not embarrassed
from a metamorphosis
in words of creation.


Language invades
our loving sensibility
parting in an art
of innocent glances
at our age
from our memory
in framed nuances
to engage our life
from an emancipated time
or to take our one chance
in a balancing act
from passages
of rare wonders of emotions
as nature's words sound
in underground reveries.


Receiving an invitation
to view ''Interior with
a Dress Pattern''
painted by Fairfield Porter
in a gallery
of upper Manhattan
feeling flattered
in this penthouse loft
why was life downhill
until I met you here
among the jet set
forgetting the winter blues
that what matters is love
from my praise
in memory of that day
when a voice raised me
to compose in reverie.


B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer.

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Hungary); Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. His newest poetry collection, "Everything, Everywhere," will be available from Penhead Press in September.

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

2 Poems by Jim Zola

Harmony and the Birds

Chickadees fluff outside the surgeon’s office
against a backdrop of dark pine and sky
where I imagine an owl sleeps
in a hollow dream of feathers.

The middle of this poem is missing,
the part where the poet reveals
something. Perhaps he longs to kiss
the silver chain around the gypsy’s ankle,
or marks x’s on the calendar
stopping at the date of his own death,
or slowly slices an over-ripe tomato
and remembers his mother’s hands.

The birds of course always come back.
It’s like one of those puzzles
we did as children, waiting
in the doctor's office, find what’s missing,
the hidden pictures in pages of a magazine.

Later, much later, a cardinal lands
on the iron back of a patio chair
outside my bedroom window.
Its beak opens and closes, opens
and closes. A song I can’t hear.
Yet I find myself opening
and closing my mouth in harmony.

Monday is Mulligan Stew

You say Monday after
the end of the world
is like a check engine light
coming on. We want
so much to ignore it.
I say do. I say
Monday is more
like mulligan stew.
I'll stoke the fire,
you pluck the hen.
Afterwards, we'll sing
about riding the rails,
then clean our nails
with splintered bones.


Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook -- The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) -- and a full length poetry collection -- What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC

2 Poems by Amit Parmessur


Crumpled flowers
            ruffled bed

Shattered vases
            scattered dreams

Love yet to be won
            bliss yet to be recovered

Strong smell of false promises
one finger bleeding in a corner

Justice killed
            the wind ruffling the scarlet curtains

A deflated world map lying
on the crumpled flowers, on the ruffled bed.

The knife has slowly slipped from her hand. It
has fallen and with the strokes of the light,
the blade has gathered some life in his glutinous hand.
Enough to make him divide death.


Before the woman, there’s the smart windmill
turning obediently to the wind’s authority.
Behind her, the wonderful sunflowers
shimmering passionately on the blue carpet.

Above her, fervent ravens in the limitless sky.
Standing at the base of the triangle,
she knows she has to follow only one of
these three routes: either turning the turbines

of the present to grind the past into oblivion,
or striving to shine in this world of bigotry,
or reaching the stars by surrendering silently.
She decides to toss a coin.


Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher. He has been published in several print and online journals. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web nominee, he lives in one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Mauritius.

2 Poems by milt montague

the curtain falls to thunderous applause
the lead singers appear and accept
the plaudits and bravos of the audience

another hugely successful performance
of the classic opera Carmen

the tale of a naive soldier’s
seduction by a gypsy
his descent into crime
her dumping him
for a new lover
his rage and murder
of his ex-mistress

doesn’t this 150 year old melodrama
despite it’s gorgeous music
and extremely talented voices
have a distinct scent of
nineteenth century male chauvinism
and even misogyny

still I love this opera

the music
the singers
the passions
the denouement

free association
it’s 5:42 AM
sleep impossible
no stars out tonight

the computer
a blank screen to
match my blank mind

nothing there
nothing in here

Siegfried’s magic sword Nothung
needed to cut
through the blanks

show the living flesh
raw and bloody
to stimulate the senses
sensitize the reader to our thoughts

there now
I caught your attention


born and raised in new york in the 1920’s, fought in world war ll, graduated as an engineer, was in several businesses, found love, marriage, raised three lovely daughters, while pursuing a career, with my wife, in high fashion ladies clothing.  I have recorded many tales from a long and busy life, all true.  So far 15 of my memoirs and 113 of my poems have been published in  4 years.

6 Drawings by Denny E. Marshall

Sounds of Pipes


The Wrapping

Fantasy Ride

Stones Plains Face

Brothers in the Sun
Artist's Statement

Many artists out there create works that look all the same. My number one goal for artwork is for it to not to look all the same. After that I like to get emotion, movement, or depth if not all three at least one of them.

2 Poems by Sunil Sharma

​A Poet Remembers

I have travelled places with
Other poets.
I was with Wordsworth
In the Lake District,
Wandering as a cloud,
Watching the dancing daffodils
And a singing Solitary Reaper,

Heard and taught in an English class
By a devoted teacher,
In a South-Asian country
Obsessed with English,
Where the master's tongue makes you above the others;
I was with Shelley and Keats,
Liked the British landscapes varied,
In my PG class in the university
Where professors were more British than the British;
Then I had to wander,
Not as a poet but as a teacher of
From one private school to another,
Paying us poor, those high-schools;
During the long rains,
Under a leaking roof shared by others,
I remembered my own little city,
Near Delhi,
Where I was raised middle-class
And taught to love poetry,
Encountering many hardships, growing up there,
But the Great Poets, the Romantics,
Kept me constant company,
Cheered me up on wintry nights,
Never deserting me for a minute,
For a raise, I had to hop from city to country,
Then, country to city, like a round trip,
The worries and my constant cough made me forget,
My own little city,
Or, the Lake District,
The fountain-head of immortal poetry.
The Romantics were lucky,
They did have their District,
These days, in the greedy 21st-century,
Nothing remains---
Neither the lakes nor the green districts,
In my own developing country.
Every city looks identical, here,
You end up watching trees on wall-papers,
Wall-hangings or mounted photographs only.
During such sordid moments,
I revisit the Romantic poetry,
And feel revived,
As their spectral presence still
Haunts me.

A Leaf Unseen

A leaf gets detached
From a dust-laden tree,
In a corner street full of
Egg shells and residues of
Some hotel dinner;
The yellow veined leave,
Flying in the hot air
For some distance,
Then dropping down on the
Dusty ground of the gasping city,
Covered with thick smog;
The tender leave,
Settles down on the uneven street,
Slowly being trampled by the
Hurried feet, on way to offices/schools,
Unseen on this melancholy morning;
The crying of a girl-child,
Standing solitary at the locked gate,
Calling for an absent mother,
An old man trying repeatedly
The long-distance number
Of a son who never responds,
Having erased all the memories of
A loving parent and Indian childhood/youth,
In his Florida home.

The leaf that once fluttered,
Gave shade, part of tree green,
Has outlived its value,
For some in the commercial city,
Now fallen and flattened,
Is mourned by none.
A Poet Remembers
I have travelled places with
Other poets.
I was with Wordsworth
In the Lake District,
Wandering as a cloud,
Watching the dancing daffodils
And a singing Solitary Reaper,

Heard and taught in an English class
By a devoted teacher,
In a South-Asian country
Obsessed with English,
Where the master's tongue makes you above the others;
I was with Shelley and Keats,
Liked the British landscapes varied,
In my PG class in the university
Where professors were more British than the British;
Then I had to wander,
Not as a poet but as a teacher of
From one private school to another,
Paying us poor, those high-schools;
During the long rains,
Under a leaking roof shared by others,
I remembered my own little city,
Near Delhi,
Where I was raised middle-class
And taught to love poetry,
Encountering many hardships, growing up there,
But the Great Poets, the Romantics,
Kept me constant company,
Cheered me up on wintry nights,
Never deserting me for a minute,
For a raise, I had to hop from city to country,
Then, country to city, like a round trip,
The worries and my constant cough made me forget,
My own little city,
Or, the Lake District,
The fountain-head of immortal poetry.
The Romantics were lucky,
They did have their District,
These days, in the greedy 21st-century,
Nothing remains---
Neither the lakes nor the green districts,
In my own developing country.
Every city looks identical, here,
You end up watching trees on wall-papers,
Wall-hangings or mounted photographs only.
During such sordid moments,
I revisit the Romantic poetry,
And feel revived,
As their spectral presence still
Haunts me.


Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma has published five collections of poetry, two collection of short fiction, one novel and co-edited five books of poetry, short fiction and literary criticism. Recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012.  Another notable achievement is his select poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree-2015. He edits English section of the monthly Setu, a bilingual journal from Pittsburgh, USA: