Saturday, February 26, 2011

J.D. Nelson


(  ( ( stereo ) )  ) panther

sci. of the new head:
the paper airport
shiversmith randall

bacon tree
before breakfast

a cold summer
tomorrow on


that diamond suit

the same sunshine
the street of scabs



J. D. Nelson (b. 1971) experiments with words and sound in his subterranean laboratory. More than 1,000 of his bizarre poems and experimental texts have appeared in many small press and underground publications. He is the author of THE FRANKENDELPHIA EXPERIMENT (Tainted Coffee Press, 2010) and NOISE DIFFICULTY FLOWER (Argotist Ebooks, 2010). Visit for more information and links to his published work. His audio experiments (recorded under the name OWL BRAIN ATLAS) are online at J. D. lives in Colorado, USA.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nathan Elias


(The following poem was first published by those fine people at Red Fez.)

Glass City Blues

The night begins on the river bottom
slow dragging with the ghost of Lily Mae Jones.
She lights a cigarette and calls for the sax
to play a tune that will bury the dead.

Its happy hour and the bitches brew
is on tap. Two rounds before we’re on stage
singing, But for me there can be no dawn
I thought I was in paradise.

Moonlight guides our feet as we
move to the sound of piano keys on fire,
the black cat trumpet, the ambulance
crescendo of Glass City blues.

We break the surface of air
like hard-boiled eggs then choke it down
with rose water. I am between the teeth
of stray dogs in a street fight and 

if this is another dream
I’ll count bullets and graves before I  
call her Betty in the pouring rain. It ain’t
what her mama named her.                                                 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Paul Handley: Five Poems


      Had You Going

I hold out my ineptness as a badge of pride.
Here, hold your hand out and touch it
and don’t get stuck on the snap in the back pin,
held by a protective bar that puts the engineering marvels
of the car airbag to self-reproach,
and by the way (btw) would pop if the sticker was let loose,
held by the badge of courage to be
wielded like a drunken knight errant.

I don’t know what errant meant,
but the Latin nomenclature leads me to believe
is a crusade or any number of them,
that turned out to be errands of error.
Why don’t you know this?
See what I did?  I turned on the reader
to deflect my ignorance of the subject and
my implausible explanation.
Had you going for a second, didn’t I?

      Profit Motive

My fish taco in Colorado went missing.
The one with the big dorsal fin,
reminding me that growing the economy
should be left to the experts
appointed by those who have a handle on the sway,
since the business of government or a slice anyway,
is winning Nobel prizes in areas that are not profitable.

If I’m understanding correctly,
and I haven’t got in that deep to it,
the government wants to help streamline
the science necessary to transport a fish taco (what you were needing),
to an arid future, in a market nearby,
increasing walkability scores.


For now, my corduroys are in the basement bin.
As the seasons change the bin is unlatched,
spurting a puff of air that smells like dream
I usually have in April,
when what is too warm or thin
is sealed into a Tupperware coffin.
The brown cords lean in whenever I
visit, hoping Fall has come.

Will they smell burning leaves in its optimism?
I cannot take you all with me
and the hired firebug assured me
it would be quickly contained.

     Another Dollar

Early that morning I went for a jog
when I couldn’t sleep and realized
work started in a couple of hours.
To save a commute, I napped outside
the employee’s entrance in back
and woke up looking like a scarecrow jock.

The owner wanted us to feel ownership in a limited way,
so she let us try out a marketing idea each month.
I gave a little push to the revolving door after
customers entered to give them a breather.
An illusion of energy.  Strength

To pass the time I went to every aisle and tried
to look like the statue of liberty doing downward dog.
To anyone who asked, I resolved to respond
“I know” and then walk away
with head bowed and fixed lips,
as if trying to contain a smirk.

To test our desensitization we rolled in dollar bills
behind the counter, until they felt worthless
and wished for tens, etcetera.
The new clerk was cool,
but at what point does his global avowal of “rock and roll”
sound like “let’s watch a musical
featuring Flapper and Gibson girls?”
Shifts up.  I’m out.


Dumping contents of pocket,
including cell phone,

You are loaded up.
It’s amazing what society demands
of us nowadays.
You’re crazy.
No, you’re crazy.
Why are my sociological observations
fodder for fun.
Did you just say that?
Fodder?  Yes, I said fodder.
That’s just heinous isn’t it?
Listen to yourself.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Peter Magliocco: Five

The Eclipse of Love
Take back the light
from the face of time
& what do you get?
The same whiners
wondering where all
the action goes to make
the earth revolve around the sun
until everything is illuminated
by a natural truth, sans
all the internet experts.
Like photosynthesis every day
for all living things --
but somehow humanity avoids it,
preferring an unnatural blindness.
That comfort of lies & illusions
so cleverly bundled into
a daily regimen of speakeasy spiel.
The whore who is my wife on Thursdays
drinks to all this, knowing the twilight of truth
is the best refuge to hide naked in
as her bruises slowly fade
& implanted breasts implode
into that suborbital dysfunction of being,
my unseen
I Don't Need Microwaves Down in New Orleans
Now I have abolished prejudice
from the skin I once wore
over a retinal blemish,
breathing airs of righteousness
with my morning coffee,
espying an aboriginal goodness
even in weeds nourished by sun
still casting thin shadows.
Yet darkness lurks still
around the flooded kitchen I strut in,
a chef for cannibal fare.
Preparing my potluck survivor's supper
it reminds my feathery hands too
of untouchable stains.
A hubris we see in lives troubled
by dead neon's encroachment,
what brings morning down
from pale solar eyes
cooking us.
All things in due time, she announces.
"When the elements of ague consume us
The last martyr will confront you,"
Pointing to a broken clock face
Behind which mold slowly grows.
The minute hand hangs as God's teardrop.
Will you sing at my liberation? she asks.
I swore I saw her years ago, perhaps
in a dream spoiled by sleeplessness.
When we were both texting at mid-terms?
But now recognizing my female double
threatens my manhood's last vestige.
She tells me that I'm her "sex robot,"
expensively made by digital engineering,
& she's been waiting a long time for me.
"Hi Jesus," she purrs, kissing my cheek.
on Buk's birthday, 1994
oyster pearls toll on tongues of deceivers
aging through the long night
of Hollywood malaise
no one dances yet to the funeral march
of Rock stars, there is no truth
but the holy lie told (again
& again) by the chiefs of state
searching for sex tapes
implicating all in media treason,
someone must light a candle
before dawn unfolds now
over the striated corpus
perfunctory literature becomes
in the wake of his passing
with self-portrait of wino & jug
betting on the vulgar muse
before throwing up
in the face of
Asymtomatic Bloodlines
Where are incendiary ruins of our city
Grooming the stones of yesteryear
What stinks in miasma's splendor
of everyday commerce now
Still roils in more felonious details
Of existence tethering us, like victims
To those unsavory facts of being
Persons with fraudulent hearts
& minds educated by game shows
They watch gamely in hospital
Hellish waiting rooms
Tepid with innumerable diseases
Waiting like emissaries on bad days
There you are the insane fanatic
Drinking blood from medical pouches
Stolen like Mother's morgue remains
I recycled into an edible commodity
For all the hungry geeks not
Tired of last food dining
-- Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he's edited the lit-zine ART:MAG for over 20 years. He's had recent poetry in SCYTHE, GOLD DUST, HEELTAP, SCARS, A HUDSON VIEW POETRY DIGEST and more. He was Pushcart Prize nominated for poetry in 2010. His latest chapbooks are Nude Poetry Garage Sale (Virgogray Press) and The Heaven of Words (Propaganda Press).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anthony Ward


Time and Time Again

Here’s to you My Brubeck!
Don’t ever stop!
Just Take Five
And keep on going.
Keep those keys unlocking
The doors
That welcome us in
With your hospitality
Persuading us
To come back
Time and time again
In order to enjoy
Your burning spirit
Here’s to you Mr Brubeck-
To Take Five!

The Jazz Player

The Jazz player
Is most ALIVE
When working,
Being all the more insipid
When at leisure.
Drinking to become lowly,
Not because he’s fed up,
But because he’s content,
Feeling all the more impassive
When at odds with himself,
Drawing inspiration from the distance
He’s close to.

That’s the Jazz man!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal


I recognized her face
when she stumbled
into my dream.  Just
another day, flowers
in her curly hair.

“Don’t stare.  It’s not
polite,” she said.
I tried to stroke her hair
with my sleepy hand.
“Don’t stare at me,”
she said again.
The blue spring sky
turned black.  The
flower in her hair wilted.
We were both in tears.

“You must not stare,”
she said.  “I really must
go in a little while.”

I waved goodbye to her.
My heart was in my throat.


The best thing I learned in school
was not the birds, the bees, or the trees.
I could care less of rain, the sun, or snow.
The best thing I learned was your name.

I read thousands of pages.
I took all kinds of tests and quizzes.
But the only thing that made my blood
rush was when I heard your name.

Images of landscapes did
not move me.  Tales of warriors
and kings did not mean much to me.
What mattered most was saying your name.


His head is spinning
over memories and
chances now lost to him.

He feels miserable
and thinks how his life
lacks joy and eloquence.

He daydreams here
and he is young once
again.  The brief daydream

makes him smile.  It saves
him from madness and
the cruelty of time.

He remembers love
lost.  The chance that is
gone now.   He closes his

eyes.  He allows himself
to fall asleep to
give his dizzy head rest.


I could take a day off
eating, take my plate away. 
But don’t take away your love.

I’ll bring you a rose
or any flower of your choosing.
I’ll place it in water.
Nothing brings me more joy
than the joy you bring me.
I was born to love you.

I would struggle without you.
My eyes would go blind.
Having you gone,
would make the earth end.
Your laughter fills up my heart.
It makes me long for you.
It opens up my heart.
It makes my life worth living.

In the darkest hour
your presence is all I need.
If you were gone,
my reasons for living
would be none.  In the street
I would laugh like a madman
with my hands in the air
like a lost soul.

I would walk to the sea
fresh out of laughter.
Into the foamy waters
I would go.  The sea would
take me in, without laughter,
without a flower,
without a rose.
It would be my graveyard.

Late at night
the moon would shine down
at my twisted fate.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tyson Bley



‘If my eminence is ever exhibited in a wax museum,
they will not exclude my iron stomach, I can
bet you that. I am not OK with this.’
The cooking show host voices many personal
gripes on national television, blaming God for everything,
not just for the iron stomach. ‘I’d be a freak, and kids
would stick their hands through the wax feeling
for the hard round heavy organ. Tittering. I am not
FINE with this…’ Backstage later he looks around
and realizes, with a massive relieved sigh, that
it’s a sign of personal satisfaction to have
your dressing room plastered with dachshund almanacs. 

Shadowy bottled lightning sits on the prophet’s
knee as he glibly traces the future of the new Levi’s
clothing line – he is peeing himself in his black jeans
but whispers, ‘After a life of incontinence, I am now
fully rested. Such boyhood fantasies about body modifications
leaving me striding past the pool with Robocop shoulders
are taxing and absurd. Good luck with your new label,
Leslie Nielsen – mastermind of planetary nostalgia!’

How do these luminaries afford all their prostitutes? With
dinosaur extinction. But the winter following is as
pointless as trying to gather as much collective data
as possible on Cheech and Chong. They’re left with plenty
of time to run the Ben Hur script by a group of immortal,
comet-resistant hippos. Who will manage beautifully.
While the rest of us flap and jump around on the tailgates
of our own spiritual gulags, like trying to flick the gangrene
out of our bottom lips.

‘Seeing spots is the occupational hazard of competitive eating.
Cousins in the same endeavor – a fable about autism
and a life-imitating-art incident at once. You butchered
your tonsils with excellent sandwiches. Their ghosts:
GPS voice recordings lost in insect time & space.
Your amazing travels: jet lag fibers stretched over
your iron gut. Ceramic Jerusalem in which your soul
sports its badass monocle among street artists.
Suddenly it’s possible to sleep with a pinhole.
To kick the electron discovered by Christopher Columbus.
To compute

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A.J. Huffman


 Cheap Frills

life is the proper binge
face and throat
what you might call an avid runner
happy talk
the path to power visibly lifts
tuxedo dressing
give him the slip
instant success
the tough and tender look of cowboy smoothies
may complicate pregnancy

Heaven Knows

who says men are from mars
it’s a clichĂ©
                  now a cult favorite
and makes any situation comfortable
but the real deal is between us girls
“midnight magic”
the possibilities are endless in a balanced mood
there’s something so right about private parts
where’s the pressure
from python to pinstripes
it shows in your body language
five minutes a week

Ratched Chic

The look of the show
won’t fade away
it was a face to remember
1 million signatures in touch with the world
a new american classic
                                    anywhere technical
just flawless hot air
a new concept in beauty
“all or nothing”

the secret is in how you say it

*********A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published her work in literary journals, in the U.K. as well as America, such as Avon Literary Intelligencer, Eastern Rainbow, Medicinal Purposes Literary Review, The Intercultural Writer's Review, Icon, Writer's Gazette, and The Penwood Review.************

Friday, February 11, 2011

Joseph Carfagno


Babe in a compact
In traffic on the parkway
Dead space between us.

* * *

Across the way
The men stroke beards, they pose,
Discussing noble bonobos.
We go.

* * *
The little man wears an ugly hat.
The ugly man wears a funny hat.
The funny man – he is not funny.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Beatnik News

Temporary Submissions Closure

Hello all. Due to the vast number of submissions I've had recently and the drawing out of response time to the poets submitting I've decided to close Beatnik for submissions until April 9th to give me a chance to catch up. It's not fair on the poets to make the poor little tykes wait as long as they're having to at the moment, and realistically if I carry on trying to manage submissions in the present way, response time will soon be six months. So no more submissions for two months please. And tell your friends, if you're lucky enough to have any. I will put a notification out just before the grand reopening to remind you all.