Friday, April 29, 2011

Eric Chaet


Whether you live among patriarchal nomads
or in an urban monarchy or oligarchy of wealth
drenched in propaganda & hypocrisy
you have to fight for your self
or those who can
will keep or take everything you need from you—
but what is your self?
what do you need?
do you win the fight if you become one of the tyrants?
or the pet of some group of unbalanced neurotics?
if some referee proclaims you Champion?
if you sacrifice what you care most about
in order to survive without having to
protect the seed of it, cultivate it
in its most vulnerable, blind, invertebrate stages
&, so, thrive, prevail, stand out
among those who die along the way
& those who whine their way toward death
& those who are featured in the magazines
& interviewed on television & radio
& who command great fortunes & military forces
wreaking mayhem generation after generation
while making dignified proclamations to reporters—
did you fight for your self—
or did you surrender it without a fight?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Amit Parmessur: Three Poems

Naked Soldiers

The soldiers return
pride too large for their faces
the dust gyrates around their firm calves

They have imprisoned the sun in their guns
like the wheels of bicycles
flying flying flying down a smooth slope

They have released fire onto doomed enemies
the sunless sky becoming quite green
the battlefield is a battered field now

The soldiers return
livid inhaling and calm exhaling
muscles are sparkling, eyes rippling in victory

The soldiers return,
the triumphant bells ringing between their legs
Silly citizens dancing, marveled

Can the blind ask about missing clothes?
No one knows they have fought worms
the soldiers know the sun is in David’s tiny world

The Sleeping Peacock

I discovered a majestic peacock
lying comatose in my littered backyard,
with wet fingerish twigs on its neck.
I took it home and colors spilled
onto my hands and poured into
my eyes as I wiped at teardrops.
I placed the peacock on my bed,
talking it in back to life, stroking
its sleeping rainbows, its inert fan
of moist quills.

A few perfect circles were drawn
on the bedsheet as the bird tried
to stir and open its eyes. The night
was black when it died.

Every day I now dream of huge
peacocks pecking at my heart,
the weight of the birds pushing
me into the colorful abyss opening
in my bed; my cries killed by bloody
fingers creeping around my parched throat.

Melodious Globetrotting

I’ve been to Padua.
I’ve stood puckishly in front of the pianoforte,
punched it strongly and devoured its cute keys,
as if they were delicious, wondrous wafers.

I’ve been to Germany
I’ve grabbed the gorgeous gittare
and banged it against the wall and green carpet

I’ve been to Divje Babe.
I’ve taken my fine fingers and closed
the holes in the femur-like flute
until it choked and died.

I’ve been to Bermudas
I’ve shaped the gleaming triangle into
a bizarre square, and composed
a peppy John Deacon album

I’ve been to Cuba.
I’ve hanged the boisterous bongo drum
from the Cuban ceiling and
learned world-class boxing.

I’ve been the most brilliant musical criminal
For now, I’ll play the music
found in my inner self,
in my own paradise,
and you’ll find me dead in my bed, listening
to I’m Alive on repeat mode,

With a toothless Mona Lisa smile.

BIOGRAPHY: Aged 28, Amit Parmessur has been writing for the past 9 years. He has been accepted and appeared in several magazines including The Literary Burlesque, Yes Poetry, vox poetica, Leaf Garden Press, Ann Arbor Review, Burnt Bridge, Calliope Nerve, Catapult to Mars, Censored Poets, Clockwise Cat, Clutching at Straws, Damazine, Gloom Cupboard, Heavy Hands Ink, LITSNACK, Mad Swirl, Orchard Press Mysteries, Puffin Circus, Shalla Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, The Camel Saloon, The Houston Literary Review, The Scrambler and Word Slaw among others. Someone who has a deep respect for India, the land of his ancestors, he hails from the lovely Mauritius.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eric Chaet


If Jesus hadn't gone to enemy territory
where the 2 parties
Pharisees & Saduccees
had a near total monopoly on the discourse
like the conservatives & liberals do here, now
in cahoots with the Romans
with whom they were complicit
as the conservatives & liberals
are in cahoots with the financiers
who finance their campaigns, programs, & publications
to the exclusion of anyone
who might pose a real threat to them
& with the officer corps
& purveyors of weaponry
& covert operations, spy hard- & software, & propaganda---
he would never have made himself known
to everybody since
& he wouldn't have been killed---
but if he hadn't been killed
he would never have made himself known
to everybody since---
to the psychotics who imagine they are Jesus
or the so-called Christians who claim to follow Jesus
but who refuse to do as he proclaimed we all must
& to those of us who behave differently
because of the astounding words attributed to him
& the example of his totally audacious career
who refuse to associate ourselves with the Christians
of any sect
who refuse to be mere followers even of Jesus
who use what he said & did with great respect & gratitude
& who also use what others have said & done
& who try to fill in the rest for ourselves as best we can---
we hardly know how even to survive
within such terrible circumstances---
Jesus was as powerful
as the entire history of the Roman Empire
tho no more the Son of the Lord than you or I
& tho he didn't save us---
we have to save ourselves, that's what he said---
it seems to me that having to save ourselves never ends
until we die & can't save ourselves any longer---
if he hadn't gone to Jerusalem & been killed
we'd never have heard of him
he'd have been just another guy with an opinion
& someone else
probably from some other place
probably with a different set of ideas
would have filled the vacuum
& the entire history of the world would be different
there'd be no Christianity
no sincere Christians, no hypocritical Christians
there'd be sincere & hypocritical Something-Elsians
everything we do would be somewhat different
& the terms of the entire debate
among humanity
about the rich taking everything from the poor
which they call prudent economics & good management
& the poor being driven
desperately to behaving like dogs eating dogs
which they call common sense
& providing for their families & for retirement
saints would act & appear otherwise
also terrible tyrants
whether great political figures
or just guys who lose all patience & start killing people
would do what they do & appear otherwise---
if Jesus had not gone to Jerusalem
to proclaim who he considered he was & what he was doing
& if those who were complicit with the local Roman authorities
& the Roman authorities who were complicit with them
hadn't murdered Jesus of Nazareth.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kenneth P. Gurney: Three Poems


Pisum sativum

If people stopped speaking over lunch
and, instead, spoke under lunch,
we would quickly spot
all the nefarious women
giving blow jobs 
for unspecified reasons
(ranging from sexual titillation
to some twisted submissive
domination passion play)
and we might be surprised
how many men copy that action
when their job is on the line,
at least, metaphorically, 
or watch their noses turn brown
(which is Braun in German)
over a conversation we might
mistake for sports talk
due to all the athletic figures of speech
and, if we looked out of the corners
of our eyes, we might see, as well,
all the shades of dogs who wish 
to be in this restaurant 
scarfing up (or down) tidbits
that fall from tables to the carpet—
like those three peas
that fell from your salad fork
on the way to your mouth.

Climate Change

We decided to plant oxygen 
on our farm next spring.
Even though dad argued 
in favor of hydrogen
believing hydrogen fuel cell cars
will be all the rage in a year.
So we worked out a little compromise
and planted the south field
with hydrogen, but there
was so much pollen drift 
caused by the west wind 
that about one half 
of the east field
harvested a flood.

She kept thistle seeds in her pocket

one hundred thousand
nude Barbie dolls
washed up on the shore
just down the beach
from the pier
where the beauty pageant
for eight year old girls
reached its 
crowning climax
and, incredibly,
the solitary sunbather
with the purple topped hair
absorbed by 
the Girl Who Kicked
the Hornets’ Nest
vanished just as
a wild horse galloped 
down the beach
scattering blond heads.

bio:  Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA.  He edits the New Mexico poetry anthology Adobe Walls.  To view a full biography, publishing credits and available books visit

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stephen Jarrell Williams: Two Poems


Get me to the riot
before they block the streets

I've got to see
what it's all come down to

night glowing in the distance
end of how it was

taxi stops to let me out
this is as far as he goes

roar behind the tall buildings
popping shots and screams

down the street rolling smoke
a man limping from the haze

his eyes swollen and lip bleeding
carrying a smoldering rag of a flag

I jump out of the cab
walk past him into the wave of smoke

coughing back to when the world was born
in a wink of fire.


My hat on fire

night sky watching my sputtering
in the tired crowd leaving the scene

smoke stains in our nostrils
hair heavy with soot and bloody knots

many arrested and dragged away in cuffs

heroes of the city
depleting the underground

another march tomorrow
until no more

rain washing the gutters clean

going to sleep in my cell
flames spreading from my pillow

igniting newborns.

Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to stay up all night and write with lightning bolts until they fizzle down behind the dark horizon.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Felino Soriano: Three Poems


Identified palm (lined fractions of whole emotion)
enwrapping tips of fully healed fingers
            touch of prior absence
condescends organic skeletal remaining focus

organizing reclaiming origins
desolate compartments fill with
isolated fondness.


        identify compliments with
recitation of body’s fragmented fictions.  Woven
                        fractured thoughts of wandering realities
                                    cumbersome intuition the
reader designates fabricated hearsay. 

The Musician

Deliberate function, imagination
flowered compositions
rearranged regarding apathy’s
fundamental apprehension, aggregate.  Hands
isolate occupational gathering
strum of plucking guides
enabling vibratory faith
into a silent disappearance
walking into halls of a home’s
designated setting.

Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974) is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review.  Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to various idioms of jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences.  For information, including his 41 print and electronic collections of poetry, over 2,500 published poems, interviews, and editorships, please visit his website:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A.J. Huffman: Three Poems

If I Had Been Born In The Thirties

I could have been a Bukowski.
A Kerouac.
I could have traveled
Lived alone.
Worked odd jobs.
And slept in the dirt.
I could have had the balls.
I could have had the stamina.
If I had been born in the thirties.

If I had been born in the thirties
my writing could have been filled
with strange places.
Strange faces.
A groupie here.
A fan there.
And a few whores
(if you can label a man a whore --
I believe I can)
in between.
I could have smoked.
And drank.
And raised hell
with the best of them.
I could have.
I would have.
If I had been born in the thirties.

If I had been born in the thirties
you could never have --
you would never have --
read these words.
If I had been born in the thirties.
I could never have held this space.

The Devil’s Plaything

in a forgotten corner
of a room
she calls hell,
a tiny angel
huddles closer
to the fire.

She is tired.
And exposed.
But for the filthy ash
that covers the points
of her wings.
Too heavy
to carry her
to dawn.

So she waits.
Feeding her skin
with the stolen gift
of some imagined god.
For the beast
that will make her
his bride.

Without Language

“Absolutes are coercion.”
                        -- Allen Ginsberg

I do not believe in edit.
Change a word.
Change a line.
You have changed the mind.
That thought --
no --
that knew.
The shape before the silence.
Is gold.

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.  

Monday, April 04, 2011

Lee Stern: Four



I don’t know if the British Empire
has been doing a very good job lately.
I don’t know if it’s been concentrating on the job at hand.
Maybe between putting the King and the Queen on the Ferris Wheel,
they’ve lost track of the wider opportunities that are available to it
and that men of wisdom would take advantage of
for the greater good and glory of the realm.
And maybe
when the Ferris Wheel came to a stop when their car was at the top of its circle,
the King and the Queen looked down precipitously
and asked what was going on,
where the commoners were going to,
and what the island was doing chugging away through the clouds that were dispersed
on all sides of the even handed dominion,
looking for landings that might have coexisted with clocks full of time.


If you’re not doing anything right now,
I wonder if you’d help me move this wall.
I’ve tried to move it a couple of times myself
but it’s just too heavy.
And that’s the trouble with being on the receiving ends of these heavy walls.
Even after we made it very clear that we didn’t want them to ourselves,
we got them anyway.
What was even the point of outlining our preferences?
Letting them know that we wanted a lightweight wall
would have been just as futile
as saying that we wanted the door to face in another direction.
It would have been
just as futile as saying that the quicksand we were putting in our buckets
wasn’t always delivered to us possessing the same texture.
But that its ingredients when we started to observe them
brought questions straining to bring answers to our view.


I’ll take three of those, if you don’t mind.
And if you wouldn’t mind wrapping them up for me,
I’d really appreciate it.
When I get home and I unwrap it, I can see what I bought.
I can see if it’s what I wanted to buy.
Or if it’s something that society felt I might have needed
without asking me for my input in the matter,
my preferences or the other circumstances
that bound me to my often-unusual place.
Sometimes, if I’m wrapping something,
I think of all the people who are running out of paper.
And I want to deliver reams of it to them so they don’t have to worry.
But I see miraculously
that you have plenty of it in front of you right now.
So delivering more of it to you at this point
would just be one more redundant operation that we could do without.
Or, without doing without it,
as, when our betters taking it upon themselves to call us up to their desks,
make lasting excuses for.
To which the houses we erect can advance.


The country I am going to
will have grass over here that is as tall as I can tell you about.
It will have lightweight clouds
so light that you’ll be embarrassed to compare them with your own.
And it will have a place for the boogyman to hide
so swept out of the way that when I reveal it to you
you’ll wonder about all of the stories you told me when I was young
that were always turning out to be true.
And yet at the same time, I have to tell you,
please note: the country that I am going to will be the country that you are going to.
It will be the country where the roads go one way and then they go the other,
where the alphabets are always tied to little balls of string,
where the sky doesn’t falter for wasting the benefits
you found drugged. 
And dragged through the chorus of my heart.