Monday, 20 August 2012

Christy Hall

I’m thinking of Chub again.
The mood has settled on Chub.
So strong and persistent;
made of sterner stuff
than me –
some river-hardened flub.
But still supple –
illusive to worm and hook.
The head’s saying snub nose,
the other end all silver-butt.

Peering over this bridge
down into the white water,
with you,
I can see nothing but Chub.
Two dozen or so;
they’re fighting the current,
doing the side-winder.
A pair break off, nose-diving the silt –
suddenly gone.
I turn back towards you
and think about following suit.

Christy Hall, 24, lives in Beverley, East Yorkshire, where he is currently the tenant and manager of a rural, drinker’s pub. He graduated from the University of Hull with an MA in Creative Writing before becoming a publican. The band that currently inspire him most are Modest Mouse. He is also an avid Chelsea fan.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Bill Roberts

Staring Into Space

No reason why a person can't have
the freedom just to stare into space,
night or day, looking for whatever.
Falling stars can't be seen in daylight.
Or can they?  I've never before looked.

The old guy over there looking up
into the heavens, here in broad daylight --
seeking a falling star?
Maybe.  Maybe I'll just ask him.
No, on second thought, leave him be.

He seems happy, unconcerned, just...
Why should I care that he's staring?
His business, not mine.
But now he's got me staring up, too.
The sky is beautiful, nary a cloud.

It's crisp, leaning toward cold today.
I briskly rub my gloved hands,
keep staring up at blue sky.
A little old lady pauses beside me,
asks, What are you two looking at?

I curb my sharp tongue, have to answer 
honestly:  I don't know, I admit,
but when I see it, I'll let you know.
I hear her fading mutter, Old farts.
Two crazy old farts.
 Bill Roberts has had over a thousand poems published online and by the small press, some nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes.  He annually hosts readings to honor women poets, the series "Strong Voices, Strong Women," and to benefit battered women's organizations.  Bill can be reached in Broomfield, Colorado at .

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sy Roth

Track 17
4:00 a.m. and the ghostly track
Empties somewhere into the darkness.
Diffused light shines above
barely warming the platform.
Instead a breathless chill pervades the platform,
An arctic of ills making waves as they pass.
Elusive safety beyond the yellow line---
One waddling step beyond it eternity.

On the other side a rumbling train passes,
brakes protest jarringly rumbling the walls
and ears that care to hear.
It protests at having to embrace the rails,
giant magnets,
a mother refusing to release her child to a Nazi guard,
an eternal conjoining
beating a steady cadence on a kettle drum,
a 4/4 thumping life-flow
that won’t pardon the tracks from its allure.
Fusty trains and musty corridors
Smoke filled with ageless scrapings of humanity
Build a cocoon of birthless intimacy
praying alone that the silence will end
and the world will collide
into existence on Track 17
beyond the yellow line.

Sy Roth is a retired school administrator and has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them.  He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Mad Swirl, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre and The Eloquent Atheist.  Recently, he won a poetry contest sponsored by Newsday.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Harry Calhoun

And I Say

And she asks me, falling asleep in my arms,
“Where will we be when both of us die?”

And I say, “We’ll find each other and be together
somehow.” And of course she says that makes no sense.

And I say, “Neither does any major religion.”
And this goes on a while, as it has for the ages.

Alan Watts said, “Belief is clinging. Faith is letting go.”
I am somewhere in the middle now, clinging to her,

letting go of the fear of losing her
on this small and sometimes choiceless world.

And I say, to myself I guess, I never want to give this up.
I want to wake next to her every morning.

And this goes on a while, as it has for the ages.

Harry Calhoun has had work published in various poetry journals over the past 30 years. His books and chapbooks include I knew Bukowski like you knew a rare leaf, The Black Dog and the Road, and Retreating Aggressively into the Dark. Recently, he has had two Pushcart nominations, a Sundress Best of the Net nomination and publications in Chiron Review, Abbey, Orange Room Review, Gutter Eloquence, Lily and others. 2012 has seen the limited-edition chapbook Maintenance and Death and the collection of poems from the ‘80s and ’90s called Retro from Propaganda Press.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Kevin Ridgeway

Acid Flashback

Blue-tinted glasses
checkered pants
and a t-shirt
screaming opium haze
were the components
of my drug-induced

my cartoon eyes
bulging out of their
the walls a night gallery
of distorted faces
cracking the paint
with their smiles

I stand staring at
my reflection in
the mirror,
my own face
slowly melting
like butter on
a toasted skull,

I adjust my glasses

and begin
swimming through
the molasses air
breathing slowly
and pop corn snaps
of gibberish words
drool out the ends
of my quivering mouth

I took too much,
tell me
and as they put me to
bed I watch the posters
of dead rock stars
revive themselves
from the great beyond
singing strange songs
I’ve never heard before
and never will again

Kevin Ridgeway is a writer from Southern California, where he resides in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat.  Recent work has appeared in CARNIVAL, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Black-Listed Magazine and Bank Heavy Press:  Robo-Book.  His chapbook of poetry, Burn through Today, is now available from Flutter Press. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Kenneth P. Gurney

Stand By

In the future we all think about the past.
We shelve ourselves on the internet.
We prefer the apocalypse over birthday parties.
We prefer to reread old wars instead of having new ones.
In the future we look for that X that marks the spot.
The spot where we buried our courage,
where we buried blind ignorance,
where we buried faith.
It is one hundred and fifty seven years 
from when you read this 
and you feel as if you are caught in a time loop
because I keep telling you
I wrote this piece tomorrow.
In the future you have a wife
in Valparaiso, Indiana,
in Port Angeles, Washington,
In Frederick, Maryland,
but the one on Prince Edward Island
passed away and was buried at sea
with full maritime honors.
I tell you in the future there is a pill
for being stubborn,
and one that cures curiosity,
and one that causes you to remember
all of your wives birthdays.
You ask me to tell you something
you haven’t already forgotten,
so I say, “My dog ate my homework,”
immediately after I hand it to you
because two lives from now
you are my pet German Shepard.
Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne.  He edits the anthology Adobe Walls which contains the poetry of New Mexico.  His latest book is This is not Black & White.  To learn more visit

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Maureen Kingston

The No-Account Stick Figure

a stray to be corralled=tallied=the prison door’s crossbar

            This old man, he played one,

the lone fuse=sizzing atop the cartoon bomb

            He played knick-knack on my thumb;

his hash-marked torso=proof no prod was spared

            With a knick-knack patty-whack,

the mutt basting his dead shin=imagining shank en brochette 

            Give the dog a bone,

the vagabond=hanged by his vowels=in a child’s guessing game

            This old man came rolling home.

Maureen Kingston lives and works in eastern Nebraska.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Centrifugal Eye, Constellations, Emerge Literary Journal, Lily, The Meadowland Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Stone Highway Review and