Submission Policy

Submissions to THE BUG BOOK are now closed. However, we will continue to post a sampling of poems accepted for the anthology as we continue to work our way through the flood of last minute submissions.

Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.

Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & . We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.

If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com &

About This Blog

December 26, 2007
Dear Readers;

Here are some of the contributions we've received for our upcoming anthology, THE BUG BOOK, to inspire you to write and send us your own submissions, and to preview what's to come.

To see our other publications please visit our online bookstore at:

Roxanne Hoffman,
Publisher/Editor of Poets Wear Prada


***

Monday, October 27, 2008

Colette Inez | Witness to a Meadow in Virginia

Witness to a Meadow in Virginia

Cows kneel in fields
fireflies have abandoned.
Soon another year of flickering,
a comet's shower of flowers in the grass.

I was born in another country,
Leopold, the cruel king.
I embroidered butterflies
on handkerchiefs

sold by the African missions.
A child, I said papillon,
and fluttered my wrists,
imagining shiny coins in boxes

shipped to the Congo
where children dreamed
severed hands of their ancestors
took wing on the path.

Today I bow to the swallowtails,
spangled fritillaries and sulphurs
as if they were royalty.


by Colette Inez


Colette Inez has authored 9 poetry collections, most recently Spinoza Doesn’t Come Here Anymore (Melville House Books). She is widely anthologized and received fellowships from both the Guggenheim and the Rockefeller Foundations, twice from the NEA and won 2 Pushcart Prizes. Previously a visiting professor at Cornell, Ohio, Bucknell and Colgate Universities, she is currently on the faculty of Columbia University. She has appeared on public radio and TV. Her memoir The Secret of M. Dulong was published in 2005 by The University of Wisconsin Press.


© 2008 Colette Inez

Friday, October 17, 2008

Steve Dalachinsky | With Shelter Gone

with shelter gone


fruitflies
seem to be coming out of
my body
out of my very skin
ripening banana
squeezed orange


damned fruitflies


leaving my chest thru my nipples
into every room i enter
around the kitchen sink


i give them purpose
create a purpose
they acquire purpose


alphabet without knowledge
of itself
numbers without sequence
mind too scattered to
give meaning
to


7th & K
where i grew up
larva to adult
among jews among italians among
jews
among letters
#s
on my road thru the decades
past ave.X onto Stillwell
the hot cyclonic streets
theatre of spills thrills
drugs
bugs & boils


a movie
wherein
you are what you are watching
& always moving


"....you're my coney island baby
you mean so much to me
you're my pretty little lady..."


brooding on the boardwalk
a sideshow
after years of indecisive behavior
hot dogs & fries


......these damned fruitflies
gnawing at my 6pointed innards
my jewish chakras


over-ripened beads of light
seeping thru the skin
from deep down in the soul
winding towards the shorefront of my
earth
past the volna cafe
the tatiana cafe
& the moscow cafe


winding thru the winter of my birth
the every summer of my life
& back
winding back
winding back
thru the blood & the piss & the shit


winding back winding
back winding back
& winding up once again
& again & again
(damned fruitflies)
in my kishkas
out my chakras
to my eyes


damned kishkas
damned fruitflies
sweet eyes



by Steve Dalachinsky




Steve Dalachinsky


Steve Dalachinsky is a New York downtown poet active in the free jazz scene. His most recent book is The Final Nite & Other Poems: Complete Notes From A Charles Gayle Notebook 1987-2006 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006), a compendium of poetry written while watching saxophonist Charles Gayle perform throughout New York City in that time period. Other publications include Trial and Error in Paris (Loudmouth Collective Press) and Quicksand (Isis Press). His spoken word albums include Incomplete Directions, I thought it was the end of the world then the end of the world happened again with Federico Ughi, and Phenomena of Interference with Matthew Shipp. He often appears at the Knitting Factory, a unique live music club in Tribeca. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, painter and poet Yuko Otomo.



© 2008 Steve Dalachinsky

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adam Penna | Cicada Shell

Cicada Shell

This is the proof that you were born, the shell
where you became the mother of yourself.
Is that what all this singing is about?
Now the other sons recite the ordeal of
a second birth. The trees swell with the sound.

It seems like wind lifting the leaves or sunshine
arranged into a song. All transformation
should be this absolute. The evidence
of struggle not a jagged scar but one
line, precise as if made by a scalpel,

and the husk preserved in almost perfect shape
as if prepared for a return, a new
guest or a trick to win the weak adult
a moment to recover before escape

by Adam Penna

Adam Penna crawls along the ground, and sometimes rubs his wings together to make a beautiful sound. He is the editor of Best Poem and the author of a new chapbook The Love of a Sleeper, due out from Finishing Line Press this November (2008).





© 2008 ADAM PENNA

Robert Ghiradella | Torturing Insects

Torturing Insects

We loved squashing
them, watching
the green ooze out,
or burning them
alive with matches
or a watch crystal,
3 of us bent over,
sweating. Did
they suffer, feel
pain? Naw, not
pain, something else.

by Robert Ghiradella


Robert Ghiradella
Robert Ghiradella lives in Teneck, New Jersey, and is a retired Professor of English (CCNY). His poems have appeared in Confrontation, Kayak, Kansas Quarterly, among other publications. He is the author of one full-length book of poems, Fragments (Apple-wood Press, 1980),and one chapbook After Midnight (P & Q Press, 1999).



© 2008 ROBERT GHIRADELLA


Rick Mullen | Dragonfly

Dragonfly

The sky is turbofanned, but I see you
alight a dead twig in the apple tree
as I awake. Your wings disturb the blue
arcade where petaltail activity
connects the unseen dots in summer wind,
delineating air that combs across
the feathery hair of clover, whisper-thinned
along the treeline prequel to a toss
at dawning afternoon.

You bring the sun
and demonstrate a marble in your wings,
a crystal reckoning at apex. Gun-
grey racquets twitch until the engine sings
and jostles the subalterns, the soubrettes
and grunts of August, to their fighter jets.

by Rick Mullen


Rick Mullin Self Portrait

Rick Mullin's chapbook, Aquinas Flinched was published by Modern Metrics in 2008. His poems have recently appeared in 14X14, The Bare Foot Muse, Umbrella, Bumbershoot, Shit Creek Review and The Chimera. Visit Rick's blogspot Waiting for Cassowary at http://cassowary.wordpress.com/


© 2008 Rick Mullen

Steve Bloom | Fireflies...

Fireflies . . .


. . . do not shed enough light
to make any difference
in the level of darkness.
Each merely announces,
"I am here, ready
to connect with another,
of my own kind who
may be hovering
nearby."

Most people I know
do not light up the night
either. Still I wonder why
we do not try to glow
at least as brightly
as the firefly.

by Steve Bloom



Steve Bloom
Steve Bloom is a lifelong social activist whose poems have been published in print journals including Caprice, Ha! and Against the Current. Visit him online at: http://www.stevebloompoetry.net/


© 2008 STEVE BLOOM

Craig Fishbane | Centipede

Centipede

You loiter in my hallway
like some biker on the street corner—
Marlon Brando in leather
on a black and white poster.

I’m no match for you
in sweatpants and slippers—
even this magazine
isn’t hip enough for your taste.

To be squashed by The New Yorker
the ultimate indignity—
a page with the current cinema,
a cartoon and a carcass.

Any insect would flee
at the sight of their final subscription,
but you stare me down
with arthropod eyes.

by Craig Fishbane



Craig Fishbane

Craig Fishbane is a poet and a teacher. He is kind to all bugs who do not crawl near his bed.



© 2008 CRAIG FISHBANE

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yolanda Coulaz | Summer Of My Seventh Year

Summer of My Seventh Year

On a warm August day
air thick as custard,
clinging to leaf and stem
cicada chirps a taps, a dirge,
surrendered in the grips
of the Praying Mantis.

What I want is to close my eyes,
to turn away. What I want
is to intervene
to make it stop. But I stay—

Still—
wrapped in the blanket
of cicada’s bittersweet song
same as every other summer sound;
his knell known to the nymph,
his brethren beneath my earth,
or perhaps known only to me.

by Yolanda Coulaz


Yolanda Coulaz
Yolanda Coulaz, founder of Purple Sage Press, teaches poetry writing workshops and hosts the Farmingdale Library Reading Series. SUNY Stony Brook uses her book Spirits and Oxygen in an advanced course in poetry.






© 2008 YOLANDA COULAZ

Donovan White | Rapture

Rapture

Darning needles stacked on paddle blade
Suspend in summer amber
Over depthless blue.

Could be truest true love.
Could be ravening hunger.
Could be murderous rage.

Might be simple rapture
Captured by the day.

by Donovan White

Donovan White lives in a formerly small house in the woods infested by ants, mice, and spiders. The house is twice as big as it started out; so is he, for that matter.



© 2008 DONOVAN WHITE

Chansak Suwanchaichinda | Man Malaria Mosquito

Man Malaria Mosquito

Sub-Saharan Africa
a remote village
a hut rested on the earthen ground
walled with pieces of wood
a roof of leaves

A new dawn
beams of sunshine sneak through
greeting a young child
safe in mother’s arms
befriended the birds
singing happy tune
tall trees waving joyfully

Yet a darkest night
orchestrated with sounds
of creatures from the forest,
a two-winged insect,
mosquito,
uninvited to the hut
like a thief
robbing nothing but blood
from the unfortunate child
releasing malaria parasites
while engorging the red fluid

Fever and chill
the young soul weakened
like the moon being consumed
by the dark cloud
trees stop dancing
birds disappear
the world becomes quiet
the last star light
no more power to hold on
fading slowly
and perish

by Chansak Suwanchaichinda

After receiving a PhD degree from Rutgers University, Chansak Suwanchaichinda worked as a medical entomologist at the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. He is currently Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences and Public Health at the State University of New York - Empire State College, NY. And confesses to participating in poem composition competitions during his high school years.



© 2008 CHANSAK SUWANCHAICHINDA

Monday, September 22, 2008

Alan Montgomery | Beekeeper Guy

Beekeeper Guy

When you listen carefully
you can hear bees eating
when you look carefully
you can see their tongues
dipping into fresh nectar
when you smell carefully
you can detect the aroma of the hive
and you are moving slowly
breathing in and out
taking care to be as quiet as possible.

It's hot here today
even in the shade
I lift the heavy honey super
bees buzz around my head
sweet smell of wax and nectar
mixes with the smell of smoke
wafting into the heaviness of air
which surrounds and envelopes
body, mind, and soul
on a day like this
you breathe, sweat, and love life. :-)

by Alan Montgomery



Alan Montgomery

Alan Montgomery is an artist born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, now residing in the USA. He works at a small upper midwest university. Visit him online at http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery/artist_profile//18849.html where you can see a sampling of his artwork.






© 2008 ALAN MONTGOMERY

Beverly Fenig | Maggots

Maggots

The Maggots that feed on mind
Devour eternity
Empty the eyes
And swallow hunger

Only a paltry pang remains
Insufficient
A dying pain

When I look into your eyes
My own star
And lost is the real work
That such loves mar

O where's the decree
To sanction release?
The maggots, the beasts, never cease

by Beverly Fenig-Ducat


Beverly Fenig-DucatBeverly Fenig-Ducat has taught writing classes at Queens College and Queensborough Community College for many years. She has published poetry in such journals as A Shout in the Street and The Women's Coalition Journal. She has given poetry readings at Queens College and has read her poetry on radio station WBAI.



© 2008 BEVERLY FENIG-DUCAT

Monday, July 21, 2008

John J. Trause | Dragonfly

Dragonfly


At the end of the play the dragonflies came out,

and he remembered that at the end of the play the dragonflies come out,

or he dreamed that he remembered that at the end of the play the dragonflies come out,

and at the end of the play in the dream the dragonflies came out,

and he saw a dragonfly and thought it would sting with its long tail,

whirring around the pool of standing rainwater by the warehouse below the man-made cliff,

whirring around the pool of standing rainwater as the evening grew cooler and he was all alone

by the warehouse below the man-made cliff, and he remembered or thought he remembered

that a dragonfly does not sting with its long tail whirring around the pool of standing rainwater by the warehouse below the man-made cliff.



He reconciled dragonflies and damselflies and damsels and remembered all this.



And he saw signs of the dragonfly on the end of a keychain on a small table in the apartment of the actress

and repeated in the pattern in the Art Nouveau lamp on a small table in the apartment of the writer

and in the earrings of the poetess who read loudly at the microphone at the reading,

and he reconciled dragonflies and damselflies and damsels and remembered all this





by John J. Trause





JOHN J. TRAUSE, the Director of the Wood-Ridge Memorial Library in Wood-Ridge, N.J. since 2000, has been writing and reciting his poetry for 25 years. His poetry, translations, and visual work have appeared in Cover, Global City Review, Parse, Radix, The Rift, Now Culture, Sensations Magazine, The North River Review, The Troubadour, Xavier Review, the artists' periodical Crossings published by the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, as well as on-line at ThePedestalMagazine.com and Sidereality.com, and is forthcoming in Sulphur River Review. In 2005, he co-founded the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N.J., where he continues to serve as programmer and host. Aside from his professional interest in literature and the arts, Mr. Trause also enjoys film, dance, juggling, hiking, Chinese footbinding, and Afrin® nasal spray. In his adolescence, he modeled for the monolithic sculptures on Easter Island.


© 2008 JOHN J. TRAUSE


Bob Heman | Those Remarkable Eyes

THOSE REMARKABLE EYES

An ant is crawling on the other side of the dodecahedron you are holding in your hands. You know he is there, but no matter how fast you turn the object he is always on the other side. You have never even seen him. You just know he is there. You can imagine the way his antennae wiggle. And his mouth parts. And those eyes. Those remarkable eyes.








Bob Heman's chapbook Cone Investigates was published by Poets Wear Prada in 2007. His prose poems have appeared in numerous publications including Sentence, Paragraph, Quick Fiction, First Intensity, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Caliban, Artful Dodge, key satch(el), Hanging Loose, Center, and Lost and Found Times and have been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Hungarian. Since 1971, he has published and edited the often experimental magazine CLWN WR (formerly Clown War). He lives in Brooklyn. "Those Remarkabel Eyes" is from his collection How It All Began, available from Quale Press as a free e-book.




© Copyright Bob Heman 1975

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jeffrey Cooper | King Cockroach

King Cockroach

No sound but wind.
Car husks rust on silent city streets
Bestrewn with drifting poison ash,
A lethal confetti no biped lives to sweep.

Within cracked concrete, antennae quiver.
Undaunted by mere toxic dust,
The hardy beasts emerge en masse,
The clatter of exoskeletons heralding the earth's new age.


By Jeffrey Cooper

Jeffrey Cooper

JEFFREY COOPER has been writing professionally since 1971, including novels for kids, a humor book that forgot to be a bestseller, and the novelization of a popular horror film series. He likes writing poetry best.

© Copyright Jeffrey Cooper 2008

Aldo Tambellini | February 5, 2005 2:00PM

February 5, 2005
2:00 PM

even those crickets long under suspicion
were finally made silent
their recorded & analyzed sounds revealed
they were transmitting with their micro antennae
nocturnal clandestine messages
beaming to the moon & back
to the guerilla’s headquarters

some wheat fields were burned
long known to be the cicadas’ hiding places
the interval variations in their sustained buzzing
were a kind of Morse code
exchanging strategic information
that only the rebels were able to decode

many forests were defoliated with agent orange
the trees destroyed killing birds in their nests
their songs were subliminal sounds
concealing in their melodies
the new world order classified plans
received by the revolutionary in hiding
planning to overthrow our democracy & freedom

our radio frequency has identified
a rebellious red ant colony army
left over from the forgotten cold war era
excavating tunnels underground
storing seeds enriched with uranium
which the enemy could use to make
weapons of mass destruction

MEMO: “Operation : Destroy the Red Ant Colony Army”

but first evacuate the nearby human population with caution
safety & security

we suspect that some flees are carrying a deadly lab-made virus
being used by the insurgents in the war of bio-terrorism
ready to contaminate our water supply

MEMO: Operation: “Flood Their Area with Deadlier Insecticide”

our surveillance cameras in the fields
are raising alarming questions:
  • Is the praying mantis
    a religious fanatic insect in disguise?

  • Is the beaver engineering new dams
    to cause floods & destruction in our major cities?

  • Can the skunk’s foul odor
    become a chemical lethal weapon?

  • Are frogs with 360° vision
    used to counter-surveil our surveillance?
  • Are moles excavating secret channels
    penetrating the highest office in the nation?

our atomic submarines
with non-invasive electrical sensors
have monitored the brainwaves of some whales
it was shockingly revealed
that this mammal’s mating song in the deep
is a sonar sound wave
connecting the insurgents in a network shore to shore
planning to sabotage our ships & seaports

MEMO: Operation: “Torpedo the Mating Whales”

we know the bees have drones
secretly spying on our military operations
we know the working bees while pollinating the flowers
carry instructions to suicide bombers

MEMO: Operation: “Identify & Burn Suspected Beehives”


WORLDWIDE SECURITY IS THREATENED AS NEVER BEFORE
NATURE IS NOW IN ALLIANCE WITH THE ENEMY

A WARNING TO ALL COLLABORATORS FLORA & FAUNA
THE NEW WORLD IS TRANSPARENT
OUR SURVEILLANCE IS EVERYWHERE
WE WILL FIND YOU & DESTROY YOU


THERE IS NO PLACE TO HIDE

by Aldo Tambellini, Cambridge, MA.

Aldo Tambellini by Anna Salamone

Born Syracuse, New York in 1930, at eighteen months, Aldo Tambellini was taken to Italy, survived the bombings of World War II and returned to the United States in 1946. He received his BFA at Syracuse University and his MFA at Notre Dame University. He was active in the 60’s Counterculture Movement in NY, pioneered in Video Art and Multi-Media, and co-founded The Gate & Black Gate Theatres in NYC in the 60’s for experimental films and “electromedia” performances. His “Listen,” a stand against war, won the 2005 New England Film Festival in the Short Film and the Syracuse Film Festival.


© Copyright Aldo Tambellini 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

George Held | Fly in the Ointment

Fly in the Ointment

Have you ever seen such a fly?
No? Neither have I,
Though I can’t deny
That a fly
Once flew into my eye—
Ouch! It made me cry,
And I had to rectify
The situation, washing out my eye,
And then I had to rely
On the other one to navigate by
Till blurriness left my fly-blown eye.
Now you can see why
I duck when I face a fly-by
By a fly.

by George Held



George Held newest collection Phased is due out from Poets Wear Prada this summer. He is the author of 10 previous poetry collections and the editor of the anthology Touched by Eros. A five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, he has published his stories, poems, book reviews, and translations in such places as The Philadelphia Inquirer, Circumference, The Notre Dame Review, Commonweal, Connecticut Review, and Confrontation. His most recent poetry chapbook, The Art of Writing and Others, Finishing Line Press (2007) was selected as a "Nov-Dec Pick" in Small Press Review. In December 2007, his poem “Aftermath” was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. He has co-edited The Ledge Poetry and Fiction Magazine since 1991, the same year he joined the executive board of The South Fork Natural History Society and Museum (Bridgehampton, NY). A Fulbright lecturer in Czechoslovakia 1973-76, he retired as a professor of English at Queens College in 2004. Held resides in Greenwich Village with his wife, Cheryl.

© Copyright George Held 2008

David Elsasser | I Don't Know Why

I Don’t Know Why

There once was a poet who swallowed an ad –
Don’t discard houseplants when aphids prey,
let ladybugs devour infestation away!
Insect battalions rustled her leaves
bugs leisurely bivouacked stems.
She ordered annihilation –
no thought of making nice.
But released to living-room lushness
amour was all ladybugs sought.
They coupled on the rug, they coupled
on the chair, they coupled on-the-wing
and everywhere, although the poet
pointed to her plants and stamped her feet.
The place was aphid paradise without relief.
It’s hard to find a moral let alone a happy end
but pause to think how cure can bug you
worse than chance’s fickle bite
and wanton copulation while so full of elation
is unlikely to make things right.

by David Elsasser

David Elsasser [Credit: Su Polo]
Credit: Su Polo

David Elsasser co-hosts the weekly Saturns Series poetry reading in New York City. His forthcoming chapbook Last Call (Poets Wear Prada, Fall 2008) celebrates his generation's present moment of deliberation.

© Copyright David Elsasser 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Valery Oisteanu | The Golden Roaches


Mona with Golden Roaches by Valerie Oisteanu - Collage on photo paper. NYC, 2008

The Golden Roaches

The wilderness of the East Village encroaches into my apartment
I hunt mice and cockroaches, swipe at flies and bugs
They are all the local kind, mostly native Manhattan species
The turtle dove lands on my terrace, next to the birdfeeder
The mad squirrel climbs on my fire escape,
Violently ripping open the window screens
The pigeons invade my windowsill, leaving deadly droppings
Sparrows drop in to rest on the ledge of the air-conditioning
The wildlife of New York City continues to multiply
While indoors wildlife gets too close for comfort
I have a live water bug in my bathroom, behind the tub
A spider in my garden, suspended between the plants
And lastly a family of big roaches in my stove dial
Where it says Bake and Broil
I smashed one of them under the glass
Because he was so unappetizing
And he remained encased there forever
Then after it dried and crumbled, another big roach crawled in
I killed that one too by banging on the dials
He was crashed and I inadvertently started the stove
The entombed roach was constantly staring at me
So to conceal them I covered the dials
With gold cockroach stickers
An existential tombstone of sorts
Then I wrote a poem for the “Midas Bugs”
And for the useful bugs of my world.

by Valery Oisteanu

Valerie Oisteaunu
Valery Oisteanu is a writer, poet, performer and artist with international flavor. Born in Russia (1943) and educated in Romania and France, he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life. Emigrating to New York City in 1972, he is the author of 10 books of poetry, a book of short fiction and a book of art-essays in progress. He appears regularly at poetry readings in various New York venues, where he presents original performances of Zen and Dada-inspired Jazzoetry. He is a freelance art critic on the permanent staff at several arts magazines, including The Brooklyn Rail, NY ARTS, Rain Taxi, the Spanish publication art.es, and the Canadian magazine D'Art International. He is a member of Poets and Writers Inc. in New York and the founder and president of PASS-Poets and Artists Surrealist Society.

© Copyright Valery Oisteanu 2008

Patricia Carragon | You Bug Me

You Bug Me

You bug me,
you ugly piece of insectum,
you overgrown cockroach,
you grotesque hemiptera!
Insecticides will kill me first
before you go to bugdom come.

How dare you invade my place,
crawl under my bed,
make me sweat
after taking a shower?
Do I toss shoe boxes, books and rugs
for your pleasure?
You think you can’t be outsmarted
by your escape to the ceiling
while I crawl in my labyrinthic quest
to destroy you?

I grab my trusty vacuum,
attach the pipes –
return for the attack.
Varoooom, varoooom, varoooom,
I draw near, armed with Windex
to subdue you with safer chemicals
before suction eats you up.
Then, I squirt upwards,
once, twice, thrice
and more…
my finger, still on the trigger –
ammonia and vinegar
rain on my face and hair.

You scamper in panic –
a bit slower, but flee from the pipe
that follows your direction.
And then, in one gulp,
you descend into the darkened pit
of the Hoover canister –
trapped…ha ha.

I take the vacuum outside,
remove the bag from
the belly of my robotic beast,
fearing you’d do a second coming
like Jesus.
But you are like Jesus –
back from the dead
inside the opened canister.

Slam goes the cover!
I carry the vacuum downstairs
and make my exodus to the street.
Outside the gate,
the canister’s reopened
for you to repeat
what you did upstairs.
I kick the vacuum,
watch you run along its hose
until you hit the pavement
for my sneaker to smash you
in one unholy squish.


by Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon is an ad executive who moonlights as a Poet at night. Poetz.com, Rogue Scholars, Poets Wear Prada, Clockwise Cat, La Luciole Magazine, Flutter, Up the Staircase, Times Square Shout Out, Kritya and Soul to Soul have published her work on-line. Her work can also be found in the following journals: Mobius The Poetry Magazine, Clwn Wr #41, Inscribed, Live Magazine, Tamarind, Riverfront, Nomad's Choir, the Park Slope Poetry Project's Erato, SOS ABC NO RIO's Stained Sheets, Poet-To-Poet's Medicinal Purposes and Asbestos and Where You Live, What Happens Next 29, 30 & 31, an annual magazine anthology of poets and artists. He first collection, Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press, 2006), was showcased at Poet's House, New York City in 2007 during National Poetry Month. Her work has been anthologed in The Ice Road Poems (Fierce Grace Press, 2007) and by the The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Her Haiku poems can be found in South by Southeast, vol.15 #2. She has work forthcoming in Dinner with the Muse, a Green Pavilion Poetry Anthology (Rays of Ra Press), due out later this year. She hosts and curates the Brooklyn reading series, Brownstone Poets, at the Fifth Avenue Restaurant in Park Slope and at The Fall Cafe in Carroll Gardens. She is the editor of the annual Brownstone Poets Anthology.


© Copyright Patricia Carragon 2007

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bruce Weber | Silencio

SILENCIO

he could hear the scratch
against the sidewalk
when a cat rolled on its belly,
the whir of windmills
in a picture book
detailing the early mechanics
of energy production
in amsterdam ,
the crash of tremendous evergreens,
the whispers of lovers
in a ground floor apartment,
though he lived in a high rise,
on the 21st floor,
inside his head a gong went off
every time he breathed deeply,
when he coughed his ears rang
like 20 repeating rounds of
a semi-automatic weapon,
his hearing was so sensitive
he could guess 9 x's out of 10
the actual size and position of bugs
inside the walls
of his dwelling,
could hear their movements
inside the plumbing,
the rustle of their mouths
when they chewed
the remains of toothpaste
off brushes
in the cabinet
above the bathroom sink,
he punctured his eardrums
with a long screwdriver,
but it didn't help,
he bought a summer cottage
in the nevada desert,
but the sound of scorpions
skittering across
the dry sand
disturbed him,
even the wind made him nervous,
and the only way
he could make it stop
was by sticking
45s in his eardrums
and pressing the triggers,
till his brain exploded,
splattering over floors,
walls,
and
windows,
now
everything
was quiet,
the cemetery gardeners
cutting down weeds
didn't wake him,
or bouquets placed
softly upon graves

by Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber [Credit: Jackie Sheeler]
Credit: Jackie Sheeler

Bruce Weber is the author of four published books of poetry, including These Poems are Not Pretty (Miami: Palmetto Press, 1992), How the Poem Died (New York: Linear Arts, 1998), Poetic Justice (Icon Press, 2004), and The First Time I Had Sex with T. S. Eliot (Venom Press, 2004). His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including in recent issues of Long Shot, Chronogram, Lips, Saint Elizabeth, and A Gathering of the Tribes. His work was also featured in the Downtown Poets Anthology, The Second Word Thursdays Anthology, and, most recently, in the anthology Up is Up, But So Is Down; Downtown Writings, 1978-1992 (New York: New York University, 2006). Bruce has performed regularly in the New York area, both alone and with his group, Bruce Weber's No Chance Ensemble, which incorporates poetry, theatre, music and dance, and has produced the CD Let's Dine Like Jack Johnson Tonight. He is the organizer of SOS: Sunday Open Series at ABC NO RIO, the editor of the broadside Stained Sheets, and the producer of the 14 years running Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza. Bruce is also Senior Curator, 19th Century Art at the National Academy Museum. His book Paintings of New York, 1800-1950 (San Francisco: Pomegranate Press) appeared in the fall of 2005.


© Copyright Bruce Weber 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

George Spencer | Romance Or Ars Poetica

romance or ars poetica

we've all interrupted the sex lives of city cucarachas
sweating like engine room workers burning high fat calories,
poor souls tormented by cleanliness
roach motels
and florescent lights
their rays zapping eros's moody undulations.

the less adventurous never leave the woodwork,
dream of flowing gowns, magnolias and bridal showers
in their linear land of syntactical rectitude and the weeping i.

by George Spencer


George Spencer


George Spencer graduated from Harvard (he says when it was still easy to get in). He lives in Ecuador 6 months out of the year and has read his work at Cafe Libro in Quito as well as at various venues in NYC. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 63 Channels, Asinine Poetry, The Brownstone Poets Anthology, Caveat Lector, Clwn Wr, Nomad's Choir, Poetry Midwest and Rain Tiger. He is working on a new chapbook titled The Obscene Richness of Our Times.


© Copyright George Spencer 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Michael Graves | Like Insects

Like Insects

Two faces,
Kissing,
Trying to merge,
Glued,

Wrestling,
Struggling,
Striving
To loosen the mutual grip;

Clear lenses, frightened and wanting,
Two insects, clutching each other…

Disgust and the memory
Of your eyes.

by Michael Graves

Michael Graves

Michael Graves hosts the long running Phoenix Reading Series in NYC. His most recent collection is Illegal Border Crosser, a chapbook from Cervana Berva Press was released earlier this year (2008). His first book-length collection Adam and Cain was published by Black Buzzard in 2006. An earlier chapbook Outside St. Jude's originally released by REM Press in 1990 was re-issued as an e-book by Rattapallax. His poem "Apollo to Daphne" appears in Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classic Myths (Oxford University Press, 2001). Other publication credits include The Classical Outlook, European Judaism, James Joyce Quarterly, The Journal of Irish Literature, Cumberland Poetry Review, nycBigCityLit-New York Edition, Writer's Forum, Rattapallax, The Hurricane Review, The Hollins Critic, Archipelago, and Salonika.
© Copyright Michael Graves 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mary Orovan | Millimeter

MILLIMETER

Yes, it pierced as an arrow, here,
the pain
in my heart, Cupid


Yes, I glowed—a little pinker,
blood refusing
previous quiescence


Pheromones long on hold
long for release
Twostickssparks
flames

But on the park bench,
the millimeter between us
hung in air


I saw two butterflies, one a Cabbage,
mon petit chou, the other, Yellow Sulfur,
stuck together for perhaps illegal lingering


Unmatched butterflies
shouldn't play with fire.
Neither should friends



By Mary Orovan

Mary Orovan


Mary Orovan was Features Editor of US Camera Magazine and taught at Polytechnic University. "Millimeter" was previously published in Hidden Oak, Fall/Winter 2007. Her chapbook Feathered Trees is due out later this year (2008) from Poets Wear Prada.

© Copyright Mary Orovan 2007

Sarah Sarai | Two Dreams Hovering Insect Wings Above Me

Two Dreams Hovering Insect Wings Above Me

First I lie across your lap
for everyone to see, for comfort.
Second, we kiss, I pause, you touch my hair
and wave good-bye in one graceful sweep.

I wonder who I am in either dream,
talk myself through the threshold of another day
archived by winged beasts who know memory
as a slow volant flash of something close to pleasure.

by Sarah Sarai

Sarah Sarai

Sarah Sarai writes poems and short stories in New York. Her work has appeared in South Dakota Review, Antigonish Review, Tampa Review, West, Raven Chronicles, Webster Review, VerbSap.com, Stet, Zyzzyva, Fine Madness, Frigg Magazine, Stained Sheets, Threepenny Review, Weber Studies, Minnesota Review, Potomac Review, Tipton Poetry Journal.


© Copyright Sarah Sarai 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lisa Cowley | Skimmer

Skimmer

Every summer I play God
hold the miraculous blue net
save the hundreds of bees, beetles,
ants, dragonflies, gnats, wasps
& ladybugs, that crash-dive the pool.

They emerge from the chlorinated water
like victims of a shipwreck
half-drowned and soaked to the core.
Surrounded by many casualties of the swim
they gasp the air, dry their wings for flight
and gaze around half-dead, examining the others' plight.

The recent divers fly away unharmed
yet some have been in there all morning.
You have to breathe on those to know they are still alive
sensing the world around them.

I wonder whether any are missed
back at the busy communist hive
or whether dragonflies overhead at dusk
are searching for friends
who weren't lucky enough
to reach my grace.

by Lisa Cowley


Lisa Cowley

Lisa Cowley, of Long Island, NY is the author of Noah's Dove, which was published by Writer's Ink Press in 2003 as part of The New Scene Poets Series. She has always been fascinated by the lives of insects as well as all living things and has saved many bugs from drowning or being squashed throughout her life. "Skimmer" was originally published in Noah's Dove.

© Copyright Lisa Cowley 2003

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Charles Pierre | The Reflecting Pool

The Reflecting Pool

An invisible insect breaks the sheen
of a forest pool, as widening rings

move out from the center to awaken
the April images reflected there:

buds, flowers and leaves rippling in circles
to the rhythms of spring and single touch

of an insect, whose one insistent note,
heard deep in the woods, pierces the mild air.




by Charles Pierre

(Originally published in the Fall 2006 issue of Avocet)


Charles Pierre


Charles Pierre is the author of two poetry collections, Green Vistas (1981) and Father of Water (2008). Over the past 30 years, his poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Appalachia, The Ledge, and Rattapallax.


© Copyright Charles Pierre 2006

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mindy Kronenberg | Catching Fireflies

Catching Fireflies


In the heat of summer evening, a boy
crouches with a glass jar
twice the size of his head, eyeing
the miniscule, momentary flame
of insects that burn out
and glow again. In the last light of day


he watches for the brilliance
he longs to keep, and rushes to
sweep it from the air, his small hands
reaching and missing its flight.
Sparks dance all around him,
igniting and dimming


beyond his grasp, his mouth
curled in pursuit of their magic.
His old man, clutching an amber bottle
by the neck, slouches on the ground
and cajoles him, shouts to the boy
with a yellowed grin:


Over there! Over there!
and bellows each time a firefly
escapes. He knows the tragic
quest for dreams—has felt
a glimmer of delight
die inside him again and again.


But the boy, young and callow,
feverishly runs in circles
blurring the world.
The jar, flying from his grip,
lands in un-mowed grass and
catches the last bright beads of dying sun.


by Mindy Kronenberg





Mindy Kronenberg

Mindy Kronenberg teaches at Empire State College and has published poetry, essays, and crticism in journals here and abroad. She edits Book/Mark Quarterly Review and is the author of a poetry collection, Dismantling the Playground.




© Copyright Mindy Kronenberg 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mark Terrill | A Poem for Those Who Mean Well

A Poem for Those Who Mean Well


There's a big black bug with curved wiggling feelers brown filigree wings & long angular legs crawling across the inside of the kitchen window looking for a way out & not wanting to find myself trapped in a crippling stasis of voyeuristic entropy like John Wieners in his poem "A Poem for Trapped Things" I quickly grab a water glass & a beer coaster & gently & efficiently capture the bug & open the kitchen window & watch him fly out across the pasture toward the canal where some watchful-eyed hungry stork or insatiate bullfrog will probably snap him out of the air before you can even say the words voyeuristic entropy.


by Mark Terrill, Germany



Mark Terrill at the Poetry Hearings in Berlin, November 19th, 2006
Photo Credit: Moon



Mark Terrill is a native Californian and former merchant seaman living, writing and scraping by in Europe since the early 1980s. Recent books & chapbooks include Something Red (Plan B Press), The United Colors of Death (Pathwise Press) and Bread & Fish (The Figures). Visit him online at http://home.arcor.de/markterrill


© Copyright 2008 Mark Terrill


Monday, March 24, 2008

J.D. Siskin | Ode to a Dung Beetle

Ode to a Dung Beetle


Imagine living the life of a dung beetle whose sole purpose in life is to push a tiny ball of coagulated kaka across a dirt path deep in the jungles of Mozambique. How amazing are the Herculean efforts of this mighty miniscule critter doing what must be done to the full extent of its God-given ability. We should all get down on our hands and knees and pay homage to this diligent determined insect capable of pushing 100 times its bodyweight in dung. How amazing the endurance of a dung beetle tirelessly toiling day after drudgery day beneath an unforgiving tropical sun with nary a whine nor a whimper while pushing a piece of poop across an obscure dirt road in the middle of nowhere??

Oh what wonders has the dung beetle wrought!!

Therefore we should all celebrate the efforts of this valiant insect who devotes 14 hour days to fulfilling its duty to Mother Nature, this beleagured beetle able to keep its cool while laboring in obscurity and anonymity. And there will never be applauding crowds on hand to herald its triumphs and recognize the unprecedented accomplishments of a creature stoically straining to propel a dollop of dung up and over the anthills.

Words are pathetically insufficient to describe this beetle's uncanny ability to move a tiny mountain of poop from point A to point B while all of humankind remains forever unaware and unappreciative of the selfless struggles of an incredible insect.


By J.D. Siskin
New York, NY

J.D. Siskin

J.D. Siskin is an award winning travel writer and radio broadcaster. A former editor at Travel-Holiday and American Holiday & Life magazines, his articles have been syndicated in newspapers from coast to coast and his work has appeared in major magazines and on web sites. He has contributed to several guidebooks including Fodor's and Frommer's guides, and his travels have taken him to more than 125 countries on seven continents as well as all fifty states. In a previous lifetime he worked as a taxi driver, postal carrier, record store clerk, and psychiatric social worker at Bellevue hospital. He is also a self taught artist whose "collages out of context" are on view at http://www.jdsiskin.com/

© Copyright 2008 J.D. Siskin

Sunday, March 23, 2008

E.J. Antonio | Survivor Chronicles

survivor chronicles

first sighted when i was five,
you oozed from the east 118th street gutter.
a bubbling prune colored jam of moving things
fermenting in summer’s swelter.
a mass snap, crackle, pop
like my Rice Crispies.
but i wouldn’t eat you for breakfast.
daddy picked me up
and stepped over;
mama walked around you
her face frowned in disgust
as if you were a naughty child
banished to the corner forever,
and no one ever said your name.

♫≈≈

on the 10th floor of east Harlem project buildings,
even flies have a hard time climbing the steps
when the elevators don’t work, but not you.
sent to the kitchen for something i forgot
when i saw you in hallway shadow
frozen in the middle of the brown tile floor.
a perfect disguise for you.
grandma’s WATER BUG echoes in my ear.
her order, go get the broom!
i could not, would not obey,
and you won over the fear of a nine year old.
a victory short-lived
as she slapped the stuff out of you
with that straw broom’s hard bodice;
used its skirt to sweep you into dustpan,
and flush you away. just another piece of sewage.
finally, i knew your name

♫≈≈

a new 3 bedroom terraced apartment
in a building built on Bronx landfill
would have been perfect.
but, there you were creeping on sidewalk,
in lobby, laundry room, stairwell, compactor room
(moving up meant new names for garbage disposal).
you never changed no matter how upscale the home.
you, always around in different shapes, sizes, colors
round, oval, long, short, black, brown.
in that year of being fifteen,
i walked fast every time i saw you.
content to let you be.
but, passive never stopped your invasion.
when kitty grew to cat, he used you
for toy in the darkness. slapped you around
the way the drunk upstairs slapped his wife.
i praised the cat and cursed you,
as i dumped you and the garbage
the way she wished she could have dumped him

♫≈≈

fluttering wings in a doorway,
moth i thought. no, it was you,
four inch big brown ugly you
attacked my face, landed on my green carpet
and every one, even the dog, was asleep.
i dropped an economics textbook on you;
the rug softened the blow.
you ran under my bed.
i followed moving furniture.
dropped the yellow pages on you,
12 a.m. / still you ran.
step-dad tried with a shoe
you ran, ran out of my room
into the storage closet next door.
we sprayed Raid and gave up.

1 a.m. / me, awoke on the living room couch
trying to watch Don Kirschners rock concert.
you inched up the white drape.
step-dad swatted with newspaper;
i aimed the can of Raid to finish you off.
still, you escaped between floor and red carpet edge.
you darted across the room.
we pounced, newspaper, shoe and broom
damn wall to wall your protector.

4:30 a.m. / still you ran.
mama, me, oldest brother, step-dad
cornered / you took flight like a kamikaze.
it was us or you, and we were losing.
hiding behind upturned sofa and chairs.
i couldn’t figure out why you wouldn’t die.
even the damned Raid was no match.
could you have taken Ali in one round?
did you gloat climbing the dining room wall
at 5 a.m. to survey the hard won battle field?
were you gloating when baby brother finally got up
tired of the noise / took five minutes
to calmly climb a step ladder
and crunch you with a length of 2”x4”?
this time, you died a warrior.

♫≈≈

out of college
on my own
saw you scurrying
in Parkchester streets.
summer nights found you peeking
up at the world from the drain cover.
your antennae sensing for danger.

autumn leaves from the oak covered the ground.
i heard the pop as my booted foot crushed you.
i cringed. your relatives took revenge two days later.
one nervy S-O-B walked unannounced
under my apartment door during a dinner party.
my friend reached for the broom the way grandma did.
now my secret was out, my fear was out,
and i reached for the wine
my hands shaking / DAMNED BUG!
i will not stay where you are;
stay where you are
cause i know you.

♫≈≈

too many dry winters
and hundred degree summer days
draw moisture from earth,
and you from Mount Vernon sewers.
birds and skunks are happy to feast.
the exterminator in my basement is happy.
my pocket book is not.
you and the pesticides grow stronger

you followed me to Jersey, Virginia,
Florida. even Disney couldn’t hide you.
maybe i should call you Abraham’s freed man;
cause there’s no safe place for you either
and you live and die hard just like us.
DAMN BUG!
will you follow me to the grave,
follow me to the grave,
to the grave??????


By E.J. Antonio
Mount Vernon, NY


E.J. Antonio


E.J. Antonio is a Cave Canem-NY Regional Fellow and a 2006 Pushcart Prize nominee. A frequently featured reader in the Tri-state area, her work appears in various literary journals, anthologies, magazines and online poetry sites.



© Copyright 2008 E.J. Antonio

J. Bradley | Boardroom

Boardroom

Her right hand
is a nervous tarantula.
Each leg beats
today's agenda.

Her left hand skitters over
to eat seconds coughed up
by trampled 12 point
Times New Roman.

Afterward, they cuddle
a coffee cup
and scratch each other's
phantom itch.

By J. Bradley
Orlando, Florida


J. Bradley
Photo Credit: Jelian Morales

J. Bradley is the founder of the Broken Speech Poetry Slam, Orlando's longest running poetry slam. His work has appeared in edifice WRECKED, Idiolexicon, Orlando Sentinel, Look Up At The Sky: Poems About Comic Books, MungBeing Magazine and Word Riot. Visit him online at myspace.com/jbradley


© Copyright 2008 J. Bradley

Evie Ivy | Bugs

Bugs

I decided to go and release the mind
in nature's openness, dispel it
from the I told you so
and should have knowns of life
that time always seems to drag
along, to move away from bricks

and cement, to see the foliage,
birds fly across an open sky,
and the birds in the water.
Realizing I wasn't properly attired,
soon feared, "I don't want bug bites,"
to hear, "It is not the season for bugs."

I wasn't wearing long pants and socks
and felt safe on the main road
winding along. The blooming
tempted, but I stayed on that path
and kept hearing, "It's too windy
anyway - there are no bugs."

More properly attired I went back
to the fresh air, the greenery now
laced with more of gold, and walked
into the hidden paths. On the way
home noticed in a mirror a red spot
on my cheek - already swelling.

Some will say, "It is not the season
for bugs." I can tell you,
there's a bug for every season,
and always an "I told you so."

By Evie Ivy
Brooklyn, NY


Evie Ivy


Evie Ivy, a poet and dancer, hosts the Green Pavilion Reading Series the last Wednesday of each month in Brooklyn, New York with Sol Rubin. She produces her Dance of Word program, incorporating bellydance, tango, Irish step and other forms of dance as well as spokenword and traditional poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club, Tribes Gallery, The Cornelia Street Cafe and other highly regarded poetry venues in NYC. Her critically acclaimed collection The First Woman Who Danced: A Tribute to an Ancient Art (PetitPois Press) was published in 2000.



© Copyright 2008 Evie Ivy

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nancy Ellis Taylor | On the Patio

On the Patio

You attempt to cause
My capitulation here amid
A phosphorescence of gnats
A fizzle of mosquitoes

Ants clump and crackle
The door to the kitchen must remain closed
Sprinklers mist at the edges of the concrete
Oh the fountain with the gnome
I remember this is not my home

Exposed by a yellow bulb
This night the neighbors can see
You put down the flyswatter
And come to me

By Nancy Ellis Taylor
Los Angeles, California


Nancy Ellis Taylor is an L.A.-based writer and gives readings locally several times a year. She used to work at the L.A. County Natural History Museum and her office was right next to the Insect Zoo.

© Copyright 2008 Nancy Ellis Taylor





Monday, February 4, 2008

Madeline Artenberg | Buzz

Buzz

From his lifeguard chair
he watches her emerge
from the ocean,
golden skin bedecked with seaweed.

It stings she won’t say
I love you.

The buzzing in his head
becomes bees swooping,
leave him quake
in the chair.

If he could nail bees
to the sky,
test each one’s intentions,
he’d regain the throne.

His thoughts fly dizzy:
All he wants are her forevers,
no more just nows.

Approaching,
she leans in to kiss him,
whispers something he can’t discern
over the unceasing buzzing.

By Madeline Artenberg

Madeline Artenberg’s work appears in many print and online journals including Caprice, Margie: The Arican Journal of Poetry, Vernacular, Big City Lit and The Absinthe Literary Review. She’s garnered several poetry awards including the Lyric Recovery performance poetry award. Her book Awakened, a collection of poetry by her and by Iris N. Schwartz, was published in 2006 by Rogue Scholars Press. Catch her reading poetry backed by blues and jazz musicians!

© Copyright 2008 Madeline Artenberg

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jorge Evans | Lady Bugs

Ladybugs
—After James Richardson, after Keats


I.
Though you seal every shuttered
window, brace every door,
they come every year with fervor
in late October
through helpless windows,
a kiss or slip below the pane.
That month, filled with one
ended fights, constant fuzz
of a TV on channel one,
could be our undoing.




II.
Like ghosts they aren't there,
holding level in stale fall—
but look in late October,
they form in small pockets,
in rooms
with purposes, agendas.

They would go home if they had one,
but the cold dead concede,
and pass.


By Jorge Evans


Jorge Evans was born and raised in central and southern Illinois. He earned two BA degrees at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale—one in Philosophy, one in English. He is currently working on his MFA in poetry at Minnesota State University, Mankato.


(This poem appeared in a previous version in The Allegheny Review)


© Copyright 2007 Jorge Evans


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gerald Schwartz | Trichoptera (Caddis fly)

Trichoptera (Caddis fly)


My hairy legs are not downy, not moth in miniature; are incise, wrinkled mouths. With limited time, I compound the wet and wait for sedge. I came from an egg laid in georgette, in a skein of bald-faced mucus, unsupported. I am a larvae spiral in an eddy, alone, portable, an enclosed hangnail, a pupa, my membrane affixed to rock, in a stupor and some kind of life. More life's at stake in my cocoon divide, here in this starry pool of emergence, emerald most moist. What has gone before shakes in the midst of my dizzy hatch of invisible sift surface. My liquid phase is soon ending. In service to air, I no longer burrow: twig, sediment, needle. I am as a leggy fig now, rising on moving waters, shuddering. In trailing ballast, whiter, am dropping my catch net. See me as a silver flier, beading and alighting, attired in provision and superfluid. Clean, I have two tailless months, near colorless, green, not knowing how it will all go, although I will live as though I might.





Gerald Schwartz, born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania,is the author of Only Others Are: Poems (Legible Books), as well as World (Furniture Press). He has extensively collaborated in performance with Damian Catera, Steve Swell, Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, Eugene Chadbourne, Ed's Redeeming Qualities, Tibetan Monks, as well as a host musicians and dancers. He is co-founder of Solomons Ramada, as well as Faking Trains.


© Copyright 2008 Gerald Schwartz

Bob Quatrone | The Rape of the Queen

THE RAPE OF THE QUEEN


You are the one

I am all lust for you savage and unholy queen

I am all lust for your round and bonneted bottom

I know not what the gods had in mind

when they made you such a furry and corseted delight

Though I slave in the galleys among the wretched workers

I am all lust for those recesses my stinger would love to enter

Tell me my queen when will you favor me among all the unfortunate

I have buzzed my brawny back on endless nights but we all know

You can only choose one, only one can have the infinite delight

Of all your treacherous words for we have been taught

From early in your schools that only one can be enfolded

In the steep thrilling sanctum of the hive, that only one

Is somehow turned after you have peppered our fractious bums

With stings of orgiastic pleasure too deep for any to comprehend

But by the profoundest osmosis of your Queenly female will

We the skunk-like workers may at last emerge as drones

Worthy to p--k your highness into happiness

I know you Queen Bee and your raucous female proclivities

I have observed how you have been long upon the couch taking the pokes of all your gallant studs

Each waxing more glassy-eyed than the last, stumbling out into the lonely precincts of the hive

In noxious dreams of affluence and power, the devilish proboscis of each worked totally into silly

Exhaustion, poisoned nearly to death with your love and pleasure

And though I clearly see the fate of each of these stuffed and potted drones

I can in no way resist the same lusting after you, the same pining for your treasures

Of doom and devastation

Yet another drone has passed in a state of near collapse down the sulfurous corridor

But we are all breathless with anticipation as again your highness roams

The galleys looking for who shall next merit her condescension

Her extraordinary vituperative embrace, let it be me queen, let it be me

I am ready to pound your wild bottom for love and splendor

I shall have you screaming shamelessly in the night

My little stinger inserted all, all the way up, even into your Queenly snout

Perhaps I shall do what no little f------g bee has ever done

Give you the final f-----g night of your life Queen Bee and make you squeal out

Secrets you have never thought and can never undo once they are done

At the command of my holy rod

So you see queen bee, even the most lowly of your workers

Keeps verily the possibility that one day you shall be undone

By the mastery of a good working class f--k

and no amount of royal repentance or remorse will ever undo it

The hive on that day will buzz no more

All the bees will have finally been set free

To go find their own honies in the world of flowers





By Bob Quatrone



Bob Quatrone graduated from Columbia College in 1965 and was Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1967. He served as Program Host and Director for the Walt Whitman Poetry Society during the mid-1980's. He was a featured poet for the St. Mark's Poetry Project in 1997. He currently hosts The 4 Horsemen Reading at The Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City and lives in New Jersey.




©2006 Bob Quatrone

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ray Pospisil | Running Circles

RUNNING CIRCLES

The middle of the night I woke
and wandered to the kitchen for
a drink of water, flicked a switch
and shuddered as the light revealed
a couple dozen roaches running
circles on the burner rings,
to lick off all the grease, I guess.

Without a plan, I reached and flipped
a burner on. At first I only
smelled the gas, but then a flame
exploded blue and popped the roaches
up into the air a foot.
They fell back down and scattered on
the white and gleaming surface of
the stove-top, on their backs, with legs
up, twitching till they folded in
their legs and curled around themselves.

Amazingly, the roaches on
the other rings continued running
circles, for the grease, I guess.
Methodically, by cold fluorescent
buzzing light, I flipped the burners
one-by-one: a hiss at first
of gas and then a hiss at first
of gas and then a hiss at first
of gas and then a pop . . . pop . . . pop
as flames exploded, catapulting
roaches in the, catapulting
roaches in the, catapulting
roaches in the air until
they fell, until they fell, until
they fell onto the white and gleaming
stove, onto the white and gleaming
stove, onto the white and gleaming
stove with little ping . . . ping . . . pings
against the metal and they sizzled.


By Ray Pospisil
Brooklyn, NY


Ray Pospisil is a strong advocate of poetry as a verbal, performing (and listening) art, and he appears in various clubs around the city. His work has been published by The Barefoot Muse, Census, The Lyric, Iambs & Trochees, The Newport Review, Rogue Scholars and others. His chapbook, Some Time Before the Bell is available from Modern Metrics Press. A collection of his poetry is being published by Seven Towers.

Ray lives in Brooklyn and works as a freelance journalist, covering environmental and energy issues for publications in the US and the UK.




© Copyright 2007 Ray Pospisil

Friday, January 11, 2008

"An Unattainable Construct" by Kevin G. Wisher

AN UNATTAINABLE CONSTRUCT

I remember the blanket covers warm with heat,
As snow lay but a foot beneath the outside windowpane
Mop-top hair, askew on the brightly painted bedding,
Knees pressed up to trunk, in a pleasing fetal fashion.
Morning light, fighting to break through heavy woolen drapes as
Reflections from snow act as piercing shards,
But the battle is lost…. Temporarily.
The darkness of my room weary from the battle, allows pitch to
hue to Grey.
My fortress assured
Viewing the shadows, my eyelids still heavy
Weighted…. they shut…seal…and the journey begins
A wooded path lay beneath my bare feet, and I stepped gingerly
into the cool, damp, green coverage.
Metallic like pearls reflect, as a spider weaves its web of silver.
I stop transfixed.
The pattern emerges as my eyes see past the basic linear construct
A reflection of life; paths offered and taken
Bonds secured to branches reflect, family, friends, home, and
mindset
Paths connect; choices lead to one final destination
As true clarity is reached…. I feel myself ebbing away….
My environment becomes clouded…. white wisps surround me and
grow vibrant.
I’m blinded by the all-encompassing white luminance
Blinking…my eyes open….the brightness of the outside world has
Penetrated my confines
I search my mind for the pure knowledge, the wisdom of man
And it eludes me…..lost to my higher self
Sighing; I turn away from the brightness of the window, cover my
face, seeking solace in a warming, down embrace.

By Kevin G. Wisher

Kevin G. Wisher, received his fine arts education at SVA and FIT. Upon completion of his studies, he decided to switch his emphasis to science and is currently working on his PhD in Nursing Education, with a minor in Forensics. He is a staff writer for Population Arts Merge and was awarded Pride Alliance of Long Island's Diva with an Ink Sword award. He is a GLBT activisit and serves as the director of Outreach for PALI (Pride Alliance of Long Island) . He curates the Rainbow Readings at Pisces Cafe in Babylon, Long Island and is currently helping to create the music and arts festival known as Out In Sayville. He often writes under the pseudonym Edweena Scoot-a-which.


© Copyright 2007 Kevin G. Wisher

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Where Dragonflies Sleep" by Michael Young

Where Dragonflies Sleep

Our last day in the French Quarter,
a brass band off Jackson Square
played When the Saints Go Marching In
just as the waste of sunlight beaded and burned up
across rooftops and in the spire of St. Louis Cathedral.
Bells tolled and the day sank into earth.
Night came first as dark clots in the oaks.

While the last blue still held the upper air,
in fissures of each cracked wall tile or in the slate
flagstones that buckled like colliding icebergs,
a flash of iridescent power settled
as if all the dragonflies in the city
had come to rest in these imperfections.
The force and buoyancy of their wings
fanned subterranean fires and stoked the air
till currents banged a wind chime
made of a brass doorknob, the gas lights
budded and blossomed into fire
and electric ticker signs buzzed and beckoned
toward the center of the thundering weathers inside us
where, however small, those powers sleep.

By Michael Young


Michael Young's most recent collection of poems is Transcriptions of Daylight. He received a 2007 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Chaffin Poetry Award for 2005. He was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Heliotrope, Lips, RATTLE, The Same, Spillway and many other journals. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with his wife and newborn.



Copyright ©2007 Michael Young

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"I have a padrino, a godfather..." by Juventino Manzano

I have a padrino, a godfather, not one of those gangster

clichés—aint gonna break no legs, he’s a professor,

studies psocids—book lice, an expert in the field, many

species under his belt including world’s smallest insect—a

wasp that lays eggs on the eggs of psocids and mi padrino

Mockford has spent his life studying these creatures

it all began for him on an Indiana summer night

cicadas singing infinite like and on the day when the

colors on the wings of butterflies captivated him--

somehow he ended up my Godfather maybe due to

the fates being psocids and he got me into

collecting when I was like 7

that ended when I was like 8—saw this black-

purple-bruise-like-beetle thought

it would be perfect for my collection,

majority of which was eaten by other bugs

who eat crunchy dried bug corpses so eventually

the cork lined box became storage box for my

father’s fighting rooster knives—he had some

from the Philippines called razors and

little boxing gloves and gaffs which are like sharp needles

--my father is actually one of the most compassionate

towards living creatures people I know and this beetle was

crawling along—I couldn’t kill it—I knew

I could snag it easily, freeze it and pin it in the box

with the other husks, just couldn’t though

—felt bad to even want to kill it— I still have my

copy of Borror’s and White’s Field Guide to the Insects

which my Godfather had given me before the beetle

incident--

I couldn’t do it in—watching it shambling along in the

leaves was enough—glorious colors of oil on water mixing

on its black back as it did it’s beetle life and I mine and my

Godfather his which sometimes involves the death or

stunning (with Alka Seltzer) of a psocid, but my Godfather

is one of the most compassionate people I know regarding

life of any kind—and I may have got that feeling

from either God or Father

more than likely it seems to

me Now, both.


By Juventino Manzano



Juventino Manzano has returned to the states after a three and a half year haitus. He is currently working on a Masters degree while working fulltime as an ESL Teacher's Aide at a middle school. When not busy trying to be creative and academic, he plays with his three-year old son and reads as much as time allows.

He has been published in various magazines including Celebrate the Self, Hustler Fantasies, EIDOS, Proper Gander, Bourgeoizine, Last Stop at Union Station, and the Post Amerikan.


Copyright ©2008 Juventino Manzano

"Aesop, Again" by Valerie Lawson

Aesop, Again


Grasshopper
flies on corrugated wings
lands on the picnic table
pivots
point
to point
sidles on bent legs


springs


tests September air
for scraps of July.


Ants
dismantle summer
pull it underground
grain
by


grain


carry powdery castings
up from the depths


where they snowball
at burrow’s edge.



By Valerie Lawson (from her chapbook Ribbon Anvil)


Valerie Lawson
has traveled to Europe and the UK to perform poetry and participated in a multi-media cultural exchange between Massachusetts and Ireland, celebrating the United Nation's International Decade for a culture of peace. Visit her online at:
Images & Imagery.

© Copyright 2002 Valerie Lawson

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Butterfly" by Gerald Bosacker

BUTTERFLY

As you observe them flutter by,
they would not ever make you squirm.
Yet, each bright-colored butterfly
starts out its life as just a worm.
A moral here we should apply,
to see inside the epiderm.

By Gerald Bosacker

Gerald Bosacker studied journalism, but found success as a graphic arts salesman, which evolved through serendipity and pandering to his superiors, into a Vice Presidency of an international corporation, a role neither deserved or greatly appreciated. Early retirement, an unskilled and naive victim of corporate politics, provided opportunity for his first love of weaving words into meaningful poetry. Starting late, Bosacker churns out tons of poetry, and displays them pro-bono, hoping for acclamation or bare acceptance, while he is still mortal. Sample more animal lore from WHAT'S GNU AT MY ZOO at:

Copyright ©2008 Gerald Bosacker

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Ant Farm" by Brant Lyon

ANT FARM

1.

A cross-sectional microcosm pressed between
two sheets of glass is merely representational, heuristic.
A civilization hidden underground, displayed, displaced
to an obvious one of alien pencils, pens, composition books.
A gooseneck lamp beams down on this specimen self-contained
amidst the disarray of Kevin’s desk.

2.

If they toil for his amusement, martyr their whole subterranean
culture for some flip science project, they’ll never
know it (mindless creatures!).
Never know their captor’s ransom.
Kevin doesn’t give a damn about ants.
He channel surfs or whiles the time mesmerized by Nintendo,
falls in step with the rank and file
marching down the hall toward the lunchroom.
For two weeks the army has been excavating.
A collective mind has emerged from a few ounces of dirt
and Uncle Milton’s Start-up Kit (live ants included).

3.

With painstaking fortitude and dedication they have hauled
each grain of sand up to the surface and piled it near the silo
in a tiny plastic farmyard scene.
The networks of tunnels they’ve dug
is as delicate as any anastomosis,
more labyrinthine than Derinkuyu and Kaymakli—entire cities
carved out of rock beneath the Cappadocian plain.

4.

He went kicking and screaming on family vacation that summer
to backward Turkey, would rather have chilled staying home
to watch videos and rollerblade.
He’ll be a college kid before he knows what in the world
an anastomosis is, and older still before he know what it means
to push a boulder by himself uphill.

By Brant Lyon


Brant Lyon has practiced, practiced, practiced, and played piano at Carnegie Hall, dispensed advice from behind the wheel as a New York City cab driver, then listened to people's problems for over twenty years as a clinical social worker, eaten a guinea pig beside the ruins of Machhu Picchu, climbed the Himalayas to watch a sunrise, taught himself Arabic and opened an internet cafe with his partner in the shadow of the great pyramids of Giza.

But none of these adventures have been more challenging than writing a decent poem and reading it for people like you! He writes them, anyway, and frequently writes music to accompany them, too.

He founded and has been hosting the peripatetic and sporadic 'jazzoetry' reading series, "Hydrogen Jukebox". His publications include work in Rattle, BigCityLit, Lullwater Review, The Long Islander, and numerous other journals, and a chapbook, Your Infidel Eyes from Poets Wear Prada Press (2006). He has performed at Bowery Poetry Club, Theatre for the New City, A.I.R. Gallery, Galapagos Art Space, KGB Bar, and many other places over the past ten years.

Most recently, his poetry and art work appear in an anthology entitled, A Cautionary Tale (Uphook Press 2008), and a CD of his poems and those of friends accompanied by music composed and performed by him, Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (Logochrysalis Productions 2008). Both are due for release any day now. Watch for them!



© Copyright 2008 Brant Lyon