Tag Archives: literary journal

Poetry: Leave-Taking

the trees react to colder nights by stripping naked
the meadow too

it’s as if they’re about to set off somewhere
all excess baggage is left at the gate

the sun too is a budget traveler
abandoning most of the sky
the days are so quiet now

take me with you
even if there’s nowhere to go
even if it means leaving myself behind

-Dave Bonta, Gnarled Oak

Ode to Eating a Pomegranate in Brooklyn

When I fall in love again I will have another heart

and a second set of eyes which is one way

to watch the woman you love          grow old

The story of my heartbreak started like this:

someone gave me a key that opens many doors

I traded it for a key that opens only one

I traded that one for another and that for another

until there were no more doors

          and I had a fist full of keys

At any given moment only part of the world is gruesome

There are three pomegranates in the fridge

waiting to be broken open

When I fall in love again

my beloved and I will spit seeds into the street

read more

-Patrick Rosal in Wax Wing Magazine

Poetry: Story in Which I Am Renamed Saint

It’d been so long since we’d touched, you thought I must’ve found God. I caught you in the dark watching a video: a piano on the curb letting itself be touched and touched, singing for any finger that asked. It only survived one night before men with sledgehammers shattered it to tinder, took away each metal part that sang. Each time I caught you watching this–your face glowing in the darkness of our bedroom–you told me you were learning acceptance. After all, this is the world we live in: men can be broken and made whole again. Woman with all her faults remains dismembered: body and body parts forever being torn to pieces.

read more at Linebreak

Poetry: Vibrations

The earth has music for those
who listen. ~Santayana

Around midnight, I ask again,
“Do you hear it?” It’s not the engines
from McClellan Field, nor the purr of the frig,
more something of earth or sky, or both.
Over the Aegean, a quarter moon
and single star spangle in dawn’s first light.
A smart man once said “Heaven is today,
not yesterday and not tomorrow.”
(sorry you missed it).
I look up the Aramaic word for heaven:
(light, sacred vibrations, never ending).
And when I think complete silence,
that echo again, the pulse of a million suns,
the slip of comet’s tail
I want to find heaven on earth, a glimpse
of kindness in the everyday. An Arab country
gives our students new computers
after their school was tornado damaged.

read more

Jeanine Stevens, Blue Five Notebook 

Poem Published in ‘One Sentence Poems’

childhoodSo happy to say I have a poem in One Sentence Poems today! (With another coming in a week). Editors Dale Wisely and Robert Scotellaro run a fascinating literary journal focusing on poems that are are only one sentence long – which can include poems up to five stanzas, but means that the poems are invariably, compressed – short and sweet or profound, and hopefully satisfying. Here’s mine: Adagio

Poetry: Untitled

Bedridden, I ate nothing for days.  Gradually came paper-thin
noodles boiled in lemon water, salt-less crackers they called
saltines and half cups of chamomile.  Unable to escape I assumed
nothing happened in the world beyond my bedroom.  Light
changed as it always had, doves cooed in the hollows of the house,
once the sound of a woman laughing, two men yelling in a strange
tongue, the old church bells down the road and the occasional car
passing by, but the restless silence seemed to be the most
unbearable thing.

-W.J. Preston, Apple Valley Review

Poetry: Light Makes Motion

Naked boy makes light like
mosquito, like

key drunk and the door.
I name a ghost for him.

I don’t care – all boys end.
Light goes, popped story like

wanting any him pushed, sucked
flat mosquito, to door.

I name the ghosts for them. Light
goes, breaking out like

wound-touch, like
school child, like

boy become naked can door.

Light goes.
Naked boy crawls shadow to bed.

His name says he will have
greater fortunes than this.

Sound for ghost goes

boy swallows mosquito, like

boy I kissed once, boy
who swallows his name.


boy kiss drunk and the noraebang

song loud as junk food and light
light sour stomach humming light

crystal-spun light

anyone turned on,
turned off.

My name says I will have
greater ghosts than this.

-Kat Dixon, Kenning Journal

Poetry: Information Age

Those weekends, while
Bradleys gathered
on Kuwait’s northern border, their barrels
raised, the tankers’
breath drawn, our father
on the kitchen table, arranged
the hulking Macintosh he’d brought
home in his Chrysler Horizon.

that year, as yet
unlettered in the epic
of disasters passing
beyond our block, I watched
with my sister the flickering
disk-drive light
its small beacon beneath
his touch. The dull
screen shimmered
to life.

this, he’d say taking
our hands in his own & holding
our thin fingers to the keys. & we,
in terror then
in awe watched
the strange combinations of letters rend
the darkness. DOS. The chalky
cursor. The whir
& clicking the disk-
drive, like
a man, moved
through its work with.

in fin de siècle Boston, Bell
to the mouthpiece plucked
a reed, he
heard first the same mechanical static. He flattened
his ear to the signal’s hissing as if,
there in his basement, hailed
by the great & ruined future. Our father

before the screen. Oh son
et lumière machine. Oh we
who in that new light looked
like a family folding
in on itself on the shores
of a burning empire. On the Tigris,

tanks in formation. In the basement, Bell
to Watson—do you understand
what I am telling you?
Yes, he said.
We entered
our names & erased them.

-Christopher Kempf, The Kenyon Review

A Long Way from the Hamptons

There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues. —Eddie Cochran

You can’t spend summers pulling auto parts at the Queens
warehouse without learning how tough it is to walk on concrete floors.

Not a shoe will cushion you as you trek from shelf to cart,
filling cardboard cartons with windshield wipers.

You wheel your cart around the corner to grab a Balkamp 1729
and discover Thelma leaning up against the metal cabinets,

sniffling and rubbing her foot. This is temporary for me, you think.
You are so bored you pull three or four orders at once,

boxes stacked up in the cart, tiny screws hop-skipping
into the wrong order. The checkers on the packing line call you

for pulling a 1728 instead of 29, and you run
the correct part to the front. You are still so bored

you vow you’ll never complain about droning lectures
and fall term classes that were not your first choice.

Afternoons, you smoke a joint with the boss’s daughter, ruining
your accuracy for the rest of the day. You can’t afford to get fired.

Going home in your red Chevy with rotted floorboards, you watch
the street roll under you like a conveyor belt studded with rocks.

You idle at the stop sign, next to a Mustang with a sun-tanned boy
at the wheel. His radio is turned to all the songs of summer.

You don’t know what you know, just that your legs ache, and
still you tap them to the music before the boy drives away.

-Elizabeth Drewry, Cooper Street Journal

Poetry: Burdens

Already my daughter’s looks
are something to bear.
Gold hair heavy
on her small shoulders.
Eyes big as burdens.

She can’t escape
people looking at her,
so lets bangs grow
over her face
like thick curtains
almost closed.

Once, on the street,
a man touched
the glowing tip
of his cigarette
right to the center
of her forehead.

A crazy man, you say.
But I know
it was beauty
leaving its hot kiss.

-Francesca Bell, Blue Lyra Review

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