Peg - R.P. Dickey

A poem is an individual
in opposition to its time.
Look at it its way, flying
you into more, for all times.
The abstract individual had
better be brief about something.
Peggy, this ten-year-old dapple gray

down here in the south pasture
is more than quadruped or even horse.
Peg's her own person, hey:
valid, shapely, and unpredictable.
I sought her out almost everywhere,
and she just now eased up behind me,
nuzzled between my shoulder blades

and lifted me off the earth.

man got shot / Joe Roarty

watt was he doin
late at nite
on that street
wher thr was no lite

some wr yng
som wr old
walkn down th street
n th wind & cold

it don't mattr
watt time of day
wn its time 2 go
u go away

walk around like u no
u don't no nothn

they call u on th fone
tell u wher 2 go
do watt yr told
nothn gonna happn

see m onna bus
see m onna train
see m n th wind
see m n th rain

if it hadda happn
glad it wasn't me
if it hadda happn
that th way it gotta b

just anothr man
just anothr one
wipd away
n th flash of a gun

just anothr one

lyn on th sidewalk
lyn n th street
lyn n th cold
lyn n th heat

did u hear
on th rong side of town
sombody walkn
got shot down

walkn n th street
sittn n a car
wrkn n a store
drinkn n a bar

som wr damnd
som wr savd
som wr fearfl
som wr brave

thrs a candl
on th cornr
thats th place
he fell etrnl

som had hope
som had nothn
som an urn
som a coffn

do u remmbr
who he was
dyn alone
for no cos

Poem / Ben Gulyas

It is a fluid world we live in,
faces to water,
images to eye--

to travel one road
and a thousand
makes it feel closer to the heart
faces speak
gestures flash by
Lopez's cooks smoking in the back driveway
beside a warped shed
that smells like cinder block & tar...
returning from the milky way
black space and bright flashlight...
moths fluttering like
stumbling drunks
suddenly startled awake
by the dawn's light...
a fluid world...
and rarely is it straight
and if you're straight,
you're fighting a losing battle--

better to eat jelly in the river,
better to drink tea with gin,
better to turn into the curve
turn into the bird
turn into the voice in your dream
paint a picture with your eyes
on the stone in the fire,
let the fire glow
down to the last lick,
and listen...

listen to the milky way
hold its breath in the wind--
jelly on the sea...
jelly on the dark...

coyotes sing from their hole in the hidden ground
"hey! Hey! I see stars!..."
"and I'm hungry" "let's eat!!"

Poem / Jack Micheline

Genius is a ragged lion
   holding sunlight in his hands
Friend of outlaw, rare grotesque
   Alone he flies with eyes of eagles
Torn and spit upon by cowards
   he walks with angels and despair
Genius, poet, ragged lion
   holding sunlight in his hands.

A Friday Morning Devotional in Iglesia Evangelica Metodista / Bob Ambrose

Listen.      Echoes intermix here,
on the inside of a sweet instrument
projecting love with Latin flair,
where hearing is whole body
and fuego is a dance not confined
to Domingo, where decibels carry
fevered joy deep into small town nights.

Staccato hammer,
hum of weld
that build and bind
the world outside
are amplified
within these walls
from tile floor
to high eves hiding
bats, and back,
they bounce
right through,
they permeate
the empty rows
of wooden pews.

The world intrudes on sacred space,
it drowns out parts, accentuates
in bold strokes the soft voice
that weaves a world of wise fools
who bind the blessed earth and sky
with bold themes and threads of hope

While high above,
inside each pause
between rude strokes
and spoken words,
bright notes proclaim
to those who hear
what gospel truth
wild birds can sing.

And some hear more – a living
spring that wells from nothing
pouring forth between the notes
with cleansing uncontained
by culture, unconstrained
by earnest creed.

So dance my love
with fire and joy:
the emptiness, awash
with angels, echoes
silent thoughts of God.
Just listen, love
with body, soul
but careful though,
for here it roars.

In Pursuit of Truth / Lemuel LaRoche aka LIFE

From the inner depth of the universe
An inner light is born
Placed in the eyes of a new child
To see through a world that is torn

Sketched on a canvas filled with vampires
They will consume you until you die
Why must the young peak to old age
To learn it’s all a lie

What a blind man said of finding truth
Is that it could be purchased with a buck
Then truth exposed him of his mortality
When his fatal illness struck

Asked to be buried with his fortune
A display of gluttony to the sight
For not his pennies, nor his dollars
Could alter the reaper’s plight

Then clarity bit the dying man
While lying in his bed alone
When he tried to share his wisdom found
No one heard his muted tone

Who knows the path the karmic pendulum swings
Destined to collide with this culture of greed
As man races to clone every life force
Monsanto's claim patent to nature’s seed

In a world where reindeers peddle corporate toys
Through ghettoes filled with crack
And a devoted priest hanged himself
When he discovered his Jesus was black

For love and hate are fraternal twins
That fertilizes the thought
In pursuit of truth down fraternal roads
Where souls are sold and bought

If truth lay within the seed
Point me the path to the virtuous fruit

Where angels slide down strip poles

Dancing for a devil in a suit

Good and evil war within us

To carve the character of our being

Some driven by inner rage, others inspiration

But all guided by forces seen and unseen

The earth, she turns too many times

Then blankets us with her sand

When wickedness creeps within the heart

The Most High guides the poet’s hand.

Election Year Worries 2012 / Grady Thrasher

 There're Republicans in women's vaginas
         and the Supreme Court's up our asses,        
At least as life pertains
to the middle and working classes.

Republicans say only millionaires
deserve some tax relief;
that our lives should be controlled
by evangelical belief.

And the care of health depends on wealth,
let the poor be turned away.
Those sorry knaves, they should have saved,
now perhaps they'll learn to pray.

Though we like to call America
the great land of the free,
Republicans now use "freedom"
to mislead the citizenry,

as they incarcerate more people
than ever in history.

The money spent for the "War on Drugs"
exceeds aggregate costs of college,
but they'd rather put our kids in jail
than fill their heads with knowledge.

Even Russia and China can't match our rate
of citizens doing time,
three generations' prospects ruined
for mostly minor crime.

Republicans think it's dandy
that most in jail are black.
Repressing their votes is handy
when election time is back.

And this election year we've much to fear
if Republicans prevail,
the 99 percent will pay more rent
or either be in jail.

So, take a stand for human rights,
fight off Republican attacks,
Women protect your vaginas,
and all of us watch our backs!

House of Delights - Bobbi Johnson

It’s black as night inside,
Not just in this house of delights,
But also in like hearts and minds
Blurring all set boundaries and lines,
Predator becomes prey
Becomes a Fantasy realized
And with a simple trick of colored light
Bruises, scars, and bags under eyes, fade away.
Making way for radiant skin of an unearthly fire
Both map and road to a place called desire
Pin pricks and flickers of yellow and white,
Dazzle and blind, like diamond stars
Scattered across a midnight sky
Bodies and rhythms synchronize and hypnotize
Casting a spell to glamorize all who enter here
Exotic spices, sweat, and musk perfume the air
While walls of mistrust give way to enraptured prayer
Love and lust are weaved together in a dance,
Where the lost and devoted share a brief romance
To worship two edges of the same knife,
That slices open the vein of life
Bleeding it dry of all that is sublime
Purity is devoured, and darkness embraced
And masks of every kind covers each face
The sweet agony of temptation is succumbed
To willingly, eagerly… in fear and anticipation
While liquid spirits haunt every touch and thought
Confusing what we find into what we sought
Leading the chase of both ghosts and dreams,
Perverting the innocent while justifying the obscene
Silver and gold are the means used to redeem… Ourselves 
In a look, a word, and everything we forgot
That can only come for free
When the veils are lifted, and wells run dry
And absolute truth is revealed as a lie,
What goes untold, and what is up for sale
Is simply fools gold, our souls, and a fairytale

Three Poems / Alx Johns


flat rocks
from the shore
are formed into an
egg the height of a
man awaiting the slow
growth of the tide rising
around the now-balanced,
rounded cone immersed in
natural time. He is shown
the seed within the

Fried Eggplant

The mystery must lie
in the way
it cooks
so fast,

crispy crust and creamy center
simply complex.

I've copied her every step,
and the result doesn't compare.
Is it the time of day she cooks?
The Seventies decor in the kitchen?
The airlight flakes of cigarette ash

drifting like the last leaves of autumn
into the batter?

Each time may be the last now,
so study her style
and savor each moment of each
movement of your jaw.

The Other

He wanted to be the first person
to launch a gator into space,
release it from the capsule.

"This will scare the shit out of those aliens!"

Hell yeah, it will.
Something with a face of fangs
and cold eyes floating up there.

Either this planet is guarded by
living gargoyles

or there are creatures here
who launch other creatures into
outer space.

There's a Psycho / Buddah

There's a psycho in the audience right now. There is a psycho in our presence as we speak. Yes, there's a psycho in our midst adorned in modest attire. She looks normal, but she's not. Her brain's a flop, and this explains a lot. There's a psycho sitting next to you and you never knew it. She complains a lot and that remains the plot. Too much to little and too late. It seems a smile is not a smile, a smile it really is not. Her craziness is someone else's love and someone else's love is a pain in my crotch. As sure as flames are hot. She, my gullible friends, truly is not. And now thinking without blinking, I pray to GOD, Richard Pryor and Abe Lincoln. She plays this game without a clue. There's a psycho in the audience right now. and she's sitting next to you.  That silly lily white filly gets no love and smiles are not around!  I proclaim, our acquaintance shall never be.  I shall remain the bigger man. Today, I take a stand.  Run for the hills, run for the exits quick. This is not a trick. There's a psycho in the audience, right now!!!

The Day I Killed God / Jay Morris

I was brought up on strict lessons
And brave stories
Of desert nomads wandering purposefully
Like a sandstorm army
To follow the wind as it carried the words
Of their God
I was raised on victorious trumpets
And heralding angels singing praises
Of he who was and is and is to come
Old, yellow cracked scriptures
Were ground up like powder
And steeped into my drink
So I could partake
In a communion I knew little of
But considered slightly
For years I prayed at the altars of God
And bore the cross of Jesus
And prayed and prayed and prayed
Until my lips had become
So accustomed
To the words that they poured out
Like second natured spells
When the going got rough
It was during one of these moments of mindless
That I heard a distant howling in the waves
That penetrated my eardrums
Vibrating the desperate message
Know me. Need me. Love me. Remember me.
That voice was instantly familiar to me
And I turned away out of disgust
That this the omnipotent could beg me for my
Prayers, my struggle, my love
I turned away from this being that was
Seeking relevance through me
And cast his dull pleading roar to the airwaves
To be drowned out by the sounds of early morning radio
And late night television
I starved and emaciated him till he was little more
Than the rattle of bones reluctant to get out of bed
And the erratic snowflake beating of moth wings
Before its inevitable plunge into the fire
And in his final moments
I saw the five stages of divine grief
The denial of Peter
The anger of El Shaddai
The bargaining of Jesus
The depression of Satan
The acceptance of Jehovah Shalom
All at once in animal screams
And angel shrieks
At the power of an ego suddenly impressing on him his transparency and weakness
Like a machine suddenly aware of its design flaws
Outdated and obsolete
Outdated and wholly incomplete
Trapped in the fabric of our memory like a stain
That fades
Over time
And I put my hand on his shoulder
And told him to remember his grace
Closing my eyes willing us both to let go
As I whisper
“Can you hear that, God?”
Can you hear the human soul?
Can you hear the sound of it fending for itself?
Can you hear it weathering the storm?
Can’t you see that that’s the holiest part?
The will of we close our eyes.
And feel his dying breath drowned out by the sound of
Late night radio
Early morning television
And pledge to remember him as a time of day
When fairy tales are told and challenged and shelved
Into childish memory boxes.