Art of Poetry

Adeola Davies- Aiyloja


Eve Wood

Poem for My Arms
Without you I could not
Embrace the lithe shape of my lover;
Nor could I walk arm in arm through the broken city,
Defying death. It is only with you
That I point to each shivering constellation
In the sky, knowing
That without you the stars
Would cease to exist.
Without you, I am reachless,
Broken and alone,
Bereft of my bookends, my two stalwart
Friends, unable to grasp even an apple.
Therefore, I will hold you up
Like a mutinous flag for all to see and admire.
I will extend you beyond the moon’s purview
And the sun’s admonitions
To show my appreciation,
My love.
I will erect monuments
To your veracity, the unbridled
Strength with which you lift
The old table, only to succumb
To the soft pink sheets of the bed.
I will wear garments
To accentuate your beauty,
Commission tattoos of roaring lions
And raging seas to amplify
My gratitude, to proclaim once and for all
That you are mine
And I, inextricably
Your own.

guido nosari de danieli

if you danced the robe would be large.
If I danced the robe would be large.
I bought some ice cream and shells to make things seem easier.

Halim Madi

Hey you * || * A language collage based on found language in my scam mail

Mandy Palasik

The Balcony
A teetering appendage of metal and steel
Adorned with plastic chairs and wet laundry
Flirting between realms
Intimate yet public

A stage for revolutionary proclamations, romantic confessions, lyrical compositions
Or the mere act of watering flowers
On our balconies, we are performers
Through open invitation, we embrace our audience
Peering in through framed apertures
Tuned in from the streets below
We engage in an audio-visual broadcast of urban reality
Sharing a universal frequency
The show goes live

Although exposed, we are immune to stage fright
Our vulnerabilities shielded by a perimeter rail
Protecting us from the maladies of the outside world
Perched above, we seek comfort in our refuge

We take our seats in anticipation of the next act
The show goes on…
Until the final curtains close
For the night

Lauren Dana Smith

Oh, lost ground,
I’ve tread your dirt before
And heard your bird call.
Watch me fly this last time!
Spun feathers and all
into wilder days and under pink disco moons.

I know how to take the drugs
And it is possible to do it all over again, if I wanted something sweeter
But I prefer the sharp sting between my teeth
And a hollow tone in my throat.

Oh lost ground,
I came across a newspaper clipped from the doggone golden age
that recounted your Last Big Adventure
When you walked into the slick forest and came out the other side on the edge of an iceberg.
They brought you home on a fishing boat
Overflowing with King Crab and crowned you
A hero of men.

Oh, lost ground,
I am pacing my heart back through snow
Through banks of violets
Through dust and sips of soda.
I am both practiced at blocking out the light
And practiced at glossing the day.
I am practiced along the razor line of midnight and morning.

Ever in these margins.
I fly.

I press my burnt tongue into the night sky and trace the edges of a nebula
Long recessed into firmament.
In my mind I am erasing ancient patterns and pulling heaven onto her side in protest.
In my mouth is a ball of fire,
All chewed up and so close to the sun.

Cindy Rinne

Passages of Time

Down the tunnel

Columns outline my gaze
A few graceful steps

I find an iridescent leaf
Good for potions
Rubbed on skin

Glides across the ceiling
Under purple moon

This is impossible

Pockets of light
Orbs guide me

To an involved

Between a fortune teller
And the bird

They wonder
What forever means

Overflow my cupped hands

I’ve avoided This place hoping to

Decay enough
To understand

The ephemeral
Flight of water
Inside the crystal ball

David Klein

We are one race
the human one
A solitary tree in forest of mirrors
wondering why you are just another tree yearning to flow like a river
Why am I a tree? Why am I not a river?
Your thoughts like sunlight shimmers on a lake beautiful and fierce
Wisps of mist that are never real like love and fear
On a mountain top your roots grow miles below the surface
Intertwined with all the other trees of every shape shade and hue
Your leaves are distinct
They blow boldly in the wind
Proclaiming their beauty just like the other trees that look very much like you
Down deep the roots all twisted in a helix of seven billion other trees just laugh at your foolish pride
The roots know your source is so much deeper as your beautiful leaves break free to float around the world for all to behold

Arella Tomlinson

Way too slick, it slithers up

Uninvited though reluctantly expected.

I wince.

A toxic flush has given birth…

To a new Me, On a (hot) new morning.

I cannot stop sweating.

To stick out like a sore

To carry this banner of leprosy.
Branded, having to sport ‘The Look’,
To radiate exposure to the dreaded ‘C’,

That we we we would rather not think of

And I I I would rather not be, and have to cover.


To reflect the utter lack

Of all softness and fringe,

A beacon for the coming Anti-
But since it is here anyway, I’ll say…
Good morning, Lion-without-his-mane

Rise, Eel-of-my-nightmares-sans-eye-brows…

Go ahead and amplify my barrenness
In Sampson’s vein,

But at least help me figure out

What color of scarf

Will match today’s apology.
Is it vain to complain of

This crown of thorns to

My young, thriving soul?
So much more than an annoyance,
This Easter Morning

Was no holiday

This day is when

It felt Real.

Jody Zellen

The spontaneity of innocent lines seen along the way give pause
open the mind to new interpretations of people, places and things.

Kerry Campbell

Moon Shadows

Slink across the ocean
In moonlight
In our eyes
Between our lives
And ripple
Through time
Reverberating in motion
With our hearts

Kevin Opstedal


If you listen close to those
windy palm trees
you can hear the soft
whisper of what could be
a rockslide out at the
edge of yr neural system
but is more likely just a
clever born-again hula doll
tenderly scooping out yr brains
w/a backhoe

The same amped eyeshadow & disregard applies
as love at first sight gets
bumped from the menu
leaving you to calculate the
rate of descent

silk sunlight a-go-go capsized in a sea of shadows
the late afternoon sky vs “The Poems” in a brown paper bag

Running Up the Score
I could never see the percentage in
dealing in the sacraments
but then I’m always cutting corners
ready to pop the clutch
& fishtail up the coast highway
behind the wheel of a
working hypothesis

True redemption may be
only a step away but
it’s the step after that
could get you DQ’d
both do whispers w/considerable
je ne sais quoi
baptized into one body
dancing to elevator music in the stairwell

but there’s a place we can go
bypassing the relays
a place just outside yr comfort zone
where the last black lagoon under the sea turns blue
& the fog echoes in silver

I Left My Feet in My Other Shoes
Those shades of blue in the ocean haze
only exaggerate the emptiness of the
washed-out sky

a hybrid Day of the Dead tattoo fading into a sunburnt shoulder

Bumpy weather minus the disconnect of
rambling bird notes
rising above the shifting tides
to compensate a re-purposed rendition
rigged for lifting & hyphenated
w/diesel sand driven beneath the foam
measured in intervals like beach tar

I could still feel the
kelp-bed tremors & cold knuckles
the deep blue nomenclature & ringtone
resurrecting a phantom pain
& then I remembered that I always wanted to
end a poem with the word

Deb Diehl

To the Coyotes Who Steal Dog Toys

Last night
your coven was there again
whipping up a right mess
yipping shrilling
small mammals into
its Eye
and then
you all masticated
sweetly quiet
by the kitchen door
you deposited yet
another one
bedraggled beheaded
still slick
I don’t know what it once was
(What once was I?)
You are a chimera
playful pup
yet also
mangy scourge
there will be no
gentling of the screen door
for you and your
socially inappropriate behavior
gruesome antics
tricksy ways
is my official
Old Lady Birthday
(old lady, old lady, nice old lady)
To celebrate
I may don a
blowsy sexy
gown and
when I hear you and yours
come over the hill
I’ll join up
spinning dizzy
feeding you

Jeremie Riggleman

The Pursuit of Happiness

Listen, O Bicentennial Baby, to my words of wisdom
By them you will find the way of life
Hard work is the ticket to make it
These colors will protect you
You are chosen and blessed
In you, my country, I drank deep the waters
I heard the music swell the breeze
And bring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song
Found the breeze that sighs belies the marginalized
Other colors o’er the land of the free
Forgive us, we petition for redress
To hear the echo of the chants
And the new old proverb

Anda Marcu

My Apple Tree

My rock was a tree when I was a child.
An apple tree. My apple tree.
I grew up in a big house in a city far away
a house with tall ceilings, cold walls, and luminous windows.
There was a castle nearby and a dozen churches,
winding streets and lots of flowering trees.
My apple tree was watching over me,
his strong black branches reaching above the tallest of trees
from just outside my room’s beautifully arched window.
He was there long before me and grew old and tall and wise.
He accompanied me through my growing up,
my joys and my cryings.
He would gift me his petals every mid-spring
the softest of whites and the most delicate of pinks.
Childhood trinkets raining over me.

Diana Milia

Pattern Recognition

Scratched by sunset claws
Her face dissolves in winter clay
Scales drop desiccated lashes
Cliffs threadbare, roots exposed to sky
Sun withered, kelp drooping on old logs
No child cartwheels across that expanse
Different gulls lean against the wind
On the same trajectory
Where my mother’s ashes swept away
I slowly fade in her wake

Corisa Moreno


most people think
that some people think that
gravity causes perspective
the axis tilts
every experience, the same
every thing in the same year
calendars and clocks
no longer conform
add an extra day at this point
the masses strike precise
aphelion sunlight
(the lengths of the seasons
never equal)
this phenomenon
around an elliptical path
passes through different ideas
when? it begins
definitions to be continued through summer
the nation agrees
we have no seasons
that the start is close, then arrives much later
a revival from unequal lengths
dormancy quartered its journey
ground, water, air, fire
now explain day,
now explain time

Jeffrey Louis Levin


In younger days
We skied vast meadows
And grand mountains
Ascending and descending
Powered by muscles
Vigorous and in their prime
Propelling us upward
To reach the vistas
That took our breath away
More than the climb itself.
Even then I think we knew
That such days were not
An everlasting gift
And that time would turn itself upon us
As it always does
For that is its unflinching nature.
Now we move in more intimate spaces
The hills more gentle
The pines more gathered
The trail’s beauty quiet and modest
Tempered by the lack of singularity.
The afternoon light
Rakes across the snowy landscape
And we
Through silent sentinels of evergreen
Go on
For as long as we can.

MaryAnn Loo

I emerge again from the water
Where a new adventure awaits —
Pathways in number as the stars
Leading once more to my last gate.

Glenn Brooks

And here I Am
This obsolete machine
Wallowing ecstatically
In the ignorance
Of my own obsolescence

Debbie Korbel

I think about the pleasure of kissing you
And how
If I were the moon
I’d counsel the stars
to scatter themselves like rose petals
across our bed

Ashton Phillips

My body contains multiplicities.

I am crushed particles of ancient sedimentary and metamorphic rock.
I am giant kelp that grew in a marine forest beneath offshore oil platforms.
I am the salt taken into veins and released into this flesh with the sun. I am ground limestone. And
I am dirt that has been hidden under the surface of this Los Angeles asphalt for a hundred. thousand. million years. I am the coarse, dead fibers of ornamental palm trees brought here as props
for a fantasy
that didn’t
include me.
I am algae and ground pig bones and slippery palm oil, processed with bleach to appear clear.
I am arsenic. And lead. I am aluminum at one hundred times the expected concentration.
I am 3240 mg of iron per kg.
I am evidence. I am history.
I am waste.
I am the seeds of repair. I am millions of microscopic spores with the power to metabolize my poisons. I am the promise of sorghum and sunflower. I am mycelium feasting on exudates from my nascent roots and enveloping my fragile tips with resiliency.
I am designed to fall apart, and I am yours.
My name is Joule.

Christopher O’Mahony


I knew it was time to go,
When the fog rolled in,
The sweetness of the salty air,
And the crashing surf muffled.
My mother was deathly afraid of the fog, Perhaps a bad memory.
I found myself, as I often do,
Paddling out, past the break,
Floating, breathing in, hungry,
For the heavy wet air,
Lost of what world I was born,
The Pacific called for me again.

K.L. Cloonan

“Perhaps I Was Looking Through A Window”

I was nervous.
I believed my victory to be affected by
something sinister outside myself.
That it wasn’t me,
my efforts, talent or hard work
that got me there.

I could feel the insecurity in my throat.
A new face staring me in the mirror
as I searched for familiarity.

Without realizing it,
my hand was touching my cheek
cascading down from the edge of my glasses
to my frowning lips.
I looked into my eyes which seemed
to be looking away from me.
Vacant and mindless.
Blank and still.

I tried to concentrate harder now,
begging my consciousness for help
in identifying even an inch of my dry skin.
I scrambled for a sign,
my eyes darting across the length of the glass.

I played for a moment
that this was in fact not my face at all,
but someone else’s.
That perhaps instead of looking in a mirror
I was looking through a window,
staring out at another.
A hard as a rock stare.
A tough exterior of emotionless intensity.

Just then I snapped back into full
awareness of my body,
pretending with false confidence that I was
simply testing myself.
This was a test. Indeed!
A test of perseverance in the face of adversity.
A test of unknowing in the sense of self.

With the flick of my wrist,
I threw my plastic glasses down into the sink,
thinking little of their potential damage
and only of my thirst for a new perspective.
A potential clarity in obscurity.

By blocking the precise analysis
of my vision,
the over-stimulation of my eyes,
I was able to lower my defenses
pulling my mind fully into the now,
the present.

The fear of silence shed,
the dissatisfaction of self subsided,
the observation of every inch of my body

And for a moment,
just a moment,
my lack of sight explained everything.

Lena Snow


What’cha looking so sexy?!
Ain’t looking for you.
Skirt suits ya better!
Skirt ain’t what I want.
Playin’ dangerous today?!
Dangerous ya confuse with somethin’ else.
Playin’ hard to get?!
Don’t playin’ anythin’.
Smokin’ ain’t good for ya!!
Smokin’s what I do.
Ya now a fancy rocka’?!
Rocka’s sure we all too.
Mind ya own!
Leave us alone!

Cindy Leung

I have very fond memories

Of going to onsens in Japan

The idea of people

Sharing a time and space collectively

To submerge in warm water

To cleanse their bodies and souls

Makes me think of the human connection

That’s been fostered for centuries

And that we aren’t so individualistic after all

-Eastern vs Western ideologies

Maureen Haldeman

silent laguna
a state of mindful balance
betrayed by the birds

Yossi Govrin

“Straight Lines
Round & round”

Plains flying
Straight lines
The world ; is
Round & round.

Sitting on my
4 legged chair
Takes me
Round & Round
In a straight

Patricia Moss-Vreeland

Bough to Bough

Bough to bough

grassblades safely erect

not whispering underneath

nor etched underfoot

somewhat fragile in idea and vision

waiting for position.

But from above

A bird’s view

less is known

less crowded

ready to cross over

Bough to bough.

Edwin Vasquez


In isolation,
I am not alone.
I belong in a virtual universe
Where brothers and sisters from East to West
Meet, laugh, share, drink, and Zoom.

Stay-at-home orders
Are permission to dream and create like there is no tomorrow,
To follow our path wherever it wants to lead us,
To trust our own instincts and values,
To listen and ask questions to those on the other side of the screen.

The art world is a place where I belong.
I am a fellow who found a home
Where art and poetry run in everyone’s veins,
And vanity and arrogance are just words without meaning.
We are apart, but we are united by color, shapes, ideas, and beauty.

How lucky to be an art maker during isolation.
How lucky not to feel alone in the new world order,
To be surrounded by compassionate and intelligent people
Who give me the confidence and virtual shelter in my own home
I am not alone.

Lina Kogan

“Explore Control Shift”

The negative space, the contents of white silence,
The Space with stars and suns turned inside out,
like Kant’s philosophy. The moral law within us
draws from the good old second helping of self-doubt.

A selfie of her mind flipped horizontally,
A watch that goes back to when we were bored,
Collective memory of simple that breaks easily,
That lasts like lazy laser cuts in motherboard.

A lazy dog that jumps and jumps, the fox too quick
To click her teeth, to double click the cursor,
It circles back in time to when this space was built
The roads laid and layered on to curse her.

The space bar shifts as if it’s being scaled
In the computer game she built inside her head
She’s at the counter, alone, the bar scene fades
To sounds of the famous Star Wars fight jazz band.

But back to basics as the vinyl spins,
The yellow brick road of her map connects the dots she felt.
Fills in the blanks, solves puzzles of the intertwined
Geometries that come together as the buckle on the belt.

Idea islands, plots that scattered
Must connect, or not.
The focus jumps – code yellow, code red
Thought clusters blure and zoom out of focus.

The windy road travels thru the game back to
Reality she thought she could control; she must control the drift,
The shift, the rift, the lift. The shift is halfway over
Punch out, play your card, see through, reflect, explore!

Fahmi DNR

New hope

Swarm of birds humming be the sound of the morning
Humming through the sky
Choose their own life way
Never ever seem to be tired
It’s the sparks of them that shines

Hildegarde Duane

I carry a stick when we walk by here.
Once I saw two very old guys put armloads of wine bottles there in the trash.
A coyote is said to live in the bushes.
Other dog-walkers have warned me
Lately I heard it has a second home – an empty old garage nearby.
A Country home and a City home.
All on the same block

Lisa Segal

Ostensibly, When We Talk About Crows, We’re Talking About Crows

But I say, I can feel the bed on fire.
But I say—tired of the game—I shot the tires.

Where I stand inside the fence, barbs are wire sharp.
I attempt to leave, can’t escape the wiring

of irresistible words back, back, back. My subjugation won’t go.
This creeping forward so slow.

Is it possible to not have to slink back? Walk as light, not
imitation passing as right? Obfuscation seen and beat.

All intentions undeterred, truly wired. How can
I trust our grasp will hold—might always hold—the wire?

I trust our grasp will hold—might always hold—the wire.
All intentions undeterred, truly wired. How can

imitation passing as light obfuscate? Scene and beam,
is it possible to not have to slink back? Walk as light, not

this creeping forward so slow
of irresistible words back, back, back. My subjugation won’t go.

I attempt to leave, can’t escape the wiring.
Where I stand inside the fence, barbs are wire sharp.

But I say—tired of the game—I shot the tires.
But I say, I can feel the bed on fire.

Susan Ossman

Ode to If

The yew is an If in French.

Guardian of churchyards

It roots creed in doubt, believing

Then not, Most ancient tree

It pays no heed to generations or centuries,

or the double effects of its taxanes

on living beings.

Yew poison is nothing like Socrates’ hemlock.

Its movements precede judgement,

honor and principle are questioned.

If infusions bypass the lips, altogether,

a catheter planted in the breast

leads the doubtful melange directly

to the heart, and mind.

The cure destroys all cells that

grow in haste, ancient recipes are

careless of side effects; at times the body

vibrates, like lute strings echoed

in a slow-grown, yew-hewn chamber.

Note by note, I become bittersweet,

a question, an if.

Trinity Morris

Looking at you, I see me
and all those things I’d dreamed to be.
The goals, the wins, the shooting stars
the friends, the lovers, trips in cars

In your eyes, I see my life,
the kids, the house, and once a wife.
The highest hopes, the dusty roads,
the ache of love, the heavy loads.

I see in you so much of me,
the joy and pain, the running free.
The rivers, mountains, tides that go,
you’ll need to learn their ebb and flow.

When I see you I wonder why,
the time I let it pass me by.
I miss that you who needed me,
but love you unconditionally.

Susan Arena

“Eyes Like the Sea”

On my mother’s kitchen windowsill are glass bottles, filled with sea glass, just as she left them.
A lifetime of collecting these jewels, buffed smooth and soft by the power of the waves
Green and brown are easiest to find, pink and pale turquoise, less common.
Ultramarine blue is the rarest prize and the most coveted of all, the color of my mother’s eyes.

Anita Getzler


languid limbs
reach into the quiet pool
in the lake beyond the waves.

ink blue waters embrace the body
that gently floats in time
with the setting sun.

reborn in her cool caress
infused with crimson light
afloat in reflections of infinite space.

melting coppery reflections
transposed salty liquids
cloaked with sun

swimming in the fire of her radiance.

Csenge Györbiro

The sunset of course doesn’t care if you look at it. Take me to the river. Still forgiving

john hogan

A Map for South of Here

I may be wrong when I say I have never know the idyllic,
but I’m sure I have known the worthwhile.

Facing south, from the mud of the pond, the earth will choose an upward slope,
and you will choose it too.

From there, the stream that guides your eyes near west, will also guide your feet.

Then , when tangled willows thicken, and quickly slow you down, you will stop.
This is good, as otherwise you would miss what is scattered there, on your left, beneath your lowest gaze.

Though tempted, you won’t look down just yet. You will stop and listen.
And this will be good too, because you may hear one, you may hear more.

Though if you hear none, for now, that will be okay, because with you or without you, from beneath the guardian reeds and clustered grasses, from the riches of mire and muck, the water-eye bubbles will gurgle and blink at whatever and whomever passes by. And on this day you will be the whomever and the forever that passes and pleases the water gods.

Through seasons’ change, and the earth that stays, these water gods remain. And when you doubt what changes, stays, and you will, this breathing pulse will remind you, again, and again, and again.

Now that you’ve heard, now that you’ve seen, and now that you’ve been seen, this thing of knowing something once, will never, ever change.

Ioana Țurcan

i walk with them/ my grandpa’s violence/ and grandma’s anger/ when we walk they never leave/ me she said your’e like me/ your father’s hands and mom’s eyes/ your upper lip is like hers,/ slim/ your lower one like his/ meaty/ but your mouth – words are mine,/ fiery and fast like/ anger that never leaves me/ i never thought i was like her/ until those two knives/ were crossed at my throat/ and i meet my grandma’s anger/ and my grandpa’s will to kill

jeremy hight

so much breath is wasted
into balloons forlorn and sagging
in impotent debates
in discussions of the lithe and shallow of the present
of the poisons of looking backward
into naïve thoughts of future as well as its too well learned dread and mourning

conversations could have made clouds
and rain
language itself is convective
as can be words born briefly into the air
yet not even a fog forms over festivals or busy outdoor dining
born of so many pairs of lungs and lips at tables and chairs
yet there is at that rare time that squall
the unseen nimbus near lightning veined
rising up into a small patch of air

Bill Mohr


Wading into clean, wrinkled laundry,
my ironing board’s a pier
with buttoned-down barnacles.

The water will be warmer tomorrow.
It sloshes around my ankles
as I walk between sticky pilings.

Hip-deep, I finish the sleeves
of my third shirt, lean back
and float on crescents of disbelief

until I sink. A little background noise,
even in these depths, makes illusions
more believable to anyone gazing down.

I went for a long swim last night
between two tiny continents.
The entrails of a transparent fish

swayed in mordent harmony.
Near dawn, it spoke: “I am this universe.”
Its gills rippled like buoyant silk.

Susan Kaufer Carey


The distant song of an evening train
Travels through the mist
It mingles with the tune of a gentle rain,
Softens the edges of leaving you behind
And whispers of this place I’ve never been

Mark Crosier

late spring… soft rain.
nigh dissolving…
into dawn.
alone with your lover,
fingertips touching,
tasting a small kiss.
quiet. unspoken.
devotion. connection.
a day’s worth of hours
traded for those

Sean-Michael Gettys

Signs of distress
Shadows hover behind
Arguments in broken languages fall
Like crunchy leaves under foot in autumn
Failed communications breakdown
As both turn away

The words of heartache
Erode hope slowly
Like a trickle of water across stone
They carry away memories
What once was good
Now Split Asunder

M. Mystery Artist

Auction of useless things.

Ladies and gentleman,
To your attention
I bring an artist, three pounds fifty.
Sadly she’s a woman and not British,
And way too young,
And way too dreamy.
Way too ambitious.
This world does not belong to artists
But to businessmen.
Bids anyone?
A fiver?

Doren Robbins



The mugger’s face
the old stud’s fear
a trapped man’s handicap
the elevator out
elevator street sense
mental cinema outcome anticipation thermos
held open
the private index
the irritant
anxiety’s dumbwaiter
burning broth
there’s your judge
the regretted emotion you don’t get you’re not getting
or eventually going to get, held over you
the incoming and the other one
the dominator
the determiner
the world has its own volition
going in there
the imprecision
my errands.


She called out for the handball paddle.
She was used to swatting things down.
The dog carried the handball paddle in his teeth.
“Precious dog boy, bring your starlet mama chef queen stripper the paddle.”
That dog left the room
his leather grip
his scent of humans
his mama
his tongue bobbing sideways
his self-delight
fuck you his handball paddle
his cock to point up when he hears her
then rejects here
his ears to swat the air.

3. Blassie

The borrowed man had a big body
Popeye Bluto Lawrence Taylor forearms
linebacker barreled torso wrestler’s bulk.
He had the contempt of Blassie.
I’m coming to that.
Someone said something about
the Twentieth Century Wars Index
the History Channel
his contempt
he could’ve been spitting.
Documentaries like that didn’t go into the banking records. To what avail would they go there?
His natural spit. His nature.
The Hero Channel is worse, The Hero Channel
stranded in variations of Heroic Inclined toward Disinclined to Decline Syndrome
whatever State whatever Institution.
Of what?
What do people connected to these channels understand in the way
of not raising armies?
The whole Tyrant Pathology Entitlement Saga
came out of his attitude.
The man’s feet looked dainty under his bulk
like Blassie’s feet
size 8 wrestler’s boots.
He was the embodiment of Blassie. Let me remember for you the wrestling king of that era, Freddie Blassie.
What belligerence he had for every cursed opponent. The Brit Ripper regular opponent
with a “neck like a stack of dimes”
The rest were “bug-eyed bastards
or “pencil-neck geeks.”
Of all the reviled cartoon bubbles.
When his opponent was half-out on his back
he’d fake tripping then step right into his package.
The precious one.
That wrestler
Classy Blassie
beating people
insulting their body parts
hating his way to a kind
of fame.
The bottom of his wrestler’s shorts
dreaming of something more than thread.

Saundra Fleming

That jerkiness
Felt in things placed wrongly that are true

Staged seamlessly, Hitler’s official office furniture
Within a food fight imagined by the 3 Stooges

Net result-
Greatest Postmodern painting
In Paris resides the Pompidou
I sensed it, though not thinking about humiliation
That is the relevant factor
In a tale told by an authoritarian government

Their first priority, to squash and fire
The dignity of the chosen enemy

The lost and wounded showered with hatred by
The dominant political baboons

Things placed wrongly (Surreallism’s strategy continues) together
Make complex sense when redeemed by absurdity

Morality, values, humans
Towering artists play the role of history’s
Phantasmagorical surgeons

Olivia Maney

Looking Glass Philosophy

Tidal pools –
micro mirror magic of the deep.
Ceaseless duels,
basins of memories fragile keep.

Holding life,
Salty healing and the cosmos hide
Wonders rife,
now vanished and remade by tide.

Mystic views,
children inspect and consider
God’s clear cues!
Truth; of life and man and critter.

Jonathan Yungkans

Beyond the Weather and the Certainties of Living and Dying


Easter morning rolls, overcast squirreling away the L.A. skyline,
“the mournfulness dense and vertical and relatively sudden,” or so
in “the emptiness,” a searching writer claims in “The Paris Review,”

where angels wear grey silk suits, clouds veil glass stares. Rain
to either defy or deify Southern California’s evergreen deception.
Hollywood stars, “between earth and sky,” nighthawking in a diner
preserving a late-night Chandler vibe as LAPD patrols horseback
in the Bank District. Beaded lights overhead in Disney Fairy Blue
while a saxophone laments. Its player suffers the stares that chill

as torrid Santa Ana winds curl hair, make nerves jump and skin
go Chandler itchy. Everywhere else circles L.A. as if it’s a drain,
Let L.A. sing in Gershwin, Copland, Sonny Rollins on a bridge—

recycling another town’s sounds—while Eve wears Jimmy Choos
and dances all night in a club lifted from the T.V. show “Lucifer”—
repurposing overblown to cliché, like anything else in California

sunk into ground, including perdition, thrives like mad. Saxophone
passing as autochthonous and eye-deep in mourning—a grievance
sounding as if rooted, pushing green from soil, leaves elongating—

a strain like blood on bougainvillea thorns, lean as a swaying palm.
Notes that spin an expected nostalgia, kindle a craving to drown in
a prepackaged stillness, sharpened to longing, with scarcely a thing

“old” in sight. Rebooting the first apple. Apple is a Red Delicious,
is a fall from grace, is James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, blond,
never-aging and dead, parked inside a diner with Elvis and Marilyn.


But is a saxophone charting sadness camped in tents on Broadway?
Sadness in tents on Temple? Or a temple of sadness on Broadway?
Places “The Paris Review” might label “Whatever lies beyond.” Places in

“the middle of the night, strung out along this fraying thread”—cloth
more Good Friday than Resurrection Sunday. A shade police draped
over Jake Gittes at the end of a film, telling him, “It’s Chinatown”—

a shroud in the plangent horns of trains as they roll from Union Station.
Dawn, we all gather at the L.A. River to watch them cement its banks.
Artists display postcard images pristine as City Hall, Parker Center—

sunlight airbrushed into clouds “for the field with that last saxophone.”
Those tents on Broadway darken at midnight as foot-beat police glare.
They imitate vacant windows of boarded-up homes in Elysian Park—

heaven gone to seed, and with those eyes the “reassertion of that flat
and grassy emptiness”—ground hard as cypress wood, weeds as nails
in Dodger Stadium’s shadow, vacant for the great American pastime,

“where the lines diverge” like trains on schedule in a rolling separation
before the skyline reemerges in a steel-and-glass incomprehensibility,
concealed in rows of empty windowpanes which wink pure

Title taken from the title poem of John Ashbery’s collection “Houseboat Days.” Quotes are from Seary, David, “The Mournfulness of Cities.” The Paris Review, July 19, 2021. Accessed July 25, 2021.

Alaia Parhizi

There is a little halo floating above my head
Carrying everything i will ever know
Feeding it to me, when i’m starving
I open my eyes because shame found me
I can do whatever i want
But i want is never up to me

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