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Other notable works by Alan King.


Ernest Williamson-

The Jazz of Old Wine

life is a disposition dipped in mirth divided by two
annulled in blithe and despair
like our first kiss
in the middle of yesterday’s November rain
with fresh pine biting with congealed blue notes while
in the residue of phony lightning storms
I’d love to hold your story
from tears to triumph in my sheet music
as I wait here on the corner of Hope Street
singing a change gone come
for twenty minutes
inside of twenty long years
and though I long for your utterance
I can still stand here
branded by these watery rainbows
near my shoes
these worn leather brown shoes.


The Misfortune of Shallow  Sight

she slid through the sackcloth
like a silkworm
gracing the sweet softness
of aching movement
of slender shaved legs
and her hair was blessed
with a kink
golden brown
like the liking
to a week old kitten
her hands were
sweet perfumes
penetrating the dermis
with intent on making man smile
without reason
but her eyes were darted and gray
uneasy to my own sights
yet her scent
the vitality of her ways
made me a bit greater than a man with common sight
her lack was no metaphor needed
for this iteration
I give you
in fact
my eyes are now driblets for hawks
carrion for foolish men
who seem to eat
with their eyes
I am blind
and so happy to confess
to all of the noisy permutations
of ogling formalities
proud beings
with tearless eyes


A Confounding Patriotism

I love the way she forgave my sins
alluding to comparable separations
in tunes by Coltrane and George Benson
she’s so often in the midst of rare moments of peace
her name is legions of vaulted African equations
beautiful proofs with contrived improvisations hissing
in the weltering sweat stained in Western tents
I still love this place
it’s a firm chair aware of its feeble legs
brave yet weighted with apathetic isms
like my woman
aforementioned nicely in line five
sexy true yet ignored
and not just mathematically


The Garden of Eden of Modern Bureaucracy

when the soluble fiber dies
and the reigning saints of old
fall from their wings
with the brunt
of corrosive straight line winds
mediating with crumpled sheet metal
the babbling of Babylon
will erect a stint
in the hallway
of my
with crossbow gripped
by a confident hand
squeezed with stealth and winsome parade
I have regained the movement of my legs
though unseen to expectancy
I walk in lateral leaps
over blue waters
and red sands
only to find my wings
frozen in molded spores
stained with flights of lies
as I fall from my legs
into the monotony of wobbling alone
on my belly


The Chords of Life’s Journey

the moon dove past the doldrums in New Guinea
all was a blur
grays meddling with capers
orange and brown
yellowed corners in the ionosphere
I saw the orbits of Pluto
after the beer from Milwaukee subdued my pain
though as I lay in the Alabama sun
courting my interests in red ants
my eyes dilate
and as the fringed beacons in their tirades
scream silently
against and for flesh
I empathize with food
yet worms seem not to be weary
of my destine transformation
a man with health
to flesh with nothing poetic to say
but I do say
with the winds in my nostrils
all is of interest
even the ignorance of being
less than
what people
imagine themselves to be


The Selling of The Souls

irrespective of minced happiness
a smile splintered partially in tune
with the nice weather
unclothed sunlight cloudless skies
and yet partially colluded with problems
sandy ligaments
in feet and hands
lying to the bruises of incoming apathy
like a car accident
with blood stretched on the concrete
or a racial slur leaping from ignorant young lips
as a Christian elderly Black man drives cautiously
down the street in search for carnations for his wife
of 65 years
but what can the writer sell his observations
what can the greed of the eye effuse to others
when the writer’s own inner galaxy trembles
in drifting orbit

maybe I can stare at the word STRONG
carved in this oak tree on 52nd street
south of too many confederate flags
rendering swastikas in gray shadows
or maybe I can write with two hands
and paint one sign outside of my weary house
not for sale
not for sale


Ernest Williamson III is a 31 year old polymath who has published poetry and visual art in over 150 online and print journals. He is a self-taught pianist and painter and his poem “The Jazz of Old Wine” has been nominated for a Best of the Net award by the editors of “Thick with Conviction“. He holds the B.A. and the M.A. in English/Creative Writing/Literature from the University of Memphis. Ernest is now listed in the prestigious Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers. Follow the link below to see Professor Williamson’s listing in the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers. Professor Williamson is also a Ph.D. Candidate at Seton Hall University in the field of Higher Education, and a member of The International High IQ Society based in New York City.



Alan King-

For Saturday Morning  Cinema

The Boulevard wakes
like a child – rubbing its eyes,
stretching to greet first light
with the roar of a yawn

but you’re wide-awake with
the other silhouettes inside
a darkened theatre

all around you – the loud
rustling of cellophane wrappers,
air sweetened by cookie dough
candy and gummy bears

the devoted few willing to
sacrifice sleep for the sake of
a five dollar movie before noon

most folks stretched out –
legs over the empty seats
in front – faces lit up
by the bright screen

some, like you – alone,
but far from pathetic, far from
the whiny suggestions of friends
preferring something else


Prime Directive

On borrowed time rhymes, gassed
by the Silver Screen, they act
like they monkey-ass can heal back
like Wolverine

-MF Doom, “Vaudeville Villain”

No surprise when D’Angelo’s
lying in the hall outside the cafeteria –
tilting his head up to stop blood
running from his nose

dust clinging to his long-sleeve
shirt with the Starship Enterprise
arrowhead insignia

We knew it would eventually
come to this; that pain,
for some, is the best lesson

mouth off to someone bigger
than you, and you get hurt
was what we told him, and
that his boyish frame was no match
for Craig, who- at 6′ 5″ in high school –
we nicknamed “Kreeg”

and who we were sure could
withstand the Vulcan neck-pinch
D’Angelo was dying to try

it always worked for Spock, so
he hadn’t figured on being jacked up
and punched in the face

didn’t think he’d be lying
there – dazed, waiting
on the Starship, mumbling:
Captain’s Log. Stardate
Supplemental. Severely injured.
Get me back to Starbase.


In the Kitchen

cut mackerel soaks in a tub
of vinegar and floating
lemon slices before

dad puts it to simmer in
a salted broth of sweet bell
peppers and chopped tomatoes

he’ll tell you mom was his first
student of the stove and before
their diabetes,

she’d make each dish a carnival,
tongues lost in the loud revelry
of crushed garlic and curry

several times of cooking once
a year for her, & dad never knew
mom snuck in the missing spices,

the seasonings he overlooked,
fumbling through pots and pans
to prepare mother’s day dinner


First Light

for AS
thirty floors above Time Square,
you asleep on the other end
of the hotel bed
and Maiden Voyage on my IPod

only first light and the city’s grey
skyline for company

I go back to that Thursday night
in D.C. at Cafe Nema, wondering
if the suited figure at a table solo
was who I suspected

then applause and people squeezing
through narrow aisles confirms
the guy is Herbie Hancock

the icon moves to a stool, leaning in
keeping time with Kris’ bass,
his fingers tapping on the bar’s edge
as Quincy brushes the cymbals

and I remember thinking this night was
another historic moment on U street,
cameras and cell phones raised
to capture this note in time

flashes snap when Herbie crescendos
from his stool, nodding
at Allyn to sit in at the keyboard

back in the hotel, you wake and
watch me looking out the window
before asking what I’m thinking

and though you’ve heard this story
before, you still light up   as if
each retelling was the first time.


Alan King’s fiction and poems have appeared in the Arabesques Review, Warpland, The Amistad, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS, among others. A Cave Canem fellow and Vona Alum, his work was also part of Anacostia Exposed, a collaborative exhibit with Irish photographer Mervyn Smyth that showcases the life and energy of Anacostia.

Alan has written articles for, Prince George’s County Gazette, East of the River, District Chronicles, and He is the author of his chapbooks “Transfer” and “The Music We Are” – also the title of his manuscript.




Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley
June - Ruth Kessler
July - Chanel Brenner
August - Darren Demaree
September - George Moore
October - Joshua Medsker
November - Ralph Monday
December - Howie Good

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2018

January – Simon Perchik
February – Julia Travers
March-June – Journal on hiatus
July – Simon Perchik
August – Hiram Larew
September – Kevin Casey
October – Ditta Baron Hoeber
November – EG Ted Davis


Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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