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Other notable works by Annmarie Lockhart, Joe Milford and Chenelle Milford.

Charles Clifford Brooks III:

6 am

Running a hand over feral hair
waking is a drop kick-to-the-balls.
December dons
a grey suit.
The ceiling sags.

The room’s view:
an empty playground,
beer bottles,
brittle grass.

Smelling of tea roses
and worry,
time is perpetually blurry.
Christmas is nothing
but ghosts.


Three for the Going Again


The night took down
its azure complexion
as she swore me off.
I hear those who kissed me before
scoff all the Confederacy
she fits.

My sweet Mason-Dixon
cinches her belt
with a Mother Mary buckle.
Be brave, tug together
your sacred, rarely-worn
weathered jacket.
Leave this gambler with
no good hand.


Why am I doing this?

Because I’m yours,
because the spectators
are telling scary stories,
because this January blizzard
has locked me away
from relief.

She is Heloise
without a neutered Abelard
She gave up Petrarch
so Laura
will lose nothing having
given up
his love letters.


I cannot cry
over discontent
within my liver,
my vacant iris.

I plague her.
I have pushed
my sad darling
to miss these hips
and fingertips.

I am a worn out
recliner she kept
but never sat.

Skim your tear-wet paws
over the brail
of my wrists.
Old reflections
speak to me
in dreams,
She is the only witness.


Late Saturday

With guts full of thirst
for a compassion fate
we are divided
by an asylum
in Washington State.

From the front door,
neighbors keep pounding
and pounding.
To let in those guests
is not release,
never a girl.

It’s been 39 days.

I struggle,
feel bound,
squeezed shut in the lungs
of some petty beast.

The air is hemmed with hyacinth.
In thick blue and pink petals,
perfume triggers
the whisper:

I don’t know where she is.

Cliff Brooks is a Pushcart nominee who has a History degree from Shorter University. The Joe Milford Poetry Show and Vox Poetica will feature new work from his books Whirling Metaphysics and The Draw of Broken Eyes to be published by Gosslee in spring 2012. He currently haunts Athens, Georgia.


Annmarie Lockhart:

Fall Nor’easter

banshee wail rides
the rising wind
dark night blots
out the last light

this fairy wronged
and spited shrieks,
sounds a warning
and in response

trees wave their
branched arms
deflecting, the
valley holds its

breath, waiting for
her to yell herself
out, spin herself still,
spread thin, and slip



It All Revolves Around the Sun

Disorderly conduct, birthdays,
endurance, and every rat who
races: Some freeze to death
when the sun sits high
in the summer sky

and some live in whale fat
and snow huts, ice fishing
in the dark that is midnight
and noon and every hour
in between.

Three drops of water from
the slow-drip faucet and
nothing of thirst is slaked.
Yellow moon teases, taunts,
kisses a golden

cast of lonely on this bruised
and bordered body. At the
autumnal equinox ripening
and rot are equidistant


Not a Metaphor

Three red drops, fat and wet
on the veined marble floor: source
mysterious, but there is no fiction in
the splash, though it was a metaphor
when I wrote this yesterday.


On the Menu

Sometimes a steak
is really a mushroom
tasting of dirt instead of blood

and a tomato
is paper soaked in water
and salted erythrocytes

and bacon
is the decadent
flesh of complicity

leaving nothing
to eat but peanut butter
and raisins with chocolate


Step on a Crack

I walk through minefields
of forked tongues and
forks in the road, with
an intuition map,
listening as the quiet speaks,
telling of intimacies untold
and betrayals pre-sold,
calling out to you across
the tracks, stepping on cracks,
calling out to you
and the horse you rode in on
and the dog you’ll ride out.

Slipping through cracks, slinging
arrows, careless with precise words.


Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday, and the founder of unbound CONTENT, an independent press for a boundless age. She has been reading and writing poetry since she could read and write. A lifelong Bergen County NJ resident, she lives and writes 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.


Joe Milford-


so that we come to know we all migrate into putrid and wanton gestation
so that we come to know the cruciform as only one notch in the old ancient always tree
so that we come to know that our constellation is made without our permission
so that we come to know that we must document those stars and how we orbit them
so that we come to know we are turds eating turds in carbon cyclic composition
so that we come to know our cave-vulva birthburn into flesh layered pupa
so that we come to know that great eels and worms crawl our DNA pulsating
so that we come to know that we are cleansed through fire not water through salt and sulphur
so that we come to know the brain is a jellyfish anthive spore-filled landfill of looms
so that we come to know that the afterlife’s roots taste like the hell’s tongues of dribbled whores
so that we come to know medusa ganglia writhe our sargassic morphic fields hunt of Artemis
so that we come to know that we host hosts of imposters and truths in our cellular structures
so that we come to know there is no afterlife there is only everlife its forms always violent animals
so that we come to know this grit spun about the collider will find godparticle or slag-colander
so that we come to know our journal is but flesh of word interrupted by crucifixions
so that we never forget that the grotesque is the stickman being cracked open to ooze its stories
so that we never forget our keys before descending into the belly of the thousand coiled ears
so that we never forget our gelatinous self before the bony made us forget how to translute
so that we never forget the garden of earthly delights as we ride the subway langlinguage
so that we never forget we appear to each other’s souls as something covered in Vaseline
so that we never forget chess is only how you stagger through the Mayan soccer deathgame
so that we never forget we make our larvae the soft crutches for ideas of acid and lye
so that we never forget minions talk us up as they suck as down into the arid vortex of fuck
so that we never forget that language was held in a skull like blood and was spilled at our birth
so that we never forget the mandolin heard when we left our bodies and the trombone entered
so that we never forget joist and jest lathe and lust fester and foist boil and brutal love and crystal
so that we never forget we ride the great steed and are the great steed simultaneously brethren
so that we never forget many wings touching the top of the cave while guano made museums
so that we never forget that the jaguar eats us while birthing us the blood on its canines is us
so that we never forget caliphate versus infidel tongue versus pussy with hungry ghosts hovering
a kaleidoscopic weave allowing me in smalltown GA to merge with Lascaux through spidermind
a kaleidoscopic weave allowing Vallejo to use Clayton-medium as homunculus-voice from abyss
a kaleidoscopic weave allowing American steaming fast-food bowels to be lacerated and emptied
a kaleidoscopic weave writhing up ancient totem phallus exchanging vegetable, animal, human
a kaleidoscopic weave of vegetable, animal, human, mineral, celestial, chthonic, astral intelligences
a kaleidoscopic weave of quetzal, jaguar, bison, swordfish, seahorse, all burning to bone nautilus
a kaleidoscopic weave in the core where Kali dances and the black goddess maze of vulva pulses
a kaleidoscopic weave of sutra and mandala all of us omen-makers our invisible Anubis-helmets
a kaleidoscopic weave through a Boschian landscape populated by bird-headed men harvesting
a kaleidoscopic weave where we pull the veil back drink from the wound in Ourobouros scales
a kaleidoscopic weave into which we spelunk infinitely reading the cave-walls of the spiral
a kaleidoscopic weave to escape UFO abduction fear which is only visitation of our past animals
a kaleidoscopic weave helping the reptile cortex fuck the mammal cortex to birth human pigment
a kaleidoscopic weave of fin antler hand scale feather leaf spine talon flipper wing tongue finger
a kaleidoscopic weave of your grindstone my anvil your decanter my alembic this apothecary




i built a circle of wolves around our lot and the house is transparent so our children learn.
do you know how blurred your lenses have become. that’s why pilot’s goggles are your fetish.
integers, increments, wreathes and cockles’ coils. staple walls for nothing. corrode comes greased.
satyrs run as far as they can and then the rain forests are burned down and men hunt them.
my DNA abacus spirals back to the mitochondria and waits for a mate to make me perfect.
i was his liver. vultures ate me everyday. he would carry me into the office. terrible display.
i was given a stone by a man and the man said a man was contained within the stone. I threw it.
coyote, with your jowls chaffed, we will feed you. come to the sliding glass door. Eat. Lick lips.
i saw all scarecrows dismount and lunge in a hurricane towards promisedland and neverland.
stop glimmering–the moths flock to you–i can’t penetrate their shifting webs of wings.


held up by the neck as a whelp in some terrible blinding light and checked for adequacy.
when the only two vehicles left at your disposal are the taxicab or squad car.
pockmarked with geysers stricken with bullet-holes viscous with ampules. you in the hallway.
i was tossed like a chewed bone. left not for dead but for life to find my marrow. suckle it.
millet grist powder silt resin for the words to imbue with lustre liquid and molten tongue-blood.
and though poetry was a planet of obsidian onyx we chipped sharp sherds from it to fling.
trolling deep in undercurrent, evil fish, a light hangs from its spine to let it see what it must eat.
the time i spent scraping at my bar-code my UPC i should have spent escaping commodity.
i scrawled your voodoo names and secret words onto wooden pine knots. they in the coffee can.
phase 1: specimen. phase 2: study of specimens. phase 3: hunt them. phase 4: free the specimens.


which instrument to play in the valley, on the cliff, by the ocean, underwater, in the coffin?
i was stoned out of my gourd through high school but that did not work vs. the 9-headed hydra.
would you believe me that the Gates to the Ardent World are can openers, Q-Tips, thumbtacks?
in the bucket, down the well, you pendulum, reciting the names of all the saints you know.
the prom queen is running from the angry swan the record-spinner is coked-up. summertime.
covered myself in roadkill and laid in the field watching them circle slowly closer and closer.
when you scream the moray eels jet out the killer bees swarm out the mustard gas permeates.
your gutturals call language up from earth and your trills call language down from the sky.
i wanted the woman inside my mom’s oil lamp–her trapped behind those beads on their wires.
all of writing is the robbing of graves. ancient owl stares you down the gun-barrel of oak branch.


after thousands of years of losing our teeth against the glass we finally cut through the aquarium.
too many candles in the trees too many christmas lights in the pond too many barren angels.
the deer keep leaping into the onslaught of metal misconstruing it as a river trying to dowse.
flurries came through the homestead and i took the scalpel and opened my chest to melt them.
i collected silver calamities and tried to keep them in swisher sweet boxes but they melted.
i was inside the whiskey bottle screaming and no one could hear and he threw it shattering me.
if we could have an orchard of orchids and fly through it like ghosts i’d sign that lease.
my mom thought it was a great idea us sunburned picking strawberries for stepfather.
in this flooded and dead Georgia, i wonder where the snakes have all gone. makes me nervous.
moon shining on the shovel and then i knew i should not be here. i am knee-deep in unsayable.


gliders flew over the graves and forests and landed on our lawns with letters of stone.
she is on the phone and i see her genuflect and know it is a man who may or may not pay.
a sharp shrapnel dancer spun about my cuts and made a beard for me of church-glass.
glimpses is all they are—water-striders speed across a cold Tennessee eyeball inlet in blue stones.
your pipe has not yet changed many colors. come here more often. back porch by woods.
that time on the phone i saw the squirrel killed by car while talking of the Marvin Bell poem.
inside the ancient dresser from the flea market i found a copy of Francis Bacon from old library.
everyone keeps asking about what i am using the shed for out back and i can’t really say.
young whelps skinning the last sheen off the hardwood floors with their birthday scamperings.
tight ivy wrapped most of our stories so they had to be loosened with a longlasting campfire.
i don’t have to be wiccan to know the solstice and the equinox i have the Farmer’s Almanac.



Chenelle Milford-

All I Know So Far

you made my bones sing today
I bounced to the hilltop
and kidnapped a star for you
the star rippled and buckled
and wriggled away while we
swam through construction sites
and piles of instruments
you fired your synapses and hit
my spinal cord—it curled up
in my gut and tried to kick
its way out while my veins
screamed for your adrenaline
our symbols cracked and faded into
the weeds that went on for miles
until there was no more research
to be done and you coveted
the look on my face when you said
something serious and the look on my
face when I couldn’t look at you
the look on my face when you took
me by the strings and flew me
like a kite on the beach


Human-like Gods

letting blood anthropomorphic
god like truth speaking machine
beam saw table saw no distinction
hot glue melting plasticizing skin
blistering wilting not a cloud in the sky
but no visibility in the inventory
industry and change your mind
leap faith prostrate clean break
fresh start beat the teeth clenched
string pulled all we need to know
in bed with us from the beginning


Human Implements

What is hand over face if not a heart-drug
Heart cannot beat off years of infidelity
So hand will beat off heart until sheer utility
Takes over and tools do the jobs of self-

Importance punches life in the womb where
There is no fetus there is no impetus there
No harbor to be held or hunted the hunter
Leads the pack down a path of constructive

Criticism contriving and controlling all that
Does not fit the selfish mold of men and poets
And historians and mathematicians who held
The keys for eternity but did not want to aid

Blood-let the wrong hands cannot pleasure
The right way when there is no lubrication
There is a communication breakdown when
Worlds don’t coincide or leave anymore room


Tipping Point

What if I wanted to bible you
And you could scripture me
Would you take me on a picnic
And speak to me with that
Radio voice—you can deflect
Acceptable as long as you still
Read me my rights



By the time the towel hits
The throat, the left side lip
Is already frozen. Teethcuts
Inside the upperlip itch under
The mouthcunt you hate so.
Can’t stop cracking swollen joints.
You try but cannot explode
The ringfinger with the fakering.
The armdream hoop-earrings
Rip right out of their sockets
In footshaped chin-contusions.
A pale canvas and a nice palette.
So many different green shades,
They block out the sun.


Chenelle C. Milford, a native Californian, is the manager, web-designer, consultant, all-around aficionado, and archivist of the Joe Milford Poetry Show. She is the founder and editor of the literary journal, Scythe. Some of her work is displayed on journals such as New Aesthetic and Menacing Hedge. She now resides in rural Georgia with her husband and three daughters.




Other notable work by Annmarie Lockhart , Shirley Allard and Lisa Marie Basile.


James Piatt-

The Last Homecoming

I hear the lonely sound of taps
The hollow shell of salvos

Watch tears flow unchecked
From broken wives and mothers

I listen to the laughing heads
Spouting battle rhetoric

As they make dirty millions
Lounging in soft leather sofas

Safely remote from the rumbling
Roar of guns violence and death

Isn’t it easy to be a pundit
With a war oriented ideology

When you are safe in your home
Far away from the violence

That you so freely adhere to
In your metaphorical mind


At Sleep

In the silence of midnight sleep
When my dreams slowly wend
And set my mind-wanderings free
They presage and transcend

Why in the darkness of my dreams
Do my thoughts become imprisoned
Where do the mawkish ideas go
Or were they simply envisioned

In the sliding slothful darkness
The darkened clouds so austere
Causes the bustle in my mind
To make all sanity disappear

Here in my sleeping mind
The sounds of serenity go unheard
And the ravings of my soul burst forth
To make all living thoughts absurd

Within this mind-grown space and time
I hear only a kindred random song
And the ocean-conveyed truth is so deep
It destroys that to which I belong

But in the process of this sacred motion
My mind is purged without harsh pain
And the raging in my outer world
Is cleansed within the arcane


Soldier’s Last Stand

Mythical dreams harboring
Sad thoughts of tomorrow
Tears swiftly rising in my mind
Spreading dampness to my eyes

Man is but ideas and bones
Destined to damp soil by swords
A finite creation of procreant urges
A one-self among other-selves

A contradiction of ideals
Vaporous stream of desires
Reflection of unfulfilled dreams
A misunderstood object searching

Forever traveling the lonely path
Never finding mercy in a
World of cold dark injustice
Chosen for the task of grieving

Passing retrospection deftly
Condemned to endless wanderings
Even more craving reality
Never escaping the mind’s stillness

Pale now with numb wariness
Parting with worldly sanity
Aware of the impending shroud
With the coldness of eternity

Drops of brine damp
With stark mortality
Blurring distant visions
Of once warm dreams

Hopes for simple times
Amid the shadows
Of complex breaths
Dimming forever faith

Numbness from remembering
Disturbs the easy musings
Of fading childhood rhymes
Vanishing into cold despair

Lulled to anxious bitter tears
Hearing the lonely trumpet taps
Dark shrouds of sadness
Burst into open bitterness

Flag covered wooden shrines
Sorrowful untold mysteries
Turn northward southward
Into the deep dark abyss

Tearful eyes openly stare
Filled with an icy ache
As lost souls slowly pass
Forever silently gone

Winds gush madly
Over cold fresh graves
Where they mutely lay as
Mothers sit and mourn

Wives weep at bugle songs
Twenty-one guns salute
Muffling the ugly lie
Tokens of an unjust war


Those We Send To War

Minds still burning
With unanswered
Souls adrift in the
Sleep is too long
Forever buried
under soil
Only cold
nightmares left
Clad in an icy

Others in rich decay
Covered in golden
Robes of
Proclaim the glory
of war

Those unable to
Live in constant
With salty cold
Fighting daily

From high towers
Of noble birth
Tearless eyes
Feel only soft

From the crypt
Of lowly birth
Tearful souls feel
Only hopelessness


In This Armageddon

Coarsely biased pundits
Maliciously spinning brash lies
Convincing the believing ignorant

Arrogant bought politicians
Supplying purchased yes votes
With hand red with green greed

Star-studded Generals spinning
Hawkish blue lies of warfare
As our boys die for naught

Fervent bankers and greedy
Demanding their cut of gold avarice
Snuffing the life out of Main Street

Talking heads and media voices
Perjuring themselves for ratings
Daily clouding the awkward truth

Families suffering the results
Of greedy and arrogant men
In the hallowed halls of justice

People losing jobs and homes over
The inbred cult of self-indulgence
Banks indulging them for fees

Will we ever again wake up to reality
Will we ever again reject extreme
Will we ever again coalesce as one

Or is this the Armageddon we read
The end to America as we have known
Caused by a house divided against


A Sonnet for Soldiers

Church bells that peal reassuring songs
Will not reach the ears of those who die as sheep
In the blistering sands of abrasive foreign lands,
Only the ringing of rifle’s rapid salvos will
Sing across the valleys of bereavement,
No prayers or eulogies will reach their bodies
As they lie torn and bloody in gory fields of war.
No quieting voices of mothers will sooth
The deaf ears of dead, and dieing sons;
No bugles or fervent choirs will salute their bravery.
No candles will burn for their courage and a
Paleness will be the color of their lover’s brows,
When the dusk sinks into the gray horizon, and
A sore tenderness covers their children.


Rush’s Sonnet

Rush screaming each and every hour;
He has no logical aim except to belie:
Lo and his only gift is a tainted lie,
A soft soiled gift of neo-con power:
He tarnished American’s finest hour,
He turned off the thinking spark;
Conservatives now can’t get out of the dark,
Instead, they hail Rush and cower.
Their souls have no light their hearts only dark,
Tainted minds are now cold like the sea,
Their ruptured brains all sanity free,
In their cold souls no mercy sways, Rush’s
Illogical messages gave them hearts of clay.


James Piatt earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University. One of his MA concentrations was in Existential Literature. He earned a doctorate from Brigham Young University. He taught philosophy, psychology, and engineering mathematics at Allan Hancock College and was professor of education at California State Polytechnic University and Chapman University. He is now retired and spends his summers sitting along a river, writing poems and short stories and reading mystery novels. In the winter he rewrites, edits and sends his work out to publishers.

His poem September Morn was the featured poem in Word Catalyst Magazine, and more of his poems were published in November, December, January and Februrary. His poem Figueroa Mountain Graves, a top ten selection, was published in the Shadow Poetry Anthology. Apollo’s Lyre, Vox Poetica, Caper Journal and the Penwood Review have also published his poems.

Caper Journal, Word Catalyst Magazine and Everyday Weirdness Magazine published four of his short stories, Letter to a Teacher, The Old College Dean, The Uncommon Man and Lepidoptera respectively. He has had eight nonfiction essays published.


AnnMarie Lockhart-

Surf and Turf

Dissonant but arranged
in some unwritten manner,
rolling surf and drunken voices
from the houseful across the sandy
street. Waves wash away slurred words
once the crowd rocks into the sleep
of the intoxicated ocean, leaving
only the melody of the tides.

A red moon rose
over the Atlantic.
It rose like a blood
sun, chasing finger
clouds from the
Van Gogh sky.
It threw no reflection
on the water, no
doubled image of
itself, but merely
rose, on a journey
of its own, over
waves of foam
on the storm-
eroded beach.

Dolphins head north close to shore, the top stitch on
the seam of the ocean, which screams at the bay
“How come no one ever invites me out for ice cream?”

The bay doesn’t answer, just keeps licking vanilla
with rainbow sprinkles off a seashell cone.


Pointillist Story

there’s no real gift to
seeing, just observe
the tiles

the greens and browns
that deepen their eyes,
the white that defines
the space between
their hands, the reds and
blues that pulse in their
veins and bloom in
her cheeks
and color
the line of his lips

the story is in
every glance, every
thought they keep or
share, every tile that
fits the mosaic inlay
of the heart

the trick is
to not get lost
in detail, to not forget
the poem for love
of the stanza

look close at the
colors then step
back two paces,
watch in three
dimensions, see
what happens

there is some power in
seeing, of course, but
there is no fault in
pretending it’s a gift


Breakup Fit for a Queen

He signaled the arc of the singing blade
she laid bare her proud white throat
for the execution he would not stay
of the one who called herself most happy.


Bones Don’t Hold Their Tongues

My sister is an observer of fossils.
Under her eye bones spit up stories
carved into their pits and scars,
fiction is cast off from ossified fact.
She can read the tales of last days
in last meals. No secrets lie safe
in the confessional diary of bone.

Human secrets unspool not knowing
what will betray them. Partially digested
bits of stalk put truth to lies, bites of flesh
speak what the tongue won’t say.

Your green tattoo will melt away,
but what striations etched on white bone
will tell your story one far-off day?


What I heard on the train, II

A reunion of sorts, the discovery
that they were sisters (in spirit)
who had much in common to tell.

One a teacher, one an entrepreneur
both knew enough young people
to see hell in a handbasket ahead.

Both looked younger than their numbers
but each insisted the other better
preserved. Chalk it up to genes.

And what do sisters do best? Especially
if they’re the just discovered kind,
they advise in matters of the heart.

Because Sister Girl, you need to
leave that no-good man behind, see
he is dragging you down. Down.

And this was agreed upon. And resolved
against. And a visit was planned to the
Root Woman. God help that man now!

Sisters left the train in different
stations. Younger sister stood on the
platform looking back, waving.

And then the phone call. Family
members reacquainting for the first
time in southern Virginia.


Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday. She has been reading and writing poetry since she could read and write. A lifelong Bergen County NJ resident, she lives and writes 2 miles east of the hospital where she was born.


Shirley Allard-


The winter’s freeze has stripped the trees at last
One lonesome leaf left dangling on the limb
And not unlike the days of winters past
Each day is prey to Mother Nature’s whim
The garden that was once a scape of green
Is covered now with crystal mounds of white
The path goes in and out and in between
And like a maze it leads us back to night
That beacon in the midnight sky prevails
As daylight finds another path to cross
My mind is on a distant wooded trail
A forest deep where you and I are lost
Discovering some new and sacred ground
And wishing only never to be found.



I can’t possess the moment of the breeze
Or capture smells from flowers growing wild
I can’t abolish painful tragedies
Or dry the painful tears of every child
I don’t recall a time I did not long
To save the world and rescue every heart
I don’t think small but I have been so wrong
To think that I could carry out that part
I won’t give up although it seems in vain
My passion to find justice in this world
My powers to rekindle dwindling flames
Are limited but still will not be hurled
I cannot let my love of life expire
As long as there’s a spark I tend the fire.



The blinding sun arrives to paint the dawn
With red and yellow strokes against the sky
The frost has melted on the dormant lawn
While crickets chirp a lonesome lullaby
All birds retreat as worms have disappeared
Their daily song a now nostalgic tune
Escaping to a fruitful atmosphere
Where days are long and daffodils still bloom
The song of spring must now be sung within
Until the ice and snow begin to melt
The songbirds will return and once again
The birthing of a season shall be felt.

There’s but one thing that’s left to circumstance
Can hearts endure the song without the dance?


Shirley Allard lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Jim. She is a mother, a grandmother, the owner of New Century Publishing and the founding publisher and editor of Word Catalyst Magazine. She spent many years in the newspaper business and worked for several prominent New Hampshire newspapers. Her work has been published in print and on line including most recently at, Word Catalyst Magazine and Pig in a Poke.


Lisa Marie Basile-

The Family Portrait

My zia,
she is so much like me.
We do not put sugar in our coffee,
and we are stubborn and we have
bad eyes.
She sits there, too,
crying for my the sins of my
father. We may be the only ones,
even though he left me
with a nothing but a misunderstood,
dark-haired reflection.

He is the Adam and Eve
of love, broken from
glorious things,
but that is because his God
was a terrible, small
black-haired woman who
said she found a venetian blind around
his neck in the crib.

Everyone knows the story
about my father, the
bambino del diavolo,
and we all think she did it
God bless us.



The summer feels like mostly like
blood under scabs,
waiting for the bandages of humanity
to come again and cover the perils.

The heat is infected, and
men run around like
fools, pulling devils from their chests.

A brown sky sweeps over, and we
are sweating our sins in tequila madness.

In a fever it is over
and we huddle, lost like
wars of things we never
held in our hands.


The Kachina

I am in the center of
a patient desert
watching my Kachina sit
in the sand by my knees.

I will not leave until
she makes me a neclace of stars
to wrap around my throat.
I want to sing light. I want

triangle eyes, I want great
wings. Oh, I do not
want to die.

I examine her feathers
in my hands, but there are no
ways to change land into
water or heartbreak into


The Volture

You will not escape most
of the voltures,
their turqouise eyes,
totem pole heartbeats,

the things Dominga
got on her knees to clean away.

She will pour milk from her own
breast, and string you up like
a God against her heart,

Cuacualti, everyone has to
answer the door someday. You
can cry into my hand.


The Saloon

There were no real men here,
no one that could make a little
soft claret cup bloom, no
one that could take a little
coffin varnish without feeling
like he needs to shoot a man.

I stood with a white sleeping gown in the door, and
the sunset flooded under my feet, and by the looks
on those faces they thought I was La Llorona
with my black rock eyes.

The shush was drunken,
the sound of clinking glasses against the
wood, the falling dust into the sun. I prayed
somewhere inside my godless head
don’t give them lick and a promise,
don’t smile don’t smile don’t talk

It takes a crazy batch of sweaty men
to make me sing my scorpio song


Lisa Marie Basile is an MFA student, writer and editor living in New York. Her full-length poetry collection will come out in 2012 by Červená Barva Press.



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


Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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