Sunday, July 12, 2009

Issue #5

Two Poems from William Doreski

Tortilla Soup

Watching you brew tortilla soup
in the bathtub amazes me.
A tray of tortillas, two heads
of cabbage, a dozen carrots,
a slew of potato pancakes,
fish heads, carrots, and beef shanks—

and then you run the hot water
and stir with a softball bat.
The muscles in your lean arms creak
You grunt as the mixture slathers red
when you pour in Tabasco sauce
and salsa. A few sheep lungs

fried in lard. Parboiled mushrooms,
psychedelic. A bucket or two
of corn chips. When the soup looks grim
as the drainage of an abattoir
you ladle it into kettles
to cook on the range for a day

or two before you serve bowlfuls
to each of the bristling men
you’ve loved. While you feed
and flatter your lapsed paramours
I inspect the empty bathtub.
I’m impressed by the residue,

thick as a layer of napalm.
The men cough blood after eating
their first bowl, spit bone and gristle
after their second. Their breath
smells brutal as an afterbirth,
and they belch with justified pride.

A Single Gray Tone

The day strikes a single gray tone—
detail elided by snowfall
hovering like a frozen breath.

I want to solve the books I love
not by reading but pressing them
against my chest until the words

bleed from my pores and dehydrate
the creature that has haunted me
a lifetime. Instead, I’ll shovel

both the snow and myself into grief
of misplaced priorities like
a government gone bad. They say

not everything is politics—
but the heart attack that drops me
into a comfortable drift

will delete one vote from the sea
of democracy rising even
as global warming melts the ice caps.

The snow falls daintily as scripture
in the daydreams of a prophet.
I can’t say what it codifies,

not being prophetic as I’d like—
but surely all that symmetry
competes with the finest alphabets.

I settle in my straight-backed chair
and keep an eye on the window
in case the color shifts. Sunday

in February always means snow
no matter how the brass organs
protest. Too bad for the church,

where few parishioners will show;
but the two apple trees out front
will fill with waxwings plucking

last autumn’s frostbitten fruit—
and the silence of their devotion
will atone for the featureless light.

Biography Note:

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, Natural Bridge. For a link:


a passing car illumines his sweat and anything else to which it briefly attaches …
he slops whiskey petulantly, her glittering eye crossing his at random; disassociated

her washed hair separating with relinquished repugnance as he scratches stark naked, scrunching animal hair and rubbing his sticky sacs with peacock exhibitionism

the dark creeps with furtive phrases as she stares into the full length mirror - a fugitive,
before simian shadows conceal her
and thick paws crawl with
grunting chants.

Biography Note:

A.D.Hitchin is a poetry and prose writer published extensively in small press and independent journals including ‘Blaze VOX‘, ‘Ditch’ and ‘Dogmatika’. His 'The Holy Hermaphrodite’ chapbook has recently been released by Shadow Archer Press. You can catch newly updated experiments at: and

Two Poems by Barry Basden

Morning Walk

I walk in the old cemetery near my house,
away from what little traffic and noise
there is here. I used to get up early enough
to watch the sun rise--north of a distant
hill in summer and way south of the empty
factory during the winter. These days I

tend to walk a little later. Usually I take
the dogs, but they are always so joyfully into
the Now, that today, on this crisp spring
morning, I've come alone. I don't remember
the crepe myrtles being this heavy with bloom.
A black cat darts among the headstones and

catches me up. Farther along, when I stop
on a shady path near the back gate, I hear
the wind--or is it murmuring from a grave
that gives me this shiver? I turn around as
if called and see beneath an old oak a
granite stone, slightly tilted, that reads

I'd rather be standing
where you are

Retirement Haven

This place was selected one
of the five best retirement
havens in the world by a glossy
magazine full of color photographs.

I visited there once and drove
through the countryside past a
grand house where a balding man
with a gray pony tail stood yelling
at men working in his garden.

Down the road, near a hillside fragrant
with coffee blooms, I passed a row of
tin-roofed huts next to a river. Women
washed clothes in the muddy current
while men sat in doorways and
sharpened gleaming machetes.

The flowers are lovely this time
of year, and the coffee is fine.

Biography Note:

Barry Basden writes mostly short pieces these days. Some have been published in various online venues. Some have not. He is co-author of CRACK! AND THUMP: WITH A COMBAT INFANTRY OFFICER IN WORLD WAR II, and edits Camroc Press Review at

One Breath
Junie Moon

Grey mist under purple sky,
twilights prelude, ink dots

merge, swell,
trickle down, sealing out
traces of day; shadows

exhale; silhouettes dance
’cross cosmic dust

Time banished,
hours erased,
grandfather keeping time
like a metronome

hazy fog, vapors, feathery
mirage, rising up
filling an empty room;
murmurs, seductive

gentle whispers; obscuring stealthy
cowards, hiding a
hypnotic prophecy,

unleashed in darkness...
abyss; mystical, insistent

collage of images
through cellophane
changing colors;
heart beats
listless, laden;
no heroic salutations;

transparent illusions, counterfeit
memories …voluminous darkness;
seductive, mesmerizing;

no borders, no boundaries;
no guarantees;
reality distorted, spiraling
in inner space,
life lay silent in one breath,
death lay silent in the next

Biography Note:

Junie Moon's work has appeared in Eat a Peach, Poe Little Thing, Black River Press, Down in the Dirt, Dogma Publication, Poetic Hours, Sage of Consciousness, The Persistent Mirage, Poetry Today, Black Book Press, the anthology ‘Lives of Artists’ compiled by Melanie M. Eyth, The Pink Chameleon, to name a few.

When I’m Horny and Suicidal
Steve Calamars

I play hacky-sack with
hand-grenades and lust
after land-mines strutting
in stilettos and fishnet

I chug molotov cocktails
and swallow cyanide
parading down my throat
in strip-teases and

I wink at hourglass-
shaped 357s and
catch bullets beneath
my eyelids . . .

Biography Note:

Steve Calamars lives in San Antonio, TX. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and works in a grocery store. When he is not working or sleeping, he writes (mainly prose). The stuff he writes can be found in bottle rockets, Chiron Review, Harpur Palate, Zygote in My Coffee and other places he won’t bore you with. He can be found in

Loren Fay

Bow down upon this severe bend.
Bones wither & do not mend.
On thy hand’s & knee’s..
Oh, I bleed my blood for thee.
Dearth, I tuck thou heart under the sea.
Cover the beating sound beneath the
Brackish waves.
Universal solvent, dissolve my broken lungs.
You do me no good, stranger of the months.
Beetle brown eyes pollute my ocean blues.
Dig away at my frightened charm,
I veil my battered pain.
My poise vanished during your perfect masquerade.
Who would sweep away a girl in an unending weep?

Biography Note:

Loren Fay was born in London, England and moved to America for schooling in Wisconsin and Florida when she was a young child. She is currently attending college in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Her major is Creative Writing and Poetics. She is currently in the process of writing a set of epic fictional novels, to be published one day soon. She has two blogs of which she posts on rather frequently. The first is titled '& as of now..', which contains much of her poetic works, mixed amongst some short stories as well. Loren Fay's second blog shares her journey with the world as she embarks on writing her novel(s). This blog is titled 'In the making- By: Loren Fay'. She picked up her talent and passion for writing by accident as she was a teachers assistant to a creative writing teacher. Since that fated semester of high school, writing has become a none stop passion for Loren Fay. She has been published in the St. Pete times, numerous literary magazines, and won the award for writer of the year in 2007 from her high school.

The Odds
Lucy Walters

I’ll go to Vegas for a day-
I’ll beat the house,
And triple figure fruits
Will roll down gold
From double tasseled breast
And glittering thighs.
Domed palaces where
Plush carpets roll
Like Savannah plains,
And despair and glee
Lie mischievous lovers
Side on side
Of a shiny coin.
I’d cheat death for just one happy day
Of life where odds are 12 to 1,
Lap at a bowl of bluffing games,
If only for just one
Tiny taste of light,
Then trudge home,
Broke again, at night.

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