Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Issue #6

Three Poems by Amanda Boschetto


i too dream of the children's deaths
and all of Africa's sky is filled with hunger
pain still holds the weapon of anxiety
the real war is inside me

a letter to some black boy with only one arm
he writes of hope and somewhere half around
the world there is tears and guilt embedded
in the alphabet

the burning sun sets and lions feed on laughing
hyenas, vultures of fun and in the eyes of
a missionary, cutting God out of the land, forgotten
and our crimes are obesity, money, greed
life's undying need we tell us

as Africa continues to bleed

night trace

the trees are hungover, drained of all
the snow its branches must carry
and cancer is stuck on the icy milky way
this bleak season where light must suffer
my nerves on my face are frozen and i try to
stretch them with my palm but nothing but
blood comes out

there is frost in my heart, taken from your
illusion of heaven and it rains skulls from
my own cheap hell, words and worlds are
fictional things, like an illness in the broken wind
you are gone but like a ghost you
move in my tired nights, i count the feathers
fallen behind your instant trace but you're still...

...slipping away

the maddest tree

night's maddest tree is a bore to
the suicides that surround it,
its leaves smother the ground

large and heavy orgasms lick the
roads clean,
like snow flakes gone insane
and it rains frogs from the sky

the tree agrees with winter, with
its silly death spread to everything
even the yawning roots
that love forgot

and on a clear day i can see the
rape that the tree does to every
ray of sunlight
everything's broken within me

Biography Note:

Amanda Boschetto lives in Sweden. She has one chapbook with deadbeatpress and one forthcoming with epic rites in 2010 as well a couple of poems in a few zines. She has facebook at;

The Shredder
Kenneth Pobo

Jezziaro’s Used Cars has

a today-only sale on vans.

Super-size your car, the ad says.

We nail our kids into activity schedules.

After Internet porn, chat rooms,

and Google, we watch the latest

metroplex movie--about a terrorist

who works at Burger King, poisons our fries,

gets away with murder. Home again,

we shred trash which reveals

information about us, turn the lock,

steady ourselves with the TV’s glow.

Biography Note:

Kenneth Pobo had a book of poems published in 2008 from WordTech Press called Glass Garden . His online chapbook, Crazy Cakes, also came out in 2008 and can be accessed at http// Kenneth's chapbook, “Trina and the Sky,” won the 2009 Main Street Rag chapbook contest.

Catch Ken’s radio show, “Obscure Oldies,” at on Saturdays from 6-8pm EST.

Iris Odonata

Mom's in the basement,

tidying up the secrets,

double-checking inventory.

Dad's in the pantry,

tallying up his markers,

counting with a rosary.

Sister's pulling straight-A's,

fiddling with her violin,

playing at being au pair.

And me? Sitting in corner,

just seen, not heard,

awaiting ripening to share.

Biography Note:

Iris has logged 30k hours in hands-on healing work. Iris wrote her first poem at nine. A staunch advocate of mirth, Iris laughs belly laughs daily as exercise against becoming too serious. Iris invites inspiration with all her senses from a multi-universe.

Two Poems by Ben Nardolilli

Under Certain Conditions

The smokestack and the whole poisonous family

Belching away at the sky, with no apology,

To end to the dirty painting and the muted singing,

Can make you think, what was here before,

What was lost for this gain?

The bottles on the shore with black water inside

And burnt-out cigarettes, messages

From those stranded a shore away,

You look at them and wonder if the waves

Had any idea they were moving anything polluting,

Like the backs of rats giving free rides to flees.

The strip mall was a functional emporium,

You know that, but still, you ask out loud

Because the muzak gives you the freedom of the muzzle,

Why it could not look at least a bit different

From the one you passed by down the road.

But the rose that opens up like your lover’s face,

In the middle of the field with every stalk in its place,

And the sky holding no storm in its canopy,

With every thorn a perfect aquiline, and the petals

Right in their number, the color of moving blood,

You are quiet, you understand, you have no more questions.

A Spring Enclosed

How could I have avoided you,

All those years in Catholic school

And you were so pale,

Pale as the virgin, and those

Who surrounded her, and like them

Your dark hair flowing down your head

Made for a convenient veil,

And when all you let me see

Was your neck and ankles,

You expected me to think of you

As someone just in it for the money?

No, you pretended to be his bride,

Even though you did not believe

He was heaven sent, or in heaven itself,

But when I found out you had not made

A home in any man’s bed, I told you

The black was no longer necessary,

And that you could cut your hair,

Tan your skin, you were clean of heart,

Even if you said your mouth had kissed the streets.

Biography Note:

Ben Nardolilli is a twenty three year old writer currently living in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Houston Literary Review, Perigee Magazine, Canopic Jar, Lachryma: Modern Songs of Lament, Baker’s Dozen, Thieves Jargon, Farmhouse Magazine, Elimae, Poems Niederngasse, Gold Dust, The Delmarva Review, Underground Voices Magazine, SoMa Literary Review, Heroin Love Songs, Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, Cantaraville, and Perspectives Magazine. In addition, he was the poetry editor for West 10th Magazine at NYU and maintains a blog at

Oh, please. They didn’t sneak into the country to be your friends.
-Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development.

Paul Handley

The largesse involved in making friends

is offset by, well, having friends.

My balance sheet overrunneth with credits.

Thank you cards a must, especially

a thank you for a thank you,

so as to keep on the ledger’s best side.

Terms of contacts and networking gather warmth,

when congeal beneath a layer of loyalty.

Admiration of political ideas while impractical

and lack principle, allow me to be part

of a panorama of you, and me,

a bar, or restaurant and the aura of your success

and blandly handsome anchor man looks,

to friends of others who want to walk onto the set.

Only ones I trust are from before I fall

or have success and I have had both,

and even before I had both, I kinda had both.

Biography Note:

Paul Handley spent a career as a student and a student of odd jobs. He has an MA, an MPA, and is ABD. He has driven a cab and sold meat door-to-door. Paul has work included or forthcoming in Anemone Sidecar, Apollo’s Lyre, Boston Literary Magazine, The Shine Journal, and others.

Justin Ehrlich

Indifferent eyes burn with cruel

Restraint, calculating malign

Designs; unstirred by Golden rule.

Her icy fingers hold a shrine…

My queen of suffering presents

A coruscating crown of thorns

While whispering sweet sentiments;

Stigmata kisses reign forlorn.

Snowflakes pulse vellum arteries.

She tastes the shapes of altered states,

Adrift in abstract quiddities.

In reverence before her gates:

I took a sparkling razorblade

And tore my flesh with vigorous

Calligraphy: a serenade

To my eternal Dolores.

Unveiling my ripped, ravaged chest

I proudly flaunt the spoils of love.

She ordered I expunge my breast

With acid, and a kitchen glove.

The brittle diamonds of despair

Fall flippantly from out my tongue.

Responding with a solar-flare

From the inferno of her lung:

‘One day I’ll push you to the skirt

Of reason; snapping sanity

Unleashes rage, repressed, inert:

You’ll strangle my last breath from me…

Through placid wreaths of floral smoke

I spied psychosis in your eyes;

Amidst the verdant words you spoke,

I heard a buzzing plague of flies.’

Nails oxidized by pity pierce

Emaciated flesh in tuned

Compliant silence. My last tierce

Of famished pride drains from each wound.

Forsaken on this crucifix,

The desert sun swarms blistered bone:

I thirst for vinegar-laced lips!

My vulture goddess long has flown.

Biography Note:

Justin Ehrlich was born in 1985. He holds honours in philosophy and learned to appreciate the aesthetic of a theory over and above significance. His poetry has been published online in Pens on Fire, The-Beat, Ancient Heart, Gloom Cupboard, and The Recusant.

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