Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Issue #12

Two Poems from John Swain


Incense like the amber lamp burns,
lights arrayed draped in silk robes
over the corner walls
as darkness eases over even the moon.
The crescent singes your fingertips
onto my back
as you let down long soft hair of rain.
The milk of feathers washes my garments
and then I am clean underneath.
I cover the empty antique birdcage
with a green sheet,
shadows fall like petals on the floor
as the imagined birds silently sing.
I dreamt of eclipse,
I am anointed in your eyelids red
as the moon before disappearance.

The Slightest Changing

Warm for an early winter evening
as archers cross the sky on horses,
I knelt on the rain ground.
We gathered for a birthday gathering
climbing the stairs in shards.
Starlings slept in a dead tree outside,
but we don't agree
and we don't sleep
while the downstairs neighbors tremble
and beat the ceiling.
We filled the room with bubbles
like little children,
pink and green filters jangled like light.
A girl with imaginary birds
punctured the glistening world,
she perceives the slightest changing.
She told me the kindest thing,
maybe one day I can believe,
she took pictures of our bare feet.
Dancing and hours
lost like our garments of darkness.

Biography Note:

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. His work has recently appeared in Asphodel Madness, Flutter, Counterexample Poetics, and others.

An Empty Room
Chris G. Vaillancourt

An empty room.
Its walls hinting at
possibilities that
were not to be.

My hollow self,
emptied of desire;
existing only as
coal on a bed of

An emotional cruise
on a distraught sea.
Ships of black sails
transporting me
through the jungles
of frozen destruction.

Where are our plans?
Where are our solutions?

They were words spoken
by people who
will not caress
the torture of the future

Biography Note:

Chris G. Vaillancourt has been involved in the art of writing as long as he can remember. Chris is a Canadian poet who has enjoyed publication in numerous small poetry magazines and newsletters,such as Pagan Lady Poetry Journal, The Inkling; The Lance; Opussum Review; Red Dragon; Poesia International; Plum Ruby Review; Windsor Star; Quills, Poetry Sharings, Poesy, Poetry Stop, Detour Memphis,and a host of other print and ezine publications.. He has enjoyed the publication of several chapbooks of his poetry, such titles as "Slow Burn" (4 Winds Press) and "Teardrop of Coloured Soul" (PublishAmerica) and most recently, "I Walk Naked into a Cloud" (PublishAmerica)He has a BA in Psychology from the University of Windsor and a Diploma in Sacerdotal Ministry from the Saint Andrew Theological Institute. Chris lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Two Poems from Chris Butler

Cut and Paste

I sometimes

trim my

hemophilic skin

to feel the


felt pulled



my obese



with a buttered

butter knife

marinating in

the kitchen sink,

until this




and bleeds,

without infusing


with industrial





in this great

recession is

a subscription to


Wall Street Journal,

which you were

charged for,

but never


Biography Note:

Chris Butler is a twenty(3)-something nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut

Abseiling from Dreams in Hollywood
KJ Hannah Greenberg

Theodore thought carefully before

Abseiling from dreams.

It remained insufficient to repel

Down beyond nightmares;

He meant to descend, instead,

Leaving a fantasy, in which no less than sixty

Million women wanted him,

Sitting quietly in their prairie houses.

A steep drop,

Versus his daytime popularity,

Would have troubled the troubadour

Enough to break sombulance.

He’d have awakened sobbing,

A breathless balladeer at rope’s end,

Minus a knot or other constructive device

By which to climb back.

To wit, he flattening against

Fandom’s vertical cliff. The man

Sucked in gut and hope,

Exerted himself

Forward until plummeting

Toward an improved, spectacular ending.

After all, such diva curtain calls mean

Certain posthumous success.

Biography Note:

KJ Hannah Greenberg still giggles in her sleep. She contributes regularly to the speculative fiction ezine Bewildering Stories, and to the British continuum parenting publication, The Mother Magazine. You can find her writing under select budgies and in dozens of other places including, respectively, the wonderfully named venues of Fallopian Falafel, of Diet Soap, and of Morpheus Tales. In 2009, Hannah was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry. In 2010, French Creek Press will be publishing one of her essay collections, Oblivious to the Obvious: Wishfully Mindful Parenting.

Ana Bitner

long stretches of nothing i try to

the answer

but the question

what was it

brightly dark

relentlessly intricate

half formed

push ahead

as if

it had
and lightness

an end

Biography Note:

Ana Bitner faces the fact that her life thus far is a write-off. She is scrapping it all and moving to Costa Rica, where she will live with sea turtles and howler monkeys and try to figure it all out.

My Reflection
Lilith Williams

I look in the mirror
and see so many faces stare back at me.
Eyes within eyes within eyes within
smiling and jeering and staring and still.

I saw a body once in a pond.
It was bloated and green and floating.
My friend screamed.
I didn't.
She doesn't talk to me anymore.

Their eyes are like his --
sunken and glassy and dead.
I tried explaining it once --
only once.
I don't explain it anymore.

Everyone prefers the dark and shadows,
no matter their sincere words.
I smile at the mirrors;
they never smile back.

Everyone knows the mirror lies.

Biography Note:

Lilith Williams lives in the Pittsburgh, PA area. She lives and breathes horror and likes to see how many mediums she can express it.