General Poetry Page             with Suzanne Robinson 

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Song of the Downtown Auras

 

Most cannot see the brightness

breaking through skin for they’re too far-

sighted to take-in the glow from dermal

stained-glass — everyday window-

shoppers encased in phosphorescence.

 

Benched, a nursing mother bares

an incandescence that outshines neon.

Pedestrians blaze by like a runway

of archangels, a legion baptized in paint-

box halloes but denied the radiance

of their very own violets. Palettes of blues

outline dozens & flickering greens

offer personal pastures for cityfied veins.

Dearest yellow butter-cups the enlightened.

Some emit perpetual rose. One urgently

billows apricot embers. Hundreds

strobe invisible lightshows,

 

oblivious of the truth they ignite

or the mysteries they so casually illume.

 

Grief Stricken

 

At last, shoes clutter her entry

while long coats intrude

upon each other in the hall closet,

rows of buttons pit damp backs.

 

Air hints of bottled hurts —

old wounds — overlaid by fusty

salmon sandwiches, pillar candles.

Voices rise to fall, again lift

 

in scripted notes, too much

like the drone of a pater noster.

Every eye is wearing

veneer,  blinks back regret

 

or resentment. Strange choices: 

Birds of paradise flowers, Mozart,

but no gingersnaps, no tea in the pot,

tatty slippers tucked away.

 

Upstairs, frills stiffen

on those worn, embroidered pillows,

prized photos glare from a dresser,

gewgaws remain on guard.

 

Downstairs, rooms fill with mourners

poised in grief. Your body

softens the farthest corner, but your heart

keeps graveside, unearths your mother.

 

 

Cyndi MacMillan’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Canadian literary journals such as The Dalhousie Review, Room, The Prairie Journal, The Windsor Review and Grain Magazine.  Current works-in-progress include a book of portrait-epitaphs poems, a suspense mystery and children’s first chapter books. Other writing can be found on her website: Cyndi_MacMillan.wordpress.com

 

 

Trumpism

 

He could have been a half-way decent human being—

without the excess money, alcohol, sex addiction,

partying, gambling disguised as business deals.

 

We could have done better without judges on the take,

payoffs, greedy, crooked politicians brokering power

by encouraging misogyny, racism, bigotry, blaming,

divisiveness.

 

What is it in our culture, religions, philosophies

that make these marketing ploys so enticing?

These sound bites that encourage victim-hood,

that enable this believe-what-I-say-not-what-I-do

mentality?

 

We still think logic, reason, engagement,

compromise will soften what our leaders have become.

We ignore the hard truth that we voted

for the very ones who demonstrate

nihilistic, narcissistic, naked contempt . . . .

 

He could have done better without his excessive need for

supplicating, boot-licking, brown-nosing, groveling

lackeys.

 

We could have been less complicit in joining ranks

with these shammers, power brokers, people

who glitter with no substance,

greedy voices who control us by encouraging

self-righteous, judgmental, self-serving fear.

 

We could have done better had we paid attention,

had we refused to accept bullying rhetoric,

erratic behavior, overtures to our basest natures.

 

We could have done better if we had not

bought into take-no-prisoners,

Sherman-March-to-the-Sea,

impossible solutions.

 

T J Barnum has been writing for years, but has only begun submitting work. Barnum will have a memoir piece in The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, April 2018 edition.

  

 

Benadryl and Whiskey

We stand for hours

in the baggage check section

silent and forlorn

like ancient Egyptian slaves

sealed into a pharaoh’s tomb

waiting to die from starvation.

 

Sometimes, there is movement

the shuffling of feet

a stanchion rattling

from the careless brush of a purse.

The self check-in kiosks are all down.

Slowly moving airport employees

sip Benadryl and whiskey

from large metal cups

as they scribble signatures

on boarding passes

stifle laughs as the elderly

try to lift their suitcases onto the scales.

 

I give my boarding pass

to a frowning man

balding and bespectacled

put my luggage on the scale.

He tells me there is an extra charge

for bags over 50 pounds.

The scale reads 36.5 pounds

until he puts his foot on the pressure plate

and the weight jumps to 51.3.

When I open my mouth to protest

he says it is entirely possible

they will find a firearm

hidden in my shaving kit.

 

John David Muth’s poem is part of a collection that will be published by Aldrich Press next spring. He is a native of New Jersey, and has been an academic advisor at Rutgers University for the last seventeen years. Most of his poetry is satirical. His favorite topics include romantic relationships, the inner workings of higher education, and modern values and practices. His first two collections, A Love for Lavender Dragons, and Inevitable Carbon were published by Aldrich Press.

 

in the mind room

As I walk by ideas on shelves which were once written by great authors

 

I hear sounds of creative minds written on sheets with different titles and colours ..

 

ideas which were once thought about in the head as a phantom,

illusively yielding no form and being inconsequentially regardless

 

 

Dipsomania

 

The drank is always tipsy

Double minded activities sway him like a rolling bottle of Pepsi

His mind is divided between what is right and what is not

Sense does not come to him on a silver plater but rather on top of a  bottle of scotch .

 

He carries himself ironically gentle

But inward looks so dismantled

Everything normal to him seems abnormal

Little things seem big in his mindset but frugal

Confidence is but equivalent to something meager

 

The drank is mindedly blind

Eyes are wide opened but closed are the ears to tell wat happens behind

His world is totally different from yours and mine

 

His ways are but pot holes with crocked effects 

Seriousness seemingly isn't what he intends to digest

 

He is not bothered by the consequences

To him he is in the right side of his double minded senses

 

Ordinary pipe-borne water in the long run becomes his nemesis

His demeanor portrays his intentions as though alcoholism was imbued in his blood from the genesis

 

He can never say he is on the boozing cessation wagon, that will be extradiegetic

Even if he finds himself amid the assemblage of teetotalers, abstinence wouldn't be one of the  factors, since it's genetic

Society anticipates its usage as diabolic

 

He has fallen pray to the dictates of the extracts of the palm tree

No good cometh from his mouth except insult and treachery

 

Consciousness steps in as soon as he is taken over by sleep

He is swept over by dismay as he becomes aware of a mess he is been and unwise.

 

Etched is his actions in the mindset of the people around, he will forever remain a goober unless he proves otherwise.

 

kwame Nti Kwame (knk) Ghana is a poet, writer, blogger and historian.

There are people that feel like explosions

 

that rip through your flesh and leave

you exposed and raw. People who will

reduce you to rubble on a Friday night

when anxiety has chewed you down to a

nub sitting on a sofa's arm rest. People

who devastate you with their silence,

their invisible silhouettes. People who

blast through city blocks of buildings

with their agendas, their selfish need.

People who can crash into your bones,

scatter your fragments among the soft earth.

 

Kendall A. Bell's poetry has been recently published in Edison Literary Review and Yellow Chair Review. He is a multi-year nominee by Sundress Publications'  for Best of the Net, and author of twenty one chapbooks, his latest: We Are All Ghosts. Founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle's Notebook, publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press and a music and book reviewer with Five2One Magazine, his chapbooks are available through Maverick Duck Press. He lives in Southern New Jersey.

The Bagnio Millennium Calculator

 

Friday

nights

numb,

 

alone

no one calls

I call

no one

sounds

of rattling overhead fans

and

doors slamming

below

are friends

on,

 

Friday

nights

numb,

 

green

blinking lights

orange

constant lights

on

creeping filthy

mouse

rolling

on plastic balls

towards

something or someone

twelve second

free porn clips

they

are friends

on,

 

Friday

nights

numb,

 

nowhere land

where

the nowhere man

belongs

solitary chair

confinement

faux leather Hanoi Hilton

cranberry juice

and

discount smokes

are friends

on,

 

Friday

nights

numb.

 

If Billy the Kid was on EBT

food stamp reject,

 

James Earl Jones

talks to me

in

my sleep

reading phone books

and

calling me a honky

calling me a bigot

calling me a racist,

 

food stamp reject,

 

candles

on fire

dead phones

never

ring

underwater for a millennium,

 

food stamp reject,

 

dismissive homonyms

jihad

at Walgreen’s

on Christmas

In God We All Trust Inc.

minus

a pack of Camel lights

minus

plastic H2O

peril quantity

sucralose

magnesium sulfate

potassium benzoate

to protect taste

to assassinate my liver

in Dallas,

 

food stamp reject,

 

insult me at your

discretion

her vanity asks me why

my

hatred is fueled with quizzical intent

and why

I’m missing two teeth,

 

food stamp rejects,

 

multiplication tables

always

end in zero

just like

me

just like

you

just like

them,

 

food stamp rejected.

 

 

Nerd Lab Glass Ceiling

I want self destruction,

 

of it all,

of me,

 

K2

Mt. Everest

the Louvre

the Taj Mahal

Hagia Sofia

Machu Picchu

the pyramids

the hanging gardens of fucking Babylon,

 

I want self destruction,

 

of it all,

of me,

 

the decadence

the allure

the anarchy

the selfishness

the obnoxious Old Spice musk of death,

 

I want self destruction,

 

of it all,

of me,

 

I keep cheating it,

I keep surviving,

 

the cockroach remains in the walls

the breaths keep coming

the carotid keeps pushing

the ventricles keeps pumping

the intestines continue digesting

the muscles keep moving

the nerves keep sending

the brain keeps receiving,

all involuntary

of course,

 

what a sick fucking joke,

I want self destruction

of it all

of me.

 

Brett Stout is a 38-year-old writer and artist. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He writes while mainly hung-over on white lined paper in a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC. He has published two novels of prose and poetry entitled Lab Rat Manifesto and Baking Cookies With Whores.

remember me

remember me

here lies one who stood true,

broke but never broken

when all the world said build

and all of nature said heal

when the skies opened

to rain down frustration

and nothing grew but resentment

he soaked it in and pulled the weeds,

increasing the expanse of heart

to include today, mine and yours,

in a simple tribute to the beating warmth

of a single child digging in the mud

 

(first published in being human)

John Reinhart is an arsonist, father of three, and poet. He was the recipient of the 2016 Horror Writers Association Dark Poetry Scholarship, and he has been a Pushcart, Rhysling, and Dwarf Stars nominee. His sixth collections of poetry, (arson - NightBallet Press) will be out in early 2018. Find his work at http://home.hampshire.edu/~jcr00/reinhart.html and @JReinhartPoet

 

THE DARK BETWEEN THE BEGINNING AND THE END

 

I hold my breath while watching

thin, metal hands wipe time

off the clock face,

wondering if I might stop time

just for a moment,

a minute, a second

in which I might know some calm,

some peace

from myself,

from the oily turnings of my brain.

 

But no matter what shapeless desperation

fuels my silent wishes,

the much needing stopping of time,

the chance to not feel,

not feel every single thing,

to not feel at all,

only comes at the end.

UNTIL I AM ASH

 

Unimpressed by your reflection

in the bedside light,

you hand me a match

and ask me

to set myself alight,

knowing your features

are best illuminated

by firelight.

 

Edward Lee's poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha'Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

Copyright  Better than Starbucks 2017, a poetry magazine    

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