January & February 2020
Vol V No I
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
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Free Verse Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
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Pantyhose, little ones like stars,
When money ran out, we wanted to go to Mars,
with vapid inhalations;
all night ticks in my head.
The seaman asked
was I going dead?
Beautiful son, because I can’t hear you,
a mirror hides on the wall made of straw;
the black flies fall from the sky too—
like pennies from heaven drowning in icicles,
rattling the beggar on the corner,
waiting like a first grader
on a motorcycle,
ready to bound outward
into the snowy sand
like a blind man, after removing his glass eye.
My lovely bright spirit, show me your sweet, sticky hands;
fear the dead not in this life, but let them be afraid for you
sparkly one, whose great cat is dancing in absence tonight, so bye.
put it out there
i put it out there, again;
took a chance, raised my hand,
said ‘what about me?’
filled the boxes, filled the form,
did everything the right way, the
expected way; the corporate way;
i had faith and that was my failure;
i know better; i’ve always known better;
every step along the concrete path;
every passage on the asphalt river;
i’ve known better;
‘it’s not the answer you want,’ they said;
you just not qualified; you just don't belong;
you just not one of us; you just don’t fucking
Jack Henry is a poet based in Southern California.
A Persona of a Gentleman
for former Senator John Dow
It is 11:00 a.m. in Nyack, a Tuesday—
one hour before meeting a colleague
for lunch. It is 1995 and I go to read
at the library because I will leave
the hospital at 10:00 p.m.
& get the last bus back to Grand View
& I don’t know the people
who will be on the bus.
I walk up Broadway, crowded
with antique stores beginning to open
& enjoy a cold orange juice & Granola Bar
before buying a Progressive Newspaper
to see what the politicians are doing in America.
Later, I continue on to Slattery’s
and a sweet waitress greets me
whose Gaelic accent sounds
like a symphony
& I begin to contemplate about my wife.
I am standing at the salad bar
examining the curly slices of onion
like the curves of my wife’s hips—
the red plump
tomatoes taste sweet like her tender lips—
the cauliflower is crunchy & fresh
& I’m thankful my wife still remembers me,
for she is slowly fading from Alzheimer’s.
Yet, I’m still the same face she smiles at
& waits for each day
so she can crawl inside the suitcase
carrying the photographs of our lives together.
Lisa Rhodes-Ryabchich authored Opening the Black Ovule Gate and We Are Beautiful like Snowflakes. Her poems have appeared in DASH, Nothing Substantial Literary Magazine, The Chaffey Review, and more. She mentored Prisoners at Pen America and received a MVICW Fellowship in 2016.
I remember being a child,
You were young then too,
Not like now
When you hold your palms out to me.
It was different then.
Your body sickly sweet — white, solid, crystalline.
You never seemed to care, shoe over sock, sock over foot.
In my dream the winds came through and took the top of that
big tree out back.
And we saw it, you and me.
You shouted, “Run!”
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t see you anymore.
I shook myself from sleep
And in the darkness, I knew what you already know,
That it would get you — there was no running now.
First published in Flights, the literary magazine for Sinclair Community College.
Mary Ryan Wineberg has taught composition, written human interest pieces for a local paper and writes poetry and short humor in her free time. She is also currently working on a novel. Mary lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband and four children.
Death by Cholera in 4 Movements
1st movement — impulse
I went to rehab twice, once
for guilt, once for depression,
surviving the crash that starts
with mother. More than a crash,
a massacre. 10 pounds of sorrow
in my fingertips, forced to color,
other people’s dreams.
thirsting for a blank ~
2nd movement — love
I am the struggle, day into night,
suicidal joy, private/intimate, the story
that lives inside you like a French
poem, like the island of the dead,
not dead, death reworked,
like Pathétique, by Tchaikovsky.
An ode to love comes in waves. I’ve
yet to catch my ~
3rd movement — disappointment
The New Year finds me low
& tolling, an itty-bitty ball of rage,
carving ice sculptures out of grief.
An inevitable descent.
Doesn’t everyone have a hole
they sink into? Personal pain
if it dies, as it should, is a final
coup-de-théâtre. I am dreaming of
my own ~
4th movement — melancholy
When we were strangers, I sang
poetry. It rolled off my tongue, raw
& wild, thick as honey, full of life
& possibility. 30 years later,
a crippled waltz, empty
of victory. I want to reinvent
happy. No more love-by-numbers,
The last thing you say before dying,
“I’m glad you’re alone.”
I expire ~
First published in O:JA&L.
Sheree La Puma is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, O:JA&L, Plainsongs, and The Main Street Rag, among others. She received an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts and taught poetry to former gang members.
There’s a “no-loitering”
sign by the city center
and a larger one
at the gates of heaven
but I hung them
I can’t pick locks
or waltz and so
I learned that I was
allowed neither a ball
gown nor a leather skirt
remnants of the old
I inherited the
gargoyle if you
take a closer look
They all live
in their cramped
limp and legless,
them I could
burn a house
their little red
their heads against
their home —
and so they’ll
die as martyrs
army all right,
yet burn at their
own stake —
a slave to
A first-year student at Bard College, Alex LeGrys plans on majoring in sociology, but she is also much involved in the written arts. Her favorite contemporary poets include Charles Simic, Philip Levine, Jane Hirshfield, and Robert Pinsky.
a lover’s lie in the fields
i walked among stalks of dandelions
pushed to the side like jilted lovers
as i parted from them
my eyes fell on you
standing in a circle of oleanders
i came to you
where in your arms
you hung a cotton necklace
around my neck
and with a kiss
and soft caress
‘you’re the only one.’
watching as my frantic feet
scraped small furrows
upon your clay heart
Christian Long is a recent graduate of Full Sail University and a lover of poetry. Pablo Neruda and Bukowski are among his favorite poets. This is his first publication.
I Am a Foucaultian
What’s lacking are nails and knives.
Words we got
in bad light, in a bad night,
in a bad conscience.
What matters is being
not king of the world, but king
The woman I love? Our talk’s
a language for two. Others
are ghosts, visible for a glance,
vanishing at a stare.
Nothing splashes on your fingers.
It refilters to your veins.
What would a microscopic motorcycle
want from a giant telescopic lens?
It had its own infinite perspectives.
Love is a conversation
in a cold and foreign atrium.
I’ve got to go. Foucault’s claiming me.
J. Tarwood has been a dishwasher, a community organizer, a medical archivist, a documentary film producer, an oral historian, and a teacher. He currently lives in China. He has published four books, and his poems have appeared in many magazines.
I Am Afraid of the Dark
cleaning the mess
I left behind.
and caress my body
which is what I
longed for most of all.
Talking about families
and news events,
ignoring the body
sounds and twitches
that are familiar,
I hope they don’t smoke
while doing their work
I’m allergic to tobacco
it makes me cough
Their work done,
calling it a day,
flip the switch,
leave the room.
I am afraid
of the dark.
I naturally want
to curl like a babe
but I can’t move,
the slab is
even for the dead.
Pops and creaks
interrupt the deafening
Desperate to call out,
hoping I’m not alone,
a leathery flap,
I am afraid
of the dark.
I sense a strangeness,
no rhythmic breathing,
no pulsing sensation,
No activity to gauge my
Awareness of no one there
to comfort me in the darkness.
I am afraid
of the dark.
Phil Rowan is a published artist and poet. He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Psychology. He is currently working on a twelve-painting feature for Kissing Dynamite’s June 2020 edition.
Winter Waterfall by Tyler Galbraith
(Lagg, in Arran, is a pretty village near to the sea. A chambered cairn has been there for thousands of years.)
As it tumbles over the shoreline at Lagg
No longer confident of its power
A wave senses the humans
As they too rise and fall
Ashby McGowan lives in Glasgow (Scotland). His multi-voice work has been featured on National Radio and performed at the Scottish Parliament. He has written for Amnesty, DoveTales, and for the United Nations.
Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Suzanne Robinson by issue:
November 2019 September 2019 July 2019 May 2019
March 2019 January 2019 November 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018
March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017
August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017
December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016
Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch by issue: