Free Verse Poetry Page  with Suzanne Robinson 

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Caffeine

 

The first time we met for coffee,

conversation dripped and poured. Steam billowed:

truth does not grow lukewarm

like an overpriced latte.

 

Crowded coffee shops become the catch-all

for friends seeking common ground

over the sound of coffee grounds grinding

against metal claws, like the strain of years past.

 

Your reflection in the cup stained by brew,

crinkled years pressed between textbook pages,

the difference stark as hot vapor in cold air;

your look older with a mug pressed to your lips.

 

A strained goodbye as you walk me to my car,

I hear your voice through the rain,

and though words feel cooler than before,

old friends bring a warm buzz to this tired heart.

 

 

Jordan Beamer is an English Major who wrote her first poem about a school bus at age seven, though she had never ridden one. She is currently working on a poetry collection.

Nan’s House

 

She used to let me stack every tin can

from her pantry

into a massive skyscraper

nearly as tall as my five year old self,

and then knock them down with a crash

onto the tiled kitchen floor,

as I laughed

and she laughed.

 

Then she’d get down on her knees

and help me gather them all up,

so I could do it again.

 

I’ve been up for four hours already,

and remembering this

is the first thing

that made me smile.

 

Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey, and currently lives in Reno, Nevada.  He writes free verse and confessional poetry.  His work has been published in numerous blogs and online journals. 

Twitter

 

I see shavings of time

curled in gutters

forgotten

waiting for rain

 

this world of clamouring

of pandering

of spotlight searching

where wristwatches are quaint

or worn ironically

this world exists

only when my eyes are open

 

Steve Denehan lives in Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poet and his chapbook, Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong, is available from Fowlpox Press.

Urban Renewal

 

I’d rest, too,

Marooned in a neighborhood

Older than danger

In a slum.

I lived too long

I said before they

Hauled me out

Below rusting fire escapes.

Children

Cried and shouted

Wild in their play until

They surpassed my doubts.

Neighbors stood by, gutless trees

Irked with such ghosts;

The community will never survive,

And the neighbors sneer—

The trees’ cold twigs snap.

Snapping is what they do well.

 

 

Dick Bentley’s books, Post-Freudian Dreaming, A General Theory of Desire, and All Rise, are available on Amazon. He won the Paris Writers’ Paris Review’s International Fiction Award and has published over 280 works of fiction, poetry, and memoir worldwide.

Surrender

 

Like forgotten flags from defunct nations

I placed them on the bed

They fell

Limp, synthetic, pastel rags

Which should l choose for her burial gown?

Pallid florals did not befit the memory of my mother

Rather, there should be clothing of

Blood red for her anger

Midnight black for her depression

White for her surrender

Rouge, noir, blanc

Pain, heartbreak, defeat

I threw them all away, detritus

I buried her in a white dress

 

 

Joanne Easley lives on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, three rescue terriers, and abundant wildlife — where she devotes her time to writing.

Damascus

 

There is no straight man in the world

said starry eyed Rima, as we returned

from the Damascus book fair where,

for the hundredth time, I fell in love.

No straight man in the world—

only cheaters, pimps, addicts, & bores.

Rima passed her days on the rooftop

watching the world unfurl,

watching her rivals fall in love.

She once had a man more beautiful

than herself, she said.

She didn’t want children.

She wanted just a touch, a hand,

to grant release from

her celestial observatory,

to aim arrows at her stars.

Damascus in the month of Ramadan

is an affliction that multiplies hourly

the hunger inside, the longing to be touched,

until prayer brings roof banging at dawn.

I thought I had bested Rima’s forecasts.

Until the plane landed. I tried

to remember the name of the book fair man

whose smile had stolen my heart.

His syllables merged with others’ words.

His nomadic soul hitched onto Rima’s stars.

 

 

Rebecca Ruth Gould's poems and translations have appeared in Nimrod, Kenyon Review, Tin House, The Hudson Review, Waxwing, Wasafiri, and Poetry Wales. She has translated books from Persian, Russian, and Georgian, including poems of Hasan Sijzi and stories by Vazha-Pshavela.

I should have known

 

that day in Riverside Park

when the sight of a three-legged dog

seared my four-year-old mind

that this was going to be

an imperfect world.

 

 

Kenneth Salzmann’s poems appear in numerous print and online journals and anthologies. His recent book, The Last Jazz Fan And Other Poems, is available on Amazon.

Creative Tendencies

 

I am creative and

I am bipolar but I am

Not creative because I

Am bipolar, did you hear that

Hollywood? Take a look

Because sometimes when I’m

Manic I’m not frantically scribbling

Rhymes or lines but

Curled up in a ball terrified

Of what I might do, mistakes

I might make and then I’m not sure

How much I can take

It’s not glamorous

To stay up all night

Where the sun

Feels so far away and darkness feels

So heavy like you’re Atlas on one of his

Worse days

In real life our

Eyes get puffy from crying

In real life there are problems

With the pharmacy

In real life bipolar is not beautiful

And the insurance is screwed up

And you’re rocking back and forth

Half naked, when did I see that

In a movie, I only see it in the

Mirror, I only see it in memories of my

Last manic disaster

I am creative and I am bipolar

I am not creative because I am bipolar

I am creative, in spite of it

 

 

Catherine Moscatt is a 22-year-old counseling and human services major. She enjoys basketball, loud music, and terrible horror movies. Her poetry has been published in several magazines including Sick Lit Magazine, Phree Write Magazine, and The Muse - An International Journal of Poetry.

Anniversary

 

At Cape Elizabeth, we feast

from the sea, pulling the white-

 

     pink meat from its broken hull

     with our hands; drinking the salty

orbs from their luminous

shells. The sea winds whisk

 

     our bodies, the mollusks cling

     to the wet, black rocks. The sun

 

slips into a bright sleep. Among

the shorebirds we are barefoot,

 

     hushed, and free as children.

 

Previously published in The Pinkley Press.

 

Emily Patterson received the Marie Drennan Prize for Poetry at Ohio Wesleyan University. Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Journal, catheXis Northwest Press, Eunoia Review, Pinkley Press, and elsewhere.

1001

 

A route I could drive with my eyes closed

The winding turn we always drove a little too fast

Take a left, there it is, on the corner, the one with the big tree out front.

 

Home. somebody else’s. not mine, not anymore. not for a long time now.

But still I come back. usually when I’m missing the way things used to be.

Longing for regression, back to before things became this way.

 

Slight differences, barely noticeable if you aren’t looking.

The changes are few and far between.

I can still see where everything used to be.

 

I can still hear the creak of the screen door,

Exposing me in the middle of the night, past curfew.

This was a home once. Now it is just a house.

 

1500 square feet

Used to hold all of my memories

But must make room to hold someone else’s now.

 

I can’t stay too long, it’s no longer my place.

I might return, just to reflect

On the way things used to be.

 

 

Shannon Holcomb writes poetry mostly when she is missing things, or the way things used to be.

When the Serial Killer Came to Kill Me, I Asked Him to Kill the Cat Instead

 

but he said that was too cruel, that the cat was so harmless, so small.

I tried to argue that I’m under six foot, but he said he could tell

that I didn’t care when there was turbulence on the plane.  Who the hell

does that?  You’re supposed to grip your seat.  You take a pill,

drink the microscopic vodka, pray like an Episcopalian from Chapel Hill,

but no, the serial killer said, you have wished for this, made the call

for my arrival and I don’t know why I did this, but I pointed at his dull

shoes, said he should dress better, recommended he steal a pair from a doll-

house.  He was small too, the serial killer, the size of a lamp.  He said he fell

in love with biology in tenth grade, how the body is so darn full

of alarms of eyes, of maps of lips, of jails for veins.  A troll

came out of the cupboard, told us to pipe down.  Who’d want to dwell

with beans with bacon soup?  With old crackers?  And like a numbskull

I turned my back on the serial killer.  I could feel the push and pull

of the mace on my latissimus dorsi, the way sleep started to bankroll

into a head.  In the ruckus I’d knocked over a table, the fridge, an inkwell,

the colors eating us.  Standup comedy on the radio, everything at a standstill.

 

 

Ron Riekki’s books include U.P., Posttraumatic, the upcoming My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction, and i have been warned not to write about this.

Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Suzanne Robinson by issue:

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:

May 2019

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