November 2017 Vol. II No. XI
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
If good coffee (or just the concept of coffee), great books, sharp wit, and great authors excite you, we are for you!
General Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
Use links at the bottom of this page to connect to our other poetry pages.
Jesus Never Rode a Harley
high school boys, preppies, greasers & jocks
young punks, artists & hipsters,
driving fast cars, motorcycles & pick-up trucks
explore boundaries, test limits & color outside the lines
feral youth on the prowl, adolescents racing
to shed their virginity, a noxious alchemy
of teenage counter-culture fusion
flutter like moths in search of firelight
a crazy odd collage of shade & color
a salty dialogue, peppered with four-letter words
the outlaw, the outcast & the outlandish
rebellious, independent, something wicked,
something . . . American,
standing still, they beckon for the open road
they are the wild flowers filled with the funk
of cigarette smoke mixed with the stench of stale beer
dressed in only skivvies slipping, sliding & tumbling,
hacking, slashing & slicing through the jungle & jumble
no past, no future, only now
the freedom to be wild & the freedom to be left alone
suffering from the unbearable heat of being cool
taking a wild rock & roll ride with psychedelics
scattered like gravel on the highway
the broken white lines blend into one
the string of lies tangled with knots of truth
a biological function, a chemical reaction,
a mathematical equation,
outlaw cool & offbeat wild
do you feel out of place?
Peter V. Dugan hosts the poetry reading series Celebrate Poetry at the Oceanside Library, Oceanside NY and has written 4 collections of poetry. His poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Reckless Writing, Long Island Sounds and Writing Outside the Lines poetry anthologies as well as Contemporary American Voices, Long Island Quarterly, Five 2 One Magazine, Grub Street, Literary and Arts Magazine and Aitia, Philosophy-Humanities Magazine.
At the slanted desk
I drew plates, designs
for things I’d never make.
Our teacher demanded
silence so we could concentrate,
which I couldn’t do, my clothesline
mind weighted down.
I angered him by hand
drawing lines: ALWAYS
use the ruler,
never free hand. All these
perfectly straight lines,
I’d never fit in them—
I tossed the ruler
in Salt Creek. It became
it really wanted to be.
ADVICE FOR PERFORMING ON PLUTO
The sun never buys a ticket here.
Play loud. You have fans,
Pluto’s moons. Shhh about
the mystery planet behind
Pluto’s back. Pluto hates
competition. Some insist
that Pluto isn’t even a planet. Sing
those naysayers a bluesy number.
Trapped on Earth, they pull open
desk drawers to seek out
stale pretzels. Tonight
time bugs skitter on Pluto’s sky.
Drunken telescopes miss this.
All minus 380 degree temperatures
press close to you, ask for
I was a little in love
with Monkee Mike and his green
wool hat, though less than
I loved Chad who built a book case
in Shop class.
One comic book
tipped mine over.
It took decades to find
love, like one of Neptune’s moons
only discovered once we got
close enough to image it.
Kenneth Pobo has a new book out from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City. His work has appeared in: Mudfish, Nimrod, Big Windows Review, Matador Review, and elsewhere.
How Odd to See You
How odd to see you,
Among evening shadows.
Granite street, narrow long.
London’s sign posts, rusted deep.
The alley a dull reminder,
Of blurry eyed mornings.
From my perch, bleak-black fire escape,
Pass behind vertical rungs,
To reappear, unscathed by the disappearance.
Confirming my lack of power over you.
A lofted voyeur.
An Emperor’s view,
Of a condemned Christian,
Among the beasts.
Compton 8 Mile
Judith sits outside the courthouse
on the corner of “Take the Bus
and Run Street” and “Scared Beyond
Belief Blvd” in beautiful downtown
Compton. Two miles from the home
she hopes to keep, she waits for the man
she was supposed to grow old with.
Well that ain’t gonna happen. Now
her heart sues for peace and a piece
of the checkbook before it all goes
up in smoke, or cards at the Casino,
where many a moonlighting mother
knows her husband’s name, and too much
The quiet bitterness of the moment
has Judith reflect on the children.
She’ll be fine, no matter what. Better,
in fact. She’s sworn to herself
she’ll not say a disparaging word;
her heart marked by the firing squad
of sweet kisses and sweeter drinks.
The kids’ll find out soon enough.
She tells herself she feels nothing.
But she does. Haunted by rooms
filled with his breathing, it’s gonna
take a while. There he is, trundling
up the courthouse steps. Her eyes
run slowly over what’s now the wilderness
of him, that she thought she knew so well.
Time to pull the pin from the atlas,
set out into a different light.
Martyna at the Hotel Copernicus, Krakow
The Main Market Square is a 7-minute walk
The bride and groom to-be were swimming laps
at the indoor pool, vaulted ceilings echoed honeyed
kisses and shushed intimacies about tonight’s
affair. Their beginning.
Martyna, part-time maid, part-time hat-check girl,
softly walked by on the narrow concrete.
She liked to see who she would be serving later,
could gauge the politeness of their guests…
She hated hurrying home, gray wool coat
and hand-knit scarf wrapped about her head,
counting the steps in the frozen sky to the warmth
of her room, a small brandy and smaller bed,
without some drunken groomsman pleading his case
in her ear for a hometown girl with easy expression
and late morning call. It’s a point of sad fact,
when you’re by the market square, you put up
with flown-in wedding guests. They watch for that
“local woman-of-charm and kindness glow”, make her
want to walk hunchbacked, beige-faced
and invisible, a piece of wedding cake held tightly
against her waist. Tonight, judging by the couple,
would be an easy walk home, moonlight tangled
in her straightening hair, cheeks reddened from permanent
chill, house key thawing warm in her pocket.
Poem for Dad A.
43 degrees and raining.
Soon, first snow of the season.
Boots out to the mailbox
and the fireplace on.
and warm brandy.
New baby great-grandson,
Spaghetti sauce on the stove.
Midnight mass. Scrambled eggs.
Dreamy dreams and telephone calls.
Garden in hibernation
like the trees, and most birds.
It’s winter, where there is winter.
Find a $20 or two in the jacket
pocket from last year, holiday music
on the radio.
thick, thick socks
and the umbrella
that never opens right—
hasn’t since 1962.
But you will fix it.
Gruff love, honest love,
spaghetti sauce still on the stove.
Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a multiple Best of the Net nominee. Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).