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Three Poems by Stephen Mead – Lounging, True Stories and It Goes On (Thanks to Morrisey) September 7, 2020

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It feels sort of like the 1940s, the bed
a playground, fingers in platinum,
Bonbons, chiffon, the swell walled
in sensations of large lace draped rooms…

Here I am, smoking jacket svelte
& with little to do but resample champagne
or sway, barely listening to a distant trombone.

Ah, how nice, an idle nap time, yet
less innocent, say, should a lover chime
out of the music box, an apparition
waited for when any one could fade,

sad, lazy star hanging around
in the meantime because

these movie scenes lie.

 True Stories

Her eyes were the last link to communication:
one blink, no; two; yes;
the face muscle tone startled to a freeze.

To lose control like this is
perhaps worse than drowning or dying by fire:
the spirit, a bird
windows seal in …

Final rights:
exercise power,
support systems off,
lay back to melt
as ice,
as an ice cube.

It is true:
these things happen,
become stories so
we are able to talk again
about what survival means.

It Goes On
(Thanks to Morrisey)

I know the story & so do you.
I think that’s the problem.
knowledge helping, but how much?
Was being in the dark better?
Hardly; just some question,
a series of them, all to be settled.
Undecided still?
Then how come,
when aware of both
the taken and untaken roads?
So I trip over Frost
the way tongues who have tripped
over each other yet long
to taste that particular spit
on lips since replaced.
What’s the difference?
I told you it was an old story.
So, come, join in this circle
& touch while
I try to
(that’s better)
mend what only
(now there)
touch can break.


Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum  

Stephen’s Website
Amazon page

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Mansion of Happiness September 5, 2020

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The Mansion of Happiness

You can get there
from here.
This midnight blue delicacy, this quest, forges on
through cyclones and static skies.
No one can predict the end point
the uncashed check, the mystery in triplicate.
A diamond-edged toothbrush scattered in bits by the mirror,
a lost vampire, a false thesis.
A search for the last unscathed nostril in Studio 54 yields
a cryogenically frozen orgy
with no trace of orgasm,
only the stench of monotony.

Years elapse like pine needles
dropping off the Christmas tree on January 3rd.
The condensation on the basement windows,
the push-pull called chance
alienates both strippers and scientists.
it doesn’t discriminate.

The sweet harmony,
the violin echo makes it all worthwhile,
It softens the sting of suffering,
and then erases the plague.

Skyscrapers abandoned,
Karma taps mother earth,
and reverts to the mansion of happiness.
Newly kilned claypots.
Simple stone and mud,
The freedom to start over.

Poem by John Grey – Where the Buffalo Roamed August 10, 2020

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A camping site
for warriors
in skins

now a street
of houses
in vinyl siding.

No lookout
for unfriendly tribes

but there is
a “Neighborhood Watch” sign.

Where buffalo roamed,
roadways choke with
cars, SUV’s,
a moving truck or two.

In the park,
the homeless
find shade under
the marble moccasins
of a chieftain’s statue.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Yesterday’s Blonde August 5, 2020

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Yesterday’s Blonde

She goes down the escalator
In a wide brimmed straw hat
And blindingly white post-beach dress.
Her legs still tan and lithe,
Her toenails a perfect hot pink
As they peek out from designer sandals

She clutches a teacup Maltese,
The white marshmallow dollop
Favored by her fallen predecessors.
A lone reporter shouts to her from the airport terminal,
And asks about her latest bad boy lover.
With a voice still sweet and ladylike,
She responds with an anatomical reference.
“Why did the cops come to your apartment last week?,” the reporter shouts.
She waves him off as the escalator steps carry her out of sight.

Cut to a mugshot of a disheveled woman with bloodshot eyes and a witch’s hair nest.
Yesterday’s blonde becomes today’s snarky sound bite.
While her ex cavorts with his younger- than-their-daughter brunette wife
In a boat on some pristine lake.

Poems by John Sweet – “one for the disappeared visionary” and “one of us speaking without bitterness to the other” May 12, 2020

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one for the disappeared visionary

all clocks stopped in this well-lit
room i dream and these doors that
never quite open or close as i
try to tell you i love you

these men who step out from behind
their own shadows holding faded
pictures of missing children,
holding blank sheets of paper,
and so no information is exchanged

no new truths are created and
none of our passing days
add up to a life
all acts of faith
fall short in the end

one of us speaking without bitterness to the other

and hate is a castle
and all pain passes

believe in sorrow and
            in broken locks

believe in windows thick with frost or
ones streaked with dust

paint the walls blue

let the roof collapse

my gift to you will always mean
nothing if
nothing is
what your life has become

John Sweet sends greetings from the rural wastelands of upstate NY. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the continuous search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest poetry collections include HEATHEN TONGUE (2018 Kendra Steiner Editions) and A FLAG ON FIRE IS A SONG OF HOPE (2019 Scars Publications).

Beat Poet Michael McClure Dead at 87 May 6, 2020

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San Francisco Chronicle Obituary

Indian Valley College, Novato, CA 1976

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Thelonius Monk and Nellie in a Dream May 4, 2020

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Thelonius Monk and Nellie in a Dream

Fingers make their own way across the keyboard,
At once thundering and adroit.
The green velvet curtains reveal a miracle or a debacle,
Depending on the prescribed mood.
The reefer smoke a given as
disembodied voices shriek from outside.

Killing time at the airport.
An impromptu whirling dervish
Out of his element
Amusing the masses.

A hotel room,
A clap of thunder.

“I am very sick.”
Cubist sound fades
Into quiet everyday life,
A picture window view across the Hudson.
The circuitry miscalculation
That formed a life,
Now steadied
Into routine,
As Nica’s
Cats roam free.
The daily walk down leaf-shaded sidewalks,
The untouched piano.

Somewhere in a parallel universe,
Nellie and Thelonius still dance
in a fever dream,
backstage at the Five Spot,
bits and pieces of
the East Village night
juxtaposed like miscreant stars. 





Poems by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- Lightning Flash and No Need (The King of the Streets) April 29, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in chapbooks, Los Angeles, Los Angeles poets, Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, Uncategorized.
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Drawing by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal



I see you in people I knew,
like a flash of lightning,
come and gone. I know you
are your own person, but
as frame of reference it is
not uncommon to make
comparisons. You have a
look in your face when I talk
and I can sense disappointment.
I know it will soon be over.
I have gone through this before.
There are no hard feelings.
I am accustomed to lightning
and how it shines and disappears.


As long as I have
a heartbeat
I will not ever
feel poor. At
night I make a home
in a park.
Food is all around.
I take from
the kind hearted.
Sometimes it’s
just around, on
trees, in trash
bins, almost fresh.
For movies
I watch the stars,
the people,
or the tall trees.
For music
I hear the birds,
crickets, and
cars zooming past.
For books I
have no need. I
read the clouds,
lips, newspapers
left behind.
I still dream. When
I become so
absorbed in
my dreams, I find
just enough
to get me through
the day. I
do not feel poor.
I am the
king of the streets.
There is no
need for a crown
or golden
robe. I keep still
when I feel
tired. If it rains,
I find a
bridge for shelter.
Do not feel
sad about me

Read a review of Luis’ chapbook Before and Well After Midnight, at Clockwise Cat.

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou April 12, 2020

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Poem by Jade Blackmore- End of Days April 10, 2020

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End of Days 

The hyacinth weaved along the trellis and
Wafted a faint scent last spring,
but now you really notice the smell,
like perfume on some elderly lady with too much rouge and a pillboxbox hat.

The air neutral but sweet, the spotless clouds gather, their delivery undiluted by a third party.
The cardinals chirp, releasing sound instead of noise at rush hour
The musical notes sent into the skies like some ethereal realm.

But there are reminders of the not too recent past
The wooden beams rise up to obscure the mountains,
leaves blow around in a cyclone the momentary motorized whirring
drowning out the bird arias.

The sirens still rage every now and then,
red lights flashing,
a few lone figures
Hold hammers or machetes in the dark,
Crawl out of tents
With glass pipes and bags of trash.

The rain cleanses the streets,
Unencumbered by cars, or children on skateboards,
Or bickering couples.
Is it the template for Armageddon
Or a reset, another chance
For humans to make it right
upon their return?