jump to navigation

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

Posted by vscorpiozine in John Sweet, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

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).

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou April 12, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in poems, poetry, poetry readings, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

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

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

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?



Poems by John Grey – What Do You Think? and Strip Club April 8, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in John Grey, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , ,
add a comment


To give validity
to the quality
of my words

I showed them
to three different people
whose views
I greatly valued –

I left the room
so they could read them
without interference
from my presence –

when they returned,

one said

the second,
“needs work”

the third,
“it’s getting there”.

This was merely
my latest foray
into the opinions of others.

needs work,
it’s getting there

is how I rate them.



The sign is as dingy as the doorway below.
It must have stripped off some bulbs
in tandem with the dancers within.
Should you go in?
Rain does your thinking for you.
And the cab driver wants his dough.
You pay him, then retreat to the safety of an awning,
wait until two guys stride up the sidewalk
and into the club without looking sideways.
That’s your cue.
Once inside, you’re assaulted by bright pink light
from one direction and a deep red from another.
If sordid had a palette,
you’re sure these would be the first colors it would choose.
to adorn its seedy canvas.
It’s just not the colors but the nakedness
your eyes must adjust to.
You turn away from the woman dancing on the countertop,
stumble into a chair and table that appears vacant,
cast your eyes around, breathe a sigh at not being
the only unaccompanied patron of the place.
That’s when desire takes over.
The dancer really is totally naked.
Her breasts are saggy
and birthmarks are like a signature
scribbled just below the navel.
But she’s anonymous and so are you.
Your loins harden,
eyes linger at the rim of their sockets.
Sweat tickles your brow
and your skin begins to tingle.
The waitress comes by,
squawks, “What are you having?”
You have a hard time answering.
You are not sure there is a name for it.


John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. His work has been featured in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review, Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Grandma’s Dining Room Cabinet April 7, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1960s, Jade Blackmore, poems, poems about families, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Grandma’s Dining Room Cabinet

It was there in the background of every family photo – the sliding doors looked like glass, but moved at the touch of a finger, like plastic.

The contents were for show, a cornucopia of memories.The serving dishes and silver-edged white-plates were stacked way back in the kitchen cabinets,And the portly relatives we only saw at Christmas and Thanksgiving brought them out of hiding.

The cabinet came from Montgomery Wards or Sears. Delivery day was always an event, and Grandpa would direct (and correct) the deliverymen until Grandma calmed him down. She give the guys a tip of buck or two before they left, but made sure Grandpa didn’t see. (“It’s their job,” he would say sometimes, “They already get paid enough.”)

The blond sides of the cabinets felt like wood grain, but the bottom drawers were heavy like wood when the little cousins playfully pulled them open after dessert.
The wine glasses and carafes line the first shelf of the cabinet, resting on an old Christmas tablecloth with a holly and berry pattern.  

Framed photos from holidays past line the second shelf.
Grandma and her brothers and sisters in their polyester finery posing around the family matriarch, the great-Grandma we only saw at anniversaries, weddings and funeral dinners in red-boothed banquet halls,
Cousins in pleated, green plaid Catholic school uniforms,An Easter line-up with all the kids sitting on the plastic-covered couch – the baby cries as the teen cousin rolls her eyes.

The photographs of Grandma are out of my reach now,
The wine glasses dispersed to recipients unknown,
It’s been so long the memories, the pictures in my mind, are faint,
But the feelings they conjure bring tears,
And that’s all I have to remember her by.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Old Man Who Lived Alone February 11, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , ,
add a comment


The old man lived alone in an apartment by the freeway.
The TV flickered through half pulled window blinds.
Every Christmas, a poinsettia plant guarded the doorway 

Sometimes the man would stand on the balcony and smoke cigarettes with his next door neighbor.
He’d talk about the old days.
He used to live in a house in Beverly Hills
And rode hoses with his Dad as a kid.
Worked in radio for awhile, when the money was good

Sometimes, he would walk to a waiting van on the corner
with a small plaid suitcase
to visit a friend at a nursing home
way in the Valley. 

One day, the neighbor who smoked with him on the balcony said,
“I haven’t seen him for a week.”
The old man didn’t answer the door when he knocked.
He asked the other tenants, but no one else had seen him,
And none of them had his phone number.
The powers-that-be didn’t respond to the neighbors’ concern.
Still, the TV flickered.

When the old man didn’t pay his rent,
A last-minute phone call lead to a disconnected number,
and his body on the kitchen floor.
It had been there three weeks.  

The coroner van pulled up
to nervous whispers in the hallway,
And incense burning in the next door neighbor’s apartment.
Is that all you are
In the end,
A bad smell to be covered up?

The bushes push through barbed wire by the back gate.
The chipped edges of the dresser convince the living to pass up free furniture.
Collectible pocket knives are sealed haphazardly in a cardboard box,
With a scalloped edged-photograph on top.
In a scratched black and white haze,
A boy in a cowboy hat stands in front of a pony.
A few days later, the wind blows it away.


Conversation in Taos by Gregory Corso (Recited by Marianne Faithfull) January 22, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in Beat Poets, Gregory Corso, Marianne Faithfull, poems, poetry, poetry readings, readings.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Abyss January 1, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in poems, poetry, Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment

The Abyss

The wheels of time grind, scrapping off metal,
A shrill stop and start.
The night is like any other.|
The celebrations are now perfunctory,
And the night is filled
With the silent stabbings
By tents and freeways.
The abyss is all that remains.



Poem by Jade Blackmore- The Christmas Tree, 1999, Park Slope December 31, 2019

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Two girls carry a Christmas tree from the Seventh Avenue lot,
Scotch pine needles littering the sidewalk
As they maneuver it home.

Young Moms pass by with baby strollers,
Their children bundled in faux fur jakets
Young lesbian couples with blue and pink hair
Canoodle on the way to the indie bookstore.
The Hasidic Jews smile and nod,
The bearded professors ignore them,
The cigar-smoking Teamsters walking out of the dive bar
Leer and ask if they need help.

The roommates veer across their trash strewn front lawn,
as their neighbor holds open the fraying wood-lined  double glass doors.
The tree dodges narrow hallways and jutting bookcases as the girls hit their mark-
a pedestal in the corner of the spare room.

They cram the noble pine with 99 cent store garlands and ornaments
Except for the obligatory carved woodblock Santa from the local craft market
That cost more than all the other decorations combined.

The tree, you know, it’s sort of there,
With no children or significant others to enjoy it.
It shields no whimsically wrapped presents
Or puppies in Santa hats.

It’s a backdrop for a photoshoot.
The blonde girl wears a Marilyn Manson Satanic Army sweatshirt,
poses with a giggle
and a glass of champagne
It’ s all so very end of the millennium.

The branches shed after New Years’, needles on the hardwood floor.
Cheap glitter ornaments shed tears.
The tree is finally trussed up on the curb,
Nearly naked,
In the middle of January,
The wood block Santa plucked off at the last minute.
Battered branches share a mud puddle
with a few Juicy Fruit wrappers
and a rusty pocket knife.






Poems by John Grey – What I Hear in the Night and With a Writer December 14, 2019

Posted by vscorpiozine in John Grey, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
Tags: , ,
add a comment


I hear a weeping in the night,
for all I have lost no doubt,
an intense weeping.

But then I hear laughter,
for how little I miss
what I no longer have,
a vociferous laughter.

It’s followed up
by the sound of hustle and bustle,
to encourage me, I’m sure,
to go on with my life,
this hustle and bustle of moving.

And then there’s a complete silence,
in honor of my being gone…
at least I assume there’s silence.
How can I ever know?



“You do realize that I’m a writer,” she said,
“that some of my wildest, darkest, most intimate thoughts
end up on sheets of paper.
And they’re joined there by my anxieties.|
Luckily, my conversation seldom varies from the superficial.:”

She said her current issue was a leaking bathroom tap.
And that, according to the weather man, rain was expected.
Nothing of identity roles, gender issues, passive-aggressive contretemps.
And she served ice tea and cookies.
Not dilemmas, not social concerns, and not a word
as to what people are really like.

She added that she only ever opens up
to her keyboard and computer screen,
that, no matter how comfy we get
amid her floor cushions,
any heart to heart is likely to be
much more anatomical than honest.

I replaced the washer in her tap. It still leaked.
I stared out her window, watched black clouds begin
their slow crawl from the west.
We hugged a while, as people do when it’s expected of them.
We even kissed, but more like a period
putting an end to a suspended sentence.

But I never saw her poem.
So I still don’t know what happened. 


John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. His work has been featured in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review, Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.