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Poem – The coat of many colours by Helen Burke January 9, 2018

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Artwork by Helen Burke

I want. I want . I want a different job. Not this poet job.
This stupidity, dandy, nonsense.
I want to go in to work, do something
Useful , talk about rubbish , feel the end is In sight. Then ,
Go home , sit on the sofa
Eat a hamburger switch a light on and off
And call it recreation.
Have a phone call from someone called Smith ,
put the garbage out.
Go to bed and have not a single dream.
That’s what I want.
And when it’s Saturday I want to go into
Town and buy a coat, the sort of coat
No one notices, that in a crowd is swallowed
Up by the world.
And my hair to be innocuous and no one
To comment on it , or covet it or my coat.
And my words to be few and Spartan



Poem- Gentrification by Jade Blackmore January 5, 2018

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 Livable but slippery
Once red brick villains,
Now a horde of liars.
Vinegar tears from the old guard.
A concrete asp left over
from maladaptive days.

Protests fall on deaf ears,
A broken, lingering fear.
The mundane tapestry of day-to-day life
Shocked into submission by
The din of construction cranes
a permanently vacant building
Only the rats and spiders see their paper-thin but sustainable walls.

Laws were broken, then changed with the customary sleight-of-hand.
The lights go out
At the gymnasium where a one-eyed millionaire from the Valley
Tells bartenders and store clerks
How another luxury building will benefit them.
Homeless men raid the snack table
Then go down the street to sleep in front of the
Picture window
Framing a brand new, cobwebbed lobby.


Poem – Shinier Objects by Jade Blackmore December 7, 2017

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Shinier Objects

Cool and hip.
loud and obnoxious.
obscure, snarky and intellectual.
Academic and narcissistic.
And lacking in all protocol.
Edgy and underground,
Art fuck-y and self-absorbed.
Mix and match the adjectives with
Decades of faces and nothingness.
A parade of sculptures
With no discernible filling.

But tucked away in the corner
or maybe a few someones
forged a steady presence,
now neglected
for the wrong reasons,
for shinier objects
with nothing to offer except
eventual crash
and splatter.

They’re gone,
because like
they were too
pure for
you or
the barren, angry blur
the world has become.

They still exist somewhere
in a sliver of time and comfort
Back inside a cocoon
and unable
to defeat the
patina of lies.


Poem by Jade Blackmore – The Same October 22, 2017

Posted by vscorpiozine in Jade Blackmore, Los Angeles, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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the same

the wreckage of a generation.
the good ones die early,
the evil ones fall like a house of cards,
the mediocre simmer and fade
to leave room
for the next generation
to perform
their version
of the same.

Poem by John Grey – The Breaking of the Drought August 11, 2017

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The rain is, at first,
like giant’s spit.
a few drops on the window,
a couple on the roof,
and then a half-hearted volley
that scatters its rat-a-rats
across the parched soil.

But then that giant
switches on his sprinkler system.
There’s no great force
behind the drops
but they slip into a welcome routine,
follow one behind the other.

But the big guy’s not done yet.
He starts emptying out his wells
and the sky is a grey melee
of a million tipped buckets.

Before long, the land is soaked through
and the word “drought”
is as forgotten as yesterday’s pop star.

But that giant likes nothing more
than to light his fire when he’s done,
sit down before it’s huge flames
and smoke cigarette after cigarette.

It’s the same giant.
Despite praise to the contrary,
there is no other.


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




Megalomaniac – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 30, 2017

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Everyone else is a laughingstock,
Buoyed by the clutter of a premiere page.
Caffeine boost, internet drone.
A human statue, so cryptic and cold-blooded
More exalted than
A dead comrade
Or new girls and their selfies.
So untouchable
In her salty square corner of the world.

Raising the Bar – Poem by Jade Blackmore July 29, 2017

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Raising the Bar

The ruins of a never-ending last call.
65 going on 19,
a frat-boy with too-thick eyebrows,
a woman with a shattered glass meth voice
Everything is free and easy
Or it’s not worth the effort.

The survivor realizes too late,
but drives away
from the long black expanse
of wasted years
toward reinvention.

Poem – Deaf Man by John Grey April 21, 2017

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I have a hard time
imagining where the sound went.
It was here
when I was twelve.
But today, it’s nowhere to be heard.
Without sound,
I can’t even ask somebody where it is.

But I’ve held down a job in that vacuum.
I’ve made friends with my hands.
The sub-titles on my television screen
describe noise to me.

And I have a lover now.
I touch her gently.
Her mouth opens
but nothing comes out
I have to rely on her face
for any and all responses.
Joanna’s everything sound used to be


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Cape Rock and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Poem by Helen Burke – Nobody believes (but everybody wants to ..) March 28, 2017

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Nobody believes (but everybody wants to ..)

This is a road poem.

This is an on the road poem ,.. this is a poem on the road.

Write it out . Print it out , sing it out , dance it out , paint it out ,

Let it out , dream it out , taunt it out , wait it out , sit it out , smash it out , trash it out , write it as a banner and wear it in you heart – wear it on the inside and show it to anyone who’ll listen and listen to anyone you can as you are

Walking , hunched over, tormented by the sidewalks and nudged by you own collapsing vision and the masquerading acceptance of the creosoted bars of

The world which is caving in , crashing down , crumbling around you – even as you DON’T speak , even as you do nothing. Where have all the good guys gone ?? where are all the pretty women you once knew ?? who does the kid in the playground look up to ?? – why cant it be you ??

There’s a guy shouting from the second floor window – if you could only hear what he’s saying – the rot would stop – the flood , the volcano and the plague of lethargy and despair that is the wall we call air – shout louder fella , shout louder I said LOUDER – I’m a long way down – we are all a long way down . and the only way is up , baby – up the length of a saxophone playing in the June sun on the corner of dragonfly street and the mystical avenue of where did it all go wrong .. and what the fuck happened to my dreams?? to my youth to the cream in the coffee , to the worn out pair of boots someone thought were mine and that they knew me by – we each have our own tread, our own way of shadowing that which cannot be shadowed , which will not be loved. Imitate a frog and move on sister – move on ma brother – make like a didgeridoo in the wind – why is there nothing left to believe in ?? (but everyone still wants to .. deep down ., low down because across town – we are all going across town , across the river , the across the mountains and out of our minds , clean out of our minds – looking for that girl , that guy , that impossible day when by the light of the subway – the fucking doors open and the world is , the world is no longer a nightmare and the world has come home again. And you can breathe again – and the world has come home and my sister the saxophone greets me and I fall into the arms, into the ARMS of my brother – the half-sprung moon.

Oh yeah.


BIO – 

Helen Burke has been writing poetry for 42 years she also writes short stories, plays, comedy sketches and does painting and visual art. She has a new collection called”Today the Birds Will Sing “ coming out with Valley Press in the next couple of months.

Her work has been widely published and anthologised.  She has won a number of competitions such as Manchester International, Norwich, Suffolk, the Yorkshire prize, Southport Comedy, Jersey, Devon & Dorset, Torbay and many others.

Her work has been published and distributed in America by www.origamipoems.com, based on Rhode Island, she has 15 chap books with them, having formerly read at Roots in Providence. She has recently been made an honorary member of Ocean State Poets.

She reads at many literature and music festivals in the UK and read with former Poet Laureate ,Andrew Motion.She is a regular host on E.L.F.M Radio in Leeds featuring many of her own poems and guest poets and musicians. Her work is described as witty, surreal, humane and accessible,commented on by Gillian Clark

Three Poems by Alan Britt – Zen, Swallowing a Wine Soaked Flea, and Salary Cap February 19, 2017

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One minute mullets slap my face,
slash my grin, & fill the boat,
next I’m chasing split fingers
in the dirt.

One minute folks beg photos
for basement mausoleums,
next I’m coughing steroids
in a pine-paneled dehumidified
definition of the Old Testament’s
Heaven & Hell.

One minute thunder plunders
the virgin lips of imagination,
next I’m waltzing the long
end off a short pier.

One minute I’m a saffron wasp
digesting the succulent underbelly
of a green leaf caterpillar hidden
beneath a July broccoli frond.

Unfortunately, he’s the one.



It tastes a little like pepper
if pepper didn’t taste like anything.



Stadiums shiver; knees knock;
knees not what they were
before that right field sprinkler—
then hips complain, & shakedown
of the skeletal system ensues,
& nobody wins.

So much for Cleveland quakes,
Baltimore tremors, Pittsburgh’s
yellow mud, Chicago elections
that don’t involve liquor. So much
for buying the World Series, Yankees
style, ubiquitous, nonetheless.



In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. In 2013 he served as judge for the TheBitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. He has published 15 books of poetry, his latest being Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania: 2015). He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.

Library of Congress interview at this link.