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Poem by Sushant Thapa- Silent Song June 24, 2022

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The evening moon seems so late tonight
The stars seem too shy to shine
There is no goodbye song sung by birds of dusk
I am waiting with my heart
You haven’t written to me for so long
Your old alphabets are my consolations.
I would while away my time, but you would
Not be wiped from my wandering mind.
The distance seems so near in my memory
But you are not present.
The flame of your absence
Provides me brighter lights of loneliness.
No, this is not a song of detachment
It is a silent song of longing and
Its music is love.
Although, I do not live with emblems of love
I hear you have become words
So, I continue to write about you.
You have forgotten the way to your heart.
Speak not of dreams, and meet me
In my silence.

Bio:

Sushant Thapa is a Nepalese poet from Biratnagar, Nepal who holds a Master’s
degree in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
He has published three books of poetry namely: The Poetic Burden and Other Poems (Authorspress, New Delhi, 2020), Abstraction and Other Poems (Impspired, UK, 2021) and Minutes of Merit (Haoajan, Kolkata, 2021).

Sushant has been published in places like The Gorkha Times, The Kathmandu Post, The Poet Magazine, The Piker Press, Trouvaille Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Impspired, Harbinger Asylum, New York Parrot, Pratik Magazine, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Dope Fiend Daily, Atunis Poetry, EKL Review, The Quiver Review, Dissident Voice, As It Ought To Be Magazine and International Times, among many.

He has also been anthologized in national and International anthologies. His poem is also included in Paragon English book for Grade 6 students in Nepal. He teaches Business English to undergraduate level students of BBA and BIT at Nepal Business College, Biratnagar, Nepal.

Poems by Michael Ceraolo – No Guarantees and SHE: A Non-Fable for the 21st Century June 15, 2022

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No Guarantees

A reminder
to those who have forgotten it,
or never learned it in the first place:
the freedom to say or do something
does not include with it
exemption from comment about it.

SHE: A Non-Fable for the 21st Century

Setting:  any social-media website

NARRATOR:              SHE

                                 had graduated college about a year ago

                                 And SHE

                                 announced she was moving into her first apartment

                                 And SHE

                                 announced she was accepting contributions

                                 from any who wished to help support her

                                 And SHE

                                 posted the link for those who wished

                                 to donate to such a worthy cause

                                       THE END

Bio: Michael Ceraolo is a 64-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more, Euclid Creek Book Two and Lawyers, Guns, and Money, in the publication pipeline. 

Poem- The Quiet World by Jade Blackmore April 14, 2022

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The Quiet World

Looking at the world from a window.

Apartment dwellers
laugh at the audacity of nature.
two raccoons overtake the parking garage
to make whoopee in plain sight.

The red finch at the feeder
thousands of butterflies skirting across stucco rooftops.

Then a phantasm shuttered the mountains, the planets, the movie scenes
with its’ money,
the lush green steppes only accessible
to the haughty and clueless.
The legacy friend who is quite sure she’s always right, the bluster, the vile and righteous path.

More sculpted glass in the sky,
a formula for escape or detention.
A squirrel scampers up the construction site fence,
another reminder
that the quiet world is out of reach.

Poem by John Grey – Coin in the Jukebox February 11, 2022

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Coin in the Jukebox

Put a coin in the jukebox
and remember what you wish to remember.
You half-smile when the needle hits shellac.
You can breathe without having to worry
whether or not your lungs are there to greet the air.
You don’t have people wary of you
as if your very touch is poison.

Put that coin in the jukebox.
The effort won’t be wasted.
You can spread your arms wide
or hug yourself tighter.
It doesn’t matter if strangers think you’re crazy.
Insanity has all the best tunes anyhow.
You can be yourself, by yourself,
with legs kicking up a storm
and hips swaying a hurricane.

Put that coin in the jukebox
and sing along with the best croak
your old frog throat can mister.
Show them how wild you can be
as song plops on top of song,
and the names get lost in the vinyl shuffle.
It’s all about the beat
and not the hens who cackle how
you should act your age.

Put that coin in the jukebox
for every old friend gone mute,
for the guys who’ve long hung up their dancing shoes.
Forget the time.
Raise the volume.
There’s nothing like a luminous wrinkled face.
Your withered legs could do this all night.

Put that coin in the jukebox.
A neglected high awaits.
Some singer, long dead,
will give you tips on how to stay alive.
So what if you don’t know the words to the song.
The ones you sing will be minted in the moment.

Put that coin in the jukebox.
Ignore the bartender, the other drinkers.
Leave them to their alcohol-powered disillusion.
Some guy has a trumpet in his mouth.
Another thrashes a willing kit of drums.
The singer unleashes a string of passionate half-sentences.
So much for the soft hue of memory.
It’s a blazing cauldron.

Put that coin in the jukebox.
You create an island for yourself
in waters of sneering and disgust.
With a healthy strut, you grant time permission
to take all those unwanted years back.
You want to be seventeen again.
So push that coin in the slot.
Increase the likelihood.

BIO: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline and International Poetry Review

Poems by John Sweet- “in these cupped hands holding nothing” and “theme for the eternal now” April 29, 2021

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in these cupped hands holding nothing

a sound like christ
denying the pain

a cold sunlit morning filled
with junkie priests and shadow kings

the lie that all of these wars are
different and not tied together by the
same ropes of ignorance
and greed

and it was a mistake
i made once, not numbering
myself among the cowards

it was my father who
showed me the light

knew we might not all be nowhere
but we are all still nothing

we are all the flesh of god left
rotting at the freeway’s edge

can’t spend our lives being afraid
to dig for the humor buried
down underneath
all of that blood-soaked pain

theme for the eternal now

let our blood be a gift,
a song

let peace be
the obvious answer

not picasso, but chagall

not pollock, but tobey

see?

it only ends up being a
lifetime of distance between us

it only ends up being a
mistake followed
by a missed opportunity

a phone call that
no one answers

a letter written but
never sent

and are you someone who
would apologize to
empty space?

are you a better god?

it’s not answers i’m after
here, but actions
it’s an admission of regret,
but then what?

time is the enemy

the future holds the end

you can only admit to
love or deny it

you can only accept

the answer
is this why we spend our
whole lives afraid?

Read more of John’s poetry at The Bleeding Horse, Avenged

Poem – No Brakes by Jade Blackmore March 2, 2021

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He followed a straight line from
Long, humid Rust Belt weekends
And thunderstorm beatdowns
To a deposit of decay,
A past his prime rendering.

It only took a costume change,
The printed page,
And a few drops of blood-red paint
To separate the genius
From the criminal.

There’s no limit to exploration, the shaman said.
But he was born to find the end point,
A clichéd and public wall,
And crash into it
Like Norma Desmond on acid.  

Poem by Jade Blackmore -Party Night at a West Village Magic Shop, circa 1992 February 7, 2021

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1990s, city poems, Jade Blackmore, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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The triangle of city veins
Connive with shadows and sulky corners.
A taxi pulls up to the curb
and a motley trio filters out,
all East Village berets and black overcoats,
clichés made flesh.
Red and blue lights flash from the front window
Of a magic shop,
Bathing the revelers on the building’s front stairs
In a post-apocalyptic light.

Artists and dilettantes scatter on the sidewalk.
They smoke joints and drink vodka from repurposed 7-Up bottles.
A disheveled man wearing sunglasses strums an acoustic guitar. His gruff gargle of a voice punctuates the blended conversations about auditions, art galleries,
and coke-addicted boyfriends.

The night’s honoree gave his regards, but stayed safe and warm in his cushy suburban home.
He sent his sidekick instead, a hyper but amusing misfit with slicked back black hair.
Still, the oblivious horde gathered, armed with red Solo cups and tales of punk rock debauchery
The beret-wearing trio held court with him all night.

After two drinks, they talked dirty to the fortunetelling mannequin in the corner.
After three drinks, they confiscated a set of exploding dice. The fall-out resulted in a toppled book rack.
After four drinks and an impromptu “Cut a lady in half” trick, the owner kicked them out.
Undaunted, the foursome stumbled to Gray’s Papaya for hot dogs and Pineapple whips.
The magic shop never hosted any parties after that.
It’s a vegan restaurant now.

Gerald Locklin, CSULB teacher, writer, poet, dies at 79 January 21, 2021

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Poet Gerald Locklin passed away in Irvine, Ca. on January 17. Locklin’s work was published in over 125 books and broadsides. He wrote a memoir about his friendship with Charles Bukowski called “A Sure Bet”.

Poem by John Grey – To Feel the Power December 17, 2020

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To Feel the Power

The wooden bridge 
crosses the river 
at its most virile,
spring current,
as cold as mountaintops,
crashing and splashing 
against rock and bank.

None bother fishing 
in the torrent.
And swimming 
in its brisk waters
would be like dogpaddling
with a broken log.

All we can do 
is grip the railing,
lean into the spray,
act as momentary buffer
between snow thaw and gravity
before pulling away.

Elsewhere,
wide blue sky,
lack of wind,
presages a calm
that’s there for the asking.
But, for now,
we prefer 
the rage, the frenzy,
the turbulent spring waterway
that tells us what to do.

BIO

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.

Poem by Jade Blackmore – Midtown Manhattan, Herald Square, 1989 October 28, 2020

Posted by vscorpiozine in 1980s, city poems, New York, poems, poetry, Veteran Poets.
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1989 Midtown Manhattan

“Sign the Petition!!” The woman’s shrill voice echoes from outside the Chase Manhattan Bank on 34th Street. She walks back and forth holding a sign with a photo of a banned magazine cover with a meat grinder on it. Moms with baby strollers maneuver close to the curb to avoid her. Balding men in three-piece suits duck into revolving doors, and skateboard kids sail past, suppressing laughter till they’re clearly out of her view.

You walk into the deli, baggy-eyed and askew from being jostled on then train. The Bodega cat in the stockroom eats noodles from Chinese takeout container. You buy a raisin bagel and coffee

Even listening to Howard Stern on your Walkman doesn’t drown out the woman in a square-shoulder power suit standing behind you as she complains about how slowly the line is moving.

A punk rock girl with platinum strands (shades of Nancy Spungen) struggles with her umbrella as she passes a Hasidic Jew in a phone booth.

The streets whip up a mist of soot and sweat.
Oblivious,
the hot dog cart vendor sets up early
The old hippie dude selling used LPs,
knock-off Chanel bags and paperback books with covers torn off  from a folding table by Tad’s Steaks does brisk business.

The girls in bulky sweaters watch the marathon from a fire escape. Toothy smiles and subway murder headlines blare from the front page of the Post
As you turn the corner to go to your job pasting up ads for January’s edition of Teddy Bear Revue,

Spending the morning stuffed into a corner office filled with half-empty glue bottles, photos, photocopies of photos and a pot of Folger’s coffee. 

Man in a Santa suit walks out of the subway station into PJ Carneys for a highball. The Brooklyn girls get their nails done after-work, tangerine glow, key lime green, or passionate pink.
The manicurists wear light blue face masks and hand customers index cards with prices scrawled on them,
And talk to each other in Mandarin Chinese.

5:35 p.m. You exchange good nights with your co-workers through gritted teeth and speed walk pass Sbarro’s, Strawberry’s, and the Empire Stare Building. The lady with the poster still wails, more adamant than ever. Shoppers steer their children into Macy’s and office workers scurry like starved rats into the subway station.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe
You were part of this hodge-podge
Cause the present is so static
and unassailably boring.

Leaf blowers wane in the background,
Replaced by a screen door opening and closing – then silence.
A screen, a book, a reset, then- nothing.

You dream of going back for just a minute
To be absorbed into the trivialities
of a forgotten world, before the rise of the  automatons,
before truth scattered into a thousand different pieces.