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

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ZEN

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.

 

SWALLOWING A WINE SOAKED FLEA

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

 

SALARY CAP

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.

 

BIO: 

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.

 

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Poem – She is Sci-Fi by Stephen Philip Druce January 31, 2017

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She Is Sci-Fi

She stripped off her
retro boots – ripped up
her non-descript Sunday suits,
 
trashed her ugly
dresses – burnt
 
the dark cuttings from
her tresses – now short
dyed ocean blue –
 
in futuristic design she
put on some devil horns and
a wrought iron spine of
prickly thorns –
 
square shades and
silver-glittered roller blades,
 
giant collar and shoulder fakes,
face paint and wings of snakes –
open jawed,
 
she flew with higher birds, and
with her sabre sword she carved out
the words in the sky –
 
I am sci-fi.

BIO:  Stephen Philip Druce is a poet from Shrewsbury in the U.K.

Poems by Allison Grayhurst – Every Hope Inhaled and Through This Strand of Time January 10, 2017

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Every Hope Inhaled

Every day there is no day
where the fullness of his being
goes unhatched.
Not a day when I do not smell
his smell and hunger
for the rub of his lips.
Not a day when he stands so distant
I forget the kinship we share,
the mousey tide he sprung me from
and the ground of faith he thawed in my breast.

Here in July with my fishscope-view
and the shifting of circumstantial thorns,
when the tombstone tumbles and each handful
of hope has been hacksawed off,
he alone helps justify
and lamps my richest theme.

 

Through This Strand of Time

Breeze, I long to let lull
between my hairstrands
and move my heart to gentle sleep,
forgetting you and the reach of your
impulsive heart. Into my hands
the bit-bar of longing wanders, so that
my fingers scale the air in hopes of climbing
beyond this helpless loss.

Your primal vision is latched
to my own – I see you in dreams, with
your black eyes and unshifting devotion.
I see you when I walk, in crushed snails’ shells
and rainwater puddles.

Through the hours of morning,
the shrill of not-knowing burns like plastic
on my tongue. I am
not far from falling, not far
from letting a pale tear take my all.

 


Bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 880 poems published in over 390 international journals. She has twelve published books of poetry, seven collections, nine chapbooks, and a chapbook pending publication. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

Poem – Snowed In by Helen Burke December 29, 2016

Posted by vscorpiozine in Helen Burke, poems, poetry, UK poets, Veteran Poets.
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Snowed In
by
Helen Burke

And ..some people spend their whole lives , snowed in .
But we’ve been lucky , we have braved the blizzard
And gotten soaked through to the skin.
Do you remember the funny house in Wales
And waking to a prisoner level of the white stuff.
It felt like a weight had been lifted from me
I could just stay within the snow circle
And let the frost and the icicles do the rest.
Everything was white , my soul , my bones , my blood.
And yet I have never felt so alive.
As if a great drifting lay above and below me
And little particles of my small self dissolving
Into the December day .
From the top window I could still see the world ..just .
I could see the perfection of what might be achieved
If we could just hang on in there …
And a figure walking in the distance that I knew
To be myself.

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

Poem – Moontalk by John Grey December 20, 2016

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MOONTALK

 

Moon sings out
any new sighting with feigned surprise.
As ever. Moon, the troop ship,
rampant and denied, its useless blessing secured
during my evening course. Left hip twinges
every step. Evenings are like this now,
my 4th decade backed into a corner,
for one more generation.
a hurricane aftermath piled atop me,
no surprise, barrier wobbling in the bay,
health services used for playmates,
greeting you, I grump, limping,
the end of the year hard upon us,
there it is still, between trees
through the old streets, fading further
on incomprehensible walks with you,
not the fifty seven years, just the voice.

BIO:

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He work has been recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Poem by JD DeHart – Rummy October 28, 2016

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Rummy
 
I stopped playing rummy
years ago because I kept
losing.
I stop playing everything
I can’t win.
That’s not tenacity, I know.
I’m not competitive until I
realize I am.
That’s why learning to love
is difficult.
It’s taking yourself out of the
game, realizing that winning
is not all there is.
Seeing more than the flash
of cards and the promise
of a payoff,
just enjoying being at the table
and talking through
the deck.

 

BIO: JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard and on Amazon.

Poem – Talking to Actresses by Helen Burke September 2, 2016

Posted by vscorpiozine in actresses, Helen Burke, Uncategorized.
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Talking to Actresses

We meet the four of them in the green room ..
And they seem amazed we are there .
They are each like jewelled butterflies , fluttering and vying
For attention .  But if you ask ….
They will deny this .
They are modest , unassuming ..one wears a child’s bow in her hair.
Another patent leather shoes.  The fourth older one looks glum.
Already they have started being nice to her …
So she knows its all over ..bar the shouting .
The pretty one makes us coffee but forgets to put the coffee in ..
It’s all such a joke to her.
The famous guy comes in …they all slink past him , brush a breast , a leg against him
In case he’s in any doubt.
He’s not.
We try and ask about the play ..but they are like bucking broncos
And we get nowhere.
The pretty one is nibbling a lettuce and air sandwich ..the older one munches down
A massive Cornish pasty .  The other two share couscous like some kind
Of shamanic ritual .  Hollywood ..Hollywood ..one laughs …
That’s where I’m bound.  Her voice is like a fork being put back in a drawer
The wrong drawer.  Charming is as charming does the older one mutters ,
Bits of pasty clinging to her leotard.
They all cross and uncross legs like a disease and flick their hair
And smile as if we are mental patients ..to be tolerated as an interlude
In their incredible journey lives.
They will not remember us within the hour .
The spotlight shines from their unforgiving eyes.
A tree falls in the room .
A dead body is lugged in and left to bleed.
They step over both .  Kick their legs up high .
Head for the beckoning stage.

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

 

Poems by B.Z. Niditch – Unsure April and Holding On August 26, 2016

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UNSURE APRIL

Dawn is heating us up
the still breeze
is a memory off shore
another dog day
in an unsure August.

HOLDING ON

With a fragile flower
you hold on to
here in the windy city
at the zen garden
so why fear
the early morning
when we put on
Dusty Springfield,
it was a long icy winter
which finally passed away
at the early hour
along Lake Michigan
love glances at your guest
from the beach house
as we remove our swimsuits
together and dive off
the dock,
on your quivering face
there is a limpid smile
you had in sleep.

BIO: B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Poem by JD DeHart – I Don’t Believe in Arrogance August 23, 2016

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I Don’t Believe in Arrogance
 
I don’t believe
in vanity, she said, before
wrapping herself up
in the mirror’s love,
I don’t believe
in anger, he said, before
splashing himself with
crimson firelight,
I don’t believe
in arrogance, he said, before
building himself a pillar,
climbing atop it,
then tumbling down.

 

 

BIO: JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available from RedDashboard.  You can visit one of his many blogs, http://rustedroselit.blogspot.com/, and submit your own writing there.

Poem – Ten Candles by B.Z. Niditch July 16, 2016

Posted by vscorpiozine in B.Z. Niditch, poems, poetry, Uncategorized.
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TEN CANDLES

 Riding on my bicycle
on the Boston Common
with a broken right arm
and break in shoulder
after soccer practice
hurting from a bully’s wound
in days of Mercurochrome
still smarting on your body
of thought when left
with a shadow of memory
yet your anger smolders
over a first leather jacket
from your birthday party
after seeing
a James Dean movie
here on a June day
you walk with a free ticket
to the Fine Arts museum
a pug on the sidewalk
accompanies you
with a Van Gogh postcard
from your Dutch uncle
still intact
in your side pocket
by your broken sunglasses
from today assaults
of an insensate encounter
you climb up
the art house steps
waiting to visit the moderns
taking out your oils,
notebook and poet’s pen
unwilling to take any blame
for being a child.
BIO:
    BZ Picture 12

B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher.

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including:
Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii
Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech
Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.