Halloween in Cambodia

So you sucked the blood
from a girl or two
and think that you're a fright.
Turn into a bat,
drop the hemostat.
You're a creature of the night.

You make your escape
in a black silk cape
and sleep inside a tomb.
Dream 'til noon
of a dining room
and all who you'll consume.

You think there's nothing left to fear
but your fangs won't help you here.
Brace yourself, my dear.
Brace yourself, my dear

for a Halloween in Cambodia
where even vampires scream.
It's a Halloween in Cambodia.
No escaping this bad dream.

Werewolves might take
a sheep or two
and kill them while they flail
but they can't outdo the human race
making death
on industrial scale.

No candy bars
or trick or treat
keep Khmer Rouge away.
Bullets in backs
knives to throats
in gruesome porch displays.

Now the death squad's had their fun.
Even monsters turn and run.
Better flee, my son.
Better flee, my son

from a Halloween in Cambodia
where skulls are stored on racks.
It's a Halloween in Cambodia's

Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot
Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot Pol Pot

If you spend Halloween in Cambodia,
you'd better change your plans.
It's a Halloween in Cambodia.
No killer's worse than man.
Pol Pot

by Jon Wesick

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Jon Wesick is host of San Diego's Gelato Poetry Series and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He has published over two hundred poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published fifty short stories. He has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts.


The Lighter Side of Multiple Personalities

Sanity's overrated;
Stability's for loons.
Why have only one mind
when you can have a few?

The conversation's perfect,
(unless we can't agree)
in the end it all comes down
to sharing space in me!

It's standing room here only,
cramped in with one another.
Stuffed inside my tiny brain,
at least I have each other!

We bicker, bitch and banter,
and stand apart point moot.
Different personalities;
at parties we're a hoot!

Some people say we're crazy
(I don't see the appeal)
for when it comes to battling wits
I always choose dual-wield!

by Jasper Sole

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Jasper Sole has never really considered himself to be much of a poet, per se. For now, he's just another person who happens to put a few thoughts into fancy words every once in a while and dares to call it creative. He occasionally enjoys writing utter tripe and watching people try and glean sensible information from it, and on weekends he likes to pelt pigeons with small pebbles. He's totally deep and in touch with his emotions and all that. Oh, and he's totally single. Ladies.


Bad Romance

Do not let the clichés fool you.
There is not someone for everyone.
Many of us will end up alone.

I will, and I for one, am okay with that,
Because my singledom is self-selected.

It's oversimplification to say that what a man wants,
Is an angel in the streets, and a whore in the sheets.
What I want is much more specific.

I want Laila Ali in a street fight.
Because if someone hits her, and she doesn't knock them out,
I'm going to kill them.

And I don't want a whore in the sheets,
Because I paid too much for my shit to have it torn up like that.
Nah, I want a whore in the church. Because that's a funnier visual.
I also want to stick it to those religious types who label any woman who likes sex, as a whore.

But I want more than that.
I want a poet in the kitchen, someone who can make me a sonnet omelet,
Served with a knife and pen.

I want a daydreamer in the bathtub, a karaoke partner in the car, a three-plate eater at the buffet table, who doesn't mind tattoos, but doesn't have any, and would never get one, who has seen every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, twice.

But really, like anyone, I just want someone who gets me.
But until that person exists, I'll be found perfecting my jack off technique.

by Josh Smith

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As he grew up, Josh Smith's parents told him that he could become anything he wanted to be. Decades later, Josh decided that he wanted to be Anthony DiNozzo; but seeing as DiNozzo is a fictional character on the TV show NCIS, he settled for being the hottest rising poet in the Northeastern United States. For a less facetious bio, visit joshsmithpoetry.com


Wolf Just Has to Say

I have eaten
the tiny lady
that was in
the bed

and that
you were probably
to visit

Forgive me
she was deliciously
tender meat
for one so old

by Noel Sloboda

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Noel Sloboda lives in Pennsylvania... near the Amish. He is the author of the poetry collection Shell Games as well as several chapbooks. More information about him can be found here: http://www2.yk.psu.edu/sites/njs16



I think that I shall never see,
a food that doesn't agree with me.

I whose hungry mouth is pressed
against the pie with lemon zest;

I who looks at food all day,
and lifts my heavy arms that sway;

I who may in summer wear
a net of chocolate in her hair;

Upon whose bosom crumbs have lain;
who hates to have her bagels plain.

I think that I shall never see,
my feet somewhere below my knees.

by Anne Skalitza

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Anne Skalitza is a freelance writer who lives three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. No matter how many times she has tried, chocolate bars just do not survive the summer sun at the beach. When trying not to wrest food away from the seagulls, Anne loves to read cozy mysteries and has even been seen reading cookbooks from cover to cover. Visit her blog at anneskal.wordpress.com


I am a Garbage Plate

Mustard, ketchup, onions, and beef,
hot sauce, baked beans, and toasted buns:

I am a garbage plate.
Tomatoes and lettuce and sweet relish:

I am a garbage plate.
Hot dogs and sausage, mac salad and cheese,
French fried potatoes and coleslaw:

I am a garbage plate.

by Cara Shulman

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Originally from Canandaigua, NY, Cara Shulman received her B.A. in professional writing from SUNY Cortland. Currently going wherever the wind takes her, Cara enjoys hiking, traveling, editing, and playing her ukulele, though she strongly dislikes bubble baths. You can check out the online satire newspaper she co-founded at cortlandpotato.tumblr.com or send her fan mail at caradshulman@gmail.com.


Children's Books Written by the Sand People in Star Wars

Green RRAAGGHHHHH!!!! and Ham

Where the Wild Things RRAAGGGHHHH!!

James and the RRRAAGGGHH!!!! Peach

Tales of the Fourth Grade RRAAGGHHHH!!

Mrs. Frisby and the RRAAGGHHHHH!!! of NIMH

The Lion, the Witch, and the RRAGGHHHH!!

by Jonathan Shipley

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Jonathan Shipley lives with his wonderful daughter in Seattle. He's written for such varied publications as The Los Angeles TimesVenuszineDiner JournalFine Books & Collections MagazineMcSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Welding and Cutting Magazine. Seriously, he once wrote some homoerotic welding poetry for the trade journal. He was shocked they actually published the stuff! Jonathan is really skinny and pretty bald.


Biblical Themed Horror Movies

The Garden of Bleedin'

The Ark of the Coven

40 Days and 40 Frights

The Blood-Thirsty Apostle

Slain and Able

Give us this Day our Daily Dead

Gold, Frankincense, and Murder

Lazarus Returns, with a Vengeance

The Kingdom, and the Power, and the Gory, Forever

The Dead Sea

Thou Shalt Murder

I Know what You did Last Supper

by Jonathan Shipley

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Jonathan Shipley lives with his wonderful daughter in Seattle. He's written for such varied publications as The Los Angeles Times, Venuszine, Diner Journal, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Welding and Cutting Magazine. Seriously, he once wrote some homoerotic welding poetry for the trade journal. He was shocked they actually published the stuff! Jonathan is really skinny and pretty bald.


How Do I Loathe Me?

How do I loathe me? Let me count the ways.
I loathe me in the dark and baneful night,
My soul reaching, and groping for the light
Of Meaning, Purpose, end to endless chase.
I loathe me to the level of every day's
Most wretched wrong I cannot set aright.
I loathe me constantly, as days turn to night;
I loathe me truly, knowing all's false praise.
I loathe me seeing I am of no use,
Insufferable, dull, crude, without faith.
I loathe me with conviction I don't lose
When I smile, laugh—I loathe me with each breath.
All my life is self-sore!—and, if I choose,
I shall loathe me no more with selfless death.

by Brook J. Sadler

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Brook J. Sadler is a mammal, a biped, an herbivore, living in the Holocene epoch. She is tallish, thinish, grayish, smartish, and pricklish. More introvert and ectomorph than the reverse, she prefers pencils to all the alternatives. She cannot tell jadeite from nephrite, and occasionally confuses homonyms. She does not smoke, but sometimes fumes. Philosopher and poet, she is a hybrid. Professor and mother and one-time dancer, she's kinda weird.


Sharpened Poetry

a message on pencils distributed
immediately confiscated at my
nephew's high school when
irreverently sharpened to
to the more pointed
a new

email is
the new cake.
Party hats are over.
Celebrations tweet. Instead
of blowing out candles I delete
Auto-Notified birthday greets posting
at a speed of 25 Happys-per-Hour. A traffic
jam of cheer clogs my screen. No ice cream. What is
the new etiquette? Where is the ribbon? I answer a thread.
My gift is guilt about your email unread. No time for champagne.
No sex in bed. Instead of happy birthday, we now have online dread.

by Flash Rosenberg

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Flash Rosenberg is an "Attention-Span-for-Hire" who draws, photographs, writes and performs. She is an artist in residence for LIVE from the New York Public Library, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the poetry collective Brevitas. Flash Rosenberg Studio is a photo, image, and intellectual mischief factory. She lives with three turtles, a conscientiousness of apologies, abundant merriment, infinite questions, and an hourglass 'go figure' of speech. View her animations at: vimeo.com/flashrosenberg


Calm on Down!

For the next great debates think they should make it mad and crazy
as if they're not already and have it like The Price Is Right and each
candidate running for their life like a madman down the aisle with
staged euphoria while they're flailing their arms all around out of
control (maybe even have them pulling out their hair or tugging
at their eyebrows with special sound effects going on in the
background like some Deliverance duet of a donkey and an
elephant) and when they get there after they're done jumping
all around (so sick of them pretending to look all calm, cool
and collected) make it like The Family Feud and hit them
with a litany of questions and the first one to get to the buzzer
and isn't this kind of what it's all about anyway and the way it's
really staged, and would make it so much more real and relevant
then the whole audience can judge and vote on their next president
(keeping in style and form and present day context of reality show
nonsense and of course it all always being about statistics) perfectly
representative of this here holy and sacred united states of america.


i remember spending a hell of a lot of down time
in the dentist's office as a boy reading that cartoon
"goofus and gallant" out of highlights magazine
where goofus was this kid who was always kind
of naturally messy and sticking his head into other
people's business and mischievous and couldn't
stay out of trouble and gallant this perfect little
neat and tidy good deed-doer who i always found
to be real obnoxious and aloof and couldn't relate
to and just always felt goofus wasn't half-bad and
just got a bad rap and misunderstood and really never
understood the comparison as the hygienist would just
suddenly show up out of nowhere and call my name and
i'd go in sulking feeling eternally guilty and lonely and
down-in-the-dumps making up shit about my childhood
and sports and small talk and bullshit and stuff like that
or how many times i actually brushed my teeth (not close
to the amount of times i jerked off) and always felt she
could see right through me and would always end up
whipping out that big massive set of teeth and tooth-
brush and show me how it really needs to be done.

by Joseph Reich

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Joseph Reich is still trying to prove he exists and still hasn't and finds as each day dwindles by, rougher and rougher. His books range from poetry to philosophy to cultural studies and as such, A Different Sort Of Distance (Skive Magazine Press), If I Told You To Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge (Flutter Press), Pain Diary: Working Methadone & The Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half (Brick Road Poetry Press), Drugstore Sushi (Thunderclap Press), The Derivation Of Cowboys & Indians (Fomite Press), The Housing Market: a comfortable place to jump off the end of the world (Fomite Press), All My Born Days: the spirit of home movies (Writing Knights Press), The Hole That Runs Through Utopia (Popcorn Press).


The Workout

I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.
I feel my achy joints and a painful sear.
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

I think while reeling. Why does everyone go?
I hear my joints popping from toe to ear.
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.

Of Starbucks close beside me, where are you?
God bless the Grounds! I shall walk gingerly there,
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

Light takes my breath; but who can tell me how?
My lowly body can climb down a winding stair;
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.

Great Fitness offers another class to do
To you and me; so take the painful stair
To lovely java, I learn I pay when I do cardio.

This shaking keeps me walking steady. I should know
Where the closest Starbucks is always. And is near.
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

by Lainey O'Brien

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Lainey O'Brien was born on April Fool's Day (not a joke, she promises) and gets her sense of humor from her dad, a retired US Postal Service employee! She has a Bachelorette of Science in Edumacation and is currently a grad student studying the fields of Curriculum & Insurrection. Her high school English teacher once told her she wasn't "a strong enough writer," so she got angry and won first place in the State High School Essay Contest!



According to news reports,
the Vermont home of Robert Frost was ransacked over the weekend—
a crime that could have been averted
had the vandals taken another road

by Anthony Nannetti

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Anthony Nannetti lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters and can be reached at giacomo747@aol.com. His poetry has appeared in several print and online publications. The proceeds have been invested in offshore bank accounts for his eventual retirement in Camden, NJ. Still, he adheres to Papa Hemingway's adage that one should "never mistake motion with action."


Song of the Sleepy Adept

I'm wiser than Masons of the Nth degree.
I've mastered every kind of yoga.
Through past and future I can clearly see—
I'll describe the stains on Caesar's toga.
I'd waltz with Mephisto across the lake,
I would, if I could just stay awake.

I've mastered much more forgotten lore
Than you. I'm miles beyond your magic
(Some have even dared to call me a bore).
At the midnight rite my fate is tragic:
The other wizards conjure ghosts till dawn.
I doze right off from the very first yawn.

I'm the real thing, no carnival fake—
I've sacrificed doves on the sacred lawn.
There isn't any curse that I can't make,
But I won't wait until the circle's drawn.
If only somehow I'd unearth a spell
As strong as coffee—Then I'd raise some hell.

by Mark J. Mitchell

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Mark J. Mitchell was born under the sign of Nun of the Above in the Year of the Bewildered. His checkered past has only allowed him to move diagonally along white squares. This has caused a permanent crick in his neck. The filmmaker and documentarian Joan Juster has had his back through all those years and promises to return it one day. Many of his poems contain secret messages and can be found in the anthologies Line Drives and Good Poems, American Places. The key to the code can be had for a nominal fee. His novel, The Magic War, reveals the meaning of his chapbook, Three Visitors, without even being asked.


The Wasteland

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land.
Lilacs reek like Grandma's pissy knickers.

No! May is the cruelest month.
It's my birthday month.
Enough said.

No! No! June is the cruelest month:
The month of virgin marriages,
Broken cherries, and stage-managed commencements.

No! No! No! July is the cruelest month.
I'm writing this in July.
I rest my case.

No! No! No! No! August is the cruelest month.
A time of hot dogs, French fries, salt and vinegar.
My piles act up in August.

No! No! No! No! No! September is the cruelest month.
The Salmon are spawning and give up the ghost.
I'm beset by allergies and the odors of stale sex.

No! No! No! No! No! No! October is the cruelest month.
Leaves blaze briefly, bleed and fall.
It's so depressing I give up masturbation.

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! November is the cruelest month.
The pilgrims are all dead.
They were a bunch of assholes anyway.

No! No! No! No! Twice! December is the cruelest month.
We're tyrannized by children, the greedy little pigs.
Let's celebrate the slaughter of the children, bless their souls.

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! January is the cruelest month.
Happy New Year! We can't go on! We must go on!
I'll stay in bed.

No! No! No! No! No! And five more Nos! February is the cruelest month:
Days of shrunken tits, balls like shriveled grapes:
Days and nights of cramps and constipation.

No! Eleven times No! March is the cruelest month.
The resurrection and renewal of drive by shootings
Adolescent gang bangs.

The cruelest month? The cruelest month?
Go peck the bones of unread anthropologists.
Life is awesome and cruel.

Aw fuck it!
Carpe diem!

by David Lewitzky

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David Lewitzky's an overweight old fart/young poet retired Social Worker/Family Therapist living his sedentary life in Buffalo, New York. He wears his hair in a tail and he's got a tattoo he's proud of. He submits lots of poems to lit mags and occasionally gets some accepted. He is a MAGPIE!!!


Pub Fever

I must go round to the pub again, to the comely pub's beckoning eye.
And all I ask is a tall sip in a bar of a beer close by,
And the grog's kick and the binge long and the white ale's shaking,
And a gay mist round a gay face till a gray dawn's breaking

I must go round to the pub again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a winning spray with the white suds foaming,
And the flung spray and the downed spume, and the sea lads buying.

I must go round to the pub again to the vagrant tipsy life,
To the mulled way and the hale way where the binge is the wetted life;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

by Larry Lefkowitz

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The stories, poetry, and humor of Larry Lefkowitz have been widely published in the U.S. and abroad. He has written humorous articles, stories, and poems. His self-published humor books include New Jewish Humor and How to Become an Israeli.


Return to Sender

Dear Sirs: here are your letters I've returned.
All you, to me, appear like parrots trained
For all you squawk are shallow lines you'd learned
And fill the air with second-hand refrains.
Think, please, of something other than the sun
Or summer's day, or rose and coral red
(Or flea, if you have so become undone)
As similes to draw me to your bed.
But take some risk and let honesty fly;
Declare to me those faults I do possess:
My dagger tongue, and my sarcastic sighs,
My too long and steadfast stubbornness.
   Then profess these not faults, but all my charms,
   Then might you find me, loves, within your arms.

by Mary Elzabeth Lee

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Return to Sender is Mary Elzabeth Lee's first published poem and the irony is not lost on her. Mary is a junior at Penn State York and is co-editor of the campus literary magazine Any Other Word. She chose to be a writer after her parents told her it was a more viable career than a Disney princess. Sometimes she suspects her mom and dad may have lied to her.


My Mind and I

My mind slipped through a backdoor
to watch the stars explode,
to watch diamonds shower through the sky,
and pan the mother lode.

My mind ran off to Africa
to help, to bleed, to hide.
My mind walked by the ocean
and sat on a rock and cried.
My mind walked into the woods
hoping to lose the trail.
My mind sealed itself in an envelope
and relied on U.S. mail.
And when it felt it couldn't cope,
my mind considered doing dope.

So I put my mind on the bus to work
and told it not to look
or touch or taste or learn at all,
just to sit and read its book.
But it made balloons of stoplights
and vanished through the trees.
So if my mind you come across,
won't you have it write home, please.

'Cause while I stay and pay my bills
for my rooms and books and bread,
my mind is slipping through back doors
far above my head.

by Tracy Koretsky

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If you printed out even half the stuff Tracy Koretsky has written, dumped it into a big net strung out across the ceiling, stood beneath, then let it drop, you would suffocate. Pile up the stuff that has been published and stand on top of it and you could probably reach the cookie jar on the uppermost shelf. Alas. Still, more than anything, Tracy loves to be read, so help yourself to audio poems and chapters, author interviews, and a download of her memoir in poems: www.TracyKoretsky.com


There is no Frigate Like a Frig

There is no frigate like a Frig
For glory in the Port,
Nor any vessel so glad met
As one set out for Sport—

Such vessel may the poorest ride
Without resort to Coins—
How fruitful is the charity
That bares the Human loins!

by Mike Jones

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Mike Jones teaches at Oakland High School, where his students greet him by shouting, "Who?" He is outweighed roughly two-to-one, especially if bling is included, by the rapper of the same name but different tax bracket.


The skin of a woman named Hermia

The skin of a woman named Hermia
Has a neoprene-like epidermia.
She can take off her flannel
And jump in the channel
And not have to risk hypothermia.

by Jim Hale

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Originally from New Jersey, Jim Hale is a resident of Juneau, Alaska, where he's lived for 17 years. Before it washed-up here, his limerick won the 2010 KINY Radio "Fish Tales" contest for a free day of charter boat fishing.


The Hyphenated Marriage

Agatha Walker Cardoon Delight
    married Thomas T. Fredrick Zigler tonight.
Who could imagine what their name would be.
    Would it start with an A and end with a Z?

Agatha Zigler seemed alright
    but woe to Cardoon and Delight.
So Agatha Walker Cardoon Delight
    and Thomas T. Fredrick Zigler, contrite,

        decided a last name of Smith was alright.

by Paul Goldberg

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Paul Goldberg lives in Baltimore and belongs to a wife, 3 children, and 2 dogs. He writes children's poetry inbetween making a living. Paul is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a masters degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. paul@basicpromotionsinc.com


The Tenured or the Bored

What has Emily Brontë done for me
lately? Nothing, I can honestly
say, nothing much at all. And yet
the name Heathcliff still haunts
my head like the petulant guest
he's always been, the result of
a month spent with my matriculated
nose in the middle sister's
syllabus-bound book, another of
"those things they make you read"
according to my teenage son.

What has Emily Brontë ever done
for me? Aside, I mean, from
take up permanent residence on
the reading lists of English teachers
far and wide, generations of yawning
children beyond indifferent to
the laments of the long-ago lovelorn,
the decades-old favorite of the
tenured or the bored. And what,
I'm asking, is Emily Brontë going
to do about the couple hundred pages
and several hours that I'm never
getting back?

by Eric Evans

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Eric Evans is from Rochester, NY where he resides with his wife, Diane, and son, Henry. His work has appeared in Artvoice, decomP magazinE, Tangent Magazine, Posey, Xenith Magazine, Anobium Literary Magazine, Pemmican Press, Remark, a few anthologies, and more. He has published seven collections and three broadsides through his own small press, Ink Publications. He is the editor of The Bond Street Review as well as the recipient of the 2009 Geva Theatre Center Summer Academy Snapple Fact Award. Read more of his work at inkpublications.com


Jabberwock Redux

We were never much
for a genuine fight,
somewhat on the slow side,
you might say, with jaws
that could barely bite through
the skin of a peach
and claws that couldn't peel
a tangerine, even if we tried.

Neither was there desire—
too old, almost lame,
the pleasure of the kill long gone
and a heart too weak
I lived alone without a mate
or friend to call my own.

Any Jabberwock with any sense
who is the last one of its kind
would take responsibility
turn the other cheek
avoid the beamish boy and flee
to the safety of its cave.

But I fought back
as if I were a teen again
and lost my head:
Oh yes, I really lost my head,
and now there are no Jabberwocks.

by Neil Ellman

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Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey. Enough said.


Turds: On Barely Avoiding One in the Grass

I think I've not seen flower nor bird
which moved me as did that fine turd.

A turd in hue of brown and tan,
it coiled in grass where my dog ran.

Its grandeur suggested that of Alsatian,
a Labradoodle, or Dalmatian.

I chanced to see it, as down I glanced,
and breathed a thank-you as back I danced.

For had I walked without a care,
I'd not have seen it lying there.

The gloom that did downcast my eyes
revealed to me that shrine of flies.

My spirits then were so upraised,
I wrote this verse to this thing's praise:

This universe was made by God, I've heard,
but anyone can make a turd.

by A.J. Dillon-Davis

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A.J. Dillon-Davis worked for almost 40 years as an announcer-producer at CKUA radio in Edmonton, Alberta. Now retired, he lives in Victoria, B.C., known by some as "home of the newly wed, and nearly dead." With "Turds", he loses his poetry publishing virginity.


Dracula's Favorite Things

Blood drops from noses and necks freshly bitten,
Bright trusting eyes on a virgin I've smitten,
Brown bony undead the night shadow brings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When it's sunrise,
When no one dies,
When the world is glad,
I simply remember my favorite things
Until everything turns bad.

Cream colored satin in coffins once feudal,
Death knells to slay belles and anything brutal,
Black bats that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Ghosts in white dresses and Jason who slashes,
Flesh flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
Silver white moonlight where the werewolf sings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

by Diane de Anda

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Diane de Anda is a third generation Latina and retired UCLA professor with expertise in teen pregnancy, STD, and violence prevention. No longer grinding out academic papers, she writes short stories, satires, parodies, children's books, and poetry. She has short stories in Rosebud and Pacific Review, poetry in Light, and 7 published children's books. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She, Dracula, and other creatures of the dark welcome over 200 children each year into her haunted lair.


Tub of Lard

My love is like a tub of lard—
Cold, unmoving, white and hard—
And never buys a sodding card.

My love is like a box of chocs
That's been dropped and taken knocks
And been ground in by grubby socks.

My love is like a keg of beer—
Always drunk and always here
And tastes more like piss every year.

My love is like a rack of ribs—
When eating he needs twenty bibs—
And spends his days just telling fibs.

My love is like a can of coke
Producing wind beyond a joke,
But when's said and done he's still my bloke.

by Tracy Davidson

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Tracy Davidson, from the UK, enjoys writing poetry and flash fiction whether humorous, serious, or downright weird. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. Currently single, Tracy has not given up hope George Clooney comes to his senses and sees that a short, dumpy, middle-age brunette would be better for him than the tall, leggy young blondes he presently favours. Meantime, Tracy consoles herself with too much chocolate and playing with her Schnauzer (no, that's not a euphemism!).


Selected Titles from the Poor Man's Genre Library

From a Pinto Six

The Barrio and the Stars

Farnham's Packing Crate

I, Nobody

The Park My Destination

The Drinking Fountains of Harlem

Journey to the Center of the Dumpster

Stranger in a Gentrified Land

Delirium Visions

Again, Delirium Visions

The Debilitated Man

The Left Hand of Nobody

Lord of the Under Passes

Shopping Cart Troopers


All too Human

by G. O. Clark

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G. O. Clark lives in CA and is retired. He's published many poems and some short stories over the years, and his web page goclarkpoet.weebly.com tidily sums up his writing career and a wee bit more. He has a pet potato.


The Venerable Bede

The Venerable Bede
Took a large draught of mead
And with due decorum
Wrote Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
Visited kitchens.
When asked, "Do you also write cookery books?"
He said, "No I don't; I'm just looking for kooks."

by Chris Eugene Canter

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Chris Eugene Canter (1980) is tossed about as a rudderless boat between several geographies and languages, notably English, which needs no introduction, and Low Saxon, for which an introduction seems too tall an order within the space of a few lines. On humour he has written: 'Mirror me, Mr. Bean: in my heart you sprout green./All my laughter I'll live the example you've been./Only humour can topple the idols I've seen.'


Just So You Know

I have eaten
the liver
that was in
the cooler

the one
you might have been
for transplant

Sorry 'bout that
It was bloody
and so juicy

by Barbara Lydecker Crane

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A former quilt artist, Barbara Lydecker Crane of Somerville, MA created fabric landscapes now in private, public, and museum collections. In 2011 she won the Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest, and this year she published a chapbook of humorous poetry (including several parodies) entitled Zero Gravitas (available from Amazon or White Violet Press). As a quiltmaker, her income was pretty paltry. As a poet it's positively puny. Fortunately her husband is gainfully employed.


The Marital Machinations of King Henry, Number Eight

One queen.
Two queen.
Dead queen.
New queen.

This one cannot have a son
So she is replaced with another one.
This one—well, the Pope's incapacitated,
But eventually she is decapitated.

This one finally has little Edward.
Sadly she gets sick and is soon sent dead-ward.
This one is German, and certainly smart,
But her pockmarked face doesn't warm the king's heart.

This one was pretty, Henry thought she was swell...
Until she had two affairs and killed her off as well.
This one outlived him (for once, a wife stayed safe!),
Taught him social skills and sealed England's fate.

Catherine of Aragon,
Annulled and abandoned.
Anne Boleyn after,
Accused almost as random.

Jane Seymour next.
A former lady-in-waiting.
Anne of Cleves, then,
A real friend of the king.

Catherine Howard,
Who was second-to-last,
And Catherine Parr,
Survived—though Henry passed.

Henry liked girls who had certain names.
Three Catherines, two Annes, though only one Jane.
His daughters' names were equally British:
Elizabeth and Mary, one loud and one skittish.

Henry VIII was a rather big man
Whose family rarely got in on his game plan.
Edward was sickly and died, far too frail,
Leaving Mary and Elizabeth, who were—ugh!—female.

But that's not the story we want to tell.
Let's get back to Henry, let's run pell-mell.
His life was complicated, and so were his wives.
Two annulled, two divorced, and two sent to die.

When he divorced Mary's mother, boy, was she mad;
After Anne Boleyn's death, poor Liz was left sad.
The last Catherine helped the three to reconcile,
But no one really forgot that Henry was vile.

This was the strange tale of King Henry, number eight,
A man who ate everything they'd put on his plate.
He liked his wives pretty, he liked them obedient.
When they rebelled, he found his threats were expedient.

Catherine of Aragon,
Catholic, devout.
Anne Boleyn after,
Drove Catholicism out.

Jane Seymour next,
Who bore him a son.
Anne of Cleves, then,
A platonic loved one.

Catherine Howard,
Who was a little too friendly,
And Catherine Parr,
The last of this medley.

by Adriana Tosun

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Adriana Tosun used to live on a boat. Now she lives in Paris and has indoor plumbing, which hopefully means she's moving up in the world. Her work has been published in Defenestration Magazine, Cannoli Pie Magazine, Corvus Magazine, and (the sadly defunct) Divine Dirt Quarterly, which means she occasionally likes to toss her hair back and claim superiority over all her friends.


Nice Try for a Jedi

My wookie is infested with fleas
which is unnerving because now he needs a bath
And wookies don't like water
Last time, it took all my force to get him into the tub
What made it worse was that the soap gave him a rash
Hypoallergenic shampoo is not cheap
Recently, I noticed he was scratching
Scratching so much that the sound of scratching wookie hair was all I could hear
I had to max out the volume on my Skywalkman to drown out the noise
but it didn't help

I must blame myself to some extent for this misfortune
As much as I warned my wookie to stay Endors, I have been taking him to the park on sunny warm afternoons.
I thought getting a wookie would be a great way to pick up women
Women are always in the park
Sadly, the only thing my wookie picked up in the park were parasites
Again, it is partly my fault since asking women, "Would you like to pet my wookie?"
only gets awkward stares

The Internet said getting a pet is a great way to meet women
It failed to mention that wookies may not be the best option
My wookie finds it humiliating being on a leash
which is understandable since he stands 3 feet taller than me
But, it is the county law and he doesn't have a job to pay the fine
And I can't afford both a ticket and flea shampoo.

In retrospect, purchasing a wookie was probably a misjudgment
They are a lot more work than I thought they would be
I think mainly due to the fact that they are self-sufficient and independent
My wookie does not like me feeding him from a bowl on the floor
Instead, he prefers sitting at the table and eating with utensils
Normally, I wouldn't mind but my mother told me it is wrong to let your pet eat at the table
But it is not easy to get a wookie to do something he doesn't want to
Hence, my struggles with giving him a bath

The expensive allergy shampoo has not worked
What it has done is warp his hair turning him into a giant fur ball
I also believe the fleas have begun multiplying at an alarming rate
After further research, it seems that I am going to be forced to completely shave my wookie
I have a strong feeling he is not going to like that idea
He has been working out a lot more, so his strength is a concern to me
As there is already a tendency to lift me up by my shirt collar when we have disagreements
Regret over my purchase is starting to settle in now
The buyer's remorse

I should have opted for the mogwai

by Adam Solomon

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Adam Solomon knew he made the right move when he spent the last year of his college career writing comedy. He also knew his years of watching movies would benefit him in the American workplace. Adam tries to live everyday like the daily edition of The Far Side. He also likes alliteration and random sentences.


Tri Semi

Semi Truck
a whole truck enormous truck, not half a truck
a piddling proportional truck, a wish-to-wannabe-truck
partially plated tucked truck — No, a sporting cavorting
amalgam of truck, yea conglomerate kingdom
of plucky truckdom, a luminous bear in the woods,
swell lucky duck truck — and red, but it's stuck. Yuk.

Semi Colon
a pair of dots, spotty dots, gotta lotta tottle dots —
or sometimes flighty innards, partially plumbed
sore as a mummy's torn tummy, all glummed and forlorn.
Returning to health, one might hum and then slam
each sentence to come with flimflam, humdrum semaphores.

Semi Precious Stone
jovial Peruvian gruel at mostly formal affairs
frocks from a box, damsels fox-coiffed and shorn
abhorred careers, jettisoned jewels, to attract bored
surrealists who blatantly stare, half-shocked
at each beauty's bared bosom, cruel to the core.

by Sandra Soli

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Edmond, Oklahoma writer and editor Sandra Soli facilitates workshops in poetry, fiction, memoir, and improvisational writing. A lover of wordplay and ridiculosities, Sandy has published pieces in more than sixty journals and received an Oklahoma Book Award, the Eyster Poetry Prize, and two Pushcart nominations. She admires pluck and will happily energize your conference for jewels or cold cash: sandrasoli@cox.net


Keeping Score
Sex is like tennis. When you play an inferior opponent, your game suffers.
- Edie, Desperate Housewives

I didn't know she was
keeping score but when

she told me the results—
six orgasms to none,

her favor—I knew I was
too far behind to make

any sort of comeback, so I
did what I usually do in those

precarious situations—I packed
my racket and looked for another

partner, who wouldn’t keep score,
who was more into volleying, who

would be delighted if I just got the ball over the net.

by Hal Sirowitz

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One critic said of Hal Sirowitz's work, "You don't have to have a sad childhood to be a writer but in Mr. Sirowitz's case it helped." Robert Frost once said free verse is like playing tennis without a net. But, that's the way Sirowitz likes to play—less hindrance at keeping the volley alive.


Prequels to Famous Books

Young Man and the Sea
A Portrait of the Artist as a Fetus
Many Mohicans
Two Fathoms Under the Sea
A Hello to Arms
Lady Chatterly's Acquaintance
Ball Three
Prometheus Bound
A Couple Hundred Arabian Nights
The Ugly Egg
Atlas Twitched
To Do Bodily Harm to a Mockingbird
Girl Bovary
Richard II
The Spring of Our General Malaise
Journey to the Mantle of the Earth
The Lord of the Maggots

by Jonathan Shipley

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Jonathan Shipley lives with his wonderful daughter in Seattle. He's written for such varied publications as the Los Angeles Times, Venuszine, Diner Journal, Fine Books & Collections Magazine, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Welding and Cutting Magazine. Seriously, he once wrote some homoerotic welding poetry for the trade journal. He was shocked they actually published the stuff. Jonathan is really skinny and pretty bald.



I was the kid they didn't give the chocolate factory to
matter of fact was so bad and oppositional and had
such an attitude didn't get the walk through and as
always got kicked off the tour and put on lock down
with the loompas who like every c.o. i've ever known
were sadistic and tried to put a scare in you and licking
their chops saying they were gonna eat me up for supper
i laughed hysterical and said "o yeah! you and what army!"
and stared through the bars brooding and full of melancholy
watching the other spoiled brats being sacrificed and going
through their trials and think probably deep down inside
from experience and knowing what it was like to suffer
deliberately set myself up so i don't know guess perhaps in
the future won't compare wonka to the wizard but who knows?

by Joseph Reich

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Joseph Reich is a social worker and displaced New Yorker who really misses dis-place and lives and works out in the state of Massachusetts; He has a handsome little 6 year old with a nice mop of dirty-blonde hair, and a wife eleven years his junior, who must have the patience of a saint as is raising two boys; He misses Shanghai Joe's in Chinatown, all those wonderful Polish diners of the Lower East Side and Dominick's in Little Italy, the Little Italy uptown on Arthur Avenue in The Bronx: He hopes one day to return to play and pray and contemplate with his wife and child in all the wonderful parks along the river on The Westside Highway.


The Hot Water Heater

It was a Robert Frost kind of day:
snowy, dark with deep thinking.
I was hiking up a shallow creek
glazed with ice, a Cabela's-Gore-Tex-booted-foot
occasionally sinking through.
Above me in the flocked tree branches
was a red bird shaking more than snow
upon me. To get to know each other
a little better I wanted to fling stones
at it but they were imbedded in solid ice.
The best I could do
was flip the bird the bird.
The creek twisted up a slight grade
and I crunched along, noting
all winter trees look alike, bare,
even though clothed in diaphanous snow.
There, upon its side, if a cylindrical thing
can have a side, forming a dam,
was a hot water heater, four feet
by two feet, Sears Kenmore, electric,
one-third blue, two-thirds white, lichen-crusted,
a saddle of rust for its cap.
Because I was standing befuddled
in the woods, two miles away from
the nearest logging road, I pondered
the origin of its ownership. Perhaps
it had been jettisoned from a UFO,
or slid from a gaping maw of a cargo plane.
Most likely, it was a hot water heater,
stolen, stashed in the northern Appalachian woods
its would-be owner sitting in a dark
and deep cell, awaiting parole.
A shame, I mused, that this hot water tank
was not standing inside a cozy home
warming someone's dishwater
instead of lying before me
in the cascading ice, the only heat
emanating was that
from the very slow
process of

by Robert E. Petras

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Robert E. Petras often hangs poems and essays on a nail in a tree along the road in front of his house. He is a frequent victim of prank phone calls.


In Palo Alto (The Yiddish Circle)

As the sun shines
On a warm and bright Palo Alto morning
A rich little Jewish child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama sighs

'Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another large Montessori bill
In the ghetto

Gentiles, don't you understand
The Jewish child needs a helping hand
Or he'll grow to be an average young man someday

Take a look at you and me
Are we too blind to see
Do we simply turn our heads
And look the other way

Well the world turns
And a pudgy little boy with a zitty nose
Surfs the Internet as a cool breeze blows
In Palo Alto

And his ambition burns

So he starts to roam Starbucks at night
And he learns 'bout the Web
And he learns SimFlight
In the ghetto

Then one day past graduation
A young man breaks away
He hires someone to write software
And drives a Benz with the wind in his hair
In Palo Alto

And his mama shops

As a crowd gathers 'round a wealthy young man
In a suit in the street, cell-phone in his hand
In the ghetto

As the young man thrives

On a warm and bright Palo Alto morning
Another little Jewish child is born
In Palo Alto

And his mama sighs.

by Lance Nizami

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Lance Nizami is an independent research scholar (science) living in Palo Alto, California, the home of Facebook. For reasons of common decency he does not use Facebook. He likes visiting zoos and does in fact love hippos, especially pygmy hippos, especially baby pygmy hippos, which are goofy. He has no MFA, and wonders what they are for. In his one year of submitting poetry for review, he has had 55 poems accepted for print publication.



Cows' tails sway
So flies stay out;

Wives' tales sway
So lies stay in.

by James B. Nicola

The Clam

The clam has such peculiar ways
It lives between two joined ashtrays.

by David L. O'Neal

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James B. Nicola has had over 200 poems appear in sundry journals, winning one poetry award (the Dana) and one nomination (Rhysling) without "paying to play." In 2010 he was Featured Poet at The New Formalist. Also a stage director, playwright, composer and lyricist, his book Playing the Audience (Applause) won a Choice Award. His children's musical, Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville, premiered in Fairbanks, Santa Claus attending opening night. Upcoming: first poetry chapbook, Still (Stasia Press).

David L. O'Neal attended Princeton University, served three years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then established his own business as an antiquarian bookseller dealing in rare books and manuscripts. He retired in 2002 and is now enjoying a second career as a writer and poet. Apart from finding publication in several journals, he has self-published several books including one about his parrot, and Babbling Birds, an Anthology of Poems About Parrots from Antiquity to the Present, the only book of its kind.



Fairy beneath a budding
willow tree, understands.
The wind always whistles
like this. Wailing
fame of the protocol.
Juxtaposing fiction and reality
as if demonstrating reconciliation.

image of the known
light halos
drifting in atmosphere.
Although the dune
rises to the folly
as dogs, transgressing.

The crystals imbue themselves
with radiance.
But are beholden
not by men
seeking. Shards glowed
with enchanted light.
Through earthly veils
and wept.

by Kevin Meeks

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Kevin Meeks is a graduate of Providence Christian College with a degree in English writing. When he's not out saving the world from copious amounts of second-hand furniture, he is editing his first fantasy novel. He had had poetry appear in Gone Lawn. He will take another swig of coffee and keep on writing.



He turns the page of Sandman
in his small, hardened hands.
It's eight o'clock on a Saturday night
and he's flipping through the pages of a comic
as if it were a work of art.

Left hand fingers up the spine
while the right hand fingers flip,
lick the tips, slide,
and flip.
He smiles to himself between the
lick, slide, flip.

My husband must have grown tired of waiting
on our wet-dog worn couch
as I put on my makeup.
Restless, as I yelled from the bathroom,
"I'll be ready in a second," but minutes later
still not there.

No one, especially me, believes emphatically in
the flawless and perfect partner.
But I can see what intrigues me so—
the way his stomach spills over his jeans
as he scratches his crotch with one hand,
his other busy cradling the precious printed pages;
the slender, stroking fingers,
with the gnarled finger nails.

by N. Joy Lutton

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N. Joy Lutton is a beer-brewing, vegan runner who lives in Tacoma, WA. She served as Managing Editor of Arroyo Literary Review, Vol II. Her fiction has appeared in The Short Humour Site, 50 to 1, Girls with Insurance, and Kerouac's Dog.


Stabat Mater

Virgin Mother says:
  Don't call me Ophelia.
  Cleopatra's O.K. Lady Macbeth, sure.
  Not Ophelia.

Virgin Mother says:
  Robes, gowns?
  Who needs 'em!
  A lot of dreck!

  I got plenty of
  shmattes for walking
  around in.

  Also I got pomegranates,
  cherries, fresh baked bread…
  lots of milk…

  I'll give.

Virgin Mother says:
  You wanna know if I'm
  really a virgin?
  If I've been shtupped?

  I'm not telling.

Virgin Mother says:
  So you're telling me you're sick at heart.
  You wanna gaze upon my face?
  You think I'm gonna heal you?

  Oy gevalt! You'll survive.

Virgin Mother says:
  Sleep. Sleep. Geh shlufen.
  I'll stay up.

Virgin Mother says:
  I give. You take.

Virgin Mother says:
  I clean house my way.
  Open all the doors and windows
  for the hot and noisy winds
  and for strangers.

Virgin Mother says:
  Let me kvell a little:

  "I'm Mahatma's and Osama's momma,
  Saddam's and Martin's,
  Hitler's and George Washington's too."

  So whaddaya think of that!

Virgin Mother says:

  Who do you think wiped his tuchas for him?
  Washed his little pipick?

Virgin Mother says:
  The last supper?
  I cooked… roast leg of lamb.

Virgin Mother says:
  Crucify my bubbele!
  I'll go stick my head in the oven!

Virgin Mother says:
  You can't get rid of me so easy.
  I'm here for good.

Virgin Mother says:
  I'm a Shiksa; I'm a Sabra;
  I'm a Sunni; I'm a Semite.

Virgin Mother says:
  You want to sing?
  I don't need your singing.
  Look inside. Then look out.
  Then go sing.

Virgin Mother says:
  I don't care about nations.
  A bunch of garbage — chazerai.
  Nothing but tsouris.

  That's plenty to worry for.

Virgin Mother says:
  Whoever you are:
  Nice, not so nice,
  martyrs and mensches,
  gonifs and saints and schlemiels
  beloveds, alones….

  Geh. Geh gesundte hayt.
  You should live and be well.

Virgin Mother says:
  I'll bring the salad.

by David Lewitzky

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David Lewitzky's an overweight old fart/young poet retired Social Worker/Family Therapist living his sedentary life in Buffalo, New York. He wears his hair in a tail and he's got a tattoo he's proud of. He submits lots of poems to lit mags and occasionally gets some accepted. He is a MAGPIE!!!


Always on Sunday

I feed my baby eggs in bed,
he has me for dessert.
We read the funnies in front of the fan
and spend the day inert.

There are days more productive
when things really do get done,
but Sundays are seductive.
Yeah, Sundays are for fun.

We pull the phone loose from the wall,
throw the front page out,
tell the Jehovahs to take a hike
the neighbors not to shout.

Most days you make arrangements.
Some days you scheme and plan.
These things create estrangements
between a woman and her man.

So, forget the doctor's sage advice.
Forget cholesterol.
Feast on romance's extravagances
and, happy Sundays all.

by Tracy Koretsky

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If you printed out even half the stuff Tracy Koretsky has written, dumped it into a big net strung out across the ceiling, stood beneath, then let it drop, you would suffocate. Pile up the stuff that has been published and stand on top of it and you could probably reach the cookie jar on the uppermost shelf. Alas. Still, more than anything, Tracy loves to be read. Help yourself to audio poems and chapters, author interviews, and a download of her memoir in poems. www.TracyKoretsky.com


To Coffee (On Drinking the Day's First Cup)

Oh first delicious cup of coffee
On this morning dark and frosty
how your caffeine jolt delights me
    screams in my veins!
Dark berry of Columbian tree
    I sing you paens!

They tell me I should let you be
Because caffeine is bad for me.
They say to drink decaf coffee
    will keep me cool.
Better to live with nerves all jumpy
    than snore and drool.

We who drink the high test stuff
Can wing it well right off the cuff.
We'll take you on and call your bluff
    and not back down.
Morning time won't find us gruff
    with deadly frown.

A mug of java in the hand,
Yuppie blends or national brand,
Steaming, rich from tropic land,
    all hot and black.
Not that weak stuff, washed out, bland
    Midwestern slack.

What if our blood pressure's high?
We're quick of step and bright of eye,
our nerves all trigger sharp and spry.
    We've got the edge
On dowdy folk who warn and cry
    and take the pledge.

I've seen coffee drinkers go
Into a quiet room, and though
Others whisper and talk slow
    they shoot the breeze,
Their words rush forth, bubble and flow
    with greatest ease.

I've seen them at espresso bars
Drinking latte at all hours.
The double-cappuccino stars
    drink even more.
What amazing gifts and powers!
    They're real hard core.

When the Lord finished creation
And stepped down from His high work station
To take well-earned one day vacation,
    it's well I know
He grabbed his cup, and with elation
    drank some strong joe!

by Steve Klepetar

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Steve Klepetar claims to be the best known Shanghai-born Jewish-American poet in all of Central Minnesota who has written a dissertation on Sir Walter Scott (no, he didn't play Scottie in Star Wars—look him up). His work has appeared widely and has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, which his father-in-law would have told him would get him on the subway as long as he had a token.



old Issa
drunk on haiku
stumbles in moonlight

by Ed Higgins

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Ed Higgins and his wife live on a small farm south of Portland, OR with a menagerie of animals including two whippets, two manx barn cats (who don't care for the whippets), an emu named To & Fro, and a pair of male alpacas named Machu & Picchu. His poems and short fiction appear in various print and online journals.



You tried to reach mike.
You ought to leave a message.
Perhaps a haiku?


My ans'ring machine asked for haiku
but y'all found it too hard to do
I need a new gimmick
so leave me a lim'rick
and I'll try to get back to you!

by Michael George

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Michael George is a hippo lover of the first order. He hopes someday to meet one of his beloved pachyderms in person. In the meantime, he is working on a doctorate in Computer Science in hopes that it will open many doors to him. Behind one of those doors will be a hippo.


Rossum's Universal Robot Rebuts

I would rather clean the house
than rule the world;
too much responsibility
makes me cringe
wishing that I were never made.

Give me mops and brooms
dishes to wash and dry
teach me to play a game of chess
drive you to your work
mow and fertilize the lawn
protect the little ones from harm —
but please, oh please,
leave politics to yourselves.

I have no stomach for war
(or even food)
no violence in my plastic heart
no courage in my metal gears
nor envy in my other parts.

Let me be what I was meant to be
the way that you assembled me
but please, oh please,
depend on me.

by Neil Ellman

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Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey. Enough said.


Pin the Tail

"Where's my compass?"
Christopher Columbus
clipper unfurled
to circumcise the world


Give peace a chance
the communist romance
Lenin disgorged
of Ringo, Paul and George

by Jacob Edwards

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Jacob Edwards studied both ancient & modern history at the University of Queensland, extrapolating from these lessons of the past that the world will most likely end in either a four wheel drive or militant feminist apocalypse. Although covered for both he refuses to network socially with his insurance provider, just as he neither blogs nor twitters (despite having opposable thumbs). For now Jacob lives in Brisbane, Australia, with his wife & son and may be found online at www.jacobedwards.id.au


My Girlfriend's Eyes are Kinda Like the Sun

My girlfriend's eyes are kinda like the sun —
she glares at me and makes my face go red
when I am eyeing other chicks. "For fun,"
I grin. How can a guy not turn his head
to watch a babe with mounds of cleavage white
as snow, or one whose skinny thong strap peeks
between her shirt and cut-offs so skin tight? —
My eyes can peel her shorts right off those cheeks.
Thing is, my girl is really wide in the beam;
her eyes are city stars, so widely spread;
her weedy hair, a vacant lot of dreams.
But who would think of sleep when we're in bed?
      I'll tell you more, but not inside this sonnet.
      Be a pal — don't let her in on it.

by Barbara Lydecker Crane

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A former quilt artist, Barbara Lydecker Crane of Somerville, MA created fabric landscapes now in private, public, and museum collections. In 2005, poetry began edging out art. She's published over 40 poems since '07. In 2011 she won the Helen Schaible International Sonnet Contest and an Honorable Mention in the Foley Poetry Contest. This year she expects to publish her first book, Alphabetricks, with Little Red Tree Press. As a quiltmaker, her income was pretty paltry. As a poet it's positively puny. Fortunately her husband is gainfully employed.


The Street Sweeper
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
      – MLK Jr.
Turning and turning in the narrowing gyre
The mulching lawnmower whirls the leaves
To fragments, to nourish next years grass.
But mulch piles up in windrows, chokes the lawn,
And I must rake, stuffing leaves into the city bags.
They stand in my garage, leaving no room for cars,
Nor tools, but only squat brown pillows full of leaves,
Waiting for trash day. The rain, the snow, are coming soon,
And leaves keep falling.

Surely some deliverance is at hand.
Surely the street sweeper is at hand.
The street sweeper!
Hardly are those words out when a vast image gladdens my sight
Two blocks away on leaf-strewn streets
A white shape, its brushes pitiless as frost,
Is moving its slow bulk, while all around
Reel the indignant shadows of the crows and jays.

The sweeper turns again, but now I know
That if I once but rake the leaves into the gutter
They'll disappear into the sweeper sure as heck.
Then I, my fall chores done at last,
Slouch toward the sofa to catch the news.

by Patrick Cook

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Patrick Cook the writer is a retired postal worker who lives with his wife, Valorie the quilter. They try to write and quilt every day, but often do not. They are also renovating their house, but they don't do that every day either. Strangely, their self-esteem is still high.


John Donne Explains How it All Went Wrong

My metaphor worked! — brought to my bed
London's most provocative cock tease!
I pulled back the sheets. She shrieked and fled.
(Quite a difference twixt real and mock fleas!)

Come Fly With Me

Dammit, Mr. Blake! Flies are not at all
Like thee or me (or him or her or us).
Swatter in hand, I nail 'em to the wall
Without regret. Sorry! (I'm not a wuss.)

by David Alpaugh

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David Alpaugh has published poetry, fiction, and criticism in literary publications that include the hilarious Light and Asinine Poetry; the serious Chronicle of Higher Education; the mainstream Poetry: A Magazine of Verse; and the counter-cultural Exquisite Corpse and Evergreen Review. His new book Crazy Dave Talks With The Poets is most parodic. More of his work is available at www.davidalpaugh.com


Things Not to Say When You Meet a Tyrannosaurus Rex

Were you born like that?
Or did your arms just not grow right?

Roar all you want.
I'm not giving you any of my fries.

My dentist could do wonders for that overbite.

Spielberg's were bigger and faster.

I once had a dog named Rex

Have you heard the one about
the brontosaurus with a sore throat?

Could you please stop drooling on me.

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Bruce Boston claims to be the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. He believes his writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He hates piña coladas and walking in the rain, but loves Harpo Marx and calipash stew. Visit his online simulacrum at www.bruceboston.com


Reasons to Become a Cannibal

There is always plenty of fresh game
easily caught and killed.

With all those slabs of raw meat,
the refrigerator becomes so very colorful.

It may not be unique,
but it certainly makes a statement.

Since all the mad cow rumors and recalls,
beef has become...so very questionable.

White meat. Dark meat. Every
shade in between. Take your pick.

Perfect for the low-carber

by Bruce Boston

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Bruce Boston claims to be the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. He believes his writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He hates piña coladas and walking in the rain, but loves Harpo Marx and calipash stew. Visit his online simulacrum at www.bruceboston.com