Daily Archives: July 11, 2012


“OH THANK YOU GAWDS A POEM THAT DOESN’T RHYME!” by John Schneider

OH THANK YOU GAWDS A POEM THAT DOESN'T RHYME!
Especially since one then doesn't need to keep time.

Not only do you have to fret about meter.
Then it must be fixed how to make the couplet.
Finding a true rhyme, not being a cheater.
Spacing the rhymes so they're offset.

OH THANK YOU GAWDS A POEM THAT DOESN'T RHYME!
Finding matching words is an uphill climb.

To begin is not an easy task
Poems that rhyme are such a chore
Like stuck, flailing in a cask
Or unable to open the exit door

OH THANK YOU GAWDS A POEM THAT DOESN'T RHYME!
To make it work a poet must be in their prime.

The ending is hard work too
It must finish the poem and not go on
One must know when they are through
Non-stop rhymes makes the mind drawn

OH THANK YOU GAWDS A POEM THAT DOESN'T RHYME!
Now it's over, I hope this wasn't a literary crime.

“Dementia” by Eric Dittmar

How are you ever
Going to get out from under this?
It hunts with its nose
It is brave from lack of sleep

Onions, computers, red cabbage, loss
This tangle of things
Goes to sleep in a knot

Is that you in the picture?
Take as long as you please

Come around back now
Fierce and rambling, blasting a request
For mercy with an air horn
Pointing to an unspecified time and place

A leaflet addresses your problems
You lose your ability to use language
Thoughts stack up but cannot be forged
There is nothing to be afraid of

“Snow White in Fact” by Eric Dittmar

Snow White in fact to Hell and back pursued the seven Dwarves
Who daily mined their businesses and never minded yours
She danced the ground where hammers pound
She sang in quadraphonic sound
She knew her scene was just on screen
And screens were not of human beings
She knew her life in truth to be
Light flickering through transparency
And that she soon as all cartoons
Would roll back to her film's cocoon
Then a sticky floor for a Disney whore
A princess serving clients
She did her part, now Dwarven hearts
Can beat the blood of Giants

“Torn In the Wind” by Jason Lisogorsky

Floating back and forth
Swaying up in the air
Uncertainty sits around
Crazy thoughts racing through my mind
Back and forth
With a million scenarios playing out
Some are good with happy times
Others are dreary and damaging
Driving me to the brink of insanity

Looking up to the night sky
Billions of stars shining so brightly
Clarity versus uncertainty
Battling each other back and forth
Wondering what tomorrow will bring

“Ginevra de’ Benci” by Elisabeth Vodola

Puella senex, violate, I gaze,
My raison d'etre--so be it--amaze.
Then gladly, if by that you mean
Not that I see, but merely that I'm seen.
Only, do not expect I care
Whether you look away or stare.
The grimy path you tread does not reach me,
Nor is my face the porcelain face you see.




This is an ekphrasis of a portrait by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1474, now in the National Portrait Gallery.

“Speculations” by Samar Ziauddin Bhatti

What do we choose?
The right passage
or the wrong path
The correct hypothesis
or the rejected conclusion?
Do we stand or fall?

Do we judge, or stand accused?
Are we the murderer
or the victim?
Guilty or innocent!
Do we prosecute or defend,
support or leave destitute?

Where do we go from here?
To infinity or the end
Do we balance or fall?
Will we follow or lead?
Change or conform!

Is it about the soul,
or the flesh?
Mortality or immortality
virtue or sin
Are we tempted to resist?

Do we become human
and beyond or...
Question is: when do we know
the reason WHY?

“Disassembling Required” by Eric Dittmar

When Van Gogh cut off his ear
It was for reassurance that the rest of him could disappear

That illusion of ownership that nerves create
Should have faded with each baby tooth I lost
It didn't though, contrariwise I worried I would extend
Into roads or trees and then feel the tire's friction or the elm's blight

Empathy is a bitch of its own
I pray I never wake up with a Siamese twin
I'd have to care, lest we lapse into mutual sadomasochism
That hilarious territory of bored lovers

The Thalidomide kids might get a kick
out of feeling new arms attached to other people
but that's the exception that proves the rule

After the Vietnam war, some men believed Agent Orange
Had followed them home, alive in newly discovered nerves
Now what odd god must be behind that shit!

Mengele often awoke from dreams sweating and sure
That his patients would learn a trick to generate biological anesthetics
He needed the feedback of sound to really understand the human body
"Prayer or pleading," he used to say with a wink to his bartender after work

Sometimes I worry that my nervous system
Might have a Mengelian agenda of its own

That I am woven into a potential torture chamber seems clear
but then I remember that I can always pull the tooth or cut off the ear

“The Ignorance of a Wise Man” by Angel Uriel Perales

These safety hazards of a gilded heart
naturally unravel due to the constant strain
of everyday abuse.

Our solemn right of self-determination
and this endless pursuit for happiness
fails to stem the flood of memories evoked
by a solitary image from our past.

Raw emotion is a dish best served frozen.

This is how we age,
hunched over and eviscerated.

I see your picture,
your toothy smile,
the crows have perched on your eyelids,
stomped all over your face.

This is how we age,
leathery and grinning for survival.

I see your picture,
your celestial squint,
stretch the sagging muscles over cracked
and crusted makeup,
over tired and faded freckles,
this is how we age, like tensed clowns.

If I were truly wise,
I would never leave my shackled repose,
I would brick over the archways
and topple over the burning braziers,
insulate myself with all consuming fire.

I would destroy all the flickering monitors
that allow two-way access to my soul.

If I were truly wise,
I would reach for the offered vial,
inhale the comforting aroma
of bitter almonds, like Socrates.

“I Need a Push / Let Me Swing” by Bryan Wysocki

Slowly exploding stars
circle around my heavy head while I
throw wrenches into sleep cycles
searching for a sip of wine.

I'm thinking of raw beets again,
how they are red like the human heart.
Bitter taste for bitter thoughts
of how she is better than me,
how I am not fully one without another

one
I sound like a lunatic laughing
at the moon,
but I'm walking on crooked cobblestones
and need a level plane
to rest my tired feet.

Two
required for a lesson.
Show me
Teach me
Help me build my lego tower,
but I will choose the color.

If only I could close my eyes
while my thoughts swarm around
flickering light bulbs.
Don't trap them in a jar,
but please
turn off the light.

“Salacious Pardon” by Ingrid Westberg

Salacious pardon caught, in a misers dream,

Resist, for I know not what to do
with spies and crumpets, divine.

Victory is yours my Agamemnon
Agony feels aimless, and beautiful,

Press against my wounds of cankerous
rights of passage, burning like a stars memory,

For beneath the moon I cry for you,
as I always have.

“Stammering Fool” by Theodore Aronis

I see her there but stand dumbfounded
all I want to do is say hi
but I stand here dumbfounded, stammering
I cannot form the words to just say hello

her smile, caught me off-guard, somehow
I stand here struggling to think, to form words
this undeserving slack-jawed fool
my legs, usually strong, have turned and failed me

why doesn’t somebody slap me and end this daze?
yes, a stammering fool caught slightly out of phase
seeking it, yet somehow averting her gaze
mumble and fumble and choke on my words

no fear, just an uncomfortable shutter
how do I ask her to dance? silly nonsense
blather and tongue tied noises I seem to utter
a ringing in my ear with the thump from my pulse

red-faced and gasping, the words finally rang out
she looked, smiled, then with no doubt
fearing a failure, a long painful fall
I had no reason to fear at all

those words I failed to produce
flowed forth without restraint of a sluice
she said yes, lovely, me so obtuse
a self-conscious, stammering fool

“Serene Clusters” by Ingrid Westberg

Serene clusters of plotted skies,

Spinning moons before their eyes,

Christ can you see me, through fantasized lies and tormented cries?


Beyond the mountain peaks below,

I find a space of horizon glow,


It shines to find the glittering sun,

For the trees in their hearts, they know have won.

BIG CHAPBOOK CLEARANCE SALE!!!

I’ll be blunt.  No highlighting the positive, downplaying the negative here.  In three weeks, I will no longer have a day-job.  My evil day-job is being shipped somewhere else, and as of right now, I do not have anything lined up to replace it.  The long-story-short of this is that means I won’t have any personal funds available to pick up the slack when book sales aren’t covering everything The Poet’s Haven produces.

A gracious anonymous* donation has supplied us with enough paper to print the interiors of the rest of this year’s scheduled books. (*I know who it was, but I’m not allowed to tell you.)  We still need to make sure we have the ink, toner, and cover-stock to complete the next three Author Series titles’ print-runs (as well as one or two Digest anthologies).  So, in order to make sure Poet’s Haven has the funds to keep the upcoming book releases on schedule, we need to move some inventory, fast, and that means it is time for a BIG CHAPBOOK CLEARANCE SALE!

Head over to The Poet’s Haven Boutique and you’ll find books for 20, 30, 40, 50, and even 60% off the cover price!  But that’s not all, for a limited time (as in while the supply lasts), purchase any two or more items from the Boutique and you can get a copy of C.M. Brooks’ “A Thousand Voices” for FREE!!!  Read this linked page for the specific details.

Even if you aren’t able to take advantage of these huge mark-down savings, PLEASE help spread the word to all your poetry reading friends.

Thanks!

–VX