Daily Archives: January 24, 2015


“Mismembrance of the Dance of the Anthousai” by Joe Nicholas

I remember a flower,
white like death,
white like the snowflake
barely held aloft
by green sinew of limb,
fighting the urge
to kiss the ground
and melt.

 

Its petals soft,
lover soft,
a kiss under a twilit azure,
an empty mirror of sky above
beginning to blink from its slumber,
a thousand tiny spider eyes gazing down,
gaseous behemoths
spilling spark and flame
and life into the empty, which
ever remains
mostly empty,

 

the great silver eye staring calmly,
milky and pupil-less,
unblinking in its dull gaze
as it watched the shadows mingle.

 

and the flower watching too,
and laughing, if it could do such a thing,
at all the foolish
talking flowers
uprooting themselves to dance
in circles, sprinkling their brazen tears
upon the warm earthen blanket
that was once their home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine for a moment that you are a bowl of fruit. All you want to do is share your fruit with everyone, but you can’t. You are only a bowl of fruit. You do not have the technology for such a feat. So instead you write poems about your fruit, hoping that someone will be stirred to crave the real thing. Now imagine Joe Nicholas is a bowl of fruit. Joe Nicholas is a bowl of fruit.  He is a wine, feline, and broccoli enthusiast with work published or forthcoming in Dead Flowers, Emerge Literary Journal, Willard & Maple, Star*Line, and various haiku journals.  He hopes you enjoy his fruit.  (joenicholas711.wix.com/joenicholas)


“Give Me Absurdity or Give Me Death” by Pete Able

Absurdity is the last bastion
of America’s adolescence
and it is threatened by the popular writing of the day.
With its nonsensical imagery and boring non sequiters:
“It was June and teal porcelain and the same temperature
as the day my father died.”
This has no worth for me.
I want the bizarre, straight and simple.
By all means be confusing and misleading
but not in a dull, vague sort of way.
Do so with outrageous pinazze and indifference.
Why dance the way everyone dances
if just for the sake of fitting in?
Dance absurdly, and with gusto.
This is the main point of this manifesto:
Dance absurdly, and with gusto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pete Able studied Creative Writing at Rutgers University and has published short stories in Tsuki Magazine and Foliate Oak Magazine.


“Ulysses” by Morris Dance

Because the earth wobbles on its axis
Like a Christmas tree into which a twenty
Pound tabby has leapt after getting that
Insane tail twitching I’m a tiger! Its
The law of the jungle! Its kill or be
Killed! Don’t try to stop me, I don’t want to
Hurt you! look in his eye; forgetting that
An additional eighteen pounds does make
A difference, and jungle trees don’t come
With ornaments, twinkly lights, and tinsel—
Though, when I tried explaining this he looked
At me with a disconcerted Must I
Explain every little thing to you? glare—
Thousands of years from now we will enter
A new age, for there will be no pole star:
We will have to navigate on faith; as
I have, since he is gone; sighting upon
A starless space by which to find our way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Dance attended the University of Utah and studied with Galway Kinnell, Judith Hemschemeyer, and Richard Schramm. Time, sadly, they will never get back. He has worked in a variety of jobs; among them retail management and transit bus driver. Time, sadly, he will never get back. He currently resides alone, accursed, yet strangely happy in California’s central valley.


“Please, Please Me” by Benjamin Nardolilli

I look at her ceiling the way
others look might look at her shoes,
my neck and eyes align
and take in cool cement
hanging above me in a flight
that is heavier than air

 

What a jail, I look downward
in anticipation of bars,
arms jumpsuited in orange
these textures and temperatures
make me look for a spoon,
some way to shovel out.

 

She sits at the table typing
and I think, how rude to ignore
me during this visitation,
I was planning on making for her
a conjugal intercession,
it’s what the cement allows me to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook, Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, published by Folded Word Press. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish his first novel.


“Side By Side” by John Feaster

She never wanted them to die.
To not have them in her life,
to not have them in every
moment of every damn day
she felt the pain—
her cigarette flared bright,
and she thought, “Loneliness
is of the night, something souls
should never have to endure:
eternity, beneath the ground,
black and cold.”


She sat up against her pillow
and tipped a white finger;
ashes piled high in the little tray,
and as she looked at the soldier
on her wall—
she lit another, and lay them
side by side in the ashes,
glowing warm, in the cool dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Feaster was born at the doorstep of our nation’s capital, but hopes none of that rubbed off on him. A dangerous romantic, he wants all the action and adventure of a poetic life. He knows how crazy that sounds, but with magic, love, and dogs on his side: how can he fail? John holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an MBA in Business.


“Head with Ladder” by Janet Snell

Head with Ladder by Janet Snell

 

 

 

 

Janet Snell is a magna cum laude graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied painting with the late Edward Dugmore. She has been included in many group and solo shows, including New York’s Drawing Center, Washington’s Strathmore Hall, Cleveland’s Spaces, and Akron’s Summit Art Space. The author of FLYTRAP (Cleveland Poetry Center 1990) — a book of drawings and poems, and an e-chapbook, HEADS (March Street Press 1998), her collection, PRISONER’S DILEMMA, with Cheryl Snell, won the 2009 Lopside Press Chapbook Contest. Snell regularly publishes in the small magazines, and paints semi-realistic portraits on commission.  See more at janetsnell.weebly.com.


“From the Schoolyard” by Benjamin Nardolilli

I have left this day of potential behind,
The paths were singing
But I had no need of a chorus,
At least not one with such muddy voices,
In the distance, I heard a siren too,
Coming from a mountain range
Peaks of spackled violet dusted with songs,
No simple order, no direction,
I ignored the formations’ tune
Because I wanted chains and bindings,
I wanted a pull and push
To stop my fall and spinning mind,
Voices giving me points to vector across,
When this day could not provide
Nothing but a set of bare coordinates,
I left it behind with bottles for it to clean up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook, Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, published by Folded Word Press. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish his first novel.


“Understanding Tarot: What Card Comes Before the Fool” by Morris Dance

It is a curious moment this: you
Have left childhood, but not yet come of age.
It seems all the world wants to ask of you
Is smooth skin, shiny hair, white teeth, new clothes,
And an attitude of amused disdain.
Your most critical decision: if you’ll
Go, and how you’ll impress them if you do.

 

Though you know a river of blood runs beneath
It all, and death is too often the lucky twin.
Those golden lives neatly summed to zero
By what they thought themselves beyond; Starry
People imprisoned in tired clichés;
And fame spoon feeding yet another one
An irresistible unhappy end.

 

But today, well, today it seems the universe
Has had a change of heart, has forgotten,
Gone on holiday. What you are today
Will just go on forever; and you feel
Dazed and giddy at your luck, and the pluck,
That brought you to it. And now, that Fool
Card appears, to show you your next big step up: down.

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Dance lives in California’s central valley and continues to write poetry for reasons that cannot be explained in English.