Poetry # 128

Let’s see.  Amber Bromer and I (Luis Rivas – in case you’re too anxious to wait till the end to see who posted this) will be publishing poetry on a loosely monthly basis, featuring work from at least one quivering new poet to the brand-spanking-new-post-literate-digital-text literary world.  Each issue will have on average 10 to 12 poems.

In this issue you will find aquatic authors, cynical Greeks, promiscuous Existentialists, Australian Plathofiles, Worshipers of Life/Note-takers of Death and everything in between.  Enjoy or navigate away, either way it’s been written and published and therefore brought into dangerous being. 

Luis Rivas
New Poetry Editor
Amber Bromer
Poetry Co-editor 

“My Award-ready Novel”
By Lara Dolphin

Dear Mr. or Ms. Agent of My Dreams:
Once upon a dark
and stormy night
not unlike last Wednesday,
a diary-toting, Manolo-wearing, cocktail drinking
who loved her career in biochemistry
almost as much as a good pedi,
left the Armani bed sheets
of her triathlon-winning, tycoon boyfriend
for a stroll through an Edward Hopper painting.
To no surprise,
Mike’s Greasy Spoon was empty
save a bespoke, old man
nursing coffee and a slice of cherry pie.
Without a word
she sat beside him
and ordered a gyro, fries
and unsweetened iced tea.
The faceless man paid her tab
and took his hat
revealing on the counter
the sentient prototype,
which attaches to the gut when swallowed
and reprograms your innards
with tiny robotic arms
and which she will use
to debunk the usual medicine.
Insert relevant plot points here
leading to a climax of Orwellian proportions
followed by falling action
and dénouement into a dystopian fog.
While my masterpiece waits,
ensconced in a bottom dresser drawer,
I am prepared to accept
a large cash advance
for a manuscript
that will surely earn a Pulitzer
–or failing that, a National Book Award.
Your humble author

Bio: Lara Dolphin is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in such publications as “Word Catalyst Magazine,” “River Poets Journal,” “The Foliate Oak Literary Journal” and “Calliope.”


By Panos Panagiotopoulos

most of her letters taste salty
and free wind, but her pauses are
horses suspended at galloping speed
I often wonder as I write,
like I speak but denser and slower,
words floating like stingrays,
her name means ‘I am who I am’
in fifteen silent tongues
and to me, it mirrors fleeting light
and naiad thoughts
but I can’t utter it

I have the bad habit of writing
like I speak, and talking as I read,
her language is
quanta and wormholes,
my tongue folds verses into
arithmetic and high frequencies
in denial, like her name
it means ‘elusive particle’
in fifteen screaming tongues
and to me, it writhes like eels
in fountain water – placid

Bio: Panos Panagiotopoulos is a Greek writer whose themes range from erotica to social criticism, all dressed with free verse, text which is meant to be spoken; verses of cynical flavor but little cynicism.

He is passionate about writing and his son. He currently resides in Athens, Greece.


Sartre’s Waiter
By Charish Halliburton
“I’m always standing
next to trash cans.
Maybe it says something
about me.”
That is what my friend says.
And suddenly,
I don’t know her anymore
What else is “It” saying about her?
Weeks later, in a pet store,
I look for training pads.
“Are you finding everything all right?”
a girl in safari wear asks me in
the same affected way a newsman
might say:
“The armed suspected made off with
both speakers and a wheelchair.”
The same affected way a poet
might read these lines:
“You fell from a sky as blue
as kitten eyes and sank, writhing,
in a black abyss.”
“No, I’m looking for training pads
for my rabbit.”
I explain how I let my rabbit
shit everywhere.
“Maybe that says something
about me.”
And I think about my friend
how she always stands
next to trash cans
That’s now her.
What else is “That” saying
about me?

Bio:  Charish Halliburton poems have appeared in Euphemism.  She lives in Columbus, Georgia, where he studies Existentialism and works at an Irish pub.


By Matt Galletta

The things I do
cling to me
like leeches.

they latch onto my skin
and refuse
to let themselves
be pulled loose.

I wear long sleeves
so my friends won’t see.

At night,
I do research,
apply ointments,
but nothing works.

These things
only embed themselves

We’re a team now,
they say,
and there’s no
peeling us away.

Bio: Matt Galletta lives with his wife and cats in Troy, NY. His work has previously appeared in the Catalonian
Review, Keep Going, and Zygote in My Coffee, among others. Say hello at www.mattgalletta.com.


Some Kind of Tribute
By James Babbs

there’s a beer bottle stuck on
the top of the chain-link fence
surrounding the cemetery
it’s one of those big bottles
and I see it when I’m driving past
and I want to believe
for some reason
it was left there
as some kind of a tribute
for some old drinking buddy
who recently died
and now he lies here
buried in his final resting place
but it’s probably just an empty bottle
left behind by somebody
too lazy to throw it away
and they thought it would be funny
to stick it on the fence like that
so somebody driving by would see it
somebody like me
what the hell it was for

Bio: James Babbs is not a real writer but he plays one on TV.  He works for the government but doesn’t like to talk about it.  He likes getting drunk and writing because both of them can be very intoxicating.


Silvia’s Birthday
By Michelle Gaddes

Beautiful chameleon mid western feminine with the thousand acre smile.
Tragic neon – keeper of bountiful words, it’s your day today so stay a while.
Your candles of blood were trodden upon and like so many of the ‘best’
you lay with a concrete chest and robbed of words, now ghosts.
Lesbos spectres and the dirty trout man ate your cake, Sappho throws
Her head back and the Aegean falls from her mouth.
Merry meet upon the grave yard under the waning moon. Scream from
Maggoty coffin as Olwyn chokes on a silver spoon.
Yeats said sorry, he should have installed electricity, black pain was long,
In the end no song and the letters to home were a pity.
Tulips, poppies, mushrooms and babies, I send you a rambling,
Birthday words to the subjugated unforgotten lady. 

: Michelle attempts to live on the far southcoast  of NSW in Australia.  She is currently in a crazed flux. She creates poetry and short stories in between doing her Masters in Writing at Deakin Uni. She is attractive and unappreciated.


Education of a Ladybug
By Boris Leyvi

a ladybug flew in
despite the window net

who knows how it found
an orifice big enough

it landed on an air
conditioner’s rail
scorching hot from
direct sunlight

it did not produce
a sound

she must have been
in a lot of pain
as her arthropod legs
and the whole complex bottom
fried up against the metal
but kept her composure
kept on just sitting there
as if she was paying
a regular lady visit
to someone

she continued sitting there
for weeks
as if pretending
that things were normal

like clouds that kept
on changing their clustering
or babies being born
or dust accumulated

she changed in color
became paler
less noticeable against
the bland hue of the air

she sat there firm
and out of respect
for her zest to appear

I let her

Bio: Boris Leyvi is a poet and translator living in New York. His professional occupation is that of a social worker for developmentally disabled individuals. Mr. Leyvi’s most recent work is a translation into Russian of Philip Larkin’s Chuch Going that was published in this year’s June edition of The New Youth literary magazine in Moscow, and a poem that appeared in the September 2010 issue of Foundling Review.


The Workshop
By Meg Eden

we smelled the rat carcasses in the ceiling.
it was not a smell that could be
removed, but that permeated though one’s self,
an injection, a full moon
but none of this bothered father.
it was his workshop, he told me.
he could not smell it.
mother and I took toilet paper
to our noses, tied it around our
heads, to pass through the hallway.
I would hunt through the shelves,
above—the body’s smell closer.
death is not easy to disguise. sometimes I will
smell it even in another house. scent is the most
evocative sense—the smell of a hanging dead thing.
this will pass, father came to reassure me,
but he did not open the ceiling. he did not take
the paneling like two jaws to find that I was
right. the house was opened in all places,
too many things to be made right. too many
old things falling apart.


Bio: Meg Eden has been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Claremont Review, The Science Creative Quarterly, The Rune, and Millers Pond. She has won various writing awards, including Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Circle Award CM, Scholastic Writing and Arts’ Gold Key Award, and Blue Mountain Arts’ Poetry Contest. She is currently working with a literary agent with the hopes of publishing novel works.

The Legacy
By Tucker Holder

cold nights give way to bitter mornings
spent converseing with a cold cup of coffee that
sits as a passive stone in my hand, silent.
We’re eavesdropped on by
a one-eyed tom cat
(who only comes because i give him tuna on wendsdays).
We discuss politics and the trees in the backyard
i try to elicit a response-
just to know someone’s listening,
listening like me.

We sit on the front porch shadows.
and i wonder.
‘what if i’m the first?’
are We the first to sit alone together like this?
or do i come from generations?
generations of people who watched as i do.

or will i leave behind a legacy?
will the dent my shadow makes on the
third step lead those
ever after to whisper my name?

We stay until late.
i sit until dusk.
and try to remeber
that i might be remembered
the monster on the front porch
watching the wind.


Iceland Ceremony
By Denny E. Marshall

Long before man
Stood one world
Like ants with sticks
Lines are drawn in sand
Each set or sides
With different rules
Ants that think like gods
Pretend visions all seek
In all the long wait
The clouds with the air
Seas and mountains
Make jokes about us
Lets have all the sticks
Too, destroy and carry
Thrown in a volcano
In Iceland ceremony


He Became Me
By Joseph M. Cripps

I once knew a man
with a knife in his guts
and a lump in his throat
he had the mark of hardship upon his forehead
there was a fire in his eyes
burning like blue death
but it faded
his eyes turned from blue to grey
and he took up the mantle of adulthood
put away “childish” things
grew dull and drab
he began to regret the way his body was marked
and lost his dreams.
He became me.


You Spoke of a Tree
By Wes Tirey

you spoke of a tree
i do not know how
tall it was
what fruit
     it bore
i suppose i could see
this tree
and i could see your small hands
only they were smaller
and i could see your small feet
only they were smaller
my hands could nearly
            touch the
            the leaves
each shaking in song
you held them like toy ships
and you graced them
            with your breath and
you said to me
“i’m not here”
but i did not believe you and
stood uttering words and silences

Bio: Wes Tirey is a singer-songwriter, composer for the steel string guitar, and an occasional poet. He lives in Dayton, Ohio with his girlfriend Ellie and their cat Tonto.

Published by peace is illegal

I am a writer of pornography, of politics and murder.

3 thoughts on “Poetry # 128

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