Yes, Poetry

Vol. 3, Issue 8: August 2012

Check out the August issue here!

Contributor’s Notes

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic,The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has  been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited , having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles,Florida, Washington, Scotland,Wales, Ireland,Canada,Spain,Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.

Nahshon Cook is an American poet living in Thailand.  

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here: He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press and Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press. He has two other chapbooks forthcoming, Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press and The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press.

Born in Windsor, Ontario in 1960, Gregory Wm. Gunn was raised in a few small towns throughout the province until finally settling in London. A graduate of Fanshawe College as an Electronics Technician in 1982, Mr. Gunn began writing earnestly during his academic tenure there. Recently he has compiled six full poetry collective works.

Andrew Hamilton recently graduated the University of Tennessee with outstanding honors in English. He won the university’s Woodruff, Knickerbocker, and Bain-Swiggett creative writing awards and has poems published in BlazeVOX’s Spring 2012 issue.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Eric Kim earned a B.A. in English at New York University and is a doctoral fellow at Columbia University. His poems have appeared in West 10thand A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.

Robert Laughlin lives in Chico, California. He has published 100 short stories, 200 poems and one novel, Vow of Silence. His website is at

Amy Kitchell-Leighty's recent publications include: Bellevue Literary Review, Salamander, Main Street Rag, Unrorean, Inertia, and Coachella Review.  Her MFA is from Bennington College’s Writing Seminars.

Christopher Prewitt is a writer from Appalachia. His work has appeared in The Iowa ReviewVinylGhost OceanSuss, and the Prose-poem Project.

Oliver Rice’s poems appear widely in journals and anthologies in the United States and abroad. Creekwalker released an interview with him in January, 2010. His book of poema, On Consenting to Be a Man, is published by Cyberwit and is available on Amazon. His online chapbook, Afterthoughts, Siestas, and his recording of his Institute for Higher Study appeared in Mudlark in December, 2010.

Justin Robinson lives & studies in Santa Barbara, CA. His most recent poems can be seen in Foundling Review & Psychic Meatloaf.

Since completing her BA at UC Berkeley in 2007, Ciara Sanker has worked as a freelance tutor to students with learning disabilities. Her poems have previously been published in nibble, Verdad, and Blue Lake Review.

Hallie Steiner likes to write poems and make fun of herself. She lives in California and New York and hopes to meet as many people as she can. 

Parker Tettleton's work is featured in &/or forthcoming from Gargoyle> kill authorHeavy Feather ReviewUntoward, & trnsfr, among others. His chapbook Same Opposite is available through Thunderclap! Press & a second, Greens, is due out soon. More or less is here.

Editor Biographies

Joanna C. Valente was born in Manhattan, New York. She attends Sarah Lawrence College as a MFA candidate in poetry writing.  In 2011, Joanna was the recipient of the Friends of Humanities/American Society of Poet’s Prize. She is also the founder and editor of the magazine, Yes, Poetry.  Joanna is a graduate of SUNY Purchase College, where she received a BA in creative writing and a BA in literature. Her work has appeared in La Fovea, The Medulla Review, The Houston Literary Review, Owen Wister Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Uphook Press, among others. In her spare time, she is a mermaid. More can be found at her website:

Stephanie Valente lives in New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from dotdotdashNano FictionLIES/ISLE, and Uphook Press. She can be found at:

G. Taylor Davis, Jr is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program in writing. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is currently the managing editor at Yes, Poetry. In the past, his work has appeared in The Boiler Journal and The Atlantis. He hails from the Milky Way, but currently lives in New York.

Issue 6: August 2010



This woman
I am interviewing,
one of her front teeth
crosses over the other
and sticks out like a leg
crossed over the other.
Otherwise I would hire her;
I am certain of that.
But she reminds me too much
of that Greyhound station
at three in the morning.
There, alone on a bench,
across from me still,
her little dress up,
skulls of bare knees,
hillbilly child waiting.


If the women
I go to work with,
and in the car pool

travel home with,
if they can wrap themselves
the way they do,

then I suggest that you,
if only to protect us, dear,
then I suggest that you 

wear one of these
those evenings
we are idle.




In direst rhyme of ancient writ
what words are vile and disallowed
from entering the thronging crowd
each vying to be though of fit
for pulp inscribed or plasma lit,
for words composed or shouted loud,
or copied, pasted, and sent out,
till google counts the millionth hit?

The jargonistic rabble which
degrades our holy ancient tongue,
and for our laze, it strives for pith,
and throws all vowels into the rift.
In technobabble no tale is spun
that isn’t damned, or worse still – kitsch.

Oh heavy wind of yonder shining moon
Which rips and tears me fiercely as the tides,
Your buzzing glow of likeness I have spied,
And weak-legged, secretly I swooned
Yanked like a moth to what I thought a boon.
Three-sixty-five in count, the pics just right
To stalk you for a year in shear delight.
And then, three-sixty-six: you and that goon
With faded, bleary smiles. Such twisted grins.
Both crushing cups red as my heart, with claws
—his other one trespassing your high hem,
And you, perverse, arching your chest at him.
So I – lovelorn – click my status box:
“is vexed and wrecked by wanton ingrate’s whim.”

“Cartoon yourself!” it shouts, beside some big
Lebowski shirts: I pique, “I love that film.”
A banner, knowing, smiles coyly back,
“You like the Pixies? Then you’ll love the din
Of this generic band from your home town!”
“My home town?” I doubt, and click upon the link
And there, the page, not scrolled or slided down
reveals three Spokane hipsters with fly frowns.
“The room is bugged!” I think, but in my head,
For they must not know I am on to them.
But if the chip is buried in my skin
I won’t be free of it until I’m dead.
Then, while a mortal thought darkly entices,
An ad proclaims, “bulk sleeping pills – the lowest prices.”

III. Wall to Wall

“Oh Hayyy you bitch! You wild crazy thing.
Last night was wild! LoL Rofl. I just can’t
Believe your antics or your tawdry fling.
Just wrote to let you know I’ve got your pants.”

“Fuck yeah you whore! I told you I’d get laid.
What momma wants she reaches out and takes.
And you! You slut! You seriously slayed!!!
XOXO how many does that make?”

“I’m not a slut you fucking Charlottan.
Let’s not mince words but count our scores again
And my honor, doubtless, the tally will defend.”

“Oh now it’s on, you slut, you easy lay.
You bite the hand that’s helped you every day,
when your plan B costs I helped to defray!”


Six mutuals should well attest
That I’m no stranger. Or at best
I am a friend. That’s my request.
I know that at that RL party
Both of us were getting shitty,
And memory may well be spotty.

But I’m alone if not with you,
And want to browse your interests too.
Then I can poke, and you poke back.
So if there’s not too much I lack,


—after Jason Moran’s Say Peace

Architect of ataraxis, coalescing
motional exultation with
body’s infrequent, delineated blessing,
dialogued verbatim when
forgotten pleasantries revisit,
unharmed. Peace.

her smile of warming arms
around torso and manipulated
hearsay, gone,
among ripened window’s opening of
unagitated reason. 



Visna Perdis worries about me,
problem is, I’m not Anthony,
and I don’t know about Anthony,
but I don’t care for women,
hot or cold, not in that way,
of course body temperature
is of much importance
and I dislike extremes,
if women are burning somewhere,
it must be stopped, 
they must be helped,
but I’m not Anthony.

Visna Perdis confuses me
with her concerns,
she does not want me 
to slave away all my life,
I should follow her link
and earn $300 per hour,
but Visna, I’m not Anthony!
I hate to take 
such an opportunity away from Anthony,
for all I know he is pale
forlorn, and jobless.

Visna, please stop,
every day you tempt me
but I’m not Anthony,
now I worry about Anthony,
millions of dollars at his fingertips
and he is nowhere to be found.

Visna, with all the time you have to email, 
won’t you please find Anthony?



Native trees die in tones of 
metal. The river, it turns into bloated stone,
carrying its cargo of dead logs 
to the ocean market. 

And to the sound of falling apples,
bees are drawn; to the ferment,
turns in summer’s sugar, the same that would make the scavenger birds drunk. 
Watch them flap madly into the clear, open breakfast windows.

To die is only to pass: scrub jays, dead on the porch, just that.
Smoke dissipates in autumn, 
much quicker than stagnant summers which created them. 
We die, we burn; we may well turn up on distant shores amid the timbers.



On this wild sea, nothing’s stable,
tossed which ever way the wind blows.
Behind me, becoming aware
of the signs. They are everywhere,
around me. This life, a struggle, 
in these lines rhyming the turmoil.
Confessing, no more denial.
Tomorrow’s fears I must bear,
on this wild sea.

Like waves, illusions come and go,
up, down, making a new cycle,
whirling round. Change is in the air
that I breathe. I shall not despair.
Instead, I shall be mindful, while
on this wild sea.



Hear that?
One got our cat.

It’s midnight,
but still hot
from the heat of day.

The bed springs
go weep, weep.

We lie panting
in the sudden
emptiness afterward,

wings coated
with ash.



what if weeping willows were songs 
accosted by the rivalry of shaped emotions heard
I watched melodies resonate in the exhausted posture 
of the trees 
yet the coda was a recurrent paralysis 
denoted in the trunk, the roots, the inner core 
I’d sing will them in the rain 
with ragweed burning in my mouth 
reaching for the magnanimity of the willows 
which cry and brag at the same time 
in the same park 
yet in different daze


I’ve left your gray and white Fedora 
by the grayish pink banister 
and your dinner 
salisbury steak teased with mushroom gravy 
settled next to cheddar and Parmesan potatoes 
resting next to honey glazed carrots 
on a plate 
atop the mantel next to insignificant things 
like me 
our marriage
our divorce 
and our date 
for the fifth time before 
7 p.m.



The key above the lintel, out of reach. If stone can become so easily a mirror, why not 
also a door? Scarcely room to turn around in this cramped skull. Each of the various 
spellings of the name has a different connotation. Or you remember your precise location 
when the word was spoken but you have no idea when. Perhaps if you knew how to play 
the piano. The woman in the next room is laughing again; there is no way to tell whether 
the voice is your own. 


The man with the glass eye waves us through the gate without checking our
identification. We are uneasy about this but cannot say why. We hang our coats on the
trees and wade into the river. It is not nearly so cold as we had imagined. This of course 
takes place elsewhere; the new photographs contain no familiar faces. The way the 
machine works is this: the identity of any key changes each time it is pressed. What 
comes out in the end is somewhat hard to predict. The problem is that we still don’t have 
enough monkeys.



Okay, after everything, let’s call it quits:
I first kissed you a year ago on a rooftop 
in the city when the wet summer steam 
rose from the black streets like our lips 
to each other.

I was just a boy then, as new to the earth
as a cherub, keeping my truths tucked 
in shoes. You gathered them when the rain 
scattered over our town, and smiled at me
like a child. 

One year later: dust spreads over the floor 
of the bedroom where we stayed warm 
together in winter months. A bird calls, 
an old sound and then the plates shift.
It’s weird, isn’t it?

You don’t even notice when it happens: 
love turns too sweet, over-ripe, like berries
with an aftertaste of rum. The moon fell, 
pressed against your fevered forehead,
and I found you.

Little girl, with a string of sweat on your brow,
I see through you like a clean window, 
so telling this felt like swallowing quarters.
My tears were rivers running backwards,
(backwards because)

I wouldn’t let them go. With a quieted face 
like my mother’s, I left you in the bed where 
we held closest. Through the window,
sunlight surged through in shades of lava:
morning opened.


Contributor’s Notes:

Ailill - a learner, teacher, and wanderer.

Anna Donovan is an educator and psychologist currently residing in Texas. In Sei Shonagon’s “following the brush” tradition, she keeps a “pillow book” with her stories, thoughts and responses from within to inside processes or outside events.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 18 print and digital poetry chapbooks as well as a full-length collection of poetry, Lovesick (2009). His second full-length collection, Heart With a Dirty Windshield, will be published by BeWrite Books. 

Dan Lewis’ work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Margie, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southern New Hampshire University Journal, Diner, Café Review, Paper Street, Segue, Poemeleon, and others.

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Gloom Cupboard (U.K.), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Yes, Poetry, Calliope Nerve, Opium 2.0, Poetry Friends, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia) and other publications.

Erick Mertz can be found at his website:

J.Sj. (yӧsh) was born in Wyoming among the bison. He lost their trust upon relocating to the hard coast, where he studies film, philosophy, mathematics, and occasionally poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. His magnificent teachers have thrown him skull-first at many walls - for which he thanks them.

Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974), is a case manager and advocate for developmentally and physically disabled adults. He has authored 28 collections of poetry, including “Construed Implications” (erbacce-press, 2009) and “Delineated Functions of Congregated Constructs” (Calliope Nerve Media, 2010). His poems have appeared atCalliope Nerve, Unlikely 2.0, BlazeVOX, Metazen, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He edits & publishes Counterexample Poetics, an online journal of experimental artistry, and Differentia Press, dedicated to publishing e-chapbooks of experimental poetry. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein “rose” prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to classic and avant-garde jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. His website explains further:

Frank Virgintino is a double major in Creative Writing and Literature at SUNY Purchase College. He loves coffee, nature walks, and Bob Dylan. He lives in New York.

Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 275 online and print journals. He is a professor at Essex County College and ABD at Seton Hall University. Visit his gallery at

Issue 1: March 2010


The same rain falling on us 
with dreary sincerity 
fell on the Great Dead, so-called 
despite there being nothing 
great about being dead. 
Write every day, I was taught. 
Better yet, the rain said, 
trigger various car alarms, 
and whatever the point of two 
or more exclamation points in a row is, 
browse the pawnshops 
and the green spray of hills, 
forgetting, if you can, the children 
at the gates of the orphanage. 


ice already, 
hiding in the damp. 
in the spent orgies 
of starfish leaves. 

shreds of birches 
the cerecloth; 
and too the frayed gauze 
of shorn aspens. 

the lake lapping 
like a mule under a load. 
crows at the flanks 
cackle into a ring of char. 

a cloud, turgid and mean, 
with a double chin 
of despots for a hide, 
hogs the swimming hole, 

inflicting the weight 
of its doppelganger; 
and hardening the monocles 
of ten thousand 

petty puddles. 


my hands folded, boney. 
corpse-still on my lap. 
the fingers not 
clog dancing over keys. 
only a still ridge 
the dark side of the moon. 

at two a.m., the dim lamp 
is hitting them that way. 
shading the bulk of the skin 
to pale the knuckles. 
each round bump 
a bloodless face 
of a solider lying near the Marne, 
late september. 

if they moved now, 
it would be sweet magic. 
make their fiancées 
in distant homelands cry. 
but the lamp is heavy. 
cold as a gibbous sky 
soon to cast sleet. 

it’s hard to think under its siege 
of anything the dead 
want to say. 


depthless quietus, 
guzzling like a drunk, 

vision gets sucked 
into your unborn navel, 

then whirlpools of torsos 
and a nova of dreams. 

you ride bright landslides, 
snaring creatures of stars: 

red mammoths in yoked orbits, 
clydesdales of plasma 

tethered to a feverish pace. 

your sharp cusp 
butchers worlds down to gluons. 

no blood left, 
not even a twinkle. 

whatever they saw, 
hoboing through the light years, 

stretches into a fast-forwarded 
movie of everything― 

then vanishes like a rubberband 
that takes no time at all to snap 

and never be. 


I have walked the plains of sand and piercing winds 
Seeking the places carried upon the winds 

The dry desert speaks through a silent darkness 
Of the mystery within the hollow winds 

Caked river beds reminiscent of the sea 
Ache for freedom from storms and surging winds 

The moon in coolness like steel and pearl aflame 
Rides the mystery of change within night winds 

Here in this complex silence, the mind and heart 
Speak of momentary stars and ancient winds 


Moss on a cypress. 
Clouds in a dream. 
Setting suns. 
Yesterday’s thunder. 

Silence, the messenger 
of love. 
Silence, the most eloquent 
of liars. 


To talk like the rain. 
Words the color of oneself. 
This is poetry. 


Either road is fecund, 
ending in wide tables: 
one lined with pastries 
the other only flowers. 



No-one seemed to notice as you shuffled by, 
past the white coats in the office, 
through the green swing-doors, 
that winter’s afternoon, on your way to the river. 

And you’d left your cigarettes 
on your bedside locker, 
like a man not intending to be gone for long. 

Later someone told me he’d passed you on the road, 
left side rolling, pushing on, 
like a man with an appointment, in your leather mules. 

It was almost spring when they found your body, 
washed up on the sandbanks, a bloated thing. 

I think about you often. 
And of the things men leave behind. 
I kept the faith you gave me ─ may it see you home. 


I have been here a month, 
sitting in a circle with others, 
reading copy and writing heads. 
Today I’m convinced 
crime in the streets 
will never stop 
as long as 
someone can write 
and someone can read. 
I spell “ukulele” for Ulrich 
and a strange continent of sweat 
breaks out 
on the back of my shirt. 
"It’s as big as Australia," 
says Ulrich. 
At that moment I know 
I’m letting another July 
die in Chicago, 
reading copy and writing heads. 


Each morning, 
he sits at his desk, 
lights a cigar, 
starts looking around 

like a bear on a waterfall 
looking for salmon. He growls 
for raw copy, anything typed, 
anything with errors in it. 

Each day he comes to the office 
honed to rectify wrongs. 
Suffer the little stories 
to come unto him. 


they sat by the water 
languid bodies on bored sundays 
eye frames and red soup cans 

they spoke of school yards 
bent golf clubs 
the price of gold 
and the weight of kissing 
measured by silver 

they spoke 
and wallowed 
and rubbed their wrists 
all right. 


after the golf and champagne glass game is over 
empty soda bottles, crumpled cocktail napkins 
and the food musters 
disposable plates 

there is no use, for hands to hold 
under running water, you say 
ten speed bikes 
and long scarves 
are trademarks 
you bare 

with laughter 
and missing steps, buzzed 

i turn, shuffle 
thinking of the empty bottles 
the wet book of matches 

and you ring my telephone 
in the morning 
like a classified ad 
or looking for a lost pet. 


My foolish existence 
flows through the river waters 
with plastic bags 
dancing on it’s head. 


As if he didn’t fly toward that sun when the sky was sliced in two, 
Choosing instead to turn north toward colder climes, whereupon 
His wax and feathers froze and Odin spoke saying “all curious boys 
Commend themselves to wrong turns sometimes, but you flew 
Right and straight this time, handing off the burdens of avarice and 
Infamy.” Icarus, not knowing what to say really, surveyed the heights 
To which he had aspired. He counted one: I am going to cast out all 
My hopes of warmth, and two: freedom’s just another word for 
Nothin’ left to lose. The song ringing true in his head, Icarus looked up 
And saw his blood blue number written on the sky. “When I am 33,” 
He said, “I will die then and all the world will love me.” 


Far away, you dream my belly 
The one with the line down the middle 
Through which babies came sprawling into the world 
The one you’ve neither seen nor touched 
Years ago I went to New York in spring 
And bought you a book, first edition 
Signed by a poet you loved and emulated 
Your lines like his held out only so much 
Until restraint took over 
Secrets back in the box, yours, his, mine 
The book my small offering to what you wanted 
As March took over from the longest winter of our lives 
Now we walk such different streets, you and I 
My drum is syncopated to the only rhythm I know 
Yours to everyone else’s 
I like my drum better than yours 
Now when the sky streaks toward the West with cold pink fingers 
Pointing “come home” I will think of you and the book I put away 


Contributor’s Notes:
Sarah Ahmad lives in Pakistan and is a photographer by profession. Poetry has appeared in Mad Swirl, Full of Crow, Otoliths, Stone’s Throw Magazine, and elsewhere. Chapbook, Unfulfilled Doubts, has recently been released by Artistically Declined Press.

Chris Crittenden teaches environmental ethics for the University of Maine. Much of his writing is done in a hut in a remote spruce forest. Acceptances reinvigorate him now and again, among the hurdles and pitfalls of his obsession to express. He blogs mordantly as Owl Who Laughs. 

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 18 print and digital poetry chapbooks as well as a full-length collection of poetry, Lovesick (2009). His second full-length collection, Heart With a Dirty Windshield, will be published by BeWrite Books. 

David Kowalczyk lives and writes in Oakfield, New York. His poetry and fiction have appeared in seven anthologies and over one hundred magazines and journals, including Istanbul Literary Journal, California Quarterly, St. Ann’s Review, and The Buffalo News. He has taught English in Changwon, South Korea and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as well as at Arizona State University. 

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press, and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Poetry Friends, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia), and other publications. 

Joe Montalbo enjoys mint ice cream, naps, and poems by Sharon Olds. He is 22 and currently working towards an M.A. in creative writing. 

Christina Murphy’s poetry has appeared or is forthoming in a number of journals including, most recently, ABJECTIVE, Pool: A Journal of Poetry, Splash of Red, Counterexample Poetics, and Blue Fifth Review

Patricia Murphy received her Doctor of Arts in English from Idaho State University in 2003. She is an Assistant Professor of English and the Writing Program Coordinator at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, NY.  She teaches Freshman Composition, Business Writing, Analytical and Research Writing and Creative Writing. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Clinton, NY, where she spends her spare time organizing creative readings, supporting the After Breast Cancer Group, and participating as a proud member of the Mohawk Valley Peace Coalition. 

C.P. Stewart lives with his family in North Yorkshire, England. Formerly singer/songwriter with the cult band Laughing Gravy, his poetry has been widely published in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States . He was a former poetry editor for Sotto Voce Arts and Literary Magazine (U.S) His first poetry collection, Taking it In, was recently published by Koo Poetry Press. 

Stephanie Valente lives and writes in New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. She can be found at her blog: