THAT GREYHOUND STATION
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.
GIFT, WITH A NOTE, FOR MY WIFE
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
we are idle.
BOOK OF FACES: FIVE SONNETS
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,
FELINO A. SORIANO
—after Jason Moran’s Say Peace
Architect of ataraxis, coalescing
motional exultation with
body’s infrequent, delineated blessing,
dialogued verbatim when
forgotten pleasantries revisit,
her smile of warming arms
around torso and manipulated
among ripened window’s opening of
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.
THIS WILD SEA
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.
A LITTLE DEATH
One got our cat.
but still hot
from the heat of day.
The bed springs
go weep, weep.
We lie panting
in the sudden
ERNEST WILLIAMSON III
THE ORCHESTRA OF THINGS SEEN
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
CRYING FUNNY BONES
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
and our date
for the fifth time before
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
THE INEVITABLE, OR A BREAK-UP
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,
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:
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: http://www.semiurbancartography.com/
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: www.felinoasoriano.info.
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 http://www.yessy.com/budicegenius