Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fresh poetry from Felino A. Soriano

from Quintet Dialogues: translating introspection

Of bass


twice this morning i

rotated my structural dilemmas
creating re-created recipes of day’s oval extrapolation (there, in the continuity of elongated

rhythm                         s)

                                                                        serial this or these
interpretive knowingness                                pluralized energies
underneath the understated
regressive light (my wish here

                                                                                    for the NINE:pm

shade of night’s decent gradations)

waning upon aggregation of rest’s interrelated theories


informing the body’s cycles
each earthen shade of entirety
finds reach and focal comparisons within speech and internal excavation


recalling the young morning

                        her presentation of smile and collocated holding of child

each representation
gilded by the context of emotion and system of needed reciprocation

watch and improvise
collecting space in the continuity of sounds

                                                re-echoing like applause
in the praising momentum of self-seeing differentia, exclaimed


when allowed these
rhythms’ intricate syllables
recall a specialized spatial emblem as
known or familiar into an onlooking brilliance
the identified as self in the woven concepts of
interrelated wisdoms 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Four poems from T.S. Bond

Letters to a Goddess

Far below rock bottom
Falling forevermore
Swimming in a sea of quicksand
I know my time has come
I stare God right in her face and ask her why she does it?
She told me there's no reason
She told me there's no grand scheme
She told me I just pushed you all in motion, and it watched you like a rolling snowball
You're all to blame for your own woes
So next time you want to ask me, Ill be resting in a mirror
I asked if she could save me, and she didn't answer

My head's about to go under 
There are so many thing I wish i would've done
There is so many things I wish I would've known
A kiss to God nonetheless for pushing this upon us.
A kiss to her nonetheless for pushing this upon myself.
I'd rather drown in quicksand, then never breathe at all.

Lady Envy LVNV

The heat was dry in the desert.
She found me beneath the lights submerged in the sounds.
It was night but that doesn't matter in a insomniac city.
I was there to relinquish the burdens of past lives, to claim true freedom.
I was there to live.
You must go fast to survive.
You must play to win.
It was a marathon of sin in the city of Dis.
Temptation sang beautifully like a hypnotic siren,
calling to me so softly. So sweetly.
She found me beneath the lights submerged in the sounds.
Her name was lady Envy and she wanted to show me what I already knew in my heart all along.

Natalie Amber

Where have you gone my only one?
We had so much left undone and now you're gone
I try as hard as I can to follow your tracks, but it's been snowing all night
It's so cold tonight
Night after night
If you ever decide to come back 
return to follow my tracks
You will not find any because I'm a ghost without you.

The Observer

I used to be the earth and you were a flower
I am a stone
a statue and you are the sculptor
A stone resting in a field of many flowers
watching infinite cycles of pollination
Forever frozen and preserved like the limestone of the pyramids
I rest in my gorgeous prison
Forever the observer 
so many lifetimes have passed
I am stone, a Statue and you, my dear, The sculptor
I used to be the earth

Monday, February 25, 2013

Three poems from D.L. Tricarico

you leaned on the bar
like last time
bent over the pool table
to make your shot
cue stick
sliding through your hand
like a scepter.
i asked for more
jack daniels
& wished i could
turn up the volume
of the “4 songs for a dollar”
you smiled
after scratching
& sipped your
sex on the beach
just like last time.
i accepted then
your vacant eyes & how they
did not remember me.
soon  it was 2 a.m.
the bartender
kicked us out
like last time
& unplugged the jukebox
before any of my
songs had played.
Corrugated aluminum hides what seems
To be an endless procession of lovers, friends,
And silent, desperate angels of the night
And not-so-night,
My virgin of the trailer park.
Past sins are purged under metal
And dark secrets cleansed behind screen door mesh.
Your tears bleed from wounds
Made in your soul,
My virgin of the trailer park.  But tonight,
I celebrate with the celibate
Who begs for love and buys the brand of
Romantic masturbation
That you sell him
              My virgin. . .
He hears you cry for love
You scream for physical love
And curse the emptiness of the act
And he sees you (Renaissance actress
With the short term memory) laugh in his face.
You act out of the part of Woman in Love
But not near him.
You dance, sweet virgin, in your satin sheets,
Dreaming of the normalcy of Sophomore crushes.
Loneliness is the straight razor of your heart.
Her drive to the mountains
was nothing more than a pause
between real world obligations. 
She’s hoping for a bit of peace,
and the wish for it sits in the palm
of her outstretched hand
like a tiny, frightened sparrow.
Later, when the sun shatters
into pieces that eventually become the stars,
she takes the time to think
of every choice she’s made and all
the days that have come after. 
And Sunday evening, as her tires roll
along the endless asphalt curves
because she hears the old world calling,
she gazes through her windshield
and understands that no matter how perfect
the turning Earth, it’s still a long way down.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Five poems from James Babbs

In Slow-Motion
toward the end
my father grew weaker
pulling himself out of bed
holding on to the dresser
using it to reach the door
his legs buckling beneath him
before I had a chance to catch him and
he was falling
while I watched him
in slow-motion
but all I could do
was stand there
my father in his
undershirt and boxers
lying on the floor and
I remember
bending over him
asking him
if he was okay
his eyes staring back at me
my mother behind me
crying into the phone
A Year Ago Today
it was a year ago
when you died
just a couple of months
past your 50th birthday and
the cancer swallowed you
one piece at a time
your body growing weaker and
I remember
how we had to
help you into the bed and
when your brother came in
to tell you he was leaving
you started crying and
I asked you
what was wrong
I thought
you were in pain and
needed something
but you told me
it was just that
whenever somebody
told you goodbye
you were never sure
if it was going to be
for the last time
Hot Night
that night we first met
at a mutual friend’s place
after the wiener roast was over
when we were walking up the hill
back toward the house
on such a hot night
for the first week in October
and we didn’t have much to
say to each other
the sky littered with stars
out there in the country
miles from the city and
the wind slowly rising up
caressing our faces
stirring the ends of
your long dark hair
I Was in Love
I was in love with
the bionic woman when
I was just a kid
imagined myself
the six million
dollar man running
through the fields
leaping boulders
in my way and
throwing around bad guys
as if they weighed
nothing at all
Whenever I See Her
I’ve been thinking about
the fifteen-year old girl again
with the long blonde hair
wearing her blue swimsuit
those white straps
across her naked back
almost 28 years ago
our first day of swimming
freshman year of high school and
I can, still, see her golden skin
thinking about
how soft it must have felt and
both of us in our forties
she’s married with kids
for a long time now
but whenever I see her
I remember that girl and
the boy I used to be
floating in the water
clinging to the edge of the pool
watching her walk away

Monday, October 8, 2012

Five poems from James Babbs


I had to wait in line
for my new license plate sticker
I think they had
the slowest person they could find
doing the job and
the woman in front of me
turned and said
if people have their checks ready
when they get up there
it shouldn’t take very long
then before it was my turn
they opened another line up and
before I knew it
I was back in the car
I didn’t know
if I was ready to go home
or if I wanted to go somewhere else
for some reason
I decided to go to the mall
I guess
I wanted to go some place
where I could walk around for awhile
it was another one of those days
where nothing felt right and
I kept walking past all the stores
wondering what I might find
but not expecting much of anything
I kept watching all those young faces
most of them probably
more than half my age
but I was convinced
they all knew more than me
I was in my 40s
but it didn’t feel like it
everyone had such rich fulfilling lives and
I was still waiting for mine to begin

The Night I Broke My Foot

I never broke any bones
until I was almost 30 years old
back when I was working
the night shift at Big-Mart
the old one
before they built the super one
over on the other side of town
I unloaded trucks and stocked shelves
from nine at night
until five in the morning
my buddy Todd and me
and another guy got to come in
an hour before the rest of the shift
so we could clear out the back and
have it all ready to go
by the time the others arrived
out on the floor I worked
mostly in the household chemicals area
you know
where you’ve got toilet bowl cleaner and
laundry detergent and
cans of air freshener to make
your bathroom smell good and
all those kinds of things and
I was out there trying to find room for
a second box of furniture polish
when Lonnie came out of the back
pulling this big pallet of detergent
these huge boxes of Tide
for some special sale that was coming up
he looked like he was having trouble with it
so I ran over to give him a push
but one of the boxes fell off the back
and landed on my foot
these were 20 pound boxes
or something close to that
of powdered laundry detergent and
it fell from about four feet and
when it struck me it hurt
but I didn’t think it was that bad
but when I put my weight on it
I almost passed out from the pain
I had to sit down on the floor
taking off my shoe and sock
seeing the bruise starting to form
I remember Lonnie told me to
get on the pallet jack and
he took me up to the front of the store
that’s where the manager was
sitting in the snack bar
wearing a red tie and
a bright yellow dress shirt
he was probably drinking coffee
trying to keep himself awake
when we told him what happened
he looked like he didn’t know
what he should do and
he kept asking us a bunch of questions
like he was trying to figure out
how he could make it our fault
and I don’t think
he believed my foot was broken
he kept asking me how it felt and
just nodded his head
when I told him
I couldn’t put any weight on it
but when Lonnie told him
it sounded just like the time
he had broken his leg
the manager finally relented and
told me to go to the hospital
and have it checked out
he gave me a form and told me
to have a drug test done while I was there
I guess just to make sure
Todd got to drive me to the hospital
I’d rode with him to work
we were in the emergency room
for three or four hours and
when we got back to the store
I showed the manager my papers
and the pair of aluminum crutches
they had given to me
I had two broken bones in my left foot
but he still acted funny about it
I guess he didn’t think
that a box of detergent
no matter how big they were
was enough to do something like that
I had to sit in the snack bar
until it was time to go home
writing down as well as I could
exactly what had happened
on our way home
Todd and I had to stop and
get my prescription filled
it was for some pain killers and
I thought it was funny
Big-Mart had a pharmacy
but it wasn’t open 24 hours
later on that day I had to
come back to see the doctor and
he put a cast on my foot
a blue one made of nylon and
I got to stay home for the next four weeks
using my crutches to get around
while drawing workman’s comp
but don’t get me started
about workman’s comp
that’s a whole other story

We’ve Got One Bar In This Town

we’ve got one bar in this town
where the funeral home used to be
and when the bar first opened up
it was called the Last Stop
but it goes by a different name now
and we don’t have a funeral home anymore
if you die here they just drive your body
over to one of the nearby towns
and if you want to be buried
in one of our local cemeteries
after your funeral service is over
they’ll drive you back again
around here we have two cemeteries
one north of town and
the other one when you head south
my family’s buried in the south one
at least the members of my family
who are buried around here
some of them are buried in other places
and some of them
I don’t know where they are
but I was talking about the bar
it has one pool table
and a couple of pinball machines
and I think they serve food
most nights until nine o’clock
but you can get pizzas right up until they close
and I’ve been there a few times
but I never go there to eat
I just go there
I want to get drunk on
another lonely Saturday night
and I always see the same guy
he’s there no matter when I go
asking someone to buy him a beer
and he’s not really anybody’s friend
but everybody knows his name

They’re Both Dead Now

they’re both dead now
the old couple that lived
up the street from us
when I was just a boy
and she was always baking
some kind of cake or cookies
and when she pulled them from the oven
she’d let you eat some of them
while they were still warm
with a big glass of cold milk
and he’d sit out on their porch
holding his pipe between his teeth
and I remember
watching how the smoke
curled around his face
I think his name was George
and her name was Stella
I don’t think they ever owned a TV
but they always had a radio going
with the volume turned up so loud
you could hear it from the street
and he always called her Sweetie
and she always called him Mr. Green
I don’t think they had any children
and I remember
they had this deck of playing cards
they kept in the living room
that were much larger than
any normal-sized deck
but I never saw them using the cards
so I can’t tell you what kind of games they played


I’m thinking about
someone beautiful
someone living in another town
who doesn’t love me anymore
and this happens to me
all the time
I sit around
thinking too much
dredging up the past
when I know
I should just let it go
and the dogs start barking
from somewhere down the street
I guess
they’ve found something
lurking in the dark
or maybe they’re just cold
and have been outside long enough
and now they’re ready to go
back into the house

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two texts from John Pursch

Noontime Moans

Welding prebiotic reindeer couple in dermal seclusion, prancing on down chariot wool, smitten with salient clarity tunes. Endogenous ferrets melt dollops of propeller pumice, pleated into sterilized staph embers, roping in bestial plungers with falsehoods. Addled Roman histology mockers, fettered and irresolute, land just monuments away from stiffly cropped but halcyon Grayliens, popping used Camelot Six enclosures, fed to suppurating inches by belted barnyard bailiffs. Verbally ovoid wrecks plan irrigation towns, slaving on baby fly schematics, craving monitored memories. Extant tumblers cry for notation particles, beefy whimsy, and incursions of egret pellet mousse, hobbled by overland witch canopies. Ever floating, aspiring remodelers blur the loins, betting under tactical freeze gantries with garrulous corduroy freaks. The eddy of prophetic segues, milking prescience from truth’s faulty static lecture, presses a knotted world’s ordinary models of spinal taste till clods of buildings clip a cardboard pedestal with proving cheers, hinting at quadrennial sagacity. Milling suburban intruders squirm in Botox amity, nailing velvet torque, pneumatically decoded into topiary doorstep motes. Heaving soaked poodles at lifelong stutter pars, emergent foals preclude argon rinks, throbbing at empaneled crates, slipping on lush pleura.

Hackles groan, cluck an epiglottal broach, and cavil for dromedaries in culled silence, greening into docile pairings. Some remanded stilton priests regain ephedrine at drooling quarters, but history careens incarnate, featureless in repository cloves. Dreg controls run underground, cementing sodden emulators, sneaking cornered dominoes between systolic hovels, debasing effulgent cavities. Silver hoes extol astringent pantaloons, inverting elk handles, boggling whomever severed heirs dashed toward, gearing down tumescent tiers. Logging after leeward trolleys, sinking sebum cuties blanche at torsion gnomes in nubile gravitation coats, setting fashion back a thousand island sunsets. Whey knots into wiggling schemes of crown duct sanctuaries, creasing D-Day with a trillion empty outriggers, bottling the sandbar to a drawling Texan. Laudatory noontime moans wrap an eely loch aground, festering in choral Plasticine, dormant but caught in arching kestrel troops. Plangency concusses harmonic caterers, steaming for lounge choirs, broiling sudoku myths in glossy anterooms. Anchored mimes slurp down voluminous billows of marshland stew, gargling goulash and saltpeter cheese. Pleasantries hop drowned roofers, creaming their pickled earrings with dungeon grouper chills, leafing shelled with gill police.

Phenyl Gum Harrows

Due to crosshatch pollenation, verbal overtones stir actual contract prunes betwixt epaulettes and land crab seas, accordion oily faced fossils. Sewn she be gratis weighty, prepositional, floored amber grits, mope ‘n grope trellis appeases Dover, daguerreotype oven when apple tune’s oddity to wend over walled hay’s mercantile plea. Shelby revs to haunted order, burbling thruster team mnemonics, harkened to tasty whines, fallow treble shore, meted into column easy floats. Dirty mar monocles peculate a shorn comestible, upshots befriending Lubbock guards, impish lukewarm terriers renominating vernal sleet. Trusty shoal arcs flicker grail locality, truncated into foreign legions, wielding pros and lopped sickles for halter sills in marigold parlance drink. Cobbling tempered shade sores, clanging after modal sevens, booties prey on locomotive scorches, cramming for dime store sleep. When will tonsure buy marimba collars for theatric loading poles, profiting polluted landscapes, menial to peat? Brow gum harrows ease to goulash issue fever, caulked in tolling ballpark news, scampering to stats of thumping figurines, blown sacred in the reedy coda’s Sunday spawn. Welter flaws the seedcake inset, coyly braying sorted paddleboat chirps, reaching to scratch off phenyl eaves in gracious cardinality. Fortune happens, crushing whistle-stop goons, sifting the conductor’s keystone pockets, flocking rationed pomegranate teeth to shoreline caper inductees, all for engraved paupers. Pusillanimous erosion wags a bulging samovar, attaching braver hatcheries to very small birds.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Excerpt from "Country" by Shelby Stephenson


Take me to that dark delta Mississippi − and
you − on a “North Carolina Century Farm −

100 Years of a Continuous
Agricultural Heritage − Honored by the N.C.

State Fair and the N.C. Department of Agriculture −
NCDA” − just like the sign with the mule-shoe

mounted on top reads at the entrance to our
driveway at 985 Sanders Road, Benson,

N.C. 27504.  I want the roam and the world
poised in that pose I saw one time, just once; I thought

That’s the way to play a guitar, yes, without
considering open-strings or arrangements. I saw

Gene Autry once:  Greensboro’s War Coliseum, with
Champion: he “owned” part of the Angels by then:

Anaheim’s a long hum from Tioga, Texas, his
birthplace:  Will Rogers heard him sing and

strum while Gene was killing time as a railroad
telegraph operator in Sapulpa, Oklahoma:

those two words are wonderful: “Sapulpa,”
Creek for “sweet-potato,” “Oklahoma?”

“Okla’s” Choctaw for “people” and “humma”
means “red”:  as a boy I’d shake my wiry, strawberry

locks and sing “That Silver-haired Daddy of Mine”:
Gene Autry wrote it: “Here Comes Santa Claus,”

“Twiddle O Twill,” and “Be Honest with Me.”
Johnny Bond toured for years with Autry, saying

not much worse than loneliness and the bottle can
let one down:  Gene was king, singing the hits of the time:

sold a ton of “Peter Cottontail” and “Rudolph the
Red-nosed Reindeer.”  Coffee on the burner

starts to boil. The meter-reader stops among convivial
bushes where finches feed and my red-bellied

suets, acknowledging me with chesty clucks; O
Pileated One overhead leaves me lonely, my white and

black wings fading into silver, out of hearing, my red
crest in sunlight monument’s victory. I’m

vanguard’s element, ravishing when I’m “on” and
dark as a dungeon when I’m “off.”  Vanguard lofts

Joan Baez, 1960, the biggest-selling folk album
by a woman. Joan of Folk Singers, Queen Water,

Fire, Wind, Dirt, Muffled Applause, Rain, Last Encore!
Her curtain closes. Fiddledeedee!  Mother

goosed the bumblebee!  I’m a Flag Day boy myself.
My parents did not know what I would be.

I just killed a black ant traipsing across my
page, a considerable speculation for a woman’s

man, though I was named for a girl − Shelby Jean Davis −
as I’ve said many times before.  Baez could fill

up Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin.
I saw that spectacle. Would that she could fill

up a cow pasture today?  At the Heinz Memorial,
1965 − I saw her there − with Robert Zimmerman, the

Dylan of folk-fame.  By the way, Baez’s dad was a
physicist and her mother was a dramatist; betwixt them

both they named Joan, Joan, a name foreshadowing
music like a duck slinging water off its

back while jittering for a Junebug.  Joan got real wet
at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival:  that’s

where she signed with Vanguard:  no wonder her sun
shone quickly, shinier than any sheen that would contain

her, “House of the Rising Sun” her theme rooming a
repertoire of songs Whitman and Sandburg would have

loved:  Weavers, Odetta, Seegers, Belafonte, well, her prize
spread beyond the northeast to canyons and valleys, all the

way to my Cow Mire Branch, for I loved to see her
climb, reveled in her voice, even bought a Goya and

sang the songs of the time:  “Five-Hundred Miles”:
Teardrops fell on Mama’s note when I read the

words she wrote, for I was 500 miles away from
: “home” must be the most haunting word:

get on a superhighway and wheels hum for the common
course’s tireless, steaming togetherness wheeling

stillness like the love of a woman for a woman’s
love:  consider my mother who worked the fields

right alongside the men!  I’ll tell you who I am
and salute women greater than Joan, any Joan,

martyr, or companion constant anchoring Identity.
I like Joan Baez for not selling herself out to Image,

the idea that success depends on giving the public
what it eats: that’s the way Pete Seeger got on

ABC-TV’s Hootenanny:  Baez said No, I
won’t appear if Pete can’t: refusing to pay some of her

federal income tax, she did not support the government:
she opposed the Vietnam War:  I would sing

anywhere:  Cricket loves my voice, plus a shoat did
too:  FFA project:  Future Farmers of America:  when

Billy Wright Stephenson brought my pig down
here to Paul’s Hill in a hog-box I made in shop as

part of my Greenhand Program, he handed me
the pedigree: first thing I saw: “Shelby’s Lady”:

without consulting me, he named my Duroc and
put the name in print for the record: I was seventeen

years old, the cock of my walk.  And could I sing too!
I’d scratch her ears: Here, girly, girly, come get your

:  I crooned with all my heart to Shelby’s Lady:
I got a pig at home in a pen and corn to feed her on;

all I need’s a pretty little girl to feed her when I’m gone: 

oh how she could grunt and swoon, as if of wind,

snuffling gusts of fodder I’d throw down to her from the
loft. You can’t beat that!  Joan Baez never had a hog, I’ll

bet:  if she did, she’d share her blue ribbons:she’s that kind of
woman:  life in cabins, boroughs:  Wurzburger’s

one of my favorite beers, brewed first about
1643: now I’m a non-alcoholic beer-man:

I have been there and done that:  youth’s dark as
Debra Kaufman’s look at her childhood, being

born of a bloody beauty, arriving into darkness,
never quite shedding that skin, the daughter

writing about the mother, connecting
semblances of light free as possible from

mistakes, for the poet can neither beat the human
predicament nor tie it−it is too Human−Necessity’s

trap: the poet’s father holds the key, the poems
dwelling in houseless-heads her mind shapes from

Caroline to Iowa for his funeral, feeling
guilty enough to write down feelings in songs

once she gets back home.  It rains just the same in
Iowa as it does in Carolina.  A blurb might go:

The Next Moment begins in the Word, perhaps
accidentally, that adults introduce children to

valleys forever valleys, as childhood’s fraught with
longing and failed successes:  the Poet desires to relate to

Father, though the father, dead, charges a light to her
closeness, haloing her body, The Poem: the father

palms her crown: in that moment, The Poem as a
whole swerves and sings, holding on for dear

life to the lost girl back there with her mother whose
straps slip into her beer.  Forgiveness bows, shifts

identity into a weeping willow cry, cry, crying. 
Beers I have loved?  Forgiving myself ahead

of time for actually leaving out some I have drunk,
drinking too many at times, too, I yearn to lean

body to my early years:  this poem must have
discipline:  I want it to be a country song

rounder-upper, rough as the poet’s father in
The Next Moment, callousing the refrain good

girl gone bad
with rain falling on her head as she
turns the key and escapes that House of Nicotine and

that mother bored out of her mind, wishing her own
dark soul would take her away into the night’s

stark leaving, ravished, bright with strength to live herself 
and feel Love supporting the daughter-wife-husband-father −

make their relationship a slam. Listen up:
human beings are imperfect: so are poems:

Miller, Budweiser, Yuengling, Pabst, Schlitz,
Heineken, Samuel Adams, Blue Moon:  oh for

Amber O’Doul’s?  Clausthaler!  Is Utopia a beer!
Phil Balsley’s one of the Statler Brothers.  Get behind me,

Alphabet! Lew DeWitt wrote “Flowers on the Wall”;
Harold Reid’s bass’s deep as J.D. Sumner’s −

hey, what is this − not a one named Statler! 
I’ve been to Staunton, Virginia:  Statler?

The boys took the name from a brand of facial
tissue: “Whisper Soft?” Not good as “Statler.”

Their song titles titillate a dark coolness
The Next Moment wenches from a window

up above: “You Can’t Have Your Kate and
Edith Too”:  “Ruthless”:  yes, I’d say, like banjo-jokes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The last installment of Russell Streur's "City of Bones"


Coastal flooding

Damage control
Old lines of thought
String of perils

Sound bite
Silent partner
Line of questioning

“The debris is here,”
the beachcomber said.
“But no one is listening.”

Data purge
Memory overload
Accidental release

Genetic breach.


Mutant virus

Blurred line
No ending
Unusual gloom

Constant toll
Brutal defeat
Vise tightens

“Fear is acceptable,”
the doctor said.
“There’s a lot we can translate into medicine.”

Radon threat
Structural ambivalence
Hate crime

Unlimited mileage.


End of the show

Police state rises
Advertisers flee

Puppet rulers
Struggle for supremacy
Demand silence

“They’ve been preparing this a long time,”
the senior official said,
“It is not coming out of the blue.”

Temporary burial
Stir ghosts

City abandoned.


Placebo effect

Almost like
Being there
Weightless and invisible

One pill cures past
Millions of workers
Pay price

“No one is going to shed a tear for these people,”
the visiting professor said.
“This battle has been lost.”

Day into night
Wireless dreams
Deliberate amnesia

No one immune