2,100 trans gender people
killed since 2003 or so world wide
a corrupt govt here
in lock step with
in 4000 dollar suits
kids not get enough to eat
abuse neglect slander libel
an more cock a mamey lies
en Fibber MaGee….movie prophesy
songs poems polemics
nuke leak oil leak assorted natural
an man made disasters
is it gonna be Mad Max
or Monkey bang on monolith
I don’t know
religion greed politic greed
upmanshad …silly willy an the gang
calling all cars BOLO for any
*other*needs a bullet letter
while really fat rich people
plot some outer space escape
leaving us me you n Gus
the mess they made
who knows? a whimper a bang
earthquake flood tornado?
bunch of us
sittin on benches
crying bout why
floods in California
health care bill
education by religion wags
all fall down
shut da fuk up
have a nice day
wall mart happy face
win or lose. hedge your edge.
write of parlay. slowly ending bet.
forbidden child! drift into another.
dice or other games.
no one wins…..
One immense hand
the cauldron of chaos
with millions of little hands
with their unknowing souls.
Stephen Jarrell Williams writes and draws late into the night, watching out his window for the Coming Good Dawn.
I am homeless And is bloody clod
Is warm enough .
that warns me I better not get fat.
You’ll leave me if I gain weight? How many pounds?
Because I can gain three right here, right now
before you finish talking—and will, with pleasure,
just in French fries and raspberry bliss martinis,
and I’ll happily lick the chocolate rim clean
and tongue-dive to the bottom of the glass
to tell you through my greasy, sweet, salty lips
to kiss my growing ass.
Love is not love
that hooks up with a sophomore tonight
and bangs a freshman tomorrow and tells me
to get over it because we aren’t exclusive.
Excuse me, Mr. FWB, but love is not love
that trades one body for another,
moving in darkness from cover to cover,
spreading heartache like some kind of disease
no condom prevents and no drug can ease.
Love is not love
that lies or hides behind equivocation—word games
and mind-fucks show no consideration for the woman
who hangs herself on every word.
Your words are rocks I put in my pockets
before I walk in the river.
You hold my heart hostage when you’re sorry but
not sorry enough to change. The head of the house,
you forbid me to feel what I was made to feel,
and tell me that what I know that I know that I know isn’t real.
Love is not love
that dumps me because I won’t sleep with you.
Sex is not how I measure your worth—
even if it’s how you measure mine.
I’m sure the space between your legs is a magical place,
but is it where your thoughts are born and raised—
where you show you’re smart and funny and kind?
No offense to your beautiful body, but why get angry
that I want to fall in love with your mind?
Can your cock hold a pen to paper and write
the story of your life? I’ll open my arms
to your poems, your fluff, your deepest thoughts,
your scary stuff, your emo diary off the cuff
journal doodle pad you hate your dad random Hufflepuff.
Willing to read you as you long to be read,
and you break up because I won’t jump into bed.
Love is not love
that tries to shrink my will to fit your size.
My name is not Anastasia, Mr. Grey.
Go away. Take your toys and knotted ties;
I don’t care what you saw Mia Khalifa do online.
Some girls might fall for your bandwagon appeal—
your logical fallacy rough sex gang train fantasy plea bargain deal.
But don’t assume my Yes to a date or a drink or a dance
means I want to get nasty or get in your pants.
The only blurred line I see
is the one between the man you are
and the man you ought to be.
For the record—
My name is Marissa, not THOT, T-H-O-T.
If you slap me, I won’t turn the other cheek.
You Ray Rice me, I’ll call the police.
Unless you are my child, there are conditions to my love.
If I did not give birth to you—end of.
Love is not love
that looks in the mirror at the end of a date
and wonders in tears, What part of me does he hate?
And then stuffs her face instead of facing her stuff
so she can take what she’s given though it’s never enough,
instead of walking away from anyone who says she’s too much.
God is love and God’s in me—self-love and Jesus
will make me complete. No more starvation or deprivation,
pretending I’m content to eat the crumbs
that fall from a man’s table while I sit at his feet.
My love for you lives in mitochondria
and spans the Texas sky,
a full-bodied 47 Cheval Blanc Viking war cry.
But love is not love that forfeits her own soul’s worth,
so in all of my loving,
I’ll love myself first.
Marissa Glover lives and dreams in central Florida, where she shares way more of her thoughts than necessary. Marissa considers sharing her form of charitable giving. If it counted as a tax deduction, she’d be rich.
When I sat down in my English class I heard from my teacher:
“Write a story about the future!”
I know what she expected
Flying cars, robots and super computers?
That isn’t what she got.
The children she teaches don’t see hope in the future, we see restrictions
And she didn’t tell us to write fiction – so we write what we predict
We wrote about strict governments and hopelessness
Because we see the inequality, we know
That everyone, everywhere is in danger
At home, on the streets, in a room of strangers
When did we stop believing in a bright future?
We stopped trying to invent flying cars
And we started obliviously destroying our nation
But I don’t think that’s what my teacher meant,
When she told us:
Laying still and curled up small,
the world dims and becomes quiet,
heart beating so hard it numbs
the rib cage.
The disembodied voice
demanding what it calls ‘forgiveness’,
for another chance,
while trying to hide the deceit
that lies so heavy on its tongue
drying out its throat to cease the words.
It is only seeking the power
that it once had:
a throne and a crown
that I usurped,
keep locked away
no matter how much the voice pleads.
To destroy the throne and crown
is a temptation and desire,
but even just a glimpse of those
metals with their peeling gold plating
is enough to bring the voice back
to drown this room once more.
The fatal morning Europe woke up and thought it had something to say,
there was nobody else left in the world able to listen.
Oh, earth, the bones had gathered to queue for bread,
by the front door at Saint Joseph seminary.
An ordinary day for ordinary death.
The bakery opened and closed.
The workers arrived on time for a last shift then went home.
The ovens had no traces of grain.
The ink stained hope filled up rusty water pipes.
The crowds’ whisper went on, up the hill, out of the city.
After that, freedom meant nothing.
It all came down to
who could hold the front running place the longest.
Maria Stadnicka is a writer, freelance journalist and lecturer. She started writing at the age of seven and published her first poems in 1995.
Between 1996 and 2003 Maria lived in Iasi and Botosani, Romania and won 12 Romanian national prizes for poetry, as well as Porni Luceafarul… – First Prize for poetry collection and Convorbiri Literare publishing house, T. Arghezi – First Prize for poetry and V. Alecsandri – First Prize for poetry.
She worked as a radio and TV broadcaster, presenter and editor in chief for Radio North-East, TV Europa Nova and Radio Hit and was a member of the literary group Club 8, Romania.
In 2003, Maria moved to England and in 2010 she became member of the Stroud Writers Group, Gloucestershire. She read poetry in London, Bristol, Cheltenham and Stroud. Maria is a freelance journalist and works as a lecturer at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, England.
Maria Stadnicka published poetry in:
– Wienzeile (Vienna, Austria);
– Cronica, Poesis, Hyperion, LiterNet, Convorbiri literare (Iasi, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava, Botosani – Romania);
– Contrafort and Discobolul (Chisinau, Republic of Moldova);
– Gracious Light and The Clouds (New York, USA);
– International Times (London, UK).
Books and pamphlets:
– O-Zone Friendly poetry anthology (Iasi, Romania ISBN – 973-99824-7-6, 2002);
– Pamphlet 15 – Change and Permanence (Stroud, England, 2012);
– Pamphlet 15 – Trust and Betrayal (Stroud, England, 2014);
– A Short Story About War, poetry (Yew Tree Press, England, 2014 ISBN 978-0-9562038-4-7);
– Stroud Poets pamphlet, poetry anthology (Yew Tree Press, England, 2016 ISBN – 978-0-9956603-0-4);
– Imperfect, poetry (Yew Tree Press, England and Two Wood Press, England, 2017 – 978-0-9562038-5-4).
she talked rapidly
history, opera, poetry.
listened a bit,
eyed her clothes.
wished i dressed liked that,
she told me
in war painted
white crosses on men who deserted.
an aim for those
who shot them.
he was never the same after.
is left behind with tiny writing. salisbury cathedral.
the back way. written in latin for those who matter.
those words and those words
an historian uttered sent me reeling outside.
where air is cleaner.
oh , by the way
left you both there too. were you trying to appease
I lay on my back beneath her underside,
wings fanning my fear like
six-pack rings around my wrists.
I wonder if she’d let me in, I wondered,
let me hide my sunburn. Would it
be the same in there, all those
pull-down charts where trees jut upwards
like arrows, rows upon
the FTSE index? I saw them
packing their men
like sardines in tin
dismounting the ocean’s surface
to the white halls beneath.
sleep against their notepads etched
with fly swat smears,
reach the nadir of
the exclamation dot,
and dream in all their
How deep to dive to reach her tears?
them marching their men off to war,
16 types of endangered species. I saw
them grab branches with their tomahawk hands,
just to pull themselves ashore.
It’s OK, I’m use to beatings, she said.
I found her again like a
stray dog at the animal shelter. Maybe
it’s warm for January. I check
the mercury and pull
my jacket round her
just in case.
If tears were bullets, maybe
I could find a way
the words I need
to keep you safe.
I want to write about your sadness,
but my fingers strike
the depths of their feeding tubes
like concrete. There’s a shadow
On the water like a stain
and a stack
of paperwork to prove
you don’t exist. I turn
around and you don’t, and here’s me
you’ve just gone back for more.
Fair Hera, with your ragged arms,
I don’t know how to reach your grief.
Did it pall beneath
the earth’s curtain,
faint soul under
the ocean’s feet?
Was it sucked inside the man-womb
where developers decorate the
brown-paper room with shards of clean bone
and boughs that link arms,
storms that have quelled, wings
that have long ceased to beat?
They’re counting up
the climate change refugees now,
when even all the fires from
the burning palm oil plantations
have failed to smoke you out.
The earth quiet like an ice cap, except for
the white bear-child
still searching like an albatross
for safety in
its mother’s teat.
Jo-Ella Sarich has practised as a lawyer for a number of years, recently returning to poetry after a long hiatus. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Verse News, Cleaver magazine, Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, takahē magazine and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017.
(inspired by Cath Campbell)
are in the shape
of small graves
who mine the precious
that makes them work
and you look
into the screen
to stay connected
but do not see
their gritted lives
as they haul
out of the hole
and the world
has never been
by the small grave
you carry in your pocket.
Red skies crush rock and land,
crush this mineral rich community,
this scandale geologique,
crush this thin boy of six.
Santu’s feet slap grinding hours in early light,
hums his childing voice in western tunes.
He won’t reach nine without strong bones.
Devils drill his marrow, worm young lungs
until he cannot breathe. Cannot work
to dig the minerals from the dirt.
Can no longer carry sorrow on his back,
which hurts protesting heavy sacks.
I composed this poem on electronics
powered by ion battery boost with cobalt.
Samsung, Huayou and Microsoft.
I write about his death before its time
with the instrument of his demise.
I am sorry, Child. I am sorry …
Sorry you were born into this state.
It is not only bombs that decimate.
The Congo is the White man’s grave?
I find it not so true, after all,
for the graves here are very small.
along the marsh
the body of the little clerk
below the reed, magnolia arms
that stretched into the sea
I held him in my hand, a migrant warbler
eyes laid shut, a lolling tongue
no outward sign of harm, no broken wing or feather gone
his feet curled like two fists
I have seen him once before
a young man back from war
who sat silently in class
his head own on his desk
he had crossed the gulf each season too
returning to his father’s dock and nets
he did his work and like the tide
he was there, and then he left
we never understood his loss
or ours, no sign of harm
no broken wing or feather gone
yet worn by long flights home
when no one took his life
he took his own
From Bill Pendergraft’s forthcoming book, The Lowcountry
I want to think of you young in the parachuting smoke where you met him
his brass buttons cold against your cheek as you danced to conscripted tunes.
Your stolen kiss after war must have felt like a dabbed wound to his mouth.
I dreamt I was made in the waterfall’s shroud that dropped in tresses of red
and when you spoke his name dusk became an unpicked scab of no man’s land.
I am the son of an unknown soldier who died with earth in his fingernails.
I am the son of an unknown woman who lived in the earth with his hands.
His hands, his hands, his hands, was all she said when we danced each autumn.
I’m from Sumerians who taught your ancestors to write.
Who taught me the pride of the sun
Long before I could read.
I’m from Hammurabi
Who taught American what is law and urban civilisation
You, who were neither well-bred, nor well-born!
My roots were entrenched before the birth of time.
I’m from the Land of Oil:
Black gold, which is your dream to steal.
You left nothing for us
But these rocks.
So will your state take them
As it has been foretold?
Nor do i encroach.
But if I become angry,
The usurper’s flesh will be my food.
Of my anger.
I’m the hot sun in a desert of magic you cannot get
In your palaces of gold.
From the chocolate brown of my skin.
From my Mesopotamian civilisation your armies invade.
And left empty handed