we’ll be on our way home when the smoke whispers in the sky

we’ll be on our way home when the smoke whispers in the sky

these red brick walls
these grey streets that I’ve walked up and down
for so many years
with the sparrows at sunrise
under afternoon drizzle
with sunshine falling on blankets of snow
and I remember the last 20 years
like an old great river that never stops
like a short walk to the end of the street
and I remember that old hobo
who asked me what time it was
and I told him and he said
Is that all?
and then like Bob Dylan
he walked away and disappeared
among the streetlights
and the dusk.


©Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He’s from Bulgaria but now lives in Ohio??? You can read more of his poems at http://rossvassilev.blog.com.

"we’ll be on our way home when the smoke whispers in the sky" was originally published at Vintage Poetry.

trinity

trinity

the veterans
are coming home
again
as I put a quarter
in the soda machine
and remember a poster
I once saw of a
gorgeous redhead
in a black dress
the veterans
are always coming home
from the latest war
and God must spend
a lot of time
jerking off
while people are busy
killing each other
and giving each
other medals
and somewhere
out in the desert
lies the hollow skull
of a yesterday cow
as dull and oblivious
and dessicated
as the bull-brained
mob parading
down the street
behind me
a Georgia O’Keefe
cow skull
a sacred-cow skull
with a yellow rose
in one hollow
eye
calling out
across
the desert night.


©Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He’s from Bulgaria but now lives in Ohio??? You can read more of his poems at http://rossvassilev.blog.com.

"trinity" was originally published at Vintage Poetry.

semper fi

semper fi 

American war criminals
going off to kill
the newest Indians
searching for imaginary
weapons of mass destruction
armed with real ones
like white phosphorus
depleted uranium
and enough lies
to fill a whole country
with mad killer clowns

I’d pelt you with
anarchist tomatoes
but you’d lock me up
without trial
in Gitmo, that once
beautiful place
that you stole
from the people of Cuba
who just want to be
left in peace

white Americans,
I spit on you
and your sheer animal
bloodlust
on the oligarchs who
profit from your wars
and the idiots
who fight them.


©Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He’s from Bulgaria but now lives in Ohio??? You can read more of his poems at http://rossvassilev.blog.com.

"semper fi" was originally published at Horror, Sleaze, Trash.

say what?

say what?

there’ll be no white elephants
crossing my path

the “I” may be an illusion
but all poets seek fame and glory

the “I” may be an illusion
but the memories in my head seem real

and the rage and the fury
are real enough

I’ll lay myself down in the nectar
of the black rose of night

and maybe the Gods will visit me
bearing a thousand gifts

or maybe just one gift
red as a plum

and when the world finally drowns
in the last great flood

maybe my salvation will lie
in the suffering of others.


©Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He’s from Bulgaria but now lives in Ohio??? You can read more of his poems at http://rossvassilev.blog.com.

"say what?" was originally published at The Camel Saloon.

frag the pigs

frag the pigs 

when American soldiers
killed their officers
in Vietnam
they called it “fragging”
cuz they often did it
with fragmentation grenades
but one GI wrote a letter
to his congressman
complaining that his M-16
jammed when he tried
to shoot his CO
an honest letter of protest
while blacks were rioting
in America’s ghettos
and Israel seized the rest
of Palestine and
Che was being murdered
in Bolivia where Evo Morales
was still a boy
with boyish dreams of
leading vast brown-skinned
armies of liberation
against
the White Conquistadors
after 500 years of plunder
and slavery and fuck,
when you least expect it
sometimes even
the wildest of dreams
come true.


©Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He’s from Bulgaria but now lives in Ohio??? You can read more of his poems at http://rossvassilev.blog.com.

"frag the pigs" was originally published at Zygote in my Coffee.

Lust at the Cafe Formosa

Lust at the Cafe Formosa

Once, at the Cafe Formosa in L.A.,
I saw the most beautiful girl. And the
best part was, you could see she didn’t know it. Yet.
Didn’t know how anxiously her nipples strained
against her shirt, or that her endless legs
and sloe-eyed gaze were worth a million
bucks… to someone.

She was a sway-in-the-wind willow, her skin the
pale of vanilla ice cream, her hair all shiny black
straight like an Asian girl’s, thick as a mop.
She was maybe seventeen, on the brink, so ripe sex
exuded from her pores. She leaned against the juke box
fingering those quarters in her shorts’ pocket so
they jingled like Christmas, the fabric between
her thighs stretched to bursting.

When her food arrived, the girl unwrapped the
chopsticks, lifted Kung Pow chicken to her mouth,
inhaled the spicy morsels. A long, sauce-slicked
noodle played with her lips and I longed to lick it off.
I’d been alone four years by then, so
used to it even the longing had long departed.

Then she showed up, all fresh-spangled, clueless.
If I didn’t walk out then I never would. Elvis was
crooning Don’t Be Cruel, but I knew she would be.
Girls like her can’t help it.


©Alexis Rhone Fancher is a downtown L.A.-based poet/photographer whose work can or soon will be found in Rattle, Fjords Review, The MacGuffin, Deep Water Literary Journal, Slipstream, BoySlut, Carnival Lit Magazine, Luciferous, High Coupe, H_NGM_N, Gutter Eloquence, Good Men Project, Bare Hands, Poetry Super Highway, The Juice Bar, Poeticdiversity, Little Raven, Cliterature, Bukowski On Wry, numerous anthologies, and elsewhere. Her photographs, published world-wide, include a spread in HEArt Online, and the covers of Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review. A member of Jack Grapes’ L.A.Poets and Writers Collective, in 2013 Alexis was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of The Small Presses award. Her book of erotic poetry, How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems, will be published in the summer of 2014 by Sybaritic Press. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Please visit www.alexisrhonefancher.com for more about Alexis.

"Lust at the Cafe Formosa" was originally published in poeticdiversity.

White Flag

White Flag

On Edward Hopper’s painting, “Morning Light.”

No one paints loneliness like he does. Those half-clad women by the bed, on
the floor, hunched over, staring out the window, in profile or from behind,
always clean lines, such worshipful light. The gas station in the middle of
nowhere, estranged couples on the bright-lit porch after dark. Even the boats
sail alone. And the diners. The hatted strangers, coming on to a redhead, a
moody blonde, all of them losers, all of them desperate for a second chance.
This morning the sunlight pried open my eyes, flooded our bedroom walls. I
sat alone, in profile on our bed in a pink chemise, knees drawn up, arms
crossed over my calves, staring out the window. Desperate for you. No one
paints loneliness like Edward Hopper paints me, missing you, apologies on
my lips. Come back. Stand below my window. Watch me beg for a second
chance. Downturned mouth, teary eyes, parted knees, open thighs, that famous
shaft of Hopper light a white flag, if only you could see.


©Alexis Rhone Fancher is a downtown L.A.-based poet/photographer whose work can or soon will be found in Rattle, Fjords Review, The MacGuffin, Deep Water Literary Journal, Slipstream, BoySlut, Carnival Lit Magazine, Luciferous, High Coupe, H_NGM_N, Gutter Eloquence, Good Men Project, Bare Hands, Poetry Super Highway, The Juice Bar, Poeticdiversity, Little Raven, Cliterature, Bukowski On Wry, numerous anthologies, and elsewhere. Her photographs, published world-wide, include a spread in HEArt Online, and the covers of Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review. A member of Jack Grapes’ L.A.Poets and Writers Collective, in 2013 Alexis was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of The Small Presses award. Her book of erotic poetry, How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems, will be published in the summer of 2014 by Sybaritic Press. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Please visit www.alexisrhonefancher.com for more about Alexis.

"White Flag" was originally published in H_NGM_N.

My Advice to the Kid Was

My Advice to the Kid Was

Be capable and willing and vulnerable
and confident in the hands of who you
believe to be good,
surround yourself with these, and delve in
deep as you feel comfortable deeping,
for one hundred thousand buoys will
balance the waves whilst you
are dipping,

and be ready at all times
to swim.


©Bree is a poet and founder of Green Panda Press which has produced poetry and art chapbooks, anthologies, broads and sundry in the small press since 2001. Her work has appeared in Arthur, Big Bridge, Ecstatic Peace, The City, Whiskey Island and numerous small mags. Her books include Let Cupid Know (Ronin Press, UK 2012), A Leg to Stand On (Green Panda 2013), Laying Pans (Ecstatic Peace, MA 2009), was chicken trax amid sparrows tread (Temple Books 2009), and other memoirs and poesy. She lives with a puppetta and her (much) better half in Cleveland, Ohio.

We Are All Orange

We Are All Orange 
(for you, Gearity Elementary) 

They asked me to speak to you about poetry,
diversity. To say we are the same would cause 
scandal, controversy.  To say whether we are 
sisters or brothers, adults or coming up, we’re 
all corrupt and are corrupted, to say we start 
out right even if we are interrupted, to say
we start out downright perfect,
o Say, somewhere someone loves us,
even if its one person who isnt nuts. 

To say we start out fresh and gather dust, 
to say we have the world in the palm that grows 
outside our huts, in the hassles happening outside 
our castles, to suggest the streets we walk to stand
in line for the bus or limo, tractor, compact, Hummer, 
trailer, SUV, to suggest those streets are any less
than what makes us us. 

So so we grow every day we listen up
to the traffic (o say can we?) 

Beats in tires squeal ling
drums in the weathermen flying in
the copters, songs in the ivy
and the pattern that it makes
on buildings, sweet and ill feeling
climb up. 

What climbs on us?  What jive shucks?
Black yellow brown red and white fingers grip a 
pen or punch a pad to write. Man woman child 
and in between copy down to share what theyve 
seen. Whether voices carry on with fictions
or speak personal truths, to say we are
the same is contra(diction). 

Diction means to speak. Make it proud.
Make it from the heart so we can see we.
So you can see that you and i are me. 

Yeah right, you and what army? 

The power of the pen the sword cuts down the 
might of buildings, businesses, mayors, contracts, 
cancers, districts.  Color blinds, venetian opening
consciousness like traffic widens, power of the 
pen so much stronger than living in one. 

Yoo hoo did you say diversity?
To say youre me would cause a scandal.
Difference is who it is that just loves us
cause they give the boost so you and i
can know whats what—
blue green violet and orange. 

In 6th grade the joke was nothing 
rhymes with orange, but im not listening.
When fruit is just been washed its glistening.
When i speak my rhymes whole hoards
are listening, so when they say 
'can't' you rhyme,
you spit orange. 

Ohios in the foothills of mountain o ranges
we climb and descend, Cleveland, we cant
rhyme with us. In the sunset we are orange,
all of us. When the sun sets another day
makes history. We start out right, we climb we.


©Bree is a poet and founder of Green Panda Press which has produced poetry and art chapbooks, anthologies, broads and sundry in the small press since 2001. Her work has appeared in Arthur, Big Bridge, Ecstatic Peace, The City, Whiskey Island and numerous small mags. Her books include Let Cupid Know (Ronin Press, UK 2012), A Leg to Stand On (Green Panda 2013), Laying Pans (Ecstatic Peace, MA 2009), was chicken trax amid sparrows tread (Temple Books 2009), and other memoirs and poesy. She lives with a puppetta and her (much) better half in Cleveland, Ohio.

when lost in innocence

when lost in innocence

i saw lion faces in each
of the leaves of this tree

hundreds of them,

and each of the faces, the glances
they made, being humble and
strong and what i wanted to be.


©Bree is a poet and founder of Green Panda Press which has produced poetry and art chapbooks, anthologies, broads and sundry in the small press since 2001. Her work has appeared in Arthur, Big Bridge, Ecstatic Peace, The City, Whiskey Island and numerous small mags. Her books include Let Cupid Know (Ronin Press, UK 2012), A Leg to Stand On (Green Panda 2013), Laying Pans (Ecstatic Peace, MA 2009), was chicken trax amid sparrows tread (Temple Books 2009), and other memoirs and poesy. She lives with a puppetta and her (much) better half in Cleveland, Ohio.

Takes to His Bed

Takes to His Bed

He remains a modest man with wit,
who window shops relationships.
Not one inch of glass appears
transparent. Only the darkened image

of a self, après
relentless twitching
away from bedtime, beds
in general. He drives a hearty

vehicle into alleys,
where signage enumerates
the ordinances broken
by way of sitting still.

He taps messages into
the cloud, retrieves
a tapping all his own,
redeems a noun, a verb.


©Sheila E. Murphy is an American text and visual poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Her most recent 2 books are collaborative visual poetry, with K.S. Ernst and John M. Bennett. Murphy is a prolific writer and has authored numerous titles in poetry. She is also a visual artist, organizational consultant, and teacher who has lived all of her adult life in Phoenix.

"Takes to His Bed" was previously published in Aterark.

A Postscript: All My Nightshirts Are the Ones You Bought for Me

A Postscript: All My Nightshirts Are the Ones You Bought for Me

The person closest to my psyche
introduced hell as my destination
after declaring it did not exist.

When we sleep,
we sleep with selves
who know our breathing.
No need to measure,
for it loves and leaves itself.


©Sheila E. Murphy is an American text and visual poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Her most recent 2 books are collaborative visual poetry, with K.S. Ernst and John M. Bennett. Murphy is a prolific writer and has authored numerous titles in poetry. She is also a visual artist, organizational consultant, and teacher who has lived all of her adult life in Phoenix.

"A Postscript: All My Nightshirts Are the Ones You Bought for Me" was previously published in Aterark.

Playpen

Playpen

Young father, tall and seated
on plush grass in the front yard
frames a child in yellow dress,
whose stance is new.

She steadies on his knees, his feet
as fences, and looks out 
at green, street side.
It is impossible

not to notice them, devoted
man protecting a half year 
of life, learning to plant
one foot amid growth.

All windows face the rainless
afternoon. Clean light,
a few cars, and boundaries
almost invisible, apart.


©Sheila E. Murphy is an American text and visual poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Her most recent 2 books are collaborative visual poetry, with K.S. Ernst and John M. Bennett. Murphy is a prolific writer and has authored numerous titles in poetry. She is also a visual artist, organizational consultant, and teacher who has lived all of her adult life in Phoenix.