Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Poetry By Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois For The Final Day of National Poetry Month

Sometimes poems come in and I want to put them up right away. I'd be a terrible editor of one of those prestigious, academic journals because my mood and tastes are so mercurial. I like these poems so I'm publishing them. I like the one about comparing being a poet to being a minor league baseball player because I identify with it. After twenty-five years of publishing in the small presses I feel like the Crash Davis of poetry. It seems unlikely I'll ever get a major league at bat at this late date, but I love the game and all the places I've played it. Here's some poetry by Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois for the last day of Poetry Month.


Saints and Fuck-ups

Doctors complete the marathon
then sprint to the hospital
to perform amputations

Interviewed by CNN
they speak modestly
like Albert Schweitzer
a medical missionary
who devoted himself to the health of Africans

Their demeanor is saint-like
and even if we don’t admit it
all of us fuck-ups
who did drugs in high school
ignored our assignments  
and cut school to
go to the beach and surf
comb out our long blonde regrets
overestimate our neglected intelligence
and think:
That could have been me

if I’d applied myself
like my parents always nagged me to do
I could have been that holy  



Repatriation

So many geese
and French nudists at the lake

When one monsieur falls asleep
some dumb goose
tired of being a vegetarian
thinks he’s spied a fat worm

Now that naked man is so traumatized
he’s lost the coordination to hula hoop
and he’d flown all the way from Marseilles
to San Francisco to propose to “Hoop Girl”

who’s become a YouTube Sensation
and has appeared on Good Morning America
and the Jerry Springer Show
(someone still needs to explain that to me)

who juggled fire until she burned herself
then switched to a milder discipline
one in which she could show off
her killer abs and hips

Poor snail-eating nudist descends into a
nutella-fueled
death spiral  

and is brought by his colleagues
to the French Embassy
for emergency repatriation



The Minors

I like my poetry’s batting average:
for every ten rejections or so
an acceptance

I’m batting only .100, yes
probably less than that
and if I want to make this metaphor a four-bagger
I could observe that I go through slumps

but I’m a minor leaguer
with no hopes for the Bigs
so:
No worries

The random appearance
of a colorful magazine
in the mailbox
in front of my house
at the edge of a dirt road
that runs straight between corn fields
is a day I’ve hit a home run

There’s my name in the Table of Contents
There are my words on the glossy page
My wife can hardly believe it
me not even a high school grad

but my grandpa set the stage
His stubby pencils could show up
anywhere in the barn
Even after he died
even after my dad died
I still found them
for decades in fact
like I used to find arrowheads
in the fields

The old man wasn’t schooled much either
but he wrote poetry
whenever it hit him
about cows, fruit trees, corn
things he ‘d seen all his life
was well-acquainted with
knew all the wrinkles of

He published poems in farm journals
and in the local paper
under the pen name ‘Al Falfa’

Sometimes his friends would see him in town
and yell, “Hey Al!”
(His real name was Clement)
“Now, is that Alfred, or Albert, Alton, or what?”
He didn’t mind the jokes

I know some wrinkles he probably also knew
but never got around to jotting
The farm journals are out of business
and the local paper doesn’t publish poems anymore
though it still has some farm news
so I send my poems
to “literary” magazines
and sometimes they show up in my mailbox
with my poems in them
and my wife says: “Look at that”
and takes them to show her sister

Those magazines use the same trick
I use with my dogs
I give them rewards
and it keeps them working



On the Tenth Anniversary of Victoria’s Death

Victoria wrote erotica
and read it to me
as we lay under the pier
until the light failed
and we had sex
our bodies propelled by memory of surf
and her prose

I once asked her what it was that
most made her Mexican
and she said: What makes you think I’m Mexican?
Aren’t you?
I tell so many lies I have to write them down to keep track, she replied
Being Mexican is one of them
Still, I did train as a flamenco dancer
What are you really, then?
Armenian. I’m one of the million Armenians who were murdered by the Turks

She slid back and forth on me
as she did between
her conscious mind
and what came up from her Unconscious
no door between the two
only some thin strips of cloth

She wanted to be reborn
but not as a Christian
not as a human being
or as an animal, plant or rock
As always
she evaded categories



Boston

Tourist stops and takes a photo
of a dark spot in the road
where a victim has fallen

Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction and poetry appears in close to two hundred literary magazines, most recently The T.J. Eckleberg Review, Memoir Journal, Out of Our and The Blue Hour. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, published by Xavier Vargas E-ditions, is available for all e-readers for 99 cents through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. A print edition is also available through Amazon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Poems For Rainy Days By Jack T. Marlowe

Poetry on a rainy day by Jack T. Marlowe, a name I find satisfying in multiple Mephistopholian ways. 


beware the rabid dog, its wagging tail
by Jack T. Marlowe

beware 
the rabid 
dog, Mama 
once said 
beware its 
wagging 
tail, and 
since then 
i have also 
learned to 
beware 
the oily  
politician 
bearing 
gifts, the 
friendly 
gap-
toothed  
dealer 
offering 
a free 
taste, the 
hawkers 
of free love 
the sellers 
of cheap sal-
vation and 
every other 
cockroach 
with a heart 
of gold: 
a wealth of 
wisdom 
forgotten 
by 
this 
lonely 
man 
whose 
indigent  
stare now  
spotlights 
a stripper's 
swaying 
hips, her 
ample tail 
wagging 
mere 
inches 
from his 
incan-
descent 
eyes


eat, sleep, dream, drink
by Jack T. Marlowe

we enter the 
city alone 
we leave the 
city alone 
and within 
its sullen 
gates of salt 
and iron 
we eat and 
sleep alone 
in search of 
meaning 
with the raw 
hunger of 
dim and 
truculent 
beasts, con- 
demned to 
a martyr's 
fast and 
the sleep 
of stone 
and broken 
saw, nights  
of cheating 
famine, an 
all-you-can-
eat buffet of 
dreams in 
the stead of 
purpose, or 
the waking 
option: to 
drink alone 
and wait for 
the taxman 
or some 
other thief 
to take away  
everything 
that we 
never 
had


in spite of the wind chimes
by Jack T. Marlowe

cold morning 
cold sun 
savage light 
daggering 
ice, a broken 
mirror, the 
chiming of 
cold keys

to open 
locks of 
cringing 
suitcase 
eyes

blind fist 
hammers 
a damned 
snooze bar 
and then 
submerges

dammed 
beneath 
the covers

a failed 
comforter 
and dollar 
store bed-
sheets: 

the cold 
womb

where 
hangover 
lies, fetal 



Jack T. Marlowe is a gentleman rogue from Dallas, TX.  A writer 
of poetry and fiction and a veteran of the open mic, his work has 
appeared in numerous zines, online and in print. Jack is also the 
editor of Gutter Eloquence Magazine

 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Zombie Roundup Edition 2

Welcome to edition number 2 of the Sunday Zombie Roundup. Poet number one is David McLean. 


here the dead 

here the dead stand,
baffled by zombies and cobwebs,
and without sexualities or telephones
except in a threatening sense.

they are not even standing, exactly,
they are sort of leaning,
and they are not waving or drowning,
just feeling sorry for themselves

almost like a poet might,
unable to find an apposite nightmare
to bore us with, unable instead
to just live.

i do not care about most things very much,
so there is not so very much left
for all these dull dead to forget,
and nothing at all to forgive


the sun starts to burn again 

the sun starts to burn again because summer comes
like a memory falling into a letter box
like an unpaid bill,

and the blood runs its ancient fury through night
marked by malnourished zombies
hunting flesh and its excellence

the insignificant nutrition they suck from love
and dust, the dismal goodness
of flies and dry blood

the sun starts to burn again
so the zombies start to fuck, there is always
some shopworn ideology, always love


the evening is long (and boring) 

and precisely like the apocalypse
we never expected
so it never happened,
not really,

except falling through us, through me,
some ideological unconscious,
where memory is shreds
between a zombie's dentures

and death is a predictable fixture,
like screaming children
murderous and innocent,
fat little zombie dinners


of conscience 

here comes conscience,
it's like a horde of shambling zombies,
but i have an ax:

conscience does not show me how to react;
it would have no answers, presumably,
to the questions i do not bother to ask


old men stumbling 

the evening is scented emptiness
and gray old men in tattered clothes
falling through snow and not repining
at any dying lights,

because each snowflake is an electric
candle, a broken heart or a madman;
and thus we stumble like zombies
with only faint memories of music

or drugs, meat between their teeth
to suck on, nothing else to touch;
the old men are falling into no history,
just snow, there are flowers

and toenails, there is nothing
much better than dust



David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with dogs and cats and computers. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel HENRIETTA REMEMBERS is coming in 2014. During 2013 a seventh chapbook SHOUTING AT GHOSTS is forthcoming from Grey Book Press. More information about McLean can be found at his blog David McLean

E.R. Sanchez checks in from Los Angeles, where the zombie infestation has become an epidemic. 






Living With Vultures


Like a mother in Auschwitz
slitting her cheeks with a razorblade
because when blood is smoothed out,
it becomes blush,
I have no choice, Mom.
I want to look alive
in a land that tells you,
family wealth, power, and respect, begins illegally.
I can still hear you,
but I know,
I am a drug-vulture.

Red-eyed, THC zombies come in hordes
to the vulture’s nest,
banging on the rocky edge from open to close,
the 45 cap medical cannabis rock.
I feel alive,
a vulture surviving off THC zombies,
no choice but to encourage addiction,
eating 400 carcasses a day keeps me satisfied,
I crave 500,
more carcasses, please!

Food coma covers me,
this time it feels permanent
the other drug-vultures in the nest turn their beaks,
too fat to fight,
I drop off the rocky edge, barely gliding into an attic, hiding,
silent, as the committee of vultures surround and surround,
squawk and squawk,
causing darkness at noon.
I lay still,
as the committee breaks every window, craving me,
the fattest drug-vulture.

As they give up,
steel-vultures hover, their wings make the dust and dirt fly,
don’t sneeze, don’t move, you’re hiding,
I hold my breath.
Superior beings don’t rest,
zombies called these beings, the D.E.A.,
they control all steel-vultures.
The zoo is not an option.
I’m almost dead anyway,
no breathing!
Suddenly, the steel-vultures give up.
Everything, silent.
My heartbeats echo in my breath.
As my heartbeats normalize,
I peek out of the attic,
nobody.
Fear holds me back,
but there is no one there,
I walk out of the attic,
and fall,
my wings are weak.
Sinking into the lake,
water rushes over me,
hydrating my body, my soul, my feathers,
my legs push off the bottom,
propelling me into the sky.
Water dripping off,
I look down.

My feathers are white.

I am a dove;
the drug-vultures always knew;
they must’ve kept me covered in ash,
they were waiting for my death the whole time.

I am a dove,
Mom,
I am a dove;
you were right the whole time.

My cheeks can finally heal
from the slits of the razorblade.

I am a dove.


E.R. Sanchez is archived by Edgar and Lenore’s Publishing House and is in their Amazon bestselling anthology entitled Men In The Company Of Women. His poems are highlighted in renowned publications such as Single Mother Magazine, Examiner, Poetry Super Highway, and Zouch Magazine. He is a National Poetry Slam veteran who was on teams that ranked Top 15 from 2003 to 2005. He lives in Los Angeles and tweets from @ERSanchezPoet.




Friday, April 19, 2013

Poetry By Dawnell Harrison


Feed

Disappointment has another mouth
to feed and the earth is encumbered

with barbed wire.
I hear the echoes of despair 

in this chilly December evening as
the crows drag their black dregs

behind them.
my pain dissolves in a quivering circle

as the night bends a band of blazon
snow hanging on the horizon.



Fall

I fall into the sea
and drown my bones

as a bevy of bubbles
ascend to the top.

There is no more breath,
no more life,

nobody left to act for.
My palms lie upward

towards the sky and
my skin turns a luminescent
white.



Melting



The night is melting

Like lava from a volcano.



The crows cry

As if this is their last flight.



The pine trees stand out

In the snowy stillness,



Almost breathless

From their heavy branches.



A girl ice-skating

On the frozen pond



Wraps a red scarf

Around her neck

Like a furry, little death trap.



Parts one and two



Love is my destiny, part one.

Poetry is my honey nectar,

Part two –

Its sweetness slowly

Sliding down my chin.



I shall not live

In fear of hairy,

Cowardly monsters

That move quietly

In the dark still

Of the night planting

Injustice

In my fertile garden. 




Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 100 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, Fowl Feathered Review, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, Queen's Quarterly, The Vein, Word Riot, Iconoclast, Puckerbrush Review, Nerve Cowboy, Mobius, Absinthe: A journal of poetry, and many others.

Also, she has had 3 books of poetry published through reputable publishers titled Voyager, The maverick posse, and The fire behind my eyes.