Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Poetry By James Diaz

James Diaz is the founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared in Cheap Pop Lit, Ditch, HIV Here & Now, Foliate Oak, Pismire, Chronogram and My Favorite Bullet. His first book of poems, This Someone I Call Stranger, is forthcoming from Indolent Books (2017) He lives in upstate New York.

Cut Your Path Through The Night Like A Troubadour On Fire

the light

other things

a war is only
people second guessing

a body
can tell
if you're lying

the best stories
are never written

they sit
alone on bar-stools
thinking of home

trying to pinpoint
that moment
where things took
a wrong turn

is there enough
love here?

what is 
the atomic weight
of a memory?

do words care
what happens
to us when we
can't find the
right ones?

there are people
who find themselves 
well loved

cared for

and there are those
whose wounds wont close
who leave blood on the car seat
and can't catch 
a ride home
to save their life

we are loved
a little at a time
in portions
in what a person can stand

people can't stand much.

Poet James Diaz

In The Next Life You Are Unrecognizable

Where the word in you
came apart
and laughter
was the cruelest sound

you say no one
is spared
but sometimes 
you have been
when no one
including yourself
was looking

midnight stretched its fingers
around your throat
like a father
you couldn't outrun

the space where your silence
searched for its counterpart
a stifled scream building its muscle
in the dark

who knows
how much life
may come 
your way

when you least expect anything
when you are most beaten

the softest touch

the one that never happens.

Thousand Yard Stare, on the inside

Move this burn
a little

any place the sun touches
scar lines follow

a haunting 
is all of those things
you left unsaid

ghosts in the halls 
of your voice

what pain brought you here?

did you really think no one would notice
how un-intact-
how broken you are?

This Boy's Life 

Put yourself in your own shoes for once
pull at the sky like it was mother on fire
I mean lover on acid
which version do you prefer
the one where it will all be alright
or the one where we all die in the end

I had something for you
but you never showed up
and I go places too you know
back and forth
I've been in handcuffs
I've had the rough stuff
people have been afraid to get too close
and when they did I surprised them by being gentle

I have a low, girlish voice 
but the hell in my stomach 
would stillborn your life too
here's a short list:
blood on the wall,
mace in the eyes and down my throat
straight jacket
thorazine injections
tied to a board and left on the floor drooling
leg smashed by a mother, age 7
father dipped his bloody hand in my glass of water
and I watched all that red swivel as I it poured down the drain
family feud shoot out at age 9, 
told to get down on the floor while the inbreeds brandished rifles
out on the highway

you have no idea what you're capable of surviving until you do

loss works against us 

and there is no guarantee
any of us has what it takes.

Secrets & Hallway Trash

The man down the hall is picking up trash
by the elevator
and singing to his sweet Ida
dead now for eighteen years

Thomas tells him it's creeping out the new residents
but all he ever says is “what can I say, I'm in love”

I'm smoking on the fire escape
thinking of Kentucky jails 
after midnight
the dice and the heat of the room
piss and sweat and no way out
the boy who blew his fathers face clear off
with a double barrel
the heated fights over fruit juice with the family killer 
that's how I learned to never back down
by crossing eyes with murderers 
and coming away with the good stuff

“sweet, sweet Ida” lingers down the hall
against the smoke of the wallpaper
you can hear his shaky hands holding him steady
and the sad beautiful blues of that man
makes me want to cry all night long

maybe getting old won't be so bad
just maybe.

This Aloe, This Burn

body bending
the slant of 
shattered light

I never understood
what to do with myself

these wild
inner weeds
choking growth

if air existed
I never had
any of it
in my lungs

I couldn't even say
I love you
without a crack
opening up my face
like an atomic memory
held under water
till it confesses

I did those things

I suffered
laid out on highways
at 2 am
throat sucker
full of rage
cutting in
and out 
of this damaged skin

how do you do it,
live this broken
from the start?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Poetry By John Philip Johnson

John Philip Johnson has had poems published in numerous venues, many of them slipstream or genre. His comic book of graphic poetry, Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town, won second place in last year's Elgin Awards. His work can be seen at

You, in the Plural 

In the baby ward
she held up the big bang for you,
and said its rhizomatic sprawl of sparkles
was just for you, for your eyes only,
held tight in the loopy black swaddling
of that which did not exist.
She herself then smiled as she disappeared.

Across your bedroom walls,
as though living there in miniature,
headlights of the milky wayfarer
spray back and forth before you:
This is the cosmos of ephemeral stars!
All the fireworks find themselves
in the camera obscura of your eyes,
righting themselves in you and in
the expanding crowds of you.


The roar of the jet,
the rampage of air,
the hurling of endless populations
against the alloy of our intent.
Atoms howl, stressed and astounded—
not at the suction of air
or the presence of lift
or that we rise.
They are a chorus of the presence,
nature shrieking in wonder
at the man-gods,
at the lateral rip our motion gives
to the face of things.

O My Element

Drawn breath, you are
my ubiquitous blue lover,
soft oceans twinned with open air.                 

How deeply you reach me,
grasping iron, rusting
the river of my blood,

mining the smallest places.
You glut in the burning
of my inmost body.

The Blue in His Pallor Mocked the Sky
for Fran 

Forty years ago, David left the party naked
and on acid, and it was snowing so gracefully
he saw the beauty of god drizzling marvelously
in a gentleness, a slowness, cracked just above time
and hanging there, with myriads of angelic messengers,
and as he stood on the snowy ridge, he was gasping
with awe because the town and the river below were both
fully alive, the same way he was alive, and even as he slipped
in the slick, snow-sodden earth, he could feel the meaning
in that fall and was laughing gloriously at the wonderment
of falling like that, and even when he hit the river he was letting
himself expand into the cosmic wheel, even as he was gurgling
with water, it was the multitude of the endless brotherhood
eternally filling his lungs, joining him, leaving his body as a relic
for us to find downstream, nested in the banks, three days later.

Monday, February 20, 2017

L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E Poetry By Greg Hill

Greg Hill is a writer and voice over talent in West Hartford, Connecticut and has an MFA from Vermont of College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Asinine Poetry, Atlas and Alice, Cheap Pop, Nanoism, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and elsewhere. In the evenings, he composes little tunes for his daughters, who are too young to know how poorly their father plays the piano.

(an acronymostic)

Without any reason,
Washington attacks Russia.
Wanderlust and reconnaissance
worry attending reserves.
“Why ask?” retorts
Wingman Anderson, Retired.

“Whatever any Russki
wants, a retaliation
will annihilate rotten
warships and rations
will absolutely render
worthless any response.”

We’ll also redact
what are reasonable
wartime agreements, respond
with aggressive righteousness,
wiping away resolve
while ascertaining relevant
wisdom, allowing repeating
wrangling absolutely rare.
What—a resident
winds atomic reactors
within a region
when allies render
winks at repose?
Whatever. Apolitical rivalries
won’t allow rebels
with anarchist rationales,
what arguably return
whiteouts and riffs,
wearisome, actionable restructuring.

We are, regardless,
waging a real
war against renegades
who, allowing reasonable
warrants, achieve relative
winnings, albeit rubles,
while assailing resisting
women and roughshod
walking apes. “Reconsider,
weakling assholes!” rage
whoever attempts rallies
within army ranks.
We acquiesce. Reality,
windswept asunder, renders
worthless as radios
without any receivers.

Which alliances rank,
widening allied reach?
Win and retain
wider audiences. Resolve
we, alas: redouble
whatever attacks result,
within acceptable range,
worthwhile augmentations. Reclaim,
while also rebutting
whatever attacks remain
working against retaining
walls around reconnaissance
windows, any razed
warehouses, all right
where a revolutionary
wants a reserve—
weapons arsenals, rifles,
whatever. A resistance
waging assault right
where a rival
warship appears reveals
weaknesses, and rebels
wither amid rough
waters. And ready
we are, reacting
with ardor, registering—
with a resounding
wail—affirmative rejoicing.
We affirm robust
will. Any rebel
will appreciate resolve
we assemble. Resolution
will appear rapidly.
We assure results
wonderful and recommendable,
widespread and resplendent,
welcoming and realistic,
warranted and reinforced,
worthwhile and real.

We are reasonable.
We are rational.
We are Republic.
We are right.

We are. Right?

I Was Thinking of An Ouroboros

Spears in our hands, here we stand,
On the shores of the Anthropocene.
Was there any doubt in our minds,
Or our hearts, our fates unseen?
I was thinking of an ouroboros,
A creature that eats its tail,
An alchemist’s sigil, but we,
Unlike the shaman sorcerers,
Shelter no hope to prevail.
We might devour the world:
Downward spirals of melt;
Toxic foam in Bangalore.
Is our future gone too?
We cursed this planet,
Without even knowing.
God plays with dice;
The games are lost.
We pawn ourselves.
Then, eventually,
Nothing remains.
But the tinder.
And the flint.
And the knot.
The furnace.
Two knives.
The cost:

Breakfast with Louisa

eh he he uhhe uhhe
h h mmmmiin

miiyai enjio bi bibai enjio ngowas hih namo

nehpeenuhbuhtu yiahh
yato boat nnoye

mmmmm mmmyum yum yumdahwee yumyyeezha

ijutneed wunatatyym
iyyeed iyeet wunatatyym
iwant muuk dattay


mwahn diwtee mihans diwtee
mihan diwtee
myhahns mihan diwtee mihandiwtee day neetubiing keen
mihandeuwtee deuwtee ihaftu gizik ihaftu gitdem keen nn
mihanduh heuwtee

awhh awet wyp
do keen det
hatteuwyp datsuh wetta wyp
mdatsayang mm mm
no iwannamuk muk momumuuuuh noh no ehehe
nononononoooo no ahwntm aywantumuk

ehw hwat ehw hwat


omay mayumea wazifun
izufun ywa noshoozon
youhav ior shoozon
mnom mnum
shoozon yhn

ehavyn shoozah
ihavmi shoozak
nomy yakjun
niy na
nyeh nnvawa mh myt

etiuwa gtten vhtivnaha

mmyn myn mybnana

mybnana miin

dehgoridehr go miin

wybananaaaaha ehe

mybananamy bananamebnmmba

mybanana mybanana ehmybanana mybanana mybanana mybanana nap

mybanana mybanana mybanana uhfuk abanana dasya banana

ah mmmmm mmm mmmm mmmm emmm mmmm mmmm
mmm mmmm mmmmmmm wadah

eh deh
wadah deh wadahdeh

bwdhh adaidenbwon ahwedee
daykioo biya dahn kin vwai
dahn kin vwai
dahn kin vwaaa an dui kaykow
dai kin vwai
dai dedai kin vwai wdat ohshuwai is ai
do you
fahs yooisa hohm djaaah yaaaay
awoo dink
awoo dink mimuk

wetmuk wehmuk ihavgoweenmuk

goweeeen owenjz
owenz owehn s owehn s owens
bahk yeuwo wehd awiit
wyto wyto wyt
goweeeen goweeeen

goweeeeng ifmmmm
dmuttis wyt
goweenin wyt
dookand wahtid
goweenin wyt

euwhh ehhh
ehh ehh
weun penuvtu ntos
idoht iyowykt

ahgunna nntiy
ahgunna tiy
yagunna tiy
mmgunna tiy mivuh mmmm

naaahwees ahdunna diy
ehnnnn jznnnn diy
ehshunna diy
ahnahtun diy

ummabeh diy
bahtup biet dup yapata puh

hio da dayyhho

wheta buh denou
whe sen sehim
sm sm sm
dsm sm

mmm eh deh dayyo
dsm sm bm dsm smbm
wsm sm bt deh sm sm smm
hh hn dedayo dsm sm boat
dsm sm boat dsm sm boat
hi o yeyeio ye sm smm t
dsm smm boat
mmhm o dehdehiyo yo ysm mm boat
mmm ysm sm boat yeh ysm sm boat

ha ho yedayio ye sum sung boat

ehha yeni ysm sm boatnboatni
hahho ninaehyino ysm mm mh boat

hadayenoteh nnnneexh nnneee
yeshi sm sm boat ehsm sm boat
ha ho yedda eeo ysm sm boat

sm mm doat ysm thm boat
aih ho dedayyyh yyhm ym

ymmm datee ym boat desim sm boat
haho yedehio de sith hmm boat


ahdahn daddah dedah

dedah dadah dedah ddah dedah dedah dedah dedah dhdah dedah

no no
da da hoo
iym aw dun
da dhoo ya da da

dododododooodo do doop

ywiyp dmuk wi dmuk

emihann wimihhann
pees dahdee wimihann pees dah

wypin da taybuh dwypin da taybuh

do dyoo wyp da taybuh nyooyoo wypin da taybuh

ahgunna wyp da taybuh too