Tuesday 31 July 2012

Arun Budhathoki

Dark Ages

The flushed sky reserves miniature eyes
Enwrapped in bluish blanket
For the darkening city,
I’ll pluck all and paste it on my forehead.

The blind city wonders at my brightness
Fireflies and moths suck radiant tits
Visiting every home to pass the awesome light,
I’m losing my foresight.

I’ve been growing a child in my belly
The world is round and so is my navel
Circling adults who walk without sights,
The child of mine is rage.

The flushed sky protects winking eyes
Dotted tactfully over the mind’s ignorance
Silencing the soured iron-clad tongue,
I live open-mouthed.

I’ve engulfed scores of stars and burst into millions of filaments
Stitching you with my belly,
Eat me now. 

Arun Budhathoki, alias Daniel Song, is a Nepalese poet / writer / founding editor of The Applicant, a Kathmandu-based literary journal.

Monday 30 July 2012

Rory Fleming

Gen Y

It's about having everything at your fingertips and still being bored
Going to work and realizing you have nothing to do
You tell me something that I can look up
Using google
On my phone
When else were gods this lost

Rory Fleming is a future law student at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He also composes poetry and prose, some of which can be found at Thousand Shades of Gray, Camel Saloon, and other places.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Mike Berger

Coos Bay Oregon

The smell of the ocean tickles your nose.
The view across the gray ocean-endless.
The little town is quaint with trees growing
everywhere. The logs in the paper mill pond
are a jumble, jammed in at odd angles.

The drive all along the shoreline is green and
somber. Stands of pine obscure your view.
There in a protected cove is a small island
laden with sea lions.

They bark and there raspy, rancorous voices
assult your ears. They were a loquacious lot.
They bask in the sun and frolick. Across the
cove is an old lighthouse standing defiantly
against that sea breezes.

Outside the cove the breakers crash against
the rocky shore. The eternal battle between
rock and wave has existed for eons of time.

Mike Berger is an MFA, PhD. He writes poetry and short stories full time
He has been writing poetry for less than four years. His work appear in seventy-one journals. He has published two books of short stories and eight poetry chapbooks .The winner of several poetry contests, he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is a member of The Academy of  American Poets.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Mark Nenadov

The Road To Maine

The hot 401 drive spirals down
under screaming, spinning rubber
the angry, vengeful Toronto stretch kicks you to the ground
you spring back gasping for air in Oshawa
then cool Kingston air caresses you hair
like cattails waving to the road's rhythm
sit back and sigh softly till Montreal
while sweetie softly sleeps.

You’ll remember some of what you see
like in Quebec near Vermont you feel the hot air 
of road-rage raging resolutely
or the quiet defiant resolution
of a man using horse drawn buggy 
to pick up his groceries
(I don't think the Amish trot Quebec
and I don't suppose Amish men go shirtless and without beard)

Eventually on to New Hampshire behind a truck
bravely lugging logs and languishing beneath the load
then you feel like you are being folded
swiftly tucked away like a stained napkin
into the expansive breast pocket
of majestic cloud-shrouded mountains.
Mark Nenadov lives in Essex, Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife, a cute young daughter, and their cat. He's fairly new to the world of literary journals, but has been writing poetry for a long time. He has a forthcoming poem which will appear in WestWard Quarterly.

Friday 27 July 2012

Joan Colby


In the cellar by the boiler
You jacked the house up to install
Long before I came along.

You take a swallow of your beer,
Eject a dog-colored stream
Into the brass spittoon. Tell me how
An orphan, taken in by farmers
For unpaid labor, you forgot the bread
Baking in the woodstove. A beating
Was certain, so you fled, 12 years old
Riding the rails west.

In the mines, you drove a mule train, liked
Horses better, just like me. You
Joined the Wobblies, damn the bosses.
Met Mary and got hitched after courting
With a rented nag and buggy.
Seven kids, four lived. You loaded coal
On the docks at Calumet. Your tongue
Sliced for cancer, you still had your chaw
Until the day you collapse
Shoveling snow, too stubborn
To wait for help.

Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals. She has had seven books published including "The Lonely Hearts Killers" and  "The Atrocity Book". Joan is widely published in such publications as Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, and others. She has received two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Joan also received an honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest - Margie, and was a finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize. She is currently a finalist in the 2012 Pablo Neruda Prize. A new chapbook “Dead Horses” forthcoming from Future Cycle Press.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Thomas Zimmerman

After Visiting Mycenae

                                                King George Palace, Athens

King Agamemnon’s tomb was cool as thought,
a shaded haven gouged in mountain, bored
within Mycenae’s pocked and sun-scorched skull.
That brilliant dreamer Schliemann got it wrong,
however: neither palace, tomb, nor mask
belonged to Clytemnestra’s husband, so
our local guide explained. She then curtailed
the tour because of triple-digit heat.
Now, drinking Mythos lager in an air-
conditioned room, I’m excavating words
and actions: much of life’s misread. But fact
is just a tool that etches, sculpts, or dulls
realities that we ourselves create.
That tourist ouzo that I bought today:
the bottle has Apollo’s Attic shape.

Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, MI. His poems have appeared recently in The Meadowland Review and Big River Poetry Review. His chapbook In Stereo is forthcoming from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Diane Webster

Paged Stat

The patient is the out-of-order
soda machine in the hospital’s lobby.
An administrator-type lady leads
a scrub nurse look alike
and with scalpel precision
she inserts the key and lays open
the chest revealing the inner workings
and finds a punctured pop can leaking
its sticky residue throughout
the once-finely-working machine.
With forceps fingers scrub nurse carefully
almost repulsively removes
the malignant can and stuffs paper towels
into cracks sopping the escaped fluid
stopping any further damage
until the vendor specialist is paged
stat to the hospital lobby.

Diane Webster tries to remain open to poetry ideas in everday life and then attempt to write with slant or an interesting point of view.  Her work has appeared in Illya's Honey, The Rainbow Rose, The Old Red Kimono and other literary magazines.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

J.S. MacLean

The Traders of Rorré

They were already settling at dawn,
when wall shadows were still
in fashion, tempted from down
the Rednow River
by rumors of our caging
the whims of time and the savage
etiquette in our drool of food.
"We are you." they said,
"We rest in the river
and soak the sturgeon dreams
of ancestors."
They offered fish skin rope
for muteness;
took morality for shame.
We fed their driftwood faces,
made them raiment of raven tail
and lion's tooth pappi.
They bartered for our dead
with bread and tales of Rorré.
Our feast was confiscated
and then ritually gifted
soaked in blood and hollow sky.
Trades made like aurochs do
with the tsetse flies;
mourning for the false dawn,
last glimpse of dusk
for a procession of silhouettes,
and our guiltless children
for fractals of thunder
twisted into snares.

J.S. MacLean lives in Calgary, Canada. He has had poetry published in a variety of publications in Canada, the USA, the UK, and Australia. His first collection, “Molasses Smothered Lemon Slices” is available on amazon.com. In his spare time he works.

Monday 23 July 2012

Christopher Hivner

On a Quiet Street
The cigar tastes like
tree bark
in my mouth,
a 50 cent foible
that leaves me
spitting out slivers of leaf
after every inhalation.
Lightning bugs drift all around,
their yellow bodies blinking
on and off
like warning beacons.
I wonder about their purpose
as a cloud of smoke,
frank and biting,
layers over my head.
It’s a cool night
and I should be comfortable
but I’m restless
looking for solace in nature,
too busy counting stressors
like bleating sheep
to recognize peace
on a quiet street.
The cigar is down to the nub;
I stare at the glowing end,
alive with heat,
soon to be ash,
the night sky seems darker than usual,
another firefly nods to me
in passing.
I allow the butt
to burn my fingers
while I search the silence.
Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. His poetry chapbook "The Silence Brushes My Cheek Like Glass" can be read for free at scars.tv. He can be visited at www.chrishivner.com

Sunday 22 July 2012

Brian Le Lay

Embargo in Red

Children, we built you
A bold red dot that is a heart attack
Hiding in the iris-embroidered tablecloth
A thread waiting to inflame

The weeping atlas says You Are Here,
Fastened to the walled-off square,
The dirt and cement
Where we delivered you

Though you've never been high enough
Above the shadows of the soles
Of your shoes to know if this is true,
Your precise position in longitude and latitude

Children, you are here. Do not to move.
You'll catch the tripwires
That bind your ankles,
The way we delivered you.

Brian Le Lay is a poet based out of New York City. His first book of poems, Don't Bury Me in New Jersey, is available from Electric Windmill Books. His work has recently appeared in The Rusty Nail, Hobo Pancakes, and Drunk Monkeys. He blogs at http://www.conceiveyourself.blogspot.com.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Kevin Ridgeway

Getting High and Watching Cartoons

cobwebs line the ceiling just above
the head in this dark, cavernous attic
pillows caked in dust, minds on a bender
of illusions and arrested development
singing children’s songs and puffing
from a broken glass pipe
blood dripping from fingernails
and into piles of brick weed
that stings the throat
and deranges the cultural pallet
all those memories of innocence
brought to this:
dirty slippers, a broken ego
afraid of the blinding sun
that peeks through the
tin foil over the window
smiling a sinister come-hither
that causes one to recoil
in terror, seeing double
from these dollar store
cartoons on a broken,
duct-taped VCR here
in the pit of squalor

Kevin Ridgeway is a writer from Southern California, where he resides in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat.  His chapbook of poetry, Burn through Today, is now available from Flutter Press.

Friday 20 July 2012

Donal Mahoney

On Emigrating To Iceland After Iraq

Consider first the Alabama heat,
consider next the toad

still as a turd on this rural bridge
rupture slung across a stream

where offal floats,
where clumps are belching.

Note the toad, the reeks
that genie up beside it.

Then remember Iceland
and the freshets of its Spring.

Iceland had no toads,
no reeks to genie up beside them.

Donal Mahoney has had work published in Misfits' Miscellany and other print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Thursday 19 July 2012

R. Gerry Fabian

Memphis 2AM
Blues filter from the bars
along Beale street.
Lost lovers, unrequited lovers,
unfaithful lovers and, of course,
circumstantial lovers are mourned
with wailing harmonicas,
bent stringed electric moans,
a head pounding bass
and a bottom beat
that drives through the soul.
Since you left
this is all I have to
cheer me up.
R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor andeditor of Raw Dog Press. http://rawdogpress.bravesites.com/. He has published in various little and literary magazines since 1970.Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on a poetry manuscript of his published poetry and searching for a publisher.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Karen Delasala

moon dials

the elderly gentleman says
"thank you dear"
as I hold the door open for him
he takes some small steps
with a cane for support
and a weary smile appears
he says
"I have to watch this step here"
And I wait patiently behind him

he had asked the salesgirl in the Japanese store
for watches
with moon dials
but they were all out

Karen Delasala holds a BA in English and recently completed a professional certificate in editing from NYU. Her poetry has appeared in The Four Cornered Universe, Dragonheart Press, Living Poets and Down in the Dirt Magazine.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Jayne Marek

Range in the Stars
For a minute I drift into the photograph of distant mountains
at dawn, a lavender peak afloat above another ridge, dark purple, the whole sky
dusted with pink, the nearer landscape in maroon, its tree and cactus shapes
emerging.  The January cold of Arizona surprised me
during my first visit, held me in a clinch.  I learned to love that cold
as my mother loved this mountain range, the Sierra Estrellas.  She could sense
how every day the mountains breathed far away, rising from either side
toward the single crest above the dry  Valley of the Sun.  Even hidden
by smog, some days, the mountains were there, her privilege,
a place she would go to some day, she said.  In the photograph, the range gently
draws a line between lingering gloom and the rising light.

Still in the college classroom after all these years, Jayne Marek teaches literature, writing, and film studies and wishes she could write more.  Her message to readers is to put your own writing first; if she says that enough, she might actually listen.  She has given numerous poetry readings and has had short plays performed near Indianapolis and in New York City.

Monday 16 July 2012

Anthony Ward

Searching for a Signal

I looked into your eyes
Staring into space
Nothing but darkness
The light of your eyes
That once brightened my world-
Burnt out

Dying in the density
That pulled you down
And drew me in
To your vacuous immensity
Searching for a glimmer
That’ll re-ignite us
And lighten the burden of your wait

Remaining static
Like a screen of fretful pixels
Anxious for coherence
To form a picture we could both relate.

Anthony Ward has been writing in his spare time for a number of years. He has been published in a number of literary magazines including Enhance, Turbulence, Drunk Monkeys, Speech Therapy, Thousand Shades of Grey, Ginger Piglet, Torrid Literature Journal and The Rusty Nail, amongst others.

Sunday 15 July 2012

Kyle Hemmings

Last wishes

When I die,
don't feed my ashes
into the lazy river
that runs past
the condemned buildings
that were city factories
with broken-eye windows,
a harbinger of down-size
and hostile take-over.
Don't give my humerus
or tibia to the woman
whose son turned
to calcified dreams
under desert storms.
But rather,
take from me what is
still light and durable,
stretch and sew it
into a kite.
Give it to a child
who can run all day
under clean sweep of sky
near the swaying evergreens
that still
remember me.

Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan. He lives and writes in New Jersey.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Jeff Dupuis

Vulnerability to Bishops

Sitting in a packed lecture hall,
'Topics Shakespeare'. Only five free spaces
all diagonal from my seat
down to the lectern, where
the professor, a Renaissance man
well-past his prime, fiddles
and fumbles with his laptop,
the projector, and other implements
of the twenty-first century classroom.

After a day of work
and two classes,
I, wrapped in a parka of fatigue,
drift peacefully toward sleep,
safe on either side, and front and back.
Protected from all, except the flagrant
Achilles' heel, the vacant diagonal seats
creating a distinct vulnerability to bishops.

Jeff Dupuis writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. His work has appeared in The River Journal, The Acta Victoriana, and Blood Lotus Journal, among others. In his off-hours Jeff likes to train in the martial arts, or if nothing else, watch straight-to-DVD martial arts movies. He currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Friday 13 July 2012

David R. Morgan

Higgs boson
A silver watch you've worn for years
suffers a particle reverse and vanishes,
leaving a pale white stripe
blazing on your wrist.
A calendar marked with all
the appointments you meant to keep
leaving a faded spot on the wall
where it hung.
One night the glass in your windows
leaving you sitting in a gust of wind.
The child you've raised for years,
combing each lock,
tailoring each smile, tending each tear,
each valuable thought,
suddenly changes into a harlequin,
dances into the parade passing in the street,
never to be seen again.
One morning you wash your face,
look into the mirror,
find the water has eroded your features,
worn them smooth as a rock in a brook.
A blank oval peers back at you
too mouthless to cry out. 
David R Morgan teaches 11-19 year olds at Cardinal Newman School, in Luton, and lives in Bedfordshire . He has been teaching at the school since 1991.

David has been an arts worker and literature officer, organizer of book festivals and writer-in-residence for education authorities, Littlehay Prison and Fairfield Psychiatric Hospital (which was the subject of a Channel 4 film, Out of Our Minds).He has had two plays screened on ITV and over 200 hundred poems published in National and International Poetry Magazines. His books for children include:  The Strange Case of William Whipper-Snapper, three Info Rider books for Collins and Blooming Cats which won the Acorn Award and was recently animated for BBC2's Words and Pictures Plus as well as a Horrible Histories biography: Spilling The Beans On Boudicca.  David has also written poetry books, his latest collections, Beneath The Dreaming Tree was published by Poetry Space Ltd in October 2011 and Lightbulbs In The Sea by Knives, Forks & Spoons Press was published in November 2011.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Howie Good

Panicky Anarchy

The only way through is full of crimes and rivers. There are also mirrors that plead incomprehension. It’s better not to remember the cat clinging to the fiddle or the word scribbled in yellow on the surgical site. The last time anyone looked elements of the Soviet security apparatus remained. I point as a substitute for speaking. Someone who shouldn’t have got it gets an injection. The bride and groom close their eyes when they kiss. After a week, spasms.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press and Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press. He has two other chapbooks forthcoming, Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press and The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press. In addition, he is editor of twenty20 journal and co-publisher of White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely and co-editor of cur-ren-cy with Wisely and F. John Sharp.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Ashley Fisher

Kinsky Square

We eat bramboračka
in a Kinsky Square restaurant,
before walking across where
Černý's pink tank
once raised a glass-fibre finger
to the invaders of 'sixty-eight
upon their own five-metre plinth.

They have moved Tank 23
"Josef Stalin" out of Prague
 to the museum in Lešany,
where, safe from the gaze
of the public and the
post-velvet questions,
it need not be displayed.

Tonight I will meet you on
the left bank of the Vltava,
wearing my heavy coat
and clutching an edition
of Fráňa Šrámek's poetry
which I cannot read
but think a suitable gift.

Ashley Fisher was born in South Cumbria and currently lives in Hull, East Yorkshire, where he runs the monthly Fresh Ink Open Mic poetry night and co-edits the poetry magazine Turbulence. His website can be found at www.ashleyfisher.co.uk

Tuesday 10 July 2012

Anna Bilbao


I saw him on a Detroit
stairwell, all whiskey
and paper bag despair.

That was Thursday. The
new week offers no
changes, no hope, no

delusions of ambition.
Just his own thoughts
wrapped in newspaper

blankets and stale urine.
I tell myself that one day
I will speak to him, offer

some sort of comfort. But
never do, never break my
own slavish conformity.

Anna Bilbao was born in Spain and now lives in Detroit, Michigan where she writes compulsively and roams from one dead-end job to another. She is becoming less certain that one day everything will make sense.

Monday 9 July 2012

Marica Szendry


Now and then
I hear the foreignness
in my voice echoing
down the stairwell,
mingling with the smell
of metropolitan piss.

I occasionally write home
(if that is what it is)
in a rusting mother's tongue -
assuring indifferent relatives that
all is well and I will write again.

The last time I visited I
felt alien, turning stotinki in my hand
and, in a moment of panic, dumbly
pointing at fruit in the grocer's.

Marica Szendry was born near Plovdiv, Bulgaria and grew up in Portugal. She moved to the UK to study English Literature in 1997 and has lived in London since then.


Welcome to Driftwood Bay, a new poetry blogzine based somewhere between Iceland and England which will publish poetry from around the world in English.