Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Autumn Meditating: Photo Credit - Zhijian Tao

PP: Editor's Notes/Pushcart Nominations

The following is the official list of Poetry Pacific's nominations for the Pushcart Prize for our publication year of 2013::

1. Robert Sheppard: Moby Dick
2. Koon Woon: A Season in Hell
3. Niall O'Connor: House
4. Stephen Page: Transformations
5. Diablo: The Doomsday
6. Allen Qing Yuan: China Charm: For Yuan Lai

Beginning in every October, we feature the nominated poems/poets individually on our facebook for our readers, friends, and/or associates.

This is how we nominate our poets for the Pushcart Prize::

1. Time: Mid-October every year;
2. Candidates: All the poets/poems and/or other literary materials featured in Poetry Pacific during its publication year (which started in October of the previous calendar year);
3. Process: As a rule or in principle, we select one most page-viewed piece from each issue, and the remaining two in terms of editors' preferences and the number of pageviews. Apparently, the first 4 choices are highly democratic, since they are actually made by our readers; the other 2 are less 'politically correct' as they are more subjective.


In August, we upgraded PP to a publishing house temporarily called Poetry Pacific Press. Before we launch our press's own website (hopefully on the Remembrance Day of 2013), we would like to make the following announcements::

1. In August, we published Allen Qing Yuan's short collection titled Traffic Light as our very first trial-operation, which is available at http://www.lulu.com/shop/allen-qing-yuan/traffic-light/paperback/product-21138162.html;

2. With our Chinese partner, we published in September a bilingual (English and Chinese) reader titled 300 New Chinese Poems (1917-2012), a collection of 'best' contemporary Chinese poetry, which includes hundreds of Chinese poets who have receive or deserve to receive much critical/readerly attention for the past 100 years or so;

3. We plan to publish a yearly anthology in print next year, including the 'best' and most popular poems featured in our e.journal since it was launched on the Remembrance day of 2012;

4. We hope to find a volunteer web-master/designer or intern to help develop the website of our e.journal Poetry Pacific, and welcome anyone interested in the position to contact us at editors.pp@gmail.com or yuans@shaw.ca.

Beginning from now, we are to feature the best poems available to us that have been translated into English. In this issue, we have a special section devoted to a group of Chinese poems presented in both the Chinese and English versions. By doing so, we hope to promote poetic/cultural exchange between English and Chinese, the two most widely used languages in today's world.

PP's First Poetry Anthology Just Released

dear PP friends,

the very first bi-lingual (english and chinese) anthology of contemporary chinese poetry 300 NEW CHINESE POEMS (1917—2012) we published here at Poetry Pacific Press in september has just become available. pasted below please find an introduction to this ambitious project. since 29 november 2013, we have been posting some selections every week on our facebook; and beginning from this issue, we will feature 5 poets from the anthology for your reading pleasure.

we hope this is a good way to promote the poetic/cultural exchange between english and chinese, two major languages used by most human beings on earth today.

if anyone by chance is interested in getting a copy, please free welcome to contact us at yuans@shaw.ca or editors.pp@gmail.com or .

now the introduction itself...

The Chinese New Poetry: The Brilliance of 100 Yeas
                                    — Preface to 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012)
                                    By Diablo

Since the year of 1917, the new Chinese poetry has a history of 100 years, during which the Chinese nation has witnessed a series of drastic and important events such as the May Fourth Movement, Confused Fighting between the Warlords, Anti-Japanese War, KMT-CPC Civil War, “Anti-Rightist Movement”, “Movement of Cleaning Politics, Economics, Organization, and Ideology”, the Cultural Revolution, April Fifth Movement, Black 1989, and Reform and Opening up to the Outside World. So much so that it can be said that the 100 years, whether from the angles of history and culture or politics and art, are unexceptionally filled with briers, distress, chaos caused by war, struggles, famine, slaughter, hue and cry, as well as tribulations.
In such a dark and bloody historical context, the new Chinese poetry has undergone stages from its creation to its experiment to its construction: the process shows its utmost fortitude in being undaunted by repeated setbacks. In the past 100 years, there have emerged a host of excellent or great poets who have produced many important and immortal pieces, which have been given attention to the international poetry circle. Unquestionably, it is time to exhibit the whole process and the artistic features of the new Chinese poetry by translating and introducing classic new Chinese poems to overseas countries. Based on this point, through discussions with renowned poetry critics, translators and scholars from 8 universities respectively located in Tianjin, Beijing, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Hunan, Anhui, and Fujian, etc., we have reached a broad consensus at the end of 2010, namely, to compile a Chinese-English textbook of selected new Chinese poetry, which is tantamount both to the brilliant achievement of 100 years of the new Chinese poetry and to the great tradition of Chinese poetry. Our target is: “with a copy of Chinese-English 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) in your hand, you can get an overview of the history of 100 years of the new Chinese poetry and the representative pieces. Meanwhile, Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) provides a new view point and breakthrough point for those who are engaged in the research of new Chinese literature, while providing text reference for the future development and construction of Chinese poetry. What is of particular importance is that the Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012), by dint of the extensive and effective international communication system established by IPTRC (The International Poetry Translation and Research Centre) through 18 years, the new Chinese poetry is brought into the whole process of world humanistic order, while providing a true, vivid, and profound landscape of language and mind for the 100 years of course of thought of the Chinese nation.”
We all know that since its birth in 1917, the new Chinese poetry is closely connected with the poetic art of foreign countries during its development. In the information age of globalization, the new Chinese poetry is to be more communicative and interactive with the international poetry circles in a more direct and extensive manner, and one of the most effective ways is to compile large-scale Chinese-English bilingual poetry readers. Which bespeaks our original intention to compile this Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012).
In my opinion, poetry writing is writing of the mind. In other words, we shall regard the Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) as the miniature of 100 years of the spirit or the mind of the Chinese nation. Leafing through the Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012), we can feel the beat and rhythm of each heart: the powerful poetic force, like surging waves in the Yangtze River charging eastward, is exhibited in each poetic line …
Compared with other selections of the new Chinese poetry, this Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) is found to have the following features:

 (1) In selecting poems, consideration is first given to their artistry and the construction of linguistic text form. While paying attention to the chosen works’ significance in literary history, the modern sense and artistic value (or aesthetic value) of the poems are highlighted.
 (2) In addition to poets from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, overseas Chinese poets are also included. The book is a thorough examination of the new Chinese poetry since 1917, which exhibits the free and independent human spirit. The book is a selection of the new Chinese poetry with the longest time span and the most extensive areas.
 (3) The included poets are in the order of their dates of birth and, after their poems, included is an introduction to the author.
 (4) In the context of global economy and information integration, the book endeavors, in bilingual form of Chinese and English, to exhibit the development and artistic achievement of the new Chinese poetry in the past 100 years objectively, thoroughly, and comprehensively.
 (5) The English translation of this book composes of two types: poetic translation and academic translation, in which poetic translation is dominant.

It is known that there are more common points than different points between two languages; therefore, interlingual translation is possible. The translatability between languages becomes the theoretical basis for translation. However, this does not exclude the differences between languages. Generally speaking, the translation of poetry, among all literary translations, is the most challenging. And if the translator happens to be a poet himself, his translation is usually superior to that done by a non-poet.
Translation, in a real sense, is for a poem or a life to be reborn in another context of words, like Phoenix Nirvana. It is my belief that this Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012), under the collaboration of Chinese and overseas poetry translators and sinologists, is to regain life in the world of English, sparkling with charming artistic rays.
Here, I would like to list the names included in the Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012)(The included poets are in the order of their dates of birth):

Lu Xun, Shen Yinmo, Liu Bannong, Hu Shi, Guo Moruo, Lai He, Xu Zhimo, Wang Duqing, Wen Yiduo, Li Jinfa, Bing Xin, Zhang Wojun, A Long, Wang Jingzhi, Liang Zongdai, Zhu Xiang, Luo Niansheng, Dai Wangshu, Sun Dayu, Feng Zhi, Zang Kejia, Li Guangtian, Su Jinsan, Yin Fu, Ai Qing, Bian Zhilin, Qin Zihao, He Qifang, Xin Di, Ji Xian, Zhong Dingwen, Tian Jian, Chen Jingrong, Hang Yuehe, Mu Dan, Du Yunxie, Cai Qijiao, Tang Shi, Peng Yanjiao, Tang Qi, Zheng Min, Zhou Mengdie, Hu Pinqing, Chen Xiuxi, Yuan Kejia, Huan Fu, Zeng Zhuo, Liang Zhihua, Lü Yuan, Yang Lingye, Tu An, Niu Han, Shi Tianhe, Lin Hengtai, Kong Fu, Xia Jing, Gong Liu, Yu Guangzhong, Luo Fu, Li Qing, Luo Men, Xiang Ming, Wen Xiaocun, Rong Zi, Yang Huan, Bai Hua, Shang Qin, Chiu Pin, Zheng Ling, Shu Lan, Chan Sirisuwat, Loiushahe, Zhang Mo, Ya Xian, Ma Boliang, Shao Yanxiang, Zheng Chouyu, Han Han, William Marr, Chang Yao, Lee Kuei-shien, Dai Tian, Wai-lim Yip, Wu An, Bai Qiu, Zhang Shijian, Lin Ling, Han Mu, Hsu Chicheng, Lin Huanzhang, Yang Mu, Shi Ying, Huang Xiang, Du Guoqing, Gao Ge, Ya Mo, Hua Wanli, Lan Haiwen, Yun He, Zhang Cuo, Xi Murong, Fu Tianlin, Zhou Tao, Fu Tianhong, Li Minyong, Shi Zhi, Zhang Ye, Leung Ping-kwan, Luo Qing, Mo Yu, Bei Dao, Jiang He, Mang Ke, Shen Qi, Duo Duo, Li Gang, Li Xiaoyu, Zhou Lunyou, Li Yufang, Shu Ting, Hai Shang, Yang Zongze, Yan Li, Wang Xiaolong, Yu Jian, Yang Ze, Liang Xiaobin, Yang Lian, Zhai Yongming, Wang Xiaoni, Mao Han, Gu Cheng, Bai Hua, Xia Yu, Lin Hua, Ouyang Jianghe, Zi Wu, Zhang Shuguang, Liu Cheng, Yang Ke, Da Xie, Zuo An, Wang Jiaxin, Yuan Changming, Liao Yiwu, Wang Shunbin, Yang Ran, Ye Shibin, Wei Ming, Yan Yuejun, Bei Ling, Lv De’an, Luo Yihe, Fang Wenzhu, Han Dong, Meng Lang, Jidi Majia, Chen Dongdong, Chen Kehua, Lu Yimin, Zhang Zao, Ding Dang, Liu Manliu, Xue Yang, Yang Li, Lin Yaode, Hong Ying, Aerdingfu Yiren, Liang Xiaoming, Xi Chuan, Huang Canran, Zhong Dao, Li Yawei, Zhao Xingzhong, Chu Zi, Jie, Chen Meiming, Hai Zi, Na Ye, Nan Ou, Mo Mo, Zhu Likun, Zang Di, Tu Ya, Diablo, Shen Wei, Yao Hui, Xiao Hai, Feng Chu, Shu Cai, Xie Yixing, Gu Ma, Ma Ke, Yi Sha, Wei Se, Zhang Zhizhong, Ye Zhou, Mo Xue, Pu Dong, Lei Pingyang, Yu Nu, Ma Qidai, Ge Mai, Hou Ma, Zhao Siyun, Xi Du, Tang Shi, Xu Jiang, Chen Xianfa, Lan Lan, A Mao, Yang Jian, Wu Touwen, Zhou Sese, Yang Lin, An Qi, Luo Guangcai, Zhou Yunpeng, Jin Lingzi, Meng Ling, Dong Yue, Di Bai, Zhao Weifeng, Lin Zhongcheng, Huang Lihai, Yao Bin, Yang Xie, Duo Yu, Yin Lichuan, Li Xiaoluo, Hai Xiao, Mu Cao, Jiang Fei, Yang Jun, Zhu Jian, Shen Haobo, Ding Cheng, Li Cheng’en, Wu Xiaochong

After three years of efforts, now the Chinese-English textbook of 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) is to be published for the readers, both Chinese and overseas, to appreciate and criticize.
In the process of compiling this book, I have been encouraged and supported by Chinese and overseas poets, critics, translators, and sinologists, hence my homage and indebtedness to all of them!
Poetry is immortal, and art is eternal.
The foregoing is my preface.

                                                                                        June 28, 2013; Chongqing, china

bionote of the editor 

Diablo (1965— ), whose original mane is Zhang Zhi, English name Arthur Zhang, and pen name Wuyuelou (Moonless Tower), with ancestral place of Nan’an of Chongqing, was born in Phoenix Town of Baxian County, Sichuan Province. He is doctor of literature and honorary doctor in humanism, and has successively been engaged in many professions. He is the current chairman of the International Poetry Translation and Research Centre, executive editor of The World Poets Quarterly (multilingual), editor-in-chief of the English version of World Poetry Yearbook, embassador in China of the International Poets Association in Chile, and foreign academician of Greek International Literature & Arts and Science Academy. He began to publish his literary and translation works since 1986. Some of his literary pieces have been translated into over twenty foreign languages, such as English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Danish, Hungarian, Bengalese, Italian, Swedish, Korean, Slavic-Mongolian, Serbian, Hebrew, Arabic, Slovak, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Albanian, etc., to be included into dozens of domestic and overseas anthologies. He has ever won poetry prizes from Greece, Brazil, America, Israel, France, India, Italy, Austria, Lebanon, and Macedonia. His main works include poetry collections such as RECEITA (Portuguese-English-Chinese), SELECTED POEMS OF DIABLO (English), POETRY BY ZHANG ZHI (German-English-Portuguese), Selected Poems of Diablo (Chinese-English), collection of poetry criticism entitled Series Essays on Avant-Garde Chinese Poets, etc. In addition, he has edited Selected Poems of Contemporary International Poets (English-Chinese), Selected New Chinese Poems of 20th Century (Chinese-English), A Dictionary of Contemporary International Poets (multilingual), The Book Series of World Poets (Bilingual), and Chinese-English Textbook 300 New Chinese Poems (1917—2012) , etc.

bionote of the tranlating editor 

Zhang Zhizhong (1966— ), his ancestral place is Boai County of Henan Province. He successively obtained a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Zhengzhou University, a master’s degree in English and American literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University, and a doctor’s degree in translation studies from Nankai University, and he has done his postdoctoral study in aesthetics of poetry translation at Henan University. He is now director of Translation Studies Center of Tianjin Normal University, and professor of Foreign Languages College of Tianjin Normal University. Meanwhile, he is guest editor of The World Poets Quarterly, vice chairman of International Poetry Translation and Research Centre, and translation reviser of New Poetry, a large-scale periodical sponsored by the Research Institute of Lierature & Art of Chongqing University of Technology. He has done a huge amount of translation, including over 50 classic American movies (English-Chinese), the 84 episodes of TV play The Romance of Three Kingdoms and the movie entitled The Tale of Sister Liu (Chinese-English), etc. Until now, he has published 44 books (11 in collaboration with others), 70 academic papers, and over 3,500 translated poems. Besides, he has published his own poems. In October, 2003, he received scholarship from Nankai University; in November, 2003, he obtained Excellence Award in the 15th National Translation (Chinese-English) Competition for Youth Sponsored by Han Suyin; in December, 2005, he was entitled as the Best International Translator for 2005; in November, 2006, he won the Prize for Distinguished Translator in the 2nd World Poetry Prizes Sponsored by Dr. CHOI Laisheung; in March, 2007, he was entitled as the academic leader for 2006 by Henan Provincial Educational Bureau, and in September, 2011, he won the Translation Prize of “Contemporary Chinese Poetry Prizes (2000—2010)”.

Interview with Ray Hsu

Bionote: Ray Hsu seems a bit of a contradiction. Named one of "Vancouver's most promising young entrepreneurs" (The Globe and Mail), Ray Hsu has also served as a literary tastemaker for the CBC Poetry Prize and the National Magazine Awards. He published two award-winning books and gave a TEDx talk on How to Live a Creative Life. His latest  project is ROOM+BOARD, an online spot for writers to sit, write, and connect.

10 Fundamental Questions for Poetry Editor Ray Hsu:

1. Given the ways contemporary authors have been trying to compose all kinds of poetry, how would you define ‘poetry’?

As Alexander Pope said in 1711, "True wit is nature to advantage dressed: what oft was thought but never so well expressed." Now that's poetry.

2. Many people say poetry is dying. Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why?
Poetry is dying. But like the dying, we know how to come back.

3. What defining features do you think ‘best’ poetry should possess? In other words, what is your personal or working definition of ‘best’ poetry?

Emily Dickinson once said, "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." I don't think that she went far enough. Poetry should decapitate.

4. What are the most important makings of a ‘great’ poet? – please name 3 greatest poets the world has produced thus far.

I don't know about greatness, but I do know about maturity. So did T.S. Eliot, who once said that, "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal."

Picasso knew about greatness, or at least Steve Jobs did, since everyone argues that "Good artists copy, great artists steal." (http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/03/06/artists-steal/)

5. Who are the 3 most important or noteworthy contemporary poets according to your personal/working criteria?

The three most important poets working today can be found in this list of four:

- a. rawlings
- Sachiko Murakami
- Steve Roggenbuck
- Daniel Alexander, a.k.a. SNCKPK

6. Considering the contemporary poetry writing/publishing reality, what are the most important changes that you think should be made to promote poetry as a worthy cause?

In order to promote poetry, we must promote non-poetry. Poetry will follow.

7. Which 3 poetry editors or magazines would you like to recommend to all poetry lovers? Or, which 3 are your most favorite poetry editors/journals?

My three favourite journals are

- Pacific Poetry
- badpoem.com
- I can't think of another

8. What are the most important or interesting things that you have learned about poetry writing/publishing as a poetry editor?

Many lyric poets make fun of experimental poets, many experimentalist poet look down on lyric poets, and few of either attend spoken word poetry events.

9. What is the most or least enjoyable part of being a poetry editor?

The most and least enjoyable part of being an editor was being politically ousted for my views.
10. Given your rich experience as editor of Ricepaper and judge of CBC Poetry Prize, what advice would like to offer to those who actively participate in various kinds of literary contests and those who seldom do so?

Don't wait for an editor or judge to choose you. Choose yourself. Take charge of your own fate.

3 Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Thinking Outside

Touching tails
and feather wings.
The apple trees bend
and sing of autumn's coming.
Starlings talk across backyards
and the high-pitched beetle
fills the wind like a calming drug.
In this place as summer fades
the quiet demands self-truth.
To pull from inside
a lacerated pride
and pile it on the dried grass.
Shadows mend the divided self
and love is an activity
to understand while counting birds

The Making of Dreams

Landing lucky
this side of the threshold.
Nobody sees me. I see
what other eyes cannot. But
that is easy. It is not easy
to dilute my passion for the
distractions of duty. To hold
up the mirror and find a look
I’ve never known before.
Under the carpet the days collect
and erect a year of hardship and somehow,
remarkable glory. I know this is where
I am supposed to be. I know the price
and the food. Lights on. Lights off. Balance
is never the goal.

Four Sides

Four sides to the silence
that ribbons my throne.
Four thieves that pry open
my secrets as night blends
with day.
One that skates my terrain, slicing and cutting
and so very cold.
One whose mouth stretches wide,
consuming my minstrel’s tale.
Another who tugs and slows my voice rejoicing.
And than a fourth who digs my sex out of my thighs
and beds me a eunuch.

But for those quad-curses are four more
fierce lights that shade all grieving with tenderness
and meaning. Four bags from a magician’s dream,
orbed in wonder and the waters that go on forever.

I will not complain or caress my cancer to break
apart my prize.
I will just say my tune is told and today
my bones hurt but the food
is plenty.                                                                                        


           Allison Grayhurst has had over 200 poems in more than 135 journals, magazines, and anthologies throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and in the United Kingdom, including Parabola (summer 2012), South Florida Arts Journal, The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry, poetrymagazine.com; Fogged Clarity, Out of Our, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Decanto, and White Wall Review.
            Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published nine other books of poetry and two collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman.
            Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was recently published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012.
            She lives in Toronto with her husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. She also sculpts, working with clay.

3 Poems by Allen Qing Yuan

Chasing the Pacific Star

Air gyres crowd into the boy
As he dashes through the clouds of hope

Surfing on a wish
He descends to the touchy ocean
A salty breeze gushes from underneath
A spring of refreshing motivation
The flaring sun eagerly follows him like a bright shadow
Intimidating mountains forcibly rise, but are capped
From the serene, misty horizon
Where a bleached bird loudly flaps its wings away

Upgrading his life board,
With exhilarating dreams
As he dashes through the clouds of hope
Chasing the Pacific Star.

Towards a Juvenile Definition of Poetry

what is poetry?
it is music without a synthesizer, but equally delicious to the ears and mind
was an old expression but now a new hobby
will be created by graceful hands and tasteful hearts
has been retained thoughts, burst like mint bubbles
can be lyrics to a song never published or sampled
could be new art, Da Vinci’s undead pursuit
should be inspiring, a star searing sight
might be symbols for those treasure hunters
may be simple for those simple-minded
is being a pastime for those enjoying free time
but it is not dead
it is just dormant, under the seabed of our hearts

Ventis: Wielder of the Philosopher’s Stone

Under the star-lit night sky
The boy picks up a petty pebble
Aims at a tree
And tosses it
The petty pebble weakly lands onto the dirt

The boy picks up a great rock
Aims at the menacing moon
And chucks it
The great rock heavily crashes over the tree

The bold white circle shoots a spotlight onto the boy
A young aspiring alchemist in the vast land of Aeria
Ventis gathers his belongings and turns back
To his hometown, where there is terrorizing fire

A civilization engulfed in its own creation
Only Ventis can save the day
With his created rock, a rock of creation

Running past the crowd
Ventis breaks onto the scene
With a clench of the Philosopher’s stone
The fire is dissipated and transformed into smoke

But from within the smoke,
A homunculus appears,
A creation not divine
A creation feared by God

But rocks have always been Ventis’ obsession
In his right hand he clenches a hard round rock
In the other he holds a smooth & slippery pebble

With magic the stones bend into weapons
Ventis fights and fights
And the homunculus falls and falls
Only to never rise again

He then reconstructs the fallen buildings
Making them bigger and better than before

After a rejuvenating night’s sleep
Ventis awakens to another fine day

Venturing back out to his usual spot by the river,
Ventis reaches into his plush pockets
For the special rock
For which is not there

No matter: he will create it again
Just like how he created homes,
How he created dreams,
How he created his name

The wind picks up the words and carries them away

Under the sun-lit blue sky
The boy throws the pebble
The boy chucks the rock

The common one falls into the strong tide
While the right one makes it to the other side


Allen Qing Yuan, Pushcart nominee and author of Traffic Light (2013), is an 18-year-old freshman of the University of British Columbia. Most recently interviewed by Nostrovia!Poetry, Allen has since grade 10  had poetry appearing in Cordite Poetry Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Literary Review of Canada, MOBIUS, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Kanto, Poetry Scotland, Shampoo, Spillway, Taj Mahal Review, Two Thirds North and nearly 70 other literary journals/anthologies across 16 countries.

3 Poems by Daniel Gallik

What A Man Should Say

All the right colors,
that’s what she said
when she described
Miss Universe and
what she wore
that night she won.

I simply whispered,
she was from Cuba.
She said so what,
and disappeared
into her bedroom.
Came out wearing

a gown she had
purchased for prom.
I looked at her and
told her she looked
better than anyone
from Havana.

The Modern Wastes Of Time

I’ve seen.  Yes, I have.  Brillo
was closing in on a truth, and
yet, he did not know what the truth was.

Brasia was waiting for her
hair to be done at Ruth’s.
She did not know this about her husband.

She came home, asked him
if he was ready for lunch.
Brillo was pouting in their new bathroom.

In walks the morning news.
Also, the latest song on Itunes.
He quit looking in the mirror and smiled

and asked his wife if she knew
the neighbor lady’s child.
Brillo asked his wife if she was at peace.

Simple Story About Bad Men

He wound up his top
(it happened to be him)
and sped off to a city
he had never been.

Everyone, except
the News asked where
he was.  He never said
anything because

he never watched
the news.  A man
he got to know
finally asked him

where he was.  He
said, “I don’t know,
but I am happy.”
That man shut up.


The author has had poetry and short stories published by Hawaii Review, Parabola, Nimrod, Limestone (Univ. of Kentucky), The Hiram Poetry Review, Aura (Univ. of Alabama), and Whiskey Island (Cleveland State Univ).  He has placed writings in hundreds of online journals. One novel is available at amazon.com.  Its title is A Story Of Dumb Fate.  DanielGallik@windstream.net

2 Poems by Dawnell Harrison


Loneliness is a knife
At my throat.

Cold stars glare
At me from above.

The silence completely
Shadows the air.

I stand as bare as a
Skinflint tree.
Love has no home here.

The sunrise burned

Deep in your soul
The sunrise burned

As the orange leaves
Of autumn twirled

In your heart.
The sweet smell

Of roses bent over
My soul as the sight

Of a white dove
Glimmered in my heart.

The fires of twilight
Tussled in your eyes

As the rain fell
Into the vast horizon
Of your soul.


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

3 Poems by R.T. Castleberry


There is always a story at the end of a rocket.—Marie Colvin

Take an Elvis smile,
take a stare—long, impudent,
nothing to offer but impulse and wiseass wit,
illness excuses, a long drinking.
I carry every word of
Garryowen and Staggerlee in my memory,
mass them tenderly in a Beale Street bar,
march them like highway miles beneath a Cadillac’s tires.

Like a prisoner consenting to his chains,
I take my terror straight Delta--
black cat bone and a Memphis curse.
I ignore the soldier’s toll on TV,
wounded, worn-out, KIA;
ignore the sense of a gunman
creeping under a magnolia drape,
with a Starlight scope and his minister’s consent.

Down a death bed drone, a weary, wearing moan,
I listen for the helicopters chop, flight plan low.
They dust rooftop, phone line, intersection.
I stand in the wind, waiting for walls to fail,
stucco and stone stained with fire.
Caught with a camera and the pictogram machine,
I count my coins in that blizzard.
Elusive as comfort or candor,
the dead make their claim.
I share my debts with a conqueror’s moon.

I spend the night with emails, downloaded music,
sleep through Sunday in my Saturday clothes.
Without history,
undeterred by accidents, accents,
the road gang affiliation,
days lengthen like frontier shadows.
They smell of fever, of collapse.
I clear my throat with a delta cough,
purchase a missionary blade,
Larry Mahan boots,
Kerouac’s Dexedrine trilogy.
To live in my life you must show
endurance, a wise-ass affinity.
I allow two months for tenderness
before the judging begins.
Leave me bored, I drop you from the world.
Waking, framed by evasion,
I change from button-down stripes to tee shirt,
compose a good-bye
that neither undermines nor explains.
There are mistakes made when speaking plainly.
Half-truth is a haunted kindness,
limiting language assigned to a long farewell.


I open my morning door
to the cooing whir of birds in flight,
the glistening weave of a spider’s web.
Stepping out,
leather soles slide on dew-damp sidewalk,
a cat slips through the clutter of courtyard planters.
Wind-floated leaves hang in the morning haze.
A perfume trail of White Diamonds and wisteria
lingers like the moon.

Beyond the gated line of plank fences, security mesh
the street is a deep mosaic of shaded green,
sun-touched spreads of oak, palm tree, pine,
high, jutting arcs of new town homes.
Oleander and crape myrtle layer the street median.
Early students pass by, pack-laden, intense.
One carries a carving of a yellow-eyed crow,
almost losing it in the stretching leap over a puddle.

Tell me a story, the day seems to say.
Twenty years gone from Miami and Monterrey,
fables have fallen into disfavor.
The past is a dog nosing in the night.
I arch my back to ease it before the drive,
shrug my jacket into place.
I have no advice.
I leave with nothing but hours rolling to report.


R.T. Castleberry was co-founder of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe, co-editor/publisher of the poetry magazine Curbside Review and an assistant editor for Lily Poetry Review and Ardent. His work has appeared in Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, The Alembic, Paterson Literary Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Cenizo Journal and Clackamas Literary Review. He was a finalist for the 2008 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry. His chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-chapbook, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in April, 2011.

2 Poems by M. J. Iuppa


Waking before daylight, before
night’s dream evaporates into another

dimension, I leave home in the dark’s
uncertainty– the cough of the car’s engine                                                                                       

before it catches on– the arthritic roll of tires
on icy gravel turning onto a slick street where

puddles overflow with half moons gleaming
& I vanish into still air, thinking only of what

lies ahead– a day full of words & silence–
melting snow, fenceposts leaning into hillsides,                               

winter’s promising woods coming to light
as I round the bend to find another lonesome

town, incidental, yet forever, exactly
the same as the place I left.


What do they call the sadness of a solitary sleep?
                                                     −−− Pablo Neruda
There is a certain remoteness to the puddle.
 Its brackish water ripples in goose bumps,
concealing mud’s sole contemplation that
lies just below the surface, dreaming of
your misstep . . .


 M. J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review, Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and  The Centrifugal Eye, among others.  Recent chapbook is As the Crows Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008) and second full length collection, Within Reach, (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010); Forthcoming prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing) She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY.

3 Poems by Serena Wilcox


did you come
with the storm tonight
combing through the leaves
pressing against my trees vexed
and restless as I am, sleeping
in this unkempt room—our bedroom,
I cannot clean a single thing—if I did
I would erase you, erase the line
you walked night after night before
softly dying beside me, in this bed
our bed that looks like a dilapidated nest
with no eggs, just scented strands of your
scent still here in the isolated space
between our pillows, there a portrait of you lay
where I place my lips and cry until I feel no pain


you came to me like fertile
tides from the Nile River
your head crashed between my knees
low and soft we moved across the night
before drowning in a pool
of our own shadows strewn across the bed
we slept as ‘spirits folded in a womb’
until curtains of golden light crept
through our window and the song of the lark
filtered out the last star


there was war
& wild

I followed the sound
of leaves running from wind

we were both running from something…

we laid between trunks
of poached trees
our limbs tied in knots
showered in moonlight

there was a moist cloth
hanging in the distant abyss
there we wiped our tears

Pain travels in packs…

even from the window
of the woods
…a forecast of bruiselike blues
and cold light loomed

we walked along the rim
of winter where I found
a feather from a red-tail hawk
I held it out to you like a lit match
…a second chance extended to you


Serena Wilcox  is the author of Sacred Parodies. (Ziggurat Books International) She has literary work published  in Ann Arbor Review, BlazeVox, Word Riot,  and many other publications. She was recently nominated for Dancz Best of the Web 2011.

3 Poems by Perry L. Powell


Where would you go if you could leave,
secretly without consequences
or pricked sensibilities, my love?
Someplace I am not?

I want to chew through your leather
straps and give you a new path
that you can wander,  that does not go
around and around and around.

We are not the Green George and the May Rose;
our harvest too long ago left the silo for markets abroad.
Now we sweep our little fields clean and meet
under a midnight sky where sometimes we touch

and sometimes there is moonlight
and sometimes only night.

Blue Fish

What if the brain
fades out
after death─
a drugged or dreamed trip,
oxygen starved,
in an immobile blue crypt of

What if the mind
into that
blinding light, slowly
sealing like a
slow-motion shutter ending

What if heaven
is that
of fading
feeling forever,
as a dream might
hold fast an image in its

Autumn Images

A gentle start to autumn.

Even an old man feels a touch of hope.

Smooth azure sky,
crisp all white clouds
and that mild breeze.

But every night on television
still more pictures of dead soldiers.


Perry L. Powell lives in College Park, Georgia. His work has appeared in The Heron's Nest, Ribbons, Prune Juice, A Hundred Gourds, Indigo Rising, The Foliate Oak, Lucid Rhythms, The Lyric, Haiku Presence, Quantum Poetry Magazine, and The Camel Saloon.

2 Poems by Mary B. McKeel

Cats and Observation Theory

I’m sorry if what I’m writing
is vague and confused.
When I get metaphysical
I ramble, and struggle to express my meaning.

Let’s see if I can explain what I mean.

Try to remember a line of lyrics,
a bar of music
from back when you were in school.
You can almost hear the tune
which is, at the same time,
just out of reach.

Do you remember
the cat which was there and not there,
at the same time, inside the box?
(Am I getting too pretentious here?)

Even scientists
don’t understand the math.

Still, if to look at a photograph
is to change what was,
maybe there is, somewhere,
another you,
in another world,
where you are happy.

Can you find
a little comfort in that?

In the Absence of a Higher Power

If it exists,
why is my searching
taking so long?
Why is higher
harder to find
than a lost memory,
and surely out of reach?

Consider a tree.
No? No.
The leaves are beautiful,
but they provide no rope
for a climber to grab.

It occurred to me
that there can be power
in contemplating
a higher self
than the one who exists today,
at the same time that you plod.
and journey to meet her,
or to find out if
she is still alive.

3 Poems by Linda M. Crate

broken and bleeding

this moment
i hate with the passion
of a thousand suns,
just being here brings back
bad memories that haunt and cling
like barnacles of the sea; i wish
i could will it all away —
not everyone gets all their bad choices
thrown in their face time and time
again as i do, as if all the good things
i've ever done or will don't matter
as if they never will; i hate this place of
winter and snow, this domicile i have
that is without you —
judgments rain down upon me harsher than
God's, and they call themselves Christian
i thought Christ was love
not ripping people to pieces as they do
like carrion feasting on the flesh of their fallen brothers;
voice drowned out by their wind, i'm subject
to their mercy time and time again
not once did they ask how i felt and it took them
two months to notice the depths of my sadness and loneliness
of missing you —
there was a day where i shown scarlet sunset
in autumn, once we kissed so passionately it startled the leaves
off the trees; i miss the girl i was that moment,
i miss those times i spent with you
truly i wish i could be trapped inside that still frame
if only to prevent my heart from breaking in
this place of jagged rocks and snow.

dusty granite

you were my jewel that sparkled in
the sun, a shimmering diamond to cut
through the deepest pits of my despair -
yet today suddenly you grew colder
than a winter's wind and so aloof
that i could barely stand by your side;
i rather doubted that you'd notice my
absence so transfixed as your mind was
on other things that you would not share -
i sucked in a dozen tomorrows waiting
for the answer of today, but all you gave
me was a handful of granite and dust.


shadows burn me in their stare, crows scowl at my voice. i wonder what manner of monster i am to make the whole of the universe despise me so. twist and bend and break and shatter only to repeat the same cycle another day, a different order. i must take after my father, they tell me he was a beast. oblivion sings me nightmares only stars can remember, i shudder the circumference of trees. once i shown like gold shimmering in the stillness of waters waves, now i am charred crimson turned to rusty black of fallen angel's wings. every night i burn, every night i fall again. i wonder if sometimes life is hard because it has to be or because we live in some video game the politicians play, whose cords won't be so easily broken as the music i shove away to the back of my mind when it rains.


Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh, but she was raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She attended and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature in 2009. Her poetry, articles, reviews, and short stories have appeared in several journals online and in print.

2 Poems by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal

In Search of the Poet in Me

A deserted beach
but for me and my cherished
books of poetry


While out for a walk
Frost nipped at my thoughts, as did
Yeats and Dickinson

Snake Bite
As night deepens her daylong brood
she slinks into alter-ego mode
where, by leaps & bounds, her virtue erodes.

Well-heeled & hell-bent -- coy
as in a man-magnet way
& finally dark, she sinks, plays, toys,
is toyed with in predictable ways.

As the sun ascends each new day,
her man-handled skin is just about shed
& the snake that long ago did her in
re-coils -- forever reptant within.


RUTH SABATH ROSENTHAL is a New York poet, well published in literary journals and poetry anthologies throughout the U.S. and Canada, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Romania, and the U.K. In 2006, Ruth's poem "on yet another birthday" was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She has 3 full-length books of poetry: "Facing Home and Beyond" "little, but by no means small" and "Food: Nature vs Nurture" and a chapbook "Facing Home". For more information, "Google" Ruth and visit her website:

3 Poems by Wendy Chin-Tanner



skin thin as wet rice paper,
tense membrane
water from water,
body from body.
The bottom spills
out from the pail.

The absence
remains in my hands.


sun moon truth
come out
come out
wherever you are


I will bury you or you
will bury me and we will

have loved as if
tomorrow had already gone.


Bio: Wendy Chin-Tanner is the author of "Turn," a poetry collection forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in March, 2014. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals including The Mays Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge, The Saint Ann's Review, and The Raintown Review. Wendy is a founding editor at Kin Poetry Journal, a poetry editor at Stealing Time Magazine and The Nervous Breakdown, a staff interviewer at Lantern Review, and an online sociology instructor at Cambridge University, UK. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband, graphic novelist Tyler Chin-Tanner and their daughter Maddy.

2 Poems by Dennis Mahagin

Tiny Ode to a Premature Ventricle
-- after a line by W.C. Williams

I was born to be lonely:


pulse on

sun spot, far
flung: one split



Bay Window Update

Bunch of vibrant
anti-reticent black


hanging out

on Front Street
like they own it.
Oh, they know
every love story
and / or winning

lottery number,

I can't prove it

but I know it.

Been extrapolating phlegm
at this window since dawn.

Humans mostly bore them.
In a flap, they’re moving on.

Dennis Mahagin is the author of the poetry collection, "Grand Mal," published by Rebel Satori Press, and available on Amazon Dot Com: http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Mal-Dennis-Mahagin/dp/1608640515

3 Poems by Irene Latham

Cloud Study

All afternoon we lay together
without apology as the flock
grazes blue fields shepherded
by the sun. You can't corral
them, no matter how long you call --
wind scatters them like orphans
of plague or war, striates them
like stretch marks or unremembered scars.
We learn flesh will tell you everything,
if you let it.

To kiss

is to harness
an octopus;

to drop anchor
in the eye of a hurricane;

to map tidepools
while sharks circle your plastic raft.

Sixteen Words for Love
Set ablaze,
I say yes,

raw earth
by snowmelt.

We refocus;
is our map.


Irene Latham is a poet and novelist from Birmingham, Alabama. She has served as poetry editor for Birmingham Arts Journal since 2003, and her third volume of poetry The Sky Between Us is forthcoming from Blue Rooster Press in 2014. Visit her at irenelatham.com.

2 Poems by Debi Swim


I used to be important.
But not in the wide big world,
Of business,
Of movies,
Of sports,
Of academia.

But in my small world
Of hearth and home.
I was a giant,
A titan,
A queen,

Now my world is smaller still.
Tiny kingdom, subjects three,
Of you, my love
A dog
And me.
Aimless retreat of waiting.

Music of the Universe

The summer evening surrounded me
Closed-in, seeped-in my skin
As I looked-in the blushing sky
Birds twittered-in the trees
From the thicket two crickets
Joined-in with violins, insects thrummed-in
Tree frogs broke-in, every now and then
As I lay breathing-in serenity

Then my hearing became acute
I was one big ear
The stars whirring-in harmony to
Planets humming-in time
To the moon strumming-in
Gentle guitar chord
But underneath and far away
The sun drummed-in a unifying bass
To the chicka, chicka of galaxies and space


Debi Swim resides in Princeton, WV with her husband of 35years, Kyle.  She dabbled in writing poetry when young but in the past year and a half has gotten serious about learning and honing the art. She is a member of the Appalachian Pen Writer's Group, participates in local poetry readings and recently had a poem "Miner's Wife" published in the annual "Bluestone Review" of Bluefield College, Bluefield, Va.

3 Poems by Peter Thompson

Tao Fung Shan
              (South China)

The gong sounds
long and far from the brass...
and dragonflies everywhere
on this sharp golden hill
They are all golden
and go silent
in yellow stalks of grass
The gong sounds
and pale hills drift
in sandy shapes beyond...       (from the book Late Liveries)

Of Each

Faces in the strange
lurching wanly into light
        so familiar
        as if of ourselves
        call them friends

the circle of light
flicker of our moments
        and then it wanders
as if of ourselves
our love

the lambency in them
the hover in each ghost
        before it wanders
        as if of ourselves
        this the soul

the dark they stagger in from
heartlessness theirs and mine
        neglect so familiar
        as if of ourselves
        is riven life

and how we hold them                (from the book  Shades)

Bacon Bits

The mind of course prefers
to see itself aloof
in satin of a cool hue
yet all the while these sides
of beef yawn above it
unfurling hacked ribs like wings
bracing like blood shutters
It knows
It is even at times
aware of the smell of cold meat
This much does the mind allow
of its materiality
and screaming within
frosted walls
and a few seams of light
the nth time deny it                     (on a Francis Bacon painting, from my book Angle of Incidence)


Peter Thompson's books of poetry include Late Liveries, Shades and Angle of Incidence, and books of song lyrics include Daybreak and New Words. He has edited two anthologies of French literature, and translated books by Léon-Paul Fargue, Véronique Tadjo, Nassira Azzouz, Nabile Farès and (forthcoming) Tchicaya u Tam'si and Abdelkébir Khatibi. He edits Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation.

1 Poem by Samantha Seto

Note to Beloved

My note travels across the room, past mobs of people,

[editor's note: this poem has been removed upon the author's request]

2 Poems by Michael Mira

Deconstructing the Universe

Lost in the thicket of my madness,
my mind traces the fold lines
of an origami paper; a crane
deconstructed and flattened
back to two dimensions.

When seen in the burnt orange light
of the receding sun, you realize
that everything complex and amazing
share the same essence with all other things.

A story is made of paragraphs, which
are strings of letters, and that love poems
are fundamentally rhythms of a heartbeat
tapping flesh and ribs.

And that the universe that cradles
you and me in the arch of its back
is simply our home; that we are just
two cosmic bodies waltzing in the dark.

Plastic Hearts

Out on the parking lot is a pile
of cheap plastic hearts made in China,
melting under the Texas sun.

One-time use synthetic love
to be disposed of when the
morning light invades the city.

Somehow, letters evolved
into 99-cent Hallmark cards
offering simple rhymes written
by depressed copywriters.

It’ll go well with the fake roses
on your dresser
that never wither and die.


Michael Mira is a writer and photographer based in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared in various print and online publications, such as The Nervous Breakdown, Carcinogenic Poetry, Denver Syntax, Mused: BellaOnline Literary Review, among others.

1 Poem by Frank William Finney

The Lighthouse Keepers

Puppeteers buckling sandals
at the top of the steps.

By day they chase shadows
of sail and scull.

By night and storm
do drowned men speak

to trespassless towers
the silence of seaweed.


Frank William Finney’s poems have appeared in such publications as Danse Macabre, Paris/Atlantic, Staple Competition Poems, and The Green Hills Literary Lantern.  He lives, writes and teaches (at Thammasat University) in Bangkok, Thailand.

1 Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Bowl of Black Petunias

If you must leave me, please
leave me for something special,
like a beautiful bowl of black petunias-
for when the memories leak
and cracks appear
and old memories fade,
flowers rebuff bloom,
sidewalks fester weeds
and we both lie down
separately from each other
for the very last time.


Michael Lee Johnson is from Itasca, Illinois who lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era, published in 25 countries.  He publishes/edits seven poetry sites which can be found on his personal website at http://poetryman.mysite.com.  Some of his published works can be found at:  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/promomanusa, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and iUniverse.

1 Poem by William C. Blome


Some springs never change to summer, some women are presentation-pointer thin, but why is it I can’t own a yacht like the muscled milkman’s, boat new-shoot green and boarded by naught save underage sweethearts, boat destined to cruise for decades on yogurt-thick oceans and bays?

Truth now be told (but long, long obscured from me), the curly-headed milkman won the yacht four Augusts ago when his buff-brown charity chance was picked from a fishbowl by a rotund nun at Saint Anthony’s parish hall.  The milkman, who early went whistling door-to-door with his tray of full bottles and packs of donuts, soon afterward hired the nun’s licentious brother to be the captain of his yacht.

In time the milkman dubbed the yacht Fine Things.  Now, I’m no snitch, but the milkman’s surname is White, the nun is Sister Vera, the current month is July, and though I truly don’t know the captain’s name, something like Procurer would sure seem to be in the ballpark.


William C. Blome is a writer of poetry and short fiction.  He beds down nightly in-between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is an MA graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars.  His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Amarillo Bay, Prism International, Taj Mahal Review, The Rusty Nail, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.

1 Poem by Linda Benninghoff


In the aftermath of Sandy
my mother broke her hip,
running in slippers to put a leash on our dog.
We stood in gasoline lines for weeks,
while Mother went under anesthesia
came out in a happy haze
and went from the hospital
to a rehabilitation center.

Everything happened fast.
I felt like a crow
turning its wings
on a lift of air,
or flailing on a telephone wire.

I wanted to see my mother again.
I wanted to cook food,
have light in the dark.

Now she still walks with a cane,
I wait home every morning
to watch her climb the stairs,
and the cane makes a hard echoing sound,
like stone against stone,
like dolphins using radar
to find what is beneath the stone,
the swimming fish,
the life of the sea that continues.

2 Poems by Lee J Mavin

Dry flaked and oily                                                                Fresh full of energy
Skin mask of foolery                                                             Hope chest an itch
Memory loosing manhood                                                     Of desire clean shave
Crooked hinges and teeth                     mirror                      Head strong screwed on
All hair in wrong places                                                         Smooth sailing dialing
Lost in my mind maze                                                            Behavior beats eyelashes
The cracks in the dark                                                           In patches centipede
Whisper to each other                                                           Disaster can opener
Drawing a mental image                                                        Of confidence  

The Second Coming

He wipes dollars signs from his eyes
And rinses his mouth out with savings
He puts on his suit of success
And smiles a white row of checks
This guy walks with his head up
Brushes his hair with credit cards
Lights up the night streets
With consumer miracles

He is the prophet of profit
When he works
It rains golden coins
The busiest of business men
The capital of his capital
Speaking to the world in all tongues
Exchanging dollars into all currencies

He rises and falls like an ocean of economies
And exhaling all debts.

He is the Mohamed of money
And the savior of all sellers
Yet he sleeps alone
On his pile of treasure


Lee J Mavin previously published a collection of poetry titled Reverse the universe: collected poems and unused lyrics in 2010 and also published a collection of short stories titled: The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume 1. He is busy at work on a series of novels that are also due out this year. He is currently teaching English in Shanghai, is happily married and is even busier looking after his baby daughter.

2 Photos by Charles Hayes

Did you fee something poetic hit you?


After "BA in Psychology from the University of Tampa, Charles Hayes went onto earn his MA from the Univeristy of New Mexico where he also studied the Navaho language.

2 Poems by Brendan Sullivan


A dream of silver coins and gossamer
of frankincense and sacred myrrh
tugging, gently tugging at the coverlet
the draperies drawn,
the candles lit.

Winter's wizened face and beard sent packing
by the blazing willow log
a'crackling, gently crackling in the fireplace
the shivered wind
leads on apace

These dreams to warm us lingering like a balm,
and cider mulled with cardamom
bubbling, gently bubbling in a bowl
blots out the wind
and shuns the cold.


And I will weave
and string glass beads across your skin.
I will pick them out - azure and turquoise
like the beach at noon
when the sand makes love to the waves.
I will decorate you in ivory and ivy
bands to kiss
your wrists and ankles and
I will teach your tongue wicked fortunes -
stories that only night can
follow and languages
man is too afraid to speak.
You will wear me
silk and water -
the warm rush of magic,
a noise that rumbles fiercely
and grows restless
in the dark.


Brendan Sullivan is a lifelong beach bum who has turned from acting to poetry, as he finds it a more remarkable and rewarding muse. He also enjoys surfing, sailing and diving. His work has been published at Wordsmiths, The Missing Slate, Every Writer's Resource, Gutter Eloquence, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, After Tournier, Bareback Magazine and Bare Hands.

1 Poem by Michael Stone

It’s Gone

Its gone, the fishing village,
wrapped around the bay,
with a lighthouse,
and small, dirty, working boats,
nets, and fish merchants.

Now it has upmarket restaurants,
a fair with colored tents
where they hawk
organic stuff,
Lebanese food,
baklava, fossil fish,
and Guiness T-shirts.

By the breakwater
half-tame seals beg
for crusts of bread.

Each time I’ve been back,
it grew more so, till
at lunch today,
in a fake-old pub,
with fake evening gloom,
fake fire burned in the grate.

I cannot go there again,
the village I used to visit
is gone.


Michael Stone was born in England in 1938. His family moved to Australia in 1941, where he received his schooling. He lives in Jerusalem with his family. He has published poems in numerous literary journals as well as translations of medieval Armenian poetry. Poems by him have also been anthologized in a number of collections. His poetic translation of Adamgirk', a medieval Armenian epic about Adam and Eve in 6,000 lines appeared with Oxford University Press and his Selected Poems with Cyclamens and Swords Press.
He was professor of Armenian and Religious Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his retirement in 2007. His academic activities have been devoted to two different disciplines, Jewish literature and thought in the period of the Second Temple, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Armenian Studies. His research and academic publications have been divided between these two fields.

1 Poem by Collin James


                                           Caresser of light act out
                                           run with no pockets harmlessly,
                                           borrow from me.
                                           Tender is the right ball
                                           the left hangs loquaciously
                                           pissed and pinched.
                                           So, next Monday then
                                           assuming a long weekend can end
                                           complicating its validity.


.....Colin James has poems forthcoming in NOSTROVIA and MCDAR. He lives in Massachusetts with two old dogs.........

1 Poem by Joe Benevento

After We Noticed the Little Redbud Tree

and its pinkish-purple response to April, catching
whatever sun it could, wedged as it was
between our shed and some adult oaks,
we recognized it as the natural
result of our having spread seeds

from its mother in the middle
of our yard, whose bean-like pods
we’ve plucked yearly, with each of our
four children, to scratch free the waxy green
seeds (which are pale white if plucked too soon,

mahogany when left alone longer) and place
them anywhere we thought they might sprout
without getting annihilated by a lawn mower.  Each child
has cherished this simple effort to spread some new life
into the world, each gotten old enough to want to pluck down

the lower pods herself or himself, free the seeds
and send them somewhere possible.  Sometimes
three or four of us have been outside at once,
wondering if there was really a chance,
so now we are thankfully uncertain which one

was responsible for the little tree
we know will soon enough unlock its heart-
shaped leaves, tolerating some shade
to inhabit this unlikely corner
for its living as certain sign

of growing, advancing Spring.

Joe Benevento teaches creative writing and American literature at Truman State, where he is poetry editor of GHLL.  He has had poems, stories and essays in about 250 places, including: Poets & Writers and Bilingual Review.  His most recent of eight books of poetry and fiction is the poetry chapbook, "Tough Guys Don't Write," with Finishing Line Press.

2 Poems by David Chorlton

Spring Day at Spur Cross

Light runs dry along the creek bed
where rocks are ground fine
enough to hold the tracks
a cat made in the night
when it came down from the hard
escarpment whose edge
streams against the sky.

Cactus wrens call
across the purple dust,
desert broom and mallow
all the bright hours long

and the flicker makes a nest
in the cool, damp core of a dark saguaro.

The Monarchs

            The numbers are getting so slow now that the migratory phenomenon  of the monarch is becoming endangered. It is looking like the glorious  migration phenomenon will begin to peter out.
                                                                                -- Lincoln Brower, March, 2013

In the genetically modified universe
stars have become indestructible
and life is returning to Mars.
Infinity has opened its portals
to the traffic from Earth
whose insatiable appetite drives
a migration the like
of which never occurred
to the nomadic tribes who move
with the seasons, the whales whose journey
takes them to an ocean’s end,
or godwits crossing the Pacific
in a single flight without land
on which to rest. The sky flexes
like a muscle. Evolution moves
on overdrive, but still cannot
keep pace with human wants.
A tide of comet tails passes over us,
brighter each night,
while on a Mexican tree
the last Monarchs cling to the bark
in a trembling mass.


David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in1978. He pursued his visual art and had several shows as well as writing and publishing his poetry in magazines and collections, the latest of which is The Devil’s Sonata from FutureCycle Press. Although he became ever more interested in the desert and its wildlife, the shadow side of Vienna emerges in his fiction and The Taste of Fog, which was published by Rain Mountain Press.

1 Poem by Susan Adams


How long do we play croquet on the lawn
with hearts rolled into balls?
You count your victories
by the bandaids on my eyes
if only I'd known I would have used the pain
to paint the boundaries between us.

You grease your teeth so tongue can slide
my plated trust served waiting
for your attention to be sprinkled
like seasoning.
But the taste is a toxin.
I fall into Alice's tunnel
above you wear revenge on each green fingernail
& I never knew how very little I meant to you.

Jealousies wrapped in years of silver paper
were emboli to my senses.
The ritual of practise, lethal.


Susan Adams, PhD is an Sydney poet published in nine countries.  She was awarded 'commended' in the 2012 O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition (Ire), Highly Commended in the Val Vallis Award 2012 and Highly Commended in the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize. She has been read numerously on ABC Radio National. Recent publications include Quadrant, Westerly, Southerly, Eureka Street, Hecate, Social Alternatives, Cordite, Visible Ink, FourW.

1 Poem by Mary Jo Balistreri

A Changing Gift

Another October morning, still,
quiet and cold. I walk with the tingling air
to pond’s edge where sun already huddles
near glacier-aged limestone, and water
basks in pink-tinted clouds. I listen
to this language of another time, spoken

in color and light, tone and temperature.
Beside me, tattered green weeds sway in tall
elegance, their crocheted dresses beautiful
but too thin and summery for this brisk day.
On the far shore, trees don maple-red,
and birch-gold, a grand send-off for this sun

that leaves soon for other shores.
The splendor of one form slides into another,
as fire and water, air and earth seed nature’s
ongoing creation. Although the falling leaves
feel like loss, I am reminded of harvest. I look
at the sun-filled pumpkin, a fallen pecan,
and think of Thanksgiving. A burgundy leaf drifts
into my lap, nudges me to move on.


Mary Jo Balistreri is the author of Joy in the Morning,2008, and Gathering the Harvest, 2012 published by Bellowing Ark Press Her chapbook, Best Brothers, is due out in July, 2013 by Tiger’s Eye Press.

She is one of the founding members of “Grace River Poets,” an outreach program of poetry for women’s shelters, churches, and schools. Her poems have appeared in MOBIUS, The Healing Muse, Passager, Tiger’s Eye Press, Ruminate, Avocet, Verse Wisconsin, Quill and Parchment, Crab Creek Review and others. She recently placed first for essay in the Wisconsin Writers Jade Ring Contest, and has placed first for the Jade Ring in poetry. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Nominations.

Interview with Joneve McCormick


Joneve McCormick’s poems have been published in a wide variety of hard copy and online literary and art periodicals and in several poetry anthologies.  She has two solo collections: Small Bird Bones and The Visitor. Joneve hosts the international online poetry journals, Poets International, Poetry Soul to Soul and The Peregrine Muse. She is the editor of World's Strand, an anthology of  contemporary poetry.

1. Given the ways contemporary authors have been trying to compose all kinds of poetry, how would you define ‘poetry’?

I like these words by John Keats:

"No one was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language."

Today, feeling in poetry is perhaps more important than thought and there is more experimentation for its own sake, but poetry is still poetry -- or not.  We like newness; it is exciting when it works, but too much originality can prevent communication, at least for awhile.  All true art has distinctiveness and originality, however subtle; artists create the forms of the future.

An audience expects poetry to affect and influence it, whatever its "kind"; and it wants to be moved in satisfying ways.  Art has been aptly described as "the quality of communication"; poetry is using language to create a quality effect. It does or it doesn't.

2. Many people say poetry is dying. Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why?

Unless humanity is dying, poetry isn't dying.  It is inherent in the human psyche, in languages and their rhythms, in all art, in life itself.  Most (if not all) great spiritual leaders and teachers have been poets;  poetry is a high road to knowledge, essential to civilization. Its pinnacles coincide with those of great civilizations and religions.  For example, Homer's Odyssey, which was required reading for a time, especially for children (who learned it by heart and could recite it), to inspire courage and upright behavior. 

Poets today are motivated and challenged by diversity and globalization, yet the universal principles remain and poetry, whatever its culture, is easily recognizable.

People can lose courage, civilizations can decay, and it can look like poetry is dying.  That doesn't mean it is.

3. What defining features do you think ‘best’ poetry should possess? In other words, what is your personal or working definition of ‘best’ poetry?
T.S. Eliot said "Poetry can communicate before it is understood." I think this is a good working definition of "best".

When I choose poems for publication I look for what is distinctive, impresses me, leaves dents.  "Best" poetry lives beyond words and lines in the ways it interrelates feelings, thoughts, rhythms and images to take readers into their own hearts and minds.  It creates an effect and metaphor is seldom, if ever, missing.

4. Who are the 3 most important or noteworthy contemporary poets according to your personal/working criteria.

Koon Kau Woon, Craig Raine and Matthea Harvey are the first three who come to mind -- I have been reading their poems recently. There are many noteworthy contemporary poets. And too many are relatively unknown. 

I have the privilege of presenting some noteworthies here:

Poets International:  http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/PoetsInternational/
The Peregrine Muse:  http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/Whos_here.html
Poetry Soul to Soul:  http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/poetrysoultosoul/
Joneve & Friends:  http://www.theperegrinemuse.com/joneve&friends/intro.html

5. Considering the contemporary poetry writing/publishing reality, what are the most important changes that you think should be made to promote poetry as a worthy cause?

I don't know if any important changes should be made; we may be in a slump that has to run its course.  Those who want to, though, can do much more to promote poetry.  Academics are important disseminators, but tend to favor the work of other academics who write.  Decades ago in the 50's and 60's "the beats" outshone "the academics"; those poets who drew the most attention to poetry were part of a larger movement in the culture and the arts.  The academic world, except for "poets in residence" and other exceptions was behind the times then, often using selection criteria which competed with quality.  Today, technology offers many new possibilities for innovative promotors.  A lot is already being done, but much more is possible. 

Sensitive readers hear words, but many readers "look at" them.  Poetry should be read out loud more, sung and chanted, as it has been in the past; the sounds and rhythms of poetry are essential to its very existence.

6. Which 3 poetry editors or magazines would you like to recommend to all poetry lovers? Or, which 3 are your most favorite poetry editors/journals?

This is difficult, as I like many journals and editors, but if I had to select three editors, based entirely on who I would want to edit my own work, then yourself (Changming Yuan), Gabriel Rosenstock and Lisa Zaran come first to mind.  All of you are gifted with the intuitive language capability, talent and integrity to do a really first-rate job.

7. What are the most important or interesting things that you have learned about poetry writing/publishing as a poetry editor?

The most important thing is to make only changes and tweaks which bring out a poem as it is, as though an editor hasn't been there -- unless otherwise requested by the author. There are poets whose "cultural voices" are easily diminished in the editing process and that changes the quality of their poems; I've learned ways to sacrifice correctness to keep original qualities, and still do a professional job.

It is important to be able to say "no" to a poet or a poem when I am making selections for publication. Poor choices can pull down a site, or a page of otherwise beautiful work.  It is important to offer one's viewpoints honestly, to say what doesn't work and why -- and, especially, to acknowledge quality.  If a poet does his best he will find, or make, a place to present his work.

8. What is the most or least enjoyable part of being a poetry editor?

The most enjoyable part is reading wonderful poems and being able to dust off a poem, if needed, without intruding.

Least enjoyable is the struggle to maintain quality in the process of translating from one language to another or in turning English standard enough to be understood.  I once had a linguistics professor who disparaged the idea that 'poetry cannot be translated'; according to him, if the mental ideas came across then the poem could be translated.  He was a thinker who wouldn't acknowledge that poetry is "how" a poem means, as well as what it means intellectually.  If the poem is lucky little may be lost in translation or adaption, but generally something is lost or changed, and sometimes even for the better.  Of course poets should always be free to reject any edits of their work.

3 Poems by Changming Yuan

2013: Snakeland

Black is this year, both because the ominous
Number floods the world with America’s QE3
Snowden’s dark secrets, and war threats from
Obama, the Nobel peace prize winner, and
More important, because this is the year of
Snake, the most difficult year in my entire life
When I have been bitten by 3 vipers; one has
Run away with a piece of meat from my heart
Another trying to strangle me into a slow death
And the third still waiting to swallow my hardened
Body with its young and ambitious mouth, all
Sloughed out of the attractive terror of white

Siamese Stanzas: Snowflakes

                           as little noise
                           as much leisure
                           as possible
                           you came
                           to perch
                           at this cold spot of time
                           like a pale word
                           fallen on the wasteland

merely                                                       to melt
a voiceless being                                        soft and quiet
never heard                                                before you
yet ready to                                                vanish
herald                                                         tracelessly
the glaring                                                   in the green
thunder                                                       wind
summer                                                      time

30 Monolines
           Man becomes established at the age of thirty -- Confucius

1. The meaning of life, if any at all, is to create a meaning for life.        
2. This is a graying age, where white is turning black while black white.
3. There is light in every dream we have in darkness.     
4. However pitch-dark the entire night is, it can never turn a single snowflake black.
5. There is no distinguishing between black and white, for the color of life is grey to begin with.
6. A house for sale is never a home, while a heart unoccupied is a hotel for rent.
7. Freedom is the thin distance between the fleeing mouse and the chasing cat.
8. Love may be 99% honey and 1% money, while marriage is definitely otherwise.
9. Pleasant or painful, all experiences are as good as cash saved for a long rainy day.
10. Birth throws us out into different times whereas death recalls us back into the same place.
11. No rules are created for their creators.
12. In this age of information, we are all fish swimming freely before the net is towed onto the boat.
13. The more high technologies, the more low minds.
14. Many still very much alive are already stone dead; many already stone dead are still very much alive.
15. On the stage of life, we may not be able to choose the play, but we can choose the roles to play.
16. Comedy can come without romance or finance, but tragedy has to do with either or both.
17. Growth is painful because it means a series of deaths of our pasts, while death can be pleasant because it may result from a series of births of our presents.
18. Misfortune is a peculiar privilege.
19. In memories, roses always look fresher, while thorns less sharp.
20. What we see or read has always been so edited that the truth remains only in the mind of history unwritten.
21. God died long ago; heroes have all disappeared; and here is man left standing alone.
22. The bird flies as high as heaven, but it has to return to the earth to make a nest.
23. Remaining an outsider can give you a sense of superiority, transcendence and peacefulness.
24. Time is the most meticulous makeup master of all.
25. Only those determined to reform others can hope to be reformed.
26. Parting is painful; even more so is having no one to part from.
27. He is happy who is not afraid not to be rich, sexual, famous or powerful.
28. Do some deep thinking about nothing every day, and you will stay healthy, wealthy and wise
29. We all have some questions for heaven, but heaven always remains silent.
30. Like a silkworm, I have contributed all my silk to the human world. If it does not care, why should I?                                                                  


Changming Yuan, 6-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in a remote Chinese village and published several monographs before moving to Canada as in international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Changming currently tutors in Vancouver. Interviewed earlier this year by PANK, Changming has had poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry (2009; 12), BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 749 other literary journals/anthologies across 28 countries.