Categories
Poetry

Christopher Barnes – 1 poem

Decorative Value, Exceptionally

Invest in this disquieting replica
blowfly,
An offering peculiar to the curious.
(4 aghast on a settee.)
Assembled with secured worming tablets
In contorted, formidable niceties
By “Uptail Retail House” ™.
(Spectacles on a G-Plan
table.)
Expertly finished,
A scream to bequeath.

 

🍃

 

In 1998, Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 2000 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’ and at Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems.  Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and he partakes in workshops. In 2005, Christopher saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

He also has a BBC web-page:
www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtmland http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml

The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem “The Holiday I Never Had”: he can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456

Christopher co-edits the poetry magazine Interpoetry http://www.interpoetry.com/

Categories
Poetry

G. Louis Heath – 2 poems

Murder by Bat

 

A horseshoe bat murdered my son, straight-out

Whacked him in his grave, no doubt about it.

 

That damn bat gave a virus to the raccoon dog

That sniffed out a ferret badger that inflicted

 

The viral stigma on the palm civet my son bought

In Paul’s Pet Store downtown. It went deep into

 

Gary, Jr.’s lungs, tripped up his immune system.

I have got to hand it to the scientific articles I read

 

In my obsessive-compulsive mourning. I learned

A pandemic is not simply academic. The bat to

 

Civet chain launched a weapon of mutation on bat

Wings that a cuddly pet civet brought into our home.

 

🍃

 

Roman Wild Ass

 

I’m here to tell you there’s an ancient

Roman siege machine, the Wild Ass,

Kin to the trebuchet and ballista. I

 

Found it referenced in a scholarly

Footnote, simply “the Wild Ass,”

Off the black and white, right in my

 

Eye, bango. I Googled Wild Ass (Do

Not try this at home): technical Latin

Term, onager. Eight soldiers operated

 

To hurl rocks at fortress walls. Smaller

Than the catapult, easier to build than

Two-armed ballista. I learned and saw

 

Much in my pursuit of the Wild Ass. It’s

Indeed shocking what serious scholarly

Inquiry can unveil. I mean really unveil.

 

🍃

 

 

   G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He has published poems in a wide array of journals. His books include Leaves Of Maple and Long Dark River Casino.

Categories
Poetry

Linda M. Crate – 1 poem

A Gothic point of view 

 

I never knew

of how sadness could kill you

how grief could be so heavy

that you’d choose relief from demons

rather than being cradled in the

light,

but that was changed when my uncle

chose death instead of life;

 

seventeen years ago,

but I still remember being that sobbing

little girl

I still cry

our hearts were broken when he chose

to leave us instead of remaining 

where he could have been loved;

 

but now I know grief can hang on the bones

secrets can have a need to be buried within

never shared out of shame or fear,

and nothing is ever what it seems;

where others find terror and horror I have always

found darkness beautiful in its own way

 

perhaps that’s why I hold the ‘creepy’ copy

of the nutcracker he gave me so tightly

without a second thought

scare tales have always fascinated me because

I have learned there cannot be beauty without pain

for misery gives birth to appreciation and joy.

 

🍃

 

 

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection, Sing Your Own Song, is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Linda-M-Crate-129813357119547/

Novels: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Magic-Linda-M-Crate/dp/1508572968 & http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Magic-Linda-M-Crate/dp/1517126312/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456149250&sr=1-1&keywords=Dragons+%26+Magic+Linda+M.+Crate

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorlindamcrate/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thysilverdoe

 

Categories
Fiction

Salvatore Difalco – Fiction

KRAFT

 

I tried to channel Samuel Beckett during an episode on my computer. I call times when I sit there episodes. Like schizophrenic breakdowns, or epileptic seizures. More and more I’ve come to see them as the psychic and hormonal anomalies that they are. For it makes no sense to sit here and pretend to create reality. The only reality: markings on paper. Burn them and that information would cease to exist. And they say information can’t be lost or destroyed. On the other hand, a perfect record of this exists in the hard-drive. Destroy the hard-drive and it would cease to exist.

“Dinner’s ready, man.”

“It is?”

“Time flies when you’re having fun.”

“Who says I’m having fun?”

“It’s an obsession, then.”

My annoying friend, whom I will not name, as this has gotten me pilloried in the past, is correct, to some degree. But to call my thing an obsession seems imprecise. I compare it, more accurately, to eating, or defecating, functions that hardly require obsessions to promote and validate them. I have no choice, plain and simple.

“You’ve painted yourself into an existential corner.”

“You can say that, yes. I’ve nowhere to turn.”

“And yet, it will never sustain you.”

Sustenance, an issue at the end of the day. Anyone can record their silly thoughts and call them art. That doesn’t necessarily make it art. But it also doesn’t negate that possibility. Who’s to say?

“I made lasagna.”

“You’re kidding?”

“Yeah, I am. Made macaroni and cheese.”

“From a box?”

“Of course from a box.”

I can’t go on. I must go on . . .

 

 

🍃

VOYAGEUR 

 

In some respects, the guided tour left much to be desired. I liked discovering things on my own, at my own pace. I had spent a month in Rome when I was a young man, by myself, with the guidance and counsel of no one. And though my Italian was poor, I managed just fine. The man beside me smells like borotalco, not a bad thing on its own, but blended with sweat and fecal matter, upchucking becomes a distinct possibility.

“Stop the bus! Stop the bus!”

“Guy’s green, man.”

“He’s gonna be sick.”

“Get him outa here!”

A thousand hands shove me forward through the tunnel of the bus, into the harsh light of southern France. A Van Gogh field to my right blinds me with its uncanny blaze. A flock of black birds circle in the sky. I smell grape-pressings and sheep’s cheese.

“Another delay.”

“What can we do?”

“I have a suggestion.”

“Shut the fuck up, you old fart.”

The voices grow distant. The painting grows smaller and smaller, the black birds descend.

“There he goes.”

“Down for the count.”

“Someone get water.”

“You stepped on my foot, ass-wipe.”

And then I feel a great peacefulness arrest me. I am breathing evenly, calmly. The earth is warm under my cheek. I hear the bleating of sheep in the distance. I will come, I will come to you, my pretties …

 

🍃

 

Salvatore Difalco 

Categories
Promotional

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