Sunday, January 25, 2015


by David Chorlton

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more. --SCA

A man who died five minutes back
is standing at the action’s edge
and watching his army regroup
for another charge.
                              The war begins
in February, he says, as pennants
wave in Sunday sunshine
and dust clouds are rising around
the bright warriors
                             in the park. You see
someone in black and red you want
to kill him, that’s how it is. Today
it’s only practice for when
the forces to gather at Queen Creek.
The rules say that if you’re hit
where the armor doesn’t cover,
                                                you die.
See this? He indicates the metal
cut to fit around his upper arm. It’s
a Left Turn sign.
                        From the yellow eagle
on a dark blue shield
to banners in black, colors show who
is on one side and who on the other,
while the plan discovered today
                                                 is for
someone to infiltrate a crowd and stand
next to his enemy, looking so much
like him as to render violence
invisible until
                     the bomb explodes
leaving no chance for the dead
to move away from the action
to touch the Resurrection Pole and be
allowed to fight again.

David Chorlton came to Arizona in 1978 after living in England and Austria. He has spent more than three decades stretched between cultures and writing poetry, the pick of which has just appeared as his Selected Poems, from FutureCycle Press.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


by Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote

A pair of small alien worlds, Ceres and Pluto, move into the spotlight this year as spacecraft arrive at their cosmic shores for the first time. NASA's Dawn spacecraft released its first views of Ceres on Monday, already hinting at previously unknown craters. Still ahead for NASA's New Horizons probe is former planet Pluto, billions of miles from Ceres and the king of a distant, icy realm. Both are dwarf planets, mini-worlds that just don't make the cut as official planets. It's a vast population of worldlets that scientists don't know much about. But if all goes according to plan, that will change starting now. And it's about time the little guys got some attention. --Nadia Drake for National Geographic, January 21, 2015

In square world spherical obliqueness
Dwarf planet Pluto asteroid Ceres
Obscure classic rock ‘n roll giants
Water vapor rising icy volcanism

What lies beneath iron core
Subsurface ponds lakes seas oceans
Flood of data requires validation
Icy outnumbering terrestrial gassy rocky

Pluto’s moons atmosphere bending sunlight
Charon Hydra Nix Styx Kenderos
Pluto twice size of Charon
Unjust travesty stripped of planethood

Largest outer solar system dependent
Reigns slightly ahead of Eris
Orbit so elongated crisscrossing domains
Categorically downgraded blacklisted by ex-spurts

Eight full-fledged planets enduringly survive
Pneumonic spoiled My Very Energetic
Mother Served Us Nine Pizzas
Outcast suffering complex inequality complex

Tipsy topsy-turvy cosmic seesaw consciousness
Science séance predicting what’s next
New Horizon groundbreaking astrogasm discoveries
Mistaken identity Status Quo-Vadis regained

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 

Friday, January 23, 2015


by Laura Rodley

Image source: Loulou Downtown

I asked the angels
for something to help
carry me through the day
since I don’t yet have visible wings
and soon in front of my eyes
water flowed underneath ice
encasing a maple branch
like sap only external,
building up like a wave
then surging through
in the one eight inch space
between bark and hard clear ice
flowing to the crotch of the branch
and underneath the lumped ice there
reaching the end of the branch, dripping once,
the wave surging, cresting, flowing
down the maple’s thin arm, drip
and again, no end
to this bounty.

Laura Rodley’s New Verse News poem “Resurrection” appears in The Pushcart Prlze XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses (2013 edition). She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee,  won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


by Anne Harding Woodworth

ELMO, Mo. AP, January 20, 2015 • A 9-month-old northwestern Missouri boy is dead after his 5-year-old brother playing with a handgun accidentally shot him in the head. Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White says the baby was pronounced dead at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City just before noon on Monday. The Kansas City Star reports that emergency responders were called to a home in Elmo around 9 a.m. Monday after a 5-year-old found a loaded .22 caliber handgun and apparently was handling it when it fired. White says the bullet struck the 9-month-old, who was in a playpen. The sheriff says there is no reason to believe the shooting was anything other than an accident. 

There was every reason.

The father was not there.

The mother was in the kitchen.

The baby was in the playpen.

The five-year-old found the 22-caliber Magnum revolver.

It was near a bed.

It was loaded.

He pulled the trigger.

The baby died inside his microcosm.

A gun killed a baby brother.

Anne Harding Woodworth is the author of five books of poetry and three chapbooks. She lives part-time in Washington, D.C., where she is a member of the Poetry Board at the Folger Shakespeare Library. The rest of the time, she is in the mountains of Western North Carolina.


by Gil Hoy

One word was noticeably missing from President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday: guns. In a sign that the sun has set on Obama's gun control agenda, the president's prepared remarks contained no mention of the issue. Two years after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the absence of guns from Obama's speech marked a departure from previous years, in which the president urged Congress to pass legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in America. Obama made a thinly veiled reference to mass shootings while discussing national tragedies that have brought Americans together. "I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown; in Boston, West, Texas, and West Virginia," he said. --Sabrina Siddiqui, HuffPost Politics, January 21, 2015

If Congress had lead balls
in its hearts, brains, 

If images of dead school 
children grew 
so palpable, intimate
that their fever

opened a passageway 
through the sizzling
sun, to eternity 
and back, 

would the madness 
stop then? Would 
crimson hollow paired
growths on Wayne 

LaPierre’s head 
show themselves, as
he scribbles his want 
list for bought
and sold baby-kissers, 

counting bankroll gore, 
casting cruel pecuniary 
satanic spells 

on the provoked, 
tremulous, spurred on 
by Domitian, 

dominus et dues, 
shielded by 
mutant constitution?

Gil Hoy is a regular contributor to The New Verse News.  He is a Boston trial lawyer and studied poetry at Boston University, majoring in philosophy. Gil started writing his own poetry and fiction in February of last year.  Since then, his poems and fiction have been published in multiple journals, most recently in The Potomac, The Zodiac Review, Harbinger Asylum and Earl of Plaid Literary Journal.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


by Richard Schnap

Source: Davos 15 - Agenda - World Economic Forum

Humanity seems stuck
In a time tunnel taking it
To its cold-blooded roots

When nations were slaughtered
For daring to practice
Their own chosen faith

As men built empires
On the bodies of those
Too weak to withstand them

Till the point was reached
When might was measured
By the number of dead

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.


by Robert M. Chute

Source: Davos 15 - Agenda - World Economic Forum

Good news — bright motes afloat in the dark
stream of evening commentary. Bite bits about
those few who work dead water eddies, weedy
margins, bring relief to the poorest, the least.
They only ask that they may give, carry water
in a sieve and yet will shame use daily.

If you're waiting for The Coming you're too late.
That event is not unique but continuous,
goodness divided as were loaves and fishes.
These crumbly bits are all that we will get.

Robert M. Chute's book of poetry based on scientific articles, Reading Nature, is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


by Mary R. Finnegan

Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow at The Daily Kos

I stand outside Notre Dame
quietly, for a moment of silence,
after a lifetime of silence.

Je suis Charlie

I write my rebuke in 140 characters
for the hashtag 
is mightier than the sword.

Je suis Charlie

I unite with all mankind
to strongly condemn
this horrific shooting
or whatever the masses are saying.

Je suis Charlie

I do all these things from over here,
and not too loudly, and only
among friends and infidels 
on the internet and possibly
with the saucy courage of alcohol
in a dark bar 
on a flag draped street somewhere 
in an undisclosed location
because I am only 
looking at blurred cartoons
and pixelated slaughter.
I am only in my pajamas
complaining of the cold
and the price of oil,
keeping my head 
below the parapet.
I am only 
wearing these boots
to wade through
the frigid streets because

Je ne suis pas Charlie.

For when the liar speaks
I do not wish to agree
so I say nothing

Je ne parle pas

when the threat is made
I do not wish to disagree
so I remain silent

Je me tais

for when prayer is called
I do not wish to offend
so I believe nothing

Je ne crois rien

because when the scimitar is raised
above my slender white neck
I do not wish to lose the head
that has done nothing
said nothing
believed nothing.

Non, Je ne suis pas Charlie.

I do not agree 
or disagree.
I do not offend.
I do not blaspheme.
Can you not see
I am on my knees?

Je ne suis pas Charlie.
Je ne suis personne.

Ça va.

Ça va, oui, ça va?

Mary R. Finnegan is an operating room nurse in the Philadelphia area who also writes poetry and short stories.


by Susan Gerardi Bello

Tributes of drawings, flowers, pens and candles are left in front of the Charlie Hebdo offices on January 14, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images via New York Observer)

I am walking down the street at night, on my way home from a party,
wearing an above the knee black skirt, and tall black boots.
The rest of me is covered with winter coat, scarf and gloves.
Only my face is showing and the small bit of stocking
from the middle of my knee to the top of my skirt.  I've had wine
but not too much. I am happy, smiling, remembering moments
of conversation, silly asides, laughing 'til my belly hurt.
I reach my car, fish through my bag for my keys, and I am punched
hard, knocked down, dragged away from my car to the back
of the parking lot where it is dark, where the creek runs.
I am hit again and again. I am raped and I am cut. I am discarded,
half-conscious with clumps of frozen leaves.
I am Charlie.

Susan Gerardi Bello is a member of the New York City-based poetry community Brevitas and U.S. 1 Poets' Cooperative in Princeton.  Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including the Paterson Literary Review and U.S. 1 Worksheets as well as on New York Public Radio.  Her poem "The Game" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


by Janice D. Soderling

At least 19 people have been killed and several injured by a bomb strapped to a girl reported to be aged about 10 in north-eastern Nigeria.—BBC News, January 10, 2015. Photo: NY Daily News

Weep, weep, weep,
for small fishes in the bay
caught in nets of intricate knots
where they only came to play.

Let fall a tear for hedgehogs
caught in a guileless snare;
duped by an innocent carrot,
and hoisted in the air.

Past cinnamon and saffron,
she glides with modest grace;
bundled nails and shrapnel,
brief inches from her face.

Weep, weep, weep,
for humankind's tragic flaw:
it feeds its tender brethren
into godhood's dimpled maw.

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to The New Verse News.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


by Tatyana Muradov 

Stanislavski as the Knight in The Society of Art and Literature's 1888 production of Pushkin's The Miserly Knight.

Welcome to Russia circa 1991.  
Ask but do not answer. Survive.
Positions are fickle. Open lies. 
Wolf eyes. Uniform responses.  
Family fuck ups and generations of militants.
Socialist foxes sucking on the nothings of your neighbor.
Zone out. Fade out. 
You only exist in the reflection of your money. 
Don’t give input, just spend,
Push past the thieves and the games.
Don’t switch sides, nothing will change. 
Sleep, bitch.

I come from a battered peoples
I may look white, but I am muddied grey
From centuries of waiting for a parent
To teach my people how to live.
How to take a land so spanning and reign it right
How to use the resource full and make it use full 
How to take the money out of politicians pockets and put it into schools.
My sixteen year old cousin doesn’t go to school
She skips class to post pictures of herself on Tumblr
She skips class because no one taught her not to
Because the chances of her getting into college
Ride on the bank account of her mother
And the ride is short
And admission is partial.
I do not know how to tell her to behave in a country that teaches her daily to do what’s easy
To try less.
To play dumb.
To leave it to those in charge. 
I do not know how to love a country that gets away with murder, daily.
I do not know how to love a jungle,
A country with no name, just letters
that get shifted with each new president
who promises my people rights
and shits on them more than the last.
I do not know how to love a coward,
A country that does not fight back
A country that jails Robin Hood and cheers for the Joker
A country that gives itself a bad rep
With people that make me look bad.

I am so sick of being related to 
The mafia
The winter cold
The bad guy in every fucking movie
The mail-order bride
The Stalin
The Putin
The protests
The Pussy Riot,
The misuse of the word babushka, which means grandmother, you fuckers 
The word sneaky
The word evil
The word corrupt
The word communist
The word red
The word hate
The word fear
I have been soiled with hate and fear for years.
I had to put five thousand miles between us to feel safe,
And I’m still scared. 
But I miss her,
And every time I go there, I feel her underneath my feet, weeping.

Laughter is universal.
So is pain and pride.
But somehow here, at home, everything is more alive.  
Even the cigarette buds and pollen that pollute this city
Layer by layer.
But next to the industrial remnants stands a tree more beautiful than your own mother
And you breathe a sigh of relief
And remember about hope                                                                                       
And what could be
If only they cared more.
If only you cared more.
Apprehension lingers on your spine                                                  
Like food stuck in your teeth
And Pushkin’s “Land of Moscow” comes to mind:

“And where the luxury was thriving,
In shady parks and gardens, in the past,
Where myrtle was fragrant, limes were shining,
There now are just coals, ash, and dust.”

He’s right, the scent of dust is overbearing but what about the rose haw and the conifers?
There are still things to fight for, 
Aren’t there? 

Tatyana Muradov was born in Moscow, Russia and raised in a small town in Texas. She moved to New York two years ago and since then, has been a part of the poetry scene there in the city performing for spoken word/slam teams such as LouderArts and Urbana.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


by Marybeth Rua-Larsen

Phoebe Jonchuck died Thursday when she was tossed from the Dick Misener Bridge in St. Petersburg. At her memorial service Wednesday in Tampa, those who knew her spoke of a girl with an infectious smile who learned to love going to school and told friends she wanted to be a dancer when she grew up. There was scant mention of John Jonchuck, 25, her father, who remains jailed, accused of dropping the little girl to her death. --Dan Sullivan, Tampa Bay Times, January 14, 2015                                                                                                                            

Long hair and the voice of a hummingbird
Long hair and the voice of a hummingbird
I want a ticket to anywhere
I want a ticket to anywhere
Hummingbirds want a stronger voice, and I
long for anywhere, my ticket in my hair

Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one
Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one
This is just a fairytale happening in a supermarket
This is just a fairytale happening in a supermarket
Dear daddy: you’re a number in a supermarket
just as this is happening. Oh, one fairytale stills.

Because he’s all I ever knew of love
Because he’s all I ever knew of love
He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
He only loves those things because he loves to see them break
I break because he’s all he ever knew of love, because
those things he sees love, love only him too.

Oh daddy, I love you because you were
my ticket to anywhere, because all you ever knew of love
was long hair, stillness, and numbers in a supermarket. You said:
These things just happen, dear
I want the voice of a hummingbird, a fairytale one,
who only loves to see me unbroken.

Author's note: Lyrics borrowed from the following artists and songs, in order: “Can You Hear Me?” by Missy Elliott featuring TLC; “Fast Car,” by Tracey Chapman; “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper; “Fairytale in a Supermarket” by The Raincoats; “Criminal” by Fiona Apple; “Doll Parts” by Hole.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen is a lover of form in poetry. Just about any form. Her chapbook Nothing In-Between was released from Barefoot Muse Press last year.

Friday, January 16, 2015


by Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote

Unprecedented Level of Human Harm to Sea Life Is Forecast --NY Times headline, January 15, 2015

Snow globe shaken up fallout
Flipped upside-down nothing ending up
Where it once was used
To be magic seeping out

Something’s wrong with fickle eco-system
Warming glaciers receding ice caps
Melting coral dying soil eroding
Rainforests decimated endangered species threatened

Drowning global eke-onomy barely staying
Afloat deflated balloon passing gas
Tidal wave capsizing equitable flow
Forecast lacking insight planning foresight

Humanure sustains itself by transforming
Pure nature into rotting garbage
Trash will endure fueling creativity
Worthless refuse consumed outgrown rejected

There’s peaceful glisten in quiet
No crystals alike filling void
More seen less known existence
Trapped sky dome deep-blue sea

Clear diorama transparent dreamy sphere
Uncertain flight free-falling languid wipeout
Own self-revelatory journey unleashed within
Vanishing keepsake memories preserved forever

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 

Thursday, January 15, 2015


by Joan Colby

HAYDEN, Idaho — A mom shopping at a Walmart store died Tuesday after her toddler, who was left in a shopping cart, reached into her purse and accidentally discharged her handgun, authorities said. Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho, had gone to the store in this Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, suburb with four children in tow at mid-morning. Her 2-year-old son, who was sitting in the shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse, causing the small-caliber handgun to discharge one time, said Lt. Stu Miller, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office spokesman. "It appears to be a pretty tragic accident," Miller said. Rutledge was dead by the time deputies arrived. --USA Today, December 31, 2014. Image: Veronica J. Rutledge Facebook Photo via The Independent (UK)

A purse is a lure, a bright magnet
For fishing fingers. All kids know
The mom keeps stuff they shouldn’t have,
Shiny car keys, loose change, the tube
Of pills that look like candy.

Grab at her purse to irritate
The mom, to get her attention
As she drifts from aisle to aisle
Deliberating, saying no
To whines and pleas.

This kid, only two, sitting in the cart,
Swung his fat legs and seized
Her purse. A toy like the cops
Have on TV. Says bang
And pulls the trigger. Wow, mom
For just a second, looked mad.
He shut his eyes.

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010). She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 11 books including The Lonely Hearts Killers and How the Sky Begins to Fall (Spoon River Press), The Atrocity Book (Lynx House Press) and Dead Horses and Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press. Selected Poems received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize.  Properties of Matter was published in spring of 2014 by Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books). Two chapbooks are forthcoming in 2014: Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press) and Ah Clio (Kattywompus Press). Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


by Ranjani Murali

Ink, Blood, and Tears, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

As if water dripping into
            the steel sink, bleaching

our brushes white, scoring the floors
            of our glass-doored office /

as if the vein of our favorite fountain
            pens (the ones that dug into

our index fingers while we caricatured
            old art teachers with balding

heads) had been spliced, spurting forth
            ink-splotched faces, the aphorisms

we drew in bubbles, their blood-vowels /
            as if bullets we drove into the walls

of easels, blithely / as if specks of flesh
            carving out their wounds, sinew

torn in watercolor, shards of glass painted
            in felt-tips / as if the tilt of our

mouths in these scenes, the seconds we
            almost smiled between smearing

steeple-minaret-altar as if wings / as if
            hierologists of tomorrows,

revealing our schisms, our compositions
            in grays and whitespace/ as

if ours, a name stenciled on drywall, on
            acid-free paper, beneath our

benedictions, beneath the as if / as if
            beneath the /  if  /

Ranjani Murali received her MFA in poetry from George Mason University. Her poetry, nonfiction and translations have appeared in Pratilipi, Phoebe, elimae, Kartika Review and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2014 Srinivas Rayaprol Prize and has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Vermont Studio Center.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


by LaWanda Walters

                              After James Merrill’s “Casual Wear”

We can see through your disguises.
It is nothing new to use the name of goodness
like it’s your accessory from Kate Spade.
These days you are young.  You follow a fad.

It is nothing new to use some name for goodness
as you end or maim someone’s being here.
So many of you are young.  This killing is a fad.
You chew and smack Muhammad’s name like a cud.

You end or maim someone who exists
while yelling some word that meant rain, forgiveness.
In your mouth that name's pink bubble gum,
is sugar, spit, preservative and dye.

You do not refer to kindness or rain.
What you mean is you are cool and in style,
blowing bubbles made of sugar and spit, blowing brains out.
There are others like you--other mobs and crowds--

who would hate my poem as much as you do.
You fit right in with those Americans
mouthing names like “Jesus” and “Christmas”
while they vote against those who can’t afford Kate Spade.

LaWanda Walters has had poems in Antioch Review, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Ploughshares, Southern Poetry Review, Cincinnati Review, North American Review, Laurel Review, The New Verse News, Sou'wester, and other periodicals.  She lives in Cincinnati.

Monday, January 12, 2015


by Gil Hoy

The Supreme Court might be about to blow a hole in Obamacare large enough to fit nearly 10 million people, a new analysis shows. The high court is scheduled to hear arguments this March in a lawsuit claiming President Barack Obama's administration does not have the legal authority to give tax credit subsidies to millions of people who have insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The argument is over a small bit of wording in the law, which says subsidies can go to people buying insurance on state-run marketplaces, but not to people buying on federally run ones. Since the federal government operates the exchanges in two-thirds of the states, a ruling for the plaintiffs would gut the Affordable Care Act. --Jeffrey Young, Huff Post Politics, January 9, 2015

Beware heirs presumptuous
of Greeks, holding gavels, wearing
flowing black robes, potent
mutant seed of Solon, democracy
turned on its head,  sitting beneath
Corinthian marble columns
despising POTUS--Obamacare--
servants of the tyrant,
bearing gifts for Plutus.

There, I’ve said my piece.

Gil Hoy is a regular contributor to The New Verse News.  He is a Boston trial lawyer and studied poetry at Boston University, majoring in philosophy. Gil started writing his own poetry and fiction in February of last year.  Since then, his poems and fiction have been published in multiple journals, most recently in The Potomac, The Zodiac Review, Harbinger Asylum and Earl of Plaid Literary Journal.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

PARIS 1974, 2015

by Martha Deed

What has the sun said to you, my child ‒
that the world is a dangerous place
and this is a day to stay in bed?

But, No. It said
Do you see the shine of morning dew
on the cobblestone streets
and the spires of Notre Dame
kissing the clouds

The cafes bursting with coffee
and croissants in the hands of kids
on their way to school
on their way to work?

This is a day
the sun said
to take a good walk
along the quay

This is a day to look for a book
to visit the market of live birds
to hear them call
to admire their feathers
shining in the sun

the light flashing on them like sparklers
not like bullets at the newspaper
not like flash grenades
at the grocery store

This I tell you:
Because you heeded the sun,
you will live another day
your survival as accidental
as those held hostage
as those who died
at your grocery store
you did not visit
because you were taking 
a walk in the sun 

In this poem, Martha Deed has woven the close call she had in Paris in 1974 or 1975 when Millie was a baby.  They usually went to the news stand for the Sunday paper at 10:30 AM.  Regular as clockwork.  But that day, Martha simply thought to take a walk to a farther away news stand instead.  Carlos, the Jackal, had planted a bomb at her usual place, and it exploded, killing people, as Martha pushed Millie in her stroller down the Blvd Saint-Germaine.


by Michelle Marie

with hell to pay
   there was a rallying bray
i am charlie of hebdo !
   precious defiant minstrel show !

spirit grew robust
   wings light pen impaled
rose with a gust
   on which liberté sailed

but grief is a moment
   in that series to say
of violence that went
   the other ruthless way: 

algérie, irak, syrie

a flood of violence
   silting the hills with righteous license

imagination of power
   who fits in a world always ours more
lives drawn'n ink sour
   by martyrs right to offend, therefore

not obliged am i
   to repeat the offender's cry

Michelle Marie has written for Infita7 and Bluestockings Magazine.


by Alejandro Escudé

Cyprien @MonsieurDream

I draw 
a cartoon of a god.

The god encircled 
by wolves.

The wolves 
with the faces of politicians.

I am a politician
sitting at my desk.

I hold my gonads 
tight under it,

here comes the myrrh, 
here comes
the frankincense. 

Where to draw the line?

I keep it simple 
and I fry. I make 
it complicated 
and I am incarcerated. 

Where to draw the line?

I said what I said. 
I’d say it atop 
the Eiffel Tower, too. 

I’d scream it  
from within 
the Bridge of Sighs.


Where to draw, 
what to draw,
how to draw it 

fairly, plainly, lovingly.

The blood in my body 
was not ink.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems, My Earthbound Eye, in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.