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Monday, November 30, 2015


by Howard Pflanzer

I saw hell from my watery grave
In Minas Gerais the first dam broke
Then the second
Workers under a wall of water
The Rio Doce, the sweet river, was bitter
A bloody cocktail spilling all the way down to the sea
Flooding the land
Drowning the people
Floating corpses
Poisoning my fish friends
Now it’s a watery desert
Water undrinkable
No fishing possible
Moribund turtles at the mouth of the river
No crops will grow
The soil filled with deadly poison
Now I am dying in the cloudy water
My flesh will not feed the hungry
I will rot with the stench of decay filling the air
Scales covering my eyes in darkness
Blinding my sight forever.                                                                                            

Howard Pflanzer is a poet, playwright, and lyricist. Dead Birds or Avian Blues was published by Fly By Night Press (2011). Recent publications include FIVE Poetry and Downtown Brooklyn. He was the prizewinning November 2013 Poet of the Month of The Poetry Company. His hybrid performance piece, Walt Whitman Opera, adapted from Whitman’s poetry with music by Constance Cooper, was presented at the undergroundzero festival in New York. July 2014. He has read/performed his work at KGB, LaMaMa, Theaterlab, The Living Theatre, The Cornelia Street Cafe, Medicine Show A Gathering of the Tribes, The Bowery Poetry Club, Brownstone Poets, and San Diego Writers Ink.   

Sunday, November 29, 2015


by Carol Alexander

Your voice in Saint-Germain-de-Prés is pastis
in a glass of fog, held by an invisible hand.
How phrase this in a nomenclature vivid
as a lipstick smeared at the bar?

In the hotel lobby, Arab girls and boys
praise a wine never to be served
and potted palms are sleeping, curled and dry.

That great beast, the wind, noses pavements
soaked in blood that dries before the world's eyes.
Raised on every bridge are unwavering lights
where once smoked oil lamps strung on narrow streets.

My camera pinches off lanterns and loaves,
a pink dress hung in the galleries
while your meeting, not to be postponed,
is soup and cigarettes under martial law.

Dogs off-leash bare teeth and wheel
at the unfamiliar smells of men.
Muted leaves that missed their moment
when September made an oven of the streets
mostly now have fallen into loam.

I've a little forgotten disaster in these months;
it could be the sound of wind through husks
or a tremulous breath breaking in mid-song.

Carol Alexander's poems have appeared in such journals as Bluestem, Caesura, Canary, The Common, Chiron Review, Illya's Honey, Mad Hatter's Review, Mobius, TheNewVerse.News, Poetry Quarterly, Poetrybay, Red River Review, The San Pedro River Review, Sugar Mule, THEMA and Zymbol, as well as in various anthologies including Through a Distant Lens (WriteWing Publishing) for which she received the award for best poem, and Proud to Be, for which she was a poetry finalist. Alexander's chapbook, Bridal Veil Falls, was published by Flutter Press (2013).  Recent work appears in Split Rock Review and Clementine Poetry Journal.


by Anna Hawthorne

Down in the grit of music notes, a drop of blood lay drying
though soon another concert would flow, becoming more than a tide
why did they shoot the messenger here
when all we wanted was to dance
a pitterpatter firecracker they thought, while glancing at their cell phones for news
of an impending storm . . . low pressure was sensed yet not obeyed
and they ran for the nearest door with a ringing sound delayed, a resonating hover over the empty stage

Anna Hawthorne is a conservationist, birder, and a painter working on a book about the extinction of birds.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

COLORADO SPRINGS — A gun battle erupted inside a Planned Parenthood center here on Friday when a man armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire and began shooting at officers as they rushed to the scene. The authorities reported that three people were killed, a police officer and two civilians, and nine were wounded before the suspect finally surrendered more than five hours after the first shots were fired. —NY Times, Nov. 27, 2015. Photo by ISAIAH J. DOWNING/REUTERS via NY Times

I cannot leave while the wind sings in its cold November voice, exercising spruce limbs above the roof, full of spirits and souls perfecting their escapes: my husband’s colleague, the Paris dead,
unmourned strangers caught up, baffled.

Wind is not what they imagined. Always alive, it blows songbirds from the sills. Smashes streetlights and scatters the shards like leaves.

Below in the ugly solid house, cats sleep on quilts, still, while limbs thrash, cross themselves. Wind is the terrorist with no intention: unequal heating of the earth’s surface, dared by anemometers to blow harder.

Spider webs inside the window and the window tremble. Ghosts of people I once loved make room for the freshly dead. The sound of a train with the force of a bomb lifts our jackets then our bodies and snatches flesh from our faces.

Unsaid fury and unspoken endearments, wind is the thunder of my body breaking up like river ice and letting go. Lost souls from anywhere on the globe pluck at the sleeves of  the living. I am what you will be.  This whirlwind tears boats from their slips, clothes from the line, hope from the future.

Today’s gale prefaces snow with no regard for our journeys; it smoothes our problems into a dull continuous roar and cleanses them of impurities. They return to us, still problems but smoother, speaking a language we don’t understand.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske reports here from time to time on the news here and there.


by Judith Terzi

This Miami Herald editorial cartoon dramatized the plight of Jewish refugees aboard the passenger ship St. Louis, a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 908 Jewish refugees from Germany, after they were denied entry to Cuba, the United States and Canada, until finally accepted in various European countries, which were later engulfed in World War II. Historians have estimated that, after their return to Europe, approximately a quarter of the ship's passengers died in death camps. Cartoonist: Robert Epstein/Miami Herald Staff, June 11, 1939. Caption text thanks to Wikipedia.

Creamy tomato basil soup, a hunk
of baguette at Panera, table #36.
I hear Korean spoken next to me,
two women in animated talk. I'd

like to understand. A father speaks
Arabic to his baby boy. The mother,
highlighted hair, chic jeans. They're
at my favorite table next to the fire-

place. I hear Spanish, Armenian. We
are 10 miles from the largest Armenian
diaspora in America. I hear almost no
English today, like sometimes at mega-

stores where you can't buy one roll
of toilet paper, a single box of tissues,
or a solo tube of toothpaste. Or, I
recall at the top of the Eiffel Tower

before it blushed tricolor in mourning.
The non-talkers here stare into computer
screens between mouthfuls of turkey chili
or a Frontega chicken panini. Here is

the gusto, the throb, the intonation of
America. Here, you can travel without
having to make reservations. I imagine
Delancey Street at the turn of the 20th:

Italian, Ukrainian, German, or the Yiddish
of my grandparents pulsing, reminiscing
between pushcarts, theater seats, newspaper
boys. Or what about on the St. Louis,

ship touching Cuban and U.S. shores with
refugees unwanted, then having to sail them
back to a Europe soon at war? Exhalation for
some. But no Exile, no unshackling from fear.

Judith Terzi's most recent chapbook, If You Spot Your Brother Floating By, is a collection of memoir poems from Kattywompus Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Atlanta Review (International Publication Award, 2015), Caesura, Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo), Raintown Review, Unsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque). She lives and writes in Southern California.

Friday, November 27, 2015


by Laura Rodley

You made it, speeding squirrel,
barreling cross black asphalt
as five cars careened
towards you each way,

north and south, no bombs
tied to your body, just
soft grey fur, acorns awaiting.

What know you about bombings
in Paris, 128 killed,
I’m ready for love
what know you

about guns in kindergarten
I’m ready for love
what know you but the rumble
of the road, earthquakes

that pass as the cars swirl by
and you’ve made it to high ground
leaves barely moving
as your tiny feet scramble up.

Author's note: I’m ready for love from Bad Company’s song "Ready for Love."

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.


by Eric Lochridge

Painting by Luigi Poggi of the stoning of Stephen. (Acts 6, 58): "And cast him out of the city, and stoned him..."..  In the background: Paul (Saul of Tarsus) stands on the left, witnessing the stoning. (Acts 7, 58): "and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.” At that time Paul prosecuted Christians, but on his journey to Damascus he switched sides and became a converted missionary (Acts 9, 3-4): "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?". —Beit-Jamal Monastery

You remind me of Paul before he was Paul.
Saul made martyrs like you do.

On a road in the desert
the Morning Star, Light of Life

struck him blind, not pitch black
but bright glare that swallowed him whole.

Something like scales are falling
from the eyes of the man in the orange jumpsuit.

He can see heaven
from where he’s kneeling in the sand.

Someone once said
love your enemies.

The flash of your blade blinds us both
to the good God is bringing into the world.

Eric Lochridge is the author of Born-Again Death Wish (Finishing Line Press, 2015), Real Boy Blues (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Father’s Curse (FootHills Publishing, 2007), and the editor of After Long Busyness: Interviews with Eight Heartland Poets (Smashwords, 2012). His poems have appeared in journals such as Free Lunch, Slipstream, Diagram and Paddlefish and in anthologies such as Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude (Holy Cow! Press, 2009), Liberty’s Vigil: The Occupy Anthology (FootHills Publishing, 2012), and The XY Files: Poems on the Male Experience (Sherman Asher Publishing, 1997). He lives in Bellingham, Washington.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


by Donal Mahoney

Image source: Daily Kos from sources Nicholas Eckhart/Jared C. Benedict (Creative Commons)

Before dawn, people
who work on Thanksgiving Day
wait in the wind for a bus
to arrive or maybe not.
It's too cold to talk
so the people stand
like minutemen and plan
a revolution that would shock
nice families who drive by later,
children tucked in scarves
and mittens, laughing
all the way to Nana's house
for turkey, gravy, stuffing
and later in the day
a ballerina of whipped cream
twirling on pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is the day
America asks for seconds
and sorts its servers
from the served.

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and  Commonweal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


by Andrew Levy

The player is a liar when he says sometimes wind and sometimes
women, sometimes waves and sometimes seals.  The player is a liar
when he says one’s environment is a key to one’s identity, but that his
environment is a lost key.  The player is a liar when he says jealousy
in men is as good as dollars in the soul, that men’s souls are oriented not
to miss things. The player is a liar when he says one’s environment is
the key to one’s identity, and that his environment is the master key.
The player is a liar when he says an ounce of genuine interest would be
a start, and steadfast resolution is thicker than water.  The player is a liar
when he says a worm returned to soil, and wished he were it.
The player is a liar when he says I want dynamite under my car seat, but
there’s another wheel turning.  When he says all the news without fear
or favor, the kiss of death is good.  The player is a liar when he says
innumerable unseen spirits kick metaphysical footballs in a different
cemetery than the cemetery he lives in.  The player is lying when he says
no one sees a subtextual reference to scrutinizing the remotest corners
most carefully guarded secrets, to pushes into the East Siberian Sea
and the Transpolar Drift, the rocky distant rim of the Canadian Shield.
The player is lying when he looks into the world of inquisition, when
he separates one integral part of any work from another. When he says
he was promised a world of lost forests, folded mountains, and labyrinthine
hiding places, a snack, something serious to eat, a mirage of salvation,
ascension sharp enough to consume sanity.  The player is lying when
he says winter thaws to summer, the pack ice breaks up into the Chukchi Sea,
where warm Pacific waters join the gyre as it turns in its grinding cycle.
The player is a liar when he says he is falling back to earth in the form
of pine needles, that he is no better than those other clones.  The player’s
soul is at work disappearing in lies, communicating its isolation as total.
When he says that the wings of the news are a malady, and the finalist
became a doctor of philosophy.  He is a liar when the extermination
of the underclass is harvested on his tongue, when the processing line
will be cleaned and silent.  He is lying at the end of the lane, slowly turning
in the dirt.  His thoughts and actions are elegiac fragments, mechanisms
which flicker above the wrong note. When the circus in any labor wishes
to act not as a condition of membership but synthesized in underground
factories the requisite neurochemicals of cautious steps, an abyss
of crop-duster dictums spoken by twenty-first century revolutionaries
via minor routes, filth, blood, and noise.

Andrew Levy has published 14 books of poetry, including The Big Melt (Factory School), Cracking Up (Truck Books), Ashoka (Zasterle Books), Values Chauffeur You (O Books), Don’t Forget to Breathe (Chax Books), and Nothing Is in Here (EOAGH Press). His poems and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Writing From the New Coast, The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, and Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetics of the 1990s. He was editor, with Roberto Harrison, of the poetry journal Crayon. He lives in New York City.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


by David Chorlton

Security forces stood guard on Rue des Bouchers, a street famous for its restaurants, on Monday in Brussels. Credit Stephanie Lecocq/European Pressphoto Agency via NY Times, Nov. 23, 2015

What happens far away
is audible in the pause
between movements:
                  the silence
of a transit system stilled, the rustling
curtains when somebody looks out
at troops in the street, asking
       does anyone appear suspicious?
              does anyone not?
The world stretched taut as a wire
ready to snap,
            ready to snap,
with cities shut down
and the news ticker telling us
to stay calm,
           stay calm,
the bomb is in our minds,
and it is,
      where nobody knows
               how to defuse it.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His most recent book, A Field Guide to Fire, is his contribution to the 2015 Fires of Change exhibition in Flagstaff, Arizona.


by Jim Gustafson

Schools and subways remain closed in Belgium today, with the nation’s threat level at the highest possible. —NY Times, Nov. 23, 2015; Reuters photo via BBC.

Could more be trampled by the feet
of beasts who walk the garden?
Could there be other nights that mourn
the passing of the graves?
It is not new dusk that wraps the world
It is the same rolled paper of the past,
pulled and torn and rolled tight again.
The pendulum digs a rut in time,
from open hand to fist. Duck the swing,
wait for knuckles to grow tired of bruises,
then you may grip, shake, and exchange
names. Until that time, let the unknown
push you deep within the cave
where only shadows of yourself dance.

Jim Gustafson teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State College. His first book of poems Driving Home was published by Aldrich Press in 2013. He live in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes and pulls weeds.

Monday, November 23, 2015


by Amit Majmudar

Image source: CBC Radio

Under the vest, something was ticking.
It ticked, ticked, ticked. A heart?
The faces all were human faces,
Salt-stained from the trail of tears
And the sea spray of their middle passage.
Their God was not our God,
But their children were our children
Discovered face down on the strand.
Treasures, buried in the sand.
In their passports we saw the faces
We recognized, or thought we did,
From last night’s news. The same? A match?
Anger, anguish, both unshaven
And praying in the same direction
To God, their God, the same, a match.
And there were babies, yes, and widows,
And gray professors speaking English—
No tests for mercy. No, the test
Was the twenty-year-old man whose face
We recognized, or thought we did;
Whose passport might encode an omen
Like scripture, entrails, curling smoke.
And so, interrogating those
Who came to us for mercy, we
Interrogated mercy in a chair:
Can hatred hide in suffering?
Can wisdom hide in fear?
And so the line became a lineup
Eyed through a two-way mirror.

Amit Majmudar is a widely published poet, novelist, and essayist. His next book of poetry, Dothead, is forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in March 2016.


by J.B. Mulligan

A Syrian boy stands with food he collected from tables after Turkish people break their fasting on July 4, 2014, at Taksim square during the holy month of Ramadan in Istanbul. AFP Photo via Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey.

He tossed and turned, shifted and twisted, and fell asleep in the sea.
Small, puffed men with slim cigars sliced up the pies of the land.
White stucco walls and red scalloped roofs.  Gulls cried, hidden in the sun.

Buy this thingee.  Look, it glitters.  Listen, it whirrs.  Buy it now.
Where are the holy?  Psychics don't buy tickets for the lottery.
The current circled, hungry, patient, strong.  The coils reached out.

Uniformed functionaries gather and tally the data.
He is a father.  She is an aunt.  Children shoot hoops in driveways.
Visions of sugar plums clot to sea weed bangled with flies.

J.B. Mulligan notes that the form of this poem is a three-part sijo, Korean in origin.


by George Salamon

Children at a migrant shelter in Tenosique, Mexico. A United States plan aims to spare children a dangerous trek across Mexico, but "Not a single child has entered the United States through the Central American Minors program since its establishment in December." —The New York Times, November 6, 2015; Photo credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times.

President Obama promised to help kids escape
Street gangs, extortion and sexual assault
In places like El Salvador.
More than 5,400 children have applied to
Join their parents in the United States.
What's held them up from coming here?
It's red tape, you see, good old Yankee bureaucracy.
Homeland Security worked feverishly and interviewed
Ninety children in just eleven months, but
Only 10 qualified as refugees, while
75 were recommended for temporary entry
Known, I kid you not, as "humanitarian parole."
For the rest, it's life as usual in the murder capital of
The world and the runner-up cities.
"It's pathetic that no child has come through the program,"
One bleeding-heart critic said of how things work
In Washington DC.
To her, and to the children yearning to be safe, I say:
You must understand what Frank Zappa told us years ago:
In America "Politics is the entertainment division
Of the Military-Industrial Complex."
Sorry, kids, try to be patient.
But if our show comes on too late for you,
We wish you good luck in any future
Endeavor you choose to undertake.

George Salamon taught German literature and culture in several East colleges, served as staff reporter on the St. Louis Business Journal and senior editor for Defense Systems Review. He contributes from St. Louis, MO to the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and TheNewVerse.News.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Editor's Note: We are pleased to repost this poem, originally published in TheNewVerse.News on Sunday, October 4, 2015. It is one of our 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees.

by Stephen Siperstein

For Professor Lawrence Levine and the students
killed in the forty-fifth school shooting of 2015 in the U.S.

Our shadow slides across its face
like an invisible hand sealing an eye
then placing an old penny

over the blankness, copper
seeping out like an aura: since 1900
only the sixth time this has happened.

On Tuesday and Thursday
mornings, in a room that looks out
to a pastoral scene: green        

paths, geese thrumming for acorns
beneath moss-maned oaks
I, too, have taught a writing class.

Have stood up to open a door.
Have stood up to say, this is a thesis:
We are human because we hope.

And this its warrant:
If something hopes, then that
            something is human.

Have asked of students:
be vulnerable, take risks, share.
And told them: This may not

be comfortable        
            (I do not coddle them)
but together here we are safe.

Yet we know we’re not.
The unspoken assumption.
The hole in the logic, hole

             in the heart: vulnerable.

But still they stood up, they shared
their light and will again and again
when we consider together:

how could this shadow not
arrive for eighteen more years
not turn to redness such light

             that pools across our sky?

Stephen Siperstein is a poet, literary scholar, and environmental educator living in Eugene, Oregon. He is co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities (Routledge, 2016), and his poems have appeared most recently in ISLE, The Clearing, and Poecology. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Oregon.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Editor's Note: We are pleased to repost this poem, originally published in TheNewVerse.News on Sunday, September 27, 2015. It is one of our 2015 Pushcart Prize nominees.

by A.E. Stallings

A Syrian refugee carries his child at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast, September 19, 2015. A girl believed to be five years died on Saturday and 13 other migrants were feared lost overboard after their boat sank in choppy seas off the Greek island of Lesbos, the Greek coastguard said. A second, exhausted group of around 40 people reached the island in a small boat following a traumatic journey from Turkey, having paddled through the night with their hands across 10 kilometers (six miles) of ocean after their engine failed. Hundreds of thousands of mainly Syrian refugees have braved the short but precarious crossing from Turkey to Greece's eastern islands this year, mainly in flimsy and overcrowded inflatable boats. —REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis via Yahoo! News, September 15, 2015

When some, as promised, made it to dry land,
He profited, high and dry, but others, owing
To fickle winds, or a puncture, or freak waves,
Arrived at a farther shore, another beach
Lapped by a numb forgetting, still in the clothes
Someone had washed and pressed to face the day,
And lay in attitudes much like repose.
And Charon made a killing either way,
Per child alone, 600 euros each.

A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. Her most recent collection is Olives, from TriQuarterly/Northwestern University Press.

Friday, November 20, 2015


by Rosemerry Wahtola Trimmer

Video published Nov. 18, 2015: Mohamed Abdeslam, brother of suspected Paris attackers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam lit candles and placed them on the window sill of his home during a vigil in Molenbeek, Belgium on Thursday, in solidarity with the people of France.

In the snowy wallow beside the road,
the elk do not move. Twenty or more.
The blue light of morning makes them blue.

It would be easy to drive past them
without noticing. How much do I miss
as I move through the world?

On the news, they speak of a candlelight vigil
near Brussels. In my mind, I turn the steering
wheel and begin the drive east to join the crowd.

Never mind the oceans, the wilderness
that separates us. Never mind that we
have never met. I get my candle ready.

The car, however, knows the way to work.
It moves steadily toward the north
past meadows where I notice nothing.

In the oncoming lane, almost all the cars
have their lights on, though by now
it is bright enough to see without them.

We who travel mountain roads have learned
the value of shining whatever light we have
so as not to make more dead.

Oh this light. It’s never enough.
Still this invitation to shine it
as brightly, as often as we can.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poetry has appeared in O Magazine, in back alleys, on A Prairie Home Companion and on river rocks. She was recently appointed Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope used the position to launch “Heard of Poets,” an interactive poetry map of Western Colorado poets. She directed the Telluride Writers Guild for 10 years and now co-directs the Talking Gourds Poetry Club. Since 2005, she’s written a poem a day. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

Cave drawing (Lascaux Caves, Montignac, France)

How cheap is blood, it runs in the streets
How naked is aggression        
Selling its garments to buy a weapon
How high is the high ground
When the flood is a sea of faces
When a sandstorm fills the sandbox
How shall we all get along
Relics of the bone codex
The days grow shorter, while night
Grows a long beard
We are all “bull” fighters now
Prisoners of staged danger
Don’t point the finger at a neighbor
Slay all the dragons with staggering love

Jeffrey Cyphers Wright is a poet, artist, critic, eco-activist, impresario and publisher. He initially studied with Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, where he also served on the Board of Directors. He then received an MFA in Poetry after studying with Allen Ginsberg. From 1987 to 2000 he ran Cover Magazine, the Underground National. He’s currently the art editor of Boog City and for many years was poetry reviewer for The Brooklyn Rail. In 2014 he won Theater for the New City’s poetry contest. His 13th book, Party Everywhere, is out from Xanadu. Wright currently writes criticism for White Hot Magazine and ArtNexus. He also produces his own art and poetry showcase called Live Mag!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Legendary stripper and Bay Area institution Carol Doda, who helped introduce topless entertainment more than 50 years ago, has died at 78. Doda died Monday in San Francisco of complications related to kidney failure, according to friend Ron Minolla. —LA Times, November 11, 2015

            --in memory of Carol Doda, 1937-2015

I think of you, Carol Dodá.
You sold Lycra cat-suit and bra
            to ladies like me
            for whom 34B
was simply inadequate. Ah.

You were out on your own at fourteen.
We speculate what might it mean
            when a girl must contrive
            so that she stays alive.
Was it solely so you’d make the scene?

You frowned as you looked at my breast.
I thought you looked somewhat depressed
            that my ribcage had sprouted
            that which you had scouted
so you’d get paid more to undress.

 Your T-shirted bosom looked chunky,
at least forty years since your spunky
            pursuit of enhancement
            for career advancement,
Lloyd’s London your insurance flunky.

Your voice recalled whiskey and gravel.
Cigarettes must have helped it unravel.
            If you smoked in your shop,
            who could ask you to stop?
I was in no position to cavil.

 The bra looked like lacy sorbet,
a lemony froth-lingerie.
            You should wear it on dates
            with your husband, who waits
conventionally out of the way.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, German Lit. major, and two-time Pushcart nominee whose poems and photos have appeared in many journals. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks Burrowing Song (2013) and Eggs Satori (2014). She still has the bra.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


by F.I. Goldhaber

Haidar Mustafa, who was wounded in Thursday's twin suicide bombings, sleeps on a bed at the Rasoul Aazam Hospital in Burj al-Barajneh, southern Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Haidar's parents Hussein and Leila were killed in the blast as they were parking their car when one of two suicide attackers blew himself up in a southern Beirut suburb near their vehicle. —BILAL HUSSEIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS, The WorldPost, Nov. 16, 2015

Every day people of color die.
Bombs in Yemen, shootings in Lebanon
Suicide explosions in Syria.
No one shouts out on Twitter, changes their
photo on Facebook, creates a hashtag.

But when terrorists kill white people in
European countries, you rally round
their flag, change your profile picture, add
a ribbon to show how you much care. But,
only if the victims look/believe like you.

As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, F.I. Goldhaber produced news stories, feature articles, essays, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits in five states. Now, her poems, short stories, novelettes, essays, and reviews appear in paper, electronic, and audio magazines, ezines, newspapers, calendars, and anthologies.  Her newest book of poetry Subversive Verse collects poems about corporate cruelty, gender grievances, supreme shambles, political perversion, and race relations.