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A Poem by Robert Herbert

Excerpt From 'Working Progress'

pillow talk
rendered us
both champions of
this scatological
farce. Huguenot's feigned sleep
interrupted by laughter. Fart.
This bold curfew a nuisance. A bum
perused drunk thon dark. Said..."I’m Devil."

(I'm convinced an English girl came on
to me while her boyfriend stole my hat
of Donegal tweed. It's joy &
health to all who wore it.)
I traded in carpentry.
An Algerian
handyman taught
me how to
build book

Huguenot flitted & fawned about
our halfway house. We washed like whores
in a kitchenette sink. I took
a Reverend's daughter &
a Bostonian student
of philosophy
to Parc Floral
for a free
Free Jazz

my new friends.
Life friends... Life O!
"You Postulator!"
We heard Cali Punks crunk it
in a Bastille divebar
Le Mechanique Ondulatoire.
A Hawaiian pizza gave me bouts
of diarrhoea. "Est ce que vous avez

Imodium?" This pharmacy itched
& scratched & coughed & achoo-
ed & this pharmacist's wryish
retort "Bon. Are you passing
liquid solids Monsieur?"
"Ca suffit" she said.
"Voila.' I drank
that day dank
with beer

cheap wine. Imagine Huguenot & I
street fighting over dirty dishes
& snotrags. Thon Swede questioned
my sexuality "There was
this one time when I was with
this Mexican guy. We
were in High School.
We were at
his house.

had his
shirt off. We
played Tekken.
I looked at him
sweat some. Then we fucked. Hard.
His kid brother walked in.
Not since have I had a guy but
you are cute. You know that girl from
Yale wants to fuck you." I told her about

La Coquette. She read aloud Turgenev.
I should've bucked her. Nothing lost yet
nothing gained. Huguenot &
I read poems to a crowd.
A gruff fattish Texan
took us for drinks. We
thought he was a
sex pest. He
told us

to thon troops
in Iraq &
Afghanistan. To
keep them in good spirits.
I should've bucked that girl
from Yale. Huguenot was stealing
virginities. Thon weird voice from Parc
Floral. "We are all monkeys look at all
the monkeys!" He showed me photographs
of him shaking hands with world A listers.
His skin was falling off. He gave
me his card. Huguenot &
I bathed once a week
at Maisie's flat in
Le Marais. He
used all her
hot water
& I

(More Poems by Robert Herbert)

A poem by
Amrita V Nair


Yes, I abandoned you
I abandoned you and came away
As far as the winds and the seas would take me
And I left my green pastures
To find shingled shores
Where the waves would always be silent
Where the sea would break silently
Over the sand
And I thought about poems I once read
About poems that asked the sea
To break, break, break
One day
You will find me
You will find me and look at me accusingly
And there will be anguish in your eyes when you say
That shepherds do not abandon their flock
And you won't understand why I had to
You will refuse to listen if I say
That I felt like everything had to change
And you'll look at me and say I am insane
If I told you it was because a poet once said
That the sea has to
Break, break, break.

( More poems by Amrita V Nair )

A Poem by  Becca

But First You Must

There's always just
One more task,
Capricious, vast.

Soon you can rest,
But first you must
Live through just
One more test:
Can you gather enough
Dandelion fluff
For a bed to be filled,
Or level a hill
With a broken comb?

Soon you'll go home,
But see, there is still
One more thing
That the wizard or king
Requires fulfilled,
And for love of the one
Whom he has said
That you may wed
When you are done,
Nothing can be too
Arduous for you.

Weary, sore,
With each new chore -
Random, unjust -
You feel you're more
Sure to fail.
Still, you try.

Dream or tale
Or life or art,
You have come to redeem
The friend of your heart.

But first you must

( More poems by Becca)



I am the only needle
In my name and of my calling.
Impossible needle stabbing the sky.
And there is no other needle
Of any kind anywhere.
Which can call upon me
For anything.

Not even for the sewing
Of the tattered clothing.
Not even for compromise
Or for cohabitation.
Not even for the slightest begging
Of an agreement
Or any arrangement.

(One More poem by TENDAI R MWANAKA )

A  Poem by
P K Padhy


We enjoy the smiles of flower,
The freshness of foliage,
Sweetness of fruits.
I wonder who recalls the toil
Of the roots :The real beauty
That lies beneath the ground.

More Poems by P K Padhy)

A Poem by  Burgess Stanley Needle


Welcome natives and travelers alike
as we rise to this occasion knowing Vasco de Gama
rose to his, circling the globe without passport,
knowing the heart is more than a pump,
desire stronger than muscle.
Welcome all as we read the news
of those set adrift through Greater Sonora:
their worth may not be netted nor the light
of their vision shadowed
by any coverlet of words;
Though, we seek to find for ourselves some bleak
Comfort in the commonality of our loss.
Depending on the table¹s bread, do we not imagine
the break from Eden all the more wrenching
and set our lives up seeking a lost light gravity
or a better chance for our children?
In the north, a silent V of geese heralds the season;
near the border they know another season
by ocotillo and Indian blanket
bees by mesquite or the Harris hawk seeking
cottontails. Coyotes and elf owls glide
across the border freely, without visas,
to flourish even under a blistering sun.
The same sun that desiccates the bodies labeled
alien found every summer, the same bodies
cold as death only then escaping
cunning devices that register only
the sweat-stained living.
Who recalls the promises of Maquiladoras
Ah, utopian labor with benefits
Where did all that go?
Who kidnapped the Goddess of Fertility
And sold her DNA to Monsanto?
And there are still those who ask
What horrors prod them to flight?
Tragic irony to erect higher fences
While we lure them with the promise
of such prosaic gifts:
food shelter security.
There is no legerdemain to my foreign policy,
but a demand for dollars and heart to be
yoked in pair to ease the journey
of my cousins on the road.
Rising to the occasion, we welcome all for all shall renew
our lands forever and the land itself becomes
the fountain Ponce de Leon never found.
None of the bounty is ours alone to hoard, but to share
with those, we trust, will also rise to the occasion
and welcome others.
We have what we have to share by work and
accident of geography. And, if we consume the
earth we shall ourselves be consumed.
Look around and ask if we are prepared
to break bread as eternal friends of word if not blood?
Say we are! Say the hand by your side may
be held high with your own.
Say it is always ourselves we celebrate
even when toasting others. So, rise all and say
the word. Say it. Say Welcome!

(More poems by Burgess Stanley Needle)

A poem by Sergio A. Ortiz

Voices Said

Last night I heard

a gathering of dead lilies

in the garden. Their petals covered

my mouth and I screamed: Wait!

I faded into a mist, a magenta

dusk, the aroma of stables,

that last evening murmur

and cried.


(More poems by Sergio A. Ortiz  )

 A Poem by  Michael Lee Johnson

Skinny Indiana Boy

With a heart once as big as Texas
or Alberta where he came from,

the draft resister tries to erase
the memory of his sordid past;

coming out of the Rockies,
down over the slate, out of self-imposed exile,

he leaves the northland shaking his bandaged fists at the prairie sky.

He was robbed of his own conviction
by a war that ended, others forgot,
there was nothing left to die for, to wait for,
no more signs to carry in the dark -
only the chill of the northern winter left
to remind him of what he once felt,
once talked about.

The night looked long in his deep green eyes
robbing his faint life away.

The scream of loneliness has turned
his innards inside out to pity.

Non-religious accept for those
weakened moments, empty nights,
vacant lots, he leaves behind lightless
ten years of those silent wars
without refuge.

He no longer speaks with bullets bleeding
from his mouth, he no longer searches
the quiet whispers that echo in the pines.

Now he is at home near the land of Indiana lakes

where in his childhood he created the vision for his now dead dream,

content to say nothing radical anymore-

just glad to be alive.

(More Poems by Michael Lee Johnson)

A Poem by Christopher Barnes

Dilly Dalliance

Glitter in apparel's no-go
at the mumbo-jumbo worship house.
Philandering's wing-clipped.

I'm supercilious,
a tipsy May-day queen
"prostrate yourself turtle dove".

Purple-sufficient tableaus
are the salvage of bunglers.
I posture - queer fish in love.

Bud, outstretched so-and-so,
you are bent to inevitableness.
Hook legs, your softening body,
dew those lips.

Oblige - and the seeds of hospitality
are crunched under heel.

( More Poems by Christopher Barnes )

A poem by Arun Budhathoki


Rang Rang Bridge

Whenever I cross it

The schizophrenics o'

Usurps the myopic mind

I fall freely,

( More Poems by Arun Budhathoki )


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