Friday, January 30, 2015

Sally Mcrae--Sapphic Purveyor of Intrabeauty

No matter.
(All bets are off.)

I caught a glimpse of the future and you were expunged.
(Why is that?)
I was alarmed to find that you weren't there,
in the book of us.

Being knowing in the present sent me to the past.
The lights were off, a door was ajar and love had leaked out.
Who was last to leave?

Voile fluttered in the drafty corridor.
In the lab seedlings grew;
a few so well that they raised the roof.
Light streamed in.
Would it lead me back to you, to now?

Hillary's ascent was slicker
but he had Tenzing
and Kendal Mint Cake.
I just had an unconscionable thirst, unshakable faith
and light-dancing feet.

Pausing at a dizzying height,
to admire the view, assess my progress,
caused the whole lot to telescope back in.
Sending me hurtling through quasars,
reaching for
floating hands,
which no longer held wisdom —
clearly a silly construct, after all.
You weren’t There.

There, there, dear.
Always safe, Here.
Here, I AM.


It is often a vacuum.
And they are wrong.
attracted by reflective ribbon.
Seeing only the millennial dust,
missing the abiding intrabeauty —
beyond Them & Us. 

A link to a video poem, PONTIFEX, by Sally:

Sally McRae originally hails from England and is presently living in Atlanta, USA. Having run wild across the globe (under the radar) for years, she has many interesting experiences to draw on for her poetry and prose writing; she’s played with royalty and sat with sages —perception is her constant toy. A former actress, television presenter, director, producer and executive producer of video and live events; she now enjoys a most interesting and diverse array of roles; mother, writer, yoga teacher, reflexologist, mentor, and creative director at One Creative Choice. Wit is her sword and savior, keeping her fully grounded in reality. Her simple, narrative poetry has a musicality and sincerity that reaches deep; it dances with duality and humor — an appropriate reflection of the author. Sally is currently working with the theme of love – in all its forms – and thinks that the ancient Greeks were onto a thing or two…

Friday, January 23, 2015

Corey Mesler: An Engineer Making the Ominous Days Smaller


My wife’s castoff pajama
bottoms lie curled
on the unmade bed like
some kind of sensuous
cat. Alone at home they
startle me as if I have
walked into a forbidden
room. I could pick them
up and smell the warm
goodness of her but I let
them lie. Later when I
return, determined to
clutch them this time, they
are gone, and the day
becomes one of reflection
and tough, spontaneous grace.

Wee one

Wee one,
voice so

shrill I
almost can-

not per-
ceive it,

nor can I
find the

words to

here in
the castle,

so far
from your
pinpoint eyes,

your mouth
an obelus.

The day is big

The day is big
I am small.
I find
myself after losing
so much
else. You are there
and you’re
holding out your
in your palm
an egg.
I want
to talk to you about
the change
but it is not
essential. You are
here. Even
when the day is so
I fall from its height.

COREY MESLER has published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Good Poems American Places, and Esquire/Narrative. He has published 8 novels, 4 short story collections, numerous chapbooks, and 4 full-length poetry collections. He’s been nominated for many Pushcarts, and 2 of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife he runs a bookstore in Memphis. He can be found at https://coreymesler.wordpress.com.

Monday, January 19, 2015

John Dorsey Is Your Woody Guthrie; Did You Know That?

Philadelphia Poem for David Snellbaker

You were the first real friend I ever made here
Telling me about your days with a Mexican religious cult
Where they tried to brainwash that man
right out of your hair.

You said, “They’d have to whitewash the streets with blood”
to make you feel clean again.


You sang songs by Woody Guthrie
Not the originals
But covers by the Counting Crows
Placed your heart in a locket
Hidden under a pillow
On the third floor of a West Toledo mental ward.

You never learned how to dance
Just painted flowers on your toes
when it came time to bloom.

Drunk John

gave me $7 and a cigar snip
for my 25th birthday
the morning his girlfriend
kicked him out
of their spruce street apartment.

the year before
i’d watched as she passed him
love notes in hindi
across the bar
while he listened
to iggy pop
on the jukebox
as it rained outside.

i could swear he was crying  
when he sang happy birthday
under the busted street light.

John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including “Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer” (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), “Sodomy is a City in New Jersey” (American Mettle Books, 2010), “Tombstone Factory” (Epic Rites Press, 2013), and most recently, “Natural Selection: Early Poems” (Kilmog Press, 2014). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Erica Bernheim: Marrow-Craving Head-Huntress

The Scent of Fear

It is not unlike the lye, and what you need to know
is nothing to brag about: the vestigial nipple of
the nutria, a handbag filled with other handbags,
a buzzard in a long, blonde wig, the idea that you
could--if you wanted to--control the weather.

It is criminal to celebrate fragility. The bees want
your pollen; the chickens want your plants; bugs
will populate your made-up dreams about other
poets and farms. Tell me what city I'm in, and I'll
tell you my name. The rabbits sense the smells

of stale human bodies, of legs stacked larva-esque
in the sprawl of an underground garden. The weather
begins to remind you of movies you haven't seen,
of books you will never read, and of the sounds
of the sounds of trees. There is no place in which

you don’t want traffic to move forward. There
are universal misdeeds. There are times when
resurfacing is the expectation.

The Shrunken Head

It’s been nearly fifty years and no one remembers
the country he was filming in. Headhunting

occurred in many regions of the world. Is it
accidental that he couldn’t tell you to stop making

sentences or plans? When you stumble upon
the head of your beloved on Match.com, the proper

response is:

a.     Develop an attraction to striped shirts.
b.     Never have the intention of doing the right thing.
c.     Grow in popularity.
d.     Move to a suburb of Milwaukee and cultivate a suntan.
e.     Bring your best feelings towards the cooler.
People, look too helpless and you will cover
yourselves with pastry, fashions, burning down,
and awkward conversations.

This is the age of being touched:

gently. Don’t touch.

Death Swim

It wasn’t about the war. It wasn’t about
the lake. It was about fire and the lakes of oil,

shot from a helicopter. Those are not lakes.
These are full of oil, the oil is literally

boiling, and the process of watching
makes you wonder how long you should

make the same mistakes without thinking
about them. I say, there must be a better

way than this to evolve. There
should be a way around impossible love,

a legitimate reason women love horses first,
then men. There must be a way for bone

marrow to settle around the heart and heal
Only sometimes do situations not turn out

as you might have expected. Think how you
might have overused me, merrily screwed me

over the promises of darkness. If I were
a naked vulture, things would be the same.

My experiments will not have gone
unnoticed. A man outside will invent

something for this. This is me walking
away. This is me as seen from behind.

It is a fact that we will grow old before
learning to settle our deeds near fire.

It is a fact that civilians do not need
search warrants to enter each other’s homes.

Erica Bernheim holds degrees from Miami University, The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Florida Southern College, where she directs the creative writing program. Her first full-length collection, The Mimic Sea, was published by 42 Miles Press (Indiana University South Bend) in 2012. She is also the author of a chapbook, Between the Room and the City (H_NGM_N B__KS, 2006) and her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Georgetown Review, Saw Palm, and The Iowa Review.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Julia Rose Lewis: A Keeper of Winter Zephyrs

Tell Me a Story Or Another Vineyard

My sister keeps seeing a woman with
a long gray braid and glasses, so she
calls me.  I tell her that my hair is as
short as hers, the last time I saw her. 
I have been thinking of Catalina a lot lately.

Grapes and grays and graze, we

Sleeping Sevenling

It was the time of the metaphors,
the verb to be,

static winter,
winter ring was the rest of the world. 

Meanwhile, I was trying to hold a place in my head all winter. 

In Memoriam

Of the tree
that thought itself a horse.

A feeling for my steed please, the tree
has turned into a horse that is too old to ride.

Standing still,
it is dying,

broken legs are fatal for horses. 
Sap is all that is left

of the branch that I used to climb on
the branch that was its back, thick as my thigh.  

A big barreled animal standing at 16.2 hands,
a tree as tall as me,

with a mane of needles 
I could use to find its breed, its species, its seedlings

unfolding into foals. 

I have loved

a tree that thought itself a horse.  I want
a blood bay horse again. 

Julia Rose Lewis is a working towards her MFA at Kingston University London.  She received her BA in Biology and Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College PA.  Her poetry incorporates philosophy of science, representations of illness, and climate change.  For her dissertation she is looking at the intersection of ecopoetics and queer theory.  When not in school, she is living on Nantucket Island.  She is a member of the Moors Poetry Collective of Nantucket.  Her poems have appeared in their second and third anthologies, Lemmon Hummus and Tips on Throwing a Housewarming Party in a Small Space.