Eclipse by Wayne F. Burke

When I was in third grade
there was an eclipse of the sun
that Charlie Baguette and me
agreed to watch
through his father’s telescope,
each taking turns holding a piece of green wielding glass
up to the lens.
On the day of the eclipse I walked across
the yards and the hot grass,
smelling like boiled vegetables,
to Charlie’s house
and knocked on the door;
his mother stood in the screen window
squinting at me,
one eye closed.
She wore a pink negligee.
“Is Charlie home?”
“No.”
Her tits spilled out of the
pink cups.
“Can I have a drink of water?”
The door opened wide enough for me
to squeeze through.
The house smelled like sweat.
She turned her back to me
and stepped to the sink.
I shoved my hand up between her legs.
“Hey!” she said.
I reached up and grabbed
the nipple of the nearest breast.
She spun around:
I thought she would slap me
but she grabbed my head and
pulled me to her chest.
I sucked on her nipple
and jammed my hand down
the front of her
bikini pants
and started to finger
her snatch.
She moaned and her eyes
went blank,
like stars.
“Oh my god,” she said
as she sunk to her knees.
She pulled my wiener out of
my shorts:
it looked like an uncooked
Jimmy Dean sausage;
she snapped it up like a fish
taking a bait
and began to suck…
I heard Charlie walk in.
“Ma! What are you doing?” he shouted.
“Mind your own business! Go to your room!”
Charley turned and walked off
in a huff.
I thought I would never stop
coming.
I forgot all about the eclipse.

wayne-f-burke
Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications (including “In Between Hangovers”). His three published poetry collections, all from Bareback Press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in Vermont.
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Poetry Is a Dirty Business by Robert Beveridge

There are rats in the walls.
Sound pretty big to me.

murky liquid sleepiness
cloys my throat
I put pen to paper
get up at 3:15AM
to write these words

I ain’t never seen rats this big.
Walls must be full of ’em.

murky liquid sleepiness
plunges into my glass
the bartender stares at me
real poets don’t write in bars
(someone’s said that before I think)

So long as the rats don’t chew
on the left fingers

murky liquid sleepiness
flows onto my sheet
pen drops from numb fingers
head drops forward
lost idea drips
from the edge of the table

I don’t mind the rats.
They bring me reality.

[1]  An intentional misquoting of the final line of Stephen King’s “Jerusalem’s Lot”.

Robert Beveridge
Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Borrowed Solace, Dodging the Rain, and Twyckenham Notes, among others.

Living by Blaine Kaltman

If you couldn’t walk would you long to walk in the rain?
In the cold, over rocks, would you walk with a cane?
Do you still have a mouth, can you still talk and sing?
Taste the snow on your tongue, feel the winter wind’s sting?

For the man with no legs tired feet are a blessing
The man with no house a broken TV’s not distressing
The man with no nose would enjoy smelling trash
The man with no eyes would give any amount of cash
To see for one day, to watch the sunrise
Everyone carries burdens, just as everyone dies

So lest you forget to thank God and pray
Or at least just be thankful you saw a new day
Remember before you complain you don’t thrive
You have so much to celebrate.   You are alive.

So don’t waste the day watching TV or even reading this poem
Don’t pity yourself, get off your damn phone
Go out and create, or dance, or learn
We only live once, you only get one turn!
So embrace it, even the hardships – don’t complain
Learn to relish the stress, the failures, the pain

Because in the end even the suffering and strife
Are all opportunities to experience life.

Living is the most precious gift of all
Because living teaches us what it feels like to fall

And to rise up and recognize all that we have
And to cry tears of joy, and feel sad but still laugh.

blaine-kaltman
Blaine Kaltman has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Queensland. He is the author of “Under the Heel of the Dragon” http://www.ohioswallow.com/author/Blaine+Kaltman and the producer, lead actor, and screenplay writer of the award winning film “Back Alley Bulls” http://influxmagazine.com/back-alley-bulls-review/. He is a Foreign Service officer with the US State Department and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. His latest artistic venture is a hard rock band named Stone Mob and a cowboy themed video to support their first single “Murder Town” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK-S9vPdpNs . But none of this has stopped Blaine from writing poems almost everyday for the past twenty years.

A Poet Lives… by Ananya S Guha

The poet is on my mind
not death
which puts shrouds
on poets,
they who read poetry
are haunted by love
and death
those who write
have a larger death
looming in the brain
ticking away,
like the merciless clock
Bedraggled words take
away winter  time’s
shrapnel or  sadness
of lost world.
Love turns into life
of  words
Memory clashes in present
A poet lives in deadest moments.

ananya-s-guha
Ananya S Guha ( 1957) lives in Shillong, in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing his poems over thirty years.

Dropped Call by Jonathan Butcher

That voice hacks away at my ear; I almost
feel its teeth brush against my eardrum.
I slowly begin to awaken four hours after
bed, my eyes still heavy under the onslaught.

That window offers the same view that I attempt
in vein to brighten with the dullest conversation
with myself, like a diplomat without an audience.
I slowly soak up my own applause without apology.

I spot the solitary crane that slowly picks and pulls
at what is left of the abandoned building across from me,
like fingers with a stubborn scab, that still continues to
bleed with each idle touch yet is never removed.

My eyes divert back to that screen which slowly
starts to flicker and nonchalantly controls what little
light this room offers. It keeps me within that trance,
till that voice once again slowly brings me round.

Jonathan Butcher
Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield, England and has been writing poetry for around ten years. He has had work appear in various print and online publications, most recently at Odd Ball Magazine, Mad Swirl, Dead Snakes, Your One Phone Call and The Transnational. His second chapbook ‘Broken Slates’ has been published by Flutter Press.

The Earrings That Sadie Wore by Dan Sicoli

they swung in
sanguine youth beauty
refrained
in your girlish green eyes
              like bicycle spokes
              arrayed in a globe of direction

as others echo old widow’s gossip
spill tequila under
whispers of pretense
that had made you wince
even as girl scouts whole-heartedly embraced you
holding your legitimacy as leader

later
with sleight of hand
you mend him
and after a tempered drive
make a tousle of clothes
into a catwalk of futility

into a dark house
you don’t need sun
to cast shadows

stinking of stupidity
he retrieves cold metal
from the bureau drawer
faux foreplay
and you give up
              an earring
              a bra hook
              a parting of lips

it only took one slippery finger’s bark
to admit the silence into your pillowed ear
deflating this mattress of compromise

alone now
your wide olive eyes in a staring girlishness
as harsh morning blazes stab through narrow blinds
slapping sparkle back into your
emerald earrings that had remained
atop the nightstand
in your upstairs bedroom
on 34 prelude circle
where humming wheels of passersby made
routine out of a negated day

Dan Sicoli
Dan Sicoli, of Niagara Falls, New York, USA, is the author of two poetry chapbooks from Pudding House Publications (Columbus, Ohio), Pagan Supper and the allegories. He can sometimes be found in local dives, saloons and barrelhouses banging on an old Gibson with an area rock’n’roll band.

 

Pretence by A.J. Kaufmann

at times when/
tuning guitars
& coughing
I secretly, underskinly
soak w/ reverb of age
she puts warmly on

when/ turn off ashtrays
bloat around the sun
they make me whisper freedom/ all over
another night
that drifts off compass

I spin some Davis
program percussion
automata
flesh (once) in android mood,
moon
she combs her hair

I can smell
victory
&dance in the
gamma ray dawn
it was a long gray dream
that brought on this rainbow

or is it just
her pretence in the fresh
morning air

her pretence
arriving with the s-bahn

A.J. Kaufmann
A.J. Kaufmann is a modern Polish poet, songwriter and musician. He’s the author of “Siva in Rags” (Kendra Steiner Editions, 2008), “Broke Nuptial Minds” (Virgogray Press, 2009), “Hosannah Honeypots” (KSE, 2013), and other poetry chapbooks. He blogs at http://ajkaufmann.wordpress.com, and his music/audio site is http://ajkaufmann.bandcamp.com