Monthly Archives: March 2016

‘Lines Written Upon The Discovery Of A Rhyming Dictionary’ by Art Metzger

Play the flute and pluck the lyre
Create music for the choir
While all around great lords conspire,
Cloth’ed all in black attire,
Talking of their base desire,
As the time grows ever nigher
For the lighting of the pyre,
Lighting of the funeral pyre.
“Whose funeral this?” you may inquire,
As you watch the flaming fire,
Watch the smole rise higher, higher.
“Is it Lord or is it squire,
Or perhaps our noble sire?
Courageous soldier, bold defier,
Whose mighty deeds we all admire.
To reach such fame we all aspire.
Could it be he whose suit’s afire?”
People come from town and shire,
through the bog and through the mire,
Pushing through the pressing gyre
To watch the Lord of All transpire
Below his castle’s tallest spire.
Soon the crowd begins to tire.
Men and women all perspire
From the heat of the great fire.
The situation now is dire,
In vain the crowd tries to respire.
Every throat is getting drier.
People falling soon inspire
Other people to expire.
Some even fall into the fire
Causing flames to reach still higher.
It doesn’t take a prophesier
To see that the whole town’s afire
All started from a funeral pyre.
Could flames be nature’s beautifier?

Copyright 2016 by Art Metzger. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

‘You Always Hurt The One You Love’ by Andrew Bradford

Sure, I suppose it was overly harsh, but how many times do you have to say something before another person gets the clue? It’s all become too much and way too soon, so better to get out now before it all gets completely fucked up beyond recognition.

I don’t consider myself to be a cruel person. Far from it. I mean, I cry when I see ASPCA and Humane Society commercials on TV. And it’s not just because I think animals are more noble and better than any of us humans could ever aspire to be. But at some point you have to be clear: It’s time for this to end. It’s been time for months now.

No doubt you’ll say I have a fear of commitment because I’m 35 and still not married, but that has nothing to do with anything the least bit relevant. I once lived with a woman for nearly two years. That’s what you call commitment! But as it always does, the hourglass ran out on us and it was the right point for calling it quits. Why keep trying to unbreak what’s broken? Is that what life is supposed to be about? unhappiness? I’ll pass on that and find another, better situation.

I’m not proud of what I had to say to make her understand. I hate having to be confrontational, but did you ever notice how some people are just too dense to take the hints, even when you’re dropping them by the hundreds?

It’s for the best. That much I’m certain about. Life is way to short to wallow in misery. I’d rather die alone than be unhappy. That’s a form of commitment, too: Commitment to not being miserable. And I’ll take that.

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

‘Darkest Darkness’ by Marcus Koenig

a chance meeting or so

a mistake in common logic

who can remember such things

when so near the final bow

if we might breathe

we might escape the infernal drive

ah, sister, how we did laugh

seems to be only a while until morning

all attempts to contact you have been empty

so let us repeat our mantra and be done

we do not want the worst to be said of us

better for nothing to be said at all

come with me into the cold night

we will dance

we will live

we will


Copyright 2016 by Marcus Koenig. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.


‘Wondered Doubts In Real Time’ by Andrew Bradford

No doubt you’re still wondering why you asked. It’s not like you actually wanted to know, but the moment seemed to demand some kind of query into the darker substance of some hidden truth.  Then again, are there really any hidden truths left to be uncovered?

Maybe the whole thing has been a gigantic mistake. You’ve never considered yourself to be the marrying kind, yet here you stand, married with a child on the way. Dear God, make this ride slow down some, please! How can anyone hope to be a decent parent at the age of 40? The kid will be graduating from high school and you’ll go to the commencement with what’s left of your graying hair, maybe carrying a cane for support. What a depressing thought!

Your sister tells you that you’ll be a wonderful father, but what the hell does she know? She’s been married four times and her only child is not even in contact with her. This is the woman you’re taking advice from?

Also, consider your own family with dysfunction as its middle name. Mom and Dad divorced when you were 16. Dad has been married two times since then. Mom is slowly drinking herself into the grave. Not to mention the innumerable failed relationships you’ve burned through like so many votive candles.

You saw a clip on television the other evening. Some British artist you cannot for the life of you recall the name of now, but there was a gallery showing his work, and there was a flash of an image–there for half a second and gone so fast you thought it might just have been imagined–an image of what appeared to be a zebra. But instead of stripes, the damn thing had strips of meat. Was that even real? Then again, what is?

So many fucking questions, so many doubts! None of it makes a bit of sense. You feel stripped to the bone, beaten, no wiser than this time a year ago. But a year ago you weren’t married and a month away from being a father. A father?! Me?

You roll a joint and take a deep drag. If she knew you were in here doing this, if she had any idea, how upset would she be? Or would she be cool with it? See, you cannot even decided how she would feel about something as essential as some fucking weed to calm your nerves.

Closing your eyes, you take another puff and hold it as long as you can. Turning on some music, you resolve not to worry about any of it right now. There’s time for that tomorrow.

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.


‘Through My Bones’ by Gloria Christie

Her jealousy grew liquid granite
Hatred, fed a deep thirsty well
Sending thick roots through my bones
Puzzling, what did I do?
Her mind machete keen-wicked
If not, a crush of less pressure
The pain incessant, unbearable
Puzzling, what did I do?
Jealousy, embedded pain
So invasively symbiotical
I cannot disentangle.
Puzzling, what did I do?
I Exist.

Copyright 2016 by Gloria Christie. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

‘Late Caller’ by Andrew Bradford

I was hoping it might be you

See, you’ve been on my mind quite a lot lately

Can still recall the good times we had, the kindness we shared

Seems like it must have been ages ago

But really only months

Suppose I should ask if you’re seeing someone now

Afraid of the reply

How could a woman as wonderful as you be alone for long?

As for me, you know I was always a bit of a loner

Takes me awhile to get comfortable with new people

So I wind up missing so many chances because I stay isolated

To myself

I hear you laugh, I smile inside and out when you say

We should meet for dinner soon

Then the smile turns to tears

When the alarm awakens me

From another tortured dream

of you.

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

‘Snow White’ by Art Metzger

You read the future
you feel some responsibility,
feel you should keep an eye on things.
You know there’s going to be an early frost
you let people know
so they can cover their crops.
You feel there’s going to be a drought
you tell people
so they can start storing water.

So what do you do
when you know a child is going to be born,
a child who is going to take all the magic
out of the world?
Good magic, bad magic – all of it

So I find out she’s going to marry a prince –
no surprise there –
an idiot could take one look at her
and guess that.
No magic mirror needed,
no bird’s bones or tea leaves.
But after – I saw what was going to happen after –
I saw their joining.
Not that I’m nosy,
as I said, I just feel a certain responsibility.
So, I see their joining, and then
its fruits – a son.
A bratling who will grow
handsome and strong and good,
but who will, through certain actions
(I can hardly tell you what they will be, can I?
I don’t want someone trying by design
what he will do by accident)
banish magic from the world.
So what could I do –
I had to out a stop to things
while I could.
I could hardly wait and kill the baby –
what if something happened in the meantime –
to me, I mean –
I can’t see everything.
So I thought – “Do away with the mother
and the child will never be.”
I would have, too,
if it hadn’t been for those damn dwarves.
Seven midgets who think they’re saving Beauty,
Meddlers they are,
interfering before the poison can work.
Not only that, they’re actually arranging her meeting
with the prince.
He will find her, kiss her,
and soon he will come to kill me;
and afterward they will say
it was jealousy made me do it.
I can see it,
but there’s nothing I can do.
She’s watched too closely now –
damn dwarves.
I don’t care for myself,
but soon, all too soon,
the world will become an ordinary place.

Copyright 2016 by Art Metzger. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

‘A Brief Interview With The Universe’ by Carlton Shumlin

I feel the need to tell you that I’m honored to be in your presence

Sometimes I feel demeaned when I talk to people

Not trying to say that I’m always the victim, but it can feel that way in today’s marketplace

Had a therapist tell me it was projection, but not sure I concur

So tell me a bit about what’s going on with you?

Truth is, I’m so unsure of so damn much that I feel confused most of the day

I don’t pretend to be a deep thinker, but I do love to stare at your stars and meteor showers

Like to imagine raking my soul across the cosmos, somehow drawing it back cleansed and free of pain

Nothing is really as automatic as they try to say it is

Some things remain mechanical, sterile, empty, deserted

But not you, not you at all, and that’s a compliment

I seem to have a recollection of once taking a flight on a comet’s tail when I was a child

Just a dream, yes, but felt so real at the time

Guess I should feel ashamed for making so little of my life

But I don’t feel that way with you

Maybe we can make this a regular thing

I understand if you decline the invitation

Can I just lay here and watch?

Can I just try to tune my soul to what I feel vibrating inside of you?

The sky is an eye

It can see me

I can sense it does

So I wave to it

Copyright 2016 by Carlton Shumlin. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.


‘For Only This Moment’ by J. W. Carter

The sickness washes over me like a curling wave of blackest ink

If you wish to see the sky turn red, you must first cut your hands upon the silk

There was once a valley I recall from youth

I only find within myself




Rotten thoughts

I crawl among the terrace of a thousand moldy gardens

The flowers filled with the stench of bile and piss

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? She asked it so sweetly I was tempted to reply

It will all be broken now and then

If you try to reassemble it, it will only be a waste of your fading time

Perhaps to pray to some god, maybe to seek a dark repentance

A scrap of teal blue sky remains

Clutch it to your face and make a wish

Copyright 2016 by J.W. Carter. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.


‘The Ecstatic Ones’ by Andrew Bradford

The lake is ever draining, suppose one day it will merely be sand

With just a motion of her finger, she ushers him nearer

That night we found the truest form of explosive manna to be inside the soul

In dread we all enter, but in pain we shall all exit our own stage

Be it left or right, our happiness will never match the exquisite torture we all endured

I know I have traded on my feigned wisdom, taught others with the stigmata of my words

Will they make a saint of her? This is what I wondered as I stood at the top of the eternal

I’ve gotten so turned around, backtracked so often, been flat of my ass a million times

But for this moment I will only feel, I will only let the sounds teach me what I hunger to learn

By chance she had disappeared a few times into astral flights none can see but the sightless

I will not cry–She will not relent

I have learned to hold back the tears–She wipes my cheeks

Now I will stand and shout–She lifts my voice

I will scream with joy–We shout with delight

Until I am consumed by the void–We will be forever in the vortex

And return as light in a world growing dark–Pulsing light

She does hold me aloft–She does become my every molecule

First real panic of the day—-

In evening all

will be calm

Copyright 2016 by Andrew Bradford. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.