Again & Again
I know your body like I my own, every muscle, tendon, freckle, atom, and before you are near
me I feel you everywhere like the wind, all encompassing.
I knew the sound of your voice before you spoke,
and in the moment our eyes met I knew that I loved you
and could not stop myself from being with you,
and could not stop my hand from reaching for yours,
and could not stop lips from finding yours,
and could not stop myself from knowing you,
as I have always and will always know you, because we are one in this moment.
The moonlight streams though exposing every ounce of your flesh like a gift.
You have been waiting and I have been waiting to find ourselves here, intertwined by a lust old
as time, animalistic and humble.
There are no words, only the beauty of the feeling of my tongue on your tongue as I explore
you again and again, (ever undiscovered and discovered and longing).
You are tuned to me, your hands make music on my body and every note that we discover
makes the birds cry out in jealousy,
And until the earth ceases to spin, and the tide ceases to rise, and the birds cease their cries, until that day we will not be apart.
For as long as I breathe, you must breathe, and as long as your heart beats, my heart must beat.
Blue Raincoat Roadside
Lighthouse limelight shines,
Cedar chest lunchbox
and weathervane wine.
Knife chopping onions,
shudders in the know.
The porch boards bend and
creak under the weight
of her unleaving.
My face is her face.
Hush – when I am old,
sideways and troubled
I will absorb home,
searching my memories
for a glimpse of that light.
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
brush, touch, taste
Cheiloprocilitic at your feet
resuscitate, breath, heat
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
pucker, suck, bite
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
lick, swoon, punch
Cheiloproclitic at your feet
Brief bio: My name is Jessica Chickering. I live in Denver, Colorado. I am 34 years. Getting old is both awesome and terrible. I hate people who say cliché things about aging. I write, (say something self-effacing about my writing followed by something redeeming). I graduated from the University of Colorado – Denver with a BA in writing and an emphasis in poetry – I pay the bills doing something that utilizes little of the talents I crafted. I have cat named Girl Kitty, I call her GK for short. I am happy to be alive.
Poetic Statement: Poetry is amazing and undervalued. This is true for so many things I find important and worthy in the world as it stands at this moment. I long for a place where I feel more at home. I feel at home in poetry.
I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.
That will make more sense when we’re actually doing it.
This kind of judgment emanates from a hot emotional space, not from a cool intellectual one.
To whoever tagged this “gonads and strife”: Excellent.
You know, vacuum, dust, mop and help me move the furniture so I can clean behind them as well.
Certain people I imagine naked every time I see them.
Ultimately this is the only thing that interests me.
Yeah, that’s right, I said it.
I’m so over school.
I got my own ideas.
I like to sleep a lot.
The ethic that is never relinquished is that which embraces exploration, experiment and play.
This sentence no verb.
Clean and set this wig.
You change life for me.
If the egg sinks to the bottom, but stands on its point, it’s still good but needs to be used soon.
Nothing is possible.
You left this at mine.
You have to make retarded podcasts to keep yourself entertained because porn is so boring.
I think it depends on how much you consider humanity to be an invasive species on the earth.
Meditation on scripture is like a cow chewing its cud.
That requires a tank, and something pneumatic to run.
My life is like a glacier.
Fate doesn’t give a fuck.
Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.
As an unabashed shoe person, I gotta say that I love the blue satin pumps and am meh on the boots.
Piss off fuck face.
This is not a pipe.
We found a real gem.
I had my face done.
Get over yourselves.
You’ve eaten earwax.
Give him a blow job.
Enjoy the jewelry.
Look at her lips.
This is not rain.
A change in enunciative value is produced as a result of the new system of inscription, which because it is organized, has wide-ranging, yet regulated, effects.
Some people, though, simply do not ‘telegraph’ any information about their sexuality.
Here’s the kicker.
You should think of a lesson as a weapon in love.
This is my time.
In both directions at once.
I can only see the dead ends everywhere I look.
There is great disorder under heaven and the situation is excellent.
Blocking relationships are computed for local pairs of parts that are in contact with one another.
It’s a huge myth that unconditional love, or radical acceptance of someone you care about, requires you to accept them for who they are.
That’s the gist.
When in doubt, freak ’em out.
All the road signs have been pulled down.
Russian roulette isn’t the same without a gun.
There are stars up over the ocean
And I know because I have seen them.
Like words written mutely in the sky
And I know because I have read them.
Tiny sea beacons to guide all who between the waves still malinger,
Little dots shining bright
That the darkest of night
Cannot cleanly obscure.
i am unglued
from the world
a bit of cosmic dust
the moorings i fly past
limned with thorns
my hands are still
You’ve been here over and over and over again.
This place is so familiar it almost feels like home.
It’s the hell behind your eyes,
the goblin-made cathedral in which you worship –
unwillingly, it’s true, but faithfully nonetheless.
And it’s not even hushed as a cathedral should be.
Screams follow you down the aisle,
echoing endlessly off the arches crowning you in bloody thorns
that tangle in your antlers and slide down your corded neck
to rest against your much-decorated chest,
inside which your heart beats an arrhythmic conquista.
No one awaits you at the altar where the thousand skulls grin,
mercilessly mocking sleep as you kneel unshriven
and know you’ll make this pilgrimage again.
Dorothy Gale, B-Girl: The Real Story
Did I ever tell you about
how I met the Wizard
and how there was nothing
in that black bag for me?
Because there wasn’t any black bag.
You think you know this story
but you don’t.
There I was,
hanging out all innocent
in my farmgirl jumper
and dorky ankle socks.
I kept my hair in the braids
to keep it out of my face
while I was bushwhacking
my way to The Emerald City,
but yeah – I was wearing
those killer red shoes.
I ditched the damn dog
because he just couldn’t seem
to get with the program –
to get the hell out of Dodge
(and never back to Kansas).
the dog was always nervous.
He peed in the basket,
yapped like a springsprung
ate grass and puked it back –
once almost on my shoes –
so I left him with the strawman
and the clinking, clanking,
of calliginous junk.
More on that in a min…
The lion – that pussy! –
had run off ages before,
back to whatever hidey-hole
he inhabited before that lousy
halfhearted attempt at courage.
He was more trouble
than he was worth anyway,
all the time sniveling and shaking
and hiding his eyes behind
that stupid plume on the end
of his tail.
By the time I’d got within
spitting distance of the Wizard
the other two had decided
they’d had enough of
sleeping in the dirt
and talking trees
and pelted apples
and that hag on the broomstick
with her underwater face
always showing up and yelling
about something or another.
They settled in a cottage
on the outskirts of the city,
for all the world like any
old married couple.
Lemme tell ya, though,
somehow i can’t see
either one of them in an apron
and I bet they fight about
who does the dishes.
‘Cause let’s face it –
wet straw is no fun
and neither is rusty tin.
I sashayed alone
through those monster gates.
I never had a problem
with a guard.
I’d smile and flirt
and give ’em a little
of the good old wide-eyed admiration
I was wherever I needed to be.
When I’d cleaned up some
and gotten a new dress
and traded those socks for silk
and found a shoemaker
to put some higher heels
on those killer red shoes
i didn’t look half bad.
All that folderol
about the Wizard
and killing the witch?
There was no curtain.
There was no loud
and angry voice.
He was a regular guy,
sitting there just bored to death.
He took one look at me
and he was mine.
And funny thing –
I kinda liked him too.
He asked me what I wanted
and all of a sudden
I wasn’t sure.
It’s been a few years now
and I’m still here,
just the Wiz and me,
living it up in this huge
We play cards and we dance.
We take bubblebaths
and never have to worry
about bills or housework
or any of the stuff
that eats away
at most people’s lives.
And on Sundays
we take the carriage out,
all decked out in our best.
We ride through the city,
waving and smiling
and getting hit in the face
with flowers tossed by
I don’t know how
he got these people
to put him in charge
and I don’t care.
I’m sitting pretty, I am –
good food, nice clothes
and no more slopping hogs.
And if I have to listen
to dreary stories about
and hocus-pocus hokum
that’s okay – fine by me!
I’m not even sure
where the hell I am,
but I’m the wife
of the most powerful man
ever to rule a country
that doesn’t exist,
and yet is more real
than any place
I’ve ever known.
Poetic Statement: Although the majority of my poetry to this point might be called confessional,
it is important not to conflate the poet with the poem. A germ of truth can blossom into a tree leaved with outrageous fantasy. I find exploring and experimenting with new forms helps keep perspective fresh, and I no more limit myself to one genre in writing than I do in art. Poetry is communication. If I touch one heart or provoke one mind to think through my writing, I have done my job.
Bio: RC deWinter is a photographer, digital artist, poet, essayist and singer-songwriter currently living and working in Haddam, Connecticut. She has been shooting photos for over 25 years, using both traditional and digital SLR equipment. Her digital work is created using a variety of software and includes oil paintings, watercolor sketches and drawings.
Her work has appeared in print, notably in the New York Times, chosen for publication in the New York City in 17 Syllables haiku competition, Uno: A Poetry Anthology, Pink Panther Magazine, Arts Creation Magazine, The Sun Magazine, 2River View, Poetry Nook, Garden Tripod and The American Muse as well as in many online publications.
In addition to her personal online portfolios, Ms. deWinter’s art is exhibited on of several internet-based showcases, including Saatchi Online, ARTbracket, The Art for Cancer Gallery, Copperflame Gallery, b-uncut and Artists, Writers and Photographers in the Raw. ABC has licensed several of her paintings to be used as set decor on the television series Desperate Housewives.
Ms. deWinter is honored to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit her work at an October 2011 solo show the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Tolland, Connecticut.
Several years after the break
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
There we reflected on past years,
expressed mutual remorse
(at first so tentatively)
because the wounds had been healed.
Searching the wreckage of it all,
we salvaged enough to move onward
along separate but often parallel paths.
Thousands of miles behind me,
tens of thousands awaiting me,
we started the process of becoming
the people we were intended to be
even though the horizon was hazy.
Times and places slip away
softly and inexorably from us.
At times several chords on an acoustic
bring back walking over hills
or a sprawling campus.
For fleeting moments we are again
as we were but did not remain.
Far better to be who we have become,
to realize that it was better because
we stood together near the house
early on a summer evening
as the sun slid into western skies.
Precession of the Equinox: Polaris Shifts
Slightly tending westward, gradually
the lodestar yields to its successor
as a new Astrological Age begins.
A residual memory, following me
from the Planetarium in Junior High.
Polaris’ replacement will then
give direction to new future stargazers.
One of the last young people to escape
from Kensington’s web of snarling streets
and elevated train lines, you seized your chance.
You became our Polaris, colorful in action
and attire, caring and cajoling, steadying
us to be the people you knew we could become.
Across the county or continent, we returned
and you greeted us, gloried in those returns.
As colleagues we spoke when storms neared,
and I kept your counsel in sight toward calm waters.
Now I know you began your precession,
stepping aside, though not then out of view.
Some of us search for you, exchanging pieces
that do not always fit together.
Second-hand accounts, some leading closer,
others in contradiction, point to a lodestar
that no longer shines in our heavens.
Every so often I scan the spreading stars
for our Polaris, until comes the realization
we are now lodestars for ourselves,
for stargazers we need to steady, for those
who receive the light as we did once
while scanning skies for our Polaris.
Late Afternoon: the Pilgrimage Church
You asked me to explain to you a past
the always-correct Party had chosen
to hide from you. Yet in a new place now
you wondered about the saints and angels
within and without of Maria im Sand.
Willing I went with you over the
hills on that grey day, October fading,
winds bringing in clouds into the valley.
I pointed out the Virgin’s deep blueness,
the smooth apostolic face at the cross,
the font, pulpit, altar, sunless stained glass,
the mixture of styles, depending on time.
In the cemetery an old man spoke
about previous warfare’s heavy toll;
we exchanged a glance thinking of new deaths
and walked the streets of the closing-down town.
Interest does not always lead to belief.
But each November you light a candle
for your mother. You are a pilgrim
pursuing an uncertain goal as you
seek for answers to your unvoiced questions.
I think back to this day, and wish you peace.
Sunday Morning at Beech Island
Sunny morning on the crest of the hill,
Slightly-cold wind in this January
Blowing down the slope toward the Savannah.
Red-doored neo-classic chapel readied
For weekly glimpse of transcendent grandeur.
Uncertainties hover here over us,
Somber occasions, enduring concerns.
During flow of familiar devotions
Light transfixes heavenward-pointed Host
Suffusing unveiled glory over all.
Some linger later outside on the porch
Viewing the landscape with improved vision,
Savoring the moments they wish would endure.
A View Backward from the Bend
Every now and then, my path will bend.
If no mists fill the valley, if cloudless
Skies permit, I can gaze where once I went.
On ribbons of path straddling the ridge
Were elusive apparent destinies
Downward sloping toward sunset beaches,
That so thinly disguised a cul-de-sac.
Stretching to the sky, several towers,
Some unfinished, others now collapsing,
Their classrooms with closed windows preventing
Fragrant air to alleviate the staleness,
Not knowing the land where lemon trees bloom,
Scholars scour the text repeatedly
For some non-existing enlightenment,
Refusing to look at the external.
Occasionally a face that I see,
Or a song wafting melody to me
Reminds me of my travels on that path,
Reconnecting me to what I had loved
Even if no longer can be found
Even if it no longer can be loved.
As quickly as it comes, it disappears
And I follow the bend to straighter paths.
Bio: Arthur Turfa lives in the South Carolina Midlands, but his poetry contains influences of his native Pennsylvania, California, Germany (where he has also lived), as well as other places. He is working on an e-book of his poetry, scheduled for release later in 2014. Published in the Munyori Literary Journal and South Carolina English Teacher, he also maintains a personal blog, Some Poetry at aturfa.blogspot.com
Poetic Statement: Essentially I think Wordsworth had it right, although I do not always find long-lasting tranquility. Something or someone grabs a hold of me, and lingers until I recapture the moment, the glimpse, or the time from my life. My poetry attempts to include the reader into what I experienced, rather than telling the reader all about it or me. At times I strive for a sense of closure, at others I want to preserve something (more as a Symbolist than an Imagist). Whom do I read; Eliot, Auden, Rilke (in the original), Frost, Updike, Shakespeare, Bukowski, and others.Language that sings is more important that language that rhymes.
From It’ll Never Be Over For Me
after The Nite-Liters
a staircase, yellow,
plastic & full
of air. Something pale
from the automat,
headlong, sidelong into
the wireless future.
The kiss of a suture,
the cinnamon spark
that eats up
the fuse. What results
that one saw
coming, from the vantage
above the food court,
where the fountain reached,
deaf & dumb
toward the lacquered ceiling.
They fill it
with pennies. Pennies
for ice cream, pennies
for the long afterlife.
The mute slot like a weeping
snake-eye. Multiple sixes
to the nines.
It’s not the end
of the world.
Dance dance dance
under the fireflies, under
the seeking planes, crucifixes
UFO pips, the stupid translucence
of the inside
of the dice.
Morning, noon & The Nite-Liters. Nothing light about a band of seventeen whose biggest hit would peak at seventeen, heavy numerology. Brothers & sisters tattooed by trumpets & guitars, some groovy sans-serif. Not the only good thing besides Kentucky Fried Chicken to come out of Kentucky, quipped the Channel 13 DJ on November 1, 1972 as he proceeded to bungle the dudes’ names while they killed it onstage in matching baby blue sailor suits to an all-black crowd, PBS still segregating acts in ’72, the real deal not much like Sesame Street ,but it sounded cooler at any rate. Becoming New Birth to summarily die—they had it & lost it all in the Hollywood Haze, hemorrhaging members across the decade, done by ’79—Nite-Lite(r)s out, enter monsters.
after Bobbi Lynn
Lined up behind the dull chrome of the clouds,
the armies of ruin, prepped to drag premises all along
the neglected ground. Brown dirt the universal principle
of absence, world opened like an orange. We perturb
its thin skin only. What waits for us in the alien core,
geoded bubbles harboring air unblemished by the stain
of our being. What lies below: iguanas the size of dinosaurs,
three-lidded demons or some abhorrent mycelium,
immortal, uninterested in us. No shaker of earth,
this God—so who to curdle & still the shifting plates
that sleep below our folly? Fear always what lies
below, but look always there. You, named to bury
your dead. Conjugal bed of mind & universe, the union
so poisonous to skin—that bower that calls to us in low
frequencies, whips up the puddle of the oceans. This life
a mad dash away from Mother’s arms until we are called
home by the booming voice, inexorable but inexplicable,
but we still too young to answer.
THE ELUSIVE BOBBI LYNN
You know in life, some people try to make it, some don’t. Some keep trying, some give up. I tried to make it & this is my story. Well I was born just around the corner, about half a block from Opportunity Street. I lived 18 years of good memories; I’ve had 27 since, every meal to eat. I met a boy just around the corner about half a block from Opportunity Street. He had charms at 20 nearly drove me mad, but he stole my love, took everything I had on Opportunity Street. It seems to me that I could see there must be another way, but some don’t get another chance & I guess I’ll have to stay. Now a word to all you people, about half a block from Opportunity Street. Listen to me, if you lived the life you planned to be, just make about face & take a look at me: Opportunity Street.
On Being An Angel
“Be wary.” Your fears I read like braille, goose bump code on a body I knew long before I first reached yours. Even the endless may have a beginning, a split second we will never understand. Where then would you hide?
Where are the black crows tonight, the broken glass, the omens? I blink once to clear my eyes.
Thermoluminescence dating, the determination of the time elapsed since a material last saw the sun; how I know I love you, the moonlight bather who will not pose as savior in my battle scene or his own.
(though I had the dream again last night, the house was burning brightly, the dinner party uninterrupted as the butler fanned the flames. I was the only one who ran out and you held me back as I stood naked on the warehouse roof, from a salted sea breeze beckoning me to fly).
He said there would be something else, some whiskey-breathed revelation. I like him like this, when he doesn’t say a word and I can fall into the soft-lipped void, and I fall proudly in the new fragility he has helped me craft to help me break.
The 2:58 am clawing of a telephone like a strangers back, like complacency when the double speaks to herself and I, the total I, the unsure shape shifter. My inner lives crave completion: my searching a transfixation; my avoidance, divination. I know why the telephone does not ring.
I will borrow his utensils. The teeth, the feet, the words collected like medallions. They will be dirtied by my touch but I shall cleanse them with the same.
(was I ever in your words? Was I a ghost, a spool of yarn unraveled, a baby’s skull?)
I am not frightened of the things you say but the things that shrivel before they reach your tongue, how they coexist.
& w/ the
Desire = = = P O E/M
[castration] [silencing] [weakening] [sterilization]
[deprivation] [maiming] [taming] [demonization]
[torturing] [persecution] [prosecution] [tormenting]
[manacling] [fettering] [hampering] [ shackling]
[ institution] [establishment] [ domination] [intimidation]
[browbeating] [beating] [eating] [milking]
[bludgeoning] [coercing] [dragooning] [terrorizing]
But remember there is a smouldering ember
(in your heart)
that is capable of thawing all kinds of cuffs—
a poetic lexicon
paper is like a playground waiting for innocent kids to caper
ink is the most sacred sweat, don’t you think?
rhyme is a dancing body’s heat combating icy rime
image is what you find in your mind’s attic after a good rummage
verse is that pearl you choose among precious stones, so diverse
simile is as sweet and beautiful as a certain winsome Emily
refrain is that lotion that lubricates the poem w/ the scents of rain
sound is that sweet tune of jubilant raindrops falling on a thirsty ground
musing is that moment of revelation that is deep & amusing
word is that far-fetched siren you bring from the realm of the absurd
strophe is when the caged bird repeats its tweets waiting for freedom trophy
poetry is a mesmerising Eve lying on the grass under an Eden’s fig tree
The verse can be angelic
The verse can be perverse
The verse can be satanic
The verse can be diverse
The verse can shut up
The verse can converse
The verse can hide
The verse can traverse
The verse can reorder
The verse can reverse
The verse can be spontaneous
The verse can be transverse
The verse can be pleasant
The verse can be adverse
The verse can embody sameness
The verse can embody the obverse
Nothing can I say but,
‘long live the verse!’
‘long live the verse!’
A Poetic Statement:
Poetry: A Simplified Definition
Watered by blood and sweat,
Poetry is like a grain of wheat.
It only sprouts by spreading its spikes
in papers plowed by a free bird’s tweet.
Originally appeared in aliznaidi.blogspot.com on 27/06/2012
Bio: Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English. His work has appeared in The Rusty Nail, The Tower Journal, Mad Swirl, Stride Magazine, Red Fez, & other ezines. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). From time to time he blogs at – aliznaidi.blogspot.com