Sunday, August 30, 2009

5 poems by Levi Wagenmaker


'the redneck bird'

the redneck bird as it flies
utters one and the same
not in any way melodious cry
only when it lands on a roof
is it (ominously) silent
it stealthily bears portents to those
in or in the vicinity of the house
covered by such a roof

a redneck bird seen sitting on a roof
in the early morning
(or sitting unseen on a roof well before noon)
means that should a virgin reside
under that same roof
she cannot but soon lose
her virginity

in the absence of a virgin
a man present under that roof
will lose all the hair growing on his private parts
(or should they be bald his private parts themselves)
(or should he already have lost those somehow all his money)
(or should he be poor his fingers toes ears and nose)

redneck birds are very superstitious
and invariably believe it to bring bad luck
if one fails to land on a roof in the early morning
(or at least well before noon)

redneck hens are the only birds known
to lay clutches of eggs
(up to twelve dozen of them)
(but never on roofs)
so that it is not to be wondered at
that even fairly juvenile virgins
are rarely found under any roof
and if at all



'cycle of rain'

rain and a bicycle
falling and I riding it
wearing dark-blue cotton
trousers seat of the pants
a moist patch from the saddle
sucking clouds while waiting outside
with nothing better (or else) to do

where thighs fill fabric
parallel to sky and earth only
halfway through the piston-stroke
movement of pedalling
diaphanous raindrops darken
dark-blue to almost black
where they strike in random patterns
striving for saturation

the affinity of wet cotton for skin
(or of skin for natural fibres
taking on water)
is much in evidence
in little enough time

riding a bicycle through the rain
(scientists have found)
should leave the cyclist and the bike
less drenched
than getting up speed
distance added to the relative equations
soon enough evens out
the difference given steady rainfall

especially when it rains
the kind of bicycles designed to enable
the cyclist to ride belly-up
is supposed to provide a more laid back impression
(the way dead fish do


so Poe

an all night bar
next to me she
sat she said you
are so lovely
she tried to kiss me full
on the mouth but missed
and got back onto
her cloud of Patchouli
she was twice my age (or more)
as well as twice my weight (or more)
I was embarrassed more than amused
remembering I find myself
more amused than embarrassed
time is in full swing
the water under the bridge
has almost run dry
since the days that I could fail
to be kissed full on the mouth
by a woman twice my age

bring on the raven


'90% perspiration'
(for Belle)

a website featuring photos
of persons requesting to be rated
hot or not
should feature hot young women
in sufficient numbers
to fill a medium-sized private swimming-pool
with their sweat
especially on a sultry day like this
with all the hot young women wearing
winter clothes and no deodorant
of the 'dry' variety
to hamper productivity

they would be only too happy to remove
their clothes and there would be no lack
of volunteers to wring them out
and others to empty the buckets
in which the copious sweat would have been
collected into the pool's open maw

and only then would I
make my entrance
(to loud cheers of long live the scientist)
(wearing tight-fitting red swimming-trunks)
and patently patiently
would I wait for the basin to be filled

once filled to capacity
I would gently and fluently
immerse myself and turn my red-trunked body
over on its back
and if as I would expect
I would float in that pool of hot young women's sweat
cheers would become deafening
no doubt

the small effort of writing these lines
on this sultry stuffy day
under a darkening sky soon to be fiercely lit up
by flashes of lightning
adding their touches to the music of my day-dream
brought sweat to my skin

I wish it were yours


'trivial pursuit'

it happens
that a snatch of trivial text
embedded in a tune to match
referred to rather grandly as
will trot in circles round and round
banalities spun out too long
for anything remembered willy-nilly
with overly obvious rhyme
for its reason

it happened this morning
in spite of
because of
the grey noise of a low-noise

but the annoyance bit the dust
when the suck-all contraption's
suction tube
(not the part of it made up
of flexible plastic hose
but metal barrel bare of muzzle)
clanged against a cast iron
central heating radiator on a wall
in what could only be
a randomly generated rhythm
but by chance suggesting
a much-loved Portuguese fado

sweeping under the carpet
Connie Francis
to make way for
Dulce Pontes

sorry Connie fans
it can't very well be said
that preferences are

nothing personal

Levi Wagenmaker
(1944 - ) is a retired journalist, living in the Netherlands
for most of the year, and in France for some of it, with three bitches, two
of whom are dogs. Enamoured life-long of language (and languages), for
reasons immaterial to the act he writes poetry in English only, even if he
could most likely manage it in a few other tongues. His poems have been
published on line more than in print, and Google will tell the curious what,
where, and when.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

4 poems by Connie Michener

“Rough Start”

I tried to find the proper inflection to make the
word have the right ridges on the key-edge, to offer the
leverage, torsion, to twist over the tumbler
to popstart the engine, I'm banging on the starter
with the handle of the jack, standing on the air filter
turning the ignition trying to generate the sparking
get the firing going the engine purring, Hwhat!?!?
Speak damn you say what it is, what makes you
because I have always been willing, just cut the
crap all the time because I want this to run well,
and quiet, the endless whining


We had ridden forever
our every waking moment
pedalling through rolling dells,
a long thread being drawn out
behind us and in front of us is
the mass of tangled darkness
our bicycles as spinning wheels
making fiber into bound yarns
of memory, somewhat crystalline
and somewhat pliable yet fixed,
malleable, to be made into stories
we had yet to fully discover
the stretch through time and space
here, a long taut thread
setting our range from coast to coast
we were far-ranging animals on machines,
machine animals;
our purpose was to be far-ranging, to see
far, to live just about everywhere, to have done it.
The messy jumble of the to-and-fro daily life
of running in the same circles again and again
was untangled somewhat, or the knots
pulled to tightness, the organization of
our thoughts on the recognition of
the necessities in the constantly unfamiliar
and we rode as if
we had dropped from the sky riding
we had come from nowhere, from over the
horizon of yesterday, from the between times
and we were born like this and
we had always been like this
and this is what we knew
which was everything.
We found our way and we threw ourselves in
ditches or rested on banks of fog on in the swirling
eddies of rivers when we could find them.
Yes pain and hunger, but the moving, the keep-going,
the absorption through all senses the experience.
Nothing else was, Nothing else mattered
the rumination of bottom brackets and miniscus
and the throwdown of the derailleur and
we just were is how we came to be and
sense only had to be made
later on.

“Bay of Alexandria”

[You] pull me up from the depths
With your winch still powered by
synthesized energy siphoned
from, after all, my own will
I feel the turbulence and exhaustion
Turbulence that tells me yes, still feel
at the farthest capillaries and endings
From the heart and nerve center, still.
And I don’t know what will happen when
The salt water soddenness leaves me
Will I be
Dessicated in the ambient breeze.
Or sputter toward an even growl.
Hearsay the chatterings
To know which is small talk
and which is big
Nothing from nothing, as you say
“And not of taking it for more than what is it
Not of the wrongs-taking
Don’t take it badly or not of
Encouragement of
any meaning to it at all”
Is was all heard from others;
The turbulence, the drag.
The equation on the paper
Seems to work yes,
So to double-checking the maths.
Rush the gun barrel from the side
And let go the connections the
Overstated compatibility of the makings before
The trickle-charge half-livings
of feed the captive.


Off-throwing of all the jibber-jabber
And of the hearsay and the endless
Ask of the forgivings the drain funnel
Into former repository of sadness,
Is of to turn out, pour into the
Wind of blowing away ash of never true.

Is of a thing the time of makings-
Decision the feel of comfort the
Matter negotiations
So many the deals never so good as now.

Not of mean shrink from the extension
But had need pause of the moment
Examine new tools of unfamiliar the
Manner of usage

And run quickly into the past collect
Pieces left behind scatter far and wide
The fight and flee. Runnings of outrun
The intense, maddening battle the shredding
Cast off of the detriment and essential
Alike in confusion of boundaries, no boundaries,
A crumpled balled map blown open
By the wind, rained on, run through by cars.

Break trust the notion that I cannot see for myself
As much stop believe the reports of supposed aids.
Slip the sleeve the jacket of champion
of the undeserved and false morality
and of tribal duty that asks blindness
excepting of the flash of precision the action
from the short list of condoned, the good of all.
And of make blind the seeing of forced looking
The wrong direction of now the search
The speartip and examination of [direction].

Stopping short the manufacture of whitewash
The pieces; I am not made of wood nor stone
Not so the interchangeability and break taboo
the make comparison formerly of mere politeness
is the erasure of my limbs.

Is no mastermind evil genius of makings the
Dark woods bad, and hence no other of
Equal the opposite value of makings felty.
No one to tell us what to do, only to listen.

Is only of the trail and error
And the pressings of on
And of the go and see
And of the here and now.


Connie Michener is a writer and designer currently living near Boston. These poems are from her chapbook "Hiccough of Wonder."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

3 poems by Char Barker


punk music like seeds has
the codes for a new movement
curled up inside your
hard candy shells.

Kiss me now, 'cause there's no such thing as private
living from toast to toast
under the branches of normal conversation
we play poker with ideas for our cards


Open the blinds and drink with the lights off
take in what ever your eyes can find room for
the world seems large but the skyline is shrinking
cut into by cities, and streetlights, and stars.

the ground is alive, overrun by congestives
that burrow, like roots, to make room for themselves
the cunning are culled, information is bleeding
let your questions reach up to the indentured sky.

“hello neighbor”

We are the gypsys of your city:
homeland's sons, yet
we move uninterrupted;
brush your charity
with thieves' marks on our silver hands

Charlot Barker is a 23 year old gentleman living in the San Francisco Bay Area and making a life for himself despite having an effeminate name. He has been writing poetry his entire life, but has only recently begun doing other things like painting and studying guerrilla psychology. He retains confidence in his uniqueness in the face of overwhelming improbability, and fully intends to take over the world or whatever part of it he can.

Friday, August 21, 2009

2 poems by Zachari J. Popour

“t.v. dinner for 1”

under certain lighting
the blank screen has the ability to disembowel you
more thoroughly
than a Harmony Korine screenplay
these reflections have a tendency to validate truths
that we don’t want to believe
like the grooves along our foreheads
insinuating the awkwardness in fundamental frowns
and hush betrayal
conclusions are not limited to names and dates only
and the sun does not rise nor set
it’s as stationary as the empty lot
where Elizabeth Short’s one dollar dream was cut in half
and paid out in fifty cent increments
at the corner of twice the woman
and half the appeal
her buck knife smile has stigmatized the char lines
on my salisbury steak
which now resides somewhere south of edible
the tide is not all that turns
put-on speculations put-up rumors
and point blank lies are veneers put over our blind spots
they are necessary cosmetics for the survival
of ventriloquists
and the forever children throwing voices
and surrendering to herdsmen
who don’t have the decency to curtsy before a fleecing
ride the coattails of another's expectations
long enough
and you’ll find yourself either holding the sheers
or taking alms for your innards

“rhythmic horse feathers”

come dance with us!
they say

timing existential undulations to
1 and 2 and 3 and 4
with an air of subdivision

hickeys on the neck of a midlife crisis

my pit-stained undershirt prompts
for future reference
to more desirable outcomes

i challenge the wall to a staring contest
and lose

come dance with us!
they say

snapping antagonistic cryptograms
between their fingers

tightrope the power lines with
a pocket full of

we want you to shock us

i pantomime stasis so well
that the act itself
is worthy of copyright protection

waltzing my way past the ridicule
in ¾ time

Zachari J. Popour was born April 11th, 1985 and is a lifelong resident of Huron County, Michigan. He has been featured both online and in print in such publications as 3:AM Magazine, Kill Poet, Gloom Cupboard, and Hemingway’s Shotgun. Zach is just like you, him, her, them; both the best and worst person in the world.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

3 poems by Robert Chrysler


where ions to contralto a fattened heart of centuries: piano dogs, machines and hair still crying about two sexes then three at the margins: an abracadabra, for example, lakes we survive as ovarian guitars, sandstorms eroding mounds of bland, overly-detached text: esoteric the lungs, the atom's glamour in the face of this journey's squared, bitter hallelujah: brides of fish the only motion away from this profligate map

"In The Augmented Hour (Frozen #9)"

Rain denies itself, arpeggios what has been fired through this nascent dimension, its crown your own darkness against the glass, now clinging to drink, the city's dada. Swirls of energy left behind in abandoned rooms, piles of drying, jaundiced eyeballs, all will become the sense of travelling over piano keys: the jewelled children are laughing at what you gave to me.

The streets are fur, silver chalices falling forward from the regal lap into a recognition of air, a series of orange fingers you enjoy reading to whatever makes the glacier appear to exist in time. It's inside melting windows, where the contours of your face stretch fleeing oceans, plumes strewn across experience, then the skin of midnight again.

And beating with illusions, helios merely a number for each tower that remembers what it said to the mud, utopias of swiftness, a new code that folds back an interior you once called the eternal leonine. Crumpled octaves aren't Havana, though, glass bellies the noun of days but theorized, not transfigured, fifths we could taste and touch. Crazy celestials smile inside themselves, our mists interacting with the basket of cobras like any passion and terrestrials its moistened periphery, crying what we and everyone else knows.

"This Octopus Includes Children"

Astounding, whose flight has silence. Devour her logic's hour.

'Do you like it?' A shining, loneliness. The icy of photograph. Thyroid glances vanished. Elongated. Either end (an eye before trailing from the mountain), blonde has always been brief time. Jewelled thrones distracted, transcends mere bone. Numbers the world, all tenuous, as in a sky's deepest heart to a dualism spiral.

No, into a trace of the afternoon, her secret. The more sex to save a phenomenal world on what is and turn inside out on her twenty years to completely predict post-modern hips.

Watery nothings lives only for androgyny, relative to raised skirts, the ship's window.

Robert Chrysler is an inspired subway-ranter from Toronto, Canada. He enjoys challenging capitalist property relations, trying to figure out what the post-structuralists are going on about, and dreams of someday living in a tree.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2 poems by Keith Higginbotham

"Alex Trebek's Moustache"

i wonder if anyone noticed
last night on jeopardy
that alex trebek
had a moustache
until the commercial break
about halfway through
the show

did someone say
the moustache just isn't working
and maybe made him
shave it off

or perhaps
looking in the monitor
i want to have
a different look
for the rest
of the show

these are the mysteries
of our times

"The N-Word"

Benjamin said the n-word
in class the other day

He went to the neo-Nazi rally
last weekend at the state capitol, which
he kept calling “the court house”
for some odd reason
and no one bothered to correct him

Not that Benjamin is a real neo-Nazi or anything
He’s a “liberal,” which around here
means the same as You Fucked My Wife
but Benjamin is a good guy and he
would never fuck my wife even if I had one

So Benjamin was talking about how
he hated the neo-Nazis and the reason he
went there in the first place was to oppose them
and then he quoted one of the neo-Nazis:
“We need to get rid of the n-word.” Only he
didn’t say “n-word”; he said the actual n-word

So why did a sweeping shard of guilt
come Jerry Falwelling through my
midsection? I didn’t say the n-word;
Benjamin said it
But am I, as Benjamin’s “superior” supposed
to kick him out of class, reprimand him
although he used the n-word in a derogatory
fashion not against the enemies of
the neo-Nazis but to the neo-Nazis themselves,
or feed him to the lions?

This is getting pretty complicated, but
I started to wonder about my safety
and whether my Buddist-like passiveness might
just land me in jail, or worse
bad student evaluations, even though most of them
don’t know what the Internet is

And what the hell is offensive anyway
I’m offended by the g-word, the j-word
the k-word, the z-word. Come to think of it,
I’m pretty much offended by
all words