Baptism by Fire – Alex Franco

July 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

What a strange phrase to use

when the alternative

is so much worse.

They never tell you how

cold it is, how you never

think to have enough

air in your lungs.

Feel that? It’s

salvation, rising like

bubbles above your head.

Reach as you might, you can’t

reach for the surface, golden

with love brushing your


You never believe it when

they finally pull you out,

drenched with faith, or

at least conviction. You

never quite get accustomed

to that current of God you

breathe in

at last.

Jump In - Ryan Kent


Black Peonies – William Doreski

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Your dream of great black peonies

sickened you. Waking with fever

you thought you saw those ugly flowers

aloft, punctuating the sky.

Now after a near-fatal dose

of aspirin and vodka you beg me

to explain our trip to Venice,

where we found the sea receded,

canals dry, famous palazzos

remodeled with vinyl siding

and Danish Modern interiors.

You claim we traveled by bus

from Milan through Verona, then walked

across the exposed sea bed to land

at Piazza San Marco while crowds

at the outdoor cafes applauded.

We had rented a tiny house

on Calle del Lion beside

the Rio di San Lorenzo,

now dry as the other canals.

The city reeked of rotting fish.

Canal-bottoms coughed up skeletons

that had lain there for centuries.

A few days after we arrived

black peonies erupted from mud,

surprising you by growing in salt.

That’s when your fever began,

you admit, but maybe the aspirin

and vodka have confused you,

laying one dream atop another.

Venice wasn’t a dream, though.

I remember the dry canals,

the panic that seized the city

before the unforeseen low tide

ebbed and a normal tide refilled

harbor and canals and refloated

the gondolas and vaporetti.

But no black peonies. Those huge

gloomy blossoms root only

in the subconscious and not

in the canals of Venice or

anywhere else we could map,

feeding on your fever and nodding

like the saddest oncoming storms.

Man's Future in Abstract - Ernest Williamson

Darfur – Skip Noah

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Darfur - Skip Noah


Meditating Like Mencius – David Kowalczyk

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Seemingly mummified in

the huge bamboo chair

upon his veranda,

he stares at

the blazing orange sunset,

heart/mind focused perfectly,

until both he

and the sunset


34 detail - Alfredo Salazar


A Most Interesting Fact About Cups – Andrew Hincapie

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

she plays with the water fountain, complaining of boredom

so, holding a small styrofoam cup to his ear,

he tells his daughter exactly what the ocean sounds like

and taking the treasure from his hand

she learns a very interesting fact about cups

she’ll pay for dinner because after all, she’s taking him out

she says older people need help with bills and everything

although she can barely climb up into her chair

but watching the mechanics work behind the window

calms her nerves long enough to ask for the third time

what exactly all those people are doing to their car

everyone waiting has their phone tied to their ear

and a student wrestles with a book in the corner

no one speaks or makes any sudden movements

but like a parent at the doctor for the first time

she won’t rest knowing the family car could be sick

she runs into the other room now with the desk and the adults

and she moves to another window to get a better view

she weaves in and out of the stacks of tires, full speed, shoes untied

but first, she places the cup safely behind a tower of black rubber

and she will always make time to stop and put the cup aside

so her father’s present won’t get crushed in all the excitement

Live the Night - Rhianon Huot


Flying Kites – Kushal Sapkota

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Sun is warm in yellow bright,

Sky beyond is full of kites.

We climbed our old-terrace,

To swing further in His grace.

Under concrete broken Ping-Pong board,

Young girls collect pepal bud.

Other sprint down the shadowed alley,

Haunting kites in empty belly.

Dusk brings us at Medieval courtyard,

Webby poles in ‘black-out’ backyard.

Where no one cries and no one fights,

And no one falls, but only infamous kites.

Running Red - Ross Odom


Twilight Song – Herb Berman

July 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

In the soft amber shadow
katydids and crickets sing
farewell to light.

Or maybe they mean to summon
ancient gods to save
them from night.

Or is it insect love—
time to woo the ladies,
a final dance,
a tryst in the grass?

Now the night’s opaque,
and there’s a hum, certain and calm
as the hard silent sleep of granite and iron,
and I think it’s time to honor creatures
kind enough
to sing for me.

I applaud their nameless song,
its veiled composer.
Let their song be forever
the song of wind and grass,
iron and granite and falling light.

Out of Body – David Bridges


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