Wednesday, April 12, 2006

FOUR POEMS by rob mclennan


cut a hole in the drywall & the wind

of paper (stolen) boxes through cold & in the summer nothing

intimation the sincerest form of flattery





it cant be that hard
, curious

a fly-wheel, flown

of the plant-bath
, company


all that there is, a spectral
foot long cloud

, amorphous

, hour is

hat on the head

a very thunder clap & claim
, without them

when all the old okeefe centre
on scott

I bet you dont remember

, railroad

Born in Ottawa, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa. The author of twelve trade poetry collections including name , an errant (Stride, 2006) and aubade (Broken Jaw Press, 2006), his poetry, fiction and critical work has appeared in a dozen countries and in three languages. A collection of essays will appear in fall 2007 with ECW Press. He regularly posts reviews, essays and other nonsense on his

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A POEM by Caroline Conway

Disco Nap

Bauble-chased shiny
bubble divulging a dream
a scene encases me in sudden
convulsive gleam spreads out circling
hot spangle and propulsive stream
a two-step to step through
this dance hustling futures
mirrored sheen & me out of steam
left back try to catch throbbing time
satin-masked beneath the flash
elastic string and plastic red
glass grip of hip and lip so lime
the line, the slip, the line.

Caroline Conway has no story to tell. Sometimes you can catch her loitering here

Friday, March 24, 2006

TWO POEMS by David Prater


have you heard what they've been saying

about old drug dealers & ex-girlfriends

how it's hard to be quite sure who you'd

rather not run into believe me there's a

choice i'd rather not make at any time

let alone now you're probably a lawyer

that degree having been financed by a

mountain of small deals secreted inside

bread rolls & take-away spaghetti under

kitchen counters due to the cops or were

they also buying once i arrived at the flat

to find some guy there your dealer maybe

although you were sweating it was winter

i guess we each have our own method of

payment but i was jealous of the intimacy

who was i to judge your judgements you

were always there for me never failed to

deliver in a way i was in love with your

cool mobile lifestyle i hadn't seen any of

the movies you told me about we would

meet in the strangest places bars parks

the aforementioned kitchen then you

cut off your grey hair & went bleached

i knew it was a sign of our impending

separation now i do not fear for you &

often wonder whether we will meet in

william street's neon shadows kenneth

slessor never did quite understand the

reasons for our running into strangers

averting eyes like johns with no desire

you remain the anti-flaneur the bright

hope of entire generations still hooked


hiding hopes in atlas pines a winter

tale for the dreamer signs away his

last vestige of sleaze to find himself

alone in the veritable canyon of lies

i gathered walnuts waited there for

you to come out & show me the lay

of the frontier land we'd conquered

together little boys did i know then

even now the swollen stream sings

the snow we melted with kisses on

rocks guzzling hot chocolate winds

hobbling towards the stars comfort

collided in two twinkling fireflies

from a psychedelic burn-back drift

across your radar lips attaching to

armour wings defence the blizzard

calls us inside that cave i slowly

defrost grow easy & lethargic safe

meanwhile daughters nurse their

own mothers to death one by one

singed with horses hair pleats sun

flowers a tablecloth to greet her &

free smiles decency sirens tied to

the back of a donkey just spindles

drift a woman & her mother fallen

hard rocks insufficient food remain

standing after sunset burn what is

left of the sticks & leave the coals

to scatter themselves winds arrive
like bird omens black in the glade

David Prater lives in Melbourne, Australia. He edits Cordite Poetry Review . These poems are from a work in progress entitled LoveShipDemos

Sunday, March 19, 2006

FOUR POEMS by Scott Glassman

requisite life

i am opened by dialogue, butcher's knife. bestsellers. cold proof that i
have no interior to extend around myself. there's a sprig, however.
weakened. pinning us to solitudes, the soft soliloquys. of ebb. of
course. rescinded invitations. across the matted ballroom. earth's

antelope bees curtail
diving elliptically
from garamond heights

i'm joking. in jails. integers jammed. into j-

hammer the notes (home) contiguity is less essential when the
double-piped. concatenation. of nailed-up mezzuzah we kiss. (askew)
menus of chai. as each stands for. hot-keys. & shortcuts. the peeled
egg. unicorns of inkblot: do not enter. stop. one way. U-turn. keep

vinegar as "never again". neutralizing. their (other) Cage harmonies.
gold-leafed plaques searing the tree into minds of who. in their own
minds. who in deed comes off as. right minds. think of lasting that
long, won't it be. wiped off in crop-circle. dead of light

sitting will be the conclusion of a life. sitting will beget. sitting. sitting.
is sitting. sittting and sitting and sitting. Sunday to Sunday to Sunday.
to Sunday. we cannot start from the condemned position twice. it's all
right there in the appendix. clotted with white mums

had it

what do you want out of people. what can they give you. that you

can't go out. and distill. on your own. a burr tree that explodes three
months before they usher in your lineage. first-place ribbons
(somebody's ashes) didactic proms (april may june. they line up,
same as last year). i want (not) to. understand. (not) even that badly,
in tasteless grain / proof. photomosaic. an English of all consonants,
even the inappropriate ones. doubled over, cramping. finales

i did not visit Avril 50 today, the most beautiful journals were the
words i read moving backwards / forward on the Hill Field walk (what
used to be). was never there as i recall. the violent femmes played.
new femmes & sayings of the dead. this is not the book i would have
chosen to open. i can't shove the pink cyclamens out of sight. crop of
secrets. they seem to need. a center. all my bones removed, adios.
directing traffic. in fact, i leave before the woman can say what the
woman always says to someone. she will barely remember. when the
time comes. for her to sleep. in that anemic. window

some of the poems he writes. (not the woman— yes, but she is there).
who am i without. are so stunning. i wish i could have been there. i am
embarrassed but. it's possible we all do things. pretending that we
were. if only to launch film embers up spiraling. into the
unsuppressed. thunder of. would they reluctantly take back snow.
deposits itself over Vermont (welcome there). & Boothbay harbor. &
dusting the clean Toronto streets. you could lick the crystals of your
first taste. off of. tongue, lemming-like. & next . . . the life, what is it.
that revolved around. speculating on death. ah, but there's nothing
they can catch up to (latch) onto. dispassionately. after-Ritz. he did a
fantastic job, he did

i don't want you to come into the room yet. cause a breach. on my
best days, we're talking. a rupture as wide. i couldn't. there are more
of them now, who do we thank? or ask, beg practically. to seal it. i'd go
down. i would. promising nothing more than i could promise you. i
began by yelling. am confused, leaving that way. what in god's name
did. i try at. you were. would be. always good at helping me deduce
my fears, leading to. i hope tonight. too surface-prone— he's not
carving. again is he. making the cannibalistic seem somewhat.
(ornate), a kabbalah carving. i don't think i could stay neutral. not
anymore. with all this supposing. where has it gotten us. more precise
than. part-morning. part-you

if it suits you

Take my arms out. measure them with the most sand-flecked satin

string you can procure. visit any five and dime. changing weekly into
Restoration Hardware no one said. Take a deep breath and come to
this world each morning alive with a song or the ghost of one.
Whoever did not consent to. & with this, as though they were my
brother's. aligned i persisted. blood persists. his joints (join)

the amazing thing about morning is the way the sun breaks through
blinds, finds crevices and closets to shed its 118th headache in. then
at the moment you open your eyes, opening doors to the expected,
putting yourself away. you can feasibly go to the market with nothing
but fire engines and mangos in your stomach from the night before.
stars had their pathetic appetites. Held them away from you for fear
that you would catch. the posterior of. dream’s

virus going around (yesterday’s panic). That you would say what
came to mind without regard for what you had been. told to do or not
do as a child. It’s all there in chapter 10 midway through Prague and
Edinburgh. the revelation that he’s only 14, or a year older, was it?

i hear the birds, pigeons or black birds, crows no, they would only
have occured. antifreeze streams in New Hope— beating their wings
like gavels behind dryer vents, breeding, rejoicing (that's how they
sing) in March’s timpani chill. (will let up, won't it). right down to the
automatic snow that amounts to a pile eight inches below your
cervix— faux crest— assuming it’s (mine, it’s mine). mine

all the thoughts in my head at the moment

depraved (-ived) psycho bumb-grotto. goulash & carrots (peeled).

winterhostile. i am fortunate to be breathing. i am fortunate to be
breathing. used glass-pronged teeth. nail- bitten-to-a-nub. dribs /
drabs. good to see you again. good to see. good good good.
personality of a clown fish. it rains minnows. thank manna for the
handout. sure good to see you at the party. later, friend. a toast with
kahlua and cuervo. your shoelaces are shortlaces. untied and ready
for the bridge

Scott Glassman lives in Palmyra, NJ and works for a medical testing company. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, CutBank, Epicenter, Cranky, South Carolina Review, Sentence, The Argotist, and others. He has a poetry

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A POEM by Stephen Vincent

Tenderly #1, or. The Gertrude Improvs

A sweet loss, climb on, get loud or:

Wood splinters, wood breaks, breaks not nearly on liquid:
Wood, wood is not a desert, it is rejected, too facile, it burns money
Smokes one, possibly you, possibly not, right to the face:

Give it up, wood, smooth it, smooth it down who's, who's face
Throat: stop! Reed, to play a reed, a wooden one, incontinuous, the squeak
Bristled, to bristle, jauntily, continue this, this often, one says, will do:

A dream over is cyber solid diminished by waking, to ask
A slow answer responds to slow rise, negates
Puncture, rolls the basketball, prompts one, one says, yes, indeed, hoop:

A dark in the sun, more light one day, the next, not
Nor thereafter, clarity a clue obnoxious: February in shift
Shiftless, hook nor anchor, none, barely, not much, nor:

Swept clear, no notion ever repair, not: such non-illustrious
Punctual, purely, step one, step two, A, B, throw in a Z or an L
A music, emergent; note, one does, a trapezoid, transparent crystal:
One, then two, then necklace, then tickle, then parody: winter no light
Sparse, the dark narrow flush, call it, one will, blooming.

Stephen Vincent - poet, walker, teacher, editor & publisher - lives in San Francisco. Recent Ghost Walks - a series that explores combinations of photographs and texts - appear in Masthead 10. Most recent ebook publications include Triggers, from Shearsman Books and Sleeping With Sappho, from faux. His volume Walking is published by Junction Press. Vincent also maintains a popular blog of commentary, poetry and photographs.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

THREE POEMS by Snezana Zabic

I Am a Horse

osiris in / vented the popcorn, the / slow drag & the lindy hop.
he’d rather dance than rule.”
(Ishmael Reed)

I saw a sage in a beige trench coat.
His library card said: Ishmael Reed.
He stood there, an unlikely patron

of the Oakland Library for the Disabled.
I didn’t remember to extend my hand in greeting
a simple “did you find everything

all right, Mr. Reed?” escaped me,
and I muttered something about
an overdue policy, careful not to show

my excitement, mind blank & all I could
think of saying was: “I saw you on TV!”
So I was mute, wishing I could quote

from Conjure. (The word almost
sounds like “horses rushing”
in my language: konji jure.)

That morning, it rained. Outside
the city guttered, its milky lights
mixed with fog. I couldn’t talk

to Mr. Reed because, true, I’d seen him
on TV, but what a thing to say to a writer,
so I busied myself with bar codes, dates,

keyboard, dropped my glasses on the floor
bent down to get them and thought:
“Address him, damn it, are you scared

of controversial black intellectuals?”
But actually I said it all out loud. Or maybe
Ishmael could read my mind. He stood there,

shaking his head slightly. The host (white)
of the TV show the night before seemed
nervous—it goes with greatness.

That’s all I meant. But it was too late.
“Sir, I’d rather dance too,” I said, and:
Conjure sounds like konji jure. Which

means horses rushing in my language.”
“Toward what, poor Caucasian,” he replied,
“And what for?”

Instincts in Sequels

Instincts, I say, instincts:
dominoes toppling in the DNA spiral
pearly white with spots black
as gun wounds in a 1930’s film.

Whose covetous fingers
what ghost tore me apart
like a placard confiscated at a rally?
I’m learning how (muscles
contract when danger fills the air)
to learn how to fight back.

In the movie of wrong moves
I’ll show off my new skills
blocking even the most devious
enemies who speak
in saccharine registers
to soften me pussycat-like.

To learn how not to repeat
my last mission that
wound up in the abyss:
I jumped from the aircraft
yanked and—nothing!
Parachute all tangled on my back
a bundle of silk
refusing to obey
my master’s voice.

songs in quarter notes of rain
explode on the sidewalk
my shoes soaked
with violin clefs
bigger with every step
mouthfuls of hymns
in praise of subway neon
yelling back, echoing
trains clack and clack
swollen city’s throat
gives way to a growing sphere
on a planet-sized high “C”
I fill the day till it bursts

Snezana Zabic currently lives in Chicago, or more precisely in West Humboldt Park. She goes to school at UIC. E-mail her at

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

TWO POEMS by Ana Bozicevic-Bowling

(variations on the word "still")

Of winter

Abrupt skin of snow
deceptively warm
on two toilet bowls
orphaned, by the trash bins—

Keep still.
This is the season of porcelain.

O vertical voice.

Where do you speak from?

II. Of water

is out in the yard. He shaves
at the bucket. Something still
quieter takes place
than white hands
in the flat O of water—

on his fingers, he counts
how much he has;
botches the count, then
counts again.

Overturns the bucket.

Of breadth

You with a childhood
being mute in many rooms.

In some, silences
were complicit. Tired, almost.

Some couches and chairs
stood out
a fingernail-width
from the wall,

and the split of darkness at their back

drew your eye in, a
negative treasure. You'd turn,
airless, admonished.

Whatever the gaps
opened to fit, you did
not have it
to give, not yet.

Still, you
understood, asked
that same thing of mother—

her eyes when you did

were a wider make of silence.

At Night the Objects Move In
(Paula speaks)

As sudden as when objects
entered my blood again,
you enter, begin to furnish me.

You and they
arrange yourselves silently
in the blood, like hens on white perches.

Soon you'll start to speak
the wooden language.

(I overhear: a stove-idea
the last memory of your voice
how it was to be cold.)

Then you begin a slow unpacking, pull
the tail end of childhood
out of a stiff pale-leather bag.

Your father
is no larger
than this bowl of pomegranates

Ana Bozicevic-Bowling lives in Brooklyn (New York) & has a chapbook, Morning News, forthcoming shortly from Kitchen Press. At times she translates & often edits RealPoetik. She also runs a blog