Monday, June 26, 2017

Nathan Lauer


It would be beautiful if
looking up from his own blood
in his hand he saw your face
without the obvious line
from Shakespeare disturbing his
sad final thoughts of himself.

Gerald So reads "Live! With a Ceramic Kitchen Knife...":

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Nathan confesses: "The fictional narrator opines that iit would be beautiful if' events transpired as described and is not inciting any specific public figure to action; only that, and this is true by the way, many wonderful people say this – very smart – it would be the very very best assassination ever. Huge."

NATHAN LAUER is an American writer living in Hong Kong. He is an MFA candidate at Pacific University's low residency program, where he has been awarded the Pearl Scholarship. His work has appeared in the Asia Literary Review, Buffalo Almanack, Meat for Tea, The Valley Review, The Eloquent Orifice, Of Zoos, and the anthology Hong Kong Future Perfect (Inkstone Press, 2016).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Robert Cooperman


The state of Tennessee
wants to pass a bill

that would legalize silencers
on their already approved

open-carry weapons:
So when fathers blast potential

burglars because they’re, you know,
black or brown or Muslim terrorists

or all three, and will murder us all,
the shots won’t wake the kids,

who’ve been playing first-person
shooter videos after they zipped

through homework in maybe five minutes
of tiger-maw yawning boredom.

Nothing more important
than a good night’s sleep, after all,

along with a hearty breakfast.

Gerald So reads "Silencers":

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Cooperman confesses: "This poem grew from an email from a friend from Tennessee, which he said, in the infinite wisdom of its Republican controlled legislature is trying to make the purchase and use of silencers on the state's open carry handguns legal. This struck me as patently ridiculous: isn't it enough you can pack heat on your hip and scare the hell out of non-gun carrying citizens who might, God forbid, be Democrats?"

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection, Draft Dodger Blues (FutureCycle Press =, for orders) is just out. His other recent collection is City Hat Frame Factory, from Aldrich Press.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Darren C. Demaree


Demolish the idea of the floating cities. This was a dust world and can be a dust world again. After we eat the gigantic veil of Trump, we will need to spend the next decades in the fields and in the gardens. The forests will save us again, but we must make an offering to the dirt. The dirt must be the darkest thing in our world. Remove the cold smoke. Key the light. Shove your wrists into the deepest sparkle, and let it make you dark and dirty in the revolution of our world.

Darren reads "Trump as a Fire Without Light #226":

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Darren confesses nothing.

DARREN C. DEMAREE is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Oral Nussbaum


One of my concerns,
along with will Florida break off
and fall into the ocean,
or am I ever going to see
Dolly Parton's naked tits,
is that the decline of crime
and popularity of human kindness
is due more to electronic accountability
than a genuine desire to be moral.

Before technology,
when it was possible
to whack a human's skull
with a blunt object
and enjoy complete impunity,
we didn't need empathy, compassion,
or analysis of one's childhood
to settle a dispute
or make a decision.

But now,
everything is live
and in color.

It would be nice to believe
those who don't shoplift,
murder, or maim
are compassed
by true want
to do the right thing,
but without cameras and lights
would they be
so compliant to rules?

I'm really not sure.
But I do know
the power outage at Walmart
had nothing to do
with my new
seventy-two-inch flatscreen,
and my ex-wife
was never good
at going down unlit stairs.

Oral reads "Turn the Camera Off":

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Oral confesses: "I wrote this after I watched an old TV show where the gangsters just shot people in the street and walked away. I obviously got a little playful with the subject, but if you look there is a bit of a message."

ORAL NUSSBAUM, owner of Nussbaum Painting Inc. for thirty years, is a member of the Poetry Ensemble of Orlando and the Vice President of the Orlando Area Poets chapter of the Florida State Poets Association.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Angel Zapata


Somewhere along the way,
a pic of a gastro pub lunch plate
is replaced by first degree murder.

Now a killer can upload
a vid of his vic in real time,
post it on his newsfeed— liked!

Used to be enough of a scare
for gunslingers to prop empty caskets
outside saloon or barber shop walls.

Today, we have the option to pause
the bullet frame by frame,
return after lunch for a hi-def replay.

Here I second-guess my motive
to promote a poem through social media:
dare I shed such precious blood?

And the man Steve Stephens
murdered— gun in one hand,
phone cam filming in the other—

will become a meme, another
exhausted trend, a hashtag scrolling
by much too quickly to follow.

Gerald So reads "Godwin":

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Angel confesses: "The random, senseless murder of seventy-four year-old, Robert Godwin, really upset me. Talk about wrong place, wrong time. It could have been any one of us. This poem was written to help me deal with my feelings on the subject."

ANGEL ZAPATA calls Augusta, Georgia his home. Born and raised in New York City, his award-winning fiction and poetry is a conglomeration of street smarts and Southern charm. His micro-poetry chapbook, Pearl Street, was recently published by Rinky Dink Press.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Charles Rammelkamp


I didn’t even know my legal status
until I tried to enlist in the marines
when I was eighteen;
I couldn’t do it without a Social Security card.
I came to the United States when I was three,
my mom and my dad illegals.
Now I’m living in a sanctuary city.

My friend Karina, from Chihuahua?
She got her degree in biochemistry, Arizona State,
wants to be a pharmacist,
but now she might be separated
from her three American-born kids,
sent back to Mexico, to get her green card.

In school we read about the Jews
hiding in German-occupied Eastern Europe.
Gentiles who aided them faced capital punishment
if outed and captured.
Israel described these non-Jews
who risked their lives during the Holocaust
to save Jews from extermination
khasidi umot ha olam.

Karina’s afraid if she goes back
she could be there for years getting her papers
while her kids grow up in Sedona motherless.

Charles reads "Righteous Among the Nations":

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Charles confesses: "Among the many disturbing things about the Trump administration is its cruel immigration policy based on a racist xenophobia. Now, the bigot Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the Attorney General named after a Confederate general, has threatened to withhold money from cities that refuse to detain people based on their immigration status but without a criminal warrant. This is the real crime, the Trump administration’s policy. This is a Shanda."

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP's collection of dramatic monologues about the life and career of William Jennings Bryan, American Zeitgeist, was published May 2017 by Apprentice House.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kristina England


Yellow buses roll into procession line,
teachers on either side of students,
trained pallbearers of sorts.
School darkens behind them,
stagnant air laced with chemicals.
"Poison" says community and
another teacher coughs

School committee waves hands.
"Not to worry. Not to worry.
We'll start scrubbing the dust more
often,we'll replace window caulking,
but let's not dwell on the certainty
of certainty that all of this is
probably connected."

Another teacher coughs cancer.
Yellowed buses leave in long,
quiet line, headlights flashing.
School dims, shroud so subtle,
you could almost miss
the years of ghosts
moving by.

Kristina reads "Early Dismissal at Burncoat High":

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Kristina confesses: "In 2008, a Harvard School of Public Health presentation raised concerns about high levels of PCB in Burncoat and Doherty high school in my home city of Worcester. The union spent the next 8+ years arguing with the school committee; testing was approved on March 31, 2017."

KRISTINA ENGLAND resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a writer and photographer. Her writing has been published in several magazines, including New Verse News, Silver Birch Press, and Topology. She can be followed at