Saturday, December 26, 2015

6 poems by 6 poets


by cynthia bondrian

love is the answer
to a question
that should never be asked

should ever have to say
do you love me

do you like me

why don’t you like me

what is wrong with me

why must i be banished from the tribe

why must i be hanged

why must i be burned at the stake

why must i be stoned

what are you all laughing at


by nicholas nelson

i woke up this morning with a feeling of despair
and cried because i wasn’t getting my share
everybody was mean to me
but all i wanted was too be free

the day will dawn and the sun will shine
but i won’t get what is rightfully mine
my fellow humans will pass me by
and not give a darn if i laugh or cry

the wheels will roll and the markets climb
but no one will throw me a lousy dime
and no matter how much i shout and insist
they will just keep on like i don’t exist

if everybody would treat me nice
i wouldn’t have to pay this price
the sun would shine and the ice would melt
and i would be just like everybody else


by charles leary

fuck all you motherfucking assholes, you motherfucking pieces of shit
you raped and murdered us for a million years, but we have had enough of it
now is the time for payback, to make you assholes pay
now is the time for truth, listen to what i say

the world is a bucket of blood, coming to a boil
because all you care about is the price of oil
the world is going up in flames
because of your patriarchal games

the world is going up in smoke
you think it is all a joke
you light your cigars as oceans die
laugh as your profits multiply

once humans walked the earth in peace
sharing the earth with the other beasts
in mother earth’s enfolding gaze
time flowed on as one blue day

tigers, dinosaurs, monkeys, elephants
united in one cosmic dance
creatures too numerous to name
all treating each other the same

and then against a darkening sky
a strange figure drew nigh
a long shadow in the setting sun
a white man - with a gun

the rest of course, is history
a cavalcade of misery
an endless dick up an endless ass
bringing us to our present pass

so fuck all you motherfucking assholes, you motherfucking pieces of shit
you have raped and murdered for a million years, but we have had enough of it
now is the time for revolution, to make you bastards pay
now is the time for truth - time for the final new day


by arthur dylan sternwall

war was bad
but it was ail we had
in rain and wind and snow
around the campfire’s glow

passing time in song and story
of battle's immortal glory
what tales we told
as we shivered in the cold

the winners got to eat
and those who knew defeat
were immortalized in tales
handed down through winter’s gales

and when the sun burned bright
after yet another night
we put away our fears
and gathered up our spears

with our weapons on our shoulders
let the earth grown warm or colder
each day another test
until our final heroes rest


by regina stapledon

would be nice

don’t you think?

instead of blowing people to bits
and cutting heads off

and dropping bombs
and napalm

and shooting drones
all over the world

why can’t everybody
just get along?

what is there to fight about?

oil? soybeans?
one holy book instead of another?

come on, people
let’s try it!


you might like it


by corinne delmonico

adolf hitler was famous
so was marilyn monroe
and elvis’s name will live forever
as long as time does flow

mao with his smile, stalin with his laugh
winston churchill, alexander the great
cleopatra floating down the nile
defy the sneering ravages of fate

salome, little david, leonardo
michaelangelo ,and joan of arc
their names and faces in twenty billion brains
and not just statues in your local park

jane austen, einstein, queen victoria
look down on us from olympus and smile
they will live forever
you and i will be gone in a little while

franks sinatra, jack the ripper, andy warhol
you say they only had their fifteen minutes
at least their names are written in the book
but you and i will never even be in it

why does this make us sad?
why do we care?
some day the earth will finally freeze over
and even they will vanish into air

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2 poems

by wiggly jones. "the little hippie boy"

illustrations by palomine studios


poems are about the sky

poets from li po
to rimbaud
noticed that the sky was blue
how true

the sky is blue
the clouds are white
all right

sometimes the sky is gray
on a winter day

and the grass is green
when from a distance seen

lonely travelers pass
as cows chew the grass

crows fly overhead
their wings are black
and their eyes are red

a lost dream

in my youth
i had a dream

i thought that war
would wither away

and greed become
a thing of the past

and conflict and strife
and the exploitation

of one human
by another

would vanish
like summer breezes

if the human race
only learned to love

yes, love not war
you’ve heard it all before

but in my day
i had something more specific in mind

i thought all violence
would vanish from the earth

if only all human females
were required

to give love to any human male
who asked them

any place any time
all the time


obviously the world
has taken quite a different direction

you 21st century humans
may be horrified

more likely you are laughing
or just shaking your heads

what can i say?
if you saw me on the street today

you would pass me by
without a glance

but how do you know
that the streets are not filled

with people who have had
or still have

thoughts even stranger
or more foreign to you?

how do you know?

Monday, December 21, 2015

a thought

by wiggly jones, "the little hippie boy"

illustrations by konrad kraus

when night falls
the pigeons go away
and the stars come out

as i was falling asleep
i thought
that is a good system

maybe the world would be a better
and more peaceful place

if others practiced
a similar system

what if the men went away
and the women came out

so that like the stars and the pigeons
they never had to see each other

or the white people went away
and the black people came out

or the gay people went away
and the straight people came out

or the christians went away
and the muslims came out

you get the idea

maybe my idea has some holes in it
or could be tweaked a little

it is just a thought
one of many

that i sometimes have
as i fall asleep

Sunday, November 29, 2015


by chuck leary

illustrations by danny delacroix

edward harmon led a quiet life.

his neighbors paid him scant attention.

they did not suspect that he had a secret.

his secret was that he was possessed by a spirit.

the spirit of miss agatha morrison.

edward would have been unimaginably upset if anyone had suspected that he was possessed by miss agatha, and that he spent long hours, even days at a time, under her thrall.

the strange thing was that there was not really much difference between them.

edward had a sweeter tooth, took a little sugar in his tea, and enjoyed jelly tarts, whereas agatha preferred plain croissants.

edward’s favorite writers were booth tarkington, john p marquand, james branch cabell, and norman douglas.

agatha was partial to elizabeth von arnim, colette, and willa cather. and mystery novels, especially those of agatha christie.

edward professed some slight curiosity as to modern movements in art and music. agatha held them in complete contempt.

perhaps the greatest difference between edward and agatha was that agatha wore hats with wider brims.

edward’s greatest fears were never realized, and he passed away without his secret ever being discovered.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


by sardanapalus sternwall

illustrations by danny delacroix

long ago and far away
i was served tea on a silver tray
in cups of whitest porcelain
and my reputation was without stain

the servants in their silent shoes
brought me the paper with the morning news
which i perused with a silent prayer
of thanks that such was not my share

of fate to be recorded
in these chronicles of a world disordered
by passions insensible
and demands incomprehensible

even then a faint presentiment
alerted me to what it all meant
as each tray was taken away
marking another vanished day

the servants had no faces
the jam and crumpets left no traces
a silent demon smiled upon
the silken curtains carefully drawn

some day the servants will disappear
and i, ensconced in purple fear
will stand at my window as the dawn
reveals the monsters on the lawn

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

a rainy day

by jean-claude etranger

illustrated by roy dismas

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

jeanette had left the window open, the breeze gently moved the lace curtains, and the rain fell softly on the persian rug.

when clement came home for lunch, he was furious to find that the lace curtains were billowing in the breeze, and that the rain was falling on the persian rug.

he became doubly enraged when, placing his keys on the teak table inside the oak door, he heard the sounds of henriette, the maid , making love with her boy friend upstairs in the master bedroom.

where was jeanette? clement decided he would deal with her later.

controlling his fury, he crossed the kitchen floor, almost slipping on some water which had leaked in from the drawing room where the window had been left open, and descended the cellar stairs in search of his riding crop, with which he was determined to give the saucy baggage and her fancy man a sound thrashing.

clement realized only too well that things had changed since his grandfather the duke’s time, but there were still amenities to be observed.

reaching the foot of the cellar stairs, clement was surprised by a gigantic purple python, which promptly devoured him.

the rain continued to fall through the window of the drawing room on to the persian rug, gradually flowing into the kitchen, and into the hallway under the teak table on which clement had placed his keys, as the python digested clement.

upstairs in the master bedroom, henriette and the boy friend, a worthless fellow who lived off women and had never done an honest day’s work in his life, paused in their lovemaking to light cigarettes.

“i had better open a window,” mused henriette. “or madame will notice the smell of smoke when she returns.”

“suit yourself,“ the boy friend replied languidly.

“listen!” henriette exclaimed , as she wrapped herself in a shawl and headed toward the window, “do you hear something?”

“only the sound of the rain, cheri.”

“i am not so sure,” henriette replied. she opened a window and a sudden gust of wind and rain burst into the room, overturning a framed photograph on the mantel of the fireplace.

the photograph was an old black and white one, of clement’s grandfather, the duke, standing on a pier with a pipe in his mouth, smiling determinedly but with his habitual furrowed brow, into the camera.

behind the duke a yacht rode gently at anchor in the mediterranean sunlight.

“listen!” henriette cried again, after picking up the photograph - which fortunately had not been cracked or damaged - from the bedroom floor and placing it back on the mantel, “there is the sound again!”

“it is only the wind, which you have so foolishly let in.”

“no, it is something else! something coming up the stairs!”

it was the python, which had finished digesting clement and had come up the stairs and entered the ground floor through the open kitchen door.

finding nothing in the kitchen, the drawing room, the library, or the dining room, the python was making its way up the stairs to the bedrooms.

henriette opened the bedroom door a crack and peered down the stairs.

“a python!” she exclaimed.

the boy friend did not wait to hear more. quickly gathering his shoes and clothes, he was out the window and down the old sycamore tree outside the window, not pausing to listen to henriette’s anguished cries as the python wrapped itself around her pale slender body.

“what a pretty fellow” thought madame duquesne, the nearest neighbor, as she happened to look out her window and saw the boy friend running past in the rain with his clothes in his arms.

later that afternoon, the python was seen making its leisurely way across the village square by madame claudette martin, who was driving her two daughters to their dancing class, and she promptly notified the authorities.

when jeanette arrived home she found the house in a shambles, for besides devouring clement and henriette, the large python had overturned and damaged many of the oldest and most valuable chairs and tables and bookcases, a number of which had been in clement’s family for centuries.

jeanette was well nigh inconsolable. “this is all my fault,” she kept repeating to her friend celeste, with whom she had been gossiping all afternoon in the coffee shop at the mall.

“these things happen,” celeste assured her. “they are fate. they are written in the stars.”

they were seated at the kitchen table, holding hands. police were tramping through the house with their cameras and notebooks attempting to determine the details of the tragedy.

flashbulbs kept going off, each new one causing jeanette to jump in her chair.

“all is lost!” jeanette cried. “lost!”


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

a curious confession

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by konrad kraus

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

my old friend f————— was, to put it perhaps a bit uncharitably, the most ostentatiously cultured man i ever knew. though largely an autodidact, and having no official connection to any university or other cultural institution, he had strong views, which he was not loath to share, on a wide variety of subjects, but particularly architecture and literature. i have to confess i have forgotten exactly what his views on the former were , not having any strong opinions on the subject myself. in literature he was partial to the poets of the renaissance. he seemed unaware that few people - at least in the english speaking world - nowadays read or have the slightest interest in petrarch, boiardo, tasso, and ariosto , and i would on occasion gently twit him about this.

he also had an encyclopedic acquaintance with the nineteenth century novel, not just the acknowledged masters like balzac and dickens but forgotten authors like nodier, paul de kock, mrs braddon, and mrs trollope.

as you might have suspected, he held the tastes and manners of the modern age in the most severe contempt. in this, he found little opposition at the club we both frequented.

he was reticent as to his personal life, if any , and though no foe to food and drink, could not be styled a gourmet, an oenophile, a glutton, or a drunkard.

it was therefore with some surprise that i listened to his statement late one night when we were alone at the club - with the fire burning low and a couple of emptied bottles between us - that his fondest dream had always been to be - a lumberjack.

not because he particularly enjoyed the thought of felling trees or because he relished the company of other lumberjacks, but because it would afford him the opportunity to indulge in huge hearty meals of ham, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and flapjacks, which he would then work the bulk of off in a long day of vigorously swinging his axe, followed by a sound night’s sleep, and awake to a new morning of more hearty meals of ham, bacon, eggs, etc…

such was his vision of true felicity.

my rejoinder to this confidence, if any, i have quite forgotten.

although f———— continued to frequent the club until his sad demise, neither he nor i ever alluded to this conversation again.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015


by nick nelson

illustrated by konrad kraus

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

the apple in the window was the reddest johnny had ever seen.

he looked around. the street was dark and deserted.

he didn’t even like apples.

but the apple looked like it was laughing at him.

johnny didn’t like being laughed at.

it was late, but there was no sign in the window saying “closed.”

there was none saying “open” either, or anything showing the store’s hours.

he turned the handle of the door. it gave - the door was open and he could enter if he wanted to.

suddenly johnny realized he was alone - not only in the street but in the whole city.

the city had been declared a “free” zone.

the bombs would start falling any minute.

johnny took his hand off the door and started to walk away, toward the outskirts of town.

a few raindrops fell.

would they bomb the city if was raining? he didn’t know.

and then he remembered.

in the free city, when the bombs started to fall, he would meet a dame.

and she would show him the way.

she would help him escape.

they would start a new life together.

or maybe not. he was not sure about that part.

he retraced his steps to the store with the apple in the window.

when he got back the apple was no longer in the window.

he opened the door.

he did not see anybody in the store.

it was just a store that sold newspapers, lottery tickets, candy, soft drinks, packages of ramen noodles, and cans of spam and vienna sausages.

no apples. or bananas or grapes or watermelons either.

there was a green door in the back, beside the softly humming refrigerated display case of soft drinks.

the door opened.

the dame came out. she was carrying a suitcase and had a handbag slung over her shoulder that was as big as the suitcase.

she was even more beautiful than he remembered.

“what took you so long?” the dame asked johnny.

“i got confused,” johnny answered. “but it is starting to rain, we have plenty of time.”

she reached into her pocket. johnny figured it was for the apple.

it was the last thing he remembered.