Sunday, February 28, 2010

March 2010

This month features Stephen Jarrell Williams, Derek Richards and John Sibley Williams

Stephen Jarrell Williams


We're stroking
Through deep water
Content and tireless.

We shed our clothes
From the other world...

We sparkle
Within the sheen of the sea.

The beginning is
Always like this...

Our essence
In the sweep of tides.


The slow roll of the sea under us
Taking it out as far as we dare

You're so adventurous in the nude
Gliding through water

Head up grinning
Squinting in sun and beads of sea

Your backside teasing with glimpses
Lean and oiled

I warn we should turn back
But you keep spearing ahead

I follow until I've had enough
Pulling you back to shore

Carrying you under my arm
Through a people-packed beach

You're waving playfully to all the wide eyes
Wishing they were me

Not knowing
You're so slippery when wet

Having your own mind
Your own tide of emotions.


Underwater bubbles rising for the surface.
Hold on and forever will come.

Lungs Burning. Legs and feet kicking.
Puncture of liquid into air.

Don't be bitter with the past
Seemingly everywhere.

I'm giving you what I know of women.
I've known few. I admit.

I've been an island since birt h.
Volcanic and tranquil
In a deep jungle making my clearing.

I coaxed you to shore. Soft sand.
Showed you my best side.
The wind blowing you answers.

So much more to share
In the shadows
And sun of discovery.

Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to write, listen to his music, and dance late into the night. He was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. His parents are native Texans. He has lived most of his life in California. His poetry has appeared here and there and in-between...

Derek Richards

praising chaos

chronic deflation arrested by upheavel,
further indisputable proof
the chaos theory
is crucial for my healing.

when has the violent gust of broken glass
sunk me into melancholy
instead of wild-iris?
a halo of angst
as prodigal colors reversed.

whimsical glimpses of peace and rest
are as deadly as rush hour mirages.
it is by their glow my pulse expands,
sipping on adrenaline
until decades
play out
between thumps.

i'm going out.
call me when the world tilts angry,
when the zagging hum of disheveled place
crashes into honest brutal time.
and then i will hurry home,

gasping for breath, out of tune,

decomposition: telling secrets

no one ever wanted
to be a poet
more than Jasmine
a thesaurus stole her virginity
long before Carlos

synonyms offered more orgasm
the pale skin of unhealthy rhyme

into soul
luxury into destitute

daydreams consisted of suburban ovens
choking black her head
like Sylvia
like dull green five-subject notebooks

suddenly aflame
an entire history of adjectives
written between her thumbs

she couldn't quite figure how John fit in
the silent-punk-rock-star
always read her words like they were foreplay

and then he would come

leave nothing but
you're too honest,
no one likes you because you divulge everything

Jasmine will stare a blank page
into oblivion
waiting for a pause to excuse static

she excels at English Lit
has even learned the nuances of Latin,
breathes easy the lazy nouns
of Spanish,

wishing Carlos still came around

blood drips into gravy

when cut-wrist-blood adds flavor to the salisbury steak television dinner
gravy swaying gently on your thighs
maybe the once-a-week therapy sessions are nothing more than
quick-slip-fucks to your insurance company
and the heroin eyes sneaking up on you each morning
are more stone culprit than actual existence

to move a blue-heavy arm away like it's a twenty-pound fly
aggravating your routine is something worth examining without
a clipboard-bearded professional providing multiple options
jenny-jane wants you to go back to deep-sea fishing
because at least then you were only drinking straight-gut-whiskey
heroin just makes you think smart and fuck dumb
hours and hours of limp-intellect-laziness

at least when you were drunk, you'd bring me flowers
of course she never mentions your ability to watch endless hours
of daytime soap-opera television, your soft-kind-manners
early-on in the relationship she confided that she liked you better
when you smelled dirty, sweaty, that it made her growl
hangovers make you want to shower, hot water, cold towels
this is like a baked oven creating blanket-thick layers

it certainly wasn't any fun calling 911 and reporting on noah,
cops and medics all circling in vulture loops, licking like lizards
but somewhere the brain-garage knew it was all a performance
and soon silence would return if she could just stop talking
how could you promise me stability being nothing but a junkie?
i do know there is another television dinner in the freezer,
chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese, a blueberry muffin
noah and his dripping-blood-wrist-distraction, gone just as today
slides on up to midnight, vacant and silent, after-dead

After failing miserably as a rock star, Derek Richards began submitting his poetry, August 2009. Over 140 of his poems have appeared in over seventy publications, including Lung, Breadcrumb Scabs, MediaVirus, Calliope Nerve, tinfoildresses, Opium 2.0, Dew on the Kudzu, Sex and Murder, Splash of Red and fourpaperletters. He has also been told to keep his day job by Quills and Parchment. Nothing annoys him more than poetry written solely to make someone feel stupid. His ferret, cat and puppy couldn't agree more. Happily engaged, he resides in Gloucester, MA., cleaning windows for a livng.

John Sibley Williams

Keep Driving

Fluent in the dialects of skyline
two empty silos raise like Braille
above the babbling wheat earth
and pause for a moment upon an early frost
spread evenly across its mother’s lap,
a winter in tow,
furious wingbeats of sun
grown desperate in the long-plowed furrows,
all elements reading each other knowingly,
as an experience feels itself shift to dream,
all silently mouthing in a united cloud of breath:

keep driving, dead man,
farther west the chill has yet descended

Surely I’m Convinced

a word understood must have been uttered aloud.

a word uttered must travel vast distances
to define itself.

one word will some day imbue
the rest with meaning.

Surely I’m Convinced

the winter wind speaks
to one person at a time,
and just now I possess its conversation.

the snow owl communicates with god
through its wake of rodent bones and fur.

utter silence has no counterpart.


Around the same time he affixed feathers, wings,
so too a wire-meshed pen,
and hunched over his meager seed allowance
commenced to peck at his cage.

Years forgot themselves
as housecats their missing claws
and though he pecked still
well after he’d razed the pen,
savagely attacking empty air
as if it held his freedom,
this ongoing dust worship
finally took the place of flight.

John has an MA in Writing and resides in Portland, OR, where he frequently performs his poetry and studies Book Publishing at Portland State University. He is presently compiling manuscripts composed from the last two years of traveling and living abroad. Some of his over eighty previous or upcoming publications include: The Evansville Review, Flint Hills Review, Open Letters, Cadillac Cicatrix, Juked, The Journal, Hawaii Review, Barnwood International Poetry, Concho River Review, Paradigm, Red Wheelbarrow, Aries, Other Rooms, The Alembic, Clapboard House, River Oak Review, Glass, Miranda, and Raving Dove.

"when you can't compose yourself, compose a poem"

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