2007 Poetry Compilation

Any Birth

by Linda Lerner, Brooklyn, NY

used to be autumn
I could count on
what was dead
died in a burst of
redorange flame
I walked right thru
…my birthday season when
nerves like matches
caught fire ignited what
I knew wordless
like I knew the sound
of love’s heartbeat…
the dead have all died;
it’s summer I lust for now
to sweat off the years
wasted lies mask
return to a birth any birth
for one to fool death
somehow fool me too
come back to
do it again once more
perform that miracle

Letter to the Dead Poet

by Brian Morrisey, Santa Cruz, CA

Even though your words
haunt my sleep
and I hear
your lone cries
in a downpour
under a streetlight
down a distant road
from any sign
that let me know
how I got there

I still won’t
desecrate your name
or resurrect you into
the confines
of black ink blood
spread over the page
into a poem
that doesn’t see thru
the color of your eyes

I never felt your fear
or tasted the pain
left idling
under the hood
over lovers
asphyxiating any future plans

I get so full of feeling
when reading your epitaphs
left on the shelf
and you know
you’re in good hands
with a spine
with a name so bold

I still won’t
desecrate your name
into a poem
that doesn’t see thru
the color of your eyes.

Garden Song

by Jonathan Greenhause, Jersey City, NJ

Dwarves gather in my bed at night,
their hats fitting my fingertips,
beards buried in their fists
grasping curling hairs,
clasping swirling tufts,
dressing nails like loosened threads
where needles hang
in their breaths’ swaying breeze.

They carry worms into the bed
filling the sheets with soil,
spread to sew the seeds
buried in the dirt to feed
a festival of vestal worms

and dwarves, and sprites, and gnomes
are gathering in my head and sing
a saga of garden’s birth.
They sing the silence
of an endless night.

They’ve spent their breaths upon my skin,
slipping steely fingers, claws
within my blood and entering
through pores, and I
fall silent like the sky
disguised with stars

Our fingers sew seeds
in the sudden soil of our steps
entombed in earth, a feast of worms
made gluttons by my bones:
I lie scattered in a thousand fields;
I am dressed beneath a million trees,
unrecognizable to those
who seek me as I was.

Sargassum Dream

by Erich Erving, New York, NY

Sargassan Dream
by ericherving
Under the pink mango tree
Of shared chinola
Smoking cigars
And drinking

Dinner with Experimental Poets

by Michelle Lerner, Flanders, NJ

I am the pariah
unable to drink strong coffee
wanting to get inside
the cobalt blue glass bottle
on the table.
I see in full sentences
hear vowels in drum beats
tap out morse code
on the table’s edge.
It is the only edge I have
leaning over
the deep abyss
where we all fall one, two, three
first you, then me.
They have no lines
under their eyes
speak of poetry
as if they
invented it.
Stacatto thrum thrum thrums
of phrases without meaning
colors floating in mid-air,
they pluck them like apples
still ripening
on their trees.

Demotic Psychotic

by Nancy Gauquier, Santa Cruz, CA

Jeez, I love being crazy.
Seven years as a cashier in a tourist shop at Pier 39,
I mean, hey, I’ve sold enough wind chimes,
now I’m going crooked, bent, squiggly,
off key, off time, no valentines,
no sympathy, no symphony, no symmetry,
no sugar in my tea, stark raving surreal
If I need to commune with nature,
when I’m out of my tree,
I pull leaves out of my ears,
spit river rocks out of my oceanic mouth,
hop on the wild white stallion of my mind,
and ride.

My Doppelganger

by Kristina Olson, North Weymouth, MA

My Doppelganger creeps in shadow
waiting to emerge into the light
slave that serves my debauchery,
she is held in reserve by loosely

coiled restraints, unleashed to eradicate
the human barricades obstructing the
media hallucinations projected on
the whitewashed walls of my mind.

I watch my Doppelganger run you to
the earth, mauling your benevolence,
stripping the righteousness from
your bones, ingesting the last

remnants of your decency. Filling
a grave with unrequited compassion
and inconsistent devotion, she uses
your broken body as a tombstone, pinned

in the dirt by a pair of red stiletto heels,
a puncture wound that bleeds the apathy
from your bloated soul. My Doppelganger
has been suppressed, but she maintains her

control, an unripe, precarious
actress, refining her role from the
shadows of the stage for a performance
that the audience has not stayed to watch.