Menagerie

 
The cow clock talks in pidginese:
Don’t sweep your wife away.
 
The bear stares sideways,
wearing his fat white skeleton,
while two headless hats at the window
try to hide the eyes outside.
 
The slug on the rug
loses the name of action
amidst its cords and ways.
 
Meanwhile, back in the jungle,
Narcissus Poeticus and his Three-Hole-Punch
lick the screen to pan for nuggets,
but no bulletins are forthcoming.


                                                 Peter Berdquist




 Buzzards


You hear before you see, transfixed, first time                

in living memory - a pair as well.

Frayed sail ends splay, like false eye lashes, tips

curled slithers of planed wood, the merest wink

enough to mollify cold bolshie air.

They spiral high, plumb bobs fixed on the ends

of flexed invisible twin strings. That’s just

ten years ago; now numerous as weeds.

 

“The birds don’t mob the way they used to do.

 Soon learn they’re not a threat.” He pauses, face

illegible, hidebound. “They stood no chance

with me,” he brags, “way back,” A watershed

between two disparate worlds, he stares straight through

his pint to conjure up old pheasant shoots.

 

The gibbet was his clocking off machine

and bumper hauls his private trophy shelf. 

Redundant, cover blown, what trees remain

punctuate real estate, like plucked eyebrows. 

 

He’s done. You’re off birds’ nesting, nine years old.

Spring growth is drenched in vibrant shapes and hues.

On seamless boyhood days, when you have time

to wait, seek undertow beneath wide boughs.

Silent, still as a stone, concealed until

the charm’s unwound, transporting on a blink

into some calm, enchanted inner space,

You sense the throbbing vein, Nature’s drumbeat.

 

Can’t quite recall how old you were that day

your pennies chinked, the copse you thought was wild,

menaced by bulldozers, blokes in hard hats

and speculating suits with building plans,

mere overblown remains of gardening,

the prospect of a vanished country seat.

 

 


 

 


Whatever's happened to William?


She reads the signs: an ambulance

arrives to whisk him off, at six-

weeks old, found flaccid in his cot

emitting muted fiddle-tones,

the cri du chat. Stays touch and go

for days. A copper, in Crown Court,

he gets away with it - and she

gives him the benefit. You help,

agree to fostering while things

got sorted out. Most afternoons,

all supervised, your sister trawls

cold spite into your home, Still not

quite cold that addled cuckoo’s egg:

you stored soured thoughts inside a box

then scrawled a ‘Do not open’ sign.

Guilt churns them in its mauling grip.

The trust invested pens her fast

till told she’ll not get William back

while he lives in. That’s when she snaps,

fast-forwards things, moves on. Dark stuff

comes out: first wife bludgeoned, off beat;

lost bouts of anger management;

he only shook the kid, he claims,

in panic when it fell into

a fit; green fractures partly healed.

Magicians pull white rabbits out,

staunch tidal bleeds, brain more or less

intact, but fail to  conjure back

his eyes. These days, aged eight, rage maps

his father’s direful fingerprint.

He’s hapless as a hobbled horse,

locked in his rocking stall, reined by

deep shadow-lands, perpetual night.

Braille wise beyond his age, he dreams

in tongues, raps time through palsied feet.

 

                                                                                  Peter Branson

  




Mother


 
Pliable is the wood that bends my mother
Walnut, pine, a strength in oak,
Old as weak rooted redwood,
Young as a new spring leaf.
She is small and straight,
Wears her legs well and her hips 
Still keep a beat. Look to the east 
When the sun rises and you will see her, 
Stretching, one foot before the other,
Thinking of a dance and a rhyme.
When the sunlight enters her room,
She is showered and dressed,
The capable blossom of an apple tree.





Mountain Storm



It’s a rock day full of song erosion and then it rains, 
The wind full of noise and nephews criss-crossed 
And cross-stitched, glacier waters bleeding off course.
Bumps and pebbles, stone and flesh, branch and burp.
How easily bones flush from the mountain after a storm,
White washed like albino skin, the broken façade of stucco,
The last snow melting, and sometimes the singing is a siren.
Great walls opening and colliding, stale and crusty. 
A tree breaks at its waist and everyone hears it. In the rock day, 
Yes, you can hear the sound of one hand clapping. 




The Predator inside


1.

has a corner of each eye

2.

The man who named America America
sailed across salt marshes,
a burr of sand, toast,
one witch’s soul.

He knew a people of sharpened teeth,
long fingernail,
an intensity of listen.

3.

pale skin thin as ghosts,
bloodletting, and leather. 


                                 Micheal Brownstein




Siege



This absence is as tasteless as
a dirty limerick recited over
dinner at Windsor Castle. So inappropriate
it consumes all chatter leaving
nothing but clattering silverware and
Stephen King caliber horror in its wake.
I feel the quiet between us
as deeply as I once felt your tongue
between my legs, the tension of muscles
pulled taut in anticipation of my own
sputtering bucks and convulsions.
I must turn back to my Jane Austen
novel, keep to my end of the couch,
legs folded beneath me in china doll
stillness as you anchor the other side,
shoulders hunched forward in bristly
porcupine fashion as you bang out
computer code on your laptop,
the single sofa cushion between us
a barrier as substantial as the Berlin Wall.


                                                           Carla Criscuolo



(I am southern born)


 
a centaur with pointed ears
interferes; carrying off a struggling girl
his mild expressions is out of keeping
with the violence of his retrieval
 
the head, arms, and should of the sun
Helios emerges out of the sea at dawn
of all times, his chariot is to imagined as still underwater
the horses heads were once visible
 
a naked youth reclines on a rock
cushioned by the skin of a feline animal
he is probably Dionysos, wined
his missing right hand perhaps held a cup
 
two goddesses seated on chests
Demeter is disturbed by the fireplace
Persephone, who is still at rest
Southern born, they are sensitive to the cold
 
a girl moves rapidly away from the coals
her drapery flying out in fear of northern fire
she may represent Hebe
cup bearer of Zeus, a climactic impediment
 
a seated woman is on the point of rising
startled by events to her right
her head is missing, but once looked toward the centre
wearing a heather cloak, she is Hestia, of the hearth
 
the horse is wear from its nightlong labour
the eye bulges, the nostrils flare
and the mouth gapes. the head of the horse
bridled, she balances the groupling Helios
 
the centaur tramples a falling lapith
he grips his victim by the hair as he prepares to strike
the lapith has one last hope to win from wickedness
a stone that he is taking up from the soil
 
 
 
(I am northern born)


 
                            I, Hermes have been set up
                            Where three roads cross
                             

                                       Sappho (trans. Kenneth Rexroth)
 
Illisos is impeded by snakes
so a dam has formed around his coffer
not from sleeplessness does the boy recline
for he has rested well in company
 
the draft of skylight has a torso
Hermes plays harp without a consort
we talk of rivers now, but sight of them, as pinch, below
late begins on the second pediment
 
they had not known clothes could be built from stone
her aegis is made of goat and stubborn
for it, snakes hiss advice: culvia, caution
Athena faces sea; a rustling in the seeds
 
a silo of something west, of something east
Poseidon makes no bones and faces Athena face to nape
he is a want wooden with desire and all the worse it fares in sea
for ocean’s salt he can’t forget whether women be his enemy
 
Iris: flummox to Hermes stark, she remembers word for word
insistent that she witness each and every message, 
then becomes Iris, witness, never late she need not advertise
nor lip the word to re-remember
 
what cale drips onto the marble floor?
the garish sea serpent that vies with horses
weed can seem a snake so careful are the Greeks in step
whereas I am gallant, being nordic born
 
Boreas has children, Callisto too
Oreithyia blushes and will not engage with the games of the median gods
she need not tell herself to busy
for her children, Kalais and Zetes, are hungry wind
 
 


(I am eastern born)


 
                         and anyhow: give up
                                                         Karl Krolow

 
there are rings of silver paint around my lips
like the sapyears of a redwood
the licesack, a city in the picks
how are they born? from the shrubs
 
the black camel whispers 
kiss the sinner’s where it’s sweetest to kiss
roll a car near Baia Mare
and hiss; the East is ripegreen like turning fruit
 
straddling a ladder on Plata Victoriei
a fishing tackle box brimming with pills
I have Marian for warmth
Ana for comfort and Mihai for cigars
 
the girl’s choir in Lipscani
the pinchflame whistled whatever chance
the planet is green though it’s aureole is not
catfish murmur in his bed
 
give up my murdered bones
I wish in my penury I had a daughter of their age
let the flower’s kiss their ankles
lest I be forced to take its place
 
they speak of the animal that eats them
and often, thrown to the bones
sick of the mast he slips beneath
shouting specific threats      ‘I’ll throw you from the railing’
          
I wait upon the closing of the Hesychasm
the Codreanic robotic nerve tugs the tassle
empties the curtainblank stage Trairic 
and still no Nae Ionescu     a house of eight guns
 
accursed mountain lined with goatbones
coins were dear to her pallid skin    &    harsh ribbons
lesions as legs, black garters walking lines wounded
on the blacksea seashore sand
 
the sun piles on the pyres for you
full of pigs burning tethered, by the roadside
blue schnapps,  copper flecks
slicing the throat for access I collect my ordered bride
 
asphalt is new and smells accordingly new
chimneys are being bricked up, song shuttered
the water brokers sweat & sell you to me
I accept their price, I'll need food nor water 
 
killing her, I took time to lick my fingers clean
but the blood was not new for I had bitten many a nipple 
the first time for too young
and in Bucharest I'm paying
 
 
 
(I am southern born)


 
a centaur with pointed ears
interferes; carrying off a struggling girl
his mild expressions is out of keeping
with the violence of his retrieval
 
the head, arms, and should of the sun
Helios emerges out of the sea at dawn
of all times, his chariot is to imagined as still underwater
the horses heads were once visible
 
a naked youth reclines on a rock
cushioned by the skin of a feline animal
he is probably Dionysos, wined
his missing right hand perhaps held a cup
 
two goddesses seated on chests
Demeter is disturbed by the fireplace
Persephone, who is still at rest
Southern born, they are sensitive to the cold
 
a girl moves rapidly away from the coals
her drapery flying out in fear of northern fire
she may represent Hebe
cup bearer of Zeus, a climactic impedement
 
a seated woman is on the point of rising
startled by events to her right
her head is missing, but once looked toward the centre
wearing a heather cloak, she is Hestia, of the hearth
 
the horse is wear from its nightlong labour
the eye bulges, the nostrils flare
and the mouth gapes. the head of the horse
bridled, she balances the groupling Helios
 
the centaur tramples a falling lapith
he grips his victim by the hair as he prepares to strike
the lapith has one last hope to win from wickedness
a stone that he is taking up from the soil
 
 
 

(I am Western born)


 
my people - a gestural map
I appreciate you
and your Rick Griffiths
 
for down we rush from the track
gleaming is our ready nipple
our wailing stone
 
neither right nor left
you can hang us like a jugged hare
and we will come to the middle
 
a seeing eye dog takes his licks
our house; so soft in the summer heat
to meddle
 
as the crow sudden
the beer runs ripe into the gutters
and East, awesome East
 
we cease to know the mean
languageless
and sky seeing
 
we cannot read the clouds
worms are our letters
they spell ls rs & ss
 
the queen; a centrafugal force
the lips are a pink stitch
they speak of welcomes
 
Indian given, for we will not revolt, never riot
but revenge is ours
we will complain unto an even-handed downfall
 
 
 
                                                 Steven Fowler



The Human Cannonball


 
Snow lies blue in the dimness,
a blue from an early Picasso.
The river runs dark as treacle.
 
Now the bronze sun falls
across the iron earth.
 
From the first light
a spark leaps.
It lands inside you.
 
You’re held
then hurled over snowfields south
until you melt and fall like rain
across the dusty earth of the plains,
the dusty plains of the Earth.

 
 
Life’s a Beach


 
On the blue horizon,
the shape of a mountain
is very like a whale.
 
The moods of the moors are those of the sea:
formless and grey, smudged by rain,
or as clear as a cliff-top harebell.
 
Blank is the face of Gormley’s Angel,
like the late sun over bronze sands.
Noise from the road is a surf-roar rolling
over settlements strewn like crumbs
across the dark plains.
 
The sea is a satin dress
cast, crumpled,
onto the bedroom floor.
 

                                                    James Kilner




 


Love and Slaughter


Sheep are by a goat while
cattle are like swine, prodded, yet
cattle go by hammer while
swine are by the hind leg hung
then swung about to spigot.
Quicker, infinitely cleaner, is
the hacksaw of sweet Susan's laughter.





Mop Woman
 

 
Near dwarf this woman.
Foreign born, Minsk,
perhaps. Her nose
 
a fist. Her hair
a whisk broom
only black. Her back
 
an Orthodox cupola.
Her arms braids of gym rope
lowered to the floor.
 
Orangutans could climb
those ropes, hand
over hand, no rose
 
no purple
doughnuts
on their hinds.
 
Near dwarf this woman.
Foreign born. Minsk,
perhaps.
 
Her hands, all gristle,
hang an inch, no more,
above her shining floor.
 
 
                                        Donal Mahoney





Northumberland


 
Tin sunlight forges
a two-forty voltage
current of blindness
 
through thin skulls
cracking in fissures
spun whitish light
 
until on the periphery 
the settled curd
of clouds spend
 
their fruits across
the sky dimming
in broken exhalations
 
as carbon-coloured
smoked summer cigarettes
circling in hysteria.


 
Alnwick


 
Drinking unbranded tea
I taste uneasily
a piping cup of cha
passing each swig between
the pallet, tongue and cheek
checking for poison ivy.
 
Anxious about the way
this place (the house, I mean)
rests upon history –
since 4000 B.C.
in the seat of Eadulf
built on flints in the crag.
 
Beneath us: monolith
blades set in long bone hafts,
harpoons, awls, scrapers for
shovelling out seal skins,
sharpened chert, flattened quartz,
bevelled pebbles and peat.
 
Perhaps we cannot blame
the poverty of tea
on those distant cousins
but history speaks out
in brickwork and people
the fish and crustaceans …
 
Junior rag-tag lads
clad in grey pullovers
scraping the old granites
with each lazy school shoe –
and each awakening
raises the forgotten.

 
 

Vasey


 
I am looking at a lady
in a flower-spangled
knee length dress
 
as she rests out
in vertical angles
of sun-blessed rays
 
and days like these
in summer’s August
emptiness relentlessly
 
impale the fair skin
pom-blood complexion
of a hexagon face;
 
out in the saxifrage,
cow parsley,
wispy grasses
 
the hardly touched
green-life encases
beauty for this age.



                                      Jim McConalogue 


*Searching



She’ll watch the blossoming trams narrowing
down laddered tracks, stingray tails sucking
sustenance, winter-wrapt parcels alighting
with blunt hydraulic bursts. Around her

cars cough and buses belch as
pained pedal-pushers point
pessimistically into steamy gouts of gas
staccatoing along the sheen

of flickering neon. Pale faces form and fade,
hands-pocketed, feet following a familiar force,
eager to leave each new-formed space
before a tangential touch. A siren howls

warily. She sees so much and feels and tastes
scores of pressured purposes, a hundred
hurried hatchings, myriads of missed moments. While
huddled in heated haunts,

eyes abeam with dreamy needs fulfilled, lost latte
lovers linger over little lies and proud promises
soon to be left in the scramblings of early
morning madness.

And she content to watch.


 
*The Search



Dead leaves crunch as leaden feet bang
signatures into rancid clays
which pinch our noses
vindictively;
a lone mosquito flops;
nimbi rattle pellets harsh
and firm up our reluctance;
leathery tangles loop and pull
resentful of our passing.
Yet clogged and sour we straggle on
somewhere beyond
the purpose long awaits.
Drizzle odour-laden
fans our faces in the final climb;
icy cut of winter’s blow debilitates
but cannot match our stubbornness.

Suddenly
a mighty beech uprears
from its height he hangs
frozen as a meat-hooked carcass
silencing the woods about
and all our hopes
with one sharp shock.



*Literary Lines



My father's gone
but ev'ry day I see
disturbing evidence of
him in me.

We used to sit
tabled before a meal
and he'd cast lines
from a literary spool and reel
like a fisherman playing
till I caught on
and completed the saying.
Sometimes I'd miss the hook,
he'd play the length,
I'd marvel as the lines ran
at his strength
and when I took
before the end-stopped line
his face abeam
would gleam
like new rubbed coins
elated
since he'd baited
a triumph
from his literary loins.

In later life
his feelings froze with age,
no longer did he play
the literary sage.
But still as days grow dark
and night winds slap
when round the meal
I see the gap
and hear the silence fall
I grin
And deep within
those ling'ring lines recall.


                                          Bob Nimmo                        


 


Marmalade


A bag of oranges, a dozen or more,
Are washed and cut into halves
Split through the wet flesh
To perfect open suns
Then each is turned on the glass press
And rubbed and rolled
Of its seed-thick juice.
We pour this through a small sieve
Then bag the pips in muslin.
The soft mouths of fruit are skinned
The cheeks pulled white away
Then the full lips sliced thin,
Like secret papers,
Into whispering fish.
The maslin pan takes water,
The muslin bag, the held juice
And the swimming gold fish.
A reduction pool
We concentrate on the side scale
Slowly bringing down to half again
Then pour in warmed white sugar –
A sheen, slick answer forms
A glass we pour into hot jars
To set the colour of orange birth.




Before


This autumn morning is here without you.
A spider is placed at the centre
Of an inverted isosceles of dew,
At the still point of waiting.
On the path, a yellow-green frog mitt
Is a photograph, its split
Side fixing it to the moment.
This is before we met,
Before the various threads of love
Can tack us out in
The afterneed, the afterwant, the afterjoy.

                                                                                  Ron Ogilvie





Wrong Turn


 
I took a wrong one heading to
Eagle River—a Clintonville cop
seed trapped me over.  He gave me
 
a warning, told me how to find
the right road.  I got lost—
again.  It’s my way.  Maps
 
are like Ouija boards—I never know
how they work.  Freddy Cannon
came on the CD I had bought
 
eight years ago but only now
got to hear—how thrilling
to be lost with Boom Boom
 
rasping out “The Dedication Song”!
Towns with names like Iola
and Plover greeted me like friendly
 
old mutts.  I stopped in Waupaca,
oh, the toast at Irene’s Café!
Had I found the right road
 
I’d have arrived earlier.  And
missed buttery crumbs.  And
towns offering me their paw.
 
 
 

Back Yard Birch


 
Tall Wisconsin birches
line the highway.  Light sifts
down, leaves almost translucent. 
If I were the moon, I’d talk
all night with a birch, or
a forest of them, but I’m just
a guy with too much
 
weeding to do.  Our one birch
provides good conversation. 
Small, but airy, a tree
with nothing to prove.  I put
violas at its base, an offering. 
Catbirds, tasteful but busy,
like this tree too, a fine
 
launching spot on their way
to a blueberry bush.  Wrens
turn leaf into recording studio.
In winter, a gray sky wraps
empty branches.  Spring
will come.  And when it does,
the birch will be ready.
  
 
 
 

Contraltos of Immortality


 
Sometimes I think when I die
I won’t just be worm food.  Maybe
at the Pearly Gates, which won’t
have pearls and won’t be gates
since Heaven shouldn’t
resemble a gated community,
 
I’ll see old friends.  We’ll gab
about Walt Whitman, hoping we
end up on his street—which won’t
be golden but grassy and full
of pansies that bloom every month.
Hot-looking scruffy ruffians will wink.
Mary Magdalene will wink back.
Walt will invite them all to a cool pool
for a naked swim and Mama Cass
 
will say Come on! to my pals and me. 
As we enter Heaven, her contralto
voice slides across the solar system,
her salmon-colored mumu sways
in cosmic wind,
 
everything truly perfect
once she starts to sing. 

                                                             Kenneth Pobo

 


 


Driven


He was consumed. 
His stomach ached 
as his head 
and his legs were wobbly.
There were always bronze tablets
but he had reached for something 
other than the intelligibility of hieroglyphs.
Repelled by the hardened earth, dry wells,
he, whoever he was, had come this way,
among the leafless trees, low lying hills,
the smokeless chimneys to override his own caprice.
He toyed with various conjectures 
only to discover that none of them pleased.

Screwdriver and pliers in his hip pocket
he was administering first aid
when, finally, the ambulances arrived.
The old cramming subway cars were trying to escape. 
Pushed away he wandered off, dazed.
Afterwards, someone asked about him.
No one was sure that they had seen him,
and, of course, no one knew his name.


Oddly Enough


Odd moments in any given day -
why not?
A smile followed by a turning 
from side to side;
a shrug, then, an extended arm.
Read into them what you wish, reader;
if not, then, not,
then, shrugs, or better still, extend both arms.
Relax.  As to the rigor of no nonsense, 
a parental overbearing silence,
and the soft patter of resolve 
settling into a corner -
license for doing nothing,
subjugated, toppling into a stranger's lap.
Christmas ornamentation for the taking.
Carols sung as namesakes, demented watch.
Connections made where there may have been none.





Travelling


They had been travelling where they had never travelled before.
That it might be perilous
no one had brought up.
although they would have liked to have been praised
they knew they would not be remembered,
their names forgotten as well as their trials,
the heroic missing from their demeanor
but not slack-jawed or stooped.
Evenings they had avoided looking at the sunset,
not caring that they couldn't explain.
A measure to their gestures,
they rarely spoke, and rarely railed 
about whatever had been taken 
nor fretted on whatever had not been returned.

They had not been defeated
nor had they forced themselves on others.
Now all of that was vague -
their past, 
      the past of others, 
             a melange of hijinks, petty things, women sobbing
                          had now subsided into nothing.
And the sensorium of telling adjectives and forceful verbs
that had so quickened their minds was not apparent.
The slate grey sky
seemed to belittle their own consequences
and it continued, as it had,
but not undone, they sought no succour,
but went on travelling where they had never travelled before.
 

                                                                Frank C Praeger



I see ghosts

 

during the day,

never at night.

At night,

the house

towers

in quiet;

it's cool

and dead.

But during the day,

I'm haunted

with this terrible presence

of a girl,

seven,

maybe eight,

who runs

from room to room.

I hear her,

see her,

smell her,

and if you think

I'm crazy,

others

have seen her

too.

She scars rooms,

moves things,

when you are there.

I swear

to God.

She's watching me

type this,

arms at her sides,

standing

in front of the bookshelf,

staring,

waiting

for life,

the same way

that we wait

for death.  


                           Ron Riekki

                                      

                                        

 

St. Maarten Fugue 10


 
Annual pilgrims, we all crave 
our haven from the horrendous:
their daughter who could not be saved,
her twin sister near death,
natural disasters, sorrows pandemic.
 
Once in St. Maarten, we mouth
psalms to the gods
of systemic sunshine.
Even days of rain and mosquitoes 
cannot bite into our faith.
 
A woman sits daily by the pool
knitting scarves for grandchildren
or a lifeline to her husband
whose heart gave out a year ago
in this stilling water.
 
On a catamaran moored
two hundred yards from shore
a baldie in a fat man’s suit
explains the lay of the land
to a beautiful young thong.
 
We watch kids frolic in waves
that frighten us.  Their screams
of delight underscore 
the years erased with each return 
to our enchanted isle.
 
 

Disturbance


 
Early this spring morning
Setauket Harbor 
is served under glass,
surface taut as a sheet 
on an Army cot.
Trees bordering the bay
whisper their color onto it.
Two swans brooding their eggs 
whiten the shore.
.
Now a furious beating of water:
an egret’s wings fighting for height.
 
Our son’s cancer has returned.



                                                      Lee Marc Stein






Autobiography


 
Should I leave out
the time I lied to the police
to save a friend,
how I gave the Bishop of Lichfield
the V-sign in church,
having sex in an abattoir,
the occasion I …


                            Geoff Stevens





Peter Bergquist earned a BA in English from Princeton University and an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Antioch University Los Angeles. He is currently teaching English, Film and Academic Decathlon in the Los Angeles Unified School District. His poems have been published in The New Verse News, The Chickasaw Plum, The Sylvan Echo, The Two Hawks Quarterly, The Sea Stories Project of the Blue Ocean Institute, Motif, The Queen City Review and The Broad River Review. His poem “From Here to There” received Honorable Mention in the Inglis House Poetry Contest and was published in their chapbook On the Outskirts. His poem “Red Tide” won second prize in the Bay Days Poetry Contest. His poem “Roosevelt” was named Runner-Up in the Chistell Writing Contest.

Peter Branson lives in Rode Heath, a village in South Cheshire. A former English teacher and lecturer, he now organises writing workshops. Until recently he was “Writer-in-residence” for the “All Write” project run by Stoke-on-Trent Central Libraries. 


Over the last five years he has had work published, or accepted for publication, by many mainstream poetry journals in Britain, USA, Canada, EIRE, Australia and New Zealand, including Acumen, Ambit, Envoi, Magma, The London Magazine, Iota, 14, Fire, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Pulsar, Red Ink, The Recusant, South, Writing Magazine, The New Writer, Crannog, The Raintown Review, The Able Muse and Other Poetry.  


His first collection, “The Accidental Tourist”, was published in May 2008. A second collection was published at the beginning of this year by Caparison Press for ‘The Recusant’. More recently a pamphlet has been issued (May 7th) by ‘Silkworms Ink’. A third collection has been accepted for publication by Salmon Press, EIRE.


Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, After Hours, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review and others. In addition, he has eight poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004) and What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005).


Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments with his students, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators and the State of Illinois Title 1 Convention, and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.


Carla Criscuolo was born and raised in New York City and claims the experience spoiled her so badly she is not fit to live anywhere else. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines including Main Street Rag, South Jersey Underground, The Blue Jew Yorker,Frostwriting, Yellow Mama, and All Things Girl.

Steven Fowler  is 26 years of age and an employee of the BritishMuseum . He is a  postgraduate student of philosophy in London , having studied previously at Durham . Steven has  published poetry in over 50 journals and ezines, and released pamphlets with four small presses, including the Writers Forum, though he has only been actively publishing work from late 2009. The journals include the New Writer, the Decanto, the Poetry Salzburg Review, Chroma, Neon Highway, Cadaverine and Pomegranate. Sreven edits the Maintenant interview series for 3am magazine and is an active journalist www.sjfowlerpoetry.com

Alan Gleave was a secondary school teacher in Liverpool for thirty years. Taking early retirement, he wondered whether it was too late to turn to trying to write poems and short stories of his own. Encouraged by Deal Writers, he has had poems published in The Reader, and the international academic journal, Dante Studies. One of his short stories was short listed in the Meridian short story competition of summer 2009.

James Kilner is a freelance writer who lives in the north-east of England.  Previously, he worked as a newspaper journalist, but left this profession to pursue PhD research on the poetry of Ted Hughes, which was completed successfully in 2009.  His own poems have appeared in Aesthetica, The New Writer, Words-Myth and other publications.
 
Jim McConalogue is a writer living in London and is currently the editor of The European Journal. His most recent poetry has appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Osprey Journal, The Journal, London Miscellany and Aesthetica. His chapbook Terra Incognita was published in 2003. His first full-length poetry collection, Starry Dandelion Night was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2007.

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. LouisMissouri. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-TimesLoyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has had poems published in The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Message in a Bottle (U.K.), Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Pirene's Fountain (Australia) and other publications.

Bob Nimmo graduated in Arts and Law at Canterbury University, he has taught languages in Berlin, England, Singapore and New Zealand across all age groups to a number of nationalities and has lectured on English Literature.

Bob has written the book, lyrics and music for two musical comedies, has had poetry, short stories, essays and books for children published in SingaporeAustralia and New Zealand.

Kenneth Pobo has a new online chapbook from Philistine Press called Fitting Parts.  Later this year, Tandava Poetry Press will publish his chapbook called Tea on Burning Glass.  Catch his radio show, Obscure Oldies, on Saturdays from 6-8pm EST at WDNR.com.

Ron Riekki's novel U.P. was designated Best Book of 2009 by Canadian book blog web site Handle Like Hendrix; it's been one of Ghost Road Press's top ten bestselling books for over 70 weeks.

Lee Marc Stein is a retired marketing consultant living in East SetauketLong Island.  His poems have appeared in Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine and Still Crazy. 

Geoff Stevens was born on the 4th June, 1942, at West Bromwich, in the industrial midlands of England that is known as The Black Country. It was at that time a mixture of industrial, post-industrial, and countryside in miniature, a unique rich admixture.

He was initially a successful pupil at school, but his later schooling was for boys only, operated six days a week, and was both constrictive and restrictive, and he rebelled against it.

On leaving, he got a job as an industrial chemist and studied part-time for academic qualifications. Chemistry was to be his occupation until 1995, and he worked in the chemical manufacturing, paint making, electroplating, bicycle, and closure industries.

Local history and custom was also an interest and he began to write about those and on other subjects for journals and newspapers, and also became Director of Industrial Archaeology for The Black Country Society.

In the 1970's, inspired by local versifiers, and then by reading Dylan Thomas, he began to write poetry and to submit it to magazines, until he was eventually succesful in getting it published. He also began a long interest in reading poetry in public

1976 saw the inception of his own poetry magazine, Purple Patch, which passed its 100th. edition in June 2001 and celebrated its 30th. year in 2006

Other magazines he has edited are Purple Pastiche (poetry and art), S-Fest Ltd. (U.K. Editor of U.S.Lit mag.), Micropress Midlands Poetry, and one guest issue of South magazine. 

He was a founder member of Spouting Forth poetry performance and publication group in the 90's and, with Brendan Hawthorne, started the Poetry Wednesbury group of poets in 2002.