Monday, August 22, 2016

Sanjeev Sethi


Media are loaded with ammo,
limited in their inquire.
Corporates are insular entities
conditioned by cocoons.
Academes acquire the know-how.
Subdued by communication's sledge.
Governments are immune
to crotchet of quotidian calls.
Poets have punch but no push.

Politicians, pundits, scammers, spielers
are with the right constituents.
Dwarfed by desire.

Gerald So reads "Professions":

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Sanjeev confesses: "Why don’t things work as smoothly as they should? I was in one of those introspective moods mulling about Statecraft and all of that when 'Professions' marched its way, all in one go, to my Word file. After the usual frill and trim the poem was ready to move on."

SANJEEV SETHI has published three books of poetry. This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015) is his latest. His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Galway Review, The Open Mouse, Otoliths, Meniscus, Literary Orphans, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Helios Mss, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. Poems are forthcoming in Amaryllis Poetry, Futures Trading, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Yellow Chair Review, Postcolonial Text, Drunk Monkeys, Of/with:, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

2016 Best of the Net

The Five-Two entered six poems published July 1, 2015–June 30, 2016 for possible inclusion in Sundress Publications' 2016 Best of the Net anthology. Our readers determined three entries by highest total of Twitter Likes and blog comments: "Mortal Terror" by Sarah Stockton, "Mistrust" by Nancy Smahl-Syrop, and "The Beggar" by Bruce Harris.

Editor Gerald So choose the remaining three entries: "Not So Super" by John Grey, "Melodrama at the Biograph" by Sharon Israel, and "For the Love of Death" by Shirley J. Brewer.

Results should be announced in first-quarter 2017. Good luck to all.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bill Baber


There’s no way of knowing
if the unyielding heat
or the suffocating crush of boredom
had anything to do
with us becoming outlaws
the summer we were all fourteen.

It started innocently enough
with a brazen dare
thrown down between
fabricated adventures
and assorted adolescent lies.
It was Tommy’s Idea,
The Maloney’s had left on vacation
And every one of us broke in
taking jewelry, a bottle of bourbon
and an unloaded pistol.

The next day, a sultry Sunday
dinner was required at my grandmothers.
While I ate overcooked roast beef
and dried out vegetables
the rest of the gang drank the bourbon
then foolishly took the gun
to the neighborhood 7-11.
None of them returned.
Needless to say, my career
as an outlaw was over.

Bill reads "Short-Lived":

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Bill confesses: "Teenage boys are capable of doing some incredibly dumb things when driven by peer pressure. Some get lucky and don't get caught or hurt. This poem is for those without luck."

BILL BABER has had over three dozen crime stories published and his stories have recently appeared in Rogue from Near to the Knuckle, Hardboiled Crime Scene from Dead Guns Press and Locked & Loaded from One Eye Press. He has also had a number of poems published online and in the occasional literary journal. His crime writing has earned Derringer Award and Best of the Net consideration. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.