Monday, June 18, 2018

Abbey-Rose Chivers


The walk to the chair is not silent.
Chains clink, too happy.
They revel in his misery.
So too, do the others,
whisper, whisper.
Look, there he goes,
They finally got him,
Down he goes.

They're better than him,
Of course they are.
Though their fate is the same still,
they laugh as the chains
Clink clink.
Such morbid joy must be a crime,
To smile as the straps are tightened.
Life is sacred, no one can claim it,
apart from the state and the crowds
that cheer and clap as the lever comes down.
Coloured lights illuminate the dark morning sky,
A celebration, a celebration of death.
But he is fearful, shaking,
no longer a killer.
A prisoner, a number.
Dignity shaven like the hair from his head.
He is terrified, but still they cheer.
He is dying, but still they cheer.

Abbey-Rose reads "Life is Sacred":

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Abbey-Rose confesses: "I was inspired by the injustice of capital punishment and the willingness of the public to put criminals to death, essentially supporting the very thing they oppose."

ABBEY-ROSE CHIVERS is 27 and a full-time mum of one. She has been writing for ten years, dabbling in short stories and poetry, and is currently working passionately on her debut, a grimdark adventure set on an almost empty world. She has been shortlisted in Writing Magazine but is still hoping for a win.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Zakariah Johnson


Her neighbor’s new pup from the pound,
Kept snuffling and scratching the ground.
So, she left poisoned meat,
On her stoop as a treat,
To ensure her old man was not found!

Zak reads "Sending Fido Home":

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Zak confesses: "I’m a big fan of rhyming light verse, of “campfire poems” of the sort that are easy to remember and share, like limericks and ballads."

ZAKARIAH JOHNSON is a New Hampshire-based writer and the cross-genre editor for FoldedWord. His prose and poetry, mystery and horror, can be found in such publications as BEAT to a PULP, Switchblade, Shotgun Honey, Yellow Mama, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. Visit him @Pteratorn on Twitter.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sanjeev Sethi


Prosopographies exhibit the coulisses slipped into.
Eclipsed in them are personated villainies. When
deficiencies are covered up they seem well-done.
There is no consternation of in flagrante delicto.
Anecdata is for lovers and the like, the world chases
footnote of real facts whetted by legalese. In this
purview moral measures have no place.

Gerald So reads "Civics":

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Sanjeev confesses: "It worries me that contemporary public life is devoid of the moral angle. All decisions of the State are structured on the premise that they are within the legal safeguard. The righteous path is no longer an option. This poem is a cry against this and wishes for a change."

SANJEEV SETHI is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: The Broadkill Review, After the Pause, Chicago Record Magazine, Former People, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Stickman Review, Ann Arbor Review, Home Planet News, London Grip, Morphrog 16, Communion Arts Journal, Bold Monkey, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Rachel Lynn McGuire


Stephen Paddock was 64.
I can't help but wonder
How old will I be
when I finally snap?

No history of mental illness.
No religious affiliation.
Just a white millionaire
who chose mass homicide.

That feels like me.
The only evidence of
my violence is
a sea of strange poetry.

I confess this to my Lover.
He says, "Babe,
you're bigger than this.
You have so much love to give.

But it's ok if you can't
love with open hands today.
That just means today you need
to be loved with open hands."

My Lover is God for me,
and all this grace is what I need.
The wretch who takes a tragedy
and makes it all about Me. Me. Me.

My Lover doesn't fault me for this.
He just loves me. He just listens.
I let the grace wash away the crisis.
The gratitude helps me begin again.

Rachel reads "Not for Vegas":

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Rachel confesses: "The poem itself is a confession of my homicidal impulses. I fear my own capacity for violence. This poem is an honest description of my reaction to the October 1st, 2017 Las Vegas shooting."

RACHEL LYNN MCGUIRE lives in a small commune in Richmond, Virginia with her polyamorous family and their seven children. Her poetry has appeared in The Five-Two and Five 2 One Magazine.

Monday, May 21, 2018

J.H. Johns


Consensual crime takes time;
did anyone say-
did anyone say-

what was a moment-
a fling-
will it still be that
the next day
after that;

it’ll be lost in time-
and minds-
so we’ll probably
never know;

was it chance;
was it planned;
was it taking advantage;
was it an advantage worth taking;

and, so,
will the memory
of the fury
in which they engaged,
until sufficient time has passed
has now become
a different passion

a crime of “passion;”
a “passion” begs the crime-

consensual crime takes time.

Paul Churchill Mann reads "Consensual Crime":

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J.H. confesses: "I try to expose myself to as much information as possible. At the same time, I work hard not to make value-judgments about the info. Then, sometimes, maybe, it just comes to me. Of course, in my case, that means having notepads, pens, etc, around me- and within reach at all times. Because, it is fleeting- whatever you want to call it- put it down or else it will be gone."

J.H. JOHNS "grew up and came of age" while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia. Specifically, the two places "responsible" for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia. Since then, he has moved on to Chicago—for a brief stint—and New York City—for a significantly longer stay. Currently, he is "holed up" in a small town where when he is not writing, he tends to his "nature preserve" and his "back forty." His goal is to surround his house with all sorts of vegetation so as to obscure it from the gaze of the "locals." He is assisted in this task by his coonhound buddy and companion, Roma.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Colin James


Birch trees cut into even lengths.
Beneath the pile of logs a foot explodes.
The body is not inexpressive, nude.
The white bark envisions eventualities.
Peripheral spiders crawl through black eyebrows.
A paper dress, the embalmer's nightmare.
Should she include this tentative cartography?
The map semantically emotive and crude.

Colin reads "Northern Bride":

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Colin confesses: "There are a lot of white birch trees about and I imagined them as brides with perhaps some complications."

COLIN JAMES has a book of poems, Resisting Probability, available from Sagging Meniscus Press and a new book of poems forthcoming from Wondor Editions. He lives in Massachusetts.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Patricia Lacy


Walking the alley
in the dark of night,
my dog prances around the refuse,
sniffing hopefully
at piles of decay,
but then, even he trots away...

No use for all the trash,
Better to walk beside the river,
Where at least there's light.
Birds dive into ripples
As a boat floats into dock.

But all that's floating free
Is simply debris.
The plastic neck from a six-pack
To strangle a bird,
No twist or turn nor wings.
Beating wild...
Will save that bird to swoop over
whoever again strolls by...

A glass bottle drifts to shore,
Then crashes on a rock,
Shattering glints
Attracting wildlife,
Their true danger masked.

A grungy cigar butt, my dog chews upon,
We walk until he eschews the filth.
My bag at hand to clean with stealth
the regurgitate, butt et al.
Toss it into the waste can,
Wishfully thinking
It will be the last,

But knowing
More and more
will be
Left behind.

Gerald So reads "Grime"

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Patricia confesses: "I was inspired to write this poem because littering and poisoning our environment, even unintentionally, is a serious crime that many commit in their daily lives."

PATRICIA LACY has been President of the League of Women Voters Georgetown County, South Carolina and served on the board of Acton Stowe League of Women Voters, She is a member of Riverkeepers and is a staunch supporter SCELP and the Sierra Club. She writes poetry when she’s not saving the environment.