Monday, May 29, 2023

Adam Stemple


the dream is a corpse
rotting in school hallways
and the grocery aisle at Walmart
sacrificed on the anthill altar
of colony and mindlessness

the dream is a lie
by shaved heads and tailored suits
brothers-in-arms in a war
that only they are fighting

the dream is a fire
that chars the conqueror's soul
and tells him to burn his ships
on the shores of a world
new only to him

the dream is a bullet
hollow, pointed,
how many revolutions
till it strikes its target

and a new corpse is made
a new lie is spun
and the fire peels back
another layer of skin
from our gutless skeletons?

Adam's YouTube video reading of "The Dream"

Adam confesses: "No matter how many times we’ve screwed it up in the past, I’ve always believed the dream of America—the dream of a country united not by race, religion, or culture, but by the tenets set out in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence—was something worth fighting for. I wrote this poem when I felt the fight was lost."

is an award-winning author, poet, and musician. Of his first novel, Singer of Souls, SFWA Grandmaster Anne McCaffrey said, "One of the best first novels I have ever read." Of his later works, Hugo Award winning author Naomi Kritzer said, "No one writes bastard-son-of-a-bitch characters as brilliantly as Adam Stemple."

Monday, May 22, 2023

Charmaine Arjoonlal


I waited behind the wall to watch them
fawn skin and giggles
crisp uniforms and ponytails.
I knew they’d be a juicy treat and I salivated
drool dripped
a pond formed
deep, dark
I gazed into it and it stirred
ripples appeared
it clouded,
I stepped back and screamed
the building shook and shuddered
concrete and dust,
I looked into the pool and saw

Charmaine's YouTube video reading of "Secrets"

Charmaine confesses: "I have been thinking about the structures created to perpetuate the Colonization of Indigenous people and people of colour world- wide, such as Residential schools, and the subsequent crimes against children that went unpunished."

CHARMAINE ARJOONLAL is a social worker who lives with her husband and two spoiled dogs in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. When she’s not squeezing in writing, she enjoys hanging out in coffee shops, biking and swimming in cold lakes. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Under the Gum Tree, MUTHA, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and elsewhere. Charmaine is on Twitter @arjoonlal.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Format Change

I use DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials web browser extension, which has begun blocking embedded YouTube videos because Google tracks users' interaction with them. While no longer embedding videos, I will still upload them to my YouTube channel, linking to them in poem text posts as in the post for "Hawk's Day in Court" by Peggy Landsman.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Peggy Landsman

Thanks to Robert B. Parker for his Spenser series

"We shall prove this enforcer named Hawk
Shot these men we have outlined in chalk..."
"For the defense, sir,
We call Mr. Spenser."
Hawk nodded, he knew he would walk.

Peggy's YouTube video reading of "Hawk's Day in Court"

Peggy confesses: "My husband and I used to take turns reading out loud to each other. Robert B Parker's Spenser books were some of our favorite out-loudables. One night in 2004, after a particularly fun read, I wrote this limerick and sent it to Parker via his agent. 'Fun inspires fun,' I said. 'Thanks for all the inspiration.' Parker wrote back that he had fun, too."

PEGGY LANDSMAN is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Too Much World, Not Enough Chocolate (forthcoming from Nightingale & Sparrow Press, 2023), and two poetry chapbooks, Our Words, Our Worlds (Kelsay Books, 2021) and To-wit To-woo (Foothills Publishing, 2008). She lives in South Florida where she swims in the warm Atlantic Ocean every chance she gets. A selection of her poems and prose pieces can be read on her website: