Monday, December 5, 2016

Jay Frankston


I came upon a traffic light
at a crossroads somewhere in the desert.
I could see the horizon
for miles around
neither building nor tree
blocked my view
Yet the light was red
and it went through my head
Now what in the world shall I do?
Shall I meekly submit to this robot cop
be proper and obey the law?
Or force the issue and be daring?
So I went. What the hell? Who will know?
The citation came in the mail some days later
for going through a red light
an instant photo was attached to the ticket
and the fine, to my dismay
was well over two hundred dollars
which shows that crime doesn't pay.

Gerald So reads "The Citation":

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Jay confesses nothing.

JAY FRANKSTON was raised in Paris, France. Narrowly escaping the Holocaust, he came to the U.S. in 1942, became a lawyer and practiced on his own in New York for nearly twenty years, reaching the top of his profession, sculpting and writing at the same time. In 1972 he gave up law and New York and moved himself and his family to Northern California where he became a teacher and continued to sculpt and write. He is the author of several books and of a true tale entitled "A Christmas Story" which was published in New York, condensed in Reader's Digest, translated into 15 languages, and called a Christmas classic by many reviewers.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bonnie Stanard


A hand with black fingers and exposed arteries
shamelessly shows itself near a railroad tie in broad daylight.
Hours of fetid heat and frequent showers
festered the folds of skin and uncovered areas of bone.

Just lying there, a hand,
and nobody reported it.

There's no way to know if the head is asleep in a hospital
or flaking away in another state somewhere along the East Coast line.

The local police release a report about efforts to trace
the train transporting a person of mangler tendencies;
forensics is brought in to compile a DNA profile
and if possible to expose the stages of detachment.

The media put forth analysts educated in psychology
to dramatize the dementia of such a perpetrator.
They investigate sinister influences
including poverty, drugs, and other abuses.
In the meantime, the hand is filmed and released
to a viewing audience
still missing major parts of humanity.

Bonnie reads "Detached Member"

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Bonnie confesses: The 1995 movie Citizen X influenced me in many ways. It's a story about a Russian serial killer who leaves bodies along a railroad line. And it's based on actual events. It bothers me that I'm entertained by such movies that show man's inhumanity to man.

BONNIE STANARD draws on her rural upbringing and an interest in history to write novels, short stories, and poems with credits in publications such as Persimmon Tree, Harpur Palate, The South Carolina Review, and Slipstream. She has published six historical fiction novels with a children’s book due out this fall. Website:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Robert Plath


when john gotti's
12 year old son
got hit by a car
& killed
while riding his
moped in front of
his house
the neighbor
who was responsible
for striking the boy

years later
in a book about gotti
it says that
to purge his
anger & grief over
the death of his son
gotti had men
kidnap the man
bring him to
a warehouse where
john gotti himself
cut the man
in three
with a chainsaw

i've tried this
method of catharsis
in my poems
i've tied my father
up to the page
& sawed him into pieces
with serrated sentences
but unlike
the man who
was cut in three
my father keeps
coming back to life
to run me over

Gerald So reads "Murder Inc.":

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Rob confesses: "My father was the inspiration for this poem in two ways. He would tell stories about his days as a bookie and collector for the mob in Brooklyn. I'd overhear these disturbing tales and when I was a little older the stories it led me to read a book about John Gotti. And unfortunately, the second way he inspired this poem was the way he treated his family, especially his children."

ROBERT PLATH is a 46-year-old poet from New York. He has over a dozen books out. He is most known for his collection A Bellyful of Anarchy (Epic Rites Press). He lives alone with his cat and stays out of trouble. See more of his work at