Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back Home

by Zola Hjelm

Hear the clank of feet on wood planks
Hear my steps like the bad seed clapping her shoes
god’s lightning never comes
But the ship’s whistle does
and parts us from the pier
Even crossed arms can not defeat wet cold
salt lies stiff in hair,
lashes, brows
takes in my clammy hands
like a lover I never could keep
I tremble, not from cold
nor from this ship which caught a whale’s rumble-
that shook platforms
It was the anxiety of lost childhood
Speaking clear in my ear
heavenly tones ringing the call
to home.
I still own a coat’s accidental playground tumble
still own pockets of childlike bliss
still own that frivolous comfort pushing me on neighborhood swings-
There is no ride taking me back
and sand between these creases of clothes
are now all but an edition of time,
slipping through fingers
hyperextended from premature hands
ignorant of the physics on grasping an object
Grains fall to the motherland
a place accurate- but seemingly so inapt
And the gates are closed, golden closed, silver closed, closed in brass
and blessings.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


by Lyn Lifshin

It hurts to come back
and then, like stripping
a bandage off raw skin,
to leave, turn around.
It feels as if I’m facing
away from where I’m
going, pieces of the
house stapled into skin
and nerves. The cat
seems to feel at home,
jumps to the same chair,
eats as she hasn’t for
months and may not
again. My mother and
sister move back into my
dreams while the walnuts
die back a few branches
each time, more ragged
and bare against this
March snow that shows
no signs of letting up


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Desert

by Justin Wade Thompson

i've got my dick stuck in the sink and she's
crying out
to a dead deity
took off her glasses
and told me how worms crawl up the walls like
when she was a kid
living in Saudi Arabia
and they'd cut off
the food supply
everything went to rot
she was kissing my neck and
hanging on me
a whore of Babylon, she said
i held her hand
and downed five shots of whiskey
we danced a figure eight with our hips
with my dick
half hard pinned between
the cheeks of her ass
buried my nose in her hair

the smell of coconut butter and sweat
stuffing my lungs
and the whiskey kept my blood strong
threw the night until we fucked
each other's brains out on fire without a beat

without a mighty hand of a god
just her lips
on mine
and the sounds of our
bodies clapping in ecstasy.

On Roads Beyond Hell

by Justin Wade Thompson

i know i'll be on the road again soon
with no where to go
just following the old gasoline trail
and pushing key cards at motels

laying on my back in a white bathtub
somewhere in some city i've never heard of
masturbating over some girl i've never even kissed

i share a bed with the living
and share a toothbrush with the dying

nothing new
nothing pretty

and shoe-shines with gimmicks that leave you dead
and cold

crane machines full of dead stuffed animals
and girl cashiers that would spit in your face
had they any life left in them

the dead of a nation wrapped in cellophane
and crucified on billboards for merry men to decipher.

What Children Know

by Justin Wade Thompson

when i was a kid
we had this nice little spot
by the river

you could talk
and smoke cigarettes
no one would know

we were kids
it thrilled us
to retreat
from the world of parents
in unhappy matrimony

pictures of
wedding cakes and smiles stuffed
in an album somewhere
in some closet
by the fireplace
that we seldom

we were kids
we had secrets that meant

like snakes in the grass

we'd get chigger bites
on our asses and bathe in bleach

and we'd cover our tracks
as best we could

we didn't know love
nor did we care

we knew skipping rocks
and burning leaves
in coffee cans

we knew nothing but
drank water from the garden hose
til our bellies would
almost burst

we were boys
and blades of grass
made pillows for our feet.

Like Dead Rabbits Burning on the End of a Cigarette

by Justin Wade Thompson

tobacco smoke rolls
around my fingers
as i type these lines

a man once told
me smoking is
a ritual
the real magic that people
mistreat, always

it's the art of
every man
to breathe fire &smoke
is Prometheus
a toast to Dionysus
these lines i write
are Apollo

no one believes
in these things anymore
like no one
believes in dreams
they just want to
interpret them
and lock them up
in a glass bottle
like little model ships to
show off to their friends

that's all we ask for
these days
something to do
something to look at
something to buy, to own

but it's these lines i write
you can't own them
you can't buy them up
they won't rest on a shelf
in your office, or in your
they won't live in captivity
they put you in captivity
they put you under the key
these words take you away
and do with you
as they please

they tie you, they bind you,
to whatever rolls around
your heart,
around the hearts of gods,
like a golden circle,
or some unspeakable wisdom
at the end of a thousand
ivory arches.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

bee of good cheer

by Dan Flore III

I am only an empty red bull can
a blizzard of words
coughing in my mind
idle brains chattering at my jacket
getting by on a good hat,
a skateboard jump into the eclipse of what is abandoned
or maybe kidnapped
tonight as stop watches roar and pendulums murmur
she says the word cold with a speech impediment
that stabs me
a deep enlightened vulnerability
that makes choruses of children
rise to notes that raises waves over skyscrapers
without a drop of water hitting the cement
I walk through her gown
her hop scotch vagabond spirit
and am clouded, ignited
without a home
in an expanse of feather petals longing for a great wind of flight
I am chalk dust in her eyes
I reach into the exterior
the faceless strands of what will pass
and watch them pull me into heat rash
wind burn and comets gliding into their trails
I look down and watch my wounds drip
into her longing to scrub another's blood
but the sky embraces me
in its patterns of light and gentility moons
it coats me in its linen
even while the after taste of this earth still lingers


by Lark Beltran

Roads lie under roads,
etheric contours throbbing.
Does confluence of then with now
leave sticky timeprints
on the passing aura?
Bring melancholy pause,
a blight on blank neutrality -
those ripples from, perhaps,
an agonized goodbye
on harsher ground
ten thousand or a million
sunrises ago?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


"Just because I've spent half my life
in prisons and mental hospitals doesn't
mean I don't like sex. So I went out
Saturday night to get a piece of ass;
but I had to earn some money first: So
I let a faggot suck my dick. He paid me
eleven dollars and thirty-seven cents.
Then I went across town to find pussy.
And I found this skinny girl who said
I could eat her out for ten bucks. And
it's great because it's cold as fuck
and I lost my jacket and needed the change
to catch the subway when I'm done. So we
went into an alley to do it. She was in
front of me with crack-whore legs and a
tight skirt over a still fine ass. But
she looks good to me. I mean it's been
five months since I've had cunt. And just
then I hear a big nigger voice saying
don't move whitey. And the bitch turns
around and frisks me. She takes the
eleven dollars and thirty-seven cents
I got from the faggot and gives it to the
coon who tells me not to move. Then the
two of them take off. And I'm stuck
down-town, freezing, broke, and horny.
Shit, sometimes life is depressing."

by Joseph Hargraves


by George Anderson

He dies slowly by degrees
as if each breath is his last

his lungs shithouse after decades
of smoking & foundry work

attached to his oxygen machine
each strangulated snort a reprieve.

He sits there on his bed, his eyes
darkening, ‘Why do you live way

the fuck down there?’ he asks.
I shrug my shoulders. Beats me.

I guess I like the weather. I don’t
tell him how I like being away from

family. How they screw your mind.
How they limit you. He struggles

to sit up on his bed positioned by the
back door. He can’t make it upstairs

anymore. ‘Don’t get too fucken fat’,
he cautions, his belly flopping over

his pants. Later in the night I sit at
the kitchen table in the dark & stare

at the red light of his monitor, the old man
sucking, gasping for each goddamn breath.

Monday, January 25, 2010

McDonald’s Job Interview

by Melanie Browne

At his
Job interview
at McDonald’s
he mentions
his doctor’s
with Vicodin
during his
lengthy recuperation
for back surgery

Are you
currently taking
she asks
looking him
straight in the eyes

Oh no,
he says,
I’m clean
and clear
of that now

Ok, she says,
let’s move on,
and she
places the
W-4 form
in front of him
while he tries to
wake the
leg that has
fallen asleep

*Melanie Browne is co-editor of Leaf Garden press

Heaven is a Giant Pawn Shop/ Poems by Melanie Browne

Saturday, January 23, 2010

on the day Robert Parker died

by Derek Richards

we were at the local Market Basket,
shopping for cheap groceries,
immersed in two-for-one deals,
stocking up on frozen dinners
and juices that sip
well with vodka.

the annoying buzz of an incoming text message
caught me staring at three
different brands of sliced pepperoni.
just heard, robert parker died. oh no.

when i was 13/14 i would roam the dead streets
of tiny Essex, Massachusetts,
a liter of Wild Rose Wine
in my denim jacket pocket.
thinking bad glorious thoughts,
big cities and publishing contracts,
record deals and pretty blonde women
willing to learn to love

Spenser For Hire was not a favorite show,
i knew nothing of Hawk, Susan Silverman
or the true nuances of alcoholism.
it was ache, want, loneliness foremost
in that young, delicate mind,
to think that a famous author would one day
describe these very streets....

of course, i'm far older now,
but i still dream about walking dead-town
streets with a cheap bottle of wine
inside my jacket,
and on the day Robert Parker died,
it could've even been a good idea.

i'm lost.
like Jesse Stone, Sunny Randall,
and sometimes tough,
like Spenser himself,
or Hawk,
looking my best with good intentions
wrapped in bad-ass consequence,
solid knuckles and
the brilliant-vice of once again
saving the day.

when he wrote about Jesse struggling
with the idea of never having another drink,
i chewed on the same ice-cubes.
when Susan involved herself with
another dangerous man,
when love outweighed pride, heartbreak
and control,
i allowed myself to almost weep
because i knew what he really wanted to say.

Hawk will still be standing guard,
Mr. Parker,
Susan will still lead Pearl-the-wonder-dog from the bedroom once the dialogue
gets too frisky,
Jesse Stone will always wonder about
Jennifer and Sunny will never
go a day not trying to live up to the
reputation of her father.

on the day Robert Parker died
i decided on pizza rolls,
salisbury steak dinners and a new pack
of cigarettes.
i'll mix the vodka later,
sip the wine like Jesse would sip
his Scotch and soda.

and when Pearl-the-wonder-Dog comes
scratching at the door,
i'll tell my sweetheart to have patience,
she's just another important
character in an imperfect life.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snow Bound

an unemployment cheque,
shop-lifted necessities,
beer-bottle deposits and you
are all I have to pin myself to,
as clouds chariot over
the steeples of the forest
to other lands; falling
like blessings on other heads,
while I sit wondering
if the seven-year itch
I cannot scratch is really
trying to tell me something.

or is it me - nerve-wracked
by simple circumstance
and the dragnet plain
of bankrupt possibilities?

my eyes shift uneasily
as the mail-slot jumps,
sending me another
thousand thousand offers
on life and living,
while I contemplate
only railroad tracks,
bridges and dim distances:

I have so much further
to go than I ever dreamed
fit, wise or imaginable
through necessity.

by Jack Ohms

one over the left shoulder

(for Dylan LaCross)

we used to drink the days and nights
in chiming cut-glass bars and side-street dives;
me listening, him drawling Los Angeles,
Seattle, Corpus Christi, Meeker, Colorado, Mexico;
the oil fields and the dope deals,
that murder in the Salt Lake City streets,
a life lived out in dog years
and the woman trail ("those rotten cunts")
that led him by the balls to Finland,
where his grandmother had come from
when the white's chased them out:

"dancin' was forbidden during the Cold War"
Charlie told me a hundred times.

then one day the blood turned brown in his brain
and they found him unable to move on his bedsit floor;
he couldn't speak and the stories ended there.

now, up the main artery of frozen pine forest
and birch tree masses come his ashes
arriving here on some ghost train.

here, we are supposed to pinch and scatter them.

where? outside his favourite bar?
the hill he clambered drunk home every night:

"one step backwards, three steps sideways,
one step forward and puke - YEAH!"

or then maybe outside the unemploymet office,
or inside the unemployment office?

or then maybe one over my left shoulder, for luck?

some place, where the ground will dissolve him;
like salt in boiling water, Charlie's gone,
gone, gone, gone,....................gone.

by Jack Ohms

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How He Became A Ghost

by Noemi 'Siren' Soto

There is metal where his heart should be
cold and heavy, he carries it everywhere
deep within his hollowed out chest he made himself
He used to be warm blood pumping
but now he walks with the burden of the wounded
staggering with the stench of fickle love

He licks my lips trying to heal what he made bleed
but he is shrapnel tongued
and I still have the word "beautiful" embedded in my skin
Hand in hand, we put kisses in boxes that we hid under his bed
tucked away never to be found
Only we knew it's hiding place

He broke himself down into small pieces so as not to overwhelm me
and with two fingers, he placed each jagged piece under my tongue
until he became a part of me

If I could, I would take his beating heart
and place it in my pocket
so that I may know what it is like to be truly close to him
He always kept his skin thick
so I couldn’t find my way underneath
and burrow myself within him
Arm’s length was never far enough

We shared secret moments tangled up in bed sheets like nooses
Told me how much he cared for me as he hiked up my skirt
That’s the only way to get a man to like you, you know
I tried to hold on to him
but he’d turn into a ghost to slip right through my fingers
just had to watch as he floated away from me

We were always a silent train ride home deep in thought
skin still sticky with sweat
mind swimming with regret and confusion
Trying to make sense of it all

Nowadays I watch him from a distance
careful not to step too close
He’s always knew how to make his way in

And as for me…
Well, I have become a closed fist
ready to unleash all of the bitterness he placed so sweetly inside the palm of my hand.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


by Michael H. Brownstein

The soft lust of snow,
White imprints against the trees,
Diamond juice, clean, responsible,
And when the great melt comes,
We lean here against the rain,
A grand mist gathering into us
Like breath, like yellow light
At the corner, each tick
Another stream to the sea,
Flickers of color in fields of cloud.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


by Hugh Fox

No Nazis so far this afternoon, but what about
all the break-ins in Everywherevilles, and the
Hand of Earthquake punching down on Haiti,
my sister-in-law’s pancreatic death-sentence,
in today’s obits no one over seventy-five and
I’m seventy-eight, Nazi cancering and suicide-
bombing, and even if everything was just sliding
down the perfect river in perfect sunlight, the
bowels start to go, the joints, tumors are born
smiling on the left side of the brain, the tongues
and clitori and toenails, hair and kneecaps,
baby-seeds and sperm all so perfectly planned
as we spin around sun-perfect seasons into
(where is He,
where are They?)


by Hugh Fox

Twenty years (at least) since he’d married Sarah (Thailand),
who was in med school with him at the University of Chicago,
and he’d gone back with her to Thailand, four orientalized Irisher
kids (three girls, one guy), and he’d gotten way inside the sa, wa,
yin, dee, sa wat language, although 90% of the time his fellow
M.D.’s made a point of speaking English with him, very happy
with the sea food and curry and Kaeng phet ped yang, duck and
red curry no less, her father and mother and brothers and.....then
one day, a letter from Chicago: “Kevin, they say I’ve got maybe,
at most, another 30 days to live, thinking about you full-time,
don’t know if you can...,” just dots, the handwriting
flimsily faltering, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU CAN, yeah,
man, I CAN-CAN-CAN.....horrible flight, Jack’s wife, Elsie,
picking him up at the airport, “Maybe we should
go out to the house first, you must be...,”“Nah, I slept
on the plane,let’s go see him...,” U. of Chicago hospital,
impressive place, into his (private) room, looked like
a corpse already, but “I know I’m only your a cousin,
and it’s been years, but...,” “I feel the same way about
you...and [looking loveingly at Elsie] Jill too...,” “All the
Christmases we had together, Easters, you know...,”
“The only brother I ever had was you...,” sitting down next
to the bed...,” jacking up their spirits, thinking “Jack in
the forever box...,” wiping that vigorously away and forcing
himself into the however-long-it-lasted, shared NOW.


by Jay Coral

of that quiet night
she told me about Faust
how it sent her chills and
shook her sleepless
the ceiling opening, the walls talking
the devil is real!
her senses intact, she let me in
her wanton fear cradling in my cusp
and then i watched her sleep
the peaceful geography of her face
unscorned by any witches' spell.

*Jay's blog:

Saturday, January 16, 2010


by Phil Lane

Straitjacketed in
for a two-hundred mile
burn, brain burns
like bloodshot sky,
my only compensation:
the confinement
of a smoking room,
the comfort of
complimentary coffee
brewed by some Blonde
Brick Shithouse
(the grateful type)
I am almost thirty,
and I don’t fuck
her because I’m
not a man,
the alarm clock ticks
like red rain, the blue,
blue morning unfolds
like an eyelid,
the hungover sun
a pisshole
in the sky,
first frost white
as cocaine glaze
on gingerbread rooftops:
‘tis the season
to muddle through
somehow, to light
the lights, follow
the formalities,

out of the evening’s ennui
gathers a blinding snow squall
which leaves me blind,
leg-locked, guilt-ridden,
the delirious, trembling
traffic tangles in
my veins,
all my thoroughfares
jammed in the stasis
of morning,

awake in a different
city swaddled by
the same old skin;
two-hundred miles
and my only
the rhapsody of rain
on the road, the hum
from the hole
of the whore
called home, fragrant
like formaldehyde
and fixed as a
flagpole that never
gets furbished—

Friday, January 15, 2010


by Chris Butler

When I get so high,
I feel that my mind
could fuck the sky,

but it’s probably just
my brain dry humping
the ceiling of my skull,
like a chandelier
of concussed




by R.G. Johnson

no need for diplomatic heads
just asshole intentions and hospital daycare bombsites

democracy cockles erect and aroused
infidel oilfield political gloryhole burn victims engaged

sodomize reason with holy war douche;
mop the desert shiny with metal and fire

Sucking on the drum-rolling hero-vein:
‘The few, the proud,’ the dead

drive! drive sub automatic cheeseburger liberty to Mecca!
smear proud chins with ultra cakewalk pleasantries

mind flag oblivious motive lick job with whiskey (yeah!)

football and racecars baby
cigars and trophies for all

gonna gonna pound the poor to porridge
just to prove my Cadillac prick rules the world

enough talk

let’s get this orgy riot church social slaughter house cranked
and force-feed it to anyone who cuts a disapproving gaze
until they squeal like 14 yr old chemically handicapped Frat boy
rape kittens!

for freedom!
for country!
for God!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My 7th grade French Teacher

by Melanie Browne

spent a lot

of our class

time talking

about her relationship

with her husband.

she talked about

it in English.

sitting on her desk,

she talked

and talked

about it

and before I

knew it the bell was

ringing for the next class

and at the end of the year

I barely knew the

the French alphabet

but I know they

never had sex

on Fridays

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


by Stephen Jarrell Williams

This might be all of me:

work shirt,
faded jeans,
tennis shoes,
well-used memory of women I've had...

Getting it out now,

screaming to the far mountaintops,

my city a pink glow in the after dark,

sun dying
inside of me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

dried food, weapons

by Adam Moorad

devise a plague

it's nothing now
to have an infection

like the German SDS
we make demands
for tv time,
we do

we got
to get
producing mutated strains
of empty calorie heaven

we can control
every ant

walking tape recorders

by Adam Moorad

can't be un
done without

micky mouse

the voices come

conditioning is easy
in oklahoma

Saturday, January 9, 2010


by Lyn Lifshin

geese parade in late afternoon
icy light. The cat’s coiled
on the table as if to share
something she doesn’t know.
Last night was definitely hell.

The cat, coiled on the table is
apricot, soft as little feels.
I’m tired of looking for things
that aren’t worth it. The
geese intrigue me, parading,
soaking up late afternoon

I’m tired of looking for things
that don’t matter:
rings, horse paintings, photo
graphs. My cat nuzzles,
shares more than she knows.
The geese, in rose light, glisten

Last night was definitely hell.
The cat knew something was wrong.
The rings, the horse painting on
orange, the photographs of my

father touching my sister and I
so lightly, as if even then there
was a softness that wasn’t,
never mattered

*Lyn's website:

Friday, January 8, 2010

'Everyday Asymptote'

by Mikko Harvey

The hardest task for people like you and me
is to let it be easy: to breathe intangibility,
be free from immediacy, swallow pride
and insecurity alongside green tea.

Let yourself fall into warm failure,
like your cousin who never grew up.
Light music plays in a coffee shop and you feel okay
about the rain. You don’t need an umbrella to stay dry
if you’re inside. Watch as the other rats run, wet
with sweat. Watch as they find fulfillment in their endorphin

Drop out of their race. Play with me—
the game that has no rules.
We can both be winners,
if only you’ll let yourself lose.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


a cheerleader, never
hot in high school
because each Sadie
Hawkins dance or
Junior Women’s
club party meant
having to ask one
boy after another
who turned me down.
Because I was fat,
no beautiful body
like the girl who’d
lose her face when a
car tried to merge
with it. Because I
was Miss Middlebury
High, not for being
popular or my looks
but for winning art
and science contests,
I thought only the
pretty, skinny girls
deserved clothes,
worked for months
on my science project
of the eye as if to say
Look at Me. The pink
pique dress in my
uncle’s store seemed
too beautiful for me.
When I fell for one
boy and he dropped
me I lost 40 pounds
and boys in Hillel,
with so few Jewish
girls in town, began
to ask me out. But
tho there were many,
I still see myself as
that shy plump hardly
popular girl in glasses
who turned red when
Mr. Dewey weighed
us in class and boomed
our weight out. He might
as well have had a loud
speaker. I never felt I
had a time to be pretty.
Skinny was supreme.
Now I look at the young
girls in strapless dresses,
their beautiful arms. So
if I buy clothes more
appropriate for a thinner
me than I was, leave my
hair long, in spite of all
who’ve tried to cut it,
(that only makes me think
of women in Auschwitz,
stripped and shaved) I
think it is to try
to celebrate

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:

Sunday, January 3, 2010


by Lyn Lifshin

how some man googled Cove
Point, came up with my poems
and then wrote me. I’d forgotten
one high school love brought
me here before he shipped out.
Parked near the Cove. The Lake
water lapping. Unzipped, un-
buttoned. The moon a white
plate and his dark eyes moved
all over me. When he left I
thought my life was over. I was
13 and didn’t eat until he wrote
weeks later from Guantanamo.
It was the summer Groucho Marx
pointed me out in the audience,
my ravishing hair and shoulders
he said and my turquoise strapless
gown. If only I believed what
he said I would not be so wild to
prove I am now, would have
felt less shy with the man who
took me to canoe on the lake,
never touched me. He painted a
water color, caught the quiet after
noon. I need to take it out, feel
that calm again

*Lyn's website:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Edge Lyric # 6

by Seth Jani

The wind will kiss me here tonight,
Its jagged teeth clean against my body,
A lady I longed for and now can taste
Dying sweetly on my lips.

Coupling in the sheets with the
Scent of gin
The primal meaning eats away at me,
Flesh as pliable as summer grass
Bending to October's breath.
The surge of deep canals that cover
Only skeletons.
Looking for love in a flash
Between two nothings.
Terrible clods of clay trying to sculpt
A meaningful architecture.

Here in the deep dark of night
The body is a frail flicker
A wood-chip in the furnace of the world
That burns and burns and slowly succumbs
To the irony of ash.


Friday, January 1, 2010

This Broken Doorstep

by Carol Lynn Grellas

There is no speed necessary for this journey you’re on;
I'm here on this broken door step,
waiting in cracked cement
holding myself fast between nothingness and you.

Here I stand for years and minutes,
never counting as I’ve seen the cycles change:
the trees losing limbs during my long need.
You are on the way and I know that now

and I'm here on this broken door step.
The swing sways in empty moonlight;
even at the end of my days it will be holding you.
Shoulder to shoulder our flesh will melt.

Here on this broken door step,
waiting in cracked cement,
there lies a rose dropped from a flowering vine.
hopeful it would adorn your palm.

But there's no speed necessary for this journey you’re on;
I am here, on this broken door step,
waiting in the cracked cement.
I am on my way to you walking through bramble

and weeds as I smooth away time,
knowing your suitcase is open,
the moonlight as my flare.


by Carol Lynn Grellas

Open me gently, Kathy
this letter that was so hard to write.
It hurts to miss you, now
that I know what a sunset is
after a day of worry and tears,
Life's been short without you,
you, who sat; a dancer at her piano
playing Desperado, by the hour;
we are desperados, Kathy
on the run from what’s chasing us—
only, you’ve fallen behind.
You, who loved me with rose-petal baths
and poppies on weekends;
hiding from the world outside,
when orchids lined windows while
we lounged on pillows
thinking our journey would go
on forever. I’ve lost my way to forever.
When a bird loses her way,
she needs the wind to send her flying;
I’m looking for that wind
to give me the courage
to fly. How I wish I could turn
in place and click my heels to find you—
once you told me you loved me too much
to ever say my name...
say it now Kathy, if only I could
hear you. Say it now, say it now
say it now.

Rumba Man

by Carol Lynn Grellas

Hey there Rumba man─
that dance you’re doing is double
x-rate and I’m ready to move
in four/four time

my skin shiny with sweat-filled
notes; real live erotica. Come
weep with me, we’ll moan through
oblivion, I’ll bend you like a wild

flower, your heart stroked to
suppleness on my soft wet tongue.
Come on rumba man, I’ll lick your face
to a beautiful-clean and when we’re

done your lungs will know the perfumed
scent of us; our legs tangled in this labyrinth
love. This is it your free pass
to stroke my curved body beyond

the moonlight’s cavernous call
a midnight-climax in measured
concert, like a massive wave
on the naked shore with one more

begging prayer from the lone girl
glistening nearby; mouthing
a take-me prayer, standing there
undressed and ready for a harmless

urge of symbiotic motion, the ocean
swelling from genitals lost
at sea, both of us crowned in myrtle,
where the sparrow is ever sacred

to even the coldest Aphrodite.