New Poetry by Rehan Qayoom

Years of research and a line of verse
The paper detritus is left behind
My pipe is full of butt-ends from the grate
Fit them all in anywhere

How much do you want of me?
How much can you take?
What do I have to do to win your emotions, or am I beyond redemption?
*ני לעצמי, מה אני; ואם לא עכשיו, אימתאם אין אני לי, מי לי; וכשא

This city fell a long time ago
Taken (not by impercipiently asking octogenarians)
By Blairian barbarians
Search now in vain for her lime green bowers
Try to convince yourself they do not know
Try not to cough in case it notices

This city is too big for you
Its current crop is rotten to the core
Its streets are being cleared of the remains
So then why this constant need for companionship?
I cannot say But if you had stuck out your thumb, yes
You would have stopped any of the 3 trains to Paris that have just passed you by

Hold my hand “Where are we going?”
I do not know whether to bask in the delight of these magic circles you form so much
Or the inclement weatherful trees or you
And yes, that also explains the twitch
He wants you to hold his hands too
My élan vital, timeless, true
Precambrian remembrancer, alphabetic osmosis

Come gentle sleep to wile my woes away
Severely swaying, saying

“Where are you staying?”
“I’m coming over” and the rest of it
I do not seek my image in the mist of eternal burning

* ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ Rabbi Hillel. Pirkei Avot 1.

— by Rehan Qayoom

Copyright© 2016 and beyond, by Rehan Qayoom. All Rights Reserved.

Death and the Mountain

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

I

The splinter of sunrise in the mind
Before the wind shifts

And the beacon fades

All of life is a furtive glance
By death

By death in life
Unless we laugh and make that splinter

Shine
Make it manifest as full beam

As entire sun
Entire world

 

Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

Blue Ridge Mountains, VA

II

The girl feared no one would care
She feared no one would come after her

But Van Gogh watched
And Van Gogh cared

As she walked into the horizon alone
Into the auburn and ochre

On her left
And the reds and greens

On her right

Black crows circling
Cawing above her

Mimicked in a sky
Like brushstrokes

Like golden bluish redish
Swirling heavens of new life

Overcoming death and fade
Death and forgetfulness

 

 

— by Douglas Pinson

 

New Poetry From Colin James

WAITING FOR MY HONEY IN FRONT OF THE SENATOR THEATER

 

On the theater’s door
a few written words,
“This Theater Will Be Closed
Until A Run On Sentences
Adequately Compensates.”
The leather chairs
varnish their legs.
A thick green compensates
carpets and cashier.
No coming attractions, instead a slat
beneath a portrait with one eye
missing occasionally.
No mints either,
just the smell of insatiable consequence.
As if the balcony stairs could be arrogant
or led away.

 

 

— by Colin James

 

 

Copyright © 2015, by Colin James. All Rights Reserved.

 

Colin James has a chapbook of poems, A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY,
out from Pski’s Porch Press. http://www.pskisporch.com/?page_id=139

 

Rebecca Lee: Extemporaneous Love

The Possibilities

 

Extemporaneous doesn’t fit. If he were truly Extemporaneous, his syllables wouldn’t stop up the sentence. Something short like ‘cut’ or ‘pretty’ might be in style, but four syllables is not off the cuff. Extemporaneous peers quizzically over small bits of party food.

The party-goer closest, hunches – tiny teeth exposed. He warns off all other Possibilities of trying to snack. The caviar is barricaded by Verboten Love. With swimmable sweaters still tight, Verboten sits in front, blocking any hope of Extemporaneous eating.

Extemporaneous sadly weighs the heavy consequences of knowing forbidden friends. What would a party be without them?

 

  — by Rebecca Lee
 
 
 Copyright© 2013, by Rebecca Lee. All Rights Reserved.

 

Rebecca Lee has been writing since 1992 and enjoys such authors as: Albert Camus, Augusten Burroughs, and Lionel Shriver. Although she reads mostly novels, she writes mostly flash fiction and poetry. Currently Rebecca lives with her small cat in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

Joseph Robert: The Poem Inside

Poem Not in Me

 

Not a Poem in Me,
But I am not lost for images or cleverer phrasings,
Simply lost,
Like a half-made analogy, like forgetting how to wink,
So, blinking, trying to will how to know how to whistle,
My lips round and,
I feel I believe there are man-eaters around,
I strain, listening for huskie barks,
Trying to tune out the police force’s ambulatory sirens,
Rather those dogs, cold and white, barking,
I picture a mugger, who pictures me,
Hearing a polar bear pad over tall drifts, somehow.
Who is stalking us both?
Then thirst makes me contemplate licking this igloo’s roof,
Freezing my tongue to its roundness,
Grasping inheritable spear, I glow in oily lamp light,
Whilst your self-expression takes a back seat,
Content with shouting directions at the jagged dreams,
Of ragged sleep, who drive in shifts down mad highways,
ut that’s hours off still yet, and yet,
I remember to breathe,
When I catch myself holding my breath,
Playing at my casted role of being that ascetic mystic,
Caught with crumb grubby fingers,
At bottom of that annihilating cookie jar,
Why?
How dumb am I?
No, seriously, I am asking.

 

— By Joseph Robert

 

Copyright ©2013, by Joseph Robert. All Rights Reserved.

Joseph Robert was born and raised in the Midwest. However, he has always been partial to Hawaiian beaches. Nevertheless: Go Badgers! After living and working for several years in rural Japan, he now resides in London with his wife, writer and poet Leilanie Stewart. In his spare time, you can find him at the British Museum trying to teach himself how to read Sumerian cuneiform. Don’t worry, yes, he has seen Evil Dead, so doesn’t read any of it out loud.

 

Neil Ellman: A Rose is a Phantom of a Rose

Some Roses and Their Phantoms

(after the painting by Dorothea Tanning)

 

 

When roses die their petals shed
like skin peeled from a snake
with nothing left but the phantom-coils
of yesterday’s blooms they shrivel
and spool, curl into shapeless knots
to live among the dead      
where the ghosts of roses go
to hide and be alone
with thoughts of might have been
springs that would never come.  

 — by Neil Ellman

 

 

Copyright © 2013, by Neil Ellman. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, as well as for the Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in publication throughout the world.  His first full-length collection, Parallels, consists of more than 200 of his previously published ekphrastic works.

 

 

A.J. Huffman: Midnight Walks Electric

Midnight Walks

 

Pink elephants glitter through a memory
of a garden.  Soaked in rain,
we dance so carefully.  Echoing
each other’s indifference
regarding vision, we pattern a moon.
Dialed for futility,

invisible hands reached through
ghosts (broth present and unaccounted for).
Laughter lightening tongues
toward tales of fear and following.  Our hands
folding inside each other as we cross
a bridge no one built to come out.  Unscathed
is a fairy-told demon.  We find
only slightly scarred is more reality’s toll.

 

 

 

 

Electric Sunset

 
Flock of feathered followers
pierce the clouds.  Dollops of fuscia,
gold, and lime sizzle before igniting.  Clouds
crack, open a peep show of silver linings.
Lighting spotlights the mountains’ misery.
1. . . 2. . . 3. . . Thunder matches angry
growl of night, resigns, fades from dripping red
to black.

 

Copyright©2013, by A.J. Huffman. All Rights Reserved.

 

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.com.  She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  She is the editor for six online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work here.