Tuesday, July 17, 2018



when i was a child
i feared authority —
the stern voice of
a teacher
the kids
who bullied me
the doctor
holding the needle
my mother
when she gave me
that look
my father motioning
to unbuckle his belt
the flashing lights
of a police car

now, at 50
still living
in America
the only thing
i fear
my existence

--Jenny Santellano


Monday, July 16, 2018


You came and found me in the night

Before recidivism
Before relapse
Before dawn
Before the alarm clock blare
Before the real world
Before work

I wrote you
A book

I carved your secret
Initials in the soft wood frame
Around the bathroom door

Around being a word I won at
Sleep-Over Camp

We played
UNO on the couch and watched
Harold & Maude

I hummed 'When Doves Cry'

Moonwalked past the window
Chasing shadow boxers

I dreamed of winning
You kept shuffling and hiding
All the good cards in the cushions

Telling stories of snapping beach

Laughing and picnics in the breeze

--Paul Koniecki

Sunday, July 15, 2018


                                                     The Hymn to Blood Sport

they drive beamers, porsches and hummers
up Northumberland to the golf course
they don’t stop for working men
doesn’t matter the weight they carry
or that it’s ninety degrees outside
they see a workman, they speed up

I have twenty boxes of books
to drop at the local library
nothing exciting, but cheap
and saleable. the guy whose
about my age is excited
all the boxes are uniform
they’ll fit in storage easily

I bring the last dolly full
he says, do you think there
are any part time jobs open?

I laugh, I am the part time job
as if keeping your job
is now a blood sport
he answers back, you’re bigger than me
you can keep the job

I walk to the van he says
funny isn’t it, all there is is
part time work
. I laugh
I have four part time jobs
I juggle. He looks at me
do you think we’ll make it to seventy?
I answer quickly, fuck no!
it’s always hard not to swear
I say, pardon me if that’s harsh
but fuck no
. he laughs, says
if I wasn’t working, I’d say the same damn thing

--Jason Baldinger

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Maybe the World Has Decided to Lose Its Mind

The same company that cloned Dolly the sheep
has successfully cloned a primate.
but they assure us that the process
is still a long way from producing human babies
even if it were ethically permissible.

And you take comfort in the term ethnically permissible
because you do not want to think of
row after row
of small cribs
in a science center somewhere.
You do not want to think what they would do
to those babies, especially if they were brown.

You do not want to think of what they could do
if they didn’t see those babies as babies
didn’t see people as people.
What could happen when corporations get involved.

You close your eyes.

This all feels like too much science fiction
except the police are executing Black people in the streets
and they are locking
kids in cages.

They are selling up our democracy piece by piece
for their own gains,
as they watch us tear each other apart.

So maybe it isn’t too much of a stretch.
Maybe the end times are here.
Maybe the world has decided to lose its mind.

Maybe we are past the point of going high
when they go low.

You are not sure, but you will lock your door at night
and check it again before dawn.
You will try to keep what you love on this side of the door
for just a few more hours.

Outside they are shifting the goalposts yet again.
By morning you will wake in a world you don’t recognize
far from the one
you wish you could remember.

--Ally Malinenko

....in a little self-promotion news, my new poetry collection The Philosopher's Ship

is out on Alien Buddha Press and can be purchased HERE

Friday, July 13, 2018


the burn

it is hard
to be motivated
to do anything
when it’s 80 degrees
before the sun is up
feeling like a prisoner
in your own home
because of the glare
of the insipid sun
the haze and humidity
95 yesterday
but it felt like 111
when even the whirl
of the air conditioner
is not enough
sitting on the couch half-drunk
half-crazy with the heat
as people are going mad outside
tearing each other apart
over parking spaces and shade
i remember being a kid
when they warned us
about climate change
and holes in the ozone layer
back then i was stupid enough
to think our leaders
would take care of us
because that’s what
they were elected for
but sitting here now
ending one heat wave
and waiting on the next
upset stomach
anxiety pressure
weighing down on my chest
another blazing summer
etched into the annals
of human ignorance and hell
i’ve never been less fooled
by anyone in a cheap suit
whose only master
is greed
and the almighty dollar.
--John Grochalski

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Where no one operates the lights

The lights never go off.
To sleep you burrow
under your foil blanket
and curl up like a cub.

Instead of sheep, count
children, twenty per cage.

Don't multiply to account
for how many cages.

If you need more numbers,
count the water bottles,
packs of chips, how many
children can sleep on one mat.

I don't know who she is but I
change her diaper. There aren't any toys

so she's my doll. Don't think
about why there's no dust on the wire.

The guard's gun is like the one
put to my brother's head.
To go back is death.
To stay here is purgatory.

Last night I dreamt of a lamp
beside a golden door

as I lie burrowed in a place
where the lights never go off.

--Emma Lee

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


in so much as to this point
we only get one body

it isn't easy being anyone
it's a last resort

or any other
vessel was already gone
i like fluffy pants

sesame bagels prestidigitation
mayra andrade buddhist meditation
setting suns the copious
abundant melting purple mystic sky

when you touch me
everything is blind the
interlopers always have an
advantage over the interloped

remove the element of
surprise and when two
beings enmesh
the character of their character
will be suppressed or revealed

i turn my head
in time to see
you running down the
hall a towel pinned
around your neck for
a cape laughing like
a child

faster than a lost thought
science proves in veritable detail
when you are vulnerable
your insides become heat
lightning rehabilitating the sky

--Paul Koniecki