Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Shea Garvin's "White Oaks, Los Padres National Forrest" for #NationalPoetryMonth

Shea Garvin works at Works at Sickass Cat Studios, and lives in Portland. 

White Oaks , Los Padres National Forrest

Down and away from the
dreams of giants
old ways California past
Away and across dreams blue and gold
of California now
past hills playing tag with militant orchards and the sun's day's end
rose madder rays past ranches hidden, houses perched towns nestled
dreaming of where they are a waking dream under stars I know from

other angles Tomorrow the ocean a new horizon

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gary Hanna's #ekphrasis #poetry, a collaboration of sorts with James Hamilton's painting. #NationalPoetryMonth

Gary Hanna has received two poetry fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts and another from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His poetry has appeared in over sixty journals and he has won four small national contests. He is on the editorial board of the Broadkill Review and is manager of the Writer’s Library in Delaware. 

Why Wives Wait

(After the painting The Sea At Atlantic City
by James Hamilton)

Cumulus monsters, rise up
higher than the imagination
of any sky, the grey mass
roils, rolls in the air, like
a biblical wave threatening
the smallest grain of sand.
They stretch, control the
horizon at mid point, sit
on the darkest line crushed
to the density of lead.
The mass of tears is so deep
the whole world would cry
if it were not held up
by a shiver of the strongest
light, a spirit bearing the
weight of every heart,
while calm waves sweep
in, reach out to land, as long
as eyes will wait, for the

fisherman’s safe return. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jim Bourey has a conversation with #CharlesBukowski in these #poems, #NationalPoetryMonth

Jim Bourey is a certified senior citizen, a retired plumbing and heating wholesale manager and lifelong student of poetry.  His work has appeared in Fourth Coast Arts Magazine and “Said & Unsaid” an anthology from Winding Road Press in Marietta, GA.  In 2012 his poem “Words Then Space” was a runner-up for first in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition and he was invited to read at the “Words and Music” conference in New Orleans.  He lives in Dover, DE with his wife Linda but he spends an inordinate amount of time at a cabin on the Deer River in northern New York State.

The following are selections from a twelve part poem based on Charles Bukowski’s “Defining the Magic”.  The poem describes what Bukowski felt were the qualities inherent in a good poem.

I)  Cold Beer

manuel sweats a lot
as he puts together
beans and meat
flour and water
heat tomatoes
peppers chocolate
spice and salt
fruit sugar
love passion fury
creating the only
real food in this little
town working in his
café six days
a week
some people don’t
eat at all on monday
when manuel sits
in his leaky boat
drinking a cold
beer planning

a monday meal for
his sweet maricelia

V)  Hot Butter

when the time came
he faded
breathed deeply
a time or two then

no shit this isn’t
bad at all

and it wasn’t

for him

VII)  Feet on Foreign Ground

descending becomes rolling
on the runway and then
a clunky stop followed
by a thump as an old
fashioned stairway bumps
against the plane
heat dry and fragrant
pours through the open
door and the passengers
are reluctant none of them
in a hurry to gather
their belongings to leave
the safe cool metal
cocoon that brought them
to this last stop where
everything familiar ends
where safety belongs
to no one and life is
only as important
as the money in the belt
strapped around your belly
it is an indulgence
called on the edge tourism
a chance to see a reality
chained to violence where
children are a commodity
where women are frozen
in time shrouded but still
living and young smiling
men carry rifles grenades
and cell phones
eyes gleaming with
holy zeal ready to pose
for your infidel camera
and you know that it could
all go wrong and you
almost wish it would

XII)  When to Stop

you do go on
she said
you blather about any
thing and every
thing until
the reader
wants to light
the page on fire
just so they can
quit reading
and I said
but honey
the pages are already
on fire
that’s why they don’t
stop reading

i really believed that
a long time

Sunday, April 23, 2017

15th Annual #DogfishHeadPoetryPrize opens May 15, 2017. Submit your best poetry manuscript

Submission Guidelines

  • The fifteenth annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for the winning book-length manuscript by a poet residing in the Mid-Atlantic states (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia) will consist of $500, two cases of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Beer*, manuscript publication by Broadkill River Press, and 10 copies of the book (in lieu of royalties).
  • The rules are: Manuscripts must be received by midnight, August 15, 2017.  Manuscripts received after the closing date will not be considered.  Eligible poets must reside in the above listed states and be twenty-one years of age by the date of the award.The manuscript is to be submitted electronically in one MS Word document attachment.  Please do not include illustrations, photographs, or use an unusual font. Send to prize coordinator Linda Blaskey at  Snail mail submissions will not be accepted.
  •  Send two title pages with each submission: the first with the title of the manuscript, author’s name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address; the second with just the manuscript title.   No manuscript is to have any author-identifying information other than the one title page and will be rejected if it does. Judging is blind and double-tiered. The manuscript must be book-length (between 48 and 78 pages of original work – no translations). A poem may be more than one page. One submission per entrant.  There is no entry fee. 
  • The award will be presented to the winner on Saturday evening, December 9, 2017 at the Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware.  The winner must agree to attend this event and to read from their winning book at a reception honoring the winner.  The prize will be officially awarded by Sam Calagione, Founder and CEO of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Distillery, or by another company official.
  • The author of the winning manuscript also agrees to provide, within ten days of notification, a color head-shot photograph, with photographer’s credit, for the back cover and a dedication page for the interior of the book. Also, an acknowledgement page of poems previously published, and in which publications and/or websites they appeared will need to be provided. The winner agrees to travel to Delaware at the winner’s expense for awarding of the prize.   Dogfish Head will provide the winner two nights lodging at the Dogfish Inn in the beach resort town of Lewes, Delaware.
  •  Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales retains the right to use any of the winning work in promotional materials.
  • Co-workers of Dogfish Head and their families are ineligible to enter.  Previous winners of the prize are ineligible to enter. 
  • For questions and more information contact Linda Blaskey, Prize coordinator, at
  • or at

From the land down under, Ashley Capes gets lowercase #NationalPoetryMonth

Ashley teaches Media and English in Australia, while co-editing and His first collection of poetry pollen and the storm was published with the assistance of Small Change Press in 2008 and his second stepping over seasons was published by Interactive Press 2010

before tomorrow

as a flu comes on

traffic stops
and the whole couch is
a hundred degrees:

drugs for sleep

and fingers superimpose
but bilge water
from the titanic
wouldn’t be cold enough

every step
is a wave of jelly

and the phone can
scream its guts out

making lunch
with trembling limbs,
knife is a
lead weight
and the fridge door

                        more like a combination safe. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy #NationalPoetryMonth. Franetta McMillian's #prosepoem "Paradise"

FRANETTA MCMILLIAN has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She has published a number of zines including LILY ON THE BEACH and ETIDORPHA. Her short stories, poetry, artwork and essays have appeared in THE BROADKILL REVIEW, DREAMSTREETS, GARGOYLE, POSSUM GARAGE PRESS and several other little magazines. She splits her time between Newark, DE, Avondale, PA, and the perfect world in her head. She started writing the stories in LOVE IN THE TIME OF UNRAVELING the day after Deepwater Horizon blew. Drop her a line at


I don’t believe in Paradise. I’m wearing this vest because I’ve tried to talk to you several times, but you never listen. Death is the only language you understand and even to it, you’ve grown mostly deaf. All of our gods are drunk with the blood of martyrs. More carnage just belabors the point. But this is the loudest I can make my body shout and I desperately want you to hear me.

It’s not just the shrapnel that will kill you. It’s the force of the blast sucking the air from the bus that will flatten your lungs like a pancake. X-rays will reveal a large white butterfly, faint as a whisper, floating in your chest. I am a dervish. I am a dervish spinning a cyclone of butterflies. This is the mantra I will chant in my head as I pull the chord.

After this there are no virgins. After this there is only shredded flesh, chips of bone, and the taste of my raw blood on your lips. After this you and I will be little more than rumor. But I will have spoken and with your last breath, you will finally know who I am.

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Conor Leaves for Europe" Happy #NationalPoetryMonth! from the archives. Janice Lynch Schuster

Janice Lynch Schuster lives near Annapolis, Maryland, where she is Senior Writer for Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health care research and consulting organization. Janice's poetry has appeared in various print and online publications and her articles and op-ed pieces appear frequently in the Washington Post.

Conor Leaves for Europe

And I am talking about shoes:
What he needs to hike and tour.
He is keen on something dapper,
My bespoke man-child eyes
Boots made of wing-tips, thin soled,
Italian, expensive and sharp.
I suggest something sturdier,
More grounded—bullky, but light.

In a trunk of memories, I have his first pair
Of toddler shoes, saved and scuffless
From the days his feet rarely touched the ground.
He raced upstairs and, afraid he would come unbalanced,
I lured him back to me with a lollipop,
My fear invisible to him behind the treat.
I attached bells to the shoes.
Our house rang with explorations.

There will be no more bells,
Though I listen for his progress.
Whether the boots are stylish or stodgy
They will take him away from me.

Wasn’t that my job, to set him free,
Wild with his curiosity and longing,
The whole world a flight of stairs,

Me at the bottom, waving him on?