Friday, May 27, 2016

Carl Boon - Two Poems

The News From Aleppo

Walking the mosque wall
where her father fell
to shrapnel, Malek,
the girl they call Angel,
imagines the Mediterranean.
Green expanses, dolphins,
islands free of screaming.
She would like to have her baby
there, to soothe its belly
and shoulders, to feed it
as seven clouds move east.

Sadri the Bookseller
on the mosque steps bristles.
Malek comes close to smell
the ink on his fingers,
which reminds her
of her father, and to smell
the cherry tobacco in his pipe.
What’s left of her home
is a moonstruck wall
and piles of debris.

The Russian bombs
fall when they are sleeping,
she and the baby inside her.
Mother sleeps late,
thinking of orange groves,
her brother’s bicycle
propped against the gate.
The mornings were sunnier
then, with her mother’s kitchen
calling her for lunch
and the men crossing
the road to pray.

See My Heart

Gone save the shadow
of her hair between the hills,

she left me with a fragment
of a song, something she heard

in a Kadıköy bar one night
late with ferries and peddlers:

“See my heart
decorated like a grave.”

I’ve forgotten the wording,
but not her, who stood always

with her face to the sea-
wind, her denim ambition,

her legs stretched
on the boulders, a flower

in her hand. The lover says
to the lover: you will glimpse

a remnant of me in memory;
you will writhe and sink

into the stone-heart
of being, but never die.

The heart only, painted,
mishandled, terrifying—

crushed into bunting, black
ribbon, and a broken song.

Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Thirds North, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and the Kentucky Review.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sudeep Adhikari - Two Poems

Tree is a Fractalscape

A shape of silence stands green
on the skeletal wood-bones
and the other day, it wept
the entire sky, criss-crossed clouds
and her thunderous
lightening gloom.
A tree is the shortest distance
between two infinities,
she is not a straight line.
Above and beneath, ether and soil
a songster tree, sweetly conjures
the ancient alchemy
of "coniunctio Oppositorium".
a deathless God, resides in a finite flesh
fractal conjoined.

Grunge and Conscience

Once I saw Stone Temple Pilots in Cleveland,
there I lied to an army friend, straight to her face
that she was fighting
in Middle-East for democracy and peace .
we preserved our individual illusions
and continued enjoying
the coked-out antics of Scott Wieland
may his deceased soul rest in peace;
Born in California, died in a tour bus 12/03/2015
Grunge is dead; as dead as the conscience of Kathmandu,
Washington and other self-delusional Atlantes.

Sudeep Adhikari, from Kathmandu Nepal, is professionally a PhD in Structural-Engineering. He lives in Kathmandu with his wife and family and works as an Engineering-Consultant.  His poetry has found place in many online literary journals/magazines, the recent being Kyoto (Japan), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada) and Red Fez (USA). 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Donna M. Davis - Three Poems


I walked outside
and all the words were gone;
the neighborhood was
empty of language.
Winter snow howled
a snaking silence.
No one was talking
about anything that mattered.
Unctuous politicians
with bad hair
had posted selfies,
taken billboards captive,
and stolen the thoughts
from every mind in the world.
Porches were missing
their morning newspapers,
but computers were turned on
to the vacuous websites of celebrity.
Someone famous had died,
and someone, who someone else
really knew, was dying
quietly offstage.
Cancer, heart attacks, suicides,
falls on the sidewalk ice,
brains fevered with crack,
none of this appeared
in daily obituaries
of the unrenowned.
The air was dense with
smothering disconnect,
and the robot voices of
talking heads sucked up truth
and spat it out sideways.
Gym rats treadmilled
sequences of  monotony,
anesthetized in place,
watched overhead TVs
in separate slots,
anxious to get home
and access their electronics
for another fix.
The words were still there,
but imprisoned,
clogged in boxes
with arrows, icons,
and cascading squares,
leading to more details,
opening up page after page,
and saying absolutely nothing.


The church had a basement chapel,
where votive candles flickered
on painted statues of saints.
A blonde, wafer-colored Christ,
wrapped in a winding sheet,
rested inside the communion altar,
visible through rectangular glass.
Solitary worshippers knelt down
in a single row of wooden pews,
sheltered in dusky shadow.
I went there because it was quiet,
because of the holy water font
shaped like a grotto with wet stones
covered in velvety green moss;
pennies lined its basin,
coppery with prayer.
I could hide there after school,
escape the harsh taunts
of mean girls in plaid skirts
and crewcut boys with thick necks.
I could walk to the back chamber,
where a life-sized plaster Jesus,
crowned with coiled thorns,
stood in a wrought iron prison
his back to barred windows
that framed the church parking lot.
If I stared at him too long,
he would seem to move a finger,
or roll an eye filled with blood,
as if he understood what I felt.
I kept this to myself all these years:
how I forced the lock of his cell,
when no one was around,
how I pressed holy water
to his forehead with a handkerchief,
and left the door open wide.


A teenage girl faces the mirror
and searches for it,
in the fullness of a breast,
the bow of an arched back.

Maybe she thinks a flicker of blue
brushed on narrow eyelids,
or pink dust on flat cheekbones
will bring her closer.

She stumbles toward its portal,
naked and unguarded,
presses her body
against the plane of glass.

The girl is trapped in an illusion,
not understanding perfection’s
improbably sublime surfaces
and smooth curves.

She doesn’t realize the truth,
but cries and turns away,
while flawed spheres of atoms
spiral and shower around her.

Donna M. Davis is a native of the Central New York region.  A former English teacher,  she owns a  resume writing and book design business. Her poetry has appeared in Third Wednesday, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House , Oddball Magazine, The Milo Review, Halcyon Magazine, The Comstock Review, Aberration Labyrinth, and others. She has work forthcoming this summer in Slipstream Anthology. She was a special merit finalist and winner of several of The Comstock Review’s national awards contests.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ally Malinenko - One Poem


I wonder if those hard little tits hurt more
shoved into the mammogram machine.
I wonder if they’ve ever had a sonogram,
been sung to by that gentle click and whir,
sat on the paper-lined table
and been told by a grim-faced technician
that the doctor will be right in.

No, I tell myself,
they are too young,
but then again,
so am I.

And I wonder
if anyone in her family has been tested,
if she knows about any risks.

Her tits are perfect
which is a stupid observation.
She’s in porn.
the job requirements might not be extensive
but I’m sure a flat stomach
and perfect tits are two of them.

The scar across my nipple stares up at me
like an expectant child waiting for its turn
on the merry-go-round.

The sticker, inked black by a technician with a sharpie
is a crosshair just below my clavicle.
It’s the marker where the radiation beam
must be shot

But for her
there is just skin
supple and young.

On the screen
the man, slick and shiny
and the girl
smiles a loose, gratified smile.
She makes the same face
I had hoped to make
on my own
which was the whole point of this.

The video ends
and I slide my hand
from between my legs,
roll over on the bed,

Fuck you, cancer.
You ruined even this.

Ally Malinenko is the author of The Wanting Bone and How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the YA novel This is Sarah (Bookfish Books). Her most recent poetry book, Better Luck Next Year is forthcoming from Low Ghost Books. She tweets at @allymalinenko mostly about David Bowie, Doctor Who and stupid cancer.