THE MOTH – By Philomene Long

NOW IT IS LONG AGO – By John Thomas

POEM FOR PHILOMENE – By Stuart Z. Perkoff

Venice as Mecca or Jerusalem – By John Thomas

HAIKU VENICE (Kerouac Style – By Krista Schwimmer

poetry is the game – By Tony Scibella

Home – By Mary Getlein

Gaia – By Ronald K. McKinley

simply – By Frank T. Rios

Songs Of The Gods – By Marty Liboff

7 Dudley – By Rex Butters

DO YOU FEAR ME? – By Ellyn Maybe



(In Panama there are moths that live solely on tears; the tears of large land animals.)

By Philomene Long


The poem comes

Its currents brush

My lips

Even in sleep

I want to stay near

To what I fear, near

Enough to keep

An eye on it.

I awake

Feel it on my fingertips

Try to clutch it

Before it darts away.



This morning

In the room

A poem, wings beating

John Thomas

Snatches merely

A hot fragment

Before it is gone.


Stuart Perkoff

His voice darkening, died

With the unwritten poem

Fluttering in his fist

Two hours later

I bent to kiss his face

Felt the heat of it

Still on his forehead.

Asleep, awake

Even in our deaths

I suppose the poem

Does not need us

Holds its own bright secrets

To itself

Knows it is finer

Than all these lines

Of iridescent wing dust, pale ash



(for Philomene, Christmas, 1988)

By John Thomas


After the mythical coupling,

after the rain: streams

of water that had once been

sky, spent, trickling lanquidly,

lazy and irregular, through

broken gullies to wherever

everything goes.


After the mythical coupling,

after the rain: birds singing

in the wet hedges.


After the mythical coupling,

after the rain, they lie damp

and close and still, wrapped

in a single garment

sewn from butterfly wings.


Now it is long ago, night

is on its perfect way, and

the moon still hotly growing.



by Stuart Z. Perkoff



I had a flash/image

of you standing in

what I call yr “nun’s

position”–hands clasped,

head bowed, body a

straight line balanced–

& looking at you standing

that way in my

mind–stunned by

the beauty of you– I realized you look like Maud Gonne–

the Angel of the Irish Revolution,

Yeats’ lifelong passion

& muse  figure–


Philomene– daughter of lite

bring yr luminous dance

to open new visions,

within the black

against which

all struggle


Venice as Mecca or Jerusalem

By John Haag


I sit here on the sand,

a holy place on sacred land,

remembering the tribes and clans

that gathered here, took counsel

and dispersed; foreseeing all

the ones that will arrive,

drink our blessed water and survive,

only to disperse in turn

to spread the word amongst a disbelieving world.


Take heart, my heart,

for here is never lost

anything forever (but the soul

at times sent wandering along some other plane).


It too returns home safely

found like a cache of nuts

the squirrel lays by against

a cold day in hell, forgets,

then comes upon in time

of need.

Rejoice! The promised land is here;

The time is near at hand.


HAIKU VENICE (Kerouac Style)

by krista schwimmer


Counting her change

the young clerk looks through me –

I am already a ghost


At the Subway off Windward

the wild woman licks rainbow colors from her eyeshadow case


Midnight on Riviera

laughing with my husband –

two baby possums watch from above


Victory at VNC tonight! Oh, Toledo

Horizon, Market and Main!

In Calgary, Cousin Jimmy in ashes


poetry is the game


who worked hardest

abt the poem


was supposed

to say yr heart


in all that

whirls abt u

u pluck

what u can eat only

not wasting

a syllable

u learned

to walk on


most of us

are punished

for hoping

too much


the gratitude

sung to her

is habitual

as the breath:


all u want

: u must

give it back

& a song

to her is this

– Tony Scibella




your love is my love

your people are my people

when I look to you

I see myself

we are taking a step, on the way to peace

instead of nuclear tests,

we take the test inside –

is this our sister? Is this our brother?

if so, why aren’t we helping them?

it’s so sad

these people are out in the cold

forced to look through windows locked against them

at night, look at the bright windows

a’blaze with light

they stand outside, just for a moment

and look in,

gaze at the every-day beauty of most homes

it is such a gift, to have a home.

you only know how precious it is,

when it is ripped away

whatever reason, it is gone

and you are on “the road again”

and your journey through time & space

becomes so much harder.

Open your heart and take a look around

are you using your heart?

or is it shuttered forever, like those windows?

– Mary Getlein



By Ronald K. McKinley


Mother cries trembles

What reinvented perversion awaits her?

Body plagued by surface tension

Beginning marked by endings

Cold where she should be warm

Hot where she should be cool

Body music discontinuance pulsed with unnatural pull

They pick at her bones

What an abomination

Spawned from an intellect of entitlement

A distorted superiority the mask of youth

The willed stupidity distract and entertains

Me not us

I not why

Mother weeps you don’t see because you’re looking not seeing

Just thinking no feeling linked

The true binary

Mother is racked with sobs

We feel the quakes

She says things only a mother would say

Why haven’t you talked to your mother?

She sends you messages all the time

But you are too busy doing important things

Things she doesn’t like

She raised you better than this

Connect with your mother and your kin

She bore you from her body

Your mind fragments of her womb the connection to the universe



By Frank T. Rios



the words



when she taps

tells me to move aside

so the poem can come thru


& the butterfly i love


on the naked tongue

& the night shatters

like bone into history

& the memory fades

like pollen on its wings


& i sit alone

with my muse

a dying butterfly

hovering over

the broken poem


& god only knows

the simple breath

more beautiful

than the rose.


Songs Of The Gods

The gods sang. Their songs breathed life into our ancestors. This was magic breathe. A poem to life. A gift song from the gods. Our great ancient ones sang spirit songs. They sang to the rivers and fish and the deer to keep them plentiful. They sang to the sun and moon to keep them in the sky. They sang to the clouds to water the wheat, corn and rice. They sang to the mysteries and blessings of the universe. Our mothers fed us songs in our wombs. With the milk from her breast she sang us songs of love and protection. The sick were cured with healing songs and chants. Singing eased our pain. The spirits of the dead were sent off to heaven with death songs. If we stopped singing the heavens would fall, the rains would stop, the rivers would dry up and our crops would die. If we stopped singing to the stars they would close their blinking eyes on us forever. Once we could hear the oceans and rivers singing to us. We sang with the winds and rain. The owl, the willow trees, the crickets, the coyotes would sing along with us. We were part of the great spirit breathe of the entire earth and universe. We would play our drums and flutes for the stars in the sky. We sang for our hopes and dreams. We sang to ease our fears and tears. We would sing to lead us through the darkness. The long nights went by in brightness in song and poems and stories. We sang away our hunger and despair. We sing to the visions of the future and our memory of the past. We sing to our strength and to our helplessness. Today we only sing to nothing. We have lost our magic. The gift of breathe from the gods wasted on trash. We have made our mother earth sick with pollution and cancer. Where are the spirit songs from the heavens and earth today? The turtles and birds and lions weep. The tears from poisoned rivers flow. We must sing again to cleanse our polluted bodies and minds. Let us sing again to mother earth that cries out in pain. Sing Sing Sing – Oh gods, heal our hearts and souls…

– Marty Liboff – c. March 2014


7 Dudley
By Rex Butters


there was no stage at SPONTOS

only performers one and all

noisy travelers milled about

that inter-dimensional way station

hung on 3 white walls

eye enlightening art

images blazing with the sounds

rebounding around open ears

and no walls at all

as overflow revelers flooded

out the brick street store front entry

inside forbidden image cinema

and poetry both golden and tin

a fiery light in a blackening

world of numbness


there was no stage at SPONTOS

just thick damp salty night air

roomfuls of people

hot free savory food

overloaded outlets

confusing congregation of chords

dark dada back room bacchanals

stinky skunky spicy

green goods going up

in sacred smoke

he evil elfin churlishly cherubic

his foot in the door

holding The Lady’s portal open

for gypsy artist shaman fools

barefoot sandy dancing

Her Solstice celebrations

beat crazed saints grateful

to survive another cycle


there was no stage at SPONTOS

just hyper inspired multi-level conversation

and celestial sound

the voice of a community

splashed in paint/sung on drums

guitars, saxes, harmonicas

music quakes shake off

greed’s grip on Venice

if only for the night

the dream of free and open art

visible from space as a beating heart

a Temporary Autonomous Zone of our own

experimental theatre and community activism

on the still smoldering ashes of the Venice West

holy ground art temple

joyful party pit

lucky for us

we were there



Do you fear me cause I wear a purple friendship bracelet?

Do you fear having me as a friend?

Are you afraid to introduce me to your grandparents?

The only perfect thing about me is my perfect lack of confidence

does that freak you out?

I’m fat. How does that sit with you?

I wear political pins does that bother you?

I’m a bookworm. Does that depress you?

Are you terrified cause i’ve been bas mitzvahed

Are you scared cause i think spiders are sacred?

I’m left handed, ooooooooooooo No comment.

Do you worry about me cause i’m a virgin?

Cause i’m loud and sometimes embarrassing

are you wary of spending time with me?

I know where the feminist bookstores are in a whole bunch of states

Does that make you tremble?

People think i’m younger and older than i am

Does that reflect badly on you somehow?

I don’t always comb my hair

can you hear it coming?

Is it my ugliness or beauty that frightens you the most?

Are you afraid of me cause i’m human?

—Ellyn Maybe


Categories: Poetry