Thursday, October 23, 2008

Featured Poet: Sarah Frost

"I am 34 years old, and a single mother to a three year old boy. I work as an editor for E-Brief News in Durban. I have been writing poetry for the past fourteen years. I am a member of the Live Poets Society, which I have found very helpful in terms of inspiration and support. I have an MA in English Literature from UKZN. My thesis compared the poetry of Ingrid de Kok and Joan Metelerkamp, two South African women poets." Menage-a-trois The capsicum pot-plant holds its red fruit high as you bear it awkwardly in your hands, speaking of your wife, and how you owe her flowers. Carting my own star-jasmine tethered to a wooden stick and lacey-leaved dhania, to the car – we came separately – I feel the raspberry cheesecake we just shared at the cafĂ© above the nursery, sit in my stomach like woe. You wheel your car around and with a careful wave, drive off, leaving me, hot-faced, heavy – scrabbling to collect the coins that just fell out of my purse into the gravel in the gutter. Like a CD track stuck she plays out the old old song – ‘the girl at the window/ waited all day for her father to come home/ thought that if she flirted with him/ he might love her more.’ At the table beneath the spreading fig tree, I let you see my black bra-strap slip from behind my green-yoked dress. Felt your glance stroke my hair, as you told me about paying your bond (and hers). Your dessert fork glinted in the dappled light, itching to wound. My lipstick-smeared serviette lay crumpled on a side plate. Trading my beauty for the brief feeling of being seen is like letting myself be Sampson and you and your wife, Delilah. My strength, shorn, to a sorry pile of stones. Girl Once, I curled like a seahorse on my bedroom floor, writing nature poems in a secret book. Twenty-two years have passed since that shy child crafted her clear, careful script. Time, a numb wave, surged over me. I nearly drowned. But I swam up from the sea of loss. found myself, floating. Embryo I write. I make poems as my body makes babies. This knowledge roots itself in the womb of my grief, blindly growing past the fear of miscarriage past the longing for oblivion curling around the foetus of irreconcilable loss. The life-giving placenta of words.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Featured Poet: Marushka Mujic

"Arrived from nowhere anyone would remember unless a decrepit face told a lie and claimed himself my caretaker. Came to New York City hoping a time machine would launch me backwards into Allen Ginsberg's lap but didn't find one so started filling notebooks instead. Live in Brooklyn near a church where old Hispanic women sweep the sidewalks and sing. Wants to live as America's phantom limb, lurking, quick to linger, heavy to hear, working always toward breaking gates. Took a leave from college to turn a trail across the country and began writing a novel in a basement. Writes because some things need to be said that aren't yet written and no one's gonna do the job for you, sir, you better get down in that dirt yourself. Down in the dirt. Writing a novel. Turning a trail. Sending [O Sweet Flowery Roses] some poems."
Angels and Arms
Oh my country
Come now
crawl those
two tied up legs
Hitch them
to my breast.
Those tombs for eyes
Rest them.
The grave of my hollow chest
bears you,
-the mountainous cradle-
that Bore
Because I see you
Hiding. In my bed clothes.
Gagged, as I,
with a mouthful of
cloaked in enamel
and blood,
I hear your gurgling outcry
at night.
Oh my country,
Once you sang me lullabies.
Have you abandoned
your children
Because God abandoned you?

Not long ago I
saw Angels in your arms,
But now,
far as a I travel,
long as I walk,
heavy as I dream,
I see neither Angels
nor arms.
I haven’t gazed
upward since
I died.
Have you?
Speak to me.
I know I am deserving, I but, one, and many.
Because I caught the Northern train’s
whistling sigh and
sealed it in a bottle,
Because I left your boots
out to dry on the wrong
side of the River and
returned to right the error,
Because I drove the county lines
of New Mexico before
settling down in Memphis,
Because I prayed until my
words repeated and my palms
burned, dry as my mouth,
Because I saw American naked.
On accident. And apologized
Because I respected your cry
for privacy “No Girls Allowed”
And kept good faith and humor,
Because I loved you when others scoffed with money-
filled bellies,
Because I loved you when my
Father walked a bloody
trail back to Europe and
damned your very soil,
Because I loved you when I
did not love myself
or men or murder or making
love and making money,
Because I swore all over you,
considering your borders
the very chapters of
a child’s Bible,
Because I fled to New York
City to smear your good
name clear across
Eastern faces no matter
how cold or lifeless,
Because I had no God but
called you God and
worshipped from the pews
of my vermine-infested
Brooklyn apartment, smiling
over hellhound neighbors,
swearing you would show up,
But Jesus let go your
shaking hand and you,
so eager to prophesize,
behaved strangely when I
“But can’t we hold the
world up with rocky hills
and agitated youths and
beautiful melodies and
pregnant mothers and
Masters of Ink and oceanic greatness
even without the Holy God who
gave us up?”
We haven’t spoken since and I
can’t say I know why.
I’ve since taken to
looking for you
the Super Market, hospital, newly
renovated elementary school, laundry
mat, Washington Square Park who
itself lies sadly broken.
Who in their right mind allows a
protest against God to ramble, cowboy-
legged, rattling across the nation
awaiting accusation? Who in their right
mind? Thank God I’m not.
This raving bursts a vessel.

I got the blues, America.
But enough said. Enough about me. What I’m asking now is:
How are you?
We Long Lost Things
Women cried out
with their
Mother’s wails of
unbridled affection and
Barking to the New York
“our Hearts lay
battered and
burned up!” in
Empty gutters,
pollution and
Leaning their fingertips
toward Heaven,
droning prayers of
Godly relief and
but, Silenced.
by Duty, and
no congratulations spoken
on this wordless wind,
(whose Abandon
chilled us with
the solitary strain of
weaving Nurture from this
ripping thread
of girlish
We get The unholy Truth:
Our discovery, and
Feminine Reckoning
with this spot of soil
Standing! in sightless
of a Partner...
Nothing but strength sewn
atop our breasts,
mumbled in an afterthought at
ill lit
festivals commemorating
our partings
our flight from this
earthly land
of Hunger.
and leaving humble traces of
Oh we could laugh,
-spark a pretty fire
with the winter air-
that gleamed and
threw back our lonesome childhoods
by the fistful
in brave attempts at
Contrivance, seeming happy so
and never
Women should [only] smile
But all those uncharted
waves of sorrow
would soon swing their
muddy tides- greedy, horrid
and poison-mouthed-
to sail us back
to Satan
betwixt the ruddy undertow
and noose of seaweed-
fragile hands Stressed! with
age and galled by hellish grip
to Fight
the tempting tenor of
in dark water,
So we would claw at
as through feverish
Hallucination, demented by
But knew always
no cradle
or chest called Home
to tend our sunken bosoms
and sore eyelids,
bent with the
Heartbreak of all humanity, And
We were Strong,
We were Everlasting,
We were Holy, coveted and
Craved as
rare crystals- unearthed and cleaned
by Man’s passing curiosity-

But Lingered
full of Quiet tidings
spurned by
the ingurgitate Love
(we violently required
to preserve our virginal robes)-
to Remain
Whole and
Beautiful and
As long lost women always should be.
Empty-Bellied Trumpets
Empty-bellied trumpets
blare a melody
fit for fistfuls
Bound there
by the murky
Blood shot
Organ, cradled in his eyelids.
Because he does not sleep.
But runs
with nightmares
At a pace of
Steads and Chariots
For whom does he wait?
-that restless trembling
Steadfast now
From a thousand years alone.
by the water,
I offered him my pale,
With a smile did he answer,
a soft touch
at the
Bed of Leaves
within my hair,
But turned
And did not take it.
Submerging my
I called beneath
The Rippling
magnets of Brooks and Streams
Thinking he would hear me better there.
he retrieved me
Held my bones with blistered hands
But let me loose.
In his tattered coat
an engine turned
Behind a gate
of straight-faced
Buttons, laced
To keep me out.
I plucked a thread,
from his lapel, and
Borrowing what I’d seen,
I made a quilt from my mouth.
A kingdom stitched
To Secrecy
Warmed my tongue, then
Enough to keep in silence.
-Never to sound out my
Whistles for
His empty-bellied trumpets
-My head bowed near the buckets,
and, wordless by the baleful,
To watch
with Grave Respect
for Whomever it is he waits.
(Though always sorry
In fits and starts
For my bugles,
heavy with song,
For keeping quiet.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Featured poet: Anna Bristow

"Anna Bristow grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Brooklyn. She is a freelance editor and has an MA in English from Fordham University. Her poetry has been published in several online journals, including The Pregnant Moon Review, and Flask and Pen, as well as included in Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets and an upcoming anthology of poems themed by state. She is also an Assistant Poetry Editor for the literary journal 42opus. Her life is divided into trying to make a living editing other people's work, and trying to find enough time to write her own."

The Starbucks Hover

He is outside

peering in.

One hand is occupied

with a clove cigarette,

its long, slim, black outline unmistakable

even through the translucent window shade.

Curls of smoke wind upwards

mating with small puffs of breath

before both disappear.

With one finger he traces a spiral design

on the glass.

Inside, people sit

at little round tables.

Laptops, textbooks, newspapers

open in front of them.

Striped shadows fall across arms

as the sun shifts. Other people hover –

waiting to pounce when a chair is pushed back.

Glances lift now and then,

but if other eyes are met,

all look down quickly.

No one notices him outside,

his scruffy face and baseball cap,

as leaning towards the window,

he watches them,

crowded together pretending distance.


The office is so quiet that

my breathing feels forced, sounds

out of place in the boxy grey room,

with fluorescent light

and plastic plants in the corners.

My face too warm,

my hands too cold. They tingle.

My nose starts to run,

I sniffle,

a snot-nosed little kid –

and I know I won’t

be getting this job. The interview will be

as stuffy as my nose. And

after answering asinine inquiries:

“So, you’re probably thinking

‘what should I do with a degree in English?’ ”

I will want to run out of

that building on 5th avenue,

losing myself and my ‘That’s rights’

in a sticky clot of transitory tourists

who throng the sidewalk, bewildered and stuck.

Nowhere in a Hurry

The treadmills are lined up, facing the window. They wait, going nowhere, wishing they could watch HBO instead of MTV, which always seems to be on. They hate the sweat droplets that fall onto their long, narrow backs.

So, one day, when an aspiring (and perspiring) athlete steps on and presses the ‘Start’ button – a treadmill shudders, speeds up, and throws him off.

The man, in bright blue spandex, yells in shock, as he shoots backward into the wall. Silence descends over the gym. Vibrating with its triumph, the treadmill blinks on and off, not quite believing its success.

Sean Lyman Frasier video, news items, and America's favorite pitbull in lipstick

Check out this awesome link from O Sweet Flowery Roses poetry megastar Sean Lyman Frasier. Is this guy awesome or what? Other newsworthy items from the O Sweet Flowery side of the tracks: -A few months ago (early August), OSFR held it's first reading. Since then, I have encountered technical snags in editing the readings, but hope to have them fixed by November. Additionally, another reading will be exploding onto the scene much, much sooner than way, way later. -If you have submitted and anxiously await the debut of your poems...don't worry! Our inbox is slightly packed, but we're dealing with it day b'day. -Got any Sarah Palin poems? Send'em thisaway for our first mass post from various poets on a theme. Why? Because.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Featured Poet: Michael Weems

"Michael Weems is a proud Yankee and graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont with a BS in Psychology. Since migrating away from the below zero temperatures, he's become an NYC based playwright/writer with 6 productions this year and 4 publications and actor where he resides with his gorgeous wife, overstuffed dvd and book shelves, and his baby son. He divides his free time between a burgeoning gambling addiction and getting ridiculously lost in Central Park." 'Reborn' Water means to be a wounding apology Charging with abandon towards a sweeter kind of living Waiting for morning light to shine down on the horizon and Wash away the ash and embers Silence spoke before it was over It parked itself outside my window and Watched as I chased it away once again Silence idled at the street corner underneath a street sign 'No standing anytime' An audible sighed, Silence carried on 'Freedom' Off came the crown Metallic clamors echoing throughout the barren hallways Rolling back towards the throne and Resting aside the chairs' staunch wooden legs Two red rubies fall free from their home, once proudly residing high atop his head, Now settle on the cold stone floor 'Coverage' One pays to cry A fee for falling apart The capacity of emotions overflows, dripping into welcome ears and pockets They retreat until next time knowing that someday the floodgates will burst wide open

Friday, October 10, 2008

What up, Chicago board of toursim?

Please hold on to your pants as you check out this awesome shout out from Chicago's board of tourism website. Now, it's true that OSFR is currently operating out of New York...but let us never forget out first home in the Second City! If going to Chicago's ultimate tourism website doesn't set some boundaries for this e-poetry e-frontier, what does? Hooray...oh, and keep submitting. We gotcha covered.

Featured Poet: Francis DiClemente

"I am a writer in Syracuse, New York, and I am submitting three poems for your consideration.

I received a bachelor's degree in communications/journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and a master's degree in film/video from American University in Washington, DC. I have worked in both print and broadcast journalism at various outlets throughout the U.S., and I am currently employed as a video producer at Syracuse University."


Vagabond bones creakin’ down the road,

bound for somewhere in-between,

a home-sweet-home dissenter,

relishing the unknown.



A courtship of contempt,

filled with swirling fury and churning angst,

not halted by the hands of God.

Zealous rituals express unwavering faith,

and outstretched arms set hearts aflame.

Trees topple under a crescent moon –

a gleaming scythe that carves the frost-burnt night,

invoking stones to crush the gnarled root,

as fragments of salvation disintegrate

into insurmountable self-hate.


Inaudible Expression

A great sigh emitted,

arising and then dissipating,

but remaining forever unheard,

the echo of a soul reverberating,

in recognition of the inexorable.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Featured Poet: Marcus Dupuy

"Marcus Dupuy, Bay Shore NY, 11706" It's true: Marcus Dupuy's bio is simply where he resides. It's also true that each poem title does end with an asterisk but there are no footnotes (or any sort of notations) pointing to what the asterisk may be referenced. No judgment! Enjoy the poems. Feel free, however, to submit a full bio up to a paragraph long and a photo as well! The Senseless* It's too loud in his house, Like the rest of his projects To let any sense of sin rest on his conscience Deaf from the proletariat groans of his pocket Blind from the diminutive rays he enlarges Straining his limbs for some pain to involve with, The bitter scraps tainted by fangs of his bosses To drown out the odor of the brimstone he's lost in. Survival is key; the rat race is godless... Recovery* I'm not a crack baby; I'm not a crack teen, I'm just a product of 1 of regans crack fiends It's been 20 years, It's been a bad dream It's been a battle with the have-not and have-seen It's been a massacre, This is the last scene They think the roles we're imposed on the casts' genes That's according to the warden with the latch keys Telling us, allegories 'bout black esteem, Being enrolled in black schools with black deans Who walked the road and know about the cracked seams Cracked the code, the cracker and the cracks pleased It's been a dog chase, They stay at max speed It's if our balls break, It's if our raps clean, It's if we all state, It's if we athletes, "Its if its owed to us", whatever that means It's either that or clean the room when the class leaves Help Yourself* Just enough chicken soup for my starving soul. Unjustified rest needed for the common cold blood that my heart withholds. Take two but don't call me in the morning while the same white clouds are still swarming around my nest like hornets challenge an unmindful opponent. Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood, Now speak The tongue of the beast with ease. And come back contaminated. Misuse the truths of my quarantine And try to find peace In the bed I've made To lessen the pain of my better days Waiting for my God to bless you?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Featured Poet: Christopher Mulrooney

"Christopher Mulrooney has written poems in Guarnica, Vanitas, Beeswax, The Deliquent, Moloch, and fourW"

...And now, on O Sweet Flowery Roses. -ed.

        the poisoner’s wife

        in the cool like lemonade

        of a hot summer’s day he went

        as though it were unto a pool

        the sodium he administered

        made us a great salt cellar

        with appurtenances of a modern-day Cellini

        the furnishings and fixtures round the pool

          the ask it man

          in his pastel dragon shirt

          slack pantaloons

          steely hair and frames

          he gives the world of information

          the virtual sign of no more hope

          beyond a certain point

          and thence no whence

          new faces of whenever

          there is such an arduous

          songbook in every generation

          you can’t say this is

          such a tonsillectomy

          without you calling you such hogs

          with a hoot in a holler

          utterly disregarded

          save for the return cantillation

Saturday, October 4, 2008


--Another reading soon? Why yes, thank you. It will be in early November, and we are currently looking for NYC area poets to come out to Williamsburg for a night of quality poetry and low-quality beer. Our last reading was great, and I am still in the process of submitting it to NYC public access for a half hour special on TV. --Notes on the editor: In this fun book by Vladimir Nabokov called Pale Fire, a poet named John Shade dies mysteriously, and his epic-poem manuscript falls into the hands of his editor, Charles Kinbote, a self-obsessed delusional prone to bouts of embellishment and rambling. At the risk of becoming my own Kinbote, I feel compelled to answer some questions by some poets who have submitted...I've had a few people ask me where my poems can be read, since I actually haven't submitted any on here yet. You can find two in the July issue of MiPOesias, which can be seen at this link. Just click the bottom right picture of the woman riding the carousel and I'm hiding somewhere in the text. It's free to download. Also, feel free to dig this poem in this month's issue of Slurve. How many poetry sites provide a trading card? Finally, on Halloween, the aptly named journal Spooky Boyfriend will feature one of my poems in their upcoming issue. --Notes on the electronic future: if you have any videos of readings(s) or poem(s) you would like linked from OSFR, send'em along! We can post them, or at least post links to them. Why not force Youtube to be a participant in the Flowery Revolution? --Serial and Milk: Here's the score...WE at OSFR don't really mind having poems you have published elsewhere up here. But most other journals do. Thus, please don't submit stuff to OSFR that you have published on other sites. We don't aim to step on any unnecessary toes. --Blogpals: If you have a blog, you can send the link to it along with your submission, if you so choose. Why? Because we will put a link to it up. Ron Silly-man (good one, me--ed.) has a huge list of all the blogs he likes and reads, and I think we can use such a list to open the site up to a more community-driven atmosphere. -Anybody know where our site counter went? That's the news for now...keep reading, keep submitting, and, in the words of EliteXC fighter Brett "The Grim" Rogers, "we does work...we do's work." -Russell Jaffe

Featured Poet: Caroline O'Connor-Thomas

"Caroline O'Connor-Thomas is currently a student at the University of Southern Maine. She currently works on the university's literary journal, Words and Images and was a participant in the 2008 Stonecoast Writers Conference. She enjoys being in places she's never been before and thinks poetry has the power to caress you or punch you (both outcomes are equally delightful.)" O Sweet Flowery Roses...perhaps the hottest emerging e-journal of poetry in existence today? Caroline O'Connor-Thomas...collegiate phenom and literary franchise player of Troy, NY? Isn't it time the two came together, not unlike those Uncrustable snacks with peanut butter and jelly rolled into one flavorful amalgamation within? We think so. Happiness the happiness that i ask for it is always coming true - like the swing of any hammer constant or the ringing of bells. The right ear suffers too two days later i feel the drink ebb towards my stomach as though to rot it. inappropriate of me to upset myself with all the company about, we turn our cheek, flushed cheek to the night to avoid dampened sparks of speech from uninvited passers, tongues thick with months of coiling inward. But the left ear suffers, even after two hours of suckling in the room. the laughter draws heavy, so we dance on the porch (as i dream exactly one night later) - and your voice coughs back words words words and i blush, cover my mouth and watch the colors blur, the meaning exits silent then speaks as though We have understood and we have not been split apart.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Featured Poet: Rachel Eagle Reiter

O Sweet Flowery Roses is back in high gear, and more tenacious than a pitbull in lipstick (but not as mercilessly stupid as Sarah Palin). THE GOOD NEWS: OSFR is totally flooded with submissions and it will take at least a week or so to get them all up! A WHOLE WEEK! WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: Keep on a-submittin'. We'll keep stoking the proverbial fire in the hearth as a representation of something. WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOUR FAMILY: If you live in the NYC area, please let us know ( Our next reading is tenitively scheduled for early-mid Novemeber in Williamsburg. Enjoy Ms. Reiter: Part of Me Dear Violin I hold you close to me so that-- your are One with me an extension of my self a part of me and a pure expression of All that I can not-- begin to say Color me Autumn October air how I delight! in your coolness, inspiring me to breathe more deeply, as I walk into the Fall-- a season of True Color What is a Face? A face is: a thousand words telling you secrets without uttering a sound. A face is a story that can not lie even if it tries to hide the essence of self-- it can not succeed; for a face is the beacon of a human soul