Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OSFR Classic Revised and Revisted: Pal O' Me Heart by Barry Frauman


A non-plagiarizing tribute to the novel AT SWIM, TWO BOYS by Jamie O’Neill

Arthur and Gavin, boys nearing manhood,

soon to fight for Irish freedom,

Easter Rebellion of 1916,

rising to expel the British:

Arthur slim under thick auburn mop

he shakes from his hazel eyes,

tossing his head to meet the world,

shyly biting his lower lip

at certain special pleasures:

honors in school for Latin,

reading of heroes in ancient times,

watching a sea storm:

Over gray water the waves peak white,

echoing lightning above.

A lad from a Catholic home,

he used to bind his hands with the rosary

not to fetch himself,

bottling his lust into fever

till his father and brother heard his moans

and said "Don’t struggle,

you can’t sell sweets in the shop lying sick."

Arthur’s reluctant to act his passion

for muscular black-haired anti-Church Gavin,

laboring son of the poorest folk,

who donned a kilt with him at school band,

curly black hair on his legs, dark eyes,

daring and quick, a sudden sharp grin,

who’s been with a man but it’s Arthur he’s loved

since the auburn lad struck in like thunder

to stave class bullies off Gavin the new boy,

soon to die wounded in Arthur’s arms;

but now, alone with each other,

(word’s gone out of Rebellion delayed)

an Easter morning sunny and cool,

they swim the sea near Dublin,

their bodies only as nature created –

"Dare your pope to say it’s wrong" –

clothes hidden dry on shore meanwhile.

They’ll carry them up the hill of new grass

but throw them aside to race about,

members bouncing and leaping, Gavin ahead.

At last out of breath, they drop to the land.

 Alongside each other, on their fronts,

what work they’ll do in free Ireland,

Gavin a postman, Arthur a teacher,

living together of course;

enemy boys in school they fought:

"When O’Connor sneered at our so together

I saw your fist come out same as mine,

you’re the man for me, Arthur McNally – "

"And Gavin, we decked him, Monahan too;

and thanks to the priests, they’ll keep away."

"Why God made priests, you muddy red mop-head,

also for tickling us on the sly – "

"And who’s to stop them? tell me now."

"If any – " "You’ll be first to hear."

 Now Gavin turns on his right to face Arthur,

nudging his pal to lie on his left.

The amorous narrow of Gavin’s black eyes,

his full red lips tucked in, beckon Arthur;

but when Gavin’s fingers walk up his friend’s thigh

to fondle his desire,

Arthur protests, and he lets go.

"A kiss at least?" "Ah Gavin, one day....

Please touch me face and tell me you love me."

"Arthur, I love you," and tenders his palm

on the cheek and brow of his auburn mate,

mussing and smoothing his hair.

"I love you meself, Gavin McCall.

Bit nervous about today I was,

bit nervous where it would lead,

and now I feel brought down to rest."

"Well Arthur, come to me arms, sleep so."

His drowsy lad he softly cradles,

gazing the water to lull his passion.

Naked they lie, alone on hill-meadow.

Soon Arthur awakens: "If we might stay."

They speak of Ireland’s liberty battle.

When dressed, Gavin sports a green uniform:

Will he take Arthur to see his commander

in time for them to march side by side,


"Like that we’ll be most together, Gavin,

lover-soldiers of ancient Thebes."

At first these words dislike dark Gavin,

silently fearing the fight, who’ll die like a man:

"You’ll join me in battle?

Arthur McNally, you danger yourself,

I’ll bate you blue-black, or wreck meself tryin’....

A teacher of Latin you want to be?

then keep in school, prepare so –"

"Gavin McCall, I’m grand at shootin’,

I’ll come where you – "

"Laddie, no tears, I’ll write you me place,"

an arm round the mop-head’s milkwhite shoulders....

Sea and hill, the quiet around,

invite them to taste a last day of peace.

Sweet hunger stirs in the freshening breeze.

His deepest desires tenderly roused,

held warm and tight by his black-haired Gavin –

will such a moment be theirs again? –

Arthur who’s never, now turns his back

and solemnly offers himself to his friend,

who gently warns it may hurt.

"Now think to kiss me before you come in."

"Glory be!" shouts Gavin; and when he does enter,

the pain to hazel-eyed Arthur is brief,

allayed by the taste and touch of his man.

"Are you fine so? It’s your time in me,"

but Arthur says wait, let me hold this feeling.

Gavin’s full lips now stretched in a grin,

Arthur openmouthed in delight,

they surge with love, groins pressed together,

limbs wide, hands locked,

their eyes all afire, another kiss panting

pal o’ me heart evermore.

editor's notes: This poem was originally published in August of 2008; Poet Barry Frauman has revised it and here it is, re-presented and represented in its intended entirety.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December report: many shades of many greys

Hi Flowery Fans,

This is Russell. I haven't updated OSFR in a while, and here's some explaination to that:

1.) Side project: Good Hurts. It's a hot sauce review website. It's a different kind of fun than OSFR in that it's 100% in my own control and up to me to update, work on, et. al. As long as there is hot sauce and I have a camera, Good Hurts lives. No need to prod or seek out submissions. Check it out, why don'ch'a? ? ?Stay spicy.

2.) I'm actually going to be teaching a course I've designed, Frontiers of Poetry, here in Iowa. It's mostly about emerging internet poetry and communities, with looks at more experimental contemporary stuff. If you'd like your site or poems included in the couse syllabus (it's 5 weeks long, but fierce!), go ahead and email me.

3.) Attention spans may wane, but OSFR is unbreakable. Keep submitting! Enjoy!

-Happy Holidays

Featured Poet: John Grey

"I  have been published recently in the Georgetown Review, The Pinch,  South Carolina Review and The Pedestal. with work upcoming in Poetry East and Big Muddy."


The commercial tells me that it’s all here and
I’m beginning to believe it. Its plush leather
seats, its acres of leg room...I could live in
this car. I can turn the key and the world
rumbles on all side of me. I can switch on the

headlamps and it’s a light like a god’s light.
And there’s the radio...any song, any style,
any volume with just a few flicks of the
wrist. And it doesn’t matter that I’m alone.
With my hands on the wheel, I’m all I need.

It doesn’t take another soul to tell me
I can get from here to there just by pointing
this thing. I don’t have to hear “turn to the
right, to the left” or “slow down” or “stop.”
It’s almost unconscious the way I get where

I’m going and I like that. And even better,
the driving there is usually the destination.
You can’t beat it. Wherever I am can’t be better.
I’m in a car and I’m cruising. You sure can’t
be in your own body this good.


I have the laughter sickness.     
Humor in family
so insert tubes in me,
weigh my belly down with pills.
So many yuks at work,
please, the needle quick.
Without rescue,
I may never take
a damn thing serious again.

Sex is absurdity
in desperate need of operating table
Cut my heart out.
It won’t stop chuckling.
Decontaminate my brain...
left, right and funny side.

Lasers to the eye,
probes down the mouth,
or I might even crack up
over death.
My own included.
So come on,
put me back on the machine.
Life, I think you call it.


Snap of twig on the trail.
Get me that would you.
Fern hollow
when the breeze is blowing.
I’d swap that
for any two of these chocolates.
Your breath is on my list,
the manna of bedside manner.
Lean over and kiss me.
I promise my germs will stay put.
And I’d love that hardy root
that juts out from the cliff,
one hand reach from the summit.
Reading matter?
I’d love to read the inscription
at the top of the water tower.
You only brought yourself?
Then how about touch.
That’s what I miss most just lying here.
A soothing hand on my forehead.
And fingers tangled in mine
like spiders trying to mate.
Sure nurses being me pills.
But pills don’t bring me nurses.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What's up with O Sweet Flowery Roses?

After running this site for nearly 2 solid years, I wanted to let you all know what's going on with it. No, it isn't closing. However, at this point, OSFR has hit a slow point.
I've shifted focus to another site--Good Hurts, a hot sauce review blog. OSFR is dedicated to poets and poetry; sharing ideas and voices; cultivating emerging poetics. However, Good Hurts is something I have full control over. I don't have to ask for submissions, deal with annoying blogger cut-and-paste formatting issues, etc.
This is NOT the end of O Sweet Flowery Roses, but just my explanation for the slowdown. I'll be teaching some poetry courses in Iowa in Spring 2010, and be rest assured that more solid stuff will be showing up here.
You keep submitting, I'll keep posting. Feel free to check out Good Hurts, especially if you like hot sauce!


Featured Poet: Raymond Neely

Whose Daughter
Whose daughter was found after
she had eaten a rose,
who worried and called poison control.
Whose daughter I can see with a
guilty petal stuck to her lower lip
while she held the briery stem,
a petal still clinging, and petals
floating down like feathers from a
cat's mouth, her burping, blurting out petals
like bubbles.
Whose daughter told me about riding
cows and whose daughter I could
imagine riding a slow walking
cow, lolling drearily upon the
back of a black and white
milk cow along the open hillside
of her farm, with clouds like sheep,
so alive that they buzzed as they lingered.
Whose daughter loves God and
is a reminder of his way,
whose daughter married a good man.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Featured Poet: Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal works in the mental  health field, writes
poetry and short stories. He lives in
Los Angeles  County. His latest chapbook, Overcome, was published by Kendra
Steiner Editions,  and it is a
collaborative effort with photographer, Cynthia Etheridge.


The news of another murder on television,
or the news of crooks getting  away scot-free
makes me long for the days I watched cartoons.

In those days there were fewer murders.
I could do without  television.
I would just stare at mirrors instead.
I would watch myself at  noontime
eating an apple.  In the evening
I would change the mirrors  to another room.

I do not need television.
Maybe without it there would be fewer  murders.
Perhaps there would be more.
I think I would read a book  instead.

I could turn on the radio
and listen to the untalented musicians
on  the popular music stations.
I would complain about what happened to

good music.  A mirror would break.
I would long for the days of  TV.
The news of murders and crooks would return.
In the evening I would  lock all my doors.


In the soft evening
we sing without sound
and carve our hearts
and  dig out the pumpkin seeds.

Broken of heart we eat
of what is left of it
and descend into the  abyss.


On this night the moon
is not easy to look at.
Its light fills my  nose
with a pungent scent.

My lips turn blue and
cold.  The distant moon infects
me with a  sadness
I cannot escape.

I pace aimlessly
in the black night with the
devils of the  soul
whispering to me

to give up my soul to
them for a night of joy.
I become moist  with
sweat and defend my

sick heart with silence.
More awake than ever I
keep my soul  hostage.
It is all I have.

Unlike my heart, my
soul is intact.
Still I shiver from  the
moon’s disease as I

walk in confusion like
a lost child.   When I cry out
it is  my soul, which
reverberates on

this night, where the moon
is an eyesore.  It
fills me with  sadness.
I cannot escape.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Featured Poet: William Stoneberger

                          The Mirror

               Sometime the mirror is my mother.
               Her hair,
                             going toward gray,
               graces my head.
               Her eyes,
                               owl-wise and ancient,
               emerge behind my own.
               I recognize their regrets,
               harbor their hopes like heirloom treasures.

               Sometimes the mirror is my father.
               His expression,
                                        almost evil,
               possesses my mouth.
               His attitude,
                                 all-mighty and apathetic,
               is my only legacy.
               I bear its terrible weight,
               feel its fangs sink into my spine.

               Sometimes the mirror is my mask.
               Its stare,
                             blank alabaster,
               terrorizes my mind.
               Its features,
                                  frozen and unfeeling,
               refuse my reflection.
               I give nothing away,
               shut my heart in a lead-lined vault.

               Sometimes the mirror is my self.
               My face,
                              sagging slightly,
               shows my years.
               My mind,
                              contemplative and nostalgic,
               imagines another life.
               I dream "me" out of existence,
               someone else stares back.

                                  An Artist Confesses

                     I have been a thief,
                     robbing life from the night
                     stealing its essence
                     inhaling all its offerings
                     like the cigarettes
                     I stole from my father
                     and snuck into dark corners
                     to smoke.

                     I have swiped the moon's power
                     and used it       
                     to weave a web,
                     ensnarling strangers
                     in that lacy seduction
                     - lust and lunacy.

                    I have taken the colors
                    of certain eyes
                    that offered their glances to me,
                    flashing like strobes
                    across bar rooms and lanes of traffic,
                    holding them up toward the light
                    like crystal prisms.
                    I have been a burglar,
                    breaking into the best of dreams
                    convincing them to belong to me
                    conning them into keeping me company
                    recreating them in my own image,
                    chiseling away.

                                         The Little Man

                            L (ove)
                               onliness lingers
                            in the little bed
                            in the little room
                            in the little house.

                            The little man
                            ( moan & groan )
                            ( regret) is in deep
                             in a drown of a river
                             of rolling rage.

                             He hums his heart
                             a dirge
                             lowdown dirty (dog) blues
                             & blacks
                             & grays (shadows)
                             ( ghosts).

                             Winter within
                             the reach his
                             ( arthritic ) fingers
                             he feels the grip
                             tighten ( his throat )

                             D (espair)
                             into circles under
                             his eyes (blind)
                             and he keeps the depression
                             tucked in a cr (amp)
                             tight twisted
                             little torture.

                             The little man
                             in the little house
                             all alone   trapped
                             ( tears )  in the temptation
                             to put an end to it all.

                             There's nothing little
                             about his pain ( massive )
                             large in l (ove)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OSFR is back in business

Please send poems, reviews, et. al. to We're back! Seriously. -Russell

Featured Poet: James Dye

James Jason Dye is a 26-year-old college student from Dubuque Iowa. He is a new writer whose poetry can be found on various publications such as Ampersand, Dogzplot, Poor Mojo’s Almanac, The Clockwise Cat, Aphelion, Calliope Nerve and Public Republic. He can be reached at or check out his blog at You can also download his free poetry e-book at

The Rose Again

The rose again above the mountain goes up the valley down. The wind lifts it off the ground its gravity pulling back around.

Ambush arose from its seat. A pillar of smoke arose in defeat.

The sun bowed down again.

The Fate of Night and Day

Darkness boasts the night. The Sun is down. Evening settles in.

The thickness blackens. Heavy is the weight. The gloom stagnates. The mass curdles.

Twilight congeals. It consumes the whole world. In the morning Dawn mourns.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

OSFR is back!

Howdy readers...or is it vapid space where readers once flourished, drank from the oases, and and stored poetry in their humps? Anyway, I, Russell Jaffe, editor supreme #1, would like to sincerely apologize to everyone for the long hiatus. I have a close family (on both sides) and both of my grandfathers died this summer within 2 weeks of one another. All the death and family was sad, invigorating, somewhat inspirational, but emotionally tolling. I also moved to Iowa City, and we all know how easy and fun moving is. Anyway, we are back on full-on now. Look for some new post soon, and please submit your own work! Thank you, Russell

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Hiatus

Yes, it's true; we are on a summer hiatus. If you have submitted poems since then, please be patient till August. OSFR will return more flowery then ever then!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Featured Poet: H.E. Mantel

H.E. Mantel is an Aquarius male, Poet/Writer/Editor, published in Print and Online, including Ascent Aspirations, Shampoo, The Apocalypse, A Hero's Journey Anthology, Poetry By Moonlight Anthology, World Artist Network Magazine, Poetic Spit, Poetry Soup (Awarded), Retort Magazine, Lit-Up Magazine, Poetry Of Food Anthology, Wordgathering, Poetry Flyer, Doors Anthology (I & II), The Plebian Rag, Bare Back Magazine, Apocalypse, Gloom Cupboard; awaiting the publication of his Poetry collections, "Bananas' On The Moon...A Collection Of Revisionist Haiku" & "Sophistigates: A New Book Of New Poetry"; musician-vocalist, an avid reader, athlete, and devotee of Holistic Health through Vegan lifestyle, Ecology and his Writing to Help Our Earth to Heal. He resides in Florida.
- THE SEASON! - Ahh, the mid-Summer of kiln'd heat, elongest days & starred-nights firm for the race to the Pen- nant... behind the dogdays in right-field to - Aha! Mr. October up to bat... Oh, The Season Upon, upon - oossshoouussssh!... Majorhockeyhoops? Nah! but the ONE turns Jung males to pizza-breathing smoke-alarms, husbands to hops-swillin' house-plants, & females to Mascots! - "TUMI OR NOT TUMI?" - ...No, It was not my time to jaunt & jump about the Morld with You, to glowering-green-glows of Ischia, the privileges of Mackinac, "...our Paris, Ilsa!"... Ornamented ataud & calefacted incinerators merely better-funded!, to a last- notice of proteaned hoar, the dearth of silk... So, it was to be Goa, or Delhi "curry-in-a-hurry" not, and the touts & shouts as We passed... You in those shoes, toeing-up with heel asway like a silent, ticking-pendulum, Me, watching... Allowing sole specialnesses, but a few to my inti-mated Life, why there was You insinuate... E'er Yours-sporadic, tho' an extravagance of Soul!, like incipient Sinatra, or the piano of Jarrett! But, No, it was not your time to jump & jaunt-about with Me, but for You, like a junkie afeared of needles, to be going, & mine to Write... of It, plecking-off the pilpuls from My blanket, & You to replacing contoured batteries and for Now... perhaps as recent as tomorrows' accident. - AQUARIUM AGE - Grottoed to the wall, fluorescence afloat 4 wide 2 high 1 deep, an ichthyologysm pouted angel smiles in & out of model caves, wile winding, threading faux drifting forward & back fins, treading like diaphanous lingerie with nowhere to go the smalls hide in tropical incarpceration from striped black mollies' embattled spece & speckled zebras in checkered futures where none is welcomed save C.F. Muddypuppy, Jr. swabbing below O O O... too bubbling unnaturally! eyes silverblue dart, in confine grouper aggress downturn at the mouth of hovel graveled & pretty pebbled this school for alienation childfish innocence gone of sweet, ingenue faces gone to 2 by 4 by 1 pool tropicalla not deep enough! Vestibule "Jake" chirrups to his mirror & circus clips in grey-white plumearray & orange jole festooned canarycrown unfurled-furled talons & beak that just won't speak but a plaintive, training whistle in the day, night uncuttle hungry for more than scup seedlings! All whilst gaelic, loden lizards thankfully...scamper. H.e.m. 5.13.MMix. (For J.I.K.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Featured Poet: Peter Magliocco

"Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, and has poetry at THE SMOKING POET, THE BEAT, A HUDSON VIEW POETRY DIGEST, HEELTAP, OPIUM POETRY and elsewhere ... His new novel is The Burgher of Virtual Eden from Publish America ( He was Pushcart nominated for poetry in 2008."
Crucifix In A Lucky's Shopping Cart
Somehow Ruddy the transient devised
an eclectic priesthood for himself
from his collection of discarded reliquaries.
Old bibles, incense pots, rosaries,
necklace crosses, Madonna & Child prints,
& of course several broken crucifixes,
all stashed in the shopping cart pushed
daily through North Las Vegas streets.
"I shall attack the homeless sinners!"
Ruddy declared to himself, usually
his only listener of many street sermons.
Occasionally a lost tourist (trapped
at some noisy traffic corner) had to endure
Ruddy's flapping, righteous tongue.
For these inflictions of spiritual advice
the transient demanded fast cash donations,
& encouraged the giver to select something
from the busted cart of holy paraphernalia,
blessed by Ruddy "& not by any Kraut Pope
far from the golden calf casinos of Sin City!"
Ruddy's reverberant laugh usually followed
with mouth agape featuring his missing teeth.
A horrible sight, designed to fuel repentance,
or to release halitosis as cruel benediction
for any reluctant disciple about to run off
before seeing Ruddy wave a crimson cross,
like vampire killers do with pointed stakes
about to pierce hearts of undead losers.
Lost Cherries Riff
"You don't need a bartender --
all you need's a liquor store,"
the Lost Cherries Inn whore Mimi
told her transient friend late
one nite. They sat drinking
outside her room by the pool.
"All you need's more income,"
Ruddy the transient mused drinking
while Mimi, primed but not plastered,
routinely finished off another Pabst,
nonchalantly hurling the empty streetwards.
Both burped & chuckled simultaneously.
Scalding summer nights were made for fat-chewing
& bitching about the woes of hustling in Vegas.
Cursing his friend, Ruddy retrieved the beer can
& added it to his shopping cart's aluminum stash,
chiding Mimi for being pregnant, yet still working
while her common law husband was out partying.
"Don't get on my Lem's case," Mimi wheezed
through her acrid cigarette's smoke cloud
the red-faced transient nearly choked on.
"You ol' sod, Rud, my man's a boss poppa --
a bastard, yes, but he takes care of my kids,
even when like now I can only give blow jobs, OK?"
Ruddy snarled back a gap-toothed rejoinder
indicating profound disapproval, then
he began hopping about on gimpy legs,
doing his little trademark chicken dance.
In her perennial hustler's mini-skirt outfit
(sex-stained & funky from ill-assorted smells)
Mimi would soon "take her albino ass," as she put it,
over to the neighboring Strip & wait for
some luxury auto she'd perform in, e-z cash
falling like celestial leaves into her lap
& making the blood strum on her ol' man's guitar,
till the low background music for their lives
softly counter-
pointed whatever
hard john's sex
burst into
the cool heavens
of her
The Cold, The Hard, & The Beautiful Ugly
"the cold cunt taking in
the dick of death." So
what else is new? You've heard this
type of prosy chatter before, beyond subliminal
messages that have become blunt force
trauma of the mercantile brain. Something
superceding & kicking the ass of background
whisperings in our muzak lives
Rock & Roll desensitized into cool regions
where it's hip to be distanced from outmoded
humanity-in-a-handbasket, to be tossed
over the proverbial cliff in the name of
no-beauty, no-truth.
the downtown homeless boys
never heard of Keats, but they know
porn of ages when it's singing to their deaf ear
& other dysfunctional organs
sad lives
left them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Featured Poet: Alfonso Colasuonno

Alfonso is a friend who has read at OSFR I and has some new poems he'd like to share. Please enjoy!

QUICK PLUG: While I am on the subject of enjoyment, I recommend suckas who gots to know check out Juliet Cook's 13 Myna Birds. Really interesting design and format of rotating poems; many imagistic, expository, and confessional...all really damn good.

Alfonso Colasuonno is a 25 year old writer based out of Brooklyn, New York. He is a former New York City secondary school teacher. He graduated Beloit College with a BA in Creative Writing. This is his second submission to O Sweet Flowery Roses and has also been a performer at an O Sweet Flowery Roses-sponsored event.


Regarding your “poetry” -

It is not complex enough

Nor is it obscure enough

To catch even a faint glimpse of my eye.

The beauty of poetry

Is that it leaves the proletariat

Completely baffled as to what you mean.

Your writing is as obvious

As the cumshot

At the end of a porno.

You hit people over the head

With your arcing stream of ideas.

That is not poetry.

Maybe it is spoken word.

It doesn't have the staccato

The rhythm

The je ne sais quoi

Of poetry.

I have never heard

Something as complementary of my work.

No, this is not poetry

That you learn in classrooms

Or from going to readings

And it never aimed to be.

A visceral reaction

A laugh

A cringe

A masturbation break

This is what I aim for

Not bored applause

Like you aim for.


I live a life of multiplicities

Responsible for the future of this country

A New York City schoolteacher.

Gutterpunk? (On weekends?)

My preferred mode of dress is a ratty t-shirt

With a picture of Exene Cervenka

And a pair of jeans with holes at the kneecaps

And Eurotrash written in black marker on the pant leg

Like a wrestler's iconography on his tights

Signaling to all parties

A false delusion.

Yet, still, I wear the suit and tie

Monday through Friday

8 to 4

I suck Joel Klein’s cock.

I do it by the book.

How do I react inside those four walls? Student comes in blazed

Out of his mind.

Reminds me of someone quite familiar

And how false it is to say - “get yourself together” When having a few drinks later in the day

Crack up at the thought.

I think back to same student and wonder:

Am I really getting that old and yawn-mouthed

That a student needs to show up high to enjoy my class? And then I realize he is not enjoying my class at all

But the company of his comrade in the next seat.

Question: Did I ever do that? No. I stifled my laughter.

I respected my teachers.

I tell myself these lies

Until they become truths.

Am I doing a good job?

Can I say what I want to say? No!

The trick to education is knowing one golden rule

Your teachers are full of shit.

A trip to the principal’s office

And a great big unsatisfactory on my teaching record.

I’ve lost control:



Severance pay

Big fat j

On the dole

Back to bumming

Reading Bukowski

Drinking heavily

In short, a rubber room existence. There is no such thing as fate.

American Spirit

You have a high pitched voice

An anxious tremor

Resonating to the stratosphere

As if your lungs were never consumed with internal clouds of mist

Sucked in like steamboats in vile vortices

Smoke from a thousand fags

Ashes staining your fingernails yellow

Disguised under press-on nails

And teeth off white

Remedied by Crest white strips

And brushing at least three times a day

In painstaking circular motion

And time permitting, vertically and horizontally, as well.

But you still have a smoker's cough

And your perfume doesn't hide

The smell of countless nicotine cravings.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Featured Poet: Dr. Kane X. Faucher

After coming across his work on Felino Soriano's Counterexample Poetics (which is really fantastic, by the way), I had to ask Dr. Kane X. Faucher to submit some poems to OSFR. In a gushy lil' letter, I told him how I thought his stuff was really exemplory of current directions in poetry, media, and collage art(s). Please enjoy! Dr. Kane X. Faucher FIMS/MIT Instructor, The University of Western Ontario. Freelance Writer, Scene Magazine. Co-editor: The Raging Face, The Drill Press, Sorrowland Press Interview Editor: Ditch Poetry Proctor: IELTS (British Council) - Author of Urdoxa (2004) Codex Obscura (2005) Fort & Da (2006), Calqueform, Astrozoica, De Incunabliad (2007). Jonkil Dies, Tales Pinned on a Complete Ass: Travel to Romania (2009) The Vicious Circulation of Dr Catastrope (2009) -


(a slav-ish raillery in no parts)


--…amusant mais…


--…tellement / camoufle…




Scandallion standala y catapostrophe.

Bas alt relief belie goncourtier

\?--:…rue the infinite gimmegimmick a la


NRF(I)NRF(II) dire la roches-elle dans un

Et Gaston IIieme dans deux 1953.

Ecrirez-pas babelogue

Insta instro insitu insu introck.

Ref fer ere frere ren enc yclo clochard hark arkhe.


(a fenceless optical zone)

Depistillated sermonizing wavebreak,

Immense pillar of talking flesh

<combat dining>

& the great sewer of existence underlorded

Papal cyborgs &

How God subcontracted Adam to name things.

I walk / unkempt millennium garden / public works project

Failure / empty beer bottle by bathtub / she and bubble /

Abducted from Oshawa / portable office relocate @ bar /

New fonts derivative / syncategoreme / portfolio construction

Professionalization anti-seminar / non-marketability aspects of

Doctorate.\ move to Vancouver \ organizations strategies \

Collaborate with and learn from here \ midstroke.--


The future threatens

to make us seem quaint and ridiculous.

while the applause

has died away well before we arrived.

Mode juste today,

critical gaffe tomorrow.

We who write now will be subject

to cruel normalization

and barbaric standardization,

lost somewhere in a canon

the young are forced begrudgingly to honour

The political choices we make today may feel right.

Tomorrow will judge us harshly

and we will be condemned.

The future is like that: and it has the luxury

of history and consequence -

we should have known better becomes our epitaph.

The future will consign us to haunt the earth

spurned devils and the mark of Cain.

Our actions, once laudable, become burdens

as death renders us mute and indefensible.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Yes, being an internet journal has it's high points. For one, you get to use a "z" instead of an "s" without feeling shame down to your bones. Also, I get to instantly publish poems for any and all to read at any point. I've heard a lot of people (myself included, in the past) go on and on about the importance of print poetry journals, but for what OSFR is, it could only really function on a website at this point. But there are some low points, too. Blooger sucks. Yes, I said it. Though I am not good with computers and will have to do major research and work to figure out how to start a new website with all the previous posts included. The main issue I have now is with commenting...apparently people are having a hard time doing it. Not sure what to tell seems to work fine if you have gmail (or any sort of google account). Formatting has been a problem for me as well. Not sure why, but the blog has seemed to become self-aware and decided that it dislikes formatting poems correctly. While I constantly try to get it to say its name backwards to make it vanish into another dimension, I still have to work hard to get it to correctly format poems with kooky fonts or wacky line/stanza breaks. Be aware that formatting can sometimes be hard; bear with me. Anyway, keep submitting, and if you're in Chicago, by golly sign up to read! -Russell

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Featured Poet: Peycho Kanev

"Peycho Kanev is 28 years old. He loves to listen to sad music while he drinks slowly his beer. His work has been published in Word Riot, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Cemetery, Nerve Cowboy, The Chiron Review, The Guild of Outsider Writers, Spoken War, Side of Grits, Southern Ocean Review and many others. He loves to put the word down and not talking on the cell phone for days. He is nominated for Pushcart Award. He lives in Chicago. Alone." scream in the afternoon the sun is high again and it looks to me like an enemy, outside in the hot street an old lady stands by the curb under the shadow of a tree and she looks like my mama and she looks like your mama I ask my self where my luck is. it has ran away like a river of sweat in this hot summer afternoon and the old woman is gone and the sun is about to set as I wait as I shiver thru the endless day and thru all the wasted loves I fell asleep again and this poem become silent for ever. the beast the beast is so lonely… and the beast and the prey are looking for each other- to become their blood mutual. the blood of the prey is vulture into the veins of the beast, doomed for loneliness. and happy blood- with desperate and sorrowfully passion the recluse possesses it. the love of the beast is all in red. for N. confession you are sun light sun light walking around you just don’t know how good you are you play with my seriousness make me laugh when you comb your hair all the gods come down from the mountain and watch you are the woman than all the women should have been it doesn’t matter how you turn your body or what you say it is perfect diamond perfect cut perfect glow and when you get the blues I got the blues because I don’t want you to get the blues in all my life I have never said to another woman that I love her now I say it to you and I know that I will carry you always in me inside outside at my fingertips at the edge of my brain and in the center in the center of what I am of what remains.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Re-featured poet: Barry Frauman

Happy belated Memorial Day from the (Russell, oft-involved Becky, friends) staff of O Sweet Flowery Roses! Please find more poems from Barry Frauman below. No, we are not hard up for submissions quite yet, but Barry is the first poet signed up for the Super Duper Blowout Chicago Reading (date, time, et. al: TBA)!

Let me know if'n your down to read and I'll put you up on the list!


I dreamt of you Tony in morning twilight,

that you were admitted to hospital care

not sick, not well,

that I was your room-mate,

not ill at all.

You wore silk pajamas, white, I think,

your hair thick and dark, a few strands of gray.

Your body flourished, exciting and strong,

I ached to sex you.

Instead we unpacked, each one for the other,

together, happy.

We talked long and warmly about... can’t recall,

more friendship of love than in stormy life-days,

the tension of AIDS.






he first of my heart is quiet, certain

and serene as all the Buddhas.

When I err, when for a fraction of a second

I am not quite honest, the motion of his eyes,

their change of light, point back the truth to me

with no less love than in our perfect harmony.

He is my soul.

* * * * *

My other love maintains there is no soul

there is no God

there is no human life

outside the robot masses of our time

stampeding all his words into my brain;

yet deep within, his fury seeks affection:

At a crowded café, not too gay,

he cornered me with a hug;

and then one night, good-bye at his door,

he beamed when I kissed his beautiful face.

* * * * *

The eyes of my soul are in white white skin

under jetblack hair.

He is young-tree slender and elastic,

shoulders open and embracing

even when his arms are down.

The breeze nestles in his thick black thatch,

dreaming of eternal June, and he has

the soul of a tree in young manhood,

sometimes playful, more often stilled

in the half-smile of serene growing.

* * * * *

He calls himself fat, that's a laugh,

short wiry devil-dark mustache,

eyes of gray lightning.

* * * * *

Hello to you! Yes to you!

From all my soul to all my soul I call.

You are the tree in whose branches I nestle,

the lightning will not strike.

Your faults are like a summer shower,

soon to dry away.

* * * * *

Leaping to your feet? still fast asleep?

Thinking of you, wondering how you are,

I wake up late and slowly Sunday morning,

glasses on the table from last evening

stilled into the memories of fun.

Now silent, mostly empty, they'll sit out

the hour or two until I get to them.

Ever think of weekends you were here?

We've showered music breakfast yes or no,

it doesn't matter all that much,

we've had our sexy talky turbulence.

I won’t approach your nakedness now,

tempting though it is,

but will instead anticipate a lingering good-bye.

What are your plans?

* * * * *

The greatest number of people,

whose kin are family-tree,

would not understand my joy in you,

beloved keeper of our light.

I have small knowledge of your prior years,

I did not see the steps you took

to form the inner workings of your life,

a discipline so perfect and serene,

that you should be a beacon to us all..

You grow and thrive around a core of stillness,

a happy silent purity

toward which my restless spirit stretches endlessly..

You never come to me to lay confusion,

but work a trouble through then hail me

to share your joy in hard-won resolution.

* * * * *

Ten A.M. Sunday thunderhissing discoblitz

you shut the door against the din so we can talk

your rage boils up at years of sexual repression

your lightning strikes the wordhouse you have built

as shelter from the storms you generate.

I lash past your downpouring sentences

to bring my love to your intelligence

and turn your storming elements to sunforce.

Burning tired your head falls to my shoulder

still you say you do not feel love

it must be no right now, maybe not forever,

but firmly for this time you back away.

* * * * *

You let me rant about the world's nonsense,

then you embrace me.

* * * * *

Better this way you say in the labyrinth

of bar-and-bath nightmerchant anonymity.

Better this way than learning in the hurt

of amorous friendship somehow gone awry.

* * * * *

Remember the time you stayed during the week?

I’m sure it was December snowy rainy

muddy morning grumbling down to work.

The sidewalks were in slush,

we made the bus-stop walking in the street.

The night before I’d lain down at your side,

though I still mourned the parting of another.

As we were trudging slave-like in the grayness

toward the dreary obligations of the day,

I felt my guilt glide up into my throat.

With gentle indirection you forgave.

Your compassion that sad day gave birth

to the sweet closeness all our own

that keeps us free of all the cushioned traps

the gray Decembering world sets

to ground the flight of those who love.

* * * * *

You say, "I’ve never felt... whatever it is,

but that's alright, I live from day to day.

If somehow I could change, that would be nice,

but I don't count on anyone, OK?"

* * * * *

In front of your house good-night, I’ll call you soon.

Our hug is long and strong,

and always with the imprint of your face,

you touch me in my quiet tender place.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Featured Poet: Felino Soriano

This is Felino Soriano's second submission, but everyone should check out Counterexample Poetics for unfiltered astonishment. Editor's note: Happy birthday to me! Felino Soriano (California) is a case manager working with developmentally and physically disabled adults. He is the editor of the online journal, Counterexample Poetics,, which focuses on International interpretations of experimental, philosophical, post-postmodern, and avant-garde poetry, art, and photography. He is the author of five chapbooks and e-books, including Among the Interrogated (BlazeVOX [books], 2008) Feeling Through Mirages (Shadow Archer Press, 2008) and Calling Toward Clarity (Chippens Press, 2009), and also has a mini-chapbook forthcoming from Wheelhouse Magazine. The internal collocation of philosophical studies with classic and avant-garde jazz explains his poetic stimulation. Website: Painters’ Exhalations 118 —after Bridget Riley’s Edge of Light Light needn’t sky born, or shape create happenstance below, soil level or other cliché developed notion decided on a shelf of predetermination. Birds sketch a clawing scratch vertical road from sky elsewhere leading to twig architecture, feeding opportunity, as light illuminates in constant etching into echoes dissipating only as dusk hands begin the painting of exaggerated gray. Painters’ Exhalations 119 —after Aleksandr Grigor'evich Tyshler’s The Wedding Somewhat deciphered by the citizens whose cataract emotion matches eros amid walkers during night purchasing intimacy through paycheck deposits for affection laced with uncertainty and thought’s edges protruding the forehead’s soft tissue. Here the ceremony unfolded structure capitalizing on sun’s open hand throws italicizing vows and intertwining reading of scripture. Hands exchange third finger symbols casting aside absence for platinum platitude, though the spectrum of smiles erases the monotony of the specialized moment. Painters’ Exhalations 120 —after Mark Cesark’s Grey Area This is language. Two hands held in fisted reality hiding bodies of truth or fiction behind the overused back of trickery asking choice of relevance above interpretational guesses. Human claws at dichotomies. Splaying too far from routine brush blends anxiety into parallel thinking of the body-normality excusing nervousness from the eyes’ visual safety. Many want sharpened edges of black or white. Maze circles segregated or introduced into factual tongues speaking newness— the area of vellum’s spectrum wide wingspan creating inability to travel emotionless away from supported measures the mind ambulates in complete control. Painters’ Exhalations 121 —after José Bedia’s Isla Bonita Impressionist interpretation of a woman’s unworn, strapless, high-heeled stiletto. Stilled away from walking’s many efforts providing a layered rendition beautiful faced woman interrogated by wind’s rhythmic, ugly hands. Trees border the silhouette metaphor walking tired among forest resting near water’s diamond recreation. If man resides here soon the heel will wear, become a broken semblance of identity prior to the overbearing bludgeon of self -righteous motives. Painters’ Exhalations 122 —after Thanet Awsinsiri’s Under the Shade We proclaim protection. Said by the promise of illusion. The protected is not alphabetic dissertations elaborating the body’s many functions. The body bare is at its unpeeled genesis actuating ensuing movement if desire overwhelms stagnant curses tattooing the limbs of extravagant reason. Where wind and walls simultaneously converse.