Monday, April 27, 2009

Featured Poet: Holly Day

"There’s an awful lot of pressure involved in sending out poetry during National Poetry Month. Perhaps it’s because I assume that thousands and thousands more poets are sending out their writing this month more than any other month, and the thought of that level of competition frankly scares the crap out of me. Writing is a competitive enough sport as it is, and I’m not a particularly competitive person."

-While Holly Day did not send in a formal bio or photo, I found her cover letter worthy of attaching as a reflection of April being "National Poetry Month."

I'm not much for competitive sports, anyway. Enjoy her poems! -Russell

I Hold Your Big Fat Heart In My Hands

Extinguish the joy in my heart, my head, tonight

I open my body to you like a dependant cripple

Supine, sublime, sometimes I wonder what we’re doing here, and

Then I realize how little I actually want to know the

Truth. Your hands push against me like rough, angry starfish

Press my starlight thoughts of you in between pages of Hitler

Some leather-bound book filled with piles of crushed leaves. In

Time, I just know we could become friends, the emotional cripple

The raging lunatic. I chose to be the weaker of the two of us, and

It has nothing to do with you, not really. The

Closest thing I’ve come to love like this is this, tidepool starfish

Wrestling for pieces of meat, so slow like Hitler

Decomposing beneath heaps of garbage and dirt. You let me in

Last night, and just because I let you touch me then doesn’t mean I have to tonight.

And even though we’ve settled into this domesticity, there will always be the

Images I have of you, unflattering. Hitler hands starfish out against me, touch my backside--

If I let you in again tonight

Will you cripple me further still?

I Deny You

all this talk of reconciliation

and all I see is the back of your head

how I want so bad to pick up a hammer

and smack it into the small round

bald spot growing there.

I can feel the fire balling up

in my middle, billowing out

until I can touch it with my palms

how easy it would be to take

this boulder of tangible anger

smash it down on you

make you flat and small.

I’d Help, But I’m Not Really Here

she says, do nothing

and I’ll make it all right

be quiet and no one will know.

I am a statute in her shadow, I am

a monument to quiet, she will fix everything and

I have no need to move.

she says, say nothing

tell no one, you didn’t see

she says, go back to sleep, I’ll be back

in the morning

I am a monument to shadows, to quiet

So still I don’t even look like Alive

I am a statute of I didn’t see

these memories of dying even as they are born

Friday, April 24, 2009

And the DJANGO Award winner is...CAROLINE O'CONNOR THOMAS for her poem "Apples and Water"

Apples and Water outside your window, a tree is blooming. white paper flowers that will brown, like the spot where you bit the apple- leaving a trail of juice on my thumb and other knuckles. you remind me of someone i've never met before, i think as i suck the water clean from my fingers and feel a sudden shame for even this private show of affection. From Caroline O'Connor Thomas: This poem is about yielding to restriction or moderation; you could find the temptation pulling from that act of letting go, in the narrators sudden complete disregard for personal limits. I'm excited that Apples and Water was chosen by Russell Jaffe and Sean Lyman Fraiser to be the winner of the DJANGO award. I can't think of anything more lovely than knowing that I've written something that others can appreciate. It's appropriate to say I feel dazzlingly jewel'd and naturally glorious! From guest judge Sean Lyman Frasier: First, thank you Russell for allowing me to dissect the poems that voluntarily settled beneath the kiss of my literary blade, and thank you courageous artists who tackled this contest with sophistication and barbarity, in equal measure. The winning poem, Caroline O'Connor Thomas' "Apples and Water," struck me as a poem that earns its brevity, the way that an epic must earn its enormous scope. I felt voyeuristic, like the words (written in invisible ink) were supposed to vanish before I found them. To me, the delicious guilt of the poem revolves around the idea of wanting more but not feeling entitled to more. While the action of the poem may be a single act of disobedience, a decision to indulge rather than ignore, this temptation will change the body and mind, much like the flowers and apple change hue and brown with time. A rare fifty second portrait that breathes long after it's enjoyed. The poem, beyond its elegance, addresses the theme with concealed desires that squeeze through as whispers, and it was a pleasure to hear those. From Russell Jaffe: It was a real joy to hold this contest, and I think it's really important to say that while we had a winner, every poem we received was a little treasure to read and explore; in searching through the troves of poetry to find the one that would ultimately win the jewelry prize, we found ourselves happily lost in the founding principles of O Sweet Flowery Roses: sharing, enjoying, and participating in poetry. Thanks to all who read and submitted, and thanks for supporting this journal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Featured Poet: Larry Jaffe

It's true that the dastardly O Sweet Flowery Roses poetry journal asks for three poems, a brief bio, and a picture. Constraints be damned...Mr. Larry Jaffe (no relation to myself, though his name is the same as my grandfather's) sent a thick phalanx of poetry, which surrounded his massive bio. So why take the O Sweet Flowery word for it? His bio is here; Mr. Jaffe is quite the prolific poet and general artsmith.


Aesthetic waves crash

forming tender beauty

a radiant inspiration

redefines destiny

Riding strong

a spirit emerges

    – She is her own Galahad

A ripped cape

in flight

    – Escaping captivity

Tears shimmer

in sudden joy

obstacles of life


    – An empire created

Leaving her mark

in the universe

–The mirror gasps.


The Earth bleeds

we stand around

hands in pockets

some shout retaliation

some scream futility

still the earth bleeds

We proclaim peace

accuse each other

march and protest

hold hands for inner warmth

love one another with venom

still the earth bleeds

We kill songs with rocks

torture memories

plead sides

and wonder

why the Earth

still bleeds

    – Some never learn to hate

Peace is not a tourniquet

Peace is a new Earth.


I unfold



I unfold

precious wings

arc into flight

I unfold


through space

I unfold

music triumphs

in endless beat

I unfold

– I fly

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Featured Poet: Thomas "Kaysen" Fraker

NEWS: The winner of the DJANGO Award will be announced by the end of this week (April 20-26) POETRY: Kaysen sent but one poem with no bio. In lieu of the very long featured poetry que, I thought I would put this one up for today. "I'm 18 years old and 5'10, 280 lbs. My name's Thomas Fraker but i prefer to be called Kaysen. I've been writing for years and honestly dislike most of my work. Others say its good, but i like few of my own poems. Hopeful you will like the one I've picked to submit."


The vampire in the alley

the monster under your bed

the shadow in your closet

the demon in your nightmares

The thought that shakes you at night

the form that haunts your dreams

violates your body

with a laugh that chills your soul

Your heart will race

your mind will scream

your soul will squirm

but your body won't move

Frozen in fear

staring at your nightmare

born into reality



from something that only you can see

everyone laughing as you run by

not knowing what’s really chasing you

They will know

when your mangled body

found in the alley

is left with

No heart

no mind

and worst of all

no soul

So run



like nothing else matters

Cause if it catches you

nothing else will

it will all be over

nothing left but flesh and blood

Unable to love others

unable to think for yourself

and worse


Monday, April 20, 2009

Featured Poet: Jane Ormerod


Time for an O Sweet Flowery Apology on this, April 20, 2009.

While you are all undoubtedly puffing your [legal tobacco] pipes and are therefore in a good (and hungry [un-chemically stimulated]) mood. Your humble Editor-in-Chief is moving to Iowa City! Yeah, that has derailed my posting for a spell.


We are back on track AND have a *W*I*N*N*E*R to announce! Stay tuned HONESTLY and please enjoy the poetry of Jane Ormerod while you do...

Jane Ormerod was born on the south coast of England and now lives in New York City. She is the author of the chapbook 11 Films (Modern Metrics, 2008) and her work also appears in numerous print and online publications including 21 Stars Review, Arsenic Lobster, BigCityLit, eratio postmodern poetry, failbetter, Ginosko, Night Train, Whatever Literary Journal and the spoken word CD Nashville Invades Manhattan. She is host of the occasional reading/performance series Emotional Rescue at The Cornelia Street Cafe and is a founding editor at Uphook Press. Her website is

A Nightingale Invades

The lid falls off replaces

The lid falls off replaces

Beauty as cure for society’s ills

Child dream murderers fly-driving sailors


Beating out a carpet heart on pumice steps

Horses heavier than anyday fear

Hurdlers replacing heraldists cab rides abundancy

Her ribcage filled with nettles

Lip dash and slash

A change of hair inside her leather yellow bag





Seams below seams between seams below seams

Picric papers Stockings

Yet another wedding ring passed round the room like port

Lanterloos oh oh and double christs with sakes


Don’t sing

Splutter Hide

Savers Coasters Shoe lacers

Mongers coster and scare

The cheapest skates

Wives with hives and junket days away

Painting with marsh mist and a marigold

Painting with flute and three weapons




(With bait in her breath)

Are you interested in Pre-Colombian art?

Do you care about sticks? Do you lie about buffalo?

Stretch of elastic linking tooth and hand

Rolling beads of sweat and glass

A coral sunset choral sunrise whore tales grape hyacinths

Our daily bread delivered by a nude

The lid falls off replaces

Painting with baby in plastic

Painting with sun patches and ghost


The lid falls off replaces

The lid falls off replaces

Her mother spread on crimson icing

A pecan coat faraway lockers neutron spillage

The rich and the gullible and the bed and the kitchen

And the heels and heels and the healing of his hands

The lid falls off replaces

Her adult space in flames

Like a hedgehog Some warm milk or raw sugar

May be all she now needs

The lid a while replaces

The lid a while replaces

Everything dearie round here dearie

Feels just too good dearie dearie

To be true

Go Figure

Light mote variations, mounted warriors

A tetragon, birthday greetings from ‘72

Experimental geese, better later than usual crops

A red barn uncle-inherited but never seen


Long gone fish markets

The very last man smoking … puff puff puff

Why are things so heavy?

The doctors and psychiatrists drinking in the hotel bar

Bladdered, they were

Pissed out their heads, they were

Voices slurring like prescription notes

Stripping to their underpants

One banana, two banana, dirty, dirty, dirty

Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Meanwhile, watch me

The almost adolescent

Right outside their building

Swift-flitting between telephone wires and scaffold poles

Humming and ho-humming on the perfect diameter

To fit inside my own … toot-toot … small feet

Nashville Invades Manhattan

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

Everything tiny as leather

Mild as In-ger-land woah woah woah

Considerable as thought (risible!)

My schedule tight as the neighbour’s dress

Swiss Holiday Inn (wool temptation!)

A hamburger (I think) tigers

I push sticks and stones fifteen hours a day cardboard

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs

My mother floats like a pilot

An eyebrow

Pretty pitt the older pretty pitt the younger

Rows of conifers along an empty race course

Such a fun age, my mother snapped sing sing sing

Yet I would have very much liked

To have been as chatty as Gertrude snippity-snip Stein

Or maybe the goalkeeper I watched on the television news

Serious as a handle bicycle moustache down the hill

Curds wah-hey!

And now kissing occupies me as much as war

And my small tail has grown a little stronger in the city

English mustard is hotter than French German not so sure

I remember trains pencilling through countryside …

This is my brain, this is my brain, this is my brain

Diddley durr, diddley durr, diddley durr

Not the same, not the same

… Hay bale clouds kestrels lifting from overgrown allotments

Superstore car parks punctuation ribs ribbing ribbons

Sleep sheep waiting to be seated or stroked sniffled sniped

Badgers of honour otters de fe decaffeination

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

Tigers are cardboard cut-outs shaped like men

(One more thing I realize…

Having a child

Prevents you

From ever

Cutting your wrists)