Friday, October 29, 2010

John Swain

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  His chapbooks, Prominences and Sinking of the Cloth, appeared from Flutter Press and Set Apart Before the World Was Made appeared from Calliope Nerve Media. Full of Crow published his ebook, The Feathered Masks. His work has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best of the Web.

Medallion on the Banks

A river of leaves parallels the flowing river
in the changing wind.
I pray someday to fall
like these spirits quicksilver into themselves
and then move effortlessly into one another.
The sun cuts like a medallion on the banks
as the end of journeys continues on the table
of welcome like a woman's givingness.
I scrape the mud caked on my wading boots
and leave myself like a dog on the threshold.

The Body of Water

When the moon subdues its initial conflagration
and silvers the night like another day to harvest,
I silence the bronzed waving fronds I trampled.
The exposed rock shelves ascend like a pyramid
to the wine chalice of a sky lake,
I drank again and again from the body of water.
My life before slept preserved in a wrap of furs,
a red pheasant flushed from where I cut my rib,
then a handful of sand became my only companion.
I burned a queen hibiscus and sage to clean myself
and rowed in a boat of matted reeds and grasses
where the sky emptied its being on hems of azure.


I fear for the unborn
and fear for the wild,
all that has passed between us
will drift away.
And as glass beads fall
from around your neck,
this fear is the extent
of our natural inheritance.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Juliet Cook

Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared in a plethora of print and online entities. She is also the editor/publisher of Blood Pudding Press (print) and Thirteen Myna Birds (online). She has had more than ten darkly delicious oodles of poetry chapbooks published; her first full-length poetry book, ‘Horrific Confection’ was published by BlazeVOX in 2008. To find out more about all of the above and other yummy details, feel free to visit


On & off my brain she/he wants to break
tiny splinters embedded into inner thighs
with a high pitched buzz. Lobbing orchids,
wet dark truffles oozed through funereal fantasyland.
Tentacular lobes unglued, steamy, no longer able to fly.
My parents’ cat kills not only mice but butterflies.

Angioplasty Show

Tiger teeth exhale red angiosperms
like a tattered face mask.
Misshapen corpse vat writhes open
a dark vaudevillian synapse.

Deadly Doll Head Dissection

Doll head fantasyland, fun-filled dollies, licking dollies, slurping dollies, yummy dollies, gummy dollies, genuflecting dollies, dick sucking dollies, doll gags, doll debauchery, a sipping, slipping, discombobulated dolly.

A doll thought she was being drunk sweetly. A doll thought she was softly peeking, but she was peaking like an anorexic doll head turning black. Like a servile ugly duckling with a deviated septum soon to be a cunt doll, an asshole doll, a stinky dolly douche bag, a bitchy doll injection mold disaster.  Bleeding doll, broken doll, doll head rape. Shackled doll, spasmed doll, mangled doll, impaled doll, unglued doll legs, smashed doll brain.

Deadly doll head dissection. A dolly crematorium, an almost life less doll. A doll scatterbrained, a doll agitating until it barfs up more awful doll head gobbledygook.  A spitting and hacking doll. Spinning, falling and flailing inside the doll vomitorium.  A dark doll somnambulating and throwing up.

A doll hurling jerky truffles, a doll unfurling quirky squiggles.  A scary doll giggles then explodes like a dollcano. A bloody shimmering doll.  A hotly whirring doll.  A rising up doll head.  A transforming doll brain.  A doll biting back until penile balloons hiss then deflate…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dr. Kane X. Faucher

Kane X. Faucher is a Canadian author and academic in London, Ontario. His accolades include: Associate Editor: The Semiotic Review of Books, The Poster: Journal of Visual Rhetoric in the Public Sphere, Semiophagy: Journal of Pataphysics and Existential Semiotics, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Autopsia.

Excerpt from "The Vicious Circulation of Dr Catastrope": Book 2

Author’s Prologue

It was by the King’s decree that I continue this tale, and indeed it was he who detained me with his crackling whine and tearful lamentation that the story not be at its conclusion. It was quite embarrassing, actually, and an unkingly attitude to strike this wee and whelpish commoner born of a whore and a carnival barker (whom the Bible commands me to honour, as I do in my own way best befitting God’s humour rather than his spiteful wrath). If it were not for my good spirit and duty to my Country and Crown, I may have faced the gallows had I not complied—so amiss was the King’s state, his noble comportment and great carriage that succors us all brought down to a kind of crestfallen and browbeaten tit-saggery. You may thank the King and his weepy insistence for the continuance of my tale. But I should explain why I was initially intending to break with the chronicle at this point:

It was my intention to end the tale abruptly, just as I must do at the tavern when the little harpy I betrothed so long ago screeches from outside the public house doors loud enough for the whole town to hear, a sonorous voice that can etch glass and cause a man to rip off his ears because of its pure vertiginous Beauty. When my darling Scylla—whom I love with unsinful, devoted reverence, and with whom I conjugate in copulation only for reproduction purposes—sends me out on an errand to fetch a few yards of sausage and a flagon of C-grade bovine fat to fill the larder and the figure of her womanly corpulence, I usually set a spell in the olde tavern, making a kind of segue from the quotidian labours to wag tongues with the lads. It is here we mix tales of courage, bravery, and Man’s eternally invanquishable Spirit in the face of all tribulations – including that fine institution of marriage (God granting, and with a pure faithful heart). When the round is passed a few times, I am called upon to offer up a tale that will give these men hope and further reasons to rejoice in the spirit of Fraternity. Alas, the exquisite spawning-mother of all my precious pupae does usually beckon me from my tale in mid-stride, she being lovingly persistent as only the most glorious of goats one sees in the garden of the Hesperides, or with the constancy of a Homeric potato in the pocket.

Dr. Catastrope is not here resurrected in his due honour, and I recommence the tale I so fiendishly left off with another like soul named Francois. But amidst words of lofty praise and the call for my deification within the canon of Letters, there come the sour note of those gimcrack lollygagging critics whose only gift—as it is granted from the boweline depths of most vicious Hades—is to publicly excoriate me with their idle slanders and barbaric invectives. O the heaped insults against such a fine person that I am! How may I endure their pickled talk, born as it is from the lowest of the barrelhouses in West Manchester or perhaps the unkempt brothels of Upper Brunswick? Of the things that have been imputed to my person, I find these items in the worst of taste:

That I am:

A bagharper

A clodsniffler

A colonoscopic burst

A pus-filled tumorous excrescence

An execrable word flaunter

A verbletter

A loose spigot

A corrupt wine-barrel sheriff

A shiller of hard pitch

A wharfsman of mean disposition

A miser of description

A toilsome narrative voice

An inveterate listmaker

A hackish dwarf

A purveyor of literary emesis

A broken gangplank of Reason

A toppled tower of turpitude

A rainfeverish troll

A snapped wet twig in the kindling

A one-ended bridge

A fimbriated mannerist

A rugmerchant of lies

A mercenary of bad fortune

A diviner of phlegmatic spittoons

A plodding mendicant friar

A crass flytrap hanging from the rafters of alehouses

A double-dealing madcap

A shellfish of human misery

A chamberpot poet

A scat-meter of Man’s lowest watermark

A fabulist

A cinder in the wine

A frog-eyed belly-padder

A mattress-bound dilettante

A sinus-blocked cracker

A sawduster of sausage filling

An all-beef patty

A solicitor of a drain of pale

A cloudy fuller

A woadmaking lettersmith

A walking pox


Am I to endure such things? I think not! My chronicle is surely immune to such vicious criticisms by these lean snarling curs. Anyhow...

Is this a disastrous turn I see before me? Methinks I spy... a metaphor! Turn your better cheek before me lest my elegant club find your conceptual backside! Little did you know, you speakers of twin-tongues that Dr. Catastrope is also a verb formation that one can no longer ignore. Bring out your slate boards and copy this out for memory:

Catastrope (ka-ta-strohp):

1. Proper noun of Dr. Catastrope

2. A noun that signifies a disastrous turn, composed of the Greek katastrophein and trope (a turn).

3. Catastropic: Adjective meaning that which pertains to the fricative and post-labial sound that is emitted in a time of distress. Ex.: This musical noise brings me to the point of utter distress, it is so catastropic!

4. To catastrope: infinitive of the verb, catastrope, meaning a desire to strangle people who think they can write tales about children committing suicide. Ex.: If you publish that tasteless shit-for-shit text, I will personally catastrope you! To Catastrope you would be a necessary function of my being!

Verb usage of to catastrope

I catastrope

You catastrope

He / she / it catastropes

We / they catastrope

You (plural-formal) cataspin

Present perfect continuous: catastroping (we were catastroping all weekend until our ears fell off from imagined leprosy).

Past: catastroped. Johnny catastroped his way to ruin.

Adverbial form: How catastropely our lives go, leading forever to that Great Toilet.

Comparative: John is almost as catastropish as Mary.

Implied Superlative: John is the catastropiarch of the group. He is more catastropely catastropish than anyone he knows.

Ebonic form: katasdope, cat-stroke, catapa-tatapope, schizosoap, k-tope, k-topaz bling dang bin phat dawg.

Addendum note: The rumoured second usage of the word as a proper noun denoting an island in the Atlantic measuring three metres square is unsubstantiated, for it would make the man an island. The other use, in biology, is a recent addition. A catastropod is a type of mollusk that dies of ennui due to a porous shell and an internal intolerance to salty water that negatively affects its psyche. It usually reproduces grudgingly.

Now that we have cleared up these nasty grammatical matters, I owe you the continuance of my chronicle in this second book. Anyhow, let us get to it since I must get back to my long neglected beverage to which I must pay flapping lip service rather than to the dry non-distilled likes of you.


Your Fabulous Narrator.

Tom Bradley

Tom Bradley's latest books are Bomb Baby (Enigmatic Ink), Even the Dog Won't Touch Me (Ahadada Press), Hemorrhaging Slave of an Obese Eunuch (Dog Horn Publishing), Acting Alone: a novel of nuns, neo-Nazis and NORAD (The Drill Press), My Hands Were Clean (Unlikely Books), Calliope's Boy (Black Rainbows Press) and Put It Down in a Book (The Drill Press), which was named 3:AM Magazine's Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Further curiosity can be indulged at

Excerpt from Bomb Baby, pages 30-31:

In the middle of Hiroshima's Peace Park, standing at full attention among the barbecued cuttlefish booths, is a platoon of male college cheerleaders, Sam’s students. These junior fascists are dressed in WWII-style military uniforms of dark-blue wool. They’re rallied under giant radiating-sun flags and banners emblazoned with reversed and righted swastikas. Their boom-box blares martial music and racist propaganda. A couple of these cheerleaders hold up a big placard which reads, in both Japanese and English--



One bulldog-like cheerleader screams into a megaphone, "Japan is a tiny rice paddy! America is a treeless peak! Flood control is paramount!"

Everyone is terrified of these fanatical boys--everyone except Sam, of course. He barges through their ranks.

Among the cheerleaders is a thin boy with glasses, who looks frazzled. He is Sam’s most nervous student. Sam shouts at him, "Why aren’t you at home studying your English? It’s a required course, you know!"

The nervous student almost faints from embarrassment. He gobbles some pharmaceutical amphetamines from a little prescription bottle. It looks as though he’s got quite a habit.

Feeling really holy now, Sam prances further into the A-Bomb Golden Anniversary Celebration, heading toward Ground Zero.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Felino A. Soriano

Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974), is a case manager and advocate for developmentally and physically disabled adults.  He has authored 38 print and electronic collections of poetry, including “In Praise of Absolute Interpretation” (Desperanto, 2010) and “Realities of Bifocal Translations” (Blue & Yellow Dog Press, 2010). His poems have appeared at Calliope Nerve, Unlikely 2.0, BlazeVOX, Metazen, Otoliths, and elsewhere.  He edits & publishes Counterexample Poetics, an online journal of experimental artistry, and Differentia Press, dedicated to publishing electronic chapbooks of experimental poetry.  In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review.  Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to classic and avant-garde jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences.  His website explains further:

Approbations 740
—after Herbie Hancock’s Driftin’

Relocate, then.  Then
            positional placement
                                                interpreted finite
elements of fulcrum
                                                            pivotal newness.  Of air’s
hand-woven documentation
            etching now’s malleable          spontaneous alterations, here
            evidence of a melody’s dissipating negligence. 

Approbations 741
—after John Coltrane’s Serenity

abstract blurs of succinct representation
                                                                                    curtains of mathematical crows
disowning proper definitions
                                    reinventing abject focus
stained glass semblances
            glossy against renewed
inclines of
                        manipulated instance. 

Approbations 742
—after McCoy Tyner’s Impressions

renege clearness                      distorted          consent
                                    provoking intellectual motive, of resource
            participatory dialectic
betwixt camaraderie
designated halos
                                                                                    lit-north versions of
constituted logic.  

Raymond Neely

Regional poet Raymond Neely was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and has always resided in or near to Pipestem.  He was educated at Concord College of Athens, West Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English composition.  His poetry represents the present day poetic mind of thriving Appalachia, scenic Pipestem, and the surrounding areas.


Of wine,
of weddings,
breathe their deep aromas.
Of summer walks down old dirt roads,
of wildflowers,
of roses,
the unfolding trick of a magician's hand,
for dates,
for wives,
of shops,
and homemade,

Of Beauty
     There is a single vision of bright light which I had as a child.  It is of a girl or woman out on the porch of a white house swinging from one hand around the pillar, swooning slowly from side to side, leaning out over the edge.  I was riding in a car and it was summertime.  She wore a yellow sundress.  It was all of beauty.
      I peer closer as I remember and she becomes clearer until I can nearly see her face with bright evening sunlight yellowing the air.  I remember that my first feeling of love was about her and her beauty, first love about a girl or woman.  Now I see the angel threads of her lemon colored hair for an instant and she's swinging around the pillar.
     I know that it was your from pictures of you when you were younger which you showed me.  She was you all along.  The vision continues, nowadays, and it's still there on the porch of an old white house in Pipestem  and you are kissing daisies, showered with petals and dust and pollen and the light of the sun like free vitamins.


The whitest apple blossoms
dapple the foilage of their tree,
lay and hang in the wind amid the leaves,
carouselling with the bumblebees,
the sweet seeping odor of ripe apples,
and the whitest apple blossoms.
Floating our of the mountains hanging
beneath the twirling umbrella of an
apple blossom;
shake a limb and they are like confetti.
They copter downward,
some see-sawing lazily,
falling apple blossoms,
others lolling in the air as they fall,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Travis Macdonald

Travis Macdonald's first book The O Mission Repo (an erasure of The
9/11 Commission Report) is available from Fact-Simile Editions
( and his second collection, N7ostradamus, was released
by BlazeVox ( in late 2010. Basho's Phonebook, an e-chap of
experimental translations, is available from E-ratio
( Other work has appeared in print and
online journals worldwide. He is currently in the midst of relocating to
Philadelphia from Santa Fe, NM.

3 excerpts from Sonnet 86

Making their tomb wherein they grew?

Bringing into certain
form, from one state
to another, the nominative plural.
Possessive of people in general,
an excavation
in earth or rock
for the burial of a corpse or
any sepulchral structure
in which, contained,
the nominative plural of people
(in general) came to be
by a gradual process.
Or, by degrees
of accretion; became.

Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write

To occupy a place or position in
past tense, the player called up-
on to perform an act.
That or those be-
longing to him: the principle
of conscious life, the vital principle
animating the body or mediating between
the body and soul with something. At stake
on an attitude that inspires,
animates or pervades. Thought,
feeling and action caused.
To learn by example or experience
with the resultant condition of  the composition
of words and characters duly set down.

Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?

In, at or to
a higher place
overhead upstairs in the sky:
a certain particular
pertaining to death.
The degree of inclination
or slope as subject.
Or object as relative,
clause thrust forcibly.
The objective case
of I, incapable
of being
emotionally moved
bereft of sensation, extinguished.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet from Itasca, Illinois, published in 23 countries.
Website:  His published poetry books available:  through his site, Amazon.Com, Borders Books, and  Now on You-Tube:  Author of, The Lost American:  from Exile to Freedom, & From Which Place the Morning Rises.

If You Find No Poem
If you find
no poem on
your doorstep
in the morning,
no paper, no knock on your door,
and your life is poorly edited
but no broken dashes
or injured meter
and you don’t wear white
dresses late in life
embroidered with violet
flowers on the collar;
nor do you have
burials daily
across main street,
and no one whispers
in your ear, Emily Dickinson-
you feel alone-
but not reclusive-
the sand lady
still sleeping in your eyes-
wiping your tears away-
if you find
no poem on
your doorstep-
you know your not
from New England.

I Am Old Frustrated Thought

I am old frustrated thought
I look into my once eagle eyes
and find them dim before my dead mother,
I see through clouded egg whites with days
passing by like fog feathers.
I trip over old experiences and expressions,
try hard to suppress them or revisit them;
I’m a fool in my damn recollections,
not knowing what to keep and what to toss out-
but the dreams flow like white flour and deceive
me till they capture the nightmare of the past images
in a black blanket wrapped up
and wake me before my psychiatrist.
I only see this nut once every three months.
It is at times like these I know not where I walk
or venture.  I trip over my piety and spill my coffee cup.
I seek sanctuary in the common place of my nowhere life.
Solid footing is a struggle in the sock of depression
it is here the days pass and the years slip like ice cubes.

Rose Petals in a Dark Room

I walk in a mastery of the night and light
my money changers walk behind me
they are fools like clowns in a shadow of sin,
they’re busy as bees as drunken lovers,
Sodom and Gomorrah before the salt pillar falls.
In a shadow of red rose pedals
drunken lovers walk changing Greek and Roman
currency to Jewish or Tyrian money-
they are fools, all fools, at what they do.

Everyone’s life is a conflict.
They are my lovers and my sinners
I can’t sleep at night without them
by my bed or the sea of Galilee.
Fish in cloth nets are my friends and my converts.
I pray in my garden alone; while all the rest
who love beside me sleep behind their innocence.
The rose is a tender thorn compared to my arrest.
and  soon crucifixion.

It is here the morning and the night come together,
where the sea and the land part;
where the building crumbles
and I trust not myself to them.
I am but a poet of the ministry,
rose petals in a dark room fall.
Everyone’s life is a conflict.
But mine is mastery of light and night
and I walk behind the footsteps of no one.

Ron Koppelberger

Ron Koppelberger is aspiring to become established as a poet and a short story writer. He has written 91 books of poetry over the past several years and 16 novels; He has been submitting work for the past year and is thrilled by acceptance. He is always looking for an audience and has published 248 poems and 65 short stories in a variety of periodicals, including The Storyteller, Ceremony, Write On!!! (Poetry Magazette), Freshly Baked Fiction and Necrology Shorts, recently won the People’s Choice Award for poetry in The Storyteller for a poem titled Secret Sash and is a member of The American Poet’s Society as well as The Isles Poetry Association.

Desert Vision

Making journeys of distant sand and

Embryonic hold, a galloping desert vision

In velvet manes and chapped saddle sought.

By the dry gulp of ancient sips in dust and

Tender tears, the desolate rider borne by the same

Breath of quest and cause, by the need

For western horizons and

Desert blooms.
Carnivals in Rust

Unshaken by the wheels of revolving metal and quaky rainbow

Light, a thrill in thrall and a scream of joyous

Event, by popcorn scents and greasy gears

In shifting conspiracy with the clang and clamor

Of childhood dreams, of clowns in Vaseline and paint, by the

Light of crescent moons and sodium lamps, by sooth and

The wonders of drama, the realm of carnies and

Ponies in galloping dusty row, by cotton candy cheeks

And carnivals in rust.

"My World" (by the author, October 2010)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Like O Sweet Flowery Roses? Help design O Sweet Flowery Roses.

OSFR has been reborn, but we're not done yet. Our background is the old logo tiled, but it's time for changes across the board. Are you good with graphic design or good ol' fashioned drawing? Send us your images. We may very well have a new background.


A.J. Kaufmann

A.J. Kaufmann is a young Polish poet, songwriter and traveler, the author of "Siva in Rags" (KSE, 2008), "Pilgrims & Indians" (Deadbeat Press, 2008), "Broke Nuptial Minds" (Virgogray Press, 2009), "Vagabond Vacancy" (KSE, 2010) and other poetry chapbooks. A.J. blogs at and is currently recording his debut solo CD, "Second Hand Man".


horizontal fragments of adventure
sour milk
urged blue
wood-and-fabric millions
distant harmonicas
somebody’s art
change, the fragile seed of space
sister of substance
brightening capsule
concessions the rare
simple vapor
re-breathing omission and breeze
the planet grows boots
on little couples
tinted iconic
gasping the molecular night
dryly nuclear Moon
junk Pepsi Earth



soft fluorescent
on truck, clothes, much stuff
sentient over repainted
wistful, in hope
you’re there, here…
I’ll be a watch… the cat light
talk waved
keep diving
absence, eyes, thoughts -
including me -
we hitchhike the stars



Silent swarming decay
of concrete resonant
haze-covered cones
of tingling radios
markers above
the white
hooked to a blank
tumbled horizon
in vegetation
of neon shaped fingers
merciful hands
like bristled candles
reach towards the pretty concealed
black fliers safe and sky in mind
recovered 60’s agendas, antennae whispering
Allen’s litanies skyward
fleshless jewels of darted chill
beat poems found
in black living narrows

John Gray

DRY                                          .

Snails crawl across the path,                                           
slicking the earth as they go.
A spider hangs from its web
like a jewel of dew.
The last of the rain
makes up my mind for me.
I will venture on.
The clouds will break.
The sun will towel me.
The birds fly back to life.
The bugs emerge.
The chill of my skin
takes comfort in crow caw,
dragonfly hum.

The rain is water
off a pond's back.
Fish leap and hang the consequence
A great blue heron
listens in on its next meal.

The drizzle clears
but trees continue to sprinkle.
A leaf cup of rain
tips all over me.
The oak has been waiting
for just such an opportunity.
I laugh at myself.
The heart is first to dry.


Tonight, I navigate the ocean of sleep,
my heart as sails.
Cross the surface of the dark,
I glide between the sheets, the love,
the buoyant mattress, the belief.
A good wind of forty years behind,
and an open sea of dreams ahead,
why shouldn’t I take my vaunted place
atop that creamy blue horizon.
Distance, time, fold under my fabled rudder.
I go where the good night takes me.
I wake and here I am.


It's always been this way.
Blue jays squawk at 5 a.m.
Song sparrows live up to their name
with a burst of sudden six o'clock trilling.
A solitary chickadee skews the melody
with its chirpy downward scale.
A titmouse sounds its "peter peter",
calling for a mate
or the sun.
It's all for my benefit I believe.
Better that than a jarring clock radio,
or the boisterous shake
from the household's morning bully.
My life is lived
at the behest of birds.
My eyes open with their permission.
My body unravels on their sweet say-so.
My head clears, note for note.