Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.
Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & violetwrites at nyc dot rr dot com. We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.
If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & violetwrites at nyc dot rr dot com.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Trying to save those who could not evade the day
A day that will never fade
Many buried under a trouble of rubble
Graves, unmarked graves
Bodies broken and torn beyond recognition
An unthinkable strike came to fruition
The devastation of man made creation
The situation seems bleak has havoc was wreaked
The Twin Towers was a symbol of power
Took years to build knocked down in less than an hour
These buildings etched our skyline
Most took for granted they’d stand the test of time
Workers inside typing, trading, clicking, mailing, faxing, emailing, talking, telephoning, walking, waiting, goofing off, debating, thinking of tonight, that they’d make love tonight or overcome a marital fight
In an instant their lives were gone, gone, gone
Thrown into terror this should’ve been an error
It’s a nightmare instead
Did commercial planes fly into the World Trade Center?
My mind can’t get around it
can’t understand it.
The smoke rises out of the copy room window
Thick black smoke
Smoke to choke
Smoke to kill
A smoke of death
I stare into the distance expecting to see The Towers materialize before my eyes
The words fall out of peoples mouths and rest on my ears
Did you hear! The World Trade Centers fell! They’re gone!
Trying to process
to compute, how many people worked in those buildings, how many kids will not have a mother, a father, a bother, a sister, a boyfriend a girlfriend, a close friend, an enemy, a loved one a spouse
MISSING is the word that is flashed across the TV screen
M I S S I N G
So many missing
Missing in action,
Lost, disappeared into a cloud of dust - just like that - missing
How they’re missing them
Countless sleepless nights.
“What floor were they on? It’s a phrase
In our minds we imagine
We do the math
How fast could they get down to get out
The trauma of the tragedy is woven deep in my mind
The trauma of the traumatized as a nation needs therapy
I saw planes crash into buildings people burned alive
We have witnesses to see thousands die.
80 stories high people jump to their deaths
In my dreams I see it again and again
Friday, October 30, 2009
I'm blown away in the smoke of my mind created by the smoke of the eye mind of your mind.
I'm gonna take a sip of that southern smoked cooking, finger lickin' chickin charcoal broiled smoke embers rising from ashes I'll meet you there after I get me some smoked salmon mr brant, I love me some smoke dreams, with perfect seams, flawless rising in silver swirls
Frenetic – full of kinetic poetic madness I arise out of smoke slowly rising flowing from discarded disregarded embers of burned words into mad repetitive self perpetuating silver swirls.
My bluetry emerges at that speak-easy softly lit smoky lounge on the left where the mood is set with red and orange burning embers candle lights giving off smoke rising in silver swirls.
The crowd inhales my words and exhales patchouli oil scent silver swirls of smoke rising.
On a roll – jelly-roll - my bluetry spell has taken its toll, let the good times roll, and forget about sorrows or tomorrow, think about today. I'm too busy, come tomorrow there's a lot more networking to do.
Lost in a series of masquerades, delusions to who I am allusions and illusions - let er rip for old times sake daddy sing me those blues tonight!
Under the magnolia tree I fell skinned my knee, the sky ripped open clouds burst and the street went up in smoke I thought I must’ve toked some real good stuff because next thing I knew whole city was up in smoke and I was with a chartered band going nowhere fast and an open wound read my prayers somewhere those blues those blues were wailing, the trombone feels my blow as my words flow to slow the utterance of my soul, the whole world is up in smoke unless you stop try the tracks we’re on. I’m sorry I gotta move on – all this smoke is getting in the way of my living.
Living aggrieved in poetic frenzy- I give my life away up in smoke going once twice sold, I can’t capitulate capitalize civilize cooperate encapsulate, insulate any more, just let go let the good times roll you can’t always get what you want and if you try sometimes you may just find what you need and so lady smoke had her way with me, she got to me finally in my ever evolution I keep searching for solutions.
I need someone to love, fit me like a glove, turn down that candle now. It’s giving off to much smoke I can’t inhale. I wanna make some love now, play those blues in the background while I put my life on hold, sit here waiting for you to get your shit together and taken aback by constellation of fate I’ll read the emancipation proclamation to see if I understand you. I’m a jew, you know, and they been trying to eliminate jews a long time from the main stream.
Keep us all quiet with our little asses fighting each other to keep our masses down. We stay redundant - reducible to molasses while the conspiracy roars in my ears we keep fighting one other instead of taking their asses down a notch or two.
I’m so blue I can’t breathe. All that smoke – the whole world is up in smoke, not a joke.
Up in smoke.
by Joy Leftow
Leftow says, “Writing is breathing, I need it to survive – it’s my water, my air, my first love.” Leftow’s honesty and openness may astonish you or embarrass you but she promises not to bore you.
light up on a summer’s eve,
he cried, “Dad, you’re going to die!”
Now I sit with a cigar
in the rain, barely kept dry
by the overhang.
I don’t inhale but can feel
how smoke works its way
into the soft meat of my jaw.
My dad smoked Lucky Strikes
and couldn’t ever quit
but died in water, not by fire.
Water surrounds me now,
falls fast, drips
through snarl of branches.
I draw in the smoke,
watch the rim of embers
grin beneath the ash.
Are you in this moist air?
The woods reply with silence
as nicotine surges in my blood.
If I move my hand
a few inches to the left,
drops sizzle on the coals.
I will finish this cigar.
I will put down these words.
I will go to sleep.
Still, waiting for the ash
to fall, your son sits
smoking in the rain.
by Roger Midgett
Roger Midgett has won some awards for his poetry and has been published in journals, anthologies, and store windows. He works as a Mental Health Professional and lives with his family on an island in Puget Sound.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Grandfather picked me up
each morning at seven a.m.
His car was filled with smoke. I choked.
A Marlboro protruded from his lips
like a chipped white oar,
then more butts soon held
between two crooked fingers
as he gripped the steering wheel hard
and slowly maneuvered
the old black Ford Falcon
up Anstice Street in Oyster Bay.
His smoke mixed with grey exhaust fumes
from the car and it wasn't far
before I'd have to crack the window
as we drove past Saint Dominic's chapel,
and further up the hill: still the fumes poked
through rusted holes in the car's frame, a toxic inhale,
contracting my brain as grandfather spoke
of his plans for the day; food shopping at the A&P,
TV dinners for the week, a new issue
of National Geographic to peruse.
He muses still over how he looks forward
to a ride to Bayville and a hamburger, well done,
with slice of raw onion at the Pig 'n Whistle.
Then always more smokes, many more in fresh air,
on days at the beach, orange embers blending
with the skyline at sunset, or in the rain
with humid billows surrounding us. He puffs,
then takes swig from his brandy flask,
enough to ease pain in his back, to pick up
some of life's slack, to begin again where,
atmosphere clear, only ashes remain.
by Mary Ryan Garcia
Mary Ryan Garcia is a freelance journalist, poet, and adjunct professor of English at Suffolk Community College in Selden, NY, who is currently earning an MSW at Fordham University in Manhattan. She offers thanks to poet George Held, who helped her to revise this poem.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
He smiled a carnivorous smile and stuck a lit cigarette between his teeth. "I'm not going to tell you. You'll have to find them yourself." He was trying to be funny but he was never funny when he was trying.
"Just give me a cigarette. You're really pissing me off." She looked away from him. "Really you know, you're not funny."
"Guess the brand name and you win one." He could tell she wasn't amused so he threw her a cigarette from his pocket. "You're no fun sweetie, no fun. When we first met, you weren't like this. You're so neurotic now."
She picked up the cigarette and lit it. It tasted funny and suddenly she no longer wanted it. She could feel the smoke pass down her throat and enter into her lungs. She had been smoking for years but now it disgusted her. She visualized the smoke eating away at her throat, lungs and could almost feel it invading her legs and arms. She smashed out the cigarette and turned to him. "I'm giving up smoking. You should too."
"What's with you? You just begged me for that. If you quit smoking what will we have to talk about? What will we have to do together? We'll have nothing in common – nothing to fight about. You've got to keep smoking or you'll destroy our relationship. You don't want to be a homewrecker, do you?" He was laughing and she, disgusted, walked into the kitchen.
From the kitchen she could still vaguely hear him laughing so she turned on the faucet. The water sounded strong so she stood and listened to it for awhile. It calmed her down so she left it on and rummaged through the refrigerator. She pulled out the container of cole slaw and ate it with the plastic fork that had been left in it.
"What are you doing in there, drowning yourself?"
She turned the water off and her calm melted away as his voice got closer. "Nothing. I'm eating."
"Ah, that's what happens when you quit smoking. You start eating more and you get fat. Honey, are you going to get fat?" He started laughing again and she felt trapped. She turned the faucet back on and continued eating the cole slaw. "Are you alright, sweetheart? You seem a little high strung lately. Why are you running the water?"
She mumbled as she put the cole slaw away and took out the potato salad. "It calms me but you don't. Please go away." He smoked another cigarette and turned off the faucet. He paced for awhile and watched her eat. She sat at the table with her head down and her legs crossed scooping chunks of potato into her mouth. He kept pacing.
The phone rang but neither of them reacted. "Are you going to get that?" She didn't answer. She just stared blankly into the container playing with the potatoes. "What!" he shouted into the phone. "I'll try and get her but I think she might be in a coma." He dropped the phone and as he walked out of the kitchen he looked at her and said, "Your mother."
She got up and turned the faucet back on. Turned it as high as it would go and stood over it feeling the drops jump on to her face. She silently picked up the receiver and cautiously hung it up. "Can't talk now mom," she whispered.
He rushed into the kitchen with his coat on. "I'm going out. I need some air." He hesitated for a minute but she didn't respond so he slammed the door. A minute later he was back. "Do you need anything?" She didn't answer. "More potato salad?" Nothing. So he left again.
The phone rang. She knew it would. The ring sounded desperate so she lifted the receiver.
"Honey, are you alright? What just happened? Did you hang up on me?"
"Mom, I quit smoking. I decided to this morning. Now I'm trying to get Dan to quit. I don't think he wants to though."
by Regina Walker
Regina Walker is a writer and psychotherapist in NYC. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online journals.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Bogie and Belmondo
Both known for a butt
In their lips, smoke
Curling from corner
Of mouth making them
How come when I
Tried it, the smoke
Burned my eyes
And made me gag
So hard the butt
My peacoat and burned
A friggin’ hole
In it and my dad
Kicked my ass
For being for being
by George Held
George Held gave up smoking when his doctor said it would inflame his asthma and kill him. Previously, he’d been too stupid to figure that out.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Cuban tobacco plants
low and full
stand one behind the other
orderly and lush
praying hands repeating
ad infinitum into the horizon
neat lines in soft mounds
of dirt, my feet sink into clay
under a drooping canopy
spider webs wrap over inside
a 1953 Rambler sunk
in silty soil
like Dalí’s rainstorm in a taxi
a desert inside a Rambler
petrified like the people of Pompeii
in the relentless Cuban sun.
by Maria Lisella
Maria Lisella is Program Coordinator for the IAWA readings at the Cornelia St. Café, and is co-editing an anthology based on those readings. She lives in Long Island City and was a finalist in the competition for Poet Laureate of Queens in 2007. A longtime travel writer, she currently edits a national travel trade magazine and is a member of the New York Travel Writers Association.
[Photo Credit: Stillman Rogers]
Monday, August 24, 2009
This sunny backyard's a concentration camp for drunks.
Free to dress well, live in clean houses,
free to come and go.
Free to turn themselves into projectiles,
meat to shoe the surgeon's feet.
Free to bear
a 3 lb. boy whose beer-fed brain
forever scrambles words,
(letters jumble and collide.)
Celebrate this boozeless wake.
Move enormous finger joints.
Do not cry for your weeping liver,
say you count your drinks.
Two boxes of ash
strewn by hand in
sand and little Joan
comes back a slash
of mother ash on her
black pants, maybe sister ash,
both politely dead of drink.
Cigarettes drowned in paper cups
outside. Couches strewn with people's mid-day sleep.
by Susan Maurer
Susan Maurer’s By the Blue Light of the Morning Glory was published by Linear Arts, in2, with Mark Sonnenfeld by Marymark Press, and Dream Addict by Backwood Broadsides. Raptor Rhapsody was published in ’07 by Poets Wear Prada, Maerchen in ’08 by Maverick Duck. Raw Poems was published by Gold Wake Press as e-book in '08. Letterpress broadsides were done by Clamshell Press and The Center for Book Arts. Her poetry has been nominated three times for Pushcart.
Visit her home page:
"Death by Sea Bright" is from her first full-length collection, perfect dark, available from ungoverable press as a free to read and download e-book: http://ungovernablepress.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/2/2/2122174/perfect_dark.pdf
Sunday, June 28, 2009
As my father sits smoking his pipe-
I watch the tendrils curl upward.
I smell the rich tobacco
That reminds me of North Carolina-
Momma’s home state.
He stares into space-
And takes a long draw-
A question mark-
Floats in my direction
Like an apparition.
What will we do now-
Who will take care of us-
Now that Momma is gone?
Who is this man-
That I call Daddy?
The vapor dissipates-
I stare into space, too-
I envision a foggy future-
While he remembers-
A luminous past.
We both have lost something-
But will we find each other?
Another question mark-
Goes up in smoke.
by Beatrice M. Hogg
Beatrice M. Hogg grew up in western Pennsylvania. Her illiterate coal miner father would have considered her MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles to be a major waste of time and money.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Water bong, they called it.
Under my breath, I practiced
saying bong bong bong
until it sounded natural.
Mike was too busy getting high
to notice that Frankenstein
would have felt more at home
in Jackie’s basement. Her Mom
worked nights. No one would hear us.
No matter. I was fitting in.
So what if I didn’t know
what was in there. Jackie laughed.
Not easy when you’re holding
your breath. She handed me the slender
gurgling goose and I clutched its throat,
inhaling the chimney stink, remembering
to close my eyes just like she did,
sucked yellow air and felt myself
slipping under a tidal wave.
Buckled by the undertow,
seaweed tangling my hair, I made
a wish. I wanted to lift my head
and find myself in another
rumpus room complete with cake,
a song and candles.
Instead, I held my breath harder,
sure this meant lung cancer later
if I lived through this night. When my
bronchial tubes started crackling,
I blew out a smoke signal, opened
my eyes. And there was Mike,
a volunteer fireman, his mouth
covering mine, fingers bugling my back,
Jimmy whooping, Jackie eyes wide.
I don’t think they knew I could be like that.
by Helen Cho
Helen Cho's poems have been published in Field, Spoon River, Indiana Review, River Styx, ACM, and Southeast Review among others. This poem was originally published in Crab Orchard Review. Helen is a full-time Mom of twin girls, serves on the board of the Feminist Majority and the Advisory Board of Ms. Magazine and occasionally writes tv commercials for progressive nonprofit orgs.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Struggling against the smoke of myself
Suddenly a late afternoon, a spring day
I mystically become my other self,
Or perhaps dialectically my alter ego
Lining my soul and lungs with rebellious smoke,
My stomach lined with the smoke of radical soot
The history of a love hate dynamic
Each time from another illusion of naiveté
But reality is a “public toilet” of subliminal games
I am skeptical that no one knows the true meaning of life
Between the expert compilations and plagiarists
Flanked by the misery of faux-academia and molecular art
Among the merchants of speculative thought
Surrounded by jesters and clowns of popular culture
Between organic life and chemical misery
Amid forgetful atavism and temporary amnesia
Doomed to self-promotion as a style of life
Restlessness of a soul in chains and handcuffs
Take it from this poet in Absurdistan, New York,
Who wants to exchange a poem for a vagina
As if there were some kind of logic to it
In our decorticated world of possessions
I will write my last poem against myself
To bring doubt and skeptical cynicism….
Living in a post-consumerist culture,
Post-dada, post-evolution, Post-everything!
It appears that “everything” does not make too much sense
by Valery Oisteanu
Valery Oisteanu is a poet-artist based in New York, for the past 37 years. He is the author of 10 books of poetry and a book of short fiction. As a performer his style is known as "Jazzoetry."
Visit Oisteanu's website
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Dark plumes of smoke spiral upward on the freeway ahead. The smoke sucks in the light as it fans out, and grows larger with each gasp of my breath. It reminds me of a forest mushroom, dark, dank and foul. And yet, its ascent feels majestic for its so obscures the sky, making the blue it once held seem more like a dream.
Mistaken beauty does that, it pulls you in where you’re not supposed to be like a wizard, a magician, so bewitching, it knows all the tricks. I can’t stop watching the black columns of smoke in my sky. I feel possessive like a jealous lover turned voyeur. But I’m coughing and that drags me momentarily out of my trance. With wheezing breath I call Cal Trans and Highway Patrol using my cell phone and they give me specifications how if it’s an emergency to dial 911 yada, yada or otherwise dial such and such number as the smoke gets thicker and the traffic slows down to a near parking lot and fire engines blare past me. I gulp and press a finger on the number nine and hesitate over the ones, daring, not daring, but daring to finally press down as more fire trucks pass me and the smoke begins to turn from black to white as the traffic crawls ahead and I see a car on fire, which the firemen are hosing down just two blocks from the nuclear power plant. I breathe; I breathe, I’m alive and wait for my heart to slow its beat down. Like a mirage I imagine its red petals’ unfolding in a soft bow as the turn signal in my car clicks, not left, nor right but to heaven for in the now whitish looking smoke I see a door opening up in the sky.
Surely, I’ve died. Maybe the power plant did explode and I only dreamed upon passing to my very own death that the firemen stopped an impending disaster. A reality mistaken…surely it’s possible. But why is the signal in my car still snapping to attention? And what is that floating on heaven’s doors? Angels? No.
Marshmallows as big as clouds and I taste them in my mouth and know I’m in trouble as a voice coming from my cell phone says in newscaster smugness, “The smoke is not from a car fire, but is a mask for nuclear gas as the terrorist intended.”
I gulp and my throat tightens with a sickening taste of acidic sugar. I pry my esophagus open with the toothbrush I’ve always kept in the car and marvel as it melts in my fingers as the dashboard curls in on itself enveloping the steering wheel. The air bag billows forth and adheres to my arms; burning the hairs and smelling like roasted
marshmallows’ on a campfire and suffocating me with its sweetness.
by Julie Ann Shapiro
Julie Ann Shapiro is a freelance writer, a prolific short story author with more than seventy stories published and author of the novel, Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries (Synergebooks.com).
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
After walking dejected across town on such a damp, chilly night, longing for some small pleasure, a smoke seemed in order. As luck would have it, the recessed door beside a darkened storefront appeared just up the street. Ducking into the entryway, Charlie Buc leaned against the door, out of the drizzling rain, to light up.
The door immediately swung open revealing only shadows at first, and then as Charlie’s vision adjusted, a woman of large but attractive proportion emerged from the gloom. She approached him, smiling, and as she drew close he noticed her gown was of alligator hide, tanned to a visible softness, and she wore a feathered headdress. Instead of lighting the J, Charlie dropped it into his shirt pocket. “Good evening, Ma’m. I didn’t mean to….”
“You’re late,” she murmured, and took his hand, leading him inside. He followed like wavelets following a swan, without volition. The sound of a sitar wafted softly around them. She led him through a hallway so smoky he had to catch his breath, and then through a curtained doorway and up a narrow flight of stairs. At the top of the stairway she paused and made a motion with her hands, as though to gather the smoke-filled air around Charlie, and then opened a door to an alleyway, outside.
Without understanding why, Charlie bade her good evening and stepped out smiling, one story higher.
by Thomas Hubbard
Because long ago she helped to show him a way out of Midwest factories and into his own life as a teller of stories, Thomas Hubbard began work on a book entitled "Twenty Years With Proud Mary." The work is still in progress, but the current working title is "Fifty two years with Proud Mary." Meanwhile he has gone ahead writing, telling and living his stories.
Thomas Hubbard's website
Thursday, May 28, 2009
a yellow heartbeat
seepage flooding her lungs-
she reaches for
clear blue air but
the error of a smoke-full world
sticks to her throat
corrupt powder-sugar lingers
on her tongue
forever in that place
where you and I are
trapped in our own waxen bodies
waiting till that heart
browns and rots and fills with
the silence that
comes with no more
by Raj Spencer
Raj Spencer is a poet's daughter. She has seen the ways of the world, and is graduating high school and Junior College, simultaneously (Summer 2009). Raj likes to string words together when no one is looking.