ablaze addiction air alarm andiron aroma arson asbestos ash ashtray backdraft backfire bake ban band barbacue bellows billow blacken blaze blend bloom blow blowtorch bomb bonfire bong bouquet brand breathe brimstone bud bunsen-burner burn butt campfire cancer candle candlestick canister cannabis carbon carbon-monoxide carburetor carcinogen carton "catch fire" cauldron ceasefire chainsmoker chalice char charcoal chimney "chipper" choke cigar cigarette cigarillo cinder "coffin nail" coal combust conflagrate consume convection contain cook Corona cough crack craving cremate crematorium Cuban cure cutter dank dependence detector detonator diesel ditchweed dog-iron dopamine drill drag dragon draw dynamite ember emission engine enkindle emphysema escape evacuation exhale exhaust exit explosive extinguish fag fatwood feed fiery filtered fire firebug firecracker firedog firefighter fireplace fireproof firetrap firetruck firework five-alarm flame flammable flare flashover flickering forge freebase fuel "full flavor" fume fumigate furnace fuse ganja gasoline gasp grate grenade grill gun gust habit hash Havana haze HAZMAT headshop heat hearth hell hellfire hellhole hemp herb hickory hit holder holding holocaust hookah hose hot huffing humidor hydrant ignite incense incendiary incinerate inferno inflammable inhale iron joint kiln kindle kindling kings ladder lamp lantern lava Lent light lighter lightning locoweed log lox lung mantel marijuana match matchbook matchbox menthol nicotine oil-lamp opium oven pack parch parejo patch panatela paper "peace pipe" perfecto phlogiston pipe plume pot powder presidente puff pump punk "put out" pyre pyromania pyrotechnic quit reefer retardant ring roach roast roll "roll your own" screen scorch sear second-hand shade-grown signal singe sizzle skywriting slag slim smelt smolder smoke "smoke-filled rooms" "smokes" smokescreen "smoking a cloud" "smoking gun" smother smudge "social smoker" spark spiff spit spread stain steam stifle stogie stove strike subdue suffocate sulfur squib tabacco tallow "take a hit" taper tar tinder tinderbox toast tobacco toke torch torpedo "touch off" trigger unfiltered "ultra lights" urge vapor vat vent ventless ventilation volcano votive wax weed withdrawal wheeze wick wildfire wind wrapper yellowed yulelog Zippo 100s 420


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 & . 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 &

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bluetry Coming Full Circle I Smell Smoke

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.



When my son saw me
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
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

Life and the Movies

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
Fell on

My peacoat and burned
A friggin’ hole
In it and my dad
Kicked my ass
For being for being
So dumb?

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

Tobacco in Cuba

Giant Alice-in-Wonderland
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
Alongside plants
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 [Credit: Stillman Rogers]

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

Death by Sea Bright

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

A Precarious Blend

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

Smoke of Radical Aggressiveness

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."

Oisteanu's website

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dark plumes

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

She is

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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

their dissipation

the wood burning under the saw, sweet smell
of dreams outside New York
suspending us over Shasta campfires, smoldering
burnt fish vapor and red’s dying whine
his old man cigarette breath
reminding me that this is wrong
old men don’t french kiss children
and smoke isn’t always sweet cigar
cloves of you my love
mary jane frolicks
or hooka in the back of the pick-up truck
sometimes, it is just burnt embers glowing
a history, lives ashen
each second, ending,
desperately holding on
till the last coal dissipates to dust

by LisaAnn LoBasso

LisaAnn LoBasso
You’ll find LisaAnn LoBasso wandering the world, reading poetry in smoky clubs and beyond. LisaAnn has asthma, and prefers, if possible, to avoid all smoke.
Books in print: In the Swollen and Oleander Milkshake.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


by Stephen Mead

Tribute piece to Marianne Faithfull, part of the series "Swan Songs".

(If you have trouble viewing "Marianne" here please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeB5lVLyaZY)

Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead is a smoking poet and artist living in northeastern NY. Creativity reins in the voices in his head. “Drag,” his homage to women icons, a piece combining poetry and art, can be found in his book Selected Works, available through Amazon & Lulu.com.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cigarette Smokin’ Acronyms


Before it’s
Okay to

East and

Resulting in

Oxygen to


Led to their



Truth has been
End now.

by Jason E. Castro

Jason E. Castro won't sell you furniture, start revolutions or sing for Simon Cowell. He's been previously published in the on-line magazine Danse Macabre

Meditation on Three Girls Smoking

They are my students,
the young, with
the young’s trite pack,

and because they see
themselves, I suppose,
as secret

and sophisticated,
I can watch
from my window.

They’re sixteen,
already puffing too long
to stop,

but in this context,
they tug their elbows
and suck.

I too,
and thought my mother
did not know.

Then one strange day I quit
as if my body said

Soon they will return
to my classroom
to write

their stale little stories,
the dragging in
to draw out.

by Lois Marie Harrod

Lois Marie Harrod

Lois Marie Harrod used to smoke cigarettes, but upon learning she was pregnant, began to smoke words, four books, two children and five chapbooks of words, the latest of which, Furniture, was easier to burn than Part of the Deeper Sea.


Where There's Smoke . . .

There's a Starbucks man
Lips encircling a cigarette
in James Dean demeanor
Suckle love chiseling his cheekbones

And I inhale simultaneously
Sharp and shallow
Unlike him and his lazy draw
two tables away
Unaware of my ill-mannered stare
Of his smoke signals that send
seductive language to like kind

Silent alarms sounding
more than secondhand smoke warnings
Flashbacks of Salem cigarettes
and other stale hungers burn fresh
And the saint of safety
is supplanted by devil-may-care

I wonder whether his hands
are as hazardous
as the come-hither nicotine
Whether the heat rising from my belly
is vicarious or lascivious

Either way I want to cut and run
Coffee half consumed
Leave the cravings commingled
with caffeine in the cup
Instead I stay spellbound
Die-hard held by old conflicts

Caffeine combining with compulsion
And with questions like
Will I outlast his next light-up
Listen to life in long-term whispers
Or will I banish hazards to hell
And burn in the fire of gratification
Its short fuse a live-out-loud
shout of fortitude

by Ellaraine Lockie

"Where There's Smoke..." was previously published in PRESA.

Ellaraine Lockie

Ellaraine Lockie is a poet who prefers poetry printed on sheets of handmade paper made from the inedible parts of fruits and vegetables using a method she invented and published in her book, The Gourmet Paper Maker, now available in six countries.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Smoke filled summer sky       Oak leaves frame fast fading light                              Beauty finds its way
byJudi Brannan Armbruster

Smoke filled summer sky
Oak leaves frame fast fading light
Beauty finds its way

by Judi Brannan Armbruster

Judi Brannan Armbruster hopes you vote for medical MJ in your state! She lives north of the infamous Emerald Triangle. Her "girls" are just about ready to go to ground for maximum harvest! If you are not active in what is going on for your state, she asks you to check out 420magazine.com.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Karl, Esther, Mark

I smoke. I smoke because it’s all I know.
Years ago, ashes began my father—
he had no roots to speak of.
His foster family cared for him well enough
on the farm, the dry summers of central Michigan
cracking to brittle leaf.

The ashtrays in Karl and Esther’s living room
always empty, and emptied;
ash-blue walls,
shelves filled with tasteful, hateful

It was wonderful, my first cigarette—
at college, gin and tonic in the other hand
under the green dorm party light,
I felt like myself as never before,
a new grace descending
as I inhaled the autumnsmoke
of those dried leaves.
Abroad, I studied the exotic labels
on the packs: filigreed lettering,
Mongols on horseback.

All our relations
agree to disagree:
we shrink from each other
in mutual distaste
at the obligatory gatherings,
even as we smile and
extend a papery hand.

Esther does not smoke.
(She merely appears as a puff, a cloud,
wan face and powdery hair,
nervous, thin hands plucking at her
apron, hoping aloud that the pork chops are
not too dry.)
Karl does, with a brandy preferably,
but he prefers that I don’t.
I have to sneak out of the house to do it,
like some shameful act;
my friend hides them for me in her
glove compartment
until I move away.

Now I’m the nomad on horseback,
scattering Karl and Esther’s ashes over London:
they dribble from the end of my
neglected cigarette

by Carol Wierzbicki

From her forthcoming chapbook Top Teen Greatest Hits (Poets Wear Prada, 2009).

Carol Wierzbicki

Carol Wierzbicki has run poetry series at ABC No Rio and elsewhere in NYC. Her work has been published in Long Shot, The Cafe Review, Public Illumination and Evergreen Review, and the Unbearables anthologies Unbearables (1995), Crimes of the Beats (1998), and Help Yourself! (2002), published by Autonomedia. She also is an editor of the Unbearables anthology, The Worst Book I Ever Read (Autonomedia). She compiled and edited Stories from the Infirmary (Universal Publishers,1999), an anthology of fiction and poetry on chronic illness. Her book reviews have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail and American Book Review.

a dollar a pack at the rez

in my mother's house
even the once lily lampshades
are nicotine yellow
the delicate lace of doilies past
crocheted, now curled, lung-like
tumorless but strained
smushed under plaster owl lamps
the ash collects in thread webs

my father is on the floor
prone, pillow-propped
chainsmoking and watching Jeopardy
my mother pops corn in the kitchen
I am afghan-wrapped on the
hand me down Marlboro-red couch
the butter scent drifts through
but after eighteen years of
breathing second-hand
I have lost my sense of smell
Heightened due to compensation, I hear
rogue kernels slapping the bowl
refusing to be Redenbachered, proper

mother settles into cushions next to me
I finger the pack of generic Indian cigarettes
Natives, they read, that she tosses to the table
A dollar a pack at the rez, she says
Handful of grease and sacrificed maise
I watch her gray skin puff and exhale
I weighed five pounds when I was born
Cord around my neck, blue but feisty
But it was the seventies, she'd say
And at least she didn't drink.

by Janice Brabaw

Janice BrabawJanice Brabaw is author of two books that detail her struggle with depression, borderline personality disorder, and binge eating disorder - And Again: A Memoir of a Life Disordered and a collection of poetry called Universe, Disturbed. She is the editor of The Best of Stain - an anthology of performers from the two series she founded and curates in Brooklyn - Stained Glass Confessional and An Echo, A Stain. Her work has been featured in several lit magazines including Poesis, Violent Femininity - A Journal of Female Poets, The Toronto Quarterly, A Brilliant Record, The Cartier Review, and Ophelia Street.

She is launching a new quarterly literary publication Persephonous Blue. For submission guidelines and to find out more about Janice please visit her website at:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SMOKE  (for acapnotics everywhere)  

please go out into the hall.
If you do not want to smoke,
please go out into the
dirty, filthy, smelly, humid
backstairs hall.
If you do not want to smoke
while you work,
please work outside.
Please take 15 minutes
of your 15-minute break
to run down the 15 flights of stairs
to get downstairs
to the dirty, filthy, foul,
smelly, putrid,
air outside.
Please do not stand in front
of the building.
Please stand in the middle
of the oncoming traffic
to better inhale the dirty,
filthy, foul, smelly, putrid,
noxious, wretched, stinking
air outside.
If you do not want to smoke
while you eat,
please eat outside.
Please leave your table and
your wine and your dinner and
your dinner guests and stand
on the sidewalk outside.
Please take your dirty,
filthy, smelly, stinking
dinner guests outside.

If you do not want to smoke,
you can remain locked inside,
hermetically sealed,
happily, legally,
breathing in the odor
of the dirty, filthy, smelly,
putrid, foul, noxious,
wretched, stinking

by Chocolate Waters

Chocolate Waters now eschews the evil weed, but still thinks smokers are treated much worse than the tobacco companies themselves.

Visit her on the web at www.chocolatewaters.com!

Home Is Where . . .

. . . ever I have felt at home--
in each bedroom, for example,
a slice of time has called my own.

Or else on mountains molded
from molten rock, old
volcanic ash, pumice-stone rains.

Or strolling a beach, wondering
(as the waves weave
their staggered path across
quivering sands): how much
difference there is, really
between this daily
drum-beat of surf and
a tsunami?

Or perhaps in Brooklyn's backyard--
shielded by the shade breeze
that caresses my flesh
on a summer afternoon.

This poem is none of
these places, however.
it is, instead., an unfolded bed--
which is not my bed.

In a room which is not my bedroom--
or hers, even, since the only
bedroom in this apartment
is occupied by sleeping children.

Who did not wake as the volcano
spewed out its molten core
and the tsunami crashed, then
receded, leaving behind only
the rhythm of two drum-beat hearts.

Which recline here, now,
caressed by the late evening
breeze, interlacing with
human fingers that will linger
forever over each other's flesh.

to remember
the last time
any place
in the universe
felt as home
as this.

by Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom lives in Brooklyn, NY, and works as a decorative painter and faux finisher. He has been published by Caprice, The Poet’s Pen, Medicinal Purposes and Flutter. Performance venues include the Saturn Series and Bar 13 in NYC and the Traveling Poets Reading Series, Bakersfield, CA.

Visit Bloom on the web at www.stevebloompoetry.net

Friday, May 15, 2009

Autumn Sacrament

In the street where we lived
Smoke like blue bubbles
Rising from piles
Of run-away leaves
Maples and oaks
Beeches and sycamores
Threw down their burdens
dancing for joy
Down all the sidewalks
Watched the leaves turning
To colors we gathered
and raked every yard
Had its own offering
Ready and waiting for
Fathers to kneel
Squatting before them
With matches in hand
Flames rocketing skyward
Explosions of color
A one-minute offering
So quickly they
Sank into dark
Ashes glowing
Spirits ascending
In great plumes of
Smoke hiding our faces
Erasing the stars.

by Marian Veverka

Marian Veverka
has spent her life on the shores of Lake Erie. She has written two novels, unpublished, and lots of small stuff - poems, CNF, shorts stories -some published.

Home on Fire

On Christmas Eve I unwrapped purple fleece kitty cat pajamas
given to me by your father that were two sizes too big.
As I undressed we laughed about them.
I put them on, danced around, the waist band hugged my top ribs
and we slept until a stranger pounded on our door.
You ran out to see in boxer shorts,
told me about the fire and I stood up,
my head in hazy smoke that stood like clouds on mountaintops.
Our two cats circled my feet, they looked up at me
and I started coughing.
I got to the front yard and saw her home:
a lit up ornament in the darkness. Firetrucks
lined the street, a dizzying array of activity
on a silent night. The smoke poured from windows,
my throat throbbing from poison, we looked
at the smoke stained stone, out of the black
I saw a fireman holding the old woman like a bride.
Through the front door they came
and we all stood surrounded by the blinking signs
of urgency. I looked around and saw neighbors
had planned for the worst: some had brought purses,
a photo album, a little girl from across the street had a wagon,
one doll riding. And I looked at you: t-shirt, boxer shorts,
a corduroy coat and myself, in too big fleece pajamas
and I realized the fire was contained.

by Tasha Cotter

Tasha CotterTasha Cotter is an MFA candidate at Eastern Kentucky University. Her work is forthcoming in Danse Macabre and has appeared in Sojourn, Hanging Loose Press, Leaf Garden Press and elsewhere. Cotter lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and two cats Chloe and Harper.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Life is an attic room
Packed with memories,
Old and new, shiny and sharp,
Broken or patched together.
They are piled where they fell,
One atop the other,
Hiding older ones
Beneath the new.

A trunk full of this,
And a case of those,
A few of these spilled across the space.
The bits of ephemera
Collected through a lifetime
That define not only
Where we have been,
But what we have brought back.

Each time we draw in
We pull another memory
Into the attic of our soul
Disturb the dust
Refresh the contact
With what we were
To build
What we are.

Some moments we waste
And others we carve
Our initials on
Tying them to our soul
Chaining them
To ourselves.
Making them ours.

And as we move through
Time’s pathways
To the next beginning,
We leave the room
Empty, a bit at a time,
Smoke through a keyhole.

by Christopher Reilley

Christopher Reilley is a poet, artist, illustrator, father,computer geek and jobseeker from the greater Boston area. He makes his own wine, is a fabulous cook, and can be found with some regularity at slipperyfiction.blogspot.com

Smoke Dream

The glamorous city I remember
has become a war zone overnight.
Desperate street vendors offer green
specked rice. Black choppers
land in ditches. Sundown, they
slam us into bunkers behind thick
iron doors. We huddle together,

conjuring how it was before:
bright flags everywhere, music
spilling from exotic mouths,
sweet smelling temptation swirling
out open doors. Now it looks like we
may not make it. On a street corner,
a broken man shambles toward

me, fumbling with a cigarette,
unshaven, hair blaring out from
under an American ball cap, clothes
covered with soot and smear. He moves
spastic, demolished by this godless
place, this craven circumstance. Close
enough to touch, I see that he is you.

by Greta Bolger

Greta Bolger

After decades of impersonating her father, Greta Bolger has finally settled on the womanly side of the tracks, kissing the few willing babies who will kiss her back and coaxing flowers to bloom in thought balloons that arise from the heads of the disillusioned. She practices art in words and pictures as well as in daily life.

If Two By Fire

The city is burning.
Come flee with me to the hills.
The Greeks have burst
from the belly of their great horse.

This is another poem
about the ruin of our universe.
They'll char the city
make it black and drag
that hag Helen back.

There are lines on her face now,
almost as if the entire war
had been scratched out in flesh.

This is the war of the old,
let Troy burn with a whimper.
Let's go to the hills
and let the dying world, die.

We'll walk together
along river banks, through fields,
grow fat and old and drunken
and recall the night the
burning city kept us weary.

by Adam Tod Leverton

Adam Tod Leverton

Adam Tod Leverton was born in Canada, but now lives in Poland. His wildly modest ambition is to have a million people read his first chapbook, Broken Wing, a collection of what may be loosely described as 'love' poems. If you like this poem and would like to check out his entire chapbook please contact him by email atleverton at yahoo dot ca for a free pdf version. His work can also be found in Angelic Dynamo, Best Poem, Censored Poets, Claremont Review, Clockwise Cat, Conceit Magazine, Dangling Hook, Decanto, Falling Star, Green Beard, Halfway Down the Stairs, Mississippi Crow, Purdee, Poets Against War, Poet's Ink Review, The National Post, Open Minds Quarterly, Perpetual, The Monsters Next Door, Scar TV Radio, Shine!, Spoken War, Static Movement, Whatever is Pure, Word Slaw, and Ygdrasil. He is the poet in residence at Purdee.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hello! Hiroshima? Hello? (Los Alamos calling)

This city of blisters
is so much like my home town
it always rains;
the girls on the street will cry into the arms of the boys
who look in different directions;
everyone speaks a different language
even when the meaning means the same things
because it's their way of listening for something different;
the fish in the restaurants is always very fresh
if not actually alive;
these trees are palm trees, though still ever green, and
so is the moss smearing itself across all the concrete walls.

Except for all these few things,
it's exactly the same as my home town
(also, the keloid scars on the back of the neck of the man on the street car that goes by the river that goes past the house where I live when I live there).

It's a double sunrise day in my hometown and
the mist or the fog or the smoke or whatever it is
comes out of the mountains and
threads itself through the ghosts of trees on its way to lower ground.

by Robert Masterson

Robert Masterson
Robert Masterson is a writer/teacher living in Westchester County, New York.

Robert Masterson's Blog
on twitter

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another Day Without Lin

I combed cranberries from the vines,
clutched a handful and squeezed and squeezed.
That was her blood, thin, the plasma and the water,
the tendency to all things pink and leaking.
Her face was the color of smoke.
There was the re-entry, the sentience of one's own
bone marrow, the stirring of fish beneath the naval.
I placed two green apples on the windowsill, cores intact.
Pears fell silent as shade. Inside organic persimmons,
I felt a pulse, imagined the threat of neo-plastic shadows
casting towards center. Then I scraped the skin off a fuzzy peach
and dreamt of sunshine turning to California and
California turning to an island surrounded by an ocean
of white semi-sweet waves. Low tide and in remission.
I squirmed into a wooden crate and sealed my self in.
Splinters pierced my thoughts.
I made this promise.
I'd never eat until I was eaten first.

by Kyle Hemmings

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey and wishes he could draw like R. Crumb.


Life chased me until the running
Was a numbing race
I ran
And ran
Until a clearing came
I fell to cold hard bedrock(stone)
Silenced by the endless chatter of the living
Death found me as I sat(criss-cross)
Eyes closed smoking the weeds that grew
Upon my grave
And asked
May I?
"My life is pain
The kind that doesn't settle
Comfortably on powdered cheeks or waterproof mascara"
We embrace
Death says:
You know...what pains the most is Living
Not the peaceful letting go...you know

by Peacegirlout aka Rebekka White

PeaceGirlOut aka Rebekka White

Peacegirlout is a Poet
the kind whose
rebellion springs from desperation
and emotional fragility
she's merely kept alive by truths so miniscule
it turns night into day

Meet Me At Giant Wash

In the Bear's Den Bar on Franklin Avenue
a black mother bear looks down from the countertop
like a spirit through a rotten cloud of smoke,
a room of pickled faces, Ojibwe and Irish,
nearlyas preserved as the beast.
I live just a block away,in a building with the porch falling off.
Summer nights friends and I tiptoeonto the sagging boards,
drink wine and watch the passing trade.
Next to Bear's Den is a laundromat that has burned to the ground,
with a mural on the side of a big white woman
in red pumps and dress, her hair in a kerchief, her lips
as red as brick, pinning up bedsheets to dry
and she is so happy, she is saying Meet Me At Giant Wash.
But she never finishes folding that bedspread
on the side of the building, they haul her rubble
away in trucks, still smoldering, becausea tenant upstairs
lit up and dozed off, and that's how it goes,
one building at a time the neighborhood gets carted away,
and the big black bear, paralyzed, each hair erect
with nicotine dew, rubber lips pulled back to make her look more
ferocious than she is, teeth bared against the wrecking ball,
comes next.

by Mike Finley

Mike Finley

Mike Finley remembers what Paul Newman's Luke used to say, "Smokin' 'em up, boss!" He works as a copywriter and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He can be reached (and read) at http://mfinley.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Secret Styvo Goodbye

You turn up on the doorstep with a crazy smile and a bent daisy
you tell me it’s been a year.
You almost miss the chair.
It’s eight in the morning.

You do an air high five.
And tell me on the top of your voice how great it is to be you.
Then you fall asleep on my bed.
With your pockets still full of stuff.

You pashed my friends
I didn’t mind.
You kept catching taxis when I needed you.
Blowing smoke between your teeth
telling me your night’s out of focus, the bars,
the blue neon lights of the pool table
making everyone look 3am beautiful.

I used to go crazy listening out for the front gate.

You wake up cheerful
but your eyes are telling sad stories.
You read me lyrics from a scratched notebook.
Your soft pack is flat
one squashed secret Styvo left,
that will be it
It’ll be goodbye again.

by EZB


Poet and spoken word performer EZB just toured North America in 2009 following an invitation to perform at Montréal’s Festival Voix d’Amériques.The winner of the 2006 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup and multi-Slam champion, EZB featured last year at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Newcastle Young Writers Festival and at Melbourne’s famed La Mama Theatre. She also toured in a live music and poetry collaboration with Sean M Whelan and the Mime Set to Castlemaine, for the Australian Poetry Festival, and to the Woodford Folk Festival. She has also recently performed at the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Night Words Festival at the Sydney Opera House, and is a regular performer at Liner Notes, a legendary Melbourne spoken word night dedicated to interpreting a classic album. She toured New Zealand in 2007. She is probably going to put out another book this year.

She blogs at http://atomicladybomb.blogspot.com/
Visit her a MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/emiliezoeybaker.

A Very Leisurely Cigarette

I stopped smoking on a Monday
the week before Valentine’s Day
because there was someone
I thought I might like to kiss,
an ex-smoker with a very nice smile
and a penchant for frying fish.
but I got sick of the snow
so I went to Florida instead
where despite a sudden cold snap
it was warmer and friendlier
than New York.
My friend picked me up
and she was smoking a cigarette,
(I think it was my favorite brand)
so I figured I’d smoke along with her
in a companionable sort of way
not to mention that cigarettes
were much cheaper, almost free
when I thought of all the money
I saved by buying them in Florida
so I smoked cigarettes all week long
feeling pretty happy about it
until Valentine’s Day when
Mister Maybe I’ll Kiss Him called
just as I was inhaling
and I remembered
that I had stopped smoking.

It’s hard to admit
even to myself
that I had quit smoking
over one hundred times
which may sound excessive
to some but not to me because
I stopped using drugs every day
for over twenty-one years.

After the phone call
I began to wonder
but couldn’t decide
which in the long run
would bring me more pleasure
the smiling fish fryer
or the reliability
of a pack of Marlboros
always in my pocket
so on the way to the airport
I stuck a nicotine patch
onto my left bicep
just in case I developed a taste
for a fish frying man
but I ripped it off one hour into the flight
and forgot to clap when we safely landed
so focused was I on the vision of myself
smoking contentedly outside Terminal Five.
I caught a ride with an unlicensed driver
and insisted that he pull over
at the closest convenience store
where I bought a pack, ripped it open,
and leaned against his turquoise Buick
leisurely exhaling streams of smoke
as vapid and addictive as the city
to which I had, once again, returned.

by Puma Perl

Puma Perl
Puma Perl lives and writes in NYC. Her work has appeared in many print and on-line publications and anthologies. She has been a featured reader in various New York City area venues. Her first chapbook, Belinda and Her Friends, was recently published by Erbacce Press, She is a firm believer in the transformative power of the creative arts and a former degenerate smoker.

To find out more about her new chapbook visit her publisher http://www.erbacce-press.com/#/pumaperl/4531745901.

Viist her on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/rubymydear916.

Smoking In The Girls' Room

smokin' in the girls' room with
my fellow "bad girls"
school nurse two doors down the hall

by Faux Maux

Faux Maux

Faux Maux is a playwright, actress, ranter, dancer and lover of words. Words can be found at fauxmaux.livejournal.com along with obligatory pictures of her kitties. Fauxmaux.com is her site and she can be found at the other regular online haunts. She has written, performed and produced theater in NYC for 20 years, having a grand old time making Art.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smoke that dream before I cream you

A rough month ensues, working on several projects simultaneously, doing publicist work and helping people too.

I’ve got all my own mishigas too sufficient to sort through. A memories life sake, a backache, earache filibuster, Monroe birthday zone, a black hole, don’t know where to go. A vagabond review, a Scarsdale Hebrew cemetery, morsel of dainty tastiness nastiness a black hole of madness no home to go to.

Stuck inside my head, a poet’s world, inspired to drive down dirty get high on some Thai stick, trying to get skinny on the sly, sounds tinny, the words stuck in my eardrums, tum de dum

Exhale poetry with scarlet U2 embolism demolishes dents an entire world out there me capsized in the cave in a mountain dew bats flapping in my head I breathe new scents for a few sense amillia, vanilla will do me fine.

Inhale Exhale, a little cheech and chong, put it in a little pill for me. I want to kill that roach, don’t encroach on my spot, shit I see you got your eyes on a brand new spanking spaldine, bounce da ballie, brand new – higher than that kite you want to make take flight.

Fire your ass off stop sass saw me in half. I wanna make some war in cognito infinito, vagabond report retort a torte of flamingo a golden gal glimmer if I offer you a drizzle of Acapulco gold.

If you only got sensimilla, with nice big blue green buds, a thai joint will bend me fine, ven aqui, pasa lo, share it, … please.

Don’t do me like that. My hand’s open – greed.

Give me some of that weed, I need some time to digest the rest but so far will take I'm not a lawyer. I’m a voyeur, not a destroyer, not part of the choir, I live in a temple excoriate licorice on my breath, a little violet lipstick, blissful Babel bagel babe of a comet a carnal cattle pick up your bustle and hustle along. Mazel Tov!

Damask cilantro, don’t ask, another whiff of that smoke, floating up from all that patchouli incense I use to mask the scent of that hashish oil mixed with opium.

Up in smoke it went, again and again.

Cheech & Chong

Chrisco Labrenz had this to say about his original creation.
"I had the pleasure of giving the original picture to Tommy Chong in person. That was shall we say....NEATO!!!"

To see larger version, click on picture.

Chris hangs his shingle at a local video shop in Edmonton, Alberta, freelancing while working on Moocowkids, a graphic novel to be released in the near future. Featured online at deviantArt and gracing the recent cover of The Cartier Street Review, Chris has a fanclub at facebook under Chrisco Labrenz.

contact Chris Labrenz

In a vineyard...

In a vineyard a tired old man is smoking a pipe--Tatjana Debeljacki
by Tatjana Debeljački

by Tatjana Debeljački

Tatjana Debeljački

Tatjana Debeljački was born in 1967 in Užice, and still living there. She writes poetry, prose, haiku and aphorisms. Her works have been published in the following papers: Vesti- Užice, Jesenjin- Belgrade, AKT- Valjevo, Latica- Podgorica, Bilten- Novi Sad, Glas Banata- newspapers Debeljački - Kovin. So far she has had four collections of poetry published: A CD-book, A HOUSE MADE OF GLASS, published by ART – Užice; YOURS, published by NARODNA KNJIGA, Belgrade; VULCANO by Haiku Lotos, Valjevo; and the most recent AH-EH-EEH-OH-OOH published by Poeta, Belgrade in 2008. She is a member of Writers Society of Serbia and Serbian Haiku Society.

Visit her blog, Kuća od stakla: http://debeljacki.mojblog.rs/

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sometimes I feel the urge
to smoke again –
feel the pepper cloud
sear my throat

Force burnt geraniums
through tainted nostrils,
taste the acrid crumbs
upon my tongue

Stain the tender space
where fingers meet
from pink to mustard brown

Waken daily to a wheezing
coughing choking barrage
of lungs deprived of air.

I miss
the glamour of it all.

by Barbara Reiher-Meyers

Barbara Reiher-Meyers

Barbara Reiher-Meyers is a Long Island, New York poet, board member of the Long Island Poetry Collective. She curates the Long Island poetry calendar for Poetz.com, runs monthly workshops in Ronkonkoma, sends weekly emails of local poetry events, and has edited several volumes of poetry. Sounds Familiar is the title of her first book of poems.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

after the reading

we linger on the sidewalk
cigarettes slip from pockets
way past time to leave,
cling to each other’s words
still lilting, ears longing,
not for touch,
not for light conversation,
but the taste of more,
of something nearly sacred.
lips spill stars, fire, music.
listen to the pulse –
smoke, magma, blood.

by Lori Desrosiers

Lori Desrosiers

Lori Desrosiers grew up on the banks of the Hudson River, but now lives somewhere between the world of her poetry and Western Massachusetts. She has a literary journal, an M.F.A. and several fat cats.


On Worship

Hurl laughter
into the face of meaninglessness.
Buy despair
another drink.
Watch doubt collapse.
Watch the burning cigarette
kiss someone else.
Watch as he dangles and flakes.
Watch jealousy spill out of the ashtray.
Watch shame tear off his shirt
and his, to part the sea of men.
Watch sweat on his skin trace
another promise. Watch sweat smear it away.
Give words lips, a throat, tongue –
Where you and I stand the mirror
is a knife. But you kiss me. You silenced me.

by Zhuang Yisa

Zhuang Yisa

Zhuang Yisa lives in Singapore. His poetry has been published or forthcoming in Sargasso (Puerto Rico), Yuan Yang (Hong Kong), ditch, (Canada), The Toronto Quarterly, Ganymede, The Salt River Review, and elsewhere. He also reviews for The Substation Magazine, an online arts journal based in Singapore.

Visit his journal, And so it goes... at zhuangyisa.livejournal.com