Poetic Extracts: Study #7 FasterSmarter – Guide to Microsoft® Office FrontPage® by Sean Howard


Poetic Extracts: Study #7
FasterSmarter – Guide to Microsoft® Office FrontPage®
…to what? ‘more re-
solved than ever…’
in drag
science or history?
‘rulers precisely
placing elements
in grids.’
(taking windows
to the picnic)
men revealing
standard tools
click pane
to add fields
Sean Howard is the author of Local Calls (Cape Breton University Press, 2009), Incitements (Gaspereau Press, 2011) and The Photographer’s Last Picture (Gaspereau Press, 2016). His poetry has been widely published in Canada, the US, UK, and elsewhere, and featured in The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope Books, 2011 & 2014).

Roll Your-Own Lamb by Joe Dolce

Roll-Your-Own Lamb  
Bereft of kindling newsprint,
being a particularly cold bush night,
reluctantly, I reached for the dry leaves
of the Oxford Book of Light Verse.
Ripping out Publication Details,
Index of Lines, I began
lighting Kipling, Butler and Yeats,
pausing at DH Lawrence,
tearing Pope, Swift, Anon.
When cigarette papers ran out,
a real conundrum:
with whom would I share breath?
I chose Charles Lamb’s, A Farewell to Tobacco, 
a fine poem, no doubt a fine smoke.
If cancer were to fog an x-ray,
no worthier bloke.
Scissoring a rectangle, from …more from a mistress than a weed…
down to …while thou suck’st the lab’ring breath…
I tobacco’d up, rolling
and thread-tying a beedi.
Inhaling, I watched the orange edge
erasing phrases,
sooty retainer to the vine, vanishing,
more and greater oaths to break, becoming ash. 
The burning poem pinched my fingers;
I stubbed it out.
Nicotine-dazed, eyes closed,
I raised supplication to the poet.
I might smoke Edward Lear next.

His poetry appeared in Best Australian Poems 2015 & 2014. He is currently long listed for 2017 University Of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, Billy Collins, judge, and was shortlisted for both the 2014 Newcastle Poetry Prize and 2014 Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize. Winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup. Published in Meanjin, Monthly, Southerly, Cordite, Canberra Times, Quadrant, Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Contrappasso, and Antipodes (US). Recipient of the Advance Australia Award. Presently on staff of the Australian Institute of Music, teaching Composition, Ensemble and Personal Tutoring in setting lyrics and poetry to music. His forthcoming book, On Murray’s Run, 150 poems and songlyrics, selected by Les Murray, will be published by Ginninderra Press in Oct, 2017.

Regarding the Shelves by David P. Kozinski


Regarding the Shelves
There are folded letters on air mail paper, slighter
than skin, and lists
tucked in as place marks – ice melt, oil, lighter fluid.
I can only take in so much dust and sit back
to decipher what you scrawled,  Suzanne,
about the hard life of a carver of stone
and what Chris put down
about letting rejection fall away like dead leaves.
Then there is what you noted, Patti, to stand me up
in 1993, and again in ’94
as the decade that started with a noose around its neck
became a countdown to a strange and hoped-for frontier.
Oh brother, Chris, the Protestant ethic
chafed me like tweed, clashed
with your dark secret and my own
we held tight to as boys. Yours turned out bigger
and badder than mine – only to see itself whittled down
slowly, and gradually faster, collapsing
finally from the gravity of hate.
Far too often returns the image of caged wolves
pacing frantically in the late afternoon, Philadelphia July heat,
but mother wanted us to see everything a zoo was about;
and too often, the memory of my impatience
with my brother’s phone calls, placed
between one and two a.m.
the way I demanded
and how even with that I sometimes
didn’t pick up, let him ramble until the machine timed out;
then, the hush of hospital corridors and stairwells
when, hung-over and hypoglycemic, I couldn’t find
a doctor to stall the march of pestilence
in my mother’s brain.
All this from old messages
pressed between poems
I still admire, even as so many of their authors
die or retire, lose their edge or just their will.
All this as the sculptor chisels free the core
trapped in the slab, while sparks of marble 
ignite the surrounding cloud of dust,
leaving me waiting
to see what grainy god emerges,
what monster begins to uncoil.
DPK Headshot
David P. Kozinski’s first full-length book of poems, Tripping Over Memorial Day  (Kelsay Books) came out in January. He won the Delaware Literary Connection’s 2015 spring poetry contest and the Seventh Annual Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, which included publication of his chapbook, Loopholes (The Broadkill Press). Publications include Apiary, Cheat River Review, Fox Chase Review, Philadelphia StoriesSchuylkill Valley Journal & Rasputin.

The Rhino by Tyrel Kessinger


Kenya Photo/ Stuart Price

The Rhino
The rhino stands stoically,
as if he was Epictetus come again
and not just an uninteresting attraction.
It looks as if a God of the earth underneath
wretched up debris lodged in her Granite craw.
The end result:
the Rhinocerotidae no longer a scratch in her throat
but a living hide of tangible starpowder.
I don’t think it’s strange at all
to imagine that the tree he doesn’t stand under
–the one that cloaks a third of his enclosure in curtainous shade–
was his favorite place to stand with her.
Another melancholy tidbit of backstory:
he didn’t know why she left, only that she did.
But there he is. In the sun. Not any prettier
just because he’s bathed in a lightness.
He pines like the rest of us.
Stubborn to fact that is henceforth eternal. Riddled with guilt.
Willing to punish himself in exchange for repentance.
I also don’t think it’s strange at all
if you see only the creature,
poised, waiting statue silent.
Not knowing what he’s waiting for,
not at all expecting time to pick up and run the other way.
Tyrel Kessinger lives and writes in Louisville, Ky. He enjoys comic books, obscure NWOBHM bands, guitars and anything else that prevents the onset of true adulthood. His work can be found in Gargoyle, Word Riot, Prick of the Spindle and most recently The Sandy River Review.

Under the El by Michele Belluomini

Under the El
there he is again
the diabetic saxophone player
leg in a cast   his foot cut off
playing jazz-blues at 11am
on a humid June morning
his music evokes the night:
blare of a neon sign stuttering
in darkness
a run of notes in the upper register recalls
voices riffing
from an open door —
men and women laughing     
   happy to be alive
a sudden descent into a minor key
low notes blister the air  — growl
of an argument whirls    reverberates
tension builds    music arching like a cat
ready to pounce:  hear the shouts
feel the shoves    a low snarl
music swirls     filled with disgust  
with a shake of the head   
shrug of a shoulder
friendship walks out the door
blue notes scrape air
lonely footsteps on rain-soaked pavement
oh how he plays
I miss the train   I miss two more
only when he stops
am I released from the spell

Michele Belluomin’s poetry has been published in American Poetry, Philadelphia Poets, Beltway, The Mad Poets Review, The Fox Chase Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Apiary Online, among others. Poems have also appeared in various Poetry Ink anthologies and the anthology, COMMONWEALTH: Poets on Pennsylvania.  Crazy Mary and Others, won the 2004 Plan B Press chapbook competition.  Her most recent volume of poetry is Signposts for Sleepwalkers, also published by Plan B Press (Alexandria, VA).  She works as Adjunct Library Faculty at Community College of Philadelphia.



2 Poems by Gareth Culshaw


His bag emptier with every street.
Socks sagged around his ankles.
The lever in, slip, release
over and over.
Odd numbers, even numbers, rusty
hinges. Wind battered gates that
knocked their whole lives. Seeing
the sun spread itself over his daily
plot. The snip of a latch, clock turn
handle, heave the hinge-less, walk
through the gate-less, unbolt
the formal. Listening to the barking
and cawing, the snap of car lock.
Taking it all in his stride, the passing
of the unknown. Wearing away
his years until he himself slips
and drops.
The perps were our line
the joint between bricks, that
buttering of two faces, softening
the wall. Making us believe
things were not as hard as they seemed.
Flemish Bond, English Bond, Stretcher
Bond, some bricks halved, others
in wait like a waiting foot. The weight
of it all, building before us.
Those years when time is of no height.
And walls had no theme, other than
something to clamber over.
We ignored the perps, seeing them
as a weakness. A scoop with a trowel,
tap with the butt end, dink with the edge,
not realising that for every brick we laid
corners came into our lives, and shadows
and shadows, and shadows.
Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He is an aspiring writer who has his first collection by futurecycle in 2018.

2 Poems by Jefferson Holdridge

Madonna Lactans 
Omai sarà più corta mia favella,
pur a quel ch’io ricordo, che d’un fante
che bagni ancor la lingua a la mammella.
[Shorter henceforward will my language fall
Of what I yet remember, than an infant’s
Who still his tongue doth moisten at the breast].
Dante, The Divine Comedy, Paradise
Somewhere on the edge of the inside
Of her loosened dress, the baby’s suckling
Where Maria’s clothes once were opened wide
And flowing milk paralleled Christ bleeding
From the cross, redeeming or giving wisdom
To those who fed as the infant had, until
After the religious wars and the Council
Of Trent forbade it even in supplication.
Before the Baroque, The Tempest of Giorgione
Has a mysterious nude nursing a child.
Eve with Cain? Virgin? Whore?  As unknown
As the storm is:  God’s anger?  The wild?
While we seek the Being who also needs us
Blesséd be the Breast that breastfeeds us.
Off center, her gaze as direct as his Venus is
Indirect, challenging as the scrutiny of Manet’s,
Rude as Titian’s in Urbino is seductive
Amid a rich interior not in Giorgione’s
Venus, as Titian knew while finishing it
In Giorgione’s enigmatic, poetic manner.
Soldier or shepherd looks at where they sit.
The infant aside reveals her pubic hair.
The riddle of The Tempest has led some
To view it as the first subjectless painting.
Perhaps we, the subjects, search for home
In this early paesaggio where we’re lingering
Within a stormy landscape that still needs us.
Blesséd be the Breast that breastfeeds us.
The Painter’s Riddle
Blue is the color of the distance
Leonardo said.  Was he thinking
Only of the sky, or missing
Someone loved?  Those changing tints
Of dark and pale blue draw the eye
To vanishing points behind the portrait
Or the sacred scene and suggest a place
And story, past or future, dimly lit,
That highlights the evanescent face,
The curls, the angelic knowing hints
Of joy and sadness, the painter’s riddle
Of the foreground, of starting high
On the canvass rather than the middle,
And why blue is the color of the distance.
Director of Wake Forest University Press and Professor of English at WFU in North Carolina, Jefferson Holdridge is the author of two volumes of poetry, Eruptions (2013) and Devil’s Den and Other Poems (2015). A third volume, The Sound Thereof, is due out with Graft Poetry in Bradford, UK in 2017. He has written two critical books entitled Those Mingled Seas: The Poetry of W.B. Yeats, the Beautiful and the Sublime (2000) and The Poetry of Paul Muldoon (2008). He has also edited and introduced two volumes of The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry (2005; 2010), as well as Post-Ireland?  Essays on Contemporary Irish Poetry, which he co-edited and introduced with Brian O’Conchubhair (Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University Press, 2017).