Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two Poems by J. L. Smith

Editor's Note: In Manchester, I met an amazing artist. He was homeless, selling his poetry page by page. He sold me two for the price of one and I promised to publish them via my humble e-zine. Here they are. Let's hope we hear more from him! 

Me Myself and I 

Sat on the edge Society
wondering why I'm not a priority 
what's come of my life, come over me 
my life's in tatters can't you see 
beggin at the bank every day
get a job get a life people say 
i get not benefits just what people give 
to buy food and drink to help me live 
i live on the street a doorway's my bed 
people think I'm thick in the head 
it's just Me Myself and I 
nobody wants me do you know why 
don't I deserve to live with a smile 
to make my life worth the while... 

Street Life
on the street I have no home 
in a doorway all alone 
at night it gets so very cold 
no one for warmth to cuddle or hold 
day after day it's always the same 
people rushin past in the fast lane 
somewhere to go something to do 
oh why can't I have a life like you 
instead I'm sat here on my pitch 
waitin and prayin to get that hitch 
i have my regulars that stop with a smile 
that makes gettin cold worth the while 
sat out here is like Ground Hog Day 
so until I get my break it's just 
the way... 

--J. L. Smith

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Late Last Night

she penciled animals with her left hand:
dark pigs and dogs, but “Horses are too hard,”
she said. Self-conscious, with a diamond band,
a tight red dress, a round face acne-scarred,
she had bad teeth because she only brushed
the fronts. She kissed me. I smelled cigarettes,
her Heraclitean fire. Such moods! Blue-hushed,
to black, to blacker yet . . . a thousand yets.
And yet, she said she loved me: “You’re a good
man, just a little rough around the edges.”
I pledged that I’d live wilder if I could.
And then the moon above the cedar hedges . . . 
so white it blinded me till pale daylight.
I dreamed of my dead mother late last night.

--Thomas Zimmerman 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Growth, reveals, regeneration
It starts and stalls and restarts
There is a circular effect
A desire, yearning to start more
Perhaps before ready.
The muddy ground still frozen
Comes away in clumps,
Patience is required
To tidy up the edges only
When we really want
To sink our shovels into
Patience works area
We are still waking
Watch for the signs
Brown, brown, brown, grit
And dust
To green and black
Ready for the turning
To reveal the sprouting 
Seeds of summer.

--Ruth Sorochan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Real Miami

Leave me alone and this thing between us will be alright.
Drop me, along with every single memory along the way.
The feeling I’m feeling, the feeling you feel
When you're feeling low, isn't normal now and maybe never will be. Should be.
I think you’re worthless and I look away every time I see you.
Or at least today. It’s not a
Suicide; it's hard to lock my doors at
Night should you decide to come stumbling in and change the way I feel.
But I should warn you about who I am.
Those feelings you're feeling, aren't normal.
To think: you love me but hate the way I took you down,
Took One Giant Step for Womankind
And now all I can see is just trust,
But it’s not coming from you.

You are you, but don’t you see they're all going to choke
Me? And part of me doesn't want it to stop. But that’s the part you stroke it to.
So please, just drop those thoughts behind you now.
Change your life. You don't need me. To love you.
Remember this when I forfeit that security nightly,
Keeping my doors open for you like a dare,
Thinking I’m wrong to keep you away by making it too
Easy for you. But this is why
You’ll mess with me until I’m numb.
You’ll tie my hands, bind my legs
If I give you no chance or signal.

When I said love is like a
Movie, it’s just a waste of my time,”
You started being an enemy.
“How dare you say that shit,” you said.
And I’m like “Whatever, pussy.”
Meanwhile, I’m defining divinity
by your lips and your hips.

Everybody within the sound of my voice,
Everybody run now break away
Into another time (zone)!
Our unity divides us.
Our division will someday unite everybody.
So run, under the burning sun.

Let’s go, Ramona.
Let's go someplace where he doesn’t come to visit anymore.
Somewhere where he's like smoke-stains on my ceiling,
Anywhere out there where my dreams likewise escape right above my
Head and stay hidden in caves in case my intentions ever

What I am aching to come to terms with
Is that, on level ground, I'm never
Going to get to know the real Miami.
Miami! Hello…and goodbye. Every hour
On the fast road
Is just the bitch in me
Breaking through the harness.

--Misty Rampart

Friday, March 17, 2017

Room Mates

So here I am.
in the company
of the world's true assholes.
shit kickers. blood spitters,
ex-dancers from the Foxy Lady.
shoplifters, ball squeezers
and bag snatchers.

I'm hidden
in a ratty apartment
overwhelmed by fleas.
I'm surrounded by stale
cigarette smoke.
walls of candied smut.
I walk on urine floorboards.
I sleep in a garroted gambler's bed.

The last good high
says it best:
Smash the gin bottles.
Crank up the fire
with whatever furniture
is left.
Toss the much-used
condom out the window.
Spare the needle
and spoil the arm.
Throw up in the sink.
while you’re at it.

I live with the worst roommates
necessity could come up with.
But without them.
I could never make the rent.
And without their crazies,
you're not reading this.

--John Grey

Friday, March 10, 2017

Saint- For Wendy Davis

            FOR WENDY DAVIS

At seven I asked to name
my new sister Wendy
so I could fly with Peter Pan.
One Wendy friend here

A second one there;
she came she went
until two thousand thirteen
in June. A Bethlehem teardrop

wet my cheek
when a Texas Wendy rose
in stature to an icon.
Here stood

an unwed mother
in a race for justice
the world watched
another Mary.

-- Sydney McQuoid

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Girls Gone Wild

Girls Gone Wild

has a new website.  Only 99₵
(for a 3-day trial), the latenight infomercial screamed
at me.  See the latest college co-eds getting down
and dirty.  I couldn’t help
but think that girls have gone stupid. 
99₵ for their collective dignities!?!  These are self-
proclaimed collegiates.  I wondered how any of them passed
basic math, if any of them even bothered
to do the math.  I did.  It came
to some bizarre fractional proportion:  1/1000 of a penny
(give or take) a girl. 
That’s the pricetag they have allowed
millions of hairy-palmed hounds to slap on their asses,
or tits, or . . . I turned the channel
in disgust.  For lack of any better options,
I picked up my pen and wrote
a letter to my congressman about the sad state
of education in this country.

--Amy Huffman