Peaches Ostalaza

Peaches Ostalaza is a West Indian studying English Literature and Psychology in the arctic of Western Pennsylvania at Seton Hill University. She was born on the island of ST. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. She is an aspiring poet and an active member of her community. She is the current President of the Seton Hill University’s chapter of the NAACP and mentors at the Greensburg Salem Middle School.

4:45am Reflections

As the fire-engine red nails drag down the crease of his back
The tension builds as his grip intertwines in my locks
Yanking me back yet bringing my body closer to his heat…I want it to ease.

Teasingly his breath traces my collarbone
Sending my voice into a high falsetto
Causing him to be brought to a rise—let it go.

Free falling and allowing me to catch him with a twist of my waist
Our embrace ending only in its physical state
Conversation taking us to a higher place

It all began with the flicker of light flashing
As you and I connected eyes
Suddenly becoming ungrounded;
Shown a new way to life.
All of this before the second hand got a chance to twinge—
As time took pause we were propelled towards our fate.

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George Moore

George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, and internationally in Blast (Australia), Antigonish Review (Canada), Dublin Quarterly, Semaphore (New Zealand), QRLS (Singapore), and Anastomoo (Tasmania). His fourth collection, Children’s Drawings of the Universe, will be published by Salmon Press in 2012, and he was nominated last year for two Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Web and Best of the Net awards, and was a finalist for The Rhysling Poetry Prize, and the Wolfson Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder, which also carries his website: http://spot.colorado.edu/~mooreg/Site/Ab

The Greek Isle

It was not memory,
at the time, but love
of the absent,

water’s way, an ocean
keeping up the pace
unfashioned in its

contingencies, those
life conditions, suspended
before responsibilities.

Cavafy’s youthful
complications, the same
figure leaving a line

in the sand, reaching
into a common ocean,
where love displaces

the future needs
so completely, as if
this this was all.

Now I must remember,
as it is not today, forced
back into some pattern

that was not there,
the beaches so
empty, whitewashed

houses few, in-between
cafés with rickety
tables. What I said

was not meant
to be remembered,
or gathered later as

summary, sensibility,
anymore than written,
signed. How easy

it is to fashion the past,
play new stones
off its still surfaces,

as he did, making
his loves untouchable
histories.

We forget to find
memories again,
lend them substance

in word or phrase,
material signs, signing
what the universe

has carried off,
discarded, pure
energy, dispersed as

atoms shed electrons,
then discover virtual
otherness, hiding, throw it off

so that it creates
out of itself another self,
another moment.

The writer knew this
transfiguration, mulled
into a pure absence.

But not that one,
never that one there,
as you see it, that shade

touching half a table,
so hot you grew visible
in the sun, an older woman

in black pulling back
the skin
of a butchered rabbit.

What do we learn
from ourselves?
Circles we enter

and leave, sights
on horizons, sound
emporiums, for me,

the unfiltered Crete
sifted down through
three dozen years?

Little perhaps
that we do not create,
out of the variable need

to fulfill the silent
craving of here,
these people

we have become.
Not at the end
of lines but as lines

woven into ropes
that might hold ships,
or carry cargo aloft,

swinging the past
before our eyes,
marked fragile

in our own red print.
Looking north
out of Alexandria

he would see this
space that is other
and self, unmarked,

displaced for a time,
or a lifetime, curled
back into love

that is fragile
and permanent
as pillar stone.

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Randy Boone

Randy Boone resides in the pastoral beauty of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania. He can usually be found lurking about thrift stores, coffee shops or the great outdoors. His recent publications include poems in Three Line Poetry, The Red Poppy Review, Long Story Short, The Penwood Review, Time of Singing, Shemom, and Glimpse.

Trajectory

East
northeast—
that’s the way
they said it came,
toppling power lines,
uprooting trees and homes,
orphaning lambs, calves, and kids.
The predictions were all on track,
yet what could be done to thwart nature?
A city is gone; what’s left, potential.

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Christopher Prewitt

Christopher Prewitt is a poet, short story writer, and essayist. Professionally, he teaches. He has also worked in retail and fast food. He is originally from southeastern Kentucky, but currently resides in western Virginia. He served as poetry editor for Inscape and Minnesota Review.

Some Assemblage Required

Every once in awhile
because I am sloppy
with a green bottle
of aftershave and
I have yet to replace
my stolen wheelchair’s
wheels I am relegated
to a perfumed evening
in my recliner
with a scrapbook.
Comfort’s a knife
when the blade
breaks off in the
wedding cake. This is
most nights for me
left holding the handle
but where has the
bride gone? She has
taken the wheels
like pastries into her
mouth wherever whoever
she is. I’ve taped
her hair or a wooly worm
to one page. On
the next they’re all
periwinkle one year’s
Miss Kentucky’s glued
down in her zebra
swimsuit. Who wears
heels to the beach who
isn’t wanting to be
commemorated? Who
wants to cut hair?
Who has the steady hands
or the courage to pull
off the robe and allow
someone to stand in
clumps of what was once
a part of them? I can
count on one hand
the beaches in Kentucky
I have been to. I have
in the frost lost on that
hand all fingers.

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Quinn White

Quinn White is a poetry MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. Her work has appeared in Hot Metal Bridge, The Stradler, A Bad Penny Review, Dirtflask, and Eunoia Review.

Open

red light between my toes
a fuse, a vein nicked.
let what flows return so
again I may burn wet
with words.
my mantra is
open
and the week of rain and catfish
does a crimson flourish along my limbs when I ask
open
body like a carnival switchboard
on lure the highway’s detritus drawn
to my hot Ferris twirls of sugar and combust
ably burned, the post-partum smoke
of exit, a wobbling dismount my fingers
drawing beads across red thread.
hippopotamus and crotch words
for elephant and eggplant
saucer-faced the click of cat nails down the hallway while I ask
open
let the leeches let and linger as I suck
and am suckled
fingertooth and Tibetan drum lollipop serious as
the sword-split rainbow march of five colors, those
conundrums, those altocumulus cleavers.
I rest my beads on my stomach.
I watch the rain.
I listen to the hiss of cars.
The barking dominos.
I prop my legs on the bed’s edge and elbow the desk,
sentient as a sestina, I weave
croon and sleeve records,
my name, address, and numbers
open
flicker dim to thrush with rash,
raw ash thick: the steak I drop
dripping pink and housed brown
on your paper plate.

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George Korolog

George Korolog is an active member of The Stanford Writers Studio. He has had his work published in numerous print and online journals such as Poets&Artists, Red River Review, Connotation Press, Seventh Circle Press, Willows Wept Review, Red Ocher Literature, Contemporary Haibun, Stone Highway Review, Riverbabble, Blue Fifth, Greensilk Journal, Blue Lake Review and many others. Some of his work will appear in The Whittaker Prize Anthology, “From Here To There and Back,” scheduled to be published in March 2012. His poem, “From tending sheep to confusion on the Amtrak 10:50” won second prize ($1,000 award) in the prestigious 2011 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest. He is presently compiling his first book, Raw String. Some of his work can be found online at http://www.redwoodpoetry.com

Collapsing Outside of the Box

He lusts after life, flexing, popping
bull tendons, muscles throbbing with
the victory over today’s weight, bulging
it proudly for the audience,

the strong man twisting the bar

confident he is the one curving matter
and space, shaping, shifting, dodging,
bringing it all home,

amazing the crowd

transforming the nimbus of uncertainty
into his own charming rainbows. But in
the quiets moments, after the crowd has
gone off to watch other, perhaps more
interesting performances, he pushes
sawdust in slow brown tides over his
shoes and secretly wonders if he has it
all wrong, that perhaps, life
is coiling him to its own bent.

an illusion within a dream within a dream

Now, when he moves, it’s as if he’s pushing
coagulated blood and thick oil through a pinhole
that is closing fast, something strange lurking on
the other side, behind his tiny dot in the universe,

now quick, out of the box

waiting in high grass and bamboo, a grinning
Cheshire slinking through every outcome
from every direction, in every moment stalking
every option, casting alternatives like loaded
dice, creating infinite patterns in the residue
scattered in the wake of either side,

The cat’s out of the bag

and with that, nothing is certain, so he moves
forward in the blind of faith, says, does anything
that allows him to convince himself that he’s actually
planting roots. He suspects that nothing makes
sense, just two sides of a hole where minds crack
open like ripe melons. There are no seeds and no
place to plant them, except, perhaps, at the occasional
performance where the audience applauds and he
can forget about the paws prints relentlessly

tracking him in the sawdust.

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Rose Maria Woodson

Rose Maria Woodson‘s other work has appeared in Melusine, Oyez Review, Wicked Alice and Paradigm.

plumb line

the house   the body   comes to at the   end
of   a long   shift   dogs barking clock ticking
like a knife slicing ripe night rind nothings
you’d imagine you would imagine stark
bark a dry tall giant withering still
is nothing like this slow growing flower
fluttering perennial green whispers
purring in a darkness not totally
stretching in & out of the yawning high
way wrapped in gray halving the whole world in
here & there then & now moonlit pumpkins
curl around the smallest seeds even now
rough vines live for the   slow holding growing
shadows   on the house the body   comes   to

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