Poetry Drawer: Advice from Miles Davis to all the poets I know by D.S. Maolalai

Coltrane went
crazy, playing
these long

30 minute
all on a long tour
of America,
on a stage
behind Miles Davis.

he spun it out
in silver
like a spider
with a web,
catching flies
and sometimes

in a bar once
after ending a show
with another one
he said
“I don’t know
I just can’t seem
to stop playing”

and Miles
looked at him
over his sloe gin
and said
“you ever think
about taking the horn
out your fucking mouth?”

D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and has been nominated for Best of the Web, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).

Poetry Drawer: blackout intervals by Jonathan Hine

once he gripped
it from this conflagration
of the concordant
horizon which
arranges itself and
is tossed and
merges with
the fist which would
grip it as one who
threatens destiny and
the winds deep inside weighs
the shadow hidden in the
yawning depth that surges over the
submissive graveyard
with faded finger

Jonathan Hine’s work has recently appeared in Dissident Voice, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Under the Bleachers, Duane’s PoeTree and Horror Sleaze Trash. He has forthcoming poetry in Cajun Mutt Press and North of Oxford.

Poetry Drawer: Permanent Segments by R. Gerry Fabian

She asked how
powder was made
and he replied
from the eyes of goldfish.

Another time
they played fictional characters.
He was Stanley Kowalski

In one of those
paper thin moments
that psychologists journalise,
she asked him
‘Will you ever love me?’
He told her,
‘The Big Dipper held the answer.’

Today her home contains
an aquarium,
the complete works of Tennessee Williams
and a skylight in the bedroom.

The man that she married
doesn’t understand
why she looks out the skylight
when they make love.

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press. He has published two poetry books, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis MasqueradeGetting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble. He is currently working on his fourth novel, Ghost Girl.

Poetry Drawer: Imagination Dance by Hunter Boone

You started it
by wearing the slinky
tigress outfit
the one that snaked over your hips
to lay bare
your tawny body
beneath liquid cellophane.
I have no idea
why I did not have enough sense
to leave you
where I found you –
in the contortionist’s cage
on Times Square
where you always humped your best
in front of an audience to the beat
of a long line of mule-eyed
“Their numbers are as the stars in the sky.”

Poetry Drawer: Ms. Alligator by Hunter Boone

She had the emotional presence of a toothpick, the personality of a comatose eel…

A woman I desired
read Antigone
which she encouraged me to do, so I
did. When I came upon ‘Teiresias’ I said,
“I can’t spell that,” she said,
“Look it up.” Somewhere.

She became that woman
you wouldn’t expect –
out of proportion
to everything else.

When she moved
her body slid –
of a piece – which caused a problem.
The ground upon which she walked
swayed and swelled
people running,
different directions
up and down the boulevard
while the other women – kinder,
nobler, gentler
with foreign accents
showed themselves open,
not nearly as dubious –
yet this one stuck
hardened to her molten core –
sad – yet oh so beautiful
in a glittering sort of way

beckoning, surreal, blue
tourmaline eyes
that rolled back into her head
as she spoke
and inhuman things –
enticements thick with ice,
this sorry sophist and enigmatic soul
you couldn’t poke through
though I tried many times.

Poetry Drawer: The monster outside: Old Fools: Scent of the Ancient Ball: Signature: Song of the grave by Fabrice Poussin

The monster outside

The skin is thick and deep with grey
pleading for a little joy in shades of pink
the soul is blank and hollow in darkness
asking for a little warmth in tones of stars
the heart is silent and still rainbow monochrome
begging for a life-giving little jolt of blue
the bones are frozen, attached in ice clear
aching aloud for a reprieve of flesh of warm red
a mind hovers inside in fiery lament
wanting only for a bit of hours to exist
yet it is only a grunt unheard of the colourful ones
in the prison of the lone, the sentence is eternal
the death remains of nauseating flavours
the living will once again keep safe distance.

Old Fools

The bus will be late again this Sunday
under the century mist on a cold winter bench
old fools must wait, their gaze upon a gate
to a paradise invisible to the passers-by.

The city sleeps still in a shroud of oblivion
lives have slipped into their temporary tomb
worn to pieces by the inferno of infinite routines
while last trees cry dying leaves upon the icy pavement.

The two might sleep for a little while
he holding tight onto the shiny tank
she dragging on a greyish cloud of ash
ancient as the traditions graved on monuments.

Unseen, living in the wrinkly bubble of their age
they seek the hesitant gaze of the other
memories built upon the fresh bones of infants
a smile shy as a fleeting moment escapes the universe.

They laugh no more to the keen eye of the observer
the flesh has fallen off the crackling frames
leaving senseless messages of passed lives
upon the pavement welcoming to their shameless survival.

The decades have built fortresses around their secrets
shriveled breasts kindly placed onto an altar
still beat with the passion of a single score
carrying too many years to count, they love for all times.

Scent of the Ancient Ball

There is a dim ray of a future behind the cracks of the ramparts
sounds emanate from the twirling shapes of silken whites
while the stone burns with the icy flames of the prison.

To be part of this strange ball but a dream in the depths
inhaling fumes of a past reverie poison or elixir
aiming to taste what remains of the ghostly dance.

The heavy oaken gate persists in its temerity
its lock rusted melts into torrents of a bloody paste
no drawbridge will again annihilate the cruel moat.

It is a tower of ivory, mother of pearl, diamond and silver
treasure for the hungry to be consumed perhaps too late
where she is surrounded by the death-defying maidens.

Centuries go by, she continues in her light genuflection
hands joined in a prayer searching only communion
one with all, pure of soul as once of body.


The presence is signed on the old photograph hanging
there on the left wall, by the window built of trusted
hands, while outside the tree wants attention.

He too can write on the pane of the ancient glass.

Finger prints on the side of the redwood desk, tend
to the forgotten elbow, never fully able to rest on
the worn-out couch, trampoline for young charm.

It hoped its future would be of leather; but not so.

The room screams with memories it alone keeps safe;
the air is filled with sparring souls attempting an accord;
freckles of dust, sparks of their little power inflamed.

Wishing they had landed on the feature of a Mona Lisa.

Unwilling to shine, the lamp, secure under her banged shade,
would like to jump at them and empower their dying light,
while planted on the thinning carpet, they remain quiet.

Waiting for another moment, another time, to become.

Song of the grave

The stone is barren
it was once broken
now it awaits.

Cold it may seem
yet warm in truth
smooth and perfect
it shines as many stars.

The rock draws
like a magnet
light rains
as so many tears.

Let fall come
and a palette
of colours in oils and pastels
it will glow in the fog.

Winter snow
flakes glitter and blind
forever lasting chagrin
a wonder smooth as granite.

The river runs near
singing it melody
murmur of hope
in eternity renewed.

The sun returns
lighting its fire
life is reborn
on a single tomb.

Poetry Drawer: Stoned by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Our ayatollah looks at me with contempt
He put me in charge of stoning
an adulteress

I found a good wall to set her against
but I’d forgotten to see to the stones
Someone had come and taken them to repair the wall
that surrounds his olive grove

So there we were
all ready to execute her
and no stones

The ayatollah looked like he wanted to
beat me to death
with his bare fists
but he was old and frail

Instead he exiled me
and the harlot too
The villagers took hold of our arms
and legs
and tossed us out the village gate
slammed it shut behind us

We looked out at the desert
turned and looked at each other

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Poetry Slam by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Your Flea Market by John Grey

A box of old record albums –
Billy Joel,
Donny Osmond,
The Eagles,
Partridge Family –

And the covers are worn,
the vinyl is scratched –
no one’s going to buy these
even at 50c apiece.

Same as that ratty Cabbage Patch doll.
Or the Miami Vice lunch box.
Or those clothes – so 80’s.
And the invisible dog – please.

No wonder there’s been no sales.

This is your past.
The present’s not buying it.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

Inky Interview Special: John Grey, Australian Poet, USA resident

Poetry Drawer: An Awkward Meeting in a Coffee House by John Grey

Poetry Drawer: Two Poems by John Grey

Poetry Drawer: You’re Lost In The Airwaves by R. Gerry Fabian

Play no sad songs for me.
I’ve lived for the last moment.
It’s been gone and come again
And yet, you come to me
A little too late for a love campaign.
When do we love tomorrow?

The sound of an orphan saxophone
Argues with the early marsh morning.
“Go away with more than a kiss.”
Select your argument with the insane.

If you cannot respect a sole dancer
Then know the words to the song.
So many of the poor, cold pretenders
In habit the hour against the minute.
Do not seek quiet bashful advice.

In an explosion second of sunrise
The drunken sincere pale graduate
Offers you the scent of dew lilacs.
Resurrect the final lost late movie
As you imagined the fast hot dialogue
And encompass the dual possibility.

If the satin mistake is of the desperate
Then you will hear it repeated in radio popularity.
To pretend is a stubborn, stale reflex
That is suddenly discovered as an ash cigarette
Gone like the push button radio disc jockey.

With a flick of a smile
Tossed like a fifty dollar littering fine
In the caution lane of a super highway
I’ve seen the wrong side of a summer full moon
And the high tide has pulled the depth
So that I find one last jukebox dollar
And taste the after hour bitter liquid
In the reflection of your
So often visited …once in a lifetime
Terminal memory.

R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press. He has published two poetry books, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense are available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble. He is currently working on his fourth novel, Ghost Girl.

Poetry Drawer: Like a little drum by D.S. Maolalai

settling in for a quick one:
and the sun is coming down
with the birds flapping to roost,
heads underwing
and feet
sunk into bellies like
water in a sponge.
and we are having drinks together,
fried and salted
(6 for 2 euros, dip on the side)
and we are happy.
your perfume smells
like flowers and strawberries
and your heart goes
like a little drum.
I can hear it from here,
tapping a rhythm
like an impatient man
with a coin at a shop counter.
sweet little heart
spilling with love,
and swooping with the sunset.

D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and has been nominated for Best of the Web, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).