Poetry Drawer: Coma of Dreams by Janine Crawford

Before I sleep and slip,
Into a deep coma of dreams,
I place my feelings into a bottle,
And throw that bottle in the ocean blue,
To cast out negativity,
And to reach some form of life,
In my dreams.

I send out thousands of words,
But no words are strong enough,
To express how I really feel.

There are some stunning humans,
On this planet,
Yet when I look in the mirror,
I see a dark creature,
Not worthy to walk this land.
When the night comes,
It covers my imperfections,
When the sun rises,
I slither back,
Into the shadows.

I don’t feel like a human being,
Maybe because,
Deep down,
I don’t speak human.

Poetry Drawer: Love Bird by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

In mercado cages
dull peach-faced love birds
lack the sunshine they need
The carcasses of dead animals
are more vibrant than the live ones

A poster shows
two female boxers
One is Elena Menendez
They are both heavily muscled
and know that they will be hit as hard as they hit
and that it will hurt them in the day
and damage them in the night
and in the weeks and months to come
until the next fight
which will be worse
and the next
worse yet
until they can no longer raise
their fists to defend themselves

I look in Elena’s eyes
and see her thoughts:
Why did I have to be a fighter?
I love the sweet sounds
of the violin
Why couldn’t I have been a violinist?

A peach-faced love bird
escapes its cage
flies up and perches
on a dead electric wire
next to Elena’s photo
posed with her fists up
dangerous despite her fear

My wife is having a manic episode
and has convinced herself that she is invulnerable
that it is safe for her
to drink the local water
I leave the bathroom
give the attendant ten pesos
return to my wife
standing under Elena’s poster
just as she is finishing
a big dirty glass full

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published by Pski’s Porch Publications in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

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: lost a battle with suicide: for the rest of our lives: an old lover whistling in a graveyard: my therapist: pressing my lips by J.J. Campbell

lost a battle with suicide

the firestarter
lost a battle
to suicide

i still remember
the look in her
eyes the first
time i heard
that song
blasting
between
the neon
at the club

i had dreams
of forever

and she just
needed another
free drink

neither of us
left satisfied
that night

for the rest of our lives

i stopped believing
in love when the
woman of my
dreams decided
she’d rather have
a life without
my dick in it

of course, we
were going to
remain friends
for the rest of
our lives

until three
weeks later

she called with
the news of a
new boyfriend

i was out two
thousand dollars
and had a broken
heart that never
would be repaired

that was twenty
years ago

time doesn’t
heal shit

an old lover whistling in a graveyard

embrace
the pain

an old lover
whistling in
a graveyard

that haunting
laughter in the
distance is god

she doesn’t
necessarily
expect and
wish for your
failure

but success is
as likely as the
souls in this
graveyard ever
seeing the sun

again

my therapist

the
empty page
eventually
becomes
my therapist

i only wish
it would ask
better questions

pressing my lips

the rain touches
her lips like
tears from a
god we all
stopped
believing
in years ago

i remember
unbuttoning
her shirt and
pressing my
lips to a nipple

she started to
pull down my
jeans and i was
thankful i lived
a quarter mile
off of the road

and none of
my neighbours
could see this
part of the
property

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is currently trapped in suburbia, plotting his revenge. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Record Magazine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, Synchronized Chaos, and Chiron Review. His most recent chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights & Goodreads

Poetry Drawer: Five Hundred SCUBA Divers by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Octopuses hand them tools
as they work to right the Costa Concordia
laying ruined on its starboard side

After work
the divers drink in bars
and recount their undersea exploits
to avid women

while the octopuses
slither back into their holes
where some of them fondle large wrenches
or pieces of steel cable

There is something so strangely tactile about these objects
The octopuses embrace them with their entire bodies
and have multiple orgasms
far more orgasms than the divers
who have gone to bed early
to be ready for another day
at work under the surface

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.

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: An evening, after 3 months sobriety by DS Maolalai

you have to wonder
at the flavour,
and savour the smell,
accept taste the bitterness of it;
gooseberries and fresh appleflesh.
you have to get sunlight
pouring over windowsills
and spilling into ditches
onto drunks
going home. that’s
wine, see?
this: going home.
a skip in the road
and light
which shines in a bottle.
a kiss from your friend
returned again
after too long
gone off
at sea.

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: New Organ by Robert Demaree

In our chapel at Golden Pines,
Amber light through stained glass,
Across the burgundy cushions,
Greying heads, hip and knee replacements,
A new organ fills the room:
Bach, Widor’s toccata,
Three manuals, hundreds of stops.
Digital, no pipes, which means to some
It is not real. Oh, but is it—
The swells, crescendos,
The noble trumpet of the Prince of Denmark’s March.
It replaces the kind of organ
You used to hear in cafeterias,
Playing for the Civitans.
Our friend explains, improvises for us;
Keys change.
How many would be so bold
As to put on display the skills
Of a life’s work, now
Compromised by time.
It is marvellous, we think, in every way.
At last we have at Golden Pines
An instrument fit for a sanctuary,
For a service of last rites.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladderspublished in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.

Poetry Drawer: The Gift by John Grey

Must be my lucky day.
Look what I found on the sidewalk
in a small Midwestern town
at the turn of the 21st century.
It’s almost midnight.
The one street light
is swinging like a pendulum.
I saw it gleaming through the cracks.
I just had to kneel down and pick it up.

Well so what.
My find is not helping my car any.
It’s as dead as a pair of twos in a poker game.
And a mile back there on the road some place.
And I can’t afford to pay for a roof over my head.
But that’s my worry, not yours.

Have you guessed it yet?
Red roses in a white wine bottle?
Iron Maiden CD in a medicine cabinet?
Scheherazade on a shingle?
Shakespeare, vestal virgins or leopards?
Take my advice and forget about it.

Is it a gleam, a glitter,
in an otherwise dead block of cement?
Does it remind me of someone?
Do I break into a little song?
And dance with my own shadow?

And now it’s starting to rain.
It dribbles down my chin.
The wind is brisk and repulsive.
The people are all indoors,
in bed, with the lights out.

So I’m under an awning,
with my coat wrapped around me,
head on a stoop.
body curled up like a snail’s.

Have you guessed it yet?
It’s nothing really.
But you knew that all along.

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.

Poetry Drawer: Good Question by John Grey

A roller of fat cigars,
the hefty guy
whose arms are inked
with devils and angels,
short-skirted women
showing enough leg
to start the dogs barking,
and an old lady selling flowers –
I have ignored them all
just to be with you.

A shop window
advertising 47 ice-cream flavors,
a pig with two heads
or maybe two pigs
with a head apiece,
blind kids playing baseball,
a construction site,
a barbershop quartet –
I was in such a hurry,
I noticed none of these.

Then you have to ask me
how my never-wavering concentration
on the matter in hand
enabled me to include,
for poetic purposes,
all these things I bypassed,
took no notice of.

That’s a good question.
Luckily, on my journey,
I avoided all good questions.
That’s why I’m here.

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.

Poetry Drawer: The Cerulean Lore by Dr. Susie Gharib

The first two arrows that pierce my orbs
through fluttering lashes, too loath to unfold,
are cerulean fragments that, unhampered, probe
my naked window every cloudless morn.

My wavelengths, attuned, respond with a flow
of rippling images that W. James had called
the stream of consciousness, but in a non-literary world:
a bluebell basking in the shade of a blade,
a petal floating on the sapphire of a lake,
a ripple or two agitating my boat,
whose oars are drunk with foam and salt,
a cyan mist inhabiting a myth,
a pair of eyes whose blueness persists
to compete with skies’, bluebells’, and mists’

Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including Adelaide Literary Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, A New Ulster, Crossways, The Curlew, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Ink Pantry, Mad Swirl, Miller’s Pond Poetry Magazine, and Down in the Dirt.

Poetry Drawer: Handy Man DIY by R. Gerry Fabian

The light has gone out
in your heart.
It’s not the bulb.
It is still steady
with kisses and hugs.

After years of constant use.
the wiring is frayed
at the source.
Wire nuts of romance
have been loosened.

It’s time for an overhaul.

This is to be done carefully.
The electricity shut down.
A new love cord installed.
Secured with masking tape.
Retighten the nuts
and slowly connect
the lost circuit.

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.