Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Short Poetry About Stars By Thomas L. Vaultonburg

So, these star poems I have been working on are inspired by my heart surgery. I envision the series, when completed, as an extended metaphor between my heart and several different types of stars. I haven't finished the series, but I finished these couple and couldn't resist posting them as I haven't completed much work these past few years. 

Brown Dwarf

They raged briefly against 
The dying of the light
Bargained with their cut rate gods,
Turned off their televisons
And said goodnight forever.

This is how I originally approached the brown dwarf star comparison, and this was before I knew I had any heart issues, so the metaphor isn't there. It's simply the personification of how a star might feel about never having become powerful enough to have a galaxy of its own.

Jenny did this drawing for the poem, and it was probably the first and only time I felt we had a disconnect between what I envisioned and what she drew. I think that's because I had an entirely different image in mind for what this poem was and what it should mean. Recently I rewrote it.

X Ray Binary

Let me just rest
Here in your light
For a while
Before falling into
Your arms
For one last dance

And this is the poem I wrote for a star that has gone supernova...


I am not 
Taking back my love
Only my light

I have notes for a few others, and have jotted down a line or two, but it's a very personal and hard to explain project. Very similar I suppose in theme to that Dylan Thomas poem where he says "Rage against the dying of the light." We all eventually lose that battle. But that first real challenge to our mortality can be very sobering. It has been for me. I'll post more when I finish it. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Poetry By Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher has been writing poetry for around ten years. 
He has had work appear in various print and online publications,
most recently at Odd Ball Magazine, Mad Swirl, Dead Snakes, 
Your One Phone Call and The Transnational. His second chapbook
'Broken Slates' has been published by Flutter Press.

The Escape

These old streets, almost like tunnels,
The excitement these walls and buildings
projected still simmers under this depleting
afternoon. The abandoned car parks laden
with tags and broken glass still offers a slight
breeze of calm.

Those canals, that blend of tranquil fauna
with corroding steel still fail to offer any balance.
Their waters like blackened mirrors; to dip
even a toe would entice a fear far deeper
than the surrounding, soot stained walls.

The cold air retains its mobility, our blood
slowly warms like neglected mud in summer,
we see the waters pollutants slowly rise
to the surface releasing a filth ridden mosaic
of everything they never intended to be seen.  

And those dim windows still offer up secrets
we never had the courage to accept, let alone
keep. A freshness, however, still remains,
if only on our heads, that warmth only a mile
away each side, if we allow this to collapse.

Final Rest

That blood passes through our archways;
a pulse impossible to count. The slow,
blanket of light of passes through the
cracked windows and bare, vandalised
trees allow us vision, if not clarity.

The bottles around us stand dry,
the stale smoke settles on our sleeves
and carpet. The cold, tiled kitchen floor
awakens the dormant responsibilities
that creep upon us like rotten ivy.

We stand little chance against this
backlash, that we kept at bay for so
long, and packed away into dust filled
boxes like the broken plastics of our
childhood, but never truly forgot.

That slow sinking, with that bitterness
that has now sweetened and ripened
with age, and now calm perspires from
these walls, that still manage to over
shadow our crimes once more.


We stand on that verge once again,
hanging by limp, depleting threads.
Our mouths stuffed with masticated
words that we spit out like blunted
bullets, their targets now lost in the

These same roads surround us,
unmarked, yet cracked. The concrete
reaching each corner, with obsessive
perfection, their surfaces like over used
notice boards, with messages tragically
out of date.

A certain smugness hangs in the air,
like ash-filled cobwebs, the shallow
intents not spoken, but suggested
through broken teeth, but never powerful
enough for us to change direction, as we
remain again on that same, broken path.

Just a Myth

Arriving early afternoon, this city seems
less cleaner than I remember, the tinted
glasses of yore, now as cracked as these
bustling pavements in which my feet sink.

We then reside inn that make-shift beer
garden, a converted, shut off back street
the barbwire over head like a crucifixion
crown, forged with the intention of discomfort.

Those bars, each one a mile apart, their
insides seem carved with the same rotten
timber as the last, the blank faces stare
with fear from behind blue bottles of poison.

And those supposed legends that forged
the reputation of this place are long gone,
and only mention its name in whispers,
when they finally feel their fame is waning.

Poems By Thom Young

Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in The Commonline Journal, 3am magazine, Crack the Spine, Word Riot, 48th Street Press, and many other places. A 2008 Million Writers Award nominee for his story Perico.


I go on long walks everyday
hoping to get hit by a car
or die
either one can cost you everything
i wave at the old ladies by the pool
"there goes the writer."
they say
"he seems like such a nice young man."
they say
i smile
lock your doors
the wild hearted son
is back

The Blackbird

the sound
the blackbird makes
thinking about you
the ghost
we had

Purple Onion

as I write another poem
3 gun shots kill something
maybe it's the old guy 
two houses down with the laughing 
he finally had enough
no more purple onions
at 2am
on Rye with yellow mustard
he cried as his old lady pulled the trigger
that's the end
and ch. 5 is showing a re-play
of the Rose Bowl parade 
and they don't look happy


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Michael Marrotti Poetry From Pittsburgh

Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he's not writing, he's volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man's work, please check out his for his latest poetry and short stories.


The threat of jail 
is right around
the corner

This life 
of leisure
could end up 
in chains

No matter 
where I travel
or what I do 
lurks in my 

Walking a fine line
between these 
two cages 
the free spirit
in me wants 
to destroy my master

As I walk these 
streets of injustice
breathing in the 
free air of an 
enslaved world
I know in this 
heart of hatred
their mind's
are made up

The judgment
is guilty and will 
forever remain
the same

Poet Michael Marrotti


I'm planting
flowers to 
watch them 

closer to 

from the 
of a 
dead end
yet not

A disenchanted
life of imminent
no end in sight
until I expire

The meaning
of existence
is an answer
I no longer seek

Peace is 
the worms
at one with 
mother nature

'Misery Of Living'

On a first 
name basis
at my 

is an 
that says 
I still have 
five refills

The same 
me on the 

I've witnessed
the benefits
of Christianity
at the 
Light Of Life
but God is 
still a stranger

All alone
the crowd
people carry on
like it makes
a difference

I failed
at the 
wrong place 
at the 
right time

every zip code 
to find what 
I was after

She was right 
next door
to stitch
my wounds
of misery
I needed shelter
from the cold 
streets of Dormont

I feel at one 
when I'm in 
her presence

In a way 
I've conquered
the misery
of living

Tenderloin Poet Jay Passer

Jay Passer‘s work has appeared in print and online since 1988. He lives in the Tenderloin district in San Francisco, the city of his birth.


the last time I walked around in the forest
I can guarantee was not
bare of foot.

has the city taken me hostage?

those giant redwoods and
ferns bursting from the trunks
in radiant lime neon,
clear to see on a postcard or
in an advertisement,
though lesser as a memory than ever.

is the city consciously attempting to
kill me?

sirens seem specifically designed
to home in on my location
while each breath, shorter than before
has that peculiar almond scent
the kind you sense just before getting
the gas.

a couple of blackbirds, gossipy in the trees
appear quite unmoved
as I wipe the grime of exhaust from the
like lipstick off the kiss of death.

I lived on fish jerky and dried fruit
as I searched for you
I lived on wilted flowers
and the regurgitation of

and meanwhile
air pollution was
regulated and the avenues
besieged and the surfaces of structures
reduced to humidors for propaganda

a small cup of wine and a trail of breadcrumbs
led me to your shadow
my only solace
as I sought out
as I defied liver bone and heart
as I stepped out of the way of the truncheon and boot
the uniforms on the street and badges defying justice
innocence and victimhood reduced to
black and white
the classic dichotomy of cop mentality
and not too relevant when handcuffed to the back seat

unkempt in County blues I searched
back to perdition
scraping the cinder block walls with initials
with a heart
and a poisoned arrow

through the bombed-out city I hunted
as the pillagers and the looters
fenced spoils in the courtyards of foreign castles

I endured on a whim while some faint music trickled
from a tinny conch

back to sea I roam

Poet Jay Passer


Im off, to stretch my legs.
Cold and early.
Streaks of stars
blink against crackerjack
I turn away.
Its worse than cable TV,
worse than looking in the
I decide on the park, some cruel bench
to stall consciousness for a spell.
I open the door
to a long flight of stairs.
To naked cats scrambling.
To clouds so palpably
A city square park.
Some monument hidden in the trees
declared incumbent
by hostile civic misanthropy.
The city propped on
stilts, on
exported governing,
on me-first belligerence.
Dogs leading banal humanoids
through crayon-drawn tufts of grass.
Its childhood
speaking through a worm hole.
I hear voices,
foreign argot,
rhetoric spray-painted on moving vans
and alleyway walls.
Its childhood speaking.
I am looking out the window.
Or walking
down the street.
I am sitting
on a bench as the sidewalk squatters awaken,
loved by neither cosmos or God:
the double agents of
On the bench in Washington Park,
dwarfed beneath lean towers
of a chalk cathedral
as the Asian ladies dance.   
Ocean floating,
another excuse for the sky,
threatening flood.
I tilt my head,
its always the same songbird;
news flash informing brain cells
of impending war.
I go home to a single room,
the room is my home,
at $220 per week its admirable enough.
I open the window,
only to close it again.
The fan quit spinning about a week ago.
I pace the room.
I hike up to the roof,
I come back to the room.
Sometimes I eat something, then,
later, I use the plumbing.
Sunlight streams through cracks in the walls.
I turn away.
I turn away from the mirror
as you fashion your hair up in pythons.


they come after hours
to power-wash the sidewalks
its 3 in the morning
but at 6 AM sharp expect the recycling truck
a tank sans weaponry
to pull up at the back door
of the restaurant across the street
dont forget the crows
in brusque conversation
perched above the brimming
they come
the noisemakers
there are many others as well
they laugh in the basement of my subconscious
they boil like blood out of a cooked brain pan
they run in the streets like maddened bulls
they are not too joyous
they are not very smart
these ones
who come
to plague my keyboard
the sidewalks
my estuaries
the gutters my intuition
borne from the sewers, the end results of
my muses


I assassinated a cockroach today

is that wrong
in the eyes of God?

squashed that little bastard good
in the manner of third-world country prison cuisine

am I a fascist, a megalomanic slob?
am I a killer

in the eyes of God?


I think Ill simmer some rice
the man next door coughs heavily
my only entertainment is the radio
I used to compare eyes to headlights
the rain keeps down the pollutants
songs are essential in the kitchen.

we have it made in America
maybe if he didnt smoke so much
steam heat knocks upon the silences
once I inked eyes on my fingertips
seasons are short like classical haiku

I just might steam some asparagus.