Monday, January 29, 2018

Poetry By Joe Albanese

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. His poetry can be found in several literary magazines across the United States and in five other countries. He graduated magna cum laude from Rowan University where he majored in Law and Justice, which probably helped him with the writing of my first novel, "Caina," a crime comedy, set to be published in 2018 (Mockingbird Lane Press).

An Ocean of the Infinite

Longed like the ocean
In the nights you run cold and in the back of my mind
This hope’s trying to throw me
You won’t let it rain and so my river’s run dry
Is that why hold it?
Well I won’t let you sting but I might let you try

I go with a torn sail
You push when wind pulls just to watch it go down
If you plan to save me
Then these waves better ease and they’d better ease now
Swim is what your voice sings
But it says the wrong way and then complains when I drown

Down in the ocean
It was getting so dark that I have no need for these eyes
That’s when you showed me
What is traversed can only be measured in time
So I go with the ocean
Once I see where it’s headed, I stop trying to survive.


Poker-faced and set in place
A response crawling up his sleeve
Youths forget it’s gallant to beget
He can’t re-play it if she leaves

They cannot hide their shared divide
Through only hint of gaze
Her eyes detract to not reflect
What she hopes would last for days

Their hold redeemed tears at the seams
A mirrored smile if one dares
But outsides behave to hide what they crave
What’s inside - two signal flares

A perfect match that’s just detached
Each look away is a lie
Fear that feeds won’t let either lead
It’s mamihlapinatapai.

A = B and B = C, But A ≠ C

Depression is poetry, I’ve heard too
many times

And I know that poetry is beautiful

But depression…

It’s punching holes in the wall, it’s
punching the door to avoid making holes, it’s
punching the ground to avoid making noise
that wakes others

It’s not shaving or brushing your teeth to
avoid looking in the mirror

It’s not an artsy movie,
a power ballad, or a
call to arms

It’s avoiding any good so you’re not reminded
how far from it you really are

It’s sobbing on the kitchen floor with a knife
to your throat, begging a nonexistent god
to give you the strength to
butterfly yourself

There’s nothing beautiful about depression

You won’t find any beauty here.

Sail in Storm

it’s not that we
don’t see

the beauty
in the world

we see it all
we see more than most

what destroys us
is that we know

the distance

and with each attempt
to get close to the beauty

that distance only
becomes clearer

we know we’ll
never reach it.

The Shards of Blanket Comfort

I’ve seen the girl I wish I’d marry,
but test a dream, I’d never dare

Hope comes in waves of good intention
then blasts and scatters in the air

Moments stumble no matter how rehearsed,
inside out-of-reach,
all fate’s coerced
The things we want the most are just too rare

I hold the hand of muddled vision
to see how something sentient compares

Hope comforts dreams in clouded poison
that leaves them choking on fresh air

Through loss it comes with golden curse,
brings lucid storms,
the clearer verse

To heal is just to dance with disrepair.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I Want a Roller Girl For Valentine's Day

Jenny is at the Rockford Art Museum peopling the Zombie Logic Press/Rockford Illustrating table, and I am here at the house about to begin my Saturday afternoon ritual of watching Werewolves On Wheels and Psychomania. Doing a routine Google search I saw this Tiny Drawing Poem, which is one of the first things we made together, has been co-opted by the internet. Which I'm fine with. I want people to see it. I also want people to know it is a poem I wrote for Jenny Mathews, Bombadee 00 of the Rockford Rage, Stateline Roller Derby Divas, and Bayou City Bosses. She is also my Valentine and co-creator. You can see some of the things she has made and that we have made together at Zombie Logic Press 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Three Poems For Outsider Poetry By Cattail Jester

the Scramble

mix-head, it's a bag
of what in the world

what happened
to my mind,
all was as it should
have been

before I hit this
bump in the road

I should know, should know
things are clear
the course is honest
like a girl scout

then bam.


no find your
way on this map

no easy trip
backyard pass through

there were a thousand
ways home when I was

a kid

now there's only
room and it's blocked
by a dog that has a taste
for my skin.

Too Early for Change

it's too damn
early to haggle
over pennies, Mr.
Taxi Man

thank you for
dropping me off
at my proper

don't ask me to
count it all out

take it, take it,
no really,
you need it more than
I do

for where I'm going.

Robert Allen Beckvall May Be On An Island With Two Chinese Girls

bio:  born burbank, raised hell phoenix, on island with two Chinese girls

Daughter of the Chinese Revolution vs. A Bad American (by way of not devouring the BS)

I tell the people, “I love you, fuck off”  and I do love them, if I am on a lake in Prescott, AZ rowing a boat by myself looking at the fish, birds, and ducks coming up to get the bread I am tossing

I love them when I am cruising the island while they head off to work like rats in a maze in the opposite direction

I love them if I am not in the damned Dante’s inferno of the mall with millions writhing in fiery levels of hell by way of molten lead escalators, buying this stupid shit instead of doing something worthwhile with your dinero

This beautiful Chinese lady tells me you have to get this job or that so that we have medical insurance, since she is self employed

No I say, as I eat a daily piece of garlic, exercise, take lime or lemon juice in every glass of water, and eat mostly vegetables and stuff not of bird asses or cow tits, or cut from the muscles of animals (have you seen the strength of the gorilla or orangutan?-they eat jungle salad), and breathing to mental health

Do not believe that rolex watches, Iphones, and working for “the man” will get us any faster to heaven or hell

It will just make the trip miserable, now pass me that AARP magazine and I will see what Morgan Freeman and Goldie Hawn are up to

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Love Poem For Valentine's Day 2018

Just wanted to be self-indulgent and post one of the love poems I have written for my partner. This year she decided to type some of them up on our vintage Smith Corona and make the paper look as if it had been in a desk for a very long time. I really like how these turned out. 

Unwittingly Semi--Nude Ascending a Staircase 
In a Thrift Store Dress She Is Unaware I See Through

I mean to say nothing
But am unable as she mounts
My arrect staircase

Zombie Logic Press

Poems By Craig Firsdon

Bio: I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was 4 years old. At 12 I lost the abilty to walk and stand. I began writing as a way to cope with the disease, pain, acceptance and depression. Over the years I've been published many places and last year I released my first book of poetry, Requiem. I have also created cover art for a couple chap books by other writers. Just recently I finished a manuscript for a collection of poems about my history with the disease and the mental, physical and social aspects of life with a disability.

More Than A Disability

Behind these blue, 

bright eyes 
and wheelchair bound 
broken down flesh 
burns a fire. 
You will never see it 
because you will never look at me 
or give me a chance to show you 
a passion to create 
and develop a better way to live. 
A better way to understand.

We want to be a factor 

in this world, 
not a burden.
We want to be heard.
We speak with our hands,
our keyboards, our pens,
our paint, our clay...
Our words.
We wish to speak as equals.

We are people with hopes and dreams.

See us as a part of the human race 
and not just another number 
you write in your reports
or another file,
organized and filed away.

See us as people, 

as the future, 
as more than a disability.

Poet Craig Firsdon

Four Worn Out Wheels 

Four worn out wheels and a beaten up padded chair. 

A set of broken brakes and a pair of useless legs. 
A man once full of hopes and dreams 
now lives with the reality that 
very few, if any, will come to fruition. 

He often feels his existence is pathetic 

and the autonomic worthlessness consumes him 
as his independence is slowly stripped away. 
No longer able to reach his goal, 
doors and stairs block him from his destination. 

People are constantly staring at him. 

They stay away as if he’s contagious. 
Children stare and point, 
so do the adults. 
Onlookers' whispers start and spread 
as if they were the audience and 
he was on trial for the crime of being different. 
None ever approach him and ask the questions 
that need to be asked. 
If they did things would be different. 
But they don’t and things aren’t. 
The man is lonely and feels 
like an outcast from the rest of society. 

The man has many fears. 

One consumes him every time 
his eyes close or the lights go out. 
He will never find that special person. 
Someone who will look past the outside. 
Someone who will love during the good and the bad. 
He will never get married. 
If he loved her why put her through 
the same pain and torture? 
And if he is to never marry, 
then he will never have children of his own. 
His kids can’t be disappointed in him 
and won’t have the possibility of sharing 
the same disability. 

All that this man can do is dream and write. 

He can keep on keeping on, 
do what needs to be done, 
and push his fears aside. 
He waits for life to roll on 
upon his four worn out wheels 
and beaten up padded chair. 

In Time

the way eyes always stare

at my shell, my body,
at my broken side,
must be meant to be

this circus side show,
geometric abstraction of a form
past it's never existed prime,
warranty expired,
to be stripped for parts.
most likely
just shipped to the junkyard cemetery
buried alongside the other defectives
or quickly oven-smelted,
if lucky.

we are told over and over again
like fusion flame seared into our minds,
that the inevitable will happen.
only rely on it and taxes
to become a reality.

the inevitability is killing me,
"It'll be your time when it is meant to be"
i don't wear a watch, never have,
and the only time piece in my possession
lays in my drawer, broken,
unable to tell me what the "time" is.

a broken time-harnessed body
laying in a coffin not of its making
waiting to be fixed.
knowing it never will,
yet never wanting it to happen.

Some Days

These days are blending before my eyes.

Projected onto green screen corneas
  over and over 
  blurring the ever present times.
  Seamlessly become one long day mare,
  one unholy dream to be normal.

Some days I dream of what can't be

  and live what shouldn't be.
Some days I'm lost living in dreams
  and dream of living
  the life I should have lived.

If only I knew what life is

  and when I’ve been truly alive.
Everyday is the same and I just exist.
I fail in what I've tried 
and only win when I fail.

Happenings fade into stories

  and disappear into memories.
Some of them reflexively make me smile,
  while others unknowingly draw a tear 
  from my eye.

Some days the here and now is my life

   written through black inked words
   that never fade away out of this existence 
   but instead last forever alive 
   and forever free.

Some days I'm tired of lies I tell myself

   always preaching of someday living.
Some days I long for one thing:
   No more some days,
   just days.
And maybe this wish will one day come true
   but until then I'm stuck with living
       some days.

What Is (My) Pain


It's hard to explain my pain.
I'm often asked to describe what
I go through everyday,
like my hardships and struggles,  
but pain is something extremely personal.
It's different for each of us.
It's a story only the writer will have experienced.
Taking grotesque pictures from their mind
and turning them into words,
Intense and unbound.
Each mind's movie only the writer 
will truly understand.
Readers will try to, 
they may even say they do, 
and give their own interpretation.
Some may come close 
but none will be exactly right.


My pain is warmth like an oven 
and grinding like sandpaper on raw wood.
It feels dull yet sharp like 
pressing an old used needle against your skin, 
trying hard to pierce it.
It is everywhere yet no where I can point to.
Its constant strain on my broken body
feeds my bones like a synthetic drug.
It does more harm than good.
It's an addiction I can no longer live with
and one I never want to live without.


In the past I did what I could to rid myself of it.
But pain is like life, it's eternal.
Pain has been a part of my being for 
almost as long as I have lived.
It's made me who I am
and given me a reason to be.
It's introduced me to the freedom of words
and the passion of art.
Art, spoken, written and brushed, has helped me
do something nothing else has been able to do
It has helped me to be me, the real me.
It has helped me to truly live.

So now when someone asks me 

how I would describe my pain
I simply reply with a single word: