Monday, November 6, 2017

Obeedude or muse. by Bernadette Mayer.

"Works In Progress." 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

I’m going to the Edudeebo museum for a look at the mountain that looks like a cradleboard which is like swaddling clothes to a mountains aren’t so used to being kept in, they can spread out and up and down like lights or like pants, my love is like a volcano, it is not a quilt under which you cuddle, mountains are lonely places, me, it makes me wanna cry but “help me” is the thing you should never say lest you are already at the top of the mountain and it all becomes a metaphor for, say, flying or even worse, landing. But the leaves rush by meaning there are two different kinds of vines dividing the front from the back. I keep forgetting to thank you for the white bench meanwhile the sun came out again as if another day was beginning, maybe on the other side of the mountain, of course we can’t know what’s going on over there - is it the opposite of what we can see? this is just our simple-minded way of looking at things as if a mountain had a meaning like a cult named after a drug, sort of.

reel to reel
there’s only a squirrel
on the sun-drenched pedestal

But yikes! There’s iguanas on the roof and suddenly the wind blows and the mountain is a room in which a pizza’s exploded at the entrance to the museum. This color yellow darkens as the days pass.

latsedep dehcnerd-nus eht no
lerriuqs a ylno s’erreht
leer ot leer


© Bernadette Mayer 2017


Bernadette Mayer is a poet and prose writer. Mayer taught at the New School for Social Research and The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in N.Y.C. She was the 2015 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She currently resides in the wilds of upstate N.Y. and is published by New Directions.
You may read more of her work as published in Poetry Magazine here.
Or purchase her published books from New Directions here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mistaken Identity by Aida I. DePascale

Onesquethaw Cemetery - “City On The Hill” 
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015
Gazing up slowly, I see beyond the coffin, beyond the earth. Sunlight shining brightly yet I feel a distinct chill. I hear mourning doves near my new digs while I listen closely as fragile drops of dew gently tap against my tombstone. Your soft gentle footsteps approach.  Soon I will hear you speak and acknowledge her existence. Others march by giving condolences; duty or love; I wonder.  My spirit feels comfort as I hear your loving words and how she left too soon. Tearfully you leave my grave. Not knowing how or why this occurred I only know that if my true identity was carved on this stone there would be no visitors.  So in that spirit I thank you and promise to convey each heartfelt message once I arrive at my final destination. 

In life I walked alone. In death my existence becomes alive with this unknown stranger. My soul sees the light as I plead with God for one more day.  How foolish to cling to this dark fairy tale with no happy ending. I shall rest between the starburst galaxy and the fresh morning dew until time brings us together again. Only then will I be allowed to share how much your visit meant to me. A nameless body who’s death has not one lament.

What peace you bestow
Could you not love me the same
Whom you mourn so deep

© Aida I. DePascale 2017

Aida I. DePascale is a poet, a writer of short stories and an avid photographer of nature.  She lives in Catskill, New York.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ononta’kahrhon reminds me of Uluru* by Philomena Moriarty.

"Latermass on the mountain."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2017

How superficially I walk upon this earth not honoring its peoples. I kick their dust and swallow their air. They who invisioned the clay and stone beneath their feet. Who barefoot felt each leaf and twig. With leather and cloth I separate myself from the elemental. I dwell in thought and lose all sensation. What I give away. What I give away. What I keep giving away.

Even this sharp pain 
foot fall on rocky edges 
makes me real again 


© 2017 Philomena Moriarty


Philomena Moriarty uses mindfulness in her writing process and views poetry as a spiritual practice. Her poetry collection and memoir 

You may learn *more about Uluru here.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"A Hellebergh Journey." by Mark W. Ó Brien

"A Hellabergh Journey."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 25/Jan/2017

I was dreading the third time out of the house to work on the driveway. All that ice, all that snow, and a third go around. Every bone and muscle in my body ached from the first two times and the driving sleet and snow the day before. But I bucked it up, over dressed and headed out the door with the ice chopper and my shovel for one more go. As I worked my way towards the road, the sun began to come out. 

I was in the zone and chopping away when I heard a voice say "Pretty tough stuff that." Well I turned around and met for the first time Tom Tucker from Texas by way of New Mexico. Seems Tom married his high school sweetheart after 50 years and moved up here to New York in the mountains and the snow. As we were chatting and getting to know each other my neighbor from across the road offered to knock down my snowbank with his plow. 

I finished up about 30 minutes later and stood there for a while in the sun watching the moisture evaporate off the asphalt. That's why I love living here up on the hill in this old hamlet of Clarksville. Whether it be friends I know or people I've only just met, we look out for each other. You might find that elsewhere, but you wouldn't be surrounded by all this beauty too! Apparently not even in Texas via New Mexico. 

The work was sure hard
but I enjoyed it this time
live in the moment!


© Mark W. Ó Brien 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

"When I had it made I had loose teeth that became nickels under my pillow:" by Mark W. Ó Brien.

 "Oh man, what would you say if I said 
I parked the car in 1965 and couldn't get it back?"
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

When I had it made I had loose teeth that became nickels under my pillow:

Sunday mornings after breakfast were always a race to the bottom of the cellar stairs for boot-black and a good place to stand. If you were lucky you got the old yellow kitchen step-stool with the fold out steps. If you were slow you could be using whatever was left.

It was important to get boot-blacking right the first time or you could be sent back down to do it again. There was no going to church if your shoes weren't properly polished. Or heaven for that matter, and we all wanted that!

A seat in the car was determined by age or whining. But after a curtain point whining only got you laughter and charlie-horses. With all that boot-blacking and reboot-blacking we were almost always late.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when your nose is flattened against the window of the Vista Cruiser Station Wagon, while your entire family (minus yourself, because your big brother is holding your face against the window!) leans into the curve, as you pass through the traffic light, just when it is turning red, because your Dad is the head usher and there is no walking in late ‘cause you didn't get up early enough to blacken your boots in proper time before we were to leave for mass! 

"Slow down Jim! We'll all go to heaven before we get to church!" My mom would say, me knowing full well it had somehow been my fault, because I couldn't balance myself on the woodpile and polish at the same time without falling into the scraps. 

I only wore those shoes on Sundays. Only God knows how they got scuffed up at the back of my closet during the week. My little brother blamed it on the Tooth-fairy. I thought it was the Boogie-man. It probably had something to do with time my brothers and I spent on the playground after church. I didn't think the Tooth-fairy had anything to do with it. He was an alright guy. Especially when he slipped that nickel under my pillow and kissed me good night. In spite of my inability to boot-black and his need for speed.

A good role model
Doesn't know he's teaching you
Even when he is.

© Mark W. Ó Brien

Monday, September 11, 2017

"They met their first resistance here." by Nancy Klepsch.

"They met their first resistance here."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2017

I love a fight - a great righteous fight.  That’s why I settled here.  Someone broke the rules in this town way before I did.  I suspect everyone here has broken the rules at one time or another, because the hills make us.  The trees merge as husband and wife, and, given what life they are in, as brother and sister, lovers, or friends, too. The women I love sometimes join my tribe.  Sleep with me in my head for a night or two and move on to teach others about computers, French, why we write so informally in blogs.  Either way, you see electricity in this stolen gravel sky.  There is current and pulse that bursts and flashes in wild don’t-tread-on-me farmscapes.  The grass moss carpets and flows from pole to pole. There is no doubt that men and women sweated, lived and died here.  That somebody, somewhere stuck out a pole, pointed a bony finger in the face of fear and said, “I don’t like you.” If resistance is measured in Oms, let us all take the passage back to peace.  I can see the road to it.  The hill blocks it.  But, if you close your eyes and hold out your hand, I will take you there.

Blue note granite peak
Taken by war and science
I am a blown switch


© Nancy Klepsch 2017

Nancy Klepsch is the co-host of the Second Sunday@2 open mic in Troy, NY. Her poetry collection "God must be a boogie man." is forthcoming from Recto y Verso Editions

Monday, September 4, 2017

“Season of dusk and fog” by Alan Catlin

"Season Of Dusk And Fog."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015

Where dream life and the waking
one intersect, where they coalesce into
shadows that become ghosts of trees overcome
by smoke. Night clings to the undergrowth,
the blackened pitch of a scorched earth. By
morning, the darkness is visible on anything left alive.

redwing blackbirds perch
on stunted marsh trees, splinters
of light through flat clouds.


© Alan Catlin 2017


Alan Catlin has been publishing for five decades. He is the editor of Misfit MagazineHis most recent book of poetry is "Walking Among Tombstones in the Fog" from Presa Press.