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Poetry     Feb. 2006


3-Way with Picasso




Max Dinkman


in a blue frame of mind

this December day

            cold noise from the street

            puts us to sleep

this world

            this world

                        this world

is no more and we are here


with no war

on a barren desert landscape


point off the cliff toward the horizon

can you see the sun when you look straight

at it or is


something else


like a piece of God deformed and entering your brain

with images of



a bronze pointer bed with a sheer canopy

Picasso leaps from it

laid to rest too early

his dick still bawls for


            and who is here

            but him and us

            and who are we

            to argue with


the man, the myth, the mystery



and we want it

and we move in

and Picasso and his paintings disappear


in a mug of beer that floated in from nowhere








above us there is a smiling smile smiling.

The Sun Rose




Max Dinkman


The sun rose

this morning

looked happy

to see me

which was odd

since it had

no eyes.


Bio: Max Dinkman  lives in the midwest where he struggles in writing, teaching, and being a husband slash father.  His work has been published in various publications including the online journal www.plumrubyreview.com (in case you want to check out something else by him).  He can be reached for comment or criticism at aarbear99@hotmail.com



Change of Season




  JT Torres



into action.  Blossom on a bed

of newborn flowers.  Forget life with the first

kiss.  A fistful of wishes pressed

against her lips. 




Her name, hot inside

cotton sheets.  Caught in downpours

of compliments.  Our laughs

continue past the sun growing

dark.  Fall:


For her, because

of her.  The hardest fall.  My

heart a brown and broken

leaf off a shriveled tree.  Days

shorten - the only upside

of this time of year.


Winter:  cold.

Unforgiving.  The kind

that crawls into your throat, squeezing

until air can’t pass.  Chest stops.  No

one to notice or know or care.  Ice

freezes, prevents

the blood from flowing.  Offers

the last escape before spring.



Bio:  JT  Torres is majoring in creative writing at the
University of Central Florida and in film at FullSail
Real World Education.  His works have appeared in
Skive Magazine, The Florida Review, and East Of The


Kevin Hurst

I pulled the curtains tight,
Hiding the neon sneeze outside.
I turned off the lamp,
Your pale skin looked sunburnt in the light
Which squeezed through the curtains
And flickered like a dying man's heartbeat.
I lay down on the futon with you,
Making myself into your shadow.
The air conditioner hummed like distant waves.
I pulled the covers tight around us,
Pushing myself into your warmth.
I hooked my arm under yours
To feel your chest gently rise and fall
Like an empty fishing boat on the water.
I whispered into your back,
Hot breath inscribing each word:
"You are mine."
But you were already asleep.

Kevin Hurst

I had a love that devoured me whole,
An embrace that held too tight.
But now the love that choked my soul
Is lost into the night.

My stomach is a hollow ache,
I spend my days in bed.
I sleep as I can't live awake
With you inside my head.

Bio: Kevin Hurst  is 24 and has a degree in English and Creative Writing . 
Originally from Liverpool, he has spent  the past year  living in Japan, working as an English teacher.  He won a "Young Playwrights"  award when he was 16.



Gregory Christiano

Jake Weatherly - that's my name, sir,
Able-bodied seaman in the merchant marine.
Been at sea half a cent'ry, sir, man and boy;
Came from a New England family -
Sailing men from gen-e-ration to gen-e-ration;
Proud of me pedigree.
Great grandfather, grandfather, father, great uncle
and uncle - all sailors, all doing their dooty, sir.

Been at war and peace, not lately, though - got
Barnacles all o'er me.
No honor in that! And honor's everythin'.
I mean to say - I'm as good as they come!
I enjoys a thorough set-to, yes, sir,
Honor is everythin' - nothing 'cept honor.

I loves the great waters, the deep which makes
me superstitious.
Why - you'd ne'er believe such uncommon
queer things I've seen, ne'er believe!
Un'atural things - and not jus' storms, mind ya!
There's strange things to be seen in the deep -
Yes, sir, un'atural things.

Sailed under many a good cap'n;
Loaded many a val'eble cargo,
In many a circumstance.
"Well?" says you. "So what?"
Cap'n Davies, for one, on the Mary Beth -
a real bark of a ship.
The Mary Beth a real fine ship she be.

Years past I was bo'sun's mate.
We was unloading cargo
Looking over the fantail
Anchored in Port Arthur harbor, we was.
The bell struck eight - not a ripple in the water.
There we was, the bo'sun and me, complimenting
ourselves on a job well done;
When we sees somethin' in the distance -
A tall mast against the moonlight!

Dev'lish-looking ship she be - with her
tall mast and torn sail,
Maybe some two mile out -
"What vessel is that?" we asks.
Looks like a dead herrin' -
A doomed ghost ship she be?
'Old dogs' we were, if'n we warn't 'Old dogs,'
That ship yonder was punished for her sins -
Poor cusses - we hailed her, but no a word.

The crew on the Mary Beth all gone to town;
Even the black watch.
The Bo'sun and me, why we just stared in horror.
Now, I'm not the sort to spin a yarn, I just
relate the facts, you see.
We gots the spy glass an' tried to make out her name.
The sea looked for all the world like a
sheet of silver,
Sparklin' in the moonlight like pearls a-dancing
an' a-shinin' on a calm sea -

Now- I'm not an easy man to scare,
But I leaned for'ard, squintin' to get a
better view.
The Bo'sun, why he started squint'n too -
Our tough old hearts froze; our lips tight
as could be.
Yea - our lips don't move.
We're a lookin' into that dark sea;
A whisp of shadow there was.

This ship - from bygone days it looked to us -
Seen it as plain as I see you.
We looked to the wheel-house but could
see no crew aboard her.
We heard a faint hummin' as she near'd.
Now, it were maybe half a mile, makin'
three, four knots -
Head'n right towards us.

The wind freshen'd and little bits of
spray blew clear over us.
It were freezin' spray at that,
Like a cold chill - curious thing it were!
We runs back to the fo'castle deck
Seein' the ship's head comin' right for us!
We turned and looked and stood stock still.
"I'd be a crawlin' squid if it warn't the
queerest thing I ever did see!"
Our hairs bristled up; fear took a hold -
Gradually that devil-ship come nearer,
now more distinct.
Not a human soul aboard her.

A dreamy stupor fast seized us,
Like some fiendish dream it were -
That ship came on, not more than
a hundr'd yards.
A tremendous glittering mass bearing
down on our port bow.
Soon it would be crashing on -

We threw ourselves forward on the
binnacle, holdin' tight.
We readied for the impact!
Instinct came to the Bo'sun,
"Turn back! Full speed," he screamed
to the helmsman who warn't there!
"Starboard, hard a-starboard!"
Not a blessed soul on deck -
Not here, nor there!

Like a flash of light - poof - 'tweren't
there no more!
The shadow grazed gently against our side,
Dropping astern - gone as queer as she came.
We both uttered a soft cry,
then fell back to our flagons of rum.
Unconscious till dawn!

Gregory Christiano was born in 1947 in NYC. He attended college in the midwest. He has published a book of poetry just released in Nov. He has been published in anthologies, magazines and journals. He won the Carl and Nettie Halpern Memorial  Award for best narrative in the Fall 2002 issue of the Bronx County  Historical Society Journal.  His poetry, short stories, essays, book and movie reviews, biographies, etc., have been published all over the web. He lives in NJ with his wife and  three children.