Tag Archives: Zingara Poetry Picks

We Go, Departing to Dusk by Emily Strauss

Odd that earlier we existed,
felt our own substance before
disappearing to despair,
sometimes gone by nightfall.
We may linger awhile but
the lamp will be snuffed out—

and unless we steel ourselves
to loss, our own and more,
moons will dispel around us
like a vase of flowers with wilted
stems sinking into cloudy water—
then we will lose our grasp.

Surely, this early today, there
remain the skins of opaque ghosts
not yet torn from our ribs
though we may remember the feel
of yesterday’s body extinguished
in our blood, lingering at daylight.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry, which she has written since college Over 300 of her poems appear in a wide variety of online venues and in anthologies, in the U.S. and abroad. The natural world is generally her framework; she also considers the stories of people and places around her. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.

 

sleep(less) night by Nicolette Daskalakis

I woke from a dream I didn’t have
from a sleep I didn’t fall
into,
and I asked you:
What did you dream of?

Nothing.

I dreamt of nothing too.

So as we laid in the silence
of an unconscious night,
I pictured someone
hovering
over us in the dark,
mouth open,
eating dreams
we never had.

Nicolette Daskalakis is an award-winning filmmaker, poet, and multi-media artist residing in Los Angeles. She received a BA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a minor in Intermedia Arts from the Roski School of Art & Design. Her first book, “because you’re now banging a French girl,” was published in 2015.

Infinity Dance by Derek Piotr

When you cut the root,
thick and yellow from the earth,
the root regrows immediately
purple edged and defiant,
fed by underground rivers
and searching endlessly
while April rain nails blooms
sideways to the saturated lawn.

In this you find the infinite,
the mouth of something in
something else, feathers
where there ought not to be,
a moment of dissonance
bringing clarity to the dying
elms, a single crane cutting
the sky with its bowed wings.

Derek Piotr is a Poland-born producer and composer based in New England, whose work focuses primarily on the voice. When he has free time, he likes to write. His work with sound has been nominated by the jury for Prix Ars Electronica (2012), and featured on Resonance FM and BBC, and his written works have been published by The Broome Street Review, Hanover Press and The Newtowner.

Mouse Heaven Richard King Perkins II

The exterminator has taken away
the small carcasses
and left the smell of Lysol
and coiled snap traps
baited with peanut butter.
Your eyes mourn
those tiny missing lives
wanting there to be
a mouse heaven
free from human dominance.
My laughter makes you wince
and cry even harder.
I hold myself open to you
but even
in my most comforting arms
you cannot find
the slightest hint
of comfort.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Rules for flying by Allyson Whipple

Be early, though you’ll inevitably be late. Don’t forget
to tip whoever drives your cab, your shuttle bus. Tolerate
children. Your passport photo will never be flattering,
because you are not allowed to smile. Bring liquor
or melatonin or antihistamines or whatever sedatives are legal
these days. Sleep to avoid jet lag, or exhaust yourself to avoid
jet lag, or don’t bother with either, because they won’t work.
Gum won’t stop your ears from popping. Say Bless your heart
to flight attendants and ticketing agents and mean it. Think
Bless your heart to TSA and customs agents, but don’t say
anything, because it might come out wrong. Observe
how Earth is only a map when you’re 30,000 feet up. Accept
the loss of control, admit you’re at the mercy
of mechanics, logistics, weather.

Allyson Whipple has an M.A. in English and a black belt in Kung Fu. She is currently studying poetry through the UT-El Paso Online MFA Program. Allyson serves as co-editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar, and is the author of the chapbook We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are. She teaches at Austin Community College.

Fugitives by Stephen Mead

It’s always a matter of what’s got to go—–
a name, a family, the life of appliances
just when their warranty’s up,
customary hardships, comfort
secure as the house built by Jack
on four acres of a buried waste dump.

There’s no guarantee here
except for plot twists, many trains
greasing adrenaline in tunnels of glare,
petrol-pungent, urinal-walled—–

Hardly glamorous, only, possibly
the way religion is, any dedicated
frenzy combining chance, will, know-
how’s stupendous calm
depending solely on clues far flung
as refuge—–

junks
wrestling tides in eastern winds,
our eyes, those lanterns, juxtaposed
and wide open for skin, skin
double-shadowed by neon blinking,
sirens, sheets trusting grace then,
then without an alibi
for other warm body lying
in danger of arrest simply
by sleeping,

a loved stranger beside you.

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads.  If you are at all interested and get the time, Google “Stephen Mead Art” for links to his multi-media work.

You Will Not Be the Same by Stephen Mead

You brought me cigarettes.IMG_0781[1]
I brought you cough drops.
Wounds were disclosed little
except in momentary darkness
after darkness.
Those shades brought light in
for quite some time.
News has been flapping over:
grey rockets, grainy planes…
Our bodies——palm glades,
our bodies—–sands.
Tent life too occurs: spirit dwellings,
cathedral canteens,
stucco, thatch, bricks.
Our faces peer clear
from such mottled dots.
You send letters I can cherish
like no flag.
I send a hair lock
as if it were a parachute.
In transition, times’ crazy waltz
passes our photos around.
Have you heard?
Mine eyes have seen.
Translate broken languages,
our hybrid tongues,
our multi-racial pasts.
There’s such fertility here,
such peril, and both signify change.
Different you will be and me
I expect too
though the altered love
goes just as deep.

 

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads.  If you are at all interested and get the time, click on “Stephen Mead Art” for links to his multi-media work.

Solitude by Vinita Agrawal

In slumber I am not alone.
Awake, I am.

In a crowd, I am stranded
In solitude, found.

People meet and mix
They have reasons.

My reasons are dead.
I stretch empty from sky to earth.

I am a sliver of light
trapped between closed doors.

Air that cannot be breached
and moulded into a hug.

In myself, I am all that is lost
I am everything that needs to be said.

Author of two poetry books – Words Not Spoken and The Longest Pleasure, Vinita is a Mumbai, India based, award winning poet and writer. Her second manuscript was selected for publication by Finishing Line Press, Kentucky, USA. Her poems have appeared in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Pea River Journal, Open Road Review, Stockholm Literary Review, Poetry Pacific and over a 100 other national and international journals.  She was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011, awarded first prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2014, commendation prize in the All India Poetry Competition 2014 and won the 2014 Hour of Writes Contest thrice.

I Get to Race by Frederick Foote

I get to race
I get to run

Three times
Around the
Oval cross

Five of us
On a
Hard packed
Dirt track

Coursing hounds
Chasing time

First lap
Speed to burn
Records to set

Second lap
Stretch it out
Take the lead

Third lap
Legs dead
Lungs afire

Nothing left
On empty
Falling across
The finish line

Snot and spit
Covered face
Lips peeled back

Eyes rolled up
Gasping to death

The most beautiful
I have ever been

Frederick K. Foote, Jr. was born in Sacramento, California and educated in Vienna, Virginia and northern California. He started writing short stories and poetry in 2013.

He has published numerous stories and poems and will have a collection of his short stories published this year by Blue Nile Press.

 

Belongings by Richard King Perkins II

It’s too late to gather your clothes
about you;

the morning light has already found you naked
just before his eyes of acid rain—

working the last half day in reverse
without the sun’s spirant assistance.

An intimate world collapsing

swans in a cesspool
branches of brine
hands barricading your clouded face

if there was a chance out
it wasn’t beneath the lost demure of these sheets—

flailing gestures only bind you tighter
to a bed that was never yours.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Rest Stop by Allyson Whipple

~For Harrison Porobil

You’ve survived worse odds
than this: childhood,
hurricanes, homelessness.
This time it’s just a broken
lock that has you stuck
here, taking stock
of misfortune. What a way
to spend Christmas
morning, trapped on I-10.
Gas station toilet a stinking
pen. But no matter
how you turn and pull
and push until your muscles
burn you’re stuck with stale
air and stink and more time
than you’d like to think
about the turning of the year.

There’s sweat upon your brow
from fighting with the force
that holds you in. As it’s always been:
you’re a man of motion. Kick
the door open, get in the car.

Allyson Whipple has an M.A. in English and a black belt in Kung Fu. She is currently studying poetry through the UT-El Paso Online MFA Program. Allyson serves as co-editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar, and is the author of the chapbook We’re Smaller Than We Think We Are. She teaches at Austin Community College.

Texas Poetry Calendar 2016

Submissions Open Today

Zingara Poetry Picks seeks submissions of previously unpublished poems (on-line or in print) of 40 lines or fewer for 2016 picks. New, emerging, and established poets are encouraged to submit and all submissions will be given careful consideration.

Please keep the following in mind when submitting your best poems:

  • Reading period for Zingara Poetry Picks is from August 15 to December 31st. Unless the deadline is extended, submissions received outside of this time period will not be acknowledged or considered. In fact, they will be deleted.
  • There is no fee to submit
  • Title of poem(s) should appear in the email subject line. Poems should be attached as word documents and mailed to zingarapoet@gmail.com
  • The body of the email should include a cover letter and a professional biography of 50 words or fewer written in the third person
  • Attach a word document with no more than three poems of 40 or fewer lines
  • Only one submission at a time (please wait to hear back before submitting more poems)
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let ZingraPoet know immediately if submitted work is accepted elsewhere
  • ZingaraPoet does not accept previously published work
  • Published poets receive bragging rights and the chance to share their work with a diverse audience
  • Poets who are published on Zingara Poetry Pick should wait 24 months before submitting again
  • Do not submit if you have had a poem featured on Zingara Poetry Picks in the last 24 months.
  • Submissions which do not follow these guidelines will be deleted without acknowledgement
  • If accepted work is later published elsewhere, please acknowledge that the piece first appeared as a Zingara Poetry Pick.

What I look for in a poem:

Like all editors, I like to see interesting poems that do what they do well. Whether traditional, conceptual, lyrical, or formal, they should exhibit the poet’s clear understanding of craft and, just as importantly, revision. Very elemental poems that have not undergone effective revision will probably not make the cut. Likewise, poems which are contrived, sacrifice meaning for the sake of rhyme, feel incomplete, do not risk sentimentality (or are too sentimental), or lack tension when tension is needed, will also be dismissed. Finally, poems which perpetuate harmful stereotypes of gender, race, or class will most certainly not be considered.

For a very good discussion on the elements of effective poetry, take a look at Slushpile Musings by James Swingle, publisher and editor of Noneucildean Cafe’

A note on formatting: poems that contain lines which are flush with the left margin are more conducive to publication on a blog site than those which have unconventional indention or unusual margin settings. Likewise, poems which feature long lines may require additional line breaks or may require the right-scrolling function to be viewed in full.

Response time is 6 months.

“Pier Park” by Becca Yenser

Mother,
how did they
destroy the neighborhood
soul by soul
on the street
of children’s chalk
I am still
remembering the trees
I guess it was a forest That one guy went missing
and then the other guy got shot
Oh my stars
My mom
My poor dog
Who believes
every word I say:
I’ll report what I can,
just as soon as I know.

Becca Yenser works and writes in Portland, Oregon. Her words have appeared in: kill author, Knee-Jerk Magazine, and Filter Literary Journal. Forthcoming is a semi-fictional, quasi-tour guide of Ms. Pac Man machines in Portland. She likes paying attention.

“Letters From Home” by Steven Hamp

Sometimes,
the routine is broken,
allowing room
to understand
the creativity
that shows itself
in brilliant style.

Often,
the information provides
a sense of time
to discover
the caring
that is celebrated
in grateful joy.

Always,
the expression is open,
giving insight
to recognize
the courage
that is measured
in personal strength.

Steven Hamp is a photographer, writer, and poet who has resided in New Mexico since 1981.  He has been published in various local publications.  His poetry was recently selected as part of the 200 New Mexico Poems on-line collection, and has appeared on-line at the Duke City Fix.  He currently lives in Albuquerque.

“Phoenix” by Odarka Polanskyj Stockert

on the cusp of morning
a new day a new
beginning

cleared of fog and snow
you rise
a phoenix
renewed and recreated

the winds blow across your wings
ruffling you feathers
and the sleet
taps out your name

you rise above the trees
see clearly for the first time and survey
the whole of your world
finally alight upon a
barren branch

and sleep
and dream
what words
will not portray

Odarka Polanskyj Stockert is a New Jersey native poet and and long time member of South Mountain Poets. She is also a long time collaborator of the Yara Arts Group, resident at the La  Mama, etc. in New York City and has performed in many Yara poetry and experimental theater events and productions. Odarka is a harpist, poet and songwriter, an engineer and inventor.  She lives in Millburn, with her family.  Visit her Website: http://www.myspace.com/odarkasharp.