An update on the new direction of ‘The Poetry Jar’!

8th July 2013,

Hello to all aspiring writers and poets!

I have recently taken over this blogzine from its creator Bruce Ruston, who has decided to focus on other artistic endeavours at this time.

I have many thoughts and goals on the new direction of The Poetry Jar, the main aspiration being to provide a platform that explores the ability of different forms of creative writing, to access unconventional disciplines that would not traditionally be associated with the creative arts.

At this point in time, I would like to put forth a call for submissions of poetry/short stories/dialogues that marry creative frameworks with unconventional subject matter. There is no limit on creativity, imagination and scope.

There is no payment made for published material. All copyright rests with the writer. Please feel free to publish work elsewhere simultaneously.


Stacey McPhail



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Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, And A Proposition – Laura Stamp

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, And A Proposition



A brisk December breeze

flicks a lavender ribbon

against my cheek, one of

three I braid through hair

that swings to my waist,

a ribbon decorated with

the runes for prosperity,

healing, and protection.

“I have a proposition for

you,” Val says, as I brush

the ribbon away from my

face.  “No,” I say, smiling

at this windy, sun-licked

day.  “Yes,” he says.

“Don’t worry.  I’m not

going to ask you again

to move in with me.”

The cool breeze flips

a strand of hair, pale

as a wheat field, across

my jaw.  I laugh and

tuck it behind my ear.

“Good,” I say.  “You

know I won’t.”  We’re

standing on the sidewalk

by his new home, while

the wind’s winter chill

seeps through my jacket.

“What do you think

about this one?” he asks

and points at the house

next door.  Built decades

ago, it’s an avant garde

home like his, only

smaller, the front yard

an abandoned garden

overgrown with weeds.

He jangles a set of keys.

“Want to look inside?”

he asks.  Painted white,

the cement and brick

exterior gleams beneath

the noonday sun.  “I

couldn’t resist,” he says,

when I look confused.

“I bought it, too.”



“Why?” I ask, looking up

as a cardinal lands on its

antique tile roof.  “To

rent to college students,”

he says, while I follow

him across a scattered

path of flagstones,

through the neglected

garden to the front door.

“It’s a good real estate

investment.”  Inside, an

abundance of windows

warms me.  Summertime

lives here all year.  I

wander from one room

to the next, downstairs,

upstairs.  Walls painted

in vivid hues worship

at Sol’s bright altar.

This is a house of light.



“Or,” he says, when

we reach the spacious

backyard, also a tangle

of weeds, also landscaped

once as an heirloom

garden, “I could sell it

to you.”



“Think about it, Ravena,”

he says.  “It’s the perfect

solution for us.  This way

we can stay single.  Two

artists, two homes.  Lovers,

but separate.  Together,

yet apart.”



I only do what gives me

joy.  Anything else is a

waste of my time.  This

house speaks to me.  It

tugs at my heart.  Its aura

fills me with warmth,

with creative possibility,

with visions of joy.  Like

Val.  He gives me joy.

He always has.



“No strings?” I ask and

dig the toe of my cowboy

boot into a patch of

crabgrass.  “None,” he

says.  “What do you think?”



“Did you ever see that

movie years ago about

Frida Kahlo and Diego

Rivera?” I ask, standing

in the narrow strip of

dormant grass between

both houses, seven

feet in width.  “I did,”

he says, his eyes as blue

as this Yuletide sky,

searching mine.  I study

one house, and then the

other.  “Looks like we

could build a bridge to

connect the second floor

of my house to yours,”

I say.  “Just like Frida

and Diego.  I’ve always

loved their studios.

What do you think?”



Sunshine splashes

across a whorl of maple

leaves at his feet, each

one fluttering in the iced

breeze like the cardinal’s

fiery feathers.  “Done,”

he says, squeezing my

hand.  “We’ve got a deal.”


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Dandelions – Laura Stamp


The nightmare begins sometime

after midnight.  I dream I’m walking

through the living room and into the

kitchen.  Plaster busts line the counter

beside the sink.  They’re white like

Roman statues.  Maybe Greek.  It’s

hard to tell.  I glance around to see if

others might be perched on the phone

table or the microwave or the stove.

They aren’t.  I turn back to the

sink and see a framed photo of my

mother wedged between the plaster

busts.  That’s when I know what’s

happening.  This is a demon attack.

I blast the photo and the heads.

I don’t even think about it.  I react,

like any warrior.  Battle is battle.

It’s a trained response.  The fireballs

I throw destroy the photo and the

busts.  Instantly, my mother appears

on my left, floating above the ground

in a filmy, white nightgown.  She

acts disoriented.  She seems afraid.

She pretends to be an innocent victim.

She’s not.  I almost laugh.  I guess

this demon thinks masquerading

as my mother, the narcissist, will

rattle me.  It doesn’t.  Instead I walk

away from her in the same way I

left her years ago in my waking life.

My younger brother arrives in a

convertible.  It’s blue, the color of

peace, freedom, flight.  As I climb

into his car something startles me,

and I’m awake.  One o’clock in

the morning, and the love of my

life snores softly beside me.  No

nightmares for him.  Flinging back

the sheets, I hurry to the dresser

and grab my pentacle necklace.

I wrap it around my wrist and sleep

soundly, dreamlessly, after that.

Something startles me again, and

I jump.  “What’s wrong?” I ask.

Brilliant sunlight streams through

the curtains framing the window.

Field sparrows toss their squeaky

songs across the grass.  It’s a

beautiful day.  “You overslept,

sweets,” he says.  I shiver when

I remember.  “I had a nightmare,”

I say.  “I never have those.”

Dreams are omens, signs.  When

I have the time, I’ll peel this one

as if it were an orange, deciphering

its meaning, this dream about

my mother, the narcissist.  And

it’s true.  There are too many

narcissists in my life.  Men and

women.  Mostly men.  I’ve been

weeding them out like the dandelions

that sneak into my garden.  Pushy,

invasive, ego-maniac plants.  I

deserve better than that.  I do.  The

next week, on a morning when

powdered clouds seed a lapis-blue

sky, the love of my life kisses my

cheek as he dashes out the door

to run errands: the bank, the post

office, the grocery store, the gas

station.  He never comes back.

He even left his cat, Hecate, behind

this time.  I didn’t think she could

be happy without him.  She is.

So am I.


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Brain Pan – JD DeHart

one must wonder

where the ideas

come from

what deep-seated, unsteady

root they flower in,

that ancient question -

origin of evil, origin of light

too broad and theological

to have a steadfast answer.

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