It Starts To Rain – Laura Stamp

while we’re eating pizza

at the Mellow Mushroom,

but that’s okay because

we brought umbrellas

(his black, mine gray),

and it’s still raining when

we walk across a vacant

lot with our pizza boxes

(two slices in mine,

five in his) to where we

parked our cars on Lady

Street, when a man with

a backpack runs toward

us, saying he doesn’t

have a gun, and he’s

not on drugs, but he’s

just been released from

the detention center,

and the Oliver Gospel

Mission won’t give him

a place to sleep because

he doesn’t have an ID,

and he’s HIV positive,

and he’s hungry, and he

needs help, and he’d like

some of our pizza, so

I give him mine, which

he accepts, thanking me

as he rushes away, and

an hour later it’s still

raining, harder than

ever, the limbs of the

palmetto trees and pines

dancing beneath each

glazed drop, when I

realize I forgot to tell

him I’m allergic to

wheat and my pizza

was gluten-free.



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Fragrance of Oranges and Cloves – Michele Belluomini

Fragrance of Oranges and Cloves


they were just some marionettes, hanging forlornly

seen through a grimy window    the closed variety store

a king and a queen, dressed in cloth from India

puppets to tell a story from the Ramayana perhaps

the store was closed    the day cold

I boarded the trolley and forgot them


but now they haunt me    jiggling stiff and awkward in mind’s eye

conjuring tales of the Gujarat:

elephant-headed gods, warrior-kings, tigers feasting on pomegranates

the goddess Ishwari, dancing in the monsoon rains of the Malabar coast

surrounded by fragrance of oranges and cloves

what do they want from me?


today it is raining     a cold, late winter rain

the wind bullying things over   pitching them down the street

keening songs into my ear

and I keep seeing the two of them there

abandoned in the shop      who am I to save them

save them?


just the sight of them stopped me

their strangeness flaring out amidst a hodgepodge of gloves,

umbrellas, other cheap bits and pieces afloat in the gray January light


something in me prised open

as if a story was about to begin, only wanting

for the main characters to take their places on the stage

the story cloth to be unfurled


maybe it’s that winter will not loose its hold

making me long for elsewhere

the tigers padding softly beside the tracks

carrying the illusion of journey fulfilled

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in the Java ‘n’ Jazz – Mark Redford

                                                      in the Java ‘n’ Jazz the




                                                chorded and semi-toned (down the

                                                                        neck) and

                                                            always regained on the


                                    minor before the bay window-front


                                                a muggy Saturday afternoon


                        like Sunday used to be with all the shops

                                                closed and

                                    with clockwork


            the pavement shop sign is folded up

                                    and returned closed

                        by the door


with next week’s opening times



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Jane Avril at the Moulin Rouge 1893 – Bart Barker

Jane Avril at the Moulin Rouge 1893

I let men believe
The rhythm of the bass
Makes me lose control
Of my feet
My legs
My hips
That I must yield to
The frantic beat
That I don’t mean to
Reveal these petticoats
But of course
It’s all a show
And men are simple
To control


To see more of Bart’s work, check out the links below!



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