Sakura Yama

by on May 8, 2015
[vimeo 97047467 w=650]

(Watch Bobie’s video of “Sakura Yama” on Vimeo)


Born in 1969, Bobie (Yves Bommenel) is a multi-fields artist. If he writes, plays or makes movies, poetry remains his way. His video poems don’t try to illustrate poetry. The goal is to confront texts, sounds and images. His filmpoems are about these changes of meaning which give birth to a new poetic object. A quest for a “videopoetique” somehow.


by on May 7, 2015

Take it from me, when you’re on the lam like some rube in witness-protection—except from your dumbass choices instead of the mob—and you find yourself out on a nameless ribbon of blacktop in the middle of the night, unsure even of what state you’re even in, you’re gonna wish you’d spent more than five bucks on a pawnshop boombox of dubious provenance. Especially when the tell-tales in the dash light up like a Christmas tree, the open hole where your car stereo used to be is venting hot air into the cabin, and there’s nothing but the feeble cones of your jaundiced headlights stirring the darkness in front of you. Because when that Pawnshop POS eats your last mix-tape and you’re left with nothing but a gutful of anxiety and the static-lashed spectrum of AM radio on the dial, you’ll know what you should have done with the extra cash instead of splurging on Camel Wides.

I was pretty sure I was still in Montana, but only my watch and the gas gauge told me so. If my calculations were correct, I had just enough fuel to coast into a parking space in front of the dorm at my new job in Yellowstone and immediately begin singing for my supper. The only actual certainty was that I was southbound and down on Highway 89, I had a quarter-tank of gas, a pack-and-a-half of smokes, six dollars cash—assuming two bucks of assorted change in the seat cushions—and exactly that much was right with the world.

In the debit column was everything about my hooptie. The window didn’t actually roll up, but was wedged with a matchbook between the frame and glass, the speedometer was inaccurate to different degrees depending on what gear you were in, and the driver’s side door was held shut with a rope. Don’t even get me started on the calamities the heads-up display was screaming about. I should’ve put those last couple bucks in the tank back in Livingston, but I thought I might want something to eat besides roadkill.

I’m on a road with a number for a name and no speed limit that feels like it’s being created from nothingness just beyond the reach of my headlights. There’s no one ahead, and no one behind, so I’m hoping for a gas station or rest area to appear before my bleary eyes forget to open after a blink; with no music to combat the numbing road noise, my head begins to seem like a bowling ball rolling around atop a tired post. So I paw at the Pawnshop POS on the bench next to me to toggle it over to the radio.

There’s no sense pretending that FM exists out here in these Martian badlands of sage, scrub, and igneous peaks; that wavelength is just too short to even attempt the vastness. Without looking I can tell the difference between the polite, muted white-noise of the FM band and the insistent buzzing of AM static like a swarm of something angry. So I begin to scroll the tuning knob indiscriminately, sifting for anything from the dark. Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Dr. Demento… Anyone. Anyone at all.

Drowsing in and out of highway hypnosis I strain to decrypt an otherwise silent message, somehow embedded in the air itself using technology invented in the 1870’s. For God’s sake they didn’t have ballpoint pens, but this they could do. I’m practiced at this patient crawl through the increments of the potentiometer from all the nights I spent trolling the barren airwaves with the crystal-radio kit my vaguely anarchistic uncle helped me build as a kid.

Then, as now, I was up past my bedtime with nothing but all the time in the world to strain for a voice in the darkness of mere being.  Didn’t matter if it was sleepy public-radio monologues, Waylon Jennings, or madmen crying out in the wilderness of local-access radio. There is an exquisite loneliness inherent in a single voice arising from the emptiness, at once furtive and confidential, like a guttering flame pressing back against the void. With radio, neither the speaker nor the listener can know one another, or whether or not they are alone in this world as they connect in some uncreated space of charged particles.

My head drops and I catch the faintest wisp of dream, ephemeral as smoke, before my chin hits my chest and wakes me. I snap back up with an electrochemical jolt of purest panic, and for a second it’s the road that’s moving under my seemingly stationary vehicle. I shake a cigarette loose from the dwindling supply and chase the tip with my Zippo, willing the nicotine to work some buzzing magic on my head as I blink away the flame’s after-image from my dark-adapted eyes. The dial bottoms out at one end and I start back the other way, patiently searching.

Each blink is a gamble and the white-noise is beginning to sound dangerously like a lullaby when a voice emerges from the static, as real as a passenger suddenly with me. It was an ancient baritone, grown tired from decades of whispering through an AM megaphone about perpetually falling skies. His seditious murmurs are those of an agitator, stalking the edges of a crowd, gently inciting, fomenting. Art Bell. The Hobo-Laureate of the airwaves, whose voice distinguishes itself from the fuzz of interference by virtue of its madness alone.

Soon I’ve sucked down four smokes back to back and I’m wide awake like a kid listening to ghost-stories around a campfire, except it’s grown-ups telling them to each other with a straight face. Time seems to dilate until I see my own dim campfire-glow ahead that resolves into a pair of sodium-vapor lights attending an empty parking lot. I pull into the oasis of the Emigrant Peak rest area: picnic tables, restrooms and an inexplicable little chapel.

I drag the POS into the bed of the truck and pull the canopy shut behind me, wrapping up against the April chill in a nest of sleeping bags and allowing conspiratorial whispers to lull me to sleep. In the morning the station is pure static once more. The serendipitous dance of the Van Allen Belt that arced an errant signal off the Stratosphere to find me has passed.

I offer the only genuflection of my life at the bust of St. Christopher and hit the road. Turns out I’m a half-hour from the dorm, and arrive with almost an eighth of a tank. Almost.


Lawrence Elliott is a journeyman carpenter of seventeen years. He enjoys playing the guitar and creative writing. He blogs about autobiographical oddities at Scratched in the Sand.


by on May 5, 2015

What does it mean
that I saw a white fox
lit up against the dim
highway, bounding
back to my north, as
we drove south ?

What does it mean
that you were sitting
in the seat beside me
and said nothing?


Sonja Johanson attended College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, ME, and currently serves as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association.  She has recent work appearing in The AlbatrossOff the Coast, and Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed, and was a participating writer in FPR’s 2014 Oulipost Project.  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine.

waxing moon

by on May 4, 2015


waxing moon —
in my cousin’s cigar box
a flash drive


Eric Burke lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he works as a computer programmer. More of his poems can be found in Pine Hills Review, PANK, Thrush Poetry Journal, PoetsArtists, bluestem, Escape Into Life, decomP, A cappella Zoo, and Weave Magazine. Poetry videos made from several of his poems can be viewed at The Poetry Storehouse. You can keep up with him at his blog Anomalocrinus Incurvus.

Camberwell Old Cemetery

by on May 1, 2015

Click on the first thumbnail image to enter carousel mode and view the full images–ed.


Jean Morris lives in south-east London, UK, where she translates, edits, takes photos, reviews books for Shiny New Books, and supports the campaign against Southwark borough council’s plans to replace the peaceful, much-loved wooded areas in the old cemetery with new roads and thousands of new burial plots.

Poem Without Words

by on Apr 30, 2015

Sometimes a poem just happens in plain air.
Mute, like mimes, the actors shimmer briefly
and are gone, leaving their outlines etched
in light, wordless but entire. Consider this:

the cemetery fence, the graves beyond;
the balding man, late middle-aged, who walks
towards the fence; fresh blooms against
a tombstone and dead flowers lobbed towards

the dump; the arc they make; the boy with Downs
who stumbles, weeping, close behind. The man,
the flowers and the boy. The air that framed them
and the light that picked them out.


Dick Jones has had work published in many magazines, paper and online. In 2010 Dick received a Pushcart nomination for his poem “Sea Of Stars” and his first collection, Ancient Lights, was published by Phoenicia Publishing in 2012. A translation of Blaise Cendrars’ iconoclastic epic poem “La Prose du Transsibérien…”, illustrated by Natalie D’Arbeloff, has just been published by The Old Stile Press.


by on Apr 29, 2015

. . . the British High Command called it: non-combat deaths from disease, mishaps of trench life, and sporadic enemy shells that seemed anonymous, somehow, like accidents or heavy weather.

in The Times:
casualty list


Bill Waters lives in Pennington, New Jersey, U.S.A., with his wonderful wife and their three amazing cats. You can find more of his writing on Twitter @bill312 and Bill Waters ~~ Haiku.

Buddha & Co.

by on Apr 28, 2015

Exposure to long winters has erased the face
of the garden Buddha. I shouldn’t compare,
but Van Gogh also had most of his teeth pulled.
In the dark subzero hours of early morning,
I have been woken up by yips & squeaks,
coyote pups trying to keep warm. I lie there
and listen, & then I am no longer the color of tears.


Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently Beautiful Decay from Another New Calligraphy and Fugitive Pieces from Right Hand Pointing Press.

These Hands

by on Apr 27, 2015

These hands cradled the window-stunned sparrow, and caressed the stiff hairs on the hide of the elephant.

These hands tended the garden, strummed the strings, and focused the lens on all things abandoned and broken.

These hands held the walking stick up the mountain, over the frozen river, and down the path of enlightenment.

These hands kneaded the dough, carried water from the well, and kindled the fire of longing . . .

gnarled driftwood
these hands
no longer able to play
the soft notes of your skin


Debbie Strange is a published tanka and haiku poet and an avid photographer. She enjoys creating haiga and tanshi (small poem) art. You are invited to see more of her work on Twitter @Debbie_Strange.