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Vernon Frazer
John Grey
Duane Locke
Neila Mezynski

James B. Nicola
Pam Reese
Iolanda Scripca
Diane Webster












Falling on Land and Sea 

by Vernon Frazer

fallible foliage
flees browning autumnal paths

the sword package assembly plan

mirrors the fading dust
fashion boards imposed on canned fruit

memory filters
shave the fallen invective parameters


cortical guidelines eliminate
filtering lamination gestures
made before heat precedes

the castaways
making their invariable declamation
a storm gathering

protest symbols tumbleweed the lot


before downing the party beverage
new angles clinked the rounded glass
where passing lamination vagrants

practice tactical animation clips
no movement left unclipped or matched

adulterated ninja serpents
whose vacant-eyed gardeners tempt
a vendor’s emptied paradise

while surrogate oceans
vent the threat of a channeled massage



Dream a Generation Away

by Vernon Frazer

rutabaga polish
rides a sanskrit momentum

calypso fury casts the last rendition


enamel passion
brings its own veneer
to hidden sightings

vegetation budgets an inner flourish

before melting lavender
pots its ancient shrug

while inaction seeks its tongue


an action pursued
the molting factotum legend
of suit incarnation

dispassionate, buried
seven layers of ancient cities
bubble above the shale


radical depiction
cherishes a hairy flourish

the vegetable innovative crew

merrily words away
the gray whitening to the rhythm’s light

an edition only dreamed to last



Illusion of Self-Containment

by Vernon Frazer

shark skeletons
ambivalent restoration masters

     [correlative distention brackets]

   enameled inamorata
   a surfeit of praise gone

    as a frieze


in knowing


the margin lines outward
extending along shore crescent
no incident intended

beyond the war      (declaration
at its fictional starting point

         shooting blanks

embellished with empty declarations
framed with a suitable mist, intransigence
   the offering


     the bellwether snipe
     crude in its clanging
     brings a justification

cornered by textual markers:      ]  ]

while the presidio rain
carries under the darker sky

     a heading

    to inscribe



          as a crowing form of wit
assembles trajectory force
consternation ballads creak

          ossified invention

from the start



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Years Ahead

by John Grey

I always reckoned on the years ahead
as something I put aside for safekeeping.
I had a lot of plans
Those years were the time I'd have
to accomplish them.
You'd never catch me
thinking that my life was running out
on itself,
that it wasn't going along cozily enough,
barely drawing on what it had banked.
So how can those years grow so much less.
And why are they more attuned to the rain
on the roof
as I fall asleep at night
than the business I must attend to?
I awake in the morning.
Time and I get up together.
But it's nine o'clock already?
Why can't it just be nine o'clock?



The Book Club

by John Grey

They are in the room next door,
Oprah-inspired, a women's book-club.
Last week, it was Jane Austen.
This week, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy was one thing,
But our avid readers found themselves
clutching little Topsy, out on cracking ice,
falling through before they reached the last page.
I sit alone in the twenty first century
while they struggle with the nineteenth.
1 sip coffee. They take tea with the proper English.
I crack my knuckles. They dodge the whip
of Simon Legree.
I hear a high-pitched voice cry out,
"Could we try something a little more modern
for next week's get-together."
It's followed by a low hush.
Is that low rumble my next door neighbor's
lawnmower or long dead authors turning
over in their grave.
Someone suggests Edna Furber.
Another says, "Why not Gertrude Stein?"
They had me worried for a moment.
I thought they might plump for a living author.
Discussion ended, all head for the door,
hug and kiss my wife, each other.
The words "Reflection In A Golden Eye"
and "Carson McCullers" are on everybody's lips.
Once more, if they could breathe,
writers would breathe easier.
Being dead does not go to waste.



His Smarts

by John Grey

Every night,
he retreated to his study
and his books, and his files,
every fact known at his fingertips.
He knew everything
that anyone worth his salt had done
and when they did it.
Goethe wrote "Iphigenie And Taurus"
in 1789.
St Martin de Porres was beatified
in 1837.
His one friend was a history professor
at BYU who often called to verify a date.
They say he never had a woman
unless you counted Madame Curie
or Emma Bovary.
He talked to his brother occasionally.
About the Jesuits, the Knights Templar mostly.
But his mother and he weren't on speaking terms.
It wasn't something she said
but something she didn't know.


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Word Trance 61

by Duane Locke

Back it came.  The it something like suddenly
Hearing the content that was concealed in a carnation.
There was an obelisk, and the yellow painted line
Of a parking space. A wisteria vine. Her green
Painted fingernails  backgrounded by the black covering
On sterling wheel.  We were entering Montepulciano
Again.  We paused to watch a golden lizard grow from
A sun’s seed planted on an old wall. The sun had
Just departed from China, had jade eyes, had
Passed over Egypt, had turned crocodiles crystalline.
We watched the wind fall on an olive leaf,
And the happy leaf went into silver spin.
Abraham’s angel who had discarded its sublunary body
To turn to stone stood on a pedestal
And wore a coat of green lichen aging into gold.
Atmosphere so bright that the daylight wore dark glasses.
This reality, ineffable and a concealed bronze monument,
Had been absent for many years,
And I knew it would soon be gone again.
Perhaps, since miracles of memory are rare, gone
Again for an entire lifetime.



Word Trance 62

by Duane Locke

Winking tin roof slopped over case-history cobblestone street.
An exile from sunlight like the calligraphy of a slug’s streak
Slipped through dimness to brighten white sausage
In a town built inside a small German grocer’s show case.  Someone,
Someone, as if being baptized by naked priest,  played on accordion
A melody of Ondine and mermaids.  In the melody was heard
Curlews signal with squawks a curfew for the fish.  Then a tune
When everyone cashed in and the casino closed.
I saw a pair of pink silk ballet shoes on the sidewalk
Bent in a triangular shape.  It was cold in the small German
Town whose name was unknown to me.  I watched
Snowflakes fall to turn oil-soiled cobblestones
In a sky sprinkled with white stars and a white moon
Although the time was noon and the accordionist was
Being more inspired.  He played a waltz from Old Vienna
About jasmine air blowing through blonde hair.
I saw on a thatched roof a stork’s nest with it strange
Gold chocolate color, and in the upstairs window
Candlelight and a glitter of Christmas tinsel.
A Siamese cat rubbed its fur against cedar’s spiky leaves.



Word Trance 63

by Duane Locke

It is contingent, whether contraction or expansion.

Brown-reddish half bottles without bottoms,
Rooftops seen from Boboli Garden heights,
Where a Venus with a hawk’s face ascends
In white marble with black tape gluing back
The right arm that fell to earth during summer storm.
A Medici adolescent probably saw her two-armed,
The Medici more than likely  stared,
And then wiped his forehead with a Flemish lace-cuffed
White silk Chinese sleeve embroidered with an emerald  fleur-de-lys.
On this umbrella morning Florence, Firenze,
Was a whisper with precipitations containing Egyptian ibis winds.
The espresso with grappa brought flutters of roofs
Like the wings of Cedar Waxwings happily drunk on yellow plums.



Word Trance 64

by Duane Locke

Knowing your own eye
Is like knowing
What playing card, Jack of Diamonds, or an Ace of Clubs trumps a carbohydrate or a
Blind date.

It is rumored such an activity tempted nocturnal St. Anthony,
Put chorus girls out of work.
Alexandria had a library, Thais, and nearby austere desert.

Epictetus recommend while being a flaneur one should  give intense attention
To what attracts the eye, and scribble in a notebook
If impressed, attracted, repelled, or indifferent.

The result of the Epitetus method will be self-mastery,
Or imitating King Lear
When he was a prince at age six,
Taking sandpaper and scraping off the black dots on white dice.

If an eye has a friendly relationship with the master of deception
And an expert at constituting or discovering truth, the human brain,
The eye can see a blocking wall turned into the oscillations of ocean waves.



Word Trance 65

by Duane Locke

Winter, lamb- white in Vienna, flaked snow
Fell on Johann Strauss iron violin bow,
Each Goethe marble finger wore a white wedding ring.

One wag watching snow fall, remarked, “Everything turns blond when
In Vienna, one exception-- Adolf Hitler.”

You were always blonde, a Slavic-Teutonic blonde,
Pastel olive skin, hair, white gold, a vocalize rather than song with words.

Our royal purple privileges, furred in winter Vienna, will be private diaries,
Never inked so never read, and now we are separated, shredded.

So today I sun my self-analysis and see that from my cuffs
Come newspaper gloves, not hands of flesh. So is impossible to unconceal skin
To touch your then Viennese skin.

The octopi candelabrum of Scheonbrun and six old Mozart gone.
Now, I swim through lights from fluorescents among the drowned.



Terrestrial Trance 21

by Duane Locke

The street is trying to be the same.
The trees
Whose root grow in sand under iron grills
Try to bud, try to grow new leaves.
Even sparrows have removed nest
From bareness.
Street can remember the touch of horses’ hooves,
Street can remember the touch of wood from carriage wheels,
Can remember the car wheel’s rubber.
But now
The street
Cannot remember us.
The street does not know our names.
It cannot remember our summer together in Vienna.
It cannot remember
The time we watched an orange-headed brown bird
Perched on a bronze book read by a bronze Goethe.
Not remembered, our being close together
As a yellow bird walked on the bronze bow
Of the bronze violin of Johann Strauss.
The street cannot remember the number of our room
At Casa Louisa in Vienna,
Or the white  rose we watched through white curtain lace.
I remember the ticking of neglected parking meter
In the spot where we parked the Fiat in Vienna.



Terrestrial Trance 44

by Duane Locke

I sat on iron, green bench, slants bent,
Sunlight backlighting the arm-rest edges
Golden rust flakes, decay now a dance,
Bodies with borders of oscillating light,
Nothing but darkness in-between bright
Outlines and think how old sayings, not
Understood by the Sayers,  educated us
To change nonsense into verities, wisdom,
Scriptures, and movie scripts.  Hegemony
And harmony would be ours if we believed
In the apotheosis of highways and gas stations.
Although nothing ever the same, constant,
Continuous change, everything always new
Under the sun.  Our brains tricked and deceived
Us into destroying perceptions to have
Conceptons that fooled us into overlooking
The actual and seeing hallucinations and
Apparitions on which our lives were based
And truncated.  We copied with our
Belief-burdened vision simulations
And lost the earth.  Our minds changed
What stood new and splendid into ruins.
People accepted their ancestor’s,  their
Parent’s, and other’s gold ribbon wrapped
Tinsel boxes of beliefs and lived by
What they though was inside, and never
Cut the gold ribbon to look inside
And find that the gift boxes were empty.



Terrestrial Trance 48

by Duane Locke

Near a bridge-entered city, St. Augustine
With tourist buggies and tourist horses,

Wax museums with wax murderers, old ruin,
Once fort to protect conquers’ rapes, rapine.

A strip, now a script, of singular sand, orange,
Brittle chips, wind-combed smooth except

For irregularly scattered coral mounds, solid,
Formed of the tubular, twisted, tangled skeletons

Of dead salt sea life.  These coral mounds
Now looked like separate chapters whose

Order was dislocated and now are a book
With the beginning being the end, the end

The middle, and the middle being the beginning.
The mounds seem to be expansions of nonsense,

And thrill, like a sung trill, with their anti-logic,
Skepticism about everything believed and valued.

The tops of the coral mounds have green pools,
Squillo, in their emanations of opera arias.

Surrounded by pastel green water, the pink,
Many-fingered sea anemones wave.

Iike is a scene written by a movie hack writer
Using the formula of nostalgic to move people

Who have become machines, respond
To what they have self-deceived themselves

Into thinking the false is real if others do it.
It is like one of those B-movie dock scene

When only hands are seen, hands on deck
Waving “goodbye” and hand on shore doing the same.

Ocean waves rise and fall, rise and fall.
Each rising and falling differently and interestingly.

I focus on few, and then concentrate on
The quick duration of a singular radical one.

It is like a curved green wall arising out
Of nowhere, a potentiality antic into activity,

Not adhoring contradictions as people do,
But becoming an ancien regime of contradictions.

It long green Chinese wall sends up white globes
That oscillate in ocean air and descend

To spatter into starfish shapes and disappear.
The ocean is making statements, orations,

Whispers.  Revelations  reel unconcealing
The basic contradictory nature of all existence.

The ocean uncovers what the human seeks
To cover up, and blinds themselves to what is.

Each emanation of whiteness is different,
The changes makes the ocean oration inscrutable.

One new era replaces the current new era,
And ultimately like human existence and its illusions

Of reality, knowledge, beliefs, value, honors disappear
Into a green extinction.



Terrestrial Trance 50

by Duane Locke

"Without contradictions there would be no life,
                                              No movement, no progress; a deadly slumber
                                              Of all forces.  Only contradiction drives us—
                                              Indeed forces us—to action.  Contradiction
                                              Is in face the venom of all life, an all vital motion
                                              Is nothing but the attempt to overcome this poisoning,”
                                                                          F.W. J. von Schelling.

Finding the finality
In void,
Shaped within the calligraphy of aleatory ballpoint scribbles is
Like a covert evening visit to a pond, no longer are you urban—demanded
And demeaned—wanting to be seen, branded with verbosities.

You do not care if anyone knows you are super skilled in eating with chopsticks
Brown rice.

The emptiness, nothingness bound by a shape that resembles the outline
Of a state, California, as it is intensely beheld, ardently watched
Makes one feel joyful
As if one were cypress-shadowed pond water,  wind-rippled into a lacy landscape.

It becomes axiomatic all configurations called  “unities, harmonies, blends”
Are mixtures of contradictions like falls that are fortunate.

Feeling I in an apartment am pond water and the chair water-moss, the sounds
Are from the swishing of fins
Initiates the venture that originated with an empty space between ballpoint marks
That I again will confort hazel eyes, Slavic Teutonic blonde hair.



Terrestrial Trance 55

by Duane Locke

It, IT, was to be it: a job with a bicycle or tricycle, spools and spools
Of typewriter ribbons—some half black, some half red.

A future, A FUTURE was mine, MINE-a gold mine, a coal mine,
No mind,
A future:  fan dances, family values, false alarms,  face-the-music charms—

Falsetto high notes on Friday nights in simulated Italian restaurants
With a 3-D daughter
Of a grandchildren-wanting , faith healer as a father.
Her alias was a Biblical name.

My boss was a master of about faces,   he daydreamed about
Doing presents arms.  His presentation of present arms was
A hardy handshake.

After a week of hated work, I  disappeared into the Maine woods,
Walked through unbent birches until I found a Luna moth.


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by Neila Mezynski

To appear  not usual or blonde, yet me in search of you, me. Net over
real. Mouth don’t twitch.




by Neila Mezynski

Uncomfortable,  loud,  unspeak,  collect for nighttime is ripe for
those. Strange


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frostbite #5: Divergence

by James B. Nicola

It’s you who’ll man The Button, hence,
being known for your compliance
and a soldier’s cheery, dutiful silence.

The Order comes. It makes no sense.
Two roads appear. Do you commence?
Your answer will make all the difference.



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Watching Students Collaborate on Study Guide

by Pam Reese

Students work
Alone together
Face to face but
Apples make barriers
Two whisper
Three silent
Four begin to talk
A question for me
Two of three groups talking
Silence again
Tick-Tock; Tick-Tock; Tick-Tock



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Farewell to The Unknown

by Iolanda Scripca

As I lie still and wait my soul to rest
Unwelcome darkness pulling down my eyelids
In double spaces, horizontal in my chest
A beating heart is melting sorrow's acids
Surrounded by cocoons with handsome faces
As shadows on the walls paint tentacles of squids.
You tear the curtains quietly from spaces
I feel I've lost you when we have never met
The dance, the passion, lips and those caresses -
That Hurricane, that Heat, that Rain I won't forget..
A silent movie ending with some shutters locked
Unwanted shelter - I'll always regret...
As I must die a while and go to unknown places
Farewell Immortal Love, I bow to you with graces...

(Terza Rima)


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by Diane Webster

She stood, like a mannequin
in front of the great card display
only her eyes moved in security-camera precision
back and forth, up and down searching
the perfect card for that special someone.
But her hair stopped
my body-in-the-way internal collision beeper
for longer-than-a-moment glance all seeing.
Like a cartoon character
with a distorted cinnamon roll
feathered or cyclone blown forward
to break the air as she moved through aisles
and slanted back for aerodynamic flow
in case speed prompted her being.
Or maybe a baby bird pilot hunched
down in hair coil cockpit attempts a restart
of this human form vehicle scanning cards
to send the very best she wants.



Wishing Escape

by Diane Webster

The green tennis balls languish
against the fence like Martians
gasping Earth air inadequately.
Fingers clutch wire with diamond
views all around
in vertigo rock and roll
when outside grass clumps
beckon cool, soft respite
in Easter-egg-hunt comfort
but not in this moment
of snatch and bounce
to gravity unaccustomed,
first soaring skyward
in launch mode then plummeting;
smashed and brain bruised
to heights again until abandoned
against fence forgiving, constraining
to round, green balls
wishing escape.



Blinks Out

by Diane Webster

In the hallway
the red exit sign scowls
like a mad dog hiding
under a pine tree’s skirt limbs
with moonlight flashing
off its unblinking eyes.
“Go ahead.  Walk by me.
Try to leave and feel
my pounce choke your throat
into constricted scream
that others hear but
don’t understand the warning.
Go ahead.  Come closer.”
As the red brightens
then blinks out
leaving the hall blind
except to touch
where no one wants
to feel anything
and yet gropes for something,



Pair of Shadows

by Diane Webster

One shadow is a phantom
beside the other
almost like a halo,
a shadow of a shadow,
a wisp of cobweb
caught in a moment of sun
before clouds overtake.


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