15 September 2012

Marietta Calvanico

Howie Good

Afzal Moola

Claudia Serea

Marietta Calvanico


The Door We Want to Lock

(after the New Colossus)

Like strutting cowboys of the Old West,
We swagger in righteousness, pacing off an invisible wall,
Our singular land, not as our fathers recall,
A woeful woman stands, her message put to the test,
Our past now fading, along with our best,
Echoes of bidding, welcoming all,
Our flame diminishing in the world, flickering small,
“Now we are intolerant!” she seems to attest,
Masses shouting, “Stay away!”
As the sun sets on our closing gate,
the poor grasp for freedom from hunger each day,
The least of these, we say, we did not create,
Homeless, downtrodden, they helplessly pray,
A fire extinguished, hope tarnished with hate. 

I live in Staten Island, NY.  After spending a bit more than two decades in advertising/marketing, I now work with my architect husband and have been able to devote more time to writing and music.  My poetry has appeared in the Bare Root Review, the damselfly press, Poem2day, Word Salad Poetry Magazine and fourpaperletters. 

(author retains copyright)

Howie Good



There’ll be cages of fireflies.
Darkness will be just as much
a true color as red or white

or blue.

Drunk college students
will crowd into the street
during the news
and then vanish again
when the game show resumes.

I will warm my hands
over a trash can fire,
staring up in consternation
at the grim parables
lavishly retold in stained glass. 


I want a clock without hands,
and someone to agree
that the moon looks
just like a frozen scream.

I want to find a tattoo
of a woman’s name
when I roll up my sleeve,

and for the millions
that regimes have murdered
to cross back over
on a bridge of bones.

I want to bang on a can
to spread the alarm.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here: https://sites.google.com/site/rhplanding/howie-good-dreaming-in-red. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including most recently The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press and Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press. He has two other chapbooks forthcoming, Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press and The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press.

(author retains copyright)

Afzal Moola


Civilization by the bullet,
and by the whip.

They descended upon us,
with their fearsome piety.

They brought The Book,
and swept our collective pasts aside.

Scavenging for ore,
snouts in the trough,
the pillaging rarely ceased.

Gold. Women. Diamonds. People.
All commodities,
stripped and raped and sold and bought.

The schizophrenic benevolence of colonialism,
left us battered and bruised and almost broken.


But not quite.


the tides began turning,
winds of indignant defiance began rolling,
up through the hinterland,
and down to the sea.

The rising began,
in pockets,
then in swathes of the plundered country.

The rising took shape,
and found its coherent voice.

They were chased,
from our shores,
back to the northern lands that craved the sun.

And the gold. Women. Diamonds. Men.

This was centuries ago.


the craving persists.


they scavenge still,
never sated.

Till the rising shouts out,
once again,



Afzal Moolla was born in Delhi, India while his parents were in exile, fleeing Apartheid South Africa. 
He then travelled wherever his parent's work took them and he still feels that he hasn't stopped travelling. 
Afzal works and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic - his 12 year old cat. 

(author retains copyright)

Claudia Serea


The guards

Abandon all hope,
Ye Who Enter Here.
—Dante Alighieri

The first guard

you’re worth

than dirt.

You’re worth-

a worm.

Give up

to make it out

The second guard

I’ll crush you–
hit you

you piss

until you’re sorry                                                                           
you were born.

My dog
will drink
your bones.

The third guard

You only have
the right to work.

You only have
the right to die.

See that fence?

Walk toward it
and I’ll shoot.

for a watermelon rind

in the roadside

Do it.

Make me
do it.

The leeches

The guards
have boots,

but prisoners
have sweet
lean feet.

We lunch
on them

and multiply.

They taste salty
and warm,

still alive.

The fourth guard

I do my job,
then go home
to my children.

what did you
do today?

I helped

who didn’t
to live.

Daddy, do we
to live?

Shut up.

And eat.

The dragonfly

From above,
everything looks

and neat.

Guarded by men
with dogs,

the rows
of bent backs

hills of dirt

from one place
to another.

The sun

on my helicopter

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in 5 a.m., Meridian, Harpur Palate, Word Riot, Blood Orange Review, Cutthroat, Green Mountains Review, and many others. She was nominated two times for the 2011 Pushcart Prize and for 2011 Best of the Net. She is the author of To Part Is to Die a Little (Červená Barva Press), Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, Canada), and A Dirt Road Hangs from the Sky (8th House Publishing, Canada). She also published the chapbooks Eternity’s Orthography (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and With the Strike of a Match (White Knuckles Press, 2011). She co-edited and co-translated The Vanishing Point That Whistles, an Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman Publishing, 2011). 

(author retains copyright)