Savage Beauty

A Poem by Anon ymous

She falters, doesn’t take sides
never wanted a title, a mark, never

asked for a name, a label; but there
it lays, bought and paid for.

She becomes still, as if made of glass,

everything turns black and white
and blue, a pure blue
of patience,

the untainted blue
of immortality.

Yesterday’s Empty Space

A Poem by Susan Dale

The wild wings in some spring
Some yesterday
singing spring
Singing April’s restless winds

I, in pink felt coat
hair caught in wind-wings

Afternoon winds blowing about
the decayed leaves
left from winter’s
white romance
when we were us
A winter of
snow dreams on my windowpanes

I, west on the walk
of steps climbing to the moon
You, east
of thirst to a stream

But when winds screeched rain squalls
and shouted shadows
I remembered your stone heart
stone words

You dwelling on my fickle heart
roaming ways

Came a fugitive moment of grace
half visions in wide scopes

One image leading to another

The gauntlet laid
Could we meet in the middle?
of a chasm of armored stars
Or climb tendrils wrapping
around tomorrow?

But only our eyes met
to see spaces filled with duplicitous lights
Tomorrows on winged flights
So many miles apart

The Ashen Fields

A Prose Piece by Brian Barbeito

The highway ended there and all that was left was a small road that meandered like a half plausible thing out to the adjoining countryside. We went and went and went until that road fused seamlessly into a dirt passageway that met with overgrown shrubs wild as they were and other nameless and forgotten trees meshed with them and tall grasses to create a large wall that said we were nowhere. Still the sun went there and we walked around it all to a field that once housed a smart and curt fence but that was now broken and strewn along the ground like some sort of carcass or part of the ruins of a town left to be bleached and parched and faded in the hard and difficult and unforgiving sun. I felt thirsty and it was not a real thing, but a psychosomatic thing or else a metaphysical thing there being not much there for the spirit or soul to love nevertheless like. The fields contained odd tires and pieces of metal and cheap yellow mason bricks from some decade prior and bits of the corners were broken or cracked and the ones that made right angles were still intact, but had no home or hearth, no wall or frame or identity or family or love. I remembered other places where the harvest was near and ripe black crows stood around or hawks hovered spry and sure and in their prime while if the environs were looked at closer, even small yellow birds busy in their hustle seemed to jump around through the air and about the world. I thought back to driving through places where an old couple walked along the shoulder hand in hand making talk about things that the dusk can absorb and house and like; the dusk amicable and the old church ahead with a bell and a sign and a purpose while the woman wore a spring or autumnal jacket and the man wore denim and plaid and had a comb in his pants pocket or a carpenter’s pencil in his shirt pocket and he and she and the masonry of the church and even the hunger and vehemence of the hunting birds looking for small and stray game made the cosmos make sense. But this place with the lonely bricks at the end of the world made no sense at all and the sun began to bend down on the sky like it wanted to take a drink of water and the angles of its light were antagonistic to the eyes and to everything like a last gunshot from space and I squinted and thought that the world is not a pretty painting, but a place full of astute trouble and I felt the sounds of clashing pans though there were no clashing pans. If the sky had sounded thunder or some cloud cover had ran in and if the entire place had opened with a storm first with big warm water drops and then creating a momentum and a veritable waterfall from above, the air would have been cleansed and the sun’s malevolence blocked out and things would have been different. But no such thing happened and only the broken road and the broken bricks and broken fences remained staring back at me in the unkind and ashen fields.

International Day of Ky

Secretary General of the United Nations:

We, the undersigned, petition the United Nations to establish an International Day of Ky, a day to honor the dead of our diverse cultures, an international day of commemoration, of remembrance but not of mourning, for all our collective ancestors – our mixed blessing – in the truest sense of the term. It should be an International Day of Ky: remembrance of the past; gratitude for the present; and, positing a commitment for a mutually-shared future. Such a mutually-shared day should be under the auspices of the United Nations, not individual countries, and should reflect our shared commitment for a war-free future.

The Gospel According to

A Poem by Anon ymous

A young girl rides by on a pink princess bicycle,
legs pumping, braids a-jangle;

the wind shudders quietly, a death rattle
disguised as a sigh.

The door between what was and what is left
becomes unhinged. She feels incidental,

refuses to unshine the past to appease an old
testament God stranded in a new testament world.

This street is unknown but the sights, the smells
remain still, certain; like her.

Cowboy Jake

A Poem by Author unknown

Jake, the rancher, went one day,
To fix a distant fence.
The wind was cold and gusty;
The clouds rolled gray and dense.

As he pounded the last staples in
And gathered his tools to go,
The temperature had fallen;
The wind and snow began to blow

When he finally reached his pickup,
He felt a heavy heart;
From the sound of that ignition,
He knew it wouldn’t start!

So Jake did what most of us would do,
Had we been there
He humbly bowed his balding head
And sent aloft a prayer.

As he turned the key for one last time,
He softly cursed his luck.
They found him three days later,
Frozen stiff in that old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life
And done his share of roaming.
But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked –
It looked just like Wyoming!

Of all the saints in Heaven,
His favorite was St. Peter.
(Now, this line ain’t really needed,
But it helps with rhyme and meter)

So they set and talked a minute or two,
Or maybe it was three.
Nobody was keeping score
–In Heaven time is free.

“I’ve always heard,” Jake said to Pete,
“That God will answer prayer,
But one time when I asked for help,
Well, HE just plain wasn’t there.”

“Does God answer prayers of some
And ignore the prayers of others?
That don’t seem exactly square
–I know all men are brothers.”

“Or does he randomly reply,
Without good rhyme or reason?
Maybe, it’s the time of day,
The weather or the season.”

“Now I ain’t trying to act smart,
It’s just the way I feel.
And I was wondering, could you tell me —
What the heck’s the deal?!”

Peter listened patiently,
And when old Jake was done,
There were smiles of recognition,
And he said, “So, you’re the one!!”

“That day! Your truck; It wouldn’t start,
And you sent your prayer a flying,
You gave us all a real bad time,
With hundreds of us all trying.”

“A thousand angels rushed,
To check the status of your file,
But you know, Jake,
We hadn’t heard from you, in quite a long while.”

“And though all prayers are answered,
And God ain’t got no quota,
He didn’t recognize your voice,
And started a truck in Minnesota!”


A Debt to Water

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein 

The well of depression on my right,
so deep and sordid,
smells beautiful.
Beautiful is a shake of geese chattering toward the north.
Beautiful is the chorus of frogs at sunset, the pond purple-blue, green, then gold.
Beautiful is snow wren and king vulture and the ridiculous four legged snake.
Beautiful is not–
but of course it is–
the most perfect ever

taking every sadness from your eyes,

every sadness from your voice,

every sadness from your fears,

every rendering of flesh, every anguish, every bite,

every terrific madness,
every punch of the heart.
The well of depression on my right
welcomes all of this and more.
Don’t worry.
After a time your feet will be less bunioned, your head less bare,
the scars on your knuckles smooth and gentled,
your voice a charmed bracelet
intricate, that simple

My Day’s Encounter: The Best Chicago Style Pizza Ever

A Day’s Encounter by Debwood

Jefferson City,Missouri—the destination you travel through on the way to The Lake—can now be a destination in and of itself. If you like pizza,Jefferson Cityis where you have to go–it has the best Chicago style pizza in the USA and the worst. No kidding.

My son and I went to Kate and Ally’s NY Pizzeria (1418 Missouri Boulevard Jefferson City, MO 65109  573-893-8855) and we received one of the biggest surprises of our pizza tasting lives—their Chicago style pizza was fantastic. How can such a small town where most of the food to restaurants is delivered by truck and then micro waved, where a cook is someone who specializes in defrosting this prearranged processed food, where the food is so bad restaurants have to sell beer to go with it—have such a great pizzeria? And don’t let the name fool you. Kate and Ally’s Chicago style pizza is fantastic.

My son and I visited Chicago shortly after—not because of pizza—and we tried a few pizza places including two that have quite a reputation: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Pequod’s Pizza among others.

Let me tell you a story: I told the waitress about Kate and Ally’s Chicago style pizza and said, “No pressure. According to Google, you have one of the best tasting deep dish pizzas around. We’re here for a taste test.” The pizza we received—twice as expensive as Kate and Ally’s pizza—was bland, the sauce had the taste and smell of a can on it, and the crust did nothing for either one of us. The waiter who came to us to give us our check admitted the sauce came out of a can—though it was Lou Malnati’s sauce–and he told us much of their reputation is built on advertising—if you advertise enough, they will come no matter how bad the food is—and then he said, “If you want a great Chicago style pizza, check out Pequod’s.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He was directing us someplace else.

So we went.

Where Lou Malnati’s had a classy interior, Pequod’s lacked style and class—but it had atmosphere. The restaurant, in the suburbs of Chicago, had the feel and look of someone’s living room rearranged into a restaurant. Let me tell you, their pizza came close. Very close. The inside was choke full of meat and cheese, but once again—what’s with the sauce? And though the edges of the pizza were what they called “caramelized,” the rest of the crust offered no new insight to my taste buds.

So we came back to Jefferson City to try Kate and Ally’s again—and we were not disappointed. For half the price their Chicago style pizza was very good. The crust had a savory taste that actually felt like someone who really cared made it, the inside had diced tomatoes and just a touch of sauce, and the filling was rich in cheese and meat—a very satisfying meal. We fed three for about thirteen dollars—not including the tip—and we left the table satisfied and happy. By the way, Kate and Ally’s is in a mall and its atmosphere is more like Pequod’s—but isn’t that what you want when you eat out? A place to laugh and let go and enjoy?

OK, so where is the worst pizza in the USA? It’s also in Jefferson City. The pizza was limp—what’s with that?—the crust didn’t even feel right—and the green stuff (yes, green stuff that took me back to mystery meat in school lunchrooms) was spread around chunks of cheese that did not even want to melt. I still cannot identify this green slop. Stomach aches for the family, diarrhea attacks for me—once is enough. I don’t want to give out the name of this terrible gastronomical disaster—it’s a popular spot in Jefferson City—but I can tell you for a fact its food comes off of a truck and the people they call cooks who work in its kitchen are really just microwave technicians. They are the only brewery in town—so plan on getting a few beers to wash down the horrendous taste.

Wait a minute! Maybe that’s why their pizza is so bad—you have to order drinks to survive its taste.

 Anyway—Kate and Ally’s Pizzeria really is the best deep dish Chicago style pizza I have ever had—my son concurs—and my daughter didn’t even think about her figure once: she left nothing on her plate. Finger licking good.

Last thing—I posted this on and have no relationship with Kate and Ally’s whatsoever. I just love their pizza. Nuf said!


A Poem by Anon ymous

The sun, tethered to a power line
divides north from south

night from despair
morning from rapture.

She favors midday, the scorch
and burn of silence,

the possibility to catch
God with his guard down.

Make him stumble, stammer
the wrong answer

like that time in the garden;
not Eden but Gethsemane.

She tilts her head at the sound
of the earth as it spins, unafraid

as the line curves into the horizon,
heavy with the voice of God.

An Act of Giving

When a white reporter asked Sitting Bull why his people admired him so much, Sitting Bull asked the reporter if a man in his culture was respected for having a lot of things—a big home, for example. The reporter answered by telling him that in his culture, yes, having many things made you more respected.

Sitting Bull then answered, “My people respect me because I keep nothing for myself.”