Archive for the Poetry Category

The Phone Call

Posted in April 2010, Poetry on April 19, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED

The phone rings.

A static voice starts
to speak.

“We haven’t heard
your mother in the
last two days.”

“Have you seen


“Your stepfather
He hasn’t talked
to her either.”

He was in Florida
visiting his family
the holidays.

While she was
chowing down on


“I’ll try to find

What can I do?
My kids are with me,
there is no way
can take them
to her house.

Not when I already
know what

she’s done.

I call my brother
he’s at

I tell him about
the phone call.

We both know.

She thrives on

She was mad at
her husband for

The phone rings.

“I found her. The
ambulance is on its


For seventeen years I
took care of her.

When I was too

I left to live my own
life and came back,

married with children.

After her breakdown
I gave up my life


to take care of her.

Now that things had
gone back to normal,

she was at work,
things were supposed to

get better

now she was back
on a regular

path, she couldn’t have
that. She missed the


But what do I do?
I’ll have to go.
I’ll have to give
up my



I stand over

comatose body.


The nurse comes in.

“Her husband called.
He’s back from Florida.
He says he’s tired. He’s


While I stand over
my mother’s

comatose body.

K.M. McElhinny is writer and poet of the dark and the in between. She chased the white rabbit down the writing hole over a year ago and is not trying to find her way home. She has been published with Smidge Magazine and Flashes in the Dark.  Please visit her at her blog


Sick Day Home, Chicago

Posted in April 2010, Poetry on April 2, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED

Across the street (Chills)—
A criminal rolls off the wet
Blanket he has pledged himself
To until the memory runs out. In
The commotion of spent breaths
He chooses to proclaim: “Radiator
Heat is the most reliable heat.”

In the Loop (Muscle Aches)—
A wannabe angel paces greedily
Under a clearly dubious sense of
Displacement, bumps into a criminal
Who exits an alleyway; a criminal
Who has his whole life staked out
A detached pursuit of choice.

Somehow within (Nausea)—
I stand flesh-peculiar behind the sweaty
Disguise of a picture window, and I
Instruct criminality to score peril,
To seek back its burdened blush from
Bone, to disconnect for the slanted
Sentiment of a wet snowstorm.

John Hospodka is the author of South Side Trilogy


Posted in March 2010, Poetry on March 26, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED

I believe in lying in bed with my boots on.
I believe in airplanes and turbulence and
Hornets nests and neurotic old women,

I believe in making to-do lists
And then
Doing anything on
The list

If I really want to feel productive
I make a list
filled with things
That I have already done.

Example of a to-do list
by Justin Grimbol:
Sleep in
Wake up
Jerk off
Fight with woman
Eat breakfast
Check email
Take piss
Write poem

I like poems.
They’re short.

most poetry isn’t very good though—
you got guys like Ginsberg talking about
how holy their assholes are.

I like ass. I love ass.
I got
A cramp
in my neck
from staring at
Doesn’t mean
There needs to be something holy about it
Ass is good enough as it is.

Some are better than others.

Are impossible to not get a little religious about.
Some stay in your heart
Like a stun gun
Like a blizzard
Only it’s warm
It’s the inventor, the mad scientist
of all warm things.

I believe in warm things
I believe in sweating
I believe
That people only smell good when they smell bad,
I believe in lukewarm pizza

I always believe it’s going to be a warm winter
Until the first snow fall,
Then I hide in my room
I put my hands under my woman’s breasts and pretend they’re mittens.
the weather channel says we should be expecting 16 inches of snow.
It’s going to be a long winter.

When I was a kid
I felt warm in the snow.
I felt a lot of thing back then
That I don’t feel now.
When I was a kid
I actually believed that if you beat a video game
That you’d be rewarded with money
That it would come pouring out of the Nintendo
like it was a slot machine.
Why else would they make the games so difficult?
Why would people play these ridiculous games
Unless there was some kind of reward at the end?

I believe in that kind of passion
I believe in how your thumbs hurt
when you played Nintendo for too long.
This poem was written with those same thumbs
I believe in thumbs and chaffed legs
And stretch marks and pregnancy scares
And running out of gas
And all the scratch off tickets that are buried
Under the front seat of my car.
I believe in all those things that make you ask
Was it worth it? And then you shrug your shoulders
Because even if it’s not worth anything
You’re going to keep at it anyway.
You just can’t help yourself.

Justin Grimbol, lives in astoria oregon. His novel DRINKING UNTIL MORNING, will be coming out this summer, via BLACK COFFEE PRESS. Check out his poems at

all the saints and philosophers

Posted in March 2010, Poetry on March 25, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED


all the saints and philosophers
are no wiser
then the
willy caterpillar
my daughter brings to me
her gentle hands

Scott C. Rogers, American poet, writer and publisher. His current novel Love Like a Molotov Cocktail to the Chest can be found worldwide.

The Light the Dead See

Posted in March 2010, Poetry on March 24, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED
There are many people who come back
After the doctor has smoothed the sheet
Around their body
And left the room to make his call.
They die but they live.
They are called the dead who lived through their deaths,
And among my people
They are considered wise and honest.
They float out of their bodies
And light on the ceiling like a moth,
Watching the efforts of everyone around them.
The voices and the images of the living
Fade away.
A roar sucks them under
The wheels of a darkness without pain.
Off in the distance
There is someone
Like a signalman swinging a lantern.
The light grows, a white flower.
It becomes very intense, like music.
They see the faces of those they loved,
The truly dead who speak kindly.
They see their father sitting in a field.
The harvest is over and his cane chair is mended.
There is a towel around his neck,
The odor of bay rum.
Then they see their mother
Standing behind him with a pair of shears.
The wind is blowing.
She is cutting his hair.
The dead have told these stories
To the living.
Frank Stanford, “The Light the Dead See” from The Light the Dead See: Selected Poems of Frank Stanford. Copyright © 1991 by Frank Stanford. 

Untitled memory

Posted in January 2010, Poetry on January 22, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED

I remember my kite.
A blue diamond I carried around
all of the time, like a dream
folded into my back pocket;
a good book too good to share
both tattered with wear and tear
worn in like bare feet in the summer.

Its tail was my shadow
echoing down a long corridor
too big and spilling out of me
like youth when it gets too big
for penny loafers and expectations.

I was on my way to class
with footsteps heavy
as the books I was supposed to read,
but you learn to carry it
even when their covers were their only weight
and you learn that real life
is a homework assignment
and you learn
to keep your dream in a back pocket,
folded up, waiting.

I remember my kite
as I pull it from a trunk
of all my youth’s stuff
stuffed into a box in the corner
like a child in “time out.”
It never did see the sun
but from behind a window pane.
It never did find its wind.
And I have yet to fly.

d.m.riggs. is a writer and poet, living in knoxville, tn. he’s badder than bad bad leroy brown. though not necessarily clever.

Baghdad Redux

Posted in January 2010, Poetry on January 21, 2010 by Black Coffee Press LIMITED

I saw Quinn again tonight,
first time in years, sailing the streets,
weaving through people,
collar up, head cocked,
arms like telephone poles sunk
in the pockets of his overcoat,

the brilliant pennants of his long red hair
waving over the stadium
where years ago he took my handoff,
bucked off guard, found the free field,
and heaved like a bison into the end zone.

Tonight, when Quinn wove by me muttering,
I should have handed him the ball.
I should have screamed, “Go, Quinn, go!”
He would have stiff-armed the lamppost,
found the free field again,
left us all in his wake to gawk

as he hit the end zone
and circled the goal posts,
whooping and laughing,
flinging the ball like a spear
over the cross-bar, back to Iraq.

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, MO. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Opium 2.0, Rusty Truck, Deuce Coupe, Poetry Super Highway, Pirene’s Fountain (Australia) and other publications.