Archive for the ‘Forever Journal’ Category

Holly Day


we were going to take the boat out, sail
to the edge of the world, tease
the monsters waiting there with our
bare, dangling feet, toes tickling the ocean skin
like tiny pink fish

but you had to go and ruin it
chase shore-hugging mermaids instead
had to search clam-shell bikinis for pearls
find out where baby mermaids come from

we were going to become pirates
treasure hunters, world explorers
wrestle giant squid at the world’s edge
find the fountain of youth

but you had to go and spoil everything
in your search for suburban normalcy
chase dreams of apron-clad mermaids
who’d give up their kingdoms for you.


Brand New

I threw away
everything that came
before he
was in
my life so
I could pretend
that I was brand new
just like the baby
I held in
my arms, just
like the perfect
baby that somehow
came out of me


The New Place, The New Thing

it lies beneath a trapdoor in
the floor. the best way to find it is
to open the door. She
opened the door and entered
the room and was introduced to the thing that was
waiting inside. I watched as you
took her under your wings and erased her.

she woke up that morning
felt destiny stirring in her chest, flutter
in the pit of her stomach in a spot
that should have been empty. The butterflies
would not be still no matter how loud she yelled
no matter
how hard she beat against the growing
knot with her tiny, ineffectual hands. She
who had always required screaming at to
do the simplest things, she picked up the phone
and called me and told me I had to
come over and find away to make

it all go away. You, who sit at her bedside
you brush the hair back from her forehead and tell her things
will be much better now. I
hope you’re not lying.


Holly Day

Short bio: Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota , since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.




We have lost a rare and beautiful person.  To Francisco, my friend, my love to you on your new journey.  It has been my privilege and my joy to have gotten to know you and to work with you.  Thanks to James Downs for introducing us and thanks to Devon, my son, and Kiirsti, my daughter, for the good work we did on your book project.  And thanks to Javier, blessings to you.

Francisco is one of those special people, special poets, who in his life and in his poetry he showed us the best a person can be.  In his poetry you see the man and in the man you see his poetry, they are the same.  As James said to me tonight, “he is now the Borderless Butterfly flying over us all.”

Loco                                                            Crazy
mis puertas                                            I leave
las dejo                                                      my doors
sin cerrar                                                 unlocked
los extraños                                           strangers
me parecen                                            look to me
tan familiares                                      so familiar
a todos                                                      I would
los abrazaría                                         embrace and
y besaría                                                  kiss them all
cada día                                                    every day
en la calle                                                on the street
hallo a Dios                                            I run into God
en vez                                                        instead
de llorar                                                  of crying
ahora me río                                        now I laugh
quiero poner                                       I want to
el mundo                                               turn the world
al revés                                                    upside down
nada                                                          nothing
me convence –                                  sways me –
debo de estar loco                            I must be crazy
3 de agosto de 2009                        August 3, 2009


TWIXT 5 poems

Water Tactics

Drops’ jots and tittles form icicles
that lock up in temperature drops and yet
drip in more warm phenom clear and present
placebo venom.


Is Defines Is

This beautiful panorama of is
somehow has arrived at being what’s there,
and not whatever else might have, had it.



I can sympathize with what you have e-
mailed me, having to break off with someone
for whom you weren’t exclusive who was
for you just what you wanted hurts like hell
and leaves you cold and broken – that took strength
of purpose.  You wouldn’t drop your standard.
You held to what you know is real so good
for you, good for the too of you.


Brake-Fast Serial

The roads are full of white noise from tires
on snow, the sidewalks are full of the white
lies of flakes.


fertile bush

each berry a yolk
in a raindrop egg


“TWIXT is the mononym-onym of Peter Specker; he has had poetry published in Margie, The Indiana Review, Amelia, California State Quarterly, RE:AL, Pegasus, First Class, Pot-pourri, Art Times, The Iconoclast, Epicenter, Subtropics, Quest, Confrontation, Writers’ Journal, Rattle, Prairie Schooner and others.  He lives in Ithaca, New York.”


John Grey


Some are big-boned, some are egret-thin.

For every tall one, there’s another squat and dumpy.

Most are brunettes, a few blondes, now and then, a red-head.

Many noses are up, many chins are down.

Some chatter constantly. Others remain silent.

Morose, happy, solitary, cringing to the crowd,

there’s many kinds, and then the subtle variances,

the loud one in a quiet moment,

the cold one who suddenly warms.

There’s a flood, then a trickle, then a flood again.

Sometimes there’s even none, but not for long.

What starts it? Who knows? But, from time to time,

I hear my voice cry out of nowhere, “Come, lie beside me. Stay.”



The dark wants your eyes.

Your pupils don’t know what’s coming.

The faces are about to go unrecognizable.

Better hone up your touch

because, soon enough, the light won’t do.

Sounds are taking on importance.

The TV is killing off your favorite characters.

The newspaper is telling you it’s all a blur.

Color schemes are the enemy now.

Your children are whispering behind your back.

The words “nursing home” pierce your still keen ears,

draw your blood, not theirs.

So what if you bump into the furniture.

If your eyes desert you,

then you’ll learn to see with your knees.

It’s getting late.

Your children need to get back to their lives,

to the plotting of their own offspring.

You look forward to sleep,

your life on equal terms.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.   



Gail Rudd Entrekin and Charles Entrekin


The Art of Healing
by Gail Rudd Entrekin and Charles Entrekin

Gail and Charles are well known to Poetic Matrix Press. We have published two books by Gail and one by Charles. In this volume they alternate pieces exploring the very trying journey through Charles’ cancer. Charles writes confronting this in himself and Gail writes as his spouse, lover and caregiver. They both are gifted poets and through this writing they reveal the difficulties and extreme love that takes Charles to complete remission. To say this is beautiful is an understatement. This is a read that all those who have experienced a trauma or have cared for someone will find enlightening and just beautiful. (available soon)


Black Swan
“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”
David Hume (1711-1776), An Inquiry Concerning
Human Understanding

Cold and dark, the moon on the pond,
the black swan sits unseen,
undiscovered, waiting
like a shadow on a PET scan
a mass in my chest.
The exception disproves the rule.
The white swans everyone finds
do not define the color
or the shape of despair.
I wake to the sound of a sheet
flapping in the breeze.
My wife sits at my side.
With the coming of dawn,
my black swan recedes.
Too soon to choose
the right pair of shoes,
what to be buried in,
the color of my shirt.



The Love Embrace of the Universe….
after Frieda Kahlo

Here I am in my red dress, my long hair blowing
and in my arms you are curled, a naked child man
your blind blue eyes, a third eye large, black
and wiser than we know, in the center of your head.
A brown goddess fills the frame, holding us both
in her generous lap, her nipple dripping, a tree
sprouting from her shoulder, and around us
in her arms she is holding everything that grows
roots dangling from her wrists and fingers
and, love, we are safe here. You are holding
fire but the sky is awash in mist and moon
and we will not burn. Go to sleep.
We will not burn.









Poetry from Katrina by Lyn Lifshin



Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary


he could not stop watching
the images of hurt and
crying children on TV.
Known as Grandpa Grady
the elderly man in his
River Ridge neighborhood
was sickened by the images,
was saying “ya’ll get those
children.” To calm him,
family members lied
and reassured him they
would rescue the children
he was seeing on TV.
But as the day wore on,
sounds grew quieter
and he stopped eating or
speaking. A nurse stopped
by but did not send him
to a hospital. Last Thursday
he died in a single bed
in a small room at the shelter.
“I think,” his daughter
said, he grieved him
self to death”



one woman arrived with
2 children, 6 and 2. “Soon
as I got there I saw fighting.
I saw people throwing
chairs, pull a gun out right
in front of little children.”
She saw a boy who could
not breathe, asthma or panic.
She pointed it out to one
police man she saw and the
officer checked the boy,
said there was nothing they
could do. The boy was dead.
Another officer appeared.
The others figured he would
remove the body but the
officer said it was just to
check some gun shots



almost this time of year,
the aspens crackling
the drive out from Boulder
up into the hills
Octoberly crisp.
Peanut soup in an
out of season restaurant.
The Rockies blue.
We were all at the
Denver Film Festival,
would never meet again
but that warm perfect after
noon, none of us could
have believed that



the watermarks 6 feet high,
visible on some houses.
Signs of life slowly are
returning with the trickle
of residents who’ve gotten
in to look at what is left.
It’s freaky, everything
just floated. I’m going to
spray it all someone says,
spray it down with Clorox.
“Look at my counter
tops. They were so pretty.”
“Water knocked my new
refrigerator over, my lovely
mahogany door. I spent
$13,000 this year on my back
yard. It was beautiful. Now
it’s a disaster but it’s a
fixable disaster.”



one man said, stretching
his arms and pointing to
a red t shirt, blue jeans
and a pair of slippers.
“we lost everything.”
But that’s not his
biggest worry. He has
not seen his wife, kids
or grand children since
last Saturday. He heard
they were in Baton Rouge.
One woman was nearly
hysterical Saturday
morning when friends
went to wash clothes.
“I want to go home,”
she yelped, “I can’t stay
here forever.” Volunteers
have few words of
comfort. “Reality really
hasn’t begun to sink
in for these people. They
are still in a state
of shock.”



one mother sat beside
her son, a 34 year old
paraplegic who had
been carried up eight
flights of darkened
stairs and evacuated
to the airport. Inside
the medic tent she
stroked her son’s fore
head. His arms were
curled to his chest. His
mother took a towel
from her bag of
belongings and put
it on his arms so he
wouldn’t get cold. “I am
not letting him out of
my sight” she said


Katrina by Lyn Lifshin

available from Small Press distribution (SPD)

see more at



Charles Entrekin and Gail Rudd Entrekin

The Art of Healing                                                                                                                                                           a new books of poetry on healing from cancer due out fall 2015                                                                                by Poetic Matrix Press


Something Coming

We are beginning to understand something
of what is coming, to go beyond sensing a shadow
in the woods watching us, and to see it take shape,
see it coming toward us across a field, zigzagging
as it does, now standing idle and watching the sky,
now heading directly for us at a trot. And realizing
that we are seen, that it will find us no matteru
what we do, we are slowing down.
We are
standing very still hoping to blend with the waving
greens of this raw springtime, to stay downwind
of it as warmer breezes pick up and buffet the leaves,
the grasses, tossing everything in a moving salad
of life; we sway on our legs, trying to move with the air
that surrounds us, and we stop thinking of what is around
the next bend in the path, stop planning our next
escape route, and begin to merge with the moment;y
we have slipped into a painting by Van Gogh
something is coming again across the fields and we
are open as sunflowers in full bloom
to these last moments on the earth.


Losing the Light

You’ve been thrown like a stone,
skipping across the surface of moments,
rings circling outwards
from where you have been,
knowing you are losing
the here and now.

Until you begin sinking,
seamlessly drifting down
and the world is still outside
in the growing distance.

But you are not drowning,
there is no pain,
there remains the ordinary day
all around you,
and so you ask,
what happened to the light?




Lindsey Lewis Smithson


When I was a kid
I would go into my Dad’s
garage and tear apart
anything I could grab
I never wanted to know
how it worked
to destroy
to see the insides
bare on the table
to name each piece
see it’s function
The Ninja Turtles
The phone’s bell
The wheel in the VCR

The baby cries
on the changing table
my peach flesh fuzz
the sperm and egg
cocktail spun inside
and worked out through
my vagina
What are you really
beautiful creature
Stardust and sex
blue eyed product
Unsolvable puzzle


Columbia, Maryland

Green arms pulled down
blue sky blankets, drowned out
sunshine to help me sleep

Be calm here the gray sky
buildings whisper

you are nothing, nothing
in measure to what lived

follow this civil war bike path
to the mall where another
disaffected teen killed,
the Michael Kors store is having a sale

you are not one of us
the cul-de-sac knows it
wash away in the river
this path isn’t for you.

don’t fight sleep anymore



On Mountain St.
a white ambulance
holds his empty body.

The onlookers knew him
by sight. I thought I knew
him better.

Wind pulls my hair
as the ambulance passes.

The gravel road calls
out at each corner.


The Day After Billy Died

Remember the earthen stairs
wrapping around the redwoods—
misnamed the Trees of Mystery?

You’d never carved
our names into any other
trees with a kitchen knife.

That day no sounds, save our own,
had existed. Other imprints
were glossed over by rain.


Lindsey Lewis Smithson is the editor of Straight Forward Poetry. Sometimes she writes some stuff and sometimes some people like it. @lindseysmithson; @straight_poetry


Go ahead dive down

It is alright   something beautiful is in there
You’ll see
More beautiful then even you’re sadness
It will take your sorrow and turn
It cloudy and bright
Like the shine on that red amber place
You’ve seen once or twice
Just before everything was lost or
Just before found
A gentle sax line on a street of the lost
Either waiting or consoling
Who can say
It can be a mood indigo
That will arrive again
At a perfect moment
When love is eternal
Is in all of us
Is in everything
Is one without second

James Downs

137 bullets (a lament)
shots rang out…rang out…rang out

they have them cornered and shots
started ringing out…it was as if 13
fingers resting against 13 triggers
couldn’t hold back any more and so
shots rang out…rang out…rang out
no one even knew if they were alive
or dead inside

James Downs
(Cleveland car back-fires in front of
police department, a subsequent
100 officer chase…then 13 firing on
a cornered unarmed black couple)