Monday, December 01, 2014

New Poetry by Daniel Barbare

Mother Cooking

Mother eats watermelon.
Watching the news. Talking
the whole while. Goes
back to the bedroom.
Comes back wearing pajamas.
Boils corn and slices fresh Blue
tomatoes. Fries chicken. While
biting her tongue. The house
smells delicious. The
oil is just a crackling. The
kitchen is quiet. It’s ready.

- Daniel Barbare 2014

Roadside Stand

Labor Day.  Coming down
the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sun
on our backs. Gravel
drive. Dust flying off the wheels.
Looking at squash, fuzzy
whole okra, green beans. Tomatoes
soft enough to slice this evening.
Wildflower honey,  pickled beets,
bread and butter pickles, dill and
garlic. Mother buys sweet
And peaches to soften in the
window. I buy three plump and
red tomatoes for $2.00.

- Daniel Barbare 2014

Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. He works as a janitor at a local YMCA. And has been writing poetry off and on for 33 years. He says he enjoys the cold weather in the South and taking long walks especially if it snows. His poetry is mostly about what ever strikes him at the time.

New Poetry by Colin Dodds

The Urgent Center Expands

The urgent center expands,
takes the newspaper as its skin.

As it went in history,
so ran the NFC wildcard game.
The religiopolitical Saints
overran the astrological Rams.

Aside from that, the story was familiar and unchanged.

The linemen were terrifying,
though easily persuaded, hulks.

The receivers were handy
with the razor and the getaway.

The running backs went straight home
and would be foremen someday.

And the quarterback was the driven patrician
with nothing but an immense promise
and an immense burden for a life.

- Colin Dodds 2014

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It is my sad duty to inform you that a matter of hours ago Southern Redbacks batsman, Phillip Hughes passed away as a result of the injury he sustained at the Sydney Cricket Ground earlier this week.
The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young.
As a cricketer, Phillip was an incredibly talented and dearly loved member of the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads and a former NSW representative. He also played county cricket in England and IPL in India. Without doubt he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him.
As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family, friends and team mates at this incredibly sad time, and of course to the Australian cricket family and the State Associations. We are thinking of you right now.
I’d like to thank you and the broader cricket community around the country for the wonderful show of support given to Phillip and his family. From social media to phone calls to our front desk, the support has been tremendous and I want to thank you on behalf of Australian cricket.
If you would like to pay your tribute to Phillip and his contribution to the game of cricket, you can do so here.
Phillip Joel Hughes played 26 Test matches for his country. He will be sadly missed and forever remembered.

Yours sincerely,

Chief Executive Officer 
Cricket Australia

Bluepepper has nothing else to add,

The Day Cricket Stopped

If poetry really does possess any curative powers, then all our thoughts are with you, Phillip Hughes.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Poetry by Peter Venable

Heart fibrillation begins.

The doctor peers over a surgical mask
and furnishes a pep talk. Joe’s hands clamp
on the table; knuckles jut into the walls.
His eyes weld to an instrument tray:
scissors, tweezers, hemostats and some unnamed gadget.
A curved suture needle twinkles at him.
Doc grips a syringe--pricks, plunges,
then the scalpel . . . .

Joe stares into a ceiling bulb
and whisks into a phosphorescent tunnel
where rainbows arch, dissolve into bubbles,
and pop into pinwheels.

Something distant yanks

and Joe lifts his head. The doctor threads and tugs
a knot, removes a blood-speckled mask,
and hums while leaving the room.
The nurse takes Joe’s hand, guides him up,
and escorts him into the lobby.

At the door she leans toward his ear,
and invites him for drinks
at her apartment after work

- Peter Venable 2014

Peter works as an almost-retired addiction and mental health counselor, volunteers at a prison camp and food pantry, and is graced with a happy marriage, daughter and son-in-law, and Yeshua. Poetry, The New Yorker, and Atlantic Monthly are not worthy, unlike Bluepepper, of his sagacious poems.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Poetry by William G. Davies Jr.

The Path to Citizenship

You can almost hear the fife and drum.
What are the Federalist Papers?
How many amendments are there
to the Constitution?
A couple speak to each other
in Guatemalan.
On this day, a celebrity judge
will do the oath.
He’s affable, tall with shiny hair.
He tells a joke, people look for a snare.
A woman clerk sets aside an Edwardian novel
and passes around miniature American flags.
After The Pledge of Allegiance
there are pictures, light snacks.
An old man wearing a necklace of bones
contemplates a portrait of Ronald Reagan,
in particular, a white handerkerchief 
in his left breast pocket, monogrammed 
the way the man’s bones are known to him.

- William G. Davies Jr. 2014

William and his wife have just bottled a case of red wine from their very own grapes. He has had some more work accepted by The Cortland Review and is working with his publisher, Prolific Press, on a forthcoming book of poetry: Before There Were Bones.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Poetry by Stuart Barnes

The Night, The Dream
after Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Hanging Man’
Dreaming’s an art. Dreams can be re-created
Brushing the questions aside with a gesture of dreaming
draws on the night at last; the dream draws on.
Will speak to me in dream
Dreams drip to stone. Barracks and salt marsh blaze
a dream the world breathed sleeping and forgot.
- Stuart Barnes 2014
†a cento sourced from Gwen Harwood’s ‘Dreaming’s an Art’, Rosemary Dobson’s ‘Wonder’, Judith Wright’s ‘Sonnet’, Rosemary Dobson’s ‘Poems from Pausanias’, Gwen Harwood’s ‘Oyster Cove’, Judith Wright’s ‘Bora Ring’; title from The Cure’s ‘The Dream’ 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

New Poetry by Michele Seminara


They are a stand of bitter wisdom trees
eyes revolving inwards like moons
beguiling faces smiling down upon us.

They don’t mention (or only in passing)
the ways the world is slipping from them:
the deft departure of the boyhood friend,
the driver's license routinely revoked,
the inability to leave the bath without resting
—shamefully—on its side.

Soon they’re talking of other things,
our things, pressing things like 
which school to put the children in or 
where to go this year on holiday…
it must take all their strength and love

to play along with folly; sustain fantasy 
of growth without decline. Hold back 
the hidden long enough to lend us time to flower;
immure us from what cankers in their limbs
our inheritance, rank knowledge 
of everything.

- Michele Seminara 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Poetry by Peter C. Venable

First Gun

Two punks blew away an old couple in Rockingham.
I bought a pistol.
Years of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gunsmoke,
Dragnet, Hill Street Blues and 48 Hours
incarnate it by the beside lamp
and it beats like The Tell-Tale Heart
this first night.
Its cold-blooded steel. Its metallic smell.
The hole in its barrel, a black hole eye, stares at me.
Unblinking. Damned eye!
Safety off. Seventeen-round clip full. The red bar signals
a 9mm brass hollow-point round sleeps in its chamber.
March wind blows in bursts. Power goes out. Fuck.
Did the stairs creak? Wind? A twig against the window?
Gusts in the chimney—did I close the damper?
Whack! Just something striking the gutter.
When wind lulls, my heart nearly seizes.
The doorknob—turning? Yes? No? Did I lock it?
I reach for it, and grip, finger curled. Quivering.
Carotid artery pulses. Is the red bar visible?
Too dark to see.
Its steel chamber beats louder—and louder—and louder. 

- Peter C. Venable 2014

Peter has written both free and metric verse for over fifty years and has been published in a number of poetry journals, such as American Vedantist, Vineyards, The Christian Communicator (3 issues and one forthcoming), Third Wednesday, Time of Singing (twice), Parody, The Merton Seasonal, Crux Literary Journal and forthcoming in The Laughing Dog, Windhover -  A Journal of Christian Literature and Vox Poetica.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New words and images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

Green Almonds
I found the green color of the unripe almonds soothing, even more so if I dipped my hand into the wicker basket in which they were piled as to let them run through my fingers in the slow moving current that I created. Although Aziz did not mind me doing so I did not blame the others for forbidding this, conveying their disapproval with downward turned lips and had it been a particularly vexing day, adding a “Tsk-Tsk” noise to the look.
I had gone through the entire staff of the kiosk, everyone having admonished me once, I should now know better but still sometimes could not help myself. I memorized Aziz’s schedule. If he worked with someone else I would wait for them to go on break before going over. I would kill time at the patisserie across the way. They had strong coffee and three little tables out front, the other two of which were often empty. This was how I met Fatima. It was her family’s place and everyone who worked there except for one prep cook was related. Initially they found it odd that I would sit at one of their tables sipping coffee, since there were so many places close by better suited for such things.

In truth their machine had been bought secondhand from a now closed café almost as an afterthought but no one wanted to question me about my choice as to not risk bringing to light all my other real café options in case for some odd reason I had not realized.
Cinnamon skinned, she had the build of one of those pagan fertility sculptures, which I found appealing. The first time I saw her I thought that she had been taller as I was sitting with her standing over the table.  Our relative positions also prevented me at first from noticing how limpid her eyes were. I wanted to ask her if she knew Aziz but that seemed such a bourgeoisie mistake, the assumption that all people of the same ethnic background knew one another.  I also did not want to risk it because Aziz only had eyes for women who looked like the ones from the American Movies. Anytime I pointed out a woman walking by whom I found attractive, it did not matter what their charms were, he would shake his head and say;
“No, no blond is better…:
I could imagine in trying to appear cool and sophisticated what he would say about someone so close to the type he had grown up with.
Fatima’s mother looked like a slightly heavier, older version of her. She smiled but also watched like a hawk that every pastry which passed my lips was paid for. Fatima also had an older brother whom I had only seen briefly as a head peering through the circular window of the swinging door that led into the kitchen.

I would sit at the little table on the far left as it was the one which did not wobble and she would come out on the sidewalk to sweep while we chatted. I would take out my sketch pad to give my hands something to do. After a month of going there every day she felt comfortable enough with me to ask what brought me there. I was too embarrassed to mention the almonds. I did a sketch of her face giving it to her.
A few times I had happened by and if she was having a bad day and no one was around she hugged me. Laughing our foreheads banged together as we both went for the kiss on the cheeks, the lips confused about as where to go. Aziz knew about my infatuation, with a tasting lemon scowl he told me several times;
“Those type of girls very traditional.”
Still finding me at my usual table sketching, he waved and dropped it. Now and then I would run into her on her way to work as Aziz and I took a walk before he too had to start his shift. They would momentarily linguistically exclude me, his way of subtly reminding me that he knew what he was talking about even if I did not want to listen.
I was waiting in the small line to order my coffee. Only her mother alone was behind the counter. I said hello but thought better than to ask where Fatima was. I had not dressed warm enough and so decided to take the side street home which was quicker. A series of doors that were interspersed with dumpsters, by happenstance her brother was emptying the garbage and having a smoke.  He saw me before I saw him.
He was supposed to eventually take over the place but had not ever bothered to learn much about the daily operations. He was busy giving away free cookies to pretty tourists and keeping a mental scorecard of who he could marry his sister off to. He had a plan already; he would sell the place, the estimated value being the other thing which he kept close track of and then use that money to travel. Of course he could not just throw his sister to the wolves, he would marry her off and therein lay the tricky part of the equation. The groom had to be able to take care of her but also could not be too well off as it would then be expected that the wedding be lavish and as he had to pay for it he did not want it cutting too much into his future nest egg.
He thought his trademark was the gold rimmed pilot sunglasses that he almost always wore. Two heads taller than me, he was still mildly apprehensive that I may get a good shot in and so took a moment to take his sunglasses off. My mind raced to find a phrase to diffuse the situation but his fist was quicker, catching me in my left eye. I had not slept well the night before and was tired, I crumpled to the ground with what I would like to imagine was a modicum of dignity. I raised my hands even with my chest, palms out, not to tell him to stop but that I was not going to fight. There was no point to it, besides being doubtful that I could even take him, a victory on my part would get me nothing except potential awkwardness from his sister and definite increased animosity from the mother.
I do not think he had meant to hit me as hard as he had or at least not in the face. My eye had already begun to swell, the sight of which made him realize that I would most likely be asked by everybody what happened. His hands went under my arms to help me up. He bent down again to grab my book bag which he then handed to me.
“Ca-Va?” he asked.
I nodded but as I went to walk away I wobbled a little. He took me to a nearby bar where two of his friends sat in the corner smoking a hookah and watching with curiosity as we drank Pastis with almond syrup.  I felt I could now get home. We shook hands and I nodded.
I put my hat and bag on the table and let my clothes fall to the floor at the foot of the bed. I lay down but in my usual position, on my stomach it made my eye throb. I have always had trouble sleeping on my back.  In the orphanage whomever had my bed before me had created a sort of divot. To lay on one’s stomach hurt the ribs and back but to lay in the concave space on one’s back was a little more tolerable. Even then though sleep had been hard to come by as it was not my usual position.
As to try to counteract the discomfort I came up with a mantra that I would recite in my head until sleep finally took me, the origin of which I can not remember;
“I have never had a wart nor broken a bone…”
I got up to get a glass of water, some aspirin and a cold cloth for my eye. I lay back down, cold shroud on my face blocking my view of the ceiling;
“I have never had a wart nor broken a bone….”

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Call out from Regime Books

As you're aware, Regime Books is a collective of writers and editors slaving away for free, and entirely for the love of it. Along the way, we've published many great writers and poets (many for the first time). We've also worked out a way to pay contributors to our magazine.

We know our writers and readers are passionate about what we do. So much so, that a number have weighed in with very serious donations to support our work (and underwrite our losses!). Along with contributors, we pay printers, designers, and IT companies. We also dream of the day we can pay a copy editor to help us release a book with no typos!

A number of our donors suggested that we open up the books and ask for donations. Who knows, we may find other kind souls just as committed to new writing as we are, but perhaps without the time to stay up night after night reading submissions.

And, to make it really worth while, we've dug up two sparkling new copies of Regime 03 . You could win one by donating.

Visit Regime Books to do your bit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Poetry by Michelle Villanueva


I never cared much for these lilacs she said
slowly teasing melted gum from its wrapper

you recall it I know the first time we left
the beach slow sunset it was and those riddles

made you laugh while above us flew sleek skylarks
clogging the breeze with their forgiving wings

delicate we were as sea spun macaroons
on Sundays when the boulevards ran empty

my head filled with the evening crisp as new lace
sang with the wind on that shimmering clothesline

surprised she remembered I sighed wondering when
the sun had dulled the sharp edges I once knew

and pinpricks of conversation had become
filigree in the spun corners of her mind

smiling she told me I would have stayed were we
free from stark lines pulling us tumbling back

even still I could taste the surf air heavy
with taffy colored whispers of the divine

then with their beguiling scent lilac petals
pattered away those thoughts as we shuffled home

- Michelle Villanueva 2014

Michelle Villanueva is a student pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing - Poetry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Foothill Poetry Journal, The Shine Journal, and several other print and online publications.