Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Poetry by Grant Cochrane


Ages shift. Now, gowns of snow
chill earth’s warm glow. It sifts,
forbids, unnests;
invokes a fear as queer as aqua,
or a leap year.
the freshness of those frozen steppes,
the white, the yellow yolk, the fractured
shell, the collateral omelette. Smell.
Smell it like an animal smells,
smell it with your synapses.
Hunt through the void. Seek a trail. There! The freshness yields.
Harsh nature’s feast is

- Grant Cochrane 2015

Grant Cochrane is a Queensland writer whose work has appeared in Southerly (forthcoming) and Seizure.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Poetry by Barbara De Franceschi

I Cannot Write Modern

Stimulus is in the cheekbones of an arid zone,
in vertebrae of mica that glint like fools gold.
I bush-walk in isolation,
expect the dry expanse to give me azaleas
when all it sprouts is Salvation Jane. 
Past tense phrases
dribble into the right side of my brain,
the sun glares at me in fretful heat,
I cannot find the risqué words to describe
its fire-cracker explosion
across pigments of red cresting brown.
I crouch to read the sticks and stones,
unravel mystery bleached by time,
only to find –
I am reading myself.

- Barbara De Franceschi 2015

Barbara De Franceschi is a poet who lives in the out-back town of Broken Hill. Besides two collections of poetry, her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries and on-line. This year (2015) Barbara is artist-in-residence at the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health to promote Art in Health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Microfiction by Donal Mahoney

A Previous Life

It was their wedding night and Priya didn’t want to tell her new husband all about it but Bill kept asking where she had learned to walk like that. Finally she told him it was inherited from a previous life, a life she had lived many years ago in India, not far from Bangalore. She had been a cobra kept in a charmer’s basket.

When the charmer found a customer, usually a Brit or Yank, he would play his flute and Priya would uncoil and rise from the basket. Her hood would swell and she would sway as long as the customer had enough money to keep paying the charmer. She never tried to bite a customer but some of the men weren’t the nicest people in the world. You think they would know better than to tease a cobra.

Being a charmer's cobra was Priya’s job for many years until she finally grew weary of the tiny mice her keeper would feed her so she bit him and he died. His family had Priya decapitated but she was born again later in a small village, this time as a human, a baby girl. After she matured into a young woman, she had a walk, men said, reminiscent of a cobra's sway.

Priya told Bill she had been married many times in India, England and the United States but always to the wrong man. She would give the men time to correct their behavior but none did. As a result of their failure, she bit them with two little fangs inherited from her life as a cobra. They were hidden next to her incisors. Death was almost instantaneous.

No autopsies were ever performed. Death by natural causes was always the ruling. Priya, however, would move to another state or country before marrying again. 

She told Bill she hoped he would be a good husband because she didn’t want to have to move again. She wanted to put down roots and have children. She was curious as to whether they would walk or crawl or maybe do both. But Bill had heard enough. He was already out of bed, had one leg in his tuxedo pants and soon was running down the hall of the 10th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel. He had his rented patent leather shoes in one hand and an umbrella in the other in case he ran into a monsoon.

- Donal Mahoney 2015

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Bluepepper (Australia), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his earliest work can be found at

Friday, May 01, 2015

New Poetry by William Davies Jr.

Along Union Deposit Road

A cemetery blushes
purple in Spring
though word
may have spread
of a dalliance
in Section 10,
the sort of thing
that in life
may have produced
a child,

here, color.

- William Davies Jr. 2015

New Poetry by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois


When I graduated high school
I figured I’d spent enough time
sitting at a desk

I thought about everything I’d learned
in school
and out

and figured that my most salable skill
was painting houses
I was living in L.A.
which made house painting
possible year-round

not like Michigan
where one of my cousins lived
where winter shuts down the world  

I got a truck
ladders, brushes
got cards printed
gave them to my friends’ parents
Word- of-mouth took care of the rest

Some friends came back for holidays
and said: You’re smart
You could have made something of yourself

but every day I renew the world
I take old surfaces
and refresh them  
put gladness in the hearts
of homeowners
and neighbors
and even people just driving down the street

I don’t trouble myself with ideas
At lunch I sit against an unpainted wall
and chew the sandwiches my wife puts together

I scribble notes to myself
like this one
and sometimes on the ladder
I wonder why I do it

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois 2015

 Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over eight hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Poetry by James Walton

Charles and Me

because I was beyond tired to sleep
I sat up with Bukowski
waiting for the breaking point of ice
to define a moment’s end
goddammit goddammit
don’t pull off in our shower
go and wank away somewhere else
I live here goddammit
too old to lay naked
before the fire these days
chest like a worn flokati
cats can’t resist a pummel
what’s white will never be new again
a raven’s head opens
there’s a field of flowers
over all the dead
bones picked cleaner
than a shallow spoon
left out on the porch
by an unwelcome stranger

- James Walton 2015

James Walton's collection, "The Leviathan's Apprentice" has just been released through Strzelecki's Lover Press.

Calling all Poets!

The inbox is empty! Bluepepper needs something to sink its teeth into! Poets far and wide are welcome to submit re the submission guidelines.

Friday, April 24, 2015


"Louis was my dearest friend
fighting in the ANZAC trench.
Louis ran forward from the line,
and I never saw him again."

- PJ Harvey The Colour of the Earth 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Found in an Attic: 
World War II Letter to a Wife

When I get home
things will be the same.
I haven't changed.

The sling  
comes off the day
I get on the plane.

I'll be able 
to cut the grass,
rake the leaves,

shovel the snow,
all the stuff I did before.
And every morning

in summer, fall,
winter and spring, 
when we wake up, 

I'll draw rosettes
with the tip 
of my tongue

on your nipples,
await your orders to 
bivouac elsewhere.

Nothing has changed.
I'm feeling fine. 
We'll cleave again.

- Donal Mahoney 2015

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Bluepepper (Australia), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his earliest work can be found at

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Poetry by Rob Walker

The Fresh People Food

stuck in a 1980s timewarp
the muzac bland, Mainstream
middle-of-the-road. nothing changes.
there is no War on Terror, no poverty

just row after row after row of groceries
stacked in columns and battalions
soldiers erect and in uniform
And when the front line is consumed
the back is moved to the front.

nightfall. depletion. replacement.
nightfill boys are expendable too.
no award rates here.
individual items

the machine grinds on.

an illusion of changelessness.
continuous consumption.

broken packages put out of sight.
spills are wiped up
collateral damage.
profits are up.

clean.    tidy.
and nothing

appears to


- Rob Walker 2015

rob walker is a South Australian writer, composer and poet, with three collections of poems published in Australia and one forthcoming: tropeland (Five Islands Press) this June, and recent poetry published in The Cortland Review, Illya’s Honey and Red River Review (US), 4&20, (UK), 21D, foam:e, cordite,  Australian Poetry Journal, Mascara, Rabbit Journal, Unusual Work, Verity La and Best Australian Poems (AUST.) He has also published short stories and collaborates with other artists to produce audio poems and musical tracks at
Personal website:

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

Hymn to Solitude

“Amour”, she would say that and little else. Then she would rest her head on my shoulder. After, she would disappear for at least a week or more. One of us was lying. The way that she said it, so gently but with such intensity, it kept me waiting around.
Of course I worked but gave very little thought to exploring other options when my brush was not in my hand.
“Amour” she sighed. Her eyes were a dark sky from which stars had drifted low to beauty mark her chin. Once again no definitive plans had been made and as I walked home in frustration, I realized that all this time she had not been talking to me but merely echoing the prayer that someone had once recited to the sky.
I had been working hard but still found myself feeling lonely. I was bitten and scratched by this feeling, especially at night when the heat from making dinner required me to open a window and I could hear people passing by down below. I taped a picture of Stravinsky to the refrigerator as in my head it made sense to do so. 
The corner as viewed from the window by my bed. There is a traffic light, the red one; it is the understanding of desolation. I am grateful for that light. No one walks by and even the trees offer only a limited lattice of shadows akin to clarity of thought.
A hymn to solitude.
Sorry, I have this prayer to share but recite another one instead. In the early hours of a new day the street light is crowned with a halo of mist, sainted for all it has witnessed and for always standing alone as all who are holy must do.

Thanksgiving, the local churches were offering their free turkey dinner complete with all the fixings, donated by those in need of assuaging their guilt. Each had a long line spilling out their doors and down the sidewalk. Regardless of the denomination, the queue for each church was comprised of the same people clapping their own shoulders to stay warm. Some talking to themselves others with dull gray blankets thrown over their shoulders looking like extras from a Goya painting.
Not tied in to this but seeming so by coincidence, a long line of cars moving with the traffic light induced stuttered rhythm. Groups of people of varying abilities try to dance a choreography in sync as they exit the city.
Later jaundiced squares of light from apartments which offer no evidence of humanity despite their illumination, intermittently mark the sidewalk. Counterpoint to this light, the dark silhouettes of bushes, their roughhewn edges making them appear as a series of tiny waves frozen at the moment right before breaking upon the pavement. If I could see a cat, even from a distance down the end of the alley, then this night would be perfect. I am drunk off of sweet desolation.

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Poetry by David Ades

The Upside to Being Down
The Ferris Wheel circles
through vibrating air,

rising into skylines,
into harbours and cityscapes,
into puzzles of sky and cloud,

caught in a jigsaw of
steel cables and rocking carriages,

moods dissipating
like burnt off fog,
children rising into laughter:

and the day holds so much more

in the palm of its opened hand.

- David Ades 2015

David Ades is a poet and short story writer. His poems have appeared in many Australian and American literary publications. Since April 2011 David has been living in Pittsburgh where he was one of the editors of the inaugural Australian Poetry Members Anthology metabolism.