All posts by Amanda

untitled #22 by Kelsey Jones

untitled #22

they say it isn’t “kosher”,
you and i –
they say it isn’t natural,
the way we are

they say it isn’t right,
tell us we’re an abomination
in the eyes of God –
they preach the
of marriage, the pureness
of straight love,
tell us that we’ll burn
in the devil’s
playground – – – –

but baby, all i want
is to swallow
you down
whole and revel in the
smoothness of your
and the silkiness of your hair,
the sly quirk of your
tongue, and the wicked twitch
in your hips

I want to fall asleep
with my head cradled in your lap,
and dream your
speeding through my veins,
pushing my heart
to delirium

I want to hold your hand in
public, and not have old
ladies sneer and make
a circle
around us – I want to kiss
your cheek, holler your
name, tell you
I love you
and not have it be
some media three ring,
you know?

baby, I just wanna be with you

                – Kelsey Jones
                    from Words Dance #5 Summer 2004

This poem was written by my coeditor at the time, Kelsey Jones, in a themed issue we released in the of Summer of 2004 : Supreme Extremist. The guidelines stated : We are looking for poems that might piss off the authorities. A few topic examples being: politics, rebellion, the environment, women’s lib, blue-collar, religion, an alternative philosophy, et cetera, anything avant-garde. We are looking for liberated pieces of poetry, be it long, short, prose, whatever. We are seeking poets that like to spout off in clear-cut imagery, metaphor or confessional verse while incorporating a subject matter that would earn a haughty sneer from the average conformist. We want your realness.

November (Poem-A-Day) : Day One : Striking Thirteen

For my friend, Robert Lee Brewer’s 2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge.

Day One Theme : Matches.

match heads, Amanda Oaks

striking thirteen

i walk backwards
on the second hand
of a clock, one step
a tick, between twelve
& six, counting
how many times
my heart
beats yes
before i slide
like a match
down your arm
pushing me
up & over

Matches/Heart Photo by Me
Stock credits : . + . + . + .

Cross posted on

Because We Are Too Many by Bethany Anderson

Because We Are Too Many

It’s not necessary, he said.
We don’t need that in our lives.
And he closed the door of the car,
Imprints of pollen,
Yellow finger tips.

Inside the leather sweated,
Skin sticking to the seat.
Outside there is no air,
Just suffocating heat.

What makes you think,
That it’s ‘something we should have.’
Just another gadget, another gizmo,
One more thing to have that your friends don’t.

His sandals scuffed against the gravel,
Concrete, gravel, of the driveway.

There’s too many as it is!
Too many in the world!

So he keeps me in constant supply:
condoms and microgynon.

                – Bethany Anderson

Bethany Anderson lives in Edinburgh where she works full time at a supermarket, scribbling poems on the back of till receipts. She blogs at

Mithyā by Uma Gowrishankar


I collect the debris in the hem of my skirt:
stones, glass, clay – they fit into my frame.

Stones go to make the spine, one below
the other like the cobbled path in the garden;

ash settles in the crevices, blown from the sea;
smoke like clouds fills the nose and eyes;

desires crumble, turn powder in my hands.
Then the son that I bore in the depth of silence

faces south, lights fire and pours clarified butter.
The river flows through me, at the murky bed

crowd faces of loved ones, collected like shells
from the lips of seas during my many lives.

* Mithyā , in Sanskrit means illusion

                – Uma Gowrishankar

Uma Gowrishankar is from Chennai, South India. She blogs her poetry here.

Sadness by Claire Askew


“Your sadness has no / lips, nothing to press against my / sadness.” – Heather Bell

You walk in and I can see
you’re defeated — with every
sexy angle smoothed away
you’re cold and sad
as a paperweight.
You’ve tried to hide
behind a clean shirt
and scent that clings like ink
to my hands, keeps me awake
for hours, but I can see
the scraps of sadness’ feast
sticking in your teeth and hair.
It’s on you like a brand, dark
and bittersweet as blood,
my hungry gaze. I want
to haul it out of you
and thrash its sticky blackness
over stones, jealous
of the stifling hold it has.
I place my hands
face up on the table,
their insides pale as flags
of surrender, and say
give it to me to deal with
later. Let me take the midnight watch
so you can sleep.

                – Claire Askew

Claire Askew lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she works as a lecturer in Literature, Communication and Creative Writing and hoards manual typewriters in her spare room.

A Gentle Censure From My Lover, The Librarian by Michael Conley

A Gentle Censure From My Lover, The Librarian

Maybe if you just read more books you wouldn’t be
so damn miserable all the time she said
which I didn’t get
because all I ever do is read books, was in fact
reading a book when she said it,
resting it on flat palms the way I imagine
I would hold a communion wafer
or baby bird
if I were religious or a child
and I looked up from it only momentarily,
long enough to see her shut the bedroom door,
releasing the handle slowly so as not to disturb me any further.

                – Michael Conley

Michael Conley is a secondary school teacher from Manchester, UK. He is currently studying part-time for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Screaming Silence by Zach Fishel

Screaming Silence

No spaces between

The aftermath of

A monastic principle
authorized, and believed.

I want to forget,
waving like leaves
in a short-lived October.
The blowing
piebald in my vision
as I contemplate
or life as things fall
to the ground
crashing but finally,

                – Zach Fishel

Zach Fishel is a recent Pushcart Nominee and UT Press Fellowship holder. When he isn’t editing at Jumping Blue Gods he is hard at work sipping rye and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals.

all hooves and diligence by Miriam Matzeder

Hoofin’ It, originally uploaded by Katford.

all hooves and diligence

no matter my

i am always awake
with loving him:

the blood,

the purposeful

where horses go
and race to their

all hooves
and diligence,

steam rising
from their

                – Miriam Matzeder

Miriam Matzeder is from Kansas City, Missouri, where she’s been writing since she was an awkward adolescent. Nothing much has changed.

What Tales by Alan S. Kleiman

What Tales

The old barn captured
in a sunny day-light print
the years of stories
mere hints.

The tires in the loft
four summers, one snow
the spare?
Folks must have left in winter
snow treads still mounted
Heading north out of town.

The summer treads could stay
like bathing suits in January
who could imagine a need?
Hey, were those wheels
from that Pontiac
broken down, sold “as is”
tires forgotten?

If hay could speak
What tales, what tales…

Walls lined like wrinkled brows
keeping silent
what tales.

Out in the field
her small feet earth bound
she stood and looked around
in every direction

                – Alan S. Kleiman

Alan S. Kleiman’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Verse Wisconsin, The Criterion, Fringe, The Bicycle Review, Pyrta, Eskimo Pie, and The Montucky Review. His chapbook, Grand Slam, is forthcoming in 2012 from Crisis Chronicles Press.