Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 7

What is this Love that you Speak of?

You are an artist
and I am a writer
and so I knew
that breaking
would be a given.
You and I are better
as a story and on skin.
Your fits are brutal
with words like fists
and mine are choreographed
complete with maudlin tears
burned canvases
broken beer bottles
my collection of ceramic owls
and my words in a basket
and a loud and clear, Fuck You.
We are children
pretending to be
grown ups by
paying the bills
looking both ways
tying our shoe laces
wearing seat belts and
whispering at the library.
But truly
we just want to strip down
and let the waves
the wind
the moon
and whatever higher power
has a hold of us
to set us free.
My heart is paper.
When you tear it out
I fold it into Yoda
or a Lotus Flower,
and I place it gently
into your hands.
You are always impressed
and so you take me back.
We are mostly about the exits
and the entrances aren’t we?
Always happy to see each other
after some time apart.
And the shelf where I
keep my owls is always empty.
Is this love?



BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)

It was the year of good hygiene
and fatal diseases.

It was the year of sketching fruit
and cutting the sleeves off of her blouses.

It was the year of coloring books
and reading Tolstoy .

It was the year of free love
and monogamy.

It was the year of innocence
pig tails, pink, and plush.

It was the year of no religion
and finding God.

It was the year of driving without a seat belt
and saying fuck rules, fuck shrinks, and fuck you.

It was the year of painting
every room ” Buttercup Yellow.”

It was the year of nightmares
and eating in bed.

It was the year of hating mothers
and loving fathers .

It was the year of being a republican
and falling in love with democrats

It was the year of bandaged wrists
and throwing away knives.

It was the year of loving her feet
and hating her hands.

It was the year of avoiding cats
and collecting puppies.
It was the year of seeking truth
and sewing the sleeves back onto her blouses.

It was another year of not knowing
who she is and pretending that she does.


Holly Jaffe has participated in The Palm Beach Poetry Festival for the last 5 years. She has competed in local poetry slams and has been published in a South Florida talent magazine.

Originally published on December 15, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry.

Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 6

Beckett’s Private Hell

how Beckett merits
unmoved performance.

the design,
a gloomy chamber,
fretful, profound and fresh.

the figure,
a man,
a gammy left leg of long habit.

the portrait,
weakness grown with hate

a problem actor,
enables inflection.

his child,
an invisible pipe of irony,
the source of crippling guilt.

he undercuts
restless effects,

sacrifices music,
designs a world
without performance.

Kevin Reid lives and works as a librarian in Angus, Scotland. He has a first class MA Hons. in English Literature. He has lived in a various polemic communities in the North East of Scotland. He also lived naked in a tipi community in the Spanish mountains. When not buying or reading books he writes, paints and enjoys the creative magnificence of digital technology. His work has appeared in The Plebian RagEviscerator Heaven, and accepted for The Recusant and next edition of Eleutheria. At present he is working on a collection for his first chapbook.

Originally published on December 13, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry.

Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 5

Stumblebum Dawn

To some, dusk is a stumblebum dawn tripped on the stairs.
A grand entrance was planned, the staircase fabulous,
the dazzling sunlight behind the window atop the stairs
half blinding all the upturned eyes awed by the sight
of that top-floor prodigy prepared, preordained to gracefully descend.
But reckless feet tangled in the folds of the poorly laid red carpet.
The sharp edges of each step made for a bruising fall.
Of course the banister was grabbed many times,
but the sheer momentum of the tumble
yanked the arms like an inquisitor’s rack.
The torso turned over and over until it hit bottom,
its potential and kinetic energy spent.
Finally the falling body was at rest
on the cold naked floor beyond the reach of the chintzy red carpet.
Inertia forbade any attempt to rise and try again,
and pain deterred even the thought of it.
There can be only one descent from beginning to end.
And now Stumblebum’s eyes are closing but can still see up the stairs
all the way to the top window no longer filled with sunlight,
but dim and growing dimmer, the grand entrance reduced to pratfall



The Same Chemistry of Tears

Dad let me stay up late medicating with eyedroppers full of milk, a hopeless remedy.
Next morning I cried when dad and I in solemn procession carried the garbage bag coffin.
There by the front-lawn bush was the funeral.
Dad offered a parody of prayer.
But I, a six year old who nursed then lost his pet, really cried.
Years later I said prayers for my father and cried the same chemistry of tears,
for all tears of grief are for washing out not motes from the eyes, but sorrow from the soul.
Grief-laden tears, all tears of emotion, share the same concentrations of proteins and salts.
Of course for dad I still cry, sometimes.
Now I’m here again, and once more there’s a congregation of two.
I am the father now; my son is bored.
He proclaims that all old bones are dust; and so they are.
He scolds that there’s nothing to find here,
and claims I’m being silly, no worse—sappy.
He wants us to get back into the car and move on.
But I recall exactly where the ancient grave is,
there to the right of the door under that tree that was once a bush.
Father and son—I recall. Father and son—now. Father and son—someday
How selfish of me, ridiculous, cruel even.
Decades from now, I will want him to remember this futile visit
and cry the same chemistry while boring his son to tears.



Richard Fein was finalist in The 2004 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. He has an upcoming chapbook to be published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Richard has been published in many web and print journals, such as Southern ReviewMorpo ReviewPerigee, SkylineOregon East, Southern Humanities Review, TouchstoneWindsor ReviewMaverickParnassus Literary ReviewSmall PondKansas QuarterlyBlue UnicornExquisite CorpseTerrain Aroostook Review and many others. Richard also has an interest in digital photography and has published many photos.

Originally published on December 12, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry.