Concrete Meat Press Recommends
Here are some samples of work by some of our favourite poets writing today.
All poems are copyright of the authors and are used here with their kind permission.
Since 1970 John Yamrus has published 25 volumes of poetry and 2 novels. He has also had more than 1,800 poems published in print magazines around the world. Selections of his poetry have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Swedish, French, Japanese, Italian, Romanian, Albanian and Bengali. His poetry is taught in a number of colleges and universities. AS REAL AS RAIN is his newest book.
His website is: http://www.johnyamrus.com.
where i sit
and write my poems
is beat up and scratched,
held together with wire, tape and hope.
you figure it out.
makes you bulletproof,
just to be
and proved him
i am being
Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. He has read in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy"the ghost of Hendrix"Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, Café Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He was in the Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ. Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto.
New Mexico Blues
Spaniard just finished smoking
some good cheese and sipping
Thunderbird, he was almost
finished reading LeRoi Jones’
Preface to a Twenty Volume
Suicide Note, Amiri Baraka had
signed it for him, he heard a tap
at the door, it was one of his gal
Pals, she wanted to watch tv and
get laid, she took a shower and
came out in a white silk negligee,
Spaniard said, “I don’t know what
To do first, lick you or dick you,”
“Take your pick Slick,” She turned
on NYPD Blue, “How come those
dudes can piss without holding their
Peckers?” Spaniard just shrugged,
he wrote: You got me on fire baby
like parakeets in Marakesh I’ve
been in the dog house all my life
Bad people come in all flavors from
Placitas, Tijeras Canyon, Jemez Hot
Springs, Tucumcari, Raton, Santa Fe,
she pressed against him, they smiled.
A legend of the Cleveland mimeo scene from the 1960s and author of a number of chapbooks, Kent Taylor now resides in San Francisco. Here is an unpublished poem:
For John Burroughs
the fault lines
Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklaho Review.
Miracles and Accidents
When I was four years old
my mother told me
I was a miracle.
When I was eleven
my father told me
I was an accident.
If I had to choose
I’d be the accident
with nothing expected
and leave the miracles
D. A Pratt
D.A. Pratt “continues to continue” in a comfortably conventional community in Canada ... he is genuinely concerned about the burgeoning stupidity that seems to be virtually everywhere ...
As the Road Gets Slippery
There’s a storm approaching
and the road gets slippery when wet.
In these times, it’s getting genuinely difficult
to be a middle of the road type of person:
the ugly gully on the political right
has an impossibly deep drop-off,
on the highway we call life,
while the loose stones
all over the place
on the political left
are also distressingly threatening
since their bumpy consequences
are utterly unknowable today ...
As the road gets slippery,
we seem to be speeding up
but touching the brakes
is not an option ...
Dave Roskos is the editor of Big Hammer & Street Value poetry magazines. They are print mags but can also be found online at www.outlawlibrary.blogspot.com
He founded Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books in 1988 and has published approximately 50 books and chapbooks by other poets and writers including Harvey Pekar, Tom Kryss, rjs, Bertha Sanchez Bello, Michael Pingarron, Bob Rixon, Joe Weil, Hal Sirowitz, Donald Lev, Linda Lerner, Matt Borkowski, Ken Greenley, John Lunar Richey, Mark Weber, Chris Stroffolino, Kell Robertson, Todd Moore & many others. His own work has appeared in Home Planet News, New York Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, Long Shot, Lummux, Mas Tequila Review, Temp Slave, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry,
& elsewhere online & in print. His Selected Poems, Lyrical Grain, Doggerel Chaff, & Pedestrian Preoccupations was published in 2016 by Cat in the Sun Books/reDux Consortium.
picking up garbage
on the side of the road.
every day is Earth Day
on the chain gang.
Victor Clevenger spends his days in a madhouse and his nights with his second ex-wife, together they raise six children in a small town northeast of Kansas City, MO. Selected pieces of his work have appeared in a variety of places online, and in print. Victor is the author of several poetry collections including, Come Here (Least Bittern Books, 2016), The More Exciting Side Of Death (Epic
Rites Press/Tree Killer Ink, 2016), SOULWHORE (Svensk Apache, 2017), and his latest poetry collection is titled Congenital Pipe Dreams (Spartan Press,
i’m a writer, not a fighter
& on the nights when
my busted lips
tint the ice cubes red
& she sits there for an hour
letting the melted water
her soft cold fingers
i tell her
“even superheroes take a few
good punches, darling,
nobody can dodge them all”
she always laughs kindly
then reminds me
“sweetheart, i have yet to see
you dodge one”
Kevin Ridgeway lives and writes in Long Beach, CA. His Pushcart-Prize nominated work has appeared in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Big Hammer, San Pedro River Review, Drunk Monkeys, Spillway, Lummox Press, Cultural Weekly and The Mas Tequila Review, among many others. His six chapbooks of poetry include All the Rage (Electric Windmill Press), On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press) 66 Lines on Your Soul (w/Catfish McDaris and Subhankar Das, Graffitti Kolkata) and Contents Under Pressure (Crisis Chronicles Press).
My California State Identification Card
the photograph looks
like a David Crosby
mug shot, and the confused
look on my face suggests
I wandered into the DMV
randomly off the street
and just stood in line
until I was called up
to a desk and logged
into the system so
that when they arrest
me, they'll recognize
the handlebar mustache
layer of chins
and when I buy
cigarettes or want
to drown in the ack
of Night Train, they'll
see the photograph
of me on the
do not serve list
pasted along the
bottom of the overhead
and hand my ID
back with their
shit eating grins
and send me on
my way back into
the wilderness of
(Originally Appeared in Bicycle Review)
Damian Rucci is a writer and poet from New Jersey whose work has recently appeared in Beatdom, Rusty Truck, Indiana Voice Journal, and Eunoia Review. He is the author of The Former Lives of Saints (EMP 2017 w/ Ezhno Martin), Tweet and Other Poems (Maverick Duck Press 2016), and A Symphony of Crows (Indigent Press 2015). He performs his poetry across the country and is the host of the Poetry in the Port reading series.
All of My Ex Girlfriends Are Martians
All of my ex-girlfriends are martians
in the pictures buried on Facebook—
their eyes are black orbs
like little black holes
like the thousands of black skies
and within them if I look hard enough
I can almost see us there— old memories
like a VHS tape that's been played too much.
How can we be judged
for what happened then?
We are actors who played our parts
and have since forgotten the lines
I am now.
I was born an instant ago
Life is a procession of births
and deaths until the curtains close.
My break ups are choruses of
I am the caterpillar
that never leaves the cocoon
the rebellion you could never muster
I am the fire your father sold
for a safe house in the 'burbs
I am changing tides.
I am a dry-erase board that's never filled.
I am the tape that you keep
shooting new video over.
And we were a scene scratched
into the black tape.
The universe will bring us together
again as strangers in convenient store lines
and we won't recognize each other.
We are destined to be unread credits
in each-other's movies.
Merrit is 42 and has been writing since he could hold a utensil. He was born in Madison, Indiana, USA. He lives in Austin, Indiana, has a family and is constantly waiting for muses ...
Music crawls slow
Here goes the
Between warm embraces
The silence between songs
The silence between jovial faces
Or even between bombs
Where are we
Dianne Borsenik is active in the northern Ohio poetry scene and regional reading circuit. Her work has appeared in The Offbeat, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Rosebud, Slipstream, and others; new work is forthcoming in Chiron Review. Lit Youngstown printed her poem "Disco" on their tee shirts, which makes her feel like a rock star. In 2011, she founded NightBallet Press. Find her at www.dianneborsenik.com.
Paradigm for Unraveling
— after a photograph by Timm Wherry
Morning is a backstory,
threadbare and wanting,
on the garden bench.
The day unravels
a little at a time,
until all that’s left
are the wings, hungry for
the canticle of wind,
but uncertain how
to go about finding it.
Originally appeared in "Recession in Neverland" (Paladin Knight Publishing, 2017)
Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.
Un-sided Self Portrait
My red yarn brings all the boys to the yard
and then sinks them down under the buoys.
My dark crystals are hidden inside
Just because I sink down
doesn't mean I still can't swim
in my own directions.
Doesn't mean I still can't maneuver up.
Maybe I just don't want to
Some of you take sides too quickly,
as if there are only two.
I'm a many sided protrusion.
Sometimes I like to keep
the positive parts to myself
and only release the negatives.
I can sink myself, keep my own
glitter under wet ashes,
until I decide to rise it up.
Originally appeared in Hermeneutic Chaos
Lorraine Cipriano has just written a steampunk haiku across your heart and it is starting to infect you with its poison-laced octopus tentacles. She can be typically found hanging out in a whimsical world of haiku, tanka and poetry where she is the gatekeeper to a large collection of Buddhist, feminist, steampunk and horror filled imagery scrolled in sparkly shades of angst.
She has been published in Writing Knights Press, Prolific Press, The Poetry Barn, Crisis Chronicles Press, NightBallet Press, Toledo Streets Newspaper, Maura Dauterman, and Poems for All. Find her latest book "On Pointe" here at http://www.lulu.com/shop/lorraine-cipriano/on-pointe/paperback/product-23153695.html
On a Sunflower Vibe
In the midst of bohemian poetry
guitar drenched androgynous girls
belting out Walmart-stained blues
with a theme of woman filled art
a pair of eyes looking at her
canvas painting of a gypsy dancer
half-opened fan pressed against lips
body-hugging traje de flamenca
wondering, “¿Dónde estás ahora?”
all of the sweetness brings it
delicious blood orange sunflower
lotion lingering in the air and
hair twirling on fingertips gently
skirts of bangles and mystery
enticing like the summer night
sounds of katydids and baby owls
so soothing while reminiscing
about the feel of shoulders
the taste of lips that are ready
to explore the unknown
tu eres mi alma gemela
knowing this will one day be
all the realness between us
Originally published in "On Pointe" published by The Poetry Barn
John Burroughs is a poet, playwright and publisher based near Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. His published works include The Eater of the Absurd [2012, NightBallet Press] and a dozen-or-so sundry chapbooks. Since 2008 he has run Crisis Chronicles Press, publishing fine writers from around the world. Find him at www.crisischronicles.com
recalling Columbia Hills Country Club, 1986
Geri was a waitress
served me a stiff drink called a screaming orgasm
vodka, Irish cream, amaretto and coffee liqueur
While soaked in steam from the dishwashing machine
I scrubbed dried hollandaise sauce
from some would-be PGA star's lunch plate
and waited for our lunch break
in the basement storeroom where we'd covertly
wash down the day's eggs Benedict with another
But this time no screaming
Jake St. John
Jake St. John writes out of New London, CT and is the author of several collections of poetry and pamphlet poems including, Rotations (Night Ballet Press 2015), Looking For Sunflowers (Good Cop/Bad Cop, 2012), and Change of Address (Unarmed 2010). His work has appeared in numerous literary and arts magazines such as, The Blue Collar Review, Big Hammer, and The People’s Tribune. Since 2007 he has served as the editor of Elephant and co-editor of Flying Fish.
for Li Po
On this boat
the sun set
on my youth
shine like stars
in my heart
I love your smile
take me away
to lonely mountain
to cry in the arms
on this river
the water kisses
and seems to whisper
Charles Joseph lives and writes deep in the heart of New Jersey. He is the author of NO OUTLET (a novel),five poetry chapbooks, and Chameleon a collection of poems and short stories that will be released in 2017. His poems, short stories, and creative non-fiction have appeared in various literary journals and online magazines. Visit him at www.charlesjosephlit.com and https://www.facebook.com/charlesjosephwrites
The Wind Carried Away the Cotton Wool
For Federico Garcia Lorca
When in Spain I touched a cobblestone
touched by the blood of martyrs
and never did I imagine
that the work of a bevy of bullets
could strike my soul with so much force
traveling all the way to me from the past
but it did, and it still does.
So since I can easily be erased
and you can easily be erased
I’m sure we can all agree
that a poetic death doesn’t really exist
regardless of how much a country
tries to whitewash their history.
Because sooner or later
a beautiful museum will be erected
and it will be filled with all of
the bones they’ve collected
and tickets will be sold by the pound
because a good old fashioned
death is a joy forever —
until you are the one who's been
blindfolded and murdered.
Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia. Writing of his has been published all around the world and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection PUNCHING THE TEETH FROM THE SKY is available from Epic Rites Press. To read more of his work visit brentonbooth.weebly.com
Searching For Hemingway
The taxi arrived at the
hotel in Havana at 8pm
it was raining though he
still recognized it from
all the pictures he had
seen over the years
he paid the fare and
stepped out of the taxi
3 porters ran for his
he was already carrying
it but the strongest of
the bunch eventually
wrestled it free
he wasn’t sure what would
at the front desk he asked
if Hemingway’s room was
100 dollars, said the clerk
with a big smile
(he later learned that was
more than 3 times what it
the room was quite big for
a hotel room
with a small balcony with
a view of mostly rooftops
the porters wouldn’t leave
he gave them each a dollar
Eat! eat! they said
No, no, drink! Get me drink!
they quickly scattered like
he looked around the room
he thought about his trip
from Sydney to here:
would it be worth it?
the porters all ran in at the
each one with the same bottle
he made them sweat a bit
then took all 3
he paid each of them then told
them to leave
he locked the door behind them
took off his shirt and shoes
and stood on the balcony with
an open bottle in his hand
had his first hit
Matthew Borczon is a nurse and Navy sailor from Erie, pa. He is the author of two books, A Clock of human bones from the yellow Chair Review press: and Battle lines from Epic rights press. These poems are from his next release Ghost Train coming out this summer through Weasel press. Matt is a nurse for a social services agency and is still a member of the Navy Reserve.
K W Peery
Prolific Americana songwriter and poet, K.W. Peery, is the author of 'Tales of a Receding Hairline” “Purgatory” “Wicked Rhythm” and “Ozark Howler”. 'Tales of a Receding Hairline' was a semifinalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards - Best in Poetry 2016.
Peery is a regular contributor in Veterans Voices and the Australia Times Poetry Magazine. His work will be included in the forthcoming Vincent Van Gogh Anthology “Resurrection of a Sunflower” and the Walsall Poetry Society Anthology “Diverse Verse II” He writes about personal life experiences. Grappling with morality and mortality, the unvarnished truth is breathtakingly obvious. His unapologetic vulnerability is neatly embedded within each work. He has an innate ability to dig up his past and offer it to the reader as if they were sitting across the table having a beer with him.
Peery is most well known as a founding member of the Marshall/Peery Project. This collaboration produced four critically acclaimed studio albums from 2005 to present.
The Marshall/Peery Project frequently appear on the Roots Music Report and Americana Charts. Their songs are in regular rotation in the United States, Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Credited as a lyricist and producer, Peery's work appears on more than a dozen studio albums over the past decade.
in the creek bank mud
A bellyful of
Down to my
last few doses
Still searchin' for salvation
in the Triplett Timber
Know more about sufferin'
than they'll ever tell me
Poet, writer, editor, publisher, scholar, professor, activist Ron Whitehead grew up on a farm in Kentucky. He attended The University of Louisville and Oxford University. As poet and writer he is the recipient of numerous state, national, and international awards and prizes including The All Kentucky Poetry Prize, The Yeats Club of Oxford’s Prize for Poetry, and many others. In 2006 Dr. John Rocco (NYC) nominated Ron for The Nobel Prize in Literature. He was recently inducted into his high school’s (Ohio County High) Hall of Fame, representing his 1968 graduating class.
Ron has edited and published the works of such luminaries as His Holiness The Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, Hunter S. Thompson, Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, John Updike, Wendell Berry, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, BONO, Allen Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Rita Dove, Douglas Brinkley, Robert Hunter, Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and hundreds more.
Ron has produced over 2,000 Arts Events, Happenings, and Festivals throughout Europe and the USA. He has performed thousands of shows around the world with some of the best musicians and bands on the planet. He recently returned from a Scandinavia Tour with French rock band Blaak Heat and from New York City where his new book "blistered asphalt on dixie highway: Kentucky Basketball is Poetry in Motion" was released at the historic Poets House.
Ron's work has been translated into nearly 20 languages. He is the author of 30 books and 40 cds. We've published several Ron Whitehead titles and we're sure excited to publish his newest book, Quest for Self in the Ocean of Consciousness: Ibsen, Hamsun, Munch, Joyce: The Origins of Modernism and Expressionism
Ron Whitehead's official website is www.tappingmyownphone.com
poets come out of your toilets
you've been holed up too long
playing with yourselves with
your wastes you're wasting away
all olfactory sensations dead
what with your head now situated
on your posterior one eyed cyclopian
peering down into midnight bottom
of the outhouse and it's time to
throw away the corncobs and Sears
catalogs and walk back out into
the barnyards the open pastures
of the world where animals and
people and flowers still bloom
where the sun still shines through
the moon at midnight in that other
world you've lost until now it's
high time to wake up pull your sad
face and every other hanging down
part of you out of that stinking
forlorn lost world you'll be fertilizer
soon enough for now it's time to
reconstruct who you are your life
time to check out of the amnesia
motel and get back on the highway
61 or 66 or 69 and finally say
goodbye to those lonesome lost
blue pieces of who you used to
be and say hello to this yellow
sunrise post-world where the crows
are grinning and the morning glories
Christina M. Brooks
Christina M. Brooks is a poet from Ferndale, Michigan in the USA. Her book 'A Thousand Voices. A City Shamen's Book.' has been published by The Poet's Haven.
Shadows of Life and Death
it is a strange harmony
that life reveals itself in death
that the future is affirmed in memory
in tragedy lives are deeply cut by grief
hearts are seared with sorrow
old wounds are re-opened by the press of stones
there is no satisfaction in retribution
merely a release in moving forward
our futures are watered by past tears
life re-blooms from the ashes
this is nature’s deepest wisdom
that the shadows of life and death
are linked and round.
Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine and co-poetry editor of Into the Void Magazine (winner of the 2017 Saboteur Award for Best Magazine). He has published three chapbooks, “A Curmudgeon Is Born” (Yellow Chair Press 2016), “Digging for Fire” and “Your Noisy Eyes” (both by Stay Weird and Keep Writing Press 2016). He is a Best of the Net Nominee and his work has been translated into journals in Albania and Kosovo. He was the judge of Into the Void Magazine’s 2016 Poetry Competition and edited the anthology "Luminous Echoes," the sales of which will be donated to help with the prevention of suicide/self harm. His work has appeared or is due to be published in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Of/with, Chiron Review, 13 Myna Birds, Main Street Rag, Mobius, Blue Mountain Review, Gold Dust, Third Wednesday, Cruel Garters, Glom Cupboard, X-Peri, BlazeBOX, andelsewhere.
Your lovely Karma superglued it’s teeth shut
so it would have a permanent Pearly smile
though Karma forgot it would no longer be able
to talk. This grew frustrating and eventually
after enough time and anger had built up
Karma screamed so loud that it cracked
the it’s glued-shut teeth and now
wears the jagged teeth
like some kind of monster.
Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing for the Appalachian hamlet of Pittsburgh. He’s the author of several books the most recent of which, the chaplet,Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) is available now, and the collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) which is coming in September. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read some poems at jasonbaldinger.bandcamp.com.
John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015,) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017). He is the current Poet Laureate of Belle, MO. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at email@example.com
Spiders the Size of Dogs
a dead hawk lying in the sun
in this heat
it’s hard to remember
where you left your heart
& nobody is going
to draw you
John D. Robinson
John D Robinson is a UK poet: hundreds of his poems have appeared in the small press and online literary journals: His latest publications are: ‘These Poems Stole Your Lunch Money’ with Bradley Mason Hamlin(Holy&intoxicated Publications 2018) ‘The Pursuit Of Shadows’ (Analog
Submission Press 2018) and he has a chapbook 'Echoes of Diablo' forthcoming from Concrete Meat Press.
Nails It Dead
I know life can be cheap
even with love;
time is a chain of
thrown to obviousness
like scattered bird-seed
footsteps trodden into a
world of blandness
love doesn’t save your
ass, sometimes it
nails it dead,
you can’t love all
the fucking –time,
rejection will ease its
way in like a silent
love won’t save your
ass from yourself.
‘This is the best Vodka that
money can buy and I’m
drinking it with the best
fruit juice money can buy’
he told me;
‘This is the best Blue-
tooth speaker money can
buy’ he slurred:
I asked for Sibelius,
Finlandia; I turned up
the volume and closed
it was painful to look
at my friend, I didn’t
want to look at him,
playing suicide and
killing himself with the
best Vodka money can buy,
I kept my eyes shut and
became submerged in
the mighty Sibelius and
the images of the Finish
mountains and swans in
flight and cigars and
cognac and I could hear
the small song-birds in
the trees above and it
was beautiful and then
I opened my eyes to the
best tragedy money can
buy, trying to stitch a