Thursday, March 15, 2007


Yolanda Coulaz is a poet and photographer, and owner/editor of Purple Sage Press (when she’s not working at her “day job”). She also teaches poetry workshops to middle and high school students throughout Long Island. Her poetry has won a number of awards and has been widely published. Her signature poem “Cool, Cotton Comfort” won first place in the Mattia Family 8th International Poetry Competition. In April 2004 she coordinated, hosted and was a feature reader at “Poets for Pets”, a fundraiser for Loving Touch Animal Rescue, and has published the anthology For Loving Precious Beast to help benefit their cause. Her first book of poetry Spirits and Oxygen was released in October 2003. Google her name on the internet, and find out more. (Photo provided by Yolanda Coulaz)


I wore him like a tight pair of jeans,
and he looked damn good on me.
It was almost obscene,
that tight pair of jeans.

He didn’t fit,
and I was proud of it
and the way they’d stare
at that man I’d wear.
It was almost obscene,
that pair of jeans.

Well, I’m older today,
and I’ve got a man that fits
like a pair of sweats, heather grey,
and he looks damn good on me.
And that tight pair of jeans?
Well, I threw him away.

Spirits and Oxygen
Copyright © 2003
by Yolanda Coulaz
Purple Sage Press


She reads cheap paperbacks
and bibles and takes them
at their word, wears black
and lives on caffeine,
cigarettes and stress.

Her nails are nubs;
cuticles ragged and raw;
hair, Midnight #36.

Her skin is pale
in sky scraper shadows,
and she is lean
for lack of transportation.

She eats soft pretzels
soaked in humidity,
seasoned with salt
and carbon monoxide,
searches for something
in subways and taverns,
and she doesn’t read
the funnies anymore.

Spirits and Oxygen
Copyright © 2003
by Yolanda Coulaz
Purple Sage Press

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


EFRAYIM LEVENSON'S new chapbook, Dances With Tears, will be available for general sale March 20. (Photo by Hobobob)

by Efrayim Levenson

The record climb
the record fall
Don't look now
There go your balls!

The next ball up
can't come too fast
Yolanda Vega
won't save your ass



Adrift in time
at peace with space
the love in this place
sledge-hammered into his head
shatters all levels
of dissonant rhythms
He cannot sing what it reveals
The chorus in his disturbed quietude
is slapped across his face
left, then right, then left again

"Please let me breathe", he gasps,
"just for a moment to regain my composure
in the maze. Perhaps the auto-tracking
on the VCR in my mind will accomplish
something soon. A swirl of nausea reels me
as I dance between the city people during a
brief furlough from the numbers game,
the calculator's click-clack not far away."

If only for a little rain
to soak his disposition
in the rhythmic splashings
of his long walk home
Perhaps tonight he can write this poem
if only the day would end

"If only the day would end", he thinks,
"I could lay down with you
to feel my rhythm in your pulse,
look into your eyes that always lure me in.
I love the song your trigger finger sings."

Good morning!
Back into the fitful grind
to ride the rails once again
rattle shake squeal of brake
back to the rustle of purple paper
the CPU click again, again,
again the stiff roar from the humorless
Only a few know the size of the real picture
Is the clock friend or foe?
All he knows is smallness in the world
but they keep knocking on his door for answers

"Just a little comfort with you in my arms
quiets the incessant buzz. Hold me down
while there's yet time for peace."

For soon the morning light rages
with the burden of a man
in search of a place to stand
So many discordant pieces to assemble
for the walk up the battlefield's hill
where the images are never concrete
His final rest lies at the top
He feels the pull of a new day
while he awaits the rattling shatter
of the vice that flattens his head
Pound the drum
Scrape the string clean
Shield yourselves from his burden's burst
Have a good laugh at the clown's expense
You'll feel sorry when it's too late
Tick, tick, tick, adrift in accelerated fading time again
Wake up!
We're not done with you yet.
Your egg isn't scrambled enough
The shots fired are just your synapse snap

It'll be fine in the morning.


Saturday, March 10, 2007


Born in Germany, emigrated to US as a child, grew up in Mass, went thru something like hell, came out on the other side, represents creative people from the Gulad behind bars. maybe someday there will be something more detailed ...


I walked down the alley
where the priest held a gun to my head
of course god loves you
he said
and so do I
he bent down to kiss me
and then he pulled the trigger

by "Lady Penumbra" c. 2007


This entire town feeds off this prison
parasites like leeches off dead fish
screams the town
gimme MORE!
I want more prisoners!

A woman observes
"Oh, he’s been here a long time
since before Joey was born"
Joey is now in college
screams the prison
gimme MORE!
I want more time!
Seventy prisons in this state
sustain the corporations
that sustain the body politic
screams the gov’nor
gimme MORE!
I want more prisons!

the rich black soil gives up its farms
trades them for new facilities
and soaks up the blood of the men
screams the earth
gimme MORE!
I want more blood!

two-thousand aimless men
shuffle under the weight of their burdens
hopeless and defeated
struggle the men to whisper

by "Lady Penumbra" c. 2007

Saturday, March 3, 2007


David Elsasser has been a co-host of the weekly, monday, Saturn Reading, at Nightingale Bar for, five years. He has featured at many venues. He is also a photographer who particularly enjoys taking pictures of other spoken word artists performing.


she half shouts, half purrs in our ears. We each feel like it was our individual ear. Maybe that’s the sign of a really good bartender. Or maybe it’s magic. Maybe we all hear important messages through one great generational ear somewhere. Personally I suspect it’s the one hanging on a neon-sign on Varick St. An oracle hidden in plain sight. But I get funny ideas.

The bar-keep needs us to know she’s on our side. She’d give us the universe. Only time is growing short. Oh, it’s not up yet. There’s still time for one more good go-round. One great draft of life. But we have nowhere near as much future as we once did. You know, back in those bygone days when we believed in forever. Our forever. No one could tell us different. Though of course they tried. It was hopeless. But then they knew that.

Now there’s only a finger-thickness of tape left on the feeder spool. We hear Kate starting to warm up in the back room. The barkeep senses us growing sullen. She pulls off her beer-soaked sweatshirt and liberates her pony-tail from her trucker-cap strap. She wriggles out of her jeans and jumps up on the bar, shaking her long hair free.

She is wearing only the g-string she stores in a shot glass behind the bar for emergencies. The Rolling Stones come on the Juke Box. She smiles eternal bliss at us, holding the large print version of the bar menu before her. I can’t get no. A no, no, no. Her gyrations follow the beat. She is wall-to-wall message, and we all read the writing. It’s all good now. But what a decision we each face.

All possibility gapes before us, on the menu. It’s like the sign outside this establishment reads: The Bar Set High. So what to go for? How far can you leap? Her dance goes on. And on. She is Artemis, Isis, Mary, promising our resurgence. One and then another, and then another of us start singing with the music. Only everyone is singing a different song. Each sings the song they hear. His or her own song. While we sing we study our choices.

We harmonize surprising well. We sound like The Beach Boys, or the Supremes, the Beatles or Billie Holiday. It all depends who’s listening.

We sing and contemplate: For starters, there’s the Pleasure Punch Cocktail, I second that emotion, there’s the Major Life-Swing Margarita, looking for my, lost shaker of salt, the Inner-Seeking Micro Brew, ripple in still water, when there is no pebble tossed, nor wind to blow, and the Wistful Manhattan, slow down, you’re moving too fast, I’d like to make the morning last. I should stop right now, because maybe none of these are for you. There’s many, many other choices. You go over it yourself. I know what I want.

Oh, and by the way, I had a conversation with the bartender earlier. She says forever isn’t all that wonderful: You get so tired of yourself. Not to mention the endlessness of human destruction. There are furrows on her graceful forehead.

Now she washes glasses as we speak. This is the part she likes, she says: hanging out, mixing, watching our breath come and go. She takes our orders. We all move along.

David Elsasaser – 2/07


In protest of the Chinese Government’s South Street Seaport exhibit

Thank you silent men
your shed skins illustrate
globalization dissolves difference
but something’s more sinister
than Cheshire smiles suggest.
Sorry I won’t see your
body politic revelations.
You’re too sanguine for me
sinews of cooperation
flexed in laminated ease –
you two high-fiving,
is it good governance
or good riddance you salute?
You thumbing a ride
is it to melting pot
or glue pot you go?

Air of executed men
I fear your gallows giddiness.
What pitiful plea bargains
your hides bought.
Murderers in the flesh, maybe
but you, your meditative stare
recalls Falun Gong. And you,
breathless shout forever sealed
did you sound freedom’s call?
You with tireless climbing step
you look Tibetan.
Cares gone with epidermis
you all look lighter
if suspiciously good humored.
So what portent
your ghoulish second coming?
Is it less mayhem you signal
or just a clever scheme
to stash the bodies?

David Elsasser - 5/06

Friday, March 2, 2007


Doing art of any kind has always been a necessity for me, just as writing became at age 35 when I first attempted to write poetry.
After five years I put together my first chap book entitled "Captain Omega" which I only saved a few poems from. Today I've written three more and am currently working on another. Balancing my time between painting, writing, and practicing T'ai Chi is a daily effort that has been very rewarding for me through the years.

Jack Tricarico
January 6, 2007


Small, frail, East Indian woman
Wheeling her baby carriage
On a tenement sidewalk
Sandwiched between the caved-in stare
Of a Hell's Angel
And my hungrier one
For far away atmospheres
Evident in her delicate, moonwalk step
Oh, poor mother. Oh, poor baby
Everyone eats a little of everyone
In New York City
What we don't eat is our imponderables
That which we can't situate
Or encapsulate or subordinate
Or exasperate or expatriat
Or expropriate or exuviate
Doomsday viruses, interplanetary terrorist
Symptoms of madness that haven't been named
The air produces things
Something starts like a bad rumor
Wherever we lie down
Unity erases us
Divided we still have a face
Small, frail, East Indian woman
Don't walk like the other side
Of a shadow on the other side
Of a wall. Each pore of your skin
Is the door to a laughing abyss
We're in America, you know

Jack Tricarico


Like tendrils
Moving beneath
Clear water
Her hands form
An enclosed sovereignty
In a sunken dimension
That encircles the words
Of men
Like the word "God"
Which she kneads
With soft fists
And the word "myth"
Which she spools
On her thumbs
And the word "fact"
Which she smears
In her palms
And the word "guilt"
Which she clasps
On her wrists
And the word "love"
Which she lifts
With her cup
While the men
Who do not notice
Recede in the chatter
Of their meandering discourse
That fails to unnerve
The impervious waitress
Who waits for our order
Like dust in a vacuum
Compared to my own
The blind girl's hands
Are like the shape of breath
And mine like the hands
Of accomplished assassins
They can paint clouds
With a tar brush
And with fingers embraced
They exchange their regrets
For whatever was left
Undone, unattempted
Or never imagined
From the earliest dawn Of the world
Surrounding the contours Of things
That have the color
Of twilight
And the established composure
Of the blind girl's hands

Jack Tricarico