Daniel Roy Connelly




Songstress on Primetime Italian TV


Songstress what songstress

I see svelte teenage girls

in bikinis gyrating

while men watch

& women clap hands

in time to the band who

are all men

no they’re definitely lip-synching

in fact not even


damn                                    adverts


next up there are svelte teenage girls

in bikinis suspended

from meat hooks

while men in butchers’ hats

slap price tags on their arses

well not really from meat hooks but

you certainly get an idea of something




Daniel Roy Connelly was born in England but has spent much of his adult life being educated in Italy, India, Bangladesh, The USA and Scotland. Formerly a British diplomat, he has been an academic since 1999. He is currently an assistant professor of English Literature and Theatre at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome.


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James Naiden for National Poetry Month in the US and Canada



In Memory of Brian Donovan




Always – perhaps not always – you were genial

In imitation of now-gone personalities, perhaps

Drunk – that described person – and yourself, so

Much that it hurt to laugh, although strong beer

Gives a hint of perfection, jollity while standing

At the bar, not sitting – that would be passive


So that when recounting a quiver of passivity,

It was “up” the humor, quick as booze, standing

Or sitting, the wit had a lure of more than beer,

But whipping humor brought forth dexterously, so

Ironic, sharp, pointed as a stiletto, perhaps

Gone in the past, your New York roots genial


But observant as a professor of the past in a genial

Mood bought through alcohol, not always, perhaps

Not as mirthless as a desert or stone, so

Rampant is the need for lightness, froth through beer

If only in the brain, distorted pose while standing,

Drinking, elbows of the raconteur, not passive.


The opposite of vocative is not always passive,

Nor are the cymbals of talk had through standing

Alone, but with company. There, Brian, beer or no beer,

You were without peer, as if learnedness, a Ph.D. so

Unambitious could get you loved, possibly, perhaps,

But you said: “I’m not marriageable.” Still genial,


As if an aura of bachelor knighthood was your genial

Flag, no misogyny intended, you remained perhaps

The embodiment of time concealed, not yet forty, so

Unconcerned with time passing, not a reader, the beer

Of career goals – you were indifferent, as if standing

At the bar, reconciling the past could remake the passive,


The instance, now that your dissertation left passive,

Undecided, “an open question” – sitting or standing,

With a bloody mary or hops distilled as expensive beer,

The wraparound of years when I first knew you, so

Elemental in manner, undisturbed, I thought, perhaps

Keeping close to one’s home was more congenial.


Two weeks ago, was it, perhaps three, the genus of time

So forgotten, beer or wine, sitting, standing, hardly passive –

& then your heart expired in hospital, Wednesday evening last.



James Naiden’s third novel, The Chafings of Mortalswas published in 2011. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a regular reviewer for IS&T.

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Fred Pollack for National Poetry Month in the US and Canada




In the Hallway


A girl pressing her cheek against a door,

doorjamb, or wall beside a door.

Crying probably, possibly

mumbling. That’s it.

Her face is turned away,

you can’t see if she’s pretty.

Which would make a difference

in your quotient of empathy

divided by reluctance

to get involved plus eventual impatience.

And if and how quickly

you escaped the sense

of not being a plausible

savior (someone she’d find

attractive when this is over), or –

long-cherished, firmly-held –

of helplessness. A novelist

cases the hallway, the smells and light,

social class as revealed

by her dress. Or should.

For my part, I (not making this

about me) check

the decaying file, the yellowed partial volume

of memory. Not finding her.

But she exists now, therefore always did

and will, and is both punishment and forgiveness.




Fred Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure  and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press.  Other poems in print and online journals.  Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.


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Rosalie Wilmot for National Poetry Month in the US and Canada




Place beyond Place


She snuck out

(under the warm cover of covers)

and you were snoring,

and you reached to feel the sliding curve of her hip,


but thought you missed


turned over again


(this is where she left her skin).


Now she’s—hopping through a field above a house you grew up in

where the oak trees are black with pitch

and the grass cuts at your ankles

tough from the sun.


She is just a dot on a map

winking through the stars

blowing the bathroom door open

wrapped in silk not flesh

bound up in the twisted corners of your smile as you lie


quietly asleep.




Rosalie Wilmot has a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She has lived and loved in the cities of Seattle and Denver but now calls Chaiyaphum, Thailand home (base). Her words are regularly published at http://curiousescapades.wordpress.com/.


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Holly Day for National Poetry Month in the US and Canada




Fred, Half Dead, Beethoven In His Head


You can’t talk to Beethoven

on a bus stop in Chicago

because you’ll just get lost.


Lauded as a genius,

he can’t give good directions

because he’s dead.


Ask Fred about Beethoven

about Fred

his hands waving wildly with excitement like

the vibrations coming up through his feet.

conducting symphonies in an empty room.


Fred will tell you how planets hum

give directions to angry flocks of pigeons

lecture on string theory

like harpsichords, and how Beethoven was more

of a transcriber than a composer.


I picture the two sitting together

lost in deep conversation.





Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes for the Minneapolis school district and writing classes at The Loft  Literary Center. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Tampa Review, The Comstock Review, and the St. Paul Almanac, and she is the 2011 recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published books are  Walking Twin Cities and Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch.


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