Everything Red for the Queen by Michael Lee Johnson

Everything is red
in the kingdom of the queen.
Matador hat with barnacles,
witch white hair to the shoulders,
tickling the breast.
In her eyes are the blood shot
of many vampires;
in her heart the daggers
of many soldiers.
Five inky fingers
cross her throat
like an ill-fitted necklace.
Her dress is like heart charms,
scales of fish dripping
blood toward her toes.
Withy, twists around her throat.
Anglers of the court toss hooks
toward her cherry red lips,
capture the moment
of the haze of purple
surrounding her head.
Everything is red
in the kingdom of the queen.
Death changes colors from red to blue.


Holiday by Gary Beck

Explosions rip the night
but nobody pauses.
It’s the 4th of July
and the fireworks show
erupts with color and sound
in a peaceful celebration
of a beautiful ideal,
a brilliant document,
a revolutionary concept
though only for some.

Remembrance of Blue Roses by Yorker Keith

indexYorker Keith’s debut novel Remembrance of Blue Roses, a beautiful love triangle, is written with a touching poignancy. The novel’s plot revolves around Mark, Yukari, and Hans who share an interesting bond that begins through friendship and concludes in a love-triangle leaving the reader restlessly anticipating the outcome of such a connection. Mark and Hans work at the United Nations office in New York City and Yukari, a classical musician, who is Hans’ wife, is introduced to Mark one day. She immediately takes a liking to Mark who accepts and tremendously enjoys and feels honored to be included in Hans and Yukari’s friendship. Keith’s prose develops and emerges from a poetic and metaphoric rendition of blue roses, fragile emotions, complicated relationship dynamics, and unrequited love involving other characters in the story. Keith’s fiction writing style is unique and realistic as he narrates the political tensions and relationship challenges, not necessarily resulting in a fairy-tale ending but instead real life-like situations we can all relate to or have experienced ourselves. I enjoyed reading Remembrance of Blue Roses and look forward to more work by this exciting emerging novelist.

Remembrance of Blue Roses can be purchased through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Dropping Another Kid by John Grey

All clowns are painted evil at the mouth,
lips red as the blood they dine on
that day of laughter’s cruel reckoning.
And she wonders why I’ve no wish
to be dragged closer to the creature
on the penny-farthing bicycle,
or his evil twin that chases the tiny black
and white dog around a sawdust ring.

Sure some kids are almost spewing out
their guts with raucous bellowing
but I’m clenched tight to her skirts,
hiding my plain white face
from the multicolored abominations
that leer into the crowd,
choosing victims at random
with bulging greased-up eyes.

And politicians are evil incarnate.
Famous names would just as soon
stab you in your bed as gift
you their books, their cures,
their place in your history.
The acrobats are flying through the air,
catching each other brilliantly.
But if I leaped up, they’d drop me.

It’s a sick kind of humor
when what’s funny is what terrifies a boy.
And no one’s trustworthy.
With their horrible hues, they
don’t even look the part.
Only my mother is not a clown,
a politician, or anyone famous.
But she did drop me once.

Flat Earth Theory by Yael Egal


Flat Earth Theory is an interesting debut novel by Yael Egal featuring Tess, a Brooklyn French teacher, as the main protagonist. The story revolves around the aftermath of Tess’s divorce from her husband, Patrick, who had cheated on her several times. He is portrayed as a remorseless insensitive man. Tess is trying to get her life back on track post-divorce and provide stability for her two children. She has created, through comic sketches, an alter-ego by the name of Andrea who is a spy during the World War two era. The novel is written creatively often shifting between the life of Tess and the comic strip narrations sans the visual pictures. Instances of terrorism are portrayed that seem to intersect with the subconscious mind of Tess. The story leaves a lot unsaid and open to personal interpretation of the readers. Guy, a French parent of a student from Tess’s classroom is a romantic interest whom Tess dates for some time until she suspects he may not be what he seems…overall the plot and subplot kept me hooked and I read it in a couple of sittings. I would recommend Yael Egal’s debut novel to anyone who likes mysteries or political suspense genres.

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