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featured poets & artists


Dan Smith

is one of cleveland's most talented poets. his chapbook, "crooked river", was published in 2005 on deep cleveland press.

MOTEL room love, living for a night

The bars closed, their neon's blinking across


I taste not only of your flesh, no longer yearn

But with the time-pirates steal galaxies from


I See Paintings On My Eyelids

portraits mostly

too fleeting for the Louvre

in profile or head on

my life's work

on red velvet

I see paintings on my eyelids

none of which are you.

The Terror Of Infinite Loneliness Mingles With The Regret Of A Wayward Son Which Becomes The Sound Of Emergency Vehicles Hurtling Through The Dark Of His Soul Where Unspoken Love Is Falling Ever Falling

Sirens blast the honking horns make way make way

keeps the memory constant that I never rode with my mother

as they searched for a good vein through parchment skin

hitting artery instead blood spray bouquet

I never rode with my mother

filled with fear dread terror of intubations

how would I get home? call a cab?

but that wasn't it

the sympathetic magic chant was

that I would see her well again at the hospital


not hear her soul flutter

amid the honking horn the siren's scream

the sad absurdity of poems is emptiness

in black dawns when sirens wail

for the genealogy I cling to

cannot bestow the sainthood you deserve

nor bring me surcease when the sirens wail.


Have you ever stared

at your ceiling and

felt the whoosh

of the blade

like some Poeish

nightmare and

hugging your pillow

screamed at reality.

Dark Terrible Reason

annihilated now / no doubt

your dark eyes / the murderer

neither reason nor doubt.

As Leda ( not her real name ) Lies Dying

Strange the madness

the mad killing of beauty

madly strangely recreates

and deaths beauty lives

as the yolk of sanity

drips from her thighs

staining her feathers.

The Church On Winston Road

That one moment

when I realized

I loved you

not just body

but soul

dumb struck


that moment passed forever now

into the void of the unsaid

heart of all that was holy

in the church on Winston Road

with no stained glass

no plastic sign

no markers there of any kind

the garden gone

to grass and weed

the sacred now profaned

perhaps more sacred now

now new communicants are fed

the heart of all that is holy

in the church on Winston Road.


And He Will Come

It's late September

the students return

intent on life so serious

their poetry taking on great themes

with archaic forms

the language of death

drips timeless

lips just beginning to feel

his caresses

while I turn to the anthologies bio's

for the dates alone

1889-1966 ah, she lived a long life

1893-1945 only 52 and unpublished till 1965

1899-1986 a long life and sharing the prize with Beckett not a bad thing

1899-1932 just 33, he jumped into the sea

1899-1936 murdered by fascists the deep songs still deepening

turning pages

leaves turning as death smiles

that passionate smile for those who come to him

walking into the sea or pistol in hand

and we will come to him

intubated & frail with rotted teeth

poets with incomplete bio's

and not yet dated poems

still burning our Septembers

as the students return.

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