Dark Lady Poetry - Volume One, Number Five




Volume One, Number Five

February 2010


Dark Lady Poetry is an online literary magazine, with a focus on poetry. With an eclectic taste, anything goes, and we encourage up and coming writers in their pursuit to be read. Good words are always appreciated. 


Welcome to Number Five.


Dark Lady is elated to be in our fifth month of publication. Continuing in tradition, Number Five is home to five talented poets. Headlining this issue is Brandon T. Bisceglia, a young, modern, prodigy of a poet. Standing on the same pedestal, are two writers with romantic wit, Karl Koweski and Rebecca Nutile. Also in this fabulous February issue, complementing fine poetry with fine poetry, are savant authors Joseph Farley and Christopher Kenneth Hanson.


Because Dark Lady aspires to put out a print issue when we reach Number Twelve, we are making available (in the United States) Dark Lady Poetry vinyl stickers for a donation of one dollar or more. Please check out our Support Page for more information.


Also, Dark Lady is always proud to support the growth and preservation of the art of writing. If you are interested in making history by being a part of the world’s longest poetry reading, taking place in Kansas City, Missouri this April, check out our newly added Events page for more information.


As always, thank you to our readers and contributors.



Brandon T. Bisceglia

Josephus Saw the Cities - Why Can’t We?



Karl Koweski     

Should Have Read the Biography

Grade School Wonder Boy

Goose Steppin' Gramma


Rebecca Nutile

  Nothing’s Working Out the Way We Planned

The Drummer

What's Left to Say

Joseph Farley


Country Flower


Christopher Kenneth Hanson

A Moat Dirge

Two Anagrams of Live

 Oh Bind, the Perils of Function






Brandon T. Bisceglia


Josephus Saw the Cities - Why Can’t We?


Twisting etches of fiery wrath 
slid the fingerprints of our Lord 
across the limestone -


Here the edifice is marked, 
numbering the wretched martyrs of decadence, 
who in an instant 
and evaporated in the wake of His Kingdom, 


In the hands of Abram's descendants 
the ashes were cataloged -


The tale, deferring refutation, 
is rewritten 
with calcium carbonate and sulfur 
speaking softly to eager hearts, 
who nod their heads in agreement.


A priori, His Will 
Be Done.


In all, a flutter of dust 
and a pillar of salt 
drift backwards toward their graves, 
on Earth as it is in Heaven. 





A new plate spun puts china in danger –
desertification wipes the greens clean,
exposing flat, barren expanses of white
that crash resoundingly
when they finale-fall,
cracking into
1.3 billion dead






You fiddle the dials, staring long
downward out the cockpit's dome;
cringing at static, writhe ironically in your seat
'til I correct the buttons for you
and the sky infrontabove clears ecstatically
at the concentrated push of the peddle –
we paddle the rivers of sleek Fordian fish
to the inlet shore of the grocer's.
You complain idly about my father's mother,
how she smothers with her scrutinizing eyes
bentlow to absorb the colors of your parenting.
Children of black, green, blue, gold
should be red with the sweat of baseball and ballet,
but grow upout like crystals with new hues instead.
You tell me next I needn't justify myself.
But the scent of predation lingers for long
after the claws have retracted, and sidebyside
have come the tides; the times of protection
turnround; it is mine to justify you these days,
so that our wounds bleed as one.
Drifting home, the islands converge –
I saddle the weight of your milk and blueberries
against the strains of my own sustenance,
the bulgingcrinkle of paper and plastic
proclaiming my strength in the give of their grind.
And I feel the scrolls unravel to reveal
their mystery; the decree that our roles must change.



Karl Koweski





Should Have Read the Biography



I tell her

she reminds me

of Anais Nin


her fearless,

confessional style

of writing

bursting with

a pagan exuberance


which is to say

I like to remind


of Henry Miller


any chance I get

with the cock

or the pen


I want to be

the Henry Miller

to her Anais Nin


Anais Nin, huh?

she mulls this



yeah, I beam,

you even keep

a journal

just like her


not too mention

our torrid affair

unbeknownst to

our clueless spouses


you know, she said

Anais Nin

fucked her father

when she

was in her thirties

and once

had an abortion

in her

third trimester




maybe I can be


Ted Hughes

to your

Sylvia Plath…





Grade School Wonder Boy

I can trace not only my desire to write

but my need to be adulated as a writer

back to the fifth grade where

I scored my first fiction success

with my seven hundred word story

An Invitation To Death.


the plot, near as I can recall

involved my cousin and I

being invited to investigate

a house of notorious reputation.

within minutes of entering the house

my cousin was devoured by a monster

and I escaped out a back window.


my classmates hug on every word

reacting to every dangling participle

and graphic description of disemboweling

with the sort of awe and reverence

I can only dream of recapturing today.


flushed with the respect of my peers

I quickly penned the sequels

Invitation to Death II, III, IV, V, VI…

in which all manner of friends

and relatives met gruesome demises.


by the time I wrote

An Invitation to Death X, The Final Invite,

I sensed my literary star descending,

and by the fifteenth installment,

I’d lost my status as literary lion

to Leticia who wrote convincingly

of magical ponies in faraway suburbs.


it was too much success too early,

thinking back on the intervening years

where I couldn’t write anything.


and I never did explain why

the narrator kept bringing people back

to the slaughter house and being

constantly surprised by the gory outcome.





Goose Steppin' Gramma




left a ruined Germany

pregnant and married

to a

bullet-crippled GI



was a good man



only had to look

at what he’d done


the country


the allied decimation

of everything



the people from

the bread line

to the

assembly line




a sense of

national pride


for so long



tells me this


we are alone


my resemblance

to her

youngest brother


thirteen years old



by the Russians

in the last days

of the war

breaks her heart




doesn’t keep her



a fistful of


white gold rings

across my head


I’m not

paying enough



you’re too weak

she tells me


you need

to toughen up


you read

too many books




Rebecca Nutile




Nothing’s Working Out the Way We Planned



We talked about these things, the two of us –

we talked music and drugs and art and sex

living and dying – all the typical

topics stemming from curiosity

and general boredom mixed with Bombay gin.

Although it was morbid, we made a top ten list.

We disagreed on where to rank gangrene,

and drowning, but agreed on these two things:

If you die old, then dying in your sleep is best.

If you die young, it should be dramatic.

Grand pronouncements came easily back then.


One morning last week -- it might have been night,

you simply slipped away before sunup.

You went to bed as usual, still young,

You slept alone this night, alone often

Drifting off to sleep, then never woke up.

I don’t know how many hours had passed

before you were found. I couldn’t bear to ask.

No signs of violence or self-destruction --

no empty bottles of pills on the nightstand --

just a half-finished mug of Guinness Stout.


Yesterday I walked past your empty house.

Four dumpsters were lined up in the front yard

filled by the cleaning crew your mother hired.

They overflowed with things I didn’t recognize.





The Drummer



He watched his mother scour and scrape black pots.

Her weary arm in steady motion pulsed

Against the clanging of porcelain on glass.

He dreamed of café cadences he’d drum

This dreaming boy, his rhythms etched inside.


A cymbal sounds when saucers hit their cups.

As sticks rolled crisp across the snare’s taut head

A griddle sizzled sausages and eggs.

A paradiddle, paradiddle stop.

He felt each rhythm underneath the noise.


For twenty years as journeyman on drums.

He found the grooves in jazz or rock or blues.

He drove the South, ceaseless in his pursuit

Of homes for every roaming sixteenth note

And shelter in a phrase for triplets gone astray.





What’s Left to Say



He tells her he doesn’t know what to say

but says something anyway.

He’s sorry.

The woman was pretty and young.

And they drank too much Tanqueray.

And you know what that does to him.

And well, he’s human.

Humans make mistakes.


She shows no sign of anger

as she scours movie listings in the Tribune.

She searches for one they haven’t seen,

one that starts at 7 o’clock.

The new Woody Allen?

She tells him she’s in the mood

for a romantic comedy.


Let’s have some wine first.

He kisses her lightly on the forehead,

touches her shoulders.

You’re cold he says.

And she is.


He hands her a gray sweater,

the one she’s worn all winter

the one with the unraveling sleeve.

It’s unflattering and far too big

but it’s warm and goes with everything.


Together they’ll see the film,

discuss its shortcomings

and merits over cheesecake and decaf,

how Woody’s too old for a romantic lead,

how his love interest could be his granddaughter.

Even so, the acting was exceptional,

the script well-written.

He’ll suggest they see it again.


Together they’ll sit side by side in silence

each in the comfort of the other’s presence

staring straight ahead.








Joseph Farley







a block

of wood


as the sun


upon it

speaks to

the carver


the voice

of its grain


the first







Country Flower



in the village where you dwell

the poor know only how to be poor

rain dances on tin roofs

dripping through the cracks

onto heads listening


the summer heat may seem unbearable

but bear it they do

even strangers get use to it

after a few years

content to shed extra clothes

and let the air cook bare skin


children play in all weather

but they grow up soon

money is earned in the city

sister and cousins

have gone there

and send home baht

to buy rice


you will follow them

if someone can take you

or you can find the money

for a bus ticket

to sell the pearl of your body

and dance for drinks

and cash to send home








Christopher Kenneth Hanson



A Moat Dirge


Quite quiet,

We left the scene.

Or should it seem,

Devastated and wandering.

Trails of despair,

As firmly weighted down mass.

In desperation.

Here my lament crawls,

So fall asleep now.

Float by beat to this bleak canvas,

And a secret to keep,

Beneath castle walls.




Two Anagrams of Live


A vile of red potion,

May line this crown,

With seasoned captivity.

Fluttering by a poignant phrase,

Upon this, I may readily see.

Maladroit oh simpleton,

And hear this rhymed defeat.

Without which rumored evil

Would even dare to drink.




Oh Bind, the Perils of Function



Out of the womb,

Thrown Into this cycle.

Most caustic concordance,

Seeks stolid embrace.

Then passion fueled as we send another,

Wet dripping, through decadent, polarization.

Drive hormones drive!

Turn and toil,

Tap the brain that bakes the bread.

Kiss me quick,

And produce another.

I will need someone to comfort me,

Whilst I rue the next day.