Poets and artists published in Spectrum Online Edition: Love Lines are invited to read at the Saturday Afternoon Poetry Zoom meeting on Saturday, January 21st between 3 and 5 pm PST. For more publishing opportunities, go to: http://spectrumpublishing.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Alicia Mathias

  for: J.A.F.


to its 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Wyatt Underwood


I don't think I shall ever see
a poem as wicked as your eyes
that danced and glanced and hypnotized
and seemed to look at fantasy 
nor song that moved like your hips did
and made your miniskirts a bid
to offer heaven alive on earth
while teasing my mind to think much worse
I never knew how much of that
was from my own too twisted soul
and how much your intent and goal
to revive eye of newt and wing of bat
in thoughts of men and boys around
focused on your every move and sound
and wishing they could dance with you
in whatever steps they cared nor knew
as long as they danced close to you
and closer still, then close as cloth
and dreamed of kisses and touches from you
that turned our iron world into froth

Radomir Vojtech Luza

Sunset Blur

Hands rough as old rocks
Heart cold as a frozen sidewalk
Slippery as lice

Big butt
Short shorts

Large breasts
Low top

Who am I?
Who are you?
Can you be true?

Or am I a huge fool
Lost in the Tinseltown swirl
My L,A, girl

Born in Beverly Hills
All the skills and frills

She knows blow jobs
Not slow sobs

Betting on the material
Scaling the superficial

Climbing the ethereal
She took what I gave
Gave what I took
Like Captain Hook

Earning her living giving phone sez
Big fan of money and the fashion hex
I hated to love her next

Without Children

My art is my child
I keep telling myself
To be free

When in fact I missed
The most important moments in life to
Hard deadlines and forsaken suicides

I broke my sanity on bloody glass and
Windows black

Lost my 42 years of virginity to a L.A. Street urchin
Who hated her life but loved sex

Splattered my idealism on a Store and Factory
In a city where nothing shimmers or grooves

On an industry spread so far apart that my children
Would have no fingers for dark climbs
Into the mouth of every ego blind

Shining and shaking
Like a misbegotten dime

Tangerine Stew

No brunette parade
In the strawberry shade

No crimson raid
Magenta fade
This is pure love of self

Lenin was a visionary
Without eyeballs

Communism his wife
Death his life

The system has not worked
And never will

Eight million dead thanks to this Red
Scraping bloody skies
Bludgeoned thighs

Lenin is no saint or revolutionary
But a tragic off-ramp from the freeway of sanity

There is no Red Square
Russia without wear

Just a cold war
History's non-bloody bore

There is yet a sad river
Shallow and untrue

Flowing into the mouth of Lenin's South

Somewhere near Moscow blue


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Denise Dumars

Heart Line 


When palmistry espies 

a curved heart line 

pointing to the index finger, 

it says romantic, psychic, easily hurt. 

So tell me something 

I don’t know. Like, 

what if little red flowers 

grew along the heart line 

and a big bad wolf came along 

and ate them 

and then Grandma arrived 

babuschka on her head 

machete in her hand 

and she chased the big bad wolf 

back into the forest 

said, “Whew, glad that’s over,” 

and those little flower stems left 

through the heart line 

that we recognize as scars— 

well, that’s the price 

of doing business 

if you’re romantic, psychic, 

easily hurt. 


Lorelei Kay

Guarder of the Nectar


The green-throated hummingbird

perches on a branch near the patio

feeder, providing daily company

as I peruse my morning paper.


As other hummers fly close,

they are quickly chased

away in a blur of flight

by the defending sentinel.


Hour after hour, day after day,

he guards his territory, bolting

after any intruder who might

threaten his personal supply.


Lori Wall-Holloway

Smile with Love

(Dedicated to Baby Miles)


Wide toothless grin

of six-month-old baby

brightens gloomy day

His laughter and efforts

at conversation

using his own expressive

language demonstrates

a love for people and life

only a smiling infant

can teach


High School Drama


On stage

I begin to speak -


“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”


As I recite Juliet’s love

lines, a part of me wonders

if a young man is in

my future with the ability

to show heartfelt care


TV shows formed fantasies

of how relationships

should be, but inexperience

caused me to walk away

from a genuine love

waiting on the sidelines

Instead, I chose a path

with someone else

that did not turn out

how I expected


Would I go back to those dark days

to decide differently?


Or would other kinds of heartaches

transpire to shape me?


Like a cabinet being sanded

to the real wood

or a butterfly pushing out

of a cocoon

I realize no matter what

decision was made

trials would still  

occur to peel layer after

layer of myself to reach

the person I have become



Saturday, January 14, 2023

Trevor Witt

We need more poets


We need more poets,

To battle bullets unafraid,

To speak with words as shields,

To use stories as spears,

To cut beneath the pain.


To rush into the war with verses,

To break trauma’s curses,

To end cycle after cycle of violence,

To provide healing as recompense,

To reconcile humanity with the vile,


We need writers to right the wrongs

That hurt so hard they can only be sung in songs,

We need to pause, to take a breath,

To carry on through tears and death.

We need words, to bear our burdens,

To shoulder our fears, until the final curtain.


We need people to feel,

We need words to heal.

Plain walls (born of tears and love)


Plain walls,

That children never drew on,

Carpets which never saw dirt,


Clean rooms,

Everything put away,

Closets with clothes unworn,


Boxes of crap,

Records never heard,

Notebooks of stories never shared,


This is not the home I seek,

A shiny, unblemished mansion, chic.


This is not the room I rent,

Where every penny is spent.


I want dirt and pain and striving,

To reach for my dream,

Born of tears and love.

What use do I have for love poems?

What use do I have for love poems?

They cannot capture the warmth of your embrace.

They cannot recreate the lines of your face.


They cannot lend an ear when I am falling apart.

They cannot console me when I have a hole in my heart.

What use do I have for love poems?


They will only let me down,

As I close the pages of my feelings,

What use do I have for fairy tales?


They only break your heart.


Hedy Habra

The Way a Flock of Birds Improvises

                        To Rosemary (1952-1998)



She marks the calendar every day

now, believes we should live life

as a miracle. 

No one notices the difference

in her chest.

She reminds me, smiling:

"You once said

I was flat as an ironing board."


I wonder if we should live love

as a miracle,

when your lover slips into a coat of mail

of indifference,

when his eyes only reflect an inward vision,

when your heartbeat espouses his,

the way healthy people

grow unaware

of their own pulse.


Then take every moment,

imperfect as it seems,

its dissonant echo,

transforming it into a score       

the way a flock of birds improvises,

over barbed wires.



First published by Sulphur Literary Review



Face à face

            After Flying Blind by Jaclyn Alderete


When with eyes closed, I face the mirror of desolation, I see myself

as a dove fluttering in slow motion like a still mirage while I walk the

desert dunes, wondering where I’d last seen the scarce palm trees still

erect by the smothered tents where all the ones I’ve ever loved are

now buried. I search for ashes shrouded in sand, and only see

through half-open lids feathers the color of my hair, lidless eyes

staring at their mirrorless reflection, lips pursed in triangular silence,

and oh, yes, how can I omit those metallic blue shades making us all

one, woman and fowl, in love and loss?



First published by The Bitter Oleander

From Under Brushstrokes (Press 53 2015)



Desert Song

            After The Kiss by Federico Zarco


It all started when he set out in his suit and tie, searching for a sand

rose in the desert. Wandering through dream’s thresholds, he hoped

to unearth a treasure that would resist the drought of feelings, each

millenary facet telling of the innumerable ways love can be

immortalized. He must have taken a wrong turn since all he found,

erect like a menhir, was a fossil. Was it the hip of a dinosaur, or

rather a Titan’s, lost from times beyond memory, so smoothed by

the scorching sun that it bore no signs? Looking closely he saw an

open jaw with pointed teeth and a hole where an eye once stared. He

feared he had to return empty handed in time for his date, but

realized with terror that he had no recollection of the path that led

him there.



First published by Danse Macabre

From Under Brushstrokes (Press 53 2015)

Jordan Sandoval


I am a zombie

the corpse of a man
in perpetual motion

but not aimless

driven by raw, instinctual need,
enslaved by instatiable hunger

compelled to consume
searching for the way
to sate that one
single craving

to live again

I am a zombie
for I am without my heart

until I am with you again

Marsha Grieco


Click on image to enlarge

Gia Civerolo



I remember the loud band screaming their song

I remember shouting my story though no was listening but you

I remember they lit the bar on fire

I remember the sheer black and white polka dot shirt I was wearing and the white mini skirt with fishnet house and combat boots

I remember you were wearing a 40’s paisley tie with a black shirt and black pants and your hair slicked back 50’s style with matching sideburns

I remember sitting on top of a cigarette vending machine with my legs crossed and a bird’s eye view

I remember you helping my friend who is not my friend anymore carry her drums placing them gently in the car

I remember the smoke-filled room with bodies dancing

I remember you were quick with a light and a smile

I remember our friends that were there

I remember my black cat eye liner was smeared in a punk rock way

I remember I had a crush on your friend who seemed like my type but even more shocking I was his type too (no one ever thinks they are someone else's type)

I remember we talked and talked even though I don’t remember what we said

I remember thinking you were a “nice” guy, but I don’t remember knowing then that you would be my forever….




I can’t find the

words to talk to you

I send secret messages

in a bottle

red lipstick sealed

beaten by ocean waves

foaming words

out of Aphrodite’s head


Walking by the sea

the day changes

the clouds mirror

the waves

The sun starts to set

taking on colors

painter wishes

they knew

Horizon stretching

going further than


Still, all I can do

is think of you

and me

like there is


else in between

Alicia Mathias

    for: J.A.F. MY LATE GRANDMOTHER'S  LONG-LOST PEARL returns  to its  setting