Friday, December 22, 2023

Three Poems by George Anderson

The Haunted

While writing the opening 2 chapters of Part II 

of The Idiot in Geneva, Dostoyevsky’s daughter Sofya

developed inflammation of the lungs 

& died, aged 2 months.


His second wife Anna Grigoryevna

wrote that he stood in front of

Sofya’s body until it grew cold & 

covered her tiny white face & hands 

with burning kisses & he “sobbed like a woman.”


Ten years later while working on his masterpiece

The Brothers Karamazov his 3 year old son Alyosha 

had an epileptic fit that lasted 12 hours & 40 minutes 

and he subsequently horribly died.


Dostoyevsky wept inconsolably 

the entire evening on his knees

beside his son’s bed, crushed,

helpless in the notion that Alyosha

had died from a disease that he had

most likely inherited from him.


Despite his grief & his mounting

health & financial worries, Dostoyevsky

picked himself up & toiled relentlessly 

on his novel until it was completed,

shortly before his death, aged 59.



The Bigger Picture


I like it

that I have

no goals


that I’m past

my prime


that I’m not

on TicTock

or X


that I don’t

pray to an




that I hate

the profit

motive in



that I don’t

have to work

for a living



I truly dig it 

that this obsessive



of wealth

of friends

of knowledge


can ALL

be lost


in an instant.



Too Much Coke


I was on another beer

the other bloke was on a pint of vodka

& orange juice.


We talked about growing up

below the tracks in NDG-

of Pinto, Big Larry, Mich, Rocko,

Toe, The Mechanic, Pud & several others.


Most of them now dead

many from enlarged hearts.


Too much coke

He reckoned.

Fucks you up real bad.


Hey Buds, do you remember

that crazy motherfucker 

who used to chase us down the dump 

when we raided his garden

so we could chuck his tomatoes

at passing cars on the Decarie Expressway?




Yeah, that's him. What ever happened to the bastard?


He cacked it. Too much fucking coke.


We laugh ourselves stupid, imagining that 80 something psycho

snorting a few solid white lines & then charging at us in full fury!



Bio: George Douglas Anderson is a teacher and writer who lives in Wollongong, Australia. He edits the blog Bold Monkey Review and sometimes adds to the pile. Jump Out of Any Window (Backroom Poetry, UK, 2024) is his latest publication.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Two Poems by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Planned Destinations

In the morning

on the shoulder

of the freeway

with a flat tire,

the cars zoom

by in hurried

haste to planned


Walking to the

back of the car

to the flat tire

at right rear side

of the car, I feel

deflated as well

as the Auto Club

tow truck driver

puts on the spare

after finding

the big hole on

the flat tire.

I spot a broken

meth pipe on the

shoulder of the

road in the gravel.

I think of all the

clients referred

for conservatorship

this month, over

half of them struggling

with this drug as

the cars zoom past

to their planned




His Life and Her Life


They took his life and her life

in the middle of the day

because they were poor

because they worked low wages

and they never ate well

because they did not have the means

then or now, and there were

times they slept on the streets

without a tent or blanket;

they slept in the dirt

under trees.

They had good souls.

They were treated worse than dogs.

They worked so hard.

They could barely walk in those old shoes.

They were kept down

and they got up

only to be thrown down again.

They were buried without a dime

to their name; just the debt

they could never pay back;

and what was owed to them for their pain

and sacrifice, no one felt obligated

to pay them back.

Bio: Luis lives in California and works in Los Angeles. His poetry has appeared in Blue Collar Review, Escape Into Life, Kendra Steiner Editions, Misfit Magazine, and Unlikely Stories. His last full-length poetry book, Make the Water Laugh, was published by Rogue Wolf Press.

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