The Smoking Poet
Putting on the Dog: TSP Celebrates 5
Our Gift Shop
A Good Cause: The Good Men Project
Talking to Jen Knox
Talking to Dorianne Laux
The Poetry of Dorianne Laux
Talking to Michael Loyd Gray
Talking to Lori A. May
The Poetry of Lori A. May
Talking to Laimdota Sele
Kalamazoo and Beyond
Artwork and Photography
Fiction 2
Fiction 3
Poetry 2
Poetry 3
Cigar Lounge
Andris' Blue Note
Zinta Reviews
Zinta Reviews 2
Links & Resources
Submission Guidelines
Marketing & Advertising, Donations
The Editors


Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé


memory is an indeterminate haiku

in the archives

the oldest figures – matrons

hemming cheongsams


the animus

dressed in bengatta silk

naha as pale as you




a haiku is a road song by the inch

this empty dust road

rising to meet us, grey setts

our constellation


truism in sheaf –

all human beings

by nature desire knowledge


aristotle smiled

at its necessity

and his need to sing it whole


trees lining both sides

a bosc pear drops to the earth

spins, nodding axis





a haiku is a wheel and axle

not so willingly

we set off, viola wings –

hills, island, cloud, sky



this arbitrary pleasure

of choral lyric


who is your keeper?

the ties that bind – nine rhapsodies

willow flutes, ether



Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than 10 books and co-produced 3 audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. A recipient of the Singapore Internationale Grant and Dr Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, he has recent or forthcoming work in Caper Literary Journal, Cricket Online Review, Dark Sky, Fence, Grey Sparrow, Presence, Nano Fiction, Spilling Ink Review, Spork Press, Sugar Mule, and Write From Wrong Magazine. Also working in clay, Desmond sculpts commemorative ceramic pieces for his Potter Poetics Collection. These works are housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.



Sara Basrai



Inspired by Afternoon at the Art Museum




doggone sun strikes

yellow bricks

binds in rings

yellow drapes stroke

lemons in bowl

sunflowers sun on sill

banana curls in hand

seas of marigolds

sway on hips

yellow teeth smile

through strands

of string blonde hair

she waves at     ?

her citrine gemstone

catches light



Sara Basrai presently lives In New York City, but is originally from London. Her work appears or is forthcoming in 34th Parallel, Grey Sparrow Press, Little Episodes, Battered Suitcase and Cantera Press, among others. Besides writing, Sara loves to explore the USA with her young family and to play with her cat, Nory.

Amy MacLennan


Green Olives with Medjool Dates


Sweetness to take the tang

from the salt. Similar opposites.

Like built and guilt—one high, one low.

As when your life

strips you down: you look up.

Even when it all

stings deep, a memory

of sugar in your mouth.






If You Write a Love Letter to Disappointment


Allow brevity. Allow sweetness.

Allow smudged ink.

Do not use exclamation points.

Do not speak in the third person.

Bring your best paper. Tolerate

the passage of time. You may

drink water. Try not to drink wine.

Write alone, but imagine

others in the room.

Use adjectives if you like,

and end sentences with prepositions.

Do not repeat yourself. Invite

generosity, permit humor.

Avoid sarcasm, but accept grief.

Draft the letter as if

you could only write it once.

Use a long salutation

and a short goodbye.




Amy MacLennan has been published in Hayden's Ferry Review, River Styx, Linebreak, Cimarron Review, Folio and Rattle. Her poems have appeared in the anthologies Not a Muse from Haven Books and Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems from Ragged Sky Press. One of her poems is available as a downloadable broadside from Broadsided Press, and she has an article appearing in the 2011 Poet's Market.


Margaret Walther



Billowing Curtain, Near La Spezia           

(Linda Butler, black & white photograph)


silk veil/ frock


of spill—


lets in the gulf’s white sprig of air


citrus vowels/ the consonant’s pine-green contour—


wicks the room like a harp/ a seaweed





baptismal smock/ chemise


of sluice—



may the breeze scrape me with a lapis


god’s salty breath—


shift/ skiff


my frenetic body to stem/ mind to perfumed leaf—


silk-sleeve me/ negligee


me dolce—



Margaret Walther is a retired librarian from the Denver metro area and a past president of Columbine Poets, an organization to promote poetry in Colorado.  She has poems published or forthcoming in many journals, including Connecticut Review,, Quarterly West, Naugatuck River Review, Fugue, The Anemone Sidecar, A cappella Zoo, and Nimrod. She won the Many Mountains Moving 2009 Poetry Contest.  Two of her poems published in the online journal In Posse Review in 2010 were selected by Web del Sol for its e-SCENE best of the Literary Journals.


Gabrielle Rose


Hannah Also






 An essence

A kiss

An embrace:

                                                intaglio upon my breast

(Hannah said, “Poets are the only people to whom love is not only a crucial, but an indispensable experience, which entitles them to mistake it for a universal one.”)

You forgive


For mistaking



Gabrielle Rose is an adjunct faculty member of Hamline University's English Department. She is a freelance essayist and poet. Her latest essay, "Murder and Myth: Coping with Unsolved Homicide" was published in the Spring 2010 issue of the journal, Confluence.

©All materials, print, artwork and photography on this site are copyrighted and not to be reprinted without written permission by The Smoking Poet.

Feedback, submissions, ideas? Email