Thursday, November 30, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  Recently his work has appeared in CROW NAME, WORDPEACE and DuckuckMongoose. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before StonewallThe Chroma Museum - The Chroma Museum (

April Rain


Does loving, merely feeling, make us what we are? 

That's where pain abates or can be used. 

People kiss on streets, weave backdrops for puppet theaters. 

Abundance happens. 


Meanwhile rain ripples, 

is fabric, a sheer sound curtain.


Suddenly, out on the thoroughfare, a main bridge collapses.

We stand on the sidelines, assaulted, shocked, drowning emotionally.


Under such water I draw myself towards you, 

a sea cow, a beacon. 


Divers hunt for bodies. Sedatives get administered. Authorities notify kin. 

Others, on-call, are a compiled stand-by stationed 

to bring any possible gentle thing. 


Their intentions drift soft as fog 

over an erupting volcano.



 Despite It                                                            


Living as a grocery list, or reading one, 

the basic sustenance, true music with each book

opened, each page to find a face in

between digging under couch cushions for change...


There's a painting in this, the act of a hand

waltzing with its edges to resemble a freedom

time does not totally steal.


Here I meet your outline & try entering it,

pulling the fit round as the pod of a bean.

There's really no distinguishing separateness

any more.  Your needs & ability to ripen,

your risk of withering, match my every length

as a hostage to the future.


Likewise delivered, held by the weight

& the waiting, light pours through the room

for every chance & its absence

to reconcile realization.


Who, what will accomplish this deed?


Here, scribble supplies:  bread, milk, toothpaste.

Here, open a book.  Let your music swim in

& ingredients mingle.


The stock must be much, blessed despite lacks

& the struggle for other blessings.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

GAS Featured Artist: JD Moffitt


Themes include independence, solitude, threads of small town life, family and nature. My practice includes predominantly pencil drawing and watercolor on paper. Day to day observations, focus in drawing and painting from plein air, life studies, photographic sources and the imagination.

Midwestern small-town Hoosier, I have worked in surveying, drafting, cartography, graphic design, and fine art. We grew up on the hill, overlooking the farms. I've been lucky enough to call a few of those kind, strong, hard working farmers my friend. I know how good they are, they do too. I've often thought that I could be that, what they are, in truth, it was never up to me. We were awarded the view.

Creating art is not a sensible occupation. It is unreasonable really, nonsense. What is it useful for? There is no physiological need for it. It does not make those we love safe or secure.

What is the reason for it then?

Could it be that it is the other way around? That beauty is what is behind reason? That what we find ourselves attracted to makes up our hopes and dreams, gives our lives purpose, and gives us reason?

JD Moffitt <>

Summer Flowers


Will and Grace



Thursday, November 16, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: George Wallace

George Wallace is a NYC based poet and spoken word artist with 42 chapbooks to his name, four albums of spoken word poetry streamed worldwide, and an active schedule of appearances in NYC, nationally and internationally. Recent national appearances include the St. Augustine Poetry Festival, National Beat Poetry Festival, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, and a poetry soiree in San Luis Obispo Ca; international appearances at the Turrialba Poetry Festival (Turrialba Costa Rica), Boao Poetry Festival (Hainan China), Silk Road International Poetry Festival (Xi'an China), Piacenza Biennale (Piacenza It), La Cave Cafe (Paris Fr), Aldeburgh/Suffolk Poets gathering (UK) and Human Underground (Athens Greece).  As writer in residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace since 2011, he is creator of POETS BUILDING BRIDGES, now in its third season, triangulating groups of poets from different regions of the world.



you must love me, like this, unreasonably, hopelessly, wide awake, as i love you, voluptuous and honest and prayerful and true, for i am relentless, and i am true, i live among the pillows, i am indebted to your grace, my face tilts in your direction like the morning sun; you must love me like this, like the sun loves window curtains that hold momentarily in the breeze, like the breeze itself, which blows thru bushes

and stops awhile, like i wake to your sleeping like a morning thrush, like clouds wake to the multiple song of birds; you must love me like this, like a small child who has burst into the bedroom and is surprised and a little confused by what he sees; like a penitent who kneels in prayer before a god that he is not even sure exists but prays to anyway, like a finback whale loves the sea, like a single-celled creature knows no limits, 

like an honest man praying for justice, or a liar for forbearance; 

you must love me, just in case there is a god listening, like this, like i love you, a marble goddess with clipped wings deep in reverence of flight, like the bearded one with eyes like a burning bush making up the rules as he goes along; like a petty little god who exists in the minds of those who serve him, or a redistributive god who exists in the hearts of peasants and prisoners and forgotten people, the mad and childlike, the one who go on serving their life sentences 

without complaint while the courts mete out their punishments and rewards; 

you must love me like this, like an outlaw who feeds the poor; like a lost city in the everglades, harboring criminals; like a novitiate who knows the kind of mercy that lives fleetingly in the shadows; 

like a river that loves the land, mad to be one with the soil, to be lord and servant to earth's contours, to be jealous of and guardian to its freedom, a river that bursts its banks whenever it can, and escapes onto the broad plain, flooding tractors farms and women and men; 

you must always, always, love me, you must love me like this

as i love you

     even when you stay true 

to your banks


coltrane on the turntable 

devil in my heart

a love supreme 

is playing hypnotic 

& slow, and i still love 

you just like i used to

   in the blue notes

      in the grace notes 

   in the silent notes 

o heaven that moves me

as if one vibration!

the wind picks up

pigeons take flight

the stars come out

and we make love

and the furnaces

and the factories

blow and blow

and the east river flows 

like any river flows;

sing me a song 

that will take this 

needle from my brain

sing me a song 

that will pour me 

back into you

little sister, 

slow and pretty 

as a morphine metaphor

midnight rolls in

and i still love you 

slow, little sister, slow

we all roll in, we all run in 

(slow as hell, this is how we do)

& hell's got nothing 

on me & you tonight

listen little sister

i'm eight feet tall

and live on the roof tops

i write these lines for you 

because i can do anything 

you need me to (yes 

i can do anything)

surprise me like you used to

surprise me like you used to

surprise me like you used to

paradise lost, but the night still shines


Some say the Devil does things 

by the numbers, he drives a flatbed Ford 

and steers clear of places and situations 

but some folks down in McAllen Texas say 

when things get hot the Devil starts dancing

and the devil was a looker all right in a three-

piece suit, one half chicken leg the other half shine

and like I say the devil does things by the numbers

and knows how to a burn a little girl or two 

on the dance floor, when his eyes rotating 

this way and that -- like a disco ball 

like a nine-tailed armadillo –

and frying hell with his infamous eyes 

and one night in McAllen Texas 

in a joint called Boccacios

the Devil walked into the room 

and took control of a girl named Navé 

and started her dancing

the DJ was spinning and spinning 

that vinyl out of control 

he was a genius with the music 

and the 7&7s and Bavarian beer 

were flying my friend 

and the underage boys 

beat a hasty retreat 

from the land of the wallflowers

and the Devil and Nave 

danced and danced and danced, 

until a couple of bouncers 

bounced him out 

     three times for show

          three times for show

     three times for show

bounced them out, through a 

double bolt steel lock 

emergency door

and some folks say it never happened 

and some folks say it did 

and some say they saw 

the Devil himself 

crossing the borderline 

in a flat bed Ford

crossing the borderline

at the speed of light and break of dawn

and that’s good enough for me


(from the 2023 Roadside Press collection RESURRECTION SONG)

What if apples were still apples, 

snakes still snakes, and we are

all still living in paradise; what if

Eve is in the summer of her years, 

running with the antelope, thighs 

supple and alert, her face tan; 

what if nobody has had to 

crawl on their belly on account

of some fairy tale crime; Adam 

lies blameless in a grove of 

ripe pears, admiring Eve's gait, 

admiring how evening light arrives 

in Eden on hushed wings to remind

him of love's caresses; no temptation

no shame, just a curious bird, singing in 

sweet ellipses, singing with the trees,

a song with no words, about God and

summer and sunlight in waterfalls; 

a simple song, about how perfectly 

a pear fits in Adam's hand, equally

perfect in Eve's hand too; and how 

generously its juices spill onto 

his chin and hands and chest, 

(almost as if it was by design), 

singing how we are all of us 

two halves of a single fruit

hanging from a paradise tree.


(from the 2023 Roadside Press collection RESURRECTION SONG)

In the beginning everyone was a flower

and had their moment in the sun

and thought things would stay that way forever

         But they don't.... do they

Seasons change. Winter comes.

To survive is to go hard in the heart.

To survive is to go mean and blind, too.

To cover up in ashes and overcoats 

and play dead to the body.

       To endure... rock hard to the elements, 

while the gods quarrel with each other 

and make plans. and we hunker down 

in our homes and hovels... 

we hunker down, in our factories, 

our offices our laboratories 

our grease traps our garbage cans,

all the hellholes of material regret

       and we wait...

But then out comes spring!

out comes spring!

we made it!

     office workers are glad

     salesgirls are glad

everything shines like a plate glass window

schoolchildren laugh and misbehave

everything is liquid and cool again

 the entire world belongs to us!

we throw open our hearts

we take a deep breath 

Hey everybody! shrug off your stale meager existences

give your bodies back to the sun

the gods haven't forgotten us after all.

Everyone’s a flower.

    Everybody's a flower.

Everyone is a flower.