Poem by Joan Jobe Smith

in this Long Beach city
by the sea
seldom do we ever see
lightning striking
crackling electric silver fire
wicked witch fingers
fatal neon zaps across the sky
bandit blasts
from Beethoven thunder guns
and if we do see
it happens when
rain cloud winds
blow so hard
the ocean gets up
on its hind legs
and walks across the land.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Jobe Smith, founding editor of PEARL and Bukowski    Review, worked for seven years as a go-go dancer before receiving her BA from CSULB and MFA from University of California, Irvine. A Pushcart Honoree, her award-winning work has appeared internationally in more than 500 publications, including Outlaw Bible, Ambit, Beat Scene, Wormwood Review, and Nerve Cowboy — and she has published twenty collections, including Jehovah Jukebox (Event Horizon Press, US) and The Pow Wow Cafe (The Poetry Business, UK), a finalist for the UK 1999 Forward Prize. In November 2012, Silver Birch Press published her literary profile Charles Bukowski Epic Glottis: His Art & His Women (& me). In 2013, World Parade Books will release her memoir Tales of an Ancient Go-Go Girl. Her literary magazine PEARL will release its 50th edition in 2013—find out more at


“Innocent Bystander,” poem by Joan Jobe Smith appears — along with additional poetry and a short story from the popular author — in the new Silver Birch Press release SILVER: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose, which features writing from an impressive list of 62 writers. Find the complete list at