Category: 2019

Noah’s Cottage by Marie-Andree Auclair

I soft-paddle the canoe on the new lake where the lawn used to grow. I see the river flow grey and patient then the cottage moving away our cottage adrift with our family memories attached to its walls, tucked on shelves nestled in the…

Resilience by Marie-Andree Auclair

My grandfather’s fierce hands he wiggles fingers tendons and veins glide across the back of his hands return to their place. I press a vein by his wrist trace path to knuckle empty blue vein of blood which finds its way back after I…

Steadfast by Marie-Andree Auclair

She tells of bones that walk us, unseen, obvious, skull under scalp shin bone, fibula, femur so many bones shape, articulate us. She stares in mirror — candle glow — spies her face tells of twin caverns quiet ponds eye pebbles afloat, tenderly examines…

American Dream by Mela Blust

i can’t hold you with this american dream the knuckles are scraped the thighs are bruised and i’m afraid of everything that moves i can’t look into a mirror anymore without repeating what it already knows it doesn’t want me/ i am not home…

Flammable by Mela Blust

everything was hot to the touch but i didn’t know that i was flammable. no one had ever told me.I barely remember a grown man throwing a match into the tinder of my thighs when i was just a girl. so i went through…

The Retired Dog Catcher Loses His Wife by Dennis Camire

And like those old strays he dogged, wanders Streets and alleys–though no one, he grieves, Is postering his sad, furry face on telephone poles Or offering up to two-hundred bucks If his heart’s own beloved pug is returned, Unharmed, to Jane on 2 Cemetery…

Sunrise by Vincent Canizaro

under the gulf stars a lone seagull cries her fear divides the morning light

Are Magpies Gods or Spy Cameras? by Martin Christmas

Sitting on a ledge of the steel and glass office block across the street on level six, a magpie, sitting at one end. Suddenly this magpie runs, hops, along the ledge six levels high, looking, watching the world below, or is it? Every so…

Two Different Dogs by Martin Christmas

Two Different Dogs Out on a morning street trek, coming towards me, an elderly woman pushing a stroller with a small grey child in it. Up close I see I need a Spec Saver check up, a little grey Yorkshire terrier. We chat– the…

Night, House by DAH

Houses, made of shadows of hallways dragging footsteps, night’s brooding matter Windows, dark sketches against glass The sky comes down hard inside my head like a disturbing face of black eyes cold as any winter pane smeared as any ink blotter Reaching floor to…

Blood Moon by Robert Ferrier

Tonight I explode light with long lens. Focus between limbs. Balance moon atop a shadowy chimney. I feel small, insignificant in a universe of diamonds. I sling my dreams, trusting stars to illumine hearts light years away. Lunar cycles bookend lives: beginnings relationships endings….

Weather-Sensitive by Steven Fortune

This heavy humid June rain betrays Mother Nature’s tweak of masochism curiosity in a failed censorship of quaint elemental menstrual melancholy The kind of weather Teddy Hughes would suffer to befriend My muse enables star manifesting in a room immune to skies though it…

Harbor by Ray Greenblatt

It’s fashionable these days to live by the water so we put all our worth into a condo. It’s a delight to see the harbor blue on sunny days green now and then we imagine but mostly a silty brown. We lie on lounges…

The Border of Your Heart by Patricia Hamilton

is patrolled by a tiny figure goose-stepping back and forth, bayonet poised to jab at anyone deemed undesirable, dispensable: anyone not exactly like you. The unscalable black fence around your mind is wrought from rigid iron topped with spikes designed to keep out any…

This Sweater by Patricia L. Hamilton

You think I shouldn’t wear it? Even if it’s my favorite? Well, maybe so. But its pink is the delicate hue of plum blossoms fluttering in the breeze after an endless season of sullen gray clouds and humorless rain, its intricate pattern the wisdom…

Graves by Bob Hoeppner

Most graves are already dead but they don’t act like it, their erect stones poised to impregnate the eye with names and dates until every pathetic fallacy scrubs the data beyond the rubbings like to a genie’s lamp, meant to invoke the person from…

Mid-Life by D. R. James

That dusk was too deft: it wicked sad nostalgia out of treetops, scrawled and flicked far-flung secrets across a chimerical sphere, treaded afresh its upheld ceiling of concrete gauze. Ah, those were the leaps of an unwilled mind wild atop its uncoiled spine of…

Sisyphus Loses Track by D. R. James

His round trips triggered the technology of counting: clouds, moons, planets, galaxies, his rank breaths dusting the eternal groove. But erasure of future, easing of scars inflicted playing strung puppeteer to the gods, echo sweet gestures tendered like rain. Compass missing, mirror of death…

Wait for It by D. R. James

The forecast hovers between soggy and gratitude, verges on awe, balances muted light against lopsided gladness. Meanwhile (though Cosmos clatters its remote stones, and Existence casts its Theater of the Unheard from among the docile), the man’s morning’s pouring itself into day—and he stares…

Amygdala by Brandi Kary

Things fail us. My sister’s grey matter, the the letter “O” drawn in sand, the needle of a compass, remorse, the orbits of moon– Yet, we know the magic of the brain, setting each hemisphere on fire, each fold, each wrinkle, the geographies of…

Thursday Ritual by Gary Lark

Brad backs the pickup across the yard in line with the top step and lays down 2-by-12s to bridge the gap. His father watches from the window. This is a Thursday ritual, going to town. His father gets the door open and navigates his…

Light by Mary Ann Meade

There, in the field, the light rising from the husks. Fool’s gold her father whispers, the cat squinting up from the grass, and she, a frail child, holding on to the husks. Never mind her cough, the dust. Never mind the words of her…

Sugar Apple by Rajnish Mishra

Sugar apple green, yellow sometimes. Which shade of green? Dark or light, artificial or small-painted-clay-toy green? Which shade of yellow? Sunlight seen through a thin webbed peepal leaf with most of its green gone, and just the veins and a film of leaf. The…

The Whims of Sleep by Elizabeth Morse

Sleep no longer loves me. The phone buzzes once, dialing lights That streak across the ceiling. I sit up in bed, Reading ice-cube promises in a crystal glass. Star and moon cookies with white frosting And tiny silver dots recline in a plate. I…

The Old Men by Benjamin Nash

The blue heron in the dark pond, tall pines, reminds me of the old men, walking carefully, wearing the beat up cowboy hat, a good one for Sundays, getting up at light to watch the beef prices, going to bed when the sun goes…

South by Nathanael O’Reilly

Lift the luggage down from the garage shelf pack for another journey fold jeans, shirts and shorts roll socks, belts and undies gather toiletries, running gear sunglasses, boots and books for the trip south into the hot, dry hills where tequila, cerveza tacos, fajitas,…

Breathing by John Ogren

Waiting at a stoplight, I noticed a plastic shopping bag caught in the upper branches of a tall, leafless tree across the freeway. The palest gray, it first made me think of an egg. I might have seen it before— a jelly fish hovering…

Nothing is true in Dallas by John Ogren

Nothing is true in Dallas. Streets run askew at its heart and constantly prank the compass mind— erratic radii off a bucking colt of a river, lately bridled and channeled. Drive out and patterns regress to norms of latitude and longitude but even here…

Vagrants by John Ogren

Birders in Texas pay attention to hurricanes because the gigantic pinwheels blow birds everywhere. When birds are blown off course during migration, some right their compasses and complete their routes. Others make do in borrowed habitats. Due to strange surroundings and exhaustion these vagrants…

Haibun by Martin A. Ramos

On Sunday there was an emergency call about a woman who was in a desperate way down by the river. We heard the report and went down to the river where she was shouting and screaming that the current had taken her daughter… No…

Remain by Ann Randlette

Granny rides on the backseat near me as my brother drives the two lane roads, crosses the bridge over the Nisqually River. He pulls onto the verge and despite the warning signs, ‘Restricted, Military Personnel only’ follows the dirt lane to the dead end…

Trees by Errol Rubenstein

In their naked and undisguised irregularity, trees Are shocking to me, Trunk hunkered in the ground, Roots spread like eels, scrutinizing the soil, A woodpecker’s knothole Making a home for some tiny starling, titmouse or chickadee– Cavity-nesters in the heartwood. A small rodent, a…

When Those in Power by Errol Rubenstein

When Those in Power Huddle in hallway corners To discuss false claims and accusations levelled against you; When the metal jaws clamp down And your flag of freedom hangs limp in the dead breeze And your means to sustenance is endangered And your gainful…

Downfall by Ann Christine Tabaka

Disbelief shall be our loss, wading through deception. Want and desire play their hand against fact and fate. Like so much sour milk, our longings spill out. Transformation resists, a stalemate results. Incredulous masses stand their ground, disregarding what lies directly in their path….

Alteration by Agnes Vojta

The dress fit her perfectly for years; it wore comfortably, and she liked the way she looked in it – until one day, it suddenly felt too short, too tight, the seams fraying. She tried to adjust it, pulled and tugged, but it didn’t…

How to Walk on Slickrock by Agnes Vojta

Trust your brain and feet to read, instinctively, the interplay of gravity and friction. Do not second-guess whether you will be able to walk down the steep slope. Commit to your step without hesitation. Put your full weight on your feet, walk erect, with…

Train to Uncertainty by Agnes Vojta

While you are living your questions and listen for the elusive answers that may never come, the universe pulls the rug out from under you and slams the door shut. You are left in a rubble of regrets. You should have jumped on the…

Small Things by Johann van der Walt

it’s the small things that count the most small gears that fit neatly into one another these parts kick start the biggest of machines it’s talking without mouths that I remember the longing sigh we give late at night when everybody is asleep and…

Meditation: University Green by Cullen Whisenhunt

The leather magnolia petals fall hard as if to crack the sidewalk, then lie bowl-still beside waxy leaves already yellowed by spring downshifting into summer. They twitch and skitter like the bottlebrush tail of a nearby red squirrel, lifted by the slightest breeze to…

Visions of Durant, OK by Cullen Whisenhunt

who loned it through the streets in Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels —Allen Ginsberg, “Howl” I saw him today, Allen. Saw him as I blew down Enterprise Boulevard like an eastern wind. Saw him framed above the road in…

Inarticulate by David Adès

I am trying, still, to touch something, something I cannot name, something that those of faith and bereft of doubt might call God — the inviolate kernel of epiphany — not so much to remove the grey between the black and white as to…

Living Inside Our Bodies by David Adès

Living inside our bodies we never know the extent of our reach, where the tiny seedpods of our smiles are blown, where they lodge, where they reside deep in memory, how long they endure emitting their silent love, how much they become beacon, they…

On the Shelf by David Adès

You turned the wheel — I spun around: but I was not clay to your hands, I did not shape to your image, my imperfections would not vanish. Now you have left me here, fired and glazed, hard and set.

Two Women, Two Paths by David Adès

1. One woman is holding on white-knuckled hard. She wears her grief buttoned up tight holding herself within it fearing her own disappearance fearing air on skin fearing the world beyond him. She takes it to her bed as talisman as substitute as protector…

Autumn Wind by Vincent Canizaro

time and an autumn wind unfurl the curtain lace in a silent kitchen I watch the cat; hunched, creeping slowly along the shelf a silent candle wavers shadow through the crystal time etching darkness on the wall

Spies by Frank H. Coons

Again the dream melds facets of real & unreal with colors of ochre and starfish-orange we are on a jagged beach bordered with dense trees maybe the Delaware Capes or Penobscot Bay & lighting a small stick fire & wearing animal skin coats waiting…

Because by Stephen Cramer

Because I’m a skeleton wearing a few inches of flesh & some jeans I’m going to rub my face on some wild columbine & learn how to live on rocky slopes, sing all the neighbors’ stares into my direction, suck on this rice like…

Blues in Blue by Stephen Cramer

Some days they shadow me like a badly dubbed film, lines lagging just behind the lips. Don’t talk to me about serenity. One guy ate an airplane piece by piece over two years, but he still couldn’t fly. Maybe the things I’ve believed in…

The Microphone Speaks by Stephen Cramer

The Microphone Speaks: So this is how it feels to be outdated: watching headsets couple with main acts every night while I haven’t had a date for months. Go ahead, call me the vestigial organ of the music industry. I am the myth of…

Remind me again how our love was ill-advised by Torie Amarie Dale

Remind me again how our love was ill-advised I swing from the branches of that forbidden tree. You rest your hands on your knees and bow your head low. In that valley of your own creation you ask God, and, of course, your Blessed…

Cute Aggression by Mark Danowsky

Eating baby carrots I try not to feel my teeth crushing fingers even though I’m sure this is not what it’s like to chew through bone I look at the dog but he’s not going to give me concrete answers They call it “cute…

Old Friend by Mark Danowsky

As it turns out We were not meant to live Similar lives Albeit growing Up together Then splitting As limb from trunk Pushes toward sunlight Breaking canopy Knowing nothing Except need

On Break by Mark Danowsky

Sitting between frozen dinners deodorant and pain relief a red umbrella blocks squares of skylight leaves only fluorescent gleam cast off scuffed polished floor flat black metal table shiny packaging all that lines each shelf waiting for you to consider if any of these…

Young Ways by Mark Danowsky

not just youth get over-excited draw others in their web where discovery is lauded as if innovation exists given we are most satisfied in small revelatory moments wet ivy glistening with dew fresh picked raspberries wearing sunglasses looking like your favorite self driving toward…

When “Goodbye” Isn’t Enough by Holly Day

My son tells me the world has gotten so small that even if he gets swallowed up by the trees in the Amazon by the heights of Nepal or Kilimanjaro by the noise of icebergs crashing somewhere past Alaska he will be able to…

Memory is a Moment by Richard Dinges Jr

framed in fog. A hollow echo in empty bones shifts between gray shadows. Sharp edges scrape bare skin exposed to cold wind under a bright clear sky. A sun blinds, feeds a single seed until it grows into a large tree. I can climb…

Mid-Winter Journey by Richard Dinges Jr

Sun melts low into horizon, paints a thin orange wash across hay field stubble, raises a roll of hills and farmsteads into still life framed within bare tree windbreaks where I pause in my journey to watch sunlight blend with land before sky lowers…

Rhythm of Nightfall by Richard Dinges Jr.

At day’s end, shadows draw pond water into sky’s dark, meld field stubble’s slow dissolve into grove’s trunks. I can only imagine star’s sparkle in my eyes that cannot see beyond this blur into night, so quiet I hear my breath, a whisper little…

Blood Moon by Robert Ferrier

Tonight I explode light with long lens. Focus between limbs. Balance moon atop a shadowy chimney. I feel small, insignificant in a universe of diamonds. I sling my dreams, trusting stars to illumine hearts light years away. Lunar cycles bookend lives: beginnings relationships endings….

America’s Prayer by Jenny Flower

Our children who are in heaven Forever we’ll remember Your names. When it comes to guns Whose will be done? Your blood Will not be forsaken. For parents, this day is filled with dread. Forgive us – we sent you to classes – as…

Avocado Salad by April Garcia

I stand in my kitchen as she stood in hers and carefully dice plump, red H-E-B tomatoes —their juices running across the wooden cutting board —cube creamy avocados, and chop crunchy, iceberg lettuce. In a bowl, I mash the cubes —sprinkle with garlic powder,…

Big Man by Julie Diane Gates

There you are on the floor of the bathroom passed out. I ran past the glistening blinking Christmas lights to the guest room where my mother was sleeping And young Caroline, zombified, in her transient coming of age to leaving the nest bare bedroom….

China Doll by Julie Diane Gates

A China doll isn’t Chinese. She’s made of China. Her makeup, painted in fine brush strokes Is permanent, but not tattooed. Her coif will forever remain set and breeze-resistant Because she does and does not live in a sheltered encased world. She’s impervious to…

Picasso by Julie Diane Gates

I’m in your blue period, Poppy. Take me back to Cancun where you can see all of me and spoil me. You didn’t finish what you started And it was unfair of you to leave me with your blue feet. We were supposed to…

Silver by Julie Diane Gates

You can’t find that half ounce of mercury Shrunken to the base of the priceless miniscule vial Buried at the center of the iceberg In the Antarctic. Hack away with your foolish man-made tools, drills, hatchets, and axes, If you must, But you’ll only…

Skiers Enrolled in Public Schools by Linda Imbler

The littles one stand quietly, gather them, all the little ones, herd them up high on the mountain, sheep and goats, herd them up to the top, hurry, hurry because the race must begin. Hurry, hurry up the mountain. They must march with longer…

Alexander’s Elegy by Laura Johnson

plump blueberries sifted through moist fingers as i searched for stems. all your life i did this a small discard pile on the side to present you with a glistening bowl of fruit. being yours and your being mine meant picking through the stems….

Masterbaters by Paul Juhasz

Grandma, scowling, referred to it as “that nasty habit of yours,” filling my chalice and my stoup with all the guilt she forgot. Dad would usually just smirk and ask what I was doing in there for so long; Mom would wrinkle her nose…

The Hare Licks His Wounds by Paul Juhasz

What no one understands, baby doll, is that I threw that first match. Do you really think I’d lose to a goddamn turtle? Fuck no, I threw that motherfucker! Why? Gotta generate interest. Build the excitement, baby. I mean, c’mon. Who was paying attention…

saprotrophic nutrition by Alexander M. Koch

the velvet porous brown underside of Phellinus igniarius topped by a hard, black surface with fissures that cross creating lines of direction a topography of layered crust I follow the contours tracing them with sandpaper fingers back to the bark of the tree where…

The Dream by Kristina Krumova

I dreamed that your skin was transparent and through it I was able to see the air in your lungs the liquor in the liver and myself inside the blood

The old man in the cage by Sean Lause

It is Sunday. The old man in the cage is wheeled through the town again. His lips tremble with violations. There must have been a time when he was young. He signatures the air with words they cannot decipher. He is no one. Though…

The others by Sean Lause

A cat approached me with a note on her paw that read “cat.” This was sound advice, made more sense than my “philosophy.” Yet still I craved for more. So dragonfly came: “I knit past to present faster than the mind can compute.” Spider…

The Forgotten Side by Boniface Mangena

The sound of cheer warms the heart with want Glory so dreamy and hypnotic like an enchantress portion In tickles of applause wash my brain with ambition And delude myself absent thought of the blood spent A kiss of grandeur is a blindfold on…

I Won’t Say The Name by Christopher McCarthy

My friend’s rapist three-day dry gluestick I won’t say the name retracting back into himself revolting, captor. The other two that came with him lost erections and eventually they let her go. I remember the pillowed box They put Joanie in after she died….

Once by Christopher McCarthy

Once, as a child, I was playing hide and seek at our house in the city. Sardine in a hole, hiding ontop of Diana, and Mark starts singing ‘If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands!’ I burst. Out. Laughed. Peed myself….

Cute Hoors by Jean McLarney

In the dream I’m partying with Ivan Stefanovich. This would never happen in real life. Ivan has always been nice to me, but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing: he molested his cousin when he was twelve. We’re hours there. The hostess is not…

Almost Old by Fabrice Poussin

It was another day in the mid forties she sat by the hearth in crackling odes bones chilled in a certain darkness. The cup steamed of a promising savor gently in a deepening aloneness patiently she waited for the instant. A spark came to…

This Alzheimer’s Morning by Steven M. Smith

When she woke, she asked me who I was. So once again I told her I am her morning—and more. Then I asked her after breakfast to paint a poem— just a little poem to be brushed on a canvas of dawn that can…

How Long & How? by Jeffrey Taylor

I can be compassionate for someone without wanting them to be president. I can want them gone from that position without pulling the trigger myself. I can want them gone and want the path to that end be right. There will be unhappiness when…

Immigrants by Jeffrey Taylor

The fish and chips on the table are an idea imported from England. The English had to wait for potatoes to emigrate from Peru, put down roots, acclimatize, settle in, assimilate. Tikka masala arrived later, a bank shot emigre from India, via England. But…

Settlers by Jeffrey Taylor

The red oaks are still robed in their green and red glory as we approach Christmas. The hackberry stands quiet in its winter bareness. I do not know the tree with tiny leaves that remain green all winter. Here on the edge of the…

At the Canberra Museum’s Roman Exhibition by Valerie Volk

Among the lofty statues – gods, consuls, empresses – who loom above the marveling crowds, glass cases show the treasures of daily life in ancient Rome. Here I find my entry to their bustling city life. A tiny object, centimeters long, a block of…

Rowan by Michele Waering

Do not bury witches beneath me my roots are neither iron nor water Rather watch for my seedlings set them in a circle around you Let my blossoms bring hope to you unfurling after uncertain winters Come late summer orange berries precise blackbirds forage…

A Little Coffee by Jack Weitzman

There’s more plastic trash in the ocean now Than sea anemones and starfish, and the otters are belly up with intestines jammed with plastic bags. At Starbucks I snap on the plastic lid and head to the office with my morning coffee. I don’t…

Poem of Pancakes and Junipers by Andrea L. Alterman

A cardinal sat within the junipers. Brilliant vermilion outlined in slate green, he sang while I sliced up strawberries to add to pancake batter. I had promised you pancakes for breakfast. I keep my promises. Butter melted on the griddle. I scooped out batter,…

The Tree of Sorrow by Lavanya Shanbhogue Arvind

I want to take you there, to this house, quiet like the woes of the strong, thirteen trees my grandfather planted, three rose shrubs, gul mohrs that lined the compound wall, curry leaves for grandmother’s kitchen, a henna plant, for her hair It was…

Born-Again Marine by Dennis J Bernstein

On his knees with Christ during a lull in the fighting— kills with the same hands he prays with

Christmas Blessings by Dennis J Bernstein

Father “Joey” gave us a blow-job for christmas: It was his unique gift for all fifteen castraltos in the boy choir at St. John’s. We took turns ducking into his private sanctuary, but not one of the boys Father blessed came out smiling—

The Trauma of Spiritual Flesh by Adam Levon Brown

I spoke to my trauma; It cried for a mother who once sheltered him, now caught in dementia I spoke to my trauma; It reeked of needles jabbed into my waist by disorderly orderlies of a behavioral health unit I spoke to my trauma;…

For as Long as I Live by Lew Caccia

Let me sow love, I state before apathy, the indifferent touch I grasped, blanching forth the bone of its chill, profligate and scant bespeaking warmth, the bravura of style— let me not give up this day without redemption. Here, I persevere as refugee, perchance,…

Why We Wait for Rain by Luanne Castle

We wait for hours watching the dark unfurling toward us, unsure if it will land here at all whether it carries thunderstorm or haboob It smells like rain bittersweet cocktail of sandstone & blossoms still damp and quickening in the air over ten thousand…

Snowing in Spring by yuan changming

In the wild open west, flakes keep falling Like myriad baby angels knocked down from Paradise Blurring the landscape behind the vision Hunting each consonant trying to rise above The ground. The day is brighter, lighter & Softer than the feel. Soon there will…

Sonnet in Infinitives by yuan changming

To be a matter when there’s no question Or not to be a question when nothing really matters To sing with a frog squatting straight On a lotus leaf in the Honghu Lake near Jingzhou To recollect all the pasts, and mix them Together…

Dancing by Ray Greenblatt

After a long time we danced together last night not agile as we once were the main aim was touch, we tried a waltz and chandeliers glimmered, the box step suited us fine the stars whirled by; as we went to bed the flag…

Matrix by John Grey

Spider crawls across the ceiling lit golden by fading sun, alchemy on eight legs. traversing its upside-down world. It ignores my eyes’ silent threat, an abdomen, a cephalothorax, in league with its own survival. For high in the rafters, dangle threads fine enough to…

Birth by Gerry Grubbs

What I remember Is the long night The sound Of horses running On a distant hill The flood And the sudden Return of the dove

Near The Edge by Gerry Grubbs

that this is carried inside a thing contained Carries the uncontainable But slipping this way Into words Can close The carrier To the thing contained Can cause The thought That they are two Things not one A thought that separates The world In its…

Media Butterfly by A. J. Howells

Look, you’ve got something to say, just like the rest of us. There’s got to be someone out there who will hear your call to arms and take note and change his mind. Then you’ll be the victor of the spoils. So draft up…

Boston Common by Michael Keshigian

In order to think, to contemplate and appreciate dilemmas brought on by modern life, he often took to strolling through the public gardens amid the verdant calmness of time honored trees and sprawling greenways that survived the patriotic acts of revolution, just far enough…