Category: Current Issue

End of Summer, Lima, March 2018 by Rose Mary Boehm

Apparently invisible to everyone but me and swinging a plastic shopping bag from Wong The Grocers, a large, dark-skinned, curly-haired man walked past me on a busy Lima avenue. He was naked. He was in no hurry. No one turned, the pedestrian traffic ignored…

Snake-Faced Mornings Driving the Dump Truck in the Blue Zone by Michael Catherwood

garbage can juice smoky plastic blinds piled up on the sidewalk blood under an old trestle bridge graffiti the only positive color parking lots filled with mattresses broken baby cribs used condoms and baby shoes someone raked into a pile scattered bricks and plywood…

Final Fifteen Minutes by Martin Christmas

Cabin in deep forest home alone in upstairs flat. Final fifteen minutes midday movies creepy music. Young woman older guy or younger shonky lover the ending won’t be pretty. He arrives by car by lift by open window music heavy light but always ominous….

Mount Everest Cockroach by Martin Christmas

Standing at base camp in the dark of early night watching this huge cockroach not even donning an oxygen tank about to climb to the summit of Mount Everest and off it goes. Easily scaling the rough trunk terrain the breaks in the track…

Outback ruin by Martin Christmas

Hot sun, cloudless sky. As far the eye sees, flat empty plain. The track threads its lonely way to the shimmering horizon. The merciless sun drums the mulga bush. On one side of the endless track, a homestead slowly crumbling into dust. Roof long…

Seven Thousand Tigers by Martin Christmas

I was dapping through the archives 21st century, olden days, when I came across this cryptic note, ‘Seven thousand tigers left’. But before my birth they’d all been killed. Dad says, ‘Stick to generic brands, son’, so when the food tube came I read…

Sunset Adieu by Martin Christmas

Sun sets. Cloud tips gold. Silver exhaust jets upward through the blue. Sun’s rays fade. Nodding yachts silently dip their masts. Water surface scuds a fond farewell. Sea gulls almost now departed. Mum’s framed image propped up in the front seat, takes a gentle…

The Woman in My House by Joan Colby

Five children died one summer under this roof. Some epidemic—we don’t know. Cholera, Typhoid, scarlet fever, the ordinary Hard measles. Their small tombstones Up the road enclosed by wrought iron, Names eroding from granite. When the old rafters creak in winter storms Or the…

Catch by Judy Dally

He caught a snook on a line trailed behind our boat. It flailed in the cockpit bottom Airless, vacant-eyed but still alive. He bashed it with a winch handle. Its blood splashed his socks, the cockpit lockers. There is salt water in my eyes….

Good Housekeeping by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

home is where the psychologist asks I tap my chest the textbook answer a hollow sound an echo of furniture stolen when I wasn’t looking a problem of the heart the cardiologist says as I collapse upon the treadmill the echocardiogram detects rotting wood…

The Masters by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

It’s a beautiful late fall Sunday here in Augusta and he’s driving balls off a tee in his back yard, hits the water every time. But then, his yard faces the city lake and there’s no fence and it’s a small town but a…

Blizzard by Richard Dinges, Jr.

Time ticks in pipes that grow and dim with hot water rush, a slow dissolve absorbed by blizzard’s roar, windows white whirls against cold hard panes, world blurred into tiny fragments, perfect crystals when water stops its flow, falls from frigid sky and plants…

Estate Auction by Richard Dinges, Jr.

In worn cardboard boxes lie old calendars, pages torn, corners bent, years and months littered in neat stacks on estate auction tables, a stranger’s life up for bid, squares on grids filled in and passed and worth a dollar.

There’s This Place by Robert L. Ferrier

Down in Little Dixie, near a creek that feeds into the Red River. Heard from an old black man buying snuff and worms in a store off 70 east of Hugo. He’d bought a used Chevy from my dad. “You bring a pole, some…

Performance Poetry by Ray Greenblatt

The poet comes onstage in the dark, then the spotlight rings his pale face in perfect order few hairs slicked beady eyes taking dual aim pursed lips like slot machine for fine effect pince nez perched; English accent devastates terse intros elucidate phrasing meticulous,…

Jesus Could Not Have Walked Out On This Water by David Groulx

Jesus could not have walked out on this water this water belongs to Mishipishu. Jesus could not have flown up in to this sky this sky belongs to Thunderbird. You see settler, you see occupier, you see colonizer This land was created in the…

Forward Observer by Mark Harden

  the tall tornado siren stands mute over an unkempt stretch of green belt deer graze beneath canopies of twisted cedar elm, preferring the thinning stand of trees to the exposed pasture wary too, of clearings I watch them from within a screened porch…

The Widower by Ann Howells

The television speaks in tongues. He sits alone, black suit, tie slightly loosened: through the archway, carnival atmosphere vibrates the dining room: bits of conversation float You remember Robey, she’s the one … table bows under stuffed ham, squash casserole, fried oysters, spoonbread, inevitable…

Fourth base by Sean Lause

  Our diamond was gold and soft as rosin, good for sliding, yet for every run we made we nearly died. For our diamond had a single flaw, a fourth base no one ever touched, but each had to pass on the way to…

In Passing by Dan Murphy

Who are we when we walk Amongst the bitterns? Our rubber boots sloshing like horse hooves In the reedy mud. Twirling perfumes, organic’s Seductive concoctions Of Bulrush root and reed grass. A bittern’s calling haunting The shadows that we are To them. In a…

Codicil by Laurence Musgrove

No fear as you Push me out Onto the dark ocean Of my death. My old boat May be small, But the dish of moon Will be my lighthouse. Before I drift Out of sight Past your forgiveness And forgetting, Take this hammer And…

Escape Sonnet by Nathanael O’Reilly

Follow the HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE north away from the Gulf Coast to Fort Worth past new subdivisions metastasizing beyond Houston on freshly-bulldozed earth carved out of the woodlands with beautiful new floorplans from the low 100s past the giant statue of Sam Houston forever…

Earth Keeps Spinning by Robert Okaji

What book do I pull from the shelf in this hour marking my friend’s return to that light-drenched inkling before everything collapses ? Which title, which weight shall I covet? What do we hold if not each other? Being no one, I cannot say….

Awaiting Thunder, He Dreams by Robert Okaji

If all our voices were to meet in the atmosphere what could the rain achieve? When we give nothing we have nothing. Is it enough to listen? Wisps and heaps, ripples and sheets. Accumulated, dispersed, fingers unknotting death’s grip, steps taken around the flames,…

Jazz by Ray Spitzenberger

jazz uptown jazz in the lou jazz in the Big Easy jazz in Bayou City Monk and Mingus and Basie Roach and Tatum and Goodman Ellington and Armstrong and Blakey jazz beyond the sax jazz beyond the keyboard jazz words and rhymes and syntax…

It Matters Not by Ron Wallace

I come unarmored, my eyes making love to Oklahoma stars that somehow have slipped into the Texas sky. Crossing the Red beneath an early morning moon I chase a gypsy shadow. It matters not to that moon nor the ornamental stars around it why…