—for Nicole Marie She asked me to stand by her side, But I wanted to see it all Because I knew that I’d forget— Even as hard as I’d want to remember— The brunt and the bitter Forcing my son into the world. My curiosity was stronger than her contractions, Looking at my son’s soft skull— Draped in silty, mousy-brown hairs— Swirling inside of her As an eyeball blinking her lips Open and shut and open again For the first time Not quite ready to see Who was waiting for him This side of his … Continue reading Ferning by Jose Oseguera
Once the Thunder Stops and it’s safe to venture out, we walk to the end of the drive, out to the road, through the mire & torn branches. The smell of our wood fire mingles with eucalyptus. We have only the moon and our plastic flashlights. I can’t remember the last time it was this dark; how slowly the eyes adjust. A crisp silence creaks and then echoes. I reach for your arm, step over what trees have shaken loose. The makeshift brace we rigged held the fence again. The dogs chase & bark and … Continue reading Once the Thunder Stops and Marco Polo, 2 poems by Barb Reynolds
Mountain spruce on upward slopes: their pale under-blue unwraps the clouds in their slow round of visiting. We taste tracery of strange soaps on our skins. You turn towards me, awake again. The unruly sun and her thirsty birds teach us their manner of rejoicing. James Miller is a native of Houston, though he has spent time in the American Midwest, Europe, China, South America and India. Recent publications include Cold Mountain Review, The Maine Review, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Main Street Rag, and Juked. Follow us!
Twin sisters Fuchsia & Diamond, twins in the sense they matured in the same kiln, not expelled from one womb, dance to punk band A Testament Of Youth, Tuesday night, Dugan’s Deli, Iowa State University, in a burst of non-conformity, an innocent standard, unfurled. Rainbow hair, safety pin couture, collision of dreams supplants arctic stares, turns heads in obvious defiance to humanity’s stoic ennui. Nature extends herself with sweet meat cloaking her bitter seeds, but the sisters can’t spiral unscathed through the muted spoils of eons. They’d escaped the racks, iron maidens, pyres meant to … Continue reading Bitter Seeds by Robin Ray
Men croon playful puns about you. Men legislate, fix your tan tunic and wide bulb with geography. Men say your sweetness comes from the soil, comes from a depression-era accident from a patch of sandy land. Brimstone trapped underneath . . . in Georgia clay. Michele Reese is a Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Sumter and the author of the poetry collection Following Phia. Her poems have also been published in several journals including Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, The Oklahoma Review, Poetry Midwest, and The Paris Review. Follow us!
Corsets of snow belly-bust traffic in Chicago, mercifully blurring the blocky derangements of Mies van der Rohe’s window arrangements. You look from Floor 23 down at Michigan Avenue, wax maudlin for a platter of deep-fried kudzu. We are not meant for such a graceless place, its buildings faceless, its rapacious bland spaces, its huge inhabitants, its malignant tenements, its grim aborted experiments with Southside facelifts. We were invented for the Redneck Riviera, the eternal Virginia Reel with Miz Scarlett O’Hara ravishing her radish from the ruined ramparts of Tara. The fantasy of Atticus Finch has … Continue reading A Rebel Yell on Michigan Avenue by Pamela Sumners
For the seventh time I have pierced My heart, bleeding and beating Autonomous of my rib cage. Yet despite the pain, My tears are gilded on a face Lily white And no matter how I am pierced I still think the thoughts that make Reaching for the swords an option. Ivana Vukovic Soraya lives in Australia, specifically in Melbourne, Victoria. From a young age, she’s been writing stories, poems, and a number of other things. In her free time, she pursues a number of artistic hobbies including sewing, painting, drawing, and playing music. Follow us!
Nature itself is meaningless; it is only as we interpret it that it has meaning. John Canaday, What is Art? In our side yard a walnut grows. Higher than the house, it is 104 inches in circumference at chest height. It was a large tree when my wife, our two daughters and I moved here nearly forty years ago. The girls found bits of glass, rusty nuggets and triangles of white porcelain around its trunk like offerings from another time. Indeed, they indicate a vanished house that must have stood nearby, as an old well … Continue reading Raking Black Walnuts by Fred Wilbur