All posts by Fred Wilbur

Invitation: R. S. V. P. by Fred Wilbur

Photo of leaves on ground

  Submissions for the annual Streetlight Magazine Poetry Award are open and I want to encourage participation from everyone, those new to our magazine as well as regular readers. The closing date for this year is 29 November, just a few weeks away. The rewards are recognition by the posting of the winning entries in our magazine and print anthology, and monetary prizes of $125, $75, and $50. In past blogs, I have advised writers, especially poets, to be realistic in their desire for recognition, but I want to promote here our poet-friendly process for … Continue reading Invitation: R. S. V. P. by Fred Wilbur

MX-76 by Dana Miller


Sneerwise, I’ve seen better Dearborn, without the metal I’d go on to abort you like any other paperweight hitchhiking across my belly and just that fast Grace Kelly has figured out the new math, I’m afraid and lordess, but you’re a strict equation Despite the munitions manifest under the crown of your abdication I just keep on loving you like caloric restriction and late-70s cocaine stretching myself out like St. Swithin’s Day across your salt lick whole oceans of Tawny Kitaen Ready for my Helen Reddy moment I’d sober up if I were you The … Continue reading MX-76 by Dana Miller

Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

Photo of hay bales in field

  This summer, I have performed two activities that strangely seem similar: shredding dozens of family documents and serving as a screener for a poetry manuscript contest. Many of our older readers have, no doubt, had to settle their parents’ or close relatives’ estates. I am past that stressful situation, thankfully, as my mother, pre-diseased by my father, died ten years ago. For that decade six or seven banker’s boxes squatted on sturdy shelves made especially for them. After consulting my surviving siblings, I spent many hours sorting (in some cases saving) and then shredding … Continue reading Two Tasks by Fred Wilbur

I Love You* by Howard Algeo

Photo of tons of candy hearts

*Certain conditions apply. Statement is not an indicator of future performance, nor does it constitute any promise, guarantee or warranty. Cannot be combined with other offers. Void where prohibited. Howard Algeo has been published in the online editions of Crack the Spine and Paper Darts. He is a home health care executive, currently serving as Director of Business Development and Training for Seniors Helping Seniors. Howard holds a BA from Temple University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Also a stand-up comedian, Howard feels writing comedy and writing poetry are very similar: It’s … Continue reading I Love You* by Howard Algeo

Husk by Ellis Elliot

Photo of pumpkins in front of corn stalks

She was a day past presence, riding the jagged breath below the surface of consciousness, and I was running to make the next plane to Arkansas. My footsteps parted the ear-splitting everyday announcements on the static speaker of gate changes and baggage claim. I was running, gunning the rental car through the curved roads of the Ozarks, frantic for her to hear the familiar cadence of my voice. She was inside her last flickering, the holding place just beneath the skin papered over bone. Her skull was a half-empty wasp nest, a grave tempo of … Continue reading Husk by Ellis Elliot

Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

Silhouette of man against dusky sky

  I mix up the names of common furniture pieces like cupboards and cabinets, closets and shelves And bureaus. And Ursas, both major and minor Armoires. To know only of somethingness— I can’t name one star and I’ve waited so long for these cupped hands to dip they’ve grown stoic I lie down in night frost            the twin clotheslines above cross like high wires                         for timid constellations I feel space like I’ve reached              the cold region of a cabinet— I watch keyholes flicker starlight                         from a closet If I could rise … Continue reading Taxonomic Confessions by Nate Braeuer

Hunting Gems and Pamplona, Virginia, 2 poems by James Swansbrough

Photo of man and child climbing mountain

Hunting Gems I don’t comprehend the chemistry of how geodes form but their creation makes enough sense for my layman mind to teach an abridged version to my daughter: Some rocks may look dull, but many have secret hollows inside. If water and minerals can creep in and dry, over time they can grow into the beautiful crystals they are now. There’s a lesson in that for her, I’ll think. Something about humility and patience or about finding unexpected splendor on the inside. But I won’t share the metaphor with her no matter how inspiring … Continue reading Hunting Gems and Pamplona, Virginia, 2 poems by James Swansbrough

Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Photo of old man walking with girl

Little Betrayals I was six I knew he had a quarter in his pocket I knew it was mine if when he roared who is the greatest grandpapa of all and the silver and Wedgewood china on table shook and the Irish maids ghosted by in starched uniforms and the chauffeur polished the silver Lincoln Continental and my grandmother tended to the terra cotta pots of pink and white orchids in the gazebo and my face flamed and I yelled Grandpapa looking down at my poodle skirt its rhinestone eye staring   Not Exactly Genesis … Continue reading Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Clair Scott

Russel Square by Andrew Hanson

Photo of stone gateway

Fate is read in the routes of the snails that methodically spell their own names in the park. Leaves shrivel and shiver off of white birch trees. Alongside an old church, pigeons storm a sliver of stale bread that once was communion, and the sounds of taxis and Ubers buzz by the parks as the partitioned paths of bees. Nervously, an academic and the pipes of the chemistry department share a smoke, while the pipes’ rusty stubble snags the cool evening’s light. The goldfinch warbles choirlike before it swoops in to cull a butterfly stuck … Continue reading Russel Square by Andrew Hanson

Poems Everworthy by Fred Wilbur

Photo of cluttered desk

  The old poet who thinks he is young remembers the young poet who used to be wise. Twyford James   Though I had my suspicions last fall and tried to hope it along this spring, the venerable holly tree is dead.  Most of its leaves lost, yellow paint chips on the ground, the ever and green are missing from “evergreen.” And so the bark sloughs off, the punky white wood is useful to spalting fungi and insect larvae. The woodpeckers follow. A pileated visits Holly’s Diner, chisels like a true craftsman, searches earnestly for … Continue reading Poems Everworthy by Fred Wilbur