The Pines Behind Snow Drive, rusty needles led to a pine grove, where we made little circles with dirty rocks and lit little fires with matches lifted from the corner store. These days the pines that survive make little circles of shade in a trail of three-car garages and realtors’ signs. The old store stays open in our heads. Finish Line The knees will need braces. The bones rebel. The memory turn traitor: rust to dust. Hoops and hurdles. Heartbreak Hills. Fast as a mayfly or slow as a sermon. Either way, you’ll finally cross … Continue reading The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney
“I change, but cannot die.” Shelly “The Cloud” As my wife and I are on our morning walk, I often comment on the clouds above: the constant change they float themselves through, the subtlety of hues they dress in, the animal shapes and deities we conjure. And one day I must have said I’d like to paint clouds once too often—forget that I am not much more than an occasional house painter— because next birthday my kind and, no doubt, loving wife presented me with an online course simply titled Painting Clouds. With tabletop easel, … Continue reading Capturing Clouds by Fred Wilbur
While I waited there in the terminal at Newark, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. It was a bird flying back and forth along the ceiling, and because I was in an airline terminal, I thought a small ironic thought and smiled a small ironic smile and made a mental note to write a small ironic poem later, but just then another passenger turned to her companion and said, Look at that bird flying around trying to get out, and her companion turned to her and said, No, I don’t think … Continue reading While I Waited There by J.R. Solonche
Peace Offering I still don’t know what to do with the jacket hanging in my closet. It’s not that old but like a Brautigan novel is out of fashion. Maybe it all comes down to math and how for the first time in my life I understand subtraction. After losing two close friends, a number that never seemed large is now a mountain. Of course raw fish has always been worth the risk and my last job offer was not. The same tall priest in a black suit I’ve seen a few times on the … Continue reading Peace Offering and Bridges, 2 poems by Kevin Pilkington
—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