Category Archives: Poetry

Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman

book suspended open
 

Like Portland or is it Austin I am also trying to keep weird. Nobody says keep Oakland weird. It’s got a gentrifying mix with floaters on top and busted bits settling on the bottom and curious pieces swirling suspended. According to Ferlinghetti simile and metaphor make poetry. Ferlinghetti whom I once saw at Brandy Ho’s getting lunch as was I at the counter after having just bought Carlos Fuente’s Terra Nostra as I needed a novel the size, shape and weight of a brick to give my MFA bildungsroman some DNA like Moby Dick, or … Continue reading Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman

Listen and Blessing the Way, 2 poems by Cindy Buchanan

empty phone booth in rain
 

Listen When I first conceived of you I was inside a graffiti-covered phone booth near a rundown beach motel. I wept. The OB’s voice on the other end filled with static. You swam through the phone line anyway, lodged for years inside my heart before you sped away. I loved you as best I could, but leaving was what you got good at— lured by street meds, accelerating down tracks that imprisoned us both. Do you ever pass abandoned booths and wish you could make one call? Pick up the phone. Hear my blood pound … Continue reading Listen and Blessing the Way, 2 poems by Cindy Buchanan

Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

wonder woman crossing wrists
 

back then on that Bronx block few of us stood a chance against reruns of Lynda Carter’s Bracelets of Submission…..truth lasso or pale décolletage rendering erotic doses of televised justice on a daily basis. but we all know it wasn’t just her alone. so many of the finest neighborhood girls played defense with both their hearts and breasts—and rightfully so— because we’d wetted our tongues too often just to get a chance to one day lick the closest thing we could find to a cinematic Caucasian nipple. and into the Internet and collegiate suburbs we … Continue reading Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

Journey by Billie Hinton

dark figure on a boat at night
 

…………Perhaps when the boy built the elaborate scaffolding between sand trays in his first therapy session he was building bridges from me to him. …………Perhaps the melting down of crayons in aluminum foil was alchemy, testing the boundaries of the place he would heal. …………Perhaps the Playmobil medical worker locked in a tiny building while opposing armies fought was for her safety, or for his own. …………Perhaps, in a much later sand tray, the same Playmobil medical worker holding a light at the prow of the boat in dangerous waters was lighting the darkness. …………Perhaps … Continue reading Journey by Billie Hinton

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

sidewalk cafe with red, white, blue table
 

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk …..a long look up into branches I’ll see him, ………………his blond hair in a butch I wore more than fifty years ago. ………..Where wind currents swell every which way, ……………..a tree where limbs are bustling, ………….his arms around a pair of branches, ………………he’ll thrust them away and draw them back in, ………………somehow getting the whole tree …………heaving in his sway, ………………anything for my attention, …..his face filled with sun, ……………his eyes alive, his jaws wrangling ………………with a wad, while below, on the sidewalk ……………….the sweet scent of Bazooka as … Continue reading Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

Ahab’s Widow and Two Songs, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

Photo of house at dusk
 

Ahab’s Widow I wait for him as every whaler’s wife. I write him letters every day. I tell him how he grows bigger and stronger. I tell him of his first words and of his first walk on his own. I write, “What a lovely little pip he is.” I write, “I call him that sometimes, instead of Malcolm.” I write, “Rachel says he’s often mischievous.” I write, “Come home to us safely.” At dusk, as the sun goes down behind the white clapboard house and the elms’ shadows reach out across the lawn to … Continue reading Ahab’s Widow and Two Songs, 2 poems by J. R. Solonche

The Piñata by Dana Robbins

Photo of brightly colored fringes
 

  It was my granddaughter’s fourth birthday party. I, old lady with cane, was sitting in the shade on the side, then made my way cautiously to watch the children hit the piñata with a plastic bat. (In my support group for survivors of sexual abuse, one man told of being hung and whacked just like that; he had black circles under his eyes from never sleeping.) The first few hits yielded no shower of candy and toys. The kids tried again, whacking harder and harder, even the littlest, while the adults yelled raucous encouragement. … Continue reading The Piñata by Dana Robbins

Antonyms for “Affluence” and How to Buy an Antique Picture Frame, 2 poems by Glen Armstrong

Photo of lots of picture frames
 

Antonyms for “Affluence” It is a myth that mice are impossible to eat. I see my tuxedo on another man, a groom or musician. It is a myth that the bride will be thinking about Queen Victoria or the General Washington. It is a myth that I will get fat doing this. As a child, I knew I would marry Gretel, and we would never sleep soundly. I understood that the witch’s candy house wasn’t real, but the children’s hunger was. How to Buy an Antique Picture Frame Sometimes you have to drive …..hundreds of … Continue reading Antonyms for “Affluence” and How to Buy an Antique Picture Frame, 2 poems by Glen Armstrong

Reading the Signs by Patricia Hemminger

bison drawing on rock
 

  As the East’s Songbird Epidemic Fades, the Cause Remains Unknown ………………….—Audubon Magazine, September, 2021 Fifty thousand starlings swoop above the marshes, wings drum in unison, roar in the crepuscular sky. Black shapes cluster, shift and swerve, entanglement at play, then coalesce, morph into a snake with twitching tail, then giant cells that merge again, give birth to prehistoric forms like dancing aurochs on cave walls. Roman augurs read these signs to interpret gods’ desires: when to fight, when to wait, what the cause, who escape. What sibyls now can tell us why songbirds fell, … Continue reading Reading the Signs by Patricia Hemminger

Shadows and Bird of Youth, 2 poems by Joseph Monaghan

shadowy old camera and photos on table
 

Shadows His light bulb dims, and it’s dark enough for shadows revealed. A surprise every time. Strangers rush from nothing to a glittering blue pool. Ships resemble chess pieces from the mist of a balcony. Dock leaves on nettle stings. A lie in a fortune cookie. Paperbacks and Polaroids line the shelves of the bookcase, collected like porcelain angels on a Catholic’s mantelpiece. It’s all a Kodak distraction from being born of bone instead of what gods are made of —-shadows and celluloid. His mother’s still alive. With curlers in her hair, she’s framed on … Continue reading Shadows and Bird of Youth, 2 poems by Joseph Monaghan