Category Archives: Poetry

Salt by Les Brown

Photo of salt mounds

What man would not look back when claiming a celestial voice commanded him to go away from pleasures of wine, games of chance, lust, secular music, dance, art, poetry? The men who deny life’s gifts and joy, who kneel and coerce in the name of one unknown, unseen, beyond reason or proof, men who control by unified power and fear deemed it so that woman should not turn lest she turn to a pillar of salt. The greater choice is to turn, to escape the clutches of piety and power at any cost, becoming salt … Continue reading Salt by Les Brown

Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Photo of alarm clock and calendar

feels this way. Familiar like the abstract place you grab for when you’re curled in despair on your own kitchen floor begging to go home, not knowing where you mean. No matter whose hair and breath lend the other pillowcase its scent, which farm grew this squash so delicately sliced, whose face you lean toward, lips to their ear, cupping a joke. No matter which gone person you scan the crowd for year after year. Whitney Hudak is a CNM and poet living in Newport, R.I. Her work has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal and … Continue reading Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Therapy Ten Years Later by Claire Scott

Photo of someone sitting, holding an axe

  He looked small, curled up on her couch this handsome boy/man not looking at her picking his fingernails jiggling his foot a whisper of a beard on his face he was silent she waited he cleared his throat, said he had the same nightmare every night dreams of carrying wood up a mountain, walking with his father who he trusted more than God walking with his father who he loved more than God Dreams of an altar a fire, a sacrifice did it really happen? were his hands really bound? a knife at his … Continue reading Therapy Ten Years Later by Claire Scott

A Radio with Guts by Russell Thorburn

old radio with buttons and dials

  Bukowski talked about it, the one he threw through the window each drunken night and it still played, a radio indestructible with songs that couldn’t help but bead against my forehead. I think of Johnny Rivers, honeyed in his tenor and hair, the way he sweetened even “Secret Agent Man.” Edgar Allan Poe sat with Bukowski throughout those drinking sessions. What- ever he poured down his gullet had to burn like being tied to a stake, when the Raven began talking Plutonian shores. As a young man I remember summer nights of cheap vodka, … Continue reading A Radio with Guts by Russell Thorburn

Reflection by Michael Quattrone

light falling on footbridge over water

  The garden bridge, a subtle arc that gathers to its bend the mossy stones of either bank, and to the water lends a stagnant symmetry: the dark tunnel above, the sky afloat below. A tranquil park made upside down, and I, half over, pause upon the brink to watch the willow send its branches heavenward, to drink the light that never ends. Now speak the truth. No shallow gloss will shelter us from moss or earth. Michael Quattrone is the author of Rhinoceroses (New School Chapbook Award, 2006) and the musical album, One River … Continue reading Reflection by Michael Quattrone

Swimming Again to Meet You and In Mist and Gray Light, 2 poems by Roselyn Elliott

two lone trees, highway, fog

Swimming Again to Meet You, along some enclosed lane where I pass you swimming in the other direction. Decades, I swam into changing light that guided me to temporary rest— So I begin again— the long drive in the northbound lane, up the highway to the farm. Returned to your house, I let myself down into the water of our lives where you waited, cooking, looking for my car crossing the creek bridge. I leave and return, leave, return, and always, there you are, wondering how I manage to do everything I do. Who is … Continue reading Swimming Again to Meet You and In Mist and Gray Light, 2 poems by Roselyn Elliott

The Cold War in Poland (Ohio) by William Heath

Photo of red sun above skyline

  In school we learn to lie down in the face of Evil from the skies. “Take cover,” the first commandment during air-raid drills as we duck under our desks, then “All clear.” No one dares to say that with or without these precautions, if a bomb fell, we’ll all be toast. All day we wait on the edge of seats for firehouse sirens to sound the alarm. Part of the Civil Defense system, we Boy Scouts chop trees, clear brush for a circular space deep in the Poland forest, use the logs for an … Continue reading The Cold War in Poland (Ohio) by William Heath

Hi, This is My Trauma by Ron Riekki

Photo of barbed wire

Hi, this is my poem. Hi, this is my poverty. What’s that? My poverty. The poem and my poverty shake hands. Everyone ignores my trauma. I go over to my trauma, start talking to it. It tells me about a helicopter on fire. I tell my trauma I can’t talk about that. I got hypnotized to not be able to remember that. My trauma gets quiet. My poverty walks over. My poverty is drunk. My poverty wants a ride home. I realized one night, like this thunderbolt, that I’ve lived in a horror movie. I … Continue reading Hi, This is My Trauma by Ron Riekki

Afternoon Shower by Benjamin Nash

Photo looking up through clear umbrella

It was a shower and gone quickly. The sky was only gray a short time. It reminded me of a gray fox that I spotted in the city when I went to buy two pizza slices, the unseen people that pass by us, ghosts that we think that we see out of the corner of our eye, lightning that we are not sure if we saw or not, or a rat late at night on a lonely street bolting to the drain opening. It may be me one day if I decide not to go … Continue reading Afternoon Shower by Benjamin Nash

Millionaire by Steven Deutsch

Photo of man putting wallet into inside coat pocket

I heard him say it dozens of times, but the first time I said it I laughed out loud. Dad never had two extra nickels to rub together— my parents the king and queen of getting by— and, get by they did— money not nearly as important as a house full of family. He was a soft touch— never able to say no to a friend. I often wonder how he’d fare today when money is god and we worship those who have gobs and gobs of it, like we worshipped the gods of mayhem … Continue reading Millionaire by Steven Deutsch