Water by Joan Mazza

leaves
 

Water   Not all water is silk, not a curtain closed against a mountain. Not every rivulet runs to a river. Not every rainstorm beats fists against the pavement or hammers umbrellas. It doesn’t even tap a tango on a tin roof. Original element of my birth— I swam through you and into this world. Cold from the pump, metallic taste of rust, gift of the earth after a day in the desert. Water sloshes in a jug, ice clanks, a balm and treasure, better than black gold or coal. Joan Mazza has worked as … Continue reading Water by Joan Mazza

Snow Falls Off Bare Branch by Diane DeCillis

snow on branch
 

Snow Falls Off Bare Branch   At a reading, the poet responds to the art of the Japanese woodblock. But I only see the man’s head blocking my view, white hair combed counterclockwise, hiding terrain where grass no longer grows— pale heart of a lone chrysanthemum. As the poet cites Hiroshige’s cobalt skies, that mum becomes lotus on the bald pond at Shinobu. By the time she references Wild Geese Flying Across a Crescent Moon, I migrate to the edge of my seat, glimpse the side of his face. Hair parted at the temple, it … Continue reading Snow Falls Off Bare Branch by Diane DeCillis

Author Juditha Dowd Interview

Juditha Dowd at desk
 

SL:  Congratulations on the publication of your short story, “Phoenix” in Streetlight’s upcoming Winter Issue.  When did you start writing or realize that you were a writer? JD:   I remember that when I was eight years old and in the 3rd grade I wrote a poem, but I was writing down words as soon as I could read. I felt that words held magic. In the 5th grade I was writing stories. I liked to write stories about large families so I could name all the children. I loved names. I’d write stories with families … Continue reading Author Juditha Dowd Interview

No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

man reading at laptop
 

Writers, or those who want to write but don’t, like to say they have Writer’s Block, Capitalized, as if to makes it real, an explanation for why they’re stuck. They can’t get started or get back to the project they’re sure would be a bestseller. Ideas come only when they’re falling asleep or driving, never when they sit down to write. They often smile when they talk about the Block, as if there’s a certain satisfaction in having one, like a treasure or a talent to display.   I think saying you have Writer’s Block is … Continue reading No More Writer’s Block by Joan Mazza

Three Poems by Sharron Singleton


 

Rehearsal   The best thing about the house I grew up in was that it sat at the edge of a small weedy lake where my mother and I would row to a raft through a thick tangle of water lilies, their white cups floating above green saucers. She would tie a rope around my chest, hold it taut and walk the edge of the raft as I flailed in the water learning to swim. Now I walk the tight perimeter of loss, love’s ligaments stretching between us as she prepares to swim out of … Continue reading Three Poems by Sharron Singleton

Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

old bone set atop small stone tower
 

…..I’m as independent as a hog on ice, and if they don’t let me alone they will be sorry for it. ………………..Journal of Private Sarah Wakeman A Spring plowing incident when something gleams. Oblivion unearthed, a brass buckle bears US. The tractor falls quiet. Only insects hiss. A shovel scrapes a bone. Then two. The coroner assembles all the requisites. From the shallow grave, dirt is troweled away. A small man, maybe a drummer boy. A skeleton, alone, hands composed. Forensics is surprised to find a woman, pelvis telling much. No birth but death. No … Continue reading Tennessee, 2004 by Eric Forsbergh

Fear Has No Hospice by Alina Stefanescu

color photo of hospital corridor
 

Alina Stefanescu is a finalist of Streetlight Magazine’s 2019 Poetry Contest.   In my terror-hemmed flesh. The wince against their raised voices of desperate sirens, careful guarding of pulse from impatient ambulance. Fears keep folding and holding me while cars wait for normal patterns to resume. Panic is the metaphysics of knowing anything may be normal en route to normalization. An unworded dream: discovering you, the man I love, in the lobby of frightened husbands who learn the lingo of cancer to buy time for their wives’ lives. The worst would be watching you lose … Continue reading Fear Has No Hospice by Alina Stefanescu

Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams


 

Invitation to an Empty Church   In the rafters: hungry, silent mice. Down below: the civilized ask light to forgive them mediocrity. The light they seek is a cage in the rafters above glass stained in saviors, where holes fall from holes in the ceiling. The women pass coins onto plates like brooches to grandchildren who will never wear them. Someone knocks at the sealed door but won’t be let in. Nobody remembers how they entered or if light ever completes. A great voice asks the windows mirror-questions, and we pretend we haven’t lost our … Continue reading Invitation to an Empty Church by John Sibley Williams