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Charles Rammelkamp

Hide and Seek “A brother was a terrible thing. He was a lifelong competitor, yet you couldn’t hate him without hating yourself.” - Ian Rankin, Hide and Seek Whew. That was just a dream, just another regret-fueled dream, my parents and brothers long dead. I hadn’t run away from them, after all, hadn’t gotten lost trying to return, running down deadends, lost in places unfamiliar as dreams themselves, groping, time running out the way it does in dreams, almost tangible, fragile and fleeting as sleep itself. Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives with his wife Abby .   He contributes a monthly book review to   North of Oxford   and is a frequent reviewer for   The Lake, London Grip   and   The Compulsive Reader.   A poetry chapbook,   Mortal Coil , was published in 2021 by Clare Songbirds Publishing and another,   Sparring Partners,   by Moonstone Press. A full-length collection,   The Field of Happiness,   will be published
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M.J. Arcangelini

At Raquette Lake (1973) For Bette Fireworks seemed like a great idea to Celebrate our new-found friendship; The 20 year old hitchhiker and The middle-aged birthday girl. She had some stashed at the cabin. The moon disassembled and reassembled Itself on the surface of the lake as we Approached with the recovered fireworks And the remaining half of a half-gallon of vodka. She lit the wicks in turn and then jumped back. There was the sizzle, then the fizzle as Each one hissed at our disappointment. We left them, useless, near the dock, and set out To peek into the windows of Unoccupied neighboring cabins To critique their interior design. The bottle going back and forth, While we passed the cool night with Gossip, giggles, and secrets revealed. As morning eased into the landscape The lake emitted a blanketing mist which Crawled across the yards, a persistent Nudge sending us at last to our separate beds. M.J. Arcangelini  (b.1952) has resided in northern Cali

C.W. Blackwell

Wharf Lights This evening starts without fanfare. A sheet metal sky invents us in a palette of gray-blues and muted greens as if we inhabit rooms full of cigar smoke. Couples on benches sit stenciled against the bay, their stillness is a photograph mounted and hung in a glass frame. The wind blows half-smoked cigarettes between the wharf boards, a woman catches them, stumbling in the tide— her eyes have no color, teeth like faded tungsten. Even the lit cherry flares like a scene in a Billy Wilder flick: a hot and colorless fleck in the shadows. The scene turns. Now wharf lights go flickering down the platform in a panoply of blue electric arcs. Sea lions bark in the cross-piles and octopuses whipsaw from their depths. Our eyes blink in sapphire codes, the lights invent us anew. It is what we’ve been longing for: to wake in bluish colors and drink and laugh and screw in that neo-noir glow beneath a blanket in the still-warm sand. C.W. Blackwel

Howie Good

Pertaining to Darkness If I look back, I see snakes and coffins, and if I look ahead, I feel myself walking on corpses instead of on the ground. There are deserts where there once were oceans, the stench of gasworks where there once were visions. Come night, shadows have sharp teeth and retractable claws and creep toward me without making a sound. I have slept for one-third of my life, and when I’m awake, I experience time as illegible colors or as thoughts I wish I never had. & Used paper face masks litter the ground. How’s that allowed? Even the crows on the wire must be wondering what the fuck. A series of incidents doesn’t necessarily add up to a plot. I want to shake this person and that person and tell them, “You can’t be lost in your own world all the time.” & I was sitting up in bed reading a book called People Love Dead Jews when I came across a passage quoted from the memoir of a Jewish sonderkommando. His responsibilities at Auschwitz concentration camp included dis

Yuan Changming

Last Meet with My First Love: for Yi Ming meeting you face to face you seem to hide yourself behind a fog in another world separated by the pacific in between you often look like the flower blooming on my window ledge have a blue dream and you will see a little cloud drifting around like me near that borderline I have packed you up tightly into my backpack, the luggage I cannot consign, or sent by mail but carry it with me close to my chest you are neither light nor heavy, but you will occupy a solid space in the closet of my heart Yuan Changming, with  Allen Yuan, runs . (poetry subs are welcome year round). Credits include eleven Pushcart nominations besides appearances in  Best of the Best Canadian Poetry  (2008-17) &  BestNewPoemsOnline , among 1,869 others worldwide. Recently, Yuan published his eleventh chapbook Limerence, and served on the jury for Canada's 44th National Magazine Awards (poetry category).

Steven Croft

All Hallows' Eve Sky fades over distant dark forest, chaff of wheat blowing tans and darker browns across a frosty, fallow field where the promise of green growth once lived in the spell of earth moist and soft where spring seeds once opened like a heart on fire with love. Now oil lanterns glow through the old-field schoolhouse windows as autumn's twilight vanishes to dark. Children appear in the door to follow their teacher past the sparks of a bonfire, just lit by a father, to neighboring homesteads. Their eyes candles of expectation, the night sky cold, full of stars. An Army veteran, Steven Croft lives on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. He is the author of  New World Poems  (Alien Buddha Press, 2020).  His poems have appeared in  Willawaw Journal ,  Canary ,  The New Verse News ,  The Dead Mule ,  Live Nude Poems ,  Quaci Press Magazine ,  Anti-Heroin Chic ,  Ariel Chart , and other places, and have been   nominated for the Pushcart Prize and

Chad Parenteau

Cambridge Doesn't Need Another Poet Camo facemask clashes with brick red sidewalk. Must have been picked off from afar. Summer solace in burger joint once regulared by my former worst enemy in letters. Revolutionaries spin before first doctrine, helicopter parent positions, roundhouse even right thinkers. Spheres spin off, unable to influence selves. Chad Parenteau  hosts Boston's long-running Stone Soup Poetry series. His work has appeared in journals such as  Résonancee, Molecule, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Tell-Tale Inklings, Ibbetson Street , Off The Coast, Nixes Mate Review and  Wilderness House Literary Review.  He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal  Oddball Magazine.  His second collection,  The Collapsed Bookshelf, was nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award.