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Scott Ferry

sparkle there was a time when i wouldn’t notice the flash and weft of sun on water / back when i didn’t need to notice god in the wind / back when i didn’t need tangible evidence / back when i could just be unholy walking with the thunder and the broken psalms // but now i know i am broken and faithless / now i must collect each strand of light as it falls and weave it into my splayed chest / a threaded rosary keeping all the brightness in my blood / i must do this because i have to laugh with my children / because i have to show them there is music on the black waters / that there are sapphires on all of the graves sin i am falling asleep without my cpap / the middle of my body keeps opening until the feeling of being without a shell becomes soothing / the blood as a mist the bones crackling into a fine chalk / the presence inside of me now something singing / the words now a sloping breeze over the bed / but when i try to fly up the charcoal castles and canyons i fall jagged ba
Recent posts

Bart Solarczyk

Shaking Sticks Today a happy dog bouncing in the yard won’t allow me to consider suicide or murder the sky’s a cliché blue & it’s warm for November shaking sticks she wants to play why not? Even Light Sunbeams warm the room but skunk my bottled beer everything, even light has a downside. Bart Solarczyk  is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, PA. Over the past forty years his poems have been published in print & online in a variety of magazines, journals, anthologies, broadsides & chapbooks. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry including his most recent book, Carried Where We Go, available from Redhawk Publications & on Amazon.   

Rusty Reviews: Instructions for the Proper Cremation of Your Grief, by Amber Decker

Instructions for the Proper Cremation of Your Grief Amber Decker $8.99 62 pages Folkways Press 2022 I've followed Amber Decker and her poetry for some time now with respect and admiration. Instructions for the Proper Cremation of Your Grief, is a smartly produced 4-by-6 perfect-bound chapbook from Folkways Press, which  reads as well as it looks. Take as an example the poem "Coal Miner's Daughter," a dangerous title with all of its cultural associations. Decker uses them to full advantage, the details of mystery beginning to coalesce and eventually blossom from the initial lines excerpted below to the in the final two lines of the poem: "the crooked gravestones/of every small-town churchyard." I am a lover of all the dark places the headlights of my car can never touch. My empty womb is jealous of the warm orchards where the black-eyed children of Appalachia gather at night to pick apples with their skeletal fingers by the light of the moon.

Jason Ryberg

Evening Birds With the sunset comes the first of the evening birds, with their glassy eyes and piercing blue notes, bragging about all their women in the dark places of our quaint little neighborhood, the sun now nothing but a residue of pink and gold on the horizon, and the stars just now focusing all their distant gazes upon us from places that some scientists say are now just giant holes in space, that lead somewhere else. Jason Ryberg  is the author of eighteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both   The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s   and the Osage Arts Community, and is  an editor   and designer at Spartan Books. 

Gloria Mindock

Bucha A tragedy The sky turned red Blood The Russian soldiers fed With force, with guns A village now hostage They rounded up who they could Pulling them out of their houses Hands tied behind backs Screams, shots, rape, brutality Families watched their loved ones Murdered HORROR The world cries with hearts broken But does not help Sends weapons only Making victims of all of us Souls of the deceased will never rest Until freedom is achieved The broken land rejoined Standing with Ukraine The colors of your flag raised Blend in with the sky Sunflowers wilted But soon will bloom As evil is defeated Bucha, we love you Gloria Mindock  is editor of Červená Barva Press. She is the author of 6 poetry collections, and 3 chapbooks. Her poems have been published and translated into eleven languages. Her recent book is ASH (Glass Lyre Press, 2021) won 7 book awards and was translated into Serbian by Milutin Durickovic and published by Alma Press. Her new bo

Jason Baldinger

a bed of dead lizards hear that gravel bellied song that gravel bellied reply these birds foreign to me flash flickers of color unrecognized shelled by a walnut tree I sit on match sticks, splinters cows low at that side of the road sun hasn’t broke the ridgeline soon heat will reach dangerous I’ve memorized this same sky deep in the wings of night when the only sounds are cricket’s legs and the slow burn of stars as night stretches time is once again valueless it's past time to shelter crawl into a bed of dead lizards let the swamp cooler take the sting out of that thermometer or see if the tire patch will handle this sticky tarmac through one armadillo towns complete with headless bears and collapsed eaves in a roadhouse I order a gallon of sweet tea a platter of catfish let the air conditioner be my spine if luck holds beyond mark twain or the mississippi then it's keokuk the sixty-one highway disappears the ghosts o

Chandra Alderman

Mountain Ash Outside the snow thick as fog. A mountain ash in the distance. Its branches shaking from the wind and robins feeding on the berries. Crimson beads falling on snow. I think of your back, as we stand in the shower after untangling from the sheets. Everything reminds me of you. A snow plow passes by, robins scatter, autumn leaves caught in an updraft. They vanish in the snow. I close my eyes and blush remembering our warm bodies, damp from the shower, lightly touching on the bed by the window. Stanley Kubrick I’m driving home lowering sun over my left shoulder. It casts shadows of the bare trees, guitar strings pulled taut across the road. The rhythm of the car moving over the shadows takes me back to your attic. We are piled on blankets, holding each other, listening to Stanley Kubrick by Mogwai. It might have been the drugs or your gentle hands but every note whispers love in my ear. These moments, they come and find me, even in this deso