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Tony Brown

How To Speak Of Death To Your Fellow Americans To begin with, take off your funeral suit but do not put it completely away in the back of the spare room closet. Do not forget how it looks on you and how often you’ve had to wear it. When you begin to speak, remember that some folks have never been to the number of funerals you’ve attended. Some have never been to any and will not understand a word you say but talk anyway. Some don’t believe people die as often or as unfairly as you know they do and you will not make them feel grief easily or quickly. Talk anyway; you might need visual aids. Some only see death when it’s as close as the next room so when you speak of death to them, you will have to simulate the sound of death knocking on the adjoining wall to make them understand. Some of them will smirk and speak of Darwin and some will speak of Jesus. All of these people will speak of what is right and what is deserved; most will stare you down and shout the w
Recent posts

Max Heinegg

Religion in the COVID Wing Waking, we see her glove the door, adjusting her cloak, light capped in the shadows of the morning ward, her bearing the proof of faith I have mocked my entire life bowing to us, frightened father & child whose fever is breaking up. What fortune she would leave the realm of light to find us here pinned to the bed, startled from a blanketed chair. Godsend The baby in the COVID wing is crying during quiet hours. Through the glass, I see the source, just sitting up, the parents on both sides attending. Knowing to be here meant it was in danger, as my child was, in our room, because a strain of the virus forces the heart to stop its own & all the insurance & human eyes on micro- scopes, & every money-driven ingenuity cannot guard, only monitor. The child’s cries did not pierce, because I believed it would live. Not for innocence, or virtue, or mercy, but for youth, a divine shield she was given that this day

Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies, by Scott Ferry, reviewed by Rusty Barnes

Mr Rogers Kills Fruit Flies Scott Ferry Main Street Rag 2020 53 pages $13 978-1-59948-825-7 Scott Ferry is a poet of lengthy breath and a surreal logic, used to reveal the intricacies of a mind gently turned on itself. The book is divided into three sections: Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies; how to cross eyelid bridge; Divination by; each with its own character and concerns. Early in the first section, narrated by historical figures in unusual situations, Ferry stopped my poetry-musing--that pleasant state wherein one thumbs the book lovingly, looking for the good word--with the beginning lines of 'Joseph Campbell dreams of war.' It started in the bathroom, mirror etched in ice,     the razor's rhetoric on jawline tearing up trees and children, and here in my home! But I cannot leave Jean unbeknown on the lanai. I look to the East, there is a mountain of bodies skinned bare like antelope. In the crater their identities cave in, obtund. The lava waves fragrant like hibiscus and

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

Star Gazing Softly gazing at the stars; If I could name one, it would be a lucky guess. To be versed in astronomy, to know just a little bit more; I only know that stars are small from where I stand. What do you want me to do? I want to decorate my room with them. I would take a point, small as a needlepoint. These are my musings tonight. It is not all I think about in this empty house, in this empty room. Often, I think about you and how I love your laughter. I am on my own tonight. There are no barricades in front of my door. But I digress, I do not take the stars for granted. Just between us, I am going to learn their names, or just one or two once each year. Luis lives in Southern California, works in Los Angeles, and has a new poetry book coming out from Rogue Wolf Press in 2021. The book is entitled Make the Water Laugh. His prior books and chapbooks over the past two decades were published by Deadbeat Press, Kendra Steiner Editions, New Polish Beat, Po

John Stickney

Lift Let us heft        the sky blue distractions           with tongue-tied hands The miniature evening sky’s        an unturned apple cart            awaits this daytime’s message Wading through patient daylight,            fragrance, song and leaf                     afternoon becomes slowly heavy the pleasure we derive         the fatigue we experience            the difficulty of holding                 these moments' interest Song who doesn’t sing in the snow the meadowlark asks John Stickney is a poet/writer originally from Cleveland, Oh, currently residing in the coastal region of Wilmington, NC.

Helen R. Broom

Phantom Mother When the children are gone to their dad’s or grandparent’s or wherever, the air in the house is still, no atoms in flux over robots, horses or Ninja Turtles. They’re coming back, for now. In the far future they’ll stop, and we will live in stasis, waiting for holiday visits, not sure what to do with the unfiltered oxygen that encases us. When they go, I will still be here, like a mother under a curtain in a 19th century photo holding her infant still, faced forward hands unseen directing the shot. Helen R Broom , (nee Helen R Peterson ), has been published in over 100 online and print journals, both nationally and internationally. She was the poetry editor of the small press print journal Chopper and the online journal The Waterhouse Review. Her first full length book of poetry, Melons and Memory, was published in 2012 by Little Red Tree Press. She is also the host and co-producer of the Poetry in the Bar Podcast and Open Mic series. Helen lives in Michig

Ivan Jenson

Star Spangled I am a half-mast flag flapping in the wind representing a fraction of my country having spent over half a century undocumented by historians living out the improv of my destiny and one day they will say that I am survived by the blinking and breathing who will cough and cry at the monotony of my eulogy and what remains of my karmic debt will be repaid where my best plans will finally be laid down in the anticlimax of my nakedness don't worry only worms and angels will know what to make of this Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and popular contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled  Absolut Jenson  for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden.  J