Friday, May 31, 2019

John Dorsey


In Kansas Thinking of You
for cherie

ted berrigan would never text
with his fingers
along your skin
he would call you
to borrow some money or pills
he would give you some story
about how the moon looks beautiful
while sipping a pepsi
he would use strong words
& dance nude with donna dennis
on your parents front lawn
they, your parents, would offer him
iced tea & cucumber sandwiches
while talking about the moon landing
about how it seemed like a lot of work

you would sit there in flower patterned pajamas
while he told you that you deserve to have words
wrapped around you like oak trees

& all i have to offer you is the kansas wind
something of the earth
my own thoughts on love
which i know isn’t much.





The Goats in December

the goats across the way are crying
sunlight is not the same thing as empathy
or brown grass in the middle of winter

the river has a lovely singing voice
when you place your hand
over its mouth.

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016), Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). He is the Poet Laureate of Belle, MO. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Chad Parenteau


Work-Through-Lunch Poem

O'Hara never had bad dreams
of days like this.

Sustenance substituted
for vending machine run,
not enough time to hold
a haiku with your candy bar.

Another day, another dead lady
trending on Twitter,
sad emojis beating
your best words-per-minute.

Crying kidneys bring you
to the bathroom break
as you sound out the only poem
your colleagues may ever hear.

Chad Parenteau is the author of Patron Emeritus, released in 2013 by FootHills Publishing. His work has appeared in Tell-Tale Inklings, What Rough Beast, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Ibbetson Street and Wilderness House Literary Review. He serves as Associate Editor of the online journal Oddball Magazine. His second full-length collection, The Collapsed Bookshelf, is forthcoming.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Heidi Blakeslee


Woman of the Stars

bits of astrofluff
lightly
fall down from her
strings of star hair

mother galaxy
absorbs the bad energy
and replenishes
us with virtue

so that every human on the planet
can look up at her
every once in a while

and feel like a speck
of meteor

or
as big as the
sun


Heidi Blakeslee lives near Pittsburgh, Pa with James and her cats.  She has written the novels, “Strange Man,” and “The House,” two poetry books, “The Empress of Hours,” and “Should the Need Arise.”  She also wrote “The White Cat: A Paranormal Memoir.” 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Timothy Gager


This Poem is Like a Bruise

This poem is like a bruise
A deep black Lake Superior knocking
over the white caps rolling into last breaths

An angry purple from the rage of red
until the flattening of color blends
into a subdued yellow of surrender

If you’re weak of heart
this poem is not a holiday,
It does not twinkle, nor

Are its words, lights from a city
observed upon the descent
each, a pushpin of hope

If you wait, there is just a tiny ripple
when a coin is flipped into a well
hallow, the eye-socket, black, and empty

Timothy Gager is the author of fourteen books of short fiction and poetry. Every Day There Is Something About Elephants, a book of 108 flash fictions, selected by over fifty-five editors, was released by Big Table Publishing in 2018. He's the former host of the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has had over 500 works of fiction and poetry published and of which thirteen have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work has been read on National Public Radio. 


Friday, May 3, 2019

Rebecca Schumejda

onefiftythreeam

When your house is framed with bones
and the walls sheet rocked with flesh

there is no room for full-length mirrors
or empty apologizes, what I am trying

to say is our oldest child can’t sleep
she wakes up hourly to tell me

she’s afraid and there is nothing
I can do to make her fears go away

except stay up until she falls back
to sleep. This structure is crumbing

what I am trying to say is that I am
tired of the way the past creaks in the

night like a floor when you are trying
to sneak back into your own space

the way a shadow becomes a river
the hum of the heater and then

the silence after it shuts off. Remember
nothing lasts forever except the memory

of who you were until you weren’t any longer.




The Cost of Common Household Items

While my first home is being raized
I watch The Price Is Right
in the hospital waiting room
and consider the elusiveness of time
how organs can be squeezed out
through small incisions made with robotic arms
how my own daughters’ first home
is close to uninhabitable
how this daytime game show
is still thriving after decades
how my mother used to say,
Boy that Bob Barker, he’s a looker.

Right after the surgeon calls me
into a small side room
to update me, Drew Carey yells,
Come on Down!
When the door closes
behind us, I can still hear the music,
the audience applause and my mother
saying he just doesn’t age.
Before I can sit down, the surgeon says,
I don’t think the cancer spread
outside of the uterus
and I start tearing up
close my eyes
picture that giant wheel slowing down—

maybe just maybe
I can be the daughter I want
rather than the daughter I’ve been.


Rebecca Schumejda is the author of several full-length collections including Falling Forward (sunnyoutside press), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press) and most recently Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books). She is currently working on a book forthcoming from Spartan Press. She is the co-editor at Trailer Park Quarterly. She received her MA in Poetics from San Francisco State University and her BA from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.