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Showing posts from April, 2020

M.J. Iuppa


I can no longer tell the hour in constant darkness. Is it night or morning, or a week later, a gathering snowstorm?
I hear a thin whistle of a red bird as it flies into the crabapple’s crown, twitching like a tiny flare, its carol, a lesson in light. 
I take no energy or spirit, other than the weight of clouds, lifting this shroud— my lungs burning in winter’s incessant cold.
The news, the terrible news arrives in threes:  a text, a call to call back— a result. Still, I wake to gauzy
gray light— this ragged woolly essence— something fuzzy, or is it scratchy? Something, still mine.

Nothing Is What It Seems
Today, beneath the crab apple, I found a red feather lying near puddles
and loose stones, like a tiny flame, it dazzled briefly in noon’s chilly over-
cast—this flicker of the past—my desire

Tom Barlow

Lucy in the Sky

I am enjoying an omelet at the Sunnyside Grill on a bone dry August morning and I am seventy years old in a week when the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" arrives at my table along with the coffee refill. The place is packed with fossils like me and none of them put down their forks to adjust hearing aids so they can better enjoy the song and I wonder if any of them dropped acid back in the day.
I tripped to that song in 1967 when it was new, as did my America—fringed jackets, tie-dyes, headbands, bellbottoms, feathers, Lord Ganesh with his tusks of gold, anything for color to repudiate the gray suits our fathers wore, of which I now own four.
Tom Barlow is an American poet and fiction writer whose work has appeared in over 100 journals and anthologies including They Said (Black Lawrence) and Best New Writing and journals including Hobart, Temenos, Forklift Ohio, Redivider, Your Daily Poem, and the Stoneboat Literary Journal.  

Mark Borczon

Scattering My Father's Ashes

My portion of my late father's ashes sit on top of my refridgerator. The urn is right between his laminated obituary and the bottle of Ten High whiskey that I am draining tonight. I am charged to leave handfuls of him in places that fit well with his memory. As of now I have not left any of him anywhere. I can not bare to let him go. I can press my ear to his vessel and still hear his voice. He tells me to let him go. I want to but I fail. I tell him of my guilt and he comforts me. He wants to go but he does not want to hurt me.

As in life also in death he loves me even in my weakness.

Tonight my woman was pacing and smoking. She can't wind down for sleep. There is a medication she can not afford. So, she paces the floor ashing her cigarette into every bowl, cup and plate in the apartment. Finally, without thinking, she ashes into my glass of whiskey.

I say nothing. I watch the ash break apart and slowly float to the bottom of my drink. This gives …

Max Heinegg


For Montag

The lounge is quiet, & the queue
over. Outside our window, a teacher’s
car circles the lot for parking but finds none.

I’m an old hand at the machine, making these
two-sided gauges of attention’s ebb.
Today, it’s Oedipus again & tragedy
for seniors who’d rather take lovers,
or cram into a car to toe the beach,
but I follow them! & stand in their sun
like a certain fireman who blasts the guests
declaiming poetry as if only

he needs love to fill the bed of faith. They, too,
are moved by waves against their will, & stumble
where raised voices cannot reach their company.

Steve Describes Infinity

For C.B.

I met a quality control manager
from a pharmaceutical company who said
he’d gone out to lunch at a Boston Market
with his friend Steve, & as they stood in line,
they saw, in the fluorescent lights,
the stacked rows, glistening
in cages on spit rods, the Maillard change
make the aureate glow
on an endless abacus,
the birds on the level of heaven &