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William Soldan



Rolled in late and slept beside a Taco Bell, woke up
dried out and soaked, gasping with the windows closed.

First coffee, then our sense of direction, looking for labor,
meet a trio hoofing off a main drag, tell them to tag along,
soon headed west to that city of rain.

But then a cold case and respite on the brambled bank,
a patchwork gaggle passing-through from every point:
kid from New York going to or coming from,
can’t hold still to tell the tale, and some woman calling herself
Iron Butterfly, maternal with sandwiches and soup, passing around
papers and a pouch of moist shag. A Scorpio named Cula singing
Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida Baby like some primitive mating call.

Later, a guy named Doc with knotted locks knocks out
a dude named Buddha, makes him bleed beneath a sliver of summer moon,
while a girl with a drum hangs upside down by her knees in a tree, laughing.

His farewell bid alliterates
in the distant hills:

Best ‘member me, Muthafucka.


Wake in a field of flattened grass, bodies sprawled
around smoldering ash, the sun searing its arc toward midday.

Someone says, Shit, then, C’mon, then, Hurry.


A between hour between things,
dark night of the soul hour,

hour of the wolf.
A van rambling bald Bridgestones

through unseen prairies,
static stringing broken blues

and cracked, early morning hallelujahs.

East toward central time,
time-travelling on land,

cash-wise tapped, coins
and a few wrinkled bills,

sunk and hungry, tank burning miles,
miles gone and miles calling.

No condition.
For any of this, sleepless.

Almost Christmas and the world
is brown and brow beaten

ghosts coast into gravel and
neon light.

A bite, a steaming cup
before they go bust.

William R. Soldan is the author of the story collection In Just the Right Light and two forthcoming collections, Houses Burning and Other Ruins and Lost in the Furrows. His poetry has appeared in venues such as Gordon Square Review, Jelly Bucket, Night Music Journal, Neologism Poetry Journal, and others. He lives in Youngstown, Ohio, with his wife and two children.


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No Mote
black swans i almost didnt see
but for their glowy beaks
red as sumac- they didnt match
the dark tones of lake, stuck out
like your lust for me while i read to
the children all cloistered- who could
hear me even from the colonnade,
all hickory and hops-vine, where
i saw you watch me from inside
a white willow tree.

mergansers with their heads trailing
swam among dead stakes of lotus.
that belted kingfisher bode us a
good day, and returned the
children to their cages below bald
cypress knees so naked i had
to look away.

you willowed no longer, i took leaf to mean wing, and feather to mean ivy. i took a shaded path back
to the armory. it got hot and thick
and i could breathe more heavily,
rapt on high, no mote of hope.

Bree is a poet and visual artist living in Pleasureville, KY. Her Green Panda Press has put out hand-made chapbooks, anthologies and sundry of the very small art and poetry press since 2001. In 2015 she began Least Bittern Books out of Henry County, KY with a focus on poetry paperbacks b…

June Poem Reviews

I've had fiction and non-fiction reviews published in quite a few journals and have been a member of the National Book Critics Circle, when I could afford it. Therefore, I feel quasi-professional in those arenas. I don't necessarily feel that way about my poetry reviews. I have opinions, though, and in the interest of keeping my poetry-mind occupied during an otherwise stressful time in my life, I'd like to make you, the poetry world, an offer. If you mail me your chapbook or book--at least 24 pages but no more than 100 pages, self-published or traditional--I will post a review of between 150 and 300 words about it, as professionally as I can, in the following months. Promise. Mail me your book, get a review. Easy. If I get a huge response, I'll declare a cap and communicate it here. I would prefer to work from print copies. I hate reading poetry in PDF or MOBI--my preferred methods for prose--because the lines never break correctly and I find myself critiquing lineati…