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Showing posts from June, 2021

Thomas Zimmerman

The Last Word The turkey bolognese is cooked, just needs reheating: much like me. I’ve cut my world to bite-sized chunks and hashed the other parts so smooth that I can try them with a spoon. Beethoven’s Third, with Otto Klemperer, my favorite, conducting, blares bright from the speaker, grabs my spirit by its frayed lapels, and shakes the bullshit out. Almost. There’s often just a little despot left, Napoleon on Elba. Teacher, poet, brother, husband: fetishes I relish, though I sometimes lack my mother’s cast-iron stomach for. I’m sixty-one: prime number, hardly prime of life. Oh, Tom. Relax. Thomas Zimmerman (he/him) teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits The Big Windows Review at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His poems have appeared recently in Grand Little Things, Sledgehammer, and A Thin Slice of Anxiety. Tom's website:

Dan Provost

Gazebo One tender moment with her. A bow—a dance, quiet reflection and atonement for despair never understood. That Was That --As quick as beauty entered, she left. Her obedience was conquered with his quick nod and solid tongue. A former collegiate Offensive Lineman and Football Coach for 26 years, Dan Provost's words have been published in numerous print and online magazines.  His next book, Darting In and Out-- will be released later this year by Kung Fu Treachery Press.  He has read his works throughout the United States and is a two time nominee for the the Best of the Web award.  He lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura, and dog Bella.

William Doreski

Tomatoes Why were women called tomatoes in the Thirties when depression shrouded the rumpled continent? We watch too many old movies, their gray shades overlapping and their dialogue too brittle to ape in ordinary life. The actors died so long ago their photo-imagery has thinned to one dimension, their contracts expired in dusty sighs. Sporting your tomato-red parka, you stalk to the frozen river to watch for eagles returning for spring. Too early. The windy part of March arrives tonight, banging trash cans and snapping tree limbs to kill the power and douse us in dark. We might waste a day or two with the generator whining so loudly we can’t think aloud. No one in old movies worries about windstorms toppling trees onto their sound-stage housing. But in every film some chubby guy in a bowler calls some woman a tomato, and no one objects. We wonder why that vinous fruit rather than an orange, a squash, a grape, apple, or cauliflower? We don’t grow tomatoes

Mike James

In This Place I expect the morning light to end. And it does. It does. The sun reminds me which way is west. One less thing to guess about. Take me away from my plowed down routine I’m mostly lost. The dreams I wake with don’t stay close. Last night I dreamed about walking among flowers. This morning, one window frames the consolation of an empty field. Mike James  makes his home outside Nashville, Tennessee and has published widely. His many poetry collections include:  Red Dirt Souvenir Shop  (Analog Submissions),  Journeyman’s Suitcase ( Luchador),  Parades  (Alien Buddha),  Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor  (Blue Horse),  First-Hand Accounts from Made-Up Places  (Stubborn Mule),  Crows in the Jukebox  (Bottom Dog),  My Favorite Houseguest  (FutureCycle) ,  and  Peddler’s Blues  (Main Street Rag.) He served as an associate editor of  The Kentucky Review  and currently serves as an associate editor of  Unbroken . 

Mark Danowsky

Silent Howl Night thoughts bleed down my scalp in all directions Frozen seated in bed eyes half open The day's small sadnesses a blur— the dagger reversed Full moon on a lost holiday I know this is just one version of me Filter I scan the headlines, not reading, not really One finger touches a few boxes as a gesture of approval Two fingers enlarge a Top 20 photo, I pause to spread the news It's too hard to just listen to the radio, almost unscripted I check the weather, standing in the yard while the dog wanders Cooking, I picture the stack of books by my keyboard A mental list of neglected songs begins to form I put the book down to say I picked it up Mark Danowsky is Editor-in-Chief of ONE ART: a journal of poetry and Senior Editor for Schuylkill Valley Journal . He is author of the poetry collection As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press). His work has appeared in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Cleaver Magazine , Gargoyle , The Healing Muse , and elsewhere.

Dan Holt

Killing Rabbits There was a cat in my neighborhood that used to kill rabbits The blood really stood out against it's white fur My father thought the cat should leave the rabbits for him to kill The cat was just trying to follow the food chain We'd go hunting and after my dad shot a rabbit I would cut out its heart and feed it to our dogs And the blood would really stand out against my pale white skin Dan Holt is blues singer/songwriter/recording artist, poet and fiction author from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He has produced 11 albums of original music along with various singles and eps. Like most writers, his work has been published in various online and print journals. After many years away from the poetry scene, Dan has returned to writing poetry in 2021.

Lisa Creech Bledsoe

It's Spring So We're Both Amiable Spiritual alchemy, I tell Crow. That's what makes humans unique. We can turn darkness into light. The new ramps are like small rabbit ears quivering everywhere in the greening slough, making sharp alchemy of their own. It's not the same, I say, watching Crow sidewise while pulling my boots out of sucking mud. That's physical alchemy. Science. Crow becomes shade, and is found by sun again. We're tricky, I add. Just not uniquely so. I'd swear Crow grins but the truth is I'm being ignored. Tolerated, so long as I don't pull any loud blunders or stupid shit. Ha, I cackle, as if I were prone to anything else. Light into darkness on a regular schedule. Still, that's spiritual alchemy of a sort. Nothing Crow about that, though it's true we're pinched from the same clay. I've gleaned rock cress, toothwort, and waterleaf for my bucket—they'll make a meal later in the day. Mountain s

Steven Croft

Alapaha When I take HWY 280 across South Georgia to Birmingham, choosing its sometimes lonely asphalt splitting forests of pine or farms flush with crops over the monotony of interstate and Atlanta's spaghetti interchanges, I make time to leave this slower road, buttoned by small towns of Main Streets, motels, and Dairy Queens, turn further south, find the even slower roads in the county of my grandfather's one room schoolhouse where he sat for eleven years and daydreamed of the river and pine woods of quiet deer and turkey calls, sometimes a bear, find the place he liked to go,behind the country church on the, even now, dirt road, down the river bluff in the rural place he was born into. I park at the church where he pulled his pistol on two angry roaming dogs, fired it into a tree, only wanting to scare them he explained, would only kill them if he had to: this lesson in spirits – trees, animals, people, ancestors -- best taught, felt, believed, here wher