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Showing posts from July, 2021

Kenneth Pobo

Raylene Means Well Her pillow is ringing bells. She can't sleep. Several cathedrals pound in her ears. It must mean something, a new beginning, a truth that breaks out, sets a fire. Kenneth Pobo is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections.  Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), and Uneven Steven (Assure Press). His work has appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Nimrod, Mudfish, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere.

Ace Boggess

The E is for Existential Coyote crossed cliff's edge, didn't drop before pause to diagnose as though he must scent gravity to be bound by it: the in-itself/for-itself falling: later, coyote-shaped crater in painted mud. Coyote would rise again to replicate his misadventures: blown up, face smashed against the blunt-pawed portrait of a tunnel. How foolish one acts when starving, helpless beside this blistering highway somewhere between birth & Albuquerque Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, J Journal, Harvard Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

Juanita Rey

Lilapsophobia A storm's moving in. Please take care of me. According to the weather forecast, it will be as primal, as swirling, as a Caribbean la tormenta. Protect me from lightning strikes, cacophonous thunder rolls. I am embarrassed to admit it but I am in abject fear. You only know me as the vivalavirgen, the unserious Latina. But the air is about to spin in some violent vortex, bluster wildly, whip and shatter. Look at me. My face is as pale as brown ever gets. My eyes crunch together so I can"t see what I'm thinking. My hands tremble. Knees thump together. You ask "Is anything the matter?" If you don't take care of me then you're the matter. You're Late Mosquitoes save me from impatience. I’m swatting one after the other. And a motorcycle roars down the street, cutting the air in two. My attention thanks that machine tenfold. I’m tolerant at least for as long as my neighbor’s dog sidles up for a pat. And

Robert Beveridge

Queen of Pentacles The bar is only less than dim when the door opens, just before dusk and she enters, metal box strapped to her back, as it has been every afternoon, she tells me, for the past fifty-one years. A dollar a tamale, six for five and she hasn’t raised her prices since the day Newt Gingrich signed the Contract with America. I’ve never been a fan of that texture, the mix of sand and dough, a filling that never has enough spice to balance, but I know I’ll have to drive in eight or nine hours, and this well bourbon isn’t gonna absorb itself, so five bucks later there’s a bamboo leaf in front of me, six tamales still cornhusked across it. I finish my drink, stick another five in the mouth for a refill, pull out my pocketknife. The tie falls away like the alcohol-aided hours of wait between the time you get to the bar and the time the show’s supposed to start (an entirely different increment than that between the time the show is supposed to start and

Scott Ferry

april 15th and the moon is waxing but that doesn’t matter what does matter is that my daughter comes out to look at the sky with me says there you are when she spies me down by the garden where we see the last membrane of light wrap the lips of the distant olympics she doesn’t stay long i don’t either sometimes the eternal does not need much time to wash our fluttering eyelids— our metronome valves swishing oceanthick with as much blood as we can swallow Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN in the Seattle area. His third book of poetry, These Hands of Myrrh, is upcoming from Kelsay Books. You can find more of his work at .

Louis Faber

Moses Says to Aaron We sat in the tent and you complained again of our condition, knowing wht lies just out of reach. He speaks to me, not you and there is little you can do to hide your jealousy. I often wonder what might have happened if I had wiped the blood of the lamb from your lintel. It was you who watched the calf take shape and did nothing, seeing it a personal tribute, and ordained its fashion and for your sin we shall be together forgotten men in the land of Moab. Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in The Poet (UK), Bengalurur Review (India),, Dreich (Scotland), The Alchemy Spoon (UK), Atlanta Review, New Feathers Anthology, Arena Magazine (Ausralia), Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, and in small journals in India

Brian Jerrold Koester

Baby Pink Roses the aroma of remote times tiny pink roses climb deformed I'm acquainted enough with death not to fall apart when roses die tiny pink roses climb deformed into Mom and Dad's bedroom window Mom and Dad fall apart when they see roses and the dog is wicked because Mom said so shouted in her bedroom window I can't play make believe right or sleep right and the dog is wicked too because Mom said so and they say I'm the crazy one I can't walk right or smile right not the corrosive blood of Jesus, not desperate prayers can save me from the crazy ones no escape unless you live long enough to grow up from sudden blood and empty prayers I am too acquainted with death and growing up has not helped me escape from the aroma of remote times A Penny When you're broken like me you can't hear the meadowlarks sparkle or feel the poppies glow I can't stop the dogs that drink blood from my wrists I dreamed I had a penny to exchange

Ann Leamon

Houses Caretaking this multi-million-dollar home once mine, now under contract to someone else, empty, echoing, dining table bearing a plastic orchid, a drop of beet juice. A single fat ruby on the kitchen tile. And pouring in from memory— menstrual blood. How fast you forget the cycle, the constant awareness, surprises, always late in a suburb with no stores and your last tampon in the other bag, hot stickiness between your legs and an important meeting the next day. Every woman has that story. Just ask. With age, I thought it would subside. Instead in a last convulsive gasp, my body lost all decorum, no longer predictable, abandoned to hormones, raging against the changes. Unexpected deluges of thick heavy red fluid, ropy clots, cramps, doubling over while walking the dog, invisible teeth chewing my insides. Finally the doctor asked if I had any questions, and I confessed. He said, “Oh, we can fix that.” And my God, he could, easy, quick, and my world op

William L. Ramsey

Digressions on Water 1. Workers have arrived to protect my house                     against damage that could potentially                     develop from excessive groundwater. 2. Water is elemental in the old                     sense, not like helium or barium,                     but elemental like fire, wind, what                     not. That is high-grade psychological                     uranium. You know as well as I.                     Powerful because it grew up with us,                     losing its tail along with us. Because                     it is conceptual rather than mere                     primordial matter. It left traces                     of its DNA in our dreams: sea, flood,                     wave, reflected terror, drowning panic,                     striving to come up for breath within it,                     waking when we can’t. All this even though                     we no longer interbreed. At least not