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Showing posts from April, 2023

Chandra Alderman

Mountain Ash Outside the snow thick as fog. A mountain ash in the distance. Its branches shaking from the wind and robins feeding on the berries. Crimson beads falling on snow. I think of your back, as we stand in the shower after untangling from the sheets. Everything reminds me of you. A snow plow passes by, robins scatter, autumn leaves caught in an updraft. They vanish in the snow. I close my eyes and blush remembering our warm bodies, damp from the shower, lightly touching on the bed by the window. Stanley Kubrick I’m driving home lowering sun over my left shoulder. It casts shadows of the bare trees, guitar strings pulled taut across the road. The rhythm of the car moving over the shadows takes me back to your attic. We are piled on blankets, holding each other, listening to Stanley Kubrick by Mogwai. It might have been the drugs or your gentle hands but every note whispers love in my ear. These moments, they come and find me, even in this deso

Ken Gosse

Petered Out In Neverland, they say the story’s true that Tink became outraged and very vexed when Peter whispered to a boy named Sue, “Can’t tell one fairy tail from the next.” Admittedly, the joke was very crass but told as they were exiting the can. She overheard and soon would kick his ass from Netherlands, a consequential ban. Clap all you want, poor Pete cannot return to southern comforts of her promised land. He took with him a lesson hard to learn. No fairy tale—he’s permanently banned. A pirate now, whose bitterness belays, he’ll hook and heave each ho, for false love weighs. Ken Gosse  usually writes humorous, rhymed verse with traditional form and meter. First published in First Literary Review–East in November 2016, he is also in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Writers Club, Pure Slush, and others. He and his wife were raised in the Chicago suburbs. Since then, they’ve lived in Indiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Germany, and Virginia. N

John Tustin

My Day I was at a diner and after I affirmed my order I saw from the corner of my eye Something on the floor To the right of my booth. It seemed someone Shit their pants and it fell loose Over and over again As they were on their way To the shitter And it was a trail Hansel and Gretel Could easily follow, Right down the center. I saw the quick movements of the manager And the hurried movements of the employees To rectify this moment, this movement, As the smell began to come to me And I couldn’t help but begin to notice What had happened. I licked my fingers and put them to my nose And then the coffee came And I smelled that deep and true And then they cleaned up the mess Made by some poor soul in what is most certainly In worse a state than me And then all I smelled was disinfectant And bacon As I ate my omelet and my toast And my bacon. I had two cups of coffee, Stood up, paid the bill at the register, Walked back and left a two dollar tip. T