BY: Robert Beveridge
The needle at seventy.
The plains states pass,
one endless road and miles
of crops. Now and again,
corn becomes barley.
BY: J. Markowitz
The physicality of Mag Gabbert’s poetry and essays is dreamily overwhelming. We enter a twilight through the medium of a body—her body—which her craft makes so palpable that it could be our own. Via the sensations of her vulnerabilities, Gabbert delivers us to the liminal spaces between pleasure and shame, power and exploitation, existence and the body. She takes us to the edge of her mortality, because it is there that we are most aware of our own aliveness.
No, I didn’t commit suicide.
I did not jump off
the Empire State Building.
No matter how many tell
the story of a young girl
They speak of many years ago,
before the balcony was
enclosed. They saw
with their own eyes,
a desperate young girl
her coat fluttering behind
jumped, jumped, jumped.
With their own eyes
they saw it.
Look, here I am.
But not my coat.
It was, in the style of the time
thrown over my shoulders,
and that new red coat of mine
was embraced by the wind.
It flew, it fluttered.
while it cavorted in the breeze
until it came to land
on the top of a now-defunct
store, B. Altman by name.
And because it was
so long ago, the store was closed.
In those golden years
stores were closed on Sundays.
My cousin and I
traipsed across the street
and told the superintendent
My coat was on his roof.
His eyes widened,
without a word,
he entered the elevator
and in a few minutes, came down
holding the rag of my coat.
But look at me.
I’m still here,
but not my new red coat.
Stephanie Kaplan Cohen has been published in many literary journals as well as The New York Times. Her memoir, In My Mother’s House, was published by Woodley Books and her poetry books, Additions and Subtractions and Body Work, have been published by Plain View Press. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. For many years she wrote the column “Ask Stephanie” for the Alzheimer’s Association Quarterly in Westchester and Putnam, New York. She is also an editor of The Westchester Review. Stephanie has had many public and private fiction and poetry readings, and her work has been read on NPR.
rolling wildly with
rain falling through
the early morning
desert sky leaving
its wet print
before the day
the distant cloudy
Michael Seeger lives with his lovely wife, Catherine, and still-precocious 16-year-old daughter, Jenetta, in a house owned by a magnificent Maine Coon (Jill) and two high-spirited Chihuahuas (Coco and Blue). He is an educator (like his wife) residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, Michael worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm. Michael considers poetry a passion and writing generally a way of life. Some of his poems have appeared recently either published or included in print anthologies like the Lummox Press, Better Than Starbucks, and The Literary Hatchet and as Finalists in several Goodreads contests.
When words are insignificant what does a phone conversation become?
When you can’t find the vocabulary to say what’s in your heart,
Because your brain can’t find the letters
To make up the words
To make up the phrases
To make up the meanings
Because what you are feeling
Is more than a sentence?
How much do you want to talk love?
It’s not a talking thing
It moves you
I remember a long, black dress
With tiny, gold stars (flecked on the fabric)
I remember shingles
That burned my skin like fire ants
I recall floating away on a
Cloud of pills
Thinking that I was so cool
And you were so cool
And that our love would never die
Danielle Joy Foley received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Miami University of Ohio and MA in Dance/movement therapy from Drexel University. She is a Philadelphia based actress, illustrator and yoga teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, gardening and interpretive dancing.
In Yellow Springs, Ohio,
I stood at the campus gates
calling out, Fraud! Apostate!
Nevertheless, the grizzled chief
of security offered me a sandwich
and a business card from a local clergyman.
Then he asked me for a prayer.
Bob Jones University Museum
In the Old Master Collection,
the Italian Mannerist paintings
near me seemed suffused
with an ethereal glow,
which clearly diminished
when I left the room
and just as plainly
became more radiant
upon my reentering the gallery.
Whilst playing the role of Melchior
in the annual Live Nativity Pageant,
I crossed paths with the donkey,
who stepped on my bathrobe
and pulled my sweatpants to the ground.
My underwear that day was golden-hued,
although I would have sworn
on a stack of Bibles that very morning
I had dressed in red.
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
It was a pleasant September morning
in Elizabeth, New Jersey,
when I drove to the Home Depot
to buy a pair of two-by-fours.
I nailed them together and surprised
even Father Aleksander with my initiative.
Afterwards, several members of the assembly
suggested the Offertory Verses were sung
with special gusto in honor of my rough offering.
David Starkey served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2011 Poet Laureate and is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College. His poetry has appeared in many journals and in seven full-length collections, most recently Like a Soprano (Serving House, 2014), an episode-by-episode revisioning of The Sopranos television series. His textbook, Four Genres in Brief (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017), is in its third edition.
The absent ring’s white circle
remains long after the bare finger
turns the color of the hand.
For a second where the great
walnut tree stood 90 years
and its high branches reached
far higher than the tall farm house
passing robins hesitate, sensing
a familiar roost, before flying on.
In the drought year on the empty
pond on the farm once ours
we cease rowing to watch
the sapphire kingfisher hover
like a huge hummingbird
before it dives for fingerlings
of the sunfish we planted.
Someone calling through tule fog
last century cries the horse is loose
above the clean snap of shears
as I prune the vine’s dormant canes
for summer’s yellow grapes.
The Christmas presents bought
and wrapped in August and hidden
and forgotten under the bed
dream of a holiday fallen from
a 1965 Great Northern calendar
of a freight train, sure engine
entering the gorge of yellow
aspen through October Rockies.
Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.
What secrets lie
beneath the soul?
Those doors are closed
What carnal dreads
what charnel threads
clothe our psyche’s core?
of who we are
will go with us
into the void.
What weighty matters
to our frail link
What joy to be
as light and free
caught upon the breeze,
without the thought
that burdens me.
Bonnie Watts holds a BA in English from Washington & Jefferson College, and MS Ed in Reading from Duquesne University. She has taught English, remedial reading, ESOL, fourth grade and first grade. Bonnie has lived and worked in several locations, including Pittsburgh, PA; Mandeville, Jamaica; San Francisco, CA; and Gwinnett County, GA. Her hobbies include reading, travel, and cooking.
Fireworks arc across the sky, but I am fixed
on the plumes of smoke expanding and sliding away.
Spiraling tails of rockets scuttle like anxious sperm
until they burst into a glorious egg, a big bang of life
beginning and ending just as suddenly, embers dying out
as papery ash settles on the crowd, a final scattering,
a tribute I feel thundering down inside my chest.
Later, rum buzzing through my veins, I clutch
against his dense back as he pushes the needle
of his motorcycle’s speedometer higher, my screams
build beneath a borrowed helmet.
We race down a road that ends in water.
I could forget things here, in this place
where blacktop suddenly becomes glass.
Frannie McMillan’s poetry has appeared in Broken Bridge Review, Front Range, Rockhurst Review, and others. She is currently at work on her first chapbook. Frannie enjoys throwing spontaneous dinner parties, exploring historic sites with her husband, and doting on her one-year-old twin sons and sassy three-year-old daughter. She is a National Board Certified secondary librarian in Henrico County, Virginia and a volunteer with Richmond Young Writers.
after Edna St. Vincent Millay
Pressed into my palm, I pluck you from the night. It is after midnight and I pause on my walk home to duck under the fig tree’s dark drape, feeling up the cold branches for ripe flesh. Inky blue swirl, bruise nestled in my hand. Tear drop plop. Testing your skin with my fingernail, I sickle you. I mimic the slice of the moon piercing the sky, and you bleed sugar into the autumn air. Before taking a bite, I drag your suede suit across my lips. I am just a mouth in the dark. My body invisible to myself, the world needs nothing from me but my appetite. I feel serene in my lonesome skin for the first time in months. The street lamp flickers and before it goes out, I open your body with my teeth, and scattered throughout your flesh I see a field of stars.
Carolyn Supinka is a poet and visual artist whose work has most recently been featured in Little River, Wicked Alice, and Poet Lore. Her poems have been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and her first chapbook, Stray Gods, was a semifinalist in the New Women’s Voices Series at Finishing Line Press. She is co-editor of VIATOR, a journal of arts and literature inspired by spaces and places. She currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon where she is a MFA student at Oregon State University. Her poetry and visual art can be found here: http://cargocollective.com/carolynsupinka
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