Issue 1, August 2015


Ad Patres ~ Joshua Eric Williams
April ~ Roberto Carcache Flores
Aubade Barometric
~ Jenny Root
Church of the Civil Engineer ~ Jonathan Travelstead
Conference at Night, 1949 after Edward Hopper ~ Michelle Hartman
Deer Springs Inn ~ Susan Feathers
Define the Universe-Give 3 Examples ~ Ann Clark
Desperation Births the Mermaid ~ Celia Homesley
The Dirt ~ Glen Armstrong
Dollhouse ~ Laura Sobbott Ross
Dominatrix Month-by-Month Planner ~ Karen Braucher
Ending the Game Early ~ Kenneth Pobo
Guatemalteca ~ John Oliver Simon
Hat Pin Voyeurism ~ Travis Blair
Honeyed Love ~ Stephanie R. Johnson
Horn Section ~ Matthew Lippman
Intersection Route 59 & Airmont Road ~Cindy Rickey
Jade Bangle ~ Laryssa Wirstiuk
Julia Rehearses Her Obit ~ Sandra Soli
Kicks on 66 ~ Michael Brockley
Lacuna ~ Melissa Leighty
Life Is-Transition ~ Michael Lee Johnson
The Man Who Slept 23 Hours a Day ~ Joel Allegretti
The Meadow ~ Janelle Rainer
Mercado ~ Sylvia Vaughn
Morning Prayer ~ Jeanette Drake
Neighborly ~ Mercedes Lawry
The Opposite of Still Life ~ Caroline Shea
Pallbearer ~ Kevin Casey
Porch Bed ~ Anthony Burnett
The Salamander Heart ~ Marie Lecrivain
Skeeter’s Wife Speaks ~ Ann Howells
Sometimes a Visit Is a Fable ~ Jessica Kidd
Sunrise Bungalow
~ Jota Boombaba
Tennessee Williams’ Closet ~ Robert Wynne
Thieving Quantums ~ Thomas Sabel
Tuesday Afternoon in Texas ~ Elina Petrova
Unbreakable ~ Alan Gann
The Unspeakable ~ Dorene O’Brien
Urban Distress ~ Strider Jones
Wait for Me ~ Mike Beck
What She Brought ~ Steve Klepetar
Why the Blues Sometimes ~ Amy Holman

Ad Patres  ~ Joshua Eric Williams

Forget your father said you’d eat tube steak
when you danced while you were washing dishes,
but recall he’d stuff his briefs, for god’s sake.

Remember his toolbox filled up with fake
and how ridiculous his hair swishes.
Forget your father said you’d eat tube steak.

Don’t dwell on pipes you broke that made a lake
or the stars you prayed for better wishes,
but recall he’d stuff his briefs, for god’s sake.

Think, how he’d speak you mistake by mistake
yet neglect bills, until he vanishes.
Forget your father said you’d eat tube steak.

Recollect the shards from bottles he’d break,
their galaxy the mind embellishes,
but recall he’d stuff his briefs, for god’s sake.

Retrieve now the rarest comments he’d make,
when his eyes were mirrors time punishes.
Forget your father said you’d eat tube steak,
but recall he’d stuff his briefs for god’s sake.

April ~ Roberto Carcache Flores

An angel
loosens her hair
while crossing
a highway
of whispers
and loose ends,
of someone
with each
She still
answers to
the Moon
like anyone
who’s been
spit glimmers
as it slides
below her
Someday has
a nice ring,
like a car
pulling over
cool air
from inside,
one more night
within a

Aubade Barometric ~ Jenny Root

Like yesterday, only worse.
The air drips with storm
as you gather your briefcase
rehearsing the argument
tabled the evening before.

Cooler heads, they say.
Step into the day cool
as the pin inside a hand
grenade, just that calm
just that ready.

Church of the Civil Engineer ~ Jonathan Travelstead

Steel cables spelter into the Mackinac’s south tower like roped arrows,
or grappling hooks. Orange-helmet, still green from Texas A & M,

the architect sits, peels the rind from his tuna cheese on rye,
kicking out at the air so when his Redwings fall the cleated heels

knock concrete and steel. He sways with the bridge’s yaw
as if they stayed up drinking all night, and now prop themselves

against sleep. The builder looks where air divides from water,
and finishes his sandwich. He may be considering a warren girder

bridge’s life expectancy in clay and bedrock, or how long
steel can resists the air’s solvency in drips over time. Wise men know

that Ozymandias and even Portland cement will all eventually
go the way of the dodo. Even the timeless sandwich goes to seed,

he thinks, hunger already beginning to pang at his stomach
as the Mohawk ironworkers who erected the Empire State Building’s

bones into a monument that in 1945 withstood a direct hit
from a B-25 Mitchell bomber. Fearless and bored, they awaited

the next loads slacklining I-beams like funambulists. Greased bills
weighted with defective, cross-threaded rivets rewarded

the longest handstand. He, too, bides his time awaiting the new
materials where he feels closest to ascent with earthly games. He will say

a gust caught his helmet, blinking orange-grey to the highway,
water below, but every dreamer worth his salt knows tomorrow’s loads

overstress today’s methods. Every Tinkertoy Frank Lloyd Wright
and Lego Gehry prays godspeed to the new materials so every soul gets

the chance to escape gravity. Today, cement. Tomorrow,carbon
strong as a promise of that black ribbon we will build
like a beanstalk through the sky.

Conference at Night, 1949 ~ Michelle Hartman
after Edward Hopper

A time of shops closing at six and family dinners,
radio programs, night meetings
attended by cops and criminals—
not here in bare office lit by street
lamps and moon. Here is a woman, rich
enough to spit on a Rockefeller,
in a period when women are
not active in business. She looms
large over the men: one shown from behind
the other reclining, one hand lifted
in supplication, so busy lying
he’s forgotten his first name.

Does this occur just after revelatory
moment or is this setting
an ambiguous antecedent, stage
setting for police raid or barging gangsters.

The light brightest on area where black
crepe of dress meets white crepe of neck,
accents posture so severe it evokes images
of walking staffs in dark places.

The denouement is. No matter all the questions
when this woman leaves
the building, there will be a fresh
set of repossessed genitalia in her handbag.

Deer Springs Inn ~ Susan Feathers

Deep ruts rock the car as we make our way on a forest road lined by Ponderosa pines, spruce, and juniper stands. A best kept secret, Deer Springs Inn is a place so special that word of mouth is its only marketing, sparingly shared. It is a place where silence is still in residence.

We hear the sharp bugle of rutting elk and hollow call of a Great Horned Owl. The owners make a roaring fire from resinous wood, hand out sticks for our marshmallows, and tell stories. No one calls the circle, it just forms each night.

With the deep dark of the woods surrounding us, our faces light up in the yellow flames. Overhead, through the arms of towering pines, a circle of stars glitters white. My children and I join the circle in silent awe. We have yet to learn the comfort of wonder.

As our days turn into a week, Tom and Heather sketch and write in the cabin’s journal where guests record their experiences. We enjoy turning back pages to learn how other families experience the woods, the campfire, and new friends. Some write poems or include a bird feather.

This year we stay at Bounding Bear cabin, another will be at Silver Squirrel, until by the time we all leave Arizona, the Williams will have slept in every cabin. Sometimes we bring friends, but mostly it is just the three of us. We have many stories that make us laugh, or cry, or celebrate the place.

In June of 2012, the Rodeo-Chedisky Fire burns a half million acres of forest including the Deer Springs Inn. All but one cabin is burned to ashes. The diaries go up in flames – all the poems, drawings, anecdotes and memories of families − incinerate.

It is a “hot” fire that destroys the seeds so they do not regenerate. Fire is suppressed too long. An arsonist is later captured. The forest is growing back, and the new owners build back the cabins. Young saplings grow up around them, and bright green meadows appear among blackened stumps.

Gone is mature forest, shards of Hohokam pottery – left in a red tool box with a map for cabin guests. Gone is a juniper snag which provides an artist’s “chair” for my daughter to sit and sketch. Gone is the quiet wood by which I write a memoir. Gone are the elk, deer, owls, and the creatures that animate it.

The beauty of this world is fragile and fleeting, as we are. Every moment we spend in wonder is a treasure. Should it go up in flames, its essence remains behind. Just today, when my son and I recollect our time there, I feel the cool, fresh air, and hear the elk bugling its mate.

Define the Universe: Give 3 Examples ~ Ann Clark

the box with odd keys whose locks
you can’t recall but will discover holding
something shut the moment you discard
the key, and it will be important, treasure,
a chest enclosing a will, the secret room,
the safety deposit box you never knew
your father even had, so you have to keep
all the keys, the cheap flat luggage type,
and the round headed numbered lockers,
antique wrought iron, keep them carefully
stowed away and safe in a box with padlock,
and you wear the key around your neck

the basket of mismatched socks because the other
ones will turn up eventually and now you have
hundreds of odd socks, co-habiting unmated, mixed
without regard to color or class, sock anarchy,
and you’ve gone through four washers and dryers
and they can’t all be sockovores

the can with pencils though you only write with pens,
can’t remember buying a pencil since grade school
but there are these pencils which you put in a can,
need to upsize because pencils keep inserting themselves
into your life like they’re asking if you’ve heard
the good news about graphite and it’s wrong to throw
out perfectly good pencils

Desperation Births the Mermaid ~ Celia Homesley

Parked in a lot
of burnt grass, broken needles,
I think I see water
swirling, lapping, a night ocean
at my feet.

I step out of my car,
cell that contorts me.
I slip out of my dress,
thin as paper.

There is little left—
my autumn hair, my snow body,
one abalone ring, sparking, echoing its sonar,

tugging me, pulling me,
into the waves.

The Dirt ~ Glen Armstrong

Elsewhere, in other dirt,
Ezra Pound’s lovers decomposed.

The wind picked up as if demanding
better for itself.

The still air, while fun,
wasn’t going anywhere.

The remaining bread.
The muddy boot.
A few more ruined slices.

The night before, I worried,
mostly about dead languages.

I longed for giant statues
that perpetually poured fresh water

into green granite fountains.

Dollhouse ~ Laura Sobbott Ross

The November after my father
died, my mother put the house together.
Every convenience flatly lithographed
across aluminum walls— curtains and trellises,
bricks and shutters. On the shelves, dishes
and books that could never be lost or rearranged.
Even the fruit in a yellow bowl was fixed
so not to bruise against the shiny metal carpet.

And inside this wished-for diorama
of my seventh birthday, a family succinct,
and the endless placement options for
their belongings. Like the geraniums that never
needed watering, how my mother must have
tried to sort her tidy sensibilities into each room
for me, while the baby slept in his crib upstairs.

Still, I complained about the way she’d placed
the molded plastic sofa and hutch beside
the 1960’s bay window, or how the stoic family
couldn’t do anything but lie down on their hard beds.
Even the baby stood or tipped flat in his pink playpen.
No one sat at the small table in the eat-in kitchen—
mother, father, daughter, son, and the dimpled
baby in particular, awkwardly out-of-scale.

None of them could change what they wore,
standing in the puddle of their own plastic footings,
their colorless limbs stiffly parallel to the sunny
rooms’ hard surfaces. No tantrum of mine
would open the door and windows, light
the lamps to reflect in the dresser’s paper mirror.
The console television’s single channel—
a static red sailboat on a canted blue sea.

Dominatrix Month-by-Month Planner ~ Karen Braucher

Jan: Moon for tying executives to their desks, cracking my whip.

Feb: Valentine with handcuffs, thick leather belt moon.

Mar: Moon of muddy Great Dane feet mounting you.

Apr: Pulleys and ladders moon, water buckets & D-rings.

May: Wrist and ankle restraints, worm your way to flower bud moon.

Jun: Moon of mandatory listening, blindfolded, to baby birds.

Jul: Silent moon with surprise fireworks behind your eyelids.

Aug: Run through garden sprinklers or else moon.

Sep: School bus fantasy moon or ruler to your knuckles.

Oct: Naughty Jack O’Lantern, crawl, my darling.

Nov: Moon of sitting on you, feeding you turkey & cranberry.

Dec: Garters and stockings under my fur coat, you’ll beg among the icicles.

Now tell me when to pencil you in.

Ending the Game Early ~ Kenneth Pobo

I sun myself
on Baltic and Mediterranean,
make no money,
sneak a martini
from your ample
Boardwalk cabinet.

The game ends quickly.
I’m bankrupt.

You foreclose on my sad
purple properties
with creaky bay windows
that look out onto
the Pleiades whose flats
clack across wood floors
of space.

Guatemalteca ~ John Oliver Simon

A beautiful young woman from Atitlán
poses a selfie at an outdoor table
a Subway not far from Montgomery BART
subvocalizing to herself in Ki’ché

in which remembering is walking backward
striding forward a kind of oblivion
unseen, her iPhone’s screen must gleam with purple
embroidery of huipil, crow-black tresses

her uncles and cousins have crossed the border
where it’s a judicial fiction, a river
of steel and blood separating here from there

us from them, privilege from desperation
prescriptive grammar from the way we yammer
looking backward at ourselves from the future.

para la maestra Juanita

Hat Pin Voyeurism ~ Travis Blair

We got naked
most nights in Laurel
Canyon, smoked opium
in the hot tub.

There’s nothing
like sex
intensely body buzzed.

We’d roll it
black tar ball
light it on the head
of a hat pin, place it
under paper cups
inhale the smoke.

Trouble is you can smell
that sweet aroma
to the end of the block.
joined us naked
in the tub.

Seems we never had
privacy in the Canyon
so we all
became voyeurs
and exhibitionists.

But that’s what Hollywood
is all about.

Honeyed Love ~ Stephanie R. Johnson

Honeyed love, we’ve had separate springs and bridal flights.
We brushed others mid air with stained glass wings
until we met, fragrant stamen and summer kites.

We’ve traded braided rings and breathy rites.
After seven winters of harsh wind stings,
we meet amid fragrant stamen and summer kites.

Our probing lips tire of the humid flings, the too vivid sights:
dark and warm, my belly readies for the hive forever brings.
Honeyed love, we’ve had separate springs and bridal flights.

Slow, green kisses, limbs in square knots, scattered nips and bites:
gorging ourselves on thick stickiness like kings,
we’ll meet, entangling fragrant stamen and summer kites.

Though we left other dandelions untouched, singing, wild nights
can lead to stale sunrises. Your kisses always taste like spring.
Honeyed love, though we had separate springs and bridal flights,
we meet now amid the fragrant stamen and summer kites.

Horn Section ~ Matthew Lippman

I wish I had a horn section
Behind me
Every time I wrote a poem
About birds

Or Coca cola
World peace
And black folk white folk brown folk
Hanging out together like trees

A group of horns for
The first time I had sex
With Bonnie or Rachel
Or Pam In a barn in a car in a field

The first time
I bowled a strike
On the East Side of Manhattan
At Brunswick Lanes

I wish I had a horn
Section every time
I sat down
In a chair in a pod in a pinch

Or dreamed of
Throwing my phone
Out of a moving car window
Into the forest of the suburbs

In hopes that some
Black bear would mistake it
For blueberries
And smash it to pieces

The Tower of Power
To drive some 70s funk
Into the lungs blood eyeball
Smashing every late night college conversation

Each lit match
And broken heart
And unbroken heart
To pieces

Smashing the day lilies
And asparagus
To pieces
That big sound

A banjo can’t make
A xylophone
But a thousand August crickets
Can make

I wish I had that every time
My knees buckled
My eyes blurred up red
Or hate filled the stairway

Of the world
A horn section of crickets
To shut us up
Just for a second

So maybe we could hear
What silence sounds like
In that collective vibration of air
What love sounds like

When you sit on the porch
Overlooking the streetlight
The church light
And the trumpets


Ring out.

Intersection Route 59 & Airmont Road ~ Cindy Rickey


Hail Mary, full of grace
There’s time for nine more
He inserts his finger
under his Roman collar
its whiteness tightening
against his jugular
until his eyes begin to bulge
his surplice stained
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned


He sat in his dented, rusted Chevy
which once ran on eight cylinders
and watched an old man drag
his crippled leg through the crosswalk
His eyes were black-headed pins
and his skin flushed as he
tapped his foot up and down
on the gas pedal wondering
what it would feel like
to accelerate


Her hands gripped the wheel
as her children cried from the stick
of pins holding yarmulkes in place
and the scream stuck in her throat
as she thought about having to spread
her legs again tonight


These tremors must stop and the
mind spiral circling, stop, stop
She shrunk in the seat of her new SUV
that he bought for her in case
she drove it head-on
into a tractor trailer
that she might have a chance
but she was already engaged in the dance
with her razor blade and Percocet partners
as she sat
at the intersection

Jade Bangle ~ Laryssa Wirstiuk

I covet the bangle in the pawn shop window
on Central Avenue: after two years, still
ninety dollars and available. When I walk
to the bank or pharmacy, I imagine it
on my wrist: cold and heavier than metal.
I’ve heard the cloudy green stone promotes
wisdom, balance, and peace. I heard the TV
in the other room when the announcer said,
“Chinese women used to wear jade bangles
to practice etiquette and move with fluid grace.”
Click of stone on stone meant clumsiness.
Later, on Google, I wonder if I had imagined
that history; search for “jade bangle etiquette”
yields little. I do find, however, anecdotes
from women who have grown into jewelry
they never removed. Maybe I’m too old
to buy jade, absorb the wisdom of immobile
reminders. Maybe the winters are too cold
for grace. Anyway, my wrists are covered.

Julia Rehearses Her Obit ~ Sandra Soli

Winter evenings are letters she refuses to open.
A chatter of ice cubes keeps her alert,
testing January at the edge of her tongue,
Mahler a backdrop on the radio.

One more dream stirs everything together:
the remembered smell of an overcoat
from the back of a closet, children lurking
like nickels in pockets.

Which death is best, the one she imagines
or an 18-wheeler approaching on a snowy highway?
Glass in hand, she reaches for car keys
trying to remember, had she mulched the Queen Elizabeth?

Last summer that rosebush could have led a parade,
every leaf-chewer twisting in surprise.
Leggy little hangers-on, how caterpillars love to wave!

This is the evening news: A bird has settled in the rain spout
ignoring all offerings. Now it recites Rilke in Polish,
barks back at the neighbor’s retriever. Quit that.
Tout de suite, birdie, if it’s all the same to you.

Julia’s not listening.

The double-dactyl mocker flies away,
obviously practicing for the winter cantata.
Wave goodbye, sleepy Julia. Come spring there will be roses
red as Snow White’s apple to grace the kitchen window.

A few will break from the weight of so much budded perfection
and someone will damn this weather’s bold alliance,
sweeping its cold criticism into the garage,
turning the necessary page.

Kicks on 66 ~ Michael Brockley

From Romeoville to Palisades Park, I Thunderbird the Mother Road with Jesse James riding shotgun. Jackalopes mirage across the landscape of my Ray-Bans. Luke the Drifter wails in mono on the Motorola. On a diamond in Oklahoma, Mutt Mantle’s son churns the dust with his virgin spikes as the Catoosa blue whale breaches with a grin. In Winslow, Will Rogers chews the scuttlebutt that Elvis checked into the Wigwam Hotel with a red-haired spitfire and a mess of blues. Kokopelli dances on the mesas beyond my headlights. Summons me to turquoise with his flute. At the Boots Motel, Clark Gable sips a whiskey sour and coasts the long route with his eyes, following Lombard’s curves. I’m on a scavenger hunt for cavalry lodestones amid legends of burros and camels. Cadillacs buried in the desert. Behind the Closed sign at the Devil’s Rope Museum, the King of the Road barks Trailers for sale or rent. Rustlers stalk through the bottoms near a hubcap ranch outside Goldroad. Bullet and Trigger yodel Happy Trails. I’ve memorized a fistful of outlaw songs. A joke or two. A craving for California pie fuels my guts. Behind the wheel of this vintage T-bird, I’m young enough to drive all night.

Lacuna ~ Melissa Leighty
(for V. Woolf)

The buildings, your house, now
kneeling and keening,
fragile effigies half-rising out of a land
papered over in the dust
of detonation and loss,
ghosts of what once was.

Your garden
lined with a healthy march
of bee-dusted blooms,
filled with a queer ochre dusk
that settled on the stones
you collected,
an answer to the single dead-letter weight
that anchored you to this world.

Your writing table
where you sat, glassed in
by short-tapered gloom
entrenched in mad-lucid memories—
all spectral gas, and dust,
and glass, and crystalline—
until the light went out.

Was it morning when you arrived
along the banks of the slow-flowing river,
dappled by a clutch of pollarded willows
flecked with the metallic blue hum
of patterned-banded demoiselles?

Could you hear the calls
of kingfishers and grebes
as you stood waist-deep
in the waters of dark intention?

Was all that was left
in the swirling eddies
once clutching at your pockets
an apostrophe of silence?

Did you ever look back?

Life Is-Transition ~ Michael Lee Johnson

Transition, is song, passages.
291.5 pounds, age 66, 6’4′, gross as a pig waiting for
butcher’s cut.
Aging chews at my back, my knee joints, chisels, slivers
in dampness.
Legs are corn stalks burning; twist fibers, bending, late
October, Halloween night.
Good news, 67, lost 38.9 pounds this year, rocking gently
shifting my pain away.
I am no longer a beagle pup, an English cocker spaniel
chasing the bitches around,
no longer a champion bike rider, yo-yo champion, nor
Hula Hooper dancer or swinger.
Now I expand my morning stiffness with stretch rubber
bands, legs lifted high then down.
Wild mustard, wild black rice and the Mediterranean diet
have taken over my youthful dining experiences.
I no longer have nightmares about senior’ discounts, or
meals on wheels,
part-time bus driving jobs, or aerobics.
When spices are in season, I out live my postponements
to my grave.
Screech owl, I am an old buck, baby hoot on a comeback,
dancing my ass off.
Transition, shedding old lose snakeskin.
Still listening to those old hits, like Jesse Colter, Waylon Jennings,
“Storms Never Last.”
Transition, is song, passages.

The Man Who Slept 23 Hours a Day ~ Joel Allegretti

spent his 60 conscious minutes bathing,
eating a meal, reading newspaper headlines
and preparing for the next cycle of sleep.
As he approached his 80th year
and heard death humming in his bones,
he realized he had done nothing
by which the world could remember him.

His clock winding down, he embarked
on an ambitious course of achievement.

He created a symphony with one note,
an epic poem with one word,
a novel with one sentence,
a drama with a single line of dialogue,
a self-portrait with a brush stroke,
a sculpture with one strike of the chisel,
a mathematical formula with one number.

When he died he was acclaimed for a life
of accomplishment and versatility.

The Meadow ~ Janelle Rainer

We grew a meadow in the backyard.
Really, the meadow grew itself.

There are flowers—purple,
blue and yellow. The yellow

are dandelions, of course—
the only ones I can name.

The neighbors put a cowbell
on the collar of their dog.

These are men and women
in their 60s. They like

to smoke pot on their patio.
Their throats cough up

whatever light is left
inside of them.

The wind lifts a cloud
of those white dandelion spurs

and carries them away.

Mercado ~ Sylvia Vaughn

The Mexican tin cardinal on the Christmas tree
takes me back to the mercados of border towns.
Flies coating meat in butcher shops,
leather scenting bustling aisles.
Smooth onyx carvings I bought by the handful.
Papá’s warning, You won’t use that in the States!
Still, I bought blankets, fringed suede purses,
seashell necklaces, cheap, shiny rings.
Outside, noisy traffic. Honking, tires squealing,
huge engines of industry idling, rumbling, shifting.
But inside, a whisper of heritage.

Morning Prayer ~ Jeannette Drake

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psalm 47:1

And for my ebony brother
with a snow-white beard
who sits in his wheelchair
in a back alley. “God’s Grace.”
He turns and tells me in baritone,
his words, my sermon on this sober
Sabbath morning. I know why
each of us remains among the living.
He needs more than a five dollar bill
for fish and French fries. I do not
need to purchase another cheap rhinestone
purse. We will do the right thing in August
or February. We will remind each other
of the ship’s belly, of blazing sun on bent backs,
of crumbs from the table. We will give thanks
for the teeth we have left, for Johnny Walker Red
and crème Havarti cheese. We will give thanks
for the pillars of cloud and the pillars of fire.

Neighborly ~ Mercedes Lawry

SuSu sat down on the stoop and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. “Don’t you dare!” Old Henrietta called out from the window next door. “I don’t want to die from no secondhand smoke and besides, it stinks to high heaven.”

“You’re already dead, more or less,” SuSu replied without turning her head. “Close your damn window.” She lit a match. Old Henrietta slammed down her window as best a 93-year old could. It was time for The View anyway.

SuSu took a drag. She stuck her finger in the hole in the railing made by a bullet last summer and imagined herself dodging. So many ways to die. She already knew twelve people who died who weren’t old and she herself was only seventeen. I don’t want to live to 93, she thought, but I don’t want to die before 25. That was her cut-off point – 25. She could pack a lot of living into the years till she turned 25 and after that, well, whatever.

Living just got harder and the only way hers wouldn’t was if she won the lottery. People in her neighborhood didn’t win the lottery. Better chance of getting shot. She took another drag, thinking, damn, but I’m going to have fun along the way.

The Sad Blue Woman walked by with her little dachshund. She walked by most days on her way to the corner store. Her face was a map of ravages and she always wore a straggly blue sweater. SuSu made up stories about her, constantly embellishing. Today she added the fact that the Sad Blue Woman had been a missionary in some country of lost souls where she witnessed so much suffering, she stopped believing in God and started believing in the healing powers of alcohol. Amen, SuSu whispered, aiming a puff of smoke at the departing figure.

SuSu heard Old Henrietta’s window slowly opening. One of these days, she’s not going to be able to open that window and I’m damned if I’m going to turn around. She flicked her hand with the cigarette like one of those Mad Men girls.

Next thing she knew, a cascade of water splashed on her head. “I’m savin’ your life,” Old Henrietta spouted and BAM, down went the window again.

It wasn’t a lot of water, but SuSu’s head and shoulders were wet and the cigarette was out. SuSu turned and looked at the window and could see Old Henrietta’s silhouette behind the flimsy curtain. Shit, I would never have guessed she was strong enough to heft a pot of water and throw it this far. That woman deserves some respect. SuSu stood up and made a slight bow to the old woman before going inside to change her shirt and reconsider her attitude toward longevity.

The Opposite of Still Life  ~Caroline Shea

Rust dusted the pads of our fingers and stuck in the lines of our palms,
a reverse forensics, a dirty palmistry,
as we clambered over old fly-buzzed train cars.

We balanced on the tracks, arms flung out like banners,
giddy on a day shot through with sunlight.
The wooden treads sank back into the earth, consumed by mud and grass.

(Some days I want to fight the world, but I bruise easily.)

When the sun hits the trees in just the right way, it gives the dead wood the glow of a cathedral. We are holy even in this mud and half-melted snow; we are divine
even in the remnants of winter: the graveyard
of thawed cigarette butts, cans, and lost possessions.

Pallbearer ~ Kevin Casey

As I helped her to her grave, I wondered
which part of my one-sixth share of that weight
was wood, and which the lifeless form inside.

And though someone felt the need to teach
duty to a child with this final act
of care, the pall I bore that spring wore well

into the fall — even now the burden
returns unbidden, the earth-ward weight of it,
and the pull of that brass handle.

Porch Bed ~ Anthony Burnett

My eyelids are peeled by the livid hint of daylight to find her splayed across the bed; long arms, long legs tangled in cotton sheets. Blue-white ticking of the feather pillow abandons her head. Night’s kiss lingers damp on her thin lips while a dusting of freckles bless her breasts down to the Mississippi bare feet that carry the dark stain of last night’s porch plank waltz.
I shift on the lumpy mattress in consideration of an exit when her arm flops across my stomach. The scent of endless fallow fields wafts from her morning moistened body. Bound in limbo by her somnambulistic sigh I study the fine dark doilies, the hue of fresh plowed fields, that nature provides as accents to her feminine recesses. They deny the blond tangles strewn across her pillow.
The chirp of every night jay, the burp of frogs, the cicadas, even the breeze through the rusted screen keep me on the edge of consciousness. I’d had better sleep in jail, but her proximity and the caress of morning’s light still me.

The Salamander Heart  ~Marie Lecrivain

salamander heart,
cold and untouched
amidst these sacred fires
Bulfinch’s Mythology

I watched the carnage with a million
other lookie-loos, curious to see
the jihadists cloaked in reptilian
splendor. And I heard the desperate plea
of the bard, an orison to a god
no more genuine than the virgin birth
or St. Nick. I didn’t cry as he clawed
off his flesh and collapsed into the earth
with a sigh of relief. It was their eyes,
the unified look of satisfaction
that stayed with me. Listen! We’d be unwise
to count this as a minor infraction
on the world stage. For now, nurse your ire.
In the end we may survive the fire.

Skeeter’s Wife Speaks ~ Ann Howells

Black to indigo to ocher to unblemished day:
this, then, is shelter for a gilled creature
lifted gasping from water, ill-equipped
to breathe rarified gasses.

Here I learn the company of wide-eyed women
who tremble with secret knowledge.
In narrow beds we sleep while sobbing
bleeds from the walls.

Here a chuckle is not warning, belt not a tool,
cigarette not a weapon, spilled milk no excuse.
Here we are spoon fed.
Here we unlearn the knife’s duplicity.

Sometimes a Visit Is a Fable ~ Jessica Kidd

Granny and great-Granny are as small as woodpeckers
and quite as repetitive.

They perch at the foot of a rusted iron bed
while Bad Jamie huddles on the floor in its middle.

The mattress, springs, and slats are long gone.
A ratted quilt hangs on, stuffing dangling and persistent.

Bad Jamie covers his face and smells Granny’s collards,
his dog, and the fire from Christmases twenty years ago.

Granny sings first: drink your milk, eat your cornbread,
drink your milk, eat your cornbread, come here and wash your face.

Then great-Granny: Imma whoop you. Come here. Imma switch you.
Come here. Don’t you touch that pie.

When Bad Jamie pokes his face from the quilt to ask
did they ever bury change anywhere,

they cock their heads and fly up to the rafters
where the buzzards are forced to make room.

Sunrise Bungalow ~ Jota Boombaba
—Koh Tao, 2012

No coo-coo clock, no digital chime
no mechanical ring, no alarm
nothing to nudge me from my dreams

Only the sweep of garden leaves
the blossoms’ breath, plumeria, weed
my hammock on the balcony

Down the path, a match strikes a can
a knife chops chilis, oil hits a pan.

Tennessee Williams’ Closet ~ Robert Wynne

Behind that dark door
he piled remnants
of all the typewriters

beaten into submission.
His fingers pounded keys
percussively, inking letters

deep into sheet after sheet
to fill the mouths
of his characters,

sculpt them whole
as language chiseled away
white space from every page.

When he died, he left
a mountain of mangled machines
hidden away, as if

he was ashamed
by the cost of creation, like God
worming the Big Bang

into an apple
and then exiting
stage left.

Thieving Quantums ~ Thomas Sabel

I lost a day.
Somehow it slipped
through the cracks of shattering
that shimmered like dark energy
through the shell of my calendar.
Twenty-four hours sucked out,
leaving an empty casing of the day
hanging like a split-back chrysalis
on the trees of temporal laziness.
The sloth of summer gained a way,
picking my lock with Einstein’s theory
and packed the day in packets
of hidden energy. I never saw
the quantums coming, bearing sacks
to steal the day.

Tuesday Afternoon in Texas ~ Elina Petrova

The afternoon is calmly
overcast and cozy
before the large raindrops
steam on the asphalt paths
and then the bebop starts –
Coltrane’s Love Supreme of trickles
that beat down on the windows
like fingers on the brass.

A lazy afternoon –
all move in slow motion:
cops gnaw late barbecue
and drivers step on brakes
before a 60-IQ
inmate in a Huntsville gurney
will be injected with
the final, lulling dose.

A drowsy afternoon,
impassive like a jury
who wait for lunch recess
while coffee perks in vain,
and Nguyen across the street
files nails of endless clients,
and watches crime news all day,
not foreseeing the rain.

Unbreakable ~ Alan Gann

The world is full of dinner plates:
common Corelle, elegant Wedgwood, and festive Fiestaware;
Amazon lists over four hundred dinner plates
from the one thousand paper for twelve ninety-five
to two hundred dollar pieces of bone china with gold inlay,
but should a fifty year old man
still eat half his meals off the same white plastic disc
he bought his first week in the dorm.

Nine unbreakable inches with a curl round the edge
and thin ring on the bottom,
my plate held takeout Chinese, PB&J, fried baloney sandwiches,
and hotplate hotdogs. On rare occasions
when I talked her into staying overnight it served cold pizza in bed
and on bored weekends after a few tokes
flew as well as any hallway Frisbee.

So I threw it in the car when I drove away from school
and ever since, it’s never packed away—
served first and last meals each time I moved, camped together
in twenty-three states. Not that I ever planned or noticed
like hot water from the tap
until I reached in the sink to scrub away
remnants of last night’s salsa, chips, burrito and cheese,
and only half a plate came out.

The Unspeakable ~ Dorene O’Brien

She walked into the room. She wasn’t having any of it. “I’m not having any of it,” she said. “Get your stuff.”
“You’re crazy,” he said.
“That’s right, I’m crazy. Now get the hell out.”
“Sure,” he said, “I’ll get out. I’ll get out of this crazy house and away from a crazy
But he didn’t move. He sat on the sofa staring at the blank television screen as if seeking direction from it. “I’ll go,” he said, “you better believe that.” He took a long pull from his beer bottle and continued to stare at the screen, as if hypnotized.
“Move it,” she said, kicking the ottoman out from under his feet.
“Be nice,” he said.
“Go to hell.”
“Sweetheart,” he said, “I’ve been in hell for the past six years.”
“Well, then, here’s your chance to rise.”
He never looked at her; instead he gazed at himself in the TV screen. He saw something both familiar and unsettling, something odd in the way his reflected image seemed skewed yet real, a parody of his former self, someone even he didn’t like.
“I’m going upstairs,” she said. “I’m counting to ten. Then I’m doing the unspeakable.”
She mounted the stairs on the counts of one and two and entered the bedroom on the count of three. He heard drawers slamming, something being dragged across the wood floor, the whine of the window creaking open. The clubs hit the ground first—that he saw through the front window. He couldn’t make them out at first, the sticks raining from above. But when he heard the Ping! of his five iron as it struck the metal railing below, he knew. He watched his reflection smile. He knew the clothes were next. He imagined them sailing across the front yard, pants hanging from the pear tree, shirt arms flapping in a downward breeze, underwear streamingfrom the eaves. His belts would hit the concrete with a thunk, his shaving kit smack the asphalt.
“Ten,” she shouted from above. Then she did the unspeakable.

Urban Distress ~ Strider Jones

all around:
birdsong from barky bars
and nut-job neighbours,
like flakey
and fakey
celebrity stars-
cut the air with verbal sabres
stabbing the back of sound.
even the fields,
that go in vegetarian meals
are part of this drug processed
urban distress.
rocky riffs,
like Mozart and Wagner with decibels-
fell from concept cliffs
onto punk’s deconstructed shore,
where the ocean roar
diluted anger towards inaccessibles
in the next generation
into derelict housey-
while grunged indifference to expectation
lost itself in Simon’s nousey
populous pap
blasting the street with pimped gangsta rap-
heard, but not seen, jamming with Thomas O’Malley
and Dylan in Shakespeare’s alley,
coloured and tense, but up to you,
with Miles Davis in Kind of Blue.

Wait For Me ~ Mike Beck

Tonight I am far away
and my solitude is deep-freighted
with honey and agony.

The moon has dropped its silver cape
on the dark waters outside the window
and a million million holes of light
are being chiseled in the inky sky
to allow your thin lips and slender body
to slip down long ropes of memory,
into the garden inside my chest
where the frogs are conspiring
with newly blossomed desire.
In their croaking I hear treaties
being made with the wind
to rasp just so in the pines
and with old melodies
playing faintly on a radio
across the glistening bay
to lift me up and set me down
someplace extravagant
closer to you.

Tonight I am tangled
in the word melancholy
but, please, wait for me.

What She Brought ~ Steve Klepetar

They never called her Cinderella
even when she scrubbed floors

even when she filled the coalscuttle
or it was her turn to peel potatoes

or when she wrestled water pails
from the well, or her red hands ached

on rainy days. What she brought
was something stolen from

the gods, a way of looking through
rock, of penetrating to another core.

She rarely spoke. Her eyes danced
behind a scrim of veils. Her lovers

walked for miles on the jagged shore
mulling over her name. They brought

her shells and polished rocks.
Her lips twitched into a kind of smile

as she accepted gifts from their
trembling hands. She dropped them

from a cliff into the sea, not from spite,
but to observe gravitons mediating

the pull against these smooth and lovely
things as they struggled with indifferent wind.

Why the Blues Sometimes ~ Amy Holman

I forget the bird on bird predation
—a great horned owl attacks the great blue
heron dozing on her nesting station,

succeeding only in cracking one blue
egg of five, slowing that chick’s gestation.
Predawn audacity, is owl, blue

streak nightmare. This screaming heron’s emotion
recalls a dying barn owl, hawks blue
with the nester’s trespass. The commotion

of circus cyaneus slicing blue
spruce occupant to freckled flesh portions,
accumulates, brown streaks across ice blue.

I forget the burdened bird I am, shunned,
cracked and nesting alone, utterly blue—
awakened, screeching, now, on the rebound.

Author Bios

  1. Joel Allegretti is the author of five collections of poetry. His second, Father Silicon, was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. He’s the editor of Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books, 2015), the first anthology of poetry about the mass medium.
  2. Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has a new chapbook titled Set List (Bitchin Kitsch) and two more scheduled for 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.
  3. Mike Beck was an Air Force pilot who turned full time to his passion–working artistically with wood and words— after he retired in 1990. He has continuously published prose and poetry in both print and online magazines since then. During his military service he published in professional journals.
  4. Travis Blair lives in Arlington where he earned his BA in English Lit from the University of Texas. After a lengthy career in the movie business, he authored three books, Train to Chihuahua, Little Sandwiches, and Hazy Red and Diesel Grey. His poems have appeared in literary journals throughout the United States, England, and Australia. A former President of Dallas Poets Community and a member of the Writers League of Texas, Blair also received a Pushcart Prize nomination this year. He has two daughters, five grandchildren, and hides from them frequently in Manhattan and Mazatlán.
  5. Jota Boombaba, when not on the road, writes poetry in and around San Francisco, where he lives and kicks back with his son. Find him most days at
  6. Michael Brockley is a 65-year old school psychologist who has worked in special education in Indiana for 28 years. He has poetry publications in such journals as Wind, The Windless Orchard, Spitball, The Indiana Review, The Indiannual, The Spoon River Quarterly, The River City Review and The Ball State Literary Forum. Tom Koontz’ Barnwood Press published his chapbook Second Chance in 1990, and his recent work has appeared in Indiana publications such as Maize, Country Feedback, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal and Facing Poverty.
  7. Tony Burnett is board president of the Writer’s League of Texas and an award winning poet and songwriter. He writes a science and nature column for a regional Texas newspaper. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in several national literary journals.
  8. Kevin Casey is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Connecticut. His work has been accepted recently by Green Hills Literary Lantern, Kentucky Review, Rust + Moth, decomP, and other publications. His new chapbook The wind considers everything — was recently published by Flutter Press, and another from Red Dashboard is due out later this year.
  9. Roberto Carcache Flores is a Salvadoran writer whose first poetry chapbook A Condensation of Maps has recently been published by Dink Press.
  10. Ann Clark teaches English at SUNY Jefferson in Watertown, NY. Her poetry has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Florida Review, Storm Cellar, and other journals, and her first collection of poems, No Witness, is available from Jane’s Boy Press.
  11. Jeannette Drake, a retired psychotherapist LCSW), is a poet, essayist, and visual artist. Her writings appear in Callaloo, Obsidian, The Southern Review, Honey Hush! An Anthology of African American Women’s Humor, Black Magnolia: A Literary Journal, The Sun Magazine and Chickenbones: A Journal among others. Journey Within: A Healing Playbook and Promise: Inspirational Fantasies were published in 2005 and 2011.
  12. Susan Feathers earned a American Literature and M.S. in Education. Her nonfiction is published in SEJ Journal (Society of Environmental Journalists), Hope Beneath Our Feet (North Atlantic Press), and Pensacola Magazine. Susan hosts the blog about people and nature. Susan lives and works in Pensacola, FL.
  13. Alan Gann, works as a teaching artist for at-risk teens at Texans Can Academy and is the president of the Dallas Poets Community. He wrote DaVerse Works, Big Thought’s performance poetry curriculum, and in 2014, Ink Brush Press published his first collection of poetry, Adventures of the Clumsy Juggler. He is the former co and assistant editor of the literary journals Red River Review and Illya’s Honey.
  14. Michelle Hartman’s work was recently featured in The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas. He has been published in over seventy journals and thirty anthologies. His work also appears overseas as well as a being a multiple Pushcart Nominee. His new poetry book, Irony and Irrelevance was released from Lamar University Press in March 2015 and is available on Amazon as well as his first book, Disenchanted and Disgruntled also from Lamar University Press (2013).
  15. Amy Holman is the author of Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window, published in 2010 by Somondoco Press, and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone, published in 2005 by Dream Horse Press. She is a 2015 Poetry Fellow at the First Quest Writers Conference in Squamish, BC, Canada. Other credits include a poem forthcoming in Rabbit Ears: The First Anthology of TV Poems, and poems forthcoming in The Westchester Review and Gargoyle. She’s a literary consultant to writers and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
  16. Celia Homesley lives in Humboldt County, CA where she works as a behaviorist. She has an MFA and a collection of poems published with Backwaters Press.
  17. Ann Howells’s poetry has recently appeared in Crannog (Ire), Free State Review, and Spillway among others. She has edited Illya’s Honey, since 1999, recently taking it print to digital ( Her chapbooks are Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007) and the Rosebud Diaries (Willet Press, 2012).
  18. Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a widely published poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, he edits 9 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.
  19. Stephanie Renae Johnson is a freelance writer and editor living in the mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. An avid lover of children’s literature and poetry, she is working on her first young adult novel and poetry chapbook while pursuing her Masters in Writing at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Her work—poetry, non-fiction, and fiction—has been published by Danse Macabre, Fat City Review, Prick of the Spindle, and Slink Chunk Press.
  20. Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex civil servant from Salford/Hinckley, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry are modern, traditional, mythical, sometimes erotic, surreal and metaphysical http// He is a maverick, moving between forests, mountains and cities, playing his saxophone and clarinet in warm solitude.
  21. Jessica Fordham Kidd lives in Coker, Alabama. She is the associate director of first-year writing at the University of Alabama, and her poems have appeared in Sliver of Stone, Waccamaw, and The Paris Review among others.
  22. Steve Klepetar‘s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His latest collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press), and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press).
  23. Mercedes Lawry has previously published short fiction/prose in several journals including: Gravel, Dying Goose, Cleaver and Newer York. For many years, she’s been publishing poetry in journals such as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner and others. Additionally, she’s published stories and poems for children.
  24. Marie Lecrivain is the publisher/editor of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, has published several books of poetry and fiction, and has been nominated thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her newest chapbook, Philemon’s Gambit, will be released later in the summer 2015 by International Word Bank Press.
  25. Melissa Leighty is a writer living in Barcelona currently at work on a cookbook about Catalan cuisine. Her poems and essays appear in a number of journals including ColloquiumEnglish Journal, and Modern Poetry Quarterly Review.
  26. Matthew Lippman is the author of four poetry collections, Salami Jew (Racing Form Press), American Chew, winner of The Burnside Review Book Prize (Burnside Review Book Press, 2013), Monkey Bar (Typecast Publishing, 2010), and The New Year of Yellow, winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize (Sarabande Books, 2007). He is the recipient of the 2014 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and The Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review.
  27. Dorene O’Brien, fiction writer and teacher of creative writing at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, has won numerous awards for her fiction, including the international Bridport Prize, Red Rock Review’s Mark Twain Award for Short Fiction, the New Millennium Writings Fiction Award and the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award. She was also awarded a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her short stories have appeared in numerous journals. Her short story collection, Voices of the Lost and Found, won the 2008 National Best Book Award in short fiction.
  28. Elina Petrova worked in engineering management in Ukraine until 2007. She has a book of Russian-language poems and her book of poetry in English, Aching Miracle, Her poetry appeared in Ukrainian, Russian and North American magazines, such as Texas Poetry Calendars, Illya’s Honey, Harbinger Asylum, FreeFall, Melancholy Hyperbole, the anthologies of the Houston & Austin poetry festivals, and Mutabilis Press. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for the post of 2015 Houston Poetry Laureate.
  29. Kenneth Pobo has a new book forthcoming from Blue Light Press called Bend of Quiet. His work has appeared in: Floating Bridge, Mudfish, Indiana Review, Wascana Review, and elsewhere.
  30. Janelle Rainer is a 25-year-old poet, painter, and community college teacher living in Spokane, Washington. Her recent work has appeared in Harpur Palate, Din Magazine, Atticus Review, Revolution John, Emerge Literary Journal, Hash the Mag, Poplorish, and elsewhere. Her paintings can be viewed at She earned an MFA in Poetry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon
  31. Cindy Rickey’s award-winning chapbook, Prompted, was published in 2014. A Year in the Life of an Unemployed Poet was published in 2011. She has been published in MetroNY, The New York Times blog, Blueline, Avocet, Emerald Coast Review, Kakalak, Red Fez and many other journals and anthologies.
  32. Jenny Root’s collection of poems, The Company of Sharks, was selected by Kathryn Ridall and published in 2013. Her work appears in numerous journals including basalt, Cirque, Cloudbank, Elohi Gadugi Journal, and Windfall and anthologized in New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press, 2010), selected by Lowell Jaeger. She works as an editor and event planner for an educational nonprofit in the field of criminal justice based in Eugene, Oregon.
  33. Laura Ross teaches at Lake Technical College in central Florida and has worked as a writing coach for Lake County Schools. Her poetry appears in the Valparaiso Poetry Review, Blackbird, The Florida Review, Calyx, The Columbia Review, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, Cold Mountain Review, and many others. She won The Ledge Poetry Award 2013. Her chapbook, A Tiny Hunger, was the winner of the Seventh Annual YellowJacket Press Chapbook Contest for Florida Poets. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.
  34. John Oliver Simon is one of the legendary poets of the Berkeley Sixties. Published from Abraxas to Zyzzyva, he is a distinguished translator of contemporary Latin American poetry, and received an NEA fellowship for his work with the great Chilean surrealist Gonzalo Rojas (1917-2011). He is a board member of California Poets In The Schools, where he has worked since 1971, and was the River of Words 2013 Teacher of the Year. His ninth full collection of poems is Grandpa’s Syllables (White Violet Press, 2015). For his lifetime of service to poetry, the Mayor of Berkeley, California proclaimed January 20, 2015, as John Oliver Simon Day.
  35. Thomas Sabel is a writer, teacher, and pastor, living in Fort Wayne, IN. His work has appeared in Red Paint Hill Sunday Poems, Marathon Literary Review, Whistling Fire, Tipton Poetry Journal, Riverrun, Confluence, wordriver, One Million Stories, and the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling. His mid-grade fantasy, Legends of Luternia: the Prince Decides, has been published by eLectio Press. He teaches courses in writing and philosophy and pastors a minuscule Lutheran congregation in a town barely clinging to the Indiana map.
  36. Caroline Shea attends college in Vermont but was born in Pennsylvania. Her poetry and prose have received multiple regional prizes in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as well as a National Silver Medal in 2013. Her work has appeared in Polyphony H.S. Magazine, Vantage Point, and Acclivity. Recently, she was Editor in Chief of the 2014 Kenyon Young Writers Workshop Anthology, where her work was also featured.
  37. Sandra Soli has two award-winning chapbooks, Silvering the Flute and Trees What Know. Her prose, poetry, and photographs have appeared in The New York Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Ellipsis, Ruminate, Cybersoleil, Naugatuck River Review, Poemeleon, Permafrost, Poet’s Market, and elsewhere. Honors include an Oklahoma Book Award and two Pushcart nominations. She has served as a director of Oklahoma’s Center for the Book.
  38. Karen Braucher Tobin is a poet and writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her latest two books are Poetic License To Kill (Salvo Press) and Aqua Curves (Stevens Poetry Award). Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Pool, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Literary Mama, Nimrod, Oregon Review, Rattle, and other places, including the national Poetry in Motion program (poems on buses and mass transit). She has read her poems on radio stations as well as in schools, churches, bookstores, and a prison.
  39. Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a firefighter for the city of Murphysboro. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, he works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. He has published work in The Iowa Review, on com, and has work forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review, among others. His first collection, How We Bury Our Dead, by Cobalt/Thumbnail Press was released in March, 2015.
  40. Sylvia Riojas Vaughn‘s work is in Triadæ Magazine, Somos en escrito Magazine, The Great Gatsby Anthology (Silver Birch Press), Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, Houseboat, Red River Review, The Applicant, Diálogo, Label Me Latina/o, and Desde Hong Kong: Poets in conversation with Octavio Paz. Member, Dallas Poets Community.
  41. Joshua Eric Williams is an MFA candidate at Western State Colorado University. His work has appeared in Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, Eclectic, and Illustrated Poetry. He lives with his wife, Kimberly, in Gunnison, Colorado.
  42. Laryssa Wirstiuk lives in Jersey City, NJ with her mini dachshund Charlotte Moo. Laryssa’s collection of short stories The Prescribed Burn won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in Gargoyle Magazine, Word Riot, Barely South Review, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.
  43. Robert Wynne earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. A former co-editor of Cider Press Review, he has published 6 chapbooks, and 3 full-length books of poetry, the most recent being Self-Portrait as Odysseus, published in 2011 by Tebot Bach Press. He’s won numerous prizes, and his poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies throughout North America. He lives in Burleson, TX with his wife and 2 rambunctious dogs. His online home is



21 thoughts on “Issue 1, August 2015

  1. Pingback: Premiere Issue is Here! | panoply, a literary zine

  2. Pingback: Delighted to have a poem and be with Poet Friends in the first issue of Panoplyzine | Strider Marcus Jones Poet

  3. Pingback: Dalton, “April”, and Effort | Roberto Carcache Flores

  4. Pingback: We Added Contributor Bios | panoply, a literary zine

  5. Rich materiall fished as if from a private ocean as deep as it is wide. Kudos to the editors for delivering such a fine collection of prose and poetry in this inaugural voyage of Panoply. All first class, rivaled in excellence only by the credentials of the authors.


    • We’re proud to include your work and that of the other fine authors. We read 100% blind. (If an author/work was known, the editor recused himself/herself.) That led to a few awkward moments, but resulted in the work here. That’s what we concentrated on, the work. Please pass along your kind words and ask others to have a look! Maybe they’ll find something that lifts them up. It certainly lifted us up!


  6. Pingback: Weekly Featured Work, September 5, 2015 | panoply, a literary zine

  7. Pingback: Weekly Feature, Sept 11-17, 2015 | panoply, a literary zine

  8. Pingback: Weekly Feature, Sept 18-24, 2015 | panoply, a literary zine

  9. Pingback: Weekly Feature, Sept 15-21, 2015 | panoply, a literary zine

  10. Pingback: Weekly Feature, Oct 2-8, 2015 | panoply, a literary zine

  11. Pingback: Issue 2, Winter 2015/6 | panoply, a literary zine

  12. Pingback: Sunshine Bungalow | Jota Boombaba

  13. Pingback: Issue 4, Summer-Autumn, 2016 | panoply, a literary zine

  14. Pingback: Issue 3, Spring 2016 | panoply, a literary zine

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