Featured: The Material Things

    Todd Mercer

    Listen to the poem below:

     

    We’re almost to the territory when the river takes our wagon.
    Also swept downstream: two fine horses harnessed to it, the team
    I’d planned to break the ground with on our homestead claim.
    Susannah stands dripping on the bank, reaching for a fallback notion
    that fits with the loss of provisions. She’s the brains in this operation.
    The bad call to ford it here, that choice is on me. I know without it being said.
    But the hands that plucked the children from the top of the rapids—
    those were …

    Featured: At My Desk on a Saturday Night

    Samuel Vargo
    It’s ten o’clock
    And I’m at my desk.

    Again.

    But I don’t know what to write.
    Though I know tonight I don’t want to work

    on the novel that’s working me.

    And I don’t have anything to write about.
    But for once, I want to write short. Concise.
    Something with punch and flair. Something
    Cool. That’s the winning writing recipe –
    Like a poem that I wrote when I was 26,
    And in love, and very, very drunk.

    That’s how all my poetry started

    that was accepted by presses years ago.

    When the editors wrote back,

    Telling me …

    Featured: Her Full Heart

    Dawn Pink

     

    Snap of the scissors
    Around the frayed twine.
    Yellowed card stock tag reading
    KINDLING
    Flits to the ground.
    The brown sack’s mouth yawns
    And sighs out bundles,
    Hitting the carpet with the sounds
    Of an August storm.
    Ribbons holding the folds together
    Every crayola color.
    Dusted letters creak as they unfold,
    The creases well worn
    Out pours decades
    Of heart’s blood and tears,
    Bravado and tenderness,
    To a name unrecognizable
    Though the handwriting is clearly hers.
    Hundreds of bows
    Thousands of pages
    Signed with her everlasting love
    And never addressed.

     

    Dawn Alicia Pink studied Dramatic Theory …

    From Issue 13: Replacing the Monument #8

    Darren Demaree

    We must become more
    than the dirt
    & the double shadow

    of our shuffling times
    & if it means we must
    build a theater

    to tell each story about
    each fire that took a silo,
    then that’s what it means.

     

     

    Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently “Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

    From Issue 13: Small Town Date Night

    Peter Clarke

    No way our town is ready for the future. We’re already passed up, but get ready to be literally wiped out—I mean actually obliterated. When the future gets here.

    At the Ravioli House with my new wife. God, she’s got the best skin. You’ve never seen skin like this before. Sometimes I have to stop thinking just to touch it. Everything goes away when I focus in on how real it is.

    “What are you thinking about, Ansel?”

    “Huh?”

    “I know you’ve got something going on up there.”

    “Oh yeah…yeah…”

    I haven’t told her about how screwed we …

    From Issue 13: Actually

    Oscarine Malabele

    Actually, nothing is wrong with how a woman wears her mini dress
    Or tight clothing if your mind is well and fully dressed
    The wrong is with the women and then men with unclothed minds spilling a fill of nonsense
    The women of my culture would bear their erect breasts to sun freely
    Knowing that the men of our clan see their children born naked
    To tell of the truth
    One’s attire matters nothing of any percentage to a pornographic observance, it is already filled with stripped contemplations
    The question I will to ask is;
    Have you ever

    From Issue 13: Trouble in Paradise

    Bradley Rundblade

    A comet needs to take us out
    For light is the law
    And we’ve lost it
    We’ve gone blind
    A planet full of darkness
    The roads broken up
    Painted over rust
    Been swept beneath the carpet

    Our pride has gotten the best of us
    Seas riddled with plastic
    Radiation in our blood

    We must submit
    That history is in the dust
    We are watchers of disconnect
    Silent sentinels
    Occupants of disgust
    Our existence bred out of love and trust

    These ideas are endangered now
    Like arcane concepts
    We chose the path of least resistance
    The path of spoon-fed …

    From Issue 13: Dusk

    Vicky Harris

    In the wandering ways, the lightening
    flashes grey and the farmhouses are hollowed
    empty like a spent bullet. The corn stubble is
    sharp for the deer, who step judiciously between
    the broken stalks. Then the wind presses against
    the grass, and the trees bend low, in prayer to a whisper,
    their branches stroke the clay dirt. The frayed
    hammock swings empty.

     

    Vicky MacDonald Harris was born in Windsor, Ontario, where she received her BA in English Literature, but now calls Lincoln, Nebraska home. In print, her poems have been published in the NaPoChapBook collection published by Big

    From Issue 13: The Hammocks: A Hidden Past in Central Florida

    Miriam Mosher

    The persimmon is a strange little fruit—eat it too soon and you will involuntarily pucker, the tissues of your mouth and tongue literally contracting from the astringency; wait too long and the flesh becomes soft and bruised, clearly past it’s prime. Florida is a cornucopia of weird produce: lemons nearly as big as a baby’s head, and supersized avocados too, wild grapes with thick leathery skins and every citrus combination imaginable, but the original strange fruit is a thing most Floridians know nothing about, or feign ignorance if they do. While the poplar tree isn’t particularly common on …

    From Issue 13: Oyate Tamakoce

    Bino Realuyo

    “Land of the people” – Apache

    The flying now exist – no more for man –
       –    Sonnet V, David Humphreys

    Dear flying now, another morning of air
    held within, fraught in the Crowd racing through
    trains, towers, time. Above, below, everywhere

    really: Air-less, boxed hearts, hive minds.
    What’s become of placid water, free air,
    of Oyate Tamakoce? (Apache word, reclaimed)

    Sacred buffalo, gone (also gone: circle of chants
    about the single descent of an autumn leaf).
    In its place, life drinking fossil blood. Water in bottles.

    And I—the observer—only eye the interstices
    of our now