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.


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
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….

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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 nakedTo 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 noted… …

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:…

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