From Issue 18: Waste

Rich Furman

I have watched so much rot before me, and here now, two potential disasters. The pickled Korean cucumbers, the more serious of the two; I will need to build courage.     

I reach toward the back of the refrigerator, and remove a translucent-blue container. Cheese I brought home some months before from Mercado Latino. Queso Oaxaca, half of the strings stripped and eaten, the rest, a disconsolate off-white moon with a glowing, yellow haze. I may be too late. I open the lid, breath in, and am pleased–only mildly pungent–not far from its original form. 

I peel a small …

From Issue 18: Picking up the Pieces

Mary Ann Presman Deep in a daydream, Janet almost launched into “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” instead of “Lamb of God” at Communion. That would have been embarrassing. As it was, she saw Father John glance up at her in the choir loft—he heard that first errant note before she recovered, remembered where she was. Which was at the organ for eight o’clock Mass at St. Seraphina’s Catholic Church, just hours away from her shift as a Guest Services Ambassador at Wrigley Field. These two occupations were not to be confused, although both were performed in what Janet regarded… …

From Issue 18: My Parents’ Hands

Ellen Stone

 

I saw the way she pushed them –
flickering like river –
into the mound, turning what
was almost weightless
into substance, flour of air,
pinch of sea, sludge of yeast
she drained, slight foam
from the narrow bowl,
hard plane of her wide palm
pressing on counter, leaning
with her urgent weight, making
something live that was static.
The way her brain flew, fingers
turning dough into baby, white
dusting cabinets, floor, her face
a studied countenance of care.

The manner in which he held a hoe
as if it were a loved thing, what
can …

From Issue 18: Learning How Not To

Paul Ilechko The sweet susurration of tires continues as cars drift ruefully past my house. It’s a constant stream, day and night, and by now I no longer hear them. Except, there are fewer after midnight, which means that the extra ones in morning act as a gentle kind of alarm clock, drawing me out, hauling me up from the deep, still waters of sleep. Long ago, I learned to draw. In order to draw well you need to learn not to think too much. Afterwards, I learned to paint, which to my surprise involved forgetting how to draw. The… …

From Issue 18: All of it Returns

Charlene Langfur This is what I do these days Watch the geese overhead, how they move in their perfectly coordinated flight going south. Watch the four inch green sprouts growing in the garden in the desert winter. I watch them little as they are. I have odd dreams with you in them and we are young again, maybe it is spring time again, and we are ready to save the world from exactly what has happened to it anyway, the over heating and earth changes with gardens out of whack, the poles shifting perilously, madly. In another dream we return… …

From Issue 18: Echo of Myself

Rebecca Beardsall                                     Rebecca Beardsall received her BA from DeSales University and her MA in English from Lehigh University. She is in the MFA program at Western Washington University. Her poetry has been published in various literary journals, and she co-edited three books. Originally from Pennsylvania but considers Washington and New Zealand home….

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Featured: Free Surge

Ross Hargreaves

 

Right before lunch in the West Junior High band room when the overhead tells us about the Surge truck parked by the cafeteria ready and waiting to give us all free Surge. “Hurry up,” the overhead said. “Because it’s first come first served.”

No way was this ending civil.

Surge was all the caffeinated rage. On the news parents were saying that it had too much caffeine, that along with Marilyn Manson CD’s it was driving kids crazy. And these parents hadn’t had to deal with Red Bull or Monster yet. Surge actually had less caffeine than …

Featured: The answers are written in the book you wrote over

Kennedy Sievers

in purple and blue crayon leaving messages for me that resonate within my head your messages of love overlaid with the text of The Confederacy of Dunces I’ve never read the book on its own but now it’s in conjunction with your sweet nothings you filled the pages with your heart and dinosaur stickers and now that your beating chambers belong to someone else my book sits on the shelf collecting dust alongside my memories of you remember that time we walked to get candy and lay in the grass staring at clouds eating Werther’s caramels or the …

Featured: Good Morning, Get Up

Michael Brosnan

Birds, as they must,
Sing at the first sign
Of light,

The blue hour.
There’s a word:
Perforce.

You and I, we push
Through — as if to stop
Is to lose.

But lose what?
(The severely imagined)
God knows.

I only know
That possibility
Punishes every pause.

 

Michael Brosnan is the author of The Sovereignty of the Accidental (Harbor Mountain Press, 2017). About the collection, poet Naomi Shihab Nye writes, “A stunning book…. Poems which stir language, memory, momentary intense awareness, to give us back the bracing joy of clear thinking.” Read more at www.michaelabrosnan.com.…

Featured: The Seed, a Sonnet

Daria Smith Giraud

The clapping of my beaded braids
were downbeats to dirty New York streets.
Brand new shell top Adidas chasing a gaze
of graffiti tags thrown up subway upbeats
where summers were my treasure under stars and moon.
I’d dance like Ancestors with aether in my lungs
under Union Square women heavenly commune
shekeres chasing trance in polyrhythmic tongues.
And I and I embodied in space and time
channeling forgotten pasts forbidden to die
from Pangea to Americas to this paradigm.
We’d meet in this plane where the dance survived.
Serenaded by a sea of black bodies jumping …