Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Weight of Shadows by Corey D. Cook


The Weight of Shadows is now available for preorder online at finishinglinepress.com

The presale runs from September 18, 2018 through November 16, 2018 and the book will be mailed out on or after January 11, 2019.

I also wanted to share that this presale period will determine the pressrun for the book. So if you are interested in buying a copy, now is an opportune time to do so!

Thanks for considering.

Corey D. Cook, Editor

Friday, September 14, 2018

All You Need (First Love) by Ben Rasnic

Every day after school,
some fifteen year-old kid
would lie sprawled across
his twin bed mesmerized
by the dried paint drip
on the ice blue ceiling,
with “All You Need is Love”
refraining over and over
on the automatic turntable
as if somehow
that would overwrite
the hideous messages
in his head
telling him
over and over
he was too ugly
to ask out
the prettiest girl
in Mrs. Watson’s
algebra class.



Ben Rasnic currently resides in Bowie, Maryland. Author of four published collections (three available from
amazon.com), Ben's poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Friday After Labor Day by Robert Demaree

Monet convinced himself
That each glint of light on haystacks,
Each angle of the sun,
Changed by one degree,
Could be a new canvas.
But I have decided this morning:
No more kayaking poems,
Have said most of what I want to say,
More than once.
On my ritual end-of-season loop
Around the pond this quiet morning
Of the Friday after Labor Day
The only voices are the guys
Working on the huge new place
Where Gaston’s cottage used to be.
I watch to see whose boat
Is still in the water,
Whose dock, pulled up on land,
Exposed, lonely,
Waits for the winter,
Hopes for June.



Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

bad mother by Sarah Elizabeth Colona

books are my children
spines warped in hot cars
birthdays uncelebrated



Sarah Elizabeth Colona is the author of three poetry collections: Hibernaculum (Gold Wake Press, 2013), Thimbles (dancing girl press, 2012) and That Sister (dancing girl press, 2016).

Friday, September 7, 2018

Mother by caro

when you were me
you left home
with a student visa
and no intention
to go to school
navigated a country
with no language
survived lonely nights
without your mother
asleep in the next room

but the hardest thing
you have done
was live without your name
when that visa expired
trade your identity
for a chance
the only choice
you had

to think
you don't even
look like a Barbara



caro is a musician, writer, and freelance audio tech living in New York. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Chronogram and right hand pointing. She can be found around the internet @caroblahblah and
thisiscaro.com.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Compadre by caro

he is sitting in the glass house of the gas station
as he has done for my entire life
and will do until the end
I am surprised to see him
surprised that after all this time
he still knows my car
still smiles when I say hola
the way a white girl says hola
and looks me in the eye
asking: silver? full?
still gives me the receipt
wrapped around the credit card
and takes my hand with both of his
speaking slow: cuídate, cuídate
an offering for me to take
I, smiling: sí, sí
never thinking twice about
giving my hand
to a stranger in a gas station
never once wondering
his name



caro is a musician, writer, and freelance audio tech living in New York. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Chronogram and right hand pointing. She can be found around the internet @caroblahblah and
thisiscaro.com.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Time is a Dog; Space is a Cat by Robin Boyd

A dog marks time by smell. He knows
when you're due to arrive home as your scent
molecules dissipate with each passing hour.

He was waiting at the door ten minutes
before you turned left into the driveway --
his tail, a metronome, keeping time to gladness. 

His wake-up call is an engine starting on a cold day.
It begins with a low rumble deep in the chest before roaring
to life as a full-throated bark demanding love & breakfast.

He is the grizzled muzzle as the years pass,
the lengthening naps, shorter walks,
long sighs of contentment by the fire.

He forces us to consider our finite lives the day
he politely declines his food. He is an interval,
a path to letting go and taking the risk to love.

 
                              * * *

Cats are like birds -- they inhabit a world
both vertical and horizontal and are less
beholden to gravity than most wingless beasts.

They take on the shape of whatever space
they occupy -- a cardboard box, a flower pot,
the span of the dining room table. Sunshine.

They kindly allow us to share their domain
not so much as you might move an inch
or two to make room for me on a bench,

but as a librarian might welcome us
into the stacks, a nod and a slight smile
to acknowledge the pact of amiable silence
as we each follow our own curiosities.



Robin Boyd lives in New Hampshire. With degrees in creative writing and environmental education, her work explores the edges where human and nonhuman worlds connect and inform each other. Her most recent work appears in Cutthroat and Briar Cliff Review. Her book of poems, Among the Slow Roots, was published in 2007 by Gap Mountain Press.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Teenie by Ben Rasnic

being the runt of the litter,
seemed an appropriate name
for the family dog.

Mornings walking to grade school,
Teenie would follow faithfully
In that familiar crooked gait
despite our most adamant protestations

& when the afternoon bell rang
she would be there
patiently waiting
to escort us home again;

patrolled our bungalow porch
like a loyal foot soldier, the
welcome mat her bivouac,
dreaming of cars to chase, buried
skeletal remains, unfamiliar butts
to sniff;

In summers would hang
with the neighborhood strays
in a world without leashes, exploring
new and familiar territories

as documented
by nine litters
of multi-colored pups;

survived 126 dog years
until under cover of darkness
my father accidentally backed the car
across her sleeping frame

her lifeless, mange ridden carcass
exhaling a free spirit to roam
in a heaven for animals,
in a world without fences,

chasing hologram automobiles
in a world without pain & suffering;
without hunger or cold.

And when the final bell tolls for me
I know she will once again
be waiting
this time at the crossroads,

to guide me
into a new light,

where ultimately
we must travel
our pre-destined pathways.



Ben Rasnic currently resides in Bowie, Maryland. Author of four published collections (three available from amazon.com), Ben's poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Anthrobscene by Howie Good

A young black woman
in a Red Sox t-shirt
was writhing on the sidewalk,
her right leg splayed
at a gruesome angle,
her face contorted with pain.

Huddled over her
were five or six friends
whose idea of help
was to just keep repeating,
“C’mon! Stand up!”

People say we’re living
in a golden age,
but I shake my head at that,
and if I were you,
I wouldn’t put too much faith
in God or man or robot bees.



Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize. His latest collection is I'm Not a Robot from Tolsun Books. He co-edits the journals UnLost and Unbroken with Dale Wisely.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Watches by Cathryn Shea

It’s no longer acceptable to wear a wristwatch,
you must tell time by the shadows
cast on buildings and trees.

You are not allowed to look at your phone,
that would be rude.

Prove that you can navigate the world
without props and aids.

Use your head.

Imagination is a peculiar loam,
infinity captured
in the dark matter we don’t understand.

The poet dies in his sleep.
And I’m jealous
because that is a good way to go
and I fear I might linger.

My grandfather told me his ticker was slowing down.
He felt it. I planned to visit soon.
Within the clock’s twenty-four hour sweep
his heart stopped.



Cathryn Shea is the author of “It’s Raining Lullabies” (dancing girl, 2017) and “My Heart is a Salt Mirror Like Salar de Uyuni” (Rinky Dink, 2018). She’s been nominated for Best of the Net and appears in Tar River Poetry, Gargoyle, Permafrost, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, etc. See www.cathrynshea.com and @cathy_shea.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Learning to Swim by Terence McCaffrey

My son dog paddles over the scratchy string
of blue and white buoys and into the murk
of the deep end, oblivious to oblivion,
water overwhelming water, the lesser body losing.
He jerks across the surface, his skinny limbs
raking the darker depths, stirring the cold
hardness of becoming.

He looks the way most adults feel:
all strain and struggle, desperate
to stay afloat. Myself, I’m teetering on a sliver
of vinyl liner in a 1984 T-shirt, forever watching,
begging him with every inch he gains to stay
just as he is: a boy, a ballplayer, an aspiring author.

Nights, I’ve been finding him in our bed,
so I carry his long body, heavy with the weight
of new worry, back to his small blue room
where he still dreams high flying
comic book dreams, but they’re waning dreams
I know will someday disappear.

Afternoon shadows spill across the uneven pavers.
He’s spitting now. Smiling. I think he’s got it,
the notion that progress takes work.
His hand slaps the ladder’s rung, and somewhere
young sparrows pull and sweep from their nest.

Sparks of water fly from his trunks as he shuffles
for the shallow end, returning to where he started,
the safe, clean neighborhood of childhood.
When his face flashes with kindness
I feel like a fugitive with a stricken heart, knowing
this will happen again when he’s older,
this latest test of his will. This test of mine.



Terence McCaffrey’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. He received a M.A.L.S. degree in Humanities from Wesleyan University and a B.A. from the University of Hartford where he was the recipient of the Phyllis B. Abrahms Award in Fiction. He lives with his wife and two children in West Simsbury, CT.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Haiku by Stephen Toft

autumn sunset
cows all facing
the same direction



Stephen Toft is a poet and homelessness worker who lives in Lancaster, UK with his wife and their children. His first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka." In 2018 Yavanika Press released his third collection “deer heart” as a free to download e-book.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Haiku by Stephen Toft

honeymoon
the sunlight between
our toes



Stephen Toft is a poet and homelessness worker who lives in Lancaster, UK with his wife and their children. His first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka." In 2018 Yavanika Press released his third collection “deer heart” as a free to download e-book.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Haiku by Stephen Toft

summer’s end
a rope dangles
over the river



Stephen Toft is a poet and homelessness worker who lives in Lancaster, UK with his wife and their children. His first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka." In 2018 Yavanika Press released his third collection “deer heart” as a free to download e-book.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Press Release for Corey's Poetry Reading

COREY D. COOK TO READ AT MOULTONBOROUGH, NH LIBRARY

Poet and editor Corey D. Cook will be the featured reader at the Moultonborough Library Evening of Poetry on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.

Cook grew up in Vermont and received a B.A. from New England College in 2002. His pieces, mostly poems, have appeared in over 120 online and print publications, including the Aurorean, Brevities, Chiron Review, Entelechy International, Freshwater, Loch Raven Review, Lummox, Northern New England Review, Pearl and The Somerville Times. Corey’s fifth chapbook, The Weight of Shadows, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in early 2019. He edited The Orange Room Review with his wife, Rachael, for eight years and currently edits Red Eft Review. He works at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, and lives in Thetford Center, VT.

There will be an “open mic” time following the feature. The Moultonborough Library is located at 4 Holland Street, near the blinking light at the intersection of Routes 25 and 109 North.

Haiku by Stephen Toft

shade of a pine
migrant workers
share their lunch



Stephen Toft is a poet and homelessness worker who lives in Lancaster, UK with his wife and their children. His first collection "the kissing bridge" was published by Red Moon Press in 2008 and in December 2016 Scars Publications released his chapbook "naming a storm: haiku and tanka." In 2018 Yavanika Press released his third collection “deer heart” as a free to download e-book.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tim by Turner Wibbelsman

Every summer, dad’s friend
would return home from Alaska,
having worked the king crab
seasons, toughing the ice
and brute of the Bering Sea,
those massive hands
calloused thick from nylon
nets and steel winches, blood
left behind, washed through
the bulwark drainage slits
to mix with that dark sea.

And we could hear the diesel
engine long before the pick-up
pulled in the back driveway—
running barefoot across the wet
yard, my brother and I shouldering
the large white cooler, its ice sloshing
our long-awaited treasures.

Unhinging rubber latches,
we lifted that great lid,
thick as my fist, having held
the north Pacific chill
across all those long states,
finally released onto grinning faces
as we plucked king crabs
from the ice-water, hands
wincing from brief
submersion and shell points
pressing into soft palms—
our small price to pay.

And as the crabs cooked,
we laid newspaper
on the porch table, set out
wooden mallets and peered
under the green grill lid
until our feast was ready
to be dumped on the table—
sitting on our knees so we
could reach across the pile,
finding that greatest red claw.

Years later, I received
news that he had suddenly
passed, traveler’s soul approaching
the strange final destination,
flying down the parkway
with June’s sweet air filling
the truck cab, having weathered
winter at sea, bringing the world’s
regal gift back home.



Turner Wibbelsman is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former editor of UNC's Health Humanities Journal. He plans to attend medical school in the future. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

One of Those People by Shannon Lise

          After “The Carousing Couple,” a painting by Judith Leyster

You would perhaps
have liked
to be one of those people

like Judith Leyster, painting
her splotchy red
faces back in the 17th century

getting other people’s signatures
forged over her own
until she was quite forgotten, but still

knowing how to capture laughter
how to make even
her unattractive characters –

the round rubber-cheeked woman
with a huge forehead,
the insecure squat-nosed man fussed

up in that ridiculous French collar
and pretending to play
violin – look happy, even pleasant

as if they’d seen the way poplar leaves
turn fuzzy silver
undersides to the sunlight. As if they

knew that sometimes it does snow
on Christmas
even in places like Abilene.

But we could’ve filled a blank Bible-
length notebook
with the things you would’ve liked to be.



Originally from Texas, Shannon Lise spent twelve years in the Middle East and currently lives with her husband in Quebec, spending as much time as possible in the woods or on the water. She also writes epic fantasy realism and is the author of the novel Keeper of Nimrah (Ethandune Publishing, 2014). 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

At the Farmer's Market by Martha Christina

“How’s your husband?” the man
selling fruit and berries from his
orchard asks. We haven’t seen
each other since October when
he left to winter in Florida, and
your prognosis was for a quick
recovery. So I have to say again
the words I’ve had to say for
months, and he kindly offers
condolences with his nectarines.

I buy a bag and move on, past
the man selling fish, the woman
promising rugalah like her Nana’s,
another offering the first sweet
corn of the season, and the recent
divorcee making lemonade, her
husband still alive and a worry.

I pick up my farm-share from
the woman who reminded you
of our daughter, and who gives
me a weekly hug because she
knows fresh produce only goes
so far.

And all the while, this week’s
live music drifts over and
around me: guitar and harp,

a husband and wife duo.



Martha Christina is a frequent contributor to Brevities. Longer work appears in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Naugatuck River Review, earlier postings of Red Eft Review, and most recently in the anthology Ice Cream Poems from World Enough Writers. She has published two collections: Staying Found (Fleur-de-lis Press) and Against Detachment (Pecan Grove Press).