Wednesday, August 31, 2016

City Harvest by Ben Rasnic

With a secondhand garden hoe
sculpted rows of powdery black earth
by the cedar panel fence
where the sun breaks free
from lodge pole pines and towering maple,
framing my private sanctuary
like a secret window.

A growing season compromised                   
by cold snaps in May
& the long shadows of September,
cucumber vines find a way
to spread their wings
like uncaged birds
beyond the trellises.

Cayennes and jalapeƱos
pulse from forest green to fiery red
as firecracker August heat
finds plush ripe tomatoes bursting
with sweet crimson fruit
and okra spears sprouting from
fleshy green stems.

Two streets down,
work crews buzz saw a grove
of vibrant evergreens, 

layer the greenbelt
with a fresh glaze of asphalt,
breaking ground
for the next Olive Garden.

Ben Rasnic is the author of four collections of poems: "Artifacts and Legends"; "Puppet"; "The Eleventh Month" and "Synchronicity". Ben currently resides in Bowie, MD.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

upholstery by Catherine Weiss

woke up alone
my first thoughts
tarnished pennies
i didn't bother to collect

tiptoed room to room
opened curtains by rote

i’ve faded into the background—
the transition has been seamless
my flannel shirt aligns flawlessly
with the plaid wallpaper of your parlor

i’ve become just another piece of furniture
hoping to be made useful


Catherine Weiss is a poet based in Western MA. She has been published in such journals as Voicemail Poems, Melancholy Hyperbole, Jersey Devil Press, and Yellow Chair Review. Catherine enjoys competing in poetry slams, hanging out with her dogs, and playing ping pong.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Moon House by Howie Good

A couple of teenagers beat
a homeless man to death
with their skateboards.

I saw the story on the news
as summer night sounds
drifted in through the windows
like a murmured incantation.

Somewhere between sleeping
on the streets and the silver clouds
there must have been a woman
carrying a child up the stairs.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Stitch in Time by Ronald J. Pelias

In the emptiness of her house, she
sits at her kitchen table, crocheting
round pot holders, her sight gone
with her husband of sixty-eight years.

Each stitch marks time until,
as she says, she can join him.
Each stitch pulls together
another memory into the circle.

“Nobody wants these things.
I can feel all the mistakes.
They pass the time though.
That’s all I got—a little time.”

Ronald J. Pelias’ work has appeared in a number of journals, including Small Pond, Midwest Poetry Review, Margie, and Whetstone. His most recent books, Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (Left Coast Press), Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (Left Coast Press), and If the Truth Be Told: Accounts in Literary Forms (Sense Publishers), call upon the poetic as a research strategy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Someone else's mother speaks to me for the first time by Robert Ford

It wasn’t quite my first day there, and while I sat at the safety
of a long wooden table, a mile-wide belt of asteroid children
fizzed about the hall, high on screams and random collisions,

pounding its feet on a sprung floor all glassy with new varnish.
Her long-fingered hands were working the grown-up scissors,
the chafing of the blades against each other making that noise

I still don’t know the word for. You’re very patient, she told me,
freeing me from my cosmic reveries like one of the starfish
she was busily fashioning from a stack of coloured card.

Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland. His poetry has appeared in both print and online publications in the UK and US, including Sweet Tree Review, Antiphon, Eunoia Review and Wildflower Muse. More of his work can be found at

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Swerve by Howie Good

It’s a two-lane road
in rough repair,
and if you’re wasted
or simply speeding
and unfamiliar
with its idiosyncrasies,
the dips and sudden severe twists
as it winds around
the base of Illinois Mountain,
it can be dangerous,
but especially on nights like this,
when there’s no moon,
only the distant porch lights
of a few lonely houses,
and so dark that you risk not seeing
the cross of plastic flowers
by the crushed guardrail
just before thunder crashes
and the skies open up.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I take by John Reinhart

my business

the owners

their hands

and profit

is a distant

to livelihood

An arsonist by trade, John Reinhart lives on a farmlette in Colorado with his wife and children. He is a frequent contributor at the Songs of Eretz, member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and was awarded the 2016 Horror Writers Association Dark Poetry Scholarship. His chapbook, "encircled," is available from Prolific Press. More of his work is available at

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fantasy by Louise Robertson

Right now, summer makes
the bedroom a hot mouth.
All I want is to push my feet
into cold sand,
at night, waves inhaling
and exhaling beside us.
See, there’s the fantasy:
I said “us.”

Louise Robertson has completed the following checklist: Journal publications (Crack the Spine, Zetetic, Gyroscope, and others). Poetry event organizer. College (Oberlin). MFA (George Mason University). Awards (Mary Roberts Rhinehart, Columbus Arts Festival, and others). Slam teams (Rustbelt, NPS, and others). Full-length book (The Naming Of, Brick Cave). Trouble sleeping. Tries to be nice. Likes biking and swimming. Hates running. Does it anyway. Loves her two kids.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hold on Me by Geoff Anderson

Smokey Robinson serenades my brother
and his girlfriend in the kitchen
with a definition of relationship;
I don’t like you, but I love you
on their lips while chopping garlic,
their hands around their waists,
the water already boiling
two months before the breakup
dismantles our apartment.
We listen to the piano quiet
and he tells her it is his
favorite song as I grab the knife
from his cutting board,
rinse the peels off and scrub
the handle as carefully as the blade.

Geoff Anderson teaches foreigners "their", "they're", and "there" in Columbus, OH. His work can be found in Wherewithal, Cider Press Review, and Modern Haiku, among others.