Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How to Write in Garrett County in Late November by Jessamine Price

First, walk up the hill to watch the buzzards creak
their wings above the body of a slack-eyed doe,
life just finished, gray flanks soft and still.

Back home, go round and open doors—
kitchen cupboards, and linen closets,
the cold metal lid of the Maytag machine.
Find one scrap of card at the back of a drawer—
loops of script from a friend who died too young.

Then, too, clean the fridge. Throw out the Tupperware
you fear to open. Carry out the trash
under a half-moon fading towards quarter.
Be sure to disregard your heart—
its boring habit of finding portents and signs
in nothing. You’re still alive.
Close the door behind you and process words.

Jessamine Price's poems and essays have appeared in journals such as Hunger Mountain, the Delmarva Review, and Poets Reading the News. Her work has also been anthologized and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has an MFA from American University and currently teaches in South Korea. Follow her @JessaminePrice.

Monday, January 29, 2018

I Can't Help It by Mary Kaye Valdez

You swung the door fully
open when you caught a
peek of my room through
the thin opening.

You saw my bed
with the pillows in
opposite corners, and my
blanket wrinkled and
hanging off the side.

It looked like
it was hit by
a tornado you said.

I’m sorry mom, I wish
it wasn’t scientifically
true that geniuses were
messy people, too.

Mary Kaye Valdez is a pastel color enthusiast whose closet is ninety percent black. She also likes high places because it's her only chance to look down on people. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction on the Web, Manawaker Studios, and Not Your Mother's Breast Milk.

Friday, January 26, 2018

For You, Hopefully by Ed Ahern

Same Valentine’s Day,
different woman.
Hard to think up
new endearments
to go with the same
trite presents.

So here goes.
I love you almost like
the other one,
just more cautiously.

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had a hundred eighty poems and stories published so far, and three books. His collected fairy and folk tales, The Witch Made Me Do It, a novella The Witches’ Bane, and his collected fantasy stories, Capricious Visions. He works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Just for One Day by Todd Mercer

“Fame” was the Bowie song playing
on the stereo when we returned from vacation
to teenagers hosting a kegger.
We eventually forgave them,
but kids trashed the place.
Broken curios, pukers,
couple in our bed,
pizza on the turntable.
Trust violated.
Thought it was “Fame,”
but Jane says “Heroes.”

TODD MERCER won the Dyer-Ives Kent County Prize for Poetry (2016), the National Writers Series Poetry Prize (2016) and the Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Award (2015). His digital chapbook, Life-wish Maintenance, appeared at Right Hand Pointing. Mercer's recent poetry and fiction appear in The Lake, Peacock Journal, Split Lip Magazine and Vending Machine Press.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some online trolls by Ronald Moran

obsess over the large feet
of an ex-Miss Russia contestant,
by mocking their size,

as if she had a choice.
At six feet tall
she commands attention;

but, hey,
she is gorgeous, sensual:
in all, a fine expression

of the female body,
a forever object of attention
on our planet,

of its four corners
you want to choose.

Ronald Moran has poems in current or forthcoming issues of Asheville Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Tar River Poetry. In March he was inducted into Clemson University’s CAAH Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cast Adrift by M.J. Iuppa

Hurrying out of the lift into a line
full of people going somewhere in
single file, I walk in baby steps up
to the desk where my identity will
be held up to the light. I look in-
to that face that nods a go ahead,
then step gingerly through a door
that will detect any of my misgivings
and send me back to the start . . .

And, like so, I slip by in slow exhale,
hovering close to the conveyor belt’s
roll of bags, watching loose change
flip over & over, heads or tails (what
does it matter?
) now that I’ve been
cleared for departure . . .

It’s still dark in the terminal where
the bank of windows at Gate Eleven
stand full of gray clouds and distant
lights, and the reflection of people
asleep in their chairs. I am distracted
by the suspension of time, by life’s
lack of distinction where I wait for
morning to swell with its sudden squad
of sparrows landing on the carpet, ready
to steal every stray crumb without causing
alarm—these efficient workers go about
their gleaning under chairs and boots
and from a child’s small hand . . .

This hour of travelers cast adrift
in shades of periwinkle and charcoal;
everyone’s dream picked clean.

M.J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College; and since 2000 to present, is a part time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with students, K-12, in Rochester, NY, and surrounding area. Most recently, she was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, 2017. She has four full length poetry collections, This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017), Small Worlds Floating (2016) as well as Within Reach (2010) both from Cherry Grove Collections; Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003); and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, NY.