April 2018 Vol. III No. IV
Not your ordinary poetry magazine!
If good coffee (or just the concept of coffee), great books, sharp wit, and great authors excite you, we are for you!
General Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
Use links at the bottom of this page, or the drop down menu above, to connect to our other poetry pages.
Welcome To The New Dance
You answer your cell and I begin
Whispering. We are going through
Climate change inside our bodies.
It can’t be any other way since we
Are weaved inside the natural system
We falsely see as outside. The bacteria
The mitochondria, are altering in
Ways we can’t as yet perceive, and
Changing your sacred flesh and organs,
Your skin and eyes. The micro plastic
Particles slide around your cells
As they slide around the oceans.
Tests exist that measure your levels.
This has been a message from the
Ever faithful muse. I trust that you
Will do your part to spread the news.
Chuck Taylor lives in the hill country of Texas and spends time canoeing spring fed rivers and hiking limestone trails. He’s
published two memoirs, two novels, and eight poetry books.
Beyond the café window,
snowfall plots to make the campus a canvas.
Why is memory like that handful of breadcrumbs
tossed to birds by a boy?
And what does that boy think? Only he knows,
sunlight hammering through cloud-cover
like penance handed down by a disgraced priest,
and flake by flake,
inch by inch,
the past deepens,
and for a split second I’m him,
before he turns into a sapling I saw once in a pastel painting,
leaning into the wind
because the artist knew we want what weathers us most.
There’s such resentment.
In the bare branches. In the starlings. In the boy,
laughing, trying to lick the air,
snowflakes dissolving on his tongue.
He knows how to handle the past.
For him, seconds don’t chisel like a pickaxe,
his heart is not an abandoned hornet nest,
he has no memory, yet—
suddenly frightened by a fire alarm,
until someone yells it’s just a drill.
Domenic Scopa is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. His poetry and translations have been widely featured.
You lean into this tree as if its roots
struck something made from wood
no longer moves, became an island
with mountains laid out in rows
and though they have no arms
they open them when someone
is left close by — under such a weight
their hands break apart the Earth
from feeling their way around it
grave after grave, blinded by moonlight
as the chunks you never saved
form this nearly empty night
with nothing but the bright green hole
this dying tree drains, keeps dry
between what you wanted and the shine.
From inches away his finger can’t miss
— the other kid plays dead, falls arm over arm
the way all games come with a well
are filled with wishes hardened into stones
sure the Earth would go along
though there’s no splash — what you hear
is the thud that purifies each death
as one aimless night followed by another
overflowing and this park
becomes the sudden laughter
you no longer get to be
are waiting for this dry wooden bench
to open, let you in, hear the stream
stones hear when young, not yet
sent to the bottom even in the afternoon.
You squint as if its cries could fit
and in the same pot this egg
lowered to the bottom — each wave
learns from the others just how much
end over end heats an inside
that has no shell, becomes a sea
overflows the way you dead are buried
embraced by a room filled with water
by walls built from wood and knots
and nails, has a door that opens up
whitewashed, sent out as daylight
all the time adding shoreline and salt.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Osiris Poems published by box of chalk, 2017.
Your sister’s dolls seemed to wait,
teetering on the shelf
for your nimble fingers
and eager stare
with a grin puffing up your cheeks.
They were so prim
in calico dresses
and lace, smiling saucer eyes
and blushing cheeks;
ready to fulfill their roles.
They let you do it.
Your deft fingers slide up
their legs, a swift flick
and they are upside down,
one by one, legs splayed.
They never protested
(even though sometimes you wished they did).
They never cried out,
even when your sister shrieked,
finding them like that.
They kept your secret.
They kept right on smiling,
your harem of dolls.
Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor who resides in Milwaukee, WI with her family. She can be found discussing her work on "The Poetry Professors" podcast (episode 107).
Black trash bag pretends to be
the car driver’s window breathing
out then in then out then in
as passing car winds attempt CPR
to revive the window’s up/down
mechanism stuck like a dead
open eye staring as blank
as the limp plastic bag.
Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in "The Hurricane Review," "Eunoia Review," "Illya's Honey," and other literary magazines.
She Rolls On
On her journey to absurdity
she discovered normalcy
was a lie, life a circle
not a box. She rolls
on now realizing
we all go round
spinning into the future
not knowing what tomorrow will bring
rendering any sense of normalcy as absurd.
Scott C. Kaestner is a Los Angeles poet, husband, dad, and year round eater of blueberries. Google 'scott kaestner poetry' to peruse his musings and doings.
Was It Love?
My mother used to send me down
To the store with a note to buy
For her, the Chesterfields,
And later it was the L&M's
I'd hand the lady behind the counter
The note and money and she'd
Read the note knowing I was
Too small to write in script
And always with a smile she'd
Hand me the cigarettes. Later in
The day my mother'd send me down
To the IGA for bread or eggs.
I'd take my time, cut through
The field across where the hobos
Made their camp in the thirties,
Then in front of the fire station
Whose bay doors were always open
To catch sight of the big red trucks
Washed and gleaming. I might
Tarry a while kicking weeds up close
To the retail buildings for bottles
To return to the grocery store
For spare change. Two cents
On a bottle and bring in three
Put you a penny ahead of the
Five it took to buy a candy bar.
I never thought of criminals
On these suburban streets
Except in my mind's own
Romantic fantasies, party
Based on what I saw at home
On our black and white TV,
The first of our neighborhood.
My mother first had tried to
Throw herself into the joys
Of domestic life, but as time
Went by she took on
The rocky shape of bitterness –
Never a thought of going
Back to do her doctor work.
She once had done with
My father at the hospital,
Not reading anymore,
Not doing her watercolors,
And as the years went by
She stayed more and more
In the bedroom, smoking
Cigarettes, till one night when
I was in my teenage years,
She set the mattress on fire
And my dad and I had to
Haul it smoking to the backyard
In the early morning dark
And soak and soak the mattress
With the water hose while she
Stretched out on the couch
In the living room so
Embarrassed she needed
To pretend to be asleep,
And later on I helped to
Carry her to the car
Two times after two
Suicide attempts, and then
Went to see her in the
Hospital psyche ward.
She died in a hospital
Two miles from where
I lived. My father was
Gone. My sister had
Grown to be as nuts
As my mother had been.
I watched over her
As best as I could.
I was sixty-one and
My mother, she lived
To be eighty-four.
asked the pen
to sentence it
in a poem
Soodabeh Saeidnia was born in Iran and has published a collection of her poems, “Harfhaee- Baraye- Khodam” (Words for myself) and “A Poem and Three Generations” in Farsi.