January & February 2019
Vol IV No I
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!
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Free Verse Poetry Page with Suzanne Robinson
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like visiting a prison
out of one-sided
she’s in bed
all the time now,
not moving much —
she might as well
to the wall.
you sit quietly
and tell her
about your day
to no coherent
in the eyes
and banging silently
on the walls.
DS Maolalaí is a poet from Ireland, writing and publishing for 10 years. He published Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden in 2016 with the Encircle Press. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and twice for the Pushcart Prize.
When I got on the train
the man was talking
and I knew he would still be talking
when I got off in fifty minutes.
was mostly talking about Bob.
“Yea he is okay but you know”.
He said in a way that only people who are used to talking, talk.
He is still talking now
perhaps he never stops as long as he has someone to listen.
My mother would say
he could talk the legs off a donkey.
This guy could talk the legs off of thousands.
As I thought about this I took another look at him
and pictured him in a field
talking to a donkey with others behind
and a big pile of donkey’s legs all piled up.
He got off at Clapham junction
and once again I could see him in that field.
Marc Carver writes because he has to write. He knows it makes him very lonely in the world, always having to step back, but at least sometimes he finds something worth sharing.
My next poem will sound like someone else.
It will be brave, change someone’s mind
about poverty. My next poem will be a recipe:
I’ll teach ‘em how to cook daddy’s squirrel
potpie, rub pork ribs the right way,
mash potatoes like a man and bacon—
wrap their vegetables tight. My next poem
will be skinny from smoking: a backyard
barbeque, some prayer candles and maybe
a firecracker or two. My next poem will
be patriotic: there will be guns in it, because
how else will it defend itself? My next poem
will destroy, fire wrongly, and kill a child.
My next poem will stand for brotherly love,
Philadelphia, like it belongs there. It’ll say
hoagies and jimmies and freedom. It will
reek of Yuengling, stumble through South Street,
steal Thanksgiving turkeys and eat bass
right out the Schuylkill. My next poem will be
a home-wrecker: the worst kind ever seen.
Crystal Stone is an MFA candidate at Iowa State University. Her poetry has appeared in various journals. In 2018, she gave a TEDx talk called, “The Transformative Power of Poetry.” Her first collection of poetry is Knock-off Monarch (Dawn Valley Press.)
Like Wind Invisible
I used to think I wasn’t there,
but now I know I’m invisible.
I blow in that woman’s ear;
I trip that man who scowls
at the sidewalk;
I contort faces at the 6 year old
pouting at the table beside me;
I bark at the pit bull cocking its head
for a better listen.
I skip through crowds of people
and almost touch them
so they startle backward
for a moment then hope
no one saw them flinch
as everyone looks at everyone,
but no one sees me
as I flip that guy’s hat
into the street.
I am invisible!
Diane Webster’s goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everything. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Illya’s Honey, River Poets Journal, and other literary magazines.
Asking Dad for Her Hand in Marriage
Her father is in his living room
sitting on a recliner
watching a football game.
I hold out my hand and he nods
tells me to sit down.
Black rimmed glasses glow
from the light of the TV.
A chili cheese nacho
and imported beer belly
rise and fall
like a burial mound
trying to disgorge its dead.
He says he loves his daughter
and he’s a traditional man.
Am I good enough for her?
Do I come from a decent family?
Can I advance in my career?
I tell him I am better
than her last husband:
a coke-snorting poker addict,
the one he previously approved.
My parents have been married
for over forty years
longer than all of his marriages combined.
I never cheated on a woman
never got caught embezzling company funds
never claimed to be traditional
when I was not.
I also sincerely detest football.
He asks me to leave.
I say the wedding is next June.
John David Muth’s poems have appeared in San Pedro River Review, Verse-Virtual, US 1 Worksheets, and in other publications. His latest book, Odysseus in Absaroka (Aldrich Press), was published in 2018 and can be found on Amazon.com.
Younger Than I
Graffiti sprayed and faded
cracked glass and shuttered blinds
leaning warehouse, padlocked gates
an urban cliché with directions intact
act or not act, one way or the other
It’s all the same. I imagine.
as I enter a narrow black room
and listen to the night’s performance
before congratulating the singer
who used to be one of my students
I know enough to get it, but
not enough to get gone. We talk
Happily nervous, excitedly sad
trying to be tough — edgy
post-modern and creative
in a post-patriarchal world
The little girl she used to be
disowned and reclaimed
emerges, eager for acceptance
Don’t let them get in your head
I say, trying to ease the pain
remembering how alone it was
for me back in the day
and probably still is
Keep doing what you’re doing
everywhere is somewhere
flowers bloom on icy cliffs as
followers run frightened
towards cyber validation
no one’s got the answers
no one’s got the key
no one is a teacher, but
hopefully we’re all students
dressed in dark mahogany
pressing on together with
kindness and humility
Alabama state roads guide me
On my pilgrimage to Muscle Shoals
Bobby and Aretha. The Swampers
Mick and Keith. Pops and Mavis.
Putting music on the map, all the colored lines
Twisted and drawn, taking me all the way
She’s got to know that she’s needed around
Listen and look. Make sure you’re sanctified
On the right side of the road
Cotton fields kiss the asphalt
The end of the picking season — holes
In the picture. A blanket of white unfolds
Meeting the trees on the horizon line
Mystery branches blown to bits by the elements
Calloused hands, bent backs, toil unimagined
Sweating. Shackled. Shouting.
Families ripped asunder. Guns. Soldiers.
Tramping through the field, towards death.
Young men doing their father’s bidding.
I long for the day when there is no past
Since this is still the present.
Doug Hoekstra’s poems and stories have appeared in numerous journals. With two book-length collections of stories to his name, he is also a musician, with nine CDs out on US and European labels. https://doughoekstra.wordpress.com