July & August 2019
Vol IV 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!
Tip: if it is underlined it is a clickable link.
Note: drop downs from the menu below sometimes take a few seconds to load.
Free Verse 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.
The first time we met for coffee,
conversation dripped and poured. Steam billowed:
truth does not grow lukewarm
like an overpriced latte.
Crowded coffee shops become the catch-all
for friends seeking common ground
over the sound of coffee grounds grinding
against metal claws, like the strain of years past.
Your reflection in the cup stained by brew,
crinkled years pressed between textbook pages,
the difference stark as hot vapor in cold air;
your look older with a mug pressed to your lips.
A strained goodbye as you walk me to my car,
I hear your voice through the rain,
and though words feel cooler than before,
old friends bring a warm buzz to this tired heart.
Jordan Beamer is an English Major who wrote her first poem about a school bus at age seven, though she had never ridden one. She is currently working on a poetry collection.
She used to let me stack every tin can
from her pantry
into a massive skyscraper
nearly as tall as my five year old self,
and then knock them down with a crash
onto the tiled kitchen floor,
as I laughed
and she laughed.
Then she’d get down on her knees
and help me gather them all up,
so I could do it again.
I’ve been up for four hours already,
and remembering this
is the first thing
that made me smile.
Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey, and currently lives in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse and confessional poetry. His work has been published in numerous blogs and online journals.
I see shavings of time
curled in gutters
waiting for rain
this world of clamouring
of spotlight searching
where wristwatches are quaint
or worn ironically
this world exists
only when my eyes are open
Steve Denehan lives in Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Best New Poet and his chapbook, Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong, is available from Fowlpox Press.
I’d rest, too,
Marooned in a neighborhood
Older than danger
In a slum.
I lived too long
I said before they
Hauled me out
Below rusting fire escapes.
Cried and shouted
Wild in their play until
They surpassed my doubts.
Neighbors stood by, gutless trees
Irked with such ghosts;
The community will never survive,
And the neighbors sneer—
The trees’ cold twigs snap.
Snapping is what they do well.
Dick Bentley’s books, Post-Freudian Dreaming, A General Theory of Desire, and All Rise, are available on Amazon. He won the Paris Writers’ Paris Review’s International Fiction Award and has published over 280 works of fiction, poetry, and memoir worldwide.
Like forgotten flags from defunct nations
I placed them on the bed
Limp, synthetic, pastel rags
Which should l choose for her burial gown?
Pallid florals did not befit the memory of my mother
Rather, there should be clothing of
Blood red for her anger
Midnight black for her depression
White for her surrender
Rouge, noir, blanc
Pain, heartbreak, defeat
I threw them all away, detritus
I buried her in a white dress
Joanne Easley lives on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country with her husband, three rescue terriers, and abundant wildlife — where she devotes her time to writing.
There is no straight man in the world
said starry eyed Rima, as we returned
from the Damascus book fair where,
for the hundredth time, I fell in love.
No straight man in the world—
only cheaters, pimps, addicts, & bores.
Rima passed her days on the rooftop
watching the world unfurl,
watching her rivals fall in love.
She once had a man more beautiful
than herself, she said.
She didn’t want children.
She wanted just a touch, a hand,
to grant release from
her celestial observatory,
to aim arrows at her stars.
Damascus in the month of Ramadan
is an affliction that multiplies hourly
the hunger inside, the longing to be touched,
until prayer brings roof banging at dawn.
I thought I had bested Rima’s forecasts.
Until the plane landed. I tried
to remember the name of the book fair man
whose smile had stolen my heart.
His syllables merged with others’ words.
His nomadic soul hitched onto Rima’s stars.
Rebecca Ruth Gould's poems and translations have appeared in Nimrod, Kenyon Review, Tin House, The Hudson Review, Waxwing, Wasafiri, and Poetry Wales. She has translated books from Persian, Russian, and Georgian, including poems of Hasan Sijzi and stories by Vazha-Pshavela.
I should have known
that day in Riverside Park
when the sight of a three-legged dog
seared my four-year-old mind
that this was going to be
an imperfect world.
Kenneth Salzmann’s poems appear in numerous print and online journals and anthologies. His recent book, The Last Jazz Fan And Other Poems, is available on Amazon.
I am creative and
I am bipolar but I am
Not creative because I
Am bipolar, did you hear that
Hollywood? Take a look
Because sometimes when I’m
Manic I’m not frantically scribbling
Rhymes or lines but
Curled up in a ball terrified
Of what I might do, mistakes
I might make and then I’m not sure
How much I can take
It’s not glamorous
To stay up all night
Where the sun
Feels so far away and darkness feels
So heavy like you’re Atlas on one of his
In real life our
Eyes get puffy from crying
In real life there are problems
With the pharmacy
In real life bipolar is not beautiful
And the insurance is screwed up
And you’re rocking back and forth
Half naked, when did I see that
In a movie, I only see it in the
Mirror, I only see it in memories of my
Last manic disaster
I am creative and I am bipolar
I am not creative because I am bipolar
I am creative, in spite of it
Catherine Moscatt is a 22-year-old counseling and human services major. She enjoys basketball, loud music, and terrible horror movies. Her poetry has been published in several magazines including Sick Lit Magazine, Phree Write Magazine, and The Muse - An International Journal of Poetry.
At Cape Elizabeth, we feast
from the sea, pulling the white-
pink meat from its broken hull
with our hands; drinking the salty
orbs from their luminous
shells. The sea winds whisk
our bodies, the mollusks cling
to the wet, black rocks. The sun
slips into a bright sleep. Among
the shorebirds we are barefoot,
hushed, and free as children.
Previously published in The Pinkley Press.
Emily Patterson received the Marie Drennan Prize for Poetry at Ohio Wesleyan University. Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Journal, catheXis Northwest Press, Eunoia Review, Pinkley Press, and elsewhere.
A route I could drive with my eyes closed
The winding turn we always drove a little too fast
Take a left, there it is, on the corner, the one with the big tree out front.
Home. somebody else’s. not mine, not anymore. not for a long time now.
But still I come back. usually when I’m missing the way things used to be.
Longing for regression, back to before things became this way.
Slight differences, barely noticeable if you aren’t looking.
The changes are few and far between.
I can still see where everything used to be.
I can still hear the creak of the screen door,
Exposing me in the middle of the night, past curfew.
This was a home once. Now it is just a house.
1500 square feet
Used to hold all of my memories
But must make room to hold someone else’s now.
I can’t stay too long, it’s no longer my place.
I might return, just to reflect
On the way things used to be.
Shannon Holcomb writes poetry mostly when she is missing things, or the way things used to be.
When the Serial Killer Came to Kill Me, I Asked Him to Kill the Cat Instead
but he said that was too cruel, that the cat was so harmless, so small.
I tried to argue that I’m under six foot, but he said he could tell
that I didn’t care when there was turbulence on the plane. Who the hell
does that? You’re supposed to grip your seat. You take a pill,
drink the microscopic vodka, pray like an Episcopalian from Chapel Hill,
but no, the serial killer said, you have wished for this, made the call
for my arrival and I don’t know why I did this, but I pointed at his dull
shoes, said he should dress better, recommended he steal a pair from a doll-
house. He was small too, the serial killer, the size of a lamp. He said he fell
in love with biology in tenth grade, how the body is so darn full
of alarms of eyes, of maps of lips, of jails for veins. A troll
came out of the cupboard, told us to pipe down. Who’d want to dwell
with beans with bacon soup? With old crackers? And like a numbskull
I turned my back on the serial killer. I could feel the push and pull
of the mace on my latissimus dorsi, the way sleep started to bankroll
into a head. In the ruckus I’d knocked over a table, the fridge, an inkwell,
the colors eating us. Standup comedy on the radio, everything at a standstill.
Ron Riekki’s books include U.P., Posttraumatic, the upcoming My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction, and i have been warned not to write about this.
Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Suzanne Robinson by issue:
May 2019 March 2019 January 2019 November 2018 September 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017
January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016
Archive of Free Verse Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch by issue: