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Experimental & Form Poetry with editor Joseph E. Petta

Joe Petta.JPG

On Reading in an Aquarium


sheltered corner


comfortable darkness

(can’t conceal my red sneakers)

so close to —


flickering, colors of wet skin, slow-waving, unblinking eyes,

     pale versus glimmering,

emotionless mouths, here there everywhere, unconcerned

     dance of the deep



friend wrote this

(warm pride)

hopefully I’m not bothering anyone by sitting on the floor

I’m pretty sure the fish don’t mind.

mixture of feelings

cool, quiet, steady

motion, excitement, gratitude

(hello, my circumstances)

a silver —


— like an unexpected star —

breaks free

and rises, rises, rises



Maura Atwood is a theater teacher, actor, and poet currently living in Milwaukee. Her work has been published in Centrique Magazine, Artifact Nouveau, and Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts and Letters.

Homage to a Forgotten Form


Day dims into night

Night pales into unknown day

Has anything changed?

All appears as it had been

But yesterday is foreign

And tomorrow alien.



Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty-odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has published over two hundred fifty stories and poems, and five books. Ed sits on the review board of Bewildering Stories where he also manages several review editors.


Widely Inside


Kansas beyonds me

With fields well above my crows

Across skies that become my long-ago futures

          those never-returned echoing caws


And so widely inside

Kansas speaks past me

          its very air

Through those screen doors that haunt

Their lunging ways

          rusted with going


Kansas my brother

Your pancakes of sunrise

          like a feast of too far —

You worry my outwards

          burrowing deep into whatever

          oldens me more



Hiram Larew’s fourth collection of poems, Undone, was issued in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. Find more of his work on Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet and at



From the leper colony she sent her letter

Don’t you dare come near me again

Asked for an application for a restraining order

Against those who let her go

And said goodbye forever

When is Wisdom is When


I asked her what she regretted

She said nothing and — happily looked around

I asked her again a month later

It was basketball, she should’ve played basketball

Never started with soccer

                 no matter how much she loved it

And studied art, not business

And been left-handed, not right

And been Spanish, not American.

And born now, not then.

Born later, never, not in August, at least. 

Then kissed my forehead and rose.



Natalia Rainier Sloan was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She is 1/3 of the women-owned-and-operated music school in the suburbs of her home city, and 1/1 of the writer of these poems.


(or, I suppose when you mention it like that, we could have made different decisions)





















C. M. Preston is a Canadian poet currently attending the MFA program at The University of British Columbia.

all the salt #31


the wind picks up the putting out presses the stones into the faces that once believed they had enough stones makes sport-coats out twisters brings us another person on the floor of this earth so that we can sink past the tables of gods those folks that sit up straight when they eat they eat without looking at their full plates while the rest of us count our peas while we eat our peas while the wind brings us silt for our new scars the tray is the tray the whole world is a biography of the army growing sad but never growing sad enough to put down their arms



all the salt #32


i press hard to find the small ghosts of my time in the blue but all they show me is more blue all i wanted was more blue anyway so i keep poking through the rain like there might be a chest somewhere that i can challenge with this reality



all the salt #33


do not let the idea of god give you even more possibilities you are for the living or you are betting on the dead there is no other war



Darren C. Demaree is the author of fourteen poetry collections, most recently Unfinished Murder Ballads. He is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.

Raindrops on Window
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