September 2018 Vol. III No. VIII
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!
Note: drop downs from the menu below sometimes take a few seconds to load.
We have a new publishing schedule!
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.
Cloud Bursting your Bubble
I am unable to set the table
and the chairs of my affairs
without attracting lightning
like a fork at a picnic
in a storm
which came shortly
after being warned
and so I am soaked
to the bone
like a skeleton holding
a collapsed umbrella
a quick cartoon
of a defendant
who is all wet
and then exonerating
himself in front of a jury
of my puritan peers
who are really just
people in a hurry
to get home
and attend to their own
the bottom line is . . .
we all think we are all that
but the truth is
nobody really cares
Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ivan has written five published novels, as well as a poetry book and his poetry has been widely published in a variety of literary media.
over strong black coffee
in a white café style cup.
blue veined hands rummage
through thinning white hair,
long bony fingers with
a nervous twitch.
lost between sips
the rain falls
we are dry and warm.
i smile but you’re looking
outside and i realize
it’s a waste.
growl at your inattentiveness
and realize you hear nothing —
the hearing aid
cocked on its side
by your steaming cup
and the channel changes
to a warm sunny day.
R.D. McManes is the author of seven poetry books. He has been a featured poet on four occasions and has conducted poetry workshops for the Kansas Author’s Club. Mr. McManes has been writing poetry for over 50 years.
Riding the subway
too young and dumb
to be scared
and forgotten stops
along the way
like missing teeth
on a comb
I lean my head
on the girl’s shoulder
she smells of wine
her hair tickles my words
I’m writing a poem
in my head
she’ll never see
by the time we reach
the last stop
I’ll have forgotten her name.
MICHAEL MINASSIAN is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online magazine. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist (2010) and photography: Around the Bend (2017).
At dawn near the river
frost like nightgowns
laces trees, grasses, bushes
to reach valley sleep
as on the western mountain
sunlight moves down
like pulling a chair out
from under a table
to sit down to breakfast
cozy in the kitchen
thawing last night’s chill
to steamy coffee
like wisps of fog rising
from the river shivering
as ducks swim across.
HERE AND THERE
During the rainstorm
a lone mourning dove
sits on the crossbar
of the chain-link fence —
shaking its head
until rain stops
when it shakes its head,
flaps its wings
still grasping the crossbar.
Like the dove
the cancer patient
attempts to shake off
more drops on her back
and remain clasped
to the crossbar
between here and there.
Diane Webster lives in Colorado. She enjoys drives in the mountains to view the wildlife and scenery and take amateur photographs. Her work has appeared in The Hurricane Review, Eunoia Review, Illya’ s Honey, and other literary magazines.
On Easter, after all the dyed eggs had dried for your hunt
and the Easter Bunny had come with his loot to sweeten
your breakfast as the stone still blocked our Arimethean door,
you put on your Oxford cloth and blazer for the service
of the high-church Episcopalians my people called gutter
Catholics just like they called the Unitarians atheists
in search of the remote possibility that there is a god.
You took communion with the flippant contempt of a
boy throwing stubbed cigarette butts in the offering plate.
The church is convenient for neighborhood Christianity,
being just around the block so we don’t have far to walk
in dress shoes and we don’t stain our fancy jackets with
too much sweat toward piety. After church you said,
I like Christmas better; no one dies in that story, and
went back home, to this place where I knew that
happiness unhappened, knowing, like I know the Easter
ending, that I bought this house, out of pity, from a woman
who inherited four nieces to stack in these dark corners
after a no-good brother-in-law beat her sister to death.
We see alcoves here we don’t visit, phantoms that life
never did inhabit, trashy recesses that won’t stay clean.
For this, out of pity, I paid full price. Bored, oppressed
by the weight of air in this house, as sturdy and remorseless
as its age in unloving hands, we left for the park and
I taught you to skip rocks, thinking how our house
skips nothing, leaving ripples all the same. Your image
in the water wavered, I heard the glide and plunk of rocks,
a perceptual entropy, the price of living here, of all places,
ringing the registers of what will be memory, cashing us out
to our last blasphemous tithe, stone by stone.
Pamela Sumners lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her spouse, a teenage kid, and three dogs.
It was winter
the only posies to be found
had been forced into bloom
in some distant hot house
that turned them into hybrids and
stole their scent away
I wrote you a letter
proposing a porch swing to share and
hours upon hours of unhurried conversation
Do you remember?
Finally spring has arrived
the flowers on my bedside table
are luscious sun-drenched yellow tulips and
the streets beneath my windows are ablaze
with magnificent blooms
As far back as I remember
once I had my longed-for-license-to-drive
in one hand and
the keys to my very own sleek automobile
in the other
i would celebrate spring's arrival
with a long drive to nowhere . . .
cruising with the top down and
the radio turned up loud
Springtime calls to another lucky girl behind the wheel of my cherished candy-Apple corvette
my sweet allegra
and I think the time has come to trade in
my porch swing wish with you
for a drive to nowhere in particular . . .
Perhaps a picnic
yummy things to eat
fried chicken . . . blackberry cobbler and
endless pitchers of Bellinis
made with Veuve Cliquot champagne!
You can drive
we can talk about poems . . . books . . . music . . .
. . . our separate histories . . .
. . . the gift of our friendship . . . cooking from the heart
and how we honor the storytellers
who were our earliest muses
Hours will pass un-noticed
whispers of wishes will come to settle
in our hearts and minds and
we will scribble the words
of friendship and connection
on the canvas of each other's souls
Though it is just a wish
whispered into the wind
I know that you will
pick it up . . . dust it off
and never forget the girl who wished you into it
Though we may never share a porch swing
take that leisurely drive on hidden roads
swig the finest of champagnes
or make angels in the snow
I celebrate the gift of our unlikely friendship
it is a blessing . . . a reason for joy
a reason for joy
and on this glorious spring afternoon
it is indeed enough
Jill Sharon Kimmelman
At Dusk on Lake Boomoseen
I wanted it to be a surprise, so
You walked with me without asking
Too much of what I wouldn’t say,
Past Chalet Row and the same dog
Barking us along, over the Float Bridge,
To almost where the dirt road flares
To meet Route 30. From the marsh
They sang baritone cacophonies.
It did not matter why they sang, or
That we couldn’t see their bull bodies,
Or even a glint of red giving away
Their eyes. Only that we stayed,
Until their song entered our blood
And lifted our knees home once again.
Glenn Pearl lives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, where he is employed as an administrative assistant at a trauma-informed therapy practice. This is the first publication of his work in a major literary outlet.
Where There’s a Scaffold
Where there’s a scaffold there’s an orchestra,
an orchestra enumerated, tilting, turning,
so if I were you I’d rent a swivel
or reclining chair
and rehabilitate a head of hair
or introduce a color-coded tooth.
If I were you I’d study dream symbology
or probability and butter my bread
on both sides and not be struck
by lightning twice.
Heikki Huotari is a retired math professor, the recipient of the Gambling the Aisle chapbook prize and the author of the collection, Fractal Idyll, which appeared in early 2018.