“Frank,” “Random Access Memory,” and “Self-Portrait as Paintbrush”
by Erika Michael
There’s a portrait of me with
cousin Frank, he’s six I’m three,
taken at my first home in the USA,
a stone apartment building at Van
Cortland Park, bedrock segue to
the rest of our lives… Read more.
“Ache,” “A Burning Observed,” and “First Draft”
by Kimberly Phinney
I remember the honey blooms
on my grafted kalanchoe
and the bursting April storm clouds Read more.
“In the Fire Afterlife,” “Transplanted,” and “America’s Bullet”
by Keith Mark Gaboury
the Great Chicago Fire of 1871,
the Great Boston Fire of 1872,
and the Great San Francisco Fire of 1906
crowds the chemical space
of My Great-Grandma’s Kitchen Fire of 1977. Read more.
“Boating,” “Twin Sons,” and “Waking to No Child”
by Cleve Latham
Here on a yacht in the Gulf of Mexico,
as a shrimp boat burrows behind
through the cool, plowed path of our electric motors,
we drink another salty beer, our bare feet
sliding on the damp deck with each ocean wash. Read more.
“The Tale of a Fat Ugly Crow on a May Afternoon,” “Found,” and “It Began with an Ordinary Tuesday”
by Joanne Jagoda
In front of my living room window,
on a splendid May afternoon, warm and sunny,
a fat crow rapturously caws over its good fortune.
I watch in morbid fascination
as it tears apart a rodent.
Can’t fault the crow, a natural predator. Read more.
Ukraine, War Resistance, Hopes for Peace, Human Rights
by Gerard Sarnat
Stretched over 4.2 square miles, the Azovstal steel complex
is/ was a sprawling warren of rail lines, warehouses, coal furnaces, factories, chimneys
above essentially an underground city of tunnels seen as ideal for guerrilla warfare. Read more.
“For the Win,” “Unobstructed View” and “Asking the Time”
by Dave Buckhout
There is a photograph of the East Village that hangs on his wall . . .
Taken December 14, 1996, the subject matter: urban, brownstones unadorned, fire escapes to one side, cars parked bumper-to-bumper and of makes, models, styles that carbon-date the instant. Read more.
“Ophelia,” “Emotional Hangover” and “My Strength Test”
by H.B. Wayne
It saddens me that I am nothing waiting to be something
Never established yet deeply rooted
Hard to remember impossible to forget
Crisp Midwestern autumn
Chilled New England nights
A southern summer whirlwind
that haunts and tugs and teases Read more.
“moon milk,” “the silence and distortion” and “soft fire”
by Jennifer Platts-Fanning
that vulnerable space, between thigh and throat
between tongue, and depleted serotonin
of rotten apple clusters seething with life
of elegantly draped
heavily dusted spider webs
looking more like torn rags from the thickness Read more.
“Interval 101,” “Interval 103” and “Interval 114”
by Ray Malone
first step, to take up the pen,
a piece of paper then,
as white and infinite
as the light— Read more.
“Bangweulu,” “Ing’ombe Ilede (A Sleeping Cow)” and “Farewell Saliya”
by Palisa Muchimba
Like a multi-faceted realm
home to the great wetlands & floodplains
Lies a pool of water
that lures you to stay
~ where the water meets the sky ~ Read more.
“The Mystic Owl” and “Vines”
by David Cazden
At dusk, a barn
owl puts on a riding coat
of gray-white feathers
and mounts a horse of air.
he brings silent death
to mice and voles
in fields beside our home. Read more.
“Forget the Alamo,” “Eliot Ness Noir” and “Major Case”
by Robert Eugene Rubino
At the aptly named Jackson Theater
when you were twelve
you saw John Wayne’s visually ambitious
version of The Alamo
— yet another story already told to you through TV
— and so of course yet another lie. Read more.
“The Temple,” “Alexandria” and “Mother’s Lament”
by Nathan Mears
In my early, disruptive thirties,
I wondered through
An aimless, broken land,
With a slew of past sins as my guide.
Along my travels,
I found a temple made of marble stone
Standing in the middle of nowhere. Read more.
by B.P. Rosenbluth
Sleepless cities hate shutting down, but also,
Distancing protocols dismantle congregations in dozy towns.
Trauma afflicts the already jobless.
New York nights avoid turning dark & idle,
Yet theatres close-down & spotlights shut-off,
Covid has proven that seductive consumptions are not worth the cough. Read more.
“Earthquake,” “Reflection” and “What Remains”
by Linda Laderman
Flying home from Seattle,
A man behind me mentions
The 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
I turn to see if it is you. A crazy thought.
Why would you be here?
Fifteen years since I heard your voice.
Still, I recall its timbre.
When you talked it sounded as if
You had a mouthful of stones. Read more.
“In the Quiet Room,” “Watching Her Niece Marry Jesus in the ‘60s” and “Sirens Howling Overhead”
by David Goodrum
I walk back from intensive care,
automatically shuffle for solitaire
and report the numbers to siblings
as I try to deal:
pressure urine cc’s and temp,
peeling off the first three cards
and nothing changing. Read more.
“Loss,” “Walking the dog” and “How It Began”
by Patricia Hemminger
I’ve read that visual memories
are easier to recall than words,
so when I can’t remember the name
of the tree by the garden hedge
white blossoms in springtime,
I think of our dog, Finn, basking
beneath it, long ears stroking the earth,
know it is a dogwood tree. Read more.
“Faded Blue,” “The Soft Dust of Memory Settles on My Tongue” and “August Lust”
by Tiffany Santos
Waking at 6:00 am, she would sit all day on a wooden stool,
listening to country music on a radio.
Coffee gave her the neuralgia along her nose, so she gave it up years ago,
drank hot water from McDonald’s Styrofoam cups.
Only bone and sinew, papery, thin skin,
her gnarled hands could crush
plants or animals or a small child. Read more.
“Chicago (After Ginsberg),” “When You Spot Your Flower” and “The Spring-Bringer”
by Julie Benesh
Chicago I fell in love with you at first sight in May 1975.
I wore that green dress and you wore the Lake.
You were the Big Man in the Midwest.
I was 15, you were 138.
I gave you the best years of my life when I thought you had given them to me. Read more.
“Fear of Missing Out,” “Inscrutable” and “Grace”
by J.E. O'Leary
in a deliberate silence, there are no words really,
except those you might expect,
describing what you’re hearing to yourself.
to me they’re describing the winter white noise:
radiators, cars idling outside, Read more.
“…Again,” “Be Excited, But Stay Grounded” and “Poster”
by Flan Daniels
Is it at the wake of dawn,
On the front porch of a chipped Victorian,
Naïve eyes wandering above the oaks’ thinning
Hairline in the East; is it in the shadow
Of a lamp, reflecting on stars’ sacred tease,
Window shades offering the seasons? Read more.
“Fred’s Theory of Relativity” and “Heaven’s Rules”
by Mark Williams
“Stupid is as stupid does,” said Forest Gump. So true.
Like the time nine-year-old me, batting eighth,
squared around to bunt and took a Larry Broerman
fastball in the groin that dropped me to the ground,
where the coaches and umps huddled around
and unbuttoned my pants so I could breathe. Read more.
“A Move More Permanent,” “Main Character” and “Snail”
by Kira Rosemarie
Invisible in the everyday view of my myopic mind,
The breezes blow palm fronds into
Paintbrush-stiff attention on the edges of I-95.
So rarely now do I look up
And see the lemon twist of sunlight in the trees
That I’m shocked my eyes still recognize color. Read more.