“…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.
“seen // unsent”
by Kate MacAlister
it split my lip // I will always be a little bit in love with you… too
just a little bit // more and we would witness the shadows of
some sort of situation alienated // a surplus fairytale of a couple of normative years Read more.
“Words,” “Paradoxical Undressing” and “They Say Trauma Makes the Best Art”
by Sabrina Herrmann
I didn’t like animals
until I started naming them.
The intimate knowledge
of a word,
a string of syllables,
made everything safe. 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.
“To the Race of Giant Fiberglass People Standing in Front of Illinois Businesses,” “On the Burlington Formation” and “Surprised by Phenology”
by Steve Fay
I want you to know I honor
each of you, how your shadows
fully cross our streets
just after dawn, how you never bend to ridicule, or to rain, how you never lower
your standards, or your arms. Read more.
“Objects,” “Womanhood” and “3awrah”
by Hejaz Jalal
This boy that I loved, my first love, named parts of me
Names full of admiration
Names that never addressed me
Foreign names of white women
Aurora I don’t like those names Read more.
“Kane Ranch,” “LA” and “With Holly in the West Village”
by Ron Tobey
migrants call, no formality of naming, their ox or mule pulled wagons “schooners” little more than buckboards with front plank bench hand-pulled brake no suspension wood wheels wood spokes rusting iron rims sun shield metal-ribbed white canvas hoods ceaseless wind shakes Read more.
“Cousins,” “Origins” and “Lurking”
by Deborah Filanowski
Crickets signal the need for sacrifice, a thanks for good harvest, appeasement for the war gods of winter. The frost is overdue. Near the end of October, the mosquitoes hum and bite as I still sit on the front porch. Read more.
“The World Is a Savage Place,” “Moon Prayer” and “Soft Body”
by Christen Lee
The world is a savage place. Have you read the news today? Surveyed rural highways, An elegy to wildlife speared by cars like arrows from the crossbow? Felt life fade from the one clutched in your arms? Seen a man sink to his knees as you whisper “She’s gone”? Read more.
“White on Glass,” “Auto-Genesis” and “Foreground and Background”
by Jacob Weil
I remember being thirteen
And the snow falling so completely
On the windshield.
It was as if I were alone. So sudden and delicate. A single open window in which the cold light expands. Read more.
“Nana’s Hutch” and “Untamed”
by MD Bier
I loved you since I was a small child. We all did. You went to my aunt first. Then me. Initially there was a little jealousy. My aunt lavishly gave out other heirlooms to compensate. My grandfather created a special built-in place ~ a cut out in the dining room wall. You fit there perfectly. Read more.
“Journey’s End,” “At the Breakfast Table” and “Ode to the Waltz”
by Malcolm Glass
The old canoe rests on the sand
at lake’s edge, its stern still
in the water. How many
strokes of the paddle wore away
the varnish on the gunwales?
Many. So many. And years
of sunlight and rain. Years
of snow and wind. Read more.
“Why Our Marriage Works” and “The Widow Sifts Through the Rubble”
by Linda Drach
You sing songs to the pug in your fake Cantonese
and seem surprised when he doesn’t understand. You make coffee
a party: dark-roasted beans, gleaming French presses, and hand-thrown
mugs plucked from thrift-store shelves. Read more.
“Three Breaths,” “They Come in Rotation” and “He Lies Dying”
by Julia McDonald
1. Here I am
His creased dress-pants hang on bony anatomy:
pelvic brim, iliac crest. Long foreleg ankles without socks.
I don’t know why a Nuer, reputed to walk for days without rest,
measuring the horizon with metronomic femurs and tibia
reminds me of my adolescent father, but he does. Read more.
“Gwembe Valley” and “Saliya’s Calabashes”
by Palisa Muchimba
Valley of the living
Valley of the dead
You call me back to my roots
Here, I can pause & look
I see my people
I see me
Who am I?
I am a part of Gwembe Read more.
“No Elegy for Jasper,” “A Day at the Wharf” and “The Giraffe Mural on Harrison St.”
by Joanne Jagoda
There will be no words,
no tributes, sonnets or verses of consolation,
borrowed from the great poets or philosophers
for an angel called up too soon.
Only the cries of infinite mourning rambles will reach the heavens. Read more.
“Why I Wear the Hijab” and “Octopus”
by Ilari Pass
اماذا أر تديي الحجاب
The clouds are filled with rain
but they do not bring rain
just like a woman
does not bring any current
so, look again Read more.
“Is This Thing Loaded?” “Junk Mail” and “New(s) Headlines”
by Tina Lear
It’s late, and I’m doing the last dishes
of the day. I rinse them, swing the door down,
pull out the lower rack, and then
I sigh. Every time.
Someone designed this machine with a lot of thought. There is a right way to load it. Read more.
“A girl called Time,” “Sleep” and “Sunfall”
by Freddy Lond
Once she’d been busy,
hard to get in touch with,
too cool for the likes of me.
Now she’s here to stay,
not leaving me for a second, Read more.
“Glass Coffin” and “See You at the Air Down”
by Trapper Markelz
I’m not going to be famous,
but my kids might remember me.
Perhaps I’ll have the luck
to kiss a child and be forgotten,
a lingering creation left upon the earth,
consumed by a mad dash to replace us all. Read more.
“What I Learned from Someone I Love” and “Exploring”
by Ian Naranjo
Tell your kids that love is essential but do not love yourself. Keep a spider inside your shoulder. Let it tuck itself there as it protects a lead ball residing in your stomach. Read more.