Author: admin

Lorette C. Luzajic – Four Peacocks

These are the things I contemplated as I walked among the peacocks at the Museo Dolores Olmeda estate grounds in Mexico City, taking pictures. I was surrounded by unspeakable beauty, by the kind of bird who coyly looked me in the eye and then spread out his fan of a tail for me in all its glory.

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Diana Raab – Five Poems

In Buddhism texts, there’s often a reference to the beauty of nature—the trees, the flowers, the mountains, and the animals. The lotus, which is often seen in Buddhist realms, is one of the most beautiful flowers. The way it grows in the mud and erupts into a spectacular living thing is phenomenal.

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Armine Kotin Mortimer – Glenn Gould – Excerpt from Sollers

Separate yourself, take your distance, act as though you are not playing, as though you are not even hearing yourself. The error consists in believing that one is doing what one is doing when doing it. Above all, don’t attempt to attain silence or empty space. That is a pose. On the contrary, play as if you were in the middle of the street, at the heart of the racket…

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Douglas Cole – Fukushima

… Beauty is the back door with white spider webs in the corners I open and see the sun over that high grass and I am only three and lift my arms to that warm light thinking that’s where I came from. Beauty is a face in a shroud in a cloud in a crowded market, a deaf-mute handing me a pamphlet that says Blessed are the Thankful as I’m picking out an avocado.

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Uche Ogbuji – Four Poems

Beauty works up desire. Looking down an aspen valley in color from a mountain pass, one cannot hope to possess what they see, but they are compelled to return. When a poem lets beauty in at the eye–like love in the Yeats’s Drinking Song–or by the ear, the perceiver gains the pleasure of wonder that slowly sweeps through them, ever elusive.

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Fabrice Poussin – Five Photographs

Fabrice Poussin – Five Photographs Sleeping Storm  World Afire   Weary   Rebirth    Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and more than a dozen other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Magazine and more than sixty other publications. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

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Kathleen Kirk – Three Poems

I remember seeing a golden tree out a third-floor window of a college building and not being able to move, turned to gold myself by its arresting beauty. Yes, I wrote a poem about it, and it was in the college literary magazine, also solidifying for me the connection between poetry & beauty.

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David Mason – Three Poems

David Mason – Three Poems From the chapter “Davey’s Blue Monday” in the novella in verse, Davey McGravy: Tales to be Read Aloud to Children and Adult Children Around the Bend He stepped over a root at the foot of a yew, and the trail went on beyond, and Davey stood on the dark, wet path, and thought about what he’d seen. His breath went into the day like mist. The woods were breathing too. An owl was talking somewhere ahead: “Who? To-who? To-who?” And a raven answered, “Now, now, now.” And Davey looked ahead, wondering if he should go. And...

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Jenny McBride – Before the Wedding

Jenny McBride Before the Wedding “Nobody sells eggbeaters anymore,” my mother said, her hand clenched tightly to Alice’s hundred year-old elbow, the four of us hobbling along like a roller skate with two chipped wheels.  “Everyone is using whisks instead.” “What’s this?” my grandma asked.  She yanked me to a stop and squinted at the closest store in the outdoor mall. “Crate and Barrel,” I replied, just a bit restless.  It was fun being the focus of a search for wedding gifts, but soon my fiancé would be getting off work and I wanted to be home when he...

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K. Carlton Johnson – Six Photographs

K. Carlton Johnson – Six Photographs K. Carlton Johnson K. Carlton Johnson K. Carlton Johnson   K. Carlton Johnson   K. Carlton Johnson   K. Carlton Johnson   K. Carlton Johnson’s work has appeared in Diner, Nassau Review, Connecticut Review, Barley South, and Muzzle, to mention just a few. She is both visual artist and poet. Her photography and paintings attest to the underlying continuity of creation that can inspire. She believes that we often take for granted our natural surroundings, so her work tries to make the observer look again and observe that art is all around us. Share...

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Ed Higgins – Grunion Fishing

Ed Higgins Grunion Fishing “Of course, most of the things I look back on fondly I never actually experienced.” –Jon Favreau As spilled on a sandy Corona del Mar beach both in moonlight and starlight so lovely and strangely sad as if receding still on the waves there in lost time or no time at all except for nostalgia now, or as it actually happened maybe those flickerings of pale silver on thousands of grunion making the whole surf-pounded beach alive with the magic incandescence of slender wriggling fish. And we two once waiting under bluish moonlight at high...

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Stephenson Muret – Heart Tectonics

Stephenson Muret Heart Tectonics Samantha came home different. Ken contemplated this. Just to the grocery store she had gone. For milk and kiwis. For nothing, really. But now she was different. “What are you thinking?” Ken asked. Samantha’s face turned to him. She looked at Ken in a new way. A criticism tinged her look now. A scrutiny. A judgment. She evaluated something. That was it, Ken thought. Was that it? For indifference edged the look too, neutrality. He could not divine its meaning. How long since he could not interpret Samantha’s expression? She was different. “What are you...

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Pat Hanahoe-Dosch – Three Poems

Pat Hanahoe-Dosch – Three Poems What the Tide Brings: Surf clams and quahogs, horse mussels and bay scallops, channeled whelks, skate egg casings, green and black strands of rockweed and kelp. A laughing gull and a least tern waddle and skip along the wrack line, stop to feast on a small skate, washed up dead. A great black-backed gull circles above, drops a clam onto the damp sand to break the shells and expose the flesh. A northern moon snail shell, empty between a cluster of seaweed and a dead spider crab. Alive, the snail can hug a clam...

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Sharon Scholl – Three Poems

Sharon Scholl – Three Poems The Subtleties of Distance As with stars, one against the other, no telling which is but a million light years hence, one a bright trillion winking deep within the Milky Way. So mountain folds over mountain, blue on blue diminished into lavender, until perspective is lost between the miles. Ocean waves vanish among breakers until sea and sky are one vast mélange. Across the distance of my years one event laps upon another, hurt melding into happiness until there is no way of knowing grace from loss. Playing the Blues I loft a note...

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John Grey – Three Poems

John Grey – Three Poems Completion Rate All complete. The pinkish charm of white clover flowers. Fern fronds that mirror the green of a hornbeam. Sky’s windy stage. Hints of mist like yesterday’s page one stories. Your face held together by a cordage of light. Hands descending like waterfalls. All complete. All lives content in the one. All complete. A profile in spruce. Eyes untouched since birth. Mouth shuffling closer, peels away the air’s silk cellophane. One kiss to displease the banality of a moment. A divine injunction. All complete. A breath endures. All complete. A day at two...

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Kelly Cherry – Aegea

Kelly Cherry   Aegea Eight hundred years: that’s how long it took to design and develop the space ark. It would hold a thousand people, chosen by lottery. Some thought we should have bred a generation of geniuses specifically for this purpose, but others of us felt that was rather Fascistic. Surprisingly, most older people—and the majority demographic was old—did not want to go. They preferred to die with Earth. It was home, after all. Of course, they also wanted us to take their children and grandchildren but we had to stick to the rules of the lottery. Thank...

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Darren Demaree – Two Poems

Darren Demaree – Two Poems   “You Try The Spirit By The Spirit” – J.W. Alexander A separation is a change in the light matter. Fusion is a dark matter. Stitches are a human need to heal with a thread’s kiss. How we move after the result is the enigma.   “Usually When He Was With A Woman Awhile. He Didn’t Want Her No More.” – S.R. Crain Unless you’re a good man, at a certain point, your life will be figuring out exactly what it is that you can get away with. If you’re Sam Cooke & the...

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Jayne Marek – Poems and Photographs

Jayne Marek – Poems and Photographs .Dippers The Wood Turner’s Shop, Itsukushima Framed by picture windows, the small wooden flasks stand in a harmony of browns and tans, shoulders nearly touching, ranked like dolls of graduated heights, some with a small bowl for a cap, others plain as tumblers, each singular in its beauty like koi floating in a glassy world of winter chill. A poem would walk into the shop, under the yellow fabric draped as a charm over the front door, wide open in January, would see a dog with curled tail, a small woman on a...

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Martin Golan – Jane’s First Time

Martin Golan   Jane’s First Time Michael and Jane arrived at the inn both planning to end the relationship. Their plan, kept private of course, was to hold off the “It’s not you, it’s me” until the weekend was over, to avoid an endless and uncomfortable drive back to the city. They were, after all, just too different: He had never been married; she had been married twice (Joe was a mistake from the start; Evan died of a heart attack two years after the divorce, the first good thing he did since it allowed her to transform from...

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Toti O’Brien – Pearls of Darkness

Toti O’Brien   Pearls of Darkness I have bought her a bracelet. While I glanced at it in the window, my ten fingers suggested it might be appropriate. Three strands—two were threaded with pearls of different size, texture and color (one strand even comprehended a pendant, a small butterfly); the third one held an oval watch framed by small purple crystals. Some elaborate knots kept the thing together, allowing widening and tightening in order to put it on, take it off. I felt it might be interesting touch-wise. Bring some pleasure, perhaps. I was sitting at her side when...

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Martin Willitts Jr – Four Poems

Martin Willitts Jr.  –  Four  Poems   Let Us Not Forget Based on “Let’s” by Ellen Bass Let us not forget the sun beats as a pair of eyelashes when startled and afraid. Let the skin of the sky blush because it is naked, the smoking color of fire ants building ziggurats of mounds before a flood. Let us not forget to give into temptation and kiss someone we have loved too long and not well enough, until they are delirious and their head rotates as a moon never not facing light. Let’s not forget to tap into that...

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Robert E. Wood – Thora And The Philosophers: The Early Years

Robert E. Wood – Thora And The Philosophers: The Early Years   Thora and Aristotle No footprint mars her lunar wondering, the first philosophy.   Thora and Socrates She knows the name of what she points to even the moon by day. The sun is too hot she says when it shines in her eyes. The questioning begins.   Thora and Plato Eating an ice cream cone slowly she remembers the sky’s geometry that sweet cold music.   Thora and Ptolemy She sets and rises travels in bright circles, makes harmony of carnival. Run swiftly, swiftly, horses of the...

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Beth Konkoski – Grandpa Visits

Beth Konkoski Grandpa Visits Nights when the wind is strong and memories steam like cocoa, my grandfather appears to tell my son he loves him. I have seen him, a small gust, dart behind the curtain when I come in to check before bed. I pretend not to notice the smell of his pipe, the shade of plaid he leaves when he moves. He must have something important to tell, something antique and great grandfatherly, perhaps earned from the varnish and wood of his history, the many chairs and buffets he brought back from their own dead places in...

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Ira Joel Haber – Six Photographs

Ira Joel Haber – Six Photographs Untitled Untitled Untitled   Untitled   Untitled   Untitled   Artist’s Statement My history with photography goes way back to my childhood. I always took photographs using hand me down cameras and cheap brownie cameras. I also made sun pictures and even did a few in my 50’s. In and out I had cameras usually second hand ones, or ones that friends gave me. Finally a few years ago I bought a digital camera and started photographing New York City. Photographs are not the only thing I do. I also make sculptures, collages...

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Matthew Friday – Three Poems

Matthew Friday – Three Poems The Unspilling Late October evening in Dresden a wintry darkness descending suddenly seagulls, cries everywhere. Look up, see spots of white milk on a grey-black cloth, unspilling, backwards, a galaxy of stars spinning in reverse, drawn into the gravity of a high crane, the roosting spot away from cold Elbe currents. Gulls dropping, jostling for place, milk resetting and the accident of Dawn waiting to happen again. Tree Swallows on a Golf Course Two Tree Swallows cut out contours of the golf course, roller-coasting over every dimple, dip, manicured dell, rising up ankle high...

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Charles Wyatt – Four Poems

Charles Wyatt – Four Poems   Grace Two cats summering under my neighbor’s dumpster. I put out food and water thinking the kitten sick and thin, possibly a mistake – the other cat looks healthy. Animal control doesn’t answer – then a truck hauls off the bin filled with demoed lumber – the cats watching from my front porch when I startle them away – it’s all moot, says Sylvester from his carpeted tower – Du Fu does not write of cats – Julio, my associate, has too much interest. Perhaps they have gone in search of greener meadows....

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Tree Riesener – Three Poems

Tree Riesener – Three Poems   in my room that night you collected bird song flowers all the green stuff of the world then from the mass of green you separated for me sycamore elderflower broom left a single wilted bloom on my pillow threw sugar on fire flames orange and blue   goblin gift for christina rossetti watching from shadow shy I leave near your hand white plate of banded gold plump unpecked cherries bright-fire-like barberries peaches with a velvet nap mint bruised and fragrant for your mouth honeysuckle’s one sweet drop pooling juices amber scarlet. please  ...

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Tricia Knoll – Two Poems

Tricia Knoll – Two Poems   Coloring Postcards Smorgasbord of mandalas, jellyfish and grasshoppers.A rack of 144 gel pens, fifteen with glitter. I can’t stay in the lines, reds drift over purples,my hands pull smudges, why poems need edits. You, at home, ill. You might like a bookmarkin the mail, made not well, just painstakingly picking neon greens, how many luminous bluesfill in the scales of an unbelievable fish.   Silence Learned like the smell in the gutterof an antique book in library stacks. The rest of a throat clearing itselfof trivial orders of obligation. The waiter who claims he’ll...

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Laura Foley – Three Poems

Laura Foley – Three Poems   Twice the Speed of Sound She waves to me from the coach window,shadowed glass reflecting summer trees,her face dappled by a scree of boughs and leavesI can’t see through—maples not yet reddening into fall—as she rides one plane after another over no rough seas,into no threatened war, no lack of easy communication;still, the space expands like the universe:galaxies begetting galaxies, worlds yet unnamed—despite phone calls bouncing from one far-flung towerto another, while our wide world keeps rolling under us,at twice the speed of sound.   When I Went Out This Morning When I...

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Christine Jackson – Three Poems

Christine Jackson – Three Poems Clam Flats Heartache Before dawn, I prepare to wade the lowest tide as the Narraguagus River drains to the Atlantic. I pull on a slicker to fend off a chill morning mist. Still clammy inside from yesterday, rubber boots never dry out. On the intertidal flats, I scan swirls of mud for a likely bed. Holes like raisins sunken into dough show where mindless creatures dwell. At each step, mud sucks at my boots, the rough insides scraping my bare heels. Boot prints dot the salt mire as if across a snowy field. I...

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John Whitworth – Freedom

John Whitworth   Freedom …think fredome mair to prys Than all the gold in warld that is. We saw the invaders’ fires in the valley. Their impious revels borne upon the breezes Stank in our nostrils like their rotting cheeses. At last we had no time to shilly-shally. Their devils’ fires were burning in the valley. We were the architects of our calamity. We had felt the iron fingers on our collars And paid a strong sufficiency of dollars To co-exist in spurious amity As willing architects of our calamity. They are come to desecrate our ancient places, They...

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Tobi Alfier – Five Poems

Tobi Alfier – Five Poems   The Man Lists the Wines He Can’t Live Without It’s the dregs he favors. Dried-blood red in the bottom of the glass, opaque wines that conjure Flamenco, sable guitars, castanets, the black trim of ruffled dresses on women both haughty and beautiful. The Spanish version of the Natchez Trace, music all night, celebrations from sundown to the first waking light, dregs replaced with café con leche for a short moment, then renewal of the ritual with a basket of bread and oxtail stew. Along the river he’s reminded that all this is fleeting....

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Robert Klein Engler – Cloister of the Zodiac

Robert Klein Engler Cloister of the Zodiac 1 It takes a while to learn there is a secret garden. Some only stumble upon it the way an artist stumbles upon a style after years of effort, and then effort becomes effortless. 2 Red—Yellow—Blue. Orange—Green—Purple. Primary or secondary. Together or alone. 3 A young man wants a new job. On his own, he needs money. That is why you see him naked, drawn out on cotton rag paper— frozen hard on a white wall. 4 I don’t draw children of the rich. They remind me of original sin, and why...

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Carolyn Gregory – Three Poems

Carolyn Gregory – Three Poems   At Sunset (after the painting, Evening, Rocky Neck, 1916, by John Sloan) The mother brings her children home across tall grass. A house leans on the edge of a hill sloping down to the ocean. Twilight falls around the day travelers in their Sunday clothes. Mother in a long white gown, son in clean overalls and the daughter in a yellow pinafore pointing toward the open harbor. Out there, the tall sloops lie at anchor as a small fishing boat returns. The sky rises with gold and peach, evening folding in ink. The...

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Larry Griffin – Peacock

Larry Griffin   Peacock Once down on Big Cabin Creek near my grandpa’s farm, beyond the bridge, there forever rusting, their fatal scream, for the Jumps have peafowls and cocks too with nothing to do but just strut around and often call out their varying alarm, so I become another you in the sound, still wound up like you, or does it remain a feather lost in time, a great sweep of arm, trying to take it all in, like the fantails of some bigger bird. I too often think of me, but more often I desire now to...

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Catherine Arra – Three Poems

Catherine Arra – Three Poems   The End of Night Without a cosmic canopy, breath solitude, sightless sense Without stars, white washed in safety glow, galaxies swallowed in electric auras Without midnight ink, silver dreams, a way to navigate dusk to dawn know the difference between shadow and night Without sleep, lost to glare: night light, floodlight, sweeping screaming motion light clock light, router, modem, red white, blue siren light we are the monsters under the bed.   How the Heart is Tuned This afternoon he naps on my patio; his 84 years slouch into sun and sleep. He’s...

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Dan Rifenburgh – Symeon: The Light Of The Spirit

Dan Rifenburgh   Symeon: The Light Of The Spirit Possessing it, I do not see it. I contemplate it When it goes away. I quickly dash to seize it And it completely flies off. I am enflamed. I ask in tears to be beaten, To be trampled underfoot like dirt. I ask for the all-powerful humility, Stripping and pruning the will, Renouncing world, pride, glory. I choke in my desire to seize it And all is night. My poor hands are empty. Then, dimly, like a delicate ray, the light, Minute, then suddenly enveloping the mind, Enrapturing in ecstasy...

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Alfred Corn – Peahen

Alfred Corn   Peahen Elsewhere’s where he’s going, dragging his iridescent peacock-blue-and-green Art Nouveau behind into a chorus of oohs and ahs…. A tail whose hundred eyes sees and tells itself. Not going with him. She built the nest and made the eggs, a mama wrapped in plain brown feathers, the fowl equivalent of worsted. She never knew what he saw in her or how to say no to plumage that magniloquent. His little head whipped around, its coronet trembling: He took possession. When he left, she watched the backside of the fan retreating, retreating, drab in color and...

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Estelle Bruno – Three Poems

Estelle Bruno – Three Poems   Autumn It comes quickly – swiftly – bringing sometimes sadness seeing everything turning to red when it should be a beautiful green. The pool is a dirty ugly mess. But my sadness leaves when I remember spring will be here soon again. For now the animals have nowhere to hide, their coats a musty brown when their bodies should be a lovely tan. Winter, come, but leave quickly.   Ernest & Me He wrote in the little cafés Because his rooms were Cold and ill-lit I shall write in my own cafés, To...

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Notty Bumbo – Lucretius Rides The Waves

Notty Bumbo   Lucretius Rides The Waves Lucretius posits the soul Occupies all intervening spaces, Atoms dispersed among atoms Like a puzzle hidden Within the confining centuries, Amber from the Mesozoic, Riding the backs of mastodons Dressed in fine satins and myrrh. What rose in the ancestors Drifts downwind, Carries the pollens offered by the first bees, Asked to officiate on the holiest of days Over the joining of wisdom and ancient oaks. What it feels like to the surrounding viscera Might be compared to meteors, Traveling the long dark, Always wondering if they might one day Be among...

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Ace Boggess – Two Poems

Ace Boggess – Two Poems   The West Virginia Symphony performs its free concert on the other side of the Kanawha River. Grace & I sit on sharp stone stairs along the bank. Beside us her pug, looking like newsprint smudges staining an oblong rock, snuffles & nibbles at blades of grass, wildflowers so bland no one not a specialist could name them. Grace tugs a leash tenderly & whispers, No (the dog obeys for minutes at a time). Meanwhile, performers have launched into the theme from Phantom of the Opera. Notes dance across glittery water as if what...

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Kelly Cherry – Murray the Short Order Cook

Kelly Cherry   Murray, the Short Order Cook Murray, the short-order cook, found himself at the Pearly Gates on a Tuesday evening. Tuesday was always a slow day at the restaurant, but not this slow. The gates were locked, no one was checking a list or tickets, and weeds were sprouting at the base of what he took to be heaven. Or was this hell? He’d committed some sins in his day, but surely he wasn’t a bad man. He showed up for work on time. He had loved his wife, who predeceased him. Fuck, he said, immediately clapping...

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Jean L. Kreiling – Three Poems

Jean L. Kreiling – Three Poems   “Desdemona Cursed by Her Father” after the painting by Eugène Delacroix Not for the last time, love has let her down. Her father’s dark face and his scarlet gown betray his black suspicions and the passion of his rage. She pleads with him, her face ashen, but his right hand is raised—to strike? to curse? What daughter could decide which would be worse? In modest dress, in all humility, she looks to him for something fatherly; her hands, stretched toward his heart, clutch only folds of fabric. Later, when Othello holds her...

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Norman Klein – Two Stories

Norman Klein – Two Stories   Mysteries For the first time in years, my father called and asked me to come and have a look at his last draft of a book titled the “The Disappeared.” When I arrived just before dinner I noticed every shade in his house was drawn. Then he ignored my usual four beeps of the horn and didn’t come out to greet his loving daughter. He served me meatloaf, and didn’t say a word as we ate, so I did. “Come on, Dad, what’s going on?” I asked. “Sorry, Bliss. Didn’t mean to scare...

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Paul Lewellan – Cheyenne Adds a Class

Paul Lewellan   Cheyenne Adds a Class It was Thursday of the first week of school. My Second Period Honors English class was struggling with third person omniscient narrators when Cheyenne Resnik arrived at the door. “Mr. B, get me out of American Lit before I hurt somebody.” Everyone turned to see who was interrupting our discussion of “Emma Zunz” by Borges. The freshman boys collectively inhaled. Cheyenne wore leopard skin stretch pants and a tight black knit shell. Her black boots had three-inch heels, and she wore too much makeup. I’d left my classroom door open, and Cheyenne...

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Robbie Nester – Two Poems

Robbie Nester – Two Poems   Fog and Moonlight by Robert Rhodes Fog and Moonlight: Margaret in her Nightgown, Alone in Bella’s Yard After a painting by Robert Rhodes Mist rose from the grass into a sky just beginning to grow light. You threw off the rumpled sheets, glided down the stairs and out the door, leaving it open behind you, seeing the yard transformed, the pedestrian birdbath, close-cropped grass masked by fog. Posing like a dancer, you turned your face up to the moon, as though it were a mirror and you an ingenue, as though you knew...

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Rachel Dacus – Four Poems

Rachel Dacus – Four Poems   Sacrament I brew the morning’s coffee, tasting in its tan crema a land of monsoons and a morning when I bounced in a creaky bus into the heart of Punjab, past turbaned boys bathing in village wells and rows of banyan trees with white-painted roots as thick as houses. On the way to sacred tombs, half-asleep, I longed for a golden coffee cup, despite the hotel’s excellent chai creamed with buffalo milk. I was journeying through a place I couldn’t safely taste except in the hotels. I could only smell its reality in...

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