You unclasped my watch,
laid it on the nightstand.
“You don’t need this,” you told me.
“We have the whole weekend
What reason would make clear
time again confounds;
your copper skin against mine,
the play of fingers over flesh,
the endless minutes and hours
that pass in seconds.
When it came time to sleep,
you kissed the bare
strip of flesh uncovered
by the watch, closed your hand
Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Throats to the Sky, FEED, and Sublunary Review, among others.
A Defense of the Moon by Yash Seyedbagheri
don’t write of the moon, you say,
adjusting your beret, not without some twist
you want some twist, some new spin
but how can you distort a soft lunar lullaby
that soothes through the pines
over the rooftops
whose liveliness is masked?
she breaks through the shadows
and guides the crowds
and the lonely hearts who wander a little bit slower
she dwells in Debussy
what’s your vision
is your twist to paint the moon
psychedelic pink with
mushrooms protruding and a cynical smirk
is it the moon with bodily fluids smeared
and declared art
is your twist
the moon renamed something less tender
or tell me
is your aim
to paint clouds over the moon?
because it’s easier to take away, than to add
and you can play with your beret
without missing a beat
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.
Four Christmas’s alone
now, talking to myself
and the barren walls.
There’s no love herein
this rickety old studio
apartment, no need be.
There’s no presents,
underneath no tree,
there’re no lights lining
doorways or window
But there’s plenty of
pain in this aching
heart, it’s my 4th alone.
Should I text my ex
girlfriend? Beg her
“Could we try again babe?”
No answers forthcoming
from my brand-new cell
She still has my beat up
ol’ guitar, and my sneakers,
some old jeans and a t-shirt.
She has my heart worn loosely
and broken, around her necklace.
I returned her presents after she
broke up with me again, always
via text, always catching me off
guard, knocking the wind from
my lungs. Knocking me too the
Wayne Russell is or has been many things during his time on this planet, he has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. From 2016-17 he also founded and edited Degenerate Literature. In 2018, the kind editors at Ariel Chart have nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town. Earlier in 2020, Wayne was nominated for his first Best of the Net. Where Angels Fear is his debut paperback published by Guerrilla Genesis Press.
a pulchritudinous sonnet according to Paweł Markiewicz
I am through a superb window – looking.
An angel of feeling awakes in me.
The dreamy oak-trees stand alway leafless.
The native auspicious cue is just large.
My scenery – the enchanted verdure.
The moony old barn of Ted my dear nuncle.
I am looking at a proud throng of crows.
They belong to the whiff of every times.
The springtide looks so meek-beauteous-fair,
first and foremost Morningstar – at night.
I daydream springwards window-view withal
of a dreamy Ovidian summer gale.
Homelike herbage that seems to bewitch all.
My cats want to enchant the fantasy.
Dreamed subtle morn withal notably.
gale – archaic: wind
alway – archaic: always
cue – archaic: mood
verdure – green
nuncle – archaic: uncle
throng – archaic: bevy
Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German.
As the Philistines plagued with tumours panicked and returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites that they may not be further punished, fearful of the God of unknown power belonging to their foe, I turn to you but with the most part fear removed from mind. If I return your heart, would you box it up and save it for a more worthy suitor than I, one who may ripen your days, one who is a moulter of clothes in the hunger of night, pulling you nearer whilst winter sleeps; leaving you illuminating, widely grinning when the weather is. I only ask that you please not tell me who he is nor how he does it.
Joel Schueler’s work appears in over ten countries in over fifty publications including Pennsylvania Literary Journal, London Poetry Magazine & The Brasilia Review. From London, he has a BA(Hons) in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
They gather around the kitchen table
on a Friday night,
puffing desperately on cigarettes
as if it’s the last place on the planet
where smoking is still allowed.
A wife made dip,
filled bowls with chips,
then headed for her mother’s.
The fridge is full of lager.
And there’s another case on standby.
They’re in their fifties.
long past their futures,
weary factory workers,
shop clerks, office nobodies.
They all look gingerly,
at their hands.
Time will tell
if the cards are in their favor
more than the stars ever were.
My clear plastic bowls
serves as my bird feeder.
I don’t hear the distant
of tiny sparrow feet,
the wing dances, fluttering, of a hungry
morning’s lack of big band sounds.
I walk tentatively to my patio window,
spy the balcony with my detective’s eyes.
I witness three newly hatched
toddler sparrows, curved nails, mounted
deep, in their mother’s dead, decaying back.
Their childish beaks bent over elongated,
delicately, into golden chips, and dusted yellow corn.
Michael Lee Johnson lived 10 years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois. Mr. Johnson published in more than 1072 new publications, his poems have appeared in 39 countries, he edits, publishes 10 poetry sites. Michael Lee Johnson, has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015/1 Best of the Net 2016/2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018. 210 poetry videos are now on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762; editor-in-chief poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089. Editor-in-chief Warriors with Wings: The Best in Contemporary Poetry, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1722130717.
The aftertaste of crows rasping
in watery May overcast
reminds us that appointments
with the afterword are overdue.
Our doctor suggests we slip
into sizes a bit too large
so we can swim around inside
ourselves, barking like seals.
Our plumber suggests that leaks
soon become swimming pools so
why not enjoy the season?
Our mechanic argues that oil pans
contain in microscopic shards
the clues to our local travels,
so we could shroud ourselves in maps
and pretend that’s orgiastic.
“Spring puts the mischief in me,”
Frost said, but lies preceded him
into both the afterword and
the afterworld, distinct locations
with lakes and hills and distant
views of the over-brimming sea.
Our posthumous menus include
appetizers. wine, and dessert,
but the main course still eludes us,
possibly still unslaughtered
on a farm where country music
heehaws softly in the background.
You want to share the credit
for shaping the air to our needs,
but my degree in random thought
proceeds me like a cutting edge—
not to scold or punish but sculpt
a path to the shadow of forest
where we can lie together
or separately in soggy heaps.
William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His work has appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught at Emerson College, Goddard College, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are Water Music and Train to Providence. williamdoreski.blogspot.com
drunk again, of course
on the patio,
and we open our laps
and fill them
we are ferris-
wheel workers. we are bumper
car workers. around us,
of cotton candy
smoke. staining our outfits,
tasting of raspberry,
sticky old fingers
DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)
Palo Alto Ingenuity by Gerard Sarnat
Old yarmulkes’ drawer,
boring beyond belief – now
voila morphs face masks.
Betsy Ross would be so proud
as would Anthony Fauci
Gerard Sarnat won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for a handful of recent Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published in academic-related journals (e.g., Universities of Chicago/ Maine/ San Francisco/Toronto, Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Pomona, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Penn, Dartmouth, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Baltimore) plus national (e.g., Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Parhelion, Clementine, pamplemousse, Red Wheelbarrow, Deluge, Poetry Quarterly, poetica, Tipton Journal, Hypnopomp, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Buddhist Poetry Review, Poets And War, Thank You For Your Service Anthology, Wordpeace, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Indolent Books, Snapdragon, Pandemonium Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Montana Mouthful, Arkansas Review, Texas Review, San Antonio Review, Brooklyn Review, pacificREVIEW, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, Fiction Southeast and The New York Times) and international publications (e.g., Review Berlin, Voices Israel, Foreign Lit, New Ulster, Transnational, Southbank, Wellington Street Review). He’s authored the collections Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry is a physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate change justice. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids plus six grandsons, and is looking forward to future granddaughters.
Travel brings out strange combinations
for the sake of space, all improvised,
my oxblood loafers sit on top of t-shirts,
rolled up socks sit inside my boxer briefs,
and toiletries are nestled in breast pockets.
I have worn each of these items down
until they became personal talismans for me,
mass manufactured in their common origins,
some are mirrors of love and friendship,
reflecting the feelings of those behind the gifts
Packing my bag it is hard not to reminisce,
I think of trips to the shoe store and then
the ordeal to get my razor, which links me
to my first razor, even though it is gone
and nowhere to be found inside the luggage.
There is time before I begin the jaunt
of switching trains, enough to open up the bag,
I take a census, surprised how hard it is
to remember if I have forgotten anything,
here is my past, I take it where I need to go.
Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is trying to publish a novel.