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    Learning to Drown

    I remember the “dead man” sink, the way
              legs drag my body down.
    Tangled arms block my swimmer stroke
              too tired to flail.
    My matted scalp bobs underneath
              then remerges
                        like thoughts.

    A bloated chest leaks bubbles to my throat
              parting screams between ripples,
                                  I breathe salt instead of clean air.
    They taste like tears.
    I forgot how to float.
    and time between tides.
                        Would sinking suffice?

    I roll with the current
              hoping I would erode with time,
    that impulses would fade
              (step into the busy street,
              feel the heat of the fire)
    desires would climb
              (see how long exposed veins flow,
              swing as the weight of the rope)
    urges would die.
    The wave tumbles me over, surfaced
    flat-backed against the world below.

    Heather McCroskey, Jane of all trades, applies social learning as insight into our moral capacities and reactions to conflict in her writings. With a BA in Writing and currently completing 2D Animation, she combines verbal and visual elements in her creativity. Heather also enjoys long walks in the woods, comic books, and some cats are okay.

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    The Past

    Between the hours of one and four
    A rippling, flowing, stream of fragile thought fills the tub of lucid, conscious sleep.
    Yesterday’s voices become lost in a warbled, untethered folk song of homeless sentiment.
    The odds and ends of irreconcilable, unfinished business echoing, lonely.
    Muscles continue to sleep in paralysis.
    defenseless to the pummeling of fresh dirt borne of my unearthed.
    Yes, all of that is still there, laying with during rest, talking in the blackness.
    Bygone relics hovering close, and the staunch clock.
    Five is the hand to turn away this spellbinding middle existence
    so that I may sleep shallowly once more,
    tuned into the static of tomorrow’s station.

    Sophia Nicole Feliciano’s poetry and prose is sensory and stimulating, often dreamlike in description. Poetry is her method of painting and preserving her own personal history in an art form which may give rise to new life through ambiguity. Her work is set against the backdrops of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, where she spends most of her time. She is a hand model, writer, and avid cook who ultimately wishes to publish a volume of poetry for the modern woman.

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  • 05/19/16--07:00: Josef Krebs - One Poem
  • Glancing homeward through the ages

    I last longer than I last lasted
    Entranced by the possibilities that didn't seem possible
    At that time of doubt and external deliberations
    Stopping the singing
    In the darkened room
    Under the covers
    Of the night
    When dreams naturally flow forth
    Before colliding with the walls
    Ceilings inserted in the I-don't mind
    As if nothing would ever change
    And the prisoners would never be released
    But eliminated before liberation
    Saved from slaughter
    Or self-disgust
    Instilled by the conquerors
    The masterful race that ran the hotel
    Where you didn’t belong
    But collaboration was the only option during daily exercises in purposelessness and
    Until night landed and resistance became possible

    Josef Krebs has a chapbook of his poems published by Etched Press and his poetry also appears in AgendaBicycle Review,CalliopeMouse Tales PressThe Corner Club PressThe FictionWeek Literary ReviewBurningword Literary Journal,Crack the Spine, and The Cats Meow. A short story has been published by blazeVOX. He’s written three novels and five screenplays. His film was successfully screened at Santa Cruz and Short Film Corner of Cannes film festivals.

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    Letter To Jim Jones

    Some reduction is achievable

    in documentary impedimenta:
    your voice, rant, rave.

    Not that words often do good.
    Nor did your words.
    To write about you makes us captive
    like those who followed you.

    You returned them to earth,
    to jungle putrefaction.
    They lay with you in the hacked space
    you called a town and persuaded us
    that all should rot and let us smell you.

    Living With Mother

    And this is how it may be:
    I, replacing my father, sit at the window,
    besieged by my mother's anxieties
    about a ceiling falling, an incontinent cat,
    and I will be blamed,
    blamed if it happens, blamed
    for the fear of its happening.
    I will retreat to the cruelty of silence,
    my face averted to the window
    or take a walk, talking to myself,
    or drink and drink and drink,
    one moment stuporous, the other
    recriminative. My mother,
    anxious with her murderous headache,
    lives on and on,
    and I, my father's shell, await my end.

     Fraser Sutherland is a poet and lexicographer. He's published 17 books, nine of them poetry, most recentlyThe Philosophy of As If.

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  • 05/24/16--07:30: Ally Malinenko - One Poem
  • Porn

    I wonder if those hard little tits hurt more
    shoved into the mammogram machine.
    I wonder if they’ve ever had a sonogram,
    been sung to by that gentle click and whir,
    sat on the paper-lined table
    and been told by a grim-faced technician
    that the doctor will be right in.

    No, I tell myself,
    they are too young,
    but then again,
    so am I.

    And I wonder
    if anyone in her family has been tested,
    if she knows about any risks.

    Her tits are perfect
    which is a stupid observation.
    She’s in porn.
    the job requirements might not be extensive
    but I’m sure a flat stomach
    and perfect tits are two of them.

    The scar across my nipple stares up at me
    like an expectant child waiting for its turn
    on the merry-go-round.

    The sticker, inked black by a technician with a sharpie
    is a crosshair just below my clavicle.
    It’s the marker where the radiation beam
    must be shot

    But for her
    there is just skin
    supple and young.

    On the screen
    the man, slick and shiny
    and the girl
    smiles a loose, gratified smile.
    She makes the same face
    I had hoped to make
    on my own
    which was the whole point of this.

    The video ends
    and I slide my hand
    from between my legs,
    roll over on the bed,

    Fuck you, cancer.
    You ruined even this.

    Ally Malinenko is the author of The Wanting Bone and How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the YA novel This is Sarah (Bookfish Books). Her most recent poetry book, Better Luck Next Year is forthcoming from Low Ghost Books. She tweets at @allymalinenko mostly about David Bowie, Doctor Who and stupid cancer.

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  • 05/25/16--07:00: Donna M. Davis - Three Poems
  • Stolen

    I walked outside
    and all the words were gone;
    the neighborhood was
    empty of language.
    Winter snow howled
    a snaking silence.
    No one was talking
    about anything that mattered.
    Unctuous politicians
    with bad hair
    had posted selfies,
    taken billboards captive,
    and stolen the thoughts
    from every mind in the world.
    Porches were missing
    their morning newspapers,
    but computers were turned on
    to the vacuous websites of celebrity.
    Someone famous had died,
    and someone, who someone else
    really knew, was dying
    quietly offstage.
    Cancer, heart attacks, suicides,
    falls on the sidewalk ice,
    brains fevered with crack,
    none of this appeared
    in daily obituaries
    of the unrenowned.
    The air was dense with
    smothering disconnect,
    and the robot voices of
    talking heads sucked up truth
    and spat it out sideways.
    Gym rats treadmilled
    sequences of  monotony,
    anesthetized in place,
    watched overhead TVs
    in separate slots,
    anxious to get home
    and access their electronics
    for another fix.
    The words were still there,
    but imprisoned,
    clogged in boxes
    with arrows, icons,
    and cascading squares,
    leading to more details,
    opening up page after page,
    and saying absolutely nothing.


    The church had a basement chapel,
    where votive candles flickered
    on painted statues of saints.
    A blonde, wafer-colored Christ,
    wrapped in a winding sheet,
    rested inside the communion altar,
    visible through rectangular glass.
    Solitary worshippers knelt down
    in a single row of wooden pews,
    sheltered in dusky shadow.
    I went there because it was quiet,
    because of the holy water font
    shaped like a grotto with wet stones
    covered in velvety green moss;
    pennies lined its basin,
    coppery with prayer.
    I could hide there after school,
    escape the harsh taunts
    of mean girls in plaid skirts
    and crewcut boys with thick necks.
    I could walk to the back chamber,
    where a life-sized plaster Jesus,
    crowned with coiled thorns,
    stood in a wrought iron prison
    his back to barred windows
    that framed the church parking lot.
    If I stared at him too long,
    he would seem to move a finger,
    or roll an eye filled with blood,
    as if he understood what I felt.
    I kept this to myself all these years:
    how I forced the lock of his cell,
    when no one was around,
    how I pressed holy water
    to his forehead with a handkerchief,
    and left the door open wide.


    A teenage girl faces the mirror
    and searches for it,
    in the fullness of a breast,
    the bow of an arched back.

    Maybe she thinks a flicker of blue
    brushed on narrow eyelids,
    or pink dust on flat cheekbones
    will bring her closer.

    She stumbles toward its portal,
    naked and unguarded,
    presses her body
    against the plane of glass.

    The girl is trapped in an illusion,
    not understanding perfection’s
    improbably sublime surfaces
    and smooth curves.

    She doesn’t realize the truth,
    but cries and turns away,
    while flawed spheres of atoms
    spiral and shower around her.

    Donna M. Davis is a native of the Central New York region.  A former English teacher,  she owns a  resume writing and book design business. Her poetry has appeared in Third Wednesday, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House , Oddball Magazine, The Milo Review, Halcyon Magazine, The Comstock Review, Aberration Labyrinth, and others. She has work forthcoming this summer in Slipstream Anthology. She was a special merit finalist and winner of several of The Comstock Review’s national awards contests.

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    Tree is a Fractalscape

    A shape of silence stands green
    on the skeletal wood-bones
    and the other day, it wept
    the entire sky, criss-crossed clouds
    and her thunderous
    lightening gloom.
    A tree is the shortest distance
    between two infinities,
    she is not a straight line.
    Above and beneath, ether and soil
    a songster tree, sweetly conjures
    the ancient alchemy
    of "coniunctio Oppositorium".
    a deathless God, resides in a finite flesh
    fractal conjoined.

    Grunge and Conscience

    Once I saw Stone Temple Pilots in Cleveland,
    there I lied to an army friend, straight to her face
    that she was fighting
    in Middle-East for democracy and peace .
    we preserved our individual illusions
    and continued enjoying
    the coked-out antics of Scott Wieland
    may his deceased soul rest in peace;
    Born in California, died in a tour bus 12/03/2015
    Grunge is dead; as dead as the conscience of Kathmandu,
    Washington and other self-delusional Atlantes.

    Sudeep Adhikari, from Kathmandu Nepal, is professionally a PhD in Structural-Engineering. He lives in Kathmandu with his wife and family and works as an Engineering-Consultant.  His poetry has found place in many online literary journals/magazines, the recent being Kyoto (Japan), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada) and Red Fez (USA). 

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  • 05/27/16--08:00: Carl Boon - Two Poems
  • The News From Aleppo

    Walking the mosque wall
    where her father fell
    to shrapnel, Malek,
    the girl they call Angel,
    imagines the Mediterranean.
    Green expanses, dolphins,
    islands free of screaming.
    She would like to have her baby
    there, to soothe its belly
    and shoulders, to feed it
    as seven clouds move east.

    Sadri the Bookseller
    on the mosque steps bristles.
    Malek comes close to smell
    the ink on his fingers,
    which reminds her
    of her father, and to smell
    the cherry tobacco in his pipe.
    What’s left of her home
    is a moonstruck wall
    and piles of debris.

    The Russian bombs
    fall when they are sleeping,
    she and the baby inside her.
    Mother sleeps late,
    thinking of orange groves,
    her brother’s bicycle
    propped against the gate.
    The mornings were sunnier
    then, with her mother’s kitchen
    calling her for lunch
    and the men crossing
    the road to pray.

    See My Heart

    Gone save the shadow
    of her hair between the hills,

    she left me with a fragment
    of a song, something she heard

    in a Kadıköy bar one night
    late with ferries and peddlers:

    “See my heart
    decorated like a grave.”

    I’ve forgotten the wording,
    but not her, who stood always

    with her face to the sea-
    wind, her denim ambition,

    her legs stretched
    on the boulders, a flower

    in her hand. The lover says
    to the lover: you will glimpse

    a remnant of me in memory;
    you will writhe and sink

    into the stone-heart
    of being, but never die.

    The heart only, painted,
    mishandled, terrifying—

    crushed into bunting, black
    ribbon, and a broken song.

    Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Thirds North, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and the Kentucky Review.

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  • 06/05/16--23:52: Francis Annagu - One Poem
  • Carutu

    The blue Carutu river
    Throbbs, throbbing
    Flows, flowing into
    Black canvasses of the garage.
    The day is full spring in
    The scabrous sky of birds,
    Egrets winging off up upon hills,
    Peaked pointed hill's gaze,
    Gazing to clouds of coloured
    Rainbow portraiting the orchard;
    Rainbow. Painted orchard.

    Francis Annagu is published or forthcoming on Galway Review, Potomac Review, Tuck Magazine, Ayiba Magazine, Lunaris Review and others. He lives in Kaduna, Nigeria where he is working on his debut poetry book.

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    Pretty Lies Show Their Teeth

    The smashed orchid on the sidewalk
    has been doctored: beribboned, and dyed.
    Its petals are wilting, rimmed with dirt.
    This prom night roadkill
    kindles memories of itchy zippers and silver eyeshadow.
    I used to count the bobby pins in my hair
    as I pulled them free at the end of the night.
    Every evening gown felt like a costume,
    and the cruelty of these rituals lies in their deception,
    as they stir the desire to be pretty and in love
    in ways that have never been real,
    will never be real.
    We are taught to believe these fantasies
    from childhood,
    lies that leave us unprepared
    to be so disillusioned by their aftermath.
    I remember the cut of the dress
    that I wore to my first formal dance,
    and the creases it left in my skin
    when I woke up in it the next morning.
    I felt hollow, like my body was nothing more
    than a papier-mâché crust,
    just as vulnerable as an orchid corsage
    crushed against the ground.

    Drugstore Banquet

    When I was eighteen,
    and my roommate wanted to kill herself,
    she left a note where she knew I would find it.
    It was covered in a mosaic of pills,
    far ranging in opacity and hue.
    When I returned to the room with help,
    the note was gone.
    The pills had been dumped into a plastic bowl
    printed with cartoon characters.
    Not all cries for help are in languages I can understand.
    Later, when she was expelled from school,
    I felt the requisite regret for being unable
    to translate her disturbances
    in a way that might have mattered.
    When I think of her now,
    in passing,
    I wonder if she’s alive,
    and whether she still stacks pills in cereal bowls,
    like breakfast rations
    for the last day she’ll ever have,
    like last resorts
    in case she lasts too long.

    Tires for Tombstones
    on a painting at the Artists’ Hand Gallery

    These woods are where
    trucks go to die,
    a graveyard of rusted chassis in place of monuments,
    collected wheels adorned with clots of mud.
    There’s a sacredness to the juxtaposition
    of industrial steel and rampant weeds,
    to the hulking, metal machines,
    driven through the trees and left to their slow rot.
    No one carts them away.
    The roots grow through their open spaces.
    It’s almost like they belong here.

    Cara Losier Chanoine is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher from New England.  She is a four-time competitor in the National Poetry Slam, and her first collection of poems was released by Scars Publications in 2013.  She loves books, rats, bad horror movies, and David Bowie.

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  • 06/19/16--07:33: Glen Armstrong - One Poem
  • Golden Years

    Grandfather dreamed
    of a champagne

    that would stir rebellion
    throughout the vineyard.

    Grandmother dreamed
    of a fur that might rejoin

    and resurrect the animal
    from which it was ripped.

    They held hands with conviction.
    There was something they needed

    to set straight
    but no one left would listen

    to their dream-words,
    those raspy, whispering yelps

    from which language
    was born.

    Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

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  • 06/20/16--09:08: J. Lewis - One Poem
  • Filler Text

    lorem ipsum he said
    you know
    the stuff you use
    when you don't have content
    but you need to see
    the lay of the land
    the fit of the phrase
    the pattern on the page

    but my hearing is going
    and i swear he said
    dolores whips 'em
    and i stopped listening
    because i had an instant nightmare
    the spanish inquisition
    led not by the church
    but by the household servants
    where anything
    and everything i said
    had been heard

    the accusations cracked
    like a whip
    against my conscience
    splaying my resolve
    laying my heart as bare
    as a tree in winter

    oh, yes i thought
    oh, yes
    no one ever hides the truth
    when sweet dolores whips 'em

    J. Lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California.

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  • 06/21/16--10:21: John Mingay - One Poem
  • Downwind

    I never could
    the waxing waters
    of a certain
    single flood
    coming in

    each minute
    beyond being gone

    I never was
    strong enough
    from any
    to others
    to have beaten
    the morning cold

    my breath a fog
    like the smiling wind
    with evil in its eyes

    but you
    prone to paying
    for whatever is gifted
    may never
    have plucked
    even one short word
    from many
    a prayer

    like you
    whatever I felt
    was felt
    as if in my blood

    our blood
    above ambition

    the years
    having passed us by

    From Paisley, John spent the late 1970's working at The Citizens' Theatre and 1985-90 as Writer-in-Residence and Writer-in-the-Community in Darlington. As managing editor of Raunchland Publications from 1984 to 2009, he initiated and edited 3x4 magazine and the Lung Gom Press, and continues to be widely published in literary reviews, anthologies, collaborative projects and in over forty individual collections.

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  • 06/27/16--09:00: Ivan Jenson - Two Poems
  • Going Green

    You have shared
    very profound insights
    into the human condition
    and shown yourself
    to be an intellect of
    the highest order
    shedding light
    on important
    dark issues
    while alluding
    to some bigger
    which could
    effect the well being
    of generations to come
    however, I confess
    I have been
    unable to fully
    your brilliant
    due to
    a spinach chive
    on your front

    Spring Cleaning
    May I give you
    a deconstructive
    your post-modern
    past tense
    which led
    to your current
    state of unease
    and do you mind
    if I point you
    away from
    your newfound fame
    in the blame game
    where your parents
    are at fault
    for the sink-hole
    you are in
    and may I
    hit you
    the belt
    with my tough
    and thereby
    bring you
    to your knees
    so that you get down
    to scrubbing
    the floors of
    your subconscious
    until everything is
    spic and span
    and your attitude
    changes to “Yes, I can!”

    Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 500 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. Ivan Jenson's website is:

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  • 07/05/16--09:43: John Grochalski - One Poem
  • Watching The Fat Kid Play Video Games
    he hasn’t been in here for months
    because the other kids were making fun of him
    this afternoon, they’re leaving him alone
    caught up in their own stupid boy/girl dramas
    he’s as good as the mildew stain on this wall
    ….for now
    fat kids pray for small miracles like this
    moments of calm within the maelstrom
    of insults and indignities
    i know because i was one
    obese double chinned sweatpants wearing
    bad hair pimpled glasses wouldn’t fit over my face
    tailored polyester pants xxl t-shirt man tits
    wouldn’t go bare chested on a beach or in a pool to save my life
    especially if there were girls around
    until i starved myself for a small vanity at seventeen
    told myself a little conformity never hurt anyone
    i still carry that fat kid with me
    into every relationship
    you just never get too close to people
    because the past has shown you  just how easily they turn
    i wish more for the fat kid sitting here
    playing video games on his phone
    more than a life of caution and a well of distrust
    small moments that evaporate
    with the blink of some bastard’s eye
    i hope he learns how to come through the fire
    better than i ever did
    hope he carves out
    some simple kind of happiness
    finds his niche his crowd his tribe
    learns it’s okay too to make it alone
    i think how a little bit of optimism
    never hurt anyone either
    but soon the conversation
    of the other kids dies down
    the taps on the shoulders and the whispers
    and the giggles through cupped mouths begin
    the fat kid playing video games
    can tell it just as well as i can
    this sixth sense we’ve been saddled with
    and as he gets up to leave before the onslaught even comes
    i want to tell him something
    something that’ll make this all right
    but i just say, take it easy, man
    and he doesn’t even answer me
    just breaks for the door and is gone like a phantom
    before the first cackle bursts
    from the cacophony
    of those ignorant, well-formed
    well-adjusted mouths.
    John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

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    Flight of the Eagle

    From the dawn, dusty skies
    comes the time when
    the eagle flies-
    without thought,
    without aid of wind,
    like a kite detached without string,
    the eagle in flight leaves no traces,
    no trails, no roadways-
    never a feather drops
    out of the sky.

    Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  He has been published in more than 880 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites.  Author's website

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  • 09/01/16--10:04: Greg Moglia - Two Poems
  • The Silk Nightie

    The sales associate at Victoria’s Secret is all smiles
    I ask her the guy question I’m not sure about the size

    She gives my aged lines that “so you got yourself a trophy” look and says
    Give me an idea about her frame

    I say About the same as you, kinda slim, tall…
    Then she surprises me This for the wife?  No, a girl friend

    Now a gossipy gleam in her eye
    Oh, about how old is she?

     I say firmly She’s 68.
    Now, she glows, I’ve just become a  geezer sweetheart

    She flips to a caring mode
    Maybe, you want something more subtle?

    Oh great!  Back to married nights  and birth control jammies
    Oh no, I’m sorry…I’m so sorry I just thought you might go for something quieter

    Yeah, I say We do try to have old fogey sex…nice and quiet
    God forbid a yell, a deep moan, a screech - wake the neighbors

    She says Well, sorry again just trying to be helpful
    I say There’s more to look forward to than you believe


    The science teachers party at your home and I meet George - your friend
     I begin to wonder, Frank - you may be one of the guys I joked about 
    Subject of endless ridicule - homo, queer, fag…
    But you were my chair and I needed the job

    Then the morning we found my classroom door broken
    Blood stained…lab scales gone
    The superintendent of schools calls you to his office
    The same guy who says to his teachers on opening day 1969

    You folk in nigger heaven back there
    Come on down to the front seats
    And Frank I see you after that meeting 
     Looking so troubled and pale - holding a tiny book 

    Poems of Emily Dickinson and I say
    Is she any good? and you said
    At this time she’s very good
    Easy to guess what the boss said, A fag like you…

    And I could see your life in compartments
    As mine - pretending an interest in Chemistry
    And the easy world of sexuality I grew into
    Us and those others - the gay guys - never to meet

    But you’re my boss and as nice as could be
    I think of a dinner party - three long married couples
    As we leave I move to shake my friend Paddy’s hand
    I move too close and stop -yes, I only shook his hand

    But know inside… a kiss 

    Greg Moglia's work has appeared in over 300 journals in the U.S., Canada, England, India, Australia, Sweden,Austria and well as five anthologies. Among the journals - Peregrine, Southern Humanities Review, English Journal, South Carolina Review, Tampa Review, Wisconsin Review.

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  • 09/02/16--09:56: Richard Schnap - Two Poems
  • As The Light Turned Grey

    When the blue haired nurse
    With the skeleton gloves
    Asked what concerned you most
    You replied “pain” and “fear”

    And I secretly thought
    That it is true that we
    Become wise when the shadow
    Of death waits at the foot of our bed

    For you had arranged your life
    To be empty of dark concerns
    Like an amusement park designed
    By a cartoon deity with laughing eyes

    But now as the end approached
    You relearned the lessons of those
    Not as fortunate to blissfully forget
    The knives of the world never grow dull

    Loss For Words

    He was a natural salesman
    With the innate ability
    To persuade even a sinner
    To return home to God

    Knowing that to do it
    He must adopt the manner
    And speech of the prospect
    As seamlessly as a chameleon

    But when tragedy befell him
    And he had to find a way
    To convince himself to forget
    The shadow darkening his heart

    He found he could never
    Truly imitate himself
    For he was now a stranger
    Speaking a language of its own

    Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A two-time Best of the Net nominee, his poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas. His first chapbook, "A Wind From Nowhere", is available from Flutter Press.

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  • 09/03/16--07:30: Liz Glodek - One Poem
  • It Is Nighttime

    The stars wonder too, looking down at us,
    where the dinosaurs have gone.
    This lonely planet they see, a speck. But what
    delight they get from all of our tumblings.
    A scraped knee, the ant in the grass.
    How the North Star lingers over these
    moments. Quiet. To us, he is brilliantly alive
    in gas and dust, through the vacuum
    of darkness which is the solitude of space.
    Come closer, we will tell them. More than
    reason built this bridge, made this cathedral.
    More than science loved this child. What they know
    of us is less than what we know of them.
    We shock them with our dreams.

    Liz Glodek lives and works in the Midwest. Her work has appeared in several journals including The Greensboro Review, Lumina, North American Review (finalist for the James Hearst Poetry Prize), The North, and Janus Head. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College where she also founded the SLC Poetry Festival. She works in management consulting and is an instructor at Simpson College.

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  • 09/06/16--10:30: Mark Niehus - Two Poems
  • Bluebird and the Cage

    You measure yourself
    against the world
    during trips to the Laundromat.
    You organise your words while
    removing the stains on your shirt
    and try to keep
    the one thing you have in line.

    And between
    the beauty at parties
    you see that there is something
    sinister underlying
    every social grace.

    What a great power it must be
    to suppress a spirit
    that was once necessary
    to invent,
    and love
    and what do you do
    when you sense
    a flash of admiration
    for its genius?

    You refine your pleasure
    for the drink.
    You enjoy the movement it brings,
    the action
    and the chance.

    And now somehow home
    in pursuit of the poem
    and in possession
    of something good and rare,
    something cracks open
    that allocates meaning
    and hope,
    so you can sleep again balancing
    the bluebird
    and the cage.

    Life Machine

    The numbers turn
    and the infinite mechanism
    and grows
    and groans truths
    and lies.

    Such a beautiful machine
    entrusting its success
    to fulfil its design
    on the emotional
    spirit of man.

    And on us
    the great weight rests.
    It is that uneasy feeling
    that comes some nights,
    when left with our lives.

    We are all working
    to fuel
    and to make up
    the bony parts
    of this mad living.

    We turn
    and burn
    toward an outcome
    unknown to us,
    or this life machine.

    Mark Niehus is a Poet and Artist who drives a cheese truck. He likes to get close to instinct and invention to create unique combinations of poetry, street art, music and performance.

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