Hand of the Hilt of His Short Sword

by Jeanine Stevens


~circa 1590 AD

London swept over me.

The street was filled with people

carrying huge bundles,

selling pastries and pamphlets.

Carts clattered

over the cobbles, splashed up muck;

flies buzzed everywhere.

The whole street smelled bad;

so did the people.

I scurried past delights

and horrors. A dog

with no ears or tail snapped at me

beside a bank of glorious roses.

I caught a glimpse

of the flat brown River Thames.

We crossed over;

the street was the bridge.

Above the roofs, on the farthest pole

grinned a white skull.

I stopped abruptly

and heaved my breakfast

into the reeking ditch.


(Found poem from King of Shadows,” Susan Cooper, 1999, p.38-30)


Jeanine Stevens’ second poetry collection, Inheritor, was released by Future Cycle Press, 2016. Her most recent chapbook, Needle in the Sea, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press. Her next chapbook, Brief Immensity, winner Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award will be published in 2017. Jeanine has other awards from the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, the Ekphrasis Prize, the Stockton Arts Commission and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio. Her poems have appeared in Stoneboat, Arsenic Lobster, Rosebud, Camas, Evansville Review, The Connecticut River Review, and Sentinel and Dragonheart (UK). Jeanine recently received her fourth Pushcart nomination. She studied poetry at UC Davis and California State University and has graduate degrees in Anthropology and Education. Professor at American River College. She was raised in Indiana and now divides her time between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

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Photographs by Sarah Katharina Kayß


Forge Journal 2016 Kayss (1) (1)








Sarah Katharina Kayß is an internationally published photographer, blogger and poet. She is winner of the manuscript award of the German Writers Association (2013) for her poetry and essay collection “Ich mag die Welt, so wie sie ist” (I Like the World the Way It Is) which was published in 2014 (Munich, Allitera). Sarah edits the bilingual literary magazine The Transnational and is currently a final year PhD student in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. Her poems, photographs and essays have been published in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the UK, Italy, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.




King Grossman: White As Snow

Will Huberdeau: Can I Have Your Hat?

Megan Paske: Unrequited Nicotine

Jilly Pretzel: 8:30 to the City

Janice Westerling: In Sheep’s Clothing


Forge Interview with Eric Greinke


Eric Greinke: A New Day | Shorelines | Angels Of Death | Buds | White Duck Cult | The Climb | Concrete | The Search | Still Here | Lifelines | The Wind | November Nights

Morgan Bazilian: Skype

Mark Belair: The Trinket | Winter Sky | By the Natural History Museum | Still Life with Chair and Fan | Bus Driver

Len Krisak: Note on Lord Acton

Simon Perchik: 5 Poems — January 2016

Alice Pettway: Genetics

Patty Dickson Pieczka: Transparency of the Older Woman | Under an Electron Microscope

Alison Stone & Eric Greinke: Solved | Fall | Peanuts | After The Freeze


Denny E Marshall: Walk the Talk

Bill Wolak: Starting Over

2015 Million Writers Award Nominations

Behold, our nominations for the 2015 Million Writers award!

“Shadowmate” by Sam Grieve

“Something Great and Lofty” by Blake Kilgore

“Asymmetry” by Kendra Fortmeyer

2015 Best of the Net Nominations

Congratulations to the authors of the following works submitted for the 2015 Best of the Net Award!


“About Fifty” by Alex M. Frankel

“The Briquette I Carry Is Heavy” by Eva-Maria Sher

“Every door now is north…” by Simon Perchik

“Perimenopause” by Alison Stone

“#9” by Anselm Parlatore

“Abstract Expressionism” by Edward Butscher



“The Bet” by Adam Cogbill

“A Cappella” by Erin Lynn Cook

2015 Pushcart Nominations

We are proud to announce our Pushcart Prize nominations for works published in 2015:

“Lone Bones” by Glenna Luschei and Eric Greinke

“Bedtime” by Mark Belair

“On Call” by Alison Stone and Eric Greinke

“In the Flood’s Wake” by Phyllis Dunham

“Not a Word” by Nancy Bourne

“The Forbidden City” by Michael Davis





MH Burkett: Sleeping Dogs

Vivian Witkind Davis: Autography

Phyllis Dunham: In the Flood’s Wake

DF Huettner: Walking on Tippy Toes

Michael C Keith: Adjusting

Blake Kilgore: Something Great and Lofty

Laurie King Billman: Car Wreck

Fernando Manibog: Sunrise on the 4th of July

Andrew Marvin: Discontents

Susan Phillips: Party Girl

Enzo Scavone: To the Manhattan Bridge

Kim Venkataraman: Making Your Way


Forge Interview with Simon Perchik


Edward Butscher: Sweet William’s Conceit | Nursing Home | Aubade

Abby Caplin: Dog Path at Fort Funston, San Francisco

Douglas Collura: Five Ways of Dealing with a Pregnant Woman on the Subway

Fred Dale: Oxbow Lakes | Kids Run the Bases

Rona Figueroa: subterranean intellectual goings on

Nancy Hightower: Creation | Legion | My Mother’s Madness

Lyn Lifshin: On a Morning After We Only Slide Past Each Other in the Room of Young Babes | When I Lose the Envelope of What Matters | “In the Violet Hour” on a Page, Maybe in a Poetry Book Someone Was Reading on the Metro | After Too Many Nights Drugged | “Never,” Someone on TV Says “Compete Against 25 Year Olds” | Like Falling Madly in Lust When Just Hearing a Death Sentence

Simon Perchik: 12 Poems–Summer 2015

Alison Stone and Eric Greinke: On Call | Wanderlust

Martin Tucker: A Memorial Day | Provenance | A Call to Arms | Café Amadoure, Sarasota


Rebecca Oet: Russet

Adel Souto: Alone

David J Thompson: Georgia | Clarksdale