Current Issue

Tuna

By M Krockmalnik Grabois

After the car crash

in which my wife lost her leg

I noticed, amazed,

half a tuna sandwich

sitting unmoved on the dashboard

 

My wife had been sleeping across the back seat

of our Civic

She was quite short

 

and got really mad

when she was a kid

if anyone called her a midget

 

I had to wait for the Jaws of Life

to get me out

 

Meanwhile I ate the sandwich

It had too much mayo

and the bread was stale

 

—–

M Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry and fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.

Eve

By Nancy Hightower

the last glance you gave me

melted into dark branches,

and i felt the firm body of fruit

sink into my hand.

 

now we’re muted in ivy,

my stomach, stretched and empty.

your back still glistens with sweat.

at night, i become a blind puzzle,

voluptuously divided—

lips, breast, thigh,

a weight to be laid down and tasted.

 

in this only, death seems welcome—

that you may once again look upon me

with eyes un-cursed.

 

—–

Nancy Hightower’s short fiction and poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, Interfictions, Prick of the Spindle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  Her debut novel Elementari Rising came out with Pink Narcissus Press in 2013, and her poetry “The Acolyte” will be published by Port Yonder Press. She currently reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post.

doppelganger:

By Nancy Hightower

i wore her favorite dress, the one

you accidentally stained with wine the night

you met her parents and babbled

about love at first sight. you wanted

to believe my body was hers, called me

by her name over and over again

once the dress was off, and I held on,

believing that perhaps by morning,

your words would come true.

 

—–

Nancy Hightower’s short fiction and poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, Interfictions, Prick of the Spindle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  Her debut novel Elementari Rising came out with Pink Narcissus Press in 2013, and her poetry “The Acolyte” will be published by Port Yonder Press. She currently reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post.

Gethsemane

By Nancy Hightower

this fear      flesh-chained,

sweated beyond the taste of salt, blood dusted.

you feel the body like never before—

broken into pieces, four quarters,

a diced game where you are passed around

from one soldier to the next

before you’re hanging from a tree,

naked as Adam

and just as dirty.

 

even this garden holds shame;

the bent head, silent begging for cups to pass,

be filled with someone else’s drinking.

now you are the orphan, the sinner.

your men huddle together, already widowed

while angels flutter about like birds soon to die.

above you, the barren hill,

broken skull, rusted nails.

a myth in the making, but always yours,

the dying.

 

—–

Nancy Hightower’s short fiction and poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, Interfictions, Prick of the Spindle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  Her debut novel Elementari Rising came out with Pink Narcissus Press in 2013, and her poetry “The Acolyte” will be published by Port Yonder Press. She currently reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post.

findings

By Nancy Hightower

what man would love a woman

famine fed, with old gods

chasing her into strange houses?

I am ruth, the widow who lusts

for milk and honey.

 

there is a time

to go hunting among the reapers,

husking my hunger until i find

a table among the living,

a place where I can swaddle myself

in peaches and berries

until I grow sweet once more.

 

then there is harvest:

the dying and gathering,

three men already swept up by the sickle,

and my every step haunted by Death.

still you lay down on the threshing floor,

eyes closed, waiting to see

who will reach you first.

 

—–

Nancy Hightower’s short fiction and poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, Interfictions, Prick of the Spindle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  Her debut novel Elementari Rising came out with Pink Narcissus Press in 2013, and her poetry “The Acolyte” will be published by Port Yonder Press. She currently reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post.

Stage 4 Drought, North Texas

By Lynn Hoggard

Like eczema, withered patches of grass clutch dirt,

as the land slowly returns to its primeval state—

semi-arid plain. Hundred-year-old trees

curl in bit by bit, let go. Nearby lakes shrink

70 percent, continue their slow drying.

While one part of our planet slips underwater,

this part burns to ash. Months, years perhaps,

of drought to come.

 

I saw an armadillo, hit by a car,

die slowly. The odd otherness of its form

suggested the opposite of human,

but its feeble efforts to right itself,

the tremor in the hind leg, the cracked

carapace leaking blood, and the final

stupor spreading across the eyes

said otherwise.

 

In the part, the whole, our likeness.

 

—–

Translator and poet Lynn Hoggard has published five books and hundreds of articles, poems, and reviews. Her most recent book, a memoir entitled Motherland, Stories and Poems from Louisiana, appeared in May 2014 from Lamar University Press. She lives in Wichita Falls, TX. In her view, poems draw forth the meanings already implicit in things.

My Meeting with Vonnegut

By Mike Jurkovic

There’s an extremely Jewish guy

barking parking directions

from the fire tower

Where I’m trying to envision

the land at peace

But can’t ‘cos I’m feelin’ like

I’m either gonna push this guy off

the sixteen-hundred feet

or jump the expanse

and park the car myself.

 

“You sow a sad intelligence”

Vonnegut said, stepping from the rubble

as only Kurt could: dishevelled, all-knowing,

trying to bum an unfiletered

from a crowd of gerrymandered breeders

and the children they break.

 

“Here we are, trapped in the amber

of the moment” he said calmly,

pulling up his collar

against the mountain wind.

 

—–

Second chapbook, Eve’s Venom (PTP) 2014. Purgatory Road (Pudding House Press, 2010). Poems and music criticism have appeared/are forthcoming in over 400 national & international literary magazines. Anthologies: WaterWrites & Riverine (Codhill Press, 2009, 2007); Will Work For Peace (Zeropanik, 1999). Co-director, Calling All Poets in Beacon, NY. Producer of CAPSCAST, recordings from the CAPS, on Itunes and www.callingallpoets.net. CD reviews appear in Elmore Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange & the Van Wyck Gazzette.   www.mikejurkovic.com

The Remorse of Herod

By Vicky Lettmann

Indeed he was a prophet                     (John) yet

we’ve heard enough                             of those disruptive voices

besides all the inky tattoos                 bleeding blue

and the nose ring didn’t                      make him look like one of us.

But my God what a way                      to end a party.

It had all started out fine                    with my new wife,

oh so beautiful,                                     if only she hadn’t insisted on bringing

her bratty daughter                             who I must say looked rather stunning

 

under the starlight and the dance, yes,                       the dance made me

forget that I was an old man                                         who must have thought

himself a king                                                                  and I had been one it is true.

But that night with too much                                       music and too much wine

 

when she asked me                            the question that

is when I said it                                   and this is why

I sit here in this                                   chair once a throne

with a hangover                                  and a head on a plate.

 

—–

Vicky Lettmann’s writing has appeared in Twenty-six Minnesota Writers and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. She has also published a poetry collection, The Beach. She is the coeditor of the anthology When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers over 50. Her chapbook, What Can Be Saved, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. More information is available at her website: www.turtlehouseink.com.

Waterlines

By Wulf Losee

Somewhere under the bridge at twilight

a prowling trout lunges for a caddisfly

breaks the tension stillness of the surface

slides back to the shadows with a plop

 

(barely a ripple)

 

A bat drops from her I-beam perch

and begins her tumbled hunting flight

chases the darting echoes of a song

that is far beyond our hearing

 

(triplet rhythms of katydids)

 

We cross the bridge’s shadow line

paddles slip in and pull the water

concrete walls amplify our strokes

no traffic on the road above

 

(moss along the waterline)

 

You follow the bow-tip into light

leaning slightly left, peering through

the transparencies of dusk

as I sit behind the V-wave

 

(I chase the reflection of your face)

Living to Tell

By BZ Niditch

Buzzing along
the Big Apple
waiting for the Duke record
composing between soundings
from the chilled out night
my weather beaten head
takes out all matter of facts
makes way by scabby walls
of city graffiti
up decrepit carpets
without an alibi
of living to tell
how I survive with song.

 

—–

BZ NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and ArtThe Literary ReviewDenver QuarterlyHawaii ReviewLe Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism InternationalJejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.