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Friday, June 29, 2012


by Gabrielle Korn

The first news reports of Mollie Judith Olgin and Mary Christine Chapa
shot in the grassy, vacant area of a park
said it was unclear how they got there in the first place.

It’s really not much of a mystery --
were you ever 19 and in love with a girl?
I know I would have loved sneaking off to knee-deep grass
following the scent of starlight on her skin
to find a nighttime place to kiss without creating a scene.

Have you ever created a scene just by
kissing a girl in public?
You can never un-know what it feels like
to provoke disgust in strangers.
To wonder if they’ll just whisper or if
they actually want to hurt you.

Where do you go when you’re 19
and all you can think about are her lips?
Perhaps to the knee-deep grass of Violet Andrews Park
with no one but the moon to watch.

Gabrielle Korn is a 23-year-old writer based in New York City,  an organizer of the New York City Dyke March and a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, RH Reality Check, BlogHer, Autostraddle, On The Issues Magazine, AfterEllen, The Bilerico Project, and more

Thursday, June 28, 2012


by Carol Smallwood

On the way back from the annual medical association dinner Cal said,
"Johnson's still having women say he does things when they're under.
He's not keeping quiet and is bragging about it instead."

"That's awful! Can't your association do something before it spreads?"
I asked. Cal replied, "His lawyers see what women say is pushed under
and they're all called hysterical or at best just mislead."

Cal continued, "We don't want to set a precedent that can't be shed.
How'd you like some hysterical woman accusing me--you want his number?
You don't agree with him being called the boy wonder?"

But I couldn't forget what Cal said, get it out of my head,
that rape didn't encumber--
accept what he said: "They'll end up with children better bred."

Carol Smallwood co-edited (Molly Peacock, foreword) Women on Poetry: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing by Successful Women Poets (McFarland, 2012); Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key Publishing House, 2012); Compartments: Poems on Nature, Femininity, and Other Realms (Anaphora Literary Press, 2011) received a Pushcart nomination.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


by Jay Snodgrass

I found a little stick on the street
which I had kicked at first but then felt
sorry for as though I’d wounded it
so I picked it up and put a value in it
like to change my soul, which is also
a kind of gnarled root, baked dry
on the asphalt, and I was feeling sorry
for myself because I didn’t have the money
to see the new Avenger’s movie everybody
was talking about, so I held the little stick up
to my mouth and breathed on it,
breathed how sorry I felt for myself,
and it just stayed dry and root-bent,
but I imagined that the moisture of my breath
maybe called it back from somewhere deep
in the ground where it hadn’t been pulled up from
to make a new gravel parking lot
for the workers and food trucks with
their generators and drippings of brown
sauce and sense of breading.
I imagined my breath on that stick
could have wrung a five dollar bill
like water from a twisted rag.
I imagined that poor root wanted me to see
that movie more than any other force
in the universe. It’s not that I wanted
to see the movie, or to have an honest
answer wrung out of me, but that I didn’t
want to feel ignored any more.

Jay Snodgrass is the author of two books of poems. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Shenandoah and The Iowa Review.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

Source: Spoonflowe

                                                                                                 For Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum

The “N” word and the “”F” word are not allowed, now the “V” word has joined the crowd, it too lacks decorum, according to the speaker of the Michigan forum.  Don’t name the word, or claim the word, say it sounds like “China” or rhymes with “Regina” or sounds like the mynah, that bird who’s allowed to speak, never un-floored with bills or beak, always sharp, pointed and tearing, like the use of the “V” word,  Samas  decries  hearing.

Let’s play “Charades” and guess the agenda, legislate abortion to defend her, have doctors make certain,  as they draw the curtain, that “V” probes are needed, the V” stays seeded,  no law is absurd,  if you silence the word, also true for the  “V” word that sounds like “splenectomy”  and starts with “Vasec….”, in political charades of  gaming variety, one must maintain one’s propriety.

Lucille Gang Shulklapper writes fiction and poetry.   Her work appears in numerous journals and anthologies.  Recent work appears in Altered States (Main Street Rag),  Red Booth Review, The Prose-Poem Project, and The New Verse News.  She has also taught reading K-12, made recordings for the blind, and led workshops for The Florida Center for the Book and those facilitated through the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.

Monday, June 25, 2012


by BZ Niditch

Beggar sky,
no death
awakes the night wind
on your absence

or undiscovered ash
may silence
a solitude of words
along the unsettled sea

your shadows glimpse
the foaming cities
ripe constellations
wave to the anchorite  

and you. Walt Whitman
your nearby voice
reverberates on leave
its democratic ode.

BZ Niditch publishes in the underground press, in Spare Change, Poem, Scorpio zine, Pemmican, Vein,  Spillway,  Presa. His latest poetry collection is Lorca at Sevilla,(March St Press).


Sunday, June 24, 2012


by Lauren Camp

Fruit of the mangrove tree Avicennia marina in Nabq Protected Area.

My father filled with pauses so long he forgot how clear the river ran
and the screen of light through the Nabq trees;

many things must have gone wrong, many things, whether every night
or when someone pulled up the white tapestry of home,

pressed and folded. And the singing pots – what if they sang
to desolate sand as men with boxes began the work of stooping over,

and others walked past holding scalloped red pieces of worry? Could a person
leave behind stalls of lemons, honey and wool, leave the lithe lines

of sun in a city grown to the cadence of water? If they were taking it away,
he took what he could in his body: on his thick arms, the turmeric sun,

the hum of the water, his dark eyes like scars. He can’t wake up now

in that place where elders spoke gravel and each sweet sound
of orange. Three times it was fractions and tangles, then common

laconic laments repeating themselves. What he wanted
was waiting, was staying in the “to” of the future, tomorrow –

For what is salaam when you’re leaving your city sun-creased

and hunting? These uncertainties have always been part of his body;
once he was a boy with whooping cough. He walked through the wall

and door of absence and the sky gathered days. Goats and cows stood foolish
and heavy in dirt, but across the world, he didn’t turn around

into that unpredictable ending; instead, he consented to many
slow steps and strange punctuation, and now when he opens his palm,

it’s still filled with edges, still filled with dates.

Lauren Camp's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Muzzle, you are here, and Solo Novo. She has also guest edited special sections for World Literature Today (on jazz poetry) and for Malpaís Review (on the poetry of Iraq). The author of This Business of Wisdom (West End Press), Lauren blogs about poetry at Which Silk Shirt.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


by E. F. Schraeder

I have wiped white kitchen counters and chubby young faces,
watered plants, sung about love, and bent to scrape

thick black grease off a grill.

I've talked about books, ideas;

signed loans that hoped books changed things,
but learned I have plenty in common

with Lot’s wife.
I exercised restraint (like not buying

new jeans) and compassion
(like checks to good causes);

and have eaten and been hungry.
But I have never lied nor valued it,

not really, not like when
I don’t have it at all.

E.F. Schraeder's poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Haz Mat Review, Five Poetry, Corvus Magazine, New Verse News, and other journals.  She is currently working on a new manuscript of poems.

Friday, June 22, 2012


by Gail Thomas

A year after the earthquake that
triggered a tsunami and cracked
reactors in Japan, a researcher
said, We were kind of startled,
by the mighty bluefin tuna
carrying radioactive
contaminants across the vast
Pacific to our shores.

Swimming breakneck over
6,000 miles of ocean, the fish
sought a spawning ground
and scientists waited
for some rough beast gliding
toward Big Sur.

Years ago I camped among
the wildflowers of Big Sur
with my lover who came from
 a small New England town.
She died at 31 from
a brain tumor as did others
in her town down river
from an old reactor.  Last week
a 90-year-old woman
chained herself to
its rusted gate.

Gail Thomas has published two books of poetry, No Simple Wilderness: An Elegy for Swift River Valley (Haleys) and Finding the Bear (Perugia Press).  Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Calyx, Hanging Loose, The North American Review, The Chiron Review, Cider Press Review, and The Prose Poem Project. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Ucross.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


by Katherine K. Horrigan

Then our heads were small and brown
Cave-painted with suns and moons
Now our heads are big and green
Printed, if you look closely,
With presidents' faces
In this darkness our eyes grow large
Looking further down the road
Where it won't be dark
Where we won't be lonely

After receiving her Ph.D. in 1997, Katherine Horrigan taught as an adjunct English professor for the University of Houston.  Print and online journals including The Birmingham Arts Journal, The Rusty Nail and The Molotov Cocktail have published her poetry and short stories.  She recently completed Drought, a novel set in South Texas, and her poetry will be published in the 2013 Texas Poetry Calendar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


by Jesse Millner

Source: The NY Daily News
Authorities suspect that the allegedly deranged attacker who gnawed off 75 percent of a homeless man's face in Miami on Saturday was under the influence of a dangerous yet sometimes legal drug known as "bath salts." The Week. May 27, 2012.

There’s nothing better than a hot bath
Late afternoon after spending sweaty hours
Trimming fire bush and hibiscus, tearing
Out invasive Boston fern.  I like to lie
Back in the tub with my favorite
Vanilla cinnamon bath salts, inhaling
The sweet scents as I leisurely read
Melville’s Typee, and after a while
I’m transported from South Florida
to the South Pacific. Where it’s

Early in the 19th century
And I’m hiding out from cannibals
On some beautiful atoll.  Everything’s
Vividly green, except for the blooming
Flowers: red, yellow, pink blossoms
Shining through the dark jungle
Like shivering Christmas lights.  I really like

Melville, and I really enjoy the way
His narrator doesn’t judge the natives
For eating human flesh, for dancing
Each night beneath piercing tropical
Stars that shine down and brighten
The spaces between the men
And women who truly live in Paradise,
Unlike this peninsula at the end of the world
Where I breathe in cinnamon and vanilla bath salts
And long for the naked polygamous women
I encounter with each turn of the page.

Jesse Millner's work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including River Styx, Willow Springs, and Pearl. His most recent poetry collection, Dispatches from the Department of Supernatural Explanation, was released by Kitsune Books in April 2012. Jesse teaches writing courses at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


by Howie Good

While we somehow sleep,
gray men in orange safety vests
scoop up roadkill with shovels
and fling it carelessly into the future.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011), as well as numerous print and digital poetry chapbooks, including most recently Love Dagger from Right Hand Pointing, To Shadowy Blue from Gold Wake Press and Love in a Time of Paranoia from Diamond Point Press.

Monday, June 18, 2012


by dan smith

The wages are the sin.
You struggle and you claw
and you have to listen at work
to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
The brainwashing machine
gets all the overtime
scrubbing you clean
down to the nub.
They'd like to bring back slavery
but it's not cost effective
and besides they've got it
close enough.
You vote against fellow workers
cause they're eating steak
and not baloney
but they aren't keeping
your wages low, they didn't fire you
or lay you off, they aren't making you
do the work of two or three.
They squeezed you down
and twisted you and now
you've made your fellow workers pay.
Hey, man, can I have a little more
baloney on this cheese?

dan smith is the author of Crooked River, a poetry chapbook published by Deep Cleveland Press. He has published in Scifaikuest, Pudding Magazine: The Journal of Applied Poetry, Paper Crow, Sein und Werden, Kaliedotrope, Dwarf Stars, microcosms, and a number of other print & on-line publications.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


by Anne Davies

God’s Rottweiler, doctrinally fanatical,
Thinks American nuns are much too radical
With thoughts and terminology
That shake up Vatican theology
Alas, the time is past for plungin’
Heretical sisters into the dungeon
Where a session on the rack
Would teach them never to answer back.

Benedict sees church authority tanking:
Time to give strong women a spanking
He’s not so severe with pedophiles
Who seduce the young with priestly wiles
They’re let off with a slap on the wrist,
Uppity sisters get the iron fist.

Far be it from agnostics to be critical
Of the Pope’s arguments Jesuitical
But it could be too late to bolt the latch
Pope Benedict may have met his match.

Anne Davies is a fund-raising writer by profession and a writer and versifier by avocation. Her work has been published in local and regional papers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Friday, June 15, 2012


by Esther Greenleaf Murer

The Shoes of the Fisherman
are missing the third shoe.
It is easy enough for a pope
to pledge the Church's wealth
to alleviate world hunger,
just as it was easy enough
for a president to announce
the closing of Gitmo.
As the film's Chinese leader says,
Words are cheap.
What I want to know is,
what happened next?

The question is not whether
but how.
Did Anthony Quinn
die of mysterious causes?
Did they crank up
the other Holy See
at Avignon?
Can a pope be impeached
or tried on trumped-up charges
of choirboy abuse?

But why indulge
in fruitless speculation?
Let's dissolve the government
and hand the world's problems over
to Hollywood.

Esther Greenleaf Murer's poetry has most recently appeared in Lyre Lyre, Cartographie Curieux, Infinity's Kitchen, and The Centrifugal Eye. She published her first collection, Unglobed Fruit, in 2011.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


by Michael Cantor

a giant flag

It arrived in eighty star-flecked crates
in a caravan of sixteen trucks
with eagles painted on the doors
and an Honor Guard of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts

and the Veterans of All Wars
marched with them from the depot
to the fields past Table Mountain
where the FLAG would be assembled and displayed;

held horizontal
not allowed to touch the ground

rippling very slightly as the expert holders agitated it:
the largest GIANT FLAG that ever was
larger than a dozen football fields;
a cathedral, it was said, of fabric, rope, and blood and pride.
    .    .    .    .

Those who  spent their lives amidst great flags
and multitudes of flags,
who wore flag pins, tattoos and flag insignia,
who loved the flags that flew at sports events

and auto sales and jumbo stores; who spent their time at
rallies where the flags were stacked in staggered tiers
that swept across great rows of uniforms; and thrilled to portraits
of the flag-draped faces of their leaders and their leader’s wives

who roared as drums accompanied 
The Entrance of the Flags
even these, the oldest, flag-wise, flag-ennobled
townsfolk all agreed that this was special and unique

that their GIANT FLAG would dwarf all other flags
that ever waved or stretched or ever were
and that this day would not be soon forgotten. 
    .    .    .

With practiced skill
as quick as flight
the site was organized
and interlocking light

blue tarps staked down to form a shield
for there was danger here:
if a calamity occurred, if the GIANT FLAG should drop upon the ground

but accidental, fleeting contact with a plastic sheet
would be acceptable.
A Council formed of nine retired Generals
the mayor and three clergymen agreed on this.
    .    .    .

Eighty crates were spaced out on the tarps
and work began; starting from the center, stretching, holding, joining sections
spreading out the nation’s colors as the nation once had spread -
and almost from the start the strain began to show upon the expert holders

huge men, men who worked on farms and in the mills
biceps and shoulder muscles humped like bulls
heels dug in, leaning backwards
almost parallel to the ground

great forearms quivering to keep the GIANT FLAG
from touching even plastic: too proud to ask for help.
But help was needed, and as the FLAG dipped dangerously
the Volunteer Town Firemen, unasked, unspoken, rose as one

and squatted, skittered, duck-walked underneath the FLAG –
thick-bodied men who carried hose through burning buildings,
ducking low to breathe pure air, they were ideal for this task.
The FLAG continued growing, the holders spread more thinly now

and the Police Auxiliary slid under the rippling silk and canvas
as others grabbed the edges
the entire high school football team
and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

doctors and lawyers, housewives, store clerks, ministers,
factory workers, farmhands, a baker still smelling of cinnamon and yeast,
holding up the GIANT FLAG, keeping it unsullied, sacrosanct
and the word spread, and those beneath the flag all knew

and the few remaining on the sidelines understood
that underneath the flag the light that filtered through
and blended all the streams and shades and colors of the nation
was beautiful.  And well worth any sacrifice.

    .    .    .

At last, the FLAG was stretched, the holders screaming in triumphant pain
the multitudes beneath its silk and cotton span each sharing in the task
                        and then

with crowd and fabric tensed and trembling
the signal was emitted to initiate the

Four silver jets came streaking over treetops, directly from the east
the sun behind them stark and white
a noise above, a roar and they were gone –
four contrails arcing gracefully like flowers in a vase

and visible for just a blink, a micro-second, when –
the ground erupted in a fire ball
that swallowed FLAG and fields, holders, volunteers, and spectators
that reached six thousand feet!
    .    .    .

Intensive inquiries were launched, of course
investigations, hearings, testimony to Committees:
a chemical reaction, possibly; a compound in the tarpaulin
or glue that added strength to silk, released by heat beneath the FLAG

a static spark set off the gas
a bomb was buried in the grass
there was a man who saw a silver object falling from the final jet
the sunlight glinted as it tumbled, he was sure of that

and strangers camped near Table Mountain
in the weeks before the incident, were gone –
they had received a phone call, it was said, and disappeared
and whispers claimed no silver jets were sent to fly that day

no records of the pilots’ names
no documents, no trace
no reasons for the signal lights
some noticed in the hills.

The hearings carried on,
executives were called to testify, and experts in their fields
and what was first decided was to raise a monument:
a Study Group took over, and their meetings soon began. 

Michael Cantor's poetry collection, Life in the Second Circle, was published by Able Muse Press in 2012, and a chapbook, The Performer, by Pudding House Press in 2007.  His poetry has appeared in The Dark Horse, Raintown Review, Measure, Shit Creek Review, Chimaera, Umbrella, and many other journals and anthologies.  Honors include the New England Poetry Club Gretchen Warren and Erika Mumford Awards. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


by Lynnie Gobeille

Somewhere out there
I know she is still wearing a big hat
Sipping a mint julep
Leaning back
Settling into a soft comfy wicker chair.

Reminiscing of those days long gone
When clocks and time stood still
I hear her voice as she shouts:
     “and they’re off”

I watch as she leans forward;
this motion
and her chemo-baldness
causing her hat to slip…

I see her freeze framed
in this moment of pure jubilation….
The air heavy, seeped in hibiscus red
My mother’s voice echoing within my head.

Lynnie Gobeille is one of the co-founders of  The Origami Poems Project, a world wide “free poetry event” based in Rhode Island. She has published in The Sow's Ear Review, Crone’s Nest, The Avatar, The Prairie Home Companion, This I Believe (NPR), The New Verse News, The Providence Journal (Poetic License) and The Naugatuck River Review.  Her  micro-chapbooks have been published by The Origami Poems Project.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


by E.F. Schraeder

Slight girl, no more than six:
pallid faced, like hunger
just before vitamin deficiencies.

The collapse of a small frame
a quiet thing, easy to miss
as glacial ice melting

from below as an ocean warms.
Her eyes a little sunken,

voice a little flat. She shrugs

when you ask how she is

or what she wants to be

when grown up, a time too late

from what she needs now.
Passing check up at school
with the right boxes checked,

vaccines and illness history.
TANF is silent as a moon, and
no one from Children’s Services

ever asks how she feels.

Not even an expert teacher
responsible for the curriculum

of standardized materials

can pause to listen to her
unexceptional cues of disappointment.

E.F. Schraeder's poems have appeared or are forthcoming at Haz Mat Review, Five Poetry, Corvus Magazine, New Verse News, and other journals.  She is currently working on a new manuscript of poems.

Monday, June 11, 2012


by David Chorlton

From fire to the fulfillment
of prophecies
we’ve thought of so many ways
the last days could come
that someone always sees
the endtimes through the sights
of a gun, and spends what time
he has preparing
for when there’s nothing
but a wasteland populated
by hungry survivors. He’s got supplies
for the afterlife
foil wrapped, canned, and shrink wrapped,
and ammunition enough
to keep them away from anyone
who comes asking, crawling
perhaps through the ashes
to the trailer he finally towed
out of his garage, packed
to its bolted seams
with vegetables, jerky, powdered
milk and anything dried
when the only commodity
that can’t be preserved
is hope.

David Chorlton has lived in Arizona since 1978, when he moved from Vienna, Austria. While much of his poetry is about the Southwestern landscape, his newest publication, and first work of fiction, is The Taste of Fog from Rain Mountain Press, reflecting a darker side of Vienna.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


by Bill Costley

What are you dying of?
is the unspoken thought

during these dying decades; many think
of breast cancer, AIDS, Alzheimers,
incurable (yet uncured) pandemics, all

unspeakable thoughts, read in the a.m. paper
by lunch become 'the known cause of death.’

At lunch I was told: "as a 70yr old man, you
already have testicular cancer"; already well
aware of it, I try not to think about it often,

but it seems you can't escape dying
as subject anymore; instead, try

thinking yourself out of suffering.

Bill Costley has served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union. He lives in Santa Clara, CA. The latest volume ( Number Eleven)  of Costley's  New Verse News epic The Chen@id can be accessed by clicking here.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


by Lylanne Musselman

fuel hover cat -
and an eerie reality
in flight: dead Orville.

Lylanne Musselman lives in Toledo, Ohio, where she teaches writing of all stripes at Terra State, and Ivy Tech Community Colleges. Her work is forthcoming, or has appeared, in The Bird’s Eye reView, The Prose-Poem Project, The Rusty Nail, Pank, Tipton Poetry Journal, The New Verse News, Literary Brushstrokes, and many literary anthologies. Lylanne is the author of three chapbooks: Prickly Beer & Purple Panties (Bacon Tree Press, 2007), A Charm Bracelet for Cruising (Winged City Press, 2009) and Winged Graffiti (Finishing Line Press, 2011).

Friday, June 08, 2012


by David Feela

  for Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Mars is on fire tonight,
his Martians
chronicling the transit
of his shadow
composed of ink,

wide as a planet, observed
by our scientists who mistook it
for Venus
passing between us
and a dandelion sun.

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


by Mary Krane Derr


Twice every century and a quarter perhaps,
a tiny, featureless black dot
of womanly love
crosses wholly without handholds
that gigantic thermonuclear boil
of masculine rage so intense,
unfiltered it will put
both of your merely,
shamefully human eyes out.

But what if instead
the patriarch here
is the brightest braggart
of nighttime stars
glimpsed and revealed
as a black dot so small
what could it matter any more,
how corrosively, compressively he hides
his surface of 90 breathless times
the pressure of the Earth’s
under such thick, offputting vortices
of hot fulsome sulfur.

Glimpsed and revealed
through, not against
the self-luminous
tremendum of cosmic
whirligig of lifegiving
generosity so ample,
you can’t look at her directly
even as you take natural faith
that the Brigid cross
of rushes spiraling above
your redorange painted door
minutely and gently reflects her
in its blessing of whoever
transits across your transom,
its protection of you and your hearth
from the flare of too much
fire all at once.

Mary Krane Derr is a poet, writer, and musician from the South Side of Chicago. Her poems "Prevents Conception/By Her Very Own Choice," "At This Address," and "Rubble Dream"  previously appeared in The New Verse News. The Brigid cross, a very old Irish custom, originated as an image of the sun. Mary's great great grandmother emigrated to the US from Tullow, County Carlow, not far from a well-known shrine to Brigid in County Kildare.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


by Andrew Hilbert

FAA guidelines allow law enforcement to use drones with government permission.

They fly above us,
American flags emblazoned
where the bomb drop doors
are super glued shut

Above traffic jams and beggars
pizza delivery boys and police officers
pigeons and people

Going from one place to the other

Photographed and data-based
just in case,

just in case.

Andrew Hilbert lives and works in Austin, TX. He runs The Cheesepaper blog.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


by David Feela

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last

The superhero always hangs from the edge
since the first reel of fantasy time,
only seconds left before evil
steps out to the ledge

sporting black steel-toed boots
and a smile that reeks of pleasure.
The situation appears helpless,
hopeless to us,

                Close-up on the face of a clock,
                a frizzle of wires like Medusa’s hair
                leading to the bomb already thinking boom

but wait:

the evil one drops his titanium toothpick—
the superhero sees it fall, curls his split lip to catch it,
clenches the toothpick between his teeth
and prepares to launch it with his tongue

at such a velocity the toothpick will lodge
in the face of the clock,
prevent the minute hand from reaching high noon:
only three seconds left:

                Close-up on the evil face
                suspecting his jig is up, sweat
                trickling now, the smile
                shifting to a tight little grimace...

The credits roll,
no need to explain how it all works out,
the last three seconds
stretched to fifteen minutes, time

turned elastic for the sake of a cinematic snap.
We go along with the gimmick
film after film, saying
how riveting the whole story seemed,

thinking from the edge of our seats
if we just hang on
that’s all,
if we just hang on.

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Monday, June 04, 2012


by Patricia Barone

Escaping the brutal sons of men, the unveiled woman
left her rapists behind and hid in a mountain cave.
Though she hide her face with her long hair,
she asked a wise old woman to cut it off.

For a night and a day, she braided it—dark as obsidian—
and sewed the coils together for a hooded cloak.
To dull her pain, she ate hemp seeds,
then climbed the mountain road.

Her pursuers didn’t see her in the crevice of the cliff’s,
sheer drop—a basalt wall ending in scree below,
a fire pit above. She climbed higher, unseen,
past the altar of virgin sacrifice.

Her father and brothers were blind to women, even
the mothers split open to give them lives, a sister
buried in sand after the men who raped her
mistook her for a Markhor goat.

Her family tried to kill her for their honor and missed
the naked feet beneath her cloak of night. They
mistook them for the bones of a snow leopard.
They failed to see her eyes were opal fire
when this Persian cat leapt, and they
died of sinful inattention.

Patricia Barone published a novella, The Wind, and a book of poetry, Handmade Paper with New Rivers Press. Her poetry has been anthologized by Future Cycle, Mutabilis Press, Wising Up Press, Nodin Press, New Rivers Press, Loonfeather Press, Slapering Hol Press, and Prentice Hall. Poetry has appeared in periodicals, including Earth’s Daughters, The Prose Poem Project, Revival (Limerick Ireland), The Shop (County Cork), Germination (Canada), An Sionnach, American Poetry Journal, Great River Review, Pleiades, Commonweal, Seattle Review, Visions International, Widener Review, Blue Buildings, and Milkweed Chronicle. She received a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in poetry, chosen by Marilyn Hacker; a Lake Superior Contemporary Writers Award for short fiction, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Career Opportunity Grant to study with the Irish poet Eavan Boland.

Friday, June 01, 2012


by Carolyn Gregory

Who will be the next target,
now that the current one's
out of commission,
gunned down without a trace
of hair or lingering DNA?

Will he own a gold mine,
fleet of ships
or sovereign state
with pristine beaches,
deep wells not run dry?

Perhaps the next target
will surface three-headed
with a single ruby eye

or come to us in his final
incarnation, spurs at his heels
riding a gorgon,
flames shooting from his mouth.

Whatever happens,
we are guaranteed another target
for practice,
setting up another hunt,
dogs sniffing out
wet footprints of his trail.

Carolyn Gregory's poems and essays on music have been published in American Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, and Stylus. She was featured in For Lovers and Other Losses. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2011 and is a past recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council award. Her book, Open Letters, was published by Windmill Editions in 2009 and her next, Facing the Music, will be published in 2012.