Guidelines



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Saturday, September 26, 2020

MANMADE

 by Paul Smith


In Chicago, 558 people have been killed this year. That is 158 more than 2019. (Data and graphic through Tuesday, September 22 from Chicago Tribune)


We like to think
we are safe up here
away from the rising waters
to our south
when the winds blow really hard
and the seas get angry
we watch our brothers and sisters perish
on the news
glad we’re not among them
and far to the west
where our mountains meet the sea
fires burn out of control
houses blaze till they are skeletons
our brothers and sisters
suffocate and go up in smoke
whatever twinge of sympathy ignites in us
is escorted by the comfort provided by
the distance of a thousand miles
but something else new is going on
almost a natural phenomenon
that excites all our senses
here in Englewood and Austin
bright flashes in the brown light of evening
the smell of gunpowder
the sharp crack of weaponry
the wail of raging sirens
the chill of flesh going limp
without a pulse
mothers cry
brothers and sisters
get strapped to gurneys
so ongoing and constant
it makes you think of the Devonian
the Pleistocene
the Reconstruction


Paul Smith is a civil engineer who has worked in the construction racket for many years. He has traveled all over the place and met lots of people. Some have enriched his life. Others made him wish he or they were all dead. He likes writing poetry and fiction. He also likes Newcastle Brown Ale. If you see him, buy him one. His poetry and fiction have been published in Convergence, Packingtown Review, Literary Orphans, TheNewVerse.News, and other lit mags.

Friday, September 25, 2020

THE WAY PAVER

by Nan Ottenritter


“The Four Justices” by Nelson Shanks at the National Portrait Gallery.


for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

She liked to be inclusive,
provide comfort for everyone,
this woman-loved-by-most
who accomplished-so-much.

She preferred to say way paver over
pioneer-champion-prophet-ballbuster-
activist-change-maker-hero-leader
and I think I know why.

way paver does not part waters;
she lays paver after paver for the journey ahead.
way paver does not construct guardrails
but provides traction, focused action.

way paver builds upon those before,
celebrates those after, serves tea along the way.
And when her journey ends, we sip our warmth,
thankful for this paver’s way. 


Nan Ottenritter is a poet and musician who lives in Richmond, VA.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

by Katherine Smith
Artist: Steve Brodner via Pinterest


On the Senate Majority Leader


The oaks do not aspire
to spirit or imagination,
but grow straight up.
Indifferently

casting their shadows
over the saplings,
they search
for unopposed light
 
to fall from their canopy                       
into the shadowy ridged bark
of withered trees.
So too

there are human beings—
you know their names—
whose principles are limited
to domination and money.

They are called champions,
these proud lucky ones
that kill everything
that lives

beneath them.


Katherine Smith’s publications include appearances in Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review, and many other journals.  Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International and Gargoyle. Her first book Argument by Design (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) appeared in 2003. Her second book of poems Woman Alone on the Mountain (Iris Press), appeared in 2014. She teaches at Montgomery College in Maryland.

THE POOL BOY WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE FALWELLS

by Guillermo Filice Castro


Giancarlo Granda, the former Miami hotel pool attendant whose accusations of an affair helped lead to Jerry Falwell's resignation from Liberty University last month, now lives in the Washington area. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post September 18, 2020)


While some stay in the
shade, others sparkle by the pool
ogling the hunky towel boy,
peach Bellini in hand. And who
knows what else stirs in their minds, brought
forth by a pulpit’s power, dumped down
into a young life: Here is my prayer for the
day when we bid farewell to the world’s Falwells.


Guillermo Filice Castro is a poet and photographer from Argentina. His chapbooks include Mixtape for a War (Seven Kitchens Press, 2018) and Agua, Fuego (Finishing Line Press, 2015). His work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, What Rough Beast, The Normal School, Fugue, Court Green, La Presa, among many others. Instagram: @guillermo_f_castro

Thursday, September 24, 2020

"PERHAPS YOU SHOULD ADOPT A MORE CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ORIENTATION"

by Katherine West




In Memoriam for victims of the Rochester, New York shooting.


My doctor suggests after a complete physical 
He has failed to discover 
The source of my trouble 
Though I feel as if I will never recover 

He finds nothing in the blue pools of my eyes 
What could cause this endless weeping?
Blood pressure numbers don't lie
I will have a long time yet to live 

No medication for what ails me 
I am simply living inside-out 
He seems to imply, wearing my heart on my sleeve 
Where it has no business being, it has no clout 

In the streets, in the slums 
At the parties that are not fun 
Where students lie in pools of blood 
Too much love, he claims, not enough guns

Too much love, he claims, not enough guns 
Where students lie in pools of blood 
At the parties that are not fun 
In the streets, in the slums 

Where it has no business being, it has no clout 
He seems to imply, wearing my heart on my sleeve
I am simply living inside-out 
No medication for what ails me 

I will have a long time yet to live 
Blood pressure numbers don't lie 
What could cause this endless weeping?
He finds nothing in the blue pools of my eyes 

Though I feel as if I will never recover 
The source of my trouble 
He has failed to discover 
My doctor suggests after a complete physical 

"Perhaps you should adopt a more 
conservative political orientation."

Katherine West is the author of three collections of poetry and one novel: Scimitar Dreams, The Bone Train, Riddle, and Lion Tamer, respectively.  She has had poetry published in Bombay Gin, Lalitamba, Tanka Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and TheNewVerse.News who nominated her poem "And Then the Sky" for a Pushcart Prize in 2019.  She lives in the mountains outside of Silver City, New Mexico where she translates Mexican revolutionary poetry and creates custom, hand-made poetry chapbooks.

BUT

by William Aarnes


Art by Clara Lieu


The guy who’s keyboarding these lines
wants to hope that the world would be better—  

more hospitable, less deadly—
if people agreed to do without guns.

But I’m the dread in his head, dwelling      
on how many guns are already loaded,

how many aimed, how many already fired,
piercing lead already in the wounded, in the dead,    

my thoughts having shot their way through    
his fingers on to his computer screen:

“Time to buy a gun or two?  Or stockpile
an arsenal?”  Sure, he’s already deleted

those thoughts. But I’m the dread in his head. 


William Aarnes lives in South Carolina.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

THE LAST ELECTION

by George Held


“The worst case,” [Barton] Gellman writes [in The Atlantic], “is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him.” Merely by refusing to concede, Trump could keep the electoral result in doubt through the 79-day period between Election Day and the day the next president is to be inaugurated. Gellman's reporting shows that Republicans are already discussing plans to bypass the popular vote and directly appoint electors to the Electoral College. This could lead the country to a precipice: Two men could show up to be sworn in on Inauguration Day. “One of them,” Gellman writes, “would arrive with all the tools and power of the presidency already in hand.” —Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor, The Atlantic in today’s email to subscribers releasing the magazine’s November cover story.


 ...the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote... 
—Twelfth Amendment, U.S. Constitution
 

The sound of horse-drawn tumbrils
Echoes in DuPont Circle 
Punctuated by the chop of the guillotine 
As the heads of the opposition fall—
the chairs of the most strategic committees,
ranking members of others,
obstreperous heads of key organizations... 
 
The death of the most influential liberal
Justice and her replacement
By another grim rightist ideologue 
Have opened the sluice gates
Of reprisal and crimson revenge. 
 
The Orange Duce is often smiling
As good fortune shines upon him,
Death having opened a decisive seat
On the Supreme Court—never more supreme
Than when handing down death—and then
As prescribed by the Twelfth Amendment,
He receives another term in what will be
The last election, election for life.
 
So, set in motion by his hippo
Of a compliant attorney general,
Who gets the Orange Man’s code— 
No translator needed—his bizarre fantasy
Of a return to the terror of the sans culottes
Haunts official Washington and the entire country,
 
Like a corporeal rendition of the Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse,
Every night at 5 on Fox TV, kicked off
By a pep rally and boastful remarks
By the Orange Man in Chief,
The tumbrils roll and the glistening blade falls
While, in the continuing pandemic,
The maskless base howls in visceral support.
 
 
A longtime contributor to The New Verse News, George Held plans to vote in 2020.

PAEAN TO AUTUMN

by Earl J. Wilcox



None would have believed last fall—
a serene, simple season of coolish
weather, baseball season winding
down, tailgating, leaf peeping,
early frosts all—sublime memories
of a time before now: wildfires, 
hurricanes, Covid deaths, floods, 
earthquakes, melting ice caps, 
hummingbirds astray and lost,
migrant camps afire, baseball
season so bizarre even umpires
get the blues. We need more
Whitmans, fewer Plaths, a couple
of Frosts, a seashore Oliver. 
Even an old-fashioned Wordsworth
or Shelley might spirit us away
toward winter already on its way
on this first week of autumn.


Earl J. Wilcox has sung his share of September songs.

DENIAL

by Joanne Kennedy Frazer


Dying Sunflower is a photograph by Robert Ullmann


The huge       yellow-orange sunflower
     once showy    &    tall    &    haughty       
 
looked down       on common      
      ordinary      plant life.
 
Now     petals gone     devoid     of seed     
      spine collapsing     it does not
notice        its season     has  passed.


Joanne Kennedy Frazer is a retired peace and justice director and educator for faith-based organizations at state, diocesan and national levels. Her work has appeared in several Old Mountain Press anthologies, Poetic Portions anthologySoul-lit Spiritual Poetry, Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine, Panoply Literary Zine, Snapdragon Journal, Whirlwind Magazine, Kakalak, Red Clay Review and Gyroscope Review. Five poems were turned into a song cycle, Resistance, by composer Steven Luksan, and performed in Seattle and Durham.  Her chapbook Being Kin (CreationRising Press) was published in 2019.  She lives in Durham, NC.

THE CREW

by Mark Danowsky




Never enough love
for friends of our youth

some of whom get left behind

or so it feels

Hearing one of us went down
unnatural, too soon

I don’t know what to tell myself  

with each fresh loss
I turn a little more inward  

not ambiguous

layer on layer 

What is it we all wanted for each other back then? 
Glory? Fame? No―

togetherness


Mark Danowsky is a Philadelphia poet, author of the poetry collection As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press), Managing Editor of the Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Editor of ONE ART poetry journal.

THE RACEHORSE THEORY

by Mickey J. Corrigan


T***p tells white audience in Minnesota they have 'good genes.'



Only the best horses
the best of the best
genes all American
we have been told
winning is ours, it's
in the genes

In the genes
of the whitewashed
suburban picket fences
clean rural outposts
pristine fields, barns
purebred offspring
the best future
of the ultimate winners
of this gifted generation
history outpacing, outrunning
imagination so we cannot see
our dwindling
power dementia darkness
taking root.

Taking root
in the hayfields, cornfields
urban tracks and highways
bleachers and country clubs
of the best country
only the best
of the best of us
betting on the top
horse to win
at any cost.

At any cost
we run the track
we've run before
we keep losing
the best
of the human race
costing us
everything.


Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Novels include  Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Grandma Moses Press will publish the poetry chapbook Florida Man later this year. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

THE YEAR 2020 WEST COAST FIRES

by Sister Lou Ella Hickman 


An orange sky filled with wildfire smoke hangs above hiking trails at the Limeridge Open Space in Concord, California, on Wednesday. Photograph: Brittany Hosea-Small/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian, September 9, 2020


Sister Lou Ella is a former teacher and librarian. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines such as America, First Things, Emmanuel, Third Wednesday, and TheNewVerse.News as well as in four anthologies: The Night’s Magician: Poems about the Moon, edited by Philip Kolin and Sue Brannan Walker, Down to the Dark River edited by Philip Kolin, Secrets edited by Sue Brannan Walker, and After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2017. Her first book of poetry entitled she: robed and wordless was published in 2015. (Press 53.)

IMPOSSIBLE

by Diana Morley


A neighborhood destroyed by fire is seen as wildfires devastate the region, Thursday Sept. 10, 2020 in Talent, Ore. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein via The Record Searchlight)


Two long days driving
through thick smoke
behind, ahead, behind
other fleeing drivers,
all going seventy, eighty mph
to get to air.
 
Diverted from inland to coast
from coast to inland—
fire grenades exploding 
in the hills alongside,
confusing the confused

on the road through 
Sweet Home
behind family
trailer homes
horse trailers
evacuating out of town 
till I reach a motel
where I need news— 

the radio 
assures me at 5 pm—

stock market up a tad

China, a valuable resource
for released Disney film—
‘an impossible resource to ignore.’


Author’s Note: I escaped the Alameda fire in Talent last Tuesday. For two days I thought my house was gone, then learned mine and one other neighbor’s survived on the block. That’s fire for you. My return won’t be to the neighborhood; it will be to both sorrow for my neighbors and joy for all those helping and planning for the future.


Diana Morley has published two books of poetry, one in 2019, one this year, been awarded honors by the Oregon Poetry Assn.  Lived in Oregon for 20 years, in Talent for 15 years. 

HAZED AND DIFFUSED

by Rémy Dambron




As the sound of our neighbor’s lawn 
mower pierces the silence of the hellish 
landscape forming just past our bedroom 
window my wife and I exchange mirroring 
glances of hostile befuddlement 
maddened by this man’s unfathomable 
indifference to the bewilderment of 
smoke flowing freely into his eyes 
and down deep into his lungs despite 
wearing a confident smile as he strolls 
absentmindedly through his yard 
pushing that obnoxious gas powered 
machine to shorten the small strip of 
parched grass that faces our still baffled 
faces now visibly posing the inevitable question 
what in the actual fuck is happening? 
We continue to watch in shock as I frantically 
google the news desperate to confirm that 
yes in fact there are wildfires blazing at 
our city’s doorstep in addition to riots and 
shootings and protests and looting and tagging 
and militias immersed in science refuting and 
that this conundrum of a man tending to his plot 
amidst the infiltrating remains floating in from 
burning homes incinerated cars perished 
businesses lost livelihoods vanishing forests 
and melted memories isn’t just symptomatic 
of some feverish dream or drug-induced vision 
or mystical illusion or some grave delusion but 
that our mutual astonishment is actual credible 
physical proof of the resilience of our little remaining 
sanity.


Rémy Dambron is an activist, environmentalist, and author based out of Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in What Rough Beast, Writer's Resist, Poets Reading the News, and TheNewVerse.News, focusing largely on denouncing political corruption and advocating for social justice. Without the love and support of his wife Susan, he would not be the writer he is today.  

IMAGES OF THE OREGON APOCALYPSE

 by Tricia Knoll

Scientists say that the wildfires in the West combined with drought and record heat waves could be triggering one of the Southwest’s largest migratory bird die-offs in recent decades. Photo Credit: Allison Salas/New Mexico State University via The New York Times, September 15, 2020


Is there any reason to write anything today
when ink on paper looks like soot
fallen from a malignant sky? The oneness
we dream about flies in this wind: their house
of forty years, the plastic wading pool and hose,
rake, car, Bible, gramma’s wedding pictures,
ash of curtain, ash of couch, ash of rug,
the soot is a negative of what all they had. 

How many dead birds have you ever seen
in your life? One or two bounced off a window?
Maybe your cat was a bad actor or you
were the bad actor that let your cat roam.
But piles of the dead? The migrating dead
won’t be back next year. We didn’t really
know exactly how they found their way
in the first place.

Such great weariness. With flimsy masks.
Stay inside to not be sick – you’ve followed
that mantra for months. You can’t outwalk
this cloud. Or see from one bridge to the next.
The firefighters sleep in peril. And wake
in dark fatigue. You check your air numbers
every hour and somewhere else is flooding
under winds that twirl the birds. 


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet who lived in Portland, Oregon for 45 years. She is checking in with her friends under evacuation watches, hears of one who lost her home and sees the images with great sadness.

CUSP OF WHAT COMES NEXT

by Annie Stenzel


The Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline, seen from Treasure Island, are barely visible through Sept. 11’s hazy air because of smoke from the state’s wildfires.Photo: Nick Otto / Special to The San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 2020


Avert your eyes. That window frames a post-apocalyptic sky. Standard issue.
Darkness at 9:00 a.m. Six months into one cataclysm; three-plus weeks into
another. Make no joke involving sword, famine, or beasts from the wild.

Solace is scarce. Mental shelves looted of stock a person needs for survival.
Inventory now includes next to no patience. Scant fortitude. Very little
good cheer. How to re-order, regenerate, when the supply-chain is depleted?

Impossible not to think the worst. You sketch a picture captioned, “The End Times
Loom.” Remembered images from other horror stories crush barriers hastily
built to keep reality out. Reptile brain advises flight, because

how could one even begin to fight such an enemy? We are the tiny creatures
around which ash swirls wildly in our inescapable globe. All those prior
chances to live and learn; to change the course of our headlong tumble

into climate chaos. Fifty-eight years since Silent Spring. Fourteen years beyond
An Inconvenient Truth. And us with two hands still over our eyes, two
over our ears and our merry mouths declaiming, “Move along! Nothing to see here.”


Annie Stenzel was born in Illinois, but has lived on both coasts of the U.S. and on other continents at various times in her life. Her book-length collection is The First Home Air After Absence (Big Table Publishing, 2017). Her poems appear in print and online journals in the U.S. and the U.K., from Ambit to Willawaw Journal with stops at Chestnut Review, Gargoyle, Gone Lawn, On the Seawall, Psaltery & Lyre, SWWIM, The Ekphrastic Review, and The Lake, among others. A poetry editor for the online journals Right Hand Pointing and West Trestle Review, she currently lives within sight of the San Francisco Bay.

Monday, September 21, 2020

IT’S PERSONAL

by Martha Deed

for Ruth Bader Ginsburg





It's spring 1973 and the trees are budding
on 111th Street along the south edge of Columbia
and I, ripening also, am walking home
from the obstetrician's office at St Luke's
The walk is weekly now
Ready
Pass by a smiling female undergraduate
She waves and says
"Next time you will have a choice."
Yes
She does not know
This time I did have a choice
though others haven't
and while pregnant
I met with women at the clinic
(We negotiated my obvious condition delicately)
as I sent them to Puerto Rico or elsewhere
our male director having said
Psychotherapy is not the answer
for women who've been raped
or secretly abused
and so we linked with doctors*
who had licenses and safe offices
Five women
We looked at each other
We saw each other
We understood that what is good for one
could be catastrophic for the other
We understood that freedom does not include
dictating what should happen to someone else's body
but only what should happen to our own 


*Our clinic utilized Clergy Consultation Service.





Martha Deed, PhD has published two poetry collections (Under the Rock, 2019 and Climate Change, 2014, both with FootHills Publishing) 5 other full-length books, a half dozen chapbooks since her retirement as a Psychologist, dozens of poetry publications.  Her work is frequently anthologized. She received a Pushcart Nomination from The New Verse News in 2011. Lives on the Erie Canal in WNY.

PENCIL

by Indran Amirthanayagam



for Sara Cahill Marron

There is a time to mourn and a time
to review the cards and cast them
again on the table trusting God
to guide your hand, to say this pencil
you left with roses, chrysanthemums,
lilies, in a riot of passionate flowers
before the Supreme Court, will be
picked up by a girl after the period
of mourning, not to be conserved
in the Smithsonian's Museum
of American History, but to write
the story of a young lawyer come
to Washington to interpret laws
with grace, acuity and impartiality,
to the best of her ability, until
such time as their articulation
becomes almost unnecessary,
so ingrained they would become
in the social conscience of
Americans walking then freely. 


Indran Amirthanayagam writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has 19 poetry books, including The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press, 2020) and Sur l'île nostalgique (L'Harmattan, 2020). In music, he recorded Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly, is a columnist for Haiti en Marchewon the Paterson Prize, and is a 2020 Foundation for the Contemporary Arts fellow.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

STATISTIC

by Howie Good


After six years of war in Yemen, it looks like the world’s worst humanitarian crisis is being forgotten and treated with indifference. —Atlantic Council, September 17, 2020. Photo: Burying a child who was killed in an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, in 2017. Credit: Yahya Arhab/European Pressphoto Agency via The New York Times, September 16, 2020.


A boy lies sprawled
by the edge of the road,

his chest torn open
by a chunk of shrapnel.

You could see his heart beating
if you bothered to look. 


Howie Good is the author of The Death Row Shuffle, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

SONNET FOR THE COLLAR

by Diane Elayne Dees





The collar of dissent was pale and fragile—
deceptive, with its lace and quaint design.
She wore it with both dignity and humor;
yet it doubled as a sword. She had no fear—
her armor was devised of sacred words,
her ability to reason, and to plea
for equality for women, and for all
whose voices are dismissed and ridiculed.
The collar, a dainty symbol of our rage,
is woven from the threads of our despair.
It can’t be ripped or torn, or stained by hate,
yet on its own, it has no magic power.
It’s not enough to know how much it meant—
we have to put it on, we must dissent.


Diane Elayne Dees's poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Her chapbook, Coronary Truth, is available from Kelsay Books. Diane also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women's professional tennis throughout the world.

Friday, September 18, 2020

YOU SHOULD WRITE A POEM, YIAYIA—MY GRANDCHILDREN TEXT ME

by Pamela Devereaux Wilson




our well stopped working five days ago
i hand-pump water from storage containers
boil for cleaning, food prep and drinking
flush toilet with a pail

the physical work, breathing hazardous wildfire ash
that coats and clogs my mask as temperatures reach 80
advised to stay indoors but i pray best under the old apple tree
today we are told we have the worst air quality in the world

500,000 people, a tenth of Oregon's population, evacuated
when they go home, will they find piles of smoldering ash
where their lives were once lived and fulfilled
22 missing at least 10 dead

millions of acres of Oregon's Cascades blackened for years
i may never see it green again nor walk forests of wade rivers
when rains come, hillsides will flow into rivers—crisis within crisis

many are water insecure - travel miles for water
dwindling or polluted sources
greed, corruption—survive every day without potable water

drenched in this heat, breathing ash-filled air
my dog won't go outside
my head aches constantly—i don't have water—I can't breathe

in tears i rage—i can't fix anything for anyone right now
do you know how much five gallons of Costco water costs

so i haul, pump, boil, cool and pour water
write this poem for my hopeful grandchildren
full of spunk, promise and joy yet I shall not
share the despair this poem sings --
                                                                                             without clean water
                                                                                          without breathable air life
                                                                                              stutters stumbles dies


Pamela Devereaux Wilson lives on acreage north of Corvallis in the Luckimute Watershed. There she gardens, continues to learn about herbal medicine and writes. As she ages, changes, uninvited and unforeseen have begun to shape her writing but the influence of her grandchildren has been a steady force.

SIGN OF OUR TIMES

 by Lylanne Musselman


Collage by Edutopia; Photography by Al Rendon, John Halpern, Todd-Bingham Picture Collection and Family Papers, and Everett Collection


Discussions of dead
sycamores, dancing
doves, piecing together
puzzle skies,
mom’s dementia, and
America’s downfall:
too many guns,
too many dumbasses
to mention,
a deranged
president of U.S.
but not for us:
the humble,
the stressed,
the open-
minded,
kind
poets
who dig
deeper
during
dark
times.

Lylanne Musselman is an award-winning poet, playwright, and artist, living in Indiana. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal, The New Verse News, Rose Quartz Magazine, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others, and many anthologies. Musselman is the author of five chapbooks, a co-author of the volume of poetry, and author of the full-length poetry collection It’s Not Love, Unfortunately (Chatter House Press, 2018). She’s currently working on another volume of poetry.

KNOWLEDGE FROM A POEM

by Howard Winn




Wallace Stevens would have known
what to make of the leader we find
ourselves with the man who is
really the emperor of ice cream
liquid only under certain icy temperatures
and much too saccharine to be permanent
and even true and self-appointed to
lead the selfish and the stupid
with minds that speak to the child-
like desires of self and the race
they believe is the right one to
lead and rule and to kill the
different, who dare to suggest
all human kind of many colors
counts equally in a democracy
that is more solid than ice cream.


Howard Winn has just had published a collection of his poems, many of which have been published in major literary journals. He is Professor of English at SUNY.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

FACEBOOK FOLLY

by Casey Aimer


Stop Hate For Profit



i am slowly destroying my social media.

manually for hours, months, deleting
individual likes, comments, memories.

i believed if my life was not shared
existence would be the tree no one heard.
i wrote to take that wood and give it voice.

this deleting myself—call it revolution.

we chambered our own minds
letting them echo in petri dishes.
placing past and present inside
digital safes for our future
we offered that up too.

i kept my sites so long
knowing memory lapses but
i’d rather forget than be paraded

this is me redrawing.


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Casey Aimer holds an MFA in poetry from Texas State and a bachelor’s in prose from Texas A&M University. He was born and raised in Central Texas, and advocates for honest questions expressed in unconventional styles. A devoted anarchist, he hopes to escape the United States soon.

AS SMALL AS A PIMPLE

by Dmitry Blizniuk 

translated by Sergey Gerasimov from the Russian


Stop Hate for Profit


There's no room in history for a wanderer with a backpack,
or a cobbler in a circle of splinter light,
or a girl with a walking stick.
There is nothing human in the history of humans.
We examine and study all forms and kinds of war monsters,
detective or horror stories.
History is emptied out pools of time:
people's blood and stupidity of rulers have flowed out,
and only dry mud is left,
senseless, enameled emptiness,
and pyramids, burial mounds of years and dates.
But now we see our reflection in the Internet,
colorful shadows of asses and faces in social networking sites.
A greenish sick salmon 
sluggishly slaps its tail in the dirty water
among oil spills, candy wrappers,
and all kinds of garbage.
Looking at the gasoline stain on water
you can see your reflected face—
and you are as small as a pimple.


Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Pinch, Salamander, Willow Springs, Grub Street, and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine. Member of PEN America.