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Monday, August 31, 2020


by Gary Glauber

The action’s good and nasty
till late in the game
when angers flare
on the hard court:
sudden death, annihilation,
season-ending elimination,
the paint inside, the pain out.
There are no more fouls to give.
Nothing but sharp sounds
of rubber on wood
punctuate proceedings
until whistle blows and
we awaken to a world seething
in misdirected rage, driving the lane
under falsest of pretenses.
Shots in the back are foul shots.
And criminal ignorance walks unimpeded,
as if rewarded points for
an intentional flagrant
as pseudo-reparation,
a false notion of prejudice
masquerading as protection.
Serious spins go deking and ducking,
a head fake here and next thing
a body leans in to draw
the biggest foul imaginable,
the same one that has
poisoned outcomes
before the game ever begins.
For now, there is outrage,
hope replaced by those
sick and tired of playing at
this unjust and unfair contest
like hurling one up from half court,
wishing it might yet go in
when life repeatedly
shows you otherwise.
Sadness and frustration
dictate the facts that
for now, this game is over.

Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog, and strives to survive modern life’s absurdities. He has three collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit) as well as two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. Another collection, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing), is forthcoming soon.


by Joanne Kennedy Frazer

Bad Dog Metalworks

the great unraveling      has begun

frayed threads    of society’s      hidden
     fabric     are being pulled          violently

a crude quilt     erratically stitched     connects pieces      
     appliques      depict justice  
             point the oblivious     to cloaked truths

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.


by Ryan Schaufler

AP Photo, 1956

Jacob Blake is not dead, yet.
The 7 bullets tried to kill him.

He’s just paralyzed from the waist down
Chained to a hospital bed.

Guns don’t kill people
People kill people.

Police are people.
Police tried to do what they do:

Kill a black man by shooting him in the back,
Where they normally kneel on a neck.

They feared for their lives.
They feared for their lives.

August 29th. 2020.
The Black Panther is dead.

The year has knocked the wind out of us.
My wife & I decided to take a walk.

We drove to Port Washington.
We had lived there happily for 9 years.

That was before T***p.
Before a 17 year old thug from Antioch

Drove to our state with an AR-15
The good ole Smith and Wesson

30-round magazine loaded & ready
Protecting businesses, right?

Protecting the right to kill two & maim one.
Just like a video game. Hands up & walk away.

“Need a bottle of water?” I know you’re thirsty!
For blood. “We appreciate you!” White supremacy.

Recorded for posterity:
The voice of police.

Armored vehicles pass by
The privilege of a white boy with a big long gun

As the crowd pleads: He shot them! He killed them!

They feared for their lives.
They feared for their lives.

We lived here before all of this.
Before the plague.

Port Washington isn’t the same now.
The country is not the same now.

None of us are now. We walked by the lake.
75 degrees. Blue sky. The moon, peeking.

A playground. Deer in the distance, peeking.
The lake breeze reveals the stillness of rage.

White People frolicking under the sun.
Away from Milwaukee or Kenosha.

A Truck pulls up behind us.
Us. A white man. With his Black wife.

Truck. filled with boys. that look like
Kyle Rittenhouse. Glassy eyed. Smiling

Crooked. They slow down
Their heads out the window.

Their faces mirror the gleeful hate
60 years ago

As white pro-segregationists
Battered the bones of Freedom Riders.

Demonic smirks directed our way
A familiar evil. Just as familiar as the beautiful park

We walked. Our eyes connect.
“Boo!” A boy shouts. His face

Cold, hardened with ignorance
Smoldering with hatred. He blows a kiss

Flipping us off. I respond, instinctually, “Boo.”
Blowing a kiss back. I do not flip him off.

My wife quickly whispers to me,
“Stop. Don’t engage.”

She instructs me to cut across the park.
Away from the truck. They fit the profile.

Internet militia gang. Radicalized. White.
Militant. Seeking blood. An uncivilized war.

“You got to listen to me. They don’t see you.
They see me. You can’t respond like you want.”

She’s right. I can’t see clearly. Their rage
Enrages me. My white privilege doesn’t work here.

White people continue to picnic and laugh
Unaware of the terror. We keep our eye on the truck

As it slowly cruises the park. Are they armed?
Will they stop? Will they canvas the area with AR-15’s?

We did not call the police.
We could not call the police.

Will they shoot us for existing? They have been incited.
Trump has released the underbelly of America.

We feared for our lives.
We feared for our lives.

Ryan Schaufler lives in Milwaukee and received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts in Acting. He is a professional actor, special education teacher, theatre teacher, playwright, director, photographer, artist, and a father. His plays and poetry have been published in such journals as Southern Indiana Review, Rise Up Review, and Clockhouse. His photography can be seen in Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Elizabeth Horan’s 2019 Chapbook Fem Box, Moonchild Magazine, Pithead Chapel, Riggwelter, The Perch, and Cream City Review among others. @schauflerized

Sunday, August 30, 2020


by Indran Amirthanayagam

I have one more story to share about Allen Ginsberg. I was at Columbia
studying journalism, stressed utterly, with no time for poetry, trying
to get the nut graph right and learning to control my bladder to last
through the news conference and the follow-up interview. Then

I learned that Allen was to feature at a club downtown. Memories
of Honolulu, of our first meeting when he sang Sweet Oahu in the car
playing the harmonium. He told me then to cut half the first draft out.
I could not resist seeing him again so despite the heavy reporting load,

I took the subway down the West Side and walked East. He asked me
if I would read in the Open. I could not refuse. And I read my poem
about the 241 marines bombed in Beirut. And he told me he liked
the tat-a-tat rhymes and story but did not care for the doubting end.

He said you have to take a stance then say it. I am saying it now.
Get rid of the dissembler, hoodlum and pussy-grabber. Get rid of
the thou shalt not enter and the latrine supervisor. Get rid of
the one who would be king. Get rid of the golden tamarind toupee.

Get him out of the people's house. Then speak to me
about the humming birds and next year's cherry blossoms. .

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.


by Frederick Wilbur

An artwork by Banksy is seen in this image obtained from his Instagram account on June 6, 2020 [Banksy/Instagram/ via Reuters via Al Jazeera]

In the flag’s shadow
memorial flowers darken, wilt.
It is a black tatter
distressed by political wind.

Ours, for which it stands,
is in mourning—
the common good
is dead.

Frederick Wilbur’s second poetry collection Conjugation of Perhaps is available from



by Margaret Rozga

As Jacob Blake was freed from handcuffs in the hospital, the Kenosha police union said Friday that Blake put an officer in a headlock moments before being shot in the back. Since Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a White officer, local officials have not discussed many details citing the ongoing investigation led by state investigators.
On Friday, the Kenosha Professional Police Association took issue with the public narrative, saying that he confronted officers, put an officer in a headlock and carried a knife that he refused to drop when ordered to by police, the union said. For Blake's attorneys, the police union's narrative is merely a tactic to justify the officers' actions. "I think it's the common strategy that police departments use in these type of circumstances. It's always trying to justify murder for misdemeanors," attorney B'Ivory LaMarr told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday. —CNN, August 29, 2020

Who made the decision to shackle him?
Who shackled him?
Who is the nurse who cares for him shackled?
Who is the doctor who does the surgery? Surgeries?
Was he shackled during surgery?

They did not say shackle. They said restrained.

What words minimize, hide, disguise, mask:
who uses words like this?
What words for this?

His father said handcuffed, handcuffed to the bed.
His father’s words leave the bedside, leave
the hospital, hit the air, hit the air waves,
hit the heart, cry out for release, cry for justice,
words that restrain other words, words that free.

Still to be told:
the nurse’s story, the nurses’ stories
the doctor’s,  the doctors’.

The decider, the deciders, hold a press conference,
are pressed. Pressed, they leave. They leave questions
opening like unacknowledged wounds,
lingering like ghosts of the dead they cannot shackle.

Margaret Rozga is the current Wisconsin Poet Laureate.  She writes poems from her ongoing concern for social justice.

Saturday, August 29, 2020


by Joan Mazza

They gather unmasked in cheerful mobs
to celebrate their freedom, demonstrate
they’re unafraid of a tiny organism—
a Coronavirus that dare not swat them down

and leap from mouth to mouth. They
won’t renounce crowds, compelled to hold
signs that argue with reality, exempt from
precautions that doctors swear will reduce

their risk. Transplant specialists warn
of dangers from organs harvested
in motorcycle deaths. Look for evidence
of Toxoplasmosis! The infected rarely

know they carry parasites that make some
reckless, impervious to fear or danger.
Infected rodents seek out open spaces, 
display a fatal feline attraction.

Carefree, careless, feckless, watch us
humans do our thing. Hail liberty! We claim
to have free will. What bug drives me
to rise at three to write poetry? Like you,

my body’s filled with organisms, some not
yet identified, making neurotransmitters.
Ninety percent of me isn’t me. What
lives inside and really runs the show?

Author's note: I’m reading the book This is Your Brain on Parasites: How tiny creatures manipulate our behavior by Kathleen McAuliffe. Terrific! It makes me want to go back to school.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist and psychotherapist, and has taught workshops nationally with a focus on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry appears in Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner (forthcoming), The MacGuffin, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she writes a daily poem.


by Kelley White

The State tells us to kill them on sight.
Even the juveniles, for they will only mature
and breed in their hidden nests. They are
invasive. Not native to our country. They are
a threat to our Environment, our Agriculture,
our food supply, our Way of Life. Even our
trees! They will change the landscape of our
towns and cities forever if we fail to eliminate
them now. This Asian threat. And their noxious

Some counties are in quarantine because of them.
I know the bridge where they congregate
in the sun between our two cities. I watched
a young woman walk there with her children,
striking out in all directions. They offered
no resistance. The small blond daughter held
her mother’s hand while in the other she brandished
her own weapon. And the blue-eyed baby
in the stroller chortled.

My own granddaughter has learned at preschool
that they are Bad. She screamed when one tapped
on the car window. I assured her we were safe.
If I simply drove away it would fall behind;
it could not cling to us at even moderate speed.
And later, when one tapped against the windows
of the house I showed her that it could not creep in
even as it searched for cracks and crevices
and the dog kept up his fearful sentinel alarm.

Later, I through their encampment myself.
They silently avoided me, sidestepping me and
the red and crushed bodies of their fellows. I realized
that I could easily kill dozens, hundreds, depending
on my choice of weapon. I was annoyed by their skitting
hunched walk on narrow feet and the skinny knees
beneath their drab gray armor. I knew how satisfying
it would be to strike them down, but I did not want
to be a killer. They did not harm me directly.

After meeting for worship even the Quaker elders
debated the best ways to destroy them. Fire, poison,
suffocation; someone has spotted a preying
mantis devouring one alive. Some applaud,
but I have seen their vulnerable red bellies,
seen the beauty when they spread their wings
into their clumsy hopping flight. Pretty as any butterfly.
Lycorma delicatula. Spotted. Lantern. Fly.

Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Friday, August 28, 2020


by Judith Terzi

Emmett Louis Till was kidnapped, lynched and brutally murdered at age 14 on August 28, 1955.

"Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor."—John Lewis, New York Times, July 30, 2020

Emmett Till shot dead at fourteen. Two men go free.
George Floyd suffocated at forty-six. By a brutal knee.

          George ran out of breath. Suffocated at age forty-six.
          They sank Emmett, strapped him to a cotton gin fan.

No gun to sink George. No river, no machine, no tree.
Simeon Wright saw the men point the gun at Emmett.

          Saw the men point the gun, pull his cousin from bed.
          His words weightless against the two men's. No video

then. The world saw the cop's knee press into George.
Saw three more cops. Over eight minutes of complicity.

          Four cops. Eight ears sealed shut for over eight minutes.
          Sixty-five years gone by since Emmett lost his breath.

Three months passed since George no longer breathes.
Emmett Till shot dead at fourteen. Two men go free.

Author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay), as well as of five chapbooks, including Casbah and If You Spot Your Brother Floating By (Kattywompus), Judith Terzi's poems have received Pushcart and Best of the Web and Net nominations and have been read on Radio 3 of the BBC. She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French for many years as well as English and French at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.


by Margery Ross

I catch the last bus
out of downtown DC on April 4, 1968.
Fires loom and looters
have a field day at
D. J. Kaufman’s across
Pennsylvania Avenue from the DOJ
where I monitor urban riots
for the Attorney General. Now
it’s me in the midst of the melee
headed toward Georgetown
hoping to get home.

Fifty-two years, history repeats,
it’s one step forward, five back.
Police still kill with impunity,
cities burn, no end to toxic words
from a reality TV celeb—
good trouble trashed as anarchy.
When reading Ta-Nehisi Coates
five years ago I protested
exaggeration. No more.
Between the World and Me—
That last bus is leaving.

Margery Ross is an artist, poet and avid book listener trying to survive in Washington, D.C.


by Bart Sides

Where I grew up: KKK ruled, in shadows,
Friends’ parents joined, in secret,
Crosses burned, in fields,
Shrouded apparitions danced, sweated, hated—
Where I grew up.

Where I grew up: Sears had two bubblers, near off-limit restrooms,
One said, “Whites Only, in block letter print,
One said, “Colored,” polite for the day,
Each, unquestioning, “knew its place,”
Where I grew up.

Where I grew up: Confederate flags flew, proudly on buildings,
Licenses read, “Hell, no, I won’t forget,” on cars,
Whites put bars, on windows,
Loaded guns waited, in corners, under beds, in drawers,
Where I grew up.

Where I grew up, sharecroppers toiled, over cotton,
Workers sang, in hot summer sun,
Heavy bags dragged, between green-white rows,
Jim Crow weighed the balance, against “free” run-down shacks,
Where I grew up.

Where I grew up, shacks lacked paint, near fields,
Newspapers stuffed cracks, in walls,
Sacks covered floors, over gaps,
Lanterns flickered, in rooms,
Where I grew up.

And that’s why “Black Lives Matter.”

Where I live now, racists retort, “All Lives Matter,”
And vote “NO,” on healthcare and schools,
And cash government checks, at banks,
And drive unmolested, in cars,
Where I live now.

Where I live now, some plant signs: “Blue Lives Matter,”
Prisons overflow, with poor black men,
Sentences lengthen, for all black men,
Police harass, for minor offense,
Where I live now.

Where I live now, racists tweet: “All Lives Matter,”
Police budgets soar, for weapons of war,
Law kills black, twice more than white,
No judge, no jury: modern-day lynching,
Where I live now.

Where I live now: “All Lives Matter,”
Black man jogs, then hunted and killed,
Open season lasts, in the land of the free,
Another lynching, four hundred plus years,
Where I live now.

Where I live now: churches declare, “Hate has no home here,”
And members say, “I like that,” before a golden cross,
And white satisfaction comforts, ignores privilege,
And no cop kills, shoots, smothers, arrests, for THEIR color,
Where I live now.


Bart Sides is a fly fisherman, teacher, and occasional poet. Southern by birth and New Englander by choice, he resides with his wife in Currier and Ives country with his wife of 46 years and 5 cats.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


by Mickey J. Corrigan

Illustration: Craig Stephens, The South China Morning Post, August 16, 2020

The night descended
an oiled slickness
thick black sludge
and it stayed on
not draining itself
into the blue day

we didn't know why
we had to wait
wait, fight, wait
we were all boxed up
and boxed in
piled up in stacks

and in the silence
that lasted for years
we all had to shut
ourselves down
breathe through holes
sometimes killing
choking someone
for their air
for their silence
the cruel darkness
like a hard migraine
full of daggering jolts
of lost sunshine
so much existential pain
we stuck to shadows
'til all light was gone
and nothing
to see

for ourselves
the energy it took
to shepherd ourselves
and everyone else
to come close
to conspire
to fling ourselves
out of the dark nest
the safety boxes
we had been placed in
like blind chicks
we didn't know why
we knew
we had to decamp
breaths held
the countdown:

November 1
November 2
November 3…

and we decanted
a vast gushing
pushing us all out
every single one of us
free flowing
from a fogged dream
of lonely sleepwalkers
unable to see the depth
skating on the surface
like insects, pond skippers
but now we dove deep
into our inventory of loss
the trappings of despotism
saying no, no
no more

and we were cresting
in violent surges
flooding our grief
hammered out
the cheap walls
the stockade of lies
the prison of secrets
the years of self-harm
bursting seams
breaking up
shattering, scattering
into the brightness
the blue sky world
we had always known
as American

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.


by David Thoreen

Pere Borrell del Caso’s most famous work, "Escaping Criticism" (1874), uses trompe l'oeil to blur the boundary between real and fictitious space. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons via BBC).

after "Escaping Criticism"

Historians say it began in Pompeii,
with murals artfully deceiving the eye
into believing that beyond a wall lay
another room, or a garden and blue sky.

Dutch painters polished the ploy: a display
of totems owned by the powerful; often, a sly
reminder of death—the candle burned partway...
or there, at rest on the painted frame, a fly.

Pere Borrell del Caso’s barefoot boy will not stay
in his painting. Forget this gilt frame. Escape or die
trying. Enough posing. Why can’t he just play golf
or fillet a minion, parlay Kellyanne with her con of the day,
send Pence off to pray, pay somebody something to make it all go away?
Your pronunciation is fine:  T***p lie, T***p lie, T***p lie.

Editor's Note: 

David Thoreen teaches literature and writing at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts.  His poems have appeared in Natural Bridge, Slate, Seneca Review, New Letters, TheNewVerse.News, and elsewhere.


by Lucille Gang Shulklapper

Oh, say can you see, by dusk’s dimming light, fake news spewing from the worst on the right, from the Senate’s blind mice, ignoring all vice, the children in cages, the jobless... no wages, federal troops, crushing protest groups, voters’ hopes flailing, domestic terror prevailing.  Oh say, can you see, by dawn’s angry red glare, pollution and hatred on the air, in praise of T***p’s props and photo ops, truth denying, the sick and dying, our worst fears rearing, Kent State reappearing.

Aging rapidly, alternately sad, and depressed, Lucille Gang Shulklapper is at other times the fortunate author of numerous poems (a dozen or so published in TheNewVerse.News since 2008)and stories, as well as five poetry chapbooks and a picture book. She recently started a program in her residential community titled Edgewater Poets, giving seniors a voice on a community channel as well as the staff employed there. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


by Marilyn Peretti

 Now it’s Jacob

and his little boys
    saw it all
    from the back seat
the 7 shots
    to their Daddy’s back
as he got into the car

7 shots
    into the lifeline
    his spine
and he cannot walk

Now it’s Jacob

Whose Daddy will it be
    next week?

Marilyn Peretti, poet near Chicago, dreads the news every day.


by Peter Witt

Bullet One—man trying to open a car door
so he can bring comfort to his children

Bullet Two—cell phones record the images
in disbelief

Bullet Three—kids are in the car,
wondering why their daddy
is lying on the ground, not moving

Bullet Four—policemen coordinate their stories
so that what we see with our eyes
are simply alternative facts to truth

Bullet Five—nights of social unrest
turn to violence, Fox news
preaches law and order

Bullet Six—late night hosts mock police
with not so subtle jabs at their
let's wait to see the facts excuses

Bullet Seven—fathers have another discussion
with their black sons about how to survive
another day in a dying while black world

Peter Witt lives in Texas, writes poetry about a variety of topics including issues of social justice.


by George Salamon

“Installation 3, Lance-tooth Crosscut Saw” by David Ellingsen.

Daily the inhabitable world gets
Smaller by the length of a wheat field,
Soon millions will make do with
The corner of a bed, scrape by and endure,
Dream of guard dogs betraying the master.

George Salamon has endured one convention but is not sure he can do two. He lives in St. Louis, MO.


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Trees scorched by the L.N.U. Lightning Complex fire, the second largest in state history, in Napa County, Calif., on Monday. Credit: Ian C. Bates for The New York Times, August 24, 2020

The forecasters tell us
More electrical storms
Are on the way
Like the ones last week
That started the fires
Burning the countryside
All around us,
Filling our air with toxic smoke,
And forcing us
To remain indoors
Where I sit right now
At the front window
Watching the trees across the way
Sway and bend
Ever more energetically,
Like atheletes warming up
For the Big Game.

On a normal summer day
Our street is a pedestrian throughfare,
Walkers pass by
From morning to night
In ones and twos,
Skateboarders, bikers,
Families with dogs,
But today, no one is out
No one to wave and smile
Back at me
Standing in the front window,
No passersby to shrug
And grin forlornly
About the fix we’re in.

We are packed
And ready to evacuate
Should the predicted storms
Ignite a fire on the mountain
That could rampage
Down the forested slopes
And threaten our community
With incineration.
We wait.

This is big. This is Weather.
This is Climate.
This is the whole interconnected
Systemic enchilada
Recalibrating on a planetary  scale,
Because, well, we know why...

The little girl who lives across the street
Is standing in her large front window
And when she spots me
She waves excitedly
As she always does,
And as I always do
I respond with equal delight.
A father and son
On roller skates and scooter
Zip past in the street,
The first I’ve seen today,
A fire truck drives by
In no particular hurry
As if to reassure the neighborhood
That attention is being paid,
The wind has died down,
The trees have ceased their calisthenics
For the moment at least,
But I remain at my post
On high alert.

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poems have appeared in many print and online journals. His most recent books are To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World and Cancer Cantata. With his wife Cynthia, he produced the award-winning documentary film Outside In and, with the MIRC film collective, made the film Por Que Venimos. His interviews with soldiers refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan were made into the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California. He podcasts at: .


by Xander Balwit

As the Trump administration edges closer to opening up oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gwich’in communities are taking action. Within a day, the Gwich’in Tribal Council based in Inuvik and the Vuntut Gwich’in First Nation (VGFN) in Old Crow had issued a joint statement arguing that the decision was “a result of a rushed and inadequate environmental review process.”… The refuge, 30,500 square miles stretched along the Alaska-Yukon border, has been under US federal protection since 1960 after decades of campaigning on the part of environmentalists and Indigenous communities. It’s home to polar bears, wolves, and dozens of species of birds. It also serves as the calving grounds for caribou in Canada’s Arctic. —Cabin Radio, August 24, 2020

I do not know when the caribou calves
Untangle their legs and rise to canvass
The serpentine glacier rivers of the
The Alaskan coastal plain for the first time

An advocate says that any oil company who dares to drill
Could face “reputational risks.”
I do not know if there a season in which insatiable capitalists
Consider their reputations

It is in the spring, that the Porcupine Caribou calves
Are coaxed into being by the cold breeze
Off the ice of the Arctic Ocean,
Just one in four evading accidents
and arriving into adulthood

The fingers of caribou antlers extend above them
Extolling the immensity of wild Yukon mountains
While the fingers of T***p Administration reach
Below their hooves and extract
that which they should not

The seasons in the Alaskan Arctic Refuge are as distinctive
as the creatures roving it
Greed knows no season
although it too seeks greener pastures

Xander Balwit is a student of philosophy and German in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry and writing are often informed by her indelible passion for nature and the many marvelous creatures that dazzle and perplex us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


by Susannah Greenberg

Hope and history
stutter and gaffe.
Corruption and cruelty
point and laugh.

Then Joe rolls in
like Moses leaning on his staff,
sentence flows from sentence,
and then a paragraph.

He says so many dead,
and so many infected.
We deserve the truth.
We deserve to be protected.

Hope and history come together
when you need but don’t expect it.

Susannah Greenberg is an independent book publicist at Susannah Greenberg Public Relations.  


by Stella Graham-Landau

We will be your mama’s eyes,
smiling and glistening
as you raise your hand.
We will clap and nod,
place our hands
over our hearts,
whispering, “That’s our girl.”
We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you
when you hold the Bible.
We will call our friends
and say,
“Isn’t she something!”
We will weave our arms
through yours
and march boldly down the street.
We will save a piece of broken ceiling,
wrap it in a sentimental scrap
and store it in a box
where you will find it some day
and know how proud we were.

Stella Graham-Landau is a poet and artist living in Richmond, VA where things are finally changing.


by Kent Reichert

Pity the nation whose people look and speak and act alike,
embracing white as the color without hue.
Whose citizens chant in auditoriums,
as if the act of uttering the words
will make it so.
Whose minds, in the light of day,
shutter themselves from its rays,
preferring darkness as their dwelling.
Whose sacred books,
transformed into photographs,
are impotent.
Who fabricate fanciful explanations
atop a single grain of sand,
and cloak their ignorance in veneers of “rights” and “freedoms.”
Pity the nation whose lawmakers
bury their discerning eyes in graves of party
genuflecting to the loudest, vulgar voice
in fawning adoration at the words,
“…for I alone can save you!”
Pity the nation whose leader paints only forgeries
and whose citizens cry, “Masterpiece!”
Who fondle each new lie in bed at night,
seduced by its base allure.
Pity the nation to whom the glory of the myth
is the only truth.

Kent Reichert is retired from schools but not from words. His poems have appeared in The Dead Mule.  He is the author of two chapbooks, Soon Ah will be done… and Chronology of Spirits.

Monday, August 24, 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.)

Sunday, August 23, 2020


by Erin Murphy

The boy was three and a half feet tall, his black wrists too small for handcuffs.

Author’s Note: My poem is written in the form of the 17-syllable American Sentence invented by Allen Ginsberg.

Erin Murphy’s work has appeared in The Georgia Review, The Normal School, Field, North American Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. Her eighth book of poetry is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. She is professor of English at Penn State Altoona and serves as Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review.

Saturday, August 22, 2020


by Joan Leotta

He raised a family there.
Hoped to die there he told me,
but not in a fire.

Out now.

Wonders what he’ll find
when he returns,
life on hold as fire rolls.

Out now.

Television radio, his eyes and ears,
trending views of crackling flames,
ash piles where homes once were.

Out now.
Hopefully, he waits.

Joan Leotta has evacuated for hurricanes and feels the pain of all of those who are forced to leave their homes--for any reason.


by Tricia Knoll

We have feasted
so long
on anger

slathered on our bread
heating up our coffee
fried up in lard.

We knew
that angst and anxiety
pickle up that anger.

Fear makes food
taste like sawdust
and worms

until the wellspring
fills, runs clear,
and someone takes

the child’s hand
to offer a clear
and cool sip

and the old song
something can be saved
the game can still be played

sprinkles like rain on what burns
slides like teardrops
pours like love.

Tricia Knoll was for many months in the Bernie Sanders wing of Democratic voters, a loyal Vermonter. She has a voice disability and was deeply moved to hear Brayden Harrington's speech in support of Joe and the selflessness of a man who stops to help a kid with stuttering. She is preparing letters every day for Vote Forward to urge liberal leaning voters to vote.


Sarah E. Colona is the author of three poetry collections: Hibernaculum (Gold Wake Press, 2013), Thimbles (dancing girl press, 2012) and That Sister (dancing girl press, 2016). Recent poems appear in TheNewVerse.News.

Friday, August 21, 2020


by Carol Dorf

Art by Adrian Teal

When the young ask “Why
did you let it go on so long?”
they have forgotten

an essential fact—he was
our dictator—small fingers,

and disconnected
speech rhythms of our crazy
uncles raging on.

Carol Dorf has three chapbooks available, Given (Origami Poems), Some Years Ask (Moria Press), and Theory Headed Dragon (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry appears in Shofar, About Place, Great Weather For Media, Slipstream, The Mom Egg, Sin Fronteras, Heresies, Feminist Studies, Scientific American, and Maintenant. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing. She is interested in the intersections between poetry, disability, science and parenting. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020


by Richard Garcia
                        from the Democratic Convention, 2004  

No confetti. No confetti yet. No confetti. All right. Go balloons. Go balloons. We need more Balloons. All balloons. All balloons. Keep going. Come on guys, let’s move it! Jesus, we need more balloons! I want all balloons to go, goddammit! More balloons! No confetti. No confetti. No confetti. I want more balloons. What’s happening to the balloons? Jesus! We need more balloons. We need all of them coming down! Balloons. Balloons. Balloons.  What’s happening! They’re not coming down. All balloons. What the hell! There’s nothing falling! What the fuck are you guys doing up there? We want more balloons coming down. Go balloons! Go balloons! Go balloons!

Author's note: This is a found poem gathered from versions of an unintentional international audio transmission at the Democratic Convention 2004.

Richard Garcia's poetry books include The Other Odyssey from Dream Horse Press, The Chair from BOA, and Porridge from Press 53. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has won a Pushcart prize and has been in Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C.


by Dawn Corrigan

“Rat Race to the Meaning of Life” by Channing.

   I am waiting   for the Age of Anxiety   to drop dead   —Lawrence Ferlinghetti, "I Am Waiting" 1958

I keep hearing parents
fretting if they don't send
their children to school
they'll fall behind.

Parents, I bring you news:
The rat race is over.
The rats won.
Time for something else now.

Dawn Corrigan is waiting, too.


by Melissa Balmain

“NYC Playgrounds Reopen with Social Distancing” ABC, June
“Word of the day is 'sorry-go-round' (19th century): a repetitive cycle of depressing actions or events.” Lexicographer Susie Dent, August

The slide that’s so fast it feels buttered,
The swing set and bouncy-horse ride,
The seesaw where toddlers and dolls sit astride—

The parents and nannies (masked, wary)
Wipe down every bench, toy, and snack,
Still praying the sorry-go-round will go back
To merry.

Melissa Balmain's poetry and prose have appeared in The American Bystander, The Hopkins Review, Lighten Up Online, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. She edits Light, a journal of light verse. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


by Anita Cabrera

Photo source:  Photo credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters via The New York Times.

In uniform-approved black shoes
feet now less nimble, snug inside
compression socks, he brings
checks and bills, report cards and
acceptance notices. Stuffs in flyers,
voter registration forms, packages
small enough to fit, before trudging
ahead heavied with our secrets (a

Card from prison, lien or loan). A
habit or skill not to sweat or to
complain through heatwave days or
winter rains? Varicose veins and
senile terrier nips endured with
tempered grace. Each pause at
box or slot, obedience to route and
oath. Gives us time to ask about
his family, catch him up on ours.
For years I called him

Merlin before learning Marlon is
his name, as in Brando. The
months his child lay quiet in a
coma, he kept a steady measured
pace, balanced the envelope of
grief and duty. Both our temples
greyer now, he’s ready to go
out of circulation, fly first-

Class, get whisked away, back to
where he can rest his legs, just
in time, before all of
our mail piles up

Anita Cabrera is a poet, essayist and fiction writer whose work has appeared in The Berkeley Poetry Review, Brain, Child Magazine, Colere, Acentos Review, The New Guard, and other journals. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Award, and adapted and performed by the Word for Word Theater Group. Ms. Cabrera lives and teaches in San Francisco, CA where she is active in dance and recovery communities.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


by Barbara Loots

Clearly this explains a lot
about the president we’ve got.
For basement, substitute your bed.
Computer?  Say tv instead.
Every click of Twitter thumb?
Neurons in the brain go numb
until the whole damn thing is gone.
The skull is empty. Sad. Poor Don.

Frequent contributor to, Barbara Loots keeps an eye on the news from Kansas City, MO. New collection The Beekeeper and other love poems coming soon from Kelsay Books. 


by Marsha Owens
“Sorted” by Pia Guerra at The Nib, August 17, 2020.

Blue mailboxes thrown onto truck beds
helter-skelter like toy soldiers tossed
onto a playroom floor, except I see
pictures—this is not make-believe—
but a real-time story much like the one
Anne told in her diary except by this point
in Germany trucks and trains carried people,
her father, other fathers, mothers, gone
to god knows where, and still Anne
believed her father would come back
someday, just stroll through the door
like coming home from work. . .but
we all know that’s not how her story ended.
So where is the mailbox graveyard?
Is someone burying
these mailboxes
next to Democracy
and the 2020 election—
they were such a fine
couple in new jersey just
a few days ago—but now
they lie close to my friend
who died from COVID-19,
just across from
Sweet Liberty
and Blind Justice
in a spot near
an eerie gravesite
that echoes
a lament into each
dark night,
i can’t breathe.

For her bio, Marsha Owens samples Nikki Giovanni: "I've been considered a writer who writes from rage and it confuses me. What else do writers write from?"

Monday, August 17, 2020


by Frederick Charles Melancon

Artwork source: Vox

We rip out the old lines.
Fragments of bright copper

shine on concrete still trapped
in white and black casing.

New yellow cords replace
white insulated ones.

Asked the electrician does
this make any difference.

Reports to everyone
it’s safer, but confides

running through each cable
is the same old power.

Frederick Charles Melancon lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter.  Even as an untrained electrician, he knows to turn the power off before touching the power lines.


by Earl J. Wilcox

Dark clouds hover, hover, hover.
Some are totally nasty. Others phony.
A few are pretty, fluffy, frilly... like
suburban housewives in Philly.

How lovely the sun shines in
Milwaukee—beautiful, spacious
skies, amber waves of grain
brewing an early November tsunami.

Earl J. Wilcox keeps an eye on the weather from South Carolina where storms are predicted.

Sunday, August 16, 2020


by Alan Walowitz

The U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, where two iconic figures from every state hold court, will soon have a new resident: A clay likeness of the late Reverend Billy Graham, the popular televangelist who brought the word of Jesus Christ to the masses through a series of high-profile “crusades,” evangelistic campaigns that saw massive rallies across the United States. For Jews and groups concerned with the separation of church and state, the prospect is a problematic one. Last week, a North Carolina legislative committee approved a scale model of the 10-foot, 10-inch Graham statue, which would be placed at the Capitol sometime next year pending the approval of a congressional committee. If that approval comes through, Graham’s effigy will replace a statue of Charles Brantley Aycock, a North Carolina governor and white supremacist…  Graham, who died in 2018 at the age of 99, was beloved by many and is certainly an improvement over Aycock, who helped engineer the overthrow of a largely Black government in Wilmington, N.C. But the preacher is controversial on several fronts. His record with regard to civil rights was mixed, as he accepted segregation at some of his crusades and critiqued the tactics of marches and sit-ins to end Jim Crow laws. Like many Evangelicals, he also believed homosexuality to be a sin, calling it a “sinister form of perversion.” And while he had a reputation for building interfaith bridges, a major rift with his relationship with the Jewish community emerged in 1994, when Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman’s White House diaries became public. Haldeman wrote that Nixon and Graham, alone in the Oval Office after a prayer breakfast in February of 1972, discussed Jewish control of the media. Graham denied having this conversation, but in 2002, the tape was released by the National Archives.In the recording, Graham agreed with Nixon that liberal Jews had too much influence, saying, “This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.” Graham further accused Jews of “putting out the pornographic stuff” in the culture and contended that, while he was friendly with Jews who “swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel,” those Jews “don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.” Graham apologized after the tape became public, telling a group of Jewish leaders he was on his “hands and knees” to make up for the harm of his remarks. —The Forward, August 10, 2020. Photo: An earlier statue of Graham was removed in 2016 from its location in downtown Nashville destined be relocated to a Christian Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina. —WTVF, Nashville.

"I've read the last page of the Bible; it's all going to turn out all right." —Billy Graham

Far as I’m concerned, the Reverend Graham
may take his place in Statuary Hall. Must’ve been tall,
10 foot 10, the story implies, good reason alone—
but we were at least that high as we made our way
to the stage at Shea that time, to be saved behind
the pitcher's mound. The Jesus-part never stuck, as God
surely knew, which might be why Billy told his presidential pal
he’d have better luck without the Jews controlling all.
And sometimes he didn’t like those Black folks coming
round to those Deep South crusades.  How else
was he to get those crackers to accept
Christ—for Christ’s sake—and be forgiven in his name?
“God will curse all who add or take away,” it says right near the end.
The God I want would love, accept—and, Bill, even sometimes amend.

Alan Walowitz has been published various places on the web and off.  His work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017 and 2018 and he is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry.  His chapbook Exactly Like Love is available from Osedax Press, and his full-length book The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems is available from Truth Serum Press. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020


by Mark Danowsky

Coming around
not knowing
love was
near arrival

Such joy
is discovery
your magic
arrow missed

My heart
filling deeper
rises gently
fresh struck

Deft archer
snags me
narrow fellow
gone delicate

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.