Southern California, Minnesota

I saw the vents in the heater
turn into orange children
or grey flowers
or something.

And Chinese food containers
crushed together to become 
Styrofoam beads that floated 
out toward the trash islands.

A roller blading Veteran yelled at
a burly mustachioed
cop, pointing from a street sign
to a small red covered notebook.

All courage streamed into the husks 
that blew down from the coconut palm
across the pavement, a symphony 
pulsating in the Don’t Walk signal.

About the Author: Henry Cherry is a journalist and photographer based in Los Angles. His recent story appearing in Slippery Elm has been nominated for a Pushcart and is one of the notable stories in the forthcoming Best American Mystery Stories. He has been a featured reader at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and at Litquake in San Francisco. Always the bridesmaid, he was a finalist for the Stegner Fellowship and a finalist for the PEN/USA Rosenthal Fellowship. He created and wrote the history of jazz column for Offbeat magazine. His work has appeared in JMWW, Scalawag, Cordite Poetry Review, Southwestern American Literature, Slippery Elm Literary Journal, Poydras Review, The Louisiana Review, Artillery Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books.

The Story

How deep down can
I suppress Him-
and still narrate his words
to the misunderstood.

About the Author: EG Ted Davis previously published with Poydras Review and continues to have work published on online literary journals here in the US and the UK.

Tell

I’m not tireless
and it is exhausting.
Feverish is better,
misplaced energy.
I drink too much
coffee and not
enough water which
means I’m a human
being and it’s 2018.
I don’t know for sure
but I think you do
beautiful things alone
and for no one. Purse
and prime, posing
in your sleep.
Not me.
I have teeth to grind.

About the poety, Katy Joy Richardson: I am a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in English and Creative Writing. My work was most recently featured in the Columbia Poetry Review.

Emily As Supper

I don’t mouth
what I’m not willing
to swallow.

About the Author: Darren C. Demaree is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently “Two Towns Over”, which was selected the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children

Wonder Wheel

A blond woman with a Samsonite suitcase at the border
of a Coney Island ride, a broken-promises look on her face
like she’s figured out that she may have to rescue herself.

Look, it’s just a photograph I took off the Internet today,
after I decided the United States of America, my country,
is your-fucked-up-brother-in-law stupid. An uber-idiot. 

Jim Harrison says the Statue of Liberty needs a necklace
of human skulls—"her great iron lips quivering in a smile”—
and that skulls striking together is the true sound of history.

America, you’re like a woman who wants to get reckless
in the Men’s Room of a coffee shop. For shits and giggles.
You’re pissed off at yourself. And more than a little crazy.

We’re on the Wonder Wheel, you bet. And if I like Woody,
it isn’t that I excuse anything because his movies are funny,
especially since only one or two early ones made me laugh.

If I consider the teals and goldenrods of the leaves on the
woman’s print dress in Wonder Wheel to be a bit much, 
it’s that autumn colors suggest—what else?—falling.

About the Author: Roy Bentley is the author of five books. He has been awarded fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Walking with Eve in the Loved City, his most recent book, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Miller Williams Poetry Prize and published by the University of Arkansas.

Cue

In turf of truthiness human tribe lives on
with modulations of its making: truth I
know is mine, yours is with you, there is
nothing more veridic than this. In affairs
of state bottom line is tweaked to please
the handshaker at the helm and pecking
order at the headquarters, one can never
attain rectitude. Flow with perspicacity
and perception. It will not fall through.

 

 

About the Poet: Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: The Broadkill Review, Synchronized Chaos, After the Pause, Former People, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Ann Arbor Review, London Grip, M58, Bonnie’s Crew, Urtica Lit, Postcolonial Text, Communion Arts Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.