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.

Sacred Wood

A light fir bell
sprung green,
a tree full-grown,
green, green as ever
its coat ever green
in this forest of hope.

A special worshipful tree,
its needles, its cunning cones
with stiff prickled scales
welcoming, bristling,
in the morning breeze.

This one tree waiting
in the forest’s heart
for the consequence of
our arrival; the forest
parting itself only
to fold itself
over and over;
the traveler’s footsteps,
the hunter’s hut,
the remains of seasons
leave no trace.

The wood creaks in the cold
and we wonder why we came
on a cold day to this forest,
the two of us, all this way,
wandering far from home,
wondering how we found
this special tree.

The tree, that light
fir bell sprung green,
a shield, a queen, an upright
altar, growing towards heaven,
taking us, two among many,
opening our hearts,
making us one,
making us see
in exaltation and terror
its standing transient splendor,
its sacred stance and place,
then changing us
to one certain form,
making us open to all,
making us sound no separation,
no sound at all,
silent and joyous
in the open air,
like bells made of water.

 

 

About the Author: Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, Mind In Motion, The Comstock Review, The Antioch Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The University of Texas Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines over the years. 

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired. 

Vanilla Deaf

by J.E. Beville

We left it out to melt
But it disappeared
By smelling salts traveling
Out of porch slats to
Sidewalks
            The street is truly running
            Alongside
            Pedestrians, right? Um,
It’s questionable how blissful
Has to be coincidental trickery
How beautiful the patio
Just became
            When your song came on
            Dilation
Formula for fixing resolution or
To fix to obliterate
Don’t say,
            I didn’t see it coming
Lie
            I never thought…
            I don’t know how…

You got what you wanted
Weren’t so blind, so innocent,
Maybe naïve
Feel better now,

            They make women like this
Plenty, probably
In many places or under
Rocks
Just as soft and bitter
            Quirky, spry
            Fierce, timid, and nervous with
            A view of the brighter
If not more, many more after
Me, there will be loads
You say,
            True, it’s true
Then there’s a lasso
A phone bill, a promise,
A problem, thanks
Finger spell good-bye and
Good luck. Faster.
Then smell my hair
            It’s so circular
            And steep
Psst, I put it in the dresser
                        What?
Well, I couldn’t absorb it
                        Why not?
Because you’d like that
So would we all.
But while I hate quick
People, quick settlements
Still, if you touch me,
My teeth fall out.