Waiting by Adrian Slonaker

The blaze of this protracted summer afternoon
burns torpidly past its expiry hour.
I study the caramel-colored clock,
absentmindedly brushing bare calves
that are too pasty for the season,
a confession of days dawdled away
in dim tearooms and dark attics and
of twilights spent in perverse pursuits-
at least mentally.
I scribble nonsense in a notebook,
conjugating verbs and
trying to decline nouns and time
into satisfactory sense.

Fingertips now drum a mystery beat upon the formica.
With the sunlight finally sapped of its strength,
a breeze delves into the depths of the diner,
reminding me of peppermints chasing curry.
After seven thousand what-ifs,
your footsteps flutter to my ears.
I don a veneer of chummy cheerfulness
while my mind meanders in murkier spaces.
You separate your slender lips and
growl that she wasn’t right for you.
They never are.
Yet the scene replays itself, as it always has.
You smile wryly at me.
I stand up, irrationally relieved,
and together we depart into the dusk.

Adrian Slonaker
Adrian Slonaker works as a copywriter and copy editor in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Adrian’s work has appeared in Aberration Labyrinth, Squawk Back, The Bohemyth, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Pangolin Review and others.

Winter Underground/ Palindrome by Nate Maxson

Snowfall
Over time
Snow falls
Like blank pages,
The faces of the missing
Or songs about songs

Underground

What you might call the sky
Is a delicate white scar
Leftover from the last winter
Beginning
All dull nerves and muscle
To dig its way through
To the other side

Nate Maxson2
Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. The author of several collections of poetry, he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aegean Sea by Julia Knobloch

Seagulls cruise along the ferry’s wake,
the wind smells like engine fuel and tar.
At last we leave those heavy stones behind,
the hyperbolic weight of other peoples’ lives.
Where all is form and repeated gesture
an authentic cast is hard to find.

One night and many hours later
we are still at sea and err
through silent waterscapes,
about to fall off the map.
Islands appear like birds and vanish.
Diffuse shadows rattle
across the white, gray upper deck.

Last night you serenaded me
in a Plaka tavern, inviting me
to come with you and find that farm.
I said: I’d love to, Leonard,
but let’s search where we can eat a pomegranate
without evoking doom and harm.

Let’s forget about eternity, for now.
As long as new shores are not in sight,
let’s loll in unobstructed sunshine
on this ship cutting through dark blue water,
where the wind smells like engine fuel and tar.

Brooklyn, September 1, 2014

julia-knobloch
Julia Knobloch is a former journalist turned translator, project manager, and emerging poet. She occasionally blogs for ReformJudaism.org, and she was awarded the 2016 Poem of the Year prize from Brooklyn Poets for her poem Daylight Saving Time. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Yes, Poetry Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, in between hangovers, Your One Phone Call and are featured on Brooklyn Poets’ social media outlets.

Fantasia by Richard Livermore

But I’d much rather dive
like a swallow or swift,

looping the loop
on a Messerschmitt’s tail,

like one of those crazy
guys in a Spitfire.

Tally Ho, Number One,
there’s a bandit above

blowing a kiss
with a promise of love.

richard-livermore
• Biography: Richard Livermore was born in Sussex in 1944. He went to various boarding-schools and left at 15. He joined the Army, but was discharged 6 months later. He went from job to job and in 1974 to Newbattle Abbey College in Scotland. He has lived in Scotland ever since, except for 5 years in Spain. He has had numerous poems published in magazine and webzines in Britain and the USA, plus books by Lothlorien, Diehard and Chanticleer Press. He is presently retired.

Gone by Gregg Dotoli

i want a spaghetti plot
of your thoughts
i need a spaghetti plot
of your thoughts

I must see where I cooled
in your brain
and never forget
that elevator drop feel
heart attacks fill plots
while love rots

gregg-dotoli
Gregg Dotoli lives in New York City area and has studied English at Seton Hall University. He works as a white hat hacker, but his first love is the arts. His poems have been published in, Quail Bell Magazine, The Four Quarters Magazine, Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, Halcyon Magazine, Allegro Magazine, the Mad Swirl, Voices Project, Writing Raw and Down in the Dirt.

Saturday Morning Cartoons by Austin Davis

We used to watch cartoons
on saturday mornings
when the string of tin
cans rattling behind the rusty
cars outside was strangely
unironic. We would lie

with our bellies to the carpet,
pressing our faces closer
and closer to the screen
until Batman’s batarang
shocked the tip of our noses.
Maybe that’s why I always

thought the neighbor’s
hedges were green horses.
Imagination was only half
the equation. Now, 10
years later, it seems we’ve
become accustomed to

the dirt roads pulled tight
around our skin. I, for one,
never questioned why
we got grinning masks
for our 18th
birthdays instead of
lottery tickets or cigars.

We were all adorned
with the same
disguise – always one size
too loose. I guess they wanted
our warm breath to suffocate
under their scrubbed skin, bleached
more pale than the lovers
that used to live on the moon.

It’s only now, as I wait for you
on a morning stained by yellow
clouds, that my reflection
swirling in the black coffee
reminds me more of The Joker.

Austin Davis’ poetry has been published widely in literary journals and magazines. Most recently, his work can be found in Pif Magazine, Folded Word, The Poetry Shed, and Spillwords. “The Moon and Her Ocean” was published in 2017 by Fowlpox Press and Austin’s first full length collection, “Cloudy Days, Still Nights” is being released this spring by Moran Press. Check out Austin’s website at https://austindavispoetry.w eebly.com/

What Passes for Peace Hits the Road by Carl Mayfield

The naked man walking
along the 112 lane highway

draws stares from the flow
of tweets and caffeinated apps.

The ball of lint balanced
on the end of his penis

seems to be for reassurance,
to let the refugee know

that he’ll have a lover
whoever wins the war,

that no one can touch
his sweet spot the way

lint caresses, and stays put.

Carl Mayfield’s most recent chapbook is High Desert Cameos. His poems have been published within his lifetime, which still shocks him a little, having no desire for people to look at him.

Even Though I Love You Telling Me No by Jeanette Powers

My panther of the yellow eyes
and cagey pacing,
when your black body
stinking of meat
leapt back into bed
next to me
with your kamikaze purr
and then
when your huge paws
wrapped me in tight
to the lank of your body
teeth so very near
but no,
no, never touching
the neck I always
leave exposed for you

when you told me
you wanted to die like this
gripped in a savage cat’s embrace
face to face
with whiskers and fangs,
I wondered about the surety
of not leaving this life
alone.

We both know
this is the sort of question
without an answer.

How do I prove
I love someone?
Is it true my body
ends at the skin
and the wide, starry void
is separate from me?
How do you know
I’ll keep my promises?

Let’s stick to questions
with answers.

Are you here right now?
Am I in your feral arms?
Do we dream?

Yes, panther,
yes.

It is my pleasure.
                Open me
                              (hold me open)
with your elusive paws.

JeanettePowersBioPhoto
Jeanette Powers is an anarchist performance artist who uses poetry and art to question habitual behavior and to dismantle internalized obedience. She can most often be found near a river with her hound dog, Olly Mas. Connect with her at jeanettepowers.com or @novel_cliche

Waking from a Nap at Dusk, Thinking That It’s Morning by Jason Ryberg

One of those naps
where-in you put your
head on the pillow with
the honest-to-god intent
of just catching maybe
20 or 30 minutes, max,
but instead end up
plunging headfirst
right through the bed
and tumbling, top hat
over tap shoe, down,
down, down a deep,
ancient dark well
of weird Freudian /
Jungian dreams (where
in every one you’re
never wearing any pants,
for some reason) and
then suddenly come
out the other end
of 1,2,3, maybe
even 4 hours
later in near-
total darkness,
wondering
who, what,
where,
when,
why and
how
the
fuck!?

Jason Ryberg
Jason Ryberg is the author of twelve books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collections of poems are Head Full of Boogeymen / Belly Full of Snakes (Spartan Press, 2016) and A Secret History of the Nighttime World (39 West Press, 2017). He lives part-time in Kansas City with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.