You Can’t Go Home Again


Returning to their home town after 25 years

was surreal. They got lost trying to get to

the high school. The ice cream stand they worked in

was now a dry cleaners, while Old Smith’s Farm

was gone altogether.



Looking at the photos posted by George

the old swimming hole back home is now a fancy

water park with diving platforms and a wave pool

and roller coaster slides such a blight on that old

small town charm and I think I’m going to cry.



Contrasting today’s summer of yardwork

house repairs, car troubles and no money

with his youthful summers of dating, swimming

ice cream stands and summer stock theatre makes him sad

with longing and knowing you can never go home again.


Michael Estabrook

Michael Estabrook is retired. No more useless meetings under florescent lights in stuffy windowless rooms, able instead to focus on making better poems when he’s not, of course, endeavoring to satisfy his wife’s legendary Honey-Do List.

James Everett

Hymn for Plenty


I believe in keeping what I want,

in dropping everything,

the briny taste of the sunset

yolking the raw meat of the trees.


I believe in throwing the baby out,

the jimson weed rolled tight,

waiting for moonlight, for a smoke,

a lithe trellis to tendril the air.


I believe in leaving it all unfinished.

It cannot be a deity until we make it

a deity, so nobody say a thing

about the wicked wisteria this year.


Something empty is something else

full, faithless, sunflowers

no longer turning away from shadows

to the light at the fencerow’s edge.


Miracle Pine

—after the Tohoku Tsunami


It survived the mess,

suspended over the splintered houses,

a last green asterisk to the Wave,

but then died shortly after.


I hear the townspeople plunked

a concrete likeness down in its place.

By god we find our ways to bring things back,

telling ourselves it takes a disaster.


An industrious bunch, we waste no time

fitting our handles to our little thumbs.

We get to work.


We blast, maim, pierce, and gut

to resurrect what we think should always be.

We fricassee and freeze out.


Afraid, we hang, starve, segregate, assimilate.

We neoliberalize and racialize—

memorialize, legislate, whitewash,

waterboard, roast, infect.

But most of all, we just make hay.


In fact, a man right now out the window

in the cold March will not yet give up

jackhammers some sidewalk into oblivion,

dreaming of his old neighborhood.


James Everett

James Everett has lived and taught English as a Lingua Franca for over fifteen years in the United States, Belize, rural Japan, and Malaysia as a Fulbright grant recipient. The people, languages, and landscapes of these places have led him to an inordinate love of international grocery stores, where Daniela, his daughter, Tania, his spouse, and he lose themselves for hours whenever their budget allows. Their kitchen smells of assorted fermented pastes, boiling daikon, patacones, tortillas from an old family recipe, Ecuadorian caldos, and popcorn they raise themselves in a community garden. Over coffee cups of pilsner and guayusa tea, they celebrate journals that have kindly published James’s work: the Evansville Review, Alimentum, Unsplendid, The Cortland Review, and many others.

Flashbird: Snared Chosen Edge

Contemplate the smooth

surfaced speech,

frisk the word,

stride, run,

fall to overhear

the dried rustle,

a keyboard presses itself.



The bell rings,

the cat wafer,

arid pudding,

drive deep

on the artery,

jelly rushes

out from the bush,

clings, map to life.



The tones,

metronome tink,

how do I call for you?

a word fitted freshly,

airy curtain pounding,



collecting crossroads.



Names are myths

to be released,

wrench them out,

feet hang on

the wooden floor, the

painted oaks spoiled,

elusive reed

rubbing the tip,

may the licorice cup

cease to be called,

thumb strikes

a calling in, a lift

a touch,

a noise


by extraction.



Afternoon proceeds

itsy bitsy gray reflections,

antsy dots settle

preserve or react

the froth,

name of some


on tired eyes.

the vital spirit.



Benedict Downing


Benedict Downing has written fiction, poetry since his adolescence. He joined local community reading circles, workshops, college literary groups, and ventured into his own. Has published in literary journals like Poetry Life and Times, Danse Macabre, Belleville Park Pages, Crack the Spine, New Plains Review, and The Sentinel Quarterly. He is currently working in his second novel, and other projects. There are two published books written by Mr. Downing. A poetry book “Sidereal Reflux” (2011) and a novel “Epicrisis” (2014).



Greg Moglia, Featured Author

Mother Never Cries


Come over she says I’ll make you a tuna fish sandwich

Lunch with Mother who lives in black and white

Black – Uncle Ado –Cheap bastard – money to him was everything

Black – her friend Nina banished –She sent her sister away to a nursing home


Those in black were dead but no tears only anger

About her whites she has an ease

Your father I kiss him once in the morning and once at night

Now, as I bite into her sandwich she comes closer…leans in


You know I never cry, not even when my father died

I’m at a loss, what’s this Mom…doubt?



Did she think, My boy, see what he says

Tell him what I don’t understand

I with never a question about anything…ever?


And I think what a strange way

It would be to tell me

I love you

What a strange way



The Gloves


The wintry day says gloves

Walk in the cold rain and it says gloves

Stop for lunch at the Tex Mex and it says

Gloves on the table to pencil my menu selection

The newspaper to read and it says to my spot by the window

The chicken, beans and rice plate and it says life is good


Time to go and where are my gloves?

On the table, in my briefcase, in my jacket and nothing

I look up and at the door a man in a sweatshirt holds gloves

Out the door he goes and doesn’t put them on

I see him walk down the block

They could be my gloves


I think I’m an old fool these days

I can’t chase him down the block

Maybe the gloves in a place I missed

Might even have left them home

No, he walks out with the gloves that say

Look here, left alone on the table


Left alone  and it’s not a steal

He couldn’t just call out – anyone here lose these

Yet I want some sort of answer

Someone at fault…

Someone at kindness


The man not quite a thief

Me not quite a victim


Greg Moglia


Greg Moglia is a veteran of 27 years as Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Education at N.Y.U and 37 years as a high school teacher of Physics and Psychology. His poems have been accepted in over 300 journals in the U.S., Canada, England, India, Australia, Sweden, Belgium and Austria as well as five anthologies. He is 8 times a winner of an ALLEN GINSBERG Poetry Award sponsored by the poetry center at Passaic County Community College. He lives in Huntington, N.Y.


The Forgotten Holocaust

it spills, like ink drooling into graveled
roads, hair hanging from the broken neck—
i run—past the smoked houses that smell of
firecrackers on new year’s—but too
heavy—it drags across my skin;
they said the wokou are coming! ri ben ren lai le!
but the peonies dressed with summer’s qipao
told us stay, stay, stay.
did we stay to die here?
his stomach bulged as they forced water
down his throat, eyes screaming mercy—
uncle, your swollen body haunts me now.
and mother, lullabies and village songs have grown
into the pig’s squeal just before the butcher’s mark—
what did you sing to me before? all i recall is,
“don’t touch me there!”
they said “world war”
but what did we do?
i have seen things. pregnant women with torn open bellies,
heads of our ragtag soldiers in target practice.
the red scarf of a schoolgirl.
her body splayed open, dumped in our once-blue pond.
why did we stay?
i did not want this adventure.
my voice has stilled; i am no longer brave like mulan, my hero.
wait, i wasn’t ready.

Allison Chen

Allison Chen is a writer from Queen Creek, Arizona. She has been published or upcoming publication in the Paha Review, Canvas Literary Journal, Shine: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2016, Brushtalks Magazine, and the Writer’s Slate. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, Mount Mercy University, and Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards.

Canada Lynx—Schoolcraft Game Refuge

December collapses
with a heaved sigh.
Only the bachelor jay
bathed in his cerulean vest
resists the fait accompli
of ephemeral gray.

The lynx pads soundlessly
into this laundered, stony light,
tufted ears twitching
to the avian colic
attending her

of wending,
eremitic hare.
Mounting spoor—
shallow spoons
from snowshoed feet;
roods upon whispered white.

Deep inside this refuge,
her feline eye—burnt
ochre to its edges—
promises peril
in a clasping, crushing end.
Though a button breeze,

Time’s muted arbiter,
foretells some misgiving:
cryptic rendezvous
in a lethal distance—
the southernmost verge
of an endangered range.



Gina Bernard

Gina Marie Bernard holds B.A., B.S., and M.A. degrees from Bemidji State University. She writes and teaches high school English in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her daughters, Maddie and Parker, are the two halves of her heart. Her work has recently appeared in Appalachia, Balloons Lit. Journal, The Bat Shat, Border Crossing, Cimarron Review, Fox Cry Review, Glitterwolf Magazine, Tule Review, and Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness.


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