one poem

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

one poem
in a quiet room
beneath an indifferent sky

the empty fields that define
the season of loss

these are only words
diane
and you are only a stranger i
pretend to know

it's the lack of sound
that frightens me

the wind maybe
or a distant siren
or the kitten curled up and purring gently
on the edge of the desk

my son's toys
without his tiny perfect hands
to move them

and it's been four days now since
the planes stopped flying

since my fingers felt the need
to crawl across
a blank sheet of paper
and do you notice that the
clocks haven't stopped?

do you believe

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CHRISTINE HAMM

Editor back-issues, poetry

[b]To Greenpoint[/b]

July insects buzz the sidewalk.
It's twenty minutes of rectangular and bleak to anywhere.

See the cracks,
the lines crisscrossing
the telephone poles, the concrete
and your hand,
this street disappears into empties --
beer cans and sky.

You're walking through airless shadows.
Your shoes don't make a sound.
And we have no idea where we're going.

[b]Empty Bed[/b]

The muscles of my tongue cup him.

Broken backed chairs lean forward expectantly
and the rug curls in anticipation.
No one can close their eyes but him.

Then moonlight does what moonlight does,

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J. D. SMITH

Editor back-issues, poetry

[b]Allegory of X[/b]

Being chased toward
a cliff in the night
that divides land
from the absence of land
with no warning save
the gravel that tumbles
away from itself.

[b]Internet[/b]

Gleaming water-skimmers race,
stop, start, collide and multiply,
converge--instant constellations--and disperse
over a widening puddle.

[b]A River[/b]

The current takes
lull and rapids
into a circle
with no tangent
at stream or sea.
Soil from the banks
is gathered,
sold in pouches
for its powers,
among them
shaping waters
and, in spring,
reversing their course.

[b]Further Shores[/b]

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CHRISTIAN PEET

Editor back-issues, poetry

[b]Angle of Repose[/b]

In the red light of highway protocol
All traffic stalled

A burnished wreck for sunset
Time to pause, as the book says, time to reflect.

Words come so easy till we know their source
And find it wanting-

In need of sympathy or recompense
Say, a fat check

For the fat man stricken in the road
Now out of body, now at the plastic faux pearl gates

Never having seen the equally fat toad
That sits in loam and gravel

Under the guardrail.
Sits. And waits.

Waits for the green light
Of understanding-nothing-being

The toad's just a toad
And the fat man is dead.

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You Think YOU’RE Demoralized!

Editor back-issues, fiction, Michael W. Giberson

We had this big old Chinese elm tree by our patio taken out last year. Now a two hundred square foot area next to the patio is nothing but dirt, which my two ninety-mile-per-hour Australian shepherds are constantly tracking onto the patio. So my wife wants me to

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Americana

Editor back-issues, Patrick Seth Williams, poetry

sitting on the front porch
I listen to the nuclear family
across the street meltdown

it's Chernobyl, Rolling Hills Dr.
Wichita Kansas where life
moves like wheat in a high wind

a woman walking her dog
stops to witness the madness
as a man bursts from the house

he lugs a tattered tote bag
which he tosses into the trunk
of 1970's vintage Americana

the broker from next door
steps outside drinking a beer
and shakes his head disgusted

we are all spectators

the man's wife, carrying a child
runs out pleading to him
as he drives away, backfiring

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Points In Time (a Short)

Editor back-issues, Patrick Seth Williams, poetry

I stand at the door to apartment four in the "blue building", Emporia Kansas, address unimportant. Even at 20, I have the same nervousness of a teen on a first date. I swallow hard, putting on a fa�ade of confidence, and knock soundly on the veneer covered door.

At 17, I was a dreamer. I still am. The things I dreamed then accomplished or future goals; my dreams of today, goals of tomorrow. S was girlish at 20, a Disney aficionado, on the Student Senate at the local college, grounded. She was too good of a person to be dating a hotwired senior in high school hell-bent on escaping the midwestern cultural doldrums. In ways I never left.

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the same story

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

she is talking
about her thirteenth year

about her mother's lover

the sound of his footsteps
as she lay in bed

the press of his weight
just outside her door

^

it's the same story
told
a thousand different ways

it's the boyfriend who
passed her on to his buddies
for beer or pot or a
new set of tires

it's everything
she was forced to do

^

and she is talking
about love

she is saying
she believes

is saying she doesn't
want to be alone

tells me she doesn't
expect me
to understand

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the age of saints

Editor back-issues, John Sweet, poetry

the truth of
the bleeding horse is this

there is no bleeding horse

there is your sister with her
boyfriend's hands tight around her throat

there are the children

^

what she tells you is
[i]i love him[/i]

this and that he has
disappeared again

that a woman calls at least
three times a day asking for him

what she tells you is familiar
and it tastes of pain

^

and this is not the age of saints

the addicts won't be saved
or even remembered
and she tells you [i]i love him[/i]

tells you she has seen the bleeding horse
in the first light of day
stumbling blind towards the interstate

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