John Kristofco

Bottomless Lake


they all said it was “bottomless,”

that lake past all the farms,

a couple hours’ drive;

they said boats went down

and never left a trace, vanished

as if swallowed whole by time,

no simple sand and rock there to receive them,

no sound, no scrape, no muffled thump

like everything that falls

(and everything does fall);

they all believed it like Yeti in the snow,

saucers in the desert,

things that kept the world exotic

while life took every mystery away,

a box filled and emptied every day,

a depth they knew so well

where water came and went

between the pull of moon and sun,

subtracting to some finite sum,

and they’d fall themselves

into the true abyss

for which there is no wonder

but the unexamined buoyancy of faith




what we will and will not understand,

the language of the world

waits in space between the leaves,

rattles in the chatter of the wind,

whispers hope at nightfall,

despair within the questions of its bending trees

in seasons that it does not know,

days in the dyslexia of me

and we,

twisted from the discourse of the sun


John Kristofco

John P. (Jack) Kristofco’s poetry and short stories have appeared in about two hundred publications, including Burningwood. He has published three collections of poetry and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times.


A Paper of Breathings

A boy of birdpoems

and monstrous stories


a painter of numbered rocks

frozen from their histories


a swinger of vines

a creek leaper


a loam digger

and salamander nabber


a boy of graveyards

and grave making


a boy of bramble wanders

scraping a new way


a boy of blush faces

and hidden dreads


and strange songs

etching his lobes


a boy who made me

in the shadow of his spots of time


buried in synapse gaps

of retold dreams


that I might still see the stars

shimmer an ancient sky


David Sam


Born in Pennsylvania, David Anthony Sam has written poetry for over 40 years. He lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam has three collections and was the featured poet in the Spring 2016 issue of The Hurricane Review and the inaugural issue of Light: A Journal of Photography & Poetry. His poetry has appeared in over 60 journals and publications. His chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest and his collection All Night over Bones received an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Homebound Poetry Prize.


Taylor Boughnou



To-day, I thought of you.  Who I’m kidding?  Not a day that memories of you, of us—how we were together, slips past.  How long it’s been now: a year, many years or was it in another time and place, an entirely different lifetime?  I try some times purposely, pretending not to remember those times or you.  But it only serves to row the senses, and brings the visions more clearly, more painfully.  What was I thinking?  That’s it, I remember—I wasn’t thinking at all.  I was such a fool!  And then you left, and the place—ah the place: our place, never felt so barren, and I was alone: then I began to think.  Ha…that’s funny now.  Some good it was then. . . thinking.  It was too late.  And now, well. . . it seems but a dream.  Well, at least that’s what’ll tell myself.  I was dreaming.




My intention was only to stop in the card-shop to say hello.  But then Gia started.  She inquired of things that weren’t her affairs, and being a past lover didn’t grant her an automatic reprieve into the subjects personal.  As it were, I had only known her briefly one spring, and that’d been two years ago now, and it was only to take revenge at another.  In the midst of her impertinent, adversarial inquiries, wherein, underneath, and perhaps understandable, lay a skosh of scorn—she made the mistake of introducing me to Helena, whose person seemed understanding and gentle; and I heard in her greeting: English spoken with the subtlety of German, and that was it.  Helena’s blue eyes commanded the rest.  The shop was soon to close, and Helena was the one leaving early that evening, and was all ready to go.  And we left together: Helena and I.


Taylor Boughnou


Taylor Boughnou was drawn to the writers and thinkers of the ninetieth and early twentieth centuries. After years of a dedicated reading and writing regimen and journal-keeping of his thoughts and observations of his daily routines and personal travels, he began to write. He lives in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area, where he works as a wellness specialist.