To minimize sorrow’s splash & sizzle
baby lava drops slow motion fall
leaving their tear ducts empty of ways
to transport the stuff of grief
some lean toward heavenly things
the blue & white fluff of paper Mache
obese clouds of thunderous joy
the pretty and perfect pulseless distractions
made famous by the stuff of faith
consumption is rarely subpoenaed
for questioning too much stuff
in the gut’s garage too much mail
in the mind’s cold box to sort out the real
from the almost real the who the hell sent
this wickedness to me who has time
for such stuff
by Daniel Edward Moore
Daniel Edward Moore’s poems have been published in the Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, Columbia Journal, New South, American Journal Of Poetry and others. His poems are currently at Lullwater Review, Natural Bridge Literary Journal, Scalawag Magazine, Tule Review, Fire Poetry Journal, West Texas Literary Review, The Chaffin Journal, Bluestem Magazine, The Paragon Journal and Sheila-Na-Gig. Poems forthcoming are in Weber Review, Stillwater Review, Hawaii Review, Blue Fifth Review, Plainsongs, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, Broad Street Magazine, The Museum Of Americana and West Trade Review. His books of poems are the anthology “This New Breed: Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians,” and “Confessions Of A Pentecostal Buddhist” can be found on Amazon. He lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. (danieledwardmoore.com)
of a cragged tree stands
sharp and complete
across an old apartment building,
though my angle
to the shadow’s tree.
A pigeon flies toward the cornice
of an old tenement building then
draws up short, startled by something
it finds where it was about to land
and it flaps in the air, in place, in
a flurry of disbelief; then it either
attacks or shoots away
but I don’t notice
because it sticks in my mind
as stuck in midair, in shock,
unable to square
with a truth
The royal blue
deli awning, dripping
with rain, says:
Cold Sodas, Newspapers,
Sandwiches, Hot Coffee, Beer,
Play Lotto Here.
The cramped, over-lit, under-cleaned
crunching these commonplaces
The acoustic guitar
hanging on the café wall
hangs halved in a mirror
on the far wall
before me, a mirror
in whose frame is tucked
a curled, faded photograph
of a smiling young woman, a mirror
crossed by cropped reflections
of staff and customers
coming and going
until it empties
in the night.
by Mark Belair
Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit www.markbelair.com
An old woman stands on the corner of 5th and Wall, a book of poetry in her tattered wool jacket.
- She shouts to no one in particular.
- She used to be famous. I heard it from the postman.
- I think I knew her.
- She was my teacher in first grade.
- She was my Girl Scout leader.
- She is my mother.
- She is not my mother.
- It’s me. I am on the street corner and I am all alone.
- There is a white dog with scruffy fur in the alley. His front right paw is deformed and he limps. He is focused on his daily quest for food and sex.
- I call him goat dog.
- He protects me from the addicts.
Meanwhile, on the opposite corner.
A yellow haired man with whiskers is holding a fortune cookie and sobbing.
- He’s loved her since the day they met, at the office Christmas party. She had her hair in a bun, loosely tied with a gold and red garland.
- She doesn’t love him. She is ambivalent about love.
- It is raining outside. They are too busy with their mental chess game to notice. He wants her. She wants his job.
- The office is on the 15th floor and with a view of the street.
- He has a cold and left his raincoat in the car.
- She doesn’t have a cold.
- He wants to get married and start a family. That’s all he’s ever wanted. Being promoted to Director was never in the plan.
- He is terrified of ending up alone.
- She’s terrified that this is all there is in life.
- This is all there is in life.
by Sheree La Puma
Sheree is an award-winning Author, Producer, and Social Media Strategist. She holds an MFA in Critical Studies & Writing from California Institute of the Arts and has published articles/fiction/books on a myriad of topics. In addition, Sheree has over 30 years experience in the charitable non-profit sector, working as a social scientist, synthesizer, and wordsmith. In 2012, Sheree traveled to Ghana, Africa to meet with a child trafficking survivor. Changed by the experience, she spent the next two years writing about his journey. Passionate about women and the rights of the child, Sheree wants to reach out and inspire the voiceless.