Monday, July 25, 2016

A Poem by Daniel Slaten

Start the Panic

he dances backwards into the room
the moment everything explodes
a mushroom cloud of watermelon-scented
covers all but the only thing
the everything the anything
the absolutely nothing thing
               that matters
or doesn't does it
no of course it doesn't
it never will it never did
               it never should
and so it is
and so it isn't
a celebration of movement
               in that
of utter panic
when the watermelon-scented
woke us all from our slumber

Daniel Slaten writes short stories and poetry in small notebooks and on sticky notes.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Three Poems by Angelica Fuse

Winged Poem

I saw a winged
poem today whose
name said he was
but he was no devil
just an arrangement
of friendly whiskey
verses offering opium
to children.

Monkey Business

I am from the tree
dangling, an ensemble
of animal parts, teeth
that rattle, this is my
territory, I beat my animal
chest, bray like an ass,
piss on the floor,
then climb back up to
survey my finer points.


lathe and labyrinth
we drove deep into the night
looking for monsters
forgetting our swords at home
but at least we had our
smart phones so we did not
get too lost
then entered the open mouth
of the cave
[bad idea] now still turning
we are beating hearts
lost in the dark.

Angelica Fuse is an unquiet voice.  She enjoys reading by an imaginary fire.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Poem by John McKernan

Go On

Mister Mayor
Call Prince Adam

Ask him
How to lick
Arsenic off vodka ice cubes

Then call up the Insurance Company
Ask if they pay
In the event of suicide
Listen close

If you're paid up after two years
We'll send you a feather bed
Of maggots
And have Hugh Hefner deliver it

John McKernan grew up in Omaha Nebraska and recently retired from herding commas after teaching for many years at Marshall University.  He lives in Florida and West Virginia.  His most recent books i s a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Field, and elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Poem by Marc Carver


I come to a river
there are three otters swimming in the river.
I put the diamonds on the bank and swim,
one of the otters comes to me and lays in my arms, like a baby.

His two fins at the back open out
and he becomes a small child resting in my arms.
He swims away
and I look at the banks, they are filled with bright green and red frogs bubbles all over their body
then I look for the diamonds
they are gone.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Poem by Charles Eugene Anderson

Dine-In Communion

Eating is Freedom

The signs are everywhere.
I'm hungry.

Eating is Life

Pass one.
Drive some more.
Pass another one.

Eating is Divine

Pull off the interstate.
See the right church.
Drive to parking lot.

Eating is Tranquil

The line is too long.
Decide to go in.
Get out of hoover-cruiser.
Adjust pants.
Belt on last notch.
Time for another belt.
God has blessed me.
I'm his faithful servant.

Eating is Girth

I'm ready.
The line inside is almost as long.
I will be forgiven for fasting too long.

Eating is Repentance

I'll stand in line as long as it takes.

Eating is McDonalds

This time my number is twelve.
There were twelve disciples.
I look at the priest behind the counter.
He'll deliver the sacraments if I'm patient a little longer.
He says to me, "What are you waiting for?"
I say, "The Happy Meal."
I take it with my hands open the way I've been taught so many years ago.
The priest speaks to the woman behind me, "May I help the next sinner in line?"

Charles Eugene Anderson lives in Colorado.  He's been lucky enough to be published in many publications for the past twenty.  When Charles isn't writing, he likes muscle cars, running, and baking.  Find out more at  or

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Poem by Mark Niehus


Name Box
Date Box

Yes box
No box
go to question 37

Hi question 37
Yes box
Can you house me?
No box
go to Section E

Section E can you house me?
Yes box
with conditions, are you poor?
Yes box
are you lying to me?
No box
are you hiding zee moniez?
No box
please just house me!
Yes box
go to promise box

Promise me box
I Promise box

Sign me


Date me


Now fold me just so

Mark Niehus is a poet and artist who drives a cheese truck, between deliveries he explores the mechanics of human behavior.  Belief, need, ambition, self worth, inspiration and hope, occupy his mind while customers comment on the weather.  Finding a place for his writing has become important to him, though the reasons for this beyond the obvious are  unclear.  He likes to get close to instinct and invention to create unique combinations of poetry, street art, music and performance.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Three Poems by Natalie Crick

Love Me

Two friends.
Chalk and cheese, gelled with want.
The shy one with silver sticks
That clunked on wooden boards
Skipped to a secret song.

And him, a gauzy giant,
The bitter scat his excuse.
It shines for special occasions,
Shouting about life of biting tongues:
I am history reinvented.

Blink twice.  I am not out of the ordinary.
He tells me how I have a nervous laugh
And how nice
The mice looked, strung up in grey wire.
An easy spear through each socket.

Would I like to walk with them?
It would be like kissing the flute
With my eyes smoking and hissing,
Ash sinking in each pit.
Let me roll in icy pools.

The Other does that,
Hair wet and black,
Tossing acid.
Do you ever sleep?
He wants to be loved.

I do not react.
The sun lets them in,
The moon breaks in two.
Bell, once.
Bell, twice.

One is finished.

Sunday School

Madeline loves it
And sits as Mother would.
The priest is like her Father
Dressed all in grey,

Palms fluttering with
Paper clowns,
Legs and arms spinning anti-clockwise
Like the priest's eyes slide

From side to side.
We are his for an hour
But he cannot touch us,
For we are jewels to be watched,

And, one day taken.
Nobody has ever held his hand
But Grandmother, with rings like
Little girl's warnings.

This is my house of God,
Rain thundering as
Unanswered questions.
Their faces are taught and chilled with frost.

He is the bee of androgyny
Thrusting candelabras as tusks.
This drone of activity,
It is all too much for me.

Faces dumb as naked dolls.
He strips them, licking them with stars
Like potential girlfriends
Or meats to be weighed.

And We Are Hiding Now

For some time they sat in the cornfield
And spoke like dull mice
About what would be done.
When the sun, a ruined fruit

Ripped the dilute garden growth
And spread a red alarm over tall shears
The eldest was heard to say
"Bury them in the cellar."

Skins of lice lamented
Over the pulsing stalks,
Their drones blanched in the air
Curdled and hot.

The house was distant and brown
Weeping a creeping shadow from within,
That seemed to warn:  "Keep Out."
A blaze from the forgotten.

Old plastic swing swung over the perimeter,
A goodbye, flinch.

The sky was high and blue.
In the giant shoots
Lurking softly and surreal,
Two ducklings on the gilded shore.

The sea was swimming with flushed young men
Severing feathered heads
With long silver scissors.
Pointed thorns in a paper box.

The woman roared like the man.
"Stop," said the girls
With frilled socks.
Once the heavens were purple

Like a bruise, the corn
Grew cold and wet.
The house stood waiting, a deadened bulb
With a swift march

They advanced through the field,
Cutting stems.

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl.  Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry.  Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Poem by Jeff Grimshaw

Friday Morning with Ducks

There is no difference between
Ducks and mechanical ducks
From my vantage point
Or rather my
Of vantage points
As I negotiate the
Mesconetkong Creek Bridge
Although I have no reason
(Cough!) to believe that
Any of the ducks
Are mechanical ducks
Not even the one
Jerking his head back and forth
Watching the bread crumbs
Float by
Like a mechanical duck
Doing a bad imitation
Of a cartoon duck
At a cartoon
Tennis match

I am en route to
The post office
I should subscribe to more magazines
I will have to do some research
And see which ones make
The best paper airplanes

My Sherpa assistant
Is in the vestibule of
The health food store
Eating a bag of healthy
Potato Chips
And wondering if the song
They are playing on the radio in there
Is a country song or not
Because it is what he
Always wonders.  "Jeff,"
He'll say, "Is this one a country song?"
"No, Pasang, this is 'Bohemian
Rhapsody' by Queen.  If you want to hear
A country song you have to listen
To a country station."
And then he'll make a notation on
A 7 Grain Bread label and five
Minutes later say, "What about
This one, Jeff?  Is this one
A country sond?"  And
I say, "No, Pasang, this is still
'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen," and
He makes another notation and
This goes on all goddamn night

But now he's eating his healthy blue
Potato chips and I am
Wiping the ducks off my retina
By checking out
A 17 year old girl with a
Pierced belly button
It is unseasonably warm
For January thank God although
The pierced lip I could
Do without

My cell phone bill!
A postcard announcing
Brookdale Community College is presenting Little
Shop of Horrors next month!  A mutual
Fund prospectus!  An envelope full of
Discount coupons I will never
Use!  My post office
Box is a Gateway to Exotic
Adventure  and Unsolicited

Ducks and (perhaps) mechanical
Ducks and Pasang and the teenage girl
With the belly ring all bob
In my wake like flotsam

My God it is February 3rd and
I have not changed the calendar page!!

So I take care of that
The mad dash back home is frankly
A blur and the artist
Who lives next door
Is sweeping cat food
Misfired ice melt & elderly
French-fries from
The sidewalk
Wearing her smock so everybody
Knows she's an artist
I suspect sapphic tendencies as
Well but then of course
I always do she has a slightly
Unhealthy blue cast because
I am watching through the
Sheer blue curtains which
Sometimes when the sun
Floods through them makes
My gargoyle pencil holder
Look blue but not particularly


Someone is selling a PT Cruiser for
8K or Best Price
The UCC is having a pancake-and-sausage
Breakfast tomorrow.  Gene the
Town drunk is
Lurching down towards the
Delaware with a 24 pack of
Not particularly tasty beer
Earlier today I was stopped at
A red light and he asked me
How my daughter was doing
But did not pay
Overly much attention to
My reply and just now
The artist paused in her
Sweeping to consume
A bottle of Yoo Hoo
I like the way she
Smears the Yoo Hoo mustache off
Her upper lip and decides
This chick
Is no lesbian.

A delivery of French bread sticks
To the restaurant across
The street!  Zut alors!

And now out one more time before
Lunch (meatloaf on
Rye or failing that
Tuna salad) and the ducks take
Off, quacking or (could be)
Clanking, into the air,

And from up there
The car roofs
Are just so many
Blue and Red and especially
Silver potato chips

And even 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by
Queen is just barely audible
Enough to permit the ducks to smile
Although of course their bills
Will not.

Jeff Grimshaw has had poems and stories published (among other places) in New York Quarterly, Asimov's SF, Pyrokinection, and Chiron Review.  He's the co-writer of the screenplay for Michel Gondry's movie The We & the I (2013).  He generally makes his living as a baker, and lives in Milford, NJ.