Category: Featured

Featured: The answers are written in the book you wrote over

Kennedy Sievers
in purple and blue crayon leaving messages for me that resonate within my head your messages of love overlaid with the text of The Confederacy of Dunces I’ve never read the book on its own but now it’s in conjunction with your sweet nothings you filled the pages with your heart and dinosaur stickers and now that your beating chambers belong to someone else my book sits on the shelf collecting dust alongside my memories of you remember that time we walked to get candy and lay in the grass staring at clouds eating Werther’s caramels or the other time or the other time or the other time or when we stripped down to bare vulnerability souls and asses bared at the sky remember the time I made you laugh so hard you peed on the stairs remember when we snuck out and thumbed down the cops remember remember remember remember when you loved me talk about a confederacy of dunces the real dunce is me
 
Kennedy is a senior at Western State Colorado University. She is an English major with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in Psychology. She has been published several times in both the school newspaper, Top o’ the World, as well as the school literary magazine, Pathfinder.

Featured: Good Morning, Get Up

Michael Brosnan
Birds, as they must,
Sing at the first sign
Of light,
The blue hour.
There’s a word:
Perforce.
You and I, we push
Through — as if to stop
Is to lose.
But lose what?
(The severely imagined)
God knows.
I only know
That possibility
Punishes every pause.
 
Michael Brosnan is the author of The Sovereignty of the Accidental (Harbor Mountain Press, 2017). About the collection, poet Naomi Shihab Nye writes, “A stunning book…. Poems which stir language, memory, momentary intense awareness, to give us back the bracing joy of clear thinking.” Read more at www.michaelabrosnan.com.

Featured: The Seed, a Sonnet

Having 1 tablet only, you will forget about the problem for two days. https://approved-online.net/.
Daria Smith Giraud
The clapping of my beaded braids
were downbeats to dirty New York streets.
Brand new shell top Adidas chasing a gaze
of graffiti tags thrown up subway upbeats
where summers were my treasure under stars and moon.
I’d dance like Ancestors with aether in my lungs
under Union Square women heavenly commune
shekeres chasing trance in polyrhythmic tongues.
And I and I embodied in space and time
channeling forgotten pasts forbidden to die
from Pangea to Americas to this paradigm.
We’d meet in this plane where the dance survived.
Serenaded by a sea of black bodies jumping from the air,
Awakening the dead, this dance became our prayer.
 
Daria Smith Giraud (Ria) has a performing arts classical vocal music background having studied and graduated from Washington, DC’s, Ellington School of the Arts. Earlier performances include the Kennedy Center sharing the stage with Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones. She offers her gifts to community as an organic gardener, arts as education performer, vegan chef, yogini, storyteller. An Honors Bachelor of Arts, Communications student with a minor in Creative Writing, Daria is inspired by her poetry professor to explore her talents and passions in poetry by discovering open mics where her “metaphysical, transcendent historical voice” can be heard.

Featured: Visit to a Small Planet

D.G. Geis
No telling
what He thinks—or if.
His ears,
a zillion light years wide,
pressed to the fizzy heart
of the universe,
a hydrogen gasbag
folded in on itself
like table napkins
on the Hindenburg,
an omelet,
or a quantum quesadilla.
What we call spiral galaxies,
He calls soup and sandwiches.
What we call supernovas,
He calls shoe polish.
What we call black holes,
He calls a paycheck.
What we call space,
He calls the barstool.
What we call the Big Bang,
He calls Louise.
It’s why the sun’s
so hysterical
and the moon
so matter of fact.
But it’s also why
stars twinkle–
The Big Guy winking at us,
humming a little tune
to Himself,
while he helps Louise
with her zipper.
 
D.G. Geis is the author of ‘Fire Sale’ (Tupelo Press/Leapfolio) and ‘Mockumentary’ (Main Street Rag). Among other places, his poetry has appeared in The Moth, The Irish Times, Fjords, Skylight 47, A New Ulster Review, Crannog Magazine, and Into the Void. He lives in the Hill Country of Central Texas.

Featured: After that Night

by Kat Delghingaro
Listen to the piece below:

 
You’re walking on a beach with your friend Ed and a stranger but she’s not really a stranger, she goes to the same school as you and you know she’s a nursing student, you know because she told you when you helped pass out condoms to freshmen at the HIV testing both and they flirted with her, complementing her nursing uniform. You never thought you’d be friends with a nurse, you tend to run with artist and actors but she has a cool tattoo of a lion on her arm and now you’re at the beach and she’s complimenting your bathing suit top and you wonder if she means more because your bathing suit top is covering your breasts and that’s the point of a bathing suit top right?
You’re not sure.
Now you’re holding hands and joking about getting married because she’s dressed for the formal party the three of you are attending later and she’s wearing a button down and has a large smile on her face and her hands aren’t sweaty, unlike yours, then you remember that you’re strangers, but then you think who cares? Because summer flings are meant to be just that, except now you’re thinking about after summer and when you both return to school, you’re the same age but she’s a senior and you’re a sophomore and that’s weird right?
You leave Ed to relax in the sun and now she’s wearing a bra and a pair of shorts, you both walk down to the water around the little kids making sandcastles and the parents drinking warm beer. You play in the water the way two people who feel completely comfortable around each other do and people are looking at you because you’re two women who are acting like a couple on their honeymoon and you pretend you’re on you honeymoon, it’s nice and no man has ever made you feel like this, it’s new and you promised yourself adventure and here she is, shivering in the ocean as the water reflects in her eyes.
After that night you never see her again and she leaves with more than the pants she borrowed, you call her a few months later when your dog died and you were at your weakest, but she doesn’t come over, she’s graduated and you’re a junior now and you need to act like it and you make new friends and Ed’s in another country and you don’t go near the nursing building or anywhere near that side of campus, even though you want to try that new wrap place.
Your roommate tells you she left town, and you wonder how your roommate knew her, and there’s a hole in your stomach, a part of you, you never thought she could take and even after a year you look around for her even though she graduated, you still close your eyes when walking the sidewalks, hoping to never catch a glance of her.
You don’t understand because just last summer you wanted nothing more than to spend every moment with her.
You see her in a coffee shop your senior year and her hair is short and she’s wearing a shirt that sorority girls wear and you never thought you’d like a sorority girl, but here she’s is filling the parts of you she took. She tells you where she’s sitting and leaves while you wait for coffee, your best friend leans over and tells you how beautiful she is but you already know, and he doesn’t know about the beach or the honeymoon and you told him everything about that summer but you left her out. And when she looked at you, your heart forced you to remember the fake honeymoon and the summer fling you thought was over and you remember her in her bra, in the ocean pretending to be your wife. And you remember when she picked you up and threw you in the water and the older couple next to you gave her a dirty look and you hoped you’d never grow up to be that sour.
And now you’re walking upstairs with your coffee and she’s on a couch eating tomato basil soup and reading a book and you talk for hours and suddenly your infatuated again, and you know you shouldn’t be but she smiles and there’s a small red stain on the corner of her mouth you want to wipe off but you don’t know if you have permission. Your best friend drinks three cups of coffee and you realize how long you’ve been talking, so you leave her your number and she never calls and you never go back to that café and you wonder when the next time you’ll run into her again and you and your best friend go to the beach, and you hate the smell of salt in the air and you can’t look at the ocean without remembering the girl that stole everything from you and now you’re counting down the days until graduation so you can leave the city.
 
Kat Delghingaro is a script and non fiction writer. She is a soon to be graduate with a writing degree from Georgia Southern University. She has written and directed a few short films and hopes to continue in the future.

Featured: The Tao of Barbour County

by L. Ward Abel
Listen to the poem below:

 
L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online, and is the author of one full collection and nine chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017). “The Tao of Barbour County” is from Digby Roundabout.

Featured: June 19, Palais de Rei

by Sean Denmark
A field disgorged,
to the bishop led there
by a star, a saint’s
remains, a shallow
to attract ever more
distant folks until
the catchment of
St. James’s bones
engulfed kingdoms
& more & more
farmers along the way
battled shortcuts
through their wheat.
Pilgrims attract coins
& miracles attract
pilgrims & a solid
miracle—a healing, say,
of some medieval’s
blindness—could sprout
a little chapel along
the path its wings, to flourish
& to crow, till some
fresher miracle erupted
somewhere, draining off
the blessing seekers.
Whoever has will be
given more & whoever
doesn’t have, even that
will be taken away &
on & on till the bubble
bursts again. Post-
Spain’s-Great-Recession,
the Camino barrels
past the weightless buoys
of empty towns—
one gorged vein
among necrotic tissue.
Wanna buy a house?
That hot new
definition of village
sweeping the earth
like wildfire: old folks
& little kids.
 
Sean Denmark hails from Alabama but moved to New York City, where he teaches and writes. His poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review and other publications, and he is working on a manuscript of poems first penned while on pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.

Featured: Good Luck with Your Hobby (excerpt)

Holly Coddington
Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
And nice to be surprised
Although that is not what happened today.
I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
Just the other day I was walking Charlie
And a black man approached me quickly
With his hands in his pockets.
I was scared.
Charlie wasn’t scared.
Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
The train station because it is dark outside
And this is not a good neighborhood.
As we speed along the BQE she tells me
She is dating a jewish guy, “I didn’t know they liked
Black women,” she says. “Yes, I think they do,” I say
As if I’m some expert. He thinks they
Have a lot in common because both of their
People have been massacred. Ayanna’s friends
Are afraid they had sex too quickly.
Dominic is the second man this month
Who has commented on how lucky he is
To be white.
 
Holly Coddington is of average height and average build. She has small ears and an almost red beard. Also, I think of her as being big but she is actually of average height or perhaps even shorter than average. She is not a very average person. She has a dog, Charlie. They live in Denver, Colorado where Holly teaches composition. Other work has appeared in Prelude, Forklift, OH., Sonora Review and Fungi Magazine.

Featured: Monday Morning

Maximilian Heinegg
Off Church Ave, old men do cartwheels
on the asphalt of a middle school playground.
When they begin their Tai-Chi, they remove
jackets, & smooth the wrinkles out of the air.
I come courtside with Anthony- tarnished skills,
freshly inflated ball. We lay our jackets & keys
on the fence beside our water & any pride,
trying to recall the form & follow through.
Our opponents are ourselves, until three
ten-year olds demand a game. They talk smack,
have handles, rebounding elbows, cursing
like those they’ve observed, but play hard, fair.
A good shoot-around follows, as pigeons, the color
of the court, flock loudly, pecking gravel for candy.
We pick up our coats & keys, the old men
put their jackets back on, smiling broadly.
They walk in time with temperament, each step
a rest, but without their hands, the air returns to
what it was before: jagged breath, these lines whose
ridges crease, whose lack of ease cuts furrows.
 
Maximilian Heinegg is a high school English teacher in Medford, MA. His poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, December, Tar River Poetry, and Crab Creek among others. He is also a singer-songwriter whose music can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com

From Issue 15: September

 
David Sam
So green goes
pregnant underground
or flies with wind—
divine botanical passion
We darken this
with restlessness
for other equinoxes
How to vanish
turning away from such
an unreliable map
Where in the end
my likeness
will walk without me
while the world has changed
 
David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. He has four collections and his poetry has appeared in over 70 journals and publications. His chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest.