Parker Tettleton ~ Five Poems

RINF

I’m open­ing anoth­er before I’m fin­ish­ing, with no reli­able inter­net, with a paper­clip to up & down the zip­per on my green coat, with you except you’re not you & you’re wher­ev­er you are, in an apart­ment full of me & my qui­ets, in a city full of the kind of air that will leave you behind. I wake up full of win­dows & flowers—I did not dream of the thing we talked about –more

Reilly Cundiff ~ Five Poems

Self-Portrait as a Turkey Vulture

Must be some kind of man’s ver­ti­go-
I’m Judy, I’m Madeleine, I’m Marilyn
Monroe in a black bobbed wig.
O Periphas, I’ve been your wife in bed,
a sign as pure as dove’s feath­ers, pur­er
than bat­tery acid. But this is what pity
from the gods will do-I’m a red bal­loon
filled with rocks. Cotton my ivory mouth
with your vit­ri­ol, your anthrax-and, smil­ing,
I will swal­low on the count of ten.

A Sign of Summer

A month from –more

Gary Percesepe ~ Another Poem That’s Not About You

Carpenters ham­mer below the shad­ed win­dow. I rise from bed, light a cig­a­rette, and walk to the win­dow. The stony street dis­plays the still­ness on which build­ings stand. It isn’t pos­si­ble to be young again, yet a com­mon light bathes the cob­ble­stones. Time is the fire in which we all burn. See this win­dowsill? It shines with its lip of snow. White pieces drift past the cold pane, the small­est col­or of the small hours. Early morn­ing has begun with­out us, and yet we are here. What am I now that I was not then? Somewhere down the street a car coughs, stut­ters, ignites. The day will fall of its own weight. The mys­tery of begin­ning, resumes.

Karen Alpha ~ Kung Fu Love

My moth­er got me start­ed on t’ai chi when I was a lit­tle kid, no more than five or six, I think.  We used to go togeth­er to her class on Thursday nights at the ele­men­tary school gym.  She sort of dragged me along.

The man who taught us was grace­ful, because of his bal­ance, but it wasn’t a dancer’s grace, it was ani­mal-like, con­trolled.  When he put his foot down some­where, you felt noth­ing –more

Gary Percesepe ~ The Bench

Everything could have been dif­fer­ent, yet all remains the same. For years Batgirl cir­cled the globe, her eyes pud­dled with tears. Euripides, I’m told, despite his fame, clipped toe­nails in soli­tude. What I mean to say is, be patient with me, I’m lolling on the banks of a thought. I wait­ed while she applied mois­tur­iz­er to her legs. She resem­bled in those days a lake of gravy into which I was –more

Michelle Ross ~ High Ground

A moth­er whose chil­dren go to my child’s school mes­saged me and four oth­er moth­ers from the school because she was in a quandary. Corinne is her name. As most of us knew, Corinne said, she didn’t have a good rela­tion­ship with her sis­ter, who could be con­trol­ling and nar­cis­sis­tic.

The truth is, she wrote, she’d been get­ting along with her sis­ter fair­ly well these last few months. Then, out of –more

Tiff Holland ~ Ending Up in the Ditch

All that sum­mer my broth­er, Kevin, padded around the house in the Pink Panther cos­tume my aunt had made him for his birth­day: pink paja­mas for the body and a match­ing tie for the tail. The paja­mas were thick and sort of vel­veteen. Despite the fact he was pre­pu­bes­cent, after about a week, he began to stink. He didn’t care. Our wash­er was bro­ken, and he was unwill­ing to give up the out­fit long enough –more

Bram Riddlebarger ~ The Fisherman and the Tires

Yep, just fish­ing for some tires,” said the fish­er­man. “I only need four. I’ll catch one, one day, and then I’ll only need three more. I’ll catch them, as well. Tires, they float by like glac­i­ers. Like worn, rub­ber glac­i­ers, and I only need four to get me to where I need to go.”

The fish­er­man cast his line from the bridge into the churn­ing water of the riv­er. The hub­cap struck the –more

Jennifer Wortman ~ The Forest of Foodstuffs

In the four months since my hus­band died, I dreamt of him only twice. In the first dream, he ate berries, reclin­ing in a shad­owy room while our girls played on the floor. What a thrill to see him eat­ing. No tumor block­ing the way. No feed­ing tube. No puk­ing in pink plas­tic bins, no con­sti­pa­tion alter­nat­ed with atom­ic diar­rhea. His hair had grown back. His body, too. And his clothes: no gown, no –more

Sudha Balagopal ~ Spring Quarter, 1980

Sumi waits out­side the dorm for thir­ty min­utes before Mary, a fel­low grad stu­dent, shows up. They’re late for the brain­storm­ing ses­sion at Wray’s house.

The radio in Mary’s car crack­les, vol­ume on high since the win­dows don’t roll up. There’s a grassy smell inside the car. Sumi won­ders if it’s mar­i­jua­na. The taxi dri­ver who brought her from the air­port last week said he could smell weed five miles –more

Janet Clare ~ Flight

Carol brought the baby home and put him in the bassinet, then sat on the edge of the bed star­ing at him. He slept peace­ful­ly while she toyed with a loose thread on the flo­ral quilt. She was young, but not fool­ish, and she, along with her hus­band, Dan, both want­ed this baby. But what struck her that day, what she hadn’t real­ly thought about until that very moment, was the per­ma­nence of this baby. –more

Jon Kemsley Clark ~ White

We were half way through the sec­ond course before she men­tioned it. Quite in pass­ing. Not that she came out and said it direct­ly. Just in pass­ing as if it was some­thing I already knew. Something like oh my hus­band would have done such and such or my hus­band would have said such and such. That seems rea­son­able, I told her, I would under­stand that. As if I knew him. As if she thought I knew about –more

Sandra Kolankiewicz ~ Four Poems

Like a Tranquil Island

Of course I ran out of time, just bare­ly
begun before I had to board, right as
I dis­cov­ered at last the best part of
the city, the place where the artists were
thriv­ing, paint­ing their win­dow frames pur­ple,
using five col­ors to coat one house, the
way I always imag­ined we would be
liv­ing before a bus became a
metaphor for what –more

Samuel J. Adams ~ Everybody Did

It’s my nine­teenth birth­day and I’m swim­ming with ten friends in a quar­ry when this old man with a big beard comes charg­ing across the lawn. He’s one of those tall guys who makes him­self seem taller by walk­ing stooped, like he’ll become gigan­tic if he rears his head up. Plus, when your eyes sit inch­es above the water­line, every­body on land seems tall.

Who let you in?” he says. “Who –more

Tamara Burross Grisanti ~ Four New Fictions

THE HEART ISJUNK DRAWER

Each sec­ond can be a new begin­ning. Let’s crawl into the back seat and make rough sense to each oth­er. Read epis­to­lary love nar­ra­tives by the oven light. Tell you my sto­ry using let­ters? Sounds like every sto­ry to me.

I haunt lone­ly paths, look for you in emp­ty rooms. The world intends to give me sharp edges. To remain soft is a rad­i­cal act of rebel­lion. A forked path –more