This Too

A poem by Jeffrey Zable


I felt very sad, and you said, “This too shall pass. . .”

The door opened and someone entered with a child on a leash.
“He is more than a pet,” the person said, “and if you’d like to pet him
it only costs 50 cents.”

I then remembered the time a teacher embarrassed me in class
by calling on me when I wasn’t ready.
“Child,” she said, “if you sailed north on the Pacific would you eventually
wind up in Japan or Elvis Presley’s house in Memphis?”

With nothing left to lose I said I was leaving
and that I was not only going to find a new school and new parents,
but a new and better way of seeing the world.

I said this to anyone who would listen, but as I looked around the room
I saw that everyone was sucking their thumb and rolling their eyes
as if I’d said the dumbest thing they’d ever heard.

I felt very sad, and you said, “This too shall pass. . .”


Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction  have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Some of his recent writings have appeared in Serving House Journal, Mocking Heart ReviewKairos, Third WednesdayFutures Trading, Tower Journal, Jokes Review, and Fear of Monkeys, among others.

Coming to Terms

A poem by Jim Zola


At night, once-dark windows flicker yellow light,
forcing me to imagine lives sadder than my own.

She wears pink fuzzy slippers. A dog bowl lost
in the corner. She believes in radio

romance. Her husband is dust gingerly moved
between crystal angels. She wonders why

I conjure her instead of a hootchie mama
in a snug slip eating buttered crackers,

dancing to the rhythm of her own sweet sway.
She imagines me across the mud shaven field,

the rabbit loved emptiness, this doom that connects us.

Internal Insurance

A poem by R. Gerry Fabian


She has an invisible amulet—
perhaps her soft smile
or her white teeth—
perhaps her gentle hands.
It could be
the disarming quality
of her voice.
Whatever the magic
she is so far beyond harm
that Lloyd’s of London
send representatives
to study her.


R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor. He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. He is the editor of Raw Dog Press. His novels, Memphis Masquerade and Getting Lucky (The Story), and published poetry book, Parallels, are available on Smashwords and in all other e-book stores.

The Result

A poem by Jeffrey Zable


When I checked into my room on the 32nd floor I had a view
of the city and what looked like bugs crawling around in search
of food. I stood there on the balcony and masturbated until my semen
went over the edge and landed on the bald head of a woman who had
shaved it in protest of housewives not receiving a living wage for
watching game shows during the day and preparing peanut butter
and jelly sandwiches at night. Unfortunately, when she spotted me,
she took out her one-shot derringer and carefully aimed for my head,
which luckily I had time to cover with the wine bucket at my feet.
But when the bullet hit the metal, it must have ricocheted left and hit
the man on the balcony next to me for when I removed the bucket,
I saw him falling over the edge and land in the hotel swimming pool,
killing three others as a result. . .


Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction  have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Some of his recent writings have appeared in Serving House Journal, Mocking Heart ReviewKairos, Third WednesdayFutures Trading, Tower Journal, Jokes Review, and Fear of Monkeys, among others.

Hide Out

A poem by Karen Wolf

(Previously published in Street Light Press.)


She longs to be backyard sequestered,
far away from front yard manicured
perfection of the clipped, trimmed,
plucked, swept, and planted discomfort
like sleeping in her shoes,
on pointe, on display, tightened,
so comments bounce up like
sleet on frozen ground, then melt
seeping into her fragile skinned
confidence-lacking psyche.

Through the back door she pushes
bare toes into warm pond sand,
deep enough to turn off
the judgmental switch and gather
elusive droplets of joy emanating
from rabbits playing leap frog,
deer slipping into prairie brush,
and clouds wiping clean the day’s slate.


Karen Wolf has an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Toledo and a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. She has retired from a 30-year teaching career and is semi-retired from her own pet-sitting company. She has been published in Smokey Blue Literary and Art Magazine, Dime Store Review, TreeHouse: An Exhibition of the Arts, The Wagon Magazine, Oasis Journal, Artificium: The Journal, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Lit.Cat, Sobotka Literary Magazine, The Bookends Review, The Drunken Llama, Blynkt, Communicators League, Borfski Press, Raw Dog Press, among others. She says that poetry “soothes the savage beast” and opens her eyes to the beauty that abounds within the world.

The Understanding

A poem by Jeffrey Zable

I was listening to the swomies in their pajomies
and they all said the same thing: Be here now,
and don’t take anything too seriously except providing us
with necessary cash and some pretty girls on demand.
Nodding like a bobblehead,
I was so glad to come to this understanding:
that the universe makes perfect sense if you just let it be,
and listen to the right people to explain it.
Hopefully I’ll never feel out of place again—
and to that I say, Amen.


Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction  have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Some of his recent writings have appeared in Serving House Journal, Mocking Heart ReviewKairos, Third WednesdayFutures Trading, Tower Journal, Jokes Review, and Fear of Monkeys, among others.

‘All Is Lost’, ‘Her Milky Ways’, ‘Last Tale’

Photography (three photographs) by Fabrice B. Poussin


All Is Lost

Her Milky Ways

Last Tale


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in the Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review, and more than 200 other publications.

Joachim

A poem by John Grey


He underwent a change, unable to believe whether it was day or night,
he drove a fast sports car in an attempt to matter,
the crash, of course, sent waves rollicking across the sea,
he became the past participle of a bent lamppost,
an attempted heist on the part of jewelweed and coneflower—

they warned him against all unannounced, unplanned rebellions
by recent graduates who piss on established fare,
wear the gaudy nomenclature—experimental writer—

he anchored the street for fifty minutes before the cops came,
he wore unleaded low-grade petroleum in his curly locks,
for a moment or two, his heart played drums in a soft-rock band,
then the occasion hauled itself back from a great dent in the scheme of things,
became just another accident—
the sun looked down on his future—
saw nothing but language poets, beats, white ants and castanets.


John Grey is an Australian poet and U.S. resident. His work has recently been published in Front Range Review, Studio One, and the Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Louisiana Review, Poem, and Midwest Quarterly.

‘Asemic4’, ‘There Might Be More’

Photography (two photographs) with digital flourish by
Kyle Hemmings


Ansemic

Asemic4

mightbemore

There Might Be More


Kyle Hemmings has had his artwork featured in The Stray Branch, Euphemism, Uppagus, South 85 Journal, Black Market Lit, Sonic Boom, Snapping Twigs, Convergence, and elsewhere. He loves pre-punk garage bands from the 60s, manga comics, urban photography, and French Impressionism. 

ontology

A poem by Paul Brookes


Lifted the black rubber bin lid
saw antlers first then nostrils
then eyes without light
as if looking upwards

horticultural handyman
emptying grass cuttings
into a bin beside greenhouses
owned by a venison farm

hands soft and puffy
pen push finger bone
grooved over years
nursery to college
glad with calluses

scraped, scratched bled
gloveless heave of concrete
flags, grasp shovel handle
to mix sand, water, gravel

collapsed tired muscle
in mam’s deep armchair
knackered and a smile


Paul Brookes is a former shop assistant, security guard, postman, administrative assistant, and lecturer, as well as a member of the poetry performance troupe Rats for Love. His work has been included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990), and more recently in the publications Clear PoetryNixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, and The Bees Are Dead.

His first chapbook, The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, was published by Dearne Community Arts in 1993.

Check out his website!