Antigone: Of Revenge

A poem by Geoffrey Heptonstall


In all her urgency she ventured.
The world beyond the world she knew
was there for the curious kind.
And promises, so loosely bound,
dared to defy expectations
of the cautious claims
that had no right to her mind.
Considering every verity,
she heard what was to be
no more than evasion.

Hers was a truth transforming.
She spoke of restoration,
of changes to be made
in cartographies of the antique.
Moving by implication
into an audacious child,
so unusual in her need
to be undefined.
an available reality, she prayed
in the silence between storms.

Her zest was tempestuous fortune,
and so persuasive the means,
her qualifying mercy
of behaving badly
all for the good of all.


Geoffrey Heptonstall’s novel, Heaven’s Invention, is available in hardback and paperback from Black Wolf. He has recently had his writing published in Scarlet Leaf Review, The London Magazine, and The Global Dispatches.

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Quasars Make the Best Lovers

A poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Escaping the visual cortex
you need help, like a prospective prison break
in search of sympathetic guards
shimmying your way through a matrix of lights out duct work
to a waiting car
leaving your few meager belongings behind,
and that is what I love about chance, the aging breakfast goer
beside you shoving buttered toast into his mouth could
be so much more than crumbs;
Quasars make the best lovers because they are new
and exciting and you know nothing about them,
like trying on a new pair of shoes and walking uneasily
around the store for some moments
while the commission worker with obscenely good teeth
holds the box; and when a woman has searched the stars
and come back to you, it is only for a time,
but you shave and sit up in bed and read to her
so the long nights of this city seem a little
less monstrous.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Word Riot, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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.

The Next Song

A poem by Ben Nardolilli


Weary blues, but really
What other kind could there be?
Happy blues seems an insult
To the whole tradition,
And jaunty blues is just wrong

Anyways, I got the weary blues
And the weary blues got me,
Better than being alone, I guess,
Imagine being so sad
Even the weary blues stays away

I need to discharge it, loose it,
Keep it from following me,
I appreciate the company,
But the weary blues is too heavy,
Besides, I can hardly sing


Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs via Blogger, at Lo Specchio e La Spugna, and is looking to publish a novel.

With Paper and Brush

A poem by Thomas Zimmerman


“It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train
to Cry” is on the stereo, my wife
is gone, a stout’s half-drunk in front of me,
the dogs are faking sleep (just waiting for
a treat), and I am channeling the dead.
That is, the images won’t come. I’m not
in love with television. Internet’s
a bore. A jazzman said to play until
you’re safe. My father flickers just beyond
the lamplight, whispers faint and hoarse: To put
a penny on the track? Forget the flag
and flowers on his grave? To lend out books
and discs but not expect them back? They’re gifts.
And louder now: To paint. Not wait too long.


Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

His chapbook In Stereo: Thirteen Sonnets and Some Fire Music appeared from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog in 2012.

Visit his website!

Apostrophe to Rene

A poem by Rodney Richards


You wrote in Meditations

you are a human of substance

So am I Rene, and I am so

And I think, Rene,

and even if I didn’t

I may be human form also

containing more

than just a wandering thought

My components like

yours, body including all twelve systems

and Soul system as you pointed out

interwoven like Persian tapestry

yet unique

First the Rational Soul

or Mind and its powers:

Imagination

Thought

Comprehension

Memory and

Common Faculty

that unites and unties all our others

The five most cited or ten or twenty-one

senses of the body like

Sight, and Hearing and Touch and Smell

and the like

inseparably linked in living beings

Each intertwined with the Lodestones

of our Hearts,

the Seats of Power

and Energy unlimited

for the whole to partake

The Heart feeling,

touching,

thinking,

smelling

et al

The commonest faculty

of life itself

It’s motive power

But It is not a power

to be objectified

and sung about or sung to

or eulogized

No, No, much, much more

Its beat beats all the rest

A City of thrumming in and of Thyself

The god within

perhaps with capital G

Alive and thriving

inter-spliced

interwoven

intertwined

as streets and avenues

laid upon a barescape

And He has said

“I hath chosen from the whole world

the Cities of men’s hearts”


Rodney Richards lives with his wife in a rancher in the “very center of the Great State of New Jersey”.

He loves writing, and is the author of the memoir Episodes (ABLiA Media), available from Amazon.

America’s Pastime

A poem by Thomas Zimmerman


I drank a half-gallon of beer
at the Cubs game today. Home
team won with three in the ninth.
Ninety degrees, great seats,
high and in the shade, along
the third-base line. Booty-
song on the radio there: I’m all
about that bass. Fair enough.
Is the anima erupting, as my friend
William insists? Is global warming
our fault? Is suffering ever
earned? Imponderables. Don’t get
too damned wise. The beer was strong,
the shade was cool, and I had three
people I love sitting with me.
I watched my niece’s purse and diet
coke while she looked for the women’s room.


Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

His chapbook In Stereo: Thirteen Sonnets and Some Fire Music appeared from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog in 2012.

Visit his website!

Girtywocky

A poem by Rodney Richards

‘A parody of namesake L. Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”.’


Twas thrilling and the slimy toads
Did fly and flutter twixt reddened moons
All flimsy t’were the borey troves
As house rats drank swirling hot frappes

“Compare Its slithery mocks my girl!
The teeth that tear, the nails that scratch!
Compare the hard-shelled snake, and run,
The furious Candy Catcher’s rump!”

Took young Hobbit’s Sting in hand;
Aforetime’s awesome Smaug he fought
Cloaked in gold doubloons and jewels
Under molderin’ domes of castle rocks

And deep in scoffish laughs it schemes
Comes ill-famed Girt with hearts of stone
Crawls sniffing in the ash-filled groves
And chortles fearness as it grows.

Not once, but thrice our hero douses Its fires
As flames of apathy surround her Shire
And girl of cockiness thrusts and parries
Til monstrous face of love’s hurts tires

Sting of titanium “Zings!” and “Zangs!”
Through Girt’s thickset spiteful grooves
Til died of daughter’s poems desirous
And withered unto death, not bemoaned

Her father asks of kilk and kin
“Didst thou see my girl of elfish skin?
Enter my home and breaths now thin
O fab’jous Moons and Suns at highest!

“For Unnamed hurts and killers dead
Slain by love’s kind darts of lead
Thrust thrice ensconced throughout
Its gruesome dual-pronged head”


Rodney Richards lives with his wife in a rancher in the “very center of the Great State of New Jersey”.

He loves writing, and is the author of the memoir Episodes (ABLiA Media), available from Amazon.