Baltimore City, 2016

A poem by William C. Blome

Sparrows pompous, pompous, on a granite ledge
and green willows clutching silver trunks—
hugging the shit out of the mothers—
as circus elephants’ll surely panic methodically
if you keep stuffing your tits in my nostrils again
and again. Yet a truly much-feared rainstorm
simply doesn’t get here close to lunchtime,
and I’m pressured big-time by your girl friend
to quit pulling on my own sugary peter,
as some tomato growers from the Eastern Shore
take turns pissing in the privacy of their truck.

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers, and The California Quarterly.


Secluded Beach

A poem by Atom Rush

Willows whisper in the shade of the absent moon,

blackness becomes a beacon

to creatures of love and lust.

A candle melts lopsided,

still glowing, still glowing, bleakly.

Where the light vanished into shadow.

Where the tide draws back into the ocean.

Where we leave particles that the water forgets to sift.

With pain,

we hold regret,

shattered antique pictures

of bashing bearded souls

eroding the shore with verse,

venturing to speak when all else is quiet.

So this one time I had a fish.

This beach of uncertainty

where Whitman meets his lover for a swim.

Where rosaries fall and drown in its undertow.

Where solitude creeps up on me,

leaves me dissident.

Where poems strip the fruitful tree

and meet as piles of leaves,

wet and deserted.

So this one time I had a fish.

Ah, but is Art so perfect?

Why must we demand the reader take notice?

To lie alone on a dark plain

reciting these words

to a throbbing earth

with more heart

than the creatures have to hear,

such distant cries and howls

fading in the west.