Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Fancy by Valentina Cano

I held you at arm’s length
and sang the blood and bones
back into your body.
My words were needles
that stitched up
your screaming flesh
and my breath buoyed
you away from the edge
on which you perched. 

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014 and was called a "strong and satisfying effort" by Publishers Weekly.

Black ornaments by Barbara Brooks

adorn the snags: oaks, pines---
vultures rest for the night.  In early morning light,
the wind lifts them to scour the roadways
for the frosted carcass.  One by one, they drop
from their perch, silver-tipped wings sweep the air.

Every day, hundreds rise to kettle over my head.
I want them to swoop down, land,
pick my brain clean of its black thoughts. 

Barbara Brooks is the author of two chapbooks, “The Catbird Sang” and “A Shell to Return to the Sea.” Her work has been accepted in Chagrin River Review, The Foundling Review, Blue Lake Review, among others. 

My Rolling Void by Lyon Kennedy

The lady whispered to leave you my void
so I waited patiently till you had your fill,
till your senses became inflamed,
invective cursed my hands and name.
I slipped out early by the sliding door
and just before I closed it, I rolled
my void into the room. I saw it grow
by bounds; it clung to the walls
Saturated the floor. You had your way
but not your will; the void devoured it.
It broadcasted my absence daily until
you fled and wandered streets quietly. 

Lyon Kennedy currently works at NYU in East Greenwich Village, NYC. Poetry publishing credits include The Electric Acorn (Dublin Writers Workshop) and The Susquehanna Review.

Punta Sur by Art Heifetz

Like a dreamer settling into
a long, deep sleep,
you sink oh so slowly
into an immensity of blue,
a stream of bubbles
rising from your reg
as a barracuda looks on.

The blurry shadow of the reef
approaches like
an old, familiar friend
and you gradually make out
the orange and violet sponges,
the sea rods shivering in the current,
the small bits of coral
floating above the parrotfish
and humpback wrasse.

But you want to plunge still deeper
into a labyrinth
of passageways and caves
where crabs with spinning claws
and giant lobsters
lurk beneath the overhangs,
where groupers wait
with open mouths
for cleaner shrimp to floss their teeth
while you squeeze through the openings
and check your gauges
to make sure
you haven't gone too deep.

You emerge to see
a colony of garden eels
poking their heads
like peekaboo babies
through the pure white sand.
An eagle ray swims by
and you feel a strong desire
to perch on its spotted wings
and let the current carry you away
wherever it will.

Art Heifetz teaches ESL in Richmond VA and writes poems published in thirteen countries. See for more of his work.

Longwood House by Robert Halleck

Walking past rooms for three
as we make our Sunday visit
to her father, my wife said,
"Just shoot me." 


"Just shoot me if I end
up here sleeping all day." 

Why would one not want
the mindless sleep of
forgetfulness as they rest
before the last trip?  

Robert Halleck is a retired banker and hospice volunteer who has written poetry for over fifty years. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines and blogs as well as at poetry readings in San Diego.

Exchange Street Afternoon by Stephen McGuinness

Aromas of coconut
cinnamon, then
coconut again, hang
over cosmopolitan
coffees and mis-matched tables.
A trail of blood splashes
soaked into the pavement
a relic of the festival
a fossil in concrete.
Too old for mirrored glasses
a tattooed man spits
bravado at a compliant
woman, leaning away.
A clock chimes quarter-to
the bells bouncing
off long forgotten
copper-green domes.
I move along
squinting in the sun. 

Stephen McGuinness works as a chef in Dublin 8 and lives in Wicklow. His poems have been published online on Eat Sleep Write, Calliope Magazine, The Blue Minaret Literary Magazine, and by Silverbirch Press in the "I am Waiting" and "Where I Live" series.

Independence by Merrell Miles

I’m sitting in this compact car, listening to the
Sirius free trial, the vacuum suction cup hissing
from my dusty windshield, while the man in blue
who I’m about to pay $40 for fixing the rock peck
in the glass is sitting in his office, sipping on a sweaty
Coca Cola Classic. He’ll eventually step into the icy
air, I’ll fork over my 5.3 hours of minimum wage, clueless
to whether or not he actually did anything to keep
it from spreading.  And I’m watching my strong
independent status wash away like all my
childhood fish in the toilet bowl.


Merrell Miles is a poet and emerging writer.