The Good Part

I’d like a Sunday

like a Mary Oliver

poem, with a few


perfect words and

lots of white space,

and paper with


a high rag content

and maybe some

righteous soy-based ink.


It would be a leaf

in one of her spare

little collections, with


a fine old lithograph

from the public domain

on the cover,


one that recalled the idyllic

Transcendentalist woods

of Thoreau and Emerson


and John Muir.

I’d like to stare

at the few


perfect words

close up with

my glasses off


and appreciate the clean

edges of the fine

big print and feel


like I’m in church,

the good part, when

the church is empty


and there’s only

silence and the sound

of my own breath.



by Will Walker


Will’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alabama Literary Review, Bark, Crack the Spine, Forge, Passager, Pennsylvania English, Rougarou, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Slow Trains, Studio One, and Westview. His chapbook, Carrying Water, was published by Pudding House Press, and his full-length collection, Wednesday After Lunch, is a Blue Light Press Book Award Winner (2008). He received a bachelor’s degree in English history and literature from Harvard University, and over the last decade, he has attended numerous writing workshops with Marie Howe, Thea Sullivan, Gail Mazur, Robert Pinsky, Allen Shapiro, and Mark Doty. Will was also an editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and when not putting pen to paper, he enjoys placing bow on string and playing the cello.

John Taylor Pannill

Subtle Way


A wave does not regret crashing on the shore

and a lightning bolt does not care

which tree it splits in two,

the same way the river

never notices the hill

it has carried away,

or the fog

the ship it has led

to a rocky grave.



you are a force of nature

that sweeps over me,

that buries me entirely

and like snow piled high

on the empty cabin’s roof,

you don’t even notice me

collapse under your weight.





This morning,

a car horn screamed

from the street below.

Standing in my room

wearing a towel

and with a toothbrush in my mouth,

I screamed back.


by John Taylor Pannill

Nicole Kurlich



I spoke to you of dirt

and broken thumbnails, of salt

in tears and potholes.

I spoke of popcorn

ceilings with sticky sheets



You spoke to me of stars

and aether currents, of birds

on radio airwaves.

You spoke of treetop

houses with telescopes

to the sky.



The Electronic Age


We drove by dark   and planet deities

Riding the road   chasing down reason

Like some great thing.


We captured the sun   in a fiberglass bottle

An electric ambrosia consuming sins

Like gods.






I think my drinking days are catching up

with me, the old man said and poured

more whiskey in his coffee pot.


The man shook. Under his feet

the cat lapped blood

off the floor.


The old man saw the stars of hell

hanging from the ceiling, sucking

out the color

from his hair.


Another week, another one to spill

into the kitchen sink, another

sacrifice to fight the stars

and pool under the floorboards

for the cat to drink.


by Nicole Kurlich


Nicole Kurlich is a student from Northeast Ohio. She is currently pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Lakeland Community College.

Michael Estabrook



Whenever he finds a spider

in the house he leaves it alone

life is tough enough

he reasons even for spiders.

But sometimes one will show up

in the bedroom

around bedtime

and his wife notices and says

“either that spider goes or I do”

So of course he captures it

releases it outside

where it belongs anyway

but honestly at times

he’s tempted to leave

the damn thing

right where she found it.





For obvious reasons the first rule in any art gallery

or museum is don’t touch the art

even if the works seem to be behind glass


Is that really glass he asks the guard

we’ve never seen that before and we’ve been

to the Louvre in Paris and the Guggenheim in New York


Yes the guard says folding his arms across his chest.

It’s expensive but we had to do it

there’s a 1/8th inch space


Between the glass and the painted surface

especially critical if we ship them—

wow so that really is glass he interrupts


Suddenly reaching out tapping the glass with his finger

of course he knows he shouldn’t

be touching the art in any way but seriously


The guard is standing right next to the painting

talking to him how the hell

could he not tap the glass!


by Michael Estabrook


the wedding wrings

worry their arrival

they are not yet come

not even thought to

go forth to depart

from a heaven full

of wandering


yet i am to ready

the hall in a cloud

of flowers

the thief wings black

in the shadows behind



a golden chalice on the floor

filled with piss

i shoot at a slant

my bones are printed on

the ink of age and a waterfall

of popping haunts



i pray

i will be more

wither the hair on my head

parch the paper of my body

but don’t take me

a box of dust before

the saints


by Justin B Davis


Alma Mater

The ache of summer carries the

Scent of boxwood in heated repose,

The haze of afternoons before thunder.

Each August, my mind returns to

The bricks and mortar of youth,

The locust-pitched rooflines of campus,

Where ambition stood erect

As colonnades in oaken sunlight.


We spend decades shaping the

Plywood annex of all that comes next.

It takes immoderate courage to wade

The gathering fluorescent days, and

We solder meanings with our English

Major remnants and wait

For the form, the vision,

The name of what we were to be.


by David Loope


David Loope lives and works in Virginia. His poems have appeared in Wayfarer and DeadMule.

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