Cycling Through—Midwest Poem Song

To Jack Kerouac



I: Winter

darkness descending:

clouds don’t understand sunlight;

keep your freezer stocked.


II: Spring

budding flowers urge:

pushing leafy envelopes;

mail someone your love.


III: Baseball

freshly mown diamonds:

mechanics sculpted sharply;

fulcrums equal hits.


IV: Summer

heat cascades fiercely:

men revering bikinis;

watch but don’t disturb.


V: Autumn

crispness ascending:

clouds reproached about sunshine;

harvest that last glow.


by Christopher Stolle


Christopher Stolle’s poetry has appeared in more than 100 magazines in several countries, including Labyrinth (Indiana University Honors Program), The Plaza (Japan), El-Shaddai (Singapore), Poetechniciens (England), Ultimate Ceasefire (Australia), the Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, and Recursive Angel, and in three anthologies (In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself [volumes 1 and 4; 1997 and 2002] and Reckless Writing [2012]). Poet’s Market entries noted him as a contributor to various magazines (1997–2000), and he has also published two nonfiction books with Coaches Choice: 101 Leadership Lessons From Baseball’s Greatest Managers (2013) and 101 Leadership Lessons From Basketball’s Greatest Coaches (2015). He works as a book editor and lives in Richmond, Indiana—the cradle of recorded jazz.

Letting Go of Your Sunrise

We’re fading mirages spent

by father times lease.

As we wait to balloon

to the neon sky,

In a haze,

day after day,

from twilights

dawning depths;

the sunrise bakes.

The slumbering horizon

awaits remnants

of earths scattered

souls to reunite with us.

When antiquity phones,

this world will yawn,

and it’s inhabitants

will slip into

their dormancy;

You slip into your

time capsule ruin

underneath the soil.

No matter what,

you’re a limited

release casted

by the tar cloaked angel.

You order your silhouette

to waltz back into

the atmosphere;

but in the end,

we’ll still be

drinking our dust.


by Chris Ozog


Christopher Ozog is a 23 year old writer who resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His work has previously appeared in Burningword Literary Journal, The Commonline, and Crack the Spine with work upcoming in Hello Horror.

Early Bird

Archaeopteryx, the early bird, lies petrified

as generic admixture, in stone under glass in

a splay decidedly crude, its rude wings

akimbo and talons curled –

denied the contemporary luxury to choose

in which frozen indignity to remain.


by Alleliah Nuguid


Alleliah Nuguid is from Fremont, California. She received a BA in creative writing from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry from Boston University. Her poems can be found in Permafrost, The New York Times Learning Blog, and the anthology Poets 11, among other places.

Clockwork Dolls

My clockwork sparrow is caged in bars of fear.

Its song is lonely, but it’s so clear.

My wooden rose was planted in a pot of glass.

It grows root bound, as time begins to pass.

A bronze sun blazes free to be who it wants to be

A moon trapped in its orbit, fails to see what the sun can see

She smiles so brightly, but so alone

As stars fall, only we believe what is known

It’s hard to fly, but it’s hard to fall

So we glide until we lose it all

We forget the sun and clouds on our crown

We forget the freedom of tumbling down

We simply wait to live

While we have nothing to give

We slowly wither away

With nothing good to say

Let the clockwork dolls fill with life

Let them escape this world of strife

Let them shake off the rust and age

Let the rose grow and the sparrow out of the cage.



by Stormy Headley


Stormy Headley is a young and fresh writer working toward her bachelor’s degree in creative writing at SNHU. She thrives in her poetry, short stories, and novellas, and carries her own style in her work. She’s excited to share her creative worlds with those who are willing to read.

Darren Demaree

Emily As a Fifth Tattoo


The spell

& form

of Emily


is no longer




& when I

didn’t fidget

at all


as the needle


into my ribs,


Eddie said

my skin was

really soaking


her up

this time.  He

was impressed


by Emily, her

dark math,

her mining


of my body

that rejoiced

in being


an element

found to be

possible heat.



Emily As a Correlative Truth


Emily is Emily

because I am

me. She would


be a different

Emily without

me. That Emily


would be better,

but far less

important to


the Emily in

this poem that

exists beyond


this poem.

Emily is Emily,

but that is


a certainty

based on Emily

& based on me.


by Darren Demaree


Darren’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of “As We Refer To Our Bodies” (2013, 8th House), “Temporary Champions” (2014, Main Street Rag), “The Pony Governor” (2015, After the Pause Press), and “Not For Art Nor Prayer” (2015, 8th House). Darren is Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology.

Losing Teeth

Someone once told me that

if you dream your teeth

are falling out,

it means you’re dying.


It happened in a breast cancer

support group. Nancy said she

dreamed her teeth came out

in four great clumps,

and two weeks later,

she was dead.


Grandpa only dreamed

his false ones fell out,

but when he woke,

he couldn’t find them.

He walked around the

house for a week

looking like a mummy,

sipping from straws.


The sign in Dr. Wong’s waiting room said,

You don’t need to floss all of your teeth—

only the ones you want to keep.

That was fifty years ago, and I still have

them. But when I broke my lower incisor

on a crust of rustic bread

in a trattoria near Campo de’ Fiori,

I swear to God

the Angel of Death sped

by in his Vespa, whining

down Via della Corda.



by Abby Caplin


Abby Caplin’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adanna, Forge, The Healing Muse, Night Train, OxMag, The Permanente Journal, Poetica, Tikkun, Willow Review, and several anthologies. She is a physician and practices Mind-Body medicine in San Francisco.

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