But did he find the tribe

spat out of rock

below the cousin clouds

with sounding conch shells

between their ears?

They feed on everything:

metals, birdsong, saffron,

until what’s out and in

seem twin and one

like the dance of  lesser

and greater dreamtime.

Social as termites,

they raise tower upon

tower, projecting

a blind, spiral god;

vicious as hornets,

they cultivate venoms and

enemies to die of them.

There’s less blood

painting and head polo

than their fathers knew.

Customs evolve as

killing grows easier.

They’d almost rather

track evil spirits

to their inmost cells,

corner them in forests.

Their stories tell both

of gates and pits,

how one can seem

much like the other.

Armed with a language

they speak forward slowly,

liable to lies

and misconstructions,

tending at times

toward the grotesque,

but hopeful at last

of their waiting name.


by James Fowler


James Fowler teaches literature at the University of Central Arkansas. His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry Quarterly, Rockhurst Review, The Hot Air Quarterly, Amoskeag, and Parting Gifts.

Ross Moretti

Rift Time


A crevice spilling seconds

into the endless cup,

a whorl of glass so fine


as the film of saliva over lips

spun in the gasp of a moment,

tongue tucking back into its cave—


the cool stop-flow exhale,

waiting, weighting,

the mass of time


evaporates from the flesh,

swirling in the tangled ether,

sprouting from rooted breath;


the clock unfolds between lovers’ teeth,

blooming into a flower, its face

the weeping mask of an instant,


its hands two warm, slick leaves

reaching through white picket fences

to conjoin in the space between.


by Ross Moretti   


Gravity’s Arrow


Gravity carries only one arrow in his quiver,

a bolt of blackened cypress salvaged from fire,

tempered in the warm ashes of sorrow.

It is fletched with red feathers, plucked

from a falling dove dyed in blood and cherries.

Platinum-tipped, it shines in the sun,

and in the darkness drips a slick glimmer.


This is all he needs to bring the world down,

to bring the moon to her knees

and make her sway with the ocean tides.

One arrow, fed through with steel cable

that he keeps in a coil on his hip.

With this, he will seize you by the heel, Achilles,

and drag you back from the far shores of Troy,

sparing you the final grief of heroism.


by Ross Moretti 



Excelsior, or Lover Lost to an Overdose


Cellophane tensions


pearled intoxicants

mixed in the dark:


we pumped

everything you never had

into that syringe,

sealed with a kiss

over the needle.


I pierced you with the feather

and you took wing

in the psychotropic aftermath:

fluorescent eclipse and

nectared aurora.


Mid-flight, you realized

my gold foil betrayal,

pretty in the sun, but


the brass knuckle of my love,


and you flew skyward

through frosted cloud

and filament air

to dash upon the knife-blade stars,


leaving me to crystallize

amongst the raining

celestial shards.


by Ross Moretti 


Ross Moretti is a first-year graduate student at Stanford University. An aspiring poet who originally hails from New Jersey, he was published several times in his undergraduate literary magazine, Lafayette College’s The Marquis. He recently participated in a poetry reading with Matthew Dickman, in recognition of one of his poems in Lafayette College’s annual H. MacKnight Black poetry competition.


She is



The light

she deranges

is her

as she is, her-

self, there,

where she bends

and frets the sun.



you got it right.

A body’s weight

is weightless



it is all



it warps

the air.


by David Kann

Eugene A. Melino

Café at Noon

A youth one might describe (if one noticed
him at all) as thin, delicate even, perhaps sensitive,
like a poet, or ascetic, like a monk,
steps into the midst of the afternoon
tables, his backpack laden
as one would expect of a young scholar.
The detonation, however, is a textbook
demonstration of pure physics.  The shockwave
a wall of air compressed to the density of steel.
The phenomenon lasts less than a millisecond,
imperceptible to the mind.
Its effect on the body, profound.
The ones closest to the epicenter
are compressed so far beyond their physical
tolerances they explode,
are literally torn asunder.
In the aftermath, lumps of flesh
might be found up to a hundred meters
away. Flesh.
From the Old German fleisch,
as in the Word made flesh
as in the flesh sacrificed
for the atonement of sins
as in sins of the flesh.

by Eugene A. Melino


Coffee Shop on West Fourth & Mercer

Sitting in Swensen’s the lunch hour passed
I look up from my book black clouds unfurling
the plate glass window like a Gericault
all storm and swirl
sudden rain dousing the wet girls  
I didn’t know how much I loved a storm
being dry and alone the place all to myself

quiet like a chapel the food an offering
the tepid coffee a libation
I never realized how much I loved chapels
hidden holy sanctuaries like the one in Antibes
where I saw the Guernica how I loved the screaming
horses the rage the sun the light the topless beaches
the girls bearing their breasts to the sun like desire didn’t matter
but desire was everything how I loved desire the ache and arc of it
forlorn and unrequited I lived to get my heart broken
the countless years spent falling in
and out of love I used to think how I wasted my life
but it was the best education

I like to count the women I made love to
not to keep score but to never forget each one
their bodies their love their charms
all I have left really so I count them every day
like a litany the first one that strange girl all arms
and legs how she liked walking in the cemetery
my arm around her waist so quiet and calm
I didn’t know how much I loved the wedge
of a woman’s hip in the cup of my palm

The rain sweeps across the emptied street
diminished Toyotas and Hondas wading along Mercer
their headlights like a funeral procession
for some silent era movie star
long reclusive but beloved in death
I never realized how much I missed American cars
the Electras and Eldorados Thunderbirds and Fairlanes
they lined the streets of my youth
stood background in all those pictures
my mother a beautiful young thing
my father looking handsome and heroic
my cousin Jim when he could still walk
our first college graduate poised and grinning
because he had the world on a string
had survived so much already

I never realized how much I loved those old songs
Sinatra on the stereo Saturday mornings
me sitting cross-legged on the floor a little boy
my father lounging long legged across  
brand new Lionel trains deployed between us
slow on the turn don’t jump the track the best toy
ever with a headlight like a real diesel electric
I am the luckiest boy in the world
except the day President Kennedy is shot
no school no Popeye no I Love Lucy
Walter Cronkite so sad John Boy saluting his father
he was younger than me

I see myself in the clouded plate glass
still that same round face smiling at the lights
his grandfather leading him by the hand
flashing jostling circus fairway the clowns
the crowd the boy half running half skipping
tiny hand holding grandpa’s calloused finger
hanging on for dear life the bounding strides
I never realized how much I loved my grandfather
the black sheep his brothers called him
how he broke down our door that night
so drunk and angry at the world
grandma hiding with us when he found
her my father had to knock him down

I never realized how much I loved these people all
gone now common as salt strange as exotic birds
their hopes their sins their endless striving and falling
now the rain washes away all things cleansing
the world making it new and ready  

by Eugene A. Melino


Eugene Melino lives and writes in New York City.  He is currently a master class student at the Writers Studio, an independent creative writing school founded by the poet Philip Schultz.  Eugene earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees at New York University, where he majored in English education.  He also studied journalism, filmmaking, and art history.  For many years, he worked as a corporate writer.  These days, he devotes his writing efforts entirely to poetry.   


Owned and Operated

her wail so fiery

and tender all

a sugary bird

gone hoarse

sliced by guitars

surrounded by drums

a tussle

resurrecting memories of

nails cut and painted plum

head cocked just so

aimed at who else

glossy raven bangs

brushing above

seething indigo eyes

rolling over themselves

as they do now

while this precious song is

stolen from a gorge

two decades deep

when such things

fused my soft skull together

despite ditching and driving

hitting mock-one

at residential fifty

with this song

this song whose sounds

unfurl out of

my turd-yellow Datsun

like vapor

getting tangled in

every lucky tree

this precious loot

now exploited

by some little shit

half my age

making triple my salary

who figured out

the demographics of SUVs


by Lisa Kaitz    

Jeffrey Park

A Place For Everything (And Everything In Its Place)


Since it’s the time of day for tidying up

she takes pains to sort each of her words

into the appropriate category:

blue, red, yellow, sweet and sour, soft

and prickly, clean, dirty or just slightly off color.

Softly evocative, thuddingly utilitarian.

Love talk, hate speech, political diatribes,

rants, raves, angry spittle-flying denunciations,

baby-voiced endearments,

all put away now, well out of sight and mind.

And so we sit and stare at each other across

the dining room table, grimacing, shrugging –

blink hard once if you want the salt,

twice for pepper.


by Jeffrey Park   



Long Flight


You just knew she’d

throw it a long, long way.

And she did.

It sailed out over the infield

further than all the others by

a full two meters

and stuck quivering

in the hard-packed sand

while the spectators clapped

and cheered and oohed

and aahed

but you could tell

really they were disheartened

by the sight of it

quivering like that in the

hard-packed sand

like a lightning rod

glaring up at a darkening sky

vibrating gently

to an approaching storm

unseen and quite



by Jeffrey Park   



The Thrill Of The New


Why don’t you sit on down

and have a cup of coconut milk?

Get comfy, roll yourself up

in my Persian rug.

Try something new

for a change, like trimming the nail

on every second toe

just to see

what it feels like. Have sex

with a stranger

and tell him afterwards that you’re an elf

and you can prove it.

Buy a pack of chewing gum

and don’t wait for your change. Drive

a slow car

real fast.

Say something snide

about the person you love

and let your eyes show that this time

you really mean it.


by Jeffrey Park   



Your Reflection, Distorted


I draw my dirty


across the surface

of the water,

see your reflection

in the broken glass,

your hand

extended toward me.

No matter

how frantically I scrape

at your image,

you continue to smile

and oppress me

with your terrifying


of spirit.


by Jeffrey Park   



Baltimore native Jeffrey Park currently lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His latest poems have appeared in Requiem Magazine, Curio Poetry, Danse Macabre, scissors and spackle, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere. Links to all of his work can be found at

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