Joshua Robert Long




the mother of

the incandescent


in here


the hum

and rigging



and false

senses of

places to go




tired of itself

tired of reinvention

tired of movement

and political traction



all folding

back in

on itself


reminding us

of history


those calm


we were read

as children.



in the center

of the rug

eyes slightly


a half-sleep

a half-ringing


by the stairs


shes cold

in a thousand


while her


walk a thousand



yesterday she

thought more

of herself

in the lighting

of the patio.


there is calm


the ruckus


the backbone

of her mouth

and she’ll know

more for certain

as the

ground stops





can we be but


when all we want

can be handed over


cash still writes

the checks

that pave

our feet

over the snow.



the expression


on the wall

is that

the sweat


its path


on course


all the right


are soiled


the minds

of the children next

to the countertop.



are we justified

in our



all leaving

the dinner plates

to a feeling

of the often-misread


no we’re still

in here

as cold

as birth

as tired

as youth



the breath

as it reflects

off the walls

of January.



Joshua Robert Long is an American-born poet who’s work has appeared in OTCC Magazine, AURCO Journal, Fresh Fish, and The Hogcreek Review. He has an upcoming series of poems to be featured by Spork Press and is the author of 3 books: Translating The Avenues (Walleyed Press), Mixtape (Walleyed Press), and Leaving Frost Upon the Walls, which was self-released. More information can be found on

Chilled, Like Our Champagne

Remember that time when we were in Target, and you put a bottle of champagne in the refrigerated section, because we wanted chilled champagne (the only way I’d drink it) and Target only had room-temperature champagne, so we needed to chill it ourselves?

And the champagne bottle blended-in with the wines and we laughed because we thought that this was true about most people and things (they blend in).

And we left Target and came back to the store two hours later and the champagne was cold.

And we laughed when the cashier asked us about it.

And we drank the champagne from sippy-cups.

And you told me that you loved me, but I didn’t listen because you always say things like that.

And I don’t believe you.

A Tired Performer in Another Half‐Assed Season

A change could be a bloom

as well as a withering.


Her half‐world suspended between

two superstructures: a mystique of waxed floors

and shattered mirrors, spiderwebbed with cracks.


On the rim of her sky

were only hints of sunrise,

like goldfish swimming in ink.


No one was disturbed

by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones,

the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils,

the movements of her braid.


She bleached out herself, gradually

the way of old photographs, in a slow bath of acid:

first moles and pimples, then her shadings and face,

until nothing remained but general outlines;

a wax doll to stick pins into.


by Andrea Starr Pelose


The above poem is a cento poem that experiments with lines from novels, manipulating them, and thus creating a new work of poetry. A list of the works used can be provided upon request.

Spooked Horse

I am riding the spooked horse

through a world of shadows –


In my visions,

there is nothing but ghosts

of all things.


There is another world

behind the one we live in.

Everything I see here,

is a shadow

from that world.


When I am riding,

things I see before me


There is no more grass

or trees, skies or rocks.


When I am standing still,

I am traveling

on a horse made of bellows.


Attention Deficit

My mind does not sway like

awkward young lovers slow dancing

at their high school prom.

My mind does not run up and down

a beach like water carried by the tide.

And my mind most certainly does not

billow like a branch in the breeze.


My mind is erratic and sporadic,

It’s fantastic and its spontaneous.

It jumps from room to room,

wall to wall like electricity

it is



My attention deficit is not a disorder,

it is a way of life.

A way of life that not all can understand

but for the few that do they can’t live any other way.


Side to side, up and down but never

billowing back and forth between

hobbies, interests, goals and direction at the speed of light





Everything else ceases to exist until a new

fascination catches your eye.

Some take medicine to slow the brain,

but I think this defeats it’s purpose.


Attention deficit is not a disorder no,

it is a way of life that allows for


creative explosion.


The Morning News and Snow

I sweat while I hack up
dust balls in the oily smelling
morning –5:09
I pound the coffee grounds into
the receptacle and wait
an empty stomach grows like a hybrid monkey
I ignore it
and read another Isacc Babel story
–that horrible war
and lumber to the cinema books
there is a picture of
Satre smoking on the beach
at Cannes 1947
I pull at heavy drapes
and am surprised by a white and
dark world
almost black and white but with
a strange blue hue –snow in february you are so cliché
now I can admit to the
chill and bring the portable heater
to my knees
and open the paper
an article on the next supercontinent,
Amasia they call it, interests me,
that gradual continental shifting,
a snail’s slow dance, that I
tell myself I can feel
hold on
and I read about
Iran’s nuclear program another
excuse for war, there are
so many, another witch hunt or
la conquista –la expulsion de los musulmanes
or la muerte de kunst
and as if struck I forget about Amasia
not hearing the death gulping
cries of the geese
confused as I am
I head for my covers
and forget the drab snow and morning
and I dream of that new
supercontinent and I know
I’m hearing and feeling the magnetizing pull
of continents under
folding water

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