The Dao of Collage

after Joy Harjo


Clear a space for yourself.  This includes time.

No thinking, no ideas, no answers, no logic, no reasons.

Stand against productivity.

Don’t be afraid to put the needs of others out of your mind.

The light, predawn or evening, works its private magic.  This counts.

Collect materials.  Watch sidewalks for doll parts or rusted washers.
Go to flea markets.  Buy dusty, moldy, chipped, beaten, time-worn pieces.

All junk has potential.

Don’t forget the odd family scraps; you don’t even know how you ended up with them.  (A banknote from Venezuela for Dos Mil Bolivares or a moldy photograph with “Turku, Finland” penned on the back?)   Let their hidden stories prance on without you.

Indulge in setting up.  Admire your tools: Scissors. Paper. Water. Glue.

You can love simple things here.

Do not tamp down your excitement.

Your paint brushes are a group, a chorus. All different heights and haircuts, they applaud you.

Here there is no shame.  You do not have to know anything.

Your hands and eyes know everything.


When you don’t have a plan, the options are infinite and equal.
Glinda’s sparkling wand or Lana Turner’s head?  Make your choice.

Glue it down. Bam!

You have created a point in the universe.

As you peruse your materials looking for that pterodactyl, you will often find something else. The perfect blue circle. Let it in.

There are no mistakes. Things just turn out different.

You are free to crack yourself up.

Respect the messiness: the gluey edges, the crooked cut.

Become lost. Nothing matches.


Kim Farrar is a writer and collagist. Her poetry collection, The Impossible Physics of the Hummingbird, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2025. Her chapbooks, The Familiar and The Brief Clear are available from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, and other literary journals. Her essays and creative non-fiction have been published in Midwest Review, Illness & Grace, Voices of Autism, and Reflections. She was a semi-finalist in the Grayson Books Poetry Contest in 2022 and 2021. Her chapbook of poems and collages was a semi-finalist in the 2022 New Women’s Voices contest. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.


Kim Farrar

Omphalos; or, Inside the Circuit Board

Humming like a subterranean network sized computer is a fear

that if I ever meet my creator, They will not resemble me –


only appear as an abstract painting, less resolution than myself

and I will look at Them, and They, unthinkingly will stare through me


and, I will find myself to be the one more alive. Our virtual creations

won’t make me question if their bytes are analogous to my experiences.


Those perfect, idealized pixels will remain dead. Then,

I will have to keep living, having extravagant celebrations,


quadruple tiered wedding cakes, bouquets of tulips,

chocolate rabbits. Which is all to say, great tragedies can be a moment.


Elias Diakolios holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University where he served as Poetry Editor for Columbia Journal 59. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in New Notes Poetry, Pidgeonholes, Epiphany Magazine, Bookends Review, Juked, and others. Currently, he teaches in the Writing Department at Montclair State University and works on linocuts in his spare time.


Elias Diakolios


This ash-gray mouse asleep in my pocket,

this miserable list crumpled in my pocket,

this comet rattling around in there,

in the cluttered pocket,

unable to escape.


No squeaks—shy twitching of gray wire whiskers,

no pencil or ink—tea stains on tissue,

no flight—burnt afterimage of circling gulls

mocking the eagles, mocking the sea.


At high tide, the mouse nibbles biscuits and jam,

at low tide, miseries tangle long black tresses

in kelp.  The wrongs that are hidden, north and south,

east and west, fill the ever-rolling waves, toss

the coffins of crabs up on the sand.


Every morning the comet

hurls itself into the salty

bay and



There’s a man washing dishes in my pocket,

There’s a woman longing to hear the owl’s flute secluded

in the cedars.  In their own bed of percale

and sea grass, this man, this woman flash like comets.

Their arms and legs like ribbons

of lightning, burst through the clouds.

The slight, silver hairs of their souls rise like paddles,

moving the canoe out on the tide.


Diane Hueter served as the librarian for Texas Tech University’s The Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World until her retirement in 2022. She now divides her time between Lubbock and the Olympic Peninsula. Her poetry has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Nelle, Western Humanities Review, and SWWIM. Her book After the Tornado appeared in 2013. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poem, The Stranger at the Door, received 3rd place in The Connecticut Poetry Award (2023).


Diane Hueter


After I share my secrets, I’ll remind you to

Burn them in a pyre when my body’s ash.

Carry my regret, silence in stone. Feel the weight.

Deny my mysteries. The loudest plead for light.

Euphemisms are hallucinations of language.

Forget what I tell you. No. Remember. But first

Give me time to collect my words before I go.

Hide them, shove them through the shredder.

If I said I never wanted to be a mother, would you

Juxtapose that with my pride in my child–

Known only to me. Time within time, waving away.

Love for a child unexpected. At 23, how did I?

Mothering, an obligation my body accepted.

Nature or nurture, the argument goes. I have no

Original answer. Unclear, I forced myself to think.

Perhaps, I thought too much. Or did I do enough?

Quit listening to me ramble. I’m in a frantic state.

Reality is outside my unsecured front door. Lock it.

Soon, I’ll write my story–the truth, and the slant.

Too much to unspool. I unravel, mostly at night.

Usually, I see my cracks inside your curiosities,

Vagaries, moods, quirks, like those rickety rides,

Whipping me around. My rag doll head lacks support.

Xerox my musings. Pursue my words across the page.

Yowling, I let my utterance, a long mournful cry, go.

Z is for Zebra. It’s understood it can’t change its stripes.


Linda Laderman is a Michigan poet and writer. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Argyle Literary Magazine, SWWIM, ONE ART, Thimble Literary Magazine, The Scapegoat Review, Rust &Moth, Minyan Magazine, 3rd Wednesday, and Mom Egg Review. She has work forthcoming from Action, Spectacle, Quartet, and One Art. She is the 2023 recipient of Harbor Review’s Jewish Women’s Prize and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her mini-chapbook, What I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know, can be found online at Find her at


Linda Laderman


It is a ritual to bathe the daughter.

Baptized, she purifies dirty water,

rinsed over long hair that falls out between fingers.

Years ago, we handed her to a man over a vat

and believed him when he said she would not drown.


Face down, screams dull;

Reverberated from a dank vessel now lost

in the catacombs she sacrificed herself in.

This new life – it is of another world.

The kind where she does not crave the bitter cold.

A kind where she is welcomed into the body of her mother

instead of the ghost of a girl

whose father told her to sink or swim.


How holy is this veiled light

when she burns her lungs amongst it

just to find out she is finally alive.


And how heavenly is the father that cleanses and kills

in the same room.


When he washes his hands of blood under the halo of moon,

he turns his back to his children,

still beneath the water,

waiting to be absolved of their sins.


Sydney Greiner is an undergraduate at Susquehanna University studying English Literature and Publishing & Editing. She finds inspiration in the stories she hears, whether it be from a friend or a stranger. When she is not writing she enjoys watching Twin Peaks and spending time with her cat, Tokyo.


Sydney Greiner


The boy loves lying

in this open field, blinking

at the bowl of summer sky.

Heedless of wiregrass itching his neck, of ants

sizing up his ears,

he tracks the somber wings that float

and swoop in primordial arcs

as though suspended

from puppeteer’s strings. Still

as a graveyard angel

the boy believes he can draw them near.


The pitch-black hunters

wheel through the midday glare,

shadows skimming the ground

crossing the boy’s pale legs.

He can almost feel the first one

thump onto his chest,

feel the talons’ fish-hook grip,

smell the stench of outstretched wings,

poised as in a dream,

above this small emptiness

in the shape of a boy.


Ken Hines has been an ad agency creative director and a college English teacher, two jobs that require getting through to people who may not be listening. When he finally got around to writing poetry, his work appeared in literary magazines like Dunes Review, Burningwood Literary Journal, Hole in the Head Review, Rockvale Review, and Third Wednesday Journal. A recent Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, he lives in monument-free Richmond, Virginia with his wife, Fran.


Ken Hines

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