Best Intentions

never planned for much, really

money is nice

not spending much of it

gets to pick roles now

monogamy being one

still lives on south side, one bedroom

no car

has to show up

jamming with friends

playing transports

former second stringer

to starter at rolling stone

his soul releases its fears

stage fright still problematic,

inherited achilles heal

like his immigrant family

son of serious evangelicals

rebelled, as all do,

abandoned the faith

after screaming arguments

acting like it never happened

on his way to hell, then

malevolent storm destroyed his home

with him in it, reformed

demons driven out

ran away to just be

actor he always was

able to transport even others

to his frank reality

making them see

what they are not supposed to



“An artist is somebody who produces things that people

don’t need to have.”- Andy Warhol


by Dan Jacoby


Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He has published poetry in Anchor and Plume(Kindred), Arkansas Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Bombay Gin, Burningword Literary Review, Canary, Indiana Voice Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and Red Fez to name a few. He is a former educator, steel worker, and army spook.. He is a member of the Carlinville Writers Guild . Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He is currently looking for a publisher for a collection of poetry.

All Earth is Dull and Muddy

your body is still your body,

even though they took

everything from you,

like the famished hare

who pulls even the bitterer berries

from the wilted stem.


they came easily, jarringly,

and pried everything that you carried

from your tired, trembling arms

while the assorted leaves were

making their slow descent;

or while they went moldering

from green to that quiet blaze

before dismemberment or rot;

or while they succumbed

to their crushing, to a grinding down,

like the fronds falling suddenly,

pressed flat and silent

under the buck’s fierce footfall

he did not see them,

he did not care,

their delicate fibers

were not of his concern.

and why would he look away

from the horizon’s early smoke?

they were flattened, twisted and gnarled

for the rest of their short life

while the unmarred fronds grew

strong and straight and long

around them.


is there a resilience

that can be learned?

the carnivorous heron

holds wide its wings

to hunt. the false shade

a canopy of disaster

for its tired prey.

when the southerly wind

tears its wild way around the orb

you too will understand how

the heronshaw differs

from the hungrier hawk.


by Alani Rosa Hicks-Bartlett


Alani Rosa Hicks-Bartlett is a writer and translator from the SF Bay Area. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Apricity, The Stillwater Review, IthacaLit, Gathering Storm, Broad River Review, ellipsis…literature & art, The Fourth River, Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation, and others. She twice received the UC Berkeley Dorothy Rosenberg Memorial Prize in Lyric Poetry for her poems “Song of Advice or Valediction” and “second lament,” and the Emily Chamberlain Cook Prize in Poetry for her poem “The Haunting.” Alani is currently working on a novel set in Portugal, many translations, and a collection of villanelles. You can find her at Twitter and Instagram at @AlaniRosa.

My Dad Speaks of His Father’s Death

When dad’s grief

unbottled itself,

when he could not square


his guilt over the dad

he could not love,

when his beast of a past


coiled him, a rattler

ready to strike,

he would tell the story.


I still try to picture it,

my grandfather,

deep lines in his red face,


trademark overalls,

a Fedora tipped

over one eye,


ordering a whiskey

from a line of bottles

behind bored barkeeps,


the bar’s stale gloom,

barely visible through

the smoke of Camels


fingered by old drinkers

schlumped on stools,

regulars like him


who wished he’d

get on with it, shoot

the bitch and bastard,


or shut the fuck up.

No one this night noticed

how his pocket curved,


saw his old Army pistol,

a loaded Colt .45,

that minutes later


just outside their reach

would bare

its yellow heat


into the bar’s plate

glass, didn’t guess

how whiskey still


in hand, he’d smoke

the orange circles

of streetlights


and red neons

flashing nickel beer

and Budweiser,


or how bar mirrors

would reflect a man

slurried in a slough


of his own making

melt down on a

cracked sidewalk,


alone with the years

that tripped

him there,


his boy left behind,

frozen in time

no feeling in his blue feet.


by Janet Reed


Janet Reed is a 2017 and 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Nassau Review, Chiron Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Avalon Review, I-70 Review, and others. She is at work on her first collection and teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri.

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