Where Elevation Beyond One’s Station Leads

Once, when beasts could shed the expensive fur

of an evil spell, and pigs find the tools

to save themselves, the frog words to secure

his place beside all that beauty, the mule—

beyond his usefulness—who lugged those sacks

of music deep inside for Brementown

proved (like the mermaid’s chronic bellyaches

to know how suffering makes one heaven’s own),

led me to believe anything was possible.

Even disappointment—having first crossed

my path disguised as a newt, for whom high

ground’s shoebox palace was never fable

to one day finding water, getting lost—

disappointment on its own true wand relies.



Shelley Benaroya

Shelley Benaroya is founding director and teaching artist for the Writing Center for Creative Aging (www.writingcenterforcreativeaging.com), launched in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in all the sins, Diner, Ekphrasis, Letters Journal, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Thirteenth Moon, and elsewhere. In 2017, she received the Ekphrasis Prize and a Pushcart Prize nomination.

Brad G Garber



Floating around

like a molecular cloud


hidden in spring flowers

wings of birds

leaves of artichoke

faces    cloth


things eaten     touched           breathed


a Trojan army at the door

vortex unfelt   unseen untasted


a pair of shoes full of venom

razor blade pants

shirt of rose thorns




in your nose    mouth  heart    lungs



until you are overrun by a million ants

carried into gaping

tunnels to feed the young

through winter


a thousand invisible punches

to the head


knocking you prone    atmosphere

forced into your body


like a reluctant invader           until


mystery subsides.



The Sink


When I first gazed upon the horizon

of an ocean

saw the endless

Endless freedom

Endless hope

Endless dreams

Endless art

Endless Earth

Endless life

All the places I in my mind


Until the bottles

filled with piss


plastic grocery bags

six-pack rings



my unused medications

inorganic detritus

filling the guts

guts of fish

guts of whales

guts of humans

guts of minds

Every vista one

of disguised beauty

floating in planetary



Brad G Garber

Brad has degrees in biology, chemistry and law. He writes, paints, draws, photographs, and hunts for mushrooms and snakes in the Great Northwest. Since 1991, he has published poetry, essays and weird stuff in such publications as Edge Literary Journal, Pure Slush, Front Range Review, Tulip Tree Publishing, Sugar Mule, Third Wednesday, Barrow Street, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Barzakh Magazine, Ginosko Journal, Junto Magazine, Slab, Panoplyzine, Split Rock Review, Smoky Blue Literary Magazine, The Offbeat and other quality publications. 2011, 2013 & 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee.

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