Friday, September 12, 2014


Till the autumn tempests come to scatter the
    --So brief your thoughts of her.

                                  --from The Tale of Genji

So Brief Your Thoughts of Her

It is the time of the year
for our rituals: hanging up our coats, giving up smoking,

remarking on the fickleness of the sky. How strangely
we behaved. How often

we took for granted the
intricate signals sent from brain to mouth, the thoughts

forever tangled in our synaptic thickets. Sometimes, I
manage to think of you

perpetually dressed for
that first winter, telling me your name under the snow-

pregnant clouds. How wonderful your name, you lying
on the frost, lighting up

your menthol, pausing
between puffs to tell me this is your last one, you swear.

In Passing

When they buried her, they could not
understand it all: the aroma in that room
born from hot lead and lavender, the 
shrill cries of the newborn rising from 
the crib down the hall. Years afterward,
they maintained their habits: kissing her
framed photograph before leaving
the house, stacking the dishes after meals
in the same manner she had done.
When her birthdays came, they always
mentioned how beautiful she was,
how her hair was brighter than a
thousand suns.

About Andrew Mobbs:
Bio: Andrew Alexander Mobbs has been writing poetry for nearly a decade ​. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia (2010-12)​ and then released his debut poetry collection, Strangers and Pilgrims (Six Gallery Press, 2013) ​. His work has also appeared in Deep South Magazine, New Plains Review, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Calliope, ​and others. ​He co-founded Nude Bruce Review, a nonprofit online literary magazine, in 2012.​ ​ Despite everything, his true passion is walking around aimlessly in his moccasins.

Friday, September 5, 2014



Distracted by the flickering

            unmanageable moment,

                       pointing a flashlight

around the room,

           lately I prefer to live

                      by chance alone—

gathering from memory

          the oil and water phenomenon,

                      two dozen apricot seeds,

a russet canvas,

            orange peels

                        in the compost pile,

all the dust intertwined

            like soft music

                        stirring the leaves.


Humid windows,
globe on a desk.
The stillness holds
too much pantomime.

Steam rises from a tea cup,
she yawns and reaches for a white robe,
fingers unfurled.

You’ve held the heirloom ring
in your palm
for a year.

It’s time to stitch together
separate narratives,
meet her unhurried,

shaping potato dumplings in the kitchen
while cotton T-shirts dry out
in the California sunlight.

About Daniel Rortvedt:

Daniel Rortvedt is an occupational therapist and poet. He completed a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lived and worked in Colorado, Washington, Missouri, Wisconsin, and currently resides with his wife in Chicago.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Page Seven, solipsism and Marriage

She didn't marry mere man, but a serf,
Someone to rake the bad moments in piles
And rise with the cockcrow to brew coffee. 

Have you ever been blinded by butterflies,
Swarm of her eye and mouth around you
Flicking on and off, offering leaf and limb?

A country besieged in bed sheets,
Her motherland exposed-
A battle ground, convincing him
She is Stalingrad, fight for me.

What will become of me
When I can no longer
Turn her on?

Out of the Hundreds

Out of the hundreds
that held still here
I know only mine-

finger, sliding against
the curvature and sloop. 

Flung back black hair, 
honey colored thigh-
shadow valley. 

What would night be if it didn’t follow day?

In Car

There was too much distance. 

You in dress, 
backdrop of steamed up 
windows. Airport to bedroom-

intolerable. I love you.
Pull over.

About Brian Dawson:
Brian James Dawson has never liked writing anything in the third person. He lives in Livermore, California. He roots for your San Francisco Giants and enjoys cleaning up after his partner/editor/wife and two daughters. He is trying to find reasons to leave the house. He likes routine. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Can we have our ball back, Poesy, Denver Syntax, California Journal of Poetics, Pretty Owl Poetry, Metazen, Electric Cereal , Remark, Admit 2, and Blood Lotus.

Monday, August 11, 2014


A Charlie Russell Dawn

Sunrise sky in layers, clouds on hold
a long time, bits of blue like ponds.

Surreal, you say to no one:
that violet on gold, that red under orange,
that apricot, peach, coral, salmon.

Even if something happens today
it won’t mean a thing.

The sky was the story,
and it was brief and had no plot.

About Bill Hoaglund:
Bill Hoagland taught creative writing and other classes at MSU-Northern in Havre from 1979 to 1990 and then at Northwest College in Wyoming from 1990 until his retirement in 2013. His poetry has appeared in over a hundred journals and magazines, as well as in the anthologies The Last Best Place and Ring of Fire: Writers of the Yellowstone Region. Now retired and living the dream life in Ireland, Hoagland has a new book of poems in search of a publisher who would be delighted at his ability to help readers fulfill their ultimate potential as sentient beings.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Null over the barrens
snows continued from the river
in a single drifting
like the back of an owl
spreading to flight
where dark bluffs began to rise.
I scratched a wall of stone
like strolling orchid gardens
beneath the frozen prism trees.
Held quick in these cold opals
I stood the hill gazing at the white break
with bitterness limb to limb
for the shame of this hurt
to survive for the buried,
I fed you my mouth of flies.

About John Swain:
John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Crisis Chronicles Press published his most recent chapbook, Rain and Gravestones.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014


grinning openly
like the face
of Jesus
people see
in a slice
of cheese toast

other times
wrung out
& staggering
toward you
with that sort
of concave,
radioactive look,

the night
of a thousand suns

bodacious orange
on black,

& grabbing you
like Khrushchev’s shoe
by the hand.

About Howie Good:
Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely, who does most of the real work.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


i laughed.

we made love
on the wooden floor,
our teeth knocking together.

my knees blossoming red,
your hands, your hands, your hands--

you told me you loved me.

you said,
          why should i not?

i’d heard this before.

cognitive dissonance is:
the ability to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time

you are:
your mouth
your words

(when you breathe you sound like two men breathing)

at one point you pulled me outside
the wind was blowing
and the ground was wet.

you said
look at the storm
look at the storm

look at the storm coming in.

About Lindsey Siferd:
Lindsey Siferd is a 2013 graduate of St. Mary's College of MD, where she now works as an admissions counselor. Her senior thesis was a collection of essays and poems about her family history, religion, and drug abuse. She had several poems published in her alma mater's literary magazine, Avatar.

Friday, July 4, 2014


You show up late as usual
need more darkness
though you wait

the way each star
smells from dirt
and her eyelids

–the mouth you return to
is already weeds
worn down by the silence

that’s lost its balance
can’t escape
and won’t let go

–some nights
further than others
smaller and smaller.

About Simon Perchik:
Simon Perchick's poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Monday, June 23, 2014



To live here and thrive,       
You have to think like dust.

Have to humble yourself
Like languid, khaki moths,

So drab in the dead grass
Predators don’t notice them.

Our visiting oriole
Thrashes in the birdbath,

Trying to wash his colors off—
Embarrassed by bling

Where even hummingbirds dress in
Hand-me-down sparrow feathers.

Turkey Vultures

Selfless as fire, their flight
Effortless as leaves on water,

They draw a circle above our heads
That’s anything but a halo.

Vultures get under our skin
At any distance.  Up close,

They’d have the breath we wake with
After the worst bad dreams.

Eating things we won’t think about,
They look up from their free lunch

And meet our gaze easily—
As if we were old friends.

About Don Thompson:
Don Thompson been publishing since the early sixties, with eight books and chapbooks published in this century. Back Roads won the 2008 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


ghosts grab at my skin every morning, remind me
that I shop mostly at thrift stores, that the previous owners
of my skirt, this hand-stamped leather belt
are dead. I imagine

the woman who owned this blouse has
died horribly, leapt to her terrifying death
out an open window, leaving emergency workers
with careful fingers to remove her clothes
and wash them in cold water
before sending them to Goodwill.

these shoes are definitely haunted
possessed by an angry ghosts—I can tell
by the way they pinch at my toes
and rip at the back of my heels when I walk
like they’re trying to kill me.

About Holly Day:
Holly Day was born in Hereford , Texas , also known as “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis , Minnesota , where she teaches at the Loft Literary Center . Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies.