Sunday, February 14, 2016


In the middle of the pinkest bush
a single wine-red rose reflects the sun
something Van Gogh or Monet
would’ve thought to paint especially
with a final spurt of color as a bluebird streaks by.

About Michael Estabrook:
Retired now, writing more poems and working more
outside. Just noticed 2 Cooper’s hawks staked out
in our yard, or above it I should say,
which explains the disappearing chipmunks.

Friday, February 12, 2016


We made creatures out of wood,
conjured from mud, our ten year old spit

in woods so deep, you could take a leak
and no one would care. Every dead tree

was a boy who tripped us. The girls who stood
like maples by our lockers. Every time the wind blew

the doors to the lockers closed. If they looked at you
words would rush in like wind from a rain storm

and explode on the ground. There was nothing left
to do but walk, get deeper into thicket

until every green arm crossed in missed embrace,
every new tree and overgrown weed leaning into sunlight

became the girl who stood at a bus stop
 one summer with a choice to make—

run her hands through her dark hair and ignore you,
or pull her phone out as if to call you, let it ring and keep ringing

until the weather changes, leaves turning from green to red.
One quick breeze, and they fall to the ground.

About Robert Walick:
Robert Walick is the curator of VERSIFY, a monthly reading series in Pittsburgh, PA. His work has appeared in HEArt, Uppagus, VerseWrites, and on the radio show Prosody. He won 1st runner up in the 2013 Finishing Line Open Chapbook Competition and was awarded finalist in the 2013 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition. He currently has two chapbooks published: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015)

Thursday, February 4, 2016


The inch or two of snow
That fell during the night
Pushed then to either side
Of the tracks.

Alongside the river
That shy north
Towards bigger water. 

Two days before the new year,
I sit and watch my brother
Stir awake in the seat next to mine,

As coffee begins to burn
Somewhere in the dining car

About M. Vincent Marine:
M. Vincent Marine is a writer and painter living in Cleveland, Ohio. His work has appeared in the Three Line Poetry, Clift Magazine, and on

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


i belong in the heartbeat
of a tree and the petals of a
but not in this concrete jungle
with mazes of people
who cannot remember that they're
more than monsters;
let the river
sing me songs and the moons
psalm me to sleep
let my bare feet dance across the grass
and upon the jagged sands
of oceans—
let me be artemis
tearing apart men with fangs of wolves and
coyotes and the claws of bears,
and the wounds of flowers
shrill as angry birds.

About Linda Crate:
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series. 

Friday, January 29, 2016


Between witch hazel, mountain laurel,
a curving earthen footpath slopes
to the high point.

Seven sisters in the river, seven white islands
bright as the ash of an animal fire
in the grey sun. 

She paints her blue shape of the world
in the clear waters we grieve
as the tallow of the beast colors the stream.

The rain tower descends with a talon
as the back of the mountain cages her heart
with the winter buried we shall enter. 

About John Swain:

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Least Bittern Books published his second collection, Under the Mountain Born.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


The Dinner Belle Always Rings Twice

At the dinner belle
young girls in hoodies
fold paper napkins
and shine tarnished butter knives
while whole families
share a single hamburger
and talk about the weather in owensville
this is the only whistle-stop cafe in town
minus the whistle
and the train 
going nowhere fast. 

Appalachian Homage to Cid Corman

zen either comes
from the bones
of our fathers

or gets buried
with them

Gasconade River Song #10

here children are raised 
to pump gas
to burn their shadows 
in effigy

the river only 
teaches you
to sing them
to sleep.

About John Dorsey:
John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory (Epic Rites Press, 2013) and most recently, Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at

Thursday, January 21, 2016


The present is notoriously blind to itself in the first place.
           –        Robert Haas, introduction to The Best American Poetry 2001

Hey, Haas, it’s 2014, July,
but your sentence sings
like the mantra for today.
A neighbor’s lawnmower
can’t drown out its song,
so I’ll steal your sentence,
tear it from its context. Sorry.
No poetry on this frontier
of suburbia in the Sunshine State
where palmettos and pines
are bulldozed day after day.
My cat downs another scrub jay.
Hell, Haas, more and more
my sentences fall back into
a past tense, testaments
to the times before wild oscars
bullied schools of bluegills,
snakeheads terrorized largemouths,
and pythons wrestled alligators.
My present tense with
a disappearing geography.
The Everglades imprisoned for life
behind the berms of state roads.
Power lines ride U.S. 1 to
Homestead, Marathon, Key West.
Mangroves hang on by their roots.

About Stephen Reilly:
Stephen Reilly's poems appeared in Wraparound South, Main Street Rag, Broad River Review, Cape Rock, Poetry South, and other publications. One of his poems appears in the anthology Florida in Poetry: A History of the Imagination (edited by Jane Anderson Jones and Maurice O’Sullivan, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Fla. 1995). He works as a staff writer for the Englewood Sun, a daily Florida newspaper with circulation in south Sarasota County, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

a sparrow drowning at the desert's edge

smother the children and
mourn their ghosts

we are all guilty here

we are all lined up
against concrete walls
and given blindfolds
and how much of your
life did you waste
waiting to be older?

how afraid are you now
of becoming obsolete?

wake up one morning and
suddenly being alive is
no better or worse than
                   being dead

About John Sweet:
John Sweet, b. 1968, opposed to all organized religion and political parties. A believer in sunlight, and surrealism, and post-punk. Most recent collections include THE CENTURY OF DREAMING MONSTERS (2014 Lummox Press) and A NATION OF ASSHOLES W/ GUNS (2015 Scars Publications).

Thursday, October 8, 2015



Katmai exhales.
Salmon flail and fly,
while the gales throw pink 
into the alpenglow.

The King leaves markers in moss,
his claws crush cutbanks
like fingers scratching suede.

The King is coated 
in golden river-water. He is
outlined by a softening sun. 
His roar rumbles—until 

the gunshot. 

Katmai’s king is still.

He sinks with the setting sun.

The Sun Can't Save Us

On that weekday morning we 
walked across the warming sand
toward the wide water we 
knew so well. 

And towels we set down were blown 
around by wind: a wind 
we hoped would blow away
our sins.

But in the water we were cleansed,
but in the end we are both sons
of Adam, and the bright sunlight 
can’t save us.

Walking out wet and dripping, 
intoxicated by the comforts:
the warming sand, the water that we knew
so well, 

We laid back on our backs 
and let the clouds shroud us

But the linen shirt over my face 
couldn’t shade me from the shame—
couldn’t shade me from the same sun
that couldn’t save us.

About James Freitas:
James Freitas is a New England poet. His work has been featured in The Santa Clara Review, The Commonline Journal, and is forthcoming in Poetry Pacific and others. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015


No need to look it up online. I already know why light bruises so easily. You and even I, a man with spirochetes floating inside, pass through time no problem. Although don’t expect too much. It’s like the full body scan at the airport except I’m lying on my back and floating up (but oh how slowly), up toward the frayed light, and there’s no far anymore and no near,  there’s no me and no you, there’s only flash, bang, boom, and this feeling of floating where the dark can’t.

About Howie Good:
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Dark Specks in a Blue Sky from Another New Calligraphy.