Aaron Enskat

(For Brett, John, and Tommy)

For there is a particular beauty you will only find
in the moons penumbra amidst the thick, humid air
above a Midwestern cornfield in deep July.
When you can, go out together and breathe in the
sweat of the sky. Take your brothers hands,
scream high and loud into the ink dark darkness of
summer that you exist. Stand tall, fair, defiant until the
hangnail moon swoons. Stare out into brightening horizon.
Greet the morning bare knuckled and grinning.
Promise me you’ll always remember to tell tomorrow that
you’ve come ready. Your birthright will prove out, for you
are the children of Illinois soil, Illinois mud in your blood,
soy bean corn dirt water sweats from your pores. You cannot
help but have this world before you, for you chew the same
matter as those that spat hard in the eye of the real, those
who turned rivers against themselves, who dared to
dare when nature wasn’t enough.

Promise me you will, from time to time, step out into
the corn and soy fields of America and look deep into the disappearing
moon, into the stars eternally dying lights,
remember that you come from those who drank deep
from the hubris of the northern rivers,
rivers that thought they could stop us from making
their water go where we wanted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jillian Blackwell

Should Lose Things

Should lose things like pens–
can’t remember and mustn’t care.
To fathom the land from the air is salt spilled on the
tablecloth. Hid by the pattern.
Can’t but fall into oscillations. Mountain-wrinkled knuckles.
The thread of a hair on a shower wall, the uncoughed
breath of air behind the throat.
A love for pages and rectangles, a paper desire for love
cries as it crinkles and folds.
There are so many things to end–fire and water both.
Hoping for red leaves fallen on sidewalks to
hold some of the cringe and the pity.
A descent into purple washes, a rest in watercolors.
Hoping someone could finger-pick a tune to this.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Michael Davenport


Moody light, first orange then red;
day’s sky flees dark’s insatiable maw.

Night falls heavily upon gentle dreamers
eating leaves.
Teeth part lives and blood,
howls snarl at the icy moon.

They come–
doe deer with fawn;
ewe sheep with lamb
to eat the gardens of the living.

Dawn covers stained leaves
with a soft gray missed,
or some mornings
a cold gray blanket for dreamers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hannah Dow

Flaubert’s Habit

I have been here all year,
watching green become yellow become gold,
and I have stretched my limbs in offering
to the deer grazing at my roots,
to the children peering up with hands full of apples,
wondering who broke the sky into so many pieces.
Soon, the farmers will come to collect
what’s left of the harvest,
stuffing their drawers with my offspring:
their catalyst for writing
is the smell of aging apples.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

James Diaz

“The ruse and the agitation of the outside/inside”

Any depth of breath, every depth,
is scaling the height,
the notch where the night itemizes it’s detail,
those fox cove colors, the henna or/and nettle,
fast as all the undersides and silence
where beneath rocks the past animates dirt.

And you, and we, are cautious- kind to each other
by habit, we store our things,
floor plans for green houses, future seeds,
a box of letters with the pages kept empty for suspense,

On the other side of the forest where the waters have gone dry,
where wolf and mineral and white trail recede,
and one thinks suddenly, “Am I allowed this contemplation?”
Who does it feed?
Not the river.
Then you pack in those blurry edges
(carried, carved)
beaming from reed heart, shattered root.

I know the routine- we are in need,
and cannot only scratch the memory,
that is the road we have been down,
teaching ourselves only the necessary (little) requirement.
Where does one find water from there?

In the reserve voice (sweet) of the other?
Continued then, back into the punctuated Empire,
with arms full of produce, paper hearts,
those rescue whistles.
This is why we last,
as each-other(s), as endurable(s),
holding hands as we cut the bread,
feeding the story, and then ourselves.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

linda m. crate

slaughtering roses

dancing sunsets
on your eyes
turned blue to orange
wish i could still
the oranges of your eyes
devour all their beauty
lay the garland of
those citrines against my heart
as i slept in the coffee
of your cup;
but things change,
and so do people but not always
for the better -
you were a rose that wilted all it’s petals
instead grew more thorns
tried to impale me
with lies,
i knew how to dodge
burned me with questions hotter than the sun
grilled me with desire and rage;
but when it’s all said and done
your lonely thorns
aren’t enough to house a love for anyone,
but yourself
you will lay alone forever
in your castle of distance
colder than a winter’s wind you erode
romance until there is nothing
but cold blue lips
imbibing ‘i love you’
before they too are blown away into some
forgetful sea,
and your thorns seek a new rose to

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

R.T. Castleberry


I am not what I say about myself—Yasmina Reza

Lean with illness, lack of sleep,
anger grieving at a scarlet sunset silent in the sky,
the blossoming wind of winter’s rise toward spring,
all simple things become taunt, metaphor, measure.
As I tire, I see a fool an hour.
I hate a little more.

The lies begin mid-week—
stuttering spatter of a laugh,
a chatter of best intention
dripping like water from shaking hands.
I steer towards the damaged,
brokenness I can buy—
a landscape imagined as shattered pedestals,
wild piles of leaves igniting azalea, jasmine, gardenia,
whistling emptiness of building stakes
marking cracked sidewalk, over-grown lot.

Neatly orphaned, mostly abandoned
I revise my narrative
to fit the red and white of a revolutionary’s scarf,
to fit a French blue Oxford shirt.
Contradictions charm, whether sly or savage.
No one gets to know everything—
the cause for censure, the sibling break,
why the amusement when an aging comic fails,
why no wonder at the luminous child bride.

Breathless, a little self-absorbed,
a hard cough cracking my chest for weeks,
I adjust silence
so no messages are returned
that do not flatter.
That I’m moving beyond
the structures of easy grievances
may mean nothing.
Non sequitur retains its pleasure:
the stack of books beside the sofa
profile warfare, poetry,
the bluster of satire and sycophancy.
As I ache, illness takes over.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Quincy D. Goss


The stars seem like dull
Old diamonds now
Not at all like when we were young
And would abandon our fathers’ cars
And run
Tumbling into the grass
At the park.
We’d look up to the night
And allow
Ourselves to dive into the moon’s craters and
Swim among the bright
Beaming stars.

When I looked up at the sky last night
I saw smog. But if I
Was to leave this city and drive out
Miles from these city lights
Maybe then I could see the
Constellations that have been there before our time

We used to sit out in that field until the cool of the night swept
All the summer heat away.
But even in the chill, we’d
Lie together
Giggling, whispering, wondering why God kept
Caring about this dot of a world on the edge of the vast and magnificent Milky Way.

I wonder, wherever you are, whatever city you live in
If you look up sometimes too, and realize how far we’ve gone from heaven.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tristan Franz


We stare into the dark searching
glints of light, rumbles,
the hopeful hallucinate
through that dark may be everything
but nothing
on a Tuesday pre-noon
but signal malfunctions and
rats running, umbrellas folded
in damp patience, we come together.
Wouldn’t it be something
to quit peeking and jump
trespass the forbidden edge
the quiet Authority
and walk blindly, the dozens of us,
through pitch black mystery
electrical currents at our feet
and see what it is
we’ve all been waiting for

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News from your editor

It is my great pleasure to unveil my first novel, Elaenorh.
She was published May 23rd by Double Dragon Publishing.

Elaenorh is a blend of classic high fantasy
and hard science fiction.
There is a substantial preview available on Amazon:
Just click “Look Inside”

If you love classic fantasy and science fiction
from the 50′s and 60′s, I think you will enjoy this book.
Give it a try today!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment