Poetry Chapbook Contest
Poets featured in this Issue:
Shanalee Smith, Marc Pietrzykowski, Andrea OíRourke, Noah Kucji, Harvey J. Baine, Cait Weiss, Courtney Leigh Jameson, Christopher Warner, Quinn Rennerfeldt, Rich Heller, Michelle Valois, Pat Phillips West, David Denny, Leona Sevick, Dawn Corrigan, Michael Walls, Eliese Colette Goldbach, Irena Praitis, Katie Darby Mullins,
Mary Kathryn Jablonski, Rachel Squires Bloom, Michael Gatlin, Dan Sicoli, Peter Ramos, Leland James, Les Bares, Bill Edmondson, Ed Taylor, Donna L. Emerson, Alison Stone, F.G. Mulkey, Max Shanley, Lynn Pederson, Doug Draime, Maggie Blake, Paul French, Rebecca Schwab, Katharyn Howd Machan, Jenna-Nichole Conrad, Jody A. Zorgdrager, Nicole Zuckerman, Anthony Seidman, Livio Farallo, Mather Schneider, Yosef Rosen, Terry Godbey, Chelsea Dingman, Jim Daniels, Karen J. Weyant, Katie Longofono, Brian Fanelli, Eric Gelsinger, Jared White, Kimberly Eagen Latko, Bryan Thomas Rice, Janet Warman, John Marvin, Kita Shantiris, Lyn Lifshin, Margo Davis, Carol V. Davis, Aidan Ryan, Lockie Hunter, Beth Bateman Newborg, Regina Murray Brault, Brett Armes, Odessa Denby, M.K. Meder, David Chorlton, and Gerald Locklin.
Front Cover: nyk fury
Back Cover: Douglas Humphries
Read a review of Issue #34 by Travis Laurence Naught at New Pages.
Sample Poems from Issue 34
First Date by Terry Godbey
Visitation by Dawn Corrigan
Searching for Old Yearbooks in My Parents' Attic by Pat Phillips West
Villa Montes by Les Bares
Second-Hand Harmonica by Karen J. Weyant
by Terry Godbey
and Iím blasting off
in a speedboat
with a man
so old-world handsome and muscled
I want to remove his swimsuit
with my teeth. What scenery!
We start slow,
glide with motor in idle
through a mile
of swampy canal.
and take wingflashes
of white light
a turtle tips
off its log, great
blue herons skulk
among the bald cypress.
When we enter the swollen
lake, we pick up speed,
my new hat blows away.
I canít stop laughing.
We drop anchor, share
a bottle of Chardonnay,
swim. He helps me
onto the boat, finally
but he gives me
a friendly peck on the cheek,
no bedroom eyes
is my new life.
The only things rising
are a mean sun
and my blood.
© 2014 Terry Godbey
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by Dawn Corrigan
I was dusting under the red leather couch
when a swipe exposed a sharp blue cloud
from which the ghost of my ex-boyfriend
arose to perch on top of my broom, and bowed.
"I hadnít heard you died," I said. "I didnít,"
he replied, "I was watching the Indy 500
and it was slow so I decided to stop by."
"You can do that?Ē I asked, surprised.
He'd never shown initiative before tonight.
He leaned into my throat, began to bite.
"I've been studying craniometry," I said
and saw him pause, alarmed I'd used
a word he'd never heard. He bit harder,
and the room began to waver as if it were
trapped beneath a sheet of dust. I was the slag
in a smeltery, I was melting, when
somewhere a car crashed and he was lost.
© 2014 Dawn Corrigan
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Searching for Old Yearbooks in My Parents' Attic
by Pat Phillips West
I put Johnny Nashís I Can See Clearly Now
on the stereo. My mother played this .45
all the time. It reminds me
of a warm afternoon, sun shining,
with the low hum of a vacuum
in the other room.
Somewhere around here
are muslin pillowcases with pink roses
made by my mother tying one French knot
after another. A lot of people avoid that stitch,
she once snorted, it intimidates them.
I open the steamer trunk and find a stack
of letters tied with a red ribbon.
Unfolding the parchment-like
airmail stationary, I recognize my motherís
perfect penmanship, Think of different ways
to take me. In the attic stuffed with silence,
my gasp echoes. I close my eyes,
take a deep breath before continuing.
Lick me from neck to knee. Make me pray
for mercy. Devour me down to the bone.
This from the person
I watched every morning
for eighteen years give my father
the same kiss, one neat peck, dry as toast.
Holding the letter to my chest,
I imagine my father
reading this in the bush of Vietnam,
some primal call rising, the scent of blood
drifting through bamboo.
© 2014 Pat Phillips West
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by Les Bares
A town so small the dogs have no reason
to bark. A long wait on a concrete bench
for the night train. The dust talks to itself.
A naked truck, cabless and bedless,
its new owners seeking confirmation.
They invite him as the entertainment
for their night on the town. He plays
the geek and climbs aboard as they U-turn
down the street to where the liquor is cheap.
The whirling dust purees their visions
of Los Estados Unidos, dolares,
and a woman imagined, a true blond
who is truly blond even between her legs.
Melancholy in the dust croons a refrain
that aggravates the prickly heart,
and El Norte turns into a land of six-guns,
porn stars and gangsters, and a tropical version
of It's a Wonderful Life haunts tomorrow
as they swerve in the unmuffled truck
carrying him back to the train platform.
There he hugs the bench as the universe spins,
and the roulette ball drops into the zero slot,
where the house rules impel him northward.
© 2014 Les Bares
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by Karen J. Weyant
I saw it at one of my motherís yard sale excursions.
Crusted with rust, the handle wore a dent
the same size as a small thumbprint.
Cool metal in my hands, I blew through the reeds,
the hollow sound reminding me of wind
right before a late summer thunderstorm,
but when I inhaled, I heard the grind
of AC/DC and Def Leppard, hard rhythms
that had rocked our garage for weeks.
My brotherís new hangout hosted friends
with long hair and ripped T-shirts
and girls wearing cut-off jeans and tank tops
their bodies curved like swirls of cigarette smoke.
Stop, my mother said, when she heard me,
yanking the instrument from my lips.
You donít know where thatís been.
But I did know. I could taste my new braces.
I could taste smoke and peppermint gum
and cherry lip gloss. I could taste spit.
© 2014 Karen J. Weyant
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