"Water" theme issue
Poetry Chapbook Contest
Featured in this Issue:
Poetry by: Lew Forester, Christine Pacyk, M.P. Powers, Kelly Talbot, Robbie Gamble, Jane Craven, Heikki Huotari, Jonathan Greenhause, Kevin Ridgeway, Matthew J. Spireng, Lynn Otto, Jacob Budenz, Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, Deborah L. Davitt, Andrew Hemmert, Robert Carr, Jeff Bagato, Richard Murray, Deborah Allbritain, Kelly Fordon, Anna DiMartino, Clyde Kessler, Guy R. Beining, William Palmer, KG Newman, Ed Taylor, Lori Anne Gravley, Alex Andrew Hughes, Alan Catlin, AR Dugan, Donna M. Davis, Robin Boyd, Michael Mark, Kenneth Feltges, Jason Irwin, Elaine Mintzer, Natalie Homer, Ace Boggess, Jim Daniels, J Mari, William Doreski, Max Stephan, Sara Ries, Kristin Camitta Zimet, Ella Flores, J.H. Hall, Liz Ahl, Lyn Lifshin, Katharyn Howd Machan, Bernadette Geyer, Pat Phillips West, Deborah H. Doolittle, David Chorlton, Richard K. Olson, Frank J. Dunbar, Vanessa Zimmerman, and Simon Perchik.
Front Cover: Hermin Abramovitch
Back Cover: Iumi Richard-Crow
Featured Photography: Jayne Marek
Sample Poems from Issue 38
We Used to Drive with Open Windows by Jane Craven
Every Window Leads to Edward Hopper by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Codgers by Jason Irwin
Winter River Scenes by Frank Dunbar
We Used to Drive with Open Windows
by Jane Craven
I love the darkness
in your breath, how you inhale
light, hold it within your ribs
and release it as something
changed and dangerous.
Headlights on, and night
settles like sediment
to the bottom of a creek bed
in watery footfalls,
in an upturned bottle of wine.
It is the lowering, a plunge.
On either side of an old concrete bridge
on US 1, the Haw River breaks
around boulders and I think night
echoes its roar, letting
climb its muddy banks
and come to us like
a wet dog at sunrise.
© 2018 Jane Craven
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Every Window Leads to Edward Hopper
by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
In my overheated apartment, I have on a red
t-shirt that says One Word at a Time.
I sit on a beige brocade couch, bare feet
on woolen vines of my Chinese carpet.
In my night picture window, Iím that woman
wearing a floppy-brimmed yellow
cloche, alone at a table in The Automat.
The corner radiator gives off so little steam
I keep my green coat on. I look
into my cup of joe. Iíve been waiting
here since 1927, and still the man I love
hasnít shown up.
Posterity will find him
at the cherry-wood counter
of the brightly lit diner
next to his wife.
© 2018 Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
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by Jason Irwin
At countertops, crumb strewn and greasy,
on broken down swivel stools in roadside diners,
where the waitress is always named Pearl
or Doll, they perch, coffee growing cold
in their almost clean mugs, runny eggs
and burnt sausages lying on their plates.
Pencils stand at attention in their breast
pockets, tape measures or knives cling
to their belts. Always together, always alone.
They sit and watch the day run its course,
grumbling, cursing, commiserating,
bellowing their eternal complaint
on the life that couldíve been, how time
is killing them. Do they know their faces
are still growing? That the crows in the tree
are mindful of their comings and goings,
the hats they wear? That only dirt endures?
The one at the far right has a boxerís nose,
and hair like steel wire. The one
in the middle sits limp as a scarecrow,
while the old man on the left, sporting a cap
that reads Hawaii, has a dreamy left eye.
In moments of silence they gaze out
the window, at the ruins of this company town,
where the sun-baked blacktop goes on
forever, where buildings of brick and glass
stand like tombstones, while the river and hills
beyond, hint at a promise theyíve long ago
stopped believing in. Forgive us our anger
they say, that swells and rises like the sea.
Forgive us our fear, it is only weariness in disguise.
© 2018 Jason Irwin
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Winter River Scenes
by Frank Dunbar
Who was father? The muggers who lumped
him up many a Christmas ago, turned out
to be too much Seagramís Seven and an
icy sidewalk. I write this question
in the dust on his bureau. All that was
kept of his clothes donít fit me anymore.
But he knew the river
when every grain elevator was operational
and hungry kids in tattered clothes
gently rolled their sloshed New Yearís Eve dads
on their empty coal stove shivering motherís order.
My dad worked in terrible snowstorms
and with fever, but we never made a snowman.
Just before it freezes
the water turns a foggy silver
and ashen clouds puff out of nearby Canada
settling above the length in a bunch.
This is where itís my river
snaking through a steel plant, chemical company,
and had he stood with me on any crisp bank
Iídíve surely given him half.
Darkness is a long time these months.
It absorbs most jet engine noise
and all the racket of trains.
It increased his potation and left us this Cimmerian
no matter how many lamps and grandchildren.
And now it calls me out of my kaleidoscope
to wonder if he had a favorite color.
© 2018 Frank Dunbar
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