"Sex-Food-Death" theme issue
Poetry Chapbook Contest
Featured in this Issue:
Poetry by: Alison Stone, Florence Murry, Divya Mehrish, Matthew J. Spireng, Robert Cooperman, Lea Page, Doug Paul Case, RD Armstrong, C. Prudence Arceneaux, Lily Rose Kosmicki, Hannah Schultz, Martin Vest, Kevin Ridgeway, Karina Jutzi, Devon Balwit, Kelly Rowe, Frank William Finney, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Barbara Daniels, Alan Catlin, Lisa Mottolo, Richard Becker, David Preizler, Ed Taylor, Joan E. Bauer, Robert Fillman, Shanique Carmichael, Emma DePanise, Joanne Holdridge, Donna David, Kevin LeMaster,
Sophia Galifianakis, Jim Daniels, Katelyn Winter, Frank Dunbar, Kimberly Ann Priest, Dion O'Reilly, Charles Rammelkamp, Xiaoly Li, Eileen Pettycrew, Charlotte Covey, Ace Boggess, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Kasha Martin Gauthier, Michael Fallon, Ann Pedone, John Marvin, Elizabeth Sylvia, Abigail Dembo, Mary Elizabeth Birnbaum, Katharyn Howd Machan, Lynn Pattison, William Palmer, Kenneth Feltges, Simon Perchik, Ellaraine Lockie, Alexis Rhone Fancher, David Chorlton, Anthony Seidman, Seth Benton, Lew Forester, Sudasi J. Clement, Garrett Phelan, Robin Gow, Livio Farallo, and Josh Shepard
Front Cover by Nicole Neenan / Back Cover by Despy Boutris
Sample Poems from Issue 41
The Death of the Coppertone Girl by Kevin Ridgeway
After Carmen's Italian Restaurant Became a Funeral Home by Donna M. Davis
Missed Connections by Kasha Martin Gauthier
Eating Ashes by Garrett Phelan
The Death of the Coppertone Girl
by Kevin Ridgeway
interstate 5, and
it featured a pretty
cartoon girl with
her bikini bottoms
in a mechanical
tug of war
with a cartoon dog,
off the tan line
of her pale derriere.
She lost one of her legs
during a storm that
left the dog decapitated.
They both stood there
until the bitter end,
when they disappeared
and the sign turned
into a large ad that read:
SHOP AT WAL-MART
and I grieved the loss
of the first woman
I fell in love with
and could not save.
© 2021 Kevin Ridgeway
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After Carmen's Italian Restaurant Became a Funeral Home
by Donna M. Davis
Its new guests were restless.
Some jumped from embalming tables;
others kicked open their coffins.
A woman in a svelte black dress
embraced a naked man
wrapped in a winding sheet.
Together they danced
il tango delle capinere,
singing, "And in the dark,
everyone wants to enjoy."
They recalled the smell of bread,
the taste of rosemary olive oil
and sweet Moscato.
Outside the preparation room,
famished souls removed stitches
from their sewn lips
to imbibe past aromas of meat sauces
and seafood Bolognese.
Throughout the late evening,
satiety and sensuality paired
for one final round of pleasure.
Life seeped through walls
in the clatter of plates.
Grandmothers stomped tarantellas
to crush the spider of death,
while guests madly clinked spoons
against the sides of wine glasses
and wedding soup bowls.
© 2021 Donna M. Davis
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by Kasha Martin Gauthier
We've never really been nighttime lovers.
We're better fresh out of the shower.
I've sent a text invitation
from the third-floor bedroom
to the basement,
where he's on a conference call.
I forget if we're supposed to have sex
on date night to make sure it happens,
or if we're not supposed to,
and instead, be spontaneous.
Last night, he grazed my breast
in bed. I'm being erotic,
he said. He'd been thinking all day
of how I grazed him that morning in the kitchen.
I was just squeezing by
filling the dishwasher, running late.
© 2021 Kasha Martin Gauthier
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by Garrett Phelan
Instead of burying his ashes
she ate them with her oatmeal.
She feared they were too dried out
and would suck needed moisture from her body.
Eating your dead, nourishing your life.
She added a little bit more hot milk.
It was a winter morning
snowflakes gathered on the driveway.
Some old song, a Bruce Springsteen song,
whose lyrics don't matter anymore, played on the radio.
It didn't really taste like him, she thought.
She didn't experience ecstasy, like sex,
that she'd anticipated. When she washed
the bowl, ash residue slipped down the drain.
© 2021 Garrett Phelan
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