“What if Bill Mazeroski Missed First Base?” By Bruce Harris


What if Bill Mazeroski Missed First Base?

By Bruce Harris


Ralph Terry’s shoulders slumped. In leftfield, Yogi Berra turned, took a few steps back, but could do nothing but watch the ball sail over the ivy-covered wall. In his mind, a Yogi-ism. We scored 28 more runs than them and lost. It was true. Over the course of seven games, the New York Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55 to 27, yet lost the 1960 World Series to the Pirates. Or, had they? 

The Forbes Field faithful, 36,683 strong, stood as one cheering, clapping, screaming, watching as an unlikely hero, Bill Mazeroski circled the bases. The Pirate second baseman, known for his defense, jumped, waved his arms, and danced his way around the bases. With batting helmet in hand and a smile wider than Forbes Field’s vast centerfield, he ran smack into a celebratory mob of welcoming teammates. 

In one of the most exciting World Series ever played, the Pirates had defeated the mighty Yankees in seven games to become the champions of baseball.

Prior to his momentous blast, surpassing in importance and impact Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” four years earlier, Bill Mazeroski had hit only 11 homeruns in 1960. The seven-time All-Star would eventually be elected into baseball’s vaunted Hall of Fame primarily on the strength of his glove. Mazeroski won eight Gold Glove Awards during his 17-year big league career. The second baseman was no doubt just as surprised with the hit as the sold-out crowd and those watching and listening to the broadcast. 

While the Pirate players, rabid newspaper reporters, photographers, and assorted over-zealous fans jumped, whooping it up around number nine, the Yankees players walked slowly, heads down, toward the visiting team’s dugout. The six umpires, four around the bases and one each up the right- and left-field lines stood stoically in place, watching the dichotomy of emotions between the players wearing home white uniforms versus those in visiting gray. Continue reading

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal: “Beautiful Mournings”



Beautiful Mournings

Do you object
to beautiful mournings?
The path to the
cemetery with stones and

roses. Do you like
the fumes from open graves?
Who are you to
whine and complain? You’re dead.

The rotten sun 
is the cook of your skin.
Nature’s gift for
one and all. Keep your dead 

eye on the sky.
Watch the flowers bloom as
your stench 
perfumes the collapsed trees.

The flies buzz on
not worrying of health.
Their stinking breath
worsens in summertime.

In this world the
babbling mouths speak and shout.
The dead man sleeps
soundly and with such ease.


About the Author: Born in Mexico, Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA. His poetry has appeared online and in print over the years. His poetry has appeared in Blue Collar Review, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, Pygmy Forest Press, Red Fez Publications, Unlikely Stories, Yellow Mama Magazine, and ZYX.


More by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal:


Eat Rain


Image Credit: Caspar David Friedrich “Graveyard Under Snow” (1826) Public Domain

Matthew Borczon: “In 2010”



In 2010

the war
in my
chest like
a pacemaker

I still
feel the
cold metal
every time
I salute
the flag


About the Author: Matthew Borczon is a writer and a Navy sailor from Erie, Pa. He has published widely in the small press and written 12 books of poetry; the most recent the PTSD Blues was released through Rust Belt Press in 2019. He works hard as a nurse for developmentally disabled adults and works even harder at forgetting the war he served in in 2010.


Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith: “A colorful rendition of the American flag, painted on the side of a large utility shed in the town of Carbon in Eastland County, Texas” (2014) The Library of Congress

Seth Jani: “Forest Dream”



Forest Dream

I knelt down to touch the multiplicity
bursting from the soil. The red hoods
met my fingers. Their little figures bowed.
I dreamt of toads and the dark doors of fable,
of infectious sleep traveling the spores
of wind, of the countryside fallen into itself
forming a shadow image: inverted houses,
underground fruits, chromatic summers
blooming in reverse. And the mushrooms,
in their gnarled approximations,
running, like lunatics, through the streets.



About the Author: Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). Their work has appeared in The American Poetry JournalChiron ReviewRust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. More about them and their work can be found at www.sethjani.com.


More By Seth Jani:



Image Credit: Vincent Van Gogh “Path in the Woods” (1887) Public Domain

Thomas M. McDade: “Puff of Eternal Hot Air”



Puff of Eternal Hot Air

Sometimes I think I sleepwalked 
Into an obliteration chamber that failed
Leaving me merely invisible

Take the time stranded in a long line
At a Dollar Tree, while the clerk inflated
A bunch of balloons and that break 

In the action gave an elderly woman time 
To take the floor to share a piece of her life 
She tells my wife, “Someday you’ll do this”

While holding up a bunch of artificial flowers
She’s going to place on her husband’s grave
I might as well have been hanging in effigy 

Off an errant balloon that the A/C 
Is bouncing along the ceiling for tots
Considering methods to go airborne

Her hubby fought in WWII and they were
Engaged before she finished high school 
He insisted on a diploma before wedding

I imagine inhaling helium and freaking 
Her out as if my voice were from a crypt
Landscaped with palms tall and plastic

Outside I say no blossoms or Mylar tributes
For me and I recall the clerk revealing that
The world supply of helium is waning

I release my some-morning-I-will-not-rise 
Fear as a mere puff of eternal hot air as any 
Man acquainted with invisibility might do


About the Author: Thomas M. McDade is a 74-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF 1091).


Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Hot Air Balloon Jubilee Festival, Decatur, Alabama” (2010) The Library of Congress

Stephen Barile: “Engine Block”




On the Lost Coast 
in dense fog, 
from a weathered cliff
held by wildflowers and weeds,
a warning-bell clangs
every five seconds
for eight hours straight.
Boats that venture too close
near the anchoring ground 
enter a sea-churned chaos, 
Anguish of white foam
and piteous self-destruction.
On the shore at Shelter Cove,
a rusted, cast-iron engine block,
Barr Marine V-8,
valve-covers torn off
rocker arms crumbling
flywheel frozen, resting
in a cobble field
sea-grass smelling profane.
Where were the mountings
of the pleasure craft 
that surrounded you?
Way too heavy 
for the price of salvage
battered inward
with each succeeding tide,
to the land 
where it came from. 
The sea’s contribution, 
a predictable pull 
of sun and moon
in the maelstrom.


About the Author: Stephen Barile, a Fresno, California native, was educated in the public schools, and attended Fresno City College, Fresno Pacific University, and California State University, Fresno. He is the former chairman of the William Saroyan Society, and a long-time member of the Fresno Poet’s Association. Mr. Barile taught writing at Madera Center Community College, lives and writes in Fresno. His poems have been published extensively, including The Heartland Review, Rio Grande Review, The Packinghouse Review, Undercurrents, The Broad River Review, The San Joaquin Review, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Beginnings, Pharos, and Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets.


Image Credit: “Man demonstrating ship rescue apparatus” Bain News Service, The Library of Congress, Public Domain

L.B. Sedlacek: “Higher Paint”



Higher Paint

A purple and white jitterbug – 
maybe a few times each year
exploding from the sun’s surface:
red blasts of solar flares, charged

October 2003 the sun blasts
knocks out satellites,
disrupting power grids.  The
rain was magnificent.

A northern aurora (the aurora
borealis) emerges as a glowing
ring.  It alters every 5 seconds.
The motivation – elemental curiosity:
this is what happens when the sun
collides with oxygen.


About the Author: L.B. Sedlacek is an award winning poet and author with poetry and fiction appearing in many different journals and zines.  Her latest poetry books are “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars” (Alien Buddha Press), “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press) and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press.)  She is a former Poetry Editor for “ESC! Magazine” and also co-hosted the podcast for the small press, “Coffee House to Go,” for several years.  She teaches poetry at local elementary and middle schools and publishes a free resource for poets, “The Poetry Market Ezine.”  In her free time, LB enjoys swimming, reading, and taking guitar lessons.


More By L.B. Sedlacek:

The Moon’s Trees


Image Credit: “Aurora Borealis over the US Navy Ice Camp Sargo” Public Domain