Corey D. Cook: “Resurrecting Roadkill”

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Resurrecting Roadkill

The young fox
is on its side,
just off the road,
body intact,
coat pristine,
no evidence
of trauma,
could be resting
on the sun-warmed
shoulder,
the flame
of its tail
undiminished,
leaping up
with every gust
of wind,
each passing car.

The portly racoon
straddles
the centerline,
laid out
on its back,
front legs bent
at the elbow,
paws resting
above hips,
chin raised,
assuming
a superhero’s pose,
pool of blood
above its head
an opulent cape.

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About the Author: Corey D. Cook’s sixth chapbook, Junk Drawer, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Akitsu Quarterly, the Aurorean, Brevities, Cold Moon Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Nixes Mate Review. Corey works at a hospital in New Hampshire and lives in Vermont.

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Image Credit: Catalogue North American mammals with drawings and proof of plates [1856?] Image Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library biodiversitylibrary.org/page/55581032

Jenna K Funkhouser: “Persephone”

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Persephone

and what now / shall I write?

the trees armor against obsession / they are lucid / never
drink anything but the rain / and when the rain sings
to them / in their beds / they call it god /

oh when you came / in a hail of arrows
and leaves / and the wild deer / that night lightning
reversed / swallows went north / fig trees forgot
to worship / the sun /

there were Aprils / shouting your name.

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About the Author: Jenna K Funkhouser is an author and nonprofit communicator living in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has recently been published by the Oregon Poetry Association, Write Around Portland, and the Catholic Poetry Room, among others; her first book of poetry, Pilgrims I Have Been, was released in October 2020.

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Image Credit: Flore médicale Paris :Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke,1833-1835. Public Domain Image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Dan Overgaard : “Donations”

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Donations

           for Huan

I’m thinking, as I bag these for Goodwill:

Four sport coats, hardly worn. I never quite
achieved the habitude of wearing them.
As coats they never kept me warm or cool.
They always made me want to shuck them off
as soon as they were on. I couldn’t sit
without some bunching, or some extra flap
that needed constant tending while I talked.
As costumes—I could never do the strut
with quite the right mix of insouciance
and casual, confident authority.
Perhaps my years in other uniforms
had cooked me too far in to act in these.
So, here you go—good luck with them—I hope
the sleeves will let you reach the things you need.

Twenty-some ties. I’m saving my favorites
for—who knows?—statistically, some funerals are
more likely now than weddings, but we’ll see.
The latest science says I could have used
the oxygen their knots had throttled up,
which makes me wonder—but it’s too late now.
Like any other homeless thoroughbreds,
they have the memories of their days of fame—
the compliments they gathered, dancing home.
They all believe they might have one more race,
and want to prove it if you’ll bet on them.

Eleven stalwart shirts. They’re lightly worn
but ready to stand up with dignity,
and should convey the buttoned competence
to nail a clause with some authority
or wrap a deal and walk it through today.
The sleeves are ready to be rolled again.

I list these on the form, but hesitate
to estimate their worth. I wish I could
include the lessons that I learned in them.

Baggy from sitting, squirming marathons,
my trousers feel too worn to be of use.

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About the Author: Dan Overgaard was born and raised in Thailand. He attended Westmont College, dropped out, moved to Seattle, became a transit operator, then managed transit technology projects and programs. He’s now retired and catching up on reading. His poems have appeared in Shark Reef, Willawaw Journal, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Glass Poetry: Poets Resist, The High Window, Canary Lit Mag, Shot Glass Journal, Allegro Poetry, Triggerfish Critical Review and other journals. Read more at: danovergaard.com.

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More by Dan Overgaard:

Drifting Off

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Image Credit: “Men’s fashions, 1896” from The Library of Congress

Steve Brisendine: “Working Out a Splinter at Three O’clock on Good Friday Afternoon”

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Working Out a Splinter at Three O’clock on Good Friday Afternoon

You can’t go easy, get the big bits out
and call it good –

not if you want it all gone,
not if it’s buried, broken off
deep as the things that prick
at your dreams
when you sleep all the way through Saturday.

You have to keep at it until it all runs clear,
like there’s water in the blood.

Then it’s clean.

Then it’s finished.

There will be a scar.

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About the Author: Steve Brisendine is a writer, poet, occasional artist and recovering journalist living in Mission, Kansas. His poetry appears in the third and most recent volume of the 365 Days Poets anthology and in The Rye Whiskey Review. His first collection of poems, The Words We Do Not Have, is due out in spring 2021 from Spartan Press.

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Image Credit: Fritz Henle “Wood pile at the Orton farm, Marshfield, Vermont” (1942) The Library of Congress

Two Poems by Bill Gainer

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Doing Dishes 

She left a kiss
on the edge of
a glass.
I’ll wash that one
last.

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Eating Ribs

Save the bones
pass them down
the babies first
then the dogs
need something
to gnaw on –
keep the teeth
strong.
Learn the taste
of red meat.

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About the Author: Bill Gainer is a storyteller, humorist, an award winning poet, and a maker of mysterious things. He earned his BA from St. Mary’s College and his MPA from the University of San Francisco. He is the publisher of the PEN Award winning R. L. Crow Publications and is the ongoing host of Red Alice’s Poetry Emporium (Grass Valley, CA). Gainer is internationally published in such journals and magazines as: The Huffington Post, Sacramento News and Review, The Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Chiron Review, Tule Review, Cultural Weekly, The Lummox Press, Poems for All, Red Fez, River Dog Zine #1, Rose of Sharon, and numerous others. His latest book is: “The Mysterious Book of Old Man Poems.” Gainer is known across the country for giving legendary, fun filled performances. Visit him in his books, at his personal appearances, or at his website: billgainer.com.

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Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Paint and Wine Glass” (2021)

 

 

Sarah Carleton: “That Cloud Looks Like a Typewriter”

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That Cloud Looks Like a Typewriter

In mid-century films, the typewriter
was an extroversion machine, clattering day after day
as if to declare, “I’m not some dream-bound poet

lying back, looking up at the sky,
but a vital cog in the gears of capitalism.
Check out my rising paper stack!”

and on-screen scribblers, prolific
even when spinning their wheels, would toss
wadded sheets, filling trash cans and littering

floors with their blockage,
because back then you could fix any jam
by generating mounds of garbage, not like how

I now burrow into my muted keyboard, private
except for the crowing and sighing I scatter
across social-media sites—no prop could advertise

my steady pecking and writerly pluck here
twixt laptop and couch or the ethereal junkpile
of false starts that’s seeding a cloud.

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About the Author: Sarah Carleton writes poetry, edits fiction, tutors English, plays the banjo, and makes her husband laugh in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Chattahoochee Review, Tar River Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, and New Ohio Review. Her first collection, Notes from the Girl Cave, was recently published by Kelsay Books.

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Image Credit: Harris & Ewing, photographer “Woman at typewriter” [between 1921 and 1923] The Library of Congress

Ilari Pass: “delayed rays of a star”

Whistler-Nocturne_in_black_and_gold

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delayed rays of a star

starts with a chance meeting—
peek-a-boo says Eve—crooked,

the night brings good counsel
for deception, the stars become

pinholes in the curtain of night,
opening up like a long fall

from the moon, feeling broken when she rises,
she hides behind a terrifying beauty

stares up at the moon, counting her dimples
she sees the beauty of her road curving

through a tranquil copse of Silver birch,
often marked by wild zinnias,

she wants to lie there and play there
and splash there on the purple edge

on the road, however, she
finds a road made straight

of Adam

the moon peers down,
she’s wishes for his hands

not made of light
she is just another, broken woman

standing in the cold
not allowed to play the lead

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About the Author: Ilari Pass holds a BA in English from Guilford College of Greensboro, NC, and an MA in English, with a concentration in literature, from Gardner-Webb University of Boiling Springs, NC. Her work appears, or forthcoming in Brown Sugar Literary, Kissing Dynamite, Unlikely Stories, Rigorous Magazine, Triggerfish Critical Review, RedFez, The Daily Drunk, The American Journal of Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, Free State Review, Oyster River Pages, Common Ground Review, and others.

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Image Credit: James Abbott McNeil Whistler “Nocturne in Black and Gold” (1875)

Nadia Arioli: “On “A Bird in the Room” by Kay Sage”

(You can view Sage’s painting A Bird in the Room here)

On “A Bird in the Room” by Kay Sage


The year after you died, I refused all fruit.
I could not bear that hybrid of plant and ghost.
By the time a lemon reaches the east coast,
its tree could be in flames.
All that’s left a sour ball,
a seed unwelcome on chicken.

The month you died, I kept the fruit
I found on walks in shadows.
If I can’t have it, no one will.
I stuck them in my rafters,
where darkness transformed them.
Not castration but refuse.

The week you died, I examined pits.
Nectarines, apricots, peaches,
all malformed brains. I had wondered
about mangoes. Under sunset skin,
thick, orange slime. What keeps
their roundness? Can you read braille?

The day you died, there was a bird
in the room. Round and pulsing,
a bird is a kind of fruit. You
can take it apart with your hands.
I think it was looking for a tree
filled with pomegranates or twigs.

I know what the old women say:
If a bird enters your home, a member
of your household will die. I did not know
they meant the spot where all gentleness gathers,
the pit. You have to wonder the causality
and how far back it will go.

The year I refused fruit made me still
inside, the stillness filled our house
with grey. The pits fell out of rotting
bodies. The bird got lost somehow
and invited itself in. I think it killed you,
love, killed you with feathers and legs.

How perverse that you will never go
into the ground, never go to tree.
You’ll fly, little bird, out over the coast.
But I will leave my door open for you
in case you get lost. For you, love,
I’ll fill my home with ash.

About the Author: Nadia Arioli (nee Wolnisty) is the founder and editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Spry, SWWIM, Apogee, Penn Review, McNeese Review, Kissing Dynamite, Bateau, Heavy Feather Review, Whale Road Review, SOFTBLOW, and others. They have chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective, Dancing Girl Press, and a full-length from Spartan.

More by Nadia Arioli:

On “I Walk Without Echo” by Kay Sage

On “The Fourteen Daggers” by Kay Sage

Agnes Vojta: “Nursing Home Visit in Times of Corona”

Nursing Home Visit in Times of Corona

You must make an appointment by phone.
You must call between ten and three on a weekday.
You may only visit once a week.
You must visit between 1 and 5 pm.
You may not stay longer than one hour.
You must check in fifteen minutes before.


You must fill out a form.
You must wear a face mask.
You must keep a distance.
You must disinfect your hands.
You must walk to the building along the shortest way
you have been directed to use.

You must check in with the nurse.
You must wait if the nurse is busy.
You may not speak with a doctor.
You must make an appointment to call the doctor
by phone if you have questions.

You must check out with the nurse.
You receive a check mark by your name.
You get a green mark if you kept the time limit.
You get a red mark if you overstayed.
If you have a red mark,
you may be denied
further visits.

About the Author: Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land (Spartan Press, 2019) and The Eden of Perhaps (Spartan Press, 2020), and her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines.

More By Agnes Vojta:

Legend

Sisyphus Calls It Quits

Flotsam

Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Victoria Leaves” (2019)

Jason Baldinger: “let go of atlantis”

 

 

let go of atlantis

jerry believes in ivory soap
he believes in starched collars
his spine is straight
he says all the flying plagues
of florida are near sited
don’t give them room to smell

I missed the manatees
out in some cove near
the launch pad that’s etched
in our consciousness
I see it in the rearview
and I want to write about
shoveling snow as a boy
about dreams exploding
about hot cocoa
and christa mcauliffe

jerry says for fifteen bones
they’ll give me a sea kayak
I can paddle over the surf
to a barrier island all my own

out there cooking hamburger
helper over a pocket rocket
Ill turn back/ahead time
ill forget my couth
and go native

going native is a racist term
meant to minimize
the people who were killed
so this land could be our land
a universe of violence

it seems that every inch
of this land is steeped
in blood, I wonder
if a barrier island
off the coast of the atlantic
may be one of the few places
I can step where that blood
doesn’t well up a hot spring
of unacknowledged history

I’m gonna stay out
an island a mile away from
civilization, the sun paints
the sky every twelve hours
every day the ocean
steps a little higher
when it reaches my neck
Ill know its time
to let go of atlantis

 

 

About the Author: Jason Baldinger is bored with bios. He’s from Pittsburgh and misses roaming around the country writing poems. His newest book is A Threadbare Universe (Kung Fu Treachery Press) with The Afterlife is A Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press) coming soon. His work has been published widely across print journals and online. You can hear him read his work on Bandcamp and on lp’s by the bands The Gotobeds and Theremonster.

 

More Poetry by Jason Baldinger:

This Ghostly Ambience

It was a Golden Time

Beauty is a Rare Thing

 

Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith “Sunrise on a Florida beach ” (2014) The Library of Congress