Alex Z. Salinas: “Overboard”





I dreamt I was pushed over the edge 

Before I was ready to jump

And the surface stung like a jellyfish’s caress 

As I sunk in the pusher’s tears— 

Herman Melville’s agony—

And anchored to my ankle was 


And I gurgled the ocean with a fleeting sense of

Poetic justice 

As the cold watery locker

Reclaimed my lungs &

The sun sailed & vanished—

Would it dive in &

Resurface my aching bones?—

How was I to know?

A killer poet (& poet killer) 

Was on the loose

And a line by Renata Adler

Rattled my suffocating mind:

Lonely people see 

Double entendres everywhere—

Would Melville attend my estate sale

And buy my library wholesale?—

How was I to know?

The deep salty palace believes not in


But I don’t pretend to 

Speak for the darkness

Accepting me blindly—


Which is to say

Here I’m treasured 

Even though I arrived by way of

Sitting on a powder keg—

Then I woke up & choked on my spit.



About the Author: Alex Z. Salinas is the author of two full-length poetry collections: WARBLES and DREAMT, or The Lingering Phantoms of Equinox. He is also the author of a book of stories, City Lights From the Upside Down. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and Language from St. Mary’s University. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.


Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Chain-Link Ocean” (2022)

Matthew Wallenstein: “Washington”






tide. Across the bay 
the mountains are blue in moving fog. 
in the brown grass. 
Headless and skinned.
About the size of a dog. Max says 
he thinks it is a deer that went 
In the ocean and drowned, 
washed up on shore. I nod, 
I don’t smile and I don’t mention its flippers.
Around a bend 
on the beach we find another—
skinned, headless. 
Its ribs grey, yellow, bending 
from its pile of body. It smells 
like seawater and rot. 
The flippers are splaying out 
more obviously this time, 
he sees them. 
“Oh,” he says, “it’s a seal, they are seals.”
I don’t let him forget 
that he thought it was a deer 
that went swimming.


About the Author: Matthew Wallenstein is a writer and tattooer. He lives in the Rust Belt. Much of his work concerns growing up in poor rural New Hampshire, the deportation of his wife, and mental illness, though it also captures every day life.


Image Credit: Carol M. Highsmith, “A distant shoreline view in a Washington State town fittingly called Long Beach, since it advertises its 28-mile-long Pacific Ocean strand as “the world’s longest beach.” (2018) The Library of Congress