Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Poetry by Meggie Royer

Barn Raising

At night, Father pacing around the barn beneath the moon,
pitcher of gin in left hand; we couldn’t afford glasses.
Visitors were never prepared for how the calves
screamed in their stalls at dawn,
bloodcalls hanging in the air like sails
til we let them roam the pasture.
Inside my bedroom, a drawer
full of doorknobs.
After the “accident” Mother took them away
to the landfill; there didn’t need to be more reminders
of how I was unlocked.
Father just said the usual things, if he ever got his hands on you
he would sink you or leave you with a broken jaw,
left it at that, drinking midnight til sunrise
while all the animals moaned.

- Meggie Royer 2015

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize

Monday, May 25, 2015

New Poetry by Changming Yuan

Green Betrayal 

You wish to be a Douglas fir
Tall, straight, almost immortal
But you stand like a Peking willow
Prone to cankers, full of twisted twigs

Worse still, you are not so resistant
As the authentic willow that can bend gracefully
Shake off all its unwanted leaves in autumn
When there is a wind blowing even from nowhere

No matter how much sunshine you receive
During the summer, you have nothing but scars
To show off against winter storms
The scars that you can never shake off

- Changming Yuan 2015

Yuan Changming, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, is the world's most widely published poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. Currently, Yuan co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and, since mid-2005, has had poetry appearing  in 1029 literary publications across 34 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Poetry by Grant Cochrane


Ages shift. Now, gowns of snow
chill earth’s warm glow. It sifts,
forbids, unnests;
invokes a fear as queer as aqua,
or a leap year.
the freshness of those frozen steppes,
the white, the yellow yolk, the fractured
shell, the collateral omelette. Smell.
Smell it like an animal smells,
smell it with your synapses.
Hunt through the void. Seek a trail. There! The freshness yields.
Harsh nature’s feast is

- Grant Cochrane 2015

Grant Cochrane is a Queensland writer whose work has appeared in Southerly (forthcoming) and Seizure.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Poetry by Barbara De Franceschi

I Cannot Write Modern

Stimulus is in the cheekbones of an arid zone,
in vertebrae of mica that glint like fools gold.
I bush-walk in isolation,
expect the dry expanse to give me azaleas
when all it sprouts is Salvation Jane. 
Past tense phrases
dribble into the right side of my brain,
the sun glares at me in fretful heat,
I cannot find the risqué words to describe
its fire-cracker explosion
across pigments of red cresting brown.
I crouch to read the sticks and stones,
unravel mystery bleached by time,
only to find –
I am reading myself.

- Barbara De Franceschi 2015

Barbara De Franceschi is a poet who lives in the out-back town of Broken Hill. Besides two collections of poetry, her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries and on-line. This year (2015) Barbara is artist-in-residence at the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health to promote Art in Health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Microfiction by Donal Mahoney

A Previous Life

It was their wedding night and Priya didn’t want to tell her new husband all about it but Bill kept asking where she had learned to walk like that. Finally she told him it was inherited from a previous life, a life she had lived many years ago in India, not far from Bangalore. She had been a cobra kept in a charmer’s basket.

When the charmer found a customer, usually a Brit or Yank, he would play his flute and Priya would uncoil and rise from the basket. Her hood would swell and she would sway as long as the customer had enough money to keep paying the charmer. She never tried to bite a customer but some of the men weren’t the nicest people in the world. You think they would know better than to tease a cobra.

Being a charmer's cobra was Priya’s job for many years until she finally grew weary of the tiny mice her keeper would feed her so she bit him and he died. His family had Priya decapitated but she was born again later in a small village, this time as a human, a baby girl. After she matured into a young woman, she had a walk, men said, reminiscent of a cobra's sway.

Priya told Bill she had been married many times in India, England and the United States but always to the wrong man. She would give the men time to correct their behavior but none did. As a result of their failure, she bit them with two little fangs inherited from her life as a cobra. They were hidden next to her incisors. Death was almost instantaneous.

No autopsies were ever performed. Death by natural causes was always the ruling. Priya, however, would move to another state or country before marrying again. 

She told Bill she hoped he would be a good husband because she didn’t want to have to move again. She wanted to put down roots and have children. She was curious as to whether they would walk or crawl or maybe do both. But Bill had heard enough. He was already out of bed, had one leg in his tuxedo pants and soon was running down the hall of the 10th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel. He had his rented patent leather shoes in one hand and an umbrella in the other in case he ran into a monsoon.

- Donal Mahoney 2015

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Bluepepper (Australia), The Galway Review (Ireland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey) and other magazines. Some of his earliest work can be found at

Friday, May 01, 2015

New Poetry by William Davies Jr.

Along Union Deposit Road

A cemetery blushes
purple in Spring
though word
may have spread
of a dalliance
in Section 10,
the sort of thing
that in life
may have produced
a child,

here, color.

- William Davies Jr. 2015

New Poetry by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois


When I graduated high school
I figured I’d spent enough time
sitting at a desk

I thought about everything I’d learned
in school
and out

and figured that my most salable skill
was painting houses
I was living in L.A.
which made house painting
possible year-round

not like Michigan
where one of my cousins lived
where winter shuts down the world  

I got a truck
ladders, brushes
got cards printed
gave them to my friends’ parents
Word- of-mouth took care of the rest

Some friends came back for holidays
and said: You’re smart
You could have made something of yourself

but every day I renew the world
I take old surfaces
and refresh them  
put gladness in the hearts
of homeowners
and neighbors
and even people just driving down the street

I don’t trouble myself with ideas
At lunch I sit against an unpainted wall
and chew the sandwiches my wife puts together

I scribble notes to myself
like this one
and sometimes on the ladder
I wonder why I do it

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois 2015

 Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over eight hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver