Monday, May 31, 2021

New Poetry by Donna Dallas

Marlboro Man

Give me that Brut 33
red-tanned skin
from ‘real’ physical labor
rough hands
nicked and scarred
twist a wrench
fill gas
in the blistering sun
five o’clock shadow
crow’s feet
thick blonde
one tooth a shade darker
a cleft that melts panties
faded jeans
white T
scar on left cheek
cigarette hangs from sun-cracked lips
drinks a Jack & Coke
solid body
enlisted at 18
because what else was there
but to serve our country
he holds the door
for me
while Jesus hangs from his neck

- © Donna Dallas 2021

Donna studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to study under William Packard, founder and editor of the New York Quarterly.  Recently her work has appeared in Horror Sleaze Trash, Beatnik Cowboy and Zombie Logic among many other publications. Donna also recently published her first novel, Death Sisters, with Alien Buddha Press. Donna currently serves on the editorial team for Red Fez and New York Quarterly.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

New Poetry by Janice Bethany


So long ago, you and he on the
motorcycle - winding roads, pastures,

yellow-red hills, bridge steady,  
you could have believed anything. 

Your great noise spilled over powerlines,
mailboxes, perch in the lake. Shadows

trailed in wild vines, you couldn’t have
imagined more. In a sweet daze you sank

into curves of his spine. You brushed his jaw,
and all blossoms of summer came loose inside.

You ached for the road to stop, to reach 
the end of your late-summer greenness

and be subsumed by the next season,
laid down like a wine bottle in the earth,

rocked through time in brilliant ways, past
the powerlines, past the perch, past the daze.

- © Janice Bethany 2021

Janice Bethany lives in Texas and teaches for the University of Houston System. Her work has appeared in or recognized by Sparked Lit; National Poetry Month, San Antonio; Craven Arts Competition, NC; Texas Poetry Calendar; O’Bheal International Competition, Cork, Ireland; Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art; Anesthesiology; Raleigh Review, Ekphrastic Review, etc. Bethany is inspired by walks along a wetlands habitat, the arts and good world around her.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

New Poetry by Rob Schackne


They walk at night 
in this old cottage 
above in the rafters 
a ceiling of riches 
below the floorboards 
where it wasn’t buried 
they whisper in the wall 
it was taken from 
some call them ghost 
or possums strolling 
the length of the house 
north to south and back 
ask if they’re friendly 
the hurt feelings 
all in a dream 
what do they say 
I listen to them chatter 
of poison and regrets 
it was a gold town

- © Rob Schackne 2021

Rob lives a (mostly) quiet life in Castlemaine, Victoria, where he writes and takes photographs. He shares a cottage built in the early 1850s.

Monday, May 24, 2021

New Poetry by Alex McKeown

Two Talents

July 2012

It’s been twenty-four years
And my light is spent
On the first
Eight hours a day

And I can’t get to sleep
With these songs in my head

I wrote them a year ago
And then an hour ago
Sat up and feared
They were gone

(Since when was the last time
I sat and played? Just played?)

And how can I know
But to go through them all
Singing upside down
The songs that were once mine

And lined my mind
Every day with space and light

I had the space to play
The light to write by
And now they’re spent
The first eight hours a day

- © Alex Mckeown 2021

Alex McKeown is a Tasmanian poet and translator. His writing has most recently appeared in The Pi Review, Plumwood Mountain, and Blue Unicorn. A selection of his published poems can be read on

Sunday, May 23, 2021

New Poetry by R.F. McTague

A mayfly’s life’s time on the wall
doubles into infinite halving
and spiders and snakes escape
The Ark, the coupled path
to salvation.

- © R.F. McTague 2021

R.F. McTague is a poet, fiction writer, and retired military officer who now lives and teaches literature in Bucharest, Romania. He is writing a book of poetry and two novellas. He loves reading, discussing literature in book clubs, and the Boston Red Sox.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

New Poetry by Bernardo Villela

Memorializing Alireza

In an honor killing 
honor dies with the martyred,
nothing’s restored only taken;
left in its blooded wake grief and hate.

His name should be known.
His photo displayed
indicator of a future robbed,
of hate alive and well. 

In some nations equality 
needs fighting for,
in other nations it is 
a dream yet unattained. 

“We finished him off,”
his stepbrother said
to his mother as if
her son were a hit;
a life expendable,
bereft of significance and value
because of the shape of his love,
because who he was meant to be.

A mother left without a child,
a boyfriend without his other half,
because he was taken by a violent ideal,
dumped under a tree, like refuse.

A nation that outs its youth,
branding them mentally ill
for breaking heteronormative molds,
needs the world as loudspeakers for the voiceless. 

Needs the world to
lend our voice, 
lend our support,
lend our ears,
lend our eyes, 

Needs the world to
to see the struggle,
to offer help,
to draw attention,
to ride the wave.

The tumult of injustice
humanity wades through
cannot be overcome in
a straight line. 

Breakers will often return
threatening to swallow us,
to drown us down,
but we swim on
crying for help.

Alireza has been taken
by unforgiving hateful currents.
We who understand and remain
must swim on and shout his name.

Alireza Fazeli Monfared.
Now gone, now memorialized,
a testament to a rising pride
battling a hateful tide.

- © Bernardo Villela 2021

Bernardo Villela has had poetry published by Entropy and Zoetic Press. He’s had fiction published with Coffin Bell Journal, The Dark Corner Zine, 101 Proof Horror, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, Page & Spine You can read more about these and various other pursuits at 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

New Poetry by Katie Kemple



- © Katie Kemple 2021

Katie's work has appeared recently, or is forthcoming, in Olney, Gleam, Dwelling, Lucky Jefferson, Right Hand Pointing, The Collidescope, and The Racket, among others. Originally from the Shawangunks of New York, Katie currently lives in Southern California.

Monday, May 17, 2021

New Poetry by Jeremy Nathan Marks


In the long hot 
summer of 
when people 
could have been 

obsessed with the view 
from Detroit or a Newark 
street when they could have followed 
troop movements in the Central Highlands 
of Vietnam toward a place called 

Khe Sanh

a female singer 
from rural Mississippi
Bobbie Gentry sang about 

a boy a bridge and a girl 

who lost 
her appetite
when her parents seemed 
more interested in black eyed 
peas and peach cobbler 

than a boy’s cadaver bobbing 
like tackle in the Tallahatchie 

In this land of plenty 
why is it that people 
are always hungry-

- © Jeremy Nathan Marks 2021

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in Canada. Recent work is found in places like 365 Tomorrows, Jewish Literary Journal, Chiron Review, Dissident Voice, and Bewildering Stories. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

New Poetry by John Grey

The Next Generation

He died
and his library passed away
soon after.
All of those books were
sold off to a second hand dealer.
The man never did have issue
that could read worth a damn.

Same with music.
Bach, Beethoven
and that rare Mozart recording
barely made it past the funeral.

His heirs at least
appreciated his art work,
appreciated how much they had
appreciated in value that is
since he bought them as a young man.

The house never stood a chance.
Too old, too ugly, was the consensus.
A nineteenth century gem
it said in the real estate listing.

He was a man of great taste.
His children are
the latest word in Philistines.
He left them such a legacy.
But they mistook it for a corpse.

- © John Grey 2021

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon.

Friday, May 14, 2021

New Poetry by Peter Roads

When he grows up he's gonna be a big man 
Big like important 
President of wide open space 
Fill every room he is in 
A waist too expansive for pants 
Words too amazing for grace 
Features too big for a face 
Ego to wide for scale 
Measurement is for other people  
he will be a gateway to the future 
Through which many will travel 
Just to see him will be inspiring 
People will hang him on their wall 
Like they hung him from that tree 
Bound hand and feet 
They will love him  
just you wait and see 
He will be so big 
                                    so tall 
                                    so awesome 
                                    so heavy  
that all this guilt will fall  
we will be set free  
when he grows up he will be a big man 
Better kill him young  
so we won't feel so  

- © Peter Roads 2021

Since starting his performance career in a Sydney backyard Peter has performed for the Unlikely Project, Unspoken Words, Newtown Festival Mainstage and Shelter NSW. Since winning 'most promising poet' at the 2015 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup he's published a series of independent chapbooks exploring issues of anxiety, politics, identity and religion. His last short film 'Flashback to the Pool' won laurels in 2020 and the next project 'Summon the Unbelievers' is a broadside against the hubris of blind faith.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

New Poetry by Todd Matson

The Gerrymanderer

he drew lines
to his right
to his left

battle lines
before him
behind him

jagged lines
above him
below him

crooked lines
to divide
to conquer

curved lines
twisted into

bloody lines
red and blue

rich and poor
black and white
citizen and immigrant

gay and straight
binary and nonbinary
young and old

men and women
fathers and sons
mothers and daughters

brothers and sisters
best of friends
us and them

a web of lines
tangling hearts
with fear and hate

he drew lines
of division
in the sand

until he etch-a-sketched
himself into a corner
boxed himself in

couldn’t get out
wielded his pen
like a stiletto

cut himself
into a thousand
little pieces

- © Todd Matson 2021

Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, has been published in Ariel Chart International Literary Journal and The Chamber Magazine, and has also written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

New Poetry by Sergio Antonio

Infinite Plain

frosty mountain range, 
tumultuous river,
navigation on the sea of dull 
—no spellbinding colors 
to dream about,

golden pink desert night,
shoreline that stretches the horizon
until it looks like the horizon.

You end up touching me
though I'm faceless.

- © Sergio Antonio 2021

Sergio Antonio is a retired, Educator, Bilingual-Queer PRican Poet, and Human Rights Activist. Pushcart nominee, Best of the Web, Best of the Net, nominee. He took 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He workshops his poetry in RatsAssReview workshop. Recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, RatsAssReview, The Maynard, and Spillwords. He is the Founder of Undertow Tanka Poetry Review now La Resaca. Founder of the Online LGBTTQI+ Elderly Virtual Caribbean Artist Public Housing Collective and Publishing Press.

Monday, May 10, 2021

New Poetry by Vern Fein

The Right to Complain

I won’t compare and contrast
the pain in my life to others
like a dutiful rhetoric student
composing an obligatory essay
assigned by an older teacher
nursing his retirement years.

I want the pain to be mine.
I want to own the hurt.
I want to feel my daughter's divorce,
my son's vandalized car,
my dog's surgery.
I won’t compare my life events
to the ravages of a hurricane
blowing an island paradise into the sea
or the latest mass shooting
composing a cemetery from a concert
or the death of my best friend's daughter
cancer slicing her life in half.  
But why can't I complain
when people ask me how I am?
Why can't I bray my petty pipings
in the grieving face of real tragedy?

 My maiden aunt often said:
"You are only in your own skin."

Does that comfort me?

- © Vern Fein 2021

A retired special education teacher, Vern Fein has published over one hundred fifty poems on over sixty sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven's Review, Nine Muses, Monterey Poetry Review, and Corvus Review.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

New Poetry by Gerald Friedman

Woods Outside Cleveland,Ohio

I hop the creek and see in ten steps
that it was half the creek and I’m on an island
made of the same shale and soil as the land around,
with the same hemlock trees and geraniums, 
near its barely highest point
one beech shading an ironwood,
but the light here is denser, 
maybe because more dragonflies
hover and cruise among the trunks.
The birdcalls’ intervals are calmer,
maybe because nothing’s in them but water.
Maybe because no one ever fought on this ground.
Maybe no one ever was born or died here.
Maybe everyone ever here was alone,
or two alone together.
Maybe a child of the Assistaeronon, the Fire Nation,
said good-bye to these hemlocks’ parents
not knowing where the people were going or why,
as no one knows now.

- © Gerald Friedman 2021

Gerald Friedman grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and now teaches physics at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico.  His poetry has appeared in various magazines, recently Panoply, Entropy, Bombfire, Rat's Ass Review, and The Daily Drunk.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

New Poetry by Terri Drake

Rain God

When a raindrop evaporates
before it hits the ground
it’s called sublime

the way I dream
of you and me
in freefall ecstatic in tandem

and you vanish
before disaster happens

When the rain clouds let go
we understood relief

When god created rain
rain was all she wanted

and we finally knew
what thirst was for.

- © Terri Drake 2021

Terri Drake is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  Her poetry collection, "At the Seams" was published by Bear Star Press.  Her poems have appeared in Quarry West, Perihelion; Heartwood Literary Magazine; Crab Creek Review, and Open: Journal of Art and Letters, among others.  She is a practicing psychoanalyst living in Santa Cruz, California.


Monday, May 03, 2021

New Poetry by Robert Verdon


as the chilly wheel buckles …

from the rock, banded by iron drought
from the dry rot of winter
from the hard enclosing garden walls
of stunted ranges
each peak a balletic point of morning dream
of distant mandolins of mist, fleeting as a bird in a mirror,
pirouetting on the surface of a fingerling stream
as you open your eyes, throat tinder dry, and lost

— a mast, the sky sways,
a vein, the sky swells,
the dark park branches
blossom with dawn
over the jagged benches
with the sigh of a brassy blast —

it comes

water is sweet
once more,
and the rain is not vinegar
the sun rolls too quickly
along the ecliptic

- © Robert Verdon 2021

Robert Verdon is an Australian / British writer of poetry and prose with a PhD from the University of Canberra. He came 2nd in the 2012 W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia. His books include The Well-Scrubbed Desert (Canberra: Polonius, 1994), Her Brilliant Career (Canberra: Aberrant Genotype Press, 1998), My Cat Eats Spaghetti (Canberra: Ginninderra Press, 1999), Before we Knew this Century (Liverpool, UK: Erbacce Press, 2010), and a spiral life (Canberra: Resurgam, 2020).

Sunday, May 02, 2021

New Poetry by Linda King

An Evening Poem

we all edit our lives
some make it over
into vintage movie posters
where words circle their meanings
like notes carved into pine tables
years ago

now    you want someone
to show you a new trick
to remove the conditions
dissolve the heavy air
of late afternoons    whiskey
and leftover words
from unfinished poems

you try to reach their essence
but all day you have been holding
the ocean    all day
you  have been writing
an evening poem

- © Linda King 2021

Linda King is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent -antibodies in the alphabet - BlazeVOX Books (2019). Her work has been published in numerous journals (including Bluepepper) in Canada and internationally.  She has been nominated for Best of the Net and also for the Pushcart Prize.  King lives and writes on The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.