poetry

Rose Knapp

American spirit black
ash tapped perfectly
ugly old snowmound


Rose Knapp is a poet, novelist, short story writer, multimedia artist, and music producer. She has an experimental novel forthcoming and various poetry publications in Commonline Journal, Blue Lake Review, Poetry Pacific Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, Shot Glass Journal, Chicago Literati, and many others. She currently divides her time between Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

Rose Knapp

KSD lo-dawn haze
Repurposed smashed glass
Brooklyn city blues


Rose Knapp is a poet, novelist, short story writer, multimedia artist, and music producer. She has an experimental novel forthcoming and various poetry publications in Commonline Journal, Blue Lake Review, Poetry Pacific Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, Shot Glass Journal, Chicago Literati, and many others. She currently divides her time between Brooklyn and Minneapolis.

Brandon Hartman

Vehicles idle at a red-light
perpendicular traffic bleeding through an intersection
as determined drivers make left turns, heading westward

Where not too long ago a lonely, newly clothed couple
stood surveying a vista forsaken of a guarded garden
and began their search for another Eden.

Where sooner still, solitary ships ventured oceans
sailing to distant Atlantic shores
seeking settlements in the new world

And then, revolution!
the ambition of independence marching
in the direction of freedom

To chase treasures on western roads
crowded by hordes of covered wagon caravans
resolute scowls perched in prairie schooners

Still on their way to American Dreams
toward graveyards in landscaped cul-de-sacs
with macabre welcome mat epitaphs

And saying, onward!
laying claim to somewhere different than the rest of us
forgetting that we’re all going in the same direction

Like a secret everyone knows
but always forgets
that we’re all completely naked under our clothes


Brandon Hartman is currently in the throes of his third novel. He and his wife hail from South Jersey. He drinks too much coffee, but is trying to make the conversion to tea.

John Grey

At high school, a car always came for the rich kid.
And girls flocked around him
though he really wasn’t that good looking.
He always dressed better than the rest of us.
And he had a wallet.
Whenever a dollar or two came my way,
I stuffed it down my pocket.

One day, the rich kid offered me a ride.
But I was too embarrassed
to tell his driver where I lived.
I just said, “My mother’s coming for me”
though our family didn’t own a car
and then, when that Caddy was out of sight,
I began my long walk home.

Every step I took made me that much poorer.
By the time I reached home, my legs were tired
and I owed just about everybody.



John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He has been recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and the anthology, No Achilles, with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Kurt Cline

Cold & clear   sky cerulean
Awakening a dream she could sink in
A little shadow-play
On sheets of white—
                                   An
apparition in flight!

A barista becomes
A nymph carrying
A coffee-urn—
                                   On
whose orders precisely?

Doesn’t matter now
But later
let my ashes
There be scattered
                                   Where
the riptide
                                   Gets
ripped
                                   Every
evening

Raven on the traffic light
Lamppost arching over
The Great Highway
                                   Where
morning ROCKS
                                   And
it seems like I’m okay. 


Kurt Cline is Associate Professor of English and World Comparative Literature, National Taipei University of Technology. His full-length book of poetry, Voyage to the Sun, was published by Boston Poet Press in 2008. Poems and stories have appeared, most recently, in BlazeVOX, Danse Macabre, Ealain, Burningword, The Tule Review, Mission at 10th, EastLit: Journal for English Literature of East and South-East Asia, Wilderness House Literary Review, HuesoLoco, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Black Scat, and Clockwise Cat. Scholarly articles have appeared in Glimpse; Anthropology of Consciousness; Concentric; Beatdom Literary Journal; and Comparative Civilizations and Cultures.

– C.J. Cioc

On the bridge out of one city

into another city, in a sundress and sandals,

she holds her head screaming

into the line of stopped cars. I don’t remember her name.

She was running up and down the bridge, warning

each approaching car—


     carfire!

     theres a fucking car

     on fucking fire—

     get off the damn bridge!

     these police is retarded!

     these people

     are retarded!

the police set up sawhorses

around the Saab’s flaming carcass. Nobody was inside, though.

We all smell the burning plastic, so we emerge

from our cars, confident to step

on to the highway bridge and walk

towards the wreck—

The girl

whose name I don’t remember

ran back up and is

chatting up the taxi driver.

     I cant be stuck on this bridge, son

          I gotta go home

          get three hours sleep

     Well, I’m a escort, so— my clients in Jersey

     I’m fucking late

          Yoo, you said you’re a escort,

          if you ever need a cab—

     If you ever got clients,

     you let me know, kay?

          Aight.

The cab driver, smokes a cigarette with some

tired looking tow truck guys.

     Yo you said your name was Muhammad, right?

     I’m calling you that’s my number, there

     these people are seriously stupid, like they

     think we don’t know they cant

     get their shit together— 

          mhmm, you know it, baby

There’s this big blue junk van and this big black guy

is sitting in the driver’s seat murmuring

something to his friend next to him—

they sigh heavy sighs.

Suddenly, the white headlights of hundreds of cars and trucks

rolled over red like the scales of a venomous snake,

they make k-turns, all aim their cars to traffic.

On the drive back down, all four refineries

can be seen churning out cloud, with some stars

or medivacs or planes, coursing

through their short bursts. All down the banks

and across the bridge, skinny flare stacks gasflared

and broke brown night around the wrsh

traffic—

wrsh traffic—

stiffly gaining speed.


C.J. Cioc is a recent graduate of Rosemont College’s MFA program in Creative Writing. His works have been featured in Rathalla Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Calliope among others. He lives in the Pocono Mountains with his family and his dog, with whom he enjoys section hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Invisible


—Alec Solomita

My dear mother, God bless her,
was on the final stretch to forty-five
when she turned to me in the grocer’s
and said, as if she’d solved Fermat’s
Last Theorem, “I’m invisible.
That’s what happens when you get old.
You become invisible.
Four years, thirty pounds ago,
people could see me. Now they don’t.”
I still saw her but I saw her point.
Four years before, I was about ten
when frisky, stubbled cabbies tried
to get a rise out of my shapely dark-haired
mom, “Watch out!” she cried
when our cab nearly clipped
a pedestrian. “Don’t worry, honey,
I don’t want to clean off the grill.”
A grownup joke. She acted shocked.
I was shocked. And once on a crippled
brick sidewalk as I helped her
navigate my baby sister’s carriage,
a man with a tie leaned from his car
to sing, “Whatcha got cookin’?”
And there must have been subtler signs
beyond my ken that told her she was there:
admiring glances from women, men
whispering dark somethings in her ear.


Alec Solomita is an editor and writer living in Somerville, Mass. He’s published fiction in The Adirondack Review, The Mississippi Review, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Recently, his poetry has appeared in 3Elements Literary Review, Literary Orphans, Silver Birch Press, Turk’s Head Review, and, forthcoming, Fulcrum: An International Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics.

– Dan Jacoby

ancient dirt country road
past what’s left
of redington farm
out to the west
sky patchwork of red
devil’s sky
bobwhite calls off in a draw
just east of the road
where garden once was
barn falling in on itself
house gone
posts of old stock pens
staggered from time
stand sentinels of mortality
in overgrown stock lot
all that remains
are whispers just
above the graves
still there
like the dead apricot
stone names washed away
surrounded by roses
planted a century ago


Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He lives both in Beecher and Hagaman, Illinois. He has published poetry in Arkansas Review, Belle Rev Review, Bombay Gin, Canary, Cowboy Poetry Press-Unbridled 2015(Western Writers Spur Award), Chicago Literati, Indiana Voice Journal, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, The Opiate, and Red Fez to name a few. He is a former principal, teacher, coach, counterintelligence agent, and Green Beret. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He is currently looking for a publisher for a collection of poetry.