Catherine Fletcher is a poet and an editor for Rattapallax magazine. Recent work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Wales, The Offing, and Bird’s Thumb. She has performed in the United States, India, and Mexico. Catherine is currently at work on her collection Daughter Cell. She lives in New York City.
The Sailor's Wife
Her velvet Dutch jacket
sapphire as the North Sea
does not soften the news.
She is stoic for him
who delivers letters
to wives whose husbands
perish at sea in the
She gently turns
the mirror face down,
unties her linen cap,
allows a cluster of tears and
russet curls to fall freely.
The tavern maids grudgingly
serve the English messenger
tankards of ale.
The Dutchmen sneer and taunt
while he seeks to drown what
the sea dispatches.
Rebecca Weigold's poems have appeared in Black River Review, Perceptions, Up Against the Wall, Mother, and other publications. In 1987, she founded/published The Cincinnati Poets' Collective, an annual poetry journal which featured the work of poets for a decade.
This Flying Monkey is from the “Quanta Smears” series, works that are composed from 11 x 14 in. templates comprised entirely of natural/organic elements: flowers, leaves, berries, cones, seashells, stones, mushrooms, grasses, “tar spot” fungus from Big Leaf Maples, etc.
Originally from New York City, Robert Bharda has resided in the Northwest where for the last 35 years he has specialized in vintage photographica as a profession, everything from salt prints to poloroids. His illustrations/artwork have appeared in numerous publications, both in the U.S. and abroad, and are current on covers of Naugatuck River Review, Blue Five NoteBook, and within recently published Conclave 8, Cirque and Rio Grande Review. His portfolios of images have been featured in Cahoodahoodaling, Blue Five, The Adirondack Review, Aaduna, Superstition and Blue Fifth.
Also a writer, his poetry, fiction and critical reviews have been published in The North American Review, Northwest Review, Shenandoah, Quarterly West, Willow Springs, ACM, Cutbank, Fine Madness, Kansas Quarterly, Yellow Silk, Poets On, and many others including anthologies.
A wanton girl
Used you so –
Deep scratches, gouges,
On your face;
Dark streaks where tears flowed
And will again –
Yet you wait,
Oblivious to pines’ lingering scent,
Brow uplifted in moonlight,
For the glacier’s return.
Robert Walton is an experienced writer with several dozen poems published. His novel Dawn Drums was awarded first place in the 2014 Arizona Authors Association’s literary contest and also won the 2014 Tony Hillerman Best Fiction Award. He is a retired teacher and a life-long rock climber.
Moving Out of the House of Words
Characters flee pages
like spirits from a haunted house.
Stacks of vacant volumes
march along the shelves.
From behind a nearly closed door,
emoji eyes watch an empty corridor.
The brain sits mute,
In a universe latticed with black holes,
a shredder on a rampage
whirs through planets of lexicons.
We had expected language
to frame a forever sentence,
as immortal as Attic figures,
in static postures of pursuit
across a Grecian urn.
We had thought expression would speak,
vital and renewed,
like a graying scholar among fresh-faced students.
The empire of sentence structure has fallen,
a vague legend.
Night clashes over comma splices
Rehearsal ends with ballerinas
lying still in pools of afternoon light
shining into the studio
through high arched windows.
The drama closes with stabbed villains
collapsed before the scenery.
The curtain falls.
The house of words sits
dark and abandoned.
Christine Jackson teaches literature and creative writing at a South Florida university. Her poetry has been published in print and online publications, including The Sandy River Review, Shot Glass Journal, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Stay Weird and Keep Writing, A Quiet Courage, and Verse-Virtual.
The Last Confession of Sister Ruth
On top of this mountain, the air is too thin even for God. He can’t see me out of habit,
slinking down the scrabbled path, my prayer lost in the drone and strafe of the high
Himalayas. There’s a man waiting, warm blooded, where the wind is calm. Oh, sisters,
how do you quench the fire, the lava that flows from between your thighs, the constant
reminder of past and present, the vow of untouched future? I am a Bride of Christ, but
this long distance relationship just isn’t working out. What did I think I would find here?
My life’s purpose blowing out of the snowcaps? Maybe the devil found me instead. On
those long, cold nights as the wind moaned desire into my ear, a demon appeared in the
mirror, put ice in my veins and murder in my fingers. No one can stop me now. I’m going
to the village to offer myself as a sacrifice, and if that man sends me back up the
mountain, I’ll just come down again – flying – wearing my forbidden red lipstick as a
Collin Kelley is the author of the poetry collections Better To Travel, Slow To Burn, After the Poison and the American Library Association-honored Render. Sibling Rivalry Press has published his trilogy of novels, Conquering Venus, Remain In Light and Leaving Paris. His poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in journals, magazines and anthologies around the world. www.collinkelley.com
Ripping the Sun Out of the Sky
On canvas, it's a black box holding
the sun ripped from
the sky, jagged blues, reds,
yellows left in its wake. Yet no
tears for so big a grab no trail
but a tiny droplet of blood,
a smirch, as if the heart came out
with a single pull, quickly,
and was stuffed
with an impetuous shove
into its cask. Zeus killed
Phaethon, the son of Helios
for his wild ride across the sky
in Helios' fire-spiked
chariot. I had no choice, claimed
Zeus to the grieving god, the
father. White, the waves
between metal halide
and fluorescent, the colour of
a summer's day, the colour of
heat unseen by mortals
fills the space as if
to frame the unholy
deed, the black chest, barely
a skippet, spilling its contents, making
forest trees and grass and
shrub as it touches
down and night-black blood
squeezes out from between
the alabaster fingers
of a reproachful grip.
Grace Curtis’ book, The Shape of a Box, was published in 2014 by Dos Madres Press. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart award. Her prose and poetry has been or is forthcoming in such journals as Sou’wester, The Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, Blood Orange Review, and others. www.gracecurtispoetry.com
The Ekphrastic Review
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