No longer First Lady
in Chanel and a pill box hat,
she’s Jackie O. in jeans
and a Henley, striding
the Upper East Side,
wind at her back, still
graced with the good
fortune that carried
the debutante from
a prominent, but
declining family, farther
than anyone dreamed
possible. Windswept tresses
frame her famous face in
a three-quarter art-nouveau
shot as she turns toward a whistle.
Women always turn toward
a whistle, whether they
welcome it, or not.
They want to believe
they warrant a whistle,
inspire a whistle, that men
draw breath for them.
Lisa McMonagle grew up on the Allegheny Front of Central Pennsylvania. Currently Ms. McMonagle
works as the Coordinator of English as a Second Language for an Adult Education program in State
College, PA. Her work has appeared in The Women’s Review of Books and West Branch.
And Everywhere and Everywhere
she taunts me, fecund
moist and golden-eyed
she has no need to count
moons or mucus, she steals
through the paper-thin
wall of my body’s worthless
cradle, mocks the fragile
ones I once enshrined, now
buried in this brittle
forest of my dead desire.
Kathryn Paul has lived in Seattle longer than she has lived anywhere else. She is a survivor of many things, including cancer and downsizing. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in Hospital Drive; Ekphrasis; Lunch Ticket; Words Dance; The Fem; and Stirring: A Literary Collection.
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree
Right above my head, hoof beats, the self
I could have been bringing down the crop
on lathered haunch, the smell of sweat
and dust, the crowd roaring. Father, however,
felt otherwise, and father always wins, jowls
and gold chain heavy. I am following
in his footsteps, being driven, rather,
from pillar to post in more ways than one.
The driver knows his business and keeps
his foot on the gas. I dream of throwing
myself out. There’s a certain bridge where
my attaché would never break my fall,
so high, even father couldn’t save me.
This poem was written as part of the surprise ekphrastic poetry challenge on Magritte.
Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She has five chapbooks out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements(Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). More of her individual poems can be found here as well as in The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Inflectionist; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Noble Gas Quarterly; Muse A/Journal, and more.
Under the Rose
I’ve cut my hair, short in the back,
an edge of one ear shows
like a barely open door, with no light
in the room beyond.
A red-wash haze of sky makes
rows of buildings purple shadows,
duplicates, mirrors, matches.
Street lights wait for night.
The cobbled-brick bridge
is in front of me. No cars in sight,
nothing, no one, but they are somewhere.
The surprise already happened,
the miseries released. I wear my father’s
Bowler Derby and black coat. River holds
still as glass. The strange white rose
flares, a temptation-- not what it seems
but whiter than light. Under the leafy rose
a jar shaped box split open. Expectation
waits on the bottom of the broken box.
The sad city doesn’t know and I walk into it.
Sherri Bedingfield’s poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and small press
publications. She has presented her poetry at many Connecticut venues as well as the Cornelia
Street Café, a poetry bar in New York City and in Dingle, Ireland. Several of her poems have
been performed in Plays with Poetry by East Haddam Stage Company. Sherri is the author of
Transitions and Transformations and The Clattering, Voices from Old Forfarshire, Scotland.
She did the artwork on the covers of both books. Sherri works as a psychotherapist and a family
So long have we walked along
sands of time,
we have become a marker
for others on the way.
"Avoid the knothole, follow us.
We are immersed in each other,
This was written as part of the surprise ekphrastic challenge on Rene Magritte.
Joan Leotta has been playing with words on page and stage since childhood in Pittsburgh. She is a writer and story performer. Her Legacy of Honor series feature strong Italian-American women. Her poetry and essays appear or are forthcoming in Gnarled Oak, the A-3 Review, Hobart Literary Review, Silver Birch, Peacock, and Postcard Poems and Prose among others. Her first poetry chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, was just released by Finishing Line Press. Joan's picture books from Theaqllc, Whoosh!, Summer in a Bowl, Rosa and the Red Apron, and Rosa's Shell celebrate food and family. Her award-winning short stories are collected in Simply a Smile. You can find more about her work on her blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.com
No one can be more grave than he.
Dressed funereally, his features obscured
by that business of history, which
holds him in his place. Still, he keeps
his footing, remains upright. His
team leaders, Newton and Adam,
have left him here as a caution to others,
suspended him with his hands and arms
tight and down. His failing
became his fate: want. He sees
his mistake every day, right
there in front of his face,
green and Too Late.
This poem was written as part of the surprise ekphrastic challenge on Magritte's paintings.
Lavina is a painter and mixed media artist as well as a poet. Her poems have appeared in
various journals, including 3Elements Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Kansas
Quarterly, The Literary Review, The Paris Review, Poemeleon, and Prompt and
Circumstance. She is an Associate Editor of Poetry for Inlandia: a Literary Journey.
And she teaches visual art to seniors.
Fine Art II
The glitterati glitter
at posh auction houses
to bid for paintings
they once sneered at.
Now time has approved
artists who were mocked
for outlandish work
and a slick auctioneer
coaxes millions from collectors
who buy what they buy
because it's valued by others.
New owners proudly bask
at fervent hand clapping
for record sale prices
for the same painting
they once could have bought
for virtually nothing.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction(Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines & Tremors (Winter Goose Publishing). Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance(Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth(Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.
Upon Reading Federico García Lorca in a Spanish Children’s Bookstore
We stepped from the rainy Madrid streets
Into a magical spell
Where miniature worlds
Spilled across bookshelves.
Some universes embroidered with scarlet trees,
Others gilded with golden leaves.
There were watercolour washes
Of cadmium and cobalt
Circling beneath a collage of cutout vellum.
Dipped in dark Art Nouveau ink
Were kissing cheeks
With otherworldly urchins.
It was a bricolage
De lugares mágicos--
Not of your high tea Wonderlands and Neverlands and Narnias…
Together we read twelve
Poetic fictions fashioned
Through a surreal cerulean horse,
Tethered by conch shells,
Floating through the grainy ethereal portal,
Nuzzling the blind boy who extends a solitary candle
So that we might see
What we do not see.
From within the pages,
We hear a mother singing Lorca’s lullabies
To wide-eyed children
Mamá, bórdame en tu almohada.
de sus hijos
Into a sleep
of haunting Spanish love lyrics and magical meters.
And I wonder--
What is a child?
I see in your eyes
Down the winding tunnel
Dropping past your earthly age
To a kernel
Not yet popped
Into material form with pigments and papers
And Spanish conjugations--
A world in a seedling
Still unfolding, bordered and borderless.
Mary McCulley is a native Texan who currently teaches composition and literature courses at a small private school in the cornfields of Ohio. She is particularly fond of children's illustrated books and impressionistic art. Website.
The colours of the garden are impossible. The bee on the coneflower, yellow, pink, and orange, a scream. Summer Gayfeather in the background, and fantasy of milkweed now gone to fluff. Monarchs light and leave. Continual harvest: berries, bramble. A humid breeze of Morning Glory, blue on the white picket fence; West to the setting sun, East to the rising. A silence that’s never been said. A sentence that’s never been read.
A bee knows one thing:
gather pollen for honey.
Honey for the young.
Carol H. Jewell
Carol H. Jewell is a musician, teacher, librarian, and poet living in Upstate New York with her wife and eight cats. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The College of Saint Rose in 2016.
Couple With Their Heads Full of Clouds
The other night
I was tending
peppers in the desert.
You were shaping
made of sand.
The peppers, still young,
had no sign of fruit.
Your table, made of sand
held for a while.
Mary Lou Buschi
This poem first appeared in The Westchester Review.
Mary Lou Buschi’s collections of poetry include Awful Baby (2015), Tight Wire, chapbook (2016), Ukiyo-e, chapbook (2014), and The Spell of Coming (or Going), chapbook (2013). Mary Lou’s poems have appeared in many journals such as Radar, Willow Springs, Thrush, The Laurel Review, Field, among others.
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