Craig Steele, Summer 2016

Final Cruise
Craig Steele

Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep,
where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?
― Fanny Crosby

When my days become an afterglow, and I a memory,
scatter my ashes upon those wind-teased waves

that raise the fiery, sunrise tides beyond the nearest
far horizon. I’ll be a shell returning to the sea,

cruising its antique surface where, below me, Continue reading “Craig Steele, Summer 2016”

Daryl Sznyter, Summer 2016

How to Fall Asleep and Never Wake Up
Daryl Sznyter

The year they discovered my best friend, twenty years old and silent under the heap of her wrecked car, I learned one can sleep forever and never wake up.

That year, her sister, only seventeen, ate magic mushrooms and lost her mind and her brother, fourteen, started running and stopped eating and I didn’t eat magic mushrooms but lost my mind anyway as everyone watched my skin, too white to be real, disintegrate before their eyes.

That year I flew to Colorado to see an urn surrounded by pointe shoes. It reminded me more of a wastebasket than the last I would see of the only person I actually spoke to. The cassette that held my entire life was broken. No – not broken – lost. Her sister ran naked through the street a few days later after ingesting a certain fungus at her school’s homecoming dance. Continue reading “Daryl Sznyter, Summer 2016”

Micah Bauman, Summer 2016

My House
Micah Bauman

my house
is slowly leaving me
piece by piece
it departs

I’ll have nowhere
to live
to sleep
my house is slowly leaving me

the wall left
It desired some time alone
the ceiling left
It reached an all-time low
the floor left
It couldn’t handle the pressure anymore
the door left
In search of greater opportunities
the roof left Continue reading “Micah Bauman, Summer 2016”

Jeremy Nathan Marks, Summer 2016

The neighborhood is still alive
Jeremy Nathan Marks

Who said anything about whistling while
you work?

But you can sing while taking out the trash
raking leaves or helping someone
with their car

With four walls and a roof and none of it
shared who said you’ve got to smile
and mean it when you say

Yes, ma’am

Save when you’re home
and playing that music loud
and inviting in whoever at whatever

Firecrackers on the holidays
(and sometimes other days)
the dogs begging to lie on top of the bed

Other times beer bottles broke up
in the gutters Continue reading “Jeremy Nathan Marks, Summer 2016”

Brandon Marlon, Summer 2016

The Shipwright
Brandon Marlon

Gnarled palms sand burrs along the taffrail.
Satisfied, he faces the prow and sniffs the air
above deck, identifying distinct scents
of timber–white oak, teak, cedar, pine–
as he steps lightly over sawed lumber,
reeming irons, pitch ladles, and caulking mallets
to oversee the fill of fresh oakum
and inspect watertight seams
running from stem to stern
while tar dries and lightens in the sun.

He paces starboard to port and back
listening carefully for creaks in the planking
or framework groans from keel or ribs
until certain of a solid hull under his footfalls,
then rechecks every spar, joist, scantling,
davit, hatchway, Continue reading “Brandon Marlon, Summer 2016”

Kenneth Pobo, Summer 2016

Wandawoowoo Wheezing
Kenneth Pobo

At parties Aunt Carla
was like a tea kettle
that someone forgot to turn off,
a whistle wheeze seizing
the couch.  Usually I kept quiet.
Silence, a swing that I made
go higher and higher until
my feet kicked low-flying clouds.
One Christmas

I overheard Aunt Carla
tell my two other aunts
that I was dumb as turnip.  True,
school felt like a shoe mom kept
trying to fit me into.  All
I felt was the pinch.  Mistakes
make me.  Aunt Carla never
admitted to any.  Relieved

when she died,
Continue reading “Kenneth Pobo, Summer 2016”

Mason Crawford, Summer 2016

Blue Jeans
Mason Crawford

I still feel ill
saying your name,

Or I should start calling you Mrs,
Does your husband
Taste the thieving of innocence
On your lips

Feel my young
Round, boy belly
On your hands

Does he know about
Your hunger for children

See it in your eyes
How you long for the
Feeling of
An eggshell body


I know you’re state’s away
But I can still feel your
Breath in the nook of my neck
Your spider hands
Crawling down my ribcage
The tug of the blue jeans Continue reading “Mason Crawford, Summer 2016”

Jacob William Cox, Summer 2016

Jacob William Cox

She sat down in the shade and giggled. Oh, they were such silly people! So silly they made you giggle, and want nothing more than to run away through the first hot day of spring. Find a nice spot in the shade of a towering sycamore, and hide.

Sunlight filtered through the young leaves, mottling the roots and ground. The young girl smelled dirt. Earth. And she liked that smell, a rich living smell; the idea of bugs and worms. She dug her fingers in the dirt, moist after the rain which had fallen in the night. The pale blossoms on the trees, blown away in the winds, floated in ones and twos on the surface of the lake. Bending around the tree, hiding from nothing, she could see all this, the pond, the petals, and a mother duck with a few ducklings trailing.

She got up and walked over, dragged her dirty hands over her dress and stood watching. Continue reading “Jacob William Cox, Summer 2016”

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