Earthquaking in Song by Jamie O’Connell

kite slices
paper air

teeth sink in sand, city
sinks in recycled
tidal waves

broken melody
falls from branches

we totaled our meadows, our
leash-less forests

ladder me
into a
collapsing star

make the sails current mourning,
the trash island
you can’t dream away



Jamie O’Connell currently lives in the Bay Area, where she received her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. Her poetry can be found in Menacing Hedge, Troop Zine, Newfound, and Forth Magazine, and her multimedia work has been exhibited in College Avenue Galleries in Oakland. She spends most of her time with her majestic zebra-striped dog/direwolf, Daisy. Visit her site here:

facing opposition, comfortable death, anxiety and the news by Jess Kangas

the red and white stitching on my worn in broken wool is like a globe, but when i look at it i also see the shape of my sapphire ring, and i love the way its clarity forms in light, but to go from coat of lamb to stolen jewelry, i pass by red lines on ghost skin that are harsh like railroad tracks, but some seem crazed, not formed, like black lines in a wassily composition, or comets passing through, and they symbolize everything, maybe in ten years each line will be worth ten dollars, but the bills are up and i’m coming down, if only there was money left, but what’s of money when you worry of planets aligned in black vapor, gravity pulling our bodies apart, the fatter ones will take longer to have each piece pulled into nothing, but only by flashes of time, and then of course there are the books on my slanted shelf gathered in lime feather boa that need to be packed so i can recover in buffalo or watch you from above.



Jess Kangas is a strawberry siren poet located in Buffalo, NY. Her poetry is rich in sound, structure and secrets.



Wheatfield under Thunderclouds, 1890, Vincent van Gogh.

Heo Nanseolhean (1563-1589)* by Tanya Ko Hong


If women have han in their hearts—

To be born a woman
To be born in the Chosǒn Period
To be the wife of a husband

— frost will come in May.

Father let me study poetry with my brothers
until I married Kim Song Lip and I put it aside.
Waiting for my faithless husband, father said

Write a poem

ask yourself,

Who am I?



Tanya (Hyonhye) Ko Hong, poet, translator and cultural curator, has been published in Rattle, Beloit Poetry Journal, Entropy, Cultural Weekly, Korea Times, Korea Central Daily News, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently, Mother to Myself, A collection of poems in Korean (Prunsasang Press, 2015). Her poem, Comfort Woman, got honorable mention in the 2015 Women’s National Book Association. Tanya is an ongoing advocate of bilingual poetry, promoting the work of immigrant poets. She lives Palos Verdes, CA.


*Heo Nanseolhean (1563-1589), born Heo Chohui, was a prominent Korean Female poet of the mid Chosǒn dynasty.

First published in Paris Press Spiraling Poetry.

Gotta Wonder about the News by Paul Belz

Some dude, named bank robbery suspect
sits in his car, a slug in his head,
stares at San Francisco, doesn’t see.

Did he remember dogs at his end,
or think about black tailed deer, and that osprey’s nest
he found on his last hike? Maybe he hummed Coltrane,
Lady Gaga, Michael Franti, Bach.
He might have owned a parrot who greeted him, Hi, love,
and nuzzled his scratchy cheek with its feathered head.
Maybe he cooked a righteous stroganoff,
beef bourguignon, sauerbraten, baked Alaska,
sweet potato pie and never robbed a bank.

His name’s just suspect. No one knows
if he worked with homeless children,
lead workshops against rape, cared for his mom.
He’s dead, like Clyde Barrow, who may have liked cats.

Exploring Muir Woods by Nicole Michaels

No one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel there is more in humans than the mere breath of his body. – Charles Darwin

Lowlight plants like dolls in period dresses,
kneeling at the brown-barked legs

of giant kings, and not kings so much as
armored scouts, their plumed heads

towering in a canopy over the understory,
their knighted roots

flagging the herbaceous ground.
A coat of arms decomposes in the humus,

guarded by a standing snag
where there is not enough sun for wild roses

by pools and dragging falls
clustered by a thousand ladybugs

who whisper from spotted escutcheons.
If we could nap somewhere,

if we could curl up
in the lichen with the deer

well off the park’s groomed path,
wouldn’t we dream of timbered castles

where we gather after hunting dragons,
our strange but battle-ready steeds

tethered to the mist,
dappled chimeras

swatting at jays with tails of fern
while a boar roasts whole on a spit.



Nicole Michaels is a Marin County, CA native who makes her home in frontier Wyoming. She is a working poet with a degree in English from Stanford University where she studied under the late Diane Middlebrook and chose an emphasis in feminist studies. She spent some time in the American South as a journalist for small papers.

The Day Glenn Miller’s Plane Disappeared by Trish Saunders

Here’s the secret about war.
It’s such a bore–
government shacks,
rats and roaches,
harsh shampoo
if you can find it,
staticky radio
tuned to cooking tips, and
worst of all, the community clothesline
with mountains of shirts and sheets
ready to pin up beside a stranger’s underwear.

Worse even than that: sad-sack shirts and pants
abandoned on the line,
gimpy limbs
that shimmy and shake in rough winds
or hang in the rain, till the
chaplain’s wife unpins them,
to send back home with a letter.

But once, his band played the island
and oh dear God,
we danced to String of Pearls.

Winter Wind by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Contents of snowflakes spill out of her apron pockets.
I have to listen between the snow-dust to hear
whatever she is telling me in her sub-zero breath.
She writes on my window with frost fingerprints,
words crinkling at the edges.
She left behind excuses in an empty brown paper bag.

The wind is a cello solo afterwards.



Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He has over 20 chapbooks and 10 full-length collections. He has 3 more full-length collections forthcoming including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press), News From the Slow Country (Aldrich Press), and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press).

A Gift by Amy Lowell


See! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,
And they have many pleasant colours and lusters
To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room
With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
When I shall have given you the last one,
You will have the whole of me,
But I shall be dead.



Amy Lowell, 1874 – 1925


Les Noisettes (1882) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

#GunViolence: Valentine’s Day by Beth Gordon

I was drinking mildewed wine while the bartender
sliced winter lemons.  Blood oranges and Key
West limes as bright as hungry frogs.

He changed the channel from slaughtered
students to coyote documentaries to digital
Korean snow. To children who always

knew they would be famous throwing
their beautiful bodies into the sky with nothing
but fiberglass and the breath of red-throated

loons to soften their choreographed landing.
He brought me a plate. He brought me
poblanos bursting with garlic and thyme.

He brought me a new glass of wine
because I live that kind of life. I wanted to wade
with the dead in muddy river water and fill

the new holes in their beautiful bodies
with rosemary.  With snow white lilies
and melted wax. There is not enough time

in frozen daylight to shed every necessary
tear and you ask me about love poems
but I give you this. I give you this funeral.
I give you this funeral song.

Valentine's Day into sky

Beth Gordon is a writer who has been landlocked in St. Louis, Missouri for sixteen years but dreams of oceans daily. Her work has recently appeared in Into the Void, Quail Bell, Calamus Journal, By&By, Five:2:One, Barzakh, and others. She can be found on Twitter @bethgordonpoet.


Featured photo of Sligo, Ireland statue to honor those lost at sea by Shay Sevenfold.

“Throwing their beautiful bodies into the sky” photo by Cat. 

Vintage Telephone Poems


From the Telephone 
by Florence Ripley Mastin (1922)

Out of the dark cup
Your voice broke like a flower.
It trembled, swaying on its taut stem.
The caress in its touch
Made my eyes close.

by Laura Elizabeth Richards (1932)

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)


Photograph of Florence Ripley Mastin via Poetry Foundation. 

#MeToo: Draupadi by Amy Baskin


—Heroine of the Hindu epic

let’s get this deed done right
that night he grips you with rough cold hands

that hold no heat of love
you haven’t served me well at all

takes a swig from a skin flask
stored in the folds of his dhoti

applies ointment to himself
a farmer priming a pump

oiling his plow a thousand times over
when Kauravas want to shame you

they try to pull off your clothes
tug at your very fabric yet

more silk appears
they cannot strip you of your dignity

clothe your mind in layers
too opaque for them to see through

let them leave with their bags of dice and flasks
let it be your little secret

when your eye turns eggplant purple
and you reek of sex and mangoes

say he was fumbling with a pillow
it was a new moon

say he couldn’t see in the dark
tell it over and over again

you choose your truth
filter each story through cloth into clay pots

that makes them potable
even sweet



Amy Baskin’s work is featured in Every Pigeon, apt, What Rough Beast, Riddled with Arrows, Fire Poetry Journal, The Ghazal Page, and more. She’s a 2016 Willamette Writers Kay Snow Poetry award recipient for her poem, About Face. She’s worked on revision with Paulann Petersen and Renee Watson of I, Too Collective, and participates in generative groups hosted by Allison Joseph and Jenn Givhan.


Painting Draupadi Humiliated by Raja Ravi Varma.

Return by Robert Golden

Canandaigua Lake at night:
lights of summer homes,
pinpoints in the dark–cave fires–
occasional motor boat,
distant laughs of parties.
underneath, whispering:
plash of an oar slicing
water, the birch bark canoe
gliding, wounded rider headed
south, pushed by wind
past Sullivan’s* burning villages,
lonely whining dogs.

Thruway headed west at night,
bugs splattering his windshield
Day-Glo reds and yellows.
He jerks, startled:
road kill, humps of fur,
bloodied bodies heave,
slowly reforming,
slinking into the woods,
dark bosom.
90 miles to Buffalo.

At his old home
his long-dead father, short-sleeved, trim
white shirt, his still-red hair,
appears in the yard,
just asks: What’s up?
Beside, his dead mother stares,
insane grey eyes full of pleading.
He stares back: quizzical, smiling.
A child, awake to feel
dawn’s wet grass.

*In 1779, American Revolutionary War Major General John Sullivan led an expedition to Central New York that destroyed 40 villages of Iroquois tribes allied with the British.



Robert Golden’s poetry has appeared in such journals as California State Poetry Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, The Eclectic Muse, and Lake Effect. In 2016 his poem, The Call, was set to original music and performed by a professional actor in a podcast by Music for Prose. He also writes nonfiction and has a blog,, where he writes occasionally on the contemporary work environment. He is a resident of New Bern, North Carolina and the Vice-President of Carteret Writers.