#GunViolence: Revelatory by Ken Allan Dronsfield

In this world of heartless consumption
waste of human life to the whipsaw;
children shot dead while at recess
never did so little mean so much
then when two deer in a field
saw you and you saw them
nothing else mattered…
as neither blinked…

 

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, poet and fabulist originally from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. His work can be found in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies. He has two poetry collections. The Cellaring is a book of 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderfully odd work. His newest book, A Taint of Pity, Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection, was just released on Amazon.com. He is a three time Pushcart Prize and twice Best of the Net Nominee for 2016-2017. Ken loves writing, thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

 

Photograph by Mucki.

#MeToo: When Courage Finds Me by Alicia Elkort

Briton_Rivière_-_Una_and_the_Lion

When Courage Finds Me

 

Alicia Elkort edited and contributed to the chapbook Creekside, published under the Berkeley Poetry Review where she also served as an editor. Her poetry has been published in AGNI, Arsenic Lobster, Georgia Review, Heron Tree, Menacing Hedge, Rogue Agent, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and many others and is forthcoming in Black Lawrence Press. Alicia’s poems have been nominated for the Orisons Anthology (2016) and the Pushcart (2017). She lives in California and will go to great lengths for an honest cup of black tea and a cool breeze.

 

Una and the Lion by Briton Riviere, depicting Una of The Faerie Queene. 

#MeToo: The Memory of Snow by Wren Tuatha

Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale

Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale, used by permission. 

The souls of women float just above the ground
as if walking on the memory of snow.
Ready to be air if struck, water if kicked,
stone if belittled, fire if ignored.

The souls of women laugh lightly in most moments,
beaming pinpoints through the skin. It makes you
want to touch. Priestesses and party dresses.

So you touch. Shocked to find flesh, you
notice a bad memory. Soon each woman is the
same woman and her soul is bitter lamplight,
bitter, insatiable lamplight.

The souls of women reel and swoon with
art and moon and business meetings. They
encircle bitter sisters and float just above the ground
as if walking on the memory of snow.

 

First published in Lavender Review.

 

 

Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Pirene’s Fountain, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.

 

Painting Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale, used by permission. 

Weather by Tony Gloeggler

Weather Ben Newton

When we walk out the door,
Jesse’s respite worker asks him
about the weather. It’s February
in Maine and there’s snow
on the ground. He answers
“Clouds, wind, too cold.”
Still, I have to remind him
to zip his hoodie, ask maybe
we should go back inside,
change his sandals for socks
and boots. He blurts, “No
socks, no shoes” as I dig
my hands deeper into pockets,
trot to the car. His worker
turns down the radio,
shows him his cell phone.
A list of different cities
roll down the screen,
their current temperatures
next to them. The worker
points to one and Jesse
answers what he’d wear
if he were there, a coat,
or shorts and a tee shirt.
When the worker points
to another, Jesse pauses,
then says, “New York, Tony
house” and I wonder whether
he remembers that eight hour
U Haul drive when he moved
to Brooklyn the summer me
and his mom were in love.

Jesse, five and a half years old,
incessantly sweating and still
marching obsessively room
to room closing every window
tight; sitting on my lap, licking
the burnt orange remnants
of Extra Spicy Doritos off
his fingers as I talk on
the phone; subwaying
to the end of the F line
and jumping Coney Island
waves as it grows too dark
to see, playing Rosalita,
We’re Having A Party,
A Good Feelin’ To Know
on the stereo, blasting them
in the same exact order
anytime his mom called
to say sorry she’d be home
late again from work
as I lift him as high
as the ceiling, bounce
him on the bed over
and over until we both
run out of breath, ready
for a Beach Boys lullaby
to close our eyes, hopefully
help him, me, sleep
through the night, please.

 

First published in Trajectory.

 

 

Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in Rattle, The Raleigh Review, Chiron Review, New Ohio Review, Mudfish and Cultural Weekly. His full length books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw press 2002) and The Last Lie (NYQ Books/2010). Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on his connection to an ex-girlfriend’s autistic son and thirty-five years of managing group homes for mentally challenged men in Brooklyn.

#MeToo: After the Funeral by Caroline Zimmer

because I’d read that morning, “death is a chore”
because our clothes dragged heavy with rain water
because you said I was still a whore
because my mother and my father
because the polaroids were still on the shelf
because my heartbeats were parched and sudden
because my Goodwill mourning dress carried more incidence than myself
because the airless moments were scored button by button by button
because the tall man at the gas station knew someone died
because you told your father its was “real sad”
because I’d watched you stash your muddy sneakers in the hedge outside
because the time we’d thought we had
because I’d seen my grade school teachers
because you apologized for all the animals you killed
because I’d once had a longing for Jesus
because you didn’t chastise me for all the pills
because the draft up the cypress stairs always made me an anxious lover
because you were still selfish after all your talk of being afraid
because I let you undress me like a martyr
because I was sick of being brave
because you said I was such a violent woman
because that same violinist played
because you chewed at my breast when I said we shouldn’t
because you said you should have prayed
because grief’s an arrangement like everything else
because the lurid order death and sex bring
because I cannot forgive God for death
with all these memories of living things

 

 

Caroline Zimmer’s poetry, as well as her visual art, has appeared in The Maple Leaf Rag, Umbra and Unspoken magazine. She is a lifelong resident of the French Quarter in New Orleans, where she lives with her Doberman, Iris and her fiancé, fellow poet, David Rowe. Caroline tends bar and reads tarot cards out of her home.

#MeToo: The Farm by Mary McCarthy

No one had worked it
since before the war
when they still plowed
with a horse
owning no tractor
or any machine
powered by more
than their own
arms and backs.
I knew it every summer
before I was nine,
a neglected eden
fields rough with weeds
and white with Queen Anne’s Lace,
a long hill of sweet grass
we rolled down laughing
again and again,
stopped at the bottom
as we came up against
flowering hedges-
the apple tree that,
split by lightning,
still bloomed and set fruit,
the old tangled orchard
where the small pears
my father loved
still grew untended-
and at the center
in the white house
the snake
who did not work
who lived on the first floor
and always managed
somehow
like a dog cutting out
one sheep from the herd,
to get you alone
in a corner,
where whispering lies and threats
he forces his rough hand
between your naked legs.

 

 

Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had work published in many on line and print journals, including Third Wednesday, Gnarled Oak, The Ekhprastic Review, and Earth’s Daughters. She has been a Pushcart nominee, and has an e-chapbook available as a free download from Praxis magazine.

 

Photograph by Jerrye and Roy Klotz.