Jr Drank his Coffee Black by Daniel B. Summerhill

Jr Drank His Coffe Black Daniel Summerhill

Jr Drank his Coffee Black,

and by black, I mean,
no shade other than his oil-slick
skin was allowed to get close

enough to share the same air.
If he was reading this he’d say,
that goes for dominoes,
checkerboards, cows, penguins,

Zebras, soccer balls and cars too.
‘Say, white vehicles aren’t allowed
in the same lane on the highway.
Say, I got a double barrel and bail

money for anyone who becomes
brave behind the wheel. Jr speaks
only when spoken too, sir & mam
book-end each sentence unwieldy.

Story goes: Jr’s battalion, a slew of white boys
wary of napalm, sent him into the
grey of the unknown to get confirmation

and Jr has drank his coffee black ever since.

 

 

Daniel B. Summerhill is a poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an MFA candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed and taught guest workshops and lectures throughout the U.S, Europe, and South Africa. He has published two collections of poems, Crafted and Brown Boys on Stoops, and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk and Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Pine Hills Review, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Voice among others.

 

Photograph of retired Vietnam veteran Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Harris by Justin Connaher. Harris served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years with two tours of duty in Vietnam during the Civil Rights Movement.

Bringing up Baby by Roberta Beary

bringing up baby-roberta beary katharine-hepburn

again she falls. but nothing’s broken and she seems okay.
still i go a little crazy. i look around for a nurse. then grab my phone.
the big screen is turned up super loud. as usual.
she tells me to be quiet and points at the movie.
an old black and white. screwball comedy, circa 1938.
she says ‘hush!’ then puts her finger to her lips
just in case i don’t get the message.
my daughter, serene at 25, gives me one of her knowing looks.
‘grandma’s fine’ she says. she sits down right next to her.
side by side their faces edge toward the screen.
they laugh at the same parts. when baby surprises cary grant.
or gets a big kiss from kate hepburn.
i watch the two of them on the loveseat.
my own private screening.
heads so close together.
there’s no room for me.

mockingbird song      turning from day to dusk

 

 

Roberta Beary identifies as gender-expansive, and writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. She is the author of three books of poems: Deflection (Accents, 2015) nothing left to say (King’s Road Press, 2009) and The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007, 5th ed. 2017) which was a finalist in the Poetry Society of America annual book awards). Beary is the editor/co-editor of the haiku anthologies Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press, 2018) fresh paint (Red Moon Press, 2014), 7 (Jacar Press, 2013), dandelion clocks (Haiku Society of America, 2008) and fish in love (Haiku Society of America, 2006). Her work appears in Rattle, KYSO Flash, Beltway Quarterly Review and Haiku In English The First Hundred Years (Norton, 2013). Beary’s work has been nominated for Best of the Net and multiple Pushcart Prizes. She lives in County Mayo, Ireland.

 

First published in Frogpond.

Off Map by Monique Gagnon German

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

We took a wrong turn
somewhere near Mobile
where the pretty roads preened
glistening with upkeep
and cops sat visible
under storm clouds and sun
inconceivably bold between thickets
almost every hundred feet.
We marked their saddle-shoe
insistence on old-fashioned rules
with our slowing speed. You say maybe
rehab is what you need as your eyes
keep trying to leap through the sunroof
and your hands shake
trapped squirrels
near the windows,
wishing they had wings.

Before now, we’ve never arrived
together in one conversation.
We pull over, here:
side of the road
hours oozing as we sit on a bank
overlooking water lilies
that calmly snake the unmapped lake
we found but cannot name.
We listen to hidden frogs bellowing yells
between crickets’ high pitched Kreeees.

After 30 minutes of not speaking
you ask, Are we there yet?
And we both erupt, laughing
at our utter lostness. I say, No,
between dwindling chuckles,
grabbing your sleeve but,
Maybe we are finally
at the start line,
is what I think.

 

 

If you were looking for it, you’d find Monique Gagnon German’s poetry and fiction in over 30 journals/anthologies including: Rosebud, California Quarterly, Tampa Review, Off the Coast, Califragile, and The Wayfarer. Her flash-fiction and short stories have been featured in: Kalliope, A Journal of Women’s Literature & Art, The MacGuffin, and Adelaide Literary Review. Monique is a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry. Website for Monique: http://moniquegagnongerman.webs.com/

 

Europe as a Queen Map. Artist Unknown. 

Mad Money by Sharon Lask Munson

Boy and girl sitting at table at soda shop

Dad would slip a few coins
into my Mother of Pearl evening bag,
money socked away for an emergency—
a quarter, a few dimes, some nickels,
next to the lipstick holder,
behind the powder puff.

Enough for a phone call, he’d say—
my knight, if needed
ready to slip behind the wheel
of his pink and gray Dodge,
slay the dragon.

I never called
but, oh, the security, the trust.

 

 

Sharon Lask Munson was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She taught school in England, Germany, Okinawa, and Puerto Rico before driving to Anchorage, Alaska and staying for the next twenty years. She is a retired teacher, poet, coffee addict, old movie enthusiast, lover of road trips—with many published poems, two chapbooks, and one full-length book of poetry. She now lives and writes in Eugene, Oregon. She says many things motivate her to write: a mood, a memory, the smell of cooking, burning leaves, a windy day, rain, fog, something observed or overheard—and of course, imagination. She has a pin that says, “I Make Things Up.” You can find her at http://www.sharonlaskmunson.com

Of Countless Deaths by Risa Denenberg

The_Last_Message_Willian Hatherell Of Countless Deaths Risa Denenberg

Of countless deaths today,
I witnessed two. To witness
any death is to feel desperately
alive. To discern that one’s own

body lingers at the border between
here and not here. To experience
the shockwave of foreboding. To slip
into a moment of groundless grace.

And if you ask, as some do, why
I chose this vocation, this sitting
at the bedsides of the dying, I will
say, because I can. What else sustains

the private love I have for witness
is mystery, even to myself.

 

First published in slight faith, MoonPath Press.

 

 

Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, publisher of LBT poetry. She has published three chapbooks and three full length collections of poetry, including Whirlwind @ Lesbos (Headmistress Press, 2016) and slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018).

 

Painting, The Last Message, by William Hatherell. 

#Immigration #GunViolence: On Air, On Land, At Sea by Barbara Henning

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—when surfing in 28 degree water—or stuck in traffic—for 63 hours a year—your brain freezes—your chin gets stiff—no angry mobs in Tehran—shouting “Death to America”— No McDonald’s in Tehran—instead, a homegrown Mash Donald——dreaming—of a woman with blonde hair—chin length—at a restaurant table—with a younger dejected bully—hey, don’t worry—she says looking down at him—I’ll let you see em later—he drops his head—a sad puppy—so sad—so horrible—when the phone rings—we all wake up—to headlines with his name—oh no—and they’re just not true—he says—everyone must love me—digital twitter talk—can’t be recaptured—and you can’t bury it—it’s out there—scattered in air, on land, at sea—North Africa to Europe—Seawatch reports—2400 migrants rescued—four children dead—
(26 Oct 2016)

First published in Posit: A Journal of Literature and Art.

 

 

Barbara Henning is the author of several collections of poetry, her most recent A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press 2015). Other recents include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). She has published three novels, Thirty Miles to Rosebud, You Me and the Insects and Black Lace, and she is the editor of Looking Up Harryette Mullen and The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Born in Detroit, Barbara lives in Brooklyn and teaches for Long Island University, as well as writers.com. http://barbarahenning.com

 

Painting Double Flat G by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission. 

Red Dragonfly by Debbie Hall

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You emerge
from the dark
of my tiny pond
in the heart
of summer,
in the heat
of morning,
air brittle
and crackling.

You witness
with thousands
of eyes the world
break apart.
Your body
is the color
of blood lost
and remade,
your glassine
wings fragile
windows in flight.

Tell me,
is it sufficient
simply to sit
and marvel
at your existence
in these dark
and frenzied times?

 

First published in What Light I Have by Debbie Hall (Main Street Rag Books).

Red Dragonfly Debbie Hall photo by Jeevan Jose

Debbie Hall is a psychologist and writer whose poetry has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, A Year in Ink, Serving House Journal, Sixfold, Tuck Magazine, Poetry24,Bird’s Thumb, Poetry Super Highway and other journals. She has work upcoming in an AROHO anthology. Her essays have appeared on NPR (This I Believe series), in USD Magazine, and the San Diego Union Tribune. She received an honorable mention in the 2016 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and completed her MFA at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Debbie is the author of the poetry collection, What Light I Have (2018, Main Street Rag Books).

 

Painting, Glitch, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission. Red Dragonfly photograph by Jeevan Jose, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.