person Cathryn Shea, one poem

Cathryn Shea is the author of three poetry chapbooks, most recently “It’s Raining Lullabies” (Dancing Girl Press, 2017) and the micro chapbook “My Heart is a Salt Mirror Like Salar de Uyuni” (Rinky Dink Press, 2018). Her poetry has been nominated for Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net 2017 and recently appears in Tar River Poetry, Gargoyle, Permafrost, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. She resides in Fairfax, California. See and @cathy_shea on Twitter.


Surrounded at Pyramid Lake

Ghost horse mad-galloping in greasewood,
Eugene Angel’s soul escapes a petrified pillar of salt,
ascends the eroded cliffs above the Truckee.
Painted Paiute kicked his bones off their sacred tufa.

This is where sun-poisoned miners
drunk on whiskey and lack of sleep
raped two Paiute girls
igniting the Battle of Pyramid Lake.

A century after hordes of Comstock miners died out,
here come tech people on their way
to Burning Man, bare except for boots crushing
calcifications around sulfurous hot springs.

I smeared my breasts with clay
from the shore of this lake,
hair snagged in the zipper of my cutoffs.
I got hauled in for indecent exposure.

(Except no one, save my ex, saw me).
A one-armed judge dropped the charges in Reno.
The spook gelding haunts my dreams
with sympathetic pain.


(Eugene Angel was killed in the Battle of Pyramid Lake in 1860.)


person Rebecca Kokitus, one poem

Rebecca Kokitus is a part time resident of Media, PA just outside Philadelphia, and a part time resident of a small town in rural Schuylkill County, PA. She is an aspiring poet and is currently an undergraduate in the writing program at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She has recent work in Moonchild Magazine, Rising Phoenix Review, and Rose Quartz Journal, among other places. She tweets at @rxbxcca_anna.



my only caller is the
nightfall, loosening and growing heavier
on my chest like a drunken lover dozing

I tend to wish upon the moon
instead of the stars, because she knows me
like she knows her craters.

(star)dust bunny stirring in the sky,
she gazes down at me, that cold stare—
one eye open in sleep.
I am a shadow turned inside out.

*previously published in Spider Mirror Journal


person Nadia Wolnisty, three poems

Nadia Wolnisty is the submissions editor of Her work has appeared in Spry, Apogee, McNeese Review, Paper & Ink, and others. She has two chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective and Finishing Line Press and a full-length from Spartan. Her third chapbook is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.


Poem for My Fiancé

We assume the bones come first.
Houses, yes, but people too.
For houses, it is true enough. Have you
ever seen one being built? First, scaffolding
like rib cage without curve. Then,
pipes like intestines, and then insulation
like muscles and fat. It arrives in easy phases.

Humans, though, are mostly tissues first,
growing without clear delineation. My lungs
came in about twenty-eight years ago,
breathing amniotic fluid. Sheer willful
blob and then hardness. I want to love
you with all I was first, before rigidity
set in–nothing but rush and gasps that go
on for hours. But I confess a weakness
for cigarettes and my own ways.

When you are sleeping, you are still building
new silences. You build quiet all day,
like when you washed my infected cut
in the tub. How I had wanted to pick the yellow
out. Now, I breathe in your hair. I imagine
it to be alive. I imagine I am all lung.
This will give me new form and stop my
turning into a house with weeds and mailbox
with a weeks’ worth of bills. Tasting without
devouring or you ever knowing feels odd,
but what is hair but tiny bones?



A bird is not a souvenir—
but what if a postcard
that delivers itself? Something that says
I am here, and you
are not. Look closely
at what is foreign to you,
and imagine you can hear.

A swallow filled my porch light
with sticks and self. When I
forget her and turn the light on,
she’ll hop, perch on the lip,
and glare at me
for heating up her home.

I don’t know if there’s eggs
in that tangle of light and twigs,
besides the one that glows,
but my cat got a hold of a baby
to toy with and abuse. It looked
pathetic and only half
a thing, like a mangled foot
with no body. We used a shovel
to put it into the porch light,
hoping we got it right.

I know I must write the folks
who raised me a letter and tell
that I am getting married but want
to write them birds instead.
Year from now, I’ll send
a souvenir. I have gone where
you have not and brought you
something back. Put it on
your mantelpiece. Imagine
you can hear. I am careful
where I make my home;
the light shines differently there.


Down in the River

I thought I read the future, and it was water.
Even the trees here seek baptism,
down in the river. Can you follow
the roots like reading a book or palms?
At summer camp, we make wooden boxes
for our bibles, cramming pre-cut slabs together
and filling in with glue. Father Michael
places his hands on our heads and prays
we study our gospels well. I wear
his hands like a crown, eyes seeing
stars from crimping them closed.

Let me go back, show me the way
from before my unbelief. Back to
seeking redemption, like roots seek
water, slowly and innately moving,
or seeking in forced gestures, even, accepting
what someone else has cut into place,
hands turned into jigsaw puzzles from trying.
Now all my sins come in boxes,
cigarettes, birth-control, wine,
and, one day, me. (O sinner, let’s go down,
let’s go down, let’s go down.)
There will be no water. Something else
will fill my lungs when I go.
I have not yet drowned, but I will.


person Kat Giordano, three poems

Kat Giordano is a poet and crybaby from Pennsylvania. She is one of two co-editors of Philosophical Idiot. Her debut full-length poetry collection, The Poet Confronts Bukowski’s Ghost, is currently available through Amazon, and her work has appeared in OCCULUM, CLASH Magazine, Ghost City Review, the Cincinnati Review, and others, as well as a variety of manic, late-night Facebook messages. She tweets @giordkat and shamelessly sells herself at



I’ve been thinking a lot about the story you told me
about the cat you had growing up, how one day
you let it outside like usual but it never came home
and eventually you had to give up looking.

you said a month or so later, you went exploring
in the woods with your friend and found its body
curled-up next to some kind of animal hole
that looked like it, too, had been abandoned.

you never figured out exactly what happened.

for a long time, I wanted to be that cat –
to walk off the edge of the map and turn up later
emaciated and still, my white body a cautionary
ending perfectly preserved in the snow

like a fish in a grocery store. I had no interest in
the revenge of living, only in being missed
enough to be considered lost, a lack of closure
gushing under your shirt like an exit wound.

now, I want to know what made the hole,
want to find that mole or that groundhog
and swallow its heart, dab its blood under my eyes.

I want to become the thing that leaves just in time
and stays alive to know it, warm and asleep
while you sit on blue fingers and tell some girl
you never figured out what the beast was.

if she’s smart, she’ll ask you how long it was gone
before you even realized something was missing,
how long you really spent searching in the cold
before you gave up and went back to bed.



I’ve been thinking of narrative,
how sometimes the loose ends just fall off –
so little ceremony it’s almost insulting.
People break up in movies and books
all the time but none of them have
given me the language for this sudden
acheless grief. I dig deep, scrape
some hard bottom where nothing bleeds.
You look up and your eyes are a plea for reason,
like a warm stone I can cough up
into your palm and my only sorrow
in this is there isn’t any, that by the time
I went to tongue the sand into something real
you could trace, it had all been swallowed.

Not too long ago was that Christmas tree
you bought me, boxed-up in your Nissan Rogue.
I speed-walked down 4th, floating
with you behind me, rushed you and it
through the door with my fingers
straining to recall what it was like
out of the cold. There was a relief
in that elevator, the first breath in a while
not to crystallize a micron outside
our lips. Do you remember?
It was so warm inside.



last year was the first time you cried in front of me.
we were up late drinking when your secret slipped
and you rag-dolled face-first into my lap
like you’d just spit the skeleton out of your body.

i had given up on seeing you open. you were
wound tight in Leo machismo and after years
draining fifths of 151 and breaking our brains
with strips of dark web acid, you’d never once
peeled an inch of it back. now, all of a sudden,
you were wet meat in my arms and everything
hurt. you shook there, tear-stained and raw
and i felt the air on each newly-exposed nerve.
i pulled out your ponytail, combed your curls
with my fingers, watched you go soft and beautiful
between apologies to yourself and your father
and God and the other guys on the swim team,
and then to me for the mess you’d been.
you picked your head up and looked at me,
limp and spent in a way that you didn’t recognize
and i could tell you found frightening. i didn’t
let you know what an honor it was
to see you break. you made me promise not
to tell anyone, and i fell asleep on your couch.

stepping out of the Uber the next morning,
the sky felt so big i should have known
we were standing on a precipice, that those were
the first and last real things we would ever say
to each other and in ten months i wouldn’t call you
a friend. instead i spent the whole day trying
to write what would later become this poem,
going red every so often like i’d seen you naked.

wherever you are now, hair gel and ego-slick
in your black leather jacket: i still remember
what you said that night. i’ll never tell a soul.


person Kristin Garth, one poem

Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola and a sonnet stalker.  Her sonnets have stalked magazines like Five: 2: One, Glass, Anti-Heroin Chic, Occulum, Drunk Monkeys, Luna Luna, TERSE. Journal and many more.  Her chapbook Pink Plastic House is available from Maverick Duck Press, and she has two forthcoming: Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018) and Shakespeare for Sociopaths (The Hedgehog Poetry Press Jan 2019).  Follow her on Twitter:  @lolaandjolie


Daphne, Dolly, Darlene

An education, dressing room, Behind
the Wheel on sonic boom — Depeche Mode and
debauchery. First practice lap dance grind,
acquire some strategy. Between thighs tan,
against small breasts, a whispered wisdom she
bequests: “Your fake real name? Mine is
Darlene,” simple believability
behind Dolly, obscene. An alias
men anticipate. To make bank, you must
extrapolate. Secrets sell. You should be
prepared. G-stringed guru, but do you trust
“for-real” name reveal, lap dance lust? “Daphne.”
It’s complicated in this naked game.
You keep it simple. You tell them your name.


person Amy Soricelli, one poem

Amy Soricelli has been in the field of career education and staffing for over 30 years. A lifelong Bronx resident, she has been published in Grub Street, Camelsaloon, Versewrights, The Starving Artist, Picayune Press, Deadsnakes, Corvus review, Deadbeats, Cantos, Poetrybay, The Blue Hour Magazine, Empty Mirror, Turbulence magazine, Bloodsugar Poetry, Little Rose magazine, The Caper Journal, CrossBronx, Long Island Quarterly, Blind Vigil Review, Isacoustic, Poetry Pacific, Underfoot, as well as several anthologies. Nominated for Sundress Publications “the best of the net” award 6/13, and recipient of Grace A. Croff Memorial Award for Poetry, Herbert H. Lehman College, 1975


Sail Me Away

Boats in the Bronx sometimes lay on the land sideways,
half-asleep with their hands curled underneath.
Off in the corner of the backyard, they can often be found
up against a shed,
caught in the space between the tireless bike
and forgotten hula hoop.
A few times you can find a Bronx boat strapped to the back
of a fierce truck –
or dragged into oblivion by a sturdy chain.
I have never seen a Bronx boat on the high seas
of the nearby beach or asleep on the third floor
of the parking garage.
If one had the time or inclination,I suppose a good Bronx boat
can sail across Boston Post Road all the way to the other side of the world,
with all its rough waters
and rabbits in the moon


a review by Crystal Stone of Heather Minette’s ~Half Light~

Heather Minette’s “Half-Light” unstrands the ends of experience: the moment, the memory and the space in between. They exist together in her grief that spans the collection of poems and metamorphose into intentionally half-illuminated meditations. Her poems are dewy with privacy, the light before the sun has risen in full. The opening line becomes a metaphor for the poet and reader relationship. She, too, is the kaleidoscope and while reading we believe, “I still see her sometimes / in fragments.”

And if kaleidoscopes distort, her work, too, kaleidoscopes the light of fiction and reality, exposing the true topography of memory. She shows it as “momentary hope,” but also as pain, as absence, as passively omnipresent. With each poem, memory places a different role. Half-new, half what it was before.

While walking in the half-light of her reflections, she instructs readers how to understand her. Her poem, “A Silent Promise,” seems to be just as much an act of ars poetica as it is a personal meditation of a factual event. “Her tone is too familiar / and the rain does not stop.” She warns us who she is and where we’re going in the poem. But we don’t want to look away. In her book, like in her poem Revival, “the wind blew from two different directions, / giving shoulders a reason to touch.” We’re drawn to look right into the wind.

The chaos is both nostalgia and a reason for connection. We find ourselves, like her, “tripping… over idle memories” she left for us, the way she did in black high heels. She gives us the door to our own closet, our own past and says have a seat, your body thanks you for coming. It’s not about her, in the end, but us–where we go when we meet her.
When reading, I see myself, like her and her brother in Christmas ‘88, “wearing matching red sweaters.” We’re drinking tea and there we are, back in memory, separately together–the way any strangers become quiet when they’re suddenly intimately connected and the past becomes their present together.

In her poems, she awakens what we’ve buried or forgotten, gently. Her words are a hand, the faint memory of the rain leftover in pastel clouds and puddled sidewalks. She makes us unafraid of the mud that might smear on our skin as we read. We’re not afraid to skin our knees.


review by Crystal Stone


Crystal Stone is currently pursuing an MFA at Iowa State University and has given a TEDx talk on poetry. Work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tuck Magazine, Writers Resist, Drunk Monkeys, Coldnoon, Poets Reading the News, Jet Fuel Review, Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, North Central Review, Badlands Review, Green Blotter, Southword Journal Online, BONED, Eunoia Review, and Dylan Days.


Half Light is available here: