person Danielle Hanson, three poems

Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in over 80 journals, won the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub, was Finalist for 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award and was nominated for several Pushcarts and Best of the Nets. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and is on the staff of the Atlanta Review. Her poetry has been the basis for visual art included in the exhibit EVERLASTING BLOOM at the Hambidge Center Art Gallery, and Haunting the Wrong House, a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. More about her at daniellejhanson.com.

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Meditations on Flame

Light as object, shapeless
shape, necessary
danger, you eat
your home. You are
pure dance tethered
by a tail, dancer who cannot
be held, snapping
with no fingers,
raising your hands
to sun, desperate to
leave earth, throwing
auguries into air,
stealing color, leaving ash.

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Meditations on Grass

You gather in
multitudes, wearers
of frost, swords
held up in a charge
frozen in time.
In warmer air, you
cushion picnickers
while holding armies
of biting insects.
Soft hair of soil,
precursor to weave
and nest, almsgiver
to the small, whether
furry or shelled or
feathered. You hide
young from all but the reaper.
Green whistle calling to wind,
you wave to the clouds,
who never give you
a ride. You gather to hear
the speech of the trees, gather
the speech of the trees to bury.

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Meditations on Lichens
– for Wendy Truran

Half moons,
fingernails of a tree,
parentheses inside parentheses
inside parentheses, you are
the hidden meaning
unspoken in the woods,
what isn’t heard
when a tree falls.
Alternating dark and light,
like a cloud-filled sky, you always
point north, to the star you love,
you are stairsteps to a
monument of fractals,
the small inside the large,
the stars of the forest, brittle
porcelain of nature,
plates serving air to air,
the erection of a tree
laying down, half buried
shield from a forgotten culture.

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person Niles Reddick, one flash piece

Niles Reddick is the author of the novel Drifting Too Far From The Shore, two collections Reading the Coffee Grounds and Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in thirteen anthologies and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, and others.
Website: http://nilesreddick.com/

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SLUG

A slug poked its head and top portion of its body out of the light switch. As he inched this way and that, he left a trail of mucus. His tentacles swayed left and right and back, like a lone slow dancer after many drinks. I wondered how he came to be behind the light switch, if perhaps he had found his way through the outside socket on the porch, inching up electrical cords.

I got a paper towel, reached for him, and he latched on, pulled my hand, then arm, lifted my body, and pulled me into the light switch. He went into the living room. I felt like Mike, the shrunken boy in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but more importantly, I couldn’t believe the slug’s strength. I didn’t know how my wife and kids would ever find me in the light switch, and I imagined the slug might take over my life, wear my flip flops and cover them in mucus, use my toothbrush, and enjoy my new Tempur-Pedic bed.

“Help,” I yelled. “Somebody!” I heard the crunch of mulch in my flower bed by the porch, slid down inside the wall, peeked through the straight blade of the receptacle and saw a toad, its tongue jetting out, hitting the outside of the electrical outlet leaving a wet, sticky residue. “HELP!”

I pulled my way back up the cord and felt a stabbing pain. I whipped my head around, and the wasp’s stinger had gone clear through my abdomen, like a sword in a medieval battle.

My wife poked me several times in the back. “Why do you keep making noises?”

“I was being stung by a wasp.”

“Don’t be a slug. Get up and get your coffee. You’re going to be late.”

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person Andrew Kozma, one poem

Andrew Kozma is a poet whose work has appeared in Blackbird, Redactions, The Baltimore Review, and Best American Poetry 2015. A book of poems, City of Regret, won the Zone 3 First Book Award.

. . .

Like a Host of Blown Bubbles

The flowering crepe myrtles instantly begin dropping their petals.
The whole season the myrtles drop their faces. Their bark crusts
with cicada shells and the soft velvet of spider webs. We all
have half-lives. We never know when we reach them.

. . .

person JC Davies, one short story

JC Davies is a a writer based in London, and was recently short listed for the York Poetry Prize. A short story “Palm” is appearing in Yellow Mama’s August edition.

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Canal

I have only seen a dead fish in the canal but I went fishing there for thoughts. Fat thoughts with rainbow markings, skinny ideas with snarly mouths, multi-limbed dreams on light-weight line, fast swimming notions like metal exhaust chimneys on school houses, pumping out the smoke of old books and gym shorts from backside furnaces, ruffling the water like ball gown skirts.

A hummingbird broke its neck and the dead pony wouldn’t bury. Richard ate the frog. And the answerphone died slowly so his voice slowed to a slur like blancmange on a hot day.

Out along the canal, a great northern diver dove deep, clutching at food with a beak like a 1930’s trunk chiseled to a point; a chick screamed like a typewriter full of glass beads as it took a worm from its mother’s mouth like Marilyn Monroe kissing Tony Curtis.

If you think of death think of me, death is the thought of me smiling from below the water line. If you think of death think of a tall pine tree and me, sitting up there dressed in a clown suit with a catapult. If you think of death think of the slow sad sand creature that crawls across your thoughts thinking it’s doing well, but with a mortgage and three slow sand creature children bawling. If you think of death think of the crazy water skier and the thin line of rope like a snake in June desperate to be loved, ready to curl up and twist around the heart in an embrace that can never leave whilst the water skier is catapulted in the air and lands in a forest of cacti. Next to a sea of slurry. And it rains.

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person Eve Rifkah, one poem

Eve Rifkah was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder and editor of DINER, a literary magazine with a 7 year run.

She is author of “Dear Suzanne” (WordTech Communications, 2010) and “Outcasts the Penikese Leper Hospital 1905-1921” (Little Pear Press, 2010). Chapbook “Scar Tissue”, (Finishing Line Press, 2017), “At the Leprosarium” 2003 winner of the Revelever Chapbook Contest.

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Marrow

wing is scapula, span of clavicle
the lost connection between here and then
deer skull clean of flesh, bird spine
strung on a string for adornment.
We speak syllables into bowls

and bones, rub between our
hands and toss for spells and sickness.
tiny phalanges we caress
as rosary connecting
our breath to what was, what will be.

We keep ourselves together with
thin ossein needles stitching hide
for garment and carved talismans
for fortune and risk. And when our

living bones fracture and craze
we brew a tincture of violet, daisy,
bone-wort for easy healing
and crack a wishbone for luck.

We feel of ourselves –
diaphragm rise and fall
singing our life in tides of air
within ribbed-cage above
the sacrum our holy seat

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person Yvette J. Green, one poem

A native of Nashville, TN, Yvette J. Green has lived in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. for the last 19 years. Two sons, 11 and 16, make her a proud mother. She has had a short memoir published in the Seasons of Our Lives-Winter: Stories from WomensMemoirs.com. Her first poems have been published in Indolent Books: What Rough Beast, 45th Parallel Magazine and are forthcoming in Hive Avenue and The Mark Literary Review.

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Yarn

Impossible to navigate the narrative you spin
Yarn unfolds
from the blue ball your mother used
to knit our first son’s baby blanket
from the berry ball that her calico cat batted
around her kitchen tile

The yarn has rolled under the sofa
out of your reach.
I rewrap the tendrils,
into a tightly wound ball to place in
stoneware clay
to contain the spun thread-
to crochet another memory–
in the corner curio cabinet where I keep my dolls.

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person Lazarus Trubman, one poem

Lazarus Trubman is a college professor and has taught the Theory of Literature and Roman languages for twenty-four years. Poetry has been published by The Threepenny Review, Exposition Review, Vestal Review, The New Reader, Cordite Poetry Review, The Sea Letter and others.

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AFTER A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD WAR

In the street in front of a hotel
two children are playing;
a boy of five, rachitic,
and a girl with a toy pistol:
they are playing on a serious note,
and the little boy,
rather petulant and unwilling,
is told to stand up
against the piss-stained wall;
he can’t understand that he is then
supposed to fall down;
the girl shows him how –
with all the experience
of her seven years…

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