{ Blue Bucolic – poems – Rebecca Kokitus }

Blue Bucolic
poems, Rebecca Kokitus
Thirty West Publishing House, 2019


In reading the poems of Rebecca Kokitus, I can often see the jigsaw puzzle no one saved from the fire. Can feel the pulse of a mother as taken by a rubber band. Can hear the blip of a sporadically working radar and can match it to the click that sounds itself out in the knee. Knee over which a walking cane was long ago broken within earshot of those familiar with brevity’s limp. If Blue Bucolic is here a return to tiny and frostbitten things, then it is there a reheated examination of anti-smallness. It leaves. It belongs.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

person Lee Patterson, two poems

Lee Patterson‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Airgonaut, Thin Air Magazine, and Entropy, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, is forthcoming from Ethel Zine in late 2019. Lee can be reached at lpatpoet@gmail.com.


an essay where I compare myself to a tree

on the front page of the paper, a headline: beauty got drunk last night, cheated on itself. sometimes people are in love & sometimes people are just people. I have been everything at least once. I will be some things twice but only one thing tomorrow. the day after tomorrow I will be a magician, a wand, a saw cutting myself in half. the volume in my memory keeps getting softer as everything in me hardens: skin, jaw, the hipbone connected to my neck-bone. I twist & forget how to shout. I haven’t loved in reverse since I took pills in fast forward, but I’ve been sick longer than I haven’t, alive for so long I don’t know how I haven’t spoiled yet. these days I am realizing I am not much different than a tree, drowning in a drought. I am never not watered enough.


an essay that starts with the onset of & ends in a dream
—for my grandfather

finding your house keys in the fridge.
in the microwave. in the pocket
of a pair of jeans you never remember
owning. waking up crying
because you’re still in love
a month later. 6 months later.
2 years later. forgetting how to breathe.
forgetting the capital of wyoming &
which ocean california crashes into.
forgetting children.
the last argument you had with your mother.
remembering that you forget.
forgetting love. the thank god that follows.
finding your house keys in the sock
drawer, in every smith’s lyric,
between the sky & what falls from it.
a dream, in a stupid dream.


person Stacy Cremer, one poem

Stacy Cremer is a seventeen year old queer poet from Pennsylvania. More of her work and of her social media pages can be found at https://linktr.ee/stacycremer.


the patron saint of broken glass and melodrama

i think i left myself somewhere in the
ebb and flow of december’s hesitance
back when your hot breath on my neck offset
the taste of bitter winter on my tongue-
speaking in and/or of tongues, i’m glad yours
was the birthplace of my first taste of jack
and coke (wonder what you’d think of these lines)
but i digress. when you were undressing
to impress, i think i left myself in
your sister’s bedroom mirror. oh my god
i think i left myself somewhere in the
space between your neck and left clavicle-
i had hoped the freckle constellations
smattering your chest would help guide my way
home but somehow polaris is missing,
the light from the bridges we burned isn’t
helping one bit, and i’m suspecting that
the stars i wish on are just satellites.
pennies, dandelions, and eyelashes are
useless- i think i left myself with you


person Frannie McMillan, one poem

Frannie McMillan‘s work has been published in The Coachella Review, K’in Literary Journal, Indianapolis Review, and others. She works as a high school librarian near Richmond, Virginia. Drop her a line @franniemaq.


Third IUI

At breakfast, you fork
strawberries into your handsome mouth
—the ones I planted in our backyard,
reminding me of childhood
and picking strawberries in a field

where I pick one, eat two, pick one,
eat two until my belly swells
from so much sweetness, sun-warmed flesh,
juice, and pricks of seeds savored
until I finally fill.

Today, under a fluorescent buzz,
between doctor and nurse,
my body will be
a different sort of vessel—
one to carry us both.


person Andrew Kozma, one poem

Andrew Kozma‘s poems have appeared in Blackbird, Redactions, Subtropics, and Best American Poetry 2015. His book of poems, City of Regret, won the Zone 3 First Book Award, and his second book, Orphanotrophia, will be published by Cobalt Press in 2019.


Song of the Shut-in

Winter banks itself with paper snow. The wind
puffs like a dying man, every step a struggle.

Trees like cardboard matches. Sky a veil
of worn tights. A lawn of toenail clippings.

My skin cracks and flakes, my teeth break
thin-skinned lips, and the fire flails its brittle limbs.

Summer burrows into the earth like a fever. A hand
to the cold window. My palm ghosts the glass.


{ Our Debatable Bodies – poems – Marisa Crane }

Our Debatable Bodies
poems, Marisa Crane
Animal Heart Press, 2019


Marisa Crane is a poet of the mouth. Mouth as the wound one opens to name the wounded. Mouth as flickering hyphen. As a thing not spoken for.  In Our Debatable Bodies, words like ‘tomboy’ turn yellow in the toothless boy of tomorrow and language lives long enough to land on the same suicide note. In reading, I realized that though I forgive, I perhaps do so on a budget. That though I strive to recognize, my recognition is manmade. That what I call merely a child’s costume was perhaps put on by one wearing an eyeless mask. Maybe there is no big picture, only photos taken by giants? I guess what I mean is…Crane sees. And more so, looks.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

{ whole / year }



A year ago, {isacoustic*} released Heather Minette’s Half Light.

Had and still have, for its words, these:

As a child, I told my mother the alphabet was broken after I’d seen it, for the first time, written down. Something about it, there, all in one place. Also, I wouldn’t hold my breath in front of my action figures. I tell you these, here, because it seems necessary to repeat them as is, as summoned, in my reading of Heather Minette’s Half Light. These are poems of ash and glyph. Of men who believe cigarette over bridge and of women who sculpt faces that their own might become unstuck. These are stories, really. Cloaked urgencies. The statuesque inevitable. I saw things in this book and looked from them to see myself, in the mirror, answering a telephone. Minette fashions spirituals for the plainly dressed and has an eye, not only for detail, but for detail’s double. In Half Light, death has only ever happened once, and is resurrection’s safe space. In Half Light, Minette is six years old, nine years old, thirteen years old, and then born knowing age has nowhere to leave its mark. How does one flee exodus? Or record the unnoticed blip of reckoning? How is the firefly not more known for its time spent as darkness? I didn’t read it here, but remembered, while here, that I read, elsewhere…how mail carriers don’t believe in the afterlife. Minette conjures first, responds later. This is a patient language. This, an abbreviated yearning. A father goes from storyteller to jokester because, when laughing, we all weigh the same. If there is mourning, there is also the chance to rename the toothless mermaid identified by her hair. If there is a passing, there is also a poet who knows that loss is, at best, a ghostwriter. Minette knows what she’s doing. To read this book is to haunt its absence.


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