Kissing the Invisible Man

Todd Dillard

Kissing the Invisible Man


He wants me to shut my eyes

when we kiss,

to sculpt him in my mind

from the blind

tools of my body: fingers

reading his stubble,

lips deciphering his thirst,

nose sketching the autumnal red

of his scent.


But I seek the […]

Maintenance Call

Ken Poyner

Maintenance Call


My wife needs a new socket.

Everyday, as soon as she gets home,

She goes directly into the closet

And absent-mindedly plugs herself in.

She tells me it is part of the contract.

Sometimes she can be connected

Half an hour for a maintenance routine,

Two […]

Ursa Major

John C. Mannone

Ursa Major


The Big Dipper is really Santa’s sled

freewheeling around the North Pole

through frosty stars and a red nosed

bear taking pointers from Rudolf as

his reins arc to a super giant red-eye

star, coursing through the circumpolar

tinsel of stars, a garland of firelights,

but […]

Deer Headed Kings

Tanner S. Abernathy

Deer Headed Kings


On clear evenings

up the forest trails

winding out a valley

are the tombs of the Deer Headed Kings.


Tonight the moon rises behind a red maple.

Tonight the stars bathe the air in stellar light.

In a clearing of pine needles and leaves


Straw Man

Yilin Wang

Straw Man


You stab my burlap face with needle and thread,

sew a crooked grin, forcing me to flaunt

a poor replica of your cosmetic smile.

Two buttons give me foresight.

Two pipe cleaners bent down

for eyebrows, perpetually angry.

Ropes move like puppet strings, pinning

me to a […]

Ask for Rabbit


Katharyn Howd Machan

Ask for Rabbit


He knows this place.

He knows which boats will sink

and which will stay afloat—awhile.

He still cooks his own conch chowder

from some of the cans that survived.

Green rain he says with a smile

I remember it blowing sideways.

Somehow he set up […]

Introduction to Issue 61 Poetry

Holiday greetings to all and a wish for a Happy New Year!

In the spirit of the season, the slate of poems opens with my donated contribution, “Ursa Major” by John C. Mannone (Niota, TN), a subverted sonnet, which was a fun to write. Hopefully it will provide enjoyment on several levels.

I find it […]

The Volume of the Universe

Jennifer Crow

The Volume of the Universe

For Jon

You asked me to find the volume of the Milky Way—

it took a whole page in my notebook, while you meditated

on the glories of frozen yogurt and geometry. I sketched

the boundaries of knowledge, the curves that hold us



Patrick Doerksen



So much noise—like we think to hold up heaven

with pillars of nonsense sound.

Every feast, we gather what silence

we can, press it into wine, hold it up

for the spirits who court our own, for revelries

of revelations in the hallways forever

in rays of sun, or in […]

Cataclysm Days: A Dispatch from the Interior Highlands

Charles Von Nordheim

Cataclysm Days: A Dispatch from the Interior Highlands


Some crisis reports commented on speech emitted by stones and clay and mud

One ignores the terrain when it complains like one ignores falling frogs from thin air

We would have followed this standard practice if left in our old shapes

But […]