Simon Perchik: Five Poems

You cover the mirror that’s facing the man
standing for hours inside a shop window
staring at your eyes  ̶ it’s a hand-to-hand place

sells jars, tubes and side by side, small tins
filled with the daily guarantee there would be
no more loneliness once the glass is shattered

by stomping the one heel kept wet for the sound
each bottle makes with its ship full sail inside
where business is business and you lay down

with sea gulls, close to shore for the cries
from stars on the lookout for someone
to shut off the light, find you in the dark.

When this pen is lifted to your lips it hears
the ink is just beginning to disguise itself as words
that will feed all night from the page pulled closer

and closer  ̶ there’s not enough room to turn back
once they dry the way a heart first learns
how much blood it lost only afterwards

as an endless sadness still pouring from one page
into the other till all that’s  left
has no word for it though it’s a fountain pen

knows all about emptiness, what will stay black
turn cold and from out your hand the wound
from a sheet stretching out for the snow.

And though you left the sheet blank
the police are still investigating it
as some make-shift wall left in place

when the day after tomorrow arrived
all at once  ̶ they’re waiting for the lab
to come up with how the ink

could have been swept away when the words
already had a place to stay and one by one
carried you off on a raft made from paper

with the pen no longer making estimates
how far the edge is, how deep the corners
the silence you finished working on.

And though it has no name this puddle
is full, was fattened on those afternoons
the rain stopped by to hear for itself

how much each splash sounds like the sleeves
as they emptied thread by thread
stripping her arms to the bone  ̶ you grieve

in water that’s kept warm :the dress
must have found room between her whispers
where water becomes water again

has her eyes, sees you’re older
are leaning over the Earth
the way the first rain was already filled

with loneliness, is still struggling to find
the sun  ̶ just one star and for that
you weep forever, constantly wetting your hands

the way this makeshift wishing well was filled
̶ rusted rings and coins to hear her shadow rising
as the arms that was your home for so long.

The rapids flowing through your hand
takes in tow this day-old bread
̶ from the start impatient for the end

is already sliced the way every waterfall
tries to bring its river with it
become the cry in that faint echo

it needs to find the shattered
̶ it’s not a rock you’re holding
though what’s inside the splash

was left out to dry on this round table
as a lone crumb for that ancient necklace
you still glue to a fingertip for later

 ̶ you need bread that’s a year old today
has mold whose shadow stays green
lets you sit where there is no grass

in a chair each night smaller, sure
it hears her when you close your eyes
to put out the light, use the other hand.


Simon Perchik‘s poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.

William C. Blome: “Untitled”


There was a coyote that had no trouble in the world safely grasping in her teeth the hanging wire on the back of this framed photo, but what she was not able to grasp, of course, was that because her love for Franz Joseph was so great that she forever lugged around his cottony-faced portrait and always propped it close to her as she dozed in daytime hours, nasty folks who wished her harm eventually came to understand they had only to locate this much-scratched picture of the Emperor to know approximately where in their community the coyote was sleeping and dreaming during the late morning and afternoon.


William C. Blome wedges between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he clutches a master’s degree swiped from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, and The California Quarterly

Martina Reisz Newberry: Two Poems


When they talk about “living in the Now,”
they mean you, Love, with your highland pipes,
smiling a faint smile towards me
while your fingers dance on the surface
of your instrument. Your Now
is palpable; it’s that small gathering of
music dancing in your head, your fingers
finding the dance and joining it there on
the pipe’s clear spine, and the light and shadow
surrounding all of it—the entire Now.



Traffic is backed up for a few blocks
and busses are being rerouted.
All very inconvenient.

It’s the woman
in the middle of the street;
she holds a knife to her
own white throat.
Two cops are reasoning
with her and the lookers
look from all sides of the street.

She wants to be where everything
stops including her life.
She tells the short Latino cop
that she’s out of money,
no place to live,
can’t get even a bit part in
a lousy B movie.

The knife flashes
and the other cop,
the one with the mustache,
puts his hand out—
Give me the knife;
give it here, he says.

Her boyfriend kicked her out,
took back his ex—
they have two kids;
she can’t even get a bit part
in a lousy movie,
can’t get her hair or nails done—
her life is over.

The short Latino cop offers her a smoke—no;
he puts out his arms for a hug—no;
he tilts his head to one side
the way his ex-wife said was cute—no.
The lookers are quiet,
waiting, looking.
The lights change and
change again.

The other cop fingers
his mustache,
shrugs hugely and
walks away.

The woman drops the knife
and follows him.
Don’t turn your fucking
back on me
she shouts. Fuck you!
Don’t walk away from me!

The short cop shakes his head
and begins taking down the barriers.
Lights change. Traffic resumes.


Martina Reisz Newberry’s newest collection, BLUES FOR FRENCH ROAST WITH CHICORY is available from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of six books. Her work has been widely published in magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.

Diane Webster: “Moment Revealed”

Moment Revealed

Moment revealed
by alert cat
slinking through tall grass
laid flat by journey
toward crabapple tree
poked by two woodpeckers
up, down trunk
while resident hummingbird
twitters territorial rights,
and dove flaps a grip
on chain link fence,
flies as old neighbor
bully cat enters gate
for perfect place to poop.


Diane Webster grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado. She enjoys drives in the mountains takes amateur photographs. Writing poetry provides a creative outlet exciting in images and phrases Diane thrives in. Her work has appeared in Old Red Kimono, Home Planet News Online, Salt Hill, and other literary magazines.

Joey Nicoletti: “To Paul Blair”

To Paul Blair


Dear Mr. Blair, 
when you asked me
if I wanted you to sign 
my baseball, bat, 
and your rookie card, 
my spirits were as high
as a moonshot smacked
by Reggie Jackson: Mr. October. 
We conversed as you signed 
everything. You said 
it was almost as great 
to be Mr. October’s teammate
as it was to talk with fans 
“like me,” who treated you
“like family.” I don’t know
how or why I didn’t faint,
but this memory is why 
I want my body to be viewed
with the baseball you signed 
in my cold, stiff hands, before 
I become smoldering ash.


Joey Nicoletti was born in New York City. He works in Buffalo.