Roger Singer: “Abstract Gallery”

Abstract Gallery

doorway watchers
he said, she knows
nobody knows
creative oblique
voices on the piano
a jump of junk
barbed wire love
piercing affections
shadows on doors
painted hands
abandoned shoes
canvas footsteps
still framed colors
blocks of people
crashing oceans
windows weeping
wounded clouds
star blessings
mirrors of self
burning candles
heaven without hell

life is a cartoon
between comic books

Dr. Roger Singer is the Poet Laureate of Old Lyme, Connecticut. He has had over 1,150 poems published on the internet, magazines, and in books and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize Award Nominee. He is also the President of the Shoreline Chapter of the Connecticut Poetry Society. Some of the magazines that have accepted his poems for publication are:  Westward Quarterly, Jerry JazzSP QuillAvocetUnderground VoicesOutlaw PoetryLiterary FeverDance of my HandsLanguage & CultureAdelaide Literary MagazineThe Stray BranchToasted CheeseTipton Poetry Journal, Ambassador Poetry Award Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Louisiana State Poetry Society Award 2019, Arizona State Poetry Society Award 2020, and Mad Swirl Anthology 2018 and 2019.

Frederico Voroniuk Manica: “Flooded”


Cotton pressing against cotton
Blue rivers sinking into silk
The materialistic urge for more than
existence, to feel
cotton sheets embodied by
water (detached elemental
motion, raw mass
seamlessly moist). White absorbing
mud, seedless — light brown,
brown, dark — cotton. In
my insides, a dirty mind. What does
that make me? 

Frederico Voroniuk Manica is a young aspiring writer that is fascinated by abstract and symbolic poetry. They have recently participated in the Poetize 2022 contest. 

Carol Hamilton: “A Normal Day”

A Normal Day

is ever poised on a fine-stropped edge
we cross barefoot but never know it
until we teeter.
Yeats saw a metal ball balanced
on a small fountain jet
in a shop window, remembered
it when troops blasted
two ancient bridges near his Tower.
Not knowing what aerialists
we were born to be
until the swaying begins,
we are blithe
in our daily centrifugal dance,
never look down.

Carol Hamilton taught 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana, and Oklahoma, was a medical translator and storyteller. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published and received various awards for 19 books and chapbooks of poetry, children’s novels, and legends and has been nominated ten times for a Pushcart Prize.

Andy Plattner: “The Hard-of-Hearing Priest”

The Hard-of-Hearing Priest

The girls of the eighth grade at St. Joe’s cleaned the parsonage every Friday. One of the nuns would line them up at the bottom of the steps. The girls held buckets and brooms and mops. They walked up the steps in single file.
_____They cleaned the parsonage while the priest presided over confessions in the church. While still a relatively young man, the priest became hard of hearing and in the confessional, he had to ask the confessor to speak up.  As a result, anyone kneeling in the pews outside was likely to hear. It didn’t matter; the verdict was always guilty, the penance always light. Say the “Our Father” three times and be on your way.
_____After lunch period on Fridays, the priest would come to the classroom the seventh and eighth graders shared and would sit at the teacher’s desk and ask students questions related to the bible. The students would stand when answering. The nun, whose classroom it was when the priest wasn’t visiting, stood in a corner of the room with a peaceful expression, hands folded at her waist. The students knew to speak clearly and amplify their voices.
_____Though the priest was hard of hearing, he did not speak loudly himself. He delivered his short sermons in a soft-spoken way. Some of the older members of the parish were hard-of-hearing, yet they appreciated his brevity.
_____One night, a Friday night in fact, the parsonage was robbed; the priest happened to be at the house when the thieves arrived. He didn’t hear them wedging open a window. They tied him up. They also decided to give him a beating. The priest had a small safe in his closet and the thieves took it away with them.
_____The priest was discovered the next morning when two altar boys went to his front door because he was late to say mass. The police interviewed the priest in his hospital room, and he said he didn’t get a good look at the thieves. The theory from the police was that the priest knew the identities of the thieves, but they were also members of his parish. A further theory was that the at least one of the thieves had a sister who’d cleaned the priest’s house and knew about the safe.
_____The parishioners, when talking amongst themselves, could list any number of potential suspects. This parish being what it was.
_____Because the priest could not, would not, name his attackers, a case was never developed.
_____A few years later, following a short battle with brain cancer, the priest died. The doctors said the cancer might have been growing in the priest’s brain for quite a while and this might’ve explained his hearing condition.
_____The doctors might’ve wondered, too, why no one in the parish had ever encouraged the priest to have his hearing checked. 

Andy Plattner lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He has taught fiction writing at the University of So. Mississippi, University of Tampa, Emory University and Kennesaw State University. He has published stories with The Southern Review, Paris Review and The Literary Review, as well as other places. He has a forthcoming short story collection, Tower, with Mercer University Press.

David Lipsitz: “Santa Fe in July”

Santa Fe in July

I breath sage fragrance rising from bundles of desert flora.
A bare-foot magician wearing a brown derby hat
proudly shows his open palms
to those learning the language of his hands.
First people artisans display handmade jewelry
on plant-dyed woolen rugs, unique offerings for sale
to those walking and embracing the 400-year-old plaza.

Unfenced apricot trees line the walkable narrow streets.
Married to the law of gravity,
ripened orange fruit falls gently from the open sky.

On a goat path trail, we hike through vanilla scented forests,
carrying time and water,
crisscrossing creeks of unfrozen snow.
Butterflies float like house dust between ponderosa pines.
Scurrying sand lizards hide under misplaced rocks.
Late day monsoon showers leave puddles, and conversations,
that evaporate into the desert before sunset.

At night, our warm skin sleeps under a humming ceiling fan.
Moving air, comforts vivid dreams,
multicolored and four dimensional, streaming within our eyes,
darting in the dark like schools of released fish.

We awaken in the morning without clocks,
holding natural light next to adobe walls.
We rise from restful sleep to begin our chosen day,
7,000 feet above the level of an unnamed distant sea.

David Lipsitz‘s poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Chaffin Journal, Cape Rock, From The Depths, and other literary publications. 

Matt Dennison: “Waiting Room”

Waiting Room

Sitting in the groggy
Saturday morning clinic,
we watch the lucky couples
exclude the solitary woman,
huddle together wearing
black glasses, slight disguises
of bright swallowed laughter,
time slowly circling the room,
one by one stripping masks
from sideways-whispering faces,
exposing forward-facing fear
as the outer door opens
and the solo woman rises
to meet her husband above
averted eyes and hug
her delivered children
for gladly laughing yes
she is pregnant


Matt Dennison is the author of Kind Surgery, from Urtica Press (Fr.) and Waiting for Better, from Main Street Rag Press. His work has appeared in Verse Daily, Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with Michael DickesSwoonMarie Craven, and Jutta Pryor.

Louie Cronin: “Compliant”


Baby boomer turning 70, ok exaggerating a bit, I’ve got five more months. Of wearing masks, checking case numbers, primping for Zoom. My friends are all gray. I only see them on Zoom, or outside, bundled up, triple vaxed, windswept. I can’t afford to go gray. Went wrinkly instead, aged fast, chasing Sandy, who drowned at 22, always in a hurry. My period dried up at 45. Blamed it on ciggies, though I quit 10 years before, when Barry died, an old man of 29, struggling up the stairs at Times Square. Got my period at 11. Thought my life was over then. Maybe it was.

Work? Happy to get tossed out, though I hadn’t saved enough, who has? Now I’m aging into the high-risk pool, 68, 69, 69 1/2… I see how the baby doc looks at me, fumbling for my reading glasses. Old girl needs an EKG, a lipid panel. Would you consider eating healthy? Me? I used to rollerblade here, you little fuck! Everyone around me is deaf. I’m ok, unless I’m with young people, or watching movies with the captions on, narration buried under effects. I’d lose my job for that. Oh, right, I did.

Sad to see my brother with a cane. My father used a broom or a putter, died anyway. My mother was compliant, as am I. As I will be. She put on her big bifocals, stocked up on hearing aid batteries, used a cane then a walker then a transport chair. Her sister Gert fell putting in eyedrops, her sister Mary rolling up her hair. My husband installed railings this Thanksgiving. I was fine without them but reach for them just the same.

I get tired so early or am I just bored? Another meal to cook, another night to endure, streaming Netflix, trying to read a book. Wine tonight or detox tea? So many steps before bed. Sonicare, pick, floss, cleanser, serum, antiaging cream. PFFFT! And God forbid my pajama bottoms cinch — my stomach has forgotten how to squeeze, dinner lingers, threatens to turn.

Wait! Stop that. There’ll be no turning yet. There are red berries on the prickly bushes; the bay peeks flat and silver through the trees. There are stacks of cut wood and the fireplace draws like mad. There are baby boys on the West Coast and a baby girl on the East, getting onesies and picture books from distant aunties they can’t yet conjure.

Fucking plague stole two good years. Or slowed them down enough that I might notice.

Louie Cronin’s novel, Everyone Loves You Back, was a semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Her fiction and essays have been published in Compass Rose, The Princeton Arts Review, Long Island Newsday, The Boston Globe Magazine, and on She formerly worked as a writer/producer for Car Talk.

Darren C. Demaree: Three Poems

Emily as Regret or Premonition

She was right. I
an apocalypse element

in my solitary thread.
To want
any revolution at all

is to offer up a stabbing
moment of pleasure
that gambles

the landscape it creates.
No matter. I’m
a coward for her.

I take myself to her
bells. I leave the rest of it
to become rope

without me.
All this muscle
& only play-burns.


Emily as Grain, in the Old Way 

Y’all should stop
fucking around
with these more

intimate voices.
There’s too much
death beneath

the crop to hide
our joy amidst
a goddamn canon.


Emily as Hollering

You ever see fire
a birdsong?

The whole county
can taste it when
the right woman

says hello
to emptiness
with real joy.

Darren C. Demaree‘s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear, in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, Diode, North American Review, New Letters, Diagram, and Colorado Review.

Alex LeGrys: “The Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness

we all know that at the beginning of every country road
sits a dilapidated farmhouse, with tick-infested boxers and
golden retrievers, barking for attention while their
owners fail to pay the electric bill yet buy designer
sunglasses every holiday season

but there is a garden shed in the middle
of every country road filled with moldy teacups and
empty liquor bottles and milk snakes slithering
with one another, waiting for the day to come when
Tiresias tramples them as they copulate—
snickering as their own pain gives rise to
seven years of involuntary womanhood

as this event transpired I would stumble
from the country road’s first house, where I’d
have been arguing with rednecks about tax policy
and how they were only hurting themselves
each time they cast red in a ballot box—
they’d tell me to get off my cross and funnel
cheap red wine down my throat

Tiresias would turn to me leaning
against the shed, shrinking at the milk
snakes and vomiting red slop over their

in a decade we’d meet again on
another night of my half-hearted attempts
at following Christ with ritz crackers
and gas station merlot and pleading the
construction workers to collectively bargain

and as I’d sit in the dirt, shivering at
the serpents, he’d tell me how lucky I was
to be a woman– how much better men are at
pleasing women than the other way around

his only punishment for such nonsense
was never to have to see snakes fuck
again– and that, is perhaps the male condition
I’d tell him– the punishment always
winds up being the reward.

Alex LeGrys is 20 years old and attends Bard College. Her work has appeared in Apricity Press, Better than Starbucks, Fire Agate Press, Modern Literature, and Blue Lake Review.