About thehuronriverreview

I am editor/faculty advisor of The Huron River Review.

Kevin Coons: “Co-Sleeping”

Co-Sleeping

we painted an oak tree
and hung it above the bed
our first november,
co-sleeping

now tiny fingers lie between us
in sudden shifts
grasping at nothing
and falling back-
listless lateral roots

baby boy,
this baby boy,
my baby boy
I can’t see his dreaming
without seeing you

how you tore your body,
your fire and flesh
to make shelter

you turn to face me now, in bloom
full-lipped, ripe as an avocado
I can see through your shirt
drops of milk on your breasts

I know my body is useless,
even as sacrifice,
but still I want to learn
how to offer it as worship

 

 

Kevin Coons‘s fiction and poetry has been featured previously in Grey Sparrow, Forge Magazine, Black-Listed Poetry Review, and several other online zines.

Doug Hoekstra: “The Continental”

The Continental

Long narrow room with black corners
Tucked away, mind and heart get by
Hipster cowpoke sipping a tall boy
While paging through a handmade zine
Reading about what used to be obscene
The stamp on my hand a sharpie C
Or minimalist derriere
Nothing has changed in this world
The President is still corrupt
The nolonger kids are still alright

DeKalb, Palatine, and River Grove
Thirsty Whale and Haymaker punch
Fast, faster, and fastest we sped
Cascading from verse to verse
Dancing with the crowd, three sets
Sleeveless tees and skinny black pants
Not unlike the jeans I chose to wear
On this smoke laden night
A complete accident of time
Sweating hard underneath the lights

There are bars like this everywhere
The moon and the Martian plains
Turn me on like a lite brite, babe
Overdrive and distortion come
The bands are still good
The stage is still high
Outrage and empathy ring
Bass, guitars, and drums we sing
Loud enough to hope – in love
 

Doug Hoekstra is a Chicago-bred, Nashville-based writer. His first book, Bothering the Coffee Drinkers, appeared on the Canopic Publishing (TN) imprint in April 2006 and earned an Independent Publisher Award (IPPY) for Best Short Fiction (Bronze Medal). Other stories and poems of his have appeared in numerous online and print literary journals; a second book of prose, The Tenth Inning, was released independently in 2015, and a book of poetry, Unopened, was released in 2019. 

Rae Rozman: “The Sweetness Before”

The Sweetness Before

Morning stillness.
Her pulse beats in her neck like
hummingbird wings
outside the window
they drink water with
crystals of sugar
swirling into my coffee
her lipstick marks
the rim of my mug
eyes alight with moss and dew.
This is what love tastes like.
This is the sweetness
before.

 

Rae Rozman is a middle school counselor in Austin, Texas. Her poetry often explores themes of queer love (romantic and platonic), brain injury, and education and has been published in several literary magazines. You can find her on Instagram @mistress_of_mnemosyne for poetry, books, and pictures of her rescue bunnies.

Jeffrey Hermann: “My Daughter Creates a Taxonomy of Every Little Thing”

My Daughter Creates a Taxonomy of Every Little Thing

Birds or rabbits is not a simple question
but we have to choose, likewise
windows or doors, the moon

or the stars. That’s the game
What’s essential, what belongs to you
more than the other? Letters or numbers

yellow or blue, trees or grass?
It’s a surprise and a relief
to reduce the world as if it’s too much

Because after all it is
I take pinecones over seashells
blue over yellow, bees over

butterflies; now a god of logic
now a god of instinct
You take brush over comb

windows over doors
sky over sea
And when we’re done

halving the beautiful world
you ask me for tea
with sugar and honey

And all the birds
come flying back

 

Jeffrey Hermann‘s work has appeared in Hobart, Pank Magazine, Juked, Houseguest Magazine, and other publications. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 by Juked.

Jack Berning: “Thaw”

Thaw

Father told me about the meat
of a mastodon—
the Siberian winter kept it fresh
all these years.

I slept in the freezer
with the meat.
I liked the cold
& couldn’t move.

Father brought a redhead
in a yellow dress
a tulip in her teeth
to thaw me out.

A man has a choice.

Remembered in me
a pretty boy
reading a book in the park—
I told father I cared for him.

Father was a peak.
Mountain boys know
up top, the snow
stays put.

Down here, heavy
yellow night dumps
flurry after flurry. This snow
cannot escape spring.

Too early in May,
the woods tease
their little flowers.
I smell the thaw of river.

His breath a furnace
to my neck.

Father—
it’s just too warm here—

 

Jack Berning is a writer and graduate student at Colorado State University, pursuing an MFA in poetry. He currently lives alone in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

Roger Singer: “Nightly Faith”

Nightly Faith
 
Every evening
he gazed up
at evening
stars
whispering 
collected words
he was
fond of
 
and if
clouds blocked
his view
he continued to
speak
knowing the stars
were still
there

 

Dr. Roger Singer has been in private practice for 38 years in upstate New York. He has four children, Abigail, Caleb, Andrew and Philip and seven grandchildren. Dr. Singer has served on multiple committees for the American Chiropractic Association, lecturing at colleges in the United States, Canada and Australia, and has authored over fifty articles for his profession and served as a medical technician during the Vietnam era. Dr. Singer has over 1,050 poems published on the internet, magazines and in books and is a Pushcart Award Nominee.

Mandira Pattnaik: “Expropriate”

Expropriate

_____She heard footsteps on the terrace. A man poking his walking stick on the terracotta burnt-red tiles? She could be wrong though. She was wrong. Maybe. She huddled her kids to the warm bedroom nestled between the spiraling wooden staircase and the archaic attic, and waited. The kids lay on either side of her—their home on this Greek island was snug like their mother’s lap. Within minutes their combined rhythmic exhalations lulled the kids to sleep.

_____With ears attuned to each rustle of the dry Sal leaves in the garden, each cry of the mourning cricket and each groan of defeated waves hitting the shore, she lay stiff and ready.

_____This started two weeks ago when her sailor husband left. The neighbors saw his wagon pull out at dawn. Mrs. Grace of the Elementary School down the bend insisted she saw two forms buckled in the front seat—one of whose head lolled. But her eyesight was failing. Over tea and cookies that afternoon, the missus told her that the sailor was gone to Scandinavia.

_____Before leaving, Mrs. Grace had waved to the kids emerging from their log house in the nook of the dried Magnolia that split into three at the base. The kids were playing hide-and-seek.

_____She unspooled canned images from that day. The night before, and until the dawn, seemed to rush in her mind—hazy and indistinct, but the evening stood out—like an aftermath. She remembered watching sunset sitting immobile on the cane chair, the grass of the lawn like velvet at her feet. Darkness descended from the rock faces and slithered down—down—down to the distant ocean. Between gusts of moist sea-winds, she evaluated the broad stretch of the ocean bathed in ephemeral light. Half invisible fishing trawlers swayed in the grayness. Nothing seemed amiss.

_____Down to her right, between the dark mass of the low dunes and the white sands, dominating the whole view, were colossal trees, heavy and dense, full of the brutal force of nature left to itself. Left to oneself natural instincts are always brutal.

_____The monotonous hollow whisper of the crashing waves had sounded feebler and feebler as she had slipped into a battle-weary sleep.

_____Would she keep the log house? She knew that is where her children hid, night after night, to escape their mother’s cries, waiting for their father to collapse in a drunken heap. Hard solid wood—would fetch a decent price. She couldn’t always be wrong—like he thought.

_____No! She wasn’t wrong. He was.

_____She’d have to do something about the walking stick too— his father’s—which he used on her back. She would plant it upright near the creeper; let the Devil’s Ivy expropriate the stick. Like she would—his money, the children, this house—while the waves gnawed away the sailor and his wagon at the bottom of the cliff.

 

Mandira Pattnaik writes flash and poetry. She is humbled to have her work published by The Times of IndiaFewerThan500, 101words, Runcible Spoon, Lunate Fiction (forthcoming), (Mac)ro(mic), and Eclectica Magazine. She loves to travel and embroiders to keep busy.