Luke Skoza: “Body Frame Ceiling”

Body Frame Ceiling

The street never matched her voice or body,
Lightning hitting steel.

Ceiling fans fold over body frames
red skin on the floor.

A head
with two noses
closing themselves in.
Praying to God on a cellphone,
a ceiling light turned low.

It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or marriage fails and people say
they knew it was the wrong idea,
staring directly into the eyes of an African cat.

But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly
on the other side of things while
the sun was moving from the sand to the sea.

 

 

Luke Skoza is a 30-year-old model, poet, and ESL teacher. He currently works as an ESL teacher in Moscow. His poems have appeared in the Silenced PressUnlikelystories.org, Retort Magazine, Anti Heroin Chic, The Houston Review, and the Chiron Review

Lorrie Ness: Two Poems

Code Blue///

From bed she hurled the spines downstream/
the pages cankered/
from the buckshot of her fingers/
The ossuary of warm colors/
not fully spent/
released to those who cast bones/
and divine the future/

Plucked petals of sky/
and sea/ and azure margins/
were her medium/
of mosaic language decoupage/

Mounds of torn blue breasts erupting at her hips/
like new volcanic islands/
breaking the tension for a moment/
ephemeral organs/

She festooned them with recycled names/
Reckless/ Stormy Pearl/
Just Below Heaven/ Swatches/
of retired cornflower bathrooms/
Turquois excised/
identified/ She had become/
the Rosetta Stone/
naming each shade/
so she could offer herself to a friend’s embrace/

 

Ms./Ms/M/igraine Diary

My calendar is pocked, branded. Squared
a hundred ways. Mmm ssing
letters mounted.

Gridlines stamp steady lanes. Parameters.
Boxing my eyes up. And left and over
and. Then yesterday.

And with. The space of forward.
Marked by blood blue “Ms.” The silent
strangle of brain on paper.

Ms -taken bruise on Tuesday. Plotted.
Manumitted.
Last week – forever?

Ms. the woman refusing
to blue the space with r. “M/s” map-over,
worked over lines.

Within the box
with blue convention in. My pillbox
is the shape of day.

My pillbox is a Russian doll. Nesting
neat on Tuesday.
No gridlines leaning on future.

 

Lorrie Ness grew up in rural Indiana and currently lives in Virginia. Writing is her means of connection and is her refuge. She draws inspiration for her writing through time out doors. She has forthcoming work in the American Journal of Poetry.

Emma Demopoulos: “Midnight Swimming”

Midnight Swimming

I float, suspending face up in cool water, letting my legs drip toward the ground
The matrix of chorine, hydrogen, and oxygen cups my head and fills my ears
I wait to hear the sounds of the night, but all I hear is the swirling of the above ground pool
I steal a glance at the sky and hope that the universe does not return the favor
But it always does
It reaches down to me in all of its infinite glory, bursting out in colors, only some of which I see
It bends at the hips, puckers its lips, and kisses my temple
I am only stardust clumped together and floating in a pool that’s not mine

 

Emma Demopoulos is a writer, creator, and general enthusiast of all things odd or quirky. She finished her debut novel and seeks representation. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and two cats. She graduated from Miami University with a degree in Creative Writing. Her Instagram handle is @demopwriter.

Rick Pieto: “As I was driving”

As I was driving

Rick Pieto is a visual poet and writer living in the Silver Spring, MD area. His visual poetry has been exhibited at Rhizome DC and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and also published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. He received a Ph.D. in media ecology from New York University and has taught at Georgetown University and University of Baltimore.

Mark Vogel: “At the edge”

At the edge

Wind-shaped vegetation and sand submit forever
_____to ocean winds. Fat clouds drift in
a seamless sky, bunching like a herd.

From the picture window scraggly pines and hemlocks
_____rise over tangled power lines and gray
shingled roofs on houses built on stilts.

Below, gold-finches flit in yellow bushes,
_____but my binoculars lock-in on a toy ship
stuck on the horizon, on the Pacific pushing to eat land.

As if just for me, the sun appears, pinpoints white waves
that mark the separation of worlds, as they lap,
then retreat before birds darting to secure tiny treasures.

I focus on a misty trail that meets the beach where
_____a walker with dog flirts with water,
wind, light. Far out, a startling hint of more—

a whale surfaces, promising that others are close,
though this morning not mature I feel like a child who
is drawn toward snake highways, shiny cities,

named mountains—where land flattens into time zones.

A child growing responsible facing what must be faced.
_____A child who already knows how pig-faced
politicians gobble orange pumpkins in a pile.

How multi-colored RVs own the fat river. How further
_____on in the aging concrete urban heart,
burnt and wounded relatives laugh

under this same infinite sky,

with the same ache determined to push boundaries.
_____Until a last look at the ocean shimmer
leaves no doubt the grey will burn away.

 

Mark Vogel lives at the back of a Blue Ridge holler with his wife, Susan Weinberg, an accomplished fiction and creative non-fiction writer. He currently serves as Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Poems and short stories have appeared in several dozen literary journals.

Timothy Robbins: “Interior”

Interior

I thought he wanted to
shake my hand. And
maybe unknowingly,
desire to touch me
(like contraband in a
luxury liner) hid in the
polite hands-on obligation.

The way he twisted my
fist, I knew he had
mistaken it for a
doorknob. The way he
walked through, I knew
his grip had made me
an unlocked door.

He had a tryst with a
man in that room. Maybe
I would do. Maybe he’d
prefer me.

 

Timothy Robbins teaches ESL. He has a B.A. in French and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics. He has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have appeared in Three New Poets, Slant, Main Street Rag, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Off The Coast, and others. His collection Denny’s Arbor Vitae was published in 2017. He lives with his husband of twenty years in Kenosha, Wisconsin, birthplace of Orson Welles. Check out Timothy on YouTube.

 

 

Diane Webster: “Potato Harvest”

Potato Harvest

In the field sacks
of exhumed potatoes
line the rows
like tombstones
marking graves
now evicted
of occupants;

A many-handed
sundial of shadows
long in morning stretch,
gone under noon spotlight,
long in afternoon repose,
gone in night’s descent.

Potatoes, cool and smelling
of dirt, awaiting trucks
to haul them away,
to leave the field
to rejuvenate under snow.

 

Diane Webster grew up in Eastern Oregon before she moved to Colorado. She enjoys drives in the mountains to view all the wildlife and scenery and takes amateur photographs. Her work has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Eunoia Review, Philadelphia Poets, and other literary magazines.