Tim Fitts: “Gigi”


I recently visited my buddy in Santa Clarita for his fiftieth birthday. It’s a treat, in a way, knowing all the things that might have killed you haven’t killed you–you can ease up on yourself a bit. It’s nice, too, seeing a good friend emerge from middle age. He likes his kids.  He likes his wife. I like them, too. The dog, though. Gigi, a poodle. Gigi is so old, she’s gone bald on her back, and what’s left of her fur has turned a strange type of purple, as if the purple had been applied by a generic brand of cosmetic powder. Gigi. Even the name is purple. On top of it all, Gigi is deaf and blind. She roams the house like Roomba, but joyless, seeking neither heat nor affection, bouncing from kitchen cabinet to garbage can, to the fridge, then back to the living room sofa and coffee table. Outside, Gigi roams from one side of the yard to the other. Fence to fence. Lately, however, a pack of coyotes have caught wind of Gigi. The coyotes live in the patch of wilderness that separates my buddy’s neighborhood from the next. Keen to Gigi’s disabilities, the coyotes have altered their game, abandoning the tactic of feigning gimp or playful, hoping to lure the dog into their grips.  Instead, the coyotes have begun baiting the back of their yard with strips of jackrabbit. 

            During the birthday weekend, I found myself standing in their backyard staring at the patch of desert, sipping a cup of coffee or a Knob Creek, depending on the time of day. I started wondering why a dog like Gigi would even be worth their trouble. By the time the coyotes ripped her apart, how much meat would any of the coyotes even get–just enough to make it to the next meal? Hardly worth the caloric effort or even a fair return on their investments. On the last evening of the trip, though, just before the drive back to LAX, my eyes somehow penetrated the tangle of sagebrush, I spotted one of the coyotes hanging about. The thing had been looking at me the whole time. Probably tracking movements, counting my drinks. He was thinking way past that rabbit.


Tim Fitts is the author of two short story collections, Hypothermia (MadHat Press 2017) and Go Home and Cry for Yourselves (Xavier Review Press). HIs work has been published by journals such as New South, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, Granta, Shenandoah, among many others.

Len Krisak: “A Sonnet”

A Sonnet

She, 91; he, only 54,
In disproportioned death (he’s here no more).
Nor do we need demons from Hell to tell
Us this, nor did we learn it in the stocks:
That everything in going goes not well,
By seemly precedence or proper age,
But serves the flesh more than its share of shocks—
More than the thousands it is mortal heir to.
Confused that she must now turn back the page,
Tear out a son she thought that she had read,
His mother seems to say she doesn’t care to.
She seems to wish that only she were dead.
Dazed now, she sits, re-mouthing without rest,
“He had the best doctors. He had the best.”


Len Krisak is the author of several books and has been awarded the following prizes: Richard Wilbur Prize, Robert Frost Prize, Robert Penn Warren Prize, The Able Muse Poetry Book Award, and The New England Poetry Club Book Award. Len has poems in (or forthcoming in) The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, Raritan, The Southwest Review, and The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology—and is a four-time champion on Jeopardy!

Alan Catlin: “Mirror of Enigmas”

Mirror of Enigmas

“Forget the dead you’ve left behind
They will not follow you.”
–Bob Dylan

The mirror reveals something different
every time you look inside

The back of a head can be seen in infinite
regression, fading inward as far as a hall
of mirrors will go

A composite sketch of what you might
have looked like once, long ago, represents
nothing now no matter how far inside you go

Even in that other time zone, where a duplicate
mirror resides, where all the reflective glass
surfaces are turned flat against blank walls,

Something is happening inside the framework
but it is impossible to see what

Impossible to know anything

Even the answers to the simplest questions like:
Who am I ?
Where am I going?
Who will I be when I get there?

Alan Catlin has been publishing for six decades, which feels like the answer to a Jeopardy question these days. His most recent full-length books include, Asylum Garden: after Van Gogh (Dos Madres) and Memories (Alien Buddha). Memories Too is due soon from Dos Madres.

Elisha Osorio: “The Angry Man”

The Angry Man

There is only one angry man in this house but there are many ways to see him. I like to think I am a girl on the verge of becoming something else; a monster, a beast, a worthy opponent. Girlhood; an entity so lost to me is one I will continue to seek despite the overbearing knowing that such an entity only exists in places rid of angry men. Or this is what I believed. 

There is only one angry man in this house but there are many ways to see him. I see him in the boys I have kissed at my ex’s party, in the ever-growing concave pools under my mother’s eyes, in the snide undertones of words exchanged in this household. I see him in my sister, taunting and mocking, begging to be challenged. I see him in my love language; the honey-sweet nothings that bask in my words of adoration, the cheap and rusted colognes I offer as gifts. I see him in my pitiful vanity mirror from which I have watched myself wane into a forced advancement of bigger breasts and everything else considered the embodiment of modern beauty. “You and I are the same,” the angry man silently taunts. No, we’re not. No, we’re not. Oh, but we are. We are of the same vile essence. We are the products of a barbaric augend and addend. We are the politicians, the riots, the abused and the abusive, the orphans, the killers and the dreamers. We are everything that passionately desires change. In that sense, then yes we are the same. I am the angry man and he is I. 

There is only one angry man in this house but there are many ways to see him. I, with a heart that holds enough vastness for two planets, am one of them. She, with her silent potency that leaks from her unstitched wounds, is one of them. They, with their foolish promise of a better land or a harmonious world, is one of them. He, who swears to his high-school love the stars, the moon, this life and the next to follow, is one of them. As you see, I have been gifted with the curse-like ability to perceive the angry man in everyone and everywhere but perhaps this isn’t true. Or maybe it is, I am terribly uncertain. But last week in my Philosophy lecture, Mr. Saunders said that everything returns. “Everything returns, everything finds its way back,” he said. And with that, I come to ask: Why in this form? Because of Hera, Eris and Medusa; because of the brave and important women who fought against men. “Thank you” I say. Thank you. But you see I am not you, I am not mighty nor powerful. Between the small crevices of life, between death and death, between this life and the next- what I will always be is just one of the many ways to see the angry man in this house. 


Elisha Osorio is a student at The Winchester School, Dubai. She (unrealistically) aims to pursue journalism and creative writing in her undergraduate years. “The Angry Man” first appeared, with the title “What I am,” in The Bitchin’ Kitsch.

Greg Sevik: “Good Old-Fashioned Hospitality”

Good Old-Fashioned Hospitality

You open the front door,
and there he is.
Your new roommate.

That’s all well and good,
except you weren’t looking for a roommate.

He shuffles in,
exhausted from the journey,
throwing his backpack on the floor with a thud.

He curls up on your bed,
oily hair resting on your pillow.

You remember the Army cot in the corner,
the one you haven’t thought about in years.
Maybe he could sleep there?

He moves drowsily to the cot,
wrapping himself in a moth-eaten blanket

and falling right to sleep.
You watch him snooze awhile,
a peaceful tangle of blanket, beard, and hair.

You can hardly wait till he wakes up.
You wonder about his name, his hobbies.
Maybe you can surprise him with a housewarming gift.
Maybe pizza. 


Greg Sevik teaches writing and literature in Upstate New York. His scholarly essays have appeared in such publications as The Emily Dickinson Journal and Style. His poetry and translations have been published in The Ekphrastic Review, Inventory, and other venues.

Terence McCaffrey: “Estate Sale”

Estate Sale

You came to Red Robin
for the never-ending fries

but you’re nowhere near
hungry. You could vomit actually

at the thought of strangers
ransacking the house, picking

his blues records, his tools,
stacks of his half-read books,

operating the electric bed
where you clasped his face

and kissed his lips
and hummed “All for the Best”

after which he wilted
to just a body with a mouth.

When you’re done here
you’ll return, half your life

sold. An emptiness
will try to consume you.

Birds will mean nothing.
Not until you accept some

comfort with the darkness,
with those cold, guttural pangs

settling in your chest,
will you spy one nondescript

morning a slant of light
pooling near his desk

in the corner room, dust motes
swimming in a gilded stream,

the whispered fact 
that not all of him is gone. 


Terence McCaffrey’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River ReviewFreshwaterRed Eft ReviewRight Hand Pointing, and elsewhere. He received a M.A.L.S. degree in Humanities from Wesleyan University and a B.A. from the University of Hartford, where he was the recipient of the Phyllis B. Abrahms Award in Fiction. He lives with his family in West Simsbury, CT.

Samo Kreutz: “All the fog around us”

All the fog around us
Today is the fog especially thick
And you hardly can see
The only thing
That illuminates us
At least a little
Is the sun
We ate last summer
Samo Kreutz lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Besides poetry (which he has been writing since he was eight years old), he writes novels, short stories, and haiku. He has published nine books (three of them were poetry books). His recent work has appeared on international websites (and journals), such as Wales Haiku Journal, Under the Basho, Taj Mahal Review, Poetry Pea, Jalmurra: Art & Poetry Journal, Haiku Commentary, Frameless Sky: Art Video Journal, Asahi Haikuist Network, Akita International Haiku Network, and others.

Ricky Garni: “Meditate”


For one brief moment
the article about a beautiful 
troubled woman who wrote
words in the ocean and lost 
her father and mother in her 
body, transformed itself

into a photograph of the 
Grateful Dead, standing
in front of an old barn,
wrapped in Navajo blankets,
and smiling.


Ricky Garni recently retired from his work as graphic designer for a regional wine company and now works occasionally as a staff photographer for Horse & Buggy Press (Durham, NC), a gallery and design studio that uses a nifty 19th century letterpress for many of their publications. 

Roger Singer: “Briefly”

there was order
within the stars
as they lowered
to my level,
a mortal touched,
breathed on by
an opening
of light shine,
a sliver of
heaven beyond
the horizon,
an opening
of rhythm
where all the
parts bless
sky and soul
for a
brief moment,
before it slips
pearl gray
Dr. 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.

Tanvi Nagar: “What we made”

What we made 
I made stardust. Rather, we made it together, 
We mixed the ashes of our ties, 
Along with time-the famous healer, 
We simply let go.
The ashes divided, broke into pieces 
So minute, so tiny, so little, 
That they became power
And magic, they became our healer
The goodbye didn’t hurt anymore, 
It simply existed in the universe
Like the stardust we left behind,
Maybe that’s what destiny made of us-
Two souls, too far away yet united with magic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Tanvi Nagar is a high school senior at Delhi Public School, Gurgaon. She has been writing for the past eight years and is passionate about public speaking, travelling, playing sports and reading. She has contributed to national newspapers like The Times of India and Hindustan Times; journals like Flare Journal, The Weight Journal, Nymphs Publications, Secret Attic, Hebe Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic and anthologies like The Last Flower of Spring and Riding on a Summer Train by Delhi Poetry Slam; The Great Indian Anthology by Half Baked Beans and She the Shakti by Authors Press. She is the former Editor of her school, currently edits for Ice Lolly Review and Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and is the present Head Girl of her school’s student council. She has authored four books, titled Metamorphosis, A Treasure Trove of Poetic Wonderland, A Bountiful of Rhythmic Stories, and My Book of Short Stories and Poems. She has also won the Eye Level Literary Award 2018 by Daekyo South Korea, The Create Change Challenge by The University of Queensland, Australia, and the Millennial Essay Writing Contest by UNESCO. She has also worked on in-depth research projects with the Boston Latin School, USA, and the Wayne College, USA. She loves solving maths problems and her favourite singer is Halsey! She believes kindness is the best way of life. Her website is tanvinagar.com.