by Cindy Hochman
All through those days of
the ugly thorn of morning arrived
with its damp demeanor
and an indecisive weathervane
day ended on a broken rose under the moon’s bloated face
but even mad trees shed their
old skin against the unkind wind.
Between dandelion and daffodil
I begin my slow ascent from the brown and clotted earth
and extend my ten(dril) fingers
to greet the sky’s orifice
this unveined dawn.
Cindy Hochman is the editor of an online journal, First Literary Review-East; she is the co-host of The Green Pavilion Poetry
Reading in Brooklyn; and the associate editor of Poetry Thin Air, a weekly cable show in Manhattan. Her poetry has been
published, or is forthcoming, in the New York Quarterly, Clwn Wr, Clockwise Cat, the Brownstone Anthology, freefall,
New Mirage Journal, The Long Islander and Writing Outside the Lines.
by Kiki Denis
It’s a moody, rainy day
I want to talk to you about the Lego pieces,
The ones hidden in our closet, behind the cracked globe.
Trying to unfold the dusty bag
Remembering our polymorphic game
I wish for luck
They are still all there
Solid but stained by time
We might be able to play,
Build new towers, new castles
I think one more game might be enough
by Gretchen Meixner
One haggard woman screams,
just her, loudly. The children
have committed a felony.
Wet jeans, smudged fingers,
slammed door in a quiet street.
I know there must be a father,
if science is to be trusted,
but I don’t see him peeking
out windows like his son,
or arguing shrilly, like his wife.
I only hear him referenced like
a monster in a darkened hallway,
an angry vagabond returning to
collect and brand what
reluctantly belongs to him.
I am the curious neighbor,
the onlooker with a motive,
keeping an eye on a
wandering baby. She’s not mine
but maybe she was, or will be,
and she is stepping on potholes
like a game of hopscotch.
I cannot equate those
furious threats of violence
with dirty shoes and the
expected needs of an infant.
Alarms sound at sporadic intervals
not signaling the bomb, or
a beloved, missing child but
the possibility of theft.
Just like the bitter canine,
stuffed in the backyard,
like a scarecrow. I call him
a bother, a detriment to peace.
His owner insists that he is
a worker of miracles, a provider
of safety, though he cannot
move his limbs, or bare his teeth.
I purchased iced tea from a
grateful little girl, her mother
glowering at my spare change and
thirsty mouth. I built a
tiny man made out of snow and
gave him to a surprised boy who
throws trash out the windows,
ignoring the elements that
defiantly bring it to my door,
instead of theirs. I am not
allowed to hate the children now,
but someday when they are old enough
to light unruly fires and
take money from strangers,
I will not be so restrained.
The woman will die, happily,
and the father, with curses,
but the offspring will
still bear their teeth marks
Gretchen Meixner grew up in a suburb of Boston, but recently moved to Providence, Rhode Island where she lives with
her boyfriend and their cats. She has been writing poetry since she was young and is trying to get her work out there for
others to read. Gretchen finished her first novel last year and has also compiled a book of poems. She majored in English
Literature for her Bachelor's at Emmanuel College. She hopes to at some point become an English professor, while also
working on her own writing career. Gretchen likes all types of poetry but her favorite poets are Ted Hughes, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia
Plath, and Pablo Neruda.
Poems chosen from current
issue to be featured on the website
"The Mist" by T.J. Streett
"Come In, Come In" by John Van Doren
"Camp Street Neighbors" by Gretchen Meixner
"Lego" by Kiki Denis
"The Healing Season" by Cindy Hochman
"Proposal" by Richard Hartwell
"Social-isolation" by Anthony Ward
"A Death" by Danny P. Barbare
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