West Colfax | Eli Whittington

Image: Stephen Leonardi

I.

Shirtless in January

Pale potbelly poverty

Hanging over tattered belt

buckle

Leaning casually

Over a  pine-green trash can

II.

Drug-weaned cheeks

Steele gaze forward

Popping a wheelie

On the Northside sidewalk

For half a block

Balance perfect


Eli Whittington is a mediocre farmer and an okay parent. They enjoy long walks on rhe forest floor because the ocean is really far from here, and kind of scary. They are the author of ‘Treat me Like you Treat me like you Earth’ published by the late Suspect Press. They also have two tracks of spoken word on Black Marlet Translation’s Punketry album. They are really bad at playing banjo, but will always be, more punk than Brice.

Elizathebeth.com has poems on it that are nearly impossible to read on a phone.

[schema geometrica][Día de Los Muertos][CON JEFE CRUZ]| Dennis Hinrichsen

Image: Jazz Borquez
                              —I kill indiscriminately // I breathe the same // 

& yet I can plant these copper-colored seeds saying // this is
for you // mariposa // para tu Día de los Muertos you leave 
so many behind I think I am part of that parade poking 
dying earth // neck bones’ sweet ridges offered to sun //
skull breaking through the sheen of work’s liqueur //
el jefe Cruz observing // then shouting // oye // too deep //
or too close // already the acres // in spring // a sea of milkweed //
& so I jump like the young boy I am no longer una Danza
de los Viejitos & continue working down the line // seed &
seed // a campesino finally // once this skin is flensed to laddered
bone // grin—all teeth // black sockets alive & laughing //
—O mountain hectares covered in orange // the sheer volume
of you now // the sheeted square footage // sound of the wings
un grito de vida I keep hearing in this nightmare world // hiss—
I cannot bear to say it—as if from a herbicide

w/a half-life & a means of migration


Dennis Hinrichsen’s most recent book is This Is Where I Live Now I Have Nowhere Else To Go, winner of the 2020 Grid Poetry Prize, and [q / lear], a chapbook from Green Linden Press. He has new poems appearing or forthcoming in Canary, The Night Heron Barks, Map Literary, Otoliths, and Under A Warm Green Linden. He lives in Lansing, Michigan where from May 2017 – April 2019 he was the area’s first Poet Laureate.

28 | Matt Clifford

Image: Pawel Czerwiński

We had language and we had water, they wouldn’t let us have both. We knew what the water was capable of. We said yes to it and our reflections. They closed the park at midnight. We spit at the sky and talked it into the ground with masks on we spoke from our heart. Those with the least to empty talked loudly with mouths wide open. The hate was too infectious to be prevented. They hated that which did not concern them. They were unconcerned with the hatred. They said that’s what it is as if it had always been because they said it because they said it that’s what it is. I didn’t say anything when nobody asked. I just walked into the water on a mission. It held me as water does. I became to become again. I floated away for dry land. 

How little time the relatives have and how stuck they are in it. The ones who are determined to make love happen live as though it’s about to. At all times their hearts are breaking and while the city spins so fast that they are used to it each one is a quake in heaven. There are ghosts who would bleed to stop it, angels who mourn eternally for all the hurt that has already been absorbed and can’t ever be reversed. They have so much compassion and nowhere to go with it. The things they understand wouldn’t make sense in a vision. You can’t just be told it as ecstatic divine revelation. It has to be discovered by sitting in the dirt longer and writing every word down and walking the letter across town. I waited until I learned how to recognize the instruction and then followed it with a diligence fit for bricks that want to bring out the best from behind the sun. I only tried to tell you about it. When I couldn’t it was enough to kill. That was when I returned to the water. There were so many people walking out of it. I couldn’t look them in the eyes. They didn’t stop me. 


The Matt Clifford (right) did so see his shadow thus marking four more weeks of Tax Season.
(www.blackmarkettranslation.com)

Petrichor | Mārta Ziemelis

Image: Matt Artz

When you leave the desert,
your mind forgets the heat,
but your body remembers.
When you leave the desert,
the smell of wet dust
right after rain
lingers in your nose,
hopeful, electric, forever refreshing.
When you leave the desert,
the desert keeps a piece of you.


Mārta Ziemelis is a Toronto-based emerging poet and established literary translator. Her poetry has appeared in The Ice Colony and CRUSH Zine. It is also forthcoming in the Sapphic Writers zine “Out Of The Wardrobe”. Her Latvian-English translations include “Do you exist, or did my mind invent you?”, a poem by Gunta Micāne (TransLit Volume 11: An Anthology of Literary Translations, 2017), two short stories in the anthology The Book of Riga (Comma Press, 2018), and Narcoses, a poetry collection by Madara Gruntmane, co-translated with Richard O’Brien (Parthian, 2018).” Instagram.

Rotting Eaves | Michael T. Young

Image: Del Barrett
Across the park, an old clock tower
surrendered itself to moss and vines. 
Tendrils coil along the clock hands, 
twine the gears and down the shafts. 

Finches knit knobby twigs, grass, and leaves,
nesting in vents and through the hollows 
where the eaves have rotted, remaking 
what we leave behind into the life that follows.

Michael T. Young’s third full-length collection, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. He received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His chapbook, Living in the Counterpoint, received the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. It has also appeared in numerous journals including Cimarron Review, Gargoyle Magazine, One, Rattle, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Facebook. Twitter

Naming Water | Carol Willette Bachofner

Image: United States Geological Survey
Gwantigok, Penawahpskek, 
		Passamaquoddy, Pashipakokee,
long rivers, long through the land you flow
long through us will you flow,
flowing from where the rocks widen,
from where pollack feed us.

Piscataqua, Androscoggin, Cobbosseecontee,
		Olamantegok, Quahog,
where water lies between the hills
through the sheltering place, 
to where sturgeon gather together
to red ochre river, color of our children.
Shellfish place, treaty-making place.

Sebastcook, Seninebik, 
		 Skowhegan, Baskahegan,
our stories flow
through little channels,
bearing rocks and memories
from where salmon leap the falls
to broad open waters,

turning back to where wild onions grow,
With birch and ash along their backs,
long rivers of first light
through our families flowing:
Wazwtegok, Winoztegok,
		Zawakwtegw, Gwantigok.

			Ndakinna.

Carol Willette Bachofner is an indigenous poet (Abenaki), watercolorist, and photographer. She is the author of 7 books, most recently Native Moons, Native Days (Bowman Books) and Test Pattern, a fantod of prose poems (Finishing Line Press)

Her poetry has appeared in various journals, such as Prairie Schooner, The Connecticut Review, The Comstock Review, Cream City Review, Crab Orchard Journal and others. Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies such as Take Heart: Poems From Maine (DownEast Books) as well as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Writings from Indigenous New England (University of Nebraska Press, 2013). She has won several poetry prizes, including the Maine Postmark Contest (2017).  She served as Poet Laureate of Rockland from 2012-2016. Her photographs have appeared in various journals, such as Harbor Review (2021) and Spirit of Place where her photograph, ”Rigged” was an honorable mention given by Maine Media Workshop in 2013.

Shoshanah | Sarah LaRue

Image: Max Kleinman
My grandmother is the ocean now
                                       roaring always somewhere
                                                     even when quiet here and now
             her smooth surface breaks into waves

She resists and yields at once
                             in magnitudinal power tides
                                           pulled heavy from the moon
               in consort with the sun and
                             of service to the earth

I know her without seeing her
                            hear legends of her raging depth
              feeling her live in each coastal drop

She swells around my ankles
                             to let me feel my roots
                                          when instinct crashes over me
It is her—urging moments into eternity

Sarah (she/her) is a health advocate, activist, and poet who loves sunshine, storms, and quiet nights. She is a queer Jewish reiki-practicing witch, and poetry is how she understands and misunderstands Life . Sarah has been published in Stain’d Arts and South Broadway Ghost Society publications, and her work has been featured by the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center. Her two self-published books, I’ll just hide until it’s perfect and Tend, are available now by contacting sarahdlarue@gmail.com.

Two Poems | Kate LaDew

Image: Jr Korpa

the worst place to store medicine is in a medicine cabinet

the worst place to store secrets is under the tongue
as they diffuse through the membranes, the capillaries,
bypassing the stomach, the intestines, the liver,
anything that could filter them, dull their potency,
tumbling directly into the bloodstream
filling up everywhere
the secrets that hurt, that bite, that claw,
are less painful than the one that could change everything,
could heal and mend and dissipate all the terrors we live alongside
the secret of loving those whom we do not tell


during WWII my german-born great-grandmother painted a WWI helmet red white and blue

stuffed it with dirt and flowers to match
hung it in her front window
next to the biggest american flag the neighborhood had ever seen
and dared anybody to doubt her
I think about her as I watch men and women
straighten their arms, stretch their hands flat
fingers that never held anything heavier than a cigarette
accusing people who live on the same street
of jobs stolen, livelihoods vanished
the country my great-grandmother held her heart up to,
dripping blood as red as anybody born on its soil,
is not the country I live in, is not, even, the country she lived in
all the things we caught by their tails, hate, injustice,
a constant confusing of equality with oppression,
only seem new to eyes socketed in white skin
a flag as big as the world can’t cover
a hate as deep as an ever-expanding universe
all the galaxies moving away from ours so quickly
no signal we fire, even at the speed of light,
will ever reach them
it’s just you and me, alone together,
and when we die, nobody will know but us


Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art.  She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.

I feared I was a werewolf | Jericho Hockett

Image: Markus Gjengaar
failed,                                     feral at best,	
stuck between               phases of moon,
my body out                of sync with time
I was                                  promised bliss
with one bite,                        but still I lie	

abed in honey               phlox, sleepless, 
joints aching                   to be shredded,
skin to burst                      as March ides	
march on to                  May’s full flower 
moon and past.                           I passed

for human,                   despite my howl,
the blood                                         curse,
even growling,                    lacking only
fur, claws, sharp            teeth. Reserved
in every form          except of judgment

for what I thought                a werewolf 
ought to be:                    a wound at best. 	
But the worst                        feature was 
my abject desire                   to preserve 	
human remains.                   Until I met

my werewolf’s ghost        carrying scent 
fresh human flesh     on spring breezes,	
in gradual degrees                 shifting my
dimensions                    under all moons,
full,                                                       dark.

Jericho Hockett‘s roots are in the farm in Kansas, and she is blooming in Topeka with Eddy and Evelynn. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Kansas State University, but is a forever student. She is also a poet, teacher, and especially a seeker who is most whole in the green–whether in garden, field, forest, or heart. Her poems appear in Burning House Press, Snakeroot: A Midwest Resistance ‘Zine, Ichabods Speak Out: Poems in the Age of Me, Too, SageWoman, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity, and Touchstone, with more works always brewing.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sb-logo-1.png

This poem is from the Thought For Food anthology,
a poetry collection benefiting Denver Food Rescue.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Thought For Food Promotional 1

After the rain | Sarah Russell

Art: “After a Rain” by Arkhip Kuindzhi 1879
clouds still roil, dark as wraiths 
who invade my sleep.  A shaft 
of light pierces their folds, brightens 

the field where cattle graze 
as though the storm never bruised, 
as though they never bawled, eyes flashed

with lightning.  They have forgotten, lower 
their heads for grass made sweet again,
while I still feel the drench, remember
 
how thunder crippled me with dread, 
how I flattened my soul against the earth 
to escape notice by the gods.

Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Misfit Magazine, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has two poetry collections published by Kelsay Books, I lost summer somewhere and Today and Other Seasons. She blogs at SarahRussellPoetry.net.