by Timothy Bearly He is the grit in the otherwise well oiled machine. The monkey wrench— in the wooden gears of the loom—endeavoring to splinter the cogs. The in-​​vitro injection for the barren minds that cannot conceive. Impervious to indoctrination, he is the unabashed child that scoffs at the naked— less endowed—emperor, and gazes back in truculent defiance at the despotic preceptor who promulgates “thou shalt” or “thou shalt not”. Pouring salt upon the lionized oleaginous gastropods, he reveals that they are indeed organic, carbon based—not divine! Thus they—the charlatans and impostors— have him burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, and tar and feathered. However, … Continue reading ICON (OCLAST)


by William Doreski “A leaf among many leaves,” the rasp of winter light on bare earth where snow has melted much like a stranger raking her fingers through my hair. I rifle pages of The New Yorker, Atlantic, Nation for clues to the new persona gradually overcoming me. What did Duncan mean by the phrase? The San Francisco he loved has closed like a showy orchid, leaving a stink. Only the greedy, the greediest of the greedy, can afford the housing that housed the people I admired when their books, paintings, and music suggested “American culture” wasn’t quite the oxymoron it has since become. I’m only a leaf … Continue reading A LEAF AMONG MANY LEAVES


by William Doreski Poplars line the Agout’s banks where rapids stutter in foam spiked with reeds and sprigs of willow. Here servants erect the trestles, lay wide oak planks and cover them with cloth dyed the personal scarlet of Montpellier. Venison pastry, a gilded platter of boar meat, silver plates of duck and peacock, florets of lettuce, hot rye loaves, ginger preserves, salt and pepper, tubs of butter. Arnaut de Maruelh eats heartily as Her Ladyship and the others, and when finished stuffs his pockets with oranges, figs and raisins, tunes his viol, and sings a nightingale lyric that will outlive him by maybe a thousand … Continue reading ARNAUT DE MARUELH SINGS FOR HIS LUNCH


by Anne Whitehouse So much has passed through my mind, gotten lost, or buried in the litter of years, in a drawer shut for so long that when it was opened, it exhaled a musty smell as if an animal had once lived there. Memories reveal emotions that bind me, rooted, yet constantly shifting like grasses still tender and green in the fields of October. Shining in sunlight, they tease and beckon before the frosts. In astonishing silence, the bee lit on my lap, its velvety coat striped black-​​and-​​yellow. I meant to brush it off, but changed my mind. With the barest touch, it rose up and away. Continue reading THE PAST


by Diane Webster I want to be a butterfly, but I am a caterpillar. I wish for stained-glass wings to fly over this grass-infested field. I wish for wind to tickle my belly; I wish for my photo to adorn a gallery wall where someone thinks I’m worth $100 and a trip home. But I am a caterpillar steadily trudging my trail between dandelion blooms that eventually fluff and seed near and far away grounds between rocks and grass and last year’s decaying aspen leaves. I bask on a branch hoping the urge to spin a life-changing cocoon might hit me … Continue reading TRUDGING TRAIL


by Molly Meyer We will have to get down on all fours and eat the grasses of the cemeteries forever—Federico García Lorca  1918, Philadelphia  John Gray’s feverish psalms could not save his wife and child.  Or himself. The Bureau of Child Hygiene left the weakest ones on the sidewalk, made it easier for the garbage collectors. No more caskets at Covington’s funeral parlor. Fortunately, the Grays pre-paid, ended up side-by-side-by-side. Laid to unrest in Monument Cemetery, garden of dust. Only God and the gravedigger attended services.  1956, Philadelphia  The city condemns Monument Cemetery, sends letters to 28,000 families. Pick up your bones. … Continue reading DESECRATION


by Billy Harfosh These moments Transcend time Overrule differences of opinion Even language is no match  Fluid spilling out perfectly With more bark then bite These moments Altering misconceptions Our madness finally aligned  Allies blowing kisses  To enemies These moments Natural Afternoon rain Hailing a cab Washing the dishes Sitting, beer in hand During the most monotonous  Of times  It happens These moments Somehow feel okay We churn on beating Going along with  Unfortunate hands  Dealt to those  That don’t deserve as much These moments Hold a pattern Across oceans These moments  I must say Are here to stay So, … Continue reading THESE MOMENTS