M. J. Arlett
Tip-toeing my fingers through your hair,
I feel elemental.
As though each follicle is a stem of wheat,
while my hands are the wind breathing movement
through the field before harvest.
Hearing you read
with that French nuisance
to your voice
makes me wish
I could pave it
under my words
and have anyone
and clamber over
just as you do.
It’s not all Manon Lescaut, you know.
Some days I barely live.
Built of debris,
loosely twined scraps—
ghost nests, comfort shadows.
Empty coffee cup days.
Once my hair was raven wing
and my tears still clear as dew.
Flights now are fewer and slower,
often torn from the sky.
Undignified remnants of the dodo—
scanty, prismatic moments
under the last sun.
How it gains its own character,
that cheap item, mass-produced—
a paint roller, say—as it lasts
one’s life, passed down
to the children even
crusted with layers of color.
Some grandchild may take the time,
one cool summer day, to strip
it down. But whether it be
scratch marks, stubborn residuals,
squeaks and asymmetries,
something will be there to indicate
that this is no fresh start.
M. A. Istvan, Jr.
Her grandson, all of three, putters
around her what is officially
her sleep time—tranquilizers
and all of that. She thinks it is love,
allows him this excess. For putto
she is perhaps another plaything.
our basset isn't like
a toddler unaware
of his bad haircut.
he likes his bad haircut.
his middle name is wallow.
grace of a fish
but a catfish.
our basset is stubborn
and kind of dumb.
every three weeks or
so he writes a letter
to the editor.
there's rolling of
eyes. they're always
the same: complaints
about the park district,
the state of the roads,
and how loud kids
are nowadays. the usual
outrage. when the
paper comes that day
he barks and barks.
continue issue 101
Woke up smelling the proverbial coffee.
It had a black hole in it.
I’m not in any of the photos
Why does heat travel inevitably
from hot to cold?
You said love must bear the weight of gravity.
Photons have no mass, no charge.
What is heat?
The Physics of Love
On the apex of the roof
we look out on the wheat field
watching where a wave of wind
subsides into stillness
or catches a counter-breeze
and veers suddenly
at a near right angle
like a master surfer
riding the combined swell
over the golden stalks
bowing as if a god was passing
on his way home
to the setting sun.
Fixing the Barn
William Cullen, Jr.
A 1910 submarine is lurking
in the pipes of my steam radiator—
one of many unprovable lies
used to justify this insomnia.
Such domestic submersibles
pre-date the flea circus
of my vanished
By three in the morning, it sounds like
a sea kraken is hugging it out
with the submarine. The creature
with its own monstrousness;
its tentacles wildly grasping
at sleep, a pillow of stone.
M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work can be found in Portland Review, Gravel, Indianola Review, The Boiler Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and elsewhere.
Ian Brand’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Manhattan Review, American Letters and Commentary, Third Coast, and Poet Lore. Ian has also written two chapbooks, A Brief Bio of the Stick Figure (Pudding House 2007) and The Ransacked Planetarium (Pudding House 2009), both nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
William Cullen Jr. is a veteran who works at a social services non-profit in New York City. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in *82Review, Canary, Farming Magazine, Pouch and The Drought Anthology.
Nicholas Froumis practices optometry in the Bay Area. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Balloons Lit Journal, TWJ Magazine, The Society of Classical Poets Journal, Calvary Cross, and Touch: The Journal of Healing. He lives in San Jose, CA with his wife, novelist Stacy Froumis, and their daughter.
Howie Good's count of published poems now is best displayed in scientific notation, which the editors of this publication never really understood.
Ann Howells edits Illya’s Honey, now digital at www.IllyasHoney.com, with a co-editor. Publications: Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag, 2007), The Rosebud Diaries (Willet, 2012), Under a Lone Star (Village Books, 2016), and as editor, Cattlemen & Cadillacs, an anthology of Dallas/Ft. Worth poets (Dallas Poets Community Press, 2016).
Rejected by his academic peers for incidents that have resulted from his brazen narcolepsy and two-spiritedness, M. A. Istvan Jr. is a dedicated teacher of philosophy at various Texas institutions.
Michael Kriesel won North American Review’s 2015 Hearst Prize. Past President of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, his books include Whale of Stars (haiku) and Moths Mail the House (both from Sunnyoutside). His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly, Antioch Review, Rattle, North American Review, and The Progressive. He was a print / broadcast journalist in the Navy in the 1980s, and is currently an elementary school janitor / weekend security guard.
John McKernan, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is a retired comma herder after teaching many years at Marshall University. He lives in West Virginia and Florida. His most recent book is a selected poems collection, Resurrection of the Dust. He has recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Raritan, Prairie Schooner.
Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982–2013. In 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August) and at year's end received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review and Blue Heron Review.
Terrie Leigh Relf is a lifetime member of the SFPA and an active member of the HWA. She was the featured poet for the spring 2016 issue of scifaikuest, and has also appeared recently in Star*Line. Relf is the editor and contest judge for Alban Lake's drabble contest publication.
Brad Rose was born and raised in southern California, and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray. Links to his poetry and fiction, which appear in print and on-line, can be found at: http://bradrosepoetry.blogspot.com/
Ina Roy-Faderman has an M.D. from Stanford University, a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, several mammals (some human), and a serious sleep debt. Recent work has appeared in Clade Song, Punchnel’s, and the Tupelo Press 30/30 and HIV Here & Now Poem-A-Day projects. She drinks coffee.
Sanjeev Sethi has published three books of poetry. This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015) is his latest work. Some of his new poems are in Ink Sweat and Tears, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Galway Review, The Open Mouse, Otoliths, The Jawline Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.
Phil Shils has had poems published in Underground Books, Stirring, and elsewhere. A chapbook is available from the fine folks at Right Hand Pointing. Another is coming soon from Underground Books.
Robert Vile is an English native, and is currently residing in Paris, France, where he teaches English. His work has recently appeared in various word documents on his laptop.
Rodd Whelpley is the secret poet in residence at the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. Recently, his poems have been published in The Bitchin' Kitsch, One Sentence Poems, Allegro, Antiphon, The Chagrin River Review and Long Dumb Voices. His work is forthcoming in Spillway, Eunoia Review and Tinderbox Poetry Review.
Mark Young's latest e-book, The Holy Sonnets unDonne, is available as a download from The Red Ceilings Press.
all images in this issue are collages by Dale Wisely