Melanie Sear – 1 poem 

Sitting In The Café…


Annie’s coffee sucks,

And her cakes are somewhat stale.

I want a refund!!!





Melanie Sear


KJ Hannah Greenberg – 1 poem 

No Better than Drowned Kittens


Few people do better than drowned kittens

Even when staying the course of relationships,

Most revert to former selves, create lost futures.


Socially-assigned gender roles make havoc

Thru sociopaths’ cravings, rage, entitlement.

Abstruse cultural strata remain off- putting.


Vitreous associations, like wine in tin cups,

Whether aided by philters or joyfully redolent,

Break down like stranded Atolla Jellies in July.


News of Atlantis has gone crazy on the Internet.

No characters’ playfulness can equal myalgia

Sourced from countless, dumb ocean swims.





KJ Hannah Greenberg’s whimsical writing buds in pastures where gelatinous wildebeests roam and beneath the soil where fey hedgehogs play. She’s been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature, and once for The Best of the Net. Her newest poetry collection is A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016). 

Frank De Canio – 2 poems 

Scheherazade Redux


Scheherazade could scarcely spin such tales

to keep her interlocutor engaged

like aggravating CNN regales

its viewership until it grows assuaged

by news that is at least a few weeks old.

Not even wide-eyed kings would be seduced

if consorts humored them with tales thrice-told,

that nonetheless consistently help boost

the ratings of its jaded viewership.

No termination of the nuptial knot

with anchors, or its stewardship,  

for raking over breaking news once hot.

Oh, they might add a fresh and novel spin

to stagnant summaries to make us get involved.

But shrewd Scheherazade would brook chagrin  

from Sultans till her marriage came dissolved.

Still, anchors act like virgin newlyweds

another day to keep their talking heads.




Finding Turnstiles in Strange Places



I’m sorry for entering your bedroom

at 3 am. I thought it was 8:30 in the morning

and that I was on the Number 4 express train

en route to Bowling Green. I’m not surprised,

as such, at the eviscerating look you gave

me with the crew of MTA officials

standing near your bed. Your glowering

look froze me in my tracks, even as I crossed

the threshold leading to your comfort sofa –

which was apparently made of metal.

Under the circumstances, it was brash of me

to enter your inner sanctum so gingerly,

scarcely aware of the gap between your teeth

and platform shoes. Having stayed there

for 20 minutes, it was generous of you

not to call the cops and have me arrested

before I had a chance to stand clear

of your bedroom’s rapidly closing door.  




Frank De Canio was born & bred in New Jersey, works in New York. He loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Dory Previn, Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. He likes Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsburg, and Sylvia Plath as poets. 

Carl Perrin – Fiction

The Diamond Bracelet



            Brenda poured herself a cup of coffee and asked, “How did you get that cheap son of a bitch to buy you a diamond bracelet for your anniversary?” She poured a generous dollop of cream and three spoonfuls of sugar into her coffee and stirred until her sister thought she would scrape the glaze off the inside of the coffee cup.

            Miriam smirked and said, “I made him feel guilty.”

            “He’s not having an affair, is he?”

“God, no. He’s too lazy to have an affair, but he has plenty to feel guilty about.”

“Like what?”

“Well, for one thing, he promised me to give up smoking three years ago.”

“He didn’t give it up?

“He gave up smoking at home, but I can smell the smoke on him when he comes in. He knows I can’t abide alcohol, but every once in a while he comes home smelling like a brewery.”

“So how did you use that to make him feel guilty enough to buy you a diamond bracelet?

Miriam poured herself another cup of coffee. “You know those new gizmoes they have to control things in your house?”

“Like turn the light on and play music and stuff?” Brenda ran her fingers through her hair, which was blonde this month.

“I bought one last month. I knew he would object to me spending the money, so I hid it under the bed.”


“I learned that you could talk to it and have it say stuff back to you.”


            “He is such a creature of habit. He takes a nap every afternoon at 3:00.”

            “So what did you do?” Her voice was impatient to hear how her sister used the gadget.

            “I fixed the gizmo–it’s called an Echo–to come on at 3:15 every afternoon and say, lowering her voice to a creepy waver, ‘I am the voice of your conscience.’

            “He never mentioned hearing it, but I knew he did. I could tell that it shook him up,” Miriam laughed. “After about a week I told him I wanted a bracelet for our anniversary. Then I stopped ‘The Voice of his Conscience.’ A few days after that he came home with my anniversary present,” waving her wrist in front of Brenda again.


            Two weeks later Miriam was at Brenda’s As Brenda poured the coffee, Miriam asked, “Where did you hide the macaroons?”

            “In the bottom cabinet, behind the big stew pot.” The sisters loved macaroons, as did Brenda’s husband, Harold, but Harold was supposed to watch his sugar intake, and if he found the macaroons, he would eat the whole package.

            “So, did you decide where you’re going on vacation next month?” Brenda asked,  taking a delicate nibble out of her macaroon.

            “We decided to go to North Carolina.”

            “North Carolina? Whatever are you going to do there?

            Miriam hesitated. “We’re going to watch the NASCAR races.”

            “NASCAR! NASCAR? I thought you hated NASCAR stuff.”

            “I do, but the reservations are all made. The money is spent. We can’t go anyplace else at this point.”

            “You let him turn the tables on you, didn’t you? You let him make you feel guilty because he spent so much money on that bracelet.”

            Miriam looked down. “Yes, I’m afraid I did.”

            “I still don’t understand it,” Brenda said. How could he afford it? That bracelet must have cost thousands of dollars.”

            Miriam shook her head. “That’s what I thought when I agreed to go to North Carolina with him. But yesterday the credit card bill came. The bracelet isn’t diamonds at all. It’s only rhinestone, and it cost $19.99.”




 CARL PERRIN started writing when he was in high school. His short stories have appeared in The Mountain Laurel, Northern New England Review, Kennebec, Short-Story.Me, and CommuterLit among others. His book-length fiction includes Elmhurst Community Theatre, a novel, and RFD 1, Grangely, a collection of humorous short stories.  He is the author of several textbooks, including Successful Resumes,and Get Your Point Across, a business writing textThe memoir of his teaching career Touching Eternity, was a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award. 

Linda Imbler – 2 poems 

If Yellow Sang To Me

If yellow sang to me of bright sun’s day,

the consonance of corn on the cob served at picnics

sweet cream butter at the side

If yellow sang to me as I watch the march

of lemony taxicabs

transporting frazzled strangers

from airports to who knows where

The rhythm of bouncing saffron school buses conveying our future

A vase of sunflowers painted on canvas, the romantic interpretation

through beautiful hands belonging to Van Gogh, 

harvest gold portrayed

Stunning yellow tang, the maestro, swimming amid corals in clear water

A cadence of newly sharpened pencils united with

cobalt legal pads

The aria of a canary’s song

A polyphony-

Bananas to be peeled and sliced

placed atop cereal

If yellow sang to me.




The Heart’s Camera

That second of time caught in an eyepiece

As the camera’s shutter loudly snapped.

The capturing of blissful calm and ease

On young faces of those photographed.

This image will stand as a testament

To the history of good friends well met,

To whom, to what, and to how it was then,

Photostat narrative of this quartet.

Their stout hearts were worn on their sleeves that noon,

Sleeves now faded with the passing of time.

And so this photo keeps fading too,

As each one arrives at the finish line.





Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.”  She has also been published by,

bluepepper.blogspot.combuckoffmag.comFine Flu Journal, Bunbury Magazine, Blognostics, Nailpolish Stories, Broad River Review Literary Magazine, Mad Swirl, 

Ascent Aspirations: Friday’s Poems, Unbroken Journal and The Voices Project.  Linda’s short stories have appeared in Fear of Monkeys, Danse Macabre, and Mad Swirl

Online, she can be found at This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player resides in Wichita, Kansas.