Patricia Hamilton – 2 poems 

The Day Everything Changed



The English Professor Reminisces






the fifth


grade I longed


to become a writer.






now I


see my fate


was sealed the day




Mr. Cheney was called


away from class.


He handed






our reading group’s text


and told me


to carry








Coffeehouse Elegy




The chair you sat in


belongs to no one


and everyone,


comfortably angled


toward its companion,


brown leather wheezing


hello and goodbye


as patrons perch


to sip their coffee,


then flit away into their day.


Yet now that you’re gone


that chair is yours, bearing


the weight of your absence


for the flock of nameless regulars


that swarm in each morning,


nod to one another,


then settle in to work or read.


Even a migratory customer


like the man with the backpack


who snored softly in the other chair


for two weeks last summer–


who can say where he flew off to?–


would, were he to alight again,


sense the empty shape


of your presence,


would recall you filling in


your crossword, absorbed,


or quietly studying your Bible,


looking up with a charmed smile


if someone you knew


stopped to greet you.


Mornings are chillier now,


but the golden autumn light


still pours through the window


and pools in your empty chair


as if waiting


for your return.




A California native, Patricia Hamilton lives and works in Jackson, TN.  Things that make her happy include travel, dark chocolate, and jazz.  She won the 2015 Rash Award in Poetry.  Her first volume of poetry, The Distance to Nightfall, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing.


Ken Allan Dronsfield – 1 poem 


I seek some remembrance today;

staring at that gaudy wallpaper

hung with care in our bedroom.

I wonder if you’re finally at peace;

days roll slow, thoughts come and go

in this lonely, cathartic lifetime.

This abysmal and debilitating age;

can a serene existence be found

or must I survive with this queasy,

innocuous ameliorate daily?

Feel a boisterous folly during days

as spring’s cascading rain brings

childish recollections of happiness.

Come visit me in a soft whisper;

dancing with me rocking slowly

as a coolish hazy misty loving spirit.

Meet me at the old frog pond where

our chairs sit empty in stoic repose as

the sun rises above the trees to the east.

Hence, I’ll take one more breath this day,

and you… are….where?




Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who has been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken’s new book, “The Cellaring”, a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from

Sheri Gabbert – 3 poems 



Pinpoint of yellow covers a blemish,

eyelash primer boosts 3-D mascara

on blended color eyes. Blazing Lava

highlights smiling lips.


Three outfits later, I stand at the mirror,

reflect on each strand of hair

and reasons to be nervous, afraid

of being fat and old and ugly in your eyes.


Five years ago I dated a married man

with the knowledge and consent of his wife.

An offense no one has forgiven,

better to have cheated than to have been

polyamorous in their minds.


Nine years after the divorce, I still dress

for you, not for praise or sex appeal

but to avoid judgement. Caring what you think

a habit after twenty-three years, something

to remind myself I once loved  you.


Arriving at a party too early to make an entrance,

too late to be first, I speak to one of the two

people who still like me and wait for your arrival

wondering what your new wife is wearing,

aware she loved you without my knowledge

or consent.


I force them to say something, one disapproval

at a time, waiting, waiting, waiting …

did I use too much hairspray, too much makeup,

too much, too much, too much and yet

you never come and I spend most of the evening


sitting alone, trying to look relevant and contrite.




Flotsam in the Kitchen Sink


He works, his sons work, his wife walked out.

The boys sleep on sagging floors with protruding nails,

he sleeps on a sofa with cushions that gave up a lifetime ago.


Dreams gurgle from reeking brown water.

Daybreak brings an afflictive sun, spilling over the sides

of the blackened kitchen sink, another day of not enough.


Plunge, pump, push – he forces through crowds,

part of something larger than eight to five and mortgages

on paper thin walls and crumbled stairs.


He lives within the lines. His boys stay within borders

that protect them from stray bullets and bullying gangs

of other boys who also sleep on floors but hide

in chemical dreams, float above the underbelly in reprieve.




Déjà Vu


I would tell you I love you,

if I were the sort to mutter sentimentalities

or to make yesterday’s lover feel guilty.


Instead, I’m going to tell you your new girlfriend

is a cunt. I’ve never used that word

in precisely that way but I’ve always wanted to.


It fits, even if I don’t really understand

why that’s the worst thing we can think of to call

the women who replace us or why we call

ex-boyfriends cocksuckers. 


When we’re in love, cunt and cock sucking

are terrific words packed with possibilities.


And what the fuck?  What do you mean

you don’t feel the same?  As when? Yesterday?


We never know what happened,

those of us who are left when lovers

love someone new or maybe one we always knew

but never imagined would be the one?


And there’s always “a one.” Relationships

never last. Somebody will leave somebody

one way or another, but it doesn’t make it

any easier to know that, specially this evening

after dinner and a movie, when you said We need to talk

and your eyes finished the sentence.




Sheri Gabbert is a substitute teacher living in the Missouri Ozarks with her miniature schnauzer, Rilke. Her work has been published in Moon City Review (2011/2017), new graffiti, The Quotable, Rat’s Ass Review (Love & Ensuing Madness and Such an Ugly Time, issue and anthology), Communicator’s League, Drunk Monkeys, Serving House Journal, 417Magazine, Street Buzz, and The Lawrence County Record. 

Anna Nightingale – 2 poems 



There is a place in Lisbon where you can see an imitation statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, and a bridge similar to The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.


This moment is nostalgia

before nostalgia is:

lurking at the shore

of my premature thoughts. I’m gazing

at myself through gauze & taking

these gills & thrills & you for granted.

My worship ship was sinking and I capsized


sat by a river

that disregarded

the neaps

and springs of


Shoures soote only there –

months are not cruel, but me

I am a drought, drowned

in the unholy waters of Leman.

There was water so I did stop and drink

and by the rock I could not stop or think.

An alcoholic tongue:

a thing we’d never done.

The redeemer glares & my justification?

It’s not so simple

as rosaries and recitation.

The gate is gilded & these years are

something like such imitations.




If My Brain Were Spain


Exoticise my mind

like a language you’re hungry to learn

       its poli tics are a broken tongue –

and you like the validation it feeds you.


Move in there

and publicise it.

It is your neuro- bureau.

Let the confession echo, through that windowless hollow

to which

dragged you,

Without realising

I’m now trapped too. 




Anna Nightingale is from Coventry, UK and studies English at the University of Cambridge.