Charles Rammelkamp – 2 poems

Now You’re the Metaphor



As a kid in Potawatomi Rapids,

I thrilled to the Memorial Day parade,

always held on May 30 in those days,

even when it wasn’t on a Monday,

that first taste of summer in Michigan,

a late winter snowstorm less and less likely,

the imminent end of the school year.



White-whiskered Mister Engstrom,

veteran of the Spanish-American War,

rumored to have been a Rough Rider himself,

borne down Erie Street in a gas-guzzling convertible,

behind the high school marching band,

waving, looking a little vague, bewildered.

He was time itself; he was age personified.



Today my Medicare insurance kicks in.

In a week I will be sixty-five.




Breaking My Heart



“Don’t go breakin’ my heart,”

Elton John sings to Kiki Dee.

And what a funny metaphor for emotions,

I think, the heart. Why the heart?

All that love and hurt and betrayal and jealousy,

all that longing and desire, all that

passion, sentiment, whatever else.



And that funny red balloon shape,

where did that come from?

Silphium, a possible contraceptive,

represented in that shape, 6thcentury BCE,

carrots, with their estrogenic properties.

The red scallop with the dent in the base,

the point a stabbing downward dagger,

early fourteenth century, though

the heart as symbol of romantic love

even earlier, 1250, only then

it looked more like a pine cone.



The heart we all know from Valentine’s Day,

the one on playing cards

since late fifteenth century,

like a spread vulva, buttocks, the pubic mound:

isn’t that the one that breaks?

The one that gets pierced by Cupid’s arrow?

Cupid – from the Latin for “desire”:

He didn’t actually shoot for the heart.

Any direct hit would do.



“I won’t go breakin’ your heart,”

Kiki sings back to Elton.






Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives. His most recent books include American Zeitgeist (Apprentice House), which deals with the populist politician, William Jennings Bryan and a chapbook, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts, by Main Street Rag Press. Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.


James Croal Jackson – 3 poems

Existential Food Poems


After reading five food poems in a row,

I paused, told the audience I get inspiration

from food. I meant energy, really.

At home, sometimes, I sit at the table

eating noodles and suddenly

I am at the table eating noodles!

I look at the floppy strings

on my plate and ask myself

what I’m doing. Converting

loose ends to energy, according

to education. Google tells

me to stop eating so many noodles

but to stop means I’m

no longer energy– the will

to go on. These laces

tying my stomach

consumed by gastric acids

transform into aminos

that fuel me, somehow,

these noodles that don’t

make sense but somehow

allow my string of days

to keep dangling, serve

me on a plate so that

I may have the right

to exist, so I can fall

in love with someone

and they can fall,

too, and steam

until we cool enough

for them to stick

their fork in me,

then wonder, what

am I doing? The

fork swivels,


a tornado

of noodles.





Further, Further



I know the pang of distance / ghost of friendship cold air

conditioned inauthentic rumblings no more / passage into

the familiar / sea / a yellow boat rocks near the Atlantic

shore / I evade the sun / seek any shade to shield myself

of affection / affected by the moon / far apart again no /

vacation for the heart






In Pittsburgh, the First Time,



you told me Friendship is a road

split by two roads, parallel to Liberty,

and I told you that was a poem,

but you said, no, I’m just giving you

direction, and I looked up from your eyes

to the green sign reading Friendship Ave

and knew what you meant. Friendship–

we had yet to spend our first night

in the city, one that would end in

a dark cocktail bar for a dance party

that never materialized. In the morning,

we rode rented bicycles with bent

spokes and a click in their spinning

and I could only follow your lead

and cycle through streets still unfamiliar

to me– we weaved through lonely roads

to the Strip District, then stopped

at the Sixth Street Bridge to admire

the glimmer of the river that warm

winter day and continued until

we found the hill to Randyland

too steep to ride so, off our bikes,

we walked side-by-side up the path

until reaching our destination;

we locked our broken bikes

and kept walking.







James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Columbia Journal, Rattle, Hobart, Reservoir, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle, a poetry journal, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Find him at and @jimjakk.


Barbara Daniels – 1 poem


Workers in glowing fluorescent shirts
mow and whack weeds. You and I
grab branches and roots to stop

our slide down a rutted path, juniper
seed cones like blue beads, years
counting down, too little time

to watch swallows drink on the wing,
like us in a hurry, stuffing insects
in wide open mouths of their young,

then gone again, hunting. I never know
when it’s the last walk, the last mosquito
tasting me. You say you admire God’s

excess, the surplus of ants, for example.
Boundless clouds. Noon rushes toward us.
A cardinal whistles sweet sweet sweet.

There’s barely time for our own lunch,
yellow mangos, Baldwin apples, sweet
cherries, juice on our fingers and lips.



Barbara Daniels’ book Rose Fever was published by WordTech Press and her chapbooks Black Sails, Quinn & Marie, and Moon Kitchen by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and many other journals. She received three Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


Welcome to Bindweed Online 2019!

Bindweed Online 2019 - Richard Havenga.JPGHappy new year and welcome to Bindweed Online 2019! This year, Bindweed will continue publishing poetry and fiction on the Bindweed Magazine homepage and listing it under the Bindweed Online 2019 archive, in the same way Bindweed Magazine Issues 1-8 and Bindweed Anthology 2018: Devil’s Guts appeared. However, the new format for 2019 will see work published primarily online. If time and resources allow, there may be a print anthology at a later date.

The publication schedule will be flexible and on a rolling basis. So keep those submissions coming and look out for some great poetry and fiction coming up.

Leilanie and Joseph 🍃