Holly Day – 2 poems

The Anniversary


Years later, they will speak of this anniversary

as though it had happened to other people, neighbors, perhaps.

They will speak lightly of her hospitalization


gloss over the details, mention her minor head trauma

the problems he had had with his temper

back then, in the past.


Their children will glare pointedly at each other

over the heads of the assembled party guests

because one of them should have intervened


someone was supposed to have been here.








The bird hides inside, tucked inside my ribcage

too rotten to present. Bodies twist, limbs flail

but I didn’t come.


Dark and black and wet, he’s swimming

in the sweat of other women, rotten

to the heart. The bird is in here, barely visible

in the sick hot summer, intent on


murdering angels.

Even through the cigarette smoke and birthday cologne

he’s in my heart—I can smell him.




Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press),  A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit.net), Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), and Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), while her newest nonfiction books are Music Theory for Dummies and Tattoo FAQ.

George Cassidy Payne – 3 poems

Self-Portrait as a Sea Turtle


They say that all vertebrate embryos
look alike. But only my shoulder bones
slide inside the rib cage, and only my
shell is made from the empty space of


those ribs fusing to become a wall
that will keep me hidden from the world.


A philosopher once asked me, in front
of an entire galaxy of fishes, why I don’t
grow my shoulders inside the rib cage
from the beginning? “I don’t know,” I replied.
“Like you, I am a mystery of evolution.”



Scorpio in Tarot


You bore me.
Detached. Peeled
off. You tease me
like a key that does
not fit the lock. You
chain me. Tossed to
the wind. Rising. From
the perky filth. You
squander me. Even if
there are things to learn.
You pulled me. The death




Watching you
keep my time


The mind wears
only language.


Simple words.
words. A hand


rising on the
chest. Clothes
kicked off the bed.


Black ion plated
stainless with a
green leather strap.




George Cassidy Payne is interested in the intersection of poetry, social justice, representations of spirituality and concepts of self. He’s a part-time professor of philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) and teaches workshops focusing on writing and philosophy. He holds a master’s degree in philosophical theology from Emory University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Barnstorm JournalChronogram MagazineAdelaide, the Adirondack AlmanacTea HouseThe Mindful WordInk, Sweat, and Tears, the Scarlet Leaf ReviewThe Writing DisorderCalifragileZingara Poetry ReviewDeep South MagazineAllegro Poetry Review and several others. His debut full-length collection, A Time Before Teachers, was released in 2019 from Cholla Needles Literary Press.

Kitty Coles – 2 poems



He turns the crank which makes the bellows pump.

Air travels to the pipes.  The barrel turns.

The pins and staples lift the wooden keys.

Now music plays, quick, high and flutingly.

You, poor bedraggled fool, are still and listen.

Your yellow head is tilted so, just so.

Your seed-like eyes remain uncurious.

Your little hook-feet clench around your perch.

Then, dutifully, you open your small bill

and churn the tune out, chirpingly, just so.

You sing, as if with feeling, ‘la petite chasse’.

Your feathers quiver with liquid vibrato,

your frail tongue trembling on those top notes,

your heartbeat visible through dirty plumage.






I didn’t begin as a way of letting the bones through

but the further I go the more they rise from the deep

furrows of flesh and I trace their shining lines,

mapping the sunken nuggets of their gold.


I grow an appetite for mouthfuls of air,

a bellyful of water, a head where the cosmos

whirls in its spangly nothing behind my eyes.

The taste on my lips is sweeter than honey or wine.




Kitty Coles’ poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies and have been nominated for the Forward Prize, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her debut pamphlet, Seal Wife (2017), was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize. Her first collection, Visiting Hours, will be published in 2020 by The High Window. www.kittyrcoles.com

R. Gerry Fabian – 1 poem

Farewell Children



As the faces disappear

the eternal memories begin:

Of crabgrass children

who flower in summer’s heat

and are blown toward tomorrow

by the west wind.

Of spider web girls

who balance threads

waiting for love to stick

or snap.

Of granite gruffs

who go as they came

and are never missed.

Of blacktop boys

whose headlight eyes and piston hands

never found the exact timing.

Of insecure jesters

who knew all the words

to obscene songs but

never the meaning.


Of the two or three unicorns

thought to be extinct

who reveal their rare magic

to a select few;

share a special mystery

and like all the others

are too soon – gone.



R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor.  He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page is https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com  
He has published two books of his published poems, Parallels and Coming Out Of The Atlantic. His novels, Memphis Masquerade, Getting Lucky (The Story) and Seventh Sense
are available at all ebook publishers including Amazon, Apple Books and Barnes and Noble. He is currently working on His fourth novel, Ghost Girl. is scheduled for publication in 2020.

KJ Hannah Greenberg – 2 poems

Soft Reasoning


Soft reasoning, elsewise known as “acrimony’s cousin,” visits special occasions,

Lets loose with random prudence, sends word confetti across most relationships.


Apparently, cognitive summersaults are more than party entertainments, result in

Glory beyond that appointed by children, elderly, or feeble-minded denizens.


It seems, behind every prize rose bush, expertly clipped teacup poodle, also late

Date sports cars, grow cerebral obfuscations unbridled by ratiocination or smarts.


Linear problem solving, usually, jump starts the rise of satrapies, promises cures

For cancer, likewise takes responsibility for all manner of interpersonal remorse.


On balance, timid motivation leaves governments vulnerable, causes schools’

Closure, maybe even aids some gunmen in shooting up juvenile populations.


Hallow associations, after all, notwithstanding the nature of abstract frameworks,

Domain-specific ontologies or related concepts, can’t guarantee world peace,

Marital harmony, fair grades, the end of hunger, best hiring practices, or health.







It’s impossible to summon self-interpretation of important items, at the same time

As asserting, implicitly, that select explanations are off the mark. Folly follows paths

Made by pernicious moose, evil dictators, wayward children, plus grownups’ unproved



Moreover, unripe sentiments confound allies as well as bait foes. It’s better to employ

Language that encourages G-d talk, to embrace good deeds, to avoid, always, frequent

Lèsemajesté. Likewise, our assemblages of mawkishness ought not to recall turbid



See, no cantrip can ever equal changes in the nature of norms. No matter contemporary

Demographics’ findings, synchronized claims about rules for conducting effective prayer

Remain visceral. No dox, no punity, no screaming atop of staircases ever deterred cruel



Note: whereas international saltation proves haptic verities, concurrently, toxic means

Bring about mere “so-called” peace partners, not realities of trust or exchange, not pure

Co-existence. The marketplace of ideas invites sensible “economies,” but holds inflation



Senseless attacks abound. Governments chivvy. Residents complain, would-be heads of

State deign to offer incense, incorrectly, to extend bloodied olive branches, to slaughter
Innocents. The world silently witnesses futile efforts to placate those powerful people’s



Nonetheless, the posology of peace waits no advection of wisdom’s likely manifestations.

Sexual, physical, or emotional exploitation of “vulnerable others,” children, women, also

Animals, get ruined, in the least, by human bravado, human aggression; hurt, managerial



Consequently, it’s insufficient to dedicate anxiety or gestalt to tintinnabular “accidents.”

Dear ones are worth maintaining. Life necessarily communicates to our guts, foofaraw

Or no, skips linguistic wends that compile words reflecting values back to our innermost






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).