Three Poems • Darren C. Demaree

Emily as Receding into Silence

Without human words,
Emily appears to be
developing a distance

from the rest of us,
appearing to translate
that distance into meaning

& if she didn’t smile after
that flight of flight, we
would know we held

no weight against her,
we would know how
un-pinned we all are.


Emily as the Floor Wells

There are times when the soul
of our house appears to yield
to Emily’s height, her lack of it

& I will see her be giant in one
room, only to return to her slight
wave in another. If this house

clings to her needs, then what
place do I have in it? I could
make sure the house is kept

in good order. I could hold it
together and keep it able to raise
Emily up, like a gift that reaches

past the ceiling, into the shallow
firmament of Ohio. Neither of us,
the house or myself, are crazy

about these doors. I have a key,
of course, but we both know
it would never allow us to leave.


Emily as Grief that is the Universe

I assumed Emily
wanted, would rely
on the all-energy

to build us into a deep
cycle of the physical
love. I was wrong.

I assumed the rest
of you wanted that
for Emily and me.

I’ve assumed the rest
of love would bend
to my own constructs,

the come mostly
from my own world.


Darren's poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in
South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Grist, and the 
Colorado Review. He is the author of "As We Refer To Our Bodies" 
(2013, 8th House), "Temporary Champions" (2014, Main Street Rag), 
and "Not For Art Nor Prayer" (2015, 8th House). He is also the 
Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology. He lives in
Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Four Poems • David McNaron


Kids prospective mates will flee,
alimony, ex-wives and husbands—

and more, the traces, the scars
they leave. As if we

were servicing it,
like debt. Indentured servants

of the emotional world.
When all we really want is

to start anew, open to trusting
once again, with more ahead

of us than behind. The way a 20-year old
enters his first apartment, looking

happily, with anticipation,
at those blank white walls.

And maybe no baggage is a kind of
baggage too. Still on the sidelines?

Where’s the gain—a jersey
that’s clean at the end of the game.


My Parents’ Bed

Lying here where I began
I suddenly see
the world

from their
vantage point.

by the antique space—
looking out
over the horizon

of responsibilities.
Trying to fall asleep I think
how they must

have worried:
House secure?
Bills paid? Kids safe?

This frame’s too small
for me, and far
too big to fill.

Sleigh for a journey ending
precisely where
it began.


Mrs. Burson’s Private Christian First Grade

We learned phonics, art, and the Blood of the Lamb.
The UR Sisters, E-R, U-R, and I-R: Sue Bee Honey

squeeze bottles with small yellow caps.
Nicholas, an enormous German Shepard,

mostly slept. The hamsters, unfortunately,
ate their babies, which looked like red wet thumbs.

Mrs. Burson would get on to me for saying dern,
learned from Daddy. When I acted badly,

according to her lights, she’d say ‘There’s a little demon
on your shoulder!’ My pastel of Calvary

was praised. I sanded the work with tissue. The stones
of the cave were smooth, Christ’s blood trickled down the hill.

Her son, Jack, who was in advertising,
was nearly killed by a dog food truck

that crossed into his lane coming over a viaduct.
Everything was God’s will. He worked his mysterious way,

turning me into an atheist.
Hers was the prettiest house around.

We met in the finished basement.
We made nice friends. Billy Amari and I

once pushed kids over the woodpile.
Both his parents died within a year,

his father washing up at his feet,
drowned, at Panama City Beach.

I need a little tag to place here, but I’m fresh
out of insights. I can only say that I remember,

and each time I remember there’s something new,
as if I were adding something.

And sometimes remembering is
a consolation for all the things that were lost.

I’m not afraid, or sorry for anything, anymore.
There are people who will always be with me,

and who speak to me as if from a well,
into which I look and see myself.


On the Shyness of Horses

They’re stroking the Derby winner,
shielding his eyes

from the glare of the cameras as he pants,
froths at the mouth.

In slow motion I see the full power
of his strides, propelling him beyond

the pack, the suppleness of the body
in rhythm, flowing like a river.

He seems to want to race,
but who can be sure?

The beauty of the horse lies not
in what it thinks.

And somehow respect seems in order
for all their ken, the powers

of their senses, so well beyond ours,
the will instantaneous with the act.

And just when I’m on the verge of an important
truth, it recedes, refusing to show itself.


David McNaron teaches philosophy at Nova Southeastern 
University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He received 
the MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine 
Arts in 2003. His poems have appeared or are 
forthcoming in Poetry East, The Midwest Quarterly, 
Ellipsis,, Gulf Stream, 
Third Wednesday, Deep South, Red Booth Review, 
Summerset Review, Tor House Newsletter and other magazines.

Two • Charlie Baylis

Lightning flashes on the strawberry fields, stems
Twist and weave to the moon’s silver - night is
White and a storm gather her pace. Flash. Green bulbs

Memory, cracks the grapes blue on the vine and the vielle
dam dances to the tune of the sea, in an unlit room
The bridges are all on fire, explosions of silence. Calm

Over the ridges the clouds loom grey the wasps, waspish
A boom of thunder erupts the field vanishes to snow. Flash.
The torch of desire breathes. Moonlight on the raspberries.


Charlie Baylis lives and works in Nottingham, England. He reviews poetry for Stride. His own writing has appeared most recently in Litro, Boston Poetry and Agave. He spends his spare time completely adrift of reality and tumbles, sporadically, here.

Parts • Winfred Watson



Winfred lives in Silverton, Colorado.

Hummingbird • Howie Good

come here,
it flies away,

a needle-

the window

in a dazzle
of wings,

a sort of


from another

the blue

Van Gogh

to cut off
his ear.


Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He has several poetry books forthcoming, including Fugitive Pieces (Right Hand Press) and Buddha & Co (Plain Wrap Press).

Waiting For Superman • Erren Geraud Kelly

like lois lane, she sits
in a coffeehouse, eyes pensive
trying to find a happy ending
in a dime store novel
her hair is black as midnight
i ask her if i can sit down
she says," no thanks, i'm waiting for
superman "

she's waiting for the bus and
her eyes are holding the dawn
she grips her briefcase
like its the presidential football
i notice the swell of her breasts
her eyes could be my kryptonite
i make small talk
and her words are gold
but she says " i'm waiting for

even if i could detect her secrets
with x-ray vision, it would be futile
she is gone, though she sits next to me
i see the american flag flapping like a cape
in the wind
she's heading home, another lonely
night, she's " waiting for superman"

i've got swag like a football team
enough nerve to leap tall buildings
i make ordinary words extraordinary
i could love her like the world
was ending
but she'll sit at home again
waiting for superman


Erren is a Pushcart nominated poet based in Portland, Oregon,
by way of Salisbury, North Carolina by way of Chicago,
by way of Louisiana, by way of Maine, by way of California,
by way of New York City, by way of Burlington, Vermont,
by way of Louisiana and so on. She has been writing for
25 years and has over 150 publications in print and online
in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish,
Poetry Magazine(online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar
Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg and other
publications. Her most recent publication was in The
Rain Party and Disaster Society; she has also been
published in anthologies such as " Fertile Ground,"
and Beyond The Frontier.” Her work can also been seen
on Youtube under the " Gallery Cabaret," links.

She is also the author of the chapbook, " Disturbing
The Peace," on Night Ballet Press.

She received her B.A. in English-Creative Writing
from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
She also loves to read and she loves to travel, having
visited 45 states and Canada and Europe. The themes
in her writings vary, but she has always had a soft
spot for subjects and people who are not in the
mainstream. But she never limits herself to anything,
she always tries to keep an open mind.

What I Leave Behind • Lana Ghannam

I hold thinning paper
in clammy hands,
lose my identity on it
by mistake. I crinkle
its abdomen with pressing
fingers, tightly rub
in my self-doubt
beneath my thumb.
I’ll lose my name
if I press hard enough,
erasing my prints off
the tips of my fingers,
like hair that’s been washed
too many times, strands
that fall out and get lost
on my shoulders or through
tumbled fabric. I’ll keep
those loose ends as warnings,
curls that tickle some sense
into me when tucked
into dryer sheets, bed sheets,
lying in sheets on my bedroom
floor. Those tumbleweeds
that catch my cold
toes in the middle
of the day, the sun ripping
down my blinds as if to say
I’m here, I’m here.
The mirror watches
my face get swallowed up
by the sun that sneaks
its light behind the slow
clouds. My eyes grow wide,
my eyes grow wild, always
seeking whatever falls behind.


Lana is currently an MFA Candidate in Poetry at the
University of Central Florida where she also serves as
a Teaching and Editorial Assistant for The
Florida Review, UCF’s national literary magazine. Her 
poetry has appeared in The Holler Box and The Cape Rock.

Humpty Dumpty Deli • Wendy Gist

Humpty Dumpty dude jots orders with flamingo pen,
scoops rocky road and mango ice cream for tweens
who scream preceding soccer practice.

Humpty places waffle cones oozing melting mounds
into holders on the countertop near antique register,
accepts cash only. An older couple off the Interstate
step forward on tanned legs in Bermuda shorts plaid.

The woman under white visor orders a pistachio shake.
Her hubby in button-down shirt pink, masquerading as boyfriend,
chooses berry banana split, demands in southern twang,
“No cherry, Sir.”

A young woman with a parted fro leaps forward,
her asymmetrical skirt, twirling yellow as sun flow.
Tap tap acrylic nail to laminated photo of frappé on countertop.

We chill at blue-mint booths.
He comes to us as waiter, delivers tropical smoothie
and orange Crush pop in a bottle, chilled.
He waggles behind counter, washes knives in a sink,
wipes equipment sterile. Mops tile.

Efficient as fish fins in water. He comes twice as server,
delivers ice waters as if a mind reader and
lunch with a clank of condiments (without request).

We’d slam a $100.00 tip on the table if able. Why not?
It’s a sweltering 103 degrees out. Heck.
We go, stroll sidewalks, flip-flops melt soles.
Humpty’s up on the rooftop mending the air conditioner.
If he goes tumbling, who will bus the tables?


Wendy Gist was born in southern California,
raised in northern Arizona. Her work has appeared
or is forthcoming in Amsterdam Quarterly, Canyon
Voices, Burningword, Glint Literary Journal,
Grey Sparrow Journal, Lines & Stars, New
Plains Review, Oyez Review, Pif Magazine,
Poetry Pacific, Red River Review, Rio Grande
Review, Sundog Lit, The Chaffey Review, The
Fourth River, The Lake (UK), Toad Suck Review,
Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous
Literature, Art, and Thought. She currently
resides in New Mexico.

Over • Ronald Pelias

As talk vanishes
into the understood,
a closing,
a covering,
a made bed.

Hand drops hand.

Eyes drop down
in regret,
in the rub and rid
of it all.


Ronald's poems have appeared in a number of journals,
including Small Pond, Yet Another Small Magazine,
Out of Line, Midwest Poetry Review, Margie, and
Whetstone. His most recent books, Methodology of the
Heart: Evoking Academic and Daily Life (AltaMira Press),
Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (Left Coast Press),
and Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing
(Left Coast Press), call upon the poetic as a research strategy.