Picnic • Misty Petrocelli

Golden Haired Girl • Erren Kelly

dancing with you golden-haired girl
is holding a translucent light
looking into your eyes, i see texas skies

i hear the song only angels know
in your drawl, it sounds just right
better than a mockingbird, my golden-haired girl

you hold a stethescope, like a violin
i hold you like my own heart, just right
until you become a dream, my golden haired girl

to know you is to know a blessing
you are a beacon and a delight
my golden-haired girl
we become reborn in safffron skies


Erren is based in Burlington. His work 
has appeared widely, including Hiram Poetry 
Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online), Ceremony, 
Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, 
Poetry Salzburg and other publications. 

The Diner • Jeff Foster


The Uninvited • James B. Nicola

We too are crashers at the Pot-Luck Party.
But by the time we got here, bounties had
been laid for us to sample. We had to
make room for what we brought and made, edging
other dishes aside on the Grand Table,
sliding in more leaves, adding more chairs.

Halfway through chatter, munching, and libation,
our Host, though, disappeared, and now it’s we
who gather and wash the goblets and tankards,
put out rinsed plates, and answer the door chime
for the newcomers, party-crashers all—
plus make sure our drunk friends get home all right.

The uninvited guest turns into host,
then legacy of drinks and dishes past.


James B. Nicola has published work in 
Tar River, the Texas Review, The Lyric,
 Nimrod and many others. A stage director by profession, 
his book Playing the Audience won a CHOICE Award. 
His first chapbook of poems, “Still,” was published by Stasia Press.

Consulting the Fates • John Roth

On my dresser, the Magic 8-Ball sits
there untouched; its dust-lined cracks
in need of a good shaking. I cradle
the hard plastic sphere in my hand
like an infant’s skull. Its smooth black
surface seems to glide along my oily palm.
I am not superstitious, but I can’t help
but wonder if this cheap toy could really
offer me a porthole glimpse into the future?
I stare deep into the vatic blue ink cloud,
as the twenty-sided die swirls around
inside. “Will she leave me?” I whisper
to this wordless confidant, all while tilting
the Magic 8-Ball onto its paint-stenciled
top. But it says nothing, the die is stuck
and, in that moment, the answer is forever
lost to a dark haze of uncertainty.


John Roth is a writer from Ohio whose poems 
have most recently appeared,or are still forthcoming, 
in The Orange Room Review, Red Fez, and 
The Eunoia Review, among a few others. He only 
writes when he feels like it and doesn't 
when he probably should.

Two Poems • John McKernan

Dental Floss

John Berryman tripped on dental floss
Over a Mississippi River bridge

Hart Crane couldn't hold on
To the dental floss trolling behind
That sleek cruise ship

Anne Sexton kept flossing
Those beautiful teeth
To breathe more
Carbon monoxide

Papa Doom
Mama Death
Keep plunking that floss
On their banjos
Singing in flawless harmony

Ain't never gonna have to see these folks again
But be reading them forever


I Prefer

The music of hymns
To the lyrics

I prefer sunlight
After the clouds
Of incense have melted

I prefer the granite slab
Without your name
Without any dates
Without ice at midnight

I definitely preferred
Your laughter
To this silence
Especially when we went fishing at dawn
And caught nothing Nothing at all


John McKernan - who grew up in Omaha Nebraska -
taught for many years at Marshall University. 
He edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is Resurrection 
of the Dust. He has published poems in The 
Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, 
Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, 
Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

Crosstown • Clinton Van Inman


Clinton was born in Walton-on-Thames, 
England in 1945, graduated from 
San Diego State University in 1977, 
and is a high school teacher in Tampa Bay 
where he lives with his wife, Elba.

London • Sadie Miller

Let us put on our masks
And dance around each other like snakes.
This is my skin today. Tomorrow I might look different.
Decisions, decisions.
I think I will go to sleep in the leaves
And find myself a new face.

Your dirty brown eyes touch me more than fingers.
I don’t want your attention any more.
Retain your dignity.
Filthy pigeons.

One down, everyone else to go.
I like the white pages, endless possibilities.
So cold, I am on fire!
I want to be in the water, to swim past the bones clicking together with the tides.
I want to swim into the dark places that were once filled with light.
So much space
I can hardly breathe.

Full of clouds
Swallow them down.
Dreams keep us afloat.
Paper bags in the river.

The girl with too much eyeliner
Someone on the phone.
Speaking a language I don’t understand.
Don’t look at me.
Grooved seats
Imprints of life
Keep it moving
Even if nothing is moving
Except the trees outside
And the occasional car over the bridge.

Long hair makes the lady
Lipstick lights the way.
Eyebrow arch
To shelter under.
Mascara, magic wand.
Add more, to start the bond.

Coffee catching down the back of my throat.
So much silence.
So much noise.
Empty seats between you and me.
Keep it that way.


Sadie is from London. Sh has short story 
being published as part of an anthology by 
Snowbooks, and another short story appearing 
in a forthcoming issue of Prole Magazine.

Airport Pick-Up, July • Chris Bolster

In three weeks something will change,
Like a movement from vagueness to clever
Specificity. It's the evolution of an anonymous
Seed birthed into a boldly defined birch,
It's the names etched stroke by stroke into its bark, and
When rocking chairs, toothpicks, and book pages
Emerge from the woody substrate, forms
Carved out of cellulose contingency.
It's the short shift from thought to action,
From fantasy to passion, from a year's tyranny
Of separation to a ride, together, from
JFK airport to an as of yet undifferentiated location.


Chris has been a featured reader and slam 
poetry competition winner for Connecticut’s 
Wednesday Night Poetry Series

The Yearnings of Everyday Objects • Howie Good

The phone isn’t
where it usually is.
You hear it ringing,
but can’t find it.

You pull the cushions
off the couch
You pull the books
off the shelves.
You try to pull up
the floorboards
with your bare hands.

If you’re like me,
one of those
who just knows
that we’re all
being secretly judged,
sweating or chills
aren’t uncommon.

Anyone might be
the enemy. Anyone!
It’s simple physics –
single atoms, wide apart.


Howie is RBR's favorite poet...