Craig Kurtz… Bouquet of Words


Bouquet of Words

I hear like e.e. cummings
when I’m in your words.
My thoughts trickle down
your neck,
then plash back (astonished)
to your lips
(producing sounds).
My abashed, unfocussed
(do rather)
achieve such
piquant, plangent
when you aliment
my senses
with your uncanny,
I feel your thoughts
in my arms
but (so true)
caressing that universe
abounding such
pagination (myriads of
might (well, quite)
implore my tremulous,
some inestimable
(no less)
years long.
I imagined
that I heard
every language
ever once invented
(uttered or not)
in your cosseting
(& limitless)


Craig Kurtz resides at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously surviving the dream. Recent work appears in Aerie Literary Journal, Conclave: A Journal of Character, The Criterion: An International Journal in English, Danse Macabre, Penumbra, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez and The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry.

Copyright © 2015 by Craig Kurtz









Robert Bates… Knockout



“Mark wants to beat your ass,” Julian had warned me at the beginning of the school day.

More like Mark is going to beat my ass. Everyone knows I can’t fight. I sit in my seat wondering what will happen next.

Julian sees my worried face and says, “Relax, I got your back.”

The teacher walks out and I can feel Mark watching me.

Rachel whispers, “It’ll be really funny if you win,” into my ear from her seat beside me.

I turn and Mark is in my face. He pushes me and I instinctively push him back.

He hits me. Then I’m on the ground. Completely disoriented.

I wait for another punch to come but it never does. I finally regain my senses and get up to see Julian holding Mark with his arms pinned behind his back.

“If you are going to do something, do it now,” he says, struggling to hold him.

I hit Mark three times with my left hand then he elbows Julian and breaks free. He charges at me and before I can react his fist connects with my jaw.

I wake up with Rachel in my face.

“That was pretty funny too.”


Robert Bates is a bored Dollar General who writes things sometimes and also enjoys ice cream, long walks in the rain, and Christopher Nolan movies.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert Bates







Kevin Heaton… Cutfinger



The moon’s red-faced hymen is crestfallen;

eclipsed by a trilogy of cloven sol kisses.

Our universe is not one.

Mechanical bulls are wrangling in ‘The House
of the Rising Sun.’ The sorority girls are all bowlegged
from bar shopping their reversible jeans. Their frat

boys left snipe hunting for lost birds of paradise.

‘Where have all their trappings gone—

long time passing?’

‘Stoned People’ are awakening in their old sweat lodges—
changing cubic zirconia cornerstones into granite ballast

rocks and new altar tops.

Near Nowata, Oklahoma, a shaman rolls the tombstone
blocking Cutfinger Cave over maggots passing through
on a sacrificial cat—
and the spirit of Chief Pokegon wanders.


Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Guernica, Raleigh Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal, and The Monarch Review. He is a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.


Cutfinger was previouslay published in Burningword


Copyright © 2014 by Kevin Heaton









Staci Leigh… No One


No One

I just want a little
Not enough to hurt
I’m dying to be numb
Don’t need to be put in the dirt
Who cares what I do
It’s my body, my soul
I’ll sell it all if I want to
Promise it’s under control
You’re not gonns fix me
I’m not fixing myself
Spinning while being still
Boredom is my enemy
Won’t let me be satisfied
I’m fighting for air
Trying to stay up
Drowning is easy
Lucky I have no gun


Staci Leigh is a mother of two who indulges in a healthy dose of poetry and crafting in order to appease her inner artist. She’s been penning poetry for many years, and shares it with others when she feels inclined to do so.

Copyright © 2015 by Staci Leigh