David E. Howerton… –You’re what I scream about–


–You’re what I scream about–

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Copyright © 2016 by David E. Howerton







M.A. Schaffner… Antocracy



Nothing upon the grasshopper’s back more
than the resentment of ants, their taxes
ever squeezing out empathy for others
who earned their pensions the old fashioned way
chewing leaves all summer while the scouts crept
slowly back to the city, laboring
like scarabs under their burdens of dung,
all for the drones and the queen’s monopoly
on breeding and leisure. It’s not enough
to suffer such a dull career, you must
blame those who have the freedom of the fields
as if they were the ones who made you ants,
and the queen were some wise benefactress
giving you a job and proxy future.
You have no future, and no options now
if you believe you really need a queen.


M. A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, and elsewhere. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

Copyright © 2016 by M. A. Schaffner







Linda M. Crate… I Want to Break You


i want to break you

i want to break you into all the hearts
you shattered, and slam your
spaceship into saturn
make you dizzy on her rings;
and then when you think it can’t get any worse
have jupiter’s eye swallow you whole—
you have little regard for anyone’s emotions
except your own,
and you utter lies of insincerity and play
mind games that are dizzying and cruel and so
i want to rid the world of your presence
no one deserves to be broken into all the stained
glass pieces that you shattered my heart
you fancied yourself a wolf,
but wolves are loyal;
you’re just a dishonest fox that hasn’t grown into his
fur yet,
and i hope a hunter skins you for your hide
because as beautiful as it is your soul and heart are blacker
than obsidian or coal;
if you thought you were going to crash my ship
submerge my body until i drowned so you could steal my dreams
think again—
like a phoenix i rose from my ashes
maybe one day heaven will let me burn you.


Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.

Copyright © 2016 by Linda M. Crate







George Freek… Hymn



I hear a blue jay scream
from a nearby tree.
His mate believes
they are hosannas,
thrilled by such a
sweet melody.
Perhaps it resembles
what we call poetry.
I can’t see a breeze,
but I feel it as it
ruffles the leaves.
My wife is dead,
but I feel she’s beside me,
when I return to bed.
I can’t say I know.
I only pray it is so.


Copyright © 2016 by George Freek