Erin J. Jones… birds feeding


birds feeding

in the backyard
a squirrel plays
and me
back porch
summertime reading


Erin Jones was born in Wisconsin and raised in Arkansas. After graduating high school he went off to college, dropped out of college, and enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a cavalry scout. Returning to college, he graduated from the University of Arkansas with B.A.s in communication and economics. Today he works as a mild-mannered salesperson. He has published in Criminal Class Review and Poesia. In his free time he collects beer cans and brewerianna.

Copyright © 2016 by Erin J. Jones









Laryssa Wirstiuk… Jade Bangle


Jade Bangle

I covet the bangle in the pawn shop window
on Central Avenue: after two years, still
ninety dollars and available. When I walk
to the bank or pharmacy, I imagine it
on my wrist: cold and heavier than metal.
I’ve heard the cloudy green stone promotes
wisdom, balance, and peace. I heard the TV
in the other room when the announcer said,
“Chinese women used to wear jade bangles
to practice etiquette and move with fluid grace.”
Click of stone on stone meant clumsiness.
Later, on Google, I wonder if I had imagined
that history; search for “jade bangle etiquette”
yields little. I do find, however, anecdotes
from women who have grown into jewelry
they never removed. Maybe I’m too old
to buy jade, absorb the wisdom of immobile
reminders. Maybe the winters are too cold
to be graceful. Anyway, my wrists are covered.


Laryssa Wirstiuk lives in Jersey City, NJ with her mini dachshund Charlotte Moo. Laryssa’s literary preoccupations include fruit, gemstones, and coastal states in summer. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in Gargoyle Magazine, Word Riot, Barely South Review, and Up the Staircase Quarterly.

Copyright © 2016 by Laryssa Wirstiuk









Sy Roth… Three-Three Time Chutzpah Dance


Three-Three Time Chutzpah Dance

Sam was not a large man,
Perhaps fifty pounds heavier than his wife.
She, a half-inch taller though, towered over him.
But what he lacked in height,
He made up in petrified chutzpah
Hidden behind his bafflegab, she so detested.
Chutzpah shambled along beside her
Stiff-legged, round the fringes of her existence,
A darkling hovering beneath her voice,
Murmuring, deep-furrow-browed simian
Laid low among stygian stars.
Mired in eternal evenings,
He, a grumbling miser eaten by the moon’s rays,
While spirits shuffle in like dowagers on midnight errands
To stand at rigid attention
Until he hears her squeaking steps approach.
In the waning a.m., he wakes,
A lonely iceberg afloat on a frozen sea.
He dares not wake her.
His warmth oozes from his bed
And he supposes, silently, that she might hear
His morning’s bubbling waters.
His head bowed low,
He seeks pennies that litter his bifurcated roads.
Left adrift in the dry darkness of a sandy desert
Enshrouded in a blackened blanket,
And the rising morning’s orange sun does nothing,
But kneads the back of his neck, unlovingly.
Chutzpah carries on.
He follows the day’s lead and routines
Unfurls like a muddied flag before his dazed eyes–
Trampled limp, then
Hung to dry in a breathless zone of muted days.
He skates past the days in a dance of daring curlicues.
Figure-eights helter-skelter,
He skirts around them all,
Shakes off the bugle trumpet of each morning.
That plays taps for his waking.
Clarion calls echo a death threnody
That bugles his silent brain.
Chutzpah waits in the trembling silence of all lost causes—
Zyklon B sheep.
Crossword puzzles assuage
Seeks ephemeral moments to stimulate his tired neurons.
The morning’s cryptoquote hides
Scrambled, a camouflaged secret
He keeps tucked away in a bag hidden
Behind the green fronds that sway in his sunrises-to-be
When lily-white suns dangle mysteriously in a burnt- orange sky.
He lives in those moments for the seconds–
The seconds, ticking time bombs,
Interminable seconds of an endless chutzpah.


Forty words when terseness if not his forte. So, Sy Roth writes whenever he can with verbosity.

Copyright © 2016 by Sy Roth









April Salzano… With Coffee


With Coffee

spoons I measure my life. For strength,
add extra grounds. Every moment
is accounted for,
a minute’s revision a minute
does not make. A retraction
here, a correction
there. That is not it at all.
I barter with my brew,
adjusting temperature by removing
old, adding fresh. Darkness
brings clarity to morning.


April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Award and has appeared in over one hundred online and print journals. Her chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (

Copyright © 2016 by April Salzano









Tom Montag… Evening, The First Day


Evening, The First Day

All these

things dis-


connected —

sky, heart,





The wind shoulders

its way in again.


Darkness forces

the sun down.



the sky opens


to mysteries

beyond –


the stars.


Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. In April 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review [ ]. Other recent poems will be found at Blue Heron, Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Town Creek Poetry, Wilderness House Literary Review, and others.

Copyright © 2016 by Tom Montag