Michele Alice… DC Circus


DC Circus



Golden rod
       is so pretty, I wonder–
has it a fragrance?


Who needs Ringling
Brothers when we’ve got


New Economics 101


The Paul Krugman
       Equation: You’ll know it’s enough
when it works.

Originally from Detroit, I spent my college years studying Philosophy at the University of Arizona (Tucson) before escaping the heat and ending up in the Berkshires (Massachusetts) where I support my writing by working in a museum.


Copyright © 2017 by Michele Alice


Lindsay Diem… Playing House


Playing House

her tiny fingers clasped a diaper wipe
and pressed it to my nose
she loudly instructed for me “blow”
and waited inquisitively
she wiped my face delicately
the way mommy and daddy do it
and blotted my eyeliner
with a look of disdain
she didn’t know what to do with the ugliness
the long black streak of make-up
her eyes, wide and innocent
by imperfection

I teach tenth grade English at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn, MI. I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2006. I spend my free time writing poetry and painting. My daughter is my inspiration for my art.

Copyright © 2017 by Lindsay Diem


Simon Perchik… Five Untitled Poems


     – 1 –

There’s still a chance, sit
so you can’t see the tunnel
fanning out behind you and the sky
that knows so much about it
lowers this train to the ground
still falling back, tormented
by something overdue, the seat
half firewall, half
some hollow mound moving away
without the others, high above
the evening you are looking for
though you turn your back
the way your eyelids are used to the dark
at home in your hands, no longer
uncertain when to close and grieve
–all these years reflected in the night
your face gives off, clouded over
with glass, holding on, sleepless
–arrive unexpected! grown over
with weeds, with the hidden mountainside
around your shoulders and emptiness.

     – 2 –

They wait for this match
to let them in all at once
–these stars need more time
smothered by how quiet the sun
waits in the darkness
this candle knows by heart
–it’s your usual match, half wood
half some mountainside
breathing again and rock by rock
rescued by the simple flame
that looms over you as smoke
broken open for rain and falling back
–such is the need for a face
–the ground almost asleep
kept warm, expecting you.

     – 3 –

Katherine is reading this
and in the slow rain between each word
she hears her lips closing in
the way a love note is folded
kept for years alone in a drawer
half wood, half as if its darkness
is after something else on the page
she can’t remember touching before
vaguely, if someone older says so
though a star can be born and die
before its light reaches her eyes
holding on to these dim shapes
that have no sound yet –it’s too soon
–she will forget how far and you
what she hears at every chance.

     – 4 –

Once into the turn it spirals up
as if your lips are clouding over
breaking free from your face
the way the ground allows a hole
to rise, spills out its shadow
without any darkness
–it’s just a donut, a trace
though the sugar too is cold
dangerous, flying up-side-down
sleepless and in the far off snow
that remembers you, reaches across
tries not to promise you anything.

     – 5 –

Though it’s familiar this flower
doesn’t recognize the breeze
wriggling out the ground
as that distance without any footsteps
–its petals have no memory left
no scent that can expand into mist
prowling for more darkness
the way moonlight tries to remember
once passing through the Earth
on all fours, sniffing for stones
hidden from where your fingers
will clasp each other sideways
and the dirt still close by
–will smother all that happened
has no past, means nothing now.

My poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Copyright © 2016 by Simon Perchik


Jack D. Harvey… Daughters of Anomaly

Daughters of Anomaly
       for Traci Lords
All the cock-sucking,
all the cunt-lapping,
all the butt-fucking
in the world
can’t forge a bond
that lasts beyond
the bounds of flesh and boredom;
time, a river with
Charon waiting
patient as Job,
shuttling busy
as a bee
from bank to bank
carries us all.
Thrice holy,
over the shivering waves,
the sauce of life
sets all aflame,
spurts all over the place;
Traci rears up
pretty and weary,
her face not safe
nor her backside either.
Apollo, bright
as the day is long,
casts his shadow,
on bush and brake
and then departs,
serene and singing,
the lyre pinging
like sonar.
Traci gapes,
her comb drips honey;
pendent the homunculus
in her hand’s saving grace.
The god of the sun,
red as a rose,
makes off
with Venus roving
ahead and behind;
scary night falls
like a ton of coal.
Holy cow!
All the tits and ass
in movie bedrooms,
all the hired roosters,
loveless and uplifting,
not more foolish
than the knights of
Parsifal, than
Parsifal himself,
spent and sinning.
Daughters of Anomaly,
pierced through and through,
make me pay
like Faust;
between the lines
the lamp stinks still.
Traci was
cute as a button,
rode like a queen,
and was ridden;
Christy was
sweet and thick
as marmalade.
What do they do
to make us make
them live and live
in the memory
like caryatids
standing in a row?
That touch of
easy abundance,
ripe and serene
as the lazy summer sea.
Daughters of Anomaly,
let me give you,
each of you,
lauds, metaphors,
words lost in time
and space.
Naughty naked girls,
straight out I say
I love you truly;
forget the lines
the limbs
we never knew.
Daughters of Anomaly,
anomalous, anarchic,
my treasures, hunted forever,
all the cavorting and bumping,
all the laws of life
and death,
the brave remarks at
can’t make us forget
it’s only skin in
the flickering fucking game
that comes and goes
before the lens,
without terror,
without love,
without us thinking it’s
error this human act
doesn’t support
the innocent flowers
and daughters,
Horus’ penetration of
the beauty beneath.
Mary, Astarte,
maiden of the moon,
crown of flowers
come for me!
Daughters of Anomaly,
get close to me! Or close enough.
Asphodel, wine and
sleep please;
sleep without end.
Time, ladies,
dull as dishwater,
is up,
praise is done,
your patient labors dismissed.

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, Mind In Motion, Slow Dancer, The Antioch Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The University of Texas Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines over the years, many of which are probably kaput by now, given the high mortality rate of poetry magazines.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired. He once owned a cat that could whistle Sweet Adeline, use a knife and fork and killed a postman.

Copyright © 2016 by Jack D. Harvey


Michael Schaffner… Not Entirely Lacking A Domicile & Squatters


Not Entirely Lacking A Domicile

Osprey trailing a thin branch, treetop high,
repeating every few minutes, on schedule
to finish a nest larger than the homes
of the rootless beings I used to see
waking in the park beside my office.
Feral creatures, well past their breeding years
by dint of their minds or toxic habits,
they seemed no more than wary scenery.
Across the river the sun nestles down
in a bed of shady pines. The sky glows
like a wick just as the flame escapes it.
A slight traffic of herons, homeward bound,
changes shifts with swifts, who give way to bats.
I’ve not returned to Franklin Square at dawn
nor seen the sunset there for several years,
nor think that species even values tears.


While running I saw two vultures landing
atop a new house to escape the crows’
harmless yet irritating attentions.
A girl at the bus stop noticed them, too,
but I could not presume an acquaintance
based on black vultures, handsome though they be.
And they were: black scalps and iron hooked beaks,
above not only crows but even us
as they paced down a million dollar roof
as if they owned it, as in fact they own
everything their talons touch or shadow.
I passed around the block. The girl had gone
and the great wings spread broadly on the draft
from the near apartments, patches glowing.

M. A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, and elsewhere — most recently in Former People, Raintown Review, and Rock River Review. Long-ago-published books include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia juggling a laptop, smart phone, percussion caps, pugs, and a Gillott 404.

Copyright © 2016 by Michael Schaffner