Joanna Conom… Salish Sea


Salish sea

crusted with black glass
speckled with color
of distant running lights
tonight cracks only
to accept their burden
easy going appendage
of the world wet
reacts to insults of earth or sky
so rarely gently
it gives no hint
of changing season
or reason it does
not warm or long caress
human flesh
will cool a person
fast back to its maker
as fast in july as
on a merry christmas
a cold and quiet sea
my home

Copyright © 2017 by Joanna Conom



Ivan Jenson… Frank’s Advice – Pin Drop Moment


Frank’s Advice

Let me look into
your atonal situation
and see
what musical strings
I can pull
like an angelic harpist
winging it
from the laughter
in the rafters
and while I am
investigating the misery
of the company
you have been keeping
try to keep your mind
off your brain
for awhile
you might even
consider taking a course
in miracles
at the community
of your
in order to find
the peace of mind
of all that doesn’t
really matter

Pin-Drop Moment

What you see before you
is a human being a pain
in the neck
of the woods
known as the forest
started by throwing
the burning
butt of a joke
into the dry brush
of another person’s ego
and igniting the flash
and burn of
to injury
often called
a roast
which was
just supposed
to be
the best man’s
sparkling champagne
wedding toast

Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled “Absolut Jenson” for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden. Jenson’s painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson’s poetry is widely published (with over 500 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson’s poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published hardcover. Ivan Jenson’s next novel, “Gypsies of New Rochelle” will soon be released by Michelkin Publishing. Ivan Jenson’s website is:


Copyright © 2017 by Ivan Jenson


Jim Landwehr… Good Bye, Student Body



More and more it seems that
every day I whisper goodbye
to my wife and my children
for tomorrow is a dice shake
yesterday a shooting star
caught in a sideways glance.
It took the loss of a brother
at a young age to cancer
to learn this truth
and see the light and wisdom
of right here and present now.
Because as a poet once said
we are born leaving
and I would argue that
it didn’t stop there, the leaving.
While I love my life
in its fullness and
I can’t help but think that
every day I am whispering
a little louder – goodbye.

Student Body

In an American history class
sits a ten year old boy
focused on the sheen of
her brunette hair
the girl the next desk over.
It cascades down her neck
falling like so much water
and crashing on the rocks
of her shoulders below.
Combed in fine columns
a hair thick, each one
in exactly the right place.
If he breathes deep enough
he can smell her cologne
her scent like lavender and velvet.
If only she saw him.
If only he were not so shy,
they might become something
the two of them and her hair.
As the teacher drones on
about the winter at Valley Forge
the boy dreams about
the valley of her neck
knowing that these thoughts
are not condoned and
more likely deviant sparking
his own revolutionary kind of war.

Jim has a published book, Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir, and two poetry collections. His nonfiction has been published in Main Street Rag, and others. His poetry has been published in many different journals. Jim currently resides in Waukesha, WI.



Copyright © 2017 by Jim Landwehr


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


Darren C. Demaree… blue and blue and blue #109 & #110


blue and blue and blue #109

pink to red
& out
of breath,
i love
that the ocean
never lies down
& that i can
never lie down
in the ocean

blue and blue and blue #110

i’m alive
to feel
no guilt
the dead
& that
is common,
that place
& that
that is
so deeply

Darren is a dangerous dreamer, concocting love poems to his home state, and pastorals to his true love.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of five poetry collections, most recently “The Nineteen Steps Between Us” (2016, After the Pause). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children

Copyright © 2017 by Darren C. Demaree