Time in Mexico by Oonah Joslin and W. Jack Savage

Background art: W. Jack Savage
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Oonah Joslin is poetry editor at The Linnet’s Wings. She writes poetry and micro-fiction. Her book “Three Pounds of Cells” ISBN: 13: 978-1535486491 is available online from Linnet’s Wings Press and you can see and hear Oonah read in this National Trust video. The first part of her novella A Genie in a Jam is serialised at Bewildering Stories.
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You can follow Oonah on Facebook or at Parallel Oonahverse https://oovj.wordpress.com/
 
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W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of seven books, including his latest…Imagination: The Art of W. Jack Savage (wjacksavage.com). Nearly fifty of Jack’s stories and over four hundred of his paintings and drawings have been published worldwide. Jack and his wife, Kathy, live in Monrovia, California.

Artist Jack Savage

Jack serving in Viet Nam

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listentowhatshesays by Pigpen Madigan

Background photo: Rachel Demsick/, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Pigpen is originally from Chicago, and much of his experience and his stories are based around the city. He has been published in both the United States and Canada, but is most notable for his publication in primarily small and online venues. He has been published in a high percentage of now-defunct journals and magazines.

Give Love (and Water) by Joe Amaral

Background photo: Undisclosed/Max Pixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Joe Amaral works 48-hour shifts as a paramedic on the central coast of California. He has two young daughters, Zelia and Rui, and his wife Marina is a surgical nurse. They love spelunking around outdoors, camping, traveling and hosting foreign exchange students. Joe and crew have taken language lessons in Lisbon, trekked Machu Picchu, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, driven from Paris to the Riviera and explored many stunning islands. His writing has appeared worldwide in awesome places like 3Elements Review, Arcadia Magazine, Crow Hollow 19, The Good Men Project, The Rise Up Review and Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora. Joe also won the 2014 Ingrid Reti Literary Award.

Links:

American River by Sandra J. Anfang

Background photo: Bob Wick/Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Sandra Anfang is an award-winning Northern California teacher, poet, and visual artist. She began writing in third grade after memorizing “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” She still has her first poem, a rhyming poem about watching heavy snow fall from her second-story window. Sandra is the author of four poetry collections and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including two Healdsburg Literary Guild anthologies, The Tower Journal, The We’Moon Datebook (2016 and 2017), Rattle, and twice in Spillway. Sandra’s chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in early 2016. A second chapbook, Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape, is forthcoming from the same publisher in early 2018. Sandra is the founder and host of the monthly poetry series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California and made her debut at the Petaluma Poetry Walk in September, 2017. She works as a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools. Writing, for her, is equal parts work and play, and a kind of waking dream. You can read some of her work at sandraanfang.com, Benicia Library,  and Rattle.

 

Art After Dark by CLS Ferguson

Background photo: Prawny/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

CLS Ferguson, PhD is a communication professor who has published many academic articles and two academic books.  Her performance in Silence, which she co-wrote and produced, earned best actress and best film awards. Her music video Secrets & Lies also earned accolades.  CLS has published poetry in Dirty Chai, Sheepshead Review, Drunk Monkeys, etc. Her poetry collection God Bless Paul is out on Rosedog Books; her chapbook, The Way We Were, co-authored with JC Jones, is out on Writing Knights Press; and her collection Soup Stories is out on Portage Press.  She and husband Rich are raising their daughter and Bernese Mountain Border Collie Mutt in Alhambra, CA. http://clsferguson.wix.com/clsferguson

Photo credit: Cat Gwynn

Credit: CLS Ferguson

Credit: CLS Ferguson

Credit: CLS Ferguson

I Sat Very Still by Carole Glasser Langille

My cousin married a lion. We were all afraid to enter her house, though I did on several occasions. When she visited my apartment, I’d see scratches on her cheek where he clawed her. 

She would bring home joints of meat but it was never enough for him. It seemed to me that all he did was sleep during the day, stirring slightly when she practiced her clarinet. He’d yawn, his large canines slightly yellow, his pink tongue looking course as a rasp. I imagined if he licked her arm, he’d scrape the skin clean off. In the evening he had bursts of energy and that’s when he would growl, show his teeth, stick out his tongue and when displeased, or perhaps in play, bat her with his paw.

His large eyes were an orangey brown and I noticed that rather than shift them he would move his entire head from side to side to watch my cousin leave or enter the room. Cold, emotionless eyes. He’d turn to listen when I so much as shifted in my seat. In my cousin’s house, I sat very still.

I’d read that male lions rarely survive more than ten years in the wilderness, but here, with my cousin to care for him, he might live twice as long.

She adored him and, perhaps he, her.  Once I saw them nuzzling each other’s foreheads. She described him as noble. She did not see the danger she was in.

I gave her the Rilke poem “Panther,” after underlining the second stanza:  As he paces in cramped circles, over and over/ the movement of his powerful soft strides/is like a ritual dance around a center/ in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. My cousin gave no indication that the poem might be relevant.

Her sister finally called the police. Shortly after they arrived, they shot the lion; it would have taken too long and been risky to sedate him.

My cousin never forgave her.

Photos courtesy of: Der Silent, 41330, Ligiera, Alexas Fotos (x2), Sponchia, and 41330 /Pixabay CC0.

Photo Manipulation: Elizabeth Stark

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Carole Glasser Langille is the author of four books of poems, two collections of stories and two picture books. Every time she completes a manuscript, publication is always a challenge.  Her most recent collection  of linked stories, “I Am What I Am Because You Are What You Are,” was nominated for The Alistair MacLeod Award for Short Fiction . She has been nominated for The Governor General’s Award in poetry and for the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Why are prizes important to her? This can’t be a good sign. She teaches Creative Writing at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. If you have not yet been to Nova Scotia (and she moved here from New York City many years ago) you have something terrific to look forward to.

Passion Flower by Kendall Dunkelberg

Background photo: Thomas Wolter /Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kendall Dunkelberg directs the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women, where he also directs the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. He lives in a 125-year-old house in Columbus, Mississippi, where he grows wildflowers that his neighbors probably call weeds. Dunkelberg has published the poetry collections Barrier Island SuiteLandscapes and Architectures  and Time Capsules, and a collection of translated poems by the Belgian poet, Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. His poems and translations have appeared in many magazines, including recently in The Texas Review, About Place, and Town Creek Poetry, and in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vo. 2: Mississippi. His introductory multi-genre creative writing textbook, A Writer’s Craft was published by Palgrave MacMillan, and he is editor of Poetry South and advisor for Ponder Review.

http://www.kendalldunkelberg.com

Clean Underwear by Chris Connolly

Background photo: Michael 1952/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Chris Connolly’s fiction and poetry has appeared in The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Southword, Boston Review and The Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction, among others, and has been broadcast on RTÉ Radio. Last year he won Best Emerging Fiction at the 2016 Hennessy Literary Awards, the RTÉ Francis McManus competition, the Easy Street Magazine ‘Great American Sentence Contest’ and, most recently, the Over the Edge: New Writer of the Year award. He was also highly commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize, and holds an MA in Creative Writing from UCD. His website is chrisconnollywriter.com.

The author.

Doesn’t get much cleaner than this.

Brains!

Some of Chris’s friends.

Frankenstein by Michael Waterson

Background photo: Undisclosed/Max Pixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

A “yinzer” from Pittsburgh, Pa., Michael Waterson has lived in Northern California for 44 years. Like his hometown, he’s changed a lot during that time, working at a range of jobs from San Francisco taxi driver to U.S. Forest Service firefighter to Napa Valley newspaper editor. He received a BA from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Mills College, both in Creative Writing. His work has won several awards and appeared in numerous journals and online publications. He was Napa Valley’s Poet Laureate, 2010-2012. He is also a singer/songwriter with a traditional Irish music band, Kith & Kin.

Citing Mary Shelly’s popular creation, Waterson says: “Modern myths, such as Frankenstein, like ancient counterparts from cultures around the world, reflect our deepest desires and fears. No wonder zombies and vampires populate our literature and drama to such an extent, when our society grapples with powerful drug addictions and omnipresent anxiety about random mass murders and general planet-wide catastrophe. We think of myths and religious stories as something from the past, but humans are constantly creating mythology.”

Ablution by Bryan Marshall

Background photo: George Hodan/PDP, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Bryan was born in Edinburgh in 1975, grew up in the Scottish Borders, and has gradually migrated south, to where he currently resides in the capital of Wales. On the way he has accumulated various degrees (including a PhD in music) and has been a barman, a jobbing musician, a sommelier, a wine merchant, a high school teacher, a pub landlord, a waiter in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and is finally a barman again. He also writes. Mainly poetry, but also short fiction, and has a short novel in a drawer awaiting further attention. He also performs at numerous spoken word events. Every week he runs Cardiff Bay Writing Group, where like-minded people meet to read, discuss and write poetry and short prose.

Dar a Luz by Rosie Prohías Driscoll

Background photo: Undisclosed/Max Pixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Rosie Prohías Driscoll is a Cuban-American educator and poet. Raised in Miami, Florida, she lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, two greyhounds, and a host of ancestral spirits who keep her rooted and grateful. Having recently sent two beloved daughters off to college, she is enjoying spending more time writing. Her poems have appeared in the Acentos ReviewMas Tequila ReviewPilgrimage MagazineBlue LyraReviewSaw Palm: Florida Literature and ArtLiterary Mama, and Temenos Journal.

Poem About the Economy by Kendall Dunkelberg

Background photo: Ilyessuti/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kendall Dunkelberg directs the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women, where he also directs the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. He lives in a 125-year-old house in Columbus, Mississippi, where he grows wildflowers that his neighbors probably call weeds. Dunkelberg has published the poetry collections Barrier Island SuiteLandscapes and Architectures  and Time Capsules, and a collection of translated poems by the Belgian poet, Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. His poems and translations have appeared in many magazines, including recently in The Texas Review, About Place, and Town Creek Poetry, and in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vo. 2: Mississippi. His introductory multi-genre creative writing textbook, A Writer’s Craft was published by Palgrave MacMillan, and he is editor of Poetry South and advisor for Ponder Review.

http://www.kendalldunkelberg.com

Protecting the Simple Robot by Ken Poyner

Background photo: Benjamin Nelan/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Ken’s poetry and short fiction books are available from Barking Moose Press, a press named for Ken’s wife, a woman known in powerlifting circles as The Moose, and holder of dozens of world records.   Most people believe the diminutive Karen is the writer and the hulking Ken is the power lifter, but the avocations are actually reversed.  Ken’s “The Book of Robot”, a collection of poems about computer sentience, was nominated for the 2017 Elgin award.  His latest short fiction book is “Avenging Cartography”, a collection of more than 50 curious tales.  His latest project lies in trying to find inroads into a book selling industry that seems ever more dominated by either the corporate giants, or the intentionally marginal.  We need a vigorous book selling space that encourages novelty, outreach and engagement.

www.kpoyner.com

Constant Animals, 42 unruly fictions; Victims of a Failed Civics, speculative poetry; The Book of Robot, speculative poetry; Avenging Cartography, 55 bizarre fictions — Available at www.barkingmoosepress.comwww.amazon.com,  www.sundialbooks.net, and www.bookbinva.com

Things Dumped Off at the Pound by Holly Day

Background photo: NHandler/Wikimedia, CC BY 2.5.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in MinneapolisMinnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa ReviewSLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.

Phone Call in a New Century: Cento for Lynne Barnes by Kathleen McClung

Background photo: Undisclosed/Max Pixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kathleen McClung is the author of two poetry collections, Almost the Rowboat (2013) and The Typists Play Monopoly (forthcoming, 2018). Her work appears widely in journals and anthologies including Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Work Space, Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry, and A Bird Black as the Sun: California Poets on Crows and Ravens.  Winner of the Rita Dove, Shirley McClure, and Maria W. Faust poetry prizes, she is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee.
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Kathleen teaches at Skyline College, The Writing Salon, and privately. She judges formal verse for the Poets & Patrons Chicagoland contest and sonnets for the Soul-Making Keats literary competition.www.soulmakingcontest.us  Since the 2016 election she’s found the cento an especially healing and comforting form: it provides a way to savor and honor the work of fellow poets. Kathleen belongs to several poetry groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Ina Coolbrith Circle, and she directs Women on Writing: WOW Voices Now, an annual celebration of creative people of all ages. Lynne Barnes, author of Falling Into Flowers (2017), is a friend and colleague with deep roots in San Francisco.
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Reconnoiter by Lois Marie Harrod

Background photo: Sonia Sevilla/Wikimedia, Pxhere, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Lois Marie Harrod’s dour grandmother always claimed the chicken neck was the most delicious part and ate it with ostentatious delicacy, often staring at her chubby granddaughter Lois and muttering, “One hundred-eight, a lady’s weight.” With a grandmother like that, what could Lois do but immortalize the old crosspatch in poems.  Find links to Harrod’s poems at www.loismarieharrod.org

If A Bird Tweets In The Forest by Kendall Dunkelberg

Background photo: Undisclosed/Max Pixel, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Kendall Dunkelberg directs the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women, where he also directs the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. He lives in a 125-year-old house in Columbus, Mississippi, where he grows wildflowers that his neighbors probably call weeds. Dunkelberg has published the poetry collections Barrier Island SuiteLandscapes and Architectures  and Time Capsules, and a collection of translated poems by the Belgian poet, Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. His poems and translations have appeared in many magazines, including recently in The Texas Review, About Place, and Town Creek Poetry, and in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vo. 2: Mississippi. His introductory multi-genre creative writing textbook, A Writer’s Craft was published by Palgrave MacMillan, and he is editor of Poetry South and advisor for Ponder Review.

http://www.kendalldunkelberg.com

A Massage Might Help Us Relax Existentially by Amy Baskin

Background photo: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

Amy Baskin craves massage more and more lately. She also welcomes regular human contact away from screens where the psychic collateral damage is taking its toll on everyone, apparently. She thinks that humans must learn and relearn how to touch each other, both physically and emotionally, with consent, of course. While writing in an uncomfortable chair next to a window screen in need of repair, she adjusts her blue lens glasses, writes letters to her representatives on The Hill, and sips coffee. Her work is currently featured in publications including Fire Poetry Journal, Poetry Quarterly, and The Ghazal Page and is forthcoming on The Rondeau Roundup. 

Amy Baskin

The coffee and blue prism lenses help keep her brain circuits open.

The uncomfortable writing chair keeps her alert.

The window screen near said chair that begs fixing.

Premature Thaw by M. L. Jones

Background photo: USDA/Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

M. L. Jones was born in Bend, Oregon, but raised in West Plains, Missouri, home of the Zizzers. She grew up on a hobby farm where she developed a love of nature and animals, especially chickens. She’s been writing since elementary school. In May 2017, she graduated from Truman State University with a BFA in creative writing and a minor in anthropology. She’s currently using the Irish dance experience she gained at college to help out around her local dance studio and will soon be starting a part-time job as a salesperson. She hopes to see and explore more of the wider world someday soon.

Jones’s poetry was published in the 2016 issue of Windfall under the name Morgan Jones, which has never sounded quite dramatic enough for the writer she wants to be.

Selfie by James Penha

Background photo: Photoshot/Pixabay, CC0.
Manipulation and design layout: Elizabeth Stark

A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penhaedits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry.