How the Grateful Dead Got Their Name

by on Nov 28, 2017

Don’t believe this story. It is fake news.
Jerry Garcia did not return from the land of the dead
with three pennies in his hand,
touched by those subtle fingers, rubbed smooth.
I didn’t free him from his coffin on the sea.
When he came to me, dressed in white,
paler than before, we didn’t walk along
the high road, we didn’t stop and go inside a church.
No princess, no dragon, no heads on spikes.
None of that happened. We sat down to drink coffee
in a Starbuck’s near my house,
though I would have preferred the Local Blend.
“The wi-fi’s better here,” he said, and anyway, he was buying.
He told me that it sucked being dead – the food is dry
and there’s no drugs – but at least he didn’t have to live
in America under Trump. Remember, this is fake news
made up by that failing poet, Steve Klepetar. Sick guy. Sad.


Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including four in 2016. Recent collections include Family Reunion (Big Table), A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), and How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps).

To Johannesburg, with love

by on Nov 23, 2017

(for Voldi and his love for opera)

      A flock of stars. Stars in her
      eyes. And so, I closed myself
      off to the outside world. The
      tired, miserable outside world.

And said this, that people have nothing to do with me

      and I have nothing to do with
      people but I fell in love with
      the city and the city fell in love with me. Boots, jeans and all.

The pulsing sun lit up something inside

      of me. And I finally learned what it was to walk on the kingdom
      of dry land. To clasp that

tender prize of pure rain in my hands.


Abigail George is a South African blogger, poet, short story writer, aspirant young adult novelist and playwright. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She received two grants from the National Arts Council, Centre for the Book and ECPACC. Her fiction “Wash Away My Sins” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She blogs at Abigail George’s Blog.

felled branches

by on Nov 22, 2017


felled branches
the park
gets a brand new sky


Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Antiphon, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence and The World Haiku Review. Her first poetry chapbook, Ash Keys, has just been released from Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website:

notes on bones

by on Nov 21, 2017

my sister says, last night I dreamt
of poetry
but I was naked
and hiding.
I tell her
this is poetry. she says,
I didn’t realize I was hiding
where I had already been


Audrey Gidman received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington. Her work can be found in The Rush, The 2River View, Slippery Elm, and Smeuse, among others. She currently resides in Maine.

at the port

by on Nov 16, 2017

she sits
at the port
at low tide,
scarred and
scared and
crying under her breath:

rain was meant for dancing.


Erin Leigh holds a BA degree in English Communication and a master’s in Liberal Studies with a concentration in English, and teaches post-secondary writing, research, and literature courses. Her writing has most recently appeared in *82 Review, Belle Rêve Literary Journal, Right Hand Pointing, and Tower Poetry.

A Night So Beautiful We Had To Burn Down the Senator’s House #25

by on Nov 15, 2017

How often
we act out
the play

in our heads
& then polish
the scene

so it can happen
even brighter
in real life

& when it’s dark
& we want fire
for the world

to see us
our naked anger
we end up

the whole county
on fire.


Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the Diode, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing) and is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

country road

by on Sep 25, 2017


country road
even if we never
get there


A Pushcart Prize nominee, Jennifer Hambrick is the author of Unscathed (NightBallet Press).  Her poetry has been published in dozens of literary journals and anthologies worldwide, including the Santa Clara Review, Third Wednesday, Mad River Review, and Modern Haiku, has been translated into five languages, and has won prizes in numerous international competitions.  A classical singer and public radio broadcaster, Jennifer Hambrick lives in Columbus, Ohio.  Her blog, Inner Voices, is at

In the Wadi (after Armor by Cristina Troufa)

by on Sep 20, 2017

Armor by Cristina Troufa

In the Wadi

Just beneath my skin sits a wadi of thorns;
a fissure deepening as the years rage through.

If you would travel there, protect yourself.
Carry water for when the sirocco desiccates,

a blanket for the midnight chill. Adapt
to the granular, the sere, alert to the biting

things that live in the cracks. Meet each
directly. In time, like any who complete

a quest, you will be rewarded with a lush
bloom, a small season of furious reprieve.


Devon Balwit writes and teaches in Portland, OR. She is the author of five chapbooks, which, along with her poems, can be found if you look for them. When not writing, she is her dog’s best friend.

Cristina Troufa is a Portuguese artist born and based in Porto, Portugal. Cristina holds a Licentiate Degree in Painting (1998) and a Masters Degree in Painting (2012), both in FBAUP (University of Fine Arts of Porto). Since 1995 she has participated in collective and individual exhibitions, in Art Galleries and Cultural Spaces of Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Taiwan England and USA.

At the Edge of the Forest

by on Sep 18, 2017

after Fall Landscape by Julian Onderdonk, oil on board, 9in. x 12in.

In the first days of October,
the clearing always looks the same—

A sea of frenzied tawny tangled grass
keeping the bones of the birches
with their ochre crowns at bay,
and the colossal tree my grandfather
showed me as a boy,
set apart from the others, holy,
seeming to know more about
storms and droughts and seasons
than the rest of the woods,
its branches twisting and sprawling
(like all of our histories, he said)
and clothed in plumes of
chestnut and fire and wine

But the breath of autumn is passing
as he did; softly, swiftly,
with only the sound of a branch
breaking, a hip cracking,
taking with it the knowledge
that the tree is just another scaffolding;
a sweat-beaded promise, a protest
against decay, a hope born of
pattern and chance and time spent
straining toward the sun; a desire
blossoming from a hundred years of
memory and anticipation as it bears
the weight of a robin’s egg blue sky
caught between summer and
winter, morning and night,

somehow utterly unlike all
the other skies that came before it.


Ben Groner III (Nashville, TN), recipient of Texas A&M University’s 2014 Gordone Award for undergraduate poetry, has work published in Appalachian Heritage, Third Wednesday, New Mexico Review, Fourth & Sycamore, Texas Poetry Calendar, and elsewhere. You can see more of his work at Ben Groner III – Creative Writing