J. K. Durick
I leave them
almost everywhere –
they shadow me,
repeating my name,
repeating my name.
Every move given
I make a mark,
a clumsy smudge,
of this and
so much else.
We stuck our bread insistently in dipping sauces
Talked of sex, the best and the worst,
Our finest, our first
The worst cast us silent like my poster of Hemingway
Hunched over and squinting
Reading ‘specs glinting
Fraught with concern
Papers crunched like our portions
So we ripped our bread into pieces
Like an old tax return.
J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Steam Ticket, DES Journal, and Common Ground.
Take a finger of ginger,
a thumb's worth
to the shredder.
Bring to a boil,
a large pot of water,
then lower to simmer,
and add in the ginger.
Let it cook for an hour.
Add some honey.
and the ginger will settle.
Strain the ginger mixture into a bottle.
Honey for sweet, ginger for bite,
sip it, share it, and delight.
Mackenzie. E. Murphy
Underneath the surface lies
Nerf sharks and great whales.
Down down down
Ever so deep
Radiant clown fish flip their feet.
Never stopping to imagine the
Earth up above
All of them dance, swim, and are free.
They don’t know
How much more they don’t see.
The Dinner Party
Inside many self-fulfilling heads
The prophesy of a dinner party
Sets its own table.
Pubescent gremlins groom.
Middle-aged monsters in wigs wield status-stuffed cheesecakes.
Immortal banker frogs shuffle and deal the invitations.
Small signs begin to mark the dinner table,
Assigning seats and sides
For the food fight of secrets signs.
Then everyone slips into the peel of their human form,
Trips into their house, closes the door forever, and sings for food,
Winking out through the bars and webs of tact.
Maria Bonsanti was born in Southern Italy and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was five. A lifelong resident of New York, she holds a B.A. in French literature and works as a non-literary translator. She shares her one-time peaceful home with two four-footed alpha males whose interspecies affection for each other has taught her that daring to do the uncommon brings delightful results.
Fingerprints - J. K. Durick
Appetite - Erica Lubitz
Ginger Beer - Carla Schwartz
Underneath - Mackenzie E. Murphy
The Dinner Party - Joseph Stern
Bandits in the Temple of Pashupatinath - Mark Lee Webb
Joseph Stern is an American expat who was born in Quebec, attended high school in Thailand, the university in China, and has worked in many countries. He was lucky to be introduced to poetry writing in Richard Hague’s workshop and has been writing ever since. He is now developing an experimental educational system on a tropical island in China.
Erica Lubitz is a recent graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She studied under the umbrella of self-examination known as 'creative arts'. Lubitz has worked editing for educational companies and as an educator. She takes the most joy in telling and retelling of cooking mishaps, dogs, conspiracy theories, barbeque, and thwarted romances. Authors Steve Almond, Aravind Adiga, and poet Olga Broumas have been endless sources of inspiration, thought, and laughter.
Carla Schwartz is a professional writer with a doctoral degree. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Fulcrum, 05401, Wordgathering, Stone Highway Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Enizagam, and Equinox, among others. You can like her on facebook, where you can find links to some online recordings of her work:
The Dry Season
Finding romance after 50
is like picking
single sand grains
with your parched tongue
through a burka –
in Erg Chebbi
in a windstorm
as you dangle
from a stirrup
on a skittish Dromedary.
I fly to Marrakech on Monday.
First Course in Etiquette
Heads lolling above seat backs, we come to.
Marie and I clack across the lobby and outside
where noonday sun glares from cars parked along the street.
For the first time in our squalid lives
we know manners.
I lose my footing and stumble,
a sea breeze kicks up,
Marie’s forest green skirt whips in my face,
cool and dark.
A paltry average,
next to a giantess like Marie
and strangers stare at us from porticoes:
great lamps birds have nested in
swaying high above.
A child gets lost in the hem of Marie's skirt
and I guide it out,
my hand on its soft head.
Mark Parsons has had poems published in Indiana Review, CrossConnect, Curbside Splendor, Smalldoggies, Poetry Quarterly, Dead Flowers, and elsewhere. He currently lives and works in Tokyo. You can find him on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/mark.parsons.585
Bandits in the Temple of Pashupatinath
Mark Lee Webb
into the somber care
of human thought.
Nothing there was.
- Sri Chinmoy
Children and old beggars wait for crows
to finish eating offerings placed at ghats
carved of granite now charred black, ghats
sloping to temple waters. But the bandars –
the monkeys – don’t wait, wading the waters
like river bandits, snatching Bali grains
sprinkled on banana leaves, swimming
through yellow garlands of marigolds
meant for Shiva, garlands thrown into
the bend of the Bagmati at the upper
stream where cremations cost more,
where pyres are formed for transitions
of the lifeless, where cremains and burnt
sandalwood are swept into the river, the logs –
still smoking – collected downstream by chota
balakahs who sell them to chai wallahs stoking
fires for heating ginger masala, tea sold to gawkers
from Kansas who snap digital shots of beaded
sadhus holy men clothed in dhotis belted loosely
around their waists, holy men bathed in white
ash who take five hundred rupee for dhwaja
flags of saffron fire, paper rupee bank notes
printed with King Gyanendra’s crowned
portrait obscured by a single
Mark Lee Webb grew up in California, and he still carries memories of the Santa Monica Mountains and the hills of Agoura in his heart. His poems have appeared in many publications. A writer and photographer, he is the editor and publisher of A NARROW FELLOW Journal of Poetry and is an active participant in the Louisville-based Writer’s Workshop Project and the Columbus, Ohio-based Pudding House Poetry Salon.