Week 58: Erik Fuhrer

after your death


holes in the tongues of neighbors
speaking the tale of the watchtower
the blue peal of jets overhead



Erik Fuhrer holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in BlazeVox, Crabfat Magazine, Noble/Gas Qrtrly, Dream Pop Press, and Crack the Spine.

Week 57: Patricia Walsh

Bouncy Castle

No such thing as altruistic food, perhaps.
Ripped from origin, self-care still excellent
competition for irregular beats, ever again
secret life of the moon, a non-existent trip,
as the conspiracy goes, other people working.

Classic, but is it any good? Guiltily tripping
photocopying marriage once promised, away
distant histories burdened in the midway sun
to get things done is paramount in this universe
slipping inside this arcana a musical happiness.

The possession of fruit trees, declarative, away
dying from serial abuse, richly rewarded,
under cover of happy marriage, scarified
performing light music on over of the computer
anything can be bad, even covert talent.

This mysterious lady, shouting the odds,
goodly abuse, blessed on exit, blow on impact,
butcherly, to find a suitable daughter
saving flies like vermin, rescinding address
collapsing in love, replicating another success.

Happiness in literature, murdering any slight
performing for every passers-by, an assassin’s death
triplicate God relaxed for another year
coupling for entertainment, anchored in spite,
once beloved, serially forgotten, bleached.



Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork, Ireland. To date, she has published one novel, titled The Quest for Lost Eire, in 2014, and has published one collection of poetry, titled Continuity Errors, with Lapwing Publications in 2010. She has since been published in a variety of print and online journals. These include: The Lake; Seventh Quarry Press; Marble Journal; New Binary Press; Stanzas; Crossways; Ygdrasil; Seventh Quarry; The Fractured Nuance; Revival Magazine; Ink Sweat and Tears; Drunk Monkeys; Hesterglock Press; Linnet’s Wing, Narrator International, The Galway Review; Poethead and The Evening Echo.

Week 56: James R. Gapinski

There Shall Be Xylophones

Your nose bleeds. Your gums bleed. Your teeth wiggle and jiggle and jangle. Your teeth implode and become seedlings. You plant them in the backyard. These tooth seedlings grow into skeletons. You hit their ribcages with small mallets, hoping to produce a xylophone effect. Instead, the ribs shatter. You grind up the shards and snort them. Your nose bleeds again. Your eyes bleed. Your blood bleeds. Your bloody bleeding blood congeals into a golem-like creature. This bloody bleeding blood golem towers over you and points a drippy finger. The creature’s mouth opens, and it shrieks and says Look what you have done, and you inspect the wounded skeletons with their broken chest cavities. You know you do not have the capacity to repair them. You place your fingers on your flesh and feel your sternum and promise a ribcage that you cannot deliver. You tell these skeletons it will be okay, just like the doctor, just like the nurse, just like your rabbi, just like yourself. You tell them what they want and need and beg of you. The golem is satisfied and becomes a scabbed statute. You take your small mallets and beat a lively tune until there is nothing left but music.



James R. Gapinski is the author of Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press) and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks). His work has appeared in The CollapsarJukedMonkeybicyclePaper DartsPsychopomp, and other publications. Find him online at http://jamesrgapinski.com and on Twitter @jamesrgapinski

Week 55: Faiza Anum

Two tones



I would let
my index finger
swim in the residue
of red-chili sauce
and would draw
zigzag patterns
tracing the track
of my life


The flimsy
curtain of cream
that weaves
on the surface
of tea cup
is the shore
I would rescue
my being



Faiza Anum is an educationist, poet, researcher and occasional translator. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Transnational Literature (Australia), Illumen (Alban Lake Publishing, USA), Yellow Chair Review, The Lake (UK) and Open Road Review (India). Her poem “Travelling Tales” was one of the finalists for Open Road Review Poetry Prize 2015.

Week 52: Christopher Hivner

The Last Street

I take the electric,
phases change from blue to red,
hey petunias
grow until the sun shades white,
my garden flashes
all the colors.

I’m not like the others
in this way or that,
pin a medal
to my chest,
the war is over,
marching home down
the last street.

Feathers make the bird,
I’ll stay here
for the night
if the band plays the blues,
rest up
for the long day tomorrow,
finding the criminal who made me.

I survived
without your help
even though
I think of you often,
it doesn’t mean
I need you,
you wouldn’t have been around
even if I did.



Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. He has recently been published in Children, Churches and Daddies, and Wax Poetry. He has had 5 chapbooks of poetry published, the newest is “When Science Collapses” published by Writing Knights Press. website: http://www.chrishivner.com, Facebook: Christopher Hivner – Author, Twitter: @Your_screams

Week 51: Lana Bella



Adored, adorned in tight, neat
stare with dark for hands,
she stilled the water through
clear lake spray. The sometime
girl cornered moon and air
into a mirror, dividing the calm
just past her fingertips. Blush
among viridian and frigate-
birds, she felt an island down
even as she was arc and blur,
sloughing off stars like snake in
season. But this feeling was
hard to live with long, rivering
her body as she became a gift on
the horizon line while currents
held her to this world that
was both softer and sad. So she
felt safe, safe for that instant,
a brain in a feud believing itself
embodied, by the stillest point
stoking to her darkest wounds.



A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 470 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, EVENT, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rock and Sling, The Stillwater Review, Sundress Publications & Whiskey Island, among others, and work appeared in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3.

Week 50: Tim Earley

Traveler’s Guide to Old Town and Surrounding Areas

Everywhere this Judas went a bristly grey dog followed him, red eyes as large as milk saucers. Despite its strange appearance, it was friendly to humans, would sidle and bow. This Judas drank lustily, but never lost himself. After nine or ten pints, he’d say, Fellows, I’m drunk, and go home without another word. Husbands grew worried their wives fancied him and dinner conversations sullened. Children followed as he sang a dilatory tune about an aquatic creature who lost his brother in a hurricane and swam the wide seas searching after him. The creature did not find his brother, but sang as he searched and sang so long and so beautifully that over time he transformed into a siren, and a love of his new form replaced any grief. After a few turns about town to memorize the verses, the children started signing too and followed this Judas into the woods. Days later, he returned, but the children did not. He said, This rural life is intolerably heavy, isn’t it, friends, and clapped a man on his shoulder, held him firm. The bristly grey dog ate many chickens, and even a baby goat, but no one felt they should say anything. Eventually one child, Samuel Previn, returned from the woods. Samuel did not recognize his parents and instead seemed to hold himself as the dog’s personal servant, plucking and eating its fleas and foisting baby-talk into its ears.  I do not remember if our harvests were made more bountiful by this Judas’s presence. Some said so, while others held more dearly to their ghosts. The Sunday he kissed our pastor on the cheek, this Judas pulled the dagger from his belt for all of us, not the pastor, to see, its silver flash the transom of a dream, and slid it into the pastor’s heart with such love and grace that many were brought to tears. The pastor gaped at the church’s ceiling, his mother’s face, clucking all the while in his throat. An excellent Judas, most of us agreed, and filed into the street.



Tim Earley has written four books of poetry, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (Horse Less Press, 2014) and Linthead Stomp (Horse Less Press, 2016). He lives in Denver and teaches online courses in literature and creative writing at the University of Mississippi.


Week 49: James Walton

Birthday Stereophonics of the Elder Kind

At times my body heat
presages combustion,
but we’re in the Eye of Us
this constant iridescence,
my VU bright lit
in the red corner.
Going off like radiation
a heart ticking boom,
an amplifier out of mode
but so mellow,
the bass specific
no matter how the EQ is justified.
A kid’s month is a summer tortoise
the day a year of beach towels,
before the lift off
sheds stages of experience,
and you get to look back
at things beyond iteration.
Anniversary on a sky flipped decanted day
a virtuoso blue eclipse,
three sides of the circle
disappearing to bloom,
a lifetime production
full staves at intersect.
I know you prefer baroque over romantic
a cello in tune the piano pride of place,
the storm passing
but I couldn’t help myself,
and not being Jim Croce
I couldn’t say it in a song.



James Walton is an Australian poet published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He was a Librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official.