Monthly Archives: April 2014

ON SUNDAY by Karen Loeb

Tomorrow I will make potato latkes.
I will be a renegade and use sweet potatoes,
not the white potatoes I grew up with,
the white potatoes that were always
used in the pancakes. The white potatoes
that my mother never questioned,
that she placed on the table in many
different disguises—mashed, baked,
boiled and cold in salad with mayo stuck
on everything, obscuring what lay beneath
the slick white coat.

I will use sweet potatoes when I make
my latkes. I will use minced scallions
instead of yellow onions cut in chunks.
I will even use the green leaves that
arc out from the white bulb like a dancer
extending a leg. I will cut off the roots.

Of course I will do that.

I will grate the potatoes in a processor,
something my mother never had. I will
not feel guilt for doing this. My latkes
will not be less authentic because the potatoes
were whirled around and chopped into many
small bits. I will invite friends over
to eat the small round cakes with a
tinge of orange. They cannot be mistaken
for white potato latkes. I’ve made sure of that.

Karen Loeb writes and teaches in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Recent publications have been a story in Thema, poems in The Main Street Rag, Bloodroot and Hanging Loose.

There is Darkness to the Water by Martin Willitts Jr.

There is darkness to water
of intent and revenge for what we’ve done,
as the earth becomes hotter and hotter.

What will we tell our sons and daughters?
In our destruction, what have we won?
There is darkness to the water.

It thirsts for revenge and in its anger
it flattens cities, ending what we begun,
causing the earth to become hotter and hotter.

Who was the leaders? Why did they falter?
Our forests, ruined land, both made barren.
There is darkness in the water.

What will we tell children after?
We ruined the earth and all we were given,
and made the air sulfur, becoming hotter.

Now we cannot go back. The winds stir
nothing and we cannot alter
the intense darkness in the water
which floods as things get hotter.

Martin Willitts Jr forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting for the Day to Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press), “Swimming in the Ladle of Stars” (Kattywompus Press), “A Is For Aorta” (Kind of Hurricane Press, e-book), “Martin Willitts Jr, Greatest Hits” (Kattywompus Press), “The Way Things Used To Be” (Writing Knights Press), “Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh’s Illness” (Aldrich Press).

Swedish Flooring by Jeannie E. Roberts

The old linoleum spoke,
kept track, took note,
of scuffs and cracks,
marked anecdote, recalled
a lifetime worn by others;
where, thoughts of feet
made floorboards creak,
caused stabs near grab
of knob and turn meant
throbs when dotard trod
with memory-mud and
gore; still, shine imbued
in servitude, light infused
this floor, where pets were
friends, pledged care―no end,
and softness sat times four, sat
just beyond the door.

Jeannie E. Roberts is the author of two books, including the newly released Nature of it All, a collection of poems (Finishing Line Press). For more, visit

NeverNever Holes by Karen Bovenmyer

NeverNever Holes

We have been together for fifteen years and
Never, never
Have you left a hole in my wall

There’ve been holes in other things
to-do lists, clothes, missed birthdays,
valentines days, anniversaries, sometimes
But never, never
A fist-sized hole in my bedroom wall

Your voice saying
What do you want? I don’t know what you want, I can’t be what you want
Tearing your hair, scratching your arms, punching a
heart-shaped hole in my wall

And I stand there, sobbing
Like the eight-year-old I suddenly am again watching my sister
throw dishes at my mother
I said, I will never, never be like her

And under the thick sounds I am making
Like fifteen holes knocked into fifteen walls
I am saying, I will never, never leave you

And you are saying, I will never change
There is a hole in my wall now
An opening that wasn’t there before

And finally I am hearing
Please, please love me for who I am

And so, I say again
Fifteen times

I do, I do, I do
I do, I do, I do
I do,  , I do
I do, I do, I do
I do, I do, I do

Karen Bovenmyer holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches and mentors students at Iowa State University.


The sounds of
A Breakdown is
Messy and loud –

An en media res
Heathen sound –

A crashing down —

Like pagan workers
Who carelessly

Throw away cast
Away bricks – from
Long ignored
Pyramids – just
To load machine
Made construction
Beams –

Walk beneath
The metal
Street slowly,
And surely you
Will hear the Snap –
The breaking,
Falling Wreck —

Such a sound:
Total – Forlorn –.

Dr. P. holds a Ph.D. in English from SUNY Stony Brook University. She is Grenada born, Brooklyn-based Poet and Essayist.

Tides by Diane Kendig

~”We lower our sails, awhile we rest.” — Longfellow

My nine-year-old niece’s mother called us from the Midwest. Lauren, distraught,
asked, “Why couldn’t they just run, leave home?” as she’s been taught
to do for fire. They’ve looked at maps. What else ought

she explain to her child about Nicaragua, wracked and wrecked again, the Erinyes
of Mitch. One day later, driving along the coast, we saw the perigee of perigees
made the moon the most huge and gorgeous mound, a “geez”

experience, as we say in Ohio. And too, it shone so full that night, a near coincidence
wrote Joe Rao, an astronomer, explaining in the Times that the high incidence
of sand at low tide was autumn “spring tide,” this widest expanse of dense

beach yet. We love low tide for walking, and that huge space it cleared, like a spark
gap, stretched us as we zigzagged with our Nicaraguan friend in a state park
and spoke of the home she hates to be away from. Under a pine arc,

so greenly dark, so pained and useless as we felt, we heard more from her of Nicaragua’s
mudslides. We’ve lived through its usual rainy season: no umbrellas, paraguas,
can stop it, only wait for the breezes of November after the rains, las aguas,

end. But this was so much more and worse even than the last, when the most banefully
wicked winds and water lashed the land, killing thousands. We didn’t fully
fathom the difference yet, standing in that moon-dazzling lovely lee.

Diane Kendig curates a website for the Cuyahoga County Public Library (greater Cleveland, OH) for National Poetry Month which features a prompt, a poem, a link, and a book recommendation each day in the month of April. The “Nesting Poem” will be the prompt for Monday, April 14th:

Goddessing Above the Waist by A.J. Huffman

The shirt was not hair. I was.
Chewed. And left
for death
in the middle of a road.
Crossed. Gnarled.
And gnatted.
Until the wind broke
through. And against me.
My wishes:
wished and washed.
Discarded by the locks.
Plait one.
Pearl two.
They hate me
because I am beautiful
ly vacant.
Hold me
to your ear.
And listen for the coming
of the crows.

A.J. Huffman has published five solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her sixth solo chapbook will be published in October by Writing Knights Press. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the winner of the 2012 Promise of Light Haiku Contest. Her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Shadows by Anne Whitehouse

The stone garden lingers like a shadow
reflected in the depths of her eyes.

The shadows of water spiders
lie on the sandy stream bed
like black petals.

Here, in the heart of the forest,
cleft by a waterfall,
the sun’s heat never penetrates.

Bio- Anne Whitehouse was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Harvard College and Columbia University. She is the author of the poetry collections—The Surveyor’s Hand, Blessings and Curses, Bear in Mind and One Sunday Morning. Anne Whitehouse’s most recent poetry collection is The Refrain (Dos Madres Press, 2012). Her novel, Fall Love, is available in ebook format from Feedbooks, Smashwords, Amazon Kindle, and iTunes.

Made Worse by Jeff Burt

Hurt is the manner in which the homeless
pronounce heart, and in doing so

identify the state of it, their cold
puckered mouths unable to slow

the gutteral vowel. And we, more proud
of our rags than the rich their silk,

we had wanted to feed the famished, turn
tanks and subs into cups of milk.

But words cannot multiply fish and loaf,
so you chose the worming up

the corporate tree and I chose grubbing
out cash for the most appealing group.

Today I handed out cups of coffee
to those who utter hurt for heart

and mean the same, and listened to their cold
hard prose, not a warm word in it.

We have not written for these many years
and I am one made worse for it.

Jeff Burt works in manufacturing. He has work in Dandelion Farm Review, Nature Writing, and forthcoming in Windfall and Thrice Fiction.

Secret River (for the poets) by Jules Nyquist

The Mississippi shows herself

by waiting under the bridge.
She saves those wanting to walk on water
drowns others.

Her veil falls over the dam,
built from the sand
she eroded first.

I am married to my work
to bear my children one spoonful at a time.

Her humming knows,
and I sleep

with the fish and the rocks
and the damned.

From Behind the Volcanoes, released March 22, 2014:

Jules Nyquist lives in Albuquerque and is the creator of the Poetry Playhouse.  She received her MFA from Bennington College, VT and her poetry collection, “Appetites,” (Beatlick Press) was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona 2012 Book Awards.  Her next book of poems is entitled “Behind the Volcanoes.”