Daily Archives: May 4, 2014

“Foray” by Benjamin Nardolilli

Pick up that book I brought,
I enjoy it very much,
How much sentimentality
Will offend you?
What about all those star-studded
Dedications I thought
Might help you process it all?
You should be pleased
I give you idiosyncrasy
In this selection,
If it is not funny in its depth,
It shall set a deadpan fire under you.
A change in your life?
This book can shift a worldview,
Make reading an expense,
Depending on where it takes you,
It might even cost you
More than words,
Numbers can also get involved,
Leading to the rise
Of a negative entry on your ledger,
But please do not open it up
While I am inside your bedroom
And judge the book by its cover page,
Let me go back home
And for a moment enjoy the sight
Of one empty space
On the shelves in my apartment.






Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook, Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish his first novel.

“Without Sliver” by A.J. Huffman

Without Sliver

of moonlight slipping through shutters,
I am without hope
of guidance inside midnight’s
menagerie of mind games.
Each shadow’s corner holds
landmine possibilities. I trip every one
with insomniac rage and frustration
of confinement. Monotonous
walls hold no mysterious wonder.
I force myself to dip
deeper into puddles of potential, pull
strings of pearlescent prose, screaming
all the way to page, sometimes longer.








A.J. Huffman is the author of seven solo chapbooks (including Inside the Walls of a Blackened Book) and co-author of one joint chapbook, published by various small presses. 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. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

“Winter” by Christian Reifsteck

The hieroglyphs of winter
begin to etch themselves into the landscape.
Thin, bare branches are brittle words
that we pass our fingers over to read
like Braille or Ogham.


The cold rain, too,
is just another sign of being—
a symbol thrown against the ground
that we try again and again to interpret.


All it means
is that there is a fine, fine difference
between rain and thick rain,
and if you can read winter,
you know what I mean by this.






Christian Reifsteck’s poems and photographs have most recently appeared in The Loyalhanna Review, Written River, and The Wayfarer. He teaches in central Pennsylvania and Europe. View more of his work at illuminatedmanuscript.wordpress.com.

“Cakewalk” by Jinko Gotoh

Gunsmoke, John Wayne, Lakers
Blasted out of Obachan’s TV.


I fixated over animated lady octopus, plopped up on rock
Middle of sea,
Puffy clouds
And seagull.
She depicted young woman of 1970.
Golden tan, loop earrings, long curly lashes, dark eye shadow,
Bright red lipstick.


She sprayed Soft ‘N Dri!
Repeated “it never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever stings!”
Why do octopus in America have arms
Not legs?


All so mighty foreign.


At end of summer
Carnival came.


Like waking-up Christmas morning
To find Santa’s present
Tree lit with lights


Ferris wheels
Clowns everywhere


Nickel ticket
Got me on platform
Some tune played
When it stopped
I had lucky number.


Pink bakery box in hand
Proudly walked home
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Yellow cake.


Not so bad in
Wild wild west.






Jinko Gotoh is an independent animation producer. Born in Japan, Ms. Gotoh was raised in California and attended Columbia University, where she earned a BS in Applied Math, as well as an MFA in Film.