Daily Archives: January 21, 2018


“Risky Business” by Scott Thomas Outlar

Daredevil squirrels
up on the tightrope of life
leap on high
from one tree to the next.

 

The branches bend precariously,
sagging beneath the new weight,
and every time I watch
I just pray
that I never have to witness
a snap followed by a splatter.

 

After all, I’ve certainly seen
enough bloodshed in the streets
so far this season
as speeding mammals
with heavy feet
simply cannot swerve in time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar spends the hours flowing and fluxing with the ever-changing currents of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over life’s existential nature. His chapbook Songs of a Dissident is available from Transcendent Zero Press, and his words have appeared recently in venues such as Words Surfacing, Yellow Chair Review, Dissident Voice, Section 8 Magazine, and Void Magazine17numa.wordpress.com


“Rainy Day in Baseballland” by Joe DeMarco

It was a rainy day in Baseballland
The players were home in bed
One rookie rolled over his eyelids a flutter
With dreams of a stand-up triple running through his head

 

The cleats and spikes were all on hooks
Along with mitts, bats, and caps
And even Cal Ripken Jr. had settled down
For a long summer’s nap

 

Outside the rain was pouring down
While puddles drenched the field
But little Eric Hopkins came to play
And his imagination refused to yield

 

His mitt lay soggy in a puddle
And his sleeves were drenched with rain
As his hands clenched a cold bat with a hope
“That springs eternal in the human brain.”

 

Little Eric threw the ball up swung and missed,
And the umpire bawked, “Strike one!”
He tapped his cleats, picked up the ball, and reminded the ghost crowd,
“This rain won’t ruin our fun.”

 

For little Eric loved the game
And he loved the feel of stitched leather in his hands
As he waved to his mom, who sat with his fabricated wife
And his invented kids up there in the fantasy stands

 

And now the imaginary pitcher holds the ball
And now he lets it go
But little Eric swung and missed again
Which made two strikes in a row

 

He metaphorically dusted himself off
And picked up the ball once more
For often he wished that instead of three strikes
The batter could get four

 

But today he realized, it was his day
His wishes were his commands
So as he squeezed the water from his jersey
He raised his finger toward the left-field stands

 

He was Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr.,
and Barry Bonds all together
And anything you said about lightning or thunder
Wouldn’t be getting him out of this weather

 

For in his head the sun was shining
And the grass was green and dry
And he sent that low and away 0-2 pitch
Like a rocket into the sky

 

And he arrogantly trotted around the bases
Stepped on third and headed toward home plate
While his mother yelled from down the street,
“Dinner’s cold and you are late!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he lived most of his life in Buffalo, NY. He now teaches seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, and Blind Savior, False Prophet. He is currently working on several new projects.  (authorsden.com/josephdemarco)


“Recovery” by Colleen Redman

I wake cold turkey like clockwork
to the sound of your car in the driveway
Solitude is the fix I want to alone with
but I fear the confinement
and my tolerance for abandonment is low

 

I try not to think
about the clutter in the basement
or the rain washing foundations away
I recreate my life like puzzle
Is everyone safe in their place?

 

I count the hours I’ve slept
like an addict counts pills
and then loses track

 

Sometimes I fall back to sleep
and imagine I’ll never wake up
or I stare out the window
at the tree losing leaves
and wait for an urge to take shape

 

The unexpected poem
like a dream just recalled
is an escape route
that gets my attention

 

It’s the secret life I depend on
and the recovery I faithfully follow
It’s the mystery I was made
to be hooked on

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen Redman writes and provides photography for The Floyd Press newspaper in Virginia. Her poems have appeared in Mothering Magazine, We’moon Journal, Floyd County Moonshine, and Artemis Journal. Online publications that have featured her poetry include Della Donna, Poetry24, and Clutching at Straws. She blogs daily at looseleafnotes.com. “Dear Abby, How can I get rid of freckles?” was her first published piece at the age of 11.


“Proximity” by Rowena Ilagan

You circle your arms around me,
Bring my body close to yours.
Your lips claim mine in a hurry
Lighting a thousand little flames
Under my skin.
I hear you groan…
A deep sweet rumbling
from your chest.
My body is singing,
humming–
Dancing in time with yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowena Ilagan is a freelance writer living in beautiful Redondo Beach, CA. When not writing, she is pursuing one of her many jobs and interests, including martial arts, counseling, and metaphysical studies. (facebook.com/rowena.ilagan.16)


“The Art of War” by Al Rocheleau

When all trees fall
instead of one
do they make noise
if, when it’s done
it’s deafened as it stunned
the village
and villagers
in dell before it?

 

And what of the usual
raff, the pillagers
(elected of hell),
the Visigoth, Eulan, Arab,
and American,
one in rushes by a Mekong
flat, replete with lorries
and rat-a-tat, the little, late plumes
or, predictable
as Dakota dawns

 

the counting cold, then heat
of the very
long?

 

No answers. The
questions are wrong.

 

One figures, figures
then forgets philosophy
for the simple sings
of good war-songs, the sex of hate
as all the meatmen, we, in silkslings, pulled
and always hither milled
by one good clapping hand,

 

arbiter and profligate,
the us and it, so
ever stupid still
lies still

 

and strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Rocheleau‘s work has appeared in publications in the US and abroad, including Confrontation, Evansville Review, Illuminations, Studio One, Van Gogh’s Ear, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Poetry Salzburg Review. He is the recipient of the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize, and author of the manual On Writing Poetry. His Twelve Chairs Poetry Course, accredited by the Florida State Poets Association, includes scholarships for high school students.


“Boardwalk” by Zachary Flint

She was just a girl
On the boardwalk
Smiling at me between
Licks of ice cream

 

Brown eyes consume my thoughts
Dark hair invades my dreams
But I walked away, afraid
For I was just a boy.

 

 

 

 

 

Zachary Flint is a college student studying Mathematics in Boston, MA. His influences include but are not limited to: John Donne, Kurt Vonnegut, and his friend Mario. When he isn’t studying in Boston, he lives in Vermont with his parents because he has no money.