Howie Good

Changing My Password

I’m just switching
a couple letters around,

unsure about each,
suspecting each,

a shirtless man braving
golf ball-sized hail.

Howie Good is moving to another tower down the road.

Lysbeth Em Benkert

Doing the Math

I have covered half the distance between us

and half that again

and again,

but I still

Lysbeth Em Benkert is a long-term transplant to the upper mid-west where she teaches literature and rhetoric.

John Grey

On Running into My Ex at a Restaurant

She greeted me
with the forced smile
of a defeated tennis player.
shaking the hand
of her opponent
at the net.

John Grey adapts to occasions as they arise, subtly if at all possible.

John Grey

When the Wife’s Away

The dirty dishes
are stacked in the sink
like a pyramid
and the archaeologist
will be home
any day now.

John Grey adapts to occasions as they arise, subtly if at all possible.

Micki Blenkush

Two Ships, Long Marriage

What, if anything, can be said when you arrive
at 4:00 a.m. to our bed where I have stalked alone
into dreams I would have preferred to share
but instead you’ve lingered
in the unheated basement,
drafting from your lucid mind
plans for a workshop
you began to sketch in the corner of our den
during a movie selected by our daughter
(which, by our simple glance five minutes in,
we both could have lived without)
and I, who’d long lain awake in menopausal steam
thinking poems I’d like to write,
now silently welcome you
to whatever warmth
I’ll leave behind.

Micki Blenkush is striving to spend less of her life waiting.

Steve Klepetar

One Day

Nothing occurs
but sky, that blue illusion,

and a white light headache,
tightness in the upper back

snaking slowly into pain,
and behind that, music –

sea songs rising from a
dozen throats, dolphins

half-submerged in a tidal flow,
and later broad ochre rocks

gathered like elephants,
bulbous and stoical in their bulk.

Steve Klepetar is terrible at relaxing, letting his mind go, and floating downstream.

Ian Brand

Early Group Portrait

Inside the black bottle, aboard a microscopic ship
dissolving as painlessly as aspirin
among a crew that bickers without end.

Ian Brand is keepin’ it real on the wheels of steel.

M. A. Istvan, Jr.

Haciendo fría

En las épocas anteriores a la refrigeración
alguien tenía que haber pensado
para sentarse la sandía, las uvas—
estos y otros—en la corriente,
desbloquear los gustos ocultos en el frío.

Making Cold

In the epochs before refrigeration
someone had to have thought
to sit the watermelon, the grapes—
these and others—in the stream,
unlocking tastes hidden in the cold.

M. A. Istvan, Jr. suffers from Intermittent Explosive Disorder. In addition to Newport loosies, he and his father sold “Free the Juice” shirts and caps during the OJ trial. Visit his page at