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When Robert Scotellaro and I founded One Sentence Poems as a spin-off from Right Hand Pointing (a process almost identical to the spinning-off of Rhoda from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, including appearances by Carlton, the alcoholic doorman in Rhoda's building) we set it up as a blog-style website publishing one poem at a time. That continued for 9 years until summer 2023 when, for reasons no one has been able to explain to me, I decided, as show runner, to recklessly impose a summer hiatus, leaving the editors without dental insurance, which has long been the only perk offered to our volunteer editors of all the publications put out by the literary juggernaut, Ambidextrous Bloodhound Press. The plan all along, which I had registered as a flight plan with the FAA, once again getting confused by the demands of bureaucracy, was to start up again in November as a twice per year issue-based publication. (Twice a year, as we all know, either is biannual, semiannual, or both.) So here you go.

I am grateful to all who submitted to this first issue and congratulate all whose fine work appears here. My thanks to our hard-working editors who are now again on really, really awful dental insurance, Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, Natalie Wolf, and Clare Rolens. A special welcome to Clare, who is new to our team. Clare is an English professor at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, where she has a big hand in Bravura (bravurajournal.org). Clare has published academic and creative writing, the latter in such places as Vestal Review, Bright Flash Literary Review, and Litbreak Magazine. We are so glad to have Clare on the team!

This issue also marks the retirement of our friend Tony Press from the editorial staff. Tony is a fine writer, talented editor, and one lovely human being. He will be missed.

We hope you enjoy this new issue of One Sentence Poems. Oh, and thanks to my wife Marilyn, who talked me out of renaming the journal Rhoda. This is another example of how this excellent person has again saved me from one of my many dark impulses. 

Yours,

Dale

Use the pencil
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Gary Grossman

Impulse Control

Strong impulse

control means

 

missing the

blood moon of

 

November,

the Coho

Salmon that

just jumped

 

the falls, and

the tickling

 

wind of March

across bare skin.

Gary Grossman’s poetry book, Lyrical Years (2023) is available from Kelsay Press, and What I Meant to Say Was… will be published by Impspired Press in late 2023.

Maddison Scott

We’re All Exhausted Here

My pillow once embraced
my exhaustion

yet now

when I place my head down,

the stuffing shifts

and

I’m left wondering

if the weight of my head

is exhausting for the pillow.

Maddison Scott's catchy bio felt too long so if you want more of her fiction and poetry, check out maddisonscott.wordpress.com

 

Richard Clarke

Mates on a Train

From dingy Central Station the train

rattled west through fibro suburbs

then turned south crossing rivers and

passing through mountains

as my mate and I

turned our attention

to a game of chess

which somehow went my way

at first while the paddocks and towns of inland NSW

slipped past in the dusk

until he had only one pawn

and his king left but

mercilessly he manipulated my impatience

to such effect that as we passed Yass

he checkmated me and in frustration

I swept rooks, knights, bishops

and the chessboard

itself to the floor of the spartan carriage

as our creaking train

crept south to Albury.

Richard Clarke is a retired teacher who, after teaching poetry for 40 years, has finally decided to have a go at writing it.

Jennifer Browne

Orecchiette

Masters and Johnson used

plethysmography to measure

arousal in the breasts and skin

and lungs and bladder, but it's

the swelling of your earlobes

I long to taste in these toothsome

little bites, pale al dente substitutes

for the wide skiff of your scapha,

that leave my sensitive thumb

lonely for the perfect curve

of your more sensitive antihelix,

all these delicate structures into which

I want to speak my hungers,

by which you’ve come

to hear me so well.

Jennifer Browne

Cohesion

Praise the water strider’s

learning how to balance

the thinnest line of tension,

water’s attraction to itself.

 

Jennifer Browne (she/her) falls in love easily with other people’s dogs.

Garima Rani Saxena

Wear It Loose

Her hair
was growing longer by the second,

and she could tell

that by morning

it would not only be

touching the ground

but would leave the house

actively pursuing the things

she had merely waited for.

Garima Rani Saxena is an artist, interjecting that she likes to write.

Howie Good

Subterranean Cancer Blues

I wait two floors below ground

for my daily turn on the machine

that murders the toxic cells

that would murder me,

and while waiting, I see you,

a shriveled child (boy? girl?)

slumped in a wheelchair,

your limbs mere wisps,

your pale little face without expression

or a warming shadow of detail,

and I feel dizzy with guilt and shame

for having even looked over

and then quickly looked away

and been admitted unprepared

to the kind of knowledge that now

holds my eyes open to the dark.

 

Howie Good's newest poetry collection, Frowny Face, a synergistic mix of his prose poems and handmade collages, is forthcoming from Redhawk Publications.

Kelly Houle

Art History: William Turner

When I look at Turner’s 
hundreds of paintings 
of sun above water,
I see a young boy 
missing his mother, 
coloring endless 
versions of the sea.

 

Kelly Houle watches the sky, writes poems, and paints.

Charles Peoples III

Deviled Egg

Pickled, sweet,

made of morning,

boiled before the house

is ready for consumption,

I am to be prepared

for touch and rub,

insides exposed,

flesh ripped

 

of heart to ache,

from boy to man.

Charles Peoples III is a musician-turned-poet via existential crises and can be found at www.CharlesPeoplesIII.com

Barry Vitcov

Zombies

According to my friend’s
forty-something son,
zombies account for most
of the noisy mayhem
in the basement,
which is why I never
open the door inside
the hall coat closet.

Barry Vitcov lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife and exceptionally brilliant standard poodle.

Peggy Liuzzi

Night Vision

I still see

your pale moon face,

bright as a leaf on dark water.

 

Peggy Liuzzi lives in Syracuse, NY where she writes, practices Tai Chi and enjoys walks with her feisty beagle Maizie.

Kateri Boucher

Leaving the Lake

Perhaps the trick is to get out

of the water in such a way that

 

even when you go up the ladder,