Race Was Not a Factor,

Carlos Andrés Gómez

they said. He said, It looked like a demon. It charged [him], like [he] was five, It Hulk Hogan—   two legacies ghost-stenciled into concrete, one shadow sifted into ash. He sleeps at night—No regrets. His family certain as the closed lid of a coffin they will be safe.   It happened, he says, It […]

I Have a Father, I Have a Thousand Fathers

Lizabeth Yandel

They were telling jokes on T.V. late at night. They were driving the school bus, lifting me to drinking fountains I couldn’t reach. They were talking too much, telling us to quiet down, they were fixing broken stairs, they danced when they were drunk, cried when no one was around.  They sounded like smoking lungs, […]

Spear Side

Chelsea Whitton

Your lopsided father stuck the loose stars to your sky one summer. Even now they glow up there, as if, like you, they are still dumbstruck by the memory of his hulking grace. With one foot on the bed, one on the chest of drawers, his finger pressed each phosphorescent shard into eternity, too high […]

Oil and Candle by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague (2016, Timeless, Infinite Light)

Basia Wilson

Gabriel Ojeda-Sague’s Jazzercise Is a Language is forthcoming from The Operating System in 2018. In his debut collection Oil and Candle, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague writes, “if you must have the blood, you must also take my plantain chips and my unfortunate life.” The vulnerability and rawness the audience demands of the speaker must also be accompanied […]

The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians by Vernita Hall (2017, Moonstone Press)

Basia Wilson

Vernita Hall serves on the poetry board of Philadelphia Stories. Vernita Hall sends the reader on a tour without a tour guide in her chapbook, The Hitchhiking Robot Learns About Philadelphians, winner of the 2016 Moonstone Chapbook Contest. The hitchhiking robot is tossed into Philly neighborhoods, parks, historic venues and cavernous churches with even bigger […]

Flesh Enough, poems by Darla Himeles (Get Fresh Books, LLC, Union, New Jersey, 2017)

Amy Small-McKinney:

Let me begin by stating outright that I believe it is not easy to write poems about the environment and endangered species, such as the elephant, the white rhino, and the blue whale, without veering into the country called “preaching.” I have tried some myself, and I have not succeeded. In her debut chapbook of […]

Past the Days of Yes Y’allin’

Martin Wiley

It was 2 Live Crew, of course, that taught me it was actually okay to like Bruce Springsteen.   *** Fighting against the current on the way to second period Biology, I felt a quick tug.  Pete had snagged my arm but he shouldn’t have been there, everyone knew he never missed History on the […]

On Ecstasy

Alexander Long

I like hearing things before I feel them and the other way around   The disconnect I guess                 the shadow Listening             the scent of Hendrix   The symphony of an oyster sluicing down the throat The hum of horseradish in its wake   And ounce after ounce of Grey Goose erupting In the […]

Listening to Chet Baker

Ed Granger

Always a beat too cool for whatever school the rhythm guys are swimming in as if each bar hangs shimmering like an ornament, tugs at some continuum between the lips you purse to whittle every eighth-note silhouette and your last quicksilver fix as you ghost out of your battered brass soul straight past the gilded […]

GRUNGE GREMLINS, AN E.P.

Joe Costal

Track 1. I knew Kip Winger and Motley Crue were getting blow jobs even though I didn’t know what blow jobs were. When I first heard the phrase, I thought of hair dryers, the robot helmet-looking chairs inside my mom’s beauty parlor. Where the viejas called MTV “mierda,” but I couldn’t get enough. Heavy metal […]