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 […]


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 […]

Girard Avenue

Valerie Fox

  Say you’re twenty-one and throw a party where you are house-sitting, a big row-house in a once opulent neighborhood, and you’ve danced with him, Russell, who is twenty-nine, and when he tries to get into your pants you let him, and say you never hear the stories about how Russell is really into girls […]

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Marjorie Maddox

Yeah, not just fingers, but hands, shoulders, torso, limbs, Good Golly, Miss Molly, everything swings up and over the ivories, blasting away the past with the lit stick of boogie-woogie and blues rolled up in rock that explodes from his lipsticked lips crackling with Slippin’ and Slidin’ and Tutti Frutti like they own the joint, […]

College Audition – Novel Excerpt

Emily Eckart

At first, when I heard the crackly voice over the PA calling my name, I thought I might be hallucinating. Over the last thirty days, I’d flown to Boston, to Cincinnati, to New York; I’d explained to dubious airport officials that a French horn was a musical instrument and that no, my conical wooden mute was not for cheerleading. I was starting to hear my audition pieces in car alarms and the inflections of people’s voices.