Shadows & Light Theme
Poetry Chapbook Contest
Poets featured in this Issue:
Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, Stella Reed, Ceridwen Hall, Daniel Lassell, Kathryn Merwin, Faith Shearin, Annie Lure, Avery Leigh Thomas, Matthew J. Spireng, Douglas Cole, Alison Stone, Lynn Pattison, Kyle McKinney, Jason Irwin, Alan Catlin, Mike McGeehon, Michael Brosnan, Theodore Eisenberg, Mark Fitzgerald, Matthew Nye, Eric Gelsinger, Simon Perchik, Larry W. Kelts, Sarah Daugherty, P.D. Lyons, Donna M. Davis, Charlotte Covey, Matt Dennison, Mark B. Hamilton, Catherine Keller, Alex Thomas, Michael Estabrook, James Crews, Katharyn Howd Machan, Paula Brancato, Riley Ward, David Chorlton, Jim Daniels, Jack Lindeman, Serena Fusek, Frank J. Dunbar, Carol Dorf, Hollie Dugas, Ann Folwell Stanford, Roy Bentley, Lauren Yarnall, Steve Klepetar, Suzanne Rancourt, Mary Carroll-Hackett, Gail DiMaggio, Linda Scheller, Gloria Keeley, Stan Zumbiel, Ed Taylor, Dorian Kotsiopoulos, Carl Mayfield, Vicki Mandell-King, Robert Cooperman, Lyn Lifshin, John Gosslee, Livio Farallo, Kenneth Feltges, Karen Paul Holmes, Dan Sicoli, Ginnie Goulet Gavrin, Allyson Jeffredo, Michelle Perez, Jerry Garcia, Catfish McDaris, and Gerald Locklin.
Front Cover: Kris G.
Back Cover: Karen Lee Lewis
Featured photography by: Aria Riding, Riccardo Mottola, Kris G., Lisa Sweet, Pierre Lagarde, and Oleg Podsorov
Sample Poems from Issue 36
Old Man Tilly by Jason Irwin
Dark Passage by Alan Catlin
Stalling by Catherine Keller
Wyeth by Michelle Perez
Old Man Tilly
by Jason Irwin
Even today I shudder
when I think of his yellowed underbite.
How Iíd watch him stagger
from his front porch to the curb
in the hazy dawn light,
where heíd stand,
admiring his shit-colored
El Camino, piled high
and metal pipes.
His floating left eyeó
swimming like an egg yolk
inside a carpenterís level.
I remember that summer night like a movie,
when he threw his girlfriend down a flight
of stairs, then gave me the finger
as I stood watching from my driveway.
Later that evening, after the ambulance
had taken her to the hospital
and all the neighbors went back inside,
I sat by an open window
and listened to him breathing,
mumbling to himself,
and just for a moment
I thought I heard him cry.
But it was only the wind
moving through the neighborhood,
rustling the maple leaves.
© 2016 Jason Irwin
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by Alan Catlin
"Itís a damn shame you have to be bothered with breathing."
In noir movie night, on silver
trolley car diner stool, slouched
over coffee spilled counter,
fried eggs and bacon sandwich
smells. Time has lost all meaning
on dim lighted, stale air edged
by neon, leaking definition, fading
into endless grease-coated patterns
of shadow and light, of radio loop
tapes crackling static, storm front
from nowhere, tornado thick and
churning. Unmoving waitress,
dead eyed and a cigarette break
shy of frozen in place forever.
Distant sirens and barking dogs,
precarious, no-hope tower of loose
change and spilled shaker salt,
torn-into-bits tickets and pay-as-you-go
chit, face down by soiled spoons says
Thank You Come Again but no one
expects you back or to believe what
it says. Fade to black.
© 2016 Alan Catlin
by Catherine Keller
Hiding in bathroom stalls,
Has become a habit for me,
The cold tiled floor,
And shrieking of the stall door closing.
Silently praying that no one comes in,
So you can have some time to yourself,
Even if it does smell like too much bleach,
And mis-aimed urine,
Flashing back to eating my paper bag lunch,
Because I couldnít find anyone to sit with.
Those close four sides,
Are awful for anxiety attacks,
Claustrophobia gets the worst of you.
My only companions are the burned-out bugs,
In the cheap ceiling lights,
The loud silence,
And the soap dispenser that never completely,
Washes the blood off of your hands.
Donít stare at yourself in the mirror for too long,
The lighting doesnít flatter you.
When the bell rings and kids pour through doors,
The background hum of pointless conversations
Scares me to death,
Because I donít know which one of them,
Is next to come in.
In between and during classes,
Iíll be there,
Hiding from the sounds of clacking high heels,
Listening to people cackling in the halls,
Wondering why you couldnít be a part of it,
Girls come in giggling about last weekend,
And you wish you knew what was so funny,
The ultimate exclusion,
You on one side of the stall,
Them on the other side, clueless as to who you are,
Or if youíre even there.
© 2016 Catherine Keller
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by Michelle Perez
I needed to read
the article. I
his paintings. I donít
know about Maine.
I donít know Helga
the texture of corn
I needed to know
how light lingers,
an old porch leans,
into a room
and shade brush
strokes the side
of a clapboard
I wanted to learn
angles a door jamb,
and the guarding
© 2016 Michelle Perez
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