Archive for January, 2017


Posted in Tom Montag with tags on January 7, 2017 by Scot


Let this be
your measure:

the speed at
which we fly

towards darkness.
Your money

means nothing.




Tom Montag is the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. He has been a featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, and Basil O’Flaherty Review, and received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review, Blue Heron Review, and The Lake.

The Bullet that Killed Wesley by Jimmy Pappas

Posted in Jimmy Pappas with tags on January 5, 2017 by Scot


The bullet that killed Wesley
struck me in the helmet
right between the eyes,
went around my headgear,
out over my shoulder,
hit Wesley in the neck,
and killed him.
Now don’t that beat all fuck.




Jimmy Pappas served for the Air Force during the Vietnam War as an English language instructor training South Vietnamese soldiers. Jimmy received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Bridgewater State University and a Master’s in English literature from Rivier University. He is a retired teacher whose poems have been published in many journals, including Yellowchair Review, New Verse News, Shot Glass Journal, Kentucky Review, Boston Literary Magazine, The Ghazal Page, and War, Literature and the Arts. He is now a member of the Executive Board of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.

Winter Occupation by Alarie Tennille

Posted in Alarie Tennille with tags on January 4, 2017 by Scot

The trees stand at attention
in their drab uniforms –
occupying forces that have cleared
the streets of gypsies in their red
and yellow caravans. Now they ban
any show of color, discourage
public gatherings.

They even intimidate the sun
as they stand at attention
in every yard, bayonets pointed
at the tank-colored sky, boots
crushing grass the color of wait.




Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class allowing women. She misses the ocean, but loves the writing community she’s found in Kansas City. Alarie serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Her poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise, was first runner up for the 2015 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Please visit Alarie  at

Ringing in the Ears by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on January 3, 2017 by Scot


Ringing in the ears
has no cure.
It’s called tinnitus
and you can pronounce it
the way it looks or the way
your doctor says it.

Today I discovered how
to turn the ringing off
and that’s to take
a phone call from your son
who says your daughter
died last night.

She won the first
and second match but
lost the last to cancer.
An hour later you realize
the ringing in your ears
has stopped but there’s
no silence in its wake.

A train of memories
chugs by and stops
and then chugs on again.
You want the ringing
in your ears back again.
You can live with that.

Four poems by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on January 3, 2017 by Scot

eating chili with my father

two strangers
managing small talk
after decades of estrangement.
he tells me wasps
built a nest in his old wool air-force jacket
out in the garage. had to
throw it away.
but he cut the buttons off
and saved them.
i look up from the kitchen table
out the sliding glass doors
to the old blue garage.
i ask if he remembers twenty years ago
when i stood in there
fixing a flat tire on my bicycle.
he came up from behind
asked if i needed help. i told him
i never wanted his help
with anything
for the rest of my life.
i remember, he says, that was a hard boot
but i earned it.
i tell him i was wrong. i’ve had
so many things wrong in this life.
we’ve never hugged
or told each other i love you.
i lean over
and kiss his cheek.
he stiffens. but doesn’t
pull away.


my father
tried to teach me
the value of a dollar

and hard work
but my mother
was a soft touch

a real mark

before the age of seven
i mastered
playing them off one another

they’d go
into the other room
yell under their breath

he’d throw his hands up
and go to the bar

i’d get
whatever i wanted
from mom
if she suddenly
sprouted a back-bone

i’d throw a fit
tell her i hated her
drive her to tears
and then get
what i wanted

those were my blue-prints
on the kind-hearted women
of the upper

four degrees in iowa

the young man
walking down the sidewalk
he has to hold them up
with his left hand

and white-underwear
in the bitter wind

happens to be black

my brain does not flash thug
or danger

i’ve got more solstice
than that

we pass each other

-eldridge cleaver
-malcom x
-hundreds of black men
who’ve come through the halfway house
on my mind

i know
you’re just trying to carve identity
stamp original swagger
into the ashes of a country
that stole everything else

but seriously

check yourself bro

there’s more creative ways
to buck the man

than hobbling around
like a fucking clown.


for h

to be inside
a truly gorgeous woman
moaning in your ear
an ancient oracle
driving you on like a racehorse
stop for a moment
gaze upon this impossible scene
smile so broad
your ears join together on top of your head
come back
the oracle commands
cupping her hand behind your neck
they can take your legs
and your arms
strap you in a wheelchair
and feed you cornstarch
three times a day
so long as
you get to keep this memory
you’ve already