Tom Hibbard


Is this the earth unlocked—Gog and Magog
The smashed logos of buried time
The coded universe’s familiar death pattern
Advancing furtively inflated metaphors
The ones about democratic Ukraine needing “de-Nazification”
As fuel depots explode from Russian missiles
Spewing oily plumes formed like Cyrillic script
With misspellings and war crimes
As arctic cold and snow linger in late March
And grocery shoppers return across mine-fields of words
Are those rock stars patrolling Kyiv’s outskirts on Tik Tok?
The sun without warmth. A people erased.
Could a virgin-spring be bubbling up in Blue-and-Yellow
Grave-markers stooped from undaunted chants of freedom
Dreams attacked continuously day and night
Dreams of terminologies and cyber-security
The coveted dimensionality of infinite children
Odessa—accountable violins playing the national anthem
In the face of pure destruction and random tyrannical storms
Is this the moment unreality becomes reality
With the Black Sea pounding the grand piano of world-wide globalism
An eternal NATO museum of artistic red rubble
Versus charred autos piled high in materialist forests
And obsolete myths of incontestable forevers

Ben Nardolilli


The boys are back, bad for life,
It’s a new year for them, new contests to submit to

Hairstyle bans? They transcend them,
They know the stories everyone needs to know

Events are picked just for them to enjoy,
Our revolution has to be theirs, we all deserve better

Get on aboard if you believe them,
It’s the last chance to get a ticket to party on the subway

Michael H. Brownstein


to not wake up
to not see the mansions made of skin
the root of bone
the splashes of gum disease across graffiti littered lawns

a flux of heat
blisters and blistered lips
tongues swollen into heavy shipyard knots
scurvy and bacteria laden lemonade

a sudden loss of oxygen
felt paper and cellophane 
sweat and spit
an inability to scream

muscular turbulence
a loss of self confidence
brain waves thin as spider venom and the hollowing of a fly

John Grey


For my final act,
I played the camel on the pig’s back.
I clung to that sow
like a web without a spider.

All politics, the crowd said.
Progressive, reactionary,
we can’t tell the difference.

Please, I silently begged.
Don’t judge me by what you can’t understand.
I’m just trying to make a living as a camel.
The pig is fine with carrying its weight and mine.
It’s a pig.
And a cashier in real life.

Too abstract, cried the back row.
Too obvious, sang the center.
A man up front spat in my camel fur.
He wasn’t here for realism apparently.

It’s always like this
when I’m four-legged, hoofed,
and goofy-looking.
The audience is stuck with being human.
Their costume doesn’t always suit them.

They boo at the camel.
They’ve kind words for the pig.
But the pig wrote this skit.
His script said,
“Camel on top, the heavier the better.”

Morley Cacoethes

Pebbles Upon the Narrow Road IV
The twenty-seventh boat,
part of the twenty-seven
cherry blossoms of the night
accompany me with emotion.
I set out on the boughs at dawn.
The sky was misty. The early morning
moon had lost its light to see
the long journey ahead.
My dearest friends had all come
to my disciple’s houseboat
the night before, so that when
I set out on them, my dearest
friends had lost their third month light.

Sheila Murphy

2 Sections from “October Sequence”


Behold revanchist urgency reptilian 
Cold along the lifeless streets
The eyes erasing what eyes know
A spiral delving into wanted earth 
Now fallow land broken as claimed
And charred and ruined aftermath 
Of smallness unimaginable the lust 
To self-broker into coveted history 
As if what mattered was destruction
As a way of hiding impotence 
No one is interested no one glances 
At the metric meant to pierce and shame
Those forced to flee 
The horror of deformed psychology
Of the eternal infant squawking 
To fill emptiness embedded in the DNA
That bespeaks the shallow end 
Of the bell curve shunned by norms 
And normalcy and people wanting peace


Low light template rids attractive nuisance
From the row of homes still orderly
Yet stained by personality
One and another see through whole note 
Opening and owning a soprano reach
To match the bass tone audible 
To the young steepling purported worship
As if feedlines were palpable 
To wild caught communities of thought
Still feeling warp and woof 
Of canines defining family categories 
As real as these uneven steps 
Someone ought to smooth to artificial evenness 
As short planes descend 
To levels that mean something 
As dictionaries spill into the street 
Where muffler delete deceives
Inhabitants arguing the merits 
Apart from factual considerations 
And the weeds play through
The yards of growth versus development