Birthplace of Horn


By Richard King Perkins II*

Wicked traveler,
egocentric window,

leave your body stretched
across another’s soul

bound in the red twine of sin.

You won’t speak your regret

or trust the urgency of seasons
lashed to the world by a stem.

Polished glass is jealous
of all that came before

aspects never seen but imagined
brothers of earthy comfort

speaking directly to your birthplace
of horn.

The tearing of innards begins
on the way to snow-capped islands

where the weeping burns
long before its heritage ends—

In all your lands of belief
infinitesimal globs of divinity

escape with every uttered word.



*Richard King Perkins II is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL.

Civil War


By L.T Garvin

Riding on horses
those pale, pinched faces
in times where
one year became ten
in the lines on their haggard faces.
The hard battlefield
opened her hesitant fingers
letting the blood swim through
lending a futile hand
to separate the souls
falling from horses.
Heady array
of blue and gray.
Now the misty war ground
calls beyond the existence of man.
Do we hold these truths
as dearly as we should?
Do we truly honor the dead?
Make amends for our greed?
Universal truths wrapped in
bullet swirl.
What do we leave here now
as we perish from this earth?

Her Blank Page


By Isabelle Andres

When the words go, the writer’s loneliness installs itself,
makes its home into her head.

She is there, silent as always
only this time the words no longer flow through her veins
No longer supply her oxygen.

She sits there still and the words are within her just as always
only this time she can’t feel them cuddling her.
can’t feel them loving her.

She can’t connect to them and see that they are there just as always
only awaiting for her to wake

Lace and White Fire


By Richard King Perkins II*

As ever,
skies clear

storm fallen completely

a scarlet oak

its vignettes
layered damp beneath.

Redstarts, nuthatches
puddlejump through brush

clipping insects.

Open doors
expand the home

petrichor flows in;

at a distance—
warmth, uncertain light,

patter of curbside water
falling away

in subterranean elegy

its ejection

from a land of lace
and white fire.


*Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL.

Epilogue, Epigraph


By Craig Towsley

On his deathbed, my grandfather called my father into his room and urged everyone else to leave. My grandmother, I’m told, absolutely refused, until he threatened to stand up and move her out himself if he had to. He’d been bedridden for weeks.

My father was the youngest, only ten when his father began to die. His oldest brother already had a daughter, a few years old, but closer to his age than any of his siblings.

“Go traveler, and imitate,” my grandfather said to his son who was too young to understand but old enough to remember the words.


Eureka, Veruca


By Alex Creece

A bubblegum-lipped boy, with his gnawing foibles, is stuck behind my ear. He is a sugar rush of intravenous self esteem, fizzy-lifting me to great glass heights. I succumb to his saccharine sweet nothings in a sprinkling of pixie dust and avarice. My dahling keeps me plump and unassuming on a diet of riches and rich snack treats. We feed and fuck and fulfill our cupidity under the hailstorm veil of cupid’s arrow. Fat and happy, I disregard the dangers of a beau on a wondrous boat ride, and allow myself to tumble




To a doopity doom.