Outlier

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By May Hem

I never cared much for statistics
until you were one of them.
Now I scan them for patterns
and correlations
to find significant factors
and probabilities of effect size
but only that outlier
hints that you were ever there
and the effect measurable
only in the absence at my side.

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Table for One

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By rlmcooper

As usual, my back is to the restaurant’s kitchen door, a lone diner always parked in some out-of-the-way location as though I might, if seated amongst them, infect the other patrons with the “friendless” virus. Yet, as I glance across the thick-carpeted room I’m sad for the couple, long married, who no longer speak, for the parents attempting to rein in a disruptive child or get a sullen teen to eat. I celebrate young lovers and blindly happy newlyweds. No, I do not dine alone. Life’s comedy and drama unfolds before me, and I am content.

Writer’s Block, The Sequel

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By John Grey

I tried to write a poem
about nothing
but, unfortunately,
something came to me.

RELAX
prone on couch,
staring at
painted clouds on ceiling,
lids slowly closing,
lowering the sky

HI THERE
through my years
as a lover
my feelings
have followed
a reductive path
from superficial
and shallow
toward a truer
and more understated
elusive and indirect
minimalism
what I mean is –
you’re no Scarlet Johansson
but you’ve caught me at a good time

A POET DREAMS
all these years
after the death of Frost,
Dickinson, Whitman,
all I need is that great first line
and being alive helps

     
John Grey’s work has appeared in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review. He has work upcoming in Harpur Palate, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

An Open and Honest Dialogue

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By Paul Thompson

“You go first,” he says.

She opens the envelope and holds up a card.

I still miss my Dad, it says.

He falters.

“Now open yours,” she says.

“No, yours is more important.”

“Open it.”

He opens his envelope and holds up a card.

I think we should divorce, the card says.

They place the cards down and turn to the camera, speaking in unison.

“OK guys, hit like and subscribe, and remember to leave your comments below.”

They lean towards us and switch off the camera, hands touching briefly as they do so.

Again

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By Marc Frazier

Every morning
you forget you live.
Every morning
starts the same
though you’re not
the same.

Some mornings a dream
sticks in your web.
You lure it out.
Inspect it. Sometimes
it vanishes, sometimes
not.

Every morning
you have things to do.
Some mornings
you imagine
having nothing
to do.

Try doing nothing
for a day.
The depressed know how.
Try holding your breath
and live.

     
Marc Frazier has published work in journals including The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Slant, Permafrost, Plainsongs, and Poet Lore, Gravel, The Good Men Project, decomP, and others. Marc, an LGBTQ+ writer, is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His books are available on Amazon.

Gardens

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By Mark Jackley

Our wrinkled faces,
spoilt fruit.

Your wicked smile,
the trace

of a bee lifting
towards next spring.

HOLDING A LIQUIDATION SIGN BY THE SIDE OF ROAD

Children stare
and parents shake their heads. I have learned

what wisdom is: the gift
I never wanted, given

under one condition. Everything must go.

DRIVING INTO A TELEPHONE POLE IN THE PENTAGON PARKING LOT

Two a.m., blind with drink.
This was in between wars. Saluting, hubris reared its head,
and cracked mine.

      
Mark Jackley’s poems have appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Sugar House Review, The Cape Rock, and other journals.