Flash Flood

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By Brad Rose

My clothes are exhausted. I’d like to throw myself out. I don’t need a second opinion. All those buildings in town, under so much pressure – wind, sandstorms, earthquakes. They lie to themselves about their strength. If the clouds moved any faster, the hawks wouldn’t stand a chance. And the fading trees—Willow, Acacia, Hackberry—thirsty in the August heat. Their roots desperately crawling toward the saltwater sea. Yesterday, from high up on the levy, I saw a body floating in what’s left of the river. There was no one to tell. I am my own future, until it’s too late.

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Driving Down a Gravel Road, Thinking About Bud Powell

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By Mark W. Jackley

the potholes
and the ruts
bring to mind
Bud’s skull,
cratered by a Philly cop
in ’45 and yet
it guarded
Tempus Fugit
and Un Poco Loco
to spill one day
like rivulets
of melted snow
in April
cortex-creased,
donkey-nibbled
hills in
morning sun,
glittering
synaptically,
defiantly,
because

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

The Other Me

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By Toni G.

the other me

wears her hair slicked back

in a tightly woven braid

about three feet long

it swings fiercely as she walks

it tells folks to beware of this dame

the other me

wears 5” heels like a boss

has great legs

looks great in a mini skirt

and has power lunches at midnight

the other me

holds doors open for men

slaps them on the ass as they walk by

winks at them when they turn around in surprise

I don’t think I’ll ever get to meet

the other me

            
Toni G. writes because there’s just so much that needs to be said. She believes that everyone is a poet.

Hide

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By Rex Chilcote

Life is long;
the older you get,
the more you worry.

Confidence is for the young and naive.
When you don’t know the dangers,
you think you know everything.

When you get older,
you see more of the
insanity around you.

And you want to hide.

         
Rex is a chemist, a father, a husband, and an author trying to keep it together. He says cigarettes and scotch seem to help.

Crystal

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By M.L. Fenton

We need to talk about what
Happened in that burnt-out house
On Hazel. You were my first playmate, our mothers
Were friends. When you moved
I was lost for a long time. We roamed the neighborhood with
little supervision and sometimes found
Ourselves in peril

Looking back, Several things happened at once: I entered puberty, you left, and I started hating myself.

I have a disturbing memory of us playing in that burnt-out house; a disjointed laugh,

A missing slice of time

A discourse I’ll have with the night, because I’ll never have the courage to broach it with you.

 

         
M.L. Fenton is a life-long resident of the Monongahela river valley of Pennsylvania. The collapse of the steel industry, subsequent deterioration of the of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as the rivers themselves serve as inspiration for her poetry.

Momma is a Race Car Driver

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By Trenda Berryhill

Memory jerks and spins
Grainy, scratched, a myriad of grays
Mississippi summertime hot
My mouth catches my windblown hair
Station wagon
Long like a submarine
Air burns
I cast a wary eye to Brother in the backseat
Momma’s mouth moves
Words like shrieking mice
Fury
Her knuckles on the wheel as white as her face is dark
She howls
She slams the accelerator to the floor
Dead man’s curve
My brother’s face
We will die
Tires crunch gravel
Spin
Miracle
Car smoothes
Home
I stumble from the car
Inside
Put away groceries
Momma pops the tab on a Diet Coke

          
“Words are ancient remedies, poultices for my broken brain. Living with bipolar requires coping strategies, and writing—along with painting—is my strongest ally.” – the poet