Balancing on the Sharp Edges of Crescent Moons

By Keith Hoerner

I have a bipolar friend who—now in our late 50s—texts me: “Who am I?”
How do I respond; do I respond?

I tell her she is a dear old friend, a beautiful, talented, and intelligent woman. When in fact, I feel like she is *past tense.* I AM her friend. WAS her friend. She is all but lost to me now. Even herself.

This is the nature of disease. The disease straddles our world and the next, leaving her to blindly balance on the sharp edges of crescent moons—offering no rounded or soft places to fall.

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Keith Hoerner lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois. His memoir, The Day The Sky Broke Open, (Adelaide Books, New York/Lisbon) is out now.

Stormy Night

By Dianne Moritz

Drunk on cheap red Gallo,

they quarreled half the night,

accusations flying like angry

wasps stinging old wounds.



Outside, snow sprinkled down,

dusting the world clean and white.



She ran out, threw herself down

in the light powder to carve snow-angels.

Soft snowflakes melted all resentment

and rage lingering there on her tongue.

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“I write to capture indelible moments in time.” – the writer

Vagary

By Elaine L. Monasterial

If I were a leaf
I would pluck myself from my
twig and be blown away.
I would flirt with the wind
And fall calmly to the ground

I’d rather be lost
Be tossed to the skies and land
On a wood nymph’s lap
Or whirl to nowhere. Fly with
Odd leaves and crumble to dust

I’d rather be torn
To be chewed by wilderness.
Than sit in this tree
And live each day in silence
Watching other sad leaves fall

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Elaine lives and writes in a small town in Laguna, Philippines.

The End of Us

By Keith Hoerner

In a vacuumed slice of silence, under the stillness of night’s gossamer veil, I rouse her. She takes my hand, as I guide her to the base of our garden’s Weeping Willow. To cry, perhaps …

Early morning darkness gives way to the ether of a reddening sky. I embrace her; there are—no more words. We cannot communicate the desire to root our union any further. We struggle to breathe; the air is caustic, thin. The moon careens across a cracking sky. We kneel to the universe, faces in each other’s palms, eyes on each other’s desperate gazes … unspoken goodbyes.

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Keith Hoerner lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois. His memoir, The Day The Sky Broke Open, (Adelaide Books, New York/Lisbon) is out now.

Outside

By Seth Lewis

Sometimes you just need to go

Outside of the buildings
Outside of the lights
The screens and computers
And digital fights

Sometimes you just need to go

Outside of the climate-controlled
The comfortably certain
Behind the curtain

Sometimes you just need to go

Outside where the weeds
Whisper in wind
A speech that is higher
Outside of your power

Sometimes you just need to go

Where the climate is uncontrolled
Where the life grows uncontrollable

Sometimes you just need to go

Outside

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“Writing is how I think.” – the writer

Portrait of Two Women on the Same Canvas

By salgal80

Last year, I wandered into a gallery upstate while visiting Grandmother. A blonde woman smiled, handed me chardonnay. Colorful abstracts covered the walls. It was her opening.

I recognized the name. To her, I was anyone.

Stepping outside for air, a black mutt greeted me. I scratched him behind the ears.

“I see you’ve met Scotty.”

“Charming dog.”

She asked what I thought of the show. I lied.

“Friend me on Facebook,” she quipped.

Ironically, her husband had unfriended me.

Recently I posted a poem about a doomed affair. She hearted it and commented, “Bastard!”

I replied, thumbs up.

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Sally Simon writes to avoid shoveling snow, while simultaneously slaying old demons with words. It’s a win-win.

Freedom To Verse

By M.A.D. LIGAYA

I am free!
My verse is free!
I verse —
whatever
whenever
however.
I versify —
my joys,
hurts,
thoughts,
and my angsts.
I versify my visions and dreams,
I versify my beliefs …
and disbelief
my faith and the lack of it.
I conjure up my shallowness and depth
from the hat I call my verses.
I turn to verse when … and … if I want.
I am free to verse away from meter …
to verse away from rhyme.
For to verse is a freedom!
Shouldn’t be chained …
nor boxed.
Shouldn’t be buried in the grave of standards.

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I am an expat from the Philippines teaching English here in South Korea. Writing is one of my hobbies. It’s my shield against homesickness. It keeps me alive, sane, and productive.

Bad Brunch

By Jon Fain

When I said, can I see you again, I have tight windows, she said. I’m just saying I’d love to see you again, I said. I don’t believe in love, she said, and I said, that’s OK I was thinking more like coffee. But you can put anything in it you like, I said, and she said, I’m not that crazy about coffee either let alone anything that goes with it. I guess that’s it then, I said, I guess you’ve said it. She said some last something I didn’t catch, because by then I was immune to her charms.

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Jon Fain writes mostly out of habit at this point, not as much to impress girls.

If Only

By Ron. Lavalette

Oh, if only it were fifteen degrees warmer, we’d be inching above zero and I’d consider going out for a Saturday morning drive just to absorb a little almost-sub-zero sunshine, maybe buy My Beloved an apple fritter and try not to eat it on the ride home, listening to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” on NPR and waving at the vacant table where I’d usually be spending my coffee-and-journal morning at Montgomery’s Café with a double slice of Mediterranean quiche, a fresh-from-the-oven Blondie, and an oversized mug of French Roast, black, with a double shot of Kahlua for good measure.

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Ron. Lavalette writes to overcome his stir-craziness up on the Canadian border in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. His debut chapbook, Fallen Away (Finishing Line Press), is now available at all standard outlets.