21st Century Schizoid Sonnet by Sam Rasnake

            – King Crimson as soundtrack

The rich tableaux –

leaf to forest to wind

in the middle of

concrete and steel

where splintered

promises and broken

chains for puppet jaws

freeze the tongues

above the news crawler

then give way to mantra:

forget the napalm

bring the iPhone

The wars are

in the street


Subterranean Quarantine Blues by Robert Krantz

Every hundred years or so,

some guy kneels down.           

on the bones of his father’s fathers

to plead to the lesser gods

who made tiny flowers—

red-spored and wasp-hostile—

bloom like chain-moored mines

in Chinese seas—                   

bombs to split               

the world in two.

He sweeps red petal remains

into consuming fires,

gathers ash for the hour

of our death.


We’ve walked the markets

of Wuhan, licked the backs of bats

that hang like drops of spittle

between my mouth and yours.

This is the story of men

who pray—eat, love and pray;

pray, and speak…

Do not be Betta fish—

says the prophet—

rage-puffed in bowls

on super-store shelves.

Do not seek a crack

in the indeterminant sky

and a moment to flop

through its open mouth.


Our dream is Siamese,

conjoined for sharing,

in sickness and health. 

Do not let your yin

convict your yang,

the beast is gray-stained

and seething in all of us.


Instead, be still

and love your neighbor,

if only from

six feet under. 


Moonglow by CTD Robinson

Moonglow by CTD Robinson

Maybe if I squeeze my eyes closed

the image will imprint beneath

the folds of my skin—to the fleshy

parts of my bleeding being—


like an ancient wax seal or even a brand,

as if the blue hue of the full moon’s

painted sky weren’t outside embalming

the still silent snow in its nightly shroud


but bloomed instead from the warmth

of each orbed, aging eye. Maybe if I

squeeze them closed I’ll remember

every detail—the trees, their tranquil shadows,


the moonglow, unassuming and bold,

as it lights the way to my midnight snack

and so many other uncovered choices.

Maybe, with them closed, I’ll meet you


and other long ago lost ones. And we’ll

dance with Stevens’ Moonshadow, floating

between here and elsewhere, above

and below the luminous glow, as we listen.


Allegory by Christopher Locke

April 14, 2020

A blackbird’s trapped inside my bedroom,

popping the bright window like a child’s

bruised hand. Golden eyes eerie with pupils—

all of him nerve-wracked & wired & furiously

mute. I want what he wants, so I bend & creep

to the other window, grit-toothed & pillow

shielded, alive with Hitchcockian terrors I still

imagine, even at this age. I fumble with the sash,

look over my shoulder at another dry flourish,

his desire heated to almost a reckoning, & I

duck & weave & grimace until the frame

gapes & he funnels like chimney smoke up

into all that blue. But I never think to ask

where did he come from, & how did he choose

the silence of this house, this captive place

where we still dream lost as those wings.


Dawn from the Balcony in Accra by Kath Beattie

High above the rustle of shade trees

Ghana stretches into a new day.

At first flicker of light, the air

dances, clamorous workers greet,

crows shriek, car horns blast,

night-blooming jasmine perfumes.


Below in the courtyard clear slaps

of the djembe ring, the dunun rolls

and from the corner, the soft haunting

tones of the mbira call me to drum.


I pause, drink in the atmosphere

create a memory. Deeper than water,

sweeter than pineapple juice

it seeps and stains my veins,

forming a permanent batik.


Kath Beattie’s published work includes children’s readers/stories/poems/ chapter books/adult books. She has had 50 or so adult short stories, poems and essays/ articles published, broadcast or placed in competitions. She has taught creative writing and runs two writing groups. Writing and reading are a passion, as is theatre, art, the outdoors and life in general.

Robert T. Krantz is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, including mishigamaa and Gargoyle. His latest, Something to Cry About (Cathexis Northwest Press), was released in 2019. His individual works have been nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prizes, and have been featured in Hamilton Arts and Letters, Grasslimb, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and others. He lives in the suburbs of Detroit. 

Christopher Locke’s poems, fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in, among others, The North American ReviewPoets & Writers, The RumpusAnother Chicago Magazine, Poetry EastSmokeLong QuarterlyVerse DailySouthwest ReviewSliceGargoyleARC (Canada), The Literary Review, The SunContemporary Verse 2 (Canada), West BranchRattleAgenda (England), 32 PoemsRhinoSaranac Review, The Stinging Fly (Ireland), The Southeast ReviewBarrelhouseWhiskey Island, The Adirondack Review, and NPR’s Morning Edition and Ireland’s Radio One. He won the 2018 Black River Chapbook Award (Black Lawrence Press—2020) for his collection of short stories 25 Trumbulls Road, and his latest poetry collection, Music For Ghosts, is forthcoming with NYQ Books in 2022. Locke received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, grants in poetry from Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), and PARMA (Mexico), and state grants in poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize many times. Chris lives in the Adirondacks where he teaches English at North Country Community College. 

Sam Rasnake’s works, receiving five nominations for the Pushcart Prize, have appeared in OCHO, Wigleaf, > kill author, Big Muddy, New World Writing (formerly The New Mississippi Review), Literal Latté, Poets / Artists, fwriction : review, MiPOesias, Portland Review, Best of the Web 2009, The Southern Poetry Anthology, MiPOesias Companion 2012, BOXCAR Poetry Review Anthology 2, Dogzplot Flash Fiction 2011 and Lost Children. He has also served as a judge for the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, University of California, Berkeley, the chapbook editor for Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and editor of Blue Fifth Review. His collections include World within the World,  Cinema Verité and Inside a Broken Clock.

CTD Robinson writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and picture books. She obtained her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in June, 2018, and anticipates earning her MA at The Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College) in August, 2023. Recent and forthcoming publications include poetry at Spillwords PressSoul-Lit and Braided Way, as well as nonfiction at Solstice Literary Magazine and Kripalu.org.