Friday 21 June 2024

Peter Mladinic: Afterglow

“He bought a flower that dances to music
for his cousin Bonita Portofino
expecting her first child,”
I wrote years before you were born.
I didn’t know her. She wasn’t my cousin.
He and she were only in my mind.

Then I woke this morning thinking of you,
and that flower a person
might set near an infant in a cradle
to fall asleep or wake
to that music. I’m wondering
are your eyes darker than your hair?

Peter Mladinic's most recent book of poems, The Homesick Mortician, is available from BlazeVOX books. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, United States.

Thursday 20 June 2024

David Q. Hutcheson-Tipton: The little red fire engine

talented though it was, 

knew that no amount of 

“I think I can, I think I can” 

would get it anywhere, so

it flirted with despair until 

the boy said the Lincoln Log 

cabin was on fire & the engine 

had to be mobilized by fingers 

still greasy from a grilled cheese

sandwich to save the day.

David Q. Hutcheson-Tipton is a Colorado poet whose work has recently been curated in Willows Wept Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal,, and, earlier this year, Poem Alone. He has an MFA from Regis University. He was runner up for the Lighthouse Writers Workshop Lit Fest Veteran’s award in 2021.

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Camille Norvaisas: Polaroid, July 1978

I’m mesmerized by the girl in the centre of the photo, even though it’s me I barely recognize her. Those long, blond, slept-in looking pigtails, three-quarter-sleeve navy cotton top,  a “what do you want,” look on her face after craning around to the sound of her father’s voice calling her name, then snapping the photo. Her right hand grips the front of the boy's 10-speed bike seat. In the background, a pink two-wheeler with trainers and a white banana seat sits idle, barely casting a shadow on this sunlit summer day. If pushed a few more feet it will be considered with the rest of the trash waiting by the road for pickup. Did the adults notice her arms are too long for that shirt? Her purposeful hand claiming the way-too-tall-for-her bike? The look of annoyance as her plan is interrupted? Later that night did someone give her a bubble bath, brush her knotted hair, kiss her scraped up knees and elbows, encourage her to try again tomorrow?

Little girl grows out
of her clothes. A turnip
pressing the soil away.

Camille Norvaisas lives in Pennsylvania, US, and believes imagery is a funnel by which life’s experiences are filtered into her poetry. She is currently working toward her MFA at Arcadia University and her first book is Rare As The Kotuku (Aldrich Press, 2015).

Tuesday 18 June 2024

J.B.: well worn


Seattle poet J.B.’s influences include 70s punk music, Montana bars, and Japanese haiku. He has six books of poetry from Ravenna Press. He’s working on A History of Poetry Comics, and makes DIY zines, which he gives away for free. More at

Monday 17 June 2024

Buff Whitman-Bradley: Witches

Heading to the bathroom at 2 AM
Black circle in the middle of my vision
A hex of old age
My creaky old body is full of witches
Doubling, doubling, toiling and troubling
Havoc in the extremities

The rains have subsided
But I cannot walk out the door 
Without being old

The black circle moves aside
I stare into the mirror
The witches keep brewing

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s latest book is And What Will We Sing? (Kelsay Books). He has another book coming in the fall, A Quiet Little Tavern Somewhere Near the Pleiades, from Finishing Line Press. He podcasts at and lives in northern California with his wife, Cynthia.

Saturday 15 June 2024

K Weber: You Can Go Almost Anywhere

The ceiling drips a Hawaiian waterfall
as I sail this well-worn sofa and drift 
another orange day lit by TV glare or actual sun.

My windows are open and breathing in the sound 
of two dogs fighting for just as many hours; this 
happens as a train floats by then grinds the rail. 

I saw a boy on a skateboard Tuesday afternoon
and I am convinced he was leaving for a town 
where people ride skateboards midday.

I reset my pedometer before I go to sleep
in case I have adventures in my dreams
or I walk through my own blackout in pyjamas.

How much mileage will I get from these words?

K Weber has 10 self-published, online books of poetry. K writes independently and collaboratively, having created poems from words donated by more than 300 people since 2018. Much of K's work (free in PDF/some have audio!) and her publishing credits are at

Friday 14 June 2024

Penny Hackett-Evans: My Name Is Penny

and I am going to die.
Not today or this year.
(though one never knows)
But, I want to shake hands with death,
share a cup of tea with her.
I want to remember
she is always in the room,
and I want her to feel welcome.
I am not in a race with her.
She is not my enemy.
I’d like to comb her hair,
learn what kind of books she reads.
I’d like to know the music she prefers.
I want to ask her
what she fears and confess
my secret fear of her.
I want to listen
to her wisdom and to know
her real name.
My name is Penny
and I am going to die.

When he was poet laureate, Billy Collins said that everyone should write a poem every day. Penny Hackett-Evans took him at his word and has been at that task for several years now.  She writes to find out who she is. She's still searching.