Interview with a Sculpture by Nina Lindsay

Interview with a Sculpture

It was the last
last day of summer last summer.

I don’t remember well since then.
Something’s stilled my appetite

for the clear light of autumn,
though not my taste for it. It just doesn’t fill me.

Before she took the chisel to me I was liquid—

like that physicist’s cat that’s both dead and alive
and you can’t know, until it is or it isn’t.

I knew what I was
and nobody else needed to.

Now, it’s okay, you can take a look,
I can let myself be an utter wreck for a minute.

Gold and iron, stone and leaf,
wind, dust, flame, tissue.

I think that you are supposed to come away filled,
as in autumn,

when the sky steps back and disrobes
and the gorgeous distant cold forces us to spin off light.

Like finding the low note in the song. Way down there.
You give it up—

it fills you.
Don’t be embarrassed

by the empty space,
the eventual silence.

She had to decide when to put the chisel down.
Shard, form, spine.

At some point I will collect myself and move on.


Nina Lindsay is the author of two collections of poetry, “Because” and “Today’s Special Dish.” Her work has appeared in the Colorado Review, the Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Rattle and other journals.

Letter to a Dead Husband by Penelope Moffet

Letter to a Dead Husband

You made me laugh
and you still do,
rising through my dreams
with salty one-liners,
your face tanned and ruddy
from whatever you’ve been doing
in the afterlife, there
with your strong hands
kneading bread or pasta
which you now make from scratch,
just as when I knew you
you’d spend whole days
simmering spaghetti sauce,
lentils suffused with ham hocks,
perfecting pesto
fit to serve with copious wine.

For you heaven would be
John Mayall and MC-5
amped up to eleven,
electric guitars and drums
blasting the whole neighborhood,
sweet as a room clogged
with the billowing scent of weed,
no one asking you to turn it down,
no one thinking you should shower,
drink some coffee, catch the bus to work,
restrain your scruffy beard, your wild hair-wisp,
your blue eyes beaming satire
at a too-straight world.

A medium summons up your presence
with exactitude, your manchild
dancing self who won’t shut up,
keeps elbowing back onto the stage
of K’s closed eyes.
My middle name is More.
Heaven is a place where
nothing ever happens,
she says you say.
This isn’t where I thought
I’d end up. I still exist.
I’m with everybody,
the cockroach
that ate Cincinnati
in the shitbox in the sky
with two cats, one meowing
like a human babe.

Prankster tiptoeing away
and sneaking back,
the way you left our marriage
bit by self-subtracted bit.
You moved to Ketchikan
for endless summer days
and winter nights
until your heart blew up,
destroyed by years of drink and fat
delectable to last bite and last drop.

You could live
on Cabernet and comic books,
vodka in the freezer,
bookcases full of Russian history,
pulling mussels from a shell,
telling me I’m lovely
just the way I look tonight,
blue eyes dancing
the better to seduce me with,
incorrigible and selfish
but then all men are selfish
K says you say
before you change into a hippo
twirling in a tutu, telling me
one day there’ll be another man
to cook with in a warm companionable nest.

I think it’s just a dream
the medium relates,
memories and feelings
flickering like electric lights.
And yet that scampering dervish she called up
resembles you, speaks as you would,
sings your songs.

If only I could blaze
with faith, believe you
different from the seal remains
I saw once on a northern island’s shore,
translucent rotting flesh
jittered by waves upon a beach,
almost a human shape,
all power gone.

How can anyone feel sure
the spirit slips its skin,
goes on in other form?

In the middle of the bay
a gray head broke the surface,
dark eyes looked toward me,
then it tucked its head,
it rolled, it dived.


Penelope Moffet is the author of three chapbooks, Cauldron of Hisses (Arroyo Seco Press, 2022), It Isn’t That They Mean to Kill You (Arroyo Seco Press, 2018) and Keeping Still (Dorland Mountain Arts, 1995). Her poems have been published in many journals, including The Missouri Review, Columbia, Permafrost, One, ONE ART, Natural Bridge, Gleam, The Rise Up Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review and Gyroscope. She has been the recipient of artist residencies at Dorland Mountain Arts, The Mesa Refuge, The Helen R. Whiteley Center and Alderworks Alaska. She has published articles in the Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Poets & Writers and elsewhere. She has also worked as a publicist for non-profit organizations, as a legal secretary, and as Senior Editor at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women.

Two Poems by Anne-Adele Wight


and a darkness
we know nothing about
surrounds us with cold
so we try to warm it
like tigers patrolling the hallway
with a call-and-response chant
in far north language
outside a Wedgwood blue dome
but after twelve nights
chanting into this darkness
we know nothing about
the pole shuts off its lights
now the aurora turns in seasick orbit
between Mars and Jupiter
bruised by hurtling asteroids
if you listen you can barely
hear its choking cry


Cat Sitting

Schrodinger’s cat rubs my legs
in a perfect circle
never question the means of magic
or a cat’s mastery
of 360 degrees
woven in place I can’t move
inside a circle half bright half dark
but only will the cat
when it stops winding
to come to rest on the bright side
wondering what might happen
if it lay across the center line
erasing itself by halves


Anne-Adele Wight is the author of An Internet of Containment, The Age of Greenhouses, Opera House Arterial, and Sidestep Catapult, all from BlazeVOX. Her work has been published internationally in print and online. She lives and writes in Philadelphia.

Love in False Analogies by Frederick Wilbur

Love in False Analogies

The moon has always been the very embodiment of lyric poetry. . . The great lunacy of most lyric poems is that they attempt to use words to convey what cannot be put into words.

         – Mary Ruefle

Moon, our constant kiss, is the aspirin
for our pale pain, is ballad-wise,
and parable friendly, has a touch of peach.

In lyric diaries heartaches and breaks
are grieved-out: Love’s humoresque
is this broom of language, a-waxing, a-waning.

Love borrows the moon not knowing
its reflective light, the consequence owed,
but like the mother half of invention,

it births all the bliss it can. Moon pleads
like a slightly mocking emoji,
hangs like a paper coaster, slightly wet,

in the periwinkle and pink sky.
(The whole folded makes a fraction.)
Soul, a crutch word, taken to the grave

is not enough to fill it up; Moon dumps
dust like three loads of betrayal;
Love’s sliver snags in the evergreens.

Hope is a lonely word out there in the future.


Frederick Wilbur’s collections of poetry are As Pus Floats the Splinter Out and Conjugation of Perhaps. His work has appeared in The Comstock Review, Dalhousie Review, Green Mountains Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, The Lyric, and Shenandoah among others. He was awarded the Stephen Meats Poetry Award by Midwest Quarterly. He is poetry editor for Streetlight Magazine.

Potato Peeling by Sarah Mackey Kirby

Potato Peeling

Let it be known for historical accuracy
but you can never tell my husband,
that when I’m hand-slimed
from potato peeling
on a Wednesday evening,
water boiling on the stove
and he sneaks up behind me,
grabs my waist,
and twirls me in my dog socks,
and I act annoyed because
I’m trying to time things perfectly,
that I am, in fact, not annoyed.

And when he thinks I don’t hear him
creeping toward me because I have
headphones on, I do hear him.
I pretend I don’t. Because the
drives-me-nuts shock
as he snatches me up and laughs
is his favorite part of it.
So if he knew I know
when he is about to do that,
and since my pretending I don’t
is one thing I love most,
then his knowing I know
would ruin those moments
for both of us.


Sarah Mackey Kirby grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the author of the poetry collection, The Taste of Your Music (Impspired, 2021). Her poems appear in Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, The New Verse News, ONE ART, Ploughshares, Third Wednesday Magazine, and elsewhere. She taught high school and middle school social studies until a few health surprises changed her path. Sarah is an always-teacher-at-heart and a forever second momma to hundreds of students. She and her husband divide their time between Kentucky and Ohio.

Two Poems by Julia Caroline Knowlton


March colors stain
perfumed air—

pink tulip magnolia,
ivory dogwood, fuchsia azalea.

Abundance blossoming
in a dark arch of rain.

Within this wet darkening
cries an unseen blessing.

In every hidden bird singing
dies my every word.


Getting Older

I am becoming a dappled thing.
Silver threads my hair,
dark spots dot my body
like a speckled egg.

Floaters cloud my vision,
meandering opaque grey
in the tiny sky of my eyes.
My ears ring with a song of demise.

A great poet (immortal)
once praised this color palette—
mottled, rose-stippled,
time’s upstream beauty of change.

I can seed a pieced field
with one odd word.
I feed on instinct, on dream.
I am spare and strange.


Julia Caroline Knowlton PhD MFA is the author of five books. Recognition for her poetry includes an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award. She is also a nominee for a 2022 Georgia Author of the Year award. KELSAY BOOKS will publish her third chapbook, LIFE OF THE MIND, in 2023. Julia teaches French and Creative Writing at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

Two Poems by Andrea Potos


And so it begins,
the tallying backwards
to remember: when was the last
telephone call, the last
text message, last email,
the last time seeing her face, her skin still
lovely smooth in her 69th year–
hearing her buoyant laughter that late
afternoon on her patio, September sun
lighting up the back of her head in the photo
she later joked finally made her
into some form of angelic being.


            for Rosemary

The calendar marks three weeks
to this day your heart
slowed to a crawl,
then stopped.
Three weeks that might be
three hundred years
or none at all–
there are no inbetweens,
no middle grounds
in this land of your leaving.


Andrea Potos is author of several poetry collections, including her newest book Her Joy Becomes (Fernwood Press). Others include: Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books), Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry), An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry), We Lit the Lamps Ourselves (Salmon Poetry) and Yaya’s Cloth (Iris Press). Her poems can be found widely in print and online, most recently in The Sun, Poetry East, Potomac Review, Braided Way, and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope (Storey Publishing), and The Path to Kindness (Storey Publishing). Andrea lives in Madison, Wisconsin where she was a longtime bookseller in independent bookstores.

To My Darling, In Flames by Mary Ford Neal

To My Darling, In Flames

In a random act of evil, someone set fire
to the two of us, and we wander the streets
like torches, separately, scorching things we pass.
Choking heat beats out from us
and people draw back from it,

but I want you to know that yesterday,
when we happened to stumble past one another
on Main Street, scattering the shoppers and sightseers,
you were magnificent, my darling—
resplendent in your flames.

Your oranges and yellows were so vivid I could taste them,
and the way they stroked up your sides reminded me
of your fingers on my ribcage. Yes,
most of the faces wore horror.
But know that at least one
was looking at you with pride.


Mary Ford Neal is a poet and academic from the west of Scotland. Her work has been published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Interpreter’s House, Bad Lilies, One Hand Clapping, Long Poem Magazine, Honest Ulsterman, After…, Ink Sweat and Tears, Dust, and Atrium. She is the author of two recent poetry collections: ‘Dawning’ (Indigo Dreams, 2021) and ‘Relativism’ (Taproot Press, 2022). Her poetry has been Pushcart and BOTN nominated.

NECESSITY by Ken Poyner


Everyone notices the bones of a school bus
In an overgrown patch perhaps
A hundred feet behind a family’s
Small house. A bit of wild
Has grown up around the bus
And the farmer lets it go,
Cultivating the land behind and
Beside it. A picture for
Day trippers speeding down the four lane
The farm abuts: bridge over
The drainage ditch, a short
Gravel drive, occasionally mown lawn,
The adequate house – just visible
The patch of wild and its busted school bus.
Even at sixty miles an hour, most people
See it. How odd, a school bus
In an overgrown island in a farmer’s backyard.
No one knows that someone lives there.


Ken Poyner has been publishing for 48 years, married for 45 years, retired for seven years. He writes to defeat the numbers. Find his eight available books at or any number of book vending sites. Latest work in “Rune Bear”, “Analog”, “Tiny Molecules”, “Neologism”.

Two Poems by Katherine Riegel

When I Stopped

I never had to beg
for a pony. The horses just

were—muscled motion,
familiar as milkweed

seeds. My mother
had epilepsy and my father

thought that should make
us all as angry as he was,

poor delicate out of control
tyrant with his fists

clenched tight. We lived
so easily then but no one

knew it, the 1970s full
of fear as any decade.

I knew raspberry thorns
and barn smell, freedom

on bike and horseback
and sneakered foot,

place as solid as ice
in the water buckets come

winter. And then they sold
the horses—I had not known

you could sell family—
and we moved to town.

That must be when I stopped
trusting I would be loved forever.


She Wanted to Go to the Sea One Last Time

I have been insensitive to delight,
too busy avoiding stones in the road to notice

Icarus falling from the sky—or before that,
his flying. I have stoppered my ears

to the singing as I worked out some problem
in my head, I have watched others speak

and thought only about what I would say.
Swimming in the ocean I have seen pelicans

coast by on cupped wings and looked over
at my sister, her eyes closed in pleasure,

and in the midst of sun and breeze
and the shifting embrace of salt water

I let my throat close with the knowledge
of her dying—great gods of the otherworld

I almost let her see me weep. I have so much
to be forgiven for. I am alive

still, and the dog resting her chin in my hand
gives me the whole soft weight of her head.


Katherine Riegel is the author of Love Songs from the End of the World, the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth, and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in Brevity, The Gettysburg Review, The Offing, One,, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and managing editor of Sweet Lit, and teaches independent online classes in poetry and creative nonfiction. Find her at