Postcard from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife by Alex Stolis

Postcard from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 10 – Hamilton, Ontario

Today I felt the rain before it came. It was
a premonition. A quickening. A flash of light
from nowhere. Once, when I was not more
than ten, I almost drowned. Could feel my
body sinking. I closed my eyes tight as if
that very act would cause me to float back
to the surface. I spread my arms winglike
hoping to become an angel. When I finally
came up for air what felt like minutes had
been mere seconds. I laughed, half choked
on a mouthful of water and within moments
splashed ashore. Now, I feel the drops fall
one by one by one. I know without looking
there is a bird in flight. Can feel the beat of
it’s heart. Can feel it bank towards the edge
of the sky. Now, the drops fall two by three
by four by five. You hum softly to yourself,
peel an orange, suck the pith from under
your nail; that sky a perfect shade of blue.


Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals. The full length collection, Postcards from the Knife-Thrower was runner up for the Moon City Poetry Prize in 2017. Two full length collections Pop. 1280, and John Berryman Died Here were released by Cyberwit and available on Amazon. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Piker’s Press, ONE ART: a journal of poetry, Eunoia Review, and Star 82 Review.

When earth gives way to bulb, by Darcy Pennoyer Smith

When earth gives way to bulb,

snowdrops remind me
of brighter days to come.

Delicate white bells bob and
bask in cool air and the winter sun’s kiss,
making their debut.

In third grade, the chasm widened when
my father said no to Sara’s slumber party.

Instead, we watched Jeopardy.
“Mom would have let me go,” I mustered.

My cheek stung from the slap,
my arm burned from the grab,
my heart grew numb.

“I can’t let you go,” he stammered, and then
“Psychology for 200, Alex.”
So went my tween years.

Now, as his coffin lowers and settles next to hers,
the earth warms as it swallows his anger.


Darcy Pennoyer Smith is a poet and high school English teacher from New Canaan, CT. Although she is a lifelong writer, she is just venturing into the realm of submitting her poems for publication.

1am Going Home by Julia Bindler

1am Going Home

The road pulled taut
ahead of me, stretched
like black elastic.

Snow rippled above it
like a black and white photo
of sunlight in a pool.

There went the dark nursery
where our ghosts walk, asking
the names of plants.

The philodendron’s corpse still lives
in my house, under a window,
no longer eating sunlight.

A glowing racoon
turned out to be
a toppled traffic post.

I considered the positives
of having nothing to lose.


Julia Bindler lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Lenny. She is currently participating in The Loft’s poetry apprenticeship program.

Fattoush by Valeria Vulpe


The recipe called for
tomatoes, cucumbers,
radishes, onions, and
pomegranate seeds,
pomegranate seeds!
but not in a made-up
way like a slice of
orange on a cocktail
glass or a sprinkle of
himalayan salt from
way too high,
but like a
“good afternoon passengers”
as you buckle up kinda way,
or a brushing your teeth
in the morning kinda way,
and it made me so hungry,
this fruits on vegetables
bravery, this matter-of-fact
asking for something
that doesn’t belong
and mixing it in


Valeria Vulpe grew up in Moldova and started writing as a child in her native Romanian. After a 20 year break from writing as she was busy moving, ticking boxes and collecting credit cards, she joined the Writing Salon in San Francisco and began writing in English. Her poems have neither appeared nor disappeared.

Cute As by Karen Poppy

Cute As

Oh! Boots! I’m—your Princess Anne—(as you call me) who only wants to be your button […]

— Letter from Anne Sexton to her husband, Alfred Sexton, Venice, Italy, September 27, 1963

I am as cute as volcanic flames,
Each leap symbolic—muscled
Flanks lather and foam, fire
Jumping fire, my darling.

Sweated out, head tossing.
Beaded button thirsty, feisty.
Swollen red by your words,
I love you more than I love

This shifting dream in flight,
Crackling and opening,
Lifting and welcoming—
Yes, and galloping, galloping

Galloping home to you.


A non-binary poet, Karen Poppy’s debut full-length poetry collection, Diving at the Lip of the Water, is published by Beltway Editions (2023). An attorney licensed in California and Texas, Karen Poppy lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photographic Documentation by Kevin Canfield

Photographic Documentation

The boy brought to school a very old photo,
black and white and brittle, gently scalloped
on the borders; it showed three military vehicles
and a few soldiers with their backs to the camera;
in the sky above the men, the boy informed his
teacher and his classmates, god was plainly visible,
looking down on a battlefield in the Pacific,
just before an important Second World War battle;
look, you can see his beard, the boy said of a
cloud resembling an equilateral triangle
made of feathers; and those are his eyes,
he added, pointing at two dark clefts of sky;
one of the boy’s ignoramus classmates insisted
that there were no such battles in Asia,
and another demanded to know where the boy got
the photo in the first place; the boy ignored his
detractors and continued with his monologue;
the photographer was killed not long after he
took this picture, the boy said, and though he offered
no proof that this was the case, he said it with
tremendous conviction, his voice quavering by the
end of his presentation, and when he sat down,
the teacher confessed that although she was not
a believer, at least not today, she was certain that
she would think about his photo again, today
or tomorrow, or whenever someone says god


Kevin Canfield lives in New York City. His writing has appeared in Cineaste, the Los Angeles Review of Books, World Literature Today and other publications.

Dream in Which I Stop to Say Goodbye by Julie Weiss

Dream in Which I Stop to Say Goodbye
         ~In memory of my father, Gerald Weiss (January 26, 1942 – September 14, 2023)

Gather your tears like a fistful of pebbles.
Drop them on the doorstep before entering

the gallery of my life. Toss off the drab
mourning attire, stiff hat, the pain veiling

your face. Toss the regrets, the words
never spoken, into a daffodil field

and do the twist with someone you adore,
someone whose legs haven´t yet

buckled under the gravity of so many
accumulated joys. Smile as though

a jokester dwelled in your belly!
Everyone knows I loved a good joke.

Think not of me but of children.
From the vantage point of stars, the world

is a sparkling clarinet, billowing out
the laughter of every child on earth.

Honor me by not forsaking those who need
the seeds in our full hands to flourish.

When I alighted on the shore of your dream
to say goodbye, what I meant was

I vow to spend my eternity collecting
all these moments of indescribable beauty

for your sake, stacking them in my heart´s
jar as you would seashells or precious stones.

For now, if you wake in a fret, know that
I haven´t wandered far. I´m the glorious

dawn colors adrift on an eagle´s wings.
The sunlight winking across the Bay.

A swirl of butterflies caught, for a second,
in an unexpected tease of wind.


Julie Weiss (she/her) is the author of The Places We Empty, her debut collection published by Kelsay books, and a chapbook, The Jolt: Twenty-One Love Poems in Homage to Adrienne Rich, published by Bottlecap Press. Her “Poem Written in the Eight Seconds I Lost Sight of My Children” was selected as a finalist for Sundress´s 2023 Best of the Net anthology. She won Sheila-Na-Gig´s editor´s choice award for her poem “Cumbre Vieja,” was named a finalist for the 2022 Saguaro Prize, and was shortlisted for Kissing Dynamite´s 2021 Microchap Series. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her recent work appears in Random Sample Review, Wild Roof Journal, and ONE ART, among others, and is forthcoming in Chestnut Review. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children.

Gone by Laura Goldin


I lost my mother and then my metro card. A black pen,
single earring, more than the usual number of socks.

Where in the five-stage model is confusion –
dropping and breaking things, reading without

comprehension? Anger is there, but what of the rage
that shows up out of order, takes the corner chair and settles in,

preparing to eat everything: well-meaning people,
beloved people? I don’t sleep much anymore, but sleep

was never my forte. Three times in over sixty years
I disobeyed her: ate chocolate before dinner,

slept with my college boyfriend, stole what remained
of her lucidity when someone young enough

to be my child asked permission and I nodded, let them drip
the morphine she’d refused. A few times more I lied to her,

the last one when I said we’d take a short ride,
get the medicine, check out right afterward.

Go home again.


Laura Goldin is a publishing lawyer in New York. Five of her recent poems appear in the Spring 2023 issue of The Brooklyn Review; one is forthcoming in Driftwood Press 2024 Anthology, and one was a finalist for Best of the Net 2023. Others have been published or are forthcoming in a variety of journals including Apple Valley Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Mom Egg Review, and RHINO.

Evacuation by Tammy Greenwood


We could see the smoke billow
beyond the ridge. The car packed

with fire escapes of mementos,
each choice an act of judgement day.

Now with room for only half the artwork
on the walls, I was sure I heard the sigh

of houseplants as I closed the door.
And that heavy Gray’s Anatomy book

filled with pressed wildflowers I collected
and labeled the spring of lockdown —

purple nightshade, wild Canterbury bells,
California poppy, silver lupine, presuming

they needed me as much as I needed them.
Now rescuing them a second time,

I fill the birdbaths like chaliced offerings
hoping for another reprieve.


Poet and Printmaker, Tammy Greenwood is a Louisiana native residing in California. Her work is heavily influenced by the varying landscape and culture of both states she calls home. Since graduating from California State University, San Bernardino, she continues her studies while working on her upcoming book of poetry. Her work appears in or is forthcoming in Door is a Jar, Rust & Moth, Orange Blossom Review, San Pedro River Review, Under the Radar, California Quarterly, Poetry South, Emerge Literary Journal, FERAL, and elsewhere.

Night Music by Mary Beth Hines

Night Music

Mayhem made me. Rum
& Terrapin Station playing all night
on the common room stereo, and I fell
for it. Crushed velvet, wavy glass
and a cardinal pecking at its own
reflection. Bedlam. Heaven
forbid my Saturday night trespasses
torque back to haunt me—the men,
the moon, sows jumping over, my plunge
from the cradle into rosa rugosa
where I lit on all fours, before hush
could ambush me, fled from the lure
of Kyrie eleison soaring at cockcrow
from St. Cecelia’s organ. Heaven
forgive my come-on and surrender
into the blur of allegro, vibrato.


Mary Beth Hines lives and writes from her home in Massachusetts. Her work appears in Cider Press Review, SWWIM, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso and elsewhere. Kelsay Books published her debut collection, “Winter at a Summer House,” in 2021. (