Three Poems by Tara A. Elliott

At Bay

So here we are, you west, me east—
a brackish blue chasm between us. Nobody knows
what Chesapeake truly means, some say Mother of Waters,
others Great Shellfish Bay—all I know is that it breaches
our center. Struck mute across this body of thought,
we are two halves of the blue crab’s claw:
one dactyl, one fixed.


In the Wake

Again, the tide takes us without warning, swells crash in cadence,
breath of the sea. When those that leave us go, emptiness

caves in, footprints fading in wet sand. This time, let grief
carry us beyond mooring, beyond

meaning, beyond simple measure. Let us lie
upon the berm with faces upturned

toward sky. Like children, let us learn
to capture the taste on outstretched tongues,

fingertips sweeping the strand, making angels
of us all. Let each wave

grow heavy with its own weight—
and let love

break us, again.


This Loneliness

Once, I held the weight of an ocean in my hand—
a halved shell filled with a fat fringed mollusk.

Plumbing the tines of a small fork beneath its delicate depths,
I freed it, planting it in a lover’s open mouth.

Tongue trying not to probe its texture, he grimaced
before swallowing it, whole and still alive.


Tara A. Elliott’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Wildness, and Ninth Letter, among others. Community outreach includes her role as Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), and Chair of the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. A former student of Lucille Clifton, she is a recent winner of Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Award for Literature.

Feast by Robbi Nester


It’s not holiday banquets I hunger for, the turkeys my
mother labored over, the China that arrived with her
from England, with its grand platters and scalloped plates,
It’s not the gravy or mashed potatoes, piled high like clouds.
I miss those ordinary Sunday mornings, when I would wake
at sunrise to read the funny papers, walk the dog down
to the playground, startling the flocks of starlings settled
in the dew-damp field, tracing their hieroglyphic prints
in the soft ground. Every week, my mother slipped
a wrinkled dollar bill or two into my hand, some change,
and sent me to the deli for bagels and smoked fish.
We sat down at the cluttered table, didn’t speak,
devoted to our task of dividing still-warm bagels
into perfect halves, splitting golden whitefish
at the seam, picking off each fragrant shred
with the smallest silver forks I’ve ever seen.
Sometimes, there was a strip of velvety
smoked sable, unctuous and rich, fresh
squeezed orange juice so bright it hurt my eyes.
I can’t think of any other meal I’d rather have
again, especially if it means we’ll be together,
all quarrels stilled, as we so seldom were
at any other time.


Robbi Nester is the author of four books of poetry and editor of three anthologies. She is a retired college educator and elected member of the Academy of American Poets. Her website is at

Two Poems by Elizabeth Crowell


Between Monotony and Metonymy
we make our rounds near night.
The snowless ice is the color of new ash.
The shift of blades cracks through the empty trees.
Our shoes lie as deserted villages on the bank.
The circle is swift and neat.
Our silhouettes glaze the blank air.
Call this the world.
Call our lives the time in it.



There is a five-dollar starting bid for the mid-century arm chairs
where I fell asleep trying to read 400 pages a week
of Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Here is one of the mahogany display cabinets
in which I gazed at the hand-wrought drafts
of Sylvia Plath’s “Bees” on pink Smith College memo paper,

and these are the lion-footed oak tables
where I began a poem about I don’t know what
under these two-armed, green-hooded, brass table lamps.

This tabletop statue of winged Nike, goddess of Victory,
seems not to have been inspirational, given my many failures.
Next, there is an odd mahogany-framed print

of the Waterfront of Antwerp, (who deemed that necessary?)
and the old, wooden chalkboard on wheels, dusty trayed,
with thirty bids by women who remember wistfully

the emphatic scrape of chalk erased by a professor’s sleeve.
Here is an etching of Chartres at which I stared
elbow on a book, composing myself.

Here are the three-shelved carts where women
who had enough ideas for a thesis gathered their books
on Robert Browning or the Bauhaus

while I sat at one of those heavy, lion-footed tables,
and began to work on that poem I finished just now.


Elizabeth Crowell grew up in northern New Jersey and has a B.A. from Smith College in English Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Columbia University. She taught college and high school English for many years. Her work has been published in such journals as Bellevue Literary Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Paterson Literary Review and others. One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Prize and original published in the Tipton Review. She lives outside of Boston with her wife and teenage children.

Triumph by Leslie Hodge



Across rusted floorboards, bottles
of Bacardi rattle and roll under
the clutch. Small ones,
empty, airline-size.

Parked, dark night presses hard
on the fogged-up windshield.
Radio scratches out Paint It Black.

My hand grips the shift knob,
his slick fingers venture up
my thigh, entangled a moment
in the garter belt.

We do not sense the cop until
he flicks on his foot-long flashlight.


Tonight, the moon
is a single headlight shining
on the asphalt night.

I ease the Volvo in cruise control
and remember me, seventeen,

embracing the risks
in that old Triumph ragtop—
no airbags, seatbelts, headrests.
No map in the glovebox, no
tread on the tires.

In the rearview mirror,
her eyes meet mine.

We grip the wheel
and lean into the highway.
I hear the grinding of the gears.


Leslie Hodge lives in San Diego. Her poems have appeared in the Arkansas Review, Pigeon Pages, South Florida Poetry Journal, Spank the Carp (where she was featured in The Mind of the Poet), Catamaran Literary Reader, and The Main Street Rag.

Two Poems by Howie Good

The Sincere Assassin

The world burned without being consumed. Other people were just shadows. I passed a woman on the street I only later realized might have once been somebody. God’s face would appear and then disappear and then reappear among drifting clouds, playing peek-a-boo with the abandoned babies shrieking on the ground. My phone rattled. I thought I was about to learn the secret of how clowns get inside very small cars in very large numbers. The message was that I had cancer.


Outside the entrance to the Cancer Center, a woman with pale, stringy hair and puffy eyes stands morosely contemplating her phone and smoking a cigarette. Inside, the chatter is all about a sincere assassin with a head like a Donatello angel’s. I’m enthralled and terrified when I catch sight of him stepping off the elevator into the main lobby, and while there’s no actual law against his presence, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a kind of crime. Only if you have ever seen for yourself his dark hands sparkle can you truly judge.


It’s hard to remember a time when I haven’t received radiation, lying face down and naked to the waist on a pallet and required to remain as still as a corpse while the massive appendages of a monstrously large and powerful X-ray machine, a linear accelerator, sweep invisible killing beams over me, and there’s nobody I can ask, “Who allowed this to happen? Who’s to blame?” but even if there was, they wouldn’t know, and I would submit to the cold ministrations of the machine anyway, my nothing life, for all its startling inconsequence, worth the anguish of living.


Pilgrim’s Progress

At the far end of the street, I found the door I had been told would be there and passed through it. My bones crunched and rattled with each step, and my eyeballs bounced in their sockets. The ground itself began to dance. Gravestones fell over and smashed. The messiah appeared like a parade float overhead. Those who had once waited in expectation of his coming were gone by then, some grown tired and disaffected, but others made into lamp shades.


Deadly new diseases had emerged now that weather operated without regard to the season. Even souls had a kind of leaf blight. The overflow of corpses from funeral homes and cemeteries were stacked on sidewalks. And the dead were all so young. I almost cried out, “I don’t belong here, I don’t!” Special points of interest represented by triangles on tourist maps turned out to actually be just triangles.


When I arrived back home, no one was there, though the radio was playing in the kitchen, tuned to a classical music station, Glenn Gould interviewing Glenn Gould about Glenn Gould. Reminder notes were stuck to walls and doors and tucked in the frames of mirrors. “The weasels are not in the sky” was cryptically written on one. I climbed the stairs, undressed, and fell exhausted into bed. I may have slept or I may have just thought I did, drifting on the treacherous surface of a vast emptiness and everyone everywhere dying by their own hand.


Howie Good’s newest book, Frowny Face, a synergistic mix of his prose poetry and handmade collages, is forthcoming from Redhawk Publications.

Two Poems by Laurie Kuntz

Kansha Sai

That’s Japanese for Thanksgiving,
“The festival of gratitude.”
Here I am in Japan
at the end of November
alone, giving thanks.

It was a poet that said “Alone is a stone.”
Today the stones are shimmering
under a fading fall sun
and to be alone allows the landscape of memory
to stir under this wizened sky.

My son was once afraid of the sky,
he never wanted to look up
thinking he would be swallowed.

Today, I am thankful
he has gotten over that fear.
Thankful for much on this day
when bombs are going off elsewhere.
But there are always bombs going off,
and we carry our own inner grenades
waiting to explode into a sullen sky.

Yet, I remain grateful:

For sons, for stones that shimmer,
for an ebbing autumn,
knowing that alone, I am together
with so many who are like scattered seeds
ripening into buds and waiting to bloom
in all the places I am not.


My Son’s Sweatshirt

Father and son come by,
tell me they are going camping.
into woods, bear country, past scorpion rock
to black lakes carpeted with lichen stones visible only by toe-touch,

and I worry about my son’s pearl tipped toes
scraping all things jagged in dark pools having no bottom.

I tell him what to pack for this time with his father,
remind my son that he was named for survival,
I open the drawer where he keeps his warm clothes.

The car disappears into a single lane leading to thinner air,
when I can no longer see the trail of exhaust,
I turn back into the house
and see my son’s sweatshirt—forgotten.

Its rumpled form, deserted by the body of my son,
this gift, I continuously give to his father—
a father who I hope remembers
that in the woods, there are no sonatas to perfect,
and long division is just a maze of Manzanita bush.

I hang up the sweatshirt,
its collar pinned to a hook,
tonight my son will know the cold
and the sound of high mountain wind,
the only whisper tucking him in.


Laurie Kuntz has published two poetry collections (The Moon Over My Mother’s House, Finishing Line Press and Somewhere in the Telling, Mellen Press), and three chapbooks (Talking Me Off The Roof, Kelsay Books, Simple Gestures, Texas Review Press, and Women at the Onsen, Blue Light Press). Simple Gestures, won the Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Contest, and Women at the Onsen won the Blue Light Press Chapbook Contest. Her 6th poetry book, That Infinite Roar, will be published by Gyroscope Press at the end of 2023. She has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net Prize. Her work has been published in Gyroscope Review, Roanoke Review, Third Wednesday, One Art, Sheila Na Gig, and many other literary journals. She currently resides in Florida, where everyday is a political poem waiting to be written. Visit her at:

Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Thank you to the ONE ART community for being lovely people and for your unwavering support of the journal and each other. A wonderful space has been cultivated together.

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We look forward to curating exceptional work in 2024.

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Sending good wishes,

Mark Danowsky & Louisa Schnaithmann

The Perfect Heart by Tere Sievers

The Perfect Heart

I wait for the daily phone call
from my sister. She reports
from the Houston hospital
where her husband waits
for a new heart, a good heart.
It has been six weeks.

The call comes. They are in
pre-op waiting for the “go”
to move him into surgery,
He is wheeled in. She waits.
The surgeon comes out to report.
He is frowning, tells my sister,
“We checked the donor heart.
It has a defect. We have to abort,
wait for the perfect heart.”

Yesterday’s newspaper had a photo
of a man with his head on the chest of
another man, listening to his beating heart,
listening to the heart of his son, the donor.
Tears streamed down his face.
“That’s my boy.” he said.
His son had a perfect heart.


Tere Sievers writes in Long Beach, California and teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSULB. She has been published in Pearl, A Year of Being Here, Nerve Cowboy. Silver Birch Press and others. Her chapbook, Striking Distance, is available from Arroyo Seco Press.

Home-Cooked Meal by Vitalia Strait

Home-Cooked Meal

“Come on over; I’ll make you a home-cooked meal,”
But “home-cooked” meals never really exist.
They always come from stiff recipes
Meant to mask the way the home cooks
On evenings when a tired waiter’s holding back
Tears after a day of dealing with humans
Who forgot that they’re one, too.
“Home-cooked” meals don’t tell the story
Of the mother eating the burnt leftovers
While her unaware children feast.

But I can read and follow fixed instructions, too —

I want you to make me a home-cooked meal.
Put your hair into a messy ponytail,
Substitute the wrong ingredients,
Show me the way you never quite mastered
Your grandmother’s signature dish
(The way she never mastered hers).
Forget to turn the timer off,
Use your stained plates.
I’ll take a cramped place at your table;
We’ll savor the failed result.


Vitalia Strait is an aspiring writer currently pursuing a BA in English. Born and raised in Alaska, she has always been surrounded by beautiful inspiration, and intends to follow through on that calling as soon as she can find the time. You can find her on Instagram @vitaliastrait and Twitter @vsobaka05.