Short Dress by Peter Mladinic

You weren’t hearing Lauren Hill’s “Doo wop
that thing” but feeling it.
I gleamed diamond-like in campus shadows,
the down the hall between classes
five minutes to ten AM bustle.
In my short-tight I knocked your eyes out,
sir, prof. I loved the forbidden
going down
under your desk we weren’t supposed to be.
That morning in shadows of the crowded
hall, I looked dirty.
Slut, streetwalker flared in your mind
as sweetness.
You were thinking “Bev, you look like a slut
in that dress.”
That’s what I wanted.
That dark blue bit of next-to-nothing
fit my slim hips, not-much butt,
pipe thighs burgeoning. How I filled it!
My shortest, tightest, any shorter
would have gone right up to my crotch,
my womanhood, dark mystery from which
my children-one labor,
two, three-
came into the world.
I mostly wear jeans, slits in knees.
That day my dress clung to me
like love’s sweet flame, a tongue flickering
for my G spot, I stared
long in the mirror, grabbed car keys,
and walked out the door.

Peter Mladinic’s most recent book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications.  An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, USA.

2 Poems by Mark J. Mitchell


His toy grail broke. The holy shards flew wild,
covering his cold, quite maculate floor.
No one came to save him. The further side
stayed far off. He remembered how to pray
and tried that, but the toy cup still blocked
his path. He believed the myth of his door
for years. He’d build bridges with blocks and played
with paper boats, still shaping his small creed
of exodus that led through the unlocked
way out (he tried rebuilding the chalice,
but fingers failed). He learned that he could read—
children’s books just saved you from animals,
not a relic-paved floor. He grew fanciful,
praying his cell into a flawed palace.


She took her sudden vow seriously,
setting the eggplant on top of a trash can.
It looked flat as an altar.

She bowed east, to the hill, then west,
towards another hill. South
at the vanishing bus, then north.

She left her brand new shoes
outside a perfectly red door.
She dropped her keys in the left shoe.

She smiled before sealing the room
behind her. Her last words are
“These are my last words.”

Mark J. Mitchell has worked in hospital kitchens, fast food, retail wine and spirits, conventions, tourism, and warehouses.

He has also been a working poet for almost 50 years.

An award-winning poet, he is the author of five full-length poetry collections, and six chapbooks. His latest collection is Something To Be from Pski’s Porch Publishing. 

He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka, Dante, and his wife, activist and documentarian Joan Juster. He lives in San Francisco, where he once made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, he is seeking work once again.

he can be found reading his poetry here:

2 Poems by Robert Beveridge

Poem Beginning with a Line from WC Williams

By far the most authentic detail in the place
is the vault door, its feet-thick steel
and massive cylinders that slide
into holes that wait, patient, ineluc-
table. Sometimes they wait for days;
the vault, on the weekend,
is not locked. Those who work here allow
it to stand open, an invitation
to passersby. They can enter,help themselves, perhaps suffocate.

You Don’t Need a License to Carry an Emu in Ohio

countered on a daybed
awake in jam.
we prefer our birds
flightless, concealed.
harvest the napless,
feed them vistaril
to repair the issue,
introduce the resolution.
you never know.
the diet might be asleep
in the antechamber
after a tryptophan easter.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Monterey Poetry Review, Creatrix, and Redheaded Stepchild, among others.