2 Poems by Stevie Subrizi

Requiem for a Small Space

While I was dating this minister, she invited me to her church, waited until
the congregants left,
and took me upstairs to see inside the organ.

She led me past the organist’s desk, strewn with notation and framed
photographs, toward
the reeds in the wooden skeleton,

and when she asked if I wanted to climb into a slim compartment to see
further within,
I am sorry to say that I declined.

And so now there is this place, within an organ within a church within a life,
that I will never
get another chance to visit,

like how there was once a place for me to tell this sort of story, by way of
this sort of poem,
in a basement bar that no longer exists.

Even while I loved that minister, I never believed in heaven, but if I did, it
would be a room
you could play with your hands;

someplace you never would have thought to ask to be allowed to enter, if
you ever noticed it
in a lifetime on the ground floor;

but a place where, once inside, you could spend whole eternities between
and within the tones
wrung out from the air in its walls.


My Junior High School Spanish Class Visited a Dictator’s Tomb

The ceiling was impossibly tall, or
the ceiling was disturbingly close,

and its tiles depicted, as I recall, a million dead souls
floating like lost balloons to the Sun.

Decades later, some man who would kill me for looking pretty
tells the world and his friends that Torquemada was just doing his job,

a statue of Christopher Columbus finally loses its head, and the ruler of America
orders a law that protects statues after erasing a law that protected me,

but by now I understand
that he is just doing his job;

the man who would kill me
is speaking by right of law;

the journey to the Sun
is long and cold,

but while I float on up in my bare feet, I will remember how time waited
to drag the body of a tyrant from its seat in heaven,

and I will punch a hole in the sky
on my way to meet its lord.


Stevie Subrizi is a genderqueer poet and punk singer-songwriter in Allston, Massachusetts. They are a former cohost of the Boston Poetry Slam while its home was the Cantab Lounge. Their poems have been published in places like NAILED, FreezeRay, and Neon, and they released their latest EP Nails in April 2020. www.steviesubrizi.com

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Uproot by Yoana Tosheva

color pencil and nu pastel on paper

This is a piece that speaks to the nomadic nature in which my life has proceeded and how difficult change still is for me. Since moving to the United States at seven years old from Bulgaria I have pretty steadily been moving around and words such as “home” or “consistency” carry weight only in regards to their absence for me. This is a testament to how everything changes without your consent, even you. 


Yoana Tosheva is a third year student at Loyola University Chicago, pursuing a degree in Art History and English. She runs a blog about music which you can read at collectivecadence.home.blog. Her creative work has also been published in Diminuendo, a literary magazine at Loyola. 

Confession of the Poetical Firefly to Muse-Butterfly of Poesy by Paweł Markiewicz

You must excuse me. You dear dreamer!
I have overly felt my dreamery about Golden Fleece.
I built my small paradise without any other ontological beings.
I based the dreamiest sempiternity on tenderness of my wings.
Thus. I painted my wings in color of an ambrosia.
Withal: I liked dew of dawns for the sake of elves.
I loved too much the wizardry of mayhap dreamy Erlkings.
I had to read many fairy tales of the Winter Queen.
I have enchanted your night rainbow.
I have become a magician of dawn.
I loved the Morning Starlet – the dreamy Venus.
I collected all shooting stars after a dreamier night.

Excuse me. My dear butterfly
fulfilled in same after glow
and bewitched by lights of moonlit and
starlit nights!
Let us dream over night!
Unto an epiphany of first
angels of red sky in
the morning.


Paweł Markiewicz was born 1983 in Siemiatycze in Poland. He is a poet who lives in Bielsk Podlaski and writes tender poems, haiku as well as long poems. Paweł has published his poetries in many magazines. He writes in English and German. 

Cat and Mouse by John Roche

The toothless cat has a mouse in his mouth
The toothless cat drops the mouse from his mouth
The mouse dropped from his mouth races away
The toothless cat chases the mouse across the patio
The toothless cat catches the mouse on the patio
The toothless cat brings the mouse in his mouth way across the patio,
and into the house
The toothless cat drops the mouse in his mouth inside the house
The mouse formerly in his mouth escapes inside the house
The man and the woman who own the toothless cat search frantically in the house
for the mouse formerly in his mouth


John Roche lives in Placitas, New Mexico, helping Jules Nyquist run Jules’ Poetry Playhouse and edit Poetry Playhouse Publications. He taught Literature and Creative Writing for decades at various colleges, and was formerly President of Just Poets in Rochester, NY, member of the board of BOA Editions, chief organizer of the Black Mountain North Symposium, and an instigator of the annual Cloudburst Council poets’ retreat in the Finger Lakes. Along with editing the five-volume Poets Speak series and other anthologies (including Mo’ Joe), his own poetry collections include On ConesusTopicalitiesRoad Ghosts, and The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet. His newest book is Joe Rides Again: Further Adventures of Joe the Poet (FootHills Publishing 2020).

John’s Books at PoetryPlayhouse.com: https://www.julesnyquist.com/johns-books.html
Poets Speak Series: https://www.julesnyquist.com/submissions-poets-speak-.html

Wichita Lineman Inside Your Mind by Anita Kestin

Planes sounded different in the summer. Planes sounded different when the people you loved were far away.

You were sitting on an Adirondack chair, surface partly stripped of the blue color it had had for all time, face tilted back, arms flat against the broad wood.

You heard the approaching airplane and, a few seconds later, the echoing of the wires, hot in the afternoon sun, the air still and full. The wires zinged. Were they phone wires or did they carry electricity? The sound grew louder and merged with the sound of the plane, call and response. Question and answer. Plea and enigmatic reply.

Inside your head was the Glen Campbell song, Wichita Lineman. The sound of the plane receded. The zinging of the wires throbbed above your head. Did you need more than want? What did it mean to be together for all time?

Middle age, then a few packed boxes, some undefined number of minutes rushing for trains, a handful of hours charging cell phones, and suddenly you were on the threshold of old, possibly already crossing over.

Your shirt was stuck to the chair, flecks of blue paint clinging to your arms. The air was bent by the wind for just a moment and then all was still and hot and filled with longing. Rain would be arriving soon. Out there, somewhere in the vast flatness, was the Wichita Lineman listening to the sound of the wires singing deep inside his mind.


Anita Kestin, M.D., M.P.H. is a medical doctor with a varied career and gray hairs to match. For most of her career, she has worked in a traditional academic setting but for the past ten years she has worked as the medical director of a nursing facility, as a hospice physician, in the locked ward of a psychiatric facility, and in public health settings. She is also the daughter of Holocaust survivors, the wife of an environmental lawyer, the mother of wonderful grown children, a grandmother, and a progressive activist. She is attempting to calm her nerves during the pandemic by writing.

2 Poems by Colin James

THE PARALYTICALLY OBSCURE AS BEAUTY CRESCENDO

A desirable three bedroom house just now listed
on a large plot in southern California.
Formally owned by an employed actor
whose tastes ran to the exotic.
Specifically in the opulent garden
where a rusted brick trail
begins and systematically ends.
The kitchen is newly renovated
complete with large granite island.
The house has three full bathrooms,
and the master bedroom is very spacious
with balcony and a lovely garden view.
Neighbors, a sprawling philanthropic cat sanctuary.
That night I slept the best sleep of my life.


SIN TAX AND THE ARRANGEMENT OF OUR WORLD

My lady loves having sex
on top of the hotel kitchenette counter.
I spray Windex everywhere
because I am courteous
after which there is no need to think
about ascendancies articulated.
“Honey, I need you up here!”
The problem with innocence is
it comes to an end
and the gaudy gold chits
they sell even in the lobby don’t
as much as sentimentalize.


Colin James has a couple of chapbooks of poetry published. Dreams Of The Really Annoying from Writing Knights Press and A Thoroughness Not Deprived of Absurdity from Piski’s Porch Press. He lives in Massachusetts.