Exile Queen

By Bethany Schultz Hurst

the trees
                  flaunting their flowers                      after a while
their blooms will die and then
swell into a fruit             and I submit to you                 dear viewer
               this process is not monstrous

we’ve spent too much time

at night watching these shows where the queens
               keep making bad choices
like torching the city with their pet dragons
               or with sickly green fire
                              lit in tunnels underneath                  because they are mothers

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by Jiordan Castle
Featured Art: Dry Brook by Jervis McEntee

Read by the author.

 A week to go &

still no word

on where they’re

sending him

this time. If you

search my father’s

first name, last

name, sex, &

race in a

federal inmate

database, you’ll see Read More

“Uber” and “Alexa”

by Ruth Bardon
Featured Art: Street Cart by Egon Schiele


The silent dot on the screen

moves and stops and starts again,

an ant sniffing out my scent,


determined to find me,

ambassador of an omniscient eye

that never looks away,

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Landscape with iPhone

by Emily Mohn-Slate
Originally published in New Ohio Review Issue 25
Featured Art: Walk Behind the Beach Huts by Barbara Peirson

I don’t want to tweet this thought that comes to me

as I’m changing my daughter’s diaper—don’t want to pull my phone

out of my pocket—my phone is growing a tree right now

with an app called “Forest” that rewards me for not looking

at my phone—and what I want is for a thought to enter,

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Poems About Facebook

Featured Art: The Toilers of the Sea by Albert Pinkham Ryder

Facebook Sonnet

by Tanya Grae
Originally published in New Ohio Review Issue 21

Someone thinks I’m beautiful again

& likes posts of my day, comments.

I stifle smiles & feel uncontainable—

bungeed off ether & the interplay. Read More

Flight Lessons


by Barbara Ganley

Featured Art: “Holy Holy Holy” by Yan Sun


Because it’s Thursday, nearing five o’clock, Lucie is well into a doozie of a headache. Every week at this time little Jenny Baker hands her one as they sit side by side in the dining room and Jenny busily tortures the piano. She’s a narrow slip of a thing with a distracting, gum-baring smile made stranger today by a drift of tiny metallic stars sweeping across her cheeks like cosmic freckles.

Her orange high tops smack the stool’s taloned feet bapbap as she bludgeons the keys in an apparent heavy-metal version of “Long Long Ago.”

The piano, old and patient, takes it. Lucie, who is neither of those things, says, “A bit slower and softer now. See if you can find the melancholy.”

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Just Like All the Girls

Read by the author.

by Francesca Bell

Featured Art: “The Sea of Memory and Forgetfulness” by Madara Mason

I always knew

a man waited for me somewhere
with hands that fit the particular curves
of my treacherous body.

Whether I watched for him or not.
Whether I believed.

Sometimes, in dreams, he entered me from above,
like a coffin lowered slowly into a grave.

Sometimes he held me hard from behind.

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Elegy with Two Portraits

Read by the author.


by Dan Clark

Featured Art: “Basa de Maya” by Madara Mason


The priest swings a thurible. Incense,

swirling and nebulous, encircles the cremation urn.

A few feet away, a husband weeps.


He’s not thinking how Oregon came to fill the ocean

of itself, how island arcs docked like icebergs

against the Idaho shore, where Mesohippus,

diminutive proto-horse, grazed beneath the juniper.


He’s not considering how Oregon drifted through

several versions of itself—savanna, jungle, desert—

then settled for a time as a placid, inland lake.

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Read by the author


by Janice N. Harrington

Featured Art: “Squall” by Madara Mason


My skin, my confessor, my cubicle,

scrivener, touch screen, touch-collector.

Frame and shawl and portmanteau. Wait,

wait, don’t go. The sun’s too high,

too hot. You’ll burn for sure.

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Wind & Sand & Stars

Read by the author.


by Matt Prater

Featured Art: “Bull and Bird” by Madara Mason


There was a roaming troubadour in the years of maille & sword

who lunched on wild strawberries,

communing with the Lord.

But his creed was not dogmatic, & he didn’t bow the knee;

so found himself impaled by a roaming soldier, eventually,

when he would not sing the praises

of the ravenous Crusades. He held G-d

was the father of Muhammad & the Moors,

so went to Heaven softly, whispering amor.

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Morning Commute with Revenant

Read by the author.


by James McKee

Featured Art by Courtney Bennett


You know how it is: going in to work,

Who looks at anything? You’re late, it’s cold,

hot, raining, no buses again, whatever.

You’re long past fighting this fast-forward blur,

pure A-to-B time, better numbed than bored.

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Northern Flicker

Read by the author.


by Kathryn Jordan

Featured Art: “Bird Notes” by Madara Mason


It hits the window like a woman being thrown

against a wall. “Must have been an owl,”

I say to my grown girl emerging Read More

Construction Paper Flags Tacked to a Primary School Bulletin Board

Read by the author.


by Adam Tavel

Featured Art: “Noise in the System” by Madara Mason


for my sons

This one has concentric frames
that on close inspection are
pink strips of floss. This one
swims inside itself, three shades
of blue. This one’s stripes
are dead calligraphy: R.I.P. Abuela,
R.I.P. Cousin Juan. This one grows
bored and morphs into a sketch
of a cartoon baseball twirling
its handlebar mustache.
This one begs God Bless. This one
has sticker pistols saying BANG.
This one’s wrists wear broken chains.
This one is lost inside the glitz
of caked-on glitter gold. This one
is impasto red on red that bled
on everything it touched. This one
has forty macaroni stars
and this one has the husk
of a dragonfly where stars
should be, its glue-gobbed wings
unstitching from the corpse.

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Now in Color

Read by the author.


by Jacqueline Balderrama

Featured Art by Courtney Bennett


the migratory patterns of sheartail and warbler continue back and forth

       and on foot—the grey wolf,

                                                       the armadillo,

                                                                              the coyote.


Now paper, now papel—we learn to listen in different ways,

             at night, hear the floor vents empty their chamber of words,


and again, they ask for the source of me

                                                                    as if water could stop

                                                                    or would.

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An Unordered List of the Not-Beautiful

Read by the author.


by Katie Pyontek

Featured Art by Courtney Bennett


Beauty depends on magnitude and order.
Hence a very small life cannot be beautiful,
for the view of it is confused.

 — Aristotle

Not the green bellies of hummingbirds, not

one set of wired bones shown behind glass.

Not the plump folds of tardigrades, not quarks,

not marbles on carpet, not pinhole stars.

Not the improbable orderliness

of ants, not feverfew or curls of hair,

not quick love notes left out on the counter.

Not a dozen kumquats, not an average

of six minutes. Not the intricate coils

of a snail’s shell, inching down the sidewalk.

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After Hours


by Maria Nazos

Featured Art: “Illusion of My Studio” by Yan Sun


When I exited the stall, she was standing at the sink.

I knew her best from one night at the bar, when she’d said

my ex was handsome. Then asked whether I’d mind if she

called him later that night. I’d pressed my lips together

and said, go ahead, certain she held an unspoken malice

which young women carry into small towns. I’d moved

to the Cape to escape from my talent for tearing through

love, only to follow a trail of broken glass into every bar. Read More

First Date

by James Lineberger

In the sixth grade I asked
Sissy Morgan
if she would go to the picture show with me
on what was supposed to be
my first date but when I said it her eyes got wide
and her mouth fell open and she just backed off till she ran into
a chair and had to sit down and didn’t say a word.

But during recess I could see her at the swings
giggling and whispering to her girl friends
and all of them staring at me
but if it was a trick or what I didn’t know
cause while I was waiting for the school bus
she came up to me and said
well all right but she would not go to
the Paramount which all
they showed was double-feature westerns with people like
Sonny Tufts or Charles Starrett
and if there was anything she could not abide it was Charles Starrett doing
The Durango Kid.

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