Pizza Man by John C. Mannone

When not studyingfor exams from expensive books,he guards the oak wood flamethat tempers the brick hearthwalls, its smooth stone floor—soot scraped away. He thinks of Robert Frost, his simple poemswhile tossing the pliable dough,shapes it to fit a circular pallet,brushes with a branch of rosemarydipped in garlic-infused olive oiluntil it glistens in kitchen light. He spreads a dollop of red sauceall over, before slices of … Continue reading Pizza Man by John C. Mannone

Morality by Dale Champlin

Remember that I am your creature…                  —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Scarlet-lipped, magnetic, full blown and unmothered,I am the blank page my maker writes on. I was a beautiful  unblemished creature. Clean as a crow-picked bone,pure as virgin milk and batter before eggs are added, bright as an albino fawn, an ivory tusk before it’s hacked,a lampshade, Elmer’s glue … Continue reading Morality by Dale Champlin

No One Asked For This (Until They Fucking Well Asked For It)

Is writing a book about feeling guilty for how much privilege you have arguably the most privileged thing a “writer” can do? Probably. And right down to the title, Cazzie David has a “please don’t hate me” aura that drips off the pages like saccharine ooze disguised as sarcasm and malcontentedness. Considering David’s claims that she’s already thought the worst possible things about herself over … Continue reading No One Asked For This (Until They Fucking Well Asked For It)

Dared Eagle by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

For the New Year I steel anger     from the gods,          fetch itto anneal with scorn, contrive thunder     to punish,          rain ignore,exchange fury flake by flake     snowbound burn intemperate fire     from the cold at heart. Abhorrent holiday     when festivity       omits its cause,          breaks tradition like stale bread     promises, toys,          possessions,precious gifts to retain in mind and hand —         all let go … finding death last question     birth first answer. Unweaned from most-     alien, human-          seemingrelation,    excepting … Continue reading Dared Eagle by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper