poem for christian o’keeffe and other poems

by John Dorsey


poem for christian o’ keeffe

the sky is red
a sea of blood
the skin of stars
embarrassed that
we never met

still, i look for you
between railroad spikes
picking dandelions
with john henry
or jim carroll
in a race

finding only dented pennies
gravel fallen loose
from under the fingernails
of dead brakemen

no words
no more poems
scattered across the earth

no song
no whistle

the train has left the station
and there’s no
turning back.


started drinking
in a crisp navy uniform
in the era of wall street
& ronald reagan
on beaches in california

waking up in toledo
in an altar of ashtrays
& month old pizza boxes

he worked thirds at the jeep plant
shooting photos of goth girls, furries
& weirdos who lived for the weekend

knights in white satin
& s&m bondage gear

he was their king
their bloated elvis
in disgraceland

trading portfolios
of runway rejects
for coffee, cheeseburgers
& a little taste
of the nicotine death machine

he just got drunk
complaining about how
he hadn’t had sex since 1994

& how he was just going
through the motions
waiting for love
& death
to stop
beating him
over the head
like a good

Kid Brundage
once played the cello with yo-yo ma
on the streets of boston
in the gutters of toledo
where they still remember him

beaten to death
for a used bicycle
across the street
from where he once took flight
graduating this life
making beautiful music
drunk with compassion
changing a bulb
to replace
                           the moonlight.


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John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including “Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer” (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), “Sodomy is a City in New Jersey” (American Mettle Books, 2010), “Tombstone Factory” (Epic Rites Press, 2013), and most recently, “Natural Selection: Early Poems” (Kilmog Press, 2014). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com

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art by Kreso Cavlovic


Art by Skot Horn, part 2: painting


“I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t both interested in photography and painting. It never occurred to me that I had to choose between one or the other. We are not even talking about my other interest in sculpture, found objects, assemblages, woodworking, ceramics or music and then the mere experimentations in other mediums. It wasn’t called to my attention that this may be a dilemma until I was attending school at the art institute of Chicago. An instructor pulled me aside and said he thought I should choose a medium, any medium! At the time I didn’t think I was ready to make that decision. It was in fact impossible at that time. It’s still hard but I have reluctantly set aside many interests and tried to focus primarily on painting.”



“In my painting I often revisit themes after many years, picking up where I left off and exploring it further as if no time has gone by. I think that’s why my work often looks disjointed from an outsiders perspective. It’s just new to you.”





“People that really know me say that even though they appear so different,” (his photography and his paintings- editor) “they can still tell somehow they are all from my hand.”



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Skot Horn, from northwest Ohio, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and has exhibited with solo shows at the Secor Gallery, the Hudson Gallery, Toledo Museum of Art, Westgate, in the Toledo area, and the Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago, as well as many group exhibits. His show, “Flower Power,” is currently ongoing at the Secor Gallery in Toledo, Ohio.

Interview, Photography

Art by Skot Horn, part 1: photography


“I am from Fremont, Ohio. Farm country I guess you could say. In two minutes I can be in open country roads that lead off in every direction. Driving puts me in a very meditative and calming state.”



“I have yet to encounter an artist that I could not find some redeeming quality in. The fact they are an artist interests me and makes us kindred spirits. Discovering the evolution of their ideas through their work is fascinating. The more I know about an artists background the more I appreciate their work. I have yet to meet an artist I didn’t like unless they are too mainstream and commercial. That’s a whole different thing.”



“I was a graphic designer my whole life but it wasn’t until I designed my dad’s tombstone that I realized all that other stuff wasn’t actually carved in stone. It put it in perspective.”





“Photography I do while out and about in the world while painting is a solitary activity done alone in my studio. The two can be very separate or almost one and the same depending on what I’m currently interested in. Right now the idea of painting from photographs seems absurd and no fun at all. I don’t want what I do to become work so the immediacy of painting primarily from my imagination is the most fulfilling.”



“Whether I am drawing or painting I am documenting my daily life experiences. The final work is but the residual effect of how I chose to spend my day and ultimately I suppose, the way I chose to spend my life. My joys, hopes and even sorrows can be mutually experienced and shared. What I do now and what I did when I was five years old really has not changed. Just ask my mom.”
— Skot Horn
(Stay tuned for part 2!)

The Vietnamese Restaurant and other poems

by Zach Fishel


The Vietnamese Restaurant

For Ammon

The soup always comes out and steams my friend’s glasses.
Intricately painted bowls and tiny saucers of basil and peppers
are simple planets we orbit as the slurp of our spoons halt all talk.
This isn’t an intricate planet, but a nightmare god walked out of without
waking from. My friend thinks that’s why he never answers.
I add Sriracha and fish sauce to the broth, as the broken English of
our old waitress stares across the counter. She knows each week we
arrive to watch the tendons and tripe float around like our own organs
in the broth. We’re dressed like dirty laundry,
covered in textbooks and grading sheets,
rubrics on what qualifies for passing.


Settling in Toledo, OH

Once the payphone on Collingwood Boulevard
Started ringing like the woman on fire who leapt

from the nunnery I slept in for two bitter winters.
We would crush PBR cans and launch them past

Victorian chandeliers coated in minimum wage
and regret above the theatre that housed countless runaways,

hobos, and hookers who slept with bruises.
When the woman on fire knew everyone

was putting her out I watched the houses rot
like out of season farmers markets. The weeds grew

in the parking lot as she claimed to understand Icarus.
You can still see the crack looking down from the east wing.


Thanksgiving in New Jersey

For Mike D’Agnili

The city yawns behind the cold
streets of North Jersey as a confused

flock of turkey meander through
curbside recycling, the blue boxes little

pieces of the sky as a joint is passed
around the outdoor fryer.

Inside laughter rises from the chimney
as sisters and aunts mince onion

with gossip. Italian hands
working odds and ends

into family traditions,
pointing at Black Friday deals

in between clinking glasses of red wine
spilling on the unworried carpet.


Janesville, PA

The sixteen year old boys dreamed of girls
and paychecks from the paperbag grocery store.
Casting lures out into the black, the splash just the sound
connecting them to the lake. The fish were out there
listening to their blood run its course, their questioning of
how to find big water as fireflies sought the right connection
to continue living. Eventually the fish pulled the line,
forcing them to pull back against their own tensions.
Shirtless on the rocky bank, seeing the night come undone,
holding the fish by the jaw. They didn’t imagine
what it meant to grab life and drag it home.

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Zach Fishel is an outdoor guide, poet, and educator currently living on a reservation in North Dakota. His most recent book, Blue Collar at Best, is available from Words Dance. Recent work has appeared in Red Paint Hill, Fox Chase Review, The Lindenwood Review, Blast Furnace Review and Night Ballet Press.

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Rear View Nude in Window

photo by Sally Davies


Donde Estas Amor?

by Fernando Izaguirre

Donde Estas Amor?

El Amor sueña
Abajo de la luna
Que miraba desde mi ventana
Where lagrimas fall
And the reflection
Of memories stay.

Donde estas mi amor?
You taught me how
To love with the edges of my fingertips
That traveled down the slope
Of your spine.

Donde estas my beautiful angel?
You took care of me when
My world got heavy and my
Arms were waning from lifting

Mi Amor,
You are my completed poem
That bites the tongue
That wants to roll but the wheels
Are flat.

Come home my love
And the seagulls will
Surely fly again and arrow
Themselves into the sea
Where they found us.

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Fernando Rafael Izaguirre, Jr., was born in 1993. He is an Honors student at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, majoring in English. His poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in various online and print magazines such as The Ofi Press, Weber State University Metaphor, and the Rio Grande Review. Fernando plans to obtain a Masters Degree in creative writing at the University of Houston. Eloquence is his first collection of poetry, has been released in September of 2014 by Editorial Trance. Poetry lovers can purchase his book on amazon and other outlets. He is currently working on his second poetry collection.

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photo by Angela M Campbell