Scavengers

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Contributor: Richard Schnap

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I remember her standing there
Fixing me with a cold evil eye
While grabbing handfuls of pretzels
As if she hadn’t eaten for a week

I see many like her at exhibits
Sometimes talking to the art
Each one a wounded casualty
Of an invisible war in their mind

But as they drain the cheap bottles
Of someone else’s wine and beer
They’re almost like heirs to a dynasty
Enthroned in the margins of the world

And when one of them seems to vanish
Another will soon take their place
To pick at the cheese and crackers
As if it’s reserved just for them


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Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Thanksgiving Day

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Contributor: John Ogden

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Thanksgiving Day is the day it begins to snow.

There's an inch of white
on the seat
of each
deck chair.

There's powder frost
all over
the driveway.

The truck
(hasn't run in years)
hauls a load of snow
in a rusty-sided bed.

Hills
like drifting marshmallows
and the smell of candied yams
just coming out of the oven.

And company
the voices and the stomp
of boots shedding ice
of coats rustled loose

heat of the stove stoked
to keep out the cold

and I in my sweater,
grateful

because Thanksgiving Day is the day it begins to snow.


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John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

At Bus Stops on Thanksgiving Day

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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Before dawn, people
who work on Thanksgiving Day
wait in the wind for a bus
to arrive or maybe not.
It's too cold to talk
so the people stand
like minutemen and plan
a revolution that would shock
nice families who drive by later,
children tucked in scarves
and mittens, laughing
all the way to Nana's house
for turkey, gravy, stuffing
and later in the day
a ballerina of whipped cream
twirling on pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving is the day
America asks for seconds
and sorts its servers
from the served.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Writing

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Contributor: Teddy Kimathi

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Writing is like creating a new universe;
a blank page acting as an empty space.
You being the creator, you put every letter and word
in unique positions, creating your own universe; a universe
of literary splendor.


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Teddy is a Kenyan native, interested in writing poetry and short stories. He has a first edition poetry book, published in lulupress, titled "Painting of Life in Poetry".

That’s it

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Contributor: Douglas K Currier

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I’m as good as my last haircut, as presentable
as the blue suit and a ten-dollar shirt and the tie
without the stain. Sometimes my shoes and belt match.

You see these guys – lots of dandruff, tie
too short, collar frayed, but not as badly
as the cuffs of the suit jacket, bad shave.

You see these guys – heels worn down on the one side
or the other, smelling of old sweat and cheap food, and attempts
to cover it – the smell of age, aging, age by default.

I’m losing the ability to see myself as others must – nose hair,
ear hair, receding hairline, bad teeth, glasses half on glasses,
half off. I can’t smell myself – just need, just desperation.

I guess that’s it.


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I am a former college professor who has been published in Laurel Review, Dominion Review, The Café Review, and Fish Stories. My work appears in the anthology, Onion River: Six Vermont Poets. I live in Burlington, VT.

Capture

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Contributor: Cristine A. Gruber

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The room in the corner
smells of fresh coffee and old books,
meticulously organized, yet surprisingly dusty.

The window at the end has no discernible view,
yet it’s where she stands to gather her inspiration.

The blinds hang crooked; the window is cracked.
The vent in the ceiling has been stuck since the 70s,
and the stains in the carpet have been present for decades.

An ancient Underwood graces the far corner,
while a modern Dell sits on the desk near the wall.

In summer, the room is suffocating; in winter, near-freezing.
But regardless of season, she’s most often found
sitting on the floor, cross-legged, pen and paper in hand,

capturing the moments as they’re caught by the tail,
then expertly committed to a wide-ruled notebook,

thus preventing their escape through the cracks that linger
between the crispness of an onionskin page,
and the sleekness of a liquid crystal display screen.



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Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous magazines including, North American Review, Writer’s Digest, California Quarterly, and Red River Review, among others. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, is available from Amazon.com.

Coffee on the Way

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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We arrange our lives
with complicated coffee orders.
We converse about Hebrew
law and the inter-testamental
period with greater ease
than we utter skinny mocha
decaf, grande.
An old man stammers vente,
vente, I tell you vente
while the barrista looks at him
blankly, blinking college lashes.


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JD DeHart is the author of The Truth About Snails, a chapbook. He is a staff writer for Verse Virtual and his blog is jddehart.blogspot.com

Charade

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Contributor: David Henry

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If I,
for a moment
imposed beyond this silhouette

Would I reach refuge?

An asylum, bittersweet and speechless,
lament flagging shrouds
in stranger’s uncanny masquerade.

Crawling across a knife’s edge
where mimes, faceless without disguise
morn in lieu of laughter.

Desperately gesturing
warnings of chaos, while
clowns weep in chambers of
empty stages.

I linger, among the destitute,
lost in mirrored labyrinth
each sheet reflecting two identities.
The charade I am, and the delusion I long to be.


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Dave Henry is a writer of poems and short stories, and a jazz bassist. He is currently searching for inspiration from grocery store shelves.

A LEATHER JACKET WITH FRINGES

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Contributor: David Subacchi

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When I was young I dreamt about
A leather jacket with fringes
Tight and black with studded collar
Lots of motorcycle badges
Inside a faded red lining
To signal my experience
Yes all I ever yearned to wear
A leather jacket with fringes

But my parents strictly forbade
A leather jacket with fringes
All those zips seemed superfluous
Suggesting immorality
And though I tried to persuade them
It was really for road safety
They both remained quite unconvinced
Refusing to fund its purchase

Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’
Clad in leather with zips galore
Never wore those daring fringes
As if they were a step too far
But the wildest bikers I knew
Wore fringes from cuffs to shoulders
Yes all I ever yearned to wear
A leather jacket with fringes.


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David Subacchi was born in Wales (UK) of Italian Roots. Cestrian Press has published two of his poetry collections: FIRST CUT (2012) and HIDING IN SHADOWS (2014).

Circa 1960

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Contributor: Deanna Morris

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Father returns from the office,
pours himself a whiskey, and unknots his tie,
removes his wingtip shoes, and hands them to me.
Mother brings him a plate of canapés.
I place the shoes in his closet, next to several other pairs,
polished and perfectly positioned.

I linger there.

Above hang his 23 business shirts. I pull one from the rack
and put it on; the sleeves hang from my arms like white flags
waiting on a northeast wind. Mother is in the kitchen,
a seersucker apron at her waist, stirring supper.
I sit in my father’s closet listening to my mother
swearing, slamming the spoon on the stove.
I pull my father’s shirt tighter around me.


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Deanna Morris is a MFA graduate of Butler University with publishing credits for poetry, short stories and freelance pieces. She was awarded Best in Poetry for Indiana University/Purdue University Genesis literary magazine.

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