May 20, 2017

Poets of Issue Eleven 

(In alphabetical order)

Gordon Hilgers
James G. Piatt
Jason Galloway
John Grey
John Kropf
Margarita Serafimova
Michael C. Seeger
Michael Lee Johnson
Pat M. Kuras
Robert Beveridge
Sanjeev Sethi

One poem by Gordon Hilgers

Keep it short

You worked for the paper awhile, but your
sweeter, driftwood flourishes would never hit
either print or fruition.  You would pen them,
book reviews, you all of twenty-six, but Bob
sat behind his smile to inform you that, no way,
not enough room.  Word count is important,
he said, more important than content.  Outside,
you sometimes watched the bevies of them,
pigeons, how the birds wheeled.  Some danger,
possibly a red-tailed hawk, had alerted them,
their scavenger ways interrupted, an editorial,
yes, there on the walkway, now bloody feathers
to be lifted, ghosts, wind their final breath, not
one word about it.  Stiller afternoons, you see,
when you can go no farther, you sit right here--
crazed creatures, beasts, sky bluer, no clouds,
only wings, the maw of moments memorized.

GORDON HILGERS lives in Dallas, Texas, in an area The Los Angeles Times calls "the Ellis Island of Texas" because no less than 30 languages are spoken in the neighborhood.  The Chiron Review, Edgar Allan Poet Journal, Texas Observer, Sequestrum, Deathlist 5, as well as several anthologies, including Fresh Cuts 2: The Skinning Volume and The Art To Be Human, also have published his poetry and stories.  

One poem by James G. Piatt

A Mother

Her hands reach out to 
Soothe the weighty 
Sorrows on a small 
Quivering brow; her smile 
Fills a sad heart with hope, 
Her love covers times of 
Gloom with optimism, and 
her continence covers the 
Sad hours with a joyful 
Glow when the day 
Appears dreary, and lost.

JAMES, a retired professor and octogenarian, is a pushcart and best of web nominee, and his poems were selected for inclusion in The 100 Best Poems of 2016, 2015 & 2014 Anthologies. He has published 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “LIGHT,” (2016), and over 960 poems, in over 135 magazines, anthologies and books. His fourth collection of poetry will be released this year. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

One poem by Jason Galloway

Sitting at a Table at Sunset

The last effort of light outside the glass—
empty glass, blank pages 
                                         in the darkening room
                                         in the company of empty chairs

& this dark gold candlestick tarnish
this thumbprint & these ovals of beeswax gold

teardrop pendants, the tip of this pen
                                                           not yet lit

JASON GALLOWAY is a poetry student in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and he lives in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in Greenville, South Carolina. He has published work in Right Hand Pointing, The Enlightentment Projects, and has participated twice in Tupelo Press' 30/30 Project.

One poem by John Grey

Slow Passage of Time

sweet fluted winds
blown by
the near-dark forest

steadfast live oak
presses its case
to glades of deep shadow

leaves flutter
the whisper of vows

sleepy down day
and no watch
worth looking at

JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.  

Two poems by John Kropf

Not myself

I’ve been put in this position before
waking up in the middle of the night
to utter phrases
not my own (and with no one to hear them).

Plastic grocery bag

Is the tumbleweed of the urban landscape
and sometimes
an undulating jellyfish in a sea of trees.

JOHN KROPF is a Washington area attorney and writer who has written a travel-adventure book, Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World's Most Isolated Country, and a legal reference book, Guide to U.S. Government Practices on Global Sharing of Personal Information. He has also contributed to Verse-Virtual, Burningword LIterary Journal and a regular reader at the Iota Poetry series. John was awarded a Certificate in Laughter from the DC Improv Club and keeps a blog on books and poems on an unscheduled basis at  

One poem by Margarita Serafimova

If it were possible …

If it were possible for me to be there, I would be fingers
and nails of impetuous dark, and I would lightly cleave to you,
and leaning over you, I would let you drink my throat.
Fury and sand, quick, count down your desert.

MARGARITA SERAFIMOVA has contributed to Outsider Poetry, Heavy Athletics, Anti-Heroin Chic, the Peacock Journal, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, In Between Hangovers, Window Quarterly/ Patient Sounds. Pieces of hers are forthcoming in The Voices Project, Obra/ Artifact, MockingHeart Review, London Grip New Poetry, The Birds We Piled Loosely. She has two books of poetry in the Bulgarian. 

Two poems by Michael C. Seeger

I Wait

It’s heavier here now
Since you left.
Like a miracle; Wow!
See: Bereft.

I have in my hand words
From a book;
An empty sky holds birds
As I look.

Slowly the past recedes,
Emptied, as the mind reads

Hardened understanding
Changes us
In our views; Birds landing
Make a fuss.

It’s dark where sunlight fell;
You are late.
Silent as a cancer cell,
I wait.


I found in a book some leaves
I had picked up from a road

one rainy day last fall. I could
not bear to let their beauty lie

there on the cold, wet ground,
waiting to disintegrate under

the wheels of oblivious drivers.
I tried to save them from their

             as we all have tried
in similar ways to save ourselves
from time. It is nearly Spring,

but these leaves, like memories, 
say to me, again, how fleeting
everything is.

                   And that no one
can stop, not for a moment, the
constant flow and inexorable
passage of life.

MICHAEL C. SEEGER is a poet and educator residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, he worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm.  He considers poetry a passion and writing generally a way of life. Michael’s poems have only recently been published, though he’s written many and stands ready to embrace the opportunity of being so honored.

One poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Sing it Frank, Physical Therapy

Sing it Frank
I'm busy at physical therapy
struggling with back spasms
looking out this window, these clouds
this rain, slice this thunder,
listening to your songs over again
on the Muzak for this 6th week in a row,
peddling this mechanical bike,
might as well be a mechanical bull
with a heat pad on my spinal cord.
I'm deep inside your larynx 10 minutes
3 times a week tickling it back and forth,
jousting and reviewing those playgrounds
of all your illicit affairs.  With a few shots of vodka
peddling these wheels with intensified pressure
I can appreciate Lana Turner, Judy Garland,
Lauren Bacall, even Marilyn Monroe.
"This is my kind of town Chicago is,
my kind of town Chicago is."

MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 875 small press magazines in 27 countries. He edits 10 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems". He also has over 74 poetry videos on YouTube.

One poem by Pat M. Kuras

Glory and Honor

When she gets
the high score
on pinball and
video games,
she sets her name 
as G-O-D,
not because she
thinks she's God
but because
it says in the Bible
all glory and honor
belong to God.

PAT M. KURAS has published poems in CRAB CREEK REVIEW, LAVENDER REVIEW and NERVE COWBOY. She has two poetry chapbooks: HOPE: NEWFOUND CLARITY (2015) and INSOMNIAC BLISS (2017), both from IWA Publishing.

One poem by Robert Beveridge


You've opened to me, flower.
I suck your sweetness, store
it in the pouch of my cheek
to bring back memories
at inappropriate times.

ROBERT BEVERIDGE makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in CircleShow, The Literateur, and Vanilla Sex, among others.

One poem by Sanjeev Sethi

Lucky Stars

Augured by awnings of birth
preparation for benedictions
starts at parturition.
Cradlesongs in clover
are favors of filiations.
In an unsigned mise
there is lifelong
guarantee of guardrails.
Pickets are within purview.
Ownership is an ally.
A few still nix it.
Garlanding lotus-eaters
is an insult to marigolds.

SANJEEV SETHI is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: The Tower Journal, Peacock Journal, Boston Accent Lit, Red Fez, One Sentence Poems, Cavalcade of Stars, The Greensilk Journal, The Bond Street Review,, Ink Sweat & Tears, 3:AM Magazine, Morphrog 14, Poetry Pacific, Transnational Literature, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.