The Blog

The Narrows

George Kovalenko

To find the world unfamiliar takes a span too long under its spell,
and I—a minim hurdling the crossing—did.

Last century saw cofferdams arising from the brine
and from them piles, bearings, beam, but strangest was that from above

the sky was mirroring the shoals. I had the windows down onto the grey.

I had to have, to keep the screen from clouding up and over.
              Sheets of dark, which made the drive underivable, broke
only in their sheeting as a spectrum flaying into unity.

The thesis that the patination
on the bridge’s saddle housing was apportioned by design is flawed.

It is concurrent with the color scheme, to be here able to discern 

the goodness of all things in gradients and only so by squinting.
I don’t know if it is enough to merely make it over 

Opal Reunion

Alicia Wright

There goes Hannah behind that cloudlet
C.D. Wright,
"Trusting in the Haptic Sense" 

I have bad news for you
when it comes to hope: pearlescent: 

holy hope: bee's sting, morning news
frames this heaven: me, falling: 

you are in water. The paddle's encased
in: opacity, pearlescent: hope's stasis 

is so sweet: I have combined
news and a wash of bliss: oaring 

pearlescent: hope as it drowns you
is the chorus of: heaven: low roads, path to: 

wine bottles sidelong: I have bad news
for you, for the bees, and it is the disconnect

that will come: from you falling, 
water’s reflection: This will be the last thing  

we ever see together. I have bad news
face down in the black grass: This 

world only a side reflection, your dark 
grave: pearlescent: haze of: news 


Meghan Maguire Dahn 

I am always trying to have polite conversation
with my own guilt: rose tea with juniper berry.

Bitterness abrades a delicate thing. Blundering
old bully.  Marmoreal hypocrite.  I am unrelenting

even in the presence of my strong little girls. Oh,
you skinned knees of the world, I promise you—

who climb any tree at all, delighted by capability—
I want to be kind when exposed.  I knock back

my potential for invisibility.  Any day now
I will be bridled in a stampede, pressed close

by the bison as they abandon the valley.  I will go along:
I am always looking to be deconsecrated by nature.

Nobody wishes for boredom, debt.  I begin to suspect
there is no appropriate ointment.  To taste

a little of a poison thing is to reflect.  Put down
the Tiger Balm. I will give up my perfect height.


At the Desk

R. E. Danielson

Long days at work and my back gives
so that my hands and feet
don’t care for much                 but sitting.
So I write
when the words surface.

I have the same things on my desk
I’ve had for years:          same books,          same lamp,
cigar boxes filled with things,
same pens.            I have a watch
my wife gave me when I started doing concrete.
It has a fabric band and a simple face.
It sits near a small statue of a bird dog staring down
at my hands
and that jaw bone I found along the Mississippi
years ago. 

I don’t often check the time when I write, but still the watch
has earned its place                  on the desk.


R. E. Danielson is a poet of the Mississippi River. He lives in rural Iowa and is working to complete a collection of poems.

Once I Was a Thimble but Now I Am a Bell

Erin Adair-Hodges

What are the words for how I feel today?
Beer can in the drainage ditch,
a litter of smittens, sunburned slash
where no arms could reach.
The morning wears last night’s mascara,
and I can be anything I want—
happy. Guilty. A certain kind of free,
as if the day is a car to which I have
keys. As if there is a road.
But I am February’s bone,
its marbled mate, de-leafed and
trembling. I was made in the image
of an image, grown hazy in translation
and a little bit of a lie. The good news
is that someday I may learn my lesson, but
the blood I make isn’t a reminder
nor is it the sin. It is the clanging—
not the hunger
but the promise of hunger to come. 



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