A. Van Jordan

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Featured Poet A. Van Jordan
Young, Homeless, and Black Threnody

Oakland, CA. corner of High St & MacArthur Blvd

This world moves past me—cars, people, news of the day–
As a world moves within me, faith beyond my eyes.
People live, so to speak, on the streets of this city
In which I try living. If people’s concerns get stirred,
As this sista sits alert yet cool on the side of the road,
I don’t hear them; I see her gracile hands. This day…

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Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer

Copyright LEON Literary Review
He’s Electric Like Static Shock

It’s not that he folded my laundry, although 
I could never say no to a man who knew 
the drumbeat of the washer-dryer like the rhythm 
of his pulse. Not that he made me spaghetti or did 
my dishes afterwards…

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Rosa Crepax

Copyright LEON Literary Review

Majolica and Lemonade

Is it me or do churches look extra ominous in the dark? I will keep an eye on the staggering man with the knife. Don’t answer. You can go on telling me about your parents. You haven’t noticed him or the knife and that is okay.

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Bryce Delaney Walls

Copyright Barry Schwartz

Dipankar Bakshi Photography

Two yellow monitor lizards, varanus flavescens
hug each other close and human like. I know
some things about them. Subcorneal teeth, 
short snout, slit nose…

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Victoria Korth

Copyright Barry Schwartz

Twenty-five Years of Jukai

Though it’s still like gliding toward a giant lion’s maw
in a shallow-bottomed boat, this self-guided tour,
off-kilter love canal we enter each November prior to Jukai,
single, barefoot and chill…

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Michael Lauchlan

Copyright Nicole Mordecai, 2023

Someone Is Trying To Explain

relativity to me again.
I’d say more about her talk,
but I’m not drunk enough.
Not yet. A hundred years
after Einstein, you might think
we’d all understand time,
its pliant sinews, the personal clock

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Jane McKinley

copyright John Erickson Dulay

The Closed Door

For years I’ve kept my study door closed,
prompting close friends to speculate
about what I might be hiding. M imagined
hanging gardens, so I ordered a postcard
on eBay of the famous ones in Babylon.
It hangs on the wall with a photo M took
in 2001 of pack ice in the polar sea.
The gardens, the pack ice, and M—all gone…

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Jill Michelle

Copyright Barry Schwartz

Having My Spontaneous Abortion Mansplained As a Miscarriage, Or, To The Colleague Who Said It’s Probably for the Best

You could have just filleted me there
on the mailroom floor instead

then I wouldn’t need to show up
for Comp. I class, grief refastened

a worn-in red cardigan
buttoned up so high it chokes…

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Ella Wadsworth-Bell

Copyright Nicole Mordecai 2023

both sets of our eyes mirror the baby I lost before you, bubblegum blue ice-cream you never did like, blue blurred line on a hurried pregnancy test, blue gloves hauled you out of my womb, giving you bruises that bloomed blue as agapanthus…

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Cynthia Atkins

Copyright Barry Schwartz
Black Dog

All day long, like death on furlough,
shadows loom. You hear panting,
the snout twitching through the dross
on metal pipes clanking in your bellows. 
You scope the far-reaching
hills where the ancestors yowl…

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Miriam Calleja

Copyright Nicole Mordecai, 2023
End of summer nocturne

Figure out a compromise
by opening the window,
let the cold night stars in.
Glass bottles dumped all at once.
The room is too hot. Too cold
the far-away sound of water…

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Rachel Custer

Copyright Barry Schwartz

The Methodist Preacher’s Son Reads Jesus’ Son

There’s a ruined church in the woods where we get high. The cross has fallen crooked on the wall. Still the wooden Jesus looks at us. Nobody wants to move it – take it where? So we nod out beneath the gaze of God…

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Bob King

Chirag Saini
When I Finally Began Talking To Myself In Sir David Attenborough’s Voice

Because I’ve always been oversensitive to my own shortcomings, & if you think in British, immortality might arrive whilst wearing a many-pocketed travel jacket & worsted wool trousers amid artifacts inside perhaps a heavily tapestried natural history museum…

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Suzanne Langlois

Copyright John Dulay 2021

What I remember probably isn’t what happened,
but what happened as seen through a telescope 
or a microscope or a kaleidoscope. I stood on
the stool my dad built from scrap wood so my sister
and I could brush our teeth and spit in the sink…

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Cecille Marcato

Copyright Scrantz Lersch


Longing to be a Maserati I look to my turtle for comfort. I could learn to love this guy since he is what I have,
begin to see him in the moon instead of a man 
or a rabbit (as some insist); pass long moments 
gazing into his nictitating membranes as they nictate–

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Shane Schick

Copyright Kai Oberhöuser


I never go so far as to sit on the toilet
when I’m hiding in a bathroom.

It’s enough to just stand behind the door,
counting a wall’s worth of subway tiles…

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Mazzy Sleep

Copyright LEON Literary Review

I’ll be honest with you
I remember what I choose to
my mind is a circle, and the inside of the circle
is my memory
but I don’t always herd the same sheep…

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Monica McAlpine reviews
Catherine Arnold’s Receipt for Lost Words

 In this debut collection, Catherine Arnold writes as a mother whose linguistically precocious daughter, between the ages of three and five, gradually ceases to speak. In Stella’s speechless world, the very ground, air and light are unreliable; sudden sounds, touches, eye contact pose threats. She is subject to fits of  fury during the day; at night her mother cannot quiet her agitation…

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