Tag: Poetry

Storm Cellar – Seth Jani

Storm Cellar – Seth Jani

Storm Cellar

This is one of the paradises 

that we get to 

by opening the blue-flaked door 

and entering the earth, 

by putting everything on hold 

and saying I love you, 

even as the battering rams 

blow through our houses 

and the malevolent rain 

drills into the floor, 

leaving us to stumble 

into a second darkness, 

where the white flowers 

are stark as serpents, 

and the root of grace 

is nearer to our feet.


Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). Their work has appeared in The American Poetry JournalChiron ReviewThe Comstock Review, Ghost City Review, Rust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. Visit them at www.sethjani.com

Telemachus Creek – Seth Jani

Telemachus Creek – Seth Jani

This is the first of four poems by Seth that we’ll be posting over the course of the next few days. Each of them handle different subject matter, but all with similar grace and fluency. Enjoy.

Telemachus Creek

From every faultline of darkness 

a blue dragonfly skirts 

the glistening stone. 

This is the grace of August 

coming to haunt us, 

to fill the paltry day. 

I cup my hands  

and they fill with water. 

I waltz in the descending night. 

Overhead, a daylit moon 

unsettles the heart, 

dislodges the comfortable chains, 

and the conflagrant self 

steps out of the body, 

solitary and luminous, 

like that single bright godetia  

on the summer hill. 


Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). Their work has appeared in The American Poetry JournalChiron ReviewThe Comstock Review, Ghost City Review, Rust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. Visit them at www.sethjani.com

Cave with Familiar Faces – David Lewitzky

Cave with Familiar Faces – David Lewitzky

This is the second and final poem of David’s that we will be posting (just for now, of course). We appreciated the wry yet deeply relatable sentiments he raised in “Cave with Familiar Faces,” as well as the edgy sweetness laced throughout “Not an Anniversary Poem.” Enjoy.

Cave with Familiar Faces

In this revealing moment, 

this cave holds many meanings for me. 

My uncertain self, an unsolved puzzle. 

Isolation, suffocation. 

Here’s my mother on the cave wall, 

pushing me. Complaining. 

Here’s my batty father hanging upside down, 

playing solitaire. Mumbling to himself. 

Here’s Julie and our children, 

imploring me and out of reach. 

There’s a gallery of betrayal here. 

The hosts of people who’ve betrayed me, 

the hosts that I’ve betrayed. 

No one will tell me what’s going on here. 

But I’ll have my say. 

Destiny’s a dead end, perception’s mean and fake. 

Fuck Plato. Fuck this cave. 


David is a 79-year-old former social worker/family therapist living in Buffalo, New York. In 2002, he resumed writing poetry after a 35-year hiatus. During that time, he carried a sandwich board in his head declaring him, “Poet. Not writing!” He has published about 100 poems in a variety of lit mags, such as Nimrod, Passages North, and Tidal Basin Review.

Not an Anniversary Poem – David Lewitzky

Not an Anniversary Poem – David Lewitzky

Not an Anniversary Poem

For Julie (and For Me) 

Here’s a celebration of our several adulteries: 

hot and cold, 

secret memories stashed between our ears, 

behind our throats 

where we hide our jewel box, 

where we keep our fancy carvings. 
 

Let’s keep on doing what we’re doing: 

the incriminating emails, the furtive texts, 

the phone sex, the anonymous motels, 

waging, spy-on-spy, our erotic intrigues. 

Let’s play party games: 

Musical Chairs and Twister, 

Red Light Green Light, Spin the Bottle, Switch. 

Yeah! Let’s play Switch. 

Make hay while the sun shines, gather rosebuds, 

live life greedily. 

Let’s be lewd and lovely, 

corrupt and dirty and unrepentant. 

Let’s be glorious in our sinning. 

Let us honor, you and I, 

the complex of betrayals underlying all our vows, 

all those risks we take. 

Ah, the risks we take. 

 
The sacrifices that we make for satisfaction, 

the covert pursuit of joy, 

the dark aesthetic that we crave.


David is a 79-year-old former social worker/family therapist living in Buffalo, New York. In 2002, he resumed writing poetry after a 35-year hiatus. During that time, he carried a sandwich board in his head declaring him, “Poet. Not writing!” He has published about 100 poems in a variety of lit mags, such as Nimrod, Passages North, and Tidal Basin Review.

Looking for Swans – Matt Longerbeam

Looking for Swans – Matt Longerbeam

The simplistic sweetness of Matt’s short, sentimental poem, with its lowercase characters and quick, clipped lines, won all of us over. We imagine it will have a similar effect on you. Enjoy.

Looking for Swans

we would look for them 

together

she and I

the swans

there are four in all

living amongst the ducks

in the park

and 

she would always

count them

sometimes 

she saw them all

on occasion 

none could be found

but always

she looked for them

just as 

she searched for 

the beauty

in things

everywhere

and within her eyes

it could usually be found 

a bright side

to even the darkest hour

and

many times

she pointed them out

for me

she had that ability

and 

I often envied that

but

never as much

as

I do 

now

standing here

in the park

alone

missing her

and

unable 

to find

any swans

Seventh Month – John Grey

Seventh Month – John Grey

Seventh Month

Heart swells

and yet something inside

feels like a cobra

slithering and biting.

A blessing.

So why do you have the chills?

You’re carrying around

a couple of pounds of fatback.

Your joints insist on telling you

the weight exactly.

Now for every licked finger,

there’s a gray ghost

wavering at the end of the bed.

For love hard as marble

there’s a limp wet feeling.

Night after night,

it’s one invisible kiss,

and then the world

lands its fist halfway up your teeth.

Oh, joyous, expectant mother.

The moon is painfully rocking your hips.

And you’re flaunting a faint smile.

Nothing here caused it.

Looks like it strayed.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and Clade Song.

Circumstance – John Grey

Circumstance – John Grey

The vivid scenes created in the poems John submitted to us were powerful for all of us to read. We will be sharing a total of two poems from him, the first today and the second tomorrow. We hope you feel just as transported as we did. Enjoy.

Circumstance

When her son was conceived,

the lake wore its starry sparklers,

the moon was pancake shaped, 

and a cool breeze blew in through

the open windows of her boyfriend’s car.

She was seventeen, naïve,

and sprawled across the lumpy backseat 

of a second-hand Chevy,

cramped, uncomfortable,

but not complaining,

not when so much talk of love

had preceded the spreading of her legs.

Her life was going nowhere anyhow.

Her grades didn’t cry out, “College bound!”

The town was small.

And the night seemed as anxious to get on with it

as her boyfriend’s probing hands,

his amateurish thrusting.

When the son was born,

it was like there no longer was a lake

or a moon or a breeze.

And no sign of her boyfriend’s car.

Nor of him either.

She was stuck at home

under her father’s glare

and her mother’s distressed happiness –

the lovely grandchild,

the daughter no better than a whore.

But such a smile that baby had.

Until it caught up with its own circumstance.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and Clade Song.

Ah, Life – Caleb Coy

Ah, Life – Caleb Coy

Ah, Life

Ah, says the sighing sage, Life.

You have to taste it in the deed,

Make time for it by letting go.

Screw that, says the cynic, the salesman.

You have to have a leg up on the vermin who desert

         a sinking vessel.

You have to do what is best for yourself.

So, therefore, one must have the time of one’s life

         now,

While the vermin still crawl in the crannies,

While the ship is still afloat.

The sage and the cynic meet to trade secrets,

to agree.

As the hull scrapes against the rock,

As the water seeps in,

As the vermin fly in droves and the bow tips upward,

Tell yourself

         this is the beginning of the thing        

not the end of it.

Caleb Coy is a freelance editor with a Masters in English from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg, VA with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in The Common, Stonecoast Review, and Harpur Palate.

Here on Earth – Caleb Coy

Here on Earth – Caleb Coy

Here on Earth

I said I know you never meant to do

         the thing you did.

He said, I know that, I know that,

But as a consequence of my deeds

And the boulder I set rolling,

         a pure good thing

         is gone from here,

And it’ll never return here again.

I mean here on earth, not here in this town.

I said, I know that, I know that.

Caleb Coy is a freelance editor with a Masters in English from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg, VA with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in The Common, Stonecoast Review, and Harpur Palate.

Detour – Caleb Coy

Detour – Caleb Coy

Detour

Worms eat the belly and freshen the soil

To reconcile, to breed blooming flowers,

And call them a masterpiece—

This is tramping in God’s garden.

Sensible, though it is, to say she has spoken,

An echo sublime, a material reflection,

The path into her muffles into darkness—

Not this way. Not in the brambles.

Terror and folly, awe and mystery

Choke the spirit of searchers,

Their counsel tangled in time,

In the depth of undiscovered stretches.

Here we turn. Here we take the byway.

Leave the wood, leave the peaks, leave the beaches,

Return to the tongues of men and of angels,

Return to the temple of the prostrate self.

Lest the image become the object,

Lest we return again to whispering horns,

Or we wander in dimness of words

And swallow the wormwood within the honey.

Caleb Coy is a freelance editor with a Masters in English from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg, VA with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in The Common, Stonecoast Review, and Harpur Palate.