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Poetry 4 Fall 2020


Suddenly my Iphone

    by  Richard Weaver


has gone blind, possibly from my repeated

and failed attempts to capture sunsets.

Sunset as I see it. Not pixelated perversions

of light and colors. Time wasted scrolling.

I look up and see the sun has escaped, gone down.

Splashed below the horizon. Who could blame it.

Unseeable now hidden in time and space.

The phone’s over-priced eye remains blind

to what my cataract-building corneas can see.

This price we pay with daily compounding interest.

Our eyes seek and capture what memory composes

and burns cellular. All else remains hidden in shadow.


Bio: The author lives in Baltimore where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, the Baltimore Book Festival, and is the poet-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. 100 of his Prose poems have appeared since 2016 in After the pause, Algebra of owls, Angry Old Man, Burningword Lit Jrnl, Clockwise Cat, Concho River Review, Crack the Spine, decomP, Five 2 One, Hollins Critic, Juxtaprose Literary Journal, Kestrel, Loch Raven Review, Mad Swirl, Magnolia Review, Misfit Magazine, Modern Poetry Quarterly review, Mudfish, Mush/Mum Magazine, New Orleans Review, Oddville Press, OffCourse, OxMag, Pilcrow & Dagger, Poetry Quarterly, Quiddity, S. Florida Poetry Journal, Spank the carp, Steel House Review, The Helix, The Opiate , Two Cities Review, & Unbroken Journal. He is the author of The Stars undone (Duende Press, 1992), and provided the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars, 2005, performed 4 times to date by the Birmingham Symphony. 


Espresso Café

Queen Street, Cardiff, 1964

    by Robert Nisbet


This window’s no place for writing essays,

espresso whistling and the bright, close street.


John Keats revered virginity,

portrayed the chase of men and maidens,

stilled on a Grecian Urn’s serenity.


In the street outside, right in my face,

are the Swinging Sixties, office girls,

the shopping bags red, white and blue,

the mini-skirts, hair-oiled young men,

poise and the certainties of the day.


A lovely optimism, bubbling in the sun,

as Keats’ fraught virgins flee pursuit. 



Bio: Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has been published widely and in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee.


Reflection of Little to No Consequence
       by James  R.  Whitley
As I recall that night,
you told me you had something to sell—
something salty and salacious,
something 500 proof and almost certainly illegal,
something with dimples and at least six oily fingers,
something that smelled like burnt honeysuckle and treason,
something with a pied-à-terre just outside of Paris.
Together, we stared into that feral sky as
thunder played its earnest jazz in the background.
The clouds were shaped like broken honey jars.
I spewed moscato across the room
every time you told a joke.
You complimented my cologne repeatedly,
even though I wasn’t wearing any.
We made up pet names for each other.
I believe you called me “Lust-filled Louie”
or was it “Ne’er-Do-Well”?
I know I called you “Pyrite” and I meant it.
At the end of our last night together,
you laughed in my face and,
because I got the joke,
as I remember it,
I laughed along with you.
Bio: James Whitley's work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in several publications, including Barrelhouse, Gargoyle, Mississippi Review, Pebble Lake Review, Poetry Southeast, River City and Texas Poetry Journal. He is  the author of two full-length collections of poetry--Immersion (2002) and This Is the Red Door (2009) as well as two poetry chapbooks. His  awards include the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, the Ironweed Press Poetry Prize and the Massachusetts Book Award.