by Richard Luftig
The guy at the marina told me
the trick is to know how
many feet down the bass
are hiding and that he could sell
me just the thing guaranteed to fill
my stringer. So, I took the bait,
bought it and fished for three
straight days with only empty
Styrofoam worm cups
to show for my troubles.
Fish can be so shallow.
But later, in the diner in town,
alone with my all-you-can eat
fried cod, potatoes and slaw-
the only fish I ever got
on this trip-I listened over
to the next booth where
a guy and coed, students
at the nearby college,
shared coffee and bagels,
as they nibbled around the edges
of their first date: He, casting
his lines, trying to lure her
with the depth of his intellect,
and she evidently satisfied
to throw out a tangled net
of stories about herself,
shyly fishing for compliments.
Bio : Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. His poems and stories have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States) and internationally in, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Two of his poems recently appeared in The Best Ten Years of Dos Madres Press.
With My Hands in Water
by A.J. Huffman
I become air, circle time, touch nothing.
People are only words and wishes, things
they believe they can keep. Things
they do not fully comprehend.
Together we are tiptoeing along the high wire,
backwards and blindfolded, trying to see
the four corners of a circular world.
Our labor steams the mirror that might be a floor.
Our footprints disappear. If we are lucky
we realize we are looking for the wrong
answers. If not, we learn to endure
the perpetual falling.
Bio: A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.
by Valentina Cano
The thought that the right words,
strung like fish-bait
and just as colorful,
are out there,
is enough to spend her minutes down
to their bone seconds.
She picks and shucks,
tapping each syllable with
a seashell fingernail,bringing them up to her nose for a final whiff.
Bio: Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. Her works have appeared in numerous publications and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Web. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, was published in 2014 and was called a "strong and satisfying effort" by Publishers Weekly.
Homage to Japan
by Norma Sadler
Fragile temple bells
Small white blossoms in the wind
Stir the spring silence
Bio: Norma Sadler has published poetry and prose in literary journals in print and online. Two haiku appeared in JAPANOPHILE in the l990's. Her blog for poetry, essays and short stories is at nsnetnov.blogspot.com, and she has a novella, Flight of the Swan on Kindle.