Tag Archives: Free verse


By Mary Everitt

Pale yellow jasmine
Cracked white porcelain pot
With an oily dark stain around the rubber covered spout
Om, my elderly landlord offers his wordless morning welcome.
Endless cups of weak, bitter, floral water.
Orange, sweet, earthy and sour
Iced with sugar and lime
Sucked down with morning noodles
Assam, steeped dark with half and half
Forgotten in corners, on books, tabletops
Reheated endlessly
Housemate who taught me through his reverent waiting
For the first morning cup
Where matcha ceremony held beloved memory
Of a distant childhood, years and oceans away.
Chasen and bowl adorning the designated counter
Ritual, pleasure, hospitality
connecting past and present

an apartment
full of mismatched love-attached mugs
individual tea bags
in this individualist land
of single servings

hands spoon convex warmth
steam curls over closed eyelids
lulling the senses into quiet attention
soothing the spirit into expectant adoration
stirring the mind into thoughts that swirl into mist and focus on
pictures, questions, places
why is this the first question across language and culture?
often just a wordless pour.
Why is this the instinctual comfort?
In waiting
In between
As a stranger
In beginning
As the night grows late
Its what you can control
Its love
Its hospitality
Its medicine
Its tradition
Its tea.

Mary Everitt writes from the intersections of what she feels, believes, and sees. She writes about beauty and brokenness, the insides and the outsides of the spaces she exists in. Find her on Instagram or on her website.

Into the Zone

By Douglas Cole

We go deeper and deeper into the building. 
People wear smocks and masks. The corridors are dim, 
overhead lights flickering, with sounds of voices and moaning, 
overlapping streams of music. An aid pushes a gurney 
with a body on it covered with a sheet. I hear a buzzing. 
Someone asks me for directions to the department of…what, 
I couldn’t hear, that mouth muffled, but I nod—yes, yes, 
and point down the hallway and to the left.

Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella called Ghost, and the highly praised, well-reviewed novel The White Field. His work has appeared in several anthologies and journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, and Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. Read more of his work on his website.

The Anatomy of Distance or: A Study of Cartography

By Matthew O’Shea

if cartography is the study and practice of drawing
conclusions then surely   distance is the pen and 

parchment   time spent mapping every freckle is
time lost observing the external landscape   oral

traditions have a peculiar way of sucking   all of the
tension out of the usually revealing geographical 

attractions   an unbalanced compass often implies-
-magnetism   which as you know   can lead only to 

bias analysis   the depth of the trench   is best
observed from an   impartial angle  or one may risk     

a prepossession which haunts our professional
detachment   and honest cartography should be art

not seance   exploration of the anatomy of volcanoes
at ground level   can cause third degree friction

burns    instead the budding cartographer should
record the physical characteristics of any given

phenomenon   and place them to    one side in favour
of the abstract    and vastly more pragmatic

toponyms or political boundaries which separate
man from beast and allow the patient to trace

mistakes made by amateur    land lovers who
were too distracted by the   beauty   of the world

Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Your House

By Francine Witte

The street lamps, their hunched necks bowed in prayer, your car rust metal-red, dark as old blood, the porch with its raggedy wicker chair, where your grandfather sat for hours, the morning paper petaled into a flower at his feet. The smell of browning grass, musky and damp and overgrown. The sky since you left me, a bulge of rain, a cotton of clouds filled with the air they forgot to exhale. 

Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books.) Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction), will be published by ELJ in Fall 2021. She is the flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in NYC.

E.T. In Florida

By Daliah Angelique

they gut the corpse of the ferris wheel
from the defunct Toys “R” Us in Times Square
and excavate the smiling
licensed* characters from their metal tomb
and gift the iconic crew
to a non-profit resort in Florida.
the resurrected characters
will play again
to the delight of sick,
healed or healing
children** and their families.

*due to copyright reasons, E.T. must remain hidden from sight. You can still see the misshapen mass of his alien body from within the giant Christmas stocking beside Geoffrey the Giraffe.

**Corporate is sure that the weekly holiday parade is a welcome opportunity to explain intellectual property and lawsuits to your convalescent child.

Daliah Angelique is a lesbian poet chronicling memory, trauma, and queer joy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oyster River Pages, Off-Menu Press, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Spilt Milk, Anti-Heroin Chic, and NTCH Mag. She lives with her wife in Maple Valley, Washington. You can find her work on Instagram.

The Angernaut Management

By Dominic Loise

The Angernaut Management steered for the siren calls
raging rocks clashed together in the office pool 
not keeping the ship steady while the pigs ran wild 
as long as the bacon was brought in
swatting away morsels of truth, they picked and harped
blind to any vision other than their 20/20 hindsight 
never learning to stop and wait for calmer seas
losing others overboard, waterlogged for decades 
clinging to life rafts in the wake of past tempests till 
we stopped circling the waters of that odd odyssey 
and rowed away from The Golden Fleece 
that we could have made any difference 
finally pulling up our anchors to sail on

Dominic Loise is open about and advocates for mental health awareness, as seen with his essay writing for F(r)iction. Dominic’s poetry has appeared in multiple journals, and he was a finalist in Short Editions’ “America: Color it in” contest. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Weekend Dads Whirlwind

By Dominic Loise

Beware the weekend dads dressed 
in Saturday faux cool with weaved fedoras 
and ironic t-shirts keeping their snowflake 
kids from melting down as they breeze through 
old city neighborhoods on their day off 
a roaming buddy parent without 
discipline leaving behind them a 
rolling storm of rumbling gentrification 
with cherubs tore up shelves and 
parents raising real estate taxes 
leaving long established businesses
boarding up in their wake

Dominic Loise is open about and advocates for mental health awareness, as seen with his essay writing for F(r)iction. Dominic’s poetry has appeared in multiple journals, and he was a finalist in Short Editions’ “America: Color it in” contest. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Not spoon, not roux

By Peach Delphine

Breeze so thick you could

make a gravy of it, blue jay speaks into every room,
woodstork eyes lantana below the porch where lizards 
bask, bobbing brown heads, orange throat display, 
small sunsets closing, bird peppers red beaked,

 when she spoke

there was a shimmering, across vast distance, starlight, 
we stack words  like cordwood, wedged between trees,
we burn relentlessly, sleep in ash, leaf dreaming,

 dark mouth of the river, current

swallowing us, as light is split, variations shuffled,
a revelation, technical, precise, a great gathering 
awaits, an ever expanding  aggregate, we are buoyed 
by words that will not splinter,

hog wire fence, thicket beyond,

pines flake bark, slabs and sheets, leaves of a codex
 we once burned as if others were being written, 
as if demanding a carcass be transformed into sustenance 
doesn’t require a different prayer than was once recited,

woodpecker chisels grubs

from flesh of sand oak, crow in the pine speaks of weather,
rain measures itself against palmetto, squat in downpour, we remember we were never alone in the absence
of our companions, shore of fishbone, whistling wind,
fireflies incandescent, fullness of birdsong, with  dawn

cormorant fishes, gathering moonlight,
whelk conceals lightning,
oystercatcher has not yet
pried open invocation.

Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast and blackwater rivers. Delphine can be found on Twitter.

Crow in pine

By Peach Delphine

A new surface settles, slow as sand in water, 
sediment of memory, days without sea or trees 
of pelicans, a great beam of wind tumbling across 
oyster beds, kicking up white caps, leaning on salt
marsh, shaking out black mangrove, buttonwood, 
as the being is not the body, shell, broken in time, 
becomes beach, she entered a record of names, 
all that could be remembered, never enough, she walked
into sunrise, sleepless, she listened to river, fish, tree,
she wrote into the space that became door, once opened, 
a word of ocean, narrowing tide of distance and absence,
if only for a moment we speak as waves, of shell, wind,
sky, what we each hold broken, the relentless motion
binding us to these forms, a balancing hand in time.

Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast and blackwater rivers. Delphine can be found on Twitter.

Crow in mulberry, the darkest eye of all

By Peach Delphine

Day thick, soggy sponge stuffed in the mouth, a kitchen 
where all things are on the table, mockingbird rendering 
another borrowed song just off the porch, lamentations
ride the breeze. Who has not wished to live in a crown 
of palms, lithe, shimmering, skink knows the weight 
of eye, gaze of another ocean. Having stood over 
myself, fluid as creek, lacerations in hand, salt of my salt,
face to sky as wind eats words off my tongue in shade 
of cypress and moss, we summon ourselves out of 
floorboards, we speak from behind lath and plaster, 
in kitchen garden we turn rows, pull weeds, our parenting 
was of rain, of dirt, your words flower along the river,  
we breathe a mother tongue, text of soil, intonation
of verdure, what some call erosion, a return to the sea, 
a tide governed by a different moon, what some call night 
a different incandescence than what illuminates
your hands, planting each day anew, sowing black earth,
lifting salt wind into song, raising river into flower.

Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast and blackwater rivers. Delphine can be found on Twitter.