Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2023    fiction    all issues


Susan Wilkinson

Selena Spier
Red From The West
& other poems

Pamela Wax
Talk Therapy
& other poems

Ana Reisens
Honey Water
& other poems

Mark Yakich
Necessary Hope
& other poems

Bridget Kriner
A Few Lies & a Truth
& other poems

Keegan Shepherd
Silver Queen
& other poems

Alaina Goodrich
Sacred Conflagration
& other poems

George Longenecker
Those Who Hunger
& other poems

Hailey Young
Ball Room
& other poems

Sébastien Luc Butler
& other poems

Savannah Grant
Ever Since (v.2)
& other poems

grace (logan)
& other poems

Samantha Imperi
A Poem for the Ghosted
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
& other poems

Kayla Heinze
Stop checking the score
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Chasing Through to Dawn
& other poems

Alex Eve
A moment
& other poems

Robert Michael Oliver
Prison Hounds
& other poems

Writer's Site

Keegan Shepherd

Most Times It Was At . . .

night. Dad’s alcohol and sports radio

swimming thru the waves

of Oklahoma summers in Big Four.

Are my feet not like cleats

clinging to the red dirt and withering,

stomped grass?

I noticed he was gone

from dinner a long time.

I’m uncertain where I’ll find him.

This time, he’s in his truck, idle in the driveway.

An attempt to wake him from deep sleep,

so I open the door.

He says he doesn’t know me.

I say he never really has.

It Is The Sun That Reminds Us

It’s the magic of small moments—

walking you out the door

off into the October sunset

how the dulling rays collide

with every bit of blonde

atop your head to remind me

what light myself I walk toward.

Are you the sun

I wait for



to rise


to fall


Without regard, you stop

turn to my eye and smile to

remind me:


Silver Queen

Ghost October tour of the night

twenty standing outside talking

the dead unease lingering within

that hotel silver queen.

It was bad luck for the min(or)ers

to talk to any red-haired woman

the day they leave

for work.

From what I understand, she was

rather famous.

Back in those old Comstock days

Rosie operated her business

out of room eleven.

She’s evidently never checked out,

having made countless appearances

in the decades following her


The established ladies of Virgin-

ia City were lonely wives

who, of course, looked down upon

employed women such as Rosie

and you can’t help but think it was

something about riding that gleaming,

bladed edge, in the spots that cut


that makes some desert town worth staying

for a silver queen.

Perhaps It’s Written On His Bones

I often think of his flesh and bone—

my father’s in another time zone.

and the state of the zero phone

calls, and the way words may

not be enough to say what we both need.

I need him.

The rules, the structure, the stern.

What would he say? What does he need?

I think anger can be

like an X-ray,

and I can blast back the bullshit

that’s clothes, and boots, and jobs, and titles

narratives of parent and child

and like an X-ray

shows us the point abnormality in the structure,

I can just point at it and say that’s wrong,

pick up the phone and dial.

“What you want to say is written on the white of your skull

and I want to see it, liar.

Come on,

                 jump out of your liar skin.

Look at my nowhere skin.

I’ve no defenses.

I’ve no fear.

I’m       wide       open.”

Come on,

                 old man.

This tall tree:

Look at my bones,

count the little rings.

Get to know me.

My Friends, The Ravens

Familiar caws calling me

upon the time of dinner

from my friends of black

feather there on the roof

eyeing me from away

and waiting for my spoils.

They eat spawned gossip

from my most horrid mistakes.

They flock behind my back

in frequency enough

to make me believe

there is conspiracy.

My friends, the ravens;

treachery and unkindness

exist in the worst of this

rave. My friends, the ravens;

somehow selfish and self

aware at the same time. I

scatter pieces of my dried

heart across the concrete,

watch my friends, the ravens



                                                           &  eat.

Keegan Shepherd has built a holistic relationship with writing—making it a personal, professional, and academic pursuit. He is an underground Hip-Hop artist by the name of Keeper of the Universe, and his music features on Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud and YouTube. Keegan studied writing at the University of Nevada, Reno, and earned the DQ award for Poetry in 2020. He is currently employed as a Copywriter and is studying for his MA in Rhetoric & Writing Studies.

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