Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2017    fiction    all issues


Cover Marija Zaric

Kathryn Merwin
For Aaron, Disenchanted
& other poems

William Stevens
Celestial Bodies
& other poems

Kendra Poole
Take-Off, or The Philosophy of Leaving
& other poems

AJ Powell
Mama Atlas
& other poems

Matt Farrell
Waves in the dark
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Eating a Horsemeat Sandwich at Astana Airport 
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
& other poems

Joshua Levy
Venezuela Evening
& other poems

Ryan Lawrence
Vegan Teen Daughter vs. Worthless Dad
& other poems

George Longenecker
Yard Sale
& other poems

Susanna Kittredge
My Heart
& other poems

Morgan Gilson
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Annihilation of Bees
& other poems

Taylor Bell
Browsing Tinder in an Aldi
& other poems

David Anderson
Continental Rift
& other poems

Charles McGregor
The Boys That Don’t Know
& other poems

Cameron Scott
Ashes to Smashes, Dust to Rust
& other poems

Kenneth Homer
Inferno Redux
& other poems

Alice Ashe
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Marriage's Weekly Schedule
& other poems

Kim Alfred
Soul Eclipse
& other poems

George Longenecker

Cape Cod Elegy

Cold wind whips a beach by a bay,

nine gulls float slowly on gusts,

in sand lies a dead coywolf,

fur russet, grey and white,

still fluffy, ears soft,

legs spread like he’s still running.

Sand has drifted over his mouth,

jaws agape showing ivory teeth.

Was he looking for snails or limpets?

Maybe he was hoping for the dead cormorant nearby

when last night’s icy wind cut through his fur

as he tried to run one last time.

Near the solitary beach coywolves

hide in pitch pine woods within sight

of Wellfleet’s white water tower—

part wolf, part coyote,

elusive as sea tides.

On the edge of the marsh a skim of ice,

everything grey and white

like the dead coywolf’s fur

in tufts between his paw pads and claws.

In the cottage yard a single rose

still blooms despite frigid November wind,

wine, warmth and supper

only take me back to the beach

where the gale whips sand through his fur.

Then I realize it’s not merely wind,

but coywolves howling,

music from the marsh.

Yard Sale

A house can be haunted by those who were never there

—Louis MacNeice

Under an awning await furnishings,

exposed and alone without the house,

which has been emptied of the maple table

where first sun shone each day

on coffee cups and worn silver spoons,

emptied of oak four-posted bed

where for fifty years,

two people loved and awoke each day,

of matching bureau whose drawers

held socks and underwear.

This house is empty of the cradle

where children first slept,

empty of carpets chairs, knives,

spoons and forks, mops and clocks.

Window panes reflect bare floors.

Signs advertise the sale. Furnishings sit,

while two curious crows swoop overhead,

while the empty house waits.

The clocks tell no time.

Car doors slam as the yard sale begins.

Crows caw once, twice, circle over.

Soon the oak bureau, maple table,

bed, cradle and clocks are gone.

All that was there is gone.

Inside, the house is too quiet, too bright.


I wake up kissing a pig,

she asks me if I think there’s a God,

even before she asks me what I’d like for breakfast—

I know better than to say bacon—

scrambled eggs with biscuits and grits, please.

Human stem cells can be legally implanted

in pig and other animals’ embryos—

it was in the news yesterday—

human brain, liver and heart cells.

I can feel her heart beat,

different than before when she was just a pig,

71 beats a minute just like mine

(except during sex or exercise)

but I’m not ready to jog with a pig—

and I can’t even think about sex—

so many nipples.

She throws on a nightie,

I hear her hooves clatter downstairs,

smell coffee.

I wonder if I’d be more compatible

with a sheep or a dog.

Live Science August 5, 2016

“Strange Beasts: Why Human-Animal Chimeras Might Be Coming”

—Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer

Silence Comes

This morning the last geese passed south

a few honking stragglers in a small vee

brown leaves fluttered in beech trees

I realized how silent it was

snowflakes whispered on my coat

the only other sounds

a few chickadees calling from pines

and a distant train whistle


alone on a hilltop

gray paint flaking

flag missing

beside a narrow road so little-used

grass grows down the middle

its broken door hangs by one hinge

vibrates in the breeze

a faint harmonica off key

most days when I pass it’s empty

this winter morning snow blows everywhere

one crow perches on its crest

today a postcard

a drugstore circular

and a little snow inside

the house cannot be seen from anywhere

two sets of footprints in a dusting of snow

someone has come and gone twice

come too soon

waiting perhaps for this card

or just waiting

I can’t tell where the tracks come from

and wonder who lives in such loneliness

that mercy hinges on a postcard

George Longenecker lives in Middlesex, Vermont. The woods around his home inspire his poetry, as do strange stories in the news. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Main Street Rag, Poetry Quarterly, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Two Cities Review, Whale Road Review, Saranac Review and War, Literature & the Arts. His book Star Route is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing.

Dotted Line