Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Rebecca Irene


Slit nostrils sense

what lies beneath.

This is what you live for—

sick wood giving way

beetle’s squirm

on long sticky tongue

the swallowing.

You leave behind tunnels

paradise for squirrels

nests for smaller birds.

How many holes

can a tree endure?

You recall your beloved

White Pine.

Her curved trunk at road’s bend

her thick sap weeping

every time you came a-calling.

Crow Raven

If you don’t know

the differences

between Crow and Raven

what good are you to me?

I find the secret of being

in nature’s details.

To you, they are a waste of time.

Crow marries for love.

Raven for money.

Crow gives any dying creature

water from her beak.

Raven pecks fading eyes out.

And if you had ever lain in forests

against tree trunks

felt bark press hard towards

your back’s thick skin

Crow would have watched

you with pity

Raven with menace.

Then as Raven shat on you in disgust

Crow would have offered you strength—

hair and bone

life and breath

fear and death

twig and stone—

of smaller creatures.

You would have recognized

that sweet saltiness in your mouth

my love.

For it is what you have been

feeding on for years.

Sitting Duck

All the others

sensed danger.

The dogs weren’t

even quiet

for God’s sake

and little Billy

shot off

his gun for fun

miles away.

All the others

knew to fly.

You were


when steel

tore open

preened down.

Your last

dying wonder:

why red rainbows smothered you

as others touched blue of sky.

Humming Bird

I loved you when I was young

watched you sip sugar water

hover over my bright shirt.

There is no more sugar water now

or bright shirt

and I have aged terribly.

Poor trade for the genuine

is what I get.

Greta running nine miles

snorting nine lines

climaxing nine times

faster faster faster.

Greta starving

binging and barfing

chewing pills

thinner thinner thinner.

Greta drinking dancing

trying to sing.

No magic—

between monotony

and mayhem.

Summer Robin

How they search for her when the trees sigh for outer green.

How they smile for her when the stalks strain for sunny sheen.

How they supplicate for her when rains signal for spring clean.

Wonder, adoration, delight, give way to

pulling another worm—isn’t she fat enough?

Singing the same old song—hasn’t she said enough?

Springtime is so obviously over, my dear.

Really. A summer robin should have the good taste

to know when she ought to fly away.

Why, just last night I spotted one that caught my eye.

I almost lost my head until I saw her gray feathers

and wrinkles and wanting in the August sun.

Rebecca Irene has finally accepted poetry as her tumultuous lover and taskmaster. Her poems speak to the simultaneous beauty and horror of this world, how every life is the same, every life is different and the ways our lives differ are not always fair or fathomable. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College.

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