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Poetry Winter 2021    fiction    all issues


Andrej Lišakov

Laura Apol
I Take a Realtor through the House
& other poems

Rebekah Wolman
How I Want my Body Taken
& other poems

Devon Bohm
The Word
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Right Kind of Woman
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Gravestone Flowers
& other poems

Laura Turnbull
& other poems

Andre F. Peltier
A Fistful of Ennui
& other poems

Peter Kent
Reflections on the Late Nuclear Attack on Boston
& other poems

Carol Barrett
Canal Poem #8: Hides
& other poems

Alix Lowenthal
Abortion Clinic Waiting Room
& other poems

Latrise P. Johnson
From My Women
& other poems

Brenna Robinson
& other poems

may panaguiton
& other poems

Elizabeth Farwell
The Life That Scattered
& other poems

Bill Cushing
Two Stairways
& other poems

Richard Baldo
A Note to Prepare You
& other poems

Blake Foster
Aubade from the Coast
& other poems

Bernard Horn
& other poems

Harald Edwin Pfeffer
Still stiff with morning cold
& other poems

Nia Feren
Neon Orange Tree Trunks
& other poems

Everett Roberts
A Mourning Performance
& other poems

Alaina Goodrich
The Way I Wander
& other poems

Olivia Dorsey Peacock
the iron maiden and other adornments
& other poems

Bill Cushing

Three Acts of Oedipus Rex
in Cinquains


answering the

Sphynx’s riddle, the young

Oedipus swears he will escape

his fate.


overtakes him

as he commits the first

case of road rage on the journey

to Thebes.


his search to learn

the truth reveals that he

killed the king who was also his



Slowly circling,

the pelican

drops like a stone

into water.

Then climbing the

air, he stops, and

with a single

motion of wings,

glides on the wind.

Playing Ball in the Hereafter

As children, Henry Aaron and Don Sutton

grew up in towns three hours apart

and learned the game between fields of cotton;

then the hitter moved east, the pitcher, west

as they took paths to opposite coasts.

Two All-Stars, they became among the best.

Upon dying, Sutton arrived first and may

have used the time to loosen his arm

while warming up on the clay

waiting for Hammering Hank’s arrival.

As they play, now in eternal prime,

Celestial fans admire erstwhile rivals

and wonder, from where they sit,

what is the most wondrous display:

the sweet pitch or power-driven hit?

Two Stairways

The first greets those who promenade

through the foyer to a sunken

living room; its steps—wide with

carpeted tread—ease beneath gilded panels

lined with portraits of staid patriarchs

long dead. Bright red lips brush fair cheeks,

besitos de cultura alto,

as these elegant guests parade

through the living room past a massive

dining table and walls affixed

with innocuous ceramic buttons,

doorbell fixtures to summon the help

from the kitchen hiding a second staircase:

steep, jagged, and above all concrete.

Servants—rough hands wrapped in skin darker

than the mahogany furniture

they rub to a high shine—trudge between floors

carrying the weight of meals, loads of laundry,

flutes of lemon water, and whispered curses,

triggered by constant buzzing commands.

Meanwhile, quiet worms of hate burrow, deep

yet imperceptible, into their hearts.

Bill Cushing lived in several states and the Caribbean before moving to California after earning an MFA from Goddard College. A retired college instructor, he lives in Glendale with his wife and their son. Nominated for two Pushcart prizes, Bill has two award-winning poetry collections, A Former Life (Kops-Featherling International Book Award) and Music Speaks (New York City Book Award). His new poetry chapbook, . . .this just in. . ., became available July 2021.

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