Spring's Battle by Alison Cloonan

Spring has forced its way onto the earth, prying up the icy fingers of winter. The battle wages between bareness and new life, between seeds bursting open and late frost killing cold.  The flower bulbs orient their embryonic shoots from…

Road Trip by Devon Balwit

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Carl Jung Always blue highways intersecting like cracked pores, me driving blind. Segments go missing from the map, or the map goes missing, forgotten at a roadside…

“Contemporary Piano Interval” by Roberta Gould

Sometime before dawn an hour before midnight a brash chord sounds Bold dissonance Pause and another follows   You have heard nothing of that cat’s musical stalkings and I am awake for good lie still  on the pull-out bed and…

“Avian Envy” by Rebecca Hart Olander

I am jealous of the syrinx, the ability to sing two notes at once, to harmonize with the self. In my harnessed larynx, so many caught songs, edges cracked and fading, muffled as if from behind rows of coats in…

“Continuing Grace (we can always come back)” by Michael Tucker

1999 It smelled funny in church. Antique wood paneling, breath mints, musty hymnals, Aqua Net Hairspray, polyester suits worn by old ladies since the 1970’s, sour old man sweat, cheap perfume, slightly mildewed carpet, and that institutional, indecipherable smell which…

“Out of the Country” by Karla Linn Merrifield

No surprise, you agree to meet me at the pub on Dundas after I arrive, short-notice, on the last flight into Toronto before the storm slams your city shut for the duration, and well after your night class at the…

“Night Waltz” by Joan McNerney

O Michael tonight I am dreaming of you. We trace night with our fingers climbing ladders of darkness past the full moon.   Over silver light into star light we dance through air redolent with lilacs.  Your eyes glow like…

“Sleaze, on its Role in Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire” by Daniel M. Shapiro

It’s too easy to call me floor-level cocaine, nagging whine of an ambulance trapped on the freeway. I’m the makeup worn by straight guys pretending to make fun of gays but really liking the look, a costume that never finds…

“Hootenanny” by Robert Berveridge

Pull a slip of paper from the fishbowl, sidle up to your assigned instrument—sit at the traps, fondle frets, moisten the reed.   The act of drawing your assignment does not convey competence, any more than the act of drawing…

Dissonance by Pat Snyder Hurley

C-Sharp! my mother shouts kitchen to living room over the jiggling dance of the regulator on her pressure cooker. C-Sharp! Try it again. Occasionally she walks out wipes her hands on her apron bends over, inspects the music points out…