19-32



Brake, Brake, Brake
with a nod to Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the morning commuters

Brake, brake, brake!
            For a chat and a snack and a coffee.
What's all the rush and the bustle and fuss?
            You look like a bunch of zombies.

As your whizzing cars go by
            To your jobs O-so-far away,
I wish for you a day by the sea
            And the sight of your children at play.

While your metal ships sail down
            To the bottom of my long hill
I wish you good luck with your busy day
            And hope that it gives you a thrill.

Brake, brake, brake!
            On flat black tarmac, O Please!
Stop—right now—your wheels from spinning
            For just one moment and breathe!

by Elizabeth Boquet

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Elizabeth Boquet teaches English and chairs The Pernessy Poets in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Snapdragon, Stoneboat, Necessary Fiction, Offshoots and other literary journals. Naomi Shihab Nye awarded her a Geneva Writers' Group Literary Prize (2nd place) in 2017. www.elizabethboquet.com

19-31



I Cannot Tell

I cannot tell the difference
between my grandparents.

I've never seen them apart.
I've never seen them argue.

They've had 65 years
to work everything out.

Neither one will vacuum or iron
but both are happy to cook and dust.

They talk at the same time
and repeat the same stories.

I'm not sure they even know
The difference between them.

They clipper cut each other's hair and
have taken to sporting each other's underwear.

When I arrived with groceries this morning,
I found them in front of the bathroom mirror;

Grandma was shaving her face. Grandpa was
rubbing a nub of her favorite lipstick on his lips.

Maybe they're losing it.
Maybe they're lost in each other.

Or, maybe, this is what Ruth, in the Bible means by
...and the two shall become one.

by Elizabeth Boquet

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Elizabeth Boquet teaches English and chairs The Pernessy Poets in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Snapdragon, Stoneboat, Necessary Fiction, Offshoots and other literary journals. Naomi Shihab Nye awarded her a Geneva Writers' Group Literary Prize (2nd place) in 2017. www.elizabethboquet.com

19-30



A Summer Sonnet

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
With due respect to Shakespeare, I shall not.
After all, spring's the season who bears May
And "darling buds" won't last a day that hot.

Maybe the bard lived in a different time
When summers were still "temperate" and nice:
No global warming and no blazing clime.
The earth, then, must have been a paradise.

Sitting here with sweat drops on my forehead,
Let me compare you to an autumn night.
A cool breeze and a cold drink in my bed,
No scorching sun but a gentle moonlight.

   So long as the sun burns the earth away
   I shan't compare you to a summer's day.

by Niloufar Behrooz

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Niloufar Behrooz is a PhD candidate of English Literature at the University of Isfahan, Iran. She is a poet, writer, self-taught musician, university lecturer and night owl. Her work has appeared in Classical Poets Society, Lighten Up Online, Loch Raven Review, Literary Hatchet, Litro, Haiku Presence, World Haiku Review and elsewhere. Her most recent nonfiction will appear in an upcoming anthology. She is also an avid animal lover and she used to have a dozen rabbits who would've probably colonized the earth if her mom hadn't begged her to send them away. You can find her on Instagram @niloufarbehrooz

19-29



The Web Site of Innisfree

I will log on now and virtually visit Innisfree,
The builder says my second home there is almost complete:
Sub-zero fridge, home theater, garage for my RV,
And lake views from the master suite.

So now I have a piece of it; I had to buy in quick
When NAFTA dropped some whining farmer over the edge.
Of course, if values rise, well, it's just arithmetic,
And a Maui condo's a better hedge.

I will log off this site for now; Innisfree can wait:
I hear my smart phone ding, my Facebook's filling constantly,
And there's an episode of CSI on Channel 8—
I'll watch it in 4K Ultra HD.

by Tom Schmidt

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After decades spent launching academic paper airplanes from ivory tower windows, Tom Schmidt now composes poems from the tree house he built above his bee-loud glade in central Vermont. His outlook is much improved. Now and then an editor likes his work, but more often his family and friends do, and that's a deeper satisfaction. His grandsons are more impressed that he can make authentic noises for eight different kinds of construction vehicles. And they love the tree house.

19-28



Thirteen Ways of Looking at a French Fry Potato

I
Among fifty fast-food restaurants
the only touching thing was
a bag of fries.

II
Yo,
french fry potato.
The skinny is
you got no skin.

III
Add salt, ketchup,
melted cheese,
their essential function
is to please.

IV
French fries kill
more people than
guns and sharks,
but no one's afraid
of french fries.

V
When I met you
at McDonald's
I thought you were
an über tuber; fashionably
thin yet filled with fat.

VI
The French call it
a pomme frite,
c'est magnifique,
je ne sais quoi,
bon appétit.

VII
Do french fries really come
from France? Non non ma chère,
ils viennent de Belgique.

VIII
They say you're a "fast" food
but there are worse sins
than "going all the way"
at lunch or dinner.

IX
Oiled in and oiled up,
greased with goodness,
greased with greatness,
cholesterol killing
but Barkis is willing.

X
How 'bout we go to
the couch, potato,
or do you want to
go somewhere else.

XI
A man and a woman
are one.
A man and a woman and a french fry
are one.

XII
You may look like
a small fry
but taste wise
you're the big potato.

XIII
It was morning all afternoon.
It was raining
and it was going to snow.
The french fry sat
in a plastic tub.

by Martin H. Levinson

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Martin H. Levinson does not teach creative writing at Stanford. In 2017, he was not awarded a fellowship from the NEA. His poetry has not been published by The New Yorker or the Paris Review. Levinson lives with his wife in New York City. He is grateful for the recognition he has not sought or achieved and plans to continue to work in obscurity.

19-27



Stopping an Intrusion on a Summer Evening

Whose drone this is I'll never know.
It's right outside my window, though.
I'm sure it sees me lying here
In bed and naked head to toe.

My dog is freaked, and makes it clear
The awful thing must disappear.
It's getting late, for heaven's sake,
The lightest evening of the year.

He barks and howls without a break.
The only sounds he hears me make
Are words I seldom say, like "(bleep)!"
And now he knows I'm wide awake.   

The owner of this drone's a creep,
But I have shotguns in my keep,
And aim to get a good night's sleep,
And aim to get a good night's sleep.

by Alex Steelsmith

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A writer and fine artist, Alex Steelsmith has coauthored three nonfiction books and more than 200 articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today. In addition to Parody, his poems have appeared in Light, Lighten Up Online, and other venues. When not writing parodies and light poetry, he takes himself very seriously.

19-26



Pees

I think I shall never see
A poem as welcome as a pee.

A pee whose easy time is quit
Will not eject from its cockpit.

A pee that begs of God all day
Oh let me sprinkle, let me spray.

A pee that's hard to personify
Hiding his Truth in old one-eye.

Under whose torrent bark has flown
Back when my wild oats were sown.

Parodies are made by fools like me
But only Flomax can make me pee.

by Thomas L. Wiseman

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Thomas L. Wiseman is a poet, literature and writing teacher, and punster. He earned PhD and MA degrees from Tulane University and a bachelor's from Penn State. He retired from full time teaching in 2007 but was back at it in 2008. He is now a part-time instructor at Portland Community College-Rock Creek Campus in Oregon. He reads anything he can get his hands on but prefers Parody, The Onion, and Mad Magazine. The only news he watches is The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

19-25



Guidelines For Meditators



Appendix A
List of Approved Reasons For Interrupting A Sitting

Introduction
The beginning meditator may find it difficult to commit to sitting without giving in to distractions. While it is ideal to sit without interruption for the prescribed period, there are a few situations in which a brief interruption or suspension of the session may be permitted. In order to relieve the beginner of the burden of attempting to determine which situations qualify, a list has been compiled and is included here. Review of this list is recommended immediately prior to one's first twenty (20) sittings, after which one should keep this page available for easy reference.

1. Fire

2. Flood
    A. waters 3" or higher, and rising
    B. your cushion is on the floor, in which case you may move it to a bench

3. Earthquake
    A. you may relocate your cushion under a doorway
       (1) in the event your doorway has collapsed, you may attempt to leave

4. Tornado, hurricane, or tsunami
    A. you may pause to:
       (1) close the window
       (2) hammer plywood across the window
       (3) run

5. Someone nearby calls for help
    A. at least twice, if you're not sure the first time

6. You left a burner on (see 1. Fire, above)

7. You left the water running (see 2. Flood, above)

8. You forgot to put your phone on vibrate

9. It's possible you've left the door unlocked all night

10. An insect you find impossible to ignore is buzzing at the window
   A. if the insect is inside the room, you may capture it in your bowl and release it outside
   B. if the insect is outside, you may close the window, taking care not to trap it between the glass
           and the screen

11. The dog will not stop whining until you let it out

12. Come to think of it, you have to go, and it really can't wait

13. A text notification sounds
    A. only if you're pretty sure it's from someone you really miss

14. You remember an email you actually really do have to send right now
    A. or a text

15. You can't stop thinking about the last piece of cake in the kitchen
    A. have you had cake yet today?
    B. how likely is it someone will take it if you don't get it first?

16. It would probably be good to make the shopping list now, before you forget

17. You notice the bedspread is hanging longer on one side

18. A "Kung Fu" rerun is on
    A. only if you haven't seen the episode they're showing
        (1) or not within the last six months

19. A really insistent poem
    A. extreme caution is advised: some days, everything sounds like a poem.


by Andrea Wolper

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Widely known as a singer and songwriter working in jazz and experimental music, Andrea Wolper is also a writer whose published work includes journalism, poetry, and two non-fiction books (Routledge; Watson-Guptill). www.AndreaWolper.com

19-24



The Charge of the Lycra Brigade

I
One summit, two summits
Three summits upward
Up the Sierra mountains
   Rode the thirty hundred.
"Forward, the Lycra Brigade!
Charge for the passes!" they said.
Up five Death Ride summits
   Rode the spandex warriors.

II
"Forward, the Lycra Brigade!"
All so garishly array'd
Not tho' the cyclists knew
   Whose fashion sense had blunder'd.
   Their's not to whine or cry,
   Their's not to reason why,
   (But you might say I'd rather die)
   Their's to finish th' Ride of Death)
   Kilometers two hundred.

III
Cannondale a brand du jour
Campagnolo derailleurs
Carbon fiber de rigueur
   (De-lu-si-ons of gran-de-ur?)
Steamin' hot with sweat and smell
Boldly over hill and dell,
Pedaling on though out of breath
Sucking thin air not so well
   Gasped the spandex warriors.

IV
Flash'd all their shaved legs bare,
Flash'd not a hint of hair
Savoring bright jerseys' flair,
Charging downhill fast they dare,
   (But falls could be atrocities).
Sculpted glutes and bulging quads
Proud they are about their bods
Chafing where in shorts too tight?
Butt-butter there for bottoms' plight
   Those ischial tuberosities.
Then many quit, yet most rode on, but
   Not all thirty hundred.

V
Clouds to right of them,
Clouds to left of them,
Tempest atop of them
   Lightning'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with rain and hail,
While gumption sagged and spirits fell,
Cramps caused some to face defeat
(And others de agony of de feet)
Tired and sore they hurt like hell
All body parts but 'specially
   Those ischial tuberosities.

VI
When can their bragging fade?
O the wild boasts they made!
   All spectators wonder'd.
"Here's to us the charge we made!
Here's to us the Lycra Brigade!
   (Vain)glorious spandex warriors!"

by Richard Drace

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Richard Drace is a lapsed academic living in Grass Valley, CA. Retired from a variety of careers in architecture and education, he has resumed his literary interests writing poetry—sometimes frivolous, sometimes serious, and non-fiction—sometimes serious. When his art muse is indolent, he works wood, cooks, keeps bees, skis, fishes, and cycles. This poem is his third contribution to Parody, but his first venture into self-parody.

19-23



Rapunzel Sets the Record Straight

No one ever talked about
the hairs I lost or times
my prince slipped and fell
two stories to hit hard the hay below.
You should have heard him yell!
The bruises and scrapes he took,
the elbow he fractured once.
I never heard the last of that one.
For three months he stopped calling.
Too much risk, the clambering
up my slippery ropes of hair.
I changed my shampoo,
worked the split ends,
all to help him improve his grip.
I practiced my operatic songs
and the balancing of my nest
of hair curled atop my head
as I circled in my room
over and over so many times
bored out of my mind
day after day
waiting for his return
to yank me into headaches.
Point is: Don't grow your hair miles long!

by Lynne Goldsmith

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Lynne Goldsmith can be found roaming the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with a dog or two. Her upcoming book-length manuscript won the Halcyon Poetry Book Contest and will be published by Middle Creek Publishing.

19-22



The Unromantic Version of Kissing Sleeping Beauty

Frankly, she wasn't that healthy—
looking with her pale skin and crust
across closed eyelids, spittle
running down her cheek and neck,
and those nails so long and curled!
The room was stuffy too
with dust built up everywhere.
In fact, my asthma kicked in
with the air so bad, and I tripped along
Sleeping Beauty's rings of tress
that made trails across the floor
Her stomach growled too,
and while I stood there
she passed gas once, then twice.
But my girl had me mesmerized
as she snored away the hour...
before my one quick trip outside
to get my breathing back to normal.
I returned to her bedside with lungs better,
when I knelt down upon my sore knee,
ignored my dear Beauty's rancid breath,
dry skin, ripe body odor, and kissed her
gently on the lips—well,
really it was on the side of the mouth;
and I brushed her hair with my hand
down along her face.  She rubbed her eyes
and moved her head from side to side.
A moth flew out
from underneath her dated dress.
She smiled with yellow teeth
and we embraced.  With just one look
we knew we'd have a lot of work to do
on building a house, our relationship,
and with telling people what we were:
an ordinary peasant couple who dreamed big
with plans to shower three times a day
and always be on the lookout
for cobwebs, phobias we have to live with.

by Lynne Goldsmith

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Lynne Goldsmith can be found roaming the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with a dog or two. Her upcoming book-length manuscript won the Halcyon Poetry Book Contest and will be published by Middle Creek Publishing.

19-20



I Gaze into My Glass

I gaze into my glass,
And view my perfect skin, 
And say, "No crease will come to pass
Injections can't fill in!"

For no one gets distressed
By mere mortality
Who always gets the very best
Cosmetic surgery.

That Time might make me grieve,
I simply can't abide;
And nothing shakes this frame at eve
That cannot be denied.

by Alex Steelsmith

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A writer and fine artist, Alex Steelsmith has coauthored three nonfiction books and more than 200 articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today. In addition to Parody, his poems have appeared in Light, Lighten Up Online, and other venues. When not writing parodies and light poetry, he takes himself very seriously.

19-19



Apollinaire Steals the Mona Lisa
On September 7, 1911, French police arrested poet Guillaume Apollinaire for stealing the Mona Lisa.

In that vast lamentable hall
nobility has abandoned,
her ancient suffering smile
innocent of rage
bestows a melancholy radiance
on Americans with museum maps.

A menacing harlequin
lectures on fatal dreams
as the guarded cortege of tourists
without a single vital tear
passes beneath her linen confinement
and time expires wingless.

She has ascended beyond
the violet adoration of crowds,
but I will climb sorrow like a ladder
and steal her perfect glory
to be that fevered mirror
I keep under my bed.

by Chris Bullard

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Chris Bullard lives in Philadelphia, PA. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Wilkes University. Finishing Line Press published his poetry chapbook, Leviathan, in 2016. Kattywompus Press published High Pulp, a collection of his flash fiction, in 2017. His work has appeared in publications such as 32 Poems, Green Mountains Review, Rattle, Pleiades, River Styx, and Nimrod.

19-18



The Smells

  Sniff the odors and the smells—
     Galling smells.
What a world of allergies their prevalence foretells.
   Through the thickened air of night,
    How they scatter with delight.
   They can fly, fly, fly
   From the trash chute or the sky,
   From the dope the neighbor's smoking
    To the incense in the halls,
   Whether nicotine or bleach,
   They can bypass any walls.
  But no ventilation gives them an escape.
   They can travel sight unseen
    Through a window or a screen,
   Now a fragrance, now a whiff—
    Is it garbage?  Catch a sniff.
  Did the guy in 7R just buy an ape?
 Now they're painting all the bathrooms,
 Or they're spraying, killing pests,
 Or the tenants in the corner have invited teenage guests.
    And the odor never rests.
 Oh, the smells, smells, smells, smells,
       Smells, smells, smells.
All the pungent biting odors of the smells.

by Shawn Bayern

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Shawn Bayern is a law professor in Florida. He is allergic to many things.

19-17



After champagne, a fizzy feeling comes

After champagne, a fizzy feeling comes—
A closed Door opens, the mind succumbs
to Joy. Its sober Angel banished for the night—
High spirits burst forth in blazing light.

The Heart, released from care, takes flight—
in Volatility.
No Dirge, no Woe can bring it down.
No purpose, plan,
or dull Responsibility.

This is the Hour of Exhilaration—
Cherished Abandon, if regretted later.
For now, Time is suspended, so—
First—Chill—then Pop—then the letting go—

by Antonia Clark

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Antonia Clark, a medical writer and editor, has also taught creative writing and manages an online poetry workshop. Her full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon (2014) will be reissued in 2019 by Bellevue Books. Toni lives in Vermont, loves wine, travel, and French café music. Contact antoniaclarkpoetry@gmail.com or visit antoniaclark.com.

19-16



To a Corporation Dying Young
with a nod to A. E. Housman


The time your IPO sold well
We cheered you at the closing bell.
Traders on the floor cried "buy"
And sent you to a record high.

Today, a Judge impounds your stock
And puts your assets on the block,
As from your officers you slip
Received into receivership.

Smart play, admitting to defeat,
Now that your specs are obsolete.
For early though a tech may please
It withers briefer than CDs.

Lawsuits bankruptcy will close
Cannot offend the public nose,
And creditors cannot assail
Those behind the corporate veil.

Now you will not join the dreck
Of those delisted from NASDAQ,
Another former brand of fame
And the value died before the name.

So get, before the news is out,
Another app that you can tout,
And make new promises to us:
Puffery in your prospectus.

And round you just as before
Will flock the suckers who want more,
Gentle sheep begging to be shorn
As trusting as the newly born.

by Chris Bullard

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Chris Bullard lives in Philadelphia, PA. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Wilkes University. Finishing Line Press published his poetry chapbook, Leviathan, in 2016. Kattywompus Press published High Pulp, a collection of his flash fiction, in 2017. His work has appeared in publications such as 32 Poems, Green Mountains Review, Rattle, Pleiades, River Styx, and Nimrod.

19-15



Dover Peach
with a thumb to the nose toward Matthew Arnold and Anthony Hecht

They never told you my name
when they invaded the anthologies.

Doing me such favors, those two:
a weekend trip to the coast,
a bottle of the wrong perfume.
A girl does her best,
but to go down in history invisibly,
without even a name, is too much.

There was never a question
of a fruitful relationship—
and all that complaining

about the world in general
and a few things in particular
war and suffering and all that
as though Matthew thought of them first.

Tony was no better, expecting me
to drop everything and start cooking
when he showed up like a dog on the doorstep
needing my life to juice his own ambition.

The nerve to claim my reality
without asking. You'll be glad to know
I've given up poets to buy
my own ticket, dance my dance,
walk past their erection, a fence

they built themselves. I wrote on it:
For a good time call Matt or Tony
555-3825.

by Sandra Soli

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Sandra Soli, writer/editor in Edmond, Oklahoma, enjoys wordplay and terrible puns. Her poems, articles, and short fiction have appeared widely in journals, humanities magazines, and anthologies that benefit the homeless. Author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and teaching artist, Sandy survived childhood in a war zone and is completing a poetry collection based on that experience.

19-14



Comprehension Beyond Advanced Placement

To go, or not to go—that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The International Baccalaureate
Or to walk away damaged and even insane
And by opposing just live. IAs, EE—
No more—and by IAs to say we need
The struggle, and the thousand criteria
That students must make. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be damned. IAs, EE—
EE—perchance to learn: ay, there's the rub,
For in that laissez faire what stress may come
When we have researched these four thousand words,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of the IB
For who would bear the whips and scorns of it,
Th' knowledge and care, the risks taken plus
The communication, the reflection,
The principles and thinking, inquiry
That open-minded balance might foster,
When they themselves might their loss of life make
With a heavy workload? That’d burdens bear,
To sweat and cry through these weary years,
But that the dread of something afterwards,
The life beyond the IB, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus IB does make fools of students,
And thus the native hue of intelligence
Is paled o'er with the darkness of despair,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this thought their sanity turn awry
And lose the name of smart.—Oh my lord,
The University!—Beautiful, accept me
And make my suff'ring worth it.

*IB = International Baccalaureate
*IA - Internal Assessment
*EE - Extended Essay

by Tylyn K. Johnson

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Tylyn K. Johnson is a socially-conscious writer from Indianapolis, IN. A Dean's Scholar and social work major at UIndy, he's published stories with Severance Publications and the Preservation Foundation. His nonfiction appears in Rigorous Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, and other publications. Find @TyKyWrites on Twitter, Instagram, and Medium.

19-13



Stopping by the Canal on a Hot Afternoon

Whose house is that I do not know.
I pass it when I'm cycling, though;
They will not see me stopping here.
I'll take a piss then on I go.

My little bike must think it queer
To stop without a toilet near
Between my home and sandy beach
The hottest day so far this year.

If my bike could ring its bell
It might do so to raise some hell,
Cause me to dribble on my jeans
Right here in this idyllic dell.

The bushes are lovely and water's flowing
But with people coming I must get going.
They see my bike; their pace is slowing
They'd see my tracks if it were snowing.

by Allan Lake

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Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza/Spain, Tasmania, and now calls Melbourne home (with regular retreats to Sicily). He has published two collections: Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (1988) and Sand in the Sole (2014). Lake won Elwood(Aus) Poetry Prize 2016, Lost Tower Publications(UK) Poetry Comp 2017, and Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Festival Competition 2018. He fears shopping malls and freeways.

19-12



Solarcaine

I've found a joy.
There's a remedy I must employ.
Gotta tell you I'm a lucky boy
When I get my Solarcaine.

A pair of squirts
gets the pain out where the sunburn hurts,
and it hardly ever stains my shirts.
How I love my Solarcaine.

When it's raining, how I miss the sun,
but sunshine never misses me.
I try to cover up but hardly get it done.
Oh that sunburn misery.

Each night I pray
that nobody steals my can away.
Just can't beat that ever-lovin' spray.
How I love my Solarcaine.

by Phil Huffy

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Phil Huffy had a long career doing something other than writing. He was quite surprised to find his work accepted in a variety of print and online publications and loves to Google himself. He scribbles away at his kitchen table in Rochester, NY, and much prefers those little saltines they make to the regular size.

19-11



Roses are red
Clovers are green
Like the luck of the Irish
Whatever that means.
It's St. Patrick's day
You might get a pinch
If you don't like it
Just respond with a wrench
Hands to yourself
We are civilized here
Though incidents of pinching
Increase with green beer.

by Amanda Pearce

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Amanda Pearce is from Portland, Oregon. She enjoys playing Mad Libs, bothering strangers, and attempting stand up comedy. She spends her time traveling and overthinking minute life details. Her writing is inspired bad dates, cynicism, and middle child syndrome. For more of her delightful and outdated angst, please visit pdxpurge.blogspot.com

19-10



This Be The Glass

They fuck you up, both red and white,
but much more pleasantly than brew.
They fill you with a sense of right
and righteousness known but to few.

Grapes pressed in the traditional way
and slowly aged in old-world oak—
the crisp, the rich, the round bouquet,
a hint of citrus, cherry, smoke.

Without a glass, we may sink into
mournfulness, gloom, gravitas.
Surely, it is no great sin to
drink! In vino veritas!

by Antonia Clark

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Antonia Clark, a medical writer and editor, has also taught creative writing and manages an online poetry workshop. Her full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon (2014) will be reissued in 2019 by Bellevue Books. Toni lives in Vermont, loves wine, travel, and French café music. Contact antoniaclarkpoetry@gmail.com or visit antoniaclark.com.

19-9



École des Beaux Arts

About suffering you were never wrong,
Pale Icarus: how unformed, hardly conscious yet,
So young, you stuck the feathers on,
Compliant with the old magician's wish, faith in him strong;
Then flapped about to get the feel of your new wings,
Leapt finally from a peak, soared ecstatically
So near the sun you surfed the tides of superstrings;
Then felt the soft wax melt and run, thin rivulet,
Along each arm, an interesting feeling, drip from elbows,
Wrists, and fingers grasping through the heat to gather back
The scattered feathers, reveling as each new sensation grows,
Not sensible, as yet, you'd fall—There's no such thing as suffering—toward black
Inkwell, the canon of American and English poetry.

In Auden's Musée, for instance: where a reader learns
About the ploughman and the ship, not how it burns
To recognize the feathers held one up, and view
Abruptly, with new eyes, that suffering is sure as gravity,
As unrelenting as one's innocence had been,
And what an unenviable position one was in;
For this we'd have to go to school to you
Yourself, who made that splash so few would see.

by Dan Campion

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Dan Campion lives in Iowa City. His poetry has appeared previously in Parody and in Light, Poetry, Rolling Stone, and other journals. He is a co-editor of the anthology Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song. A third edition will launch in Spring 2019 to honor Whitman's 200th birthday.

19-8



Three Limericks

The President's lunch, a Big Mac,
fell onto the ground from its sack.
Since they're not all that great,
I'm relieved to relate,
that a Bassett Hound brought it right back.


A artist who sits by the Seine
does the same thing again and again.
Since people are buying,
he's kept on supplying
no matter how boring it's been.


A bookkeeper quite underpaid
got his wife a new house and a maid.
His scheme came unwound
when an auditor found
that some profits had gone unrelayed.

by Phil Huffy

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Phil Huffy had a long career doing something other than writing. He was quite surprised to find his work accepted in a variety of print and online publications and loves to Google himself. He scribbles away at his kitchen table in Rochester, NY, and much prefers those little saltines they make to the regular size.

19-7



King Kong Holds a Press Conference

Listen, I'm Mr. Big where I come from.
I show the reptiles I work with respect,
so I expect to get some back from them.
That's what you do to survive in the swamp.

I know that I'm not charm school material.
You might say my approach is too direct.
I guess these modern women types don't want
an ape like me to sweep them off their feet.

My lawyer says that anything we did
was consensual. I don't think the fact
I'm forty feet tall made any difference.
She didn't seem the type to scare easily.

I saw her bat those baby-blues at me.
I don't know why she called out the airplanes.

by Chris Bullard

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Chris Bullard lives in Philadelphia, PA. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Wilkes University. Finishing Line Press published his poetry chapbook, Leviathan, in 2016. Kattywompus Press published High Pulp, a collection of his flash fiction, in 2017. His work has appeared in publications such as 32 Poems, Green Mountains Review, Rattle, Pleiades, River Styx, and Nimrod.

19-6



The Frazzled Shepherd to His Overworked Nymph

Come live with me and be my love
And we'll pursue our dual careers.
For cars and meals, a roof above
Call for two paychecks now, my Dear.

Nights we'll watch TV together
(Too pooped from grinding ten hour days);
But we'll have cable, so the weather
We'll watch as on our couch we laze.

And I will make you meals at night
From over processed food I buy.
What say you to Tuna Delight?
Or maybe we'll have Shepherd's Pie.

And we will raise our son so fine
(With help from daycare personnel).
We'll read him tales when we have time
Before to bed we drag ourselves.

Our heat, our clothes, our car upkeep,
Our VISA bills and house payments—
Do pile up, week after week,
In debt so ripe, in savings stagnant.

So let us sport us (whoops! wrong poem;
And I'm too tired anyway)—
If these conditions sound okay
Then let us sleep, tomorrow's Monday.

by Matt Birkenhauer

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Matt Birkenhauer teaches English at Northern Kentucky University's Grant County Center, with an emphasis on Composition and Rhetoric. He lives in Ludlow, KY, with his wife and two sons. In his free time, he likes to read, write poetry, spoof politics and religion (TheSpoof.com), and spend time with Ann, his lovely Nymph of thirty-eight years.

19-5



The Love Song of Jay and Ally Ruefolk

 “Controllate che il laccio di plastica sia avvolto in modo
che la fibbia grande sia verso l'esterno. Se la fibbia e rivolta
in dentro, girate il laccio in senso opposto prima di inserire
la criniera del leone. (Fig. 7) del foglio di istruzioni incluso."

Let's get going now, okay?
While the car is warming up in the driveway
Like someone getting over bypass surgery.
C'mon, let's go, through certain orange-barreled roads
Before our reservations
Are canceled, and my deep-fried oysters, too.
Traffic that's just an impediment
Of no particular intent
Tweaks me with an overwhelming question,
"D'd'ya turn off the coffeemaker?"
"Oh, well, the babysitter'll see it."

In the rooms the children come and go
Eating their dripping tangelos.

The sulking kid who rubs his hot-dog on the TV screen,
And then adds catsup, smearing it on the TV screen,
Tongued the TV screen, for God knows why,
Then lost his balance, falling on his back;
Ran up screaming, made a sudden leap,
And seeing suddenly his older brother,
Curled once around his feet, and gently cooed.

Indeed, my Love, there will be time
For movie previews exploding on the screen.
There will be time for mixed clips full of love,
Or lack of love, crazed buses on the run,
Or cute kids' films, but mostly crappy pap
Churned out by Hollywood to fill our time.
There will be time, there will be time to record
The sitcoms that we later want to see.
Time for you, and time for me, but mostly
Time for those two so blessedly not here.

In the rooms the children come and go
Eating their dripping tangelos.

For we've endured them all already, known them all,
Endured the sleepless nights, the babies throwing spoons,
We have measured out our lives in Disney 'toons;
I see the gas gauge leaning toward the red
And lighting up the gas pump on my dash--
So should we now turn off?

And we have known the bill collectors, known them all,
The ones who pin you with their formulated phrases,
And when I'm formulated, sputt'ring on the phone,
When I am almost apoplectic on the phone,
Then how should I begin
To pay off all the creditors of our days and ways?
And should I even presume?

I should have been a high-priced Wall Street lawyer
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoons, the evenings pass so crazily!
Smeared by sticky fingers...
Awake... tired... but he malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should we, after changing his wet diaper,
Put him to bed and risk a temper tantrum?

No! I am not Mike Brady, nor was meant to be.
I’m an all right Dad, a help around the house,
Deferential, glad to bathe a baby,
Broke, unlike Mr. Brady and his bunch,
But at least meticulous (I have to be).
Full of good intentions, but a bit high strung,
Climbing a Sisyphean ladder
From the bottom rung.

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall eat my beanie weenie cold.

"Did we miss the Exit, Sweet?
Should we take another street?
We shall miss the previews, and search the darkened room."

"At least we won't have arrived too soon."

We're almost there, a little rushed, perhaps,
With that damn traffic, and rain, in sleety drops
That in this city never seem to stop.

We won't linger looking at the gaudy art
That leads us to our waiting, empty seats
Where teenage voices twitter, settling down.

by Matt Birkenhauer

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Matt Birkenhauer teaches English at Northern Kentucky University's Grant County Center, with an emphasis on Composition and Rhetoric. He lives in Ludlow, KY, with his wife and two sons. In his free time, he likes to read, write poetry, spoof politics and religion (TheSpoof.com), and spend time with Ann, his lovely Nymph of thirty-eight years.

19-4



ee coli

i carry you with me (i carry you
inside) i am never without you (anywhere
i go you go, my symbiote; and whatever feeds
you is my doing)
                          i fear
that here is the deepest secret a body knows
being more of you than cells i own, my microbiome
home to the root of the root
of a tree called life; which grows

I carry your DNA (i carry it in my gut)
and up my nose

by David Barber

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David Barber lives in Norfolk, England, a county considered to be a generation behind the times. This is a good thing. His ambition is to write

19-3



the king of clubs
trumped—
he throws his toys out of the playpen

by Robert Witmer

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Robert Witmer was born in the home of the Little League World Series, though he has resided in Tokyo, Japan, for the past 40 years. He is currently a semi-retired college professor and happy grandfather. He has published a book of haiku in English, Finding a Way, that promises to lead one through the seasons of our lives, with some chuckles along the way.

19-2



O Pizza! My Pizza!

O Pizza! my Pizza!  our fearful cooking's done,
The crust has weathered every turn, the sauce and cheese are one,
The table's near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While following the waiter's steps, the pie on high he's holding;
  But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
      Where on the floor my Pizza lies,
        Fallen cold and dead.


If I Can Stop One Pizza from Burning

If I can stop one pizza from burning,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can stop one life the waiting,
On a parlor line with hunger pains,
Or help one sliding mushroom
Unto the pie again,
I shall not live in vain.


by O'Neill Curatolo

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O'Neill Curatolo is a biophysicist who holds 36 US Patents. His most-recent thriller, titled Too Many Hats: Herbal Medicine and The Mob pits a scientific muckraker against herbal medicine con men. Curatolo also writes quirky non-fiction pieces about toxins for Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine. He lives a quiet life on the Connecticut shore.