Wergle


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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 For more of her delightful and outdated angst, please visit pdxpurge.blogspot.com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.

19-1



Riding Down the Freeway Twenty Miles from Nowhere

Whose car this is I think I know:
The driver’s, with me fast in tow.
He pays no heed as I complain,
And ever on and on we go.

As we continue down the lane
Stuck in my car seat I remain,
Between my siblings I am set,
This darkest hour of my pain.

I stretch the seat’s restraints, and yet
No blessed freedom can I get.
I beg and moan and scream and weep.
This ride will never end, I bet.

Go forth, my curse: Bleepity-bleep!
This and all car rides you can keep!
There’s miles to go before I sleep.
Yes, miles to go—I’ll never sleep!

by Julian D. Woodruff

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Julian D. Woodruff writes from western NY, mainly for children, often about them, and every so often about their parents. He is interested in how, or if, youngsters grow into adulthood. His presence on social media may be tended to with the growth of fame and fortune.