One Quarantine Morning Before Spring, an abstract notion

by p.c. scearce

Simply an amazing selection to be as 
notations of thought,
of this skim 
along the surface, 
light faded up to 
darkness from 

and we turn into galaxies 
where solitudes are only left 
lasting to acknowledge them in 
this disappearance where 
we’re all just allowed to
wreak the solo tango.

To these times the early birds 
go on chattering 
and we are silence as
clocks too go where
each parts vowel 
to each piece verb
towards a pluck 
pick of constellations—
enter as twitters as matters 
of clause. 

So many birds, so the many 
species in their separated phonics,
We seem to their distinct

All we try to decipher before morning 
stops until what is left 
are just the few coatings,
catching us up as 
the past night’s gossip. 

To believe life still goes on alongside us 
so long now and all which is 
found there settles 
upon itself before
a solitary note’s sang is 
too sweet a tune 
riddled to itself—
as like our bedfast days 
at its own world but 
perplexed as does
that all’s become. 

It is true too, to find it in 
nestling flocks of birds 
found here, all of us
as clumped cramped
as heads swivel to 
everyone that’s 
a variable we cling 
to ourselves—
we define as our
orbits to go ‘round 
and around the circles 
spun to this.

We’ve left to disentangle 
each his or her very verse, 
and as if through time, 
if by shape it were what 
one would call them—
what forms as new now
a word, a world in shiny
newness to discover
just becoming to language—
mouth it out as just as
those same shapes we
leave to cling onto.

One of us could change it within itself. 
Listen to it. Feel it too. The proximity 
of letters astonishing as this seems,  
we are but exactly like words just
pressed down awhile awaiting.

p.c. scearce (aka Phillip Calvert Scearce) is the author of god in flight (2003, Poetblu Publications); his second collection of poems Among the Confessional Relics is forthcoming from Poetblu Publications in July 2020. His poems have appeared in HIV Here & Now: World AIDS DayScreen Door Review, Euantes, and Ember as well as two compilations from Averett College: The 1993 Poets, and The 1994 Poets, and in Super Stoked: An Anthology of Queer Poets from the Capturing Fire Slam & Summit edited by Regie Cabico (Capturing Fire Press), and LoveJets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman edited by Raymond Luczak (Square &Rebels Press). p.c. scearce is originally from South Central Virginia and currently resides in Washington, DC, with the permission of his two feline companions, Reneseme and Chance. Carolyn Monastra is a Brooklyn-based artist, activist and educator. Her recent projects, The Witness Tree and Divergence of Birds, focus on climate impacts on people, landscapes, and wildlife.


by Benjamin Schmitt

I want to be the perfect patient,
resolving disputes between doctors and nurses
by opening myself up so they can stuff
all their metal instruments
into me, creating a robotic rat

to fight Covid-19. I want
to be the perfect father and give in
to these terrorist demands
so the kids can use our home
as a military compound from which to launch
The Child Insurgency. I want to be
the perfect fan; get the same
haircut, read the same books,
admire the same paintings as my idol

so I can walk into a café
and wipe her fame off the back of my hand.
I want to be the perfect Christian.
Driving the fancy cars
that Jesus would have driven,
I’ll hang out with all the billionaires
whom Judas would have wanted to know,

praising with hands raised to mansions
in the sky. I want to be the perfect
American; to see in every reality TV star
the qualities of a great president,
to give all I’ve got to a shitty job
but to only ever look out for myself. 

Benjamin Schmitt is the author of three books, most recently Soundtrack to a Fleeting Masculinity. His poems have appeared in the Antioch ReviewHobart, Worcester Review, Columbia Review, Roanoke Review, and elsewhere. A co-founder of Pacifica Writers’ Workshop, he has also written articles for The Seattle Times and At The Inkwell. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children. Sulochana Mahe is an artist based in India’s former French outpost, Mahe. She dissolves herself day in, day out in social work, and art. Her work includes teaching painting to cancer patients, helping them overcome their sense of being doomed. She taught art to 150 prisoners at the Central Prison, Kannur, moving their minds to the softer sides of life. Teaching art to women at a care home in Thalassery gives her joy that colors can’t.  


by Judith Barrington

Some people think I’m overdoing it—
crip on a mobility scooter,
face like a bandit,
friends visited courtesy of the web
(which is how we must enjoy theatres,
concerts and anything else we grab
from out there in the virus-heavy world.)
In Zoom, our heads, like the rest of us,
shrink daily. But no—I am hardly overdoing it:

all my life I took risks, but now, old,
I make do with common sense,
no longer take chances—
not with emergency rooms where
I’ve spent oh-so-many hours; and not
with that heart-centered ward where
last year, my fisted organ bulged out—
something like a lobster pot—and its name,
“coronary,” smiled wide enough to swallow
up all the letters in the virus’ name.

Judith Barrington’s sixth collection, Long Love: New & Selected Poems came out from Salmon Poetry in 2018. Her poems have appeared in journals including Prairie Schooner, Americas Review, Kenyon Review, ZYZZVA, The American Voice and Poetry London. Her Lifesaving: A Memoir won the Lambda Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. She was a faculty member at the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s MFA Program and has taught for The Poetry School (UK), Stanford University, The Arvon Foundation, and programs across the US. She is co-founder of Soapstone Inc., an organization offering study groups on women writers in Portland, Oregon. Viswan Zorba is a stereo composing artist who burnt midnight oil in a Pune film studio for three years, before returning to Kerala to rediscover so many things including its weather and cuisine, alongside developing camaraderie with his father. The duo hit bumpy roads across Kerala in a beat up car, meeting people and filming his father’s meditation tutorials for a YouTube channel, thus exploring his interests in film-making.  

Two Poems

by Keri Smith

A Month of Boxed Wine

The dog is full of stinky anger
and so am I

and also a month of boxed wine
and seventy pasta meals

three times a day we growl at each other
taking turns facing off

you go run around the backyard
I’ll turn circles on the stoop

but at 5pm when the sun quiets down
we have our drinks and cheer

he curls up on the sofa, you curl up at my feet
only then are we allowed to dream

like snails wandering over our plants
they come slow and sticky

leaving their trails over us
in our empty glasses

peaceful for a time and glowing
until we wake up again growling

How Not to Pay Rent

I didn’t know it was possible to talk so long about eggs
every morning we plan out our days using them as a measure
meal to meal, style and taste
I’m sick of talking about frittatas. I want to talk about
how not to pay rent, how to get my health insurance back
how to look for work again, who’s hiring?
Desperation is starting to scratch at the backdoor like chickens
but sure, I’ll take mine this time with chorizo
and a little onion.

Keri Smith has her MFA in Poetry from the New School. Her first book of poems, Dragging Anchor, came out on Hanging Loose Press in 2018. Until the COVID shut down of NYC she worked in bars, and is still out of work for the foreseeable future. She is lately either at home in Brooklyn with her husband and chihuahua or joining her neighbors at protests. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.


by Hilary Sideris

My daughter cuts my damaged
ends in the garden behind

her father’s house, where per
his orders, I am not welcome—

he’s holed up far from the city
with his new fiancée, at least

this one seems nice, we say.
From a tiny bottle she sprays

Volumifique which his wife Kim
who died before the pandemic

paid fifty dollars for. Like Kim,
she says I have thin hair.

Hilary Sideris has recently published poems in The American Journal of Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Free State Review, Gravel, The Lake, Main Street Rag, Rhino, Salamander, and Southern Poetry Review. Her new book Animals in English, poems after Temple Grandin, is forthcoming from Dos Madres Press. Abhiram JM, based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, is an engineering student at Vimal Jyothi Engineering College, Kannur. Aside from his interest in painting, wall art, and pencil sketches, he calls himself an “indoor singer.” His kid sister Varada J M responds to it by putting her hands over her ears. When she began hovering over her paint box doing art work for Global Poemic, he couldn’t wait to pull out one from his cupboard. Now she demurely takes a sneak peek at what he’s doing.

Pre Covid-19

by Lisa Lynn Biggar

Before the storm
we found a quiet
New York: inside
St. Patrick’s lighting
candles for our grandmothers;
upon a bench in Central Park,
where we watched a stray
dog bounding for joy,
skyscrapers beyond so
majestic and still;
ensconced in
St. Thomas, where
the angelic voices of
a Boy’s Choir
held us mesmerized—
in the wonder of
the moment—
where, today,
I retreat in

Lisa Lynn Biggar received her MFA in Fiction from Vermont College and is currently completing a short story cycle set on the eastern shore of Maryland. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous literary journals including Main Street Rag, Bluestem Magazine, The Minnesota Review, Kentucky Review, The Delmarva Review and Superstition Review. She’s the fiction editor for Little Patuxent Review and co-owns and operates a cut flower farm on the eastern shore of Maryland with her husband and three cats. Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.

Score for Body as Durational Performance

by Willa Carroll

Take your time | to become mammal | first membrane | to last synapse | top predator | to big game | in a trophic cascade | weather the spiked crown | in hot spots | in epic centers | if we survive the season | find me in a yellow field | or a modern canyon | rub the velvet | from my horns | what does the soul call the tongue | red bridge | pet horse | wet instrument | sing to me from a distance | like a possessed bell | without a clapper | let us salute as sunflowers | salute across the crowded | room of a dream | we shed our black confetti | we touch as seeds touch | inside the body of a bird | fold your animal mind | with mine | mountain to mountain

Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal, Narrative, Tin House, The Slowdown, and elsewhere. A finalist for The Georgia Poetry Prize, she was the winner of Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest and Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize. Her video and multimedia work has been featured in Narrative Outloud, Interim, Writers Resist, and other venues. She lives in New York City. Sally Lelong is a visual storyteller working in a variety of media that lend themselves to use in a conceptual framework. She lives and works in New York, and routinely exhibits her work in a variety of settings from print to thematic installations to street art.

The House by the Shore

by Matthew Hunt

All day long we sensed the storm
That now is here with evening’s rise
I lie by the upstairs window
In a single bed with the old quilt
And watch the trees pulse
With that mysterious dark force.

I cannot see the lake,
But I hear it.

The waves lap gently in the cove
Despite the growing tempest.
The house, the quilt, the wind,
They smell of everything I once was,
A crowd of dreams and hope,
And ripe childhood that bursts into summer.

Now I am a man,
And live without fear,
But oh how the wind shakes me to the core.

Matthew Hunt is a burgeoning poet, outdoorsman, and a traveler of the world. He was born and raised in southern Georgia. He currently lives in Washington, DC, with is wife and children. Carolyn Monastra is a Brooklyn-based artist, activist and educator. Her recent projects, The Witness Tree and Divergence of Birds, focus on climate impacts on people, landscapes, and wildlife.

Let Us Ride Bikes

by Sarah Gorban 

It seems most days are forgotten once had



thrown to recycle among gritty outlines

that seem the norm, for what can I do

except ride a bike through Suburbia

gripping handlebars with white knuckles

holding onto the sun within a palm

moon placed on the tongue, to touch

and feel the constants that comfort

among hazy blurry outlines, shaded

beyond the outlines, to call our days

Sarah Gorban is a recent college graduate with a focus in Neuroscience and is pursuing a pharmacy education in North Carolina. Her work has been previously published through Trinity University, Dissonance Magazine, and is forthcoming at Orange Blush Zine. Sarah presently resides in Pennsylvania, among the greenery and farm land. She can be found usually on adventure walks, making oatmeal bowls, and searching to experience moments more subjectively. She’s also an enthusiastic adventurer, passionate about health and wellness, and a poet in the making.  Varada J.M is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.


by John Hicks

Chachoengsao Province, Thailand
Hot Season

Where the raised highway turns south,
goes on to Chonburi and beyond it to Pattaya,
where it lifts over a local canal,
a boy, knee-deep in a farm pond
washes a black water buffalo,
splashing its flanks with cupped hands. 
Beyond the boy, late morning sun reflects
on distant white walls and steep orange roof
of a Buddhist temple.  I have time, so I turn

onto the first gravel road running east,
hoping it will take me there.  I’m leaving
the clamor of the capital for the weekend,
heading to the beach. 

The temple sits on high ground
in a flooded surround of sky-dipped rice fields.  
It’s like a stand of pines

that rose above sagebrush and manzanita
in the mountains near Julian, north of San Diego.  
The lowest branches were above my head;
filtered light into sanctuary silence.  
Their scent shut out the world,
imprinted a mental refuge. 

Gilded finials, like antlers of mythical deer,
leap from the edges of the tiled roof.  
I park outside the grounds. 

On the southern horizon, B52s
lift from the runway at Sattahip,
motionless like small dark clouds. 

I leave my shoes on the steps.
It’s cool inside. Incense. 

In the quiet, I wait for my eyes to adjust. Sun
has warmed the sills of the tall, narrow windows
and laid a square of light on the floor beneath.    
In the middle of the open floor a large statue
of a seated Buddha is on a platform that raises it
to eye-level. A woman is praying, a lotus flower
between her palms, and a boy in his school uniform
applies a square of gold leaf to Buddha’s forehead. 

A bent, elderly woman, her sarong gray and blue-
patterned and tucked at the front in the old style,
encourages me with gestures to offer a prayer.  
So, I do—thinking of the pines; of how like this is.  
And I press half of a baht-square of gold leaf
onto Buddha’s right ear.  The other half

is sticking to the sweat of my finger curling
over the steering wheel as I drive away.  Last year,
the stand of pines burned up in a forest fire. 

John Hicks, an emerging poet, has been published or accepted for publication by South Florida Poetry Journal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Bangor Literary Journal, The Wild World, Two Cities Review, Blue Nib, Poetica Review, and others. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Nebraska, Omaha, and writes in the thin mountain air of northern New Mexico, USA. Carolyn Monastra is a Brooklyn-based artist, activist and educator. Her recent projects, The Witness Tree and Divergence of Birds, focus on climate impacts on people, landscapes, and wildlife. The photo shows the aftermath of a forest fire.