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Tipton Poetry Journal Editor’s Note Tipton Poetry Journal, located in the heartland of the Midwest, publishes quality poetry from Indiana and around the world. After 26 issues as a print journal, this is the first issue of our next incarnation as an online only journal. Many of our contributors and subscribers have told us how much they appreciate being able to hold our little journal in their hands. That is true for us at Brick Street Poetry as well. As much as we have enjoyed producing poetry in print over the last decade, our board of directors decided that we could not continue to absorb the financial cost at this time. Perhaps that may change some day in the future. In the meantime, we are very happy to produce the Tipton Poetry Journal online through its new home at ISSUU.COM.

Barry Harris, Editor Tipton Poetry Journal Cover photo, “Bicycles,” by Barry Harris Copyright 2015 by the Tipton Poetry Journal. All rights remain the exclusive property of the individual poets and may not be used without their permission. Tipton Poetry Journal is published by Brick Street Poetry Inc., a tax-exempt non-profit organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3). Brick Street Poetry Inc. publishes the Tipton Poetry Journal, hosts the monthly poetry series Poetry on Brick Street and sponsors other poetry-related events.


Contents George Kalamaras .............................................................................................................. 1 Ann Yu Huang ................................................................................................................... 2   Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas ........................................................................................... 3   David Ishaya Osu ............................................................................................................... 4   Mark Vogel ......................................................................................................................... 5   CL Bledsoe .......................................................................................................................... 6   Lowell Jaeger...................................................................................................................... 7   Rachel McGuinness ........................................................................................................... 8   Robert Tremmel .................................................................................................................. 9   Lisa Cheby ........................................................................................................................ 10   Timothy Pilgrim................................................................................................................ 12   Jerry Dreesen.................................................................................................................... 13   Dan Jacoby ....................................................................................................................... 14   Dan Jacoby ....................................................................................................................... 15   Jenny Irizary ..................................................................................................................... 16   Meegan Dolan .................................................................................................................. 18   Meegan Dolan .................................................................................................................. 18   Thomas Piekarski ............................................................................................................. 19   Douglas Nordfors ............................................................................................................. 20   Linda King ........................................................................................................................ 22   “Bad” Weslie Ecru ........................................................................................................... 22   Mary Couch ...................................................................................................................... 23   Ace Boggess ...................................................................................................................... 24   James Keane ..................................................................................................................... 25   Catherine Grossman ........................................................................................................ 26   Daniel James Sundahl ..................................................................................................... 26  


Colin Dodds ...................................................................................................................... 27 David Ritter ....................................................................................................................... 28   Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas ......................................................................................... 28   Donal Mahoney ................................................................................................................ 30   T.D. Richards.................................................................................................................... 31   Mark Mansfield ................................................................................................................ 32   Mitchell Untch .................................................................................................................. 33   Simon Perchik .................................................................................................................. 34   Brandon Marlon ............................................................................................................... 34   Martin Willitts Jr. ............................................................................................................. 36   Douglas Nordfors ............................................................................................................. 37   Mitchell Untch .................................................................................................................. 38   Erren Kelly........................................................................................................................ 40   James Owens .................................................................................................................... 41   R L Swihart ....................................................................................................................... 42   Marissa Coon Rose........................................................................................................... 43   Biographies ....................................................................................................................... 44  


Tipton Poetry Journal

Governor John Bricker Decorates Spot the Dog George Kalamaras Based on a photograph of the Governor, five-year-old Paul McCoy, and Spot, the beagle and black and tan coonhound mix, after Spot—who found the boy, lost twenty-four hours—barked until rescue came, Columbus, Ohio, April 28, 1944

Had they known there was not a common word between them, they might have balked. This chronicle now leads us from bloodlines of hounds in Arkansas all the road north to Cuyahoga Falls. It is a star indifferent to night. A five-pointed ache. The five-year-old boy still lost, even in the photo of his rescue from 1944. When I kick a stone, I give energy to the stone. When I pet a dog, the dog feeds me. Beagle and coonhound mix? This brief sketch of the biological foundations of fear recalls zebra fish making murky the ocean depths of our mouth. Bee-eaters have to deal with problems which zebra finches are spared. A dog barking for hours until help comes for the boy. A god barking, if letters were reversed. Myself barking, if my own words stung, backwards, the way down. Comely and coarse, they cannibalize the tongue. The Governor’s kindly gray is already inside the terrified boy. And he knows it, even at five. In the hairs inside his intestines. The dog’s saliva—blood inside the marrow of a favored bone. The photograph? An x-ray of how and why, and who we suffer and when. That’s why my mouth mixes words, is open, too, at this very instant. I can taste nobility in the stance of the hound’s grateful gaze. Chest out. Muzzle steady. Ears flat. It’s not every day true heroes are hailed. The almost-human posture of pride in a bark well done. When we kick a stone, we give energy to the sheep’s wool. Pull this over my eye, I might say to a pirate, handing him a slab of salt pork. He says Arr three times into the parrot’s mouth. And the parrot speaks back a breeze of words—the boy will one day become—of gratitude and oceandepth shame. Moray eels swimming the sea-bladder inside. Biting the dark. Just sitting there in a room, in Ohio—as the boy does—terrified for all the press of the world, in a slurry of snap and flash.

George Kalamaras is the current Poet Laureate of Indiana. George is the author of fourteen books of poetry, seven of which are full-length, including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Prize (2011). He is Professor of English at Indiana UniversityPurdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990. ≈

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Many Nights Ann Yu Huang You’ve shown me how the moon fades, Blink after blink, The moon ran after mauve, The emotions like goldfish in a pond. The pond washed its face, The finches followed. Though you lied to yourself, “Only it hasn’t been the moon!” And how she made it, I did not know. There was a pulse cascade That men and women in love Would be failing nonetheless. Until they engulfed both worlds, A docent in black Breaks down the morning bells, Or lends the rest to share.

Ann Yu Huang was born in China and moved to Mexico when she was a teen. She holds a Master’s degree in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently resides in Newport Beach, California. In 2012, Finishing Line Press published her first chapbook Love Rhythms, a collection reviewed and noted by Orange County Metro. Huang’s poetry has appeared in and EveryWritersResource.com, Burlesque Press Variety Show, Blue Fifth Review, The Harpoon Review and The Free Poet. Her book-length collection of poems, White Sails, is forthcoming this May in Cherry Grove Imprints by WordTech Communications. Visit www.byAnnHuang.com for more sample poems.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Angie’s Garden Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas I could say the room was yellow with a trace of gangrene, or how skilled I became at knotting strings to hospice gowns so the old man in room 203 couldn’t get sneak peeks as we paced corridors, wheeling IV’s, like her make-believe lover whose only mission was giving sustenance in a one-way relationship. I could say she annoyed me most of the time by barking my name with constant complaints about nagging nurses and Dixie-cup pills or Mary Poppins’s smiles. That no spoonful of sugar was helping the crisis, allaying fears of an old woman dying in blue slippers. I could say we pondered some last minute facts or the splendor of mountains with overrun trees as she stared through her window when daylight seeped in, despite the shade’s half shut position obstructing her view like a tempting sin. Yet what we discussed was the fate of her chickens who lived in the garden of her abandoned home, who seldom laid eggs but feathered the lawn and hid from the fox when left on their own and the unfortunate day they escaped from the pen, those ill-fated chickens, long since dead− so many things better unsaid. Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a seven-time Pushcart nominee and four-time nominated Best of the Net. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order newly released from Aldrich Press. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Mama taught me how to be blue David Ishaya Osu before I grew wings, mama had taught me how to use winds – to sing in harmonica, blues and to be blue myself. She had also shown me where Asia sits in the maps where black forms in the sky where in the pacific grove I could meet fellow butterflies to relate and share stories of how to be blue

David Ishaya Osu (b. 1991) is a Nigerian poet. His poems have appeared in literary publications such as: The New Black Magazine, Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, SALA (Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology) 2012, The Kalahari Review, Ann Arbor Review, SOFTBLOW POETRY Journal, Undertow Tanka Review, Helicon Magazine, Watershed Review, The Birmingham Arts Journal, and elsewhere. His poem is featured in the recently published A Thousand Voices Rising: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry. He is also a street photography enthusiast, and is currently polishing his debut poetry book.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

who then is responsible Mark Vogel The crow clan black and fit and unified visits in the late afternoon to watch/dance/fight in the willow over the pond like pushy kids in the park, their mocking call and too loud moves say We were here first, and we own this world while the still-strong sun through trees hammers clarity on a lingering blue-printed day. In this unseasonable warmth fall leaves drift in skittish play to where they will soon glue to frozen ground. The ridge war hits close Boom—Boom—Boom—Boom— the deer hunters waking the mountain while I am in the barn feeding hay to munching horses, throwing laying mash for the hens, and ducking at each blast waiting for maddened invaders to round the corner. No time to hide when approaching the pond, seeing the crows moving higher in a huff, for ten feet out in spring-fed water lies what they’ve spotted—a white-bellied trout as rigid submarine crashed into rocky bottom— while two living rainbows hover close, then dart like bullets as they sense my arrival. Time blinks, and overhead, the irritated crows caw, as if I own this decaying death. and exposed in the open, I stammer crude response, then start toward protection of the house as the darkening front crawls over rocks and the ancient mountain, like approaching winter knows I have wronged for not anticipating coming winds/ or not noticing the ragged dying, and preparing a proper burial/or even sensing ahead the possibility of decay. Mark Vogel has published poems in Poetry Midwest, English Journal, Cape Rock, Dark Sky, Cold Mountain Review, Broken Bridge Review and other journals. He is currently Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and directs the Appalachian Writing Project.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

John Wayne CL Bledsoe Maybe once a month, we’d rent a VCR, browse the fifty or so movies at Jack Ryan’s market, and bring home Missing in Action, The Magnificent Seven, anything by Mel Brooks, 80s comedies. Jack Ryan didn’t stock foreign movies or the kind that won awards; his customers preferred explosions and fart jokes and so did we. Dad got mad if we rewound or fast-forwarded because he thought they’d break; we tried to explain we’d get fined if we didn’t rewind. Boo would make popcorn on the stove; we’d watch the same movies over and over for the few days we had them, my brother and I reciting jokes to each other on the couch. Dad would sulk on his chair in the corner, pretending to read a book or do a crossword puzzle. “That ain’t real,” he’d say if we got sci-fi, but he never questioned John Wayne’s perfect aim.

CL Bledsoe's latest collection is Riceland. His latest novel is Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

God’s Country Lowell Jaeger A woman in Kansas orders a grilled sandwich and there in the melted cheddar appears the likeness of the Holy Mother — the humble shrouded form, the perfect sad face, revealed. Hard to swallow a miracle like that. Better smuggle it home in a to-go box to astound her husband who in turn carries Mother Mary to the airplane factory to impress his buddies on the assembly line, the most trusted of which sells all sorts of god’s oddities on ebay. And . . . lo, the cheese sandwich bids up to a hefty bag of shekels, twenty-eight thousand, cash from a Vegas profiteer who seals under glass the apparition — Our Lady of Good Hope — and spotlights her like a Picasso in a velvet draped casino. Meanwhile, I’ve clipped this news and pasted it on my fridge. A reminder how god has richly blessed America with such amazing cheese. As founding editor of Many Voices Press, Lowell Jaeger compiled New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from 11 Western states. His fifth collection of poems, How Quickly What’s Passing Goes Past, was published by Grayson Books in 2013. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Solitaire Rachel McGuinness Even when Papa forgot our names, he remembered how to play solitaire. From 8 until 5, with one break for lunch, he sat in his blue floral rocking chair, sturdy wooden TV table placed directly above white Velcro tennis shoes. Bonanza flickered in the background as he slowly shuffled cards, veined hands moving methodically back and forth, up and down. He adjusted his glasses, licked his right thumb and index finger and began to deal. One card facing toward the sky, the rest staring into the floor. Count to three and flip. Aces on top, black and red rows beneath. He could win five games on a good day, according to Grandma. Sitting in her matching rocking chair across the room, she hand stitched button holes into his dress shirts, quietly saying her evening prayers at 2 p.m. because she was too tired to pray at night; they sat rocking in tandem, separate in their togetherness.

Rachel McGuinness is a recent mechanical engineering graduate who has been working in the aerospace industry for two years and now lives in Indianapolis. The challenges and creativity of poetry have helped shape her as an engineer and have given her the ability to approach problems from a unique angle. A frequent winner of the Michigan Kent County Poetry contest, Rachel also won the Michigan River of Words contest and Toledo Museum of Art Ekphrastik writing contest. She has had poems published in Inscriptions Journal and Voices.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Oceola County Robert Tremmel By the time I was old enough to know what it was we no longer needed a chopping block in the yard or a block-and-tackle in the barn. We had no barn, no row of cottonwoods along the road, no machine shed, no hogs banging the feeder, no minnows in the stock tank, no gunny sacks for stray cats wandered in with the rain. By the time I was old enough to know why we no longer needed to cover furniture in a room where setting sun kaleidoscoped colors through leaded cuts of stained glass no longer needed a barrel of whiskey buried in the field, an owl head pistol, shotgun at the back door, or a dog with three legs and serious purpose sleeping under the steps.

Robert Tremmel lives and writes in Ankeny, Iowa. Recently, he’s published in Rattle, Off the Coast, Santa Fe Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, Hotel Amerika, Earth’s Daughters, Roanoke Review, The Fourth River, and others. He’s also published two collections and a Chapbook titled There is a Naked Man with Main Street Rag.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Joy in the Un/Making Lisa Cheby after Malachi 3:2

Squat and twist your torso, rest your right elbow on the outside of your left knee: the teacher says this will help the body wring out toxins like laundry scraped clean. The joy is not in the doing. And so we celebrate the possibility of being saved: wash down a Pink's hot dog with an old-fashioned, savor the baklava and the blue cheese, hula the belly dance, and carol on the edge of the Christmas tree lot. All these small morsels of goodness are too much for my body to endure. But of course, I do not want one thing to change. Really. Not the handstands to ward off winter colds that insist on sleep and sleep, like a baby from some birth more ancient than the remedy of chicken soup sipped beside my rainbow lit tree. Yes, this is enough joy for me: the predictable morning drive fueled by coffee, shade-grown in a country as far as the one where a journalist is abducted while I write about all this goodness, which I can only digest with the sharp exhale that surrenders to the inhale, which the yogis claim stokes agni, an unquenchable flame in the belly to burn off the residue of living (Jesus called it chaff): so refined, I forget the time and burn the Christmas stollen.

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Tipton Poetry Journal But soon we'll forget, redefine time and burn Christmases past with flames of agni to digest the too much of everything: how we fuel ourselves on predictable remedies like happy hours in dim lit bars to carry us beyond our joyless sleep foiled by that insistent cry, the cry you cry in child's pose, your own new age wake-up call from listlessness to ward off the cold loneliness of spring. It is easier to do handstands with the confidence of faith than the hope of perfection. And so I fail to invert my body of work; an arrested poet in Qatar gets life in prison. I fear my life in the pen will explode in ink and joy. So I pretend there is not one thing I want to change. But, really, isn't this the wrong assertion? Why not ask why this body can barely endure the morsels we named goodness: BBQ chops, schnapps on the rocks, touchdowns and peaches, rhumbas and choirs of flash mobs in hotel lobbies. Where is the glee in doing laundry, in wringing out toxins through sweat? Now, the teacher: hold the left elbow outside the right knee, press palm to palm, pray against the heart.

Lisa Cheby is a poet, educator, and librarian in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Antioch University, worked on the Board of Directors of the Valley Contemporary Poets, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation. Lisa’s poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, The Provo Orem Word, Askew, and Tidal Basin Review. Her first chapbook, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available through Dancing Girl Press. http://lisacheby.wordpress.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Reciting night sky Timothy Pilgrim Name one of the stars in Orion's belt. Clever responses to lover's test lodge in throat, no way to whisper wrongly, Penelope, Andromeda, Cassiopeia – even Mintaka, correct guess, stuck, proof of being no good at sky, only dippers, big, little, both holding nothing, empty as a midnight street, or a Sunday morning boast –"finished, week's most difficult crossword puzzle, again, with a bad hangover, in pen" – both dippers tipped back so hope runs out, flows along the curb toward dawn. Time to cross blacktop alone, count stars on the other side, faintest ones first, maybe find peace at eight hundred and five.

Timothy Pilgrim, associate professor emeritus of Western Washington University in Bellingham and a Pacific Northwest poet with over 250 acceptances by dozens of journals (such as Seattle Review, Windfall, Cirque and The Tipton Poetry Journal), is coauthor of Bellingham Poems (2014) and is included in Idaho's Poets: A Centennial Anthology (University of Idaho Press), Tribute to Orpheus II (Kearney Street Books), and Weathered Pages: The Poetry Pole (Blue Begonia Press).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Five Tankas Jerry Dreesen a heron stands at the water's edge waiting for fish we must break camp today or perhaps tomorrow two old friends swap war stories at the coffee shopmorning paper tells of another shooting snow bound day then night then day again red x's on the calendar mark my passing she asks are we still friends you haven’t written I say of course but the snow keeps falling twelve years retired -stopping by to see if they missed me the receptionist says may I help you, sir?

Jerry Dreesen writes haiku, tanka, haibun and other short form Japanese poetry on-line and in paper journals. He is a past haiga editor for Simply Haiku. Jerry has self published a haiku chapbook, Forgotten Promises, which is available from the author.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

buckaroo Dan Jacoby in the 1860’s men had meaningful gunfights not the fast draw kind no, they shot each other in bars, whore houses, alleys usually in the back west’s version of the drive by nothing changes guns now have magazines with more issues than the new Yorker fired quickly more effectively young men get killed still by guns with foreign names in the back, running away hands in the air, tickets punched bushwhacked

Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University. He has published poetry in Belle Rev Review, Black Heart Press, Canary, Chicago Literati, Clockwise Cat, Indiana Voice Journal, Haunted Waters Press, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, Red Fez and the Vehicle. He has work soon to be published in Bombay Gin, Dead Flowers, Floyd County Moonshine, Maudlin House, R.KV.R.Y, and theTishman Review. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

dead canary Dan Jacoby hard working this actor shows up everywhere wild eyed charisma everything a production worth watching like a canary in a coal mine irish call him a “mixer” alone in a bar for a moment soon philosophizing with regulars about shakespeare’s dealing with mortality in midsummers night dream covers punk rock or duke ellington came out of southie ex roadie for whalen jennings ran for office in college by throwing keg parties seems always running for mayor uses a rectal thermometer to check popularity level preserving the mantle of sanity never accepting that his ticket was never punched believes in his own karma rolling with it like an urban buddhist never taking his boot off the neck of life for fear that it will get up and walk away

Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University. He has published poetry in Belle Rev Review, Black Heart Press, Canary, Chicago Literati, Clockwise Cat, Indiana Voice Journal, Haunted Waters Press, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, Red Fez and the Vehicle. He has work soon to be published in Bombay Gin, Dead Flowers, Floyd County Moonshine, Maudlin House, R.KV.R.Y, and theTishman Review. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

More a Rodent Than a Lady Jenny Irizary What we have is a twig bowed to breaking a shiver under a thumb-worn blanket, the three romance novels on your desk would say I miss the graphite imbedded in your finger because you narrowly escaped the family curse that kills one of each pair of twins you used to point it out with the lead-less other fingers of the hand that you kept to yourself. The pencils you still insisted were best because their erasers are ears to nibble are missing but I don’t know what Each inky freckle ran so fast for anyway The pages were recycled along with the bookend cat’s chipped ear. Where do little things go? (regret after shredding a more organized person’s accordion files) I could have traced your eyebrows with the Sharpie you took to my left breast with intent of sketching a mole rat nipple made an excellent snout that sniffed when tickled whiskers lines a little too long and you were never one for impressionism in those photos of me mustached hair slicked lips parted for the afterwards pasta and parmesan because for the seventh time I forgot your lactose-intolerance and that time 16


Tipton Poetry Journal was one too many wrapped around your inward shoulders as you cupped one breast and one mole rat snout wanting my beta carotene synthetic hair to chew into spit marigolds down my neck as I ran a thread back to see how far your strokes went how many portfolios which art magazine subscriptions and who ran them could ever look like my relatives or just yours find a coherent opening calamari tissue under fishing wire avoid taking vitals especially in conversations with friends you said were mutual I mean you wouldn’t would you without asking first the mouth then another closing pink butterfly wings pinned broom never gets every strand never dyed red like mine so you can squint with your contacts out at night and see a woman more feminine than me because what’s more feminine than being fried curl by curl for one hundred bucks you could stencil in my eyebrows slit-arched and queenly but I was always more of a rodent than a lady.

Jenny Irizary grew up in a cabin in the woods along Northern California's Russian River, the only Swede-Rican for miles. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and an M.A. in literature from Mills College.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

With Child Meegan Dolan I’m with Child, old fashioned for I’m expecting Everything falls away, I’m the best rose in the bunch and more clever Than any Oxford Dux or Harvard Scholar Delicately endowed with this Duchene smile A dream followed by a dream till my heart laboured fruit Inflated I pass clouds lined silver blue Dancing to a lullaby I hear the Pitter-patter of you La gaiete' de Coeur

Toowoomba Meegan Dolan Strangers meet on the street at Queens Park, at dusk It was the Camphor Laurels who invited them in And the intelligent Kauri who smiled and winked.

Meegan Dolan is Australian and lives in Toowoomba, Queensland, which is a stunning mountain town inland from Brisbane. She works in Mental Health, currently studying for a Masters of Social Work, and will shortly undertake a practicum in Palliative Care. She reports that she is a proud Mum with a grown son who spends her spare time exploring the written word and getting out and about in nature. Her poem, “Monochrome,” was published in Ditch.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Destiny’s Child Thomas Piekarski Should life indeed be a journey the first thing I want to know is how it will and why it must conclude when and where it does. The motley brick and clapboard walls of canneries that once hugged craggy zig-zag Monterey shores crumbled, cratered as weary workers out of jobs were forced to flee, those buildings abandoned, the bay raped, cruelly fished to depletion. As recompense one must travel from whatever far foreign corner in order to reach Cannery Row’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Giants and Dodgers locking horns, Night’s negligee eclipsed by a stiff freon breeze, early September languorous, lilting, molted. The vital game on multiple screens at shadowy Joshua Cooper’s where a transient Saturday dining elite is immersed in subversive gossip. Poured neon bounces along busy-bee Ocean View Boulevard. At block’s end sleek darkness, aquarium locks clasped tight to all but nascent ghosts. A strictly incidental confluence calms, overtakes faux me indigenously entranced, hoarding my destiny. Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, Gertrude, The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Visitor Douglas Nordfors Come in, just throw your coat over there, have some tea, be careful, it’s hot. I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Take your coat off, and I’ll boil some water, soon, after my nerves have nearly died down. Because I don’t know where beauty lives, I see in your face an unoccupied house. No, that's wrong. No, that painting was painted by my father, before I was born. You’d rather die than leave? There’s no point in coming so far for no reason. I left you in the living room for a while, and here's your tea, be careful, your lips are beautifully cold, the weather got to them, the outside weather I can see in your eyes, in windows, living windows throughout my house. How did I get a cup of tea, too? Two I must have made, or you made one for me, somehow, when I wasn’t looking. How can that be? Are you content? I am. I mean I'm trying to be, thinking my own thoughts in the dim light of the strangeness of not knowing yours. 20


Tipton Poetry Journal On the surface we’re talking about things. I 'm waiting for you to ask me about the painting, and to say you find your tea to be as miraculous, though not as hot, as the sun. My house is a cosmos. “Yes and no,” you say when I ask you how you are. “What do you mean?” I say, and you say, “What do you mean what do you mean?” Now I feel wonderful because I’m confused now on the whole surface as well as below mine.

Douglas Nordfors received an MFA from The University of Virginia in 1991, and has published poems over the years in Quarterly West, The Iowa Review, The Seattle Review, Poet Lore, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and many others, and recently in several online journals, including The Monarch Review. He has published two books of poems, Auras (2008) and The Fate Motif (2013).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

use the blunt scissors Linda King the calling hour changes the atmosphere of this room without a legend nothing soothes this ragged narrative language stowed beneath the floorboards you try to outthink language the way that Heidegger crossed out being but the fabric of the real cannot be mended we are all paper-doll families two dimensional our folding tabs gone missing Linda King is the author of Dream Street Details and Reality Wayfarers both from Shoe Music Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and internationally Room CV2, The Toronto Quarterly, Existere, Lumina, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, Envoi, nth position....She lives and writes by the sea on The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

The Portrait of James Whitcomb Riley: 1903 by John Singer Sargent “Bad” Weslie Ecru James Whitcomb Riley's in a contemplative pose. He looks down, off, and tired. He holds his left hand up and over his right arm. He's wearing formal clothes, with glasses on his nose, perhaps becoming plump. He clasps a book in his right hand, his left arm rests upon the back of a dark brown chair, in a slump. His hairline is receding, he appears depressed, the neurosthenic alcoholic has achieved in Rhymes of Childhood, perhaps his very best; so Mark Twain thought, and for his own lost boyhood grieved. Here is no barefoot boy who has stubbed his big toe. The frost is on the punkin; and can't be retrieved. Bruce Wise is a creator of over 200 charichords (anagrammatic heteronyms). This poem is written by one of his charichords, “Bad” Weslie Ecru.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Encountering Buddha Mary Couch A stone within the velvet grass he sits, an ebony shadow beneath the sun gazing at the break of dawn. Mesmerized by the oneness of a monarch’s fluttering wings, hovering above a pink rosebud. His purr, a feathery whisper, echo of the morning breeze, does not dispel the silence. Mist from sea below assails his senses with its salty taste and aroma. For one brief moment he rises, stretches to relieve the kinks woven into his supple body. Finished, he wraps himself into a ball of silken fur to sleep, and contemplate his paws.

Mary Couch, an Administrative Assistant for Taylored Systems, Inc. a technology company in Noblesville, Indiana, learned the art of poetry from her mother, and two grandmothers who were storytellers and artists. She enjoys writing poems showing her Celtic heritage by revealing the spirits that live in nature and the oneness of the universe. Her poems have been published in Poetic Nature in the Hoosierland, Twin Muses: Art & Poetry, “An Evening with the Writing Muse, Polk Street Review, Encore, Pegasus, and with her mother published a collection of poetry called Two Views. She is the Premier Poet for the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Clowns Ace Boggess at funerals I think of the clowns in Hamlet plowing their soil for seeds that never grew not the angst-burnt beatnik to-being & not the drowning in a pool of illusions just those two hardy chums juggling their shovels & skulls telling morbid jokes to make me laugh with dread like the feel of a ghost in the theater I picture them afterward arm in arm singing a ribald drinking song while other uncast players pat their shoulders to smooth the sudden ripples there not familiar with their fear as death too whistles this uncertain tune

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). He is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn't anymore. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, RATTLE, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.

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Facebook Photo James Keane I don’t know what became of you and your life in the lifetime after we parted. But suddenly (through the miracle of Facebook) you’re a wife, relaxed on the arm of a chair, a cushion for the gracious smile your husband radiates at anyone out here. Your smile has narrowed to steel, a stare, a lifetime beyond the warmth of your eyes when they froze me, nearly threw me (cowering) over the edge in the dark as you stood in jest on the ledge of the bridge towering over Rock Creek Park.

James Keane resides in northern New Jersey with his wife and son and several merry pets. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature 100 years ago at Georgetown University. His poems have appeared recently in Contemporary American Voices (he was Featured Poet in the January 2015 issue), the Wilderness House Literary Review, and Blue Monday Review. In 2013, his first poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, was published by Finishing Line Press.

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Sonnet 1 Catherine Grossman I know how the adage goes— we lie in gutters, some look at stars, but clouds, thick, hang far below, a dropped ceiling, concealing an old glow. Night falls, trees darken, darker still the middle of it all, an active crater, white wisps of acrid steam cannot be seen—I’m on the rim, looking in. If no angel saves me, I’ll be among the little lights, once concealed, far above the human race, far above the winners and losers. I’ll be what they look up to— of use to those still here, a distant light no more than what was not enough for me. Catherine Grossman lives and writes in West Lafayette, Indiana.

In Late Winter, Mrs. Watanabi Feeds the Dancing Cranes Daniel James Sundahl Her husband watches from behind the drapes; Back straight in her heavy brown sweater, The flakes of grain winnow from her hands, The crane blessing her with health, psyche. Later she'll come in, snow on her hair. In her hand, she'll have a feather, smooth, Sleek, happy with a possession like that, In her heart, miming the dancing whiteness.

Daniel James Sundahl is Professor in English and American Studies at Hillsdale College where he has taught for thirty years.

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Lunch and Exodus Colin Dodds

I leave a beer to sweat by the window and with my foot, brush the day’s pants out of the doorway I have eaten jalapeno peppers pressed into raw meat and now I mutter to the bathmat which has become a window Every small act is a sacrament though we must pretend it is not if we are to midwife the proper monster who is the equal of the greatest dark Every soul must be reduced and hide inside its name Every art and every parcel of wisdom must collapse into its retail price And every father’s name must be undone in the desperate trading given rise under the suspicion that the Name is one we will not recognize This is the girding up of the loins for an uncertain journey Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than 180 publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman said of Dodds' work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com.

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Fresh Tracks David Ritter This escalator is closed for repairs, so Find some other means for your ascension. Once this mechanism has been put right, The escalator will carry us up. Until then, sit next to me on the train, My dear, and sleep a while. We will forgive you If you miss the color of the leaves, Or the setting of the sun, or the rising of the moon. If you love me while you are awake, Catch the rhythm of the tracks while you sleep, Between the day life and the night life, the spring and the fall. David Ritter is a writer living in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife and two children.

Little Known Secrets Whispered in the Wind Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas First, let’s get it straight, I never danced beneath the moonlight to the sound of boys weeping. I wasn’t as sensitive as everyone suspected and his guitar played eagerly to fingers where the pick could silence a broken heart with a loud ping to the eardrum. This was the way of girlishness back when stupidity was more than charming. I have kept a plethora of secrets mostly for my own selfishness. Untold stories held sacred between my mother and me— I’m sure there have been eavesdroppers

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Tipton Poetry Journal who'd hide behind a lie to spare the details. It’s easier to languish with a thimbleful of gin and it looks like lemonade to anyone besides an alcoholic. Hey, I’ve tried to share my superhuman side, but everything gets muddled up in translation. And even though a cape can be used to wing about the universe, just a single flip from back to front and it becomes an apron. No one said that chicken soup was the easiest way to save her yet something so basic offered a comforting for any malady immune to anything but affection. There was no one act of being brave that made my life more relevant, no moment where I stilled a flying bullet from entering another’s heart though some days my right hand had a hole right through the middle as if I tried to block a death but failed. Even now I’ve learned to stretch my body quietly around yours in hope of absorbing bad news before it beelines across the room. But If I told you, I'm certain you’d disapprove declaring this impossible, yet you are here and I have the scars to prove it. There are nights I lay awake to watch you breathe then count your breaths to fall asleep, because the thought of keeping you safe makes my whole life worthy, even more, if you’ve never known the difference.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a seven-time Pushcart nominee and four-time nominated Best of the Net. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order newly released from Aldrich Press. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com

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They Don’t Know I’m Listening Donal Mahoney So here I am, all decked out in a new suit from Brooks Brothers, haberdasher to corporate stars. My wife just got here, rattled. The kids have been here for hours, flying in for the occasion. My wife will make certain I look as spiffy as possible. The oldest boy just told her a neighbor has agreed to cut the grass, rake the leaves and shovel the snow, chores I performed for decades in return for a mug of coffee and wedge of pie. Now my wife is asking the undertaker to puff out my tie, something she did before I’d go to the office, armed with a thermos and brown paper bag.

Nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/

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Winter Silence T.D. Richards It was in the winter at Uncle Lief’s farm that I first heard the sound of silence. It was the winter that designed diminutive ice rinks by filling the John Deere steel wheel tracks with thin ice that gave way at slightest touch. The southwest wind whistled through the naked corn stalks that stood at attention like soldiers wearing scarves of snow and bearing the wounds of war. The ravens and varmints had scavenged leftovers and in the orchard, rabbit tracks ended with castoff apple cores. The wind wound down and all was quiet. Listening with intention, I heard the sound of silence. It rang with intensity until a crow cawed in the field and then was quickly snuffed out by the rewinding wind. In that moment, that I can still recall, silence tore off the wrapper of sound and enrapt me in serenity.

T. D. Richards has lived in Indiana most of his life pursuing careers as prison warden, college professor, and inner-city pastor. His poems are a way of sharing his observations from these perspectives as well as from his back yard.

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John Clare’s Dispassionate Reply Mark Mansfield We are especially interested in . . . written table-scraps left on the floors of lunatic asylums . . . . from The Poet’s Market

Clearly, you’ve not been by as of late. For some nutzoid reason, we have no writing implements now, not to mention the fact not a single sink in this place apparently owns a stopper. On a somewhat related note, we have all allowed our hair, as well as whiskers, nails, and what have you to have their way ever since the as-yet-to-be-adequately-explained removal of clippers, shears, and razors. As to floors and tables, the former took a powder some time ago. Typically, we now walk upon air, water, Thee Wylde Side, again, what have you— in a pinch cross the vaulted sky just past light’s windows pent. With regard to the latter, we’ve scrapped what we can for the after-hours whittling of voodoo dolls whilst erecting a Punch-and-Judy-size replica of Northampton General. Yours Ever in Art, I Am, Your Humble Servant,

JC

Mark Mansfield’s work has appeared in Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Magma, Salt Hill, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins. Currently, he lives in upstate New York where he teaches. .

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Arbutus Mitchell Untch The sky the same as the day before only I am changing shape under it, the way love and grief change you when it can no longer escape your body. Next door, the dog barks. He doesn’t understand why birds can fly. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. A screen door wheezes on its one good hinge, moans like a patient under anesthesia. Sometimes the world seems like that, a windy passage through a weary door. I pick up a book and begin reading Thomas Hardy: Jude in the dimness almost touches love. I read the book in High School. I don’t remember anything I read in High School. Some things are worth reworking. Seems back then I made choices that changed direction from day to day, kept falling in love over and over again, intoxicated, too much to know I was in love and too much not too. Uncertainty reaches out to everything. It’s been suggested that you can live your life over again if you choose, or at least parts of it, in your head, that you can start anywhere, but where? I lay Jude on the grass, clouds overhead, bright as the light in those classrooms, wonder what it is I would choose to relive, if anything. A breeze hammers the pages of adulteries, murders, heathers, the moors and their trails of sunken mirrors, confrontations between good & evil, between black & white. I pick up the book again but cannot find where I left off. Opened to whatever page the wind blows, I begin where it left. Wherever that is feels right. I think I would take math again. Mitchell Untch was a Pushcart Nominee; a Finalist for the C.P. Cavafy Award and Atlanta Review Poetry Contest and the 2015 Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award; a Semi-finalist for the Janet McCabe Poetry Prize and Paumonack Review Poetry Award. He has been published in Confrontation, Nimrod International, Natural Bridge, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pet Lore, North American Review, Owen Wister, Solo Novo, Glassworks, Knockout, Illuminations, and others. Mitchell lives in Los Angeles.

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* Simon Perchik It was first a parade and your heart facing forward, covered with medals flags and flowers huddled inside called up :this graveyard was built from the light that comes on foot and no longer moves, is dressed in the same uniform its dead wear though the small stones you leave have not yet fallen out the shoe with a hole in it, stay in place at attention, wait to go along bring grass, afternoons, begin to walk. Simon Perchik’s poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Aleppo Brandon Marlon This poem contains graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

Smoke eddies above the clamor of barrel bombs and ground fires ravaging historic bazaars and inns once the haunt of famed rulers. Scurrying residents, half-starved, withhold breath for fear of chlorine gas. Caked in dust, a bloodied toddler with shrapnel in his talus hobbles from rubble, tiptoeing past glass shards, toward shelter in the ribbed shadows of charred and pockmarked tenements, concrete skeletons suspended in death. 34


Tipton Poetry Journal

Screaming women slap themselves and trouble Allah with urgent whys as smoldering embers are nudged under drooping awnings and collapsed high-rises obscure an ancient citadel bereft of inheritors. The battle-scarred stealthily creep from burnt-out wreckage in time to spot an alarmed orange cat with white stripes pawing the carcass of an elderly man lying on his cane, face down in mud. Beyond the porous city limits, threadbare convoys snake into grudging neighbor states whose tent cities weekly swell, their traumatized denizens inert in the tedium of limbo. In First World living-rooms and international airport lounges, riveted viewers gasp with creased brows in utter disbelief, consumed by sheer dread, wondering of the feline’s fate. Brandon Marlon is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and novelist from Ottawa, Canada and received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry has been published in Streeteaters, Poetica, Yalla Journal, Jewish Tribune, The Bulletin, The Trinity Review, UC Review, The Deronda Review, Voices Israel, Bywords, The Steel Chisel, Calliope, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Bangalore Review, The London Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Poydras Review, Red Savina Review, and The Muse-An International Journal of Poetry, as well as being recorded for Israel National News radio. He has released two poetry volumes, Inspirations of Israel: Poetry for a Land and People (2008), followed by Judean Dreams (2009). www.brandonmarlon.com.

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At Five, I Learned the Purpose of Life Martin Willitts Jr. My first instinct was to chase the chickens. My grandfather stopped me from such foolishness by proceeding to kill one in front of me. This was how I learned the purpose of life. I learned death does not always shudder out. Blood was on me at an early age. When I was asked to summarize, I had no words for pleasure or gruesomeness. To this day, I still do not know what to say. So I said nothing, kept the silence as my only friend. What do you say to the purpose of death? I know I wanted to kill my grandfather that day. How do you speak of this anger? Not directly. And as they say, the chicken did not die right away, any more than my grandfather did years later when his heart no longer wanted the purpose of life.

Martin Willitts Jr won the International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award in Swansea, Wales (2014). He has 28 chapbooks and 7 full-length books including recently national award winner for Searching for What You Cannot See (Hiraeth Press, 2013), Before Anything, There Was Mystery (Flutter Press, 2014), and Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh's Illness (Aldrich Press, 2014).

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Exterior Interior Monologue Douglas Nordfors I'm walking alone around the center of town this evening, after, inside my house outside the center of town, a friend told me about her long-dead grandfather, a furniture maker. I must have imagined, as I listened, that out of kindness she offered me a piece of cloth that then lay on my outstretched palm, and then told me to make it into something new, after first holding it, growing old into its form already ending in death, and then I walked alone to the center of town, and here I am, walking around. I must have imagined that I was hungry, that I wanted to enter a nice restaurant with tablecloths I and her grandfather made. No, my mind, now that it has from her parted, can't in the same vein go on.

Douglas Nordfors received an MFA from The University of Virginia in 1991, and has published poems over the years in Quarterly West, The Iowa Review, The Seattle Review, Poet Lore, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and many others, and recently in several online journals, including The Monarch Review. He has published two books of poems, Auras (2008) and The Fate Motif (2013).

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A Conversation Mitchell Untch Early morning and only the two of us completely up. I tiptoe to the bathroom to shower, shave. Floorboards yawn, century old carpentries stretch. Lightbulbs with questionable circuitry flicker like winded candlesticks. It is a house stitched by hand, by ancestral industry, each stair less than the length of the average human foot. Outside, the billion year old sun bleats, remains unfazed by scripture or by functional obsolescence. Workers will be by later to do the annual bush hogging, pry loose the strangled-hold of the Johnson grass, all under the eyes of the inauspicious cows, the world’s sweet purveyors. I find a chair in the dayroom and rifle through the Evening Tribune. Already light begins to pummel the windows, filtered through the bright spectacles of Myrtles, expanding and contracting its morning net, being the size of your average country. A Wurlitzer leans against one wall. Sheet music with pictures of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald on the cover exude antediluvian smiles. Some time ago, the world exhausted their type of exuberant romance for biblical weariness. So it goes. In 2015, that I know who they are surprises me. That I know who they are makes me old at thirty. My Aunt enters with two coffee mugs. We warm our hands around them like you would warms your hands in a towel pulled from a dryer filled with hot laundry. I have something I want to show you she says. She sets her coffee mug down and unbuttons the pearl buttons of her nightgown. The collar falls open like wings, perhaps petals. This is where the doctor cut me open, she says. I look at her chest of white marble, the soft blue fog of her veins. Surgical glue dilates in zippered extractions. Stitched like well-tailored suits, they drape her from collarbone to collarbone, her skin stapled for security, ruts abruptly abbreviated, 38


Tipton Poetry Journal lined with flesh colored pillows the size of dinner mints. If she moves they move. If they tear, she tears. I had the doctor cut them both off, she says. At eighty four, what am I going to do with them? Remorsefulness is not a characteristic associated with her Midwestern upbringing, having buried a first husband, having buried a first son. She buttons up her blouse, now petals, now closed. Eastern daylight lays down Western shadows. Sunlight through the curtains searches for landings. Partially faded, you can see where the wallpaper is still beautiful. You can see where it is still a field. Two more years will follow, two more years of “Nothing” and “How about you?” will ring at one end of a telephone line that will connect the predicament of our distance, seal the end of our biographies.

Mitchell Untch was a Pushcart Nominee; a Finalist for the C.P. Cavafy Award and Atlanta Review Poetry Contest and the 2015 Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award; a Semi-finalist for the Janet McCabe Poetry Prize and Paumonack Review Poetry Award. He has been published in Confrontation, Nimrod International, Natural Bridge, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pet Lore, North American Review, Owen Wister, Solo Novo, Glassworks, Knockout, Illuminations, and others. Mitchell lives in Los Angeles.

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Coffeehouse Poem #15 Erren Kelly the lovely legs i envision wrapped around me as we talk politics my hand on her breast as we discuss the merits of shakespeare the buttocks i would caress and hold dear smooth as a candle instead of the short stories we'd swap my mouth on hers instead of discussing eliot

Erren Kelly is a Pushcart nominated poet from Portland, Oregon. Erren’s poems have been published in Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine(online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg and in anthologies such as Fertile Ground, and Beyond The Frontier. He is the author of the chapbook, Disturbing the Peace. His work can also been seen on Youtube under the "Gallery Cabaret� links. He received his B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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Late James Owens The man who has not spoken stalls on the edge of the bed. Evening thickens in the window. Drifting, he hears children's last shouts as they unmoor the park to float toward morning, and feels years ago the tide of sky courted over waves of sunlit grass, his life swaying in harbor at the end of a long stem anchored in silt. Tree branches outside dissolve into night’s black shipwreck. After an hour, he stands, turns on a lamp.

Two books of James Owens' poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, stories, translations, and photographs appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Superstition Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Cresset and The Stinging Fly. He lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario.

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Snow R L Swihart Henry lives where it doesn’t snow, but he grew up where it does. He can still remember the two feet on Easter when he was eight years old On the winter night in question, Henry awoke and stumbled to his desk, and in the urban half-dark wrote on the back of a gas bill: SHOVELING SNOW The job started when he returned to sleep: 1. I’ll start with the front steps, go down the drive to the mailbox, maybe make a path to the street 2. It’s Saturday, so we don’t need to go anywhere. I’ll postpone the whole driveway till after the deck and steps in the back. Because the dog has to go out. Because 3. Then the whole driveway. Then 4. Irene says she needs to get out because she still has some shopping to do. Switch 3. with 1. The dog can make do for now 5. More snow. Heavier than before. My footprints to the street are covered within minutes. Irene says she’ll postpone the shopping… On the following day, Henry stopped reading Camus (early essays) and started reading Plath (“unabridged” journals). He was delighted when he read: -- Today is the first of August. It is hot, steamy and wet. It is raining. I am tempted to write a poem. But I remember what it said on one rejection slip: After a heavy rainfall, poems titled RAIN pour in from across the nation. Henry mentally replaced RAIN with SNOW R L Swihart currently lives in Long Beach, California, and teaches high school mathematics in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various online and print journals, including Bateau, elimae, Rhino, Right Hand Pointing, 1110, and decomP. His first collection of poems, The Last Man, was published in 2012 by Desperanto Press. He is always plotting a return to the real or onlyimagined Italy (they’re both equally fantastic). .

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The Unemployment Officer Marissa Coon Rose Most poems would start off hating her frown, and the way her polyester blazer hosts that red ink stain like a dying supernova on her lapel, and how her midlife breasts heave like wet laundry onto her desktop when she leans in close to ask what you've tried, and for how long. But think of your answer on the timeline of her work-your mark affixed far beyond the first ten thousand answers, and not included the last-and in between lie resumes of machinists, draftsman, professional rewinders with legacies clouding like sea glass in the bottom of the deepest drawer of her laminate file cabinet. What have you tried? For how long? And you stand up at the end of an hour, briefcase clutched under your armpit and she will stamp your paperwork and wait; her next appointment straightening his Xerox in the lobby.

Marissa Coon Rose lives and writes in Muncie, Indiana.

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Editor Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and has published one poetry collection, Something At The Center. He lives in Brownsburg, Indiana and is retired from Eli Lilly and Company. His poetry has appeared in Silk Road Review, Saint Ann‘s Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, Night Train, Hiss Quarterly, Cherry Blossom Review, Flying Island, Lily, The Centrifugal Eye, Flutter Poetry Journal, Wheelhouse Magazine, Houston Literary Review, Snow Monkey, Fissure, Awaken Consciousness and Writers‘ Bloc. One of his poems is on display at the National Museum of Sport and another is painted on a barn in Boone County, Indiana as part of Brick Street Poetry‘s Word Hunger public art project. His poems are included in two anthologies: From the Edge of the Prairie and Twin Muses: Art and Poetry.

Biographies CL Bledsoe's latest collection is Riceland. His latest novel is Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter. Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). He is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn't anymore. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, RATTLE, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia. Lisa Cheby is a poet, educator, and librarian in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Antioch University, worked on the Board of Directors of the Valley Contemporary Poets, and is the poetry editor for Annotation Nation. Lisa’s poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, The Provo Orem Word, Askew, and Tidal Basin Review. Her first chapbook, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is available through Dancing Girl Press. http://lisacheby.wordpress.com Mary Couch, an Administrative Assistant for Taylored Systems, Inc. a technology company in Noblesville, Indiana, learned the art of poetry from her mother, and two grandmothers who were storytellers and artists. She enjoys writing poems showing her Celtic heritage by revealing the spirits that live in nature and the oneness of the universe. Her poems have been published in Poetic Nature in the Hoosierland, Twin Muses: Art & Poetry, “An Evening with the Writing Muse, Polk Street Review, Encore, Pegasus, and with her mother published a collection of poetry called Two Views. She is the Premier Poet for the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs. Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than 180 publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman said of Dodds' work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal Meegan Dolan is Australian and lives in Toowoomba, Queensland, which is a stunning mountain town inland from Brisbane. She works in Mental Health, currently studying for a Masters of Social Work, and will shortly undertake a practicum in Palliative Care. She reports that she is a proud Mum with a grown son who spends her spare time exploring the written word and getting out and about in nature. Her poem, “Monochrome,” was published in Ditch. Jerry Dreesen writes haiku, tanka, haibun and other short form Japanese poetry on-line and in paper journals. He is a past haiga editor for Simply Haiku. Jerry has self published a haiku chapbook, Forgotten Promises, which is available from the author. Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a seven-time Pushcart nominee and four-time nominated Best of the Net. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order newly released from Aldrich Press. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com Catherine Grossman lives and writes in West Lafayette, Indiana. Ann Yu Huang was born in China and moved to Mexico when she was a teen. She holds a Master’s degree in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently resides in Newport Beach, California. In 2012, Finishing Line Press published her first chapbook Love Rhythms, a collection reviewed and noted by Orange County Metro. Huang’s poetry has appeared in and EveryWritersResource.com, Burlesque Press Variety Show, Blue Fifth Review, The Harpoon Review and The Free Poet. Her book-length collection of poems, White Sails, is forthcoming this May in Cherry Grove Imprints by WordTech Communications. Visit www.byAnnHuang.com for more sample poems. Jenny Irizary grew up in a cabin in the woods along Northern California's Russian River, the only Swede-Rican for miles. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and an M.A. in literature from Mills College. Dan Jacoby is a graduate of St. Louis University. He has published poetry in Belle Rev Review, Black Heart Press, Canary, Chicago Literati, Clockwise Cat, Indiana Voice Journal, Haunted Waters Press, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Steel Toe Review, Red Fez and the Vehicle. He has work soon to be published in Bombay Gin, Dead Flowers, Floyd County Moonshine, Maudlin House, R.KV.R.Y, and theTishman Review. He is a member of the American Academy of Poets. As founding editor of Many Voices Press, Lowell Jaeger compiled New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from 11 Western states. His fifth collection of poems, How Quickly What’s Passing Goes Past, was published by Grayson Books in 2013. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse. George Kalamaras is the current Poet Laureate of Indiana. George is the author of fourteen books of poetry, seven of which are full-length, including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Prize (2011). He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

James Keane resides in northern New Jersey with his wife and son and several merry pets. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature 100 years ago at Georgetown University. His poems have appeared recently in Contemporary American Voices (he was Featured Poet in the January 2015 issue), the Wilderness House Literary Review, and Blue Monday Review. In 2013, his first poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, was published by Finishing Line Press. Erren Kelly is a Pushcart nominated poet from Portland, Oregon. Erren’s poems have been published in Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine(online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg and in anthologies such as Fertile Ground, and Beyond The Frontier. He is the author of the chapbook, Disturbing the Peace. His work can also been seen on Youtube under the "Gallery Cabaret” links. He received his B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Linda King is the author of Dream Street Details and Reality Wayfarers both from Shoe Music Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and internationally Room CV2, The Toronto Quarterly, Existere, Lumina, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, Envoi, nth position....She lives and writes by the sea on The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/ Mark Mansfield’s work has appeared in Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Magma, Salt Hill, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins. Currently, he lives in upstate New York where he teaches. Brandon Marlon is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and novelist from Ottawa, Canada and received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry has been published in Streeteaters, Poetica, Yalla Journal, Jewish Tribune, The Bulletin, The Trinity Review, UC Review, The Deronda Review, Voices Israel, Bywords, The Steel Chisel, Calliope, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Bangalore Review, The London Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Poydras Review, Red Savina Review, and The Muse-An International Journal of Poetry, as well as being recorded for Israel National News radio. He has released two poetry volumes, Inspirations of Israel: Poetry for a Land and People (2008), followed by Judean Dreams (2009). www.brandonmarlon.com. Rachel McGuinness is a recent mechanical engineering graduate who has been working in the aerospace industry for two years and now lives in Indianapolis. The challenges and creativity of poetry have helped shape her as an engineer and have given her the ability to approach problems from a unique angle. A frequent winner of the Michigan Kent County Poetry contest, Rachel also won the Michigan River of Words contest and Toledo Museum of Art Ekphrastik writing contest. She has had poems published in Inscriptions Journal and Voices. Douglas Nordfors received an MFA from The University of Virginia in 1991, and has published poems over the years in Quarterly West, The Iowa Review, The Seattle Review, Poet Lore, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and many others, and recently in several online journals, including The Monarch Review. He has published two books of poems, Auras (2008) and The Fate Motif (2013).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

David Ishaya Osu (b. 1991) is a Nigerian poet. His poems have appeared in literary publications such as: The New Black Magazine, Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka, SALA (Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology) 2012, The Kalahari Review, Ann Arbor Review, SOFTBLOW POETRY Journal, Undertow Tanka Review, Helicon Magazine, Watershed Review, The Birmingham Arts Journal, and elsewhere. His poem is featured in the recently published A Thousand Voices Rising: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry. He is also a street photography enthusiast, and is currently polishing his debut poetry book. Two books of James Owens' poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, stories, translations, and photographs appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Superstition Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The Cresset and The Stinging Fly. He lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario. Simon Perchik’s poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere. Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, Gertrude, The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California. Timothy Pilgrim, associate professor emeritus of Western Washington University in Bellingham and a Pacific Northwest poet with over 250 acceptances by dozens of journals (such as Seattle Review, Windfall, Cirque and The Tipton Poetry Journal), is co-author of Bellingham Poems (2014) and is included in Idaho's Poets: A Centennial Anthology (University of Idaho Press), Tribute to Orpheus II (Kearney Street Books), and Weathered Pages: The Poetry Pole (Blue Begonia Press). T. D. Richards has lived in Indiana most of his life pursuing careers as prison warden, college professor, and inner-city pastor. His poems are a way of sharing his observations from these perspectives as well as from his back yard. David Ritter is a writer living in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Marissa Coon Rose lives and writes in Muncie, Indiana. Daniel James Sundahl is Professor in English and American Studies at Hillsdale College where he has taught for thirty years. R L Swihart currently lives in Long Beach, California, and teaches high school mathematics in Los Angeles. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various online and print journals, including Bateau, elimae, Rhino, Right Hand Pointing, 1110, and decomP. His first collection of poems, The Last Man, was published in 2012 by Desperanto Press. He is always plotting a return to the real or only-imagined Italy (they’re both equally fantastic). Robert Tremmel lives and writes in Ankeny, Iowa. Recently, he’s published in Rattle, Off the Coast, Santa Fe Literary Review, Cold Mountain Review, Hotel Amerika, Earth’s Daughters,

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Tipton Poetry Journal Roanoke Review, The Fourth River, and others. He’s also published two collections and a Chapbook titled There is a Naked Man with Main Street Rag. Mitchell Untch was a Pushcart Nominee; a Finalist for the C.P. Cavafy Award and Atlanta Review Poetry Contest and the 2015 Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award; a Semi-finalist for the Janet McCabe Poetry Prize and Paumonack Review Poetry Award. He has been published in Confrontation, Nimrod International, Natural Bridge, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pet Lore, North American Review, Owen Wister, Solo Novo, Glassworks, Knockout, Illuminations, and others. Mitchell lives in Los Angeles. Mark Vogel has published poems in Poetry Midwest, English Journal, Cape Rock, Dark Sky, Cold Mountain Review, Broken Bridge Review and other journals. He is currently Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and directs the Appalachian Writing Project. Martin Willitts Jr won the International Dylan Thomas Poetry Award in Swansea, Wales (2014). He has 28 chapbooks and 7 full-length books including recently national award winner for Searching for What You Cannot See (Hiraeth Press, 2013), Before Anything, There Was Mystery (Flutter Press, 2014), and Irises, the Lightning Conductor For Van Gogh's Illness (Aldrich Press, 2014). Bruce Wise is a creator of over 200 charichords (anagrammatic heteronyms). The poem in this issue is written by one of his charichords, “Bad” Weslie Ecru.

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Profile for Tipton Poetry Journal

Tipton Poetry Journal - #27  

Spring 2015

Tipton Poetry Journal - #27  

Spring 2015

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