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Tipton Poetry Journal


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. This issue features 58 poets from 39 of the United States and 6 other countries (Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, United Kingdom and Vietnam). Of these, there are 13 Pushcart nominees. There are 3 (or I suppose possibly more) poets writing under an assumed name, but only one who admits it publicly in a bio. Almost half (19) are making their first appearance in TPJ and at least one is published for the first time anywhere. 34 poets have graciously shared their photos while the other 24 remain just as graciously mysterious. So much for the math; I hope you enjoy the words as much as I did uncovering them for you.

Barry Harris, Editor Tipton Poetry Journal Cover photo, “Soar” by Wendy Krause Copyright 2016 by the Tipton Poetry Journal. All rights remain the exclusive property of the individual contributors 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.


Tipton Poetry Journal

Contents Dawn Schout .......................................................................1 James Owens ......................................................................2 Judith Skillman ..................................................................2 Dominique Wilson ..............................................................4 Tony Brewer .......................................................................5 Douglas G. Campbell ..........................................................6 Courtney Justus ..................................................................7 Brian Dickson .....................................................................8 Cheyenne Marco .................................................................8 Bruce McRae .....................................................................10 Gene Twaronite .................................................................11 John P. Kristofco ...............................................................12 Constance Brewer .............................................................13 Timothy Pilgrim................................................................14 Janet Reed .........................................................................15 Liz Dolan ...........................................................................16 Jennifer Lemming .............................................................17 Michael Salcman...............................................................18 Emory Jones .....................................................................19 Ashley Goulder .................................................................20 Matt Duggan .....................................................................21 Jo Barbara Taylor ............................................................22 Angelo Giambra................................................................23 David Ricchiute ................................................................24 Robert Joe Stout ...............................................................25


Tipton Poetry Journal Clinton Inman...................................................................26 Timothy Kercher ...............................................................27 Constance Brewer .............................................................28 Lori Widmer .....................................................................30 Tanya Pilumeli .................................................................30 Peggy Aylsworth...............................................................32 Timothy Kercher...............................................................32 Ayaz Pirani .......................................................................33 Rebecca Weigold...............................................................34 Martin Willitts Jr..............................................................36 Frank De Canio .................................................................37 Joe Bisicchia .....................................................................38 Jordan Nate ......................................................................39 Gretchen Meixner .............................................................40 Marianne Szlyk ................................................................40 Claire Oleson ....................................................................42 Al Rocheleau .....................................................................44 Dominic Alapat .................................................................45 Charles Tarlton.................................................................46 Allen Strous.......................................................................47 Alarie Tennille ..................................................................48 Trey Spencer.....................................................................50 Marianne Lyon .................................................................50 Clyde Kessler ....................................................................52 Catherine Swanson ...........................................................52 Lucy J. Madison................................................................54 Jack Moody.......................................................................56 Hussain Ahmed .................................................................57 Heikki Huotari..................................................................58


Tipton Poetry Journal Michael Keshigian ............................................................58 Melissa Cucu.....................................................................60 Lana Bella .........................................................................61 Joseph Kerschbaum..........................................................62 Fred C. Applebaum ...........................................................64 Poet Biographies...............................................................65


Tipton Poetry Journal

After Dawn Schout Maple tree dances in front of the window, helicopters whirling from waving limbs, like it’s desperate to tell me something. I keep reading. Birds by the feeder crash into the window, peck at sunflower seed shells in the dirt even though the feeder is full. White wildflowers grow where two tree stumps used to be. Gerbera daisies, thought dead and left nine months, not watered in a dark basement, bloom, brown leaves all around them. Pregnancy symptoms are gone, but sometimes I still feel like there’s life in my womb. Raised garden beds with wooden stakes look like graves. Dawn Schout’s debut poetry book, Wanderlust, was published in January 2015 by WordTech Editions. More than 75 of her poems have been published in national and international publications. She has won two poetry contests as well as the Academy of American Poets’ Free Verse Project and is a Best of the Net nominee. Dawn lives in Michigan.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Another Summer James Owens The first wild raspberry begins sour, then sweet. I close my eyes and search until I find the taste of your mouth hidden in the taste of the berry.

James Owens' most recent collection of poems is Mortalia from FutureCycle Press.. His poems, stories, translations, and photographs appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Superstition Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Connecticut River Review, Lime Hawk, and The Stinging Fly. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario.

Pain has no face, Judith Skillman No identity. I hardly know how to address it. Master or man? I take pills. I will the creature away with yoga, meditation. Sworn to secrecy by my secret compatriot, this fire in the spine, I trot along as if unperturbed as the hatchling spawns another. Anima equals terror, no sense can be made, no connection, between this three-toed dinosaur, its print in what once was quicksand, & a creature born from woman.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Doppelgänger Judith Skillman Double walker, ka of Helen used to mislead Paris of Troy, double goer that casts no shadows. Wraith, apparition, omen of impending death, your evil twin plants the sinister, you the loan-word, the Gothic myth, duality, story arc and here I find myself again, in that parallel universe where recognition finds no rest, no comfort from distress. Did Donne truly see his wife: with her hair hanging about her shoulders, and a dead child in her arms? Or was the account altered by his biographer? Does it matter, since time and place know no difference, as feelings are ignorant of the present. The father walks barefoot on asphalt in dream. Our immortal counterpart, when she comes, wafts perfume. There is no conversation, no attempt at cordiality. Ghostly fetch, trow who steals the healthy baby and replaces it with a stock—what imp is to be trusted? The Orkney fairies bear no reflection when they bend over the water. Not to see themselves, but to find the evil twins—omen of bad luck, sign of the impending.

Judith Skillman’s recent book is House of Burnt Offerings (Pleasure Boat Studio). Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, J Journal, Sewanee Review, Tampa Review, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. Awards include an Eric Mathieu King Fund grant from the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, and a ‘how to’: Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. Skillman has done collaborative translations from French, Portuguese, and Macedonian. She lives in Washington State. www.judithskillman.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal

How to Survive a Witch Dominique Wilson First you bathe her in flames alive, of course Jump her broom and make sure you break it Dream of genie and leave her green Pacify her jack ’hoe’ lanterns into purple pumpkin pie Sprinkle Pixie dust and pickle juice onto her shrunken heads Chop down her woods use the lumber to build a house then drop the house on top of her soul Impound her flying monkeys and zombies She may try to curse you so show her a new kind of voodoo until red doves and yellow locusts no longer occupies her focus Give her tenure at Hogwarts, and then fire her Hang a portrait of yourself over her magic mirror Bleach her black cat Impregnate her with 1.5 kids then leave her to take care of the Siamese twin She won’t go down without a hex unlike the mermaid, so replace her hexes with edible arrangements, Netflix, pines, cherry blossoms, and primrose Fill the air with silver incense to block out the stench of brimstone Replace her skin with denim and her eyes with buttons Turn her cave into septic trenches Feed her alligator eyeballs from the sewer and olives from the Oasis under the Nile Turn her grimoire into a sonnet Whisper the square root of a circle and the sum of triple 6’s in her ear, backwards of course Frack her when her eyes wander to wicker men Make her feel like there’s no place like home

Dominique Wilson’s work focuses on social problems. She uses colloquialisms, fairytales, and nursery rhymes to redefine race, gender and love. Her poems are abstract and purposely have ambiguous meanings. Pop culture is a huge inspiration for her poetry. Dominique lives in Maryland.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Trigger Warning Tony Brewer I was in a 3.5-star Double Tree unpacking my privilege. The whites were dingy from use but the male was holding up well, accustomed by now to manhandling by TSA and Jezebel. The symposium schedule was lined with booby traps but I was determined to get, you know, our money’s worth. To be honest, my uni expects results I am incapable of producing but we dance like breeders in a gay bar, it’s cool. I can lead or not. Part of the publication process is letting someone buy you drinks, or covering a round yourself maybe with intentions, maybe not. It’s cool. Seeming available, performing voodoo rites in between. Free range chickens of course, otherwise bleah. Look, social interaction is a bunch of theatre. We are a large ensemble cast that sucks at changing roles. I looked great practicing in the bathroom’s mirrored podium with hair dryer microphone, positively TED-ready. My bibliographies assiduously formatted. Ready to accept all major credit cards disguised as think tanks and I shall portray Tank Man, twin plastic bags of swag like ill-fitting manhole covers waffled flat upon Occupied streets. It has taken decades for a loaded canon to coalesce finally into a single-file column of overwhelming evidence. The steering fierce, and one drives while others work levers. I relentlessly get in the way, kind of. Look, I promise you this was in the stars. Good over evil and the oppressed rising up blah blah blah I got that last bit memorized all the way through the last slide. Not just some guy but Everyman, and holy shit this is going to kill. I wipe steam from the mirror post-shower sweaty with adrenaline. Yeah, there I am.

Tony Brewer is a poet, spoken word performer, screenwriter, and sound effects artist from Bloomington, Indiana. He is chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington and Executive Director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival, as well a member of the poetry performance troupe Reservoir Dogwoods and a regular reader for Anthology on WFIU Public Radio. He has three books of poetry: The Great American Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (Plan B Press, 2010), and Hot Type Cold Read (Chatter House Press, 2013).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Confederate Jasmine Douglas G. Campbell Confederate Jasmine climbs the rotted fenceposts. A grey fence lizard skitters rapidly across the hard cracks of the dirt yard. Flies buzz through the open windows of a motorless pickup truck that sits rusting. A slight puff of warm air stirs a fly from the ravels of the trucks upholstery and sways an amber daylily that sticks out from beneath the porch. A sparrow pecks at the pinestraw. The rocker on the unpainted porch creaks with an endless monotony; an old woman sits shelling peas for dinner. A cricket chirps, a leaky faucet drips, and a butterfly hovers above the daisies. The shadows of the power poles stretch across the dirt yard toward the house. In the kitchen at the back of the weathered house a man sits, stuffing rags into the mouths of bottles filled with gasoline.

David G. Campbell is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is the author of Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect (2002) and Parktails (2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals including Carcinogenic Poetry, Borderlands, RiverSedge, Rockhurst Review and In the Teeth of the Wind. His artwork is represented in collections such as The Portland Art Museum, Oregon State University, Ashforth Pacific, Inc. and George Fox University.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

What I really learned in Sociology Courtney Justus I found the seeds just before I found you with her, arms swinging from the same axis. Drying and crumpled like an old woman's wrinkles, a leaf bowing to no one but itself. I don't know how long I left them there, but I know how long you've been gone. There are days when I want nothing, but am given everything. The nothingness of your sleep among the emptiness of your music, chords fumbled full blast. I don't know when I stopped wanting those sounds, but I know silence will lie on our bed always. You always said the rain was beautiful, falling in sleek curtains around the library windows. I clutch my umbrella and wonder if Durkheim has more to say about rain than Jimmy Hendrix or John Lennon. You make love to her as it rains and the streets flood, tornado sirens worrying the horizon. I don't know why you make love to her while clouds churn in the sky, but now I know why you love the rain. Courtney Justus has published work in Eunoia Review, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, poems2go and The Trinity Review. She works for the newspaper The Trinitonian and is co-editor of The Trinity Review. Courtney lives in Texas.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Weight of a Line Brian Dickson today I draw my nakedness for the cartoonist kiss my line bring color nearer to divine Brian Dickson has published two chapbooks, Maybe This is How Tides Work (Finishing Line Press) and In a Heart’s Rut (High5 Press) and one poetry collection, All Points Radiant (Cherry Grove Editions). Currently he is still living in Denver, riding his bike, buses and the rails.

The Outdoor Code Cheyenne Marco Twelve pine boughs drenched in rain whip my back in the storm. I think, I will do my best. Watch as I score my touch from the earth until the only traces of me live in the pores of night crawlers. I will not burn the place where my feet have touched. Let my aloe flesh soothe the sores I have wrought. Consider how the salmon knows her stream And the frog his native song. I pretend to know the sky. What cannot be saved can be salvaged. Take what you need. Take it all back. Make the world whole with my bones.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Deadly Sins Cheyenne Marco Straw spun hair and glass worthy feet, you set me on a pedestal. Hold me too tight in your arms. You can only crush men with my body. Imagine me making and unmaking your bed. Cotton tangled in cotton over and over again. Yet, it is my fault when the egg cracks on the stove. Ask me to show my spine as I curl it around your finger. We’ll feast on my eardrums, my larynx, my appendix, because you’re hungry, and no one will see them. And when you’re finished, you will suck on my brainstem, hoping to steal the electric currents. You want them, but you won’t come over to get them. In a serpent’s tongue, you will ask me to bring them to you.

Cheyenne Marco grew up on a Minnesota poultry farm and finds inspiration for her writing in her rural upbringing. She teaches at the University of South Dakota, works on the South Dakota Review, does outreach for Friends of the Big Sioux River, and fantasizes about sleep. Her works have appeared in Lake Region Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Turk’s Head Review, and Prairie Winds.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Here and There Bruce McRae Here, life’s handiwork and idle rumblings, solar oscillations, quantum waves in suspected ether, the diminishing radius of what lies untouched, unseen. Here and there, strange truths spooled and pleated, making new mysteries from old water and fire, we ‘carbon-based hydrogen-eaters’ gulping at the sight of spooks and thought of spectres, asking big questions in the small hours – why are we? and what are we for? Here, the full spectrum of joy and inviolable grieving, filtered light trickling down from the cosmic overhang, a thin and wearisome light, bloodshot with endless journeying, spatiotemporal meanderings in a void sans frontiers, every proton a miracle of misunderstanding, all that strangeness and charm, the timeless spinning, wheel somersaulting inside of wheel, then turning for home, walking through the door and no one there to greet you, every atom in your ringing soul tarnished by the perfect vacuum.

Pushcart nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 900 poems published around the world. His first book, The So-Called Sonnets, is available via Silenced Press and Amazon. To see and hear more poems go to BruceMcRaePoetry on YouTube.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Message in a Body Gene Twaronite When the radiance of your face leaves me blank, when my bowels evacuate as they please, when words have no meaning, you will know it is time that I go. But if your time comes first, I will remember your wish— unlike mine— from the way you study so curiously the stranger before you, from the way you struggle to say what your mind can no longer think, from the way you stare resolutely at the future as if to stab it with your will to hold a place for you still. Gene Twaronite, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, is the author of two humorous juvenile novels: The Family That Wasn’t and My Vacation in Hell. His first poetry collection will be published by Aldrich Press in late 2016. Visit his website at http://www.thetwaronitezone.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Recollection John P. Kristofco Ohio boy recalls prior life he said that he remembered….. standing at the window one Chicago night, dying in the fire, Pamela before he came as Luke, life she left for him, words he learned from us, “when I was a girl in the city where I walked a lot, took the train…..” but then the track was gone, hidden in the fog from night to day, and he is left to wander like us all in space between the echoes and the lurid hand of dawn that calls him to the casement once again

John P. Kristofco, from Highland Heights, Ohio, is professor of English and the former dean of Wayne College in Orrville, Ohio. His poetry, short stories, and essay have appeared in over a hundred different publications, including: Folio, Cimarron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Rattle, Poem, and Sierra Nevada Review. He has published three collections of poetry: A Box of Stones, Apparitions, and The Fire in Our Eyes and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Pearl of Strings in Distant Waters Constance Brewer The lake is full to bursting, midnight water black as the inside of forever. Soft stars wet its pristine surface. The moon is a waxing crescent, full of secret promise. If I were brave enough to swim the deep water I would surface among her embracing arms, dove wings holding the last vestige of warmth from a remote sun. The wind rises, and galaxies rock on the waves. I dip my hand. Stars pass over me, liquid with grief from cosmic travails. Behind me a fire sends sparks to the sky, yearning upward. I long to dance in hot flames. Scattered raindrops pepper the surface and make holes in the cosmos. Were I a comet I would, too. The lake stretches before me, a faraway song. This is where the deer come to play, slipping from the shadows down to the shore. I feel their breath on the back of my neck. They know my dilemma. My longing to break free. A soft splash speaks of others nearby, come to the night’s edge to gaze at the starred waters, to swim beneath the moon’s arms and emerge on the other side, mouths wide in glittering hymn. Orion’s belt floats toward me, a loosened band. I dip my cup and drink the heavens.

Constance Brewer’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Harpur Palate, Dark Matter Literary Journal, The Linnet’s Wings, The Nassau Review, and in the New Poets of the American West anthology among other places. Constance is a co-editor for Gyroscope Review magazine, and is also the recipient of a 2016 Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship grant in poetry. Constance lives in Wyoming with a small but vocal herd of Welsh Corgis.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Dreaming on key Timothy Pilgrim Learn young to hoard, suck in air, don't breathe — lock, no release, midnight dreams conjured on cue, sleepless master of control. Not simple, like keagle, ten-second hold, gone from gold, in reverse, now clear, pee upstream, never mind Jung, Ganges, any leper's scream. Truth be told, hope's gone bad, turned fantasy — fake belief we foresee, dream on key, spot death, the cheat, card hidden up her lacy sleeve.

Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with over 300 published poems, and an associate professor emeritus at Western Washington University. He is author of Mapping water (Flying Trout Press, 2016) and co-author of Bellingham Poems (Flying Trout Press, 2014).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Wishful Thinking Janet Reed I don’t know, you said, where he learned this — this being brutal, mean like a dangerous dog emboldened by the first bubble of blood on its teeth. I was supposed to play outrage in our game of chess, a knight at work to protect the queen from a pawn gone rogue, overwrought in his tactical mission. Pictures of us in Pleasant Town, side-by-side at a ballpark, a shared high-five at the home team’s win, all of us happy together, the no-fault consolation you expected of me — or any of you centered in mother mode would do in this game you called to play, but no Photoshop magic or invisible ink could fix my over-exposed negatives. I pushed my fist in my mouth to keep my mind quiet. Outside a dog barked urgently against strangers in the night; inside my chihuahua returned its call — call and response repeated in the menace of silence that hung like humidity in thickened air before a tornado drops its blackened fury and gorges on low-hanging fruit . I don’t say the truth — that every day you cut guilt out of the cloth of our bodies, the threads of shame and anger stitched the seams of mismatched clothes we wore to school and especially church, shirts that tugged the tension of our Jekyll and Hyde world and frayed the denials in nightmares better left alone. I remember the filigreed prayers of cause and effect you made me recite at dinner, like bread cast on water and a child reared right so as not to go wrong, but I say nothing into the expectation of the moment and hope that the kindness of silence is sacrament enough for years of bad sewing and wishful thinking. Janet Reed earned a Master's degree in English Literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She currently teaches writing and literature at Crowder College in Missouri.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Rising Rugby Star Dies in a Slurry Pit

Liz Dolan Hillsborough, County Down, September 15, 2012 He must have thought it another bloody rough and tumble scrum, a bone crushing brawl heads bashing, the thud of bodies, skin burning, eyes mud-blinded arms and legs slipping through his fingers. Sin-binned. But he was on his farm. Sweet-scented breezes slipped down from Slievenamon. The Holsteins lowed in the upper pasture as twilight flooded his fields, a buzz saw snap from where he first played in Ballynahinch. And from my mother’s grassy-knolled farm where on summer nights a hundred couples quickstepped under a canopy like one wild whirlwind and I, spun by powerful men like him who radiated such heat, I thought they had sprung whole from loamy peat. Bejesus he must have said to himself. Holy shit.

Liz Dolan’s manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for a Pushcart, has been published by Cave Moon Press. Her first poetry collection, They Abide, nominated for The McGovern Prize (Ashland University) was published by March Street. An eight-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, Liz was a finalist for Best of the Net (2014). She won The Nassau Prize for Nonfiction (2011) and for fiction (2015). She has received fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and Martha’s Vineyard. Liz lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Blue Latency Jennifer Lemming I’m playing a record bought resale years ago, and Lady Day is singing “Do You Remember,” and her voice sounds scratchy, but mostly from playing the song, many times for many nights. I imagine her singing makes us friends, and she has shown up at my door, dark circles under eyes, agitated with tiredness. She has a gig tonight and the previous night and day, day and night, have been rough, I let her in as the record turns and in a sister-friendly way, I give her a hug. She has seen so much more than me, more than I’ll ever see. As the record revolves she takes a nap on the bed in the guest room that her song has made ready. After she awakens we eat the fried chicken, green beans, and biscuits I’ve fixed. We eat, sip hot tea, we talk of mother blues, and of man blues. As the last song on the record ends, I tell her not to worry about the dishes, and it was my pleasure. Assuring me that she’ll fix me right up, that I should come to the show to see her sing, we say goodbye. She leaves in her dress made from the night sky, and I try not notice how she glances in the mirror, placing a gardenia in her hair as she walks out the door.

Jennifer Lemming’s poems have been published in Ichabod’s Sketchbook, Poetry Garden, and in the Foothills Publishing anthology I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool. In 2004 she won 1st place for her poem “Lunatic” and 3rd place in 2010 for her poem “The Phoenix Empress”at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco. She considers lyrics to be just a breath away from poetry, and in winter of 2009 won 3rd place in the Jazz Beyond Jazz blog Blues lyrical poem contest for her poem “I got the I Can’t Sleep Baby Blues”. In 2004 “Sundown Pete” Kobal put music to her lyrics and recorded “Thunder Song” on his CD The Only Star, available from Driftwood Music. Her love of gardening, art, photography and hiking keep her busy in the Midwest, and the love of her time and place keeps her focused. She now lives in North Dakota.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

False Economy of Brevity Michael Salcman I quote the book’s biographical note in full: the author lives in Canada; what pseudo-mystery exists with her name emblazoned on the spine? Many have heard her lecture in ivy-covered halls, many more have read the laudatory reviews and followed her awards. Sometimes I think I’ve seen her in my mirror, in love with an erudite monster like herself, one who quotes her notes quiffed from a battlefield ancient even to Alexander. Though I question the passion she reserves for the Keatsian equation of truth and beauty, I envy how each line seems to grip the walls of armories, museums and astronomical observatories. O to write the same meandering line as she does without the obscurantist Latin, to write in tribute to a wife of fashion and file away each day as something extraordinary.

Michael Salcman, poet, physician and art historian, was chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum. Poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore and Ontario Review. Featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and All Things Considered, his work has received six nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Salcman is the author of The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises, 2007), nominated for The Poets' Prize; The Enemy of Good is Better (Orchises, 2011); and Poetry in Medicine (Persea Books, 2015), his anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors and diseases.His forthcoming collection, A Prague Spring, Before & After, won the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press. Special Lecturer in the Osher Institute at Towson University, Salcman is a poetry editor at The Baltimore Review and art editor for The Little Patuxent Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Blues Man Emory Jones His calloused fingers fret the chord The juke-joint crowd is hushed and still His song is beautiful reward. He plays it with such easy skill. The juke-joint crowd is hushed and still In reverence of the master’s touch. He plays his song with easy skill Yet no one ever gives as much. In reverence of the master’s touch They rock and sway to bluesy beat Yet no one ever gives as much When they swing up and on their feet. They rock and sway to bluesy beat He gives them everything he’s got When they swing up and on their feet They do him honor without a thought. He gives them everything he’s got His song is beautiful reward They do him honor without a thought As his calloused fingers fret the chord.

Dr. Emory D. Jones is an English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for four years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for two years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirtyfive years. He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society. He has over two hundred and thirty-five publishing credits including publication in such journals as Voices International, The White Rock Review, Free Xpressions Magazine, The Storyteller, Pasques Petals, The Pink Chameleon, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He is retired and lives in Iuka, Mississippi, with his wife, Glenda. He has two daughters and four grandchildren.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Crossing the Finish Line Ashley Goulder First having put my all my affairs in order, Checked the FB, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, Watched a few episodes of a show I don't know, Chatted with some "friends" I don't really need And placed my textbooks, papers, and pens in a row I start my homework; I waited till I was wiser, older. My coffee is strong, it fuels my brain Stirring my mind to some unknown path Already I am off topic, a slight digression. I am not thinking of functions of math Or the displaced workers of the Depression My thoughts have boarded another train. I look at the clock; half an hour has passed. I need a break - a chance to think A snack, I can't live on coffee alone Cookies and strawberry milk all pink I've convinced myself as I reach for a glass. Why does homework have such un-attraction? I love learning, that is true. I like hearing folks say I am smart. But there is something about when homework comes due What is missing in it? None but my heart. And thus, I find any excuse to serve as a distraction. So when invited out, I say "I've no plans; that sounds fine!" At this rate, I'll never cross that finish line.

Ashley Goulder teaches American and English literature at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

No one loves us like the Graveyards Matt Duggan A dark heart has captured Raqqa where only petrol blood-pools span the Euphrates river; lips were sealed like stitches weaved from the soul, truth would prevail beyond her death as she celebrated Eid in her pyjamas; No one loves us like the graveyards. They do not watch the stars Even though they stare deep into amber sky, Bumping into each other While walking the shopping aisles, Not for any religious purpose But for the drones and the missiles Webbed in skylines of this Syrian circus, No one loves us like the graveyards.

Matt Duggan won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 for his collection Dystopia 38.10. His poems have appeared in The Journal, Five 2 One, Apogee Magazine, Lunar Poetry Magazine, Section 8, Ink, Sweat,and Tears, A New Ulster, Ink,Sweat, and Tears, The Dawntreader, Inkapture, Yellow Chair Review, Illumen, The Jawline Review, Turbulence, Seventh Quarry, The Delinquent, Chimera, Dwang, Roundyhouse, The Cobalt Review, Carillon, Decanto plus many more. Matt lives in the United Kingdom.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Weeds Jo Barbara Taylor Chicory blooms at 6:23 on a sunrise red morning. Stick figure stalks capped with blueberry mops stand in irregular angles along country roads, dot ditches and pastures. Foliage, edible endive, graces a garden salad. Come evening, flowers fade to tired lilac then close to sleep in the indigo shadows of night. Chicory grows strong from deep roots in summer sun, witness to the worth of weeds.

Jo Barbara Taylor grew up in Indiana and now lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, magazines and anthologies. She leads poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and OLLI through Duke Continuing Education. She has published four chapbooks, the most recent, High Ground (Main Street Rag, 2013). Her full-length collection is How to Come and Go (Chatter House Press, 2016).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

My Brother’s Wife Angelo Giambra From room to room he wanders, from hallway, to kitchen, bedroom to living room. As if searching for some secret doorway, hidden passageway, from which she might emerge. We sometimes hear a stir, a clatter from the kitchen, the sound of water running, the shuffle of a footstep, and we look up in reflex. In another situation we might smile, but not here, not now. Someone says, “Food’s ready”, and a quiet sigh goes up as we shuffle to the table, sit and pick, at cold cuts, bread, a little this, a little that. But he’s not hungry, and we discover neither are we. We fuss over our plates, mumble pointless words while he politely nods and looks back to the door. And later, when we’ve said the necessary things, the “anything I can do’s”, the “I’ll call’s” and the “we’re always here’s”, we gather up our things and stumble toward the door. It is only then we realize the silence softly stirring behind the curtains has been quietly gathering strength, enveloping the house in its shroud, dark, deep, and deafeningly mute.

Angelo Giambra’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Ballard Street Poetry Journal and several other prominent journals. Angelo lives in Florida.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

the rest of the night David Ricchiute She arrives at my room, this grown-up child, my entry into life for a third time. Porcelain skin, grey-green eyes, and a fluent gait re-center the room to wherever her next step happens to fall. We talk—as her mother and I had done— of things I’d saved in the weeks gone by but of none of the things I held inside: clues her mother crocheted in verse, hunched by a table into the night, tethered to whatever took hold on the page, so frail from the wounds she thought she carried. You’re well? the child asks. Am now, I say. You’re loved, I say later. I am, she says. May I ask …, she begins—begins to ask— when Yes comes out before she can. Was there ever the rest of the night for her? Her gaze toward the window holds her still. She knows her mother had no rest from the force of the voices that came at night. She leaves in a while, a dreaded while, again in a way that will trouble me again if I watch from a window, this ethereal child, who for reasons she may not even know, sinks her shoulders inside of herself in a subtle but visibly transformative retraction. You know you do that, I could say next time, as I said to her all too silent mother, who would brood in a manner so abject and base that we, both of us, were helpless to speak. She does or doesn’t or can’t or won’t. There is no reading between the lines. There’s only children who draw the line.

David Ricchiute lives in Granger, Indiana. Poetry and fiction appear or are forthcoming in NOON, Poem, Tampa Review, North Atlantic Review, Interim, First Intensity, Red Rock Review, The Quarterly, and Tipton Poetry Journal #25, among others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Old Lumberman Describes the Mendocino Coast

Robert Joe Stout Winds blowing the way they have for millions of years, squid the size of elephants tangling anchor chains, rocks beaten, worn smooth by thunderous waves. Like it’s always been you want to say but it’s not. New ships. New cities. Airplanes. Cars. The rickety chutes at Greenwood rotting away. The Flavel down, Excelsior gone, Mary Olson sold and sent away. Steel-hullers hauling lumber now, a million board feet a trip. New faces on the loading docks, in the engine rooms, even in the bars and grocery stores. (Used to be you knew everyone in Samoa, Ft. Bragg, North Bend, want credit? Just sign by your name.) Now it’s a landsman’s game —pay so poor y’can’t get a hand to ship out anymore. The Svea barely seaworthy, the Celilo broke up and in for repairs, ol’ Peg-Leg Brandt barely able to walk, Hog Aleck still on the mend — and nobody new on their way. Nobody cares. Everything inland going by train not like the sea, the sky, the wind, where it stays the same dependable, like it’s been for millions of years. Robert Joe Stout is a journalist, novelist and poet. He has been active in human rights delegations and won awards for his work in caring for the aged in Mexico. His poetry books include A Perfect Throw (Aldrich Press, 2013) and Monkey Screams (FutureCycle Press, 2015). He currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Missing Mass of the Universe Clinton Inman They say that most of you is missing Perhaps even from your private places Something more than just an arm or leg And even deeper than your darkest spaces Researchers conclude as much as ninety percent Lost deduced from a long line of X’s and O’s But it takes no greater science to tell me That your muted mysteries no one knows As I too have peered down your opaque passages Have felt your fractal pulse dimensionless Have seen your eyes hidden in a veil of stars And knew that you are quite featureless Like staring at stars that cannot be seen directly As all your skies are blue from a distance only.

Clinton Inman is a retired school teacher, Renaissance painter, poet, and piano player, born in England, graduated from San Diego State in 1977, and now lives in Tampa Bay.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

glacier Timothy Kercher There’s a glacier in his head. It formed late summer, sometime close to your death. He can feel the stonecold radiate a sense of movement. He can feel the world usher in a brand new age—your absence carves out a valley inside him.

Timothy Kercher lived abroad from 2006 to 2012—four years in the country of Georgia and two in Ukraine—and has now moved back to his home in Dolores, Colorado. He continues to translate contemporary poetry from the Republic of Georgia. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries— Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His essays, poems, and translations have appeared a number of recent literary publications, including Music & Literature, Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Lunation Constance Brewer The moon is new, and hides its face. Stars cling to a concealed firmament. Distant galaxies send light to paint buds silver on spring trees, illuminating each with a faint glow. The rain has stopped. Hundreds of diamond drops ripple in the orchard, shimmer against the black curtain of midnight. My breath halos, and my footsteps creak and groan like crisp pleas of forgotten constellations. Just over the hill the horses bed down in the pasture, legs securely tucked beneath massive bodies. A buckskin stands tall and star-still, ears pricked, enormous eyes gathering light. I am the mote in his vision. I am breath exhaled in an explosive snort. I am a vague, misted promise of morning.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Trajectory Constance Brewer I think my hearing is flying south. Your sotto voce breaks like ocean waves against a far distant shore, a strayed meadowlark enthralled with its own solitary flute-song. Birds I’ve never met join the chorus to warble and splash gurgling through the remains of a hard rain in the bar ditch. Darkness pelts my head with all the subtlety of fish, and I glance up at the vulgar hiss of stars appearing in a blueblack sky as their call runs ragged fingers down the bow of my spine. Some say its music. I don’t want to be tuned to star frequency. I rummage madly through the cupboard, take up a pistol, aim and begin to shoot each prick of light. Bullets ping off Orion’s belt, drop into the neighbor’s pasture. One strikes a cow on the tailbone. Her mournful bellow cuts night to silence until once again shadow vibrates upwards to counterpoint your voice, rising and falling as background hymn to the hoot of an owl anticipating the hunt. Stars hurtle from the sky, groan, and cry havoc as they streak by. Out of bullets, I can only listen, fingers in my ears, as the brux of redemption chews through one hand, and then the other.

Constance Brewer’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Harpur Palate, Dark Matter Literary Journal, The Linnet’s Wings, The Nassau Review, and in the New Poets of the American West anthology among other places. Constance is a co-editor for Gyroscope Review magazine, and is also the recipient of a 2016 Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship grant in poetry. Constance lives in Wyoming with a small but vocal herd of Welsh Corgis.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Reminiscence Lori Widmer I think having Alzheimer’s is like returning to infancy, which gives me unfounded comfort. My grandmother hid Snicker’s bars under the afghan on the chair sitting in the August sun. She thought we were aliens. The TV Guide was her memory. Exquisite in her paranoia until her colors ran together and intensified then bled off her page until nothing but white surrounded her. She lost smile cry scream whimper of it until she just Was. Lost even the heartbreak, which we can’t escape.

Lori Widmer is a 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories and TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics. Lori lives in Pennsylvania and maintains a poetry blog at http://PoetUnderConstruction.com.

Script Tanya Pilumeli I write my name in Arabic, following the curve and black dot, readying myself to unlock the lacey fringe that folds into itself, back into the front. I like looking backwards towards the beginning like I can rewrite the past. In Mandarin I need to use a felt pen and hold it like an artist or my character looks forced, but if I pull it off my name looks wild yet structured, balanced without space between the words around it.

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Tipton Poetry Journal The first time I held a brush to paint my name in Kanji, I felt so at peace, just like the soft feathery strokes which pull downwards toward a clean white edge. But I have forgotten how to write those pictures now. Somehow the Cyrillic is the easiest since my name seems to fit into it. It’s also a going forward with just enough letters that are the same, to make it easy to remember until the end. And the tail of the last letter a mirror image in my own tongue. But what is my tongue? The letters rolling off it now seem foreign, placed there by someone else, used for shopping for oranges and thanking the mail lady. So quick and agile like a snake in its hole waiting to shed its skin and find the sun.

Tanya Pilumeli received her B.A. and M.A. in English from John Carroll University, and currently lives near Lake Erie in Geneva, Ohio with her Italian husband and three children where they run an Italian restaurant. Her poetry has appeared and won awards in The Blue Collar Review, Time of Singing, Wild Violet, and other journals. She was the first place winner in Time of Singing winter 2015. Her middle grade novel, The DragonFly Keeper, was a finalist for the 2008 Best Books Award.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Even on Thursday Peggy Aylsworth Who chopped down that cherry tree? And if he didn’t lie how does that make my life a joy forever? I like to pretend I know the truth, especially when the truth is beauty. Big Daddy bellows at Big Mama. Barbara Stanwyck engages Fred MacMurray to kill her husband. Lucien Freud distorts. Picasso turns the heads of women. Art, I’ve concluded, is the possibility that solves nothing. Your face brings me answers to questions I forget to ask. Peggy Aylsworth is a psychotherapist, living in Santa Monica, California. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies throughout the U.S. and around the world, including The Wallace Stevens Journal. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The sixth book of her poetry is soon to be published by Letters At 3 A.M. Press.

glacier Timothy Kercher There’s a glacier in his head. It formed late summer, sometime close to your death. He can feel the stonecold radiate a sense of movement. He can feel the world usher in a brand new age—your absence carves out a valley inside him. Timothy Kercher lived abroad from 2006 to 2012—four years in the country of Georgia and two in Ukraine—and has now moved back to his home in Dolores, Colorado. He continues to translate contemporary poetry from the Republic of Georgia. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries—Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His essays, poems, and translations have appeared a number of recent literary publications, including Music & Literature, Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

African Masks Ayaz Pirani As a kid I’d hate to lose my way to the drawers of Ornithology or African masks. I didn’t fancy the Mesa blankets and said no to all the Walks of Tears, of Fears, of Hunger. Best was to find myself in the Ice Cream Shop or Gift Shop, the white people’s diorama in which they do not disappear from the Earth. I still don’t like pinned butterflies and pieces of petrified forest you take home in your pockets. I don’t need to see the sunken treasure brought to dry land. It’s like if there’s a gem on the Queen of England’s crown that I know belongs to my bride, you won’t see me just reach out and take it.

Ayaz Pirani is an educator in Monterey, California and his degree is from Vermont College. His book, Happy You Are Here, was published in 2016 by The Word Works. .

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Inadvertent Catholic and The Intended Taoist Rebecca Weigold Crossing a Great Divide and exploring the dimensions of my Taoist lover will be the sacred pilgrimage of my earthly life. He goes by P'u, the Uncarved Block: he can be anything and everything with talisman in hand and summons on his enlightened lips. At times he abandons his genesis to practice as alias: your 9-1-1 my Bodhisattva in Emperor yellow neon jacket over white uniform dispatched with inexhaustible intent to rescue, delivering red silk ribbons to dress my wounds, lifting clay cup of Oolong cultivation to my unworthy lips, and bestowing Great Compassion to dispel my fears; your good hands my Tsai Shen Yeh black suit coat and tie insurance agent bearing check in pocket and gold ingot to replenish my liquidated bank accounts owing to acts of some unnamed god; your patron saint my plastered-to-my-dashboard metal Lao Tzu replacing the wooden Christopher subject to requests for the Tao-te Ching, guidance to cross tempestuous rivers, and ineffable direction to the Sacred Mountains; your leather backseat sinner diverting from the Quiet Way to ride his neighbor’s wife in fluid rhythmic ch'i; we join our essences of fire and water while my heart jumps mea culpa double-dutch like a plaid parochial girl at recess on pavement hot as steamed rice;

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Tipton Poetry Journal your penitentiary priest “Is God? Will pray� and robed in burlap and cotton obedience reads Psalm 23, giving benediction over my handcuffedwrists, sprinkling Northern Dipper absolution as my martyred soul prepares to burst forth like sweeping petals of lotus from sackcloth and ashes. But he always abandons his alias to return to Our Genesis: the Yang who opens my Yin to accept his world forging his sword in my ch'i channel; I am the stove from which his mantras rise-Devotions steeping harmonious with my Credos, the spritz of his Jing saturating me as water does wood. My every conscious moment with him is the gift of God to celebrate as holy and wholly. He is the iiiiinnnhaaaaale e x h a l e of my birthday wish, my Ru Yi: We are his Sheng and Ke. We are my Faith and Reason.

Rebecca Weigold's poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The Tishman Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Black River Review, Perceptions, and other publications. In 1987, she founded/published The Cincinnati Poets' Collective which featured the work of national and international writers for nearly a decade. Rebecca lives in Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of Roar Photography)

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Geyer's Onion (Allium geyeri) Martin Willitts Jr you do not cry when it is cut fresh although it reminds you of our stillborn it simmers & tears are not possible you have cried yourself raw already the flowers pink inner tips remind you of a baby's fingers closed tight the onion is white & pale as snuffles it is endangered this information causes a cascade a shower of onions tiny as a baby's coffin

Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, NY. He has been nominated for 15 Pushcarts and 12 Best of the Net Awards. He is the winner of 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks, plus 11 full-length collections including How to Be Silent�(FutureCycle Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in Blue Fifth Review, Kentucky Review, Perfume River Review, Bitter Oleander, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nine Mile Magazine, Comstock Review, Centrifugal Eye, Stone Canoe, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Coffee Klatch Frank De Canio Religions are like rumors promulgated by employees about the nature of their boss. Some say he lives in another country. Others that he’s an old man with a stickler for giving orders that he passes down through an intricate chain of command. Financiers say that he gave up the business he started a long time ago to his son who’s hip and more accessible than he is. Apparently he has less stringent concerns than his old man. A few say his company’s more or less run by a board of directors and that no one’s specifically in charge. Still others believe the boss disguises himself as a lowly clerk who patiently brooks being pushed about just to gauge the merits of each of his employees. In this way he’ll decide who gets promoted and who’ll get the pink slip. Finally there are those who believe he’s black or even a woman, mocking the prejudiced minds of his workers. Be it as it may, since no one knows for sure, it’s best we do our jobs with respect and diligence.

Frank De Canio was born & bred in New Jersey, works in New York. He loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Dory Previn, Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. He likes Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsburg, and Sylvia Plath as poets.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Ho' oponopono Joe Bisicchia We sit and try to talk. Paradise is down the hall, far beyond the exit door. Pineapple had traveled all the way, all the way here. I’d rather travel to it. Hawaii. Rather outside sit. See the sea, and feel the mist. But then again, everything’s so close. I can feel it. Close as Kansas City to here. Close as Kansas to Missouri. So much missed being so far from you. And we share it from a dish. And the illness of my heart hurts all of me but we smile somehow over the pineapple. I forget the reasons I tried to stop loving you. Because I’ve never stopped. Maybe forgiveness is my start healing all of me. And divided islands cluster sliver by segment, by carved wedge, piece by peace. Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared spiritual dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, his works have appeared in Sheepshead Review, Balloons Lit. Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Black Heart Magazine, Dark Matter Journal, Poets Collectives Anthologies and others. The current public affairs professional in New Jersey is a former award winning television host who also taught high school English. Website: www.widewide.world; Twitter: https://twitter.com/theb_line.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Front Porch Religion Jordan Nate All one needs is no time – no place, A ladder-back wooden chair, preferably passed down, With arm rests on either side, And rocker-arm bottom– One that knows the sound Of corn husking, Green bean snapping, And a fall harvest To sit over and listen to the world Underneath both still feet. The chair needs to sing, though, As it swaggers front to back, back to front. Maybe a Western beans and sage song Or a sorghum syrup and swamp song, Something with brevity, really, But from the heart, A song spoken like the written word, Something that the soul has learned Verse by verse, lesson by lesson. And one needs scriptures, too. Some dog-eared, tongue spoken Set of lines, a spyglass That sails the present Into the icy North wind of the future. And one must study the world drifting in like a log Underfoot, – wave by wave, Sitting on pews, Glassing over ships at sea.

Jordan Nate is a former United States Marine, a current husband of 8 years, and is attending Brigham Young University - Idaho, preparing to apply for MFA creative writing programs in the fall of 2016. Jordan lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho and has been published in Merrimack Review and Outlet.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Against the Grain Gretchen Meixner I often go against the grain Trembling, baldheaded with fear Finding safety in wide circles Wanting a name other than Other Trembling, baldheaded with fear I sometimes ask for melting tools Wanting a name other than Other How can I stay in one piece? I sometimes ask for melting tools I want to scald the earth How can I stay in one piece? My self and self are not a whole. I want to scald the earth Someone will give a name to ruin My self and self are not a whole Yet we function immaculately Someone will give a name to ruin Finding safety in wide circles Yet we function immaculately I often go against the grain. Gretchen Meixner has an English Literature degree from Emmanuel College. Gretchen, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, enjoys travel, books, and cats. At her job, she writes policy and guides; at home, she writes poems and short stories.

When Words Are Stones Marianne Szlyk Standing at the edge of the river, she looks out at the caramel flood, its thick, sweet color swelling over where the stones were last summer. She remembers

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Tipton Poetry Journal seeing them for the first time, noticing how bright the river was, how many stones gathered around the stream like words she could speak here with new friends in this city, not her own. Choosing a stone, feeling its dryness, its heat, she considered whether to throw it or to bring it to her room. Today all stones are drowned in dirty water. Today she has spoken to no one. The river smells of mud, of drowned, lost animals caught in the sudden rush without branches to cling to. A leafless tree stands aloof, branches out of reach from water that laps at its roots. This tree has survived each year’s weather. She turns away, knowing that the stones will return, that words will, too. Tomorrow she returns here whether the flood rises or retreats. Next spring she will watch it drag the tree and its branches through caramel waters. Today she returns home.

Marianne Szlyk is a professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and editor of The Song Is... Recently, she published her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, with Flutter Press. Her first (Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven) was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her poems have appeared in Long Exposure, ken*again, Of/with, bird's thumb, Cacti Fur, Contemporary American Voices, Jellyfish Whispers, Eunoia Review, Poppy Road Review, Yellow Chair Review, and other online and print venues including Kind of a Hurricane Press' anthologies. Her poem "At Bonaventure Cemetery" was nominated for a Pushcart, and she was also September poet of the month at Quill and Parchment.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

How to Take a Radial Pulse Claire Oleson maybe this has been one of those nights that I’ll come back to later to outline in crayon and label softly, drawing looks out from the eyes like water from a well. well, all days have sore ribs, burnt nerves, places which go tender under threat but this one feels like something particularly loose and abused enough already, something which will just go to heaven if it’s ever touched again. there is something memorable about hours way too made of blood to ever bleed. it’s not going to hurt to put fingers on this: the dim around the pizza box around the carpet around the working anatomies around the exactly seven kidneys. it’s not going to hurt it’s just going to all come back in through the palm, one pressure at a time, working just like the un-music a heart makes to keep a head. Claire Oleson is a writer and student currently absorbing her undergraduate studies in English and Creative Writing at Kenyon College in Ohio. Claire is a prose reader for Persephone’s Daughters and an editorial assistant for Siblíní Art and Literature Journal. Fiction has been published in Siblíní Art and Literature Journal, the University of Kentucky’s graduate literary journal Limestone, and HIKA literary journal. Her poetry has been published by Potluck Magazine and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal. Claire was also nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize by Limestone Journal.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Take on Mortality John Garmon Now I fight the wild thrombosis With Whitman whispering in my ear “It isn’t far, the drums are drumming The cannon fire is coming near.” The clot within the blood is growing Throwing dice inside my veins Poisons’ planted seeds need culling As wheat might be on sunny plains Mockingbirds are clustering thickly In the blood of wilderness Grackles in the windbreaks clinging In places sparrows once found rest Exploding jolts of implications Crash through nights in darkening flood In dreams growing nightmare blossoms Pretending they’re misunderstood

John Garmon is a 76 year old poet serving as a writing assistant at the College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas. His poems and stories have been in Ploughshares, Tipton Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Commonweal, Radius, The Oregonian, Southern Poetry Review, and many other places He is a former president of Berkeley City College.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Double in a Diner, Afternoon Al Rocheleau Don’t look now. I’ve seen you often, lingering along lifetimes, one of us, in turnstiles of the old stadium only to be lost with a bat-crack and the dissembling crowd or last on a passing lorry at the fall of Saigon and once, just once when we were children, that was you, that was me, and though we tried not to see, we knew. A mirror mirrors us; we are more than synonyms, than sameness, down to an aquiline nose, a smile, the buzz of others’ daft and dearest blather— “you’d never believe, it was you, I mean you as I live and breathe and I kick my dog, it’s true!” We avoid the felled dominoes of commingled eyes as if spies who could feign no subtle signal, save the comfort of peripheral view. But I wonder, as always about you, about dullness and despair, clinging to a knife-edge, precipitous longing, the momentary moments of truth— did you laugh at every enemy who bested your best or could you, unlike me, best them too? You leave by the side-door; I order stew.

Al Rocheleau’s work has appeared in more than sixty publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Confrontation, Illuminations, Potomac Review, Van Gogh’s Ear, Evansville Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Nedge, Pig Iron, Outerbridge, Pennsylvania English, Nebo, Slant, Sahara, Revelry, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Poetry Salzburg Review. In 2004, he received the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize, offered by the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers’ Association. His manual, On Writing Poetry: For Poets Made as Well as Born, was published by Shantih Press in 2010. In 2012, he launched the Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Seminars, a 180-hour, 30-seminar program available to private students of all ages. The program also offers scholarships to secondary level students, and it is accredited by the Florida State Poets Association. Al lives in Orlando, Florida.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Branches Dominic Alapat flare like an open palm lifting me into the lap of the breeze the azan from the mosque is the sky caressing my heart long cool notes become the silence of the universe’s dawn and now the cocks crow in relay a clear cacophony of joy as I fall through the leaves of the pine trees spread out like a net of smoke turning into a big black langur and I feel more than thousands of years old falling into my armchair and when I go back from the balcony into my room here at the homestay to take a leak later I look at my face in the mirror I look at my face under the blue woolen cap I look at it for more than usual first there is only my mother’s profile then I get a glimpse of my father’s face my own face I find it takes such a long time to see. [This poem was first published in Alapat’s book, The Branches] Dominic Alapat is the author of New and Selected Poems published on amazon.com in 2016. His earlier books of poetry include Reeling (2012), Circling the Sky (2013) and The Branches (2015), all published on lulu.com. Alapat’s poems have appeared in Nthposition, Kavya Bharati, Nether and Big Bridge. He blogs at woodsmoke.wordpress.com and dominicalapat.wordpress.com. Alapat lives in Mumbai, India, where he is a freelance writer and editor.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

You’re Surprised? Charles Tarlton Talking about numerical accidents and tears Just when you were looking the other way a train This was the longest day of anybody’s life waiting My blood tests came back positive so it goes

Charles Tarlton has been writing poetry and short fiction since 2008. His work has appeared in Review Americana, Tipton Poetry Journal, Abramelin, Blue and Yellow Dog, Shot Glass, Red Booth Review, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. He has an e-chapbook in the 2River series entitled La Vida de Piedra y de Palabra;; an extended historical tanka-prose poem, “Five Episodes in the Navajo Degradation,” in Lacuna, and “The Turn of Art,” a poeticaldramatic scene between Picasso and Matisse, in Fiction International. Muse-Pie Press nominated poems from Shot Glass Journal for the Pushcart Prize and he will be a Muse-Pie Press featured poet in the upcoming year. Tarlton lives in Massachusetts.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Snow on the Mountain Allen Strous Flowers drawing of flowers of no kinds that ever bloomed anywhere but here on the endpapers of the receipt book. In the book is a recipe for a pudding called Snow on the Mountain. And there is a garden plant, white-edged green leaves called Snow on the Mountain. Log Cabin Wild Goose Chase the names of everyday things

Wedding Ring

but they had never seen snow on a mountain and the walks at Galilee, conscious of that cloud, the cloud growing conscious for them, clouded, no clear picture.

Allen Strous lives in Circleville, Ohio, and is the author of Tired (The Backwaters Press), and one of the authors of The Fifth Voice (Toadlily Press). His poems have most recently appeared in The Cortland Review, Illya's Honey, and Calamaro Magazine.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Time Travel Alarie Tennille I open the book to 1942, transported by vintage smell to the year the library bound it. It wears sweet musk blended from ink, paper, time, memory, and the caress of many hands. A patina of scent unlike the tart note of new acquisitions. This 1930s novel moves slowly for modern tastes. Marx Brothers movies and Picasso blue curtains fashionably fresh to first readers. I imagine a woman in a shirtwaist dress turning off the radio, the bombardment of news from the front. She relishes the quiet lives of spoiled Londoners, escapes backwards into a world so recently normal.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Good Psychic Cannot be a Wimp Alarie Tennille Mama saw the future in dreams, the past in ghosts, and walked barefoot through the walls of time as easily as stepping into surf. A gift passed down – she and her mother shared their night visions, their daytime déjà vu. teaching me to play Fish, letting me know what cards to ask for. Told me I had the gift. In college, I intercepted my roommate’s dreams, sometimes answering comments that were not said aloud. My already vivid dreams began talking to me. I knew things. Waking from nightmares no longer brought that whew-not-real! relief. I willed the gift away.

Alarie Tennille (alariepoet.com) was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She now lives in Kansas City, where she serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Alarie is the author of a poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise and of a chapbook, Spiraling into Control. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry East, Coal City Review, English Journal, Midwest Quarterly Review, and Southern Women’s Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Family Farm Trey Spencer A diagnosis of mental illness gets my brother out of a city jail, and into a secure facility. After months, my dad secures his release. Rattling up the hill in my truck, I see him, amidst the same manure that soiled his prom suit the night Dad insisted bringing ‘round the one that got out was more important than the dance. He is smiling, standing above the feed trough, like Eliot arriving where he started, and knowing the same place for the first time. We are here again. My brother is home. Trey Spencer was born in Abingdon, Virginia. He is a military spouse who moves frequently with his wife, daughters, and big dog Blue.

Guiltgirl Marianne Lyon My shadow names me guiltgirl shows me my 3 years old cantankerous face wailing at new baby sister drooling fat feet wiggling on the bed parents eyes drenched on her I scuff into the shadows, shamed whimpering wicked stares

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Tipton Poetry Journal She calls me guiltgirl shows me my 5 year old face eating a whole popsicle, jubilant not sharing a nubbin, then my hips primp, kittenish eyes plead for bright red skirt at J.C. Penny, “too outrageous” says mom. Her litany continues flicks me to Grandmas after my “run away” from home snuggled in a trance of solitude reading the “Box Car Children” catechism homework patiently awaits humble memorization She singsongs “guiltgirl, guiltgirl” struts around innocent like says it’s about time offers me one Godiva she eats two, cocks an eyebrow pats her rounded belly With cavalier grin she trills “guiltgirl-not” writes shame-face hangdog, mea culpa on recycled paper, crumples it lets a match have at it offers me a lift in her silver convertible back issues of “People” magazine on my lap bright red bra under my tunic mischievous tongue licks pina colada ice we emancipate away leave gaunt blameworthiness in dusty remorse

Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 39 years. After teaching in Hong Kong she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews such as Colere, Crone, Trajectory, Earth Daughters, Feile-Festa and Whirlwind. She spends time each year teaching in Nicaragua. She is a member of the California Writers Club and Healdsburg Literary Guild. She is an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in Vallejo, California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Falling Off of a Shadow Clyde Kessler Cousin Arnie is drunk again. He is trying to find his house in the woods, along the lake, where he shouts and the echoes are hounds barking from under a storm cloud, or from inside his mind. He starts cussing them. He is walking on a wire now, the kind that is a shadow of power line wires. He falls off. He tells me where he fell is not really where he fell. This makes sense to both of us because I fell off the shadow, too. Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their house and named it Towhee Hill. Clyde is a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization with programs in southwestern Virginia.

Strangling Vine Catherine Swanson Bindweed has moved in with the honeysuckle, pointing oily leaves at me as I drink my bitter coffee on the back porch. I watch it closely. A lace curtain on my kitchen window covers magazines and unpaid bills, scattered lines of poetry just shy of their true design. I could clean the house, and make every deadline I have promised. Or I could turn back to see if sinister leaves are creeping closer to the lilac. I'm not sure if this is a face-off or not because it hasn't shown its blossoms yet, cousins to the morning glory, small white faces flaunting themselves at midday to tell me their great lie: that the beautiful world can hold you and use you for good. Today I may have to let the sun scrape my skin while I heave and curse, pulling the vine up by its roots, so I can burn it where it lays.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Home is the Color of an Unpainted Barn

Catherine Swanson He stands on the last curb before open countryside, his eyes the range of silence in dormant fields, his breath a net on the cold shoulder of the road. Behind him leaves drift in a block of empty stores, each littered doorway a signal of retreat. A girl in a car slows down and turns her head as if she might kiss him against the odds. The sky falls on the pavement, and the deadlocked evening opens itself to a change in the wind. His arms are stiff, his fingers stuck in the pockets of his jeans. He’ll need something to live in, a jacket he can wear when he looks back from whatever glittered night he finds and sees the dull stare of an old playground. He’ll need the sound of city traffic and maybe the hint of a lullaby when he raises his head from someone’s pillow and still hears the old houses whisper: Get out, as if Main Street could scrape its bricks together and close up, the way a wound seals itself, leaving blood to dry and flake away.

Catherine Swanson is an ethnographer and social worker who lives in Indianapolis. Her poetry has been published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, including The Ledge, The Dalhousie Review, Westerly, and other journals. Catherine’s chapbook, A Map in the Wind, was published in 2015.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Here Lucy J. Madison I curl up beside you in bed stealing the warmth of your body. That comforts me for a while, to hear you breathing deeply, to hear the waves crash against the beach. to know that together in this dark room with you, I am finally the sum of my own misshapen, uneven parts. The ones who have something left to say wander aimlessly around without a home or a purpose, because they have these words leftover that pull them down, drowning them in their nothingness. It’s the ones who say it all when they are alive who get to leave, who are reborn again or able to find their heavens. And so my heaven is to curl up next to you and watch you dream, before moving on to the place where I will wait for you to come home to me once again.

[This poem first appeared in Lucy J. Madison’s I.V. (Sapphire Books, 2016)]

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Unraveled

Lucy J. Madison Whatever I might tell you tonight about how well I am or how calm, don’t believe me. Even if I speak of the thick black sky and the moon skidding across it, don’t believe me. Because I can close my eyes and will my voice to flow soft and clear, velvety even. You cannot know I sob in the shower unraveled and on my knees.

[This poem was first published in Beginnings Magazine (2004)]

Lucy J. Madison is the author of Personal Foul, a contemporary romance novel, as well as her debut collection entitled I.V. Poems. Her second novel In the Direction of the Sun is due out in early 2016. She’s a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society, Author’s Guild, Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and Lesbian Authors Guild. She received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University and resides with her wife of nearly 20 years in Connecticut and in Provincetown, Massachusetts along with their beloved pets. www.lucyjmadison.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal

black sheep Jack Moody my sister would puke her guts out every night hide it inside a trash bag behind her bed I wished she would stop but that wasn’t a reality she told me as a child asked me not to be buried in a coffin I don’t want to be put in a box, she said I couldn’t have been older than eight or nine I remember walking away without a word she could have died later I remember seeing her in the hospital bed pale and sickly difficult to watch my parent wouldn’t let me near her though I wished to tell her that I loved her just the way she was I just wanted her back to spend christmas with again I didn’t understand I still don’t I love her still she’s still alive they gave her pills and she got better lithium I stayed the same got worse then got better again the pills kept her where she was no more trash bags filled with vomit under her bed no more fights and calls to the cops at one in the morning now she’s fine and lives far away from here I still miss her as much as I did then she blamed it on genetics said I would battle the same demons I did I am no bags of vomit under my bed but bottles of whiskey and piles of regret she changed I didn’t life tastes like dried blood and copper burnt dreams lit up by social bonfires she sleeps at night in a bed with a dog and a loving boyfriend

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Tipton Poetry Journal I sleep alone as I fight back alcohol poisoning I’m glad someone made it out okay they thought the wrong kid would shows what they know the black sheep was always a competitive title to hold well looky here, jack won who would have fucking thought Jack Moody is a short story writer, poet and novelist from wherever he happens to be at the time. He didn't go to college. He likes his privacy.

Looted Peace Hussain Ahmed The peacefulness I had known is of fulgent nights When the whistles of the dancing trees Pukes wind that chases off mosquitoes From the shanty On such nights, I dream of friends Playing with melon, the size of a basketball On a lettuce farm the size of a stadium On other nights, I see spirally folded flower buds Lined on blood soaked soil I see Mogadishu Of the future Free of gunshots Where girls go to the river With no fear of horny soldiers

Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer, a lover of arts, and a welder of words.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

To a Fault Heikki Huotari What stops moving relative to you you ought to take for granted. There are more than fifty volatile organic compounds in that new car smell. When you're a microscopic hammer all you see are microscopic nails. Your sisters' hammers live three thousand miles away. You're vertical and ethical and when you gun your egg-shaped engine, you'll be towing none of California out to sea. Heikki Huotari is a retired professor of mathematics who lives in California. In a past century, he attended a one-room country school and spent summers on a forest-fire lookout tower. His poems have appeared in several journals, including Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. A chapbook is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

Become the Lake Michael Keshigian Feel the sun, its warmth all embracing, it is you, you are the clarity, the provider, your residents pay homage in the depths below the surface shadows while you oscillate to the breath of wind, lapping the beach line barely within your reach that moments before you grasped with a liquid clench, dampening the skin of earth.

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Tipton Poetry Journal You are invincible, your duration stretches beyond years into eons of legends and long submerged stories, your essence regenerated when the clouds bellow forth their recurring torrents to stimulate the life that pulsates as a result of you. You are the shelter that protects those hovering amid the nocturnal villages of sunken debris surround by patches of vegetation that pokes through your skin, wavering in your many coves, guarding the gulls that dive, the snakes that wriggle, the birds that drink with famished beaks and the infinite clusters of insects that skim your skin and fill the air above you with the confetti of celebration

Michael Keshigian’s tenth poetry collection, Beyond, was released in May, 2015 by Black Poppy. Other published books and chapbooks: Dark Edges, Eagle’s Perch, Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 6- time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy. Winter Moon, a poem set for Soprano and Piano, premiered in Boston. Michael lives in New Hampshire. http://michaelkeshigian.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Escape Melissa Cucu Tell her that… Starfish arms grow back like fingernails And sadness strolling through our bones. Yellow sunflowers thirst and fall There are no worms in the grass with the fallen trees Tell her I don’t want the summer night’s breeze I want the teddy bear that smelled like milk chocolate And the green slacks on her walking legs Ivory earrings tear my ears and the hemisphere Tell her. I didn’t mean to grab your breath And cup it in my hand before It escaped Tell her I want you back.

Melissa Cucu lives in Sunnyside, New York. She majored in creative writing at NYU, is a vegan, and loves coffee.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Dear Suki: Letter U for Untangled Lana Bella Dear Suki: Cedar Lake, Indiana, November 3rd, draped in white, shored by the autumn flecks of peeling sky, you walked the thin visibility with I beside, scant conversations between fine screech of overhead larks and fog groping the way a mad woman paled behind sanity. Moccasin-robed feet crept outward, each step crushed to confetti of our shadows untangling in independence; far enough to be discernible. Lakes of me, flesh of you, dearest Suki, have you ever thought how the whole of us still dripped from my lips? lacking the caresses of nuptial fingers, and how I am still nursing me about the halfway point, as my legs tumbled down and ached my hips arranging the miles-long road back to you.

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 230 journals, including California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Gravel, Plainsongs, Poetry Salzburg Review, Pure Slush, The Writing Disorder, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere, among others. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Concrete Bird Bones Joseph Kerschbaum Whatever I say now doesn’t matter. If I spoke for hours, or years, for the rest of my life, I would be adding zeros. Ghost of a ghost. You shift the sunlight a shade darker. You are an occurrence of a vapor. Cold, damp mist on my skin. Pulled apart by a door opening or fan blades rotating. You presence has no presence. Talk to myself when I’m talking to you. There are no empty rooms. Do you understand what happened? Can you dissect the anatomy of a decision? Do I expect too much from something that has the mass of whisper? At night, I give you form, picture you as a bird. Circling the circumference of a basement. A trapped, manic fluttering smacking the windows. I call out to the nothing of you, Come down. You’re hurting yourself. You see the open shoe box at my feet. You know there is a hole dug in the backyard. A shovel lying in the grass. Come on down, I say. Let’s get you out of this room.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Between the Opening and Closing of Doors

Joseph Kerschbaum Red pasta sauce coagulates on the plates in the sink. Yesterday’s unopened mail is an artifact from another time. Small colonies of dust in the corners of the room are not thicker, darker then they were 12 hours ago but they look as if they have laid undisturbed in a forgotten tomb. For anyone else the dusk sunlight leaking into the house is the same sunlight that was shinning here this morning. The shopping list for tonight’s now-cancelled dinner party was written by a stranger. I remember him. My handwriting still recognizable. I left the house like any other day. Feels like years ago. Unprepared for the unexpected future of now where nothing appears different but everything has changed. Joseph Kerschbaum’s recent books include Ken: A man for all seasons (Plan B Press), Your Casual Survival (Plan B Press) and The Handless Long for Sign Language (Pudding House Press). His work appears in Bathtub Gin, Arsenic Lobster, Stirring, Facets, Eclipse, Stray Dog, Red River Review, Ward 6 Review, Catalyzer and Failbetter. He has been awarded the Greer Foundation Fellowship for Creative Writing and an Individual Artistic Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission and The National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.ThirstyOcean.com.

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One of the Innocents Fred C. Applebaum The end of the world again and those children at the wee picnic table don’t even know. Then all their heads turn at once and look at me all those eyes saying “yes, we do, better than you.”

Fred C. Applebaum is a pseudonym used by Marc Pietrzykowski to help him write a different kind of poem by imagining himself a different person. Things they have in common: both of them have published poems in various journals, and find the listing of said publication credits a disappointing affectation in the world of poetry publishing, and both of them find the smell of apple blossom hair conditioner intoxicating. Both live in Lockport, New York.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Editor Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and Brick Street Poetry’s Mapping the Muse: A Bicentennial Look at Indiana Poetry. He has published one poetry collection, Something At The Center. Barry lives in Brownsburg, Indiana and is retired from Eli Lilly and Company. His poetry has appeared in Kentucky Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Grey Sparrow, Silk Road Review, Saint Ann‘s Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Night Train, Silver Birch Press, Flying Island, 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 also included in these anthologies: From the Edge of the Prairie; Motif 3: All the Livelong Day; and Twin Muses: Art and Poetry.

Cover Photo Wendy Krause is a mother of three, Indianapolis native, and Director of Technical Services at Cornerstone Environmental, Health & Safety in nearby Zionsville. The cover photo is from an annual family vacation in southwest Michigan and captures her husband and son in an amazing sunset over Lake Michigan. The photo reminds her of letting your kids soar and then being there to catch them if needed.

Poet Biographies Hussain Ahmed is a Nigerian writer, a lover of arts, and a welder of words. Dominic Alapat is the author of New and Selected Poems published on amazon.com in 2016. His earlier books of poetry include Reeling (2012), Circling the Sky (2013) and The Branches (2015), all published on lulu.com. Alapat’s poems have appeared in Nthposition, Kavya Bharati, Nether and Big Bridge. He blogs at woodsmoke.wordpress.com and dominicalapat.wordpress.com. Alapat lives in Mumbai, India, where he is a freelance writer and editor. Fred C. Applebaum is a pseudonym used by Marc Pietrzykowski to help him write a different kind of poem by imagining himself a different person. Things they have in common: both of them have published poems in various journals, and find the listing of said publication credits a disappointing affectation in the world of poetry publishing, and both of them find the smell of apple blossom hair conditioner intoxicating. Both live in Lockport, New York.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Peggy Aylsworth is a psychotherapist, living in Santa Monica, California. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies throughout the U.S. and around the world, including The Wallace Stevens Journal. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The sixth book of her poetry is soon to be published by Letters At 3 A.M. Press. A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 230 journals, including California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Gravel, Plainsongs, Poetry Salzburg Review, Pure Slush, The Writing Disorder, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere, among others. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam. Joe Bisicchia writes of our shared spiritual dynamic. An Honorable Mention recipient for the Fernando Rielo XXXII World Prize for Mystical Poetry, his works have appeared in Sheepshead Review, Balloons Lit. Journal, The Inflectionist Review, Black Heart Magazine, Dark Matter Journal, Poets Collectives Anthologies and others. The current public affairs professional in New Jersey is a former award winning television host who also taught high school English. His website is www.widewide.world and he is on Twitter at @TheB_Line: https://twitter.com/theb_line. Constance Brewer’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Harpur Palate, Dark Matter Literary Journal, The Linnet’s Wings, The Nassau Review, and in the New Poets of the American West anthology among other places. Constance is a co-editor for Gyroscope Review magazine, and is also the recipient of a 2016 Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship grant in poetry. Constance lives in Wyoming with a small but vocal herd of Welsh Corgis. Tony Brewer is a poet, spoken word performer, screenwriter, and sound effects artist from Bloomington, Indiana. He is chair of the Writers Guild at Bloomington and Executive Director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival, as well a member of the poetry performance troupe Reservoir Dogwoods and a regular reader for Anthology on WFIU Public Radio. He has three books of poetry: The Great American Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (Plan B Press, 2010), and Hot Type Cold Read (Chatter House Press, 2013). David G. Campbell is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is the author of Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect (2002) and Parktails (2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals including Carcinogenic Poetry, Borderlands, RiverSedge, Rockhurst Review and In the Teeth of the Wind. His artwork is represented in collections such as The Portland Art Museum, Oregon State University, Ashforth Pacific, Inc. and George Fox University.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Frank De Canio was born & bred in New Jersey, works in New York. He loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Dory Previn, Amy Beach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. He likes Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsburg, and Sylvia Plath as poets. Melissa Cucu lives in Sunnyside, New York. She majored in creative writing at NYU, is a vegan, and loves coffee. Brian Dickson has published two chapbooks, Maybe This is How Tides Work (Finishing Line Press) and In a Heart’s Rut (High5 Press) and one poetry collection, All Points Radiant (Cherry Grove Editions). Currently he is still living in Denver, riding his bike, buses and the rails. Liz Dolan’s manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for a Pushcart, has been published by Cave Moon Press. Her first poetry collection, They Abide, nominated for The McGovern Prize (Ashland University) was published by March Street. An eight-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, Liz was a finalist for Best of the Net (2014). She won The Nassau Prize for Nonfiction (2011) and for fiction (2015). She has received fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and Martha’s Vineyard. Liz lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Matt Duggan won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 for his collection Dystopia 38.10. His poems have appeared in The Journal, Five 2 One, Apogee Magazine, Lunar Poetry Magazine, Section 8, Ink, Sweat and Tears, A New Ulster, Ink,Sweat, and Tears, The Dawntreader, Inkapture, Yellow Chair Review, Illumen, The Jawline Review, Turbulence, Seventh Quarry, The Delinquent, Chimera, Dwang, Roundyhouse, The Cobalt Review, Carillon, Decanto plus many more. Matt lives in the United Kingdom. John Garmon is a 76 year old poet serving as a writing assistant at the College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas. His poems and stories have been in Ploughshares, Tipton Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, Commonweal, Radius, The Oregonian, Southern Poetry Review, and many other places He is a former president of Berkeley City College. Angelo Giambra’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Ballard Street Poetry Journal and several other prominent journals. Angelo lives in Florida. Ashley Goulder teaches American and English literature at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Heikki Huotari is a retired professor of mathematics who lives in California. In a past century, he attended a one-room country school and spent summers on a forest-fire lookout tower. His poems have appeared in several journals, including Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. A chapbook is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Clinton Inman is a retired school teacher, Renaissance painter, poet, and piano player, born in England, graduated from San Diego State in 1977, and now lives in Tampa Bay. Dr. Emory D. Jones is an English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for four years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for two years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirty-five years. He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society. He has over two hundred and thirtyfive publishing credits including publication in such journals as Voices International, The White Rock Review, Free Xpressions Magazine, The Storyteller, Pasques Petals, The Pink Chameleon, and Encore: Journal of the NFSPS. He is retired and lives in Iuka, Mississippi, with his wife, Glenda. He has two daughters and four grandchildren. Courtney Justus has published work in Eunoia Review, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, poems2go and The Trinity Review. She works for the newspaper The Trinitonian and is co-editor of The Trinity Review. Courtney lives in Texas. Timothy Kercher lived abroad from 2006 to 2012—four years in the country of Georgia and two in Ukraine—and has now moved back to his home in Dolores, Colorado. He continues to translate contemporary poetry from the Republic of Georgia. He is a high school English teacher and has worked in five countries—Mongolia, Mexico, and Bosnia being the others. His essays, poems, and translations have appeared a number of recent literary publications, including Music & Literature, Crazyhorse, Versal, Plume, upstreet, and others. Joseph Kerschbaum’s recent books include Ken: A man for all seasons (Plan B Press), Your Casual Survival (Plan B Press) and The Handless Long for Sign Language (Pudding House Press). His work appears in Bathtub Gin, Arsenic Lobster, Stirring, Facets, Eclipse, Stray Dog, Red River Review, Ward 6 Review, Catalyzer and Failbetter. He has been awarded the Greer Foundation Fellowship for Creative Writing and an Individual Artistic Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission and The National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.ThirstyOcean.com. Michael Keshigian’s tenth poetry collection, Beyond, was released in May, 2015 by Black Poppy. Other published books and chapbooks: Dark Edges, Eagle’s Perch, Wildflowers, Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 6- time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy. Winter Moon, a poem set for Soprano and Piano, premiered in Boston. Michael lives in New Hampshire. http://michaelkeshigian.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago they added an art studio to their house and named it Towhee Hill. Clyde is a founding member of Blue Ridge Discovery Center, an environmental education organization with programs in southwestern Virginia. John P. Kristofco, from Highland Heights, Ohio, is professor of English and the former dean of Wayne College in Orrville, Ohio. His poetry, short stories, and essay have appeared in over a hundred different publications, including: Folio, Cimarron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Rattle, Poem, and Sierra Nevada Review. He has published three collections of poetry: A Box of Stones, Apparitions, and The Fire in Our Eyes and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times. Jennifer Lemming’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Ichabod’s Sketchbook, Poetry Garden, and in the Foothills Publishing anthology I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool), and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal. In 2004 she won 1st place for her poem “Lunatic” and 3rd place in 2010 for her poem “The Phoenix Empress”at the Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco. She considers lyrics to be just a breath away from poetry, and in winter of 2009 won 3rd place in the Jazz Beyond Jazz blog Blues lyrical poem contest for her poem “I got the I Can’t Sleep Baby Blues”. In 2004 “Sundown Pete” Kobal put music to her lyrics and recorded “Thunder Song” on his CD The Only Star, available from Driftwood Music. Her love of gardening, art, photography and hiking keep her busy in the Midwest, and the love of her time and place keeps her focused. She now lives in North Dakota. Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 39 years. After teaching in Hong Kong she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews such as Colere, Crone, Trajectory, Earth Daughters, Feile-Festa and Whirlwind. She spends time each year teaching in Nicaragua. She is a member of the California Writers Club and Healdsburg Literary Guild. She is an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in Vallejo, California. Lucy J. Madison is a novelist, poet, and screenwriter from Connecticut. She is a former standout college basketball player and avid outdoorswoman. Lucy received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. She is at work now on several feature film scripts, new novels and a scripted television series. She resides with her wife of 16 years in Connecticut and in Provincetown, Massachusetts along with their beloved pets. Cheyenne Marco grew up on a Minnesota poultry farm and finds inspiration for her writing in her rural upbringing. She teaches at the University of South Dakota, works on the South Dakota Review, does outreach for Friends of the Big Sioux River, and fantasizes about sleep. Her works have appeared in Lake Region Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Turk’s Head Review, and Prairie Winds.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Pushcart nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 900 poems published around the world. His first book, The So-Called Sonnets, is available via Silenced Press and Amazon. To see and hear more poems go to BruceMcRaePoetry on YouTube. Gretchen Meixner has an English Literature degree from Emmanuel College. Gretchen, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, enjoys travel, books, and cats. At her job, she writes policy and guides; at home, she writes poems and short stories. Jack Moody is a short story writer, poet and novelist from wherever he happens to be at the time. He didn't go to college. He likes his privacy. Jordan Nate is a former United States Marine, a current husband of 8 years, and is attending Brigham Young University - Idaho, preparing to apply for MFA creative writing programs in the fall of 2016. Jordan lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho and has been published in Merrimack Review and Outlet. Claire Oleson is a writer and student currently absorbing her undergraduate studies in English and Creative Writing at Kenyon College in Ohio. Claire is a prose reader for Persephone’s Daughters and an editorial assistant for Siblíní Art and Literature Journal. Fiction has been published in Siblíní Art and Literature Journal, the University of Kentucky’s graduate literary journal Limestone, and HIKA literary journal. Her poetry has been published by Potluck Magazine and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal. Claire was also nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize by Limestone Journal. James Owens' most recent collection of poems is Mortalia from FutureCycle Press.. His poems, stories, translations, and photographs appear widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in Superstition Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Connecticut River Review, Lime Hawk, and The Stinging Fly. He earned an MFA at the University of Alabama and lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario. Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with over 300 published poems, and an associate professor emeritus at Western Washington University. He is author of Mapping water (Flying Trout Press, 2016) and co-author of Bellingham Poems (Flying Trout Press, 2014). Tanya Pilumeli received her B.A. and M.A. in English from John Carroll University, and currently lives near Lake Erie in Geneva, Ohio with her Italian husband and three children where they run an Italian restaurant. Her poetry has appeared and won awards in The Blue Collar Review, Time of Singing, Wild Violet, and other journals. She was the first place winner in Time of Singing winter 2015. Her middle grade novel, The DragonFly Keeper, was a finalist for the 2008 Best Books Award. Ayaz Pirani is an educator in Monterey, California and his degree is from Vermont College. His book, Happy You Are Here, was published in 2016 by The Word Works.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Janet Reed earned a Master's degree in English Literature from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She currently teaches writing and literature at Crowder College in Missouri. She has work published in multiple journals with more forthcoming. David Ricchiute lives in Granger, Indiana. Poetry and fiction appear or are forthcoming in NOON, Poem, Tampa Review, North Atlantic Review, Interim, First Intensity, Red Rock Review, The Quarterly, and Tipton Poetry Journal #25, among others. Al Rocheleau’s work has appeared in more than sixty publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Confrontation, Illuminations, Potomac Review, Van Gogh’s Ear, Evansville Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Nedge, Pig Iron, Outerbridge, Pennsylvania English, Nebo, Slant, Sahara, Revelry, Iodine Poetry Journal, and Poetry Salzburg Review. In 2004, he received the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize, offered by the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers’ Association. His manual, On Writing Poetry: For Poets Made as Well as Born, was published by Shantih Press in 2010. In 2012, he launched the Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Seminars, a 180-hour, 30seminar program available to private students of all ages. The program also offers scholarships to secondary level students, and it is accredited by the Florida State Poets Association. Al lives in Orlando, Florida. Michael Salcman, poet, physician and art historian, was chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and president of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. He lectures widely about art and the brain. Poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore and Ontario Review. Featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and All Things Considered, his work has received six nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Salcman is the author of four chapbooks and two collections including: The Clock Made of Confetti (Orchises, 2007), nominated for The Poets' Prize; The Enemy of Good is Better (Orchises, 2011); and Poetry in Medicine (Persea Books, 2015), his anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors and diseases. His forthcoming collection, A Prague Spring, Before & After, won the 2015 Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press. Special Lecturer in the Osher Institute at Towson University, Salcman is a poetry editor at The Baltimore Review and art editor for The Little Patuxent Review. Dawn Schout’s debut poetry book, Wanderlust, was published in January 2015 by WordTech Editions. More than 75 of her poems have been published in national and international publications. She has won two poetry contests as well as the Academy of American Poets’ Free Verse Project and is a Best of the Net nominee. Dawn lives in Michigan.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Judith Skillman’s recent book is House of Burnt Offerings (Pleasure Boat Studio). Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, J Journal, Sewanee Review, Tampa Review, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. Awards include an Eric Mathieu King Fund grant from the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, and a ‘how to’: Broken Lines—The Art & Craft of Poetry. Skillman has done collaborative translations from French, Portuguese, and Macedonian. She lives Washington State. www.judithskillman.com Trey Spencer was born in Abingdon, Virginia. He is a military spouse who moves frequently with his wife, daughters, and big dog Blue. Robert Joe Stout is a journalist, novelist and poet. He has been active in human rights delegations and won awards for his work in caring for the aged in Mexico. His poetry books include A Perfect Throw (Aldrich Press, 2013) and Monkey Screams (FutureCycle Press, 2015). He currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. Allen Strous lives in Circleville, Ohio, and is the author of Tired (The Backwaters Press), and one of the authors of The Fifth Voice (Toadlily Press). His poems have most recently appeared in The Cortland Review, Illya's Honey, and Calamaro Magazine. Catherine Swanson is an ethnographer and social worker who lives in Indianapolis. Her poetry has been published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, including The Ledge, The Dalhousie Review, Westerly, and other journals. Catherine’s chapbook, A Map in the Wind, was published in 2015. Marianne Szlyk is a professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and editor of The Song Is... Recently, she published her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, with Flutter Press. Her first (Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven) was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press. Her poems have appeared in Long Exposure, ken*again, Of/with, bird's thumb, Cacti Fur, Contemporary American Voices, Jellyfish Whispers, Eunoia Review, Poppy Road Review, Yellow Chair Review, and other online and print venues including Kind of a Hurricane Press' anthologies. Her poem "At Bonaventure Cemetery" was nominated for a Pushcart, and she was also September poet of the month at Quill and Parchment. Charles Tarlton has been writing poetry and short fiction since 2008. His work has appeared in Review Americana, Tipton Poetry Journal, Abramelin, Blue and Yellow Dog, Shot Glass, Red Booth Review, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. He has an e-chapbook in the 2River series entitled La Vida de Piedra y de Palabra;; an extended historical tanka-prose poem, “Five Episodes in the Navajo Degradation,” in Lacuna, and “The Turn of Art,” a poetical-dramatic scene between Picasso and Matisse, in Fiction International. Muse-Pie Press nominated poems from Shot Glass Journal for the Pushcart Prize and he will be a Muse-Pie Press featured poet in the upcoming year. Tarlton lives in Massachusetts.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Jo Barbara Taylor grew up in Indiana and now lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, magazines and anthologies. She leads poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and OLLI through Duke Continuing Education. She has published four chapbooks, the most recent, High Ground (Main Street Rag, 2013). Her full-length collection is How to Come and Go (Chatter House Press, 2016). Alarie Tennille (alariepoet.com) was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She now lives in Kansas City, where she serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Alarie is the author of a poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise and of a chapbook, Spiraling into Control. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry East, Coal City Review, English Journal, Midwest Quarterly Review, and Southern Women’s Review. Gene Twaronite, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, is the author of two humorous juvenile novels: The Family That Wasn’t and My Vacation in Hell. His first poetry collection will be published by Aldrich Press in late 2016. Visit his website at http://www.thetwaronitezone.com. Rebecca Weigold's poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The Tishman Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Black River Review, Perceptions, and other publications. In 1987, she founded/published The Cincinnati Poets' Collective which featured the work of national and international writers for nearly a decade. Rebecca lives in Kentucky. Lori Widmer is a 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories and TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics. Lori lives in Pennsylvania and maintains a poetry blog at http://PoetUnderConstruction.com. Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian living in Syracuse, NY. He has been nominated for 15 Pushcarts and 12 Best of the Net Awards. He is the winner of 2013 Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest; 2014 Broadsided award; 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks, plus 11 full-length collections including How to Be Silent”(FutureCycle Press, 2016). His poems have appeared in Blue Fifth Review, Kentucky Review, Perfume River Review, Bitter Oleander, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nine Mile Magazine, Comstock Review, Centrifugal Eye, Stone Canoe, and others. Dominique Wilson’s work focuses on social problems. She uses colloquialisms, fairytales, and nursery rhymes to redefine race, gender and love. Her poems are abstract and purposely have ambiguous meanings. Pop culture is a huge inspiration for her poetry. Dominique lives in Maryland.

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Tipton Poetry Journal #31  

Summer 2016

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