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Tipton Poetry Journal Editor’s Note

Tipton Poetry Journal, located in the heartland of the Midwest, publishes quality poetry from Indiana and around the world. This issue features 36 poets from the United States (23 different states) and poets from China, Israel and Italy. We also feature a poem by Hongri Yuan in both Chinese and an English translation. 23 poets are making their first appearance in our pages. I review Joan Colby’s book, Ribcage. August 21st, 2017 is the date for the Great American Eclipse, so it seemed fitting to celebrate with an eclipse photo on our cover. It is a nice long one, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina and is only visible in the United States. I hope you all have your eclipse glasses handy. The next one in North America will be April 8, 2024 and will be total in Indiana, home of TPJ. Print versions of Tipton Poetry Journal are available for purchase through amazon.com. So far Issues #29, #30 #32 and #33 are available. Issue #31 and #34 (this issue) will be available soon. Barry Harris, Editor Cover Photo, “Eclipse” istock.com / hadzi3 Stock Photo ID: 519935403 Copyright 2017 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 Marianne Lyon ........................................................... 1 Michael Brockley ....................................................... 2 Michael Keshigian ..................................................... 4 Mandy Campbell Moore ............................................ 5 Robert Ronnow ......................................................... 8 James Grabill .......................................................... 10 Nels Hanson ............................................................. 11 Hongri Yuan ............................................................. 12 Wendy Taylor Carlisle.............................................. 14 Timothy Pilgrim ....................................................... 16 Richard Luftig ..........................................................18 Rebecca Broeker ....................................................... 19 Carol Hamilton ........................................................ 20 Darren Demaree ...................................................... 22 Donna M. Davis ....................................................... 22 Will Reger ................................................................ 24 Mark Vogel .............................................................. 26 Randel McCraw Helms ............................................ 27 Craig Bruce McVay .................................................. 28 Robert Weibezahl .................................................... 29 Jeanette Beebe ......................................................... 30 Tim Robbins ............................................................ 32 John Cullen .............................................................. 34 Bob Meszaros .......................................................... 35


Tipton Poetry Journal KJ Hannah Greenberg ............................................. 36 John Timothy Robinson .......................................... 38 Gabriella Garofalo .................................................. 40 Charles Kell ............................................................. 42 Jack Moody ............................................................. 44 Tia Paul-Louis ......................................................... 46 Douglas G. Campbell ............................................... 48 John Grey ................................................................ 50 Sarah Rehfeldt .......................................................... 51 Jake Sheff ................................................................ 52 Catherine La Roque ................................................. 53 Gene Twaronite ....................................................... 54 Review: Ribcage by Joan Colby ............................... 55 Richard Pflum ......................................................... 60 Dennis Zahm ........................................................... 62 Leah Strobel ............................................................ 64 Contributor Biographies ......................................... 65


Tipton Poetry Journal

Life-other-than-my-own-runs-through-me *

Marianne Lyon My walking path calls me almost every morning same hidden spot, same slight bend, behind statued oak. A smell of jasmine whiffs me to Grandma’s yard. She welcomes me with sweeping arms wraps around my surrendering self and in that moment of caress I step out of her springtime embrace, love her back with a smile like a sunrise. Her old all- knowing eyes are a never-stop-soothing-honey-for- my-tender-heart. Exhilarated, I walk further on my adventure path gravel floor laced with tree shadows that save me from burning sun, am inspired to call these shapes cool-angels-that-hover-without-anywhere else-to-be. As if their leafy wings flutter a rhythm a song dances in me, a song threaded in hope. Can’t remember all the words, but I softly hum and the vibration beckons like a-warm-hand-pulling- me-from-a deep-well I keep walking, breathing the calm melody grateful for my feet stepping me, grateful for Native American’s way of naming moments of life, long moments of life that have a-life-other-than-my-own that-runs-through-me.

*Inspired by Mark Nepo: Utterance-that Rises-Briefly-From-The Source

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. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. She is a member of the California Writers Club, Healdsburg Literary Guild and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University Vallejo California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Super Powers Michael Brockley Returning home from an overnight business trip, I discover all the townsfolk have acquired super powers. The pastor of St. Frodo’s has acquired an uncanny knack for predicting Little League home runs. My mailman can negotiate with bees. On a more personal note, my girlfriend is able to change me into any lover she desires. She assures me I am still her Casanova and swears she won’t abuse me by pursuing her curiosities regarding the Hollywood hunk du jour. All the while sampling my Ben Affleck in and out of the Batman suit. Thankfully, my darling’s talent can’t be pigeonholed into a crime-fighting niche. Unlike that car-wash kid who can suspend gravity. My beloved doesn’t ask me to keep a closet full of capes and form-fitting suits from the Justice League of America. Still, she gets these moods, and I want to play along. Warren Beatty’s big screen Dick Tracy. JFK. A wrestler from her co-ed dorm. The truth is the weekend I spent as her favorite author turned into a lollapalooza. And I assure her it might be a lark to inhabit Napoleon Bonaparte or Dr. Seuss once in a while. So why do I feel unsettled? As if I peer, too often now, through the eyes of that blond scamp from that doomed maiden voyage in the North Atlantic. The leading man whose supple fingers dimple my sweetheart’s spine with nuances too subtle for my boudoir repertoire. As if it is only my grip that slips from the rail of that listing ship.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Who Is Your Inner Poet? Michael Brockley The Facebook questionnaire anoints you the Rumi of your generation while your fellow poets boast of their Whitmanesque stature or hint at Belle of Amherst bloodlines. You inveigled your pairing with the Sufi mystic by selecting orange over blue. By tapping a dog rather than a dolphin. Coconut cake instead of lemon meringue pie. On your bookshelf, The Soul of Rumi languishes between a collected Plath and Stafford's Stories That Could Be True. You've taken these Facebook quizzes before, discovering a past life Cleopatra. A supervillain alter ego. Your marquee profession: butt model. At night you hunch over your desk pursuing a poem's imp toward the wine of your beloved. But sidetrack yourself with home run derbies matching Big Foot against King Kong. With poems on the ecstatic visions of Wile E. Coyote. The 21st century Sappho in a critique group you attend questions your credentials. Your trickster sonnets and Conan the Barbarian haikus. The prose poems about drunken pigs. Another critic, the Neruda of your generation warns, "The heart that is not in love will fail the test." Insists you postpone retirement indefinitely. The new BashĹ? reminds you to praise God for your insomniac love.

Michael Brockley is a 68-year old, newly retired school psychologist who worked for 31 years in rural northeast Indiana. Recent poems have appeared in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Jokes Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Hot Summer Night After Wine Michael Keshigian He found himself at the symphony where the sophisticated people milled about, dropping names while drinking champagne served in the entrance foyer. A quite haughty yet beautiful woman approached him, stepped out of her dress and sat in the seat next to his, her attire falling to her ankles. She stated that only he, presently, and her husband, not in attendance, had peeked the enhanced cleavage created by her push-up under garments. The spotlight turned from the conductor upon his podium to highlight her abundant breasts, though the diamond necklace around her neck produced a glare that blinded his stare and caused him to fall forward while the orchestra played the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. He awoke squeezing the ample pillows upon which he slept. An hour later, he stared out the window at the rain drenched lawn when a black bear entered his field of vision, a huge, angry bear, walking upright, with matted fur from the ensuing cloudbursts that created a stick-like figure when the beast turned sideways, lifted his head toward dark heaven and roared a window shattering plea then galloped toward the house for respite, pounding thunderously at the door which woke him for the second time this night. Michael Keshigian from New Hampshire, had his 12th poetry collection, Into The Light, released in 2017 by Flutter Press (https://www.createspace.com/7037872). He has been published in numerous journals including The California Quarterly, Red River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Illya’s Honey and has appeared as feature writer in over 20 publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Other Side of the Hill Mandy Campbell Moore There is hope in the arch of his back That’s what catches your eye— The shape of hope. Alert for something, or someone, As if watching for land from the prow of a sinking ship Though he stands on a hillside above the road You park the car and climb that hill A tiny black terrier should not be in the arroyo all alone You see his frayed collar as he sees you And disappears down the grassy back side— A wild animal, that collar Having forgotten its purpose Jog your three miles because You belong to the slim percentage That rots at a desk and never has to look for food. On the other side of that hill, people live in tents— More than last year. They also stand by the roadside, Some with a hopeful shape. Others beyond that. Rounding the last bend, you see him. Tiny black shape serpentining through throngs Of runners, walkers, cyclists, strollers. Searching for familiar ankles, a known voice, The one with the leash that matches the collar. “Grab that dog!” The throngs yell and lunge, Call him greased lightning. Though your heart could burst you Run that last length back and forth, Faster and faster, trying to catch him. Trying to outrun this thing that Sinks us all.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Girl hangs from bar in PE, sets world record

Mandy Campbell Moore Girl [lies to self]: This is an experiment in lust. “Just don’t tell anyone it happened, okay?” Boy tells everyone. Geeky guy from his first period art class confronts her in the hall, “Really?” She denies it, ofc. Denies, denies, denies. To all that keep asking. Girls in PE form a small town chorus: “Well. If it’s not true, then how did you know about it?” They crowd in close, look down their noses. She explains that Geeky guy told her Boy started rumor All day, not true, not true Chorus [looks askance]. Girl climbs chair and hangs From the chin-up bar A fitness test. How long can she hang? Forever, she is never letting go. Respect for her evaporates from the heads below Like wraiths fleeing their bodies. This thing she was supposed to protect—also a ghost now A changed person hanging, there is no going back No matter how much she denies. Mrs. G stops timing. “You win,” she says. “Come down.” Girl: “I can’t let go.” She can’t see the chair anymore Perhaps it’s been kicked away Coach M comes to catch her “It’s okay,” he laughs. “I got you.” He does—his arms wrapped round her like you-know-who’s She peels her wilted fingers from the bar and falls He sets her on the bottom bleacher “You’ll be all right. Just stretch your arms.” But decades later—and here’s the world record— Girl still can’t let go.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

On the Train Mandy Campbell Moore On the train in Los Angeles The man in a suit at the front of the car Could be my baby, getting off at City Hall His broad shoulder carrying the world On the train that summer in DC, we watch The man who stands by the door Jaw grinding, eyes bloodshot. I bet he Gets off at the Pentagon, my young mom says When he does we dissolve into giggles When she turns sixty, we go to Paris On the train I sit by a man no one else will A refugee perhaps. After I sit, his odor Indicates the man is dead Other riders sneer And keep their distance. But no, He is only getting his best sleep On the train On the train that is The thick gray sea Of humanity I see you We surface together As children As elders Our eyes meet And see that we each Know the other

Mandy Campbell Moore works in international education by day, but at night normally writes fiction. She has published short stories in Calyx, Word Riot, East Bay Review and ink&coda. Her MFA at Antioch led her to write a novel about an interracial love. If all goes well she will teach English for Peace Corps in Rwanda come September. Mandy lives in Los Angeles.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Two White Wines Robert Ronnow Dinner with old friends: salmon with red cabbage, asparagus, Caesar’s salad, penna with broccoli, two white wines. Jane Jacobs could analyze how it all got to our table or even how their daughter came to us from Cambodia. The economy or market bringing a thing of beauty, the farms, the trucks, such comfort. The ancients knew this too yet we are anxious about famine, genocide and nuclear war. How can we organize (govern) ourselves to end self-imposed suffering? That Quebec and Puerto Rico may secede peacefully at any time a majority chooses is a source of pride. Why not Kurds, Chechyns, Tibetans and Armenians? Difficult to write a poem about it. At table, candlelight, we debate or whine about the other side winning and making a mess of our lives. The election could be stolen, tampering with voting machines, what policy question does that possibility raise? War in Iraq, school testing, prison population. Religion, the abyss surrounding the little promontory life. It’ll all work out in the end. Go to your daily practice, be a good citizen. Another failed effort to write what I mean. Such confusion, yet two white wines.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Okay Love Robert Ronnow Dear Robert I’m enclosing the warranty for your shaver In case anything should happen I’ve circled the address where to bring it Dad still isn’t feeling well and is going this week to the doctor I can’t imagine what can be wrong– but I’m really getting concerned Oh! by the way did you mail that letter to the bank I hope so Today we are going to a wake for Phyllis Spina. She died on Saturday– acute leukemia. Your brothers are fine they’re off– Yom Kippur All else is okay Love Mom

Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Robert lives in Massachusetts. Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Blooming August with the Radio On James Grabill The wisteria sips from the fountain of bees, as bees nuzzle between the wisteria petals, barely touching the inside of beauty, trying on every blue hat in the shop. The neighbor kids are running and standing around the oak, playing Man and Superman on the rope over the scuffed ground. The Doug fir towers over the car going nowhere but where it is at the moment. The first US gold medal, it turns out, is for shooting. The book by the former military insider is called How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything. Moments later, the Wynton Marsalis Quartet performs Sunflowers, a piece that repeatedly begins with a tune like seeds planted. Past a point, the horns follow sunflower stalks into the air, stretching higher and past that, until way up in solar yellow with red-orange fractal edges they’re not so much spreading out from the center in a multiplied atonal chord as joining together with the heavy weight of light. After a while that far over the ground in liberation, they return to the tune planting seeds.

James Grabill’s recent work is online at Caliban, Green Mountains Review, Kentucky Review, Elohi Gadugi, Buddhist Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Terrain, Mobius, Calliope, The Oxonian Review, The Toronto Quarterly, Mad Hatter’s Review, Plumwood Mountain, and others. His books include Poem Rising Out of the Earth (1994) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (2003), both from Lynx House Press. Wordcraft of Oregon has published his project of environmental prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve: Book One, 2014 (available online -http://www.0s-1s.com/poetry-shelves/sea-level-nerve), Book Two, 2015 (now available). A long-time Oregon resident, he teaches “systems thinking” and global issues relative to sustainability.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Deserters Nels Hanson In April snow agreed to melt again but water, each molecule, refused to race downhill to slake the river’s thirst, sank instead, soaked far until a lake, clear fish, ivory salamanders who never heard of eyes in blackest silence, no ripple, happy to be blind. Each plant, the stoic redwood, bristlecone to mortal clover, sealed its lips and held unbroken peace, withholding oxygen once refined from gas chemists call dioxide, carbon, though grass knew neither name. Birds rested with slack feathers innocent of air, perched on roofs now white as spume of breaking surf we recall before the sea declined ancient orders from the moon, ocean waiting wordlessly, no wave, sand to still horizon. At dusk, already late our loyal sister failed to rise, past brown Green Mountain’s peak only an amber memory of a world gone crescent and deserting us for kinder orbit, tracks of astronauts scars across her waning face. Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

As If The Stars Smile and Shine to Each Other Hongri Yuan Translated by Yuanbing Zhang I require new words Black gem and Sapphire To decipher the alien password To open the mystery door of the soul base Those people who ride the flying saucer The blue blood runs in their body On their planet Every stone has a soul Even the flowers and trees like their brothers and sisters Yet, they have no human emotions The same as if the stars smile and shine at each other

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Tipton Poetry Journal

จจӞᛱஙᒞᘒ԰ፘᆙᘋ

远红日 我需要新的词语 黑宝石蓝宝石 破译外星人的密码 打开灵魂基地的神秘之门 那些乘坐飞碟的人们 身体里流淌蓝色的血 他们的星球上 每一块石头都有灵魂 甚至花草树木 也仿佛自己的兄弟姐妹 然而他们没有人类的情感 他们星星一般微笑而互相照耀

Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. His poetry has been published in the United Kingdom, USA, India ,New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Writing the Eulogy Wendy Taylor Carlisle My dead men wait for me to write them out, standing around, lounging like city kids waiting for a pick-up game or a cop to open the hydrant— man with a baseball growing in his head, man with the wit, the one who wrote, the one who shriveled around his florescent veins. They all look as strange to me as my lover’s face in the midst of a quarrel. Moreover, I don’t remember their lives’ details My departed wait for me to tell you something I know about them— what I know is the prison window I stare from, tongue-tied, illiterate of curses. What I know best— how their death feels to the deserted.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Gun of Your Own Wendy Taylor Carlisle My husband’s sister is a Wobbly and it’s “Labor” Labor” “Labor” all over the house so I worry about a nod from the enemies of Joe Hill— it could be stone soup and no job. Does that surprise you? Do you think it’s all about finer feelings, all about your intellect and politic? That’s what my husband’s sister says. I say it’s about bread and blood and is it red and white enough? I might have kept my distance from Eugene and Ma Jones but along comes Joe McCarthy and I learn the error of my ways. God bless Murrow, with his big nose under the tent flap. We were safe for a minute then, but here lately demagoguery’s made a comeback and too bad for you if you don’t have a gun of your own.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives on the backside of a hill in the Ozark Mountains. She is the author of Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Books on the way out Timothy Pilgrim “My life is all I've got.” – Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town

Sun on horizon, you read an ending like Milton's — gone to blindness, looking for light. It’s time to flee, drive highways west — feedlots, cattle queued, barns, hay freshly mown, slaughterhouse below. Finally one runway, control tower rising like a phoenix from fields, promising hope, rest not far away. You wend to town, cruise Main, pass bars, one lonely church, ancient stores late in rot. A pickup rolls by, gun rack full, pit-bull growling in back, seat-belt painted on the driver's shirt to fool john law. Hotel flies a huge flag. You stay quiet, wish your belt would hide the iPad tucked in your pants, deep. Too tired to sleep, wi-fi coming next year, you walk the street, search for books -- Hemingway, Paradise Regained, Silko, Alexie, Lycidas, anything in ink. Night brings black, town cafe, muddy coffee, charred steak, burnt toast — wheat, not white. The grizzled cook serves a smile, says bookstore’s at the airport, past security, on the right.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Wedding Rescue Timothy Pilgrim Reflected, men's room mirror, outdoor wedding, clear sky. Groom, pierced, tattooed, struggles, panic in eyes. Black tux, on right, nice fit, he wrestles loose tie -like marriage gone bad, stretch thin, unknotted again. Stranger turned savior, I offer to drape my neck. Wide end, short, hang to right, snake over tip. Squeeze, use two fingers, spread slit. Slip it in, pull down, adjust a bit. Loosen the noose, drop over groom’s head. Nose ring bright, he smiles. I pull the knot tight

Timothy Pilgrim, Bellingham, Washington, is a Pacific Northwest poet with over 380 published poems and an associate professor emeritus at Western Washington University. He has acceptances by journals such as Seattle Review, Third Wednesday, Windsor Review, Windfall, San Pedro River Review and Tipton Poetry Journal and is author of Mapping water (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be seen at www.timothypilgrim.org.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Note to My Unemployment Insurance Counselor Richard Luftig I am sending you this email that you can read each Monday instead of my appearing every week. I thought it would save us both trouble. To use your phrase, I have been actively looking for work. Nightly, I talk to the bar-keep over at Jack’s Grill to see if he knows of anything, and just the other day I wrote Bill Gates with some improvements he could make if he just hired me. Down at Rebecca’s Café, I regularly read the want ads from old copies of the weekly Pennysaver but there seems to be precious few openings for brain surgeon. However, I am happy to report that I am making progress with the beautiful red-haired woman with the sweet scent of strawberry shampoo who sits every day at the table next to mine and eats a pecan muffin, drinks herbal tea and reads letters from a past lover. I am getting close

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Tipton Poetry Journal to asking her to join me at my regular table, and I will report each week with details as they occur. Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Two of his poems recently appeared in Ten Years of Dos Madres Press.

Façade

Rebecca Broeker The old women see her wavy blond hair, graceful blue eyes, delicate pink lips. Like a white daffodil she stands sure‌ quiet... as the mothers admire. However, like the poison contained in the flower few know about the tiny black tattoo above her breast.

Rebecca Broeker holds a BA in English from Trevecca Nazarene University where she served on the Masthead for The Cumberland River Review. Her poems, 'Raindrops' and 'Final?' are published in The Shot Glass Journal and she has work upcoming in The Ibis Head Review. A native of Washington State, Rebecca now resides in Nashville, Tennessee and is partial to museums, swing dancing, and trips to the beach.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Naming It All: Arches National Park Carol Hamilton Landscape Arch, Turret Arch, Delicate, Broken, Tapestry, Double O Arch, Pinetree, Tunnel, Skyline, Partition Arch, Navajo, soil of fungi, algae, lichen, bacteria, cynobacteria. A land of sun glow and vocabulary. A raven cuts black against such a profusion of golden color and nomenclature. Salt shapes rise from eons to challenge our steps and turn imagination into mapmaking.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Suddenly Fig Leaves Carol Hamilton Up from nothing but lopped-off and brittle sticks, one dawn my window is filled with glazed green and splayed fingers like palm leaves, perfect to fan away the humid air heavy around the Pharaoh on his throne. With dignity they stir the stilled heat, signaling how a frozen antiquity is forever waiting at the lip of time

Carol Hamilton has published 17 books: children's novels, legends and poetry, most recently, Such Deaths from Virtual Arts Cooperative Press Purple Flag Series. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize. Carol has recent or upcoming publications in Paper Street Journal, Cold Mountain Review, Main Street Rag, Gingerbread House, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Homestead Review, Poem, Sandy River Review, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, Texas Poetry Calendar 2017, Oklahoma Humanities Magazine, Inscape and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

[if they ever find themselves strapped to the mast]

Darren Demaree i told my children if they ever find themselves strapped to the mast of a ship that is headed into water they do not desire they should ignore the ocean they should break free they should find the gun powder they should set it ablaze they should jump overboard and swim so far so quickly that they never hear the screams of their captors they’re my children i’ve taught them to swim for this reason i’m hopeful they will be better than me i’ve been treading water next to wreckage and bodies of the ship i was once tied to i’m hopeful that one of the children will make it to shore our family name has been at sea for a century

Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Diode, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and Colorado Review. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. Darren lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.

On the Train to Penn Station Donna M. Davis I sit across from a young black man, whose straw hat is perched on his knee. His legs are long and immobile as massive obsidian pillars. I can't move my feet forward; he doesn't give an inch. He aims a hostile glance at me, this older white woman; his stare a jagged fingernail, scratches my consciousness.

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Tipton Poetry Journal But when I start to read my copy of the poems of Langston Hughes, the one l bought back in Wilmington, the corners of his mouth shed their tension. While the train rumbles onward, I interpret the prayers and desires of black men and women. Jazz notes waft from dance clubs to engulf Harlem streets. Juicy kisses drizzle from the lips of tall brown-skinned ladies. Langston's ghostly moon, thin and sharp, hovers over cities where black people labor in servitude to slender hopes. I study every nuanced verse and sense what it is to be anything but white. Yet, I don't give myself false notions. I will never understand what that really means. All l know is that the young man is telling me what stops we'll hit before our arrival at Penn Station. He moves his feet to give me more room, then draws the straw hat over his heavy eyes and drifts beyond the pages of my book.

Donna M. Davis is a former English teacher and current business owner who lives in central New York. She has published poems in The Muddy River Review, The Comstock Review, Third Wednesday, Burningwood Literary Journal, Pudding, Slipstream Review, Halcyon Days, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House, Red Fez, Oddball, Carcinogenic Review, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Dreams of My Father Will Reger Sometimes I dream of my father. In the corner of my eye I see him walking along the street and I turn to call out something, but in that instant I do not know what to say. I feel it is just a lie I tell that I saw him or dreamt him. Just a way for me to keep him close, to turn him over and over in my hands, between my fingers like a coin I am saving for the pay phone. I want to call, but then I drop my father down a grate. Sometimes I dream of my father, that he is writing to me a letter, or maybe that he is writing me, as if I am his story, the true story he always wanted to tell the world back when he had a tongue but no words. My dreams are like his words now, when he has no tongue. His words are old roads I know in my sleep and I follow them the way a horse comes home at night, his rider drunken, strapped over the saddle. Sometimes I dream of my father. I know it is him because he is not there. In the dream, I know he is on the road and nothing will heal his return.

Cain

Will Reger

In the beginning I was a gardener. I made the earth my wife. I turned and plowed her With my stiff blade, And placed my seed in her virgin soil.

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Tipton Poetry Journal I loved the green leafy things that grew-The cabbages, lettuces, and peas. But when I offered these Up to the Lord he turned away, tossed his head like a spoilt child. Rabbit food? None of this for me. There's no savor in these-I'd rather eat the rabbit! And he took my brother's lamb As his acceptable due. My brother, whose stupid lambs are Always eating my carrots and potatoes, He laughed. He laughed when I Was rejected of the Lord, so I took a stone from the wall I was building around my lands And I smashed his impudent face! Was I my brother's keeper? What on earth would I want with him? He always stank of sheep. I lost so much that day. The love in my mother's eye went out. My father could no longer look at me. My beautiful lands, so green and ripe, Turned brown and slimy with worms. I was cast out. I lost my comely human form And became wild, a monster. I lost poetry -- I can only howl Like a beast in the night. But most horrible of all: I will never know if death Tastes sweet like they say. Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has published or will appear in Dialogue, Hymns Today, Deepwater Literary Review, AmericanTanka.com, Vermilion Literary Project, Front Porch Review, Chiron Review, VerseWrights.com, and Paterson Literary Review. He is a founding member of the CU (Champaign-Urbana) Poetry Group (cupoetry.com). He has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and currently teaches at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife, Mary, with whom he has raised four children. When he is not teaching or writing poetry, he collects flutes, plays flutes, and sometimes even writes poems about flutes. He can be found at https://twitter.com/wmreger.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Religion Mark Vogel She said once and then again in early Sunday morning brightness: This sky is so huge reaching to the ground—so many clouds on a blacktop barreling on to Charleston, Missouri and the Mississippi River bridge and points east— Paducah, Clarksville, Cookeville, Knoxville. Her big-urban East Coast wondrous outburst came near Diehlstadt, not far from Blodgett, north of New Madrid, in a world of thousand acre fields which made my Blue Ridge home feel several continents away. In our swirling speed the segregated beans, cotton, corn, and sorghum lived exposed in overwhelming flatness with evidence of humans sporadic, visible down gravel driveways leading to a trailer, or a brick mansion, squatting stark amidst lonely trees on river bottom soil dark enough to grow anything. Under this 360 degree sky hanging all the way to ground no time existed for sociology or historical analysis. The thick 3-D cumulus clouds were slow growing like huge crowded sheep intimate with blue profusion. So that my beautiful lover, transfixed, stammered about how this land of openness without mountains, redwoods, waterfalls, or oceans forces eyes open. The road stretched black, seemingly forever when we stopped at a discarded rail depot to feel the river miles ahead, fat and wide dividing the country. As a fencepost hawk stared straight on and the ground shimmered with rising heat, the quiet drama stretched in all directions. All meaning was up, surrounding us, weightless and transcendent—alive. Mark Vogel has published poetry in Poetry Midwest, English Journal, Cape Rock, Dark Sky, Cold Mountain Review, Broken Bridge Review and other journals. He is currently Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and directs the Appalachian Writing Project.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Hen-House Child Randel McCraw Helms [After Seamus Heaney]

Remember the aged anaconda, Scrolled for years in the cage of a demented Pensioner. It could not uncurl itself. Dedicated vets and amateurs gave Hours of massage, and loosed the frozen spiral, To let it flow like spring-melt again Into a roomy zoo. So with the child: Raised in a hen-house by a mother barking mad He spoke only the chicken’s becuck, And made no sound but a choking moan when He was trucked away in his beshitted shirt. We jailed and reviled the mother of course, And placed him in the proper hands, to be Studied, and prodded into productivity.

Found Carved in the Floorboard of a Capsized Dinghy, Near Sicily, Summer, 2015

Randel McCraw Helms My name is Ali My son’s name is Muhammad If you see my wife, whose name Is Fatima, tell her I

Until his retirement, Randel McCraw Helms was professor of English at Arizona State University, where he taught classes in the Bible as Literature, the Romantic Poets, and contemporary literature. He is the author of five books of literary criticism, including Tolkien's World, Gospel Fictions, and The Bible Against Itself. Making poems is his lifelong avocation.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Ascension Day Craig Bruce McVay The Teacher Watches Jesus and his 8th-Grade Student Ascension Day: forty days after the crucifixion, before he is taken to heaven, Jesus appears on Mount Olive to his disciples And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. Acts 1: 9 (KJV)

I watch Jesus, before he goes, milling around the chapel shaking hands with friends. He smiles at the children playing at the altar and singing Ring around the Baptistry. He looks at the muddy-gold-haired girl lying on the scuffed pew at the back, its pine as black as a coffin. She is staring at her notes, trying to study. My words--adverbial conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs-fly about her head like gnats around a dirty porch light. Jesus smiles and goes to talk with her. I am nothing like Jesus. I care for that girl as much as a gray mother cat that shoves the runt out of the basket onto the cracked basement floor. Jesus walks over to me. When I smile and tell him goodbye, say I'll see him soon, and put out my hand to shake, he slaps my face. Hard.

Craig Bruce McVay, from Lafayette, Indiana has lived with his wife, in Columbus, Ohio for the last thirty-five years. His degrees are in English and Classics, both of which he has taught in schools, community colleges, universities, and prisons in Central Ohio. He is a member of the Columbus Salon Workshop. Poems and stories appear online and in print in Avatar Review, Blue Unicorn, Cap City Poets, Classical Bulletin, Everything Stops and Listens, Icon, Pudding Magazine, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Sort of Sonnet Robert Weibezahl If I could leave you to your art and thoughts and two a.m. moods that prey on dignity, and run off to some city south of here where the languid noise permits retreat and pearl gray WALK signs grant me freedom, or better still, to an English shire cloaked in spiny underground and ancient writ, where I might find a confluence of trees from which to spy the Pleiades, or to a fieldstone house, roof in repair, where mustard fields fenced with wire garnish yellow Mays, green Augusts, brown Novembers, and winter winds preclude solitude, then there would be no need to leave.

Robert Weibezahl is a novelist, playwright, and poet. His poems have been published by Tipton Poetry Journal, Long Island Quarterly, and The Caterpillar (Ireland). He is the author of two novels, The Wicked and the Dead and The Dead Don’t Forget, a play, And Lightning Struck: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Creation, as well as a number of short stories. He has been a finalist for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Derringer Award. Weibezahl has been a book review columnist for BookPage for fifteen years.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

A Color a Man Can’t Be – Or, How to Cover Up Jeanette Beebe 1. The room where my mother grew up was orange: the walls, the carpet, and the furniture, too. As a girl, I tried to pull back the bottom drawer of the old oak dresser. The heavy thing slipped, and a knob snapped off. A dead hardness crumbled in my hand like a crayon. 2. Orange is a color of regret. This country is led by orange, an endless buffering: dyed orange, and kept orange, a dizzying alarm. 3. It’s orange still — no one has changed it back to whatever color blankness should be, like a child’s coloring books stored deep in a drawer, every page an outline, fragile, never filled in.

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Tipton Poetry Journal 4. We’re stuck in this room, our country, falling asleep, surrounded by orange, orange, orange.

The Bargain Jeanette Beebe While watching my mother put on her blue dress, the edges of herself folded, pressed to the limit, I asked, Which is worth more, a nickel or a dime? But I already knew that the nickel is bigger and takes longer to say, so it must be the more valuable one. Because the boy on top of the iron fire truck at preschool said so — I’m bigger, so there. Bigger was better, so there. A gibbon with a megaphone was worth more than the inside voice of a girl, or whatever’s written in chalk on the sidewalk. An outline of a blank coin, cheap, not yet struck. Always the hope for something to fit. I wasn’t bought. But I didn’t come from her belly. I came from her hips. Jeanette Beebe is a poet and journalist. Her reporting has been featured in Scientific American and is regularly broadcast on WHYY, the NPR station in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Delaware Poetry Review, Nat Brut, Rogue Agent, and Tinderbox, and are forthcoming in After the Pause, Crab Fat, Dialogist, Fjords Review, Heavy Feather Review and Metatron. An Iowa native based in New Jersey, she holds an A.B. from Princeton, where she was lucky enough to write a poetry thesis advised by Tracy K. Smith. www.jeanettebeebe.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Advertised Tim Robbins I advertised for a lover black as a vinyl record in a spattered jacket smelling like a basement book. Or a jacket with psychedelic artwork and shrink wrap I’d pierce gently with my thumbnail. Black with reflections white as the Apollo’s spotlight. The needle arm rides daintily from the outer rim to the no-man’s land around the label. Experienced, scratchy, it crackles like the fireplace in the grand hall of the ski lodge where we toast our anniversaries. Sometime around the tenth, we no longer feel conspicuous checking in. By then the record’s been flipped a hundred times. We’ve gotten careless about sleeving it. We anticipate the notes that hiccup, the one-syllable beefs that nag.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Ball-Keeper Tim Robbins Over the years, he told students, first dates, cabbies who assumed he cheered or cussed (maybe even won or lost cash on) last night’s game. In P.E. they invented a position for him: out-out-out-out field. Which meant: stand in the parking lot, watch for a fluke ball, collect it where it falls and return it to school. He repeated this because it got a laugh. He didn’t notice it becoming fact in memory’s parking lot adjacent to memory’s diamond. He would rehearse geometrical problems he half-solved while waiting for a distant whistle, the patterns the other boys made, perceptible only from afar. Sometimes he thought he recalled the Ball-Keeper’s name, a middle-aged man with a smile like a steady, not lucrative job. The fellow never commented on the prodigal home-runs. I chalked it up to boredom at the time. Now I see it was kindness.

Tim Robbins teaches ESL and does freelance translation in Wisconsin. He has a BA in French and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University. His poems have appeared in Three New Poets, Long Shot, Bayou Magazine, Off the Coast, The Tishman Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Slant, Main Street Rag and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Party Dress John Cullen We’re late, as usual, shaking crease and cuff as we settle into the car, and my wife reads while we speed straight against the night to an office party. “Crows ant, nestling forward, breast against formic pumice.” Simply stated they squat bare-assed mashing ants to goulash. Seriously, peeping researchers recorded crows on acid baths, cackling like drunken grackles, all shiver and tingle, and sparkling plumage. What a wonderful world, they crow. “No one knows why.”

John Cullen has recently published poems in Controlled Burn, The MacGuffin, The Milo Review, Grist, and others. His chapbook Town Crazy won the Slipstream Award and the title poem was their Pushcart Award nomination. Having worked in the past as a beekeeper and talent agent, he now teaches in West Michigan.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Cairn Building Bob Meszaros All afternoon, she kneels near the water’s edge between erratic and petrified tree trunk, her feet cooled by the rising tide, her hair streaked with summer’s gold. Unaware of Inuit and Greek, of Druid and Viking, of obelisk and dolmen, of Stonehenge and runestone, of far off mountain trails and passes, of mounds of snow-white bones, weighing the sunlight with her hands, she balances one rock on another, the column rising slowly stone by stone before her. She has no fear of getting lost, no thought of honoring the dead. It is enough to keep this moment balanced, to get each stone in place before the little girl is gone.

Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and many other literary journals.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Roses in Pink and Gold KJ Hannah Greenberg Orthogonal attitudes have boundaries. Chiefly, they’re devoid of bardos, Offer up no small compassion for Persons achieved of antarabhāva. Fortunately or not, most of us Fail to advance to rosy edges, While engaged with kin or Career-stipulated rigidities. Grassroots crowds simply Can’t begin to intermit Many injunctions, bend Perforce, to roundness. [Roses in Pink and Gold is one of 100 poems and paintings to be included in a book/gallery exhibit, Exchange Rates, a collaboration with American painter Nancy Ramsey.]

Faithfully constructive in her epistemology, KJ Hannah Greenberg channels gelatinous monsters and twoheaded wildebeests. Forever an inventor of printed possibilities, Hannah's been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature, once for the Million Writers Award, and once for The Best of the Net. She flies the galaxy in search of assistant bank managers, runs with a prickle of rabid (imaginary) hedgehogs, and attempts to matchmake words like “balderdash” and “xylophone.” Hannah lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Her newest poetry collections are: Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017), and A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016).

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Nancy Ramsey, a painter from Alexandria, Virginia, values exploring the natural world and often references nature and the human form within her abstract art. She also enjoys painting more abstractly on intuitive projects in which each stroke forms in response to the one before. Collaborating with other artists, writers and dancers is a particular interest and inspiration.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Writing a Poem John Timothy Robinson Sometimes you spend an hour, entire mornings. Words won’t fit to form as one desires. And drafts of lines often seem so boring, though after days—an old car with new tires. There are words always saved, kept as close as blood, combinations like no other, revised, torn in constant paper shredder’s pulp meal. Writing poems is puzzle-work and sign-graft; sometimes you even spend entire mornings.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Voice I Never Hear John Timothy Robinson I have already existed in someone else's words, filed away, cataloged with History or Math--a book about fossils could tell you as much. Too many people have written bad books. Each year library stacks are filled with faces searching for the right call number, one more source that needs to satisfy the face that punishes. Still, there is poetry. I am too much among these titles, the names you trace with fingers and still don't understand why, though I know part of us lives in books, and maybe, in some lesser, mildly-neurotic way, I want to be found, plucked from my rack of dust, read cover to cover in one night, and then again, until she recites my words in her sleep and I dream that dream of impossible peace.

John Timothy Robinson is a graduate of the Marshall University Creative Writing program in Huntington, West Virginia with a Regent’s Degree. He has an interest in Critical Theory of Poetry and American Formalism. John is also a twelve-year educator for Mason County Schools in Mason County, West Virginia. John is currently working on areative dissertation in contemporary poetry, though outside the university environment. He has recent and forthcoming work in Blue Collar Review, California Quarterly, Ship of Fools, Ibbetson Street Press, South Carolina Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Pinyon Poetry Review, Red River Review, Miller’s Pond, Ginosko Literary Journal and The Magnolia Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Lost in Blue Gabriella Garofalo Mistaking dreams is hard Well, songs leave shadows and rattlings behind She and those grim eyes, Moon longs for you, but is always late: Beauty, boundless Beauty, Stop it for good, then, Stop giving birth to children and grass Stop searching, stop the endless white force They call seed at night And a world they call a wound Where salt is forever cast The latest slant is they call a green hot line The hunger of trees against leaves, Of teens against kids Of wombs against bodies Yet I do love my faith, You, God, so very weary and wild, You, light, so corpse when breaking out loud Maybe a truce if losses and dyslexic blue Happen when night and dogs To shreds tear up desire. *******

Lepers had bells, Jews the star of David What have you got, soul, So they can spot you from afar? Begetter, I asked for a list, but nightmares I got When fascinated kids watched feral kitten being offed And the occasional passer-by sharply cried out “How cool” Begetter, I asked for a list, but nightmares I got When friends tossed at me fools and hanged men, the usual stuff Begetter, I asked for a list, you sent me a prophet Who sang “You won’t be dead, cancelled all the sins” His very words, you see, when starving trees Raised up their branches and snapped at him Words too can snap and death At a stone’s throws from where we love Your belt of many stars? Look, soul, he’s an artist, So He can give you no reassuring stars. *******

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Tipton Poetry Journal Still, sparkling? Remembrance, maybe, is the name of the game If you think of them, but onlookers come by And trample those coloured bits, life While girls light ciggies nonchalantly outside the cafés You’ll have, I’m afraid, to go down the comet, Turn north past the stars get to the white room At the bottom of the house, Where men curse and swear, ever the frightened warriors And women bawl their souls off What, two children? Yes, two, one wheezes, One looks for fire and finds words Ok, they don’t breathe life, only cold, only shapes, But, hey ho, no fuss, make do with them Meanwhile they keep smiling, Oh, don’t they smile those dirty old hags When mourning death, when shafting life, When hurling you into their room Luckily they don’t realise smiles kill and stalk, So it’s much easier for them Children don’t realise, just die.

Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of Lo sguardo di Orfeo, L’inverno di vetro, Di altre stelle polari and Blue branches. Gabriella lives in Lombardy, Italy.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Blackburn’s Daughter Charles Kell who Rodney mentioned every night—3rd shift—in the Middlefield, Ohio Kraftmaid, where we worked in custom cutting. Her ass her hair her blue eyes, even when she wasn’t there— Blackburn’s daughter—he’d whisper, then run another board through the ripsaw. I nodded or said nothing. Aware only of blade on wood. Clang of refuse against the back dumpster. Next sheet to cut. Then: Blackburn’s daughter walks across the shop’s floor. Time stopped. I tried to look away but could not. Thought Rodney would drop over. Where is she going? What does she do? Why does she walk so slow? (please don’t go). We imagine her moving paper in one of the airconditioned offices, driving back to a beautifully furnished apartment, crawling into a soft white bed, naked, and quickly falling asleep. While we sweat, wait until the bell rings at 6:30 a.m. to drive to the bar. Over bourbon and beer, a line chalked out on the toilet’s white porcelain, under the jukeboxes’ screaming guitar, Rodney looks me dead in the eye, grabs my shoulder, and mouths Blackburn’s daughter

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Glass Cemetery Charles Kell When the frost lights on the graveyard a group of children are led from the schoolhouse to gather around & blow until the thin, cold film of ice dissolves & the markers become visible once again. Linda is the special one the grown-ups call “deaththawer.” Her little lungs house the power of a thousand heat filaments. She unbuttons her coat then presses her lips together. She is regarded with envy amongst her fellow third graders.

Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

a frowning barmaid Jack Moody my first happy memory that I can recall was in fifth grade I must have been ten we were studying poetry with mrs. morelli the italian with the husband ten years older than her she assigned us different classic paintings throughout history and told us to write a poem about that painting I don’t remember what I wrote but I remember the painting a frowning barmaid standing before a swirling mirror and a shelf of alcohol the colors were dark and haunting depression was painfully etched into her blank expression I found it beautiful it felt profound I don’t remember what I wrote the poem was read for my whole class it made my art teacher weep I felt I did something right the face of that woman reflected in my soul and burned into my memory I haven’t been able to find the painting again

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Tipton Poetry Journal last night I sat alone at the bar face buried in a whiskey ginger listening to the clinks of ice against dirty glasses when I caught sight of myself in the mirror behind the red-nosed bartender hand restlessly running back and forth through my uncombed hair I saw the mysterious woman staring back at me the depression painfully etched into her blank expression I found it beautiful it felt profound I finished my drink paid the tab and left

Jack Moody is a short story writer, poet and freelance journalist from wherever he happens to be at the time. He has had work published in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Round Up, Cold Creek Review, CC&D Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, Brickplight, Ignatian Literary Magazine, The Legendary, Horror Sleaze Trash Magazine, and Southern Pacific Review, with work forthcoming in Brick Moon Fiction. He didn't go to college. He likes his privacy. He doesn't have a social media account. Don't ask him to make one. Contact him at j.moody9116@gmail.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Travel in Spirit Tia Paul-Louis It is not moon or stars that bring night. They’re only curtains. I wave through bushes like a tail to stroke something still. I find an edge, but it fools me with a live and soft growth. I want to kill it. I roam the graves where moths are buried. They have guardians too. With every house door closed, true eyes watch what lovers forbid. On a furnished deck sits a wine bottle and chocolate strawberries, where someone’s sweetheart smiles at me. There, I’m taken— back to the wrecked corvette I’m crushed in, next to the one who brought me here.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Train

Tia Paul-Louis The sound of the southbound train pulls the skin off my face. Heat and gravity compete for my veins. If only I could scratch the paint off the train rooftop with my raven nails. Though the squeaking, like the slow kill of a dozen mice, thins me, I’d go on digging till I reach the cushion and tear it like a heart; that seat you left unoccupied; the hours of July I spent thinking you’d come. And that horn punches my stomach. The pressure has not been released inside. I wish to strip those windows of their shine and place shadows instead, like the ones you left in your absence. I’d go to you, but neither of us would remain, so, I’ll be at the station awaiting the nine o’clock southbound train.

Tia Paul-Louis is a mother to a three-year old girl and the wife of a health specialist who currently lives in Maryland. She moved from the Caribbean to the U.S. at age nine with her parents. Through many years of battling with foreign and old traditions that could never come to an agreement, she finally found a voice through writing and earned an MFA degree in Creative Writing at National University in La Jolla, California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

The Customs of the Moon Douglas G. Campbell I am no astronomer. My parents never taught me the customs of the moon; when she will bring the waters of the sea flowing up into the estuaries of salt or let the tides flow back into the recessed throats of oceans. The legends which regulate the winds never reached for my ears never taught my brain how to read the leaves that fall from trees. I cannot measure the winter’s tides within the thickness of an oak tree’s bark or gauge the coming storm’s intent from the crests and troughs, which tumble through the fields of grass. I am often scoured by rain that earlier clouds did not predict, or swept away by unseen currents that break the surface image of glass, or left in some eddy up against a rock trapped by my lack of strength. The seasons change before I notice that ice is forming around the eyelids or that frost has turned my beard to white. Seasonal rains cut ravines in the skin, erosion takes its grinding route plowing furrows beneath my eyes. Forests recede from the upper slopes leaving the mountain’s skull exposed.

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Tipton Poetry Journal I have not learned that valleys hold the easiest paths to dreams. High mountains act as magnets drawing breaths from lungs, attaching vices to the calf muscles. No shaman ever drove the wings of hawks from my retinas, nor hung an amulet of stone around my neck, nor forced me to drink the valley’s brew to drive away the ghosts of falling from the nightmares of my climbs. I can never foresee when the summit will be hidden by stone dense mist or when the green-eyed moon will wash the open sky with night.

Douglas G. Campbell lives in Portland, Oregon. He is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is also the author of Turning Radius (Oblique Voices Press 2017), Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect, (University Press of America, 2002), Parktails, (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012), and Facing the Light: The Art of Douglas Campbell, (Oblique Voices Press, 2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals and 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

Farm Days John Grey My father roused us out of bed at 5 a.m. to milk the fat udders of the cows. Down the path to the shed we stumbled just as day broke over the hills. This was long before the arguments, the shouting, divorce, kids slapped around from country to city at the whim of some dull-eyed judge. This was when pure white bubbled at the touch of a teat, when you could have sworn the horizon gushed from the swift hands of our milking.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident currently living in Rhode Island. Recently published in The Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Refuge

Sarah Rehfeldt A mountain keeps all secrets – whatever stream or runoff carries stays here, where ground is moist and shade is ample – it seeps tangled down through underlying rock and soil into black stillness. The way the wind moves in like water – it will shelter deep and bury twist and pile into what folded layer into layer. To risk darkness – To see light through it – To make from this wilderness something to belong to – This was done to be alone.

Photo Credit: “A Place Near the Ground” (Sarah Rehfeldt)

Sarah Rehfeldt lives with her family in western Washington where she is a writer, artist, and photographer. Her publication credits include Appalachia; Blueline; Written River; Weber – The Contemporary West; and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. Sarah is the author of Somewhere South of Pegasus, a collection of image poems. It can be purchased through her photography web pages at http://www.pbase.com/candanceski.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Martha

Jake Sheff My fear of flying is a hammer without a nail. The airplane is more a nail than me, I tell it. It has happened, the panic of going down before take off while listening to your voicemail in one ear, the pilot’s garbled announcement in the other, and like the stewardess I demonstrate how to properly fasten my safety belt by saying, I love you, after the offending tone. I’m wiped away like sweat from the cacophony, but still, I’m reminded you could be dead, because the news reports on murders the way stomachs growl at bedtime. And I know we live in a bad neighborhood because the sirens sound like ice cream trucks and the school buses run all day. To prevent crashing, I live these days in airplane mode.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Sometimes when I doze off on the plane, I dream about a sky so full of passenger pigeons it blots out the sun, and in the dark I see those naive, gun-happy folksy-types shooting the whole lot of them, until the last one becomes my plane in the Cincinnati Zoo.

Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. His chapbook is Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible.

Kundalini Shakti Catherine La Roque blue lightning coiled in a serpent sky illuminate my longing in this storm I am you.

Catherine La Roque is a woman of ethnic complexity living in New Mexico and writing poetry. She was included in an anthology of New Mexico writers.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

All That Was Needed Gene Twaronite All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ~George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Keep telling yourself it never happened wage relentless assault on all evidence to the contrary vanquish doubt as you double down on the message memorize then swallow fix it firmly like a favorite song in the jukebox memory of your hippocampus play it again and again as you reimagine the past.

Gene Twaronite, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, is the author of six books, including two juvenile fantasy novels. His first book of poetry, Trash Picker on Mars, has recently been published by Aldrich Press. Visit his website at http://www.thetwaronitezone.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Review: Ribcage by Joan Colby Reviewed by Barry Harris Title: Ribcage Author: Joan Colby Year: 2015 Publisher: Glass Lyre Press

Joan Colby’s Ribcage won the 2015 Kithara Book Prize from Glass Lyre Press. It is a masterful work craftily built from the foundation up. Kind of like the human body, as the reader is quick to discover. The book consists of two sections: “The Body in Question” and “The Mind at Play.” The first section builds the architecture and frame body part by body part, organ by organ. It is a poetic atlas of the body stitched together by metaphor. In “Running Red and Hopeless,” we see the skin and our lives laid out on display: As we age, our skin thins Its map splotches with destroyed cities. The continent of the self erodes. Theologians insist our bodies Will arise on the Last Day In wondrous skins of belief.

This atlas of physiology continues on building bones, blood, muscles, joints together with organs of sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell and the organs of complex function: heart, liver, kidneys, lungs. Every organ tells a story. One vivid image is in “Coughing Up Roses:” …. A woman In the restroom taking a final drag. Tomorrow The surgery. She still loves it The way a beaten woman loves the man Who weeps drunkenly in her lap Swearing he’ll stop.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Sometimes the journey is playful as the poet explores what parts of the body look like. In “Commas of the Complex Sentence:” Kidneys. Two cheerful siblings working in tandem Like Jack and Jill with their pails. Commas in the complex sentence Of the body. Beans or boomerangs.

It can be educational. In “Lights and Sirens” we learn that the appendix was useful once several million years ago when upright men needed them to digest stalky plants. Or in 1735 an eleven year old boy swallowed a pin and was the first to be saved by an appendectomy. Or in 1961 Dr. Leonid Rogozov operated on himself while in Antarctica and was awarded the Soviet Union Order of the Red Banner of Labor medal. At the center, the heart. From “All the Red Horses:” The heart never rests, It drives the body unheeded, A teamster urging All the red horses Day and night, day and night. When the body betrays it The heart grows Enormous and flaccid, A fat and sulking creature On a grey porch, Rocking and halting, rocking and halting, Biding its time.

Of course, surrounding the heart, as if housing a caught bird, the ribcage itself. From “In Which the Heart Takes Ease:” Harp that strums with the soul Of harmony. Haunting curve of bone. The sweetest meat. Here’s where breath and meter meet. The drum of pulse, A scarlet tanager.

After the foundation is built, Joan next initiates us into her book’s second storey with the final section “The Mind at Play.” I find these poems to be almost meditations. Or perhaps they start as meditations and float upward after she blows on the embers and lets the smoke roll up and away. I mostly read this in one long session over several hours. Doing so I was struck by the evidence of her craft and it never was just a collection of poems even on a theme. I found myself sometimes tickled, often in awe,

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Tipton Poetry Journal and occasionally I could say in recognition: Oh, I see what you are doing over there. In “And Speech Created Thought,” the poet awakes and reaches for the copy of Shelley she fell asleep reading and sees again the line “and speech created thought which is the measure of the universe.” She then muses: Shelley, radical, disbeliever, Believer, enamored of crackpot Notions and great ideas…. Startling the future With this image of atomic matter – Orbs in the sphere Upon a thousand sightless axles spinning Or your vision of electricity as the new Promethean fire that walks through fields Or cities while men sleep.

Ever the good journalist, there is a set of five poems that seem to me to enlarge the scope as if we slowly rise to a higher elevation where what we observe can be viewed from a different perspective: “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “Why,” and my favorite, “When.” When rain falls constantly or not at all When fires consume the prairies and the slopes Of foothills where witchlike figures in a caul Of ash stand like emblems of our various hopes Making jagged vaguely obscene gestures. When dark or light is now or never And you and I are gone forever.

Each of the five poems in this set are, to me, invitations to see the world differently – through the prism of those five questions. It is as if the poet asks the reader quietly to go with me and I will show you another way to see. “Meditation Stroll” explores the attraction and pull as well as the difficulty of meditative practice and devotion. She describes walking a meditation path, “at first a spiral, then curving / Upon itself like the earth, a circle, / The universal prayer of stars and planets.” She admits that she is not adept at this – this walking a pattern designed for peace – . . . If I could cease Thinking. Become the stillness of A vessel emptied of water. I lack A lack of impulsion.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Here is the lotus where Lord Krishna Hovers in his bee-form. I should take no Notice. But I Buzz in the hive of myself. Honeycomb. Sweet. Sweet.

“Soft Spot” is a tender play on words. On one hand it is about the fontanel, that soft spot between an infant’s skullbones. On another it becomes a litany of all the things the poet has a soft spot for. Toward the end of her long list: Mayan temples, Hershey bars, pinot noir, Apricots, Isadora Duncan, well-worn jeans, Flannel pajamas, good sex, luggage with wheels, First class, first frost, first love, Crossword puzzles, making lists Like this, a delicate chasm, the Fontanel of preferences That gradually closes, hardens.

I didn’t know this, and maybe you didn’t either, that wood turtles stamp the ground to lure earthworms and snails to the surface. Joan reveals this information in “Tulips,” a poem in which she says she too feels “… like stamping / When I observe how he has dug up / The tulip bulbs from a long-established bed / . . . He wants all-summer color.” . . . The people who claim climate change is A myth, who explain What god has in mind, at least For them, who entertain Notions of trapping wolves and wild Horses, who lower the educational bar So everyone can pass, so the world Can be ruled by idiots. So I can rant Like a madwoman: O wood turtles Come out and drum The land senseless, until the worms Rise in a slithery mass, Until everyone understands The necessity of tulips.

I think I understand what she is saying in Ribcage. At least to me. Perhaps Ribcage will say something else unique for you. That life is precious. That our body is a complex system of simple things. It is a wonder.

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Tipton Poetry Journal In one of her final poems in the book, “Composing the Essay,” these lines sum it up for me: Fondle one small creature, The ferret of imagination Or the snowy owl of changing weathers And you will learn that When the heart fails Everything fails.

Joan Colby is a widely published, award-winning poet with 20 books to her credit. They include Ribcage, Selected Poems, The Wingback Chair, Broke, Carnival, The Seven Heavenly Virtues and others. Journals that include her work are Poetry, Grand Street, Gargoyle, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Hollins Critic, Tipton Poetry Journal and others. She is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council and has received many nominations to the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Editor of a trade publication for over 30 years, she is associate editor of FutureCycle Press and Kentucky Review. Joan lives on a small horse-farm in Northern Illinois.

Barry Harris is founding editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and 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, Writers‘ Bloc and RedHeaded Stepchild.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Sleeping With My Telescope Richard Pflum It is a chill metallic passion even on hot, humid July nights. For it seems the stars are substantially cold as I gaze, eye to polished eye, entwined in black night clothes, (the wrinkled sheets of pure space-time, so remote from diurnal time). There, everything appears to stray from its sidereal gait so I must transport myself far, either by sight or imagination, when needing to know; “Is it the same passion that fuses flesh, births the stars, makes us prodigals of vision: this light, our motion, the cosmic wind; all that energy and ardor, both up and around . . . outside my open window, which also swirls inside, allows us some share of each other’s gravity?” The sun mobilizes us by day and then I think off warmer lovers, the sweetness of flowers and perfume, real arms and legs ready for embrace. Human shapes may make a comfortable fit as when eyes are pressed in shadow and light is eclipsed behind a shoulder or in the soft valley between breasts. But tonight I drowse against my telescope, cheek to cold cheek, supported by three sturdy feet in rubber slippers, while her flawless glass eye attempts to show me everything. She may be a bit of an exhibitionist, a freak, a wanton, but I am thankful for her when flesh runs dry, and we bathe together in this milky river above our heads.

[This poem was previously published in Richard Pflum’s The Haunted Refrigerator and Other Poems (Pudding House, 2007)]

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Mining Poetry Richard Pflum is mining in the dark: it is dangerous work as stakes are high and the possibility of cave-ins cannot be minimized. Yet like any honest labor it has its rewards as we move from one shaft to another, blasting away new tunnels, picking through the ore and dross, always seeking some new and richer vein. It is labor intensive. Not like in an office with its budgets and paper work, the politics, plots for praise and advancement, shifting of blame and seeking always, in the names of commerce and hubris, to maximize the bottom line. Poetry has its own pay off, with a hunk of product cold in your palm as it gleams in the lamplight, its jewel like strata refracting faceted colors. The more we find, the more eager we are to continue, feel again and again its smooth heavy contour in our callused hands. Whatever comes of it after leaving our possession is of no concern. We know our part: we gave freely with our effort. The world knows or does not know – what to make of it.

[This poem was previously published in Richard Pflum’s Some Poems To Be Read Out Loud (Chatter Box Press, 2012)]

Richard Pflum’s poems have appeared in Conceit Magazine, Sparrow, Flying Island, Ploplop, Event Kayak, The Reaper, The Indiana Experience, The Hopewell Review and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal. His most recent book is Some Poems to be Read Out Loud: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2012). Richard lives in Indianapolis and has hosted the bi-monthly Poetry Salon (now at the Indiana Writers Center) for much of its 35 year history.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Come Holy Ghost Dennis Zahm the voice, singing, there beside me, here inside me, his voice, firm, clear singing as it had once sang before, before slowly softening to a whisper, firmly pressed each note, each quaver the hymn held, with little mordants of disappointment, desire, and slight appoggiaturas of sorrow, soreness from losing the farm twice, lifting heavy loads of pipe, ceramic fixtures, and as the hymn approached the end of each phrase, each line of melody and lyric, his voice trailed off, falling, sagging, letting lead weight fall away. right here inside where I am standing. I hear my own voice weak, worrisome, stuck in my throat, clenched in my jaw — brave a full breath, relax, release sound from the depth of our present absence — and we sing again together.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

font

Dennis Zahm in what font were you formed? was it apple chancery , with its constitutional flair? perhaps it was times new roman, an empire struck in black. was it lucida grande, a crisp clear exposure of bright? maybe it was copperplate , hauntingly, gravely engraved. was it geneva sans serif, a placid pool of united notion? what about courier new, a loyal serif to a royal line? or was it american typewriter, an eagle landing at the capital? as for me, myself and I that triune disunity of ego, id and souped-up ego, zapf dingbats ✈☎❡formed me to wing, ringing every bell I could find, hitting them head first, “ding!”, knocking myself out, waking up in pain, and wondering why the world was upside down and backward.

Dennis Zahm grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and currently resides in northern Wisconsin. He began writing in high school and attended poetry workshops at the summer Split Rock Arts Program through the University of Minnesota. He participates in Open Mike Spoken Word at his local Stage North Theater. Dennis is a retired internal medicine physician.

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Tipton Poetry Journal

Bloomington Leah Strobel Hoosier yogis, Greeks and hippies, Scholars, wanderers and good intentions, Come into the scene on Daffodil and fire afternoons. Red white and blue emblazoned on Scalded cornfields and limestone, Where a GMC truck with “rednecks for peace� on the bumper Rumbles down breaking away streets. Exchanges are made with roll em ups and Obama phones, Runners pass mobile meth labs, While honeysuckle and azaleas, incense and curry, Sweeten and conceal. Here the trees wear knit scarves, Deer run through front lawns and ants Crawl across my legs in the temple. Love is easy to find.

Leah Strobel lived in Bloomington, Indiana for three years as a Lecturer in Spanish at Indiana University, and wrote this poem as a farewell to the city. She now lives in Wisconsin.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Editor Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and two anthologies by Brick Street Poetry: Mapping the Muse: A Bicentennial Look at Indiana Poetry and Words and Other Wild Things. 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, Writers‘ Bloc and Red-Headed Stepchild. 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.

Contributor Biographies Jeanette Beebe is a poet and journalist. Her reporting has been featured in Scientific American and is regularly broadcast on WHYY, the NPR station in Philadelphia. Her poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Delaware Poetry Review, Nat Brut, Rogue Agent, and Tinderbox, and are forthcoming in After the Pause, Crab Fat, Dialogist, Fjords Review, Heavy Feather Review and Metatron. An Iowa native based in New Jersey, she holds an A.B. from Princeton, where she was lucky enough to write a poetry thesis advised by Tracy K. Smith. www.jeanettebeebe.com. Michael Brockley is a 68-year old, newly retired school psychologist who worked for 31 years in rural northeast Indiana. Recent poems have appeared in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Jokes Review. Rebecca Broeker holds a BA in English from Trevecca Nazarene University where she served on the Masthead for The Cumberland River Review. Her poems, 'Raindrops' and 'Final?' are published in The Shot Glass Journal and she has work upcoming in The Ibis Head Review. A native of Washington State, Rebecca now resides in Nashville, Tennessee and is partial to museums, swing dancing, and trips to the beach. Douglas G. Campbell lives in Portland, Oregon. He is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is also the author of Turning Radius (Oblique Voices Press 2017), Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect, (University Press of America, 2002), Parktails, (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012), and Facing the Light: The Art of Douglas Campbell, (Oblique Voices Press, 2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals and his artwork is represented in collections such as The Portland Art Museum, Oregon State University, Ashforth Pacific, Inc. and George Fox University. Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives on the backside of a hill in the Ozark Mountains. She is the author of Persephone on the Metro (MadHat press, 2014), Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008) and Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000).

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Tipton Poetry Journal John Cullen has recently published poems in Controlled Burn, The MacGuffin, The Milo Review, Grist, and others. His chapbook Town Crazy won the Slipstream Award and the title poem was their Pushcart Award nomination. Having worked in the past as a beekeeper and talent agent, he now teaches in West Michigan. Donna M. Davis is a former English teacher and current business owner who lives in central New York. She has published poems in The Muddy River Review, The Comstock Review, Third Wednesday, Burningwood Literary Journal, Pudding, Slipstream Review, Halcyon Days, Poecology, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House, Red Fez, Oddball, Carcinogenic Review, and others. Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Diode, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and Colorado Review. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. Darren lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children. Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of Lo sguardo di Orfeo, L’inverno di vetro, Di altre stelle polari and Blue branches. Gabriella lives in Lombardy, Italy. James Grabill’s recent work is online at Caliban, Green Mountains Review, Kentucky Review, Elohi Gadugi, Buddhist Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Terrain, Mobius, Calliope, The Oxonian Review, The Toronto Quarterly, Mad Hatter’s Review, Plumwood Mountain, and others. His books include Poem Rising Out of the Earth (1994) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (2003), both from Lynx House Press. Wordcraft of Oregon has published his project of environmental prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve: Book One, 2014 (available online -http://www.0s-1s.com/poetry-shelves/sea-level-nerve), Book Two, 2015 (now available). A long-time Oregon resident, he teaches “systems thinking” and global issues relative to sustainability. Faithfully constructive in her epistemology, KJ Hannah Greenberg channels gelatinous monsters and two-headed wildebeests. Forever an inventor of printed possibilities, Hannah's been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature, once for the Million Writers Award, and once for The Best of the Net. She flies the galaxy in search of assistant bank managers, runs with a prickle of rabid (imaginary) hedgehogs, and attempts to matchmake words like “balderdash” and “xylophone.” Hannah lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Her newest poetry collections are: Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017), and A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016). John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident currently living in Rhode Island. Recently published in The Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly. Carol Hamilton has published 17 books: children's novels, legends and poetry, most recently, Such Deaths from Virtual Arts Cooperative Press Purple Flag Series. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize. Carol has recent or upcoming publications in Paper Street Journal, Cold Mountain Review, Main Street Rag, Gingerbread House, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Homestead Review, Poem, Sandy River Review, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, Texas Poetry Calendar 2017, Oklahoma Humanities Magazine, Inscape and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Nels Hanson grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California and has worked as a farmer, teacher and contract writer/editor. His fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations. Until his retirement, Randel McCraw Helms was professor of English at Arizona State University, where he taught classes in the Bible as Literature, the Romantic Poets, and contemporary literature. He is the author of five books of literary criticism, including Tolkien's World, Gospel Fictions, and The Bible Against Itself. Making poems is his lifelong avocation. Charles Kell is a PhD student at The University of Rhode Island and editor of The Ocean State Review. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The New Orleans Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, IthacaLit, and elsewhere. He teaches in Rhode Island and Connecticut. Michael Keshigian from New Hampshire, had his 12th poetry collection, Into The Light, released in 2017 by Flutter Press (https://www.createspace.com/7037872). He has been published in numerous journals including The California Quarterly, Red River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Illya’s Honey and has appeared as feature writer in over 20 publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com) Catherine La Roque is a woman of ethnic complexity living in New Mexico and writing poetry. She was included in an anthology of New Mexico writers. Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio now residing in California. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Two of his poems recently appeared in Ten Years of Dos Madres Press. 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. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. She is a member of the California Writers Club, Healdsburg Literary Guild and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University Vallejo California. Craig Bruce McVay, from Lafayette, Indiana has lived with his wife, in Columbus, Ohio for the last thirty-five years. His degrees are in English and Classics, both of which he has taught in schools, community colleges, universities, and prisons in Central Ohio. He is a member of the Columbus Salon Workshop. Poems and stories appear online and in print in Avatar Review, Blue Unicorn, Cap City Poets, Classical Bulletin, Everything Stops and Listens, Icon, Pudding Magazine, and others. Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and many other literary journals.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Jack Moody is a short story writer, poet and freelance journalist from wherever he happens to be at the time. He has had work published in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Round Up, Cold Creek Review, CC&D Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, Brickplight, Ignatian Literary Magazine, The Legendary, Horror Sleaze Trash Magazine, and Southern Pacific Review, with work forthcoming in Brick Moon Fiction. He didn't go to college. He likes his privacy. He doesn't have a social media account. Don't ask him to make one. Contact him at j.moody9116@gmail.com. Mandy Campbell Moore works in international education by day, but at night normally writes fiction. She has published short stories in Calyx, Word Riot, East Bay Review and ink&coda. Her MFA at Antioch led her to write a novel about an interracial love. If all goes well she will teach English for Peace Corps in Rwanda come September. Mandy lives in Los Angeles. Tia Paul-Louis is a mother to a three-year old girl and the wife of a health specialist who currently lives in Maryland. She moved from the Caribbean to the U.S. at age nine with her parents. Through many years of battling with foreign and old traditions that could never come to an agreement, she finally found a voice through writing and earned an MFA degree in Creative Writing at National University in La Jolla, California. Richard Pflum’s poems have appeared in Conceit Magazine, Sparrow, Flying Island, Ploplop, Event Kayak, The Reaper, The Indiana Experience, The Hopewell Review and previously in Tipton Poetry Journal. His most recent book is Some Poems to be Read Out Loud: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2012). Richard lives in Indianapolis and has hosted the bi-monthly Poetry Salon (now at the Indiana Writers Center) for much of its 35 year history. Timothy Pilgrim, Bellingham, Washington, is a Pacific Northwest poet with over 380 published poems and an associate professor emeritus at Western Washington University. He has acceptances by journals such as Seattle Review, Third Wednesday, Windsor Review, Windfall, San Pedro River Review and Tipton Poetry Journal and is author of Mapping water (Flying Trout Press, 2016). His work can be seen at www.timothypilgrim.org. Nancy Ramsey, a painter from Alexandria, Virginia, values exploring the natural world and often references nature and the human form within her abstract art. She also enjoys painting more abstractly on intuitive projects in which each stroke forms in response to the one before. Collaborating with other artists, writers and dancers is a particular interest and inspiration. Will Reger was born and raised in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He has published or will appear in Dialogue, Hymns Today, Deepwater Literary Review, AmericanTanka.com, Vermilion Literary Project, Front Porch Review, Chiron Review, VerseWrights.com, and Paterson Literary Review. He is a founding member of the CU (Champaign-Urbana) Poetry Group (cupoetry.com). He has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign, and currently teaches at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, with his wife, Mary, with whom he has raised four children. When he is not teaching or writing poetry, he collects flutes, plays flutes, and sometimes even writes poems about flutes. He can be found at https://twitter.com/wmreger.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Sarah Rehfeldt lives with her family in western Washington where she is a writer, artist, and photographer. Her publication credits include Appalachia; Blueline; Written River; Weber – The Contemporary West; and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. Sarah is the author of Somewhere South of Pegasus, a collection of image poems. It can be purchased through her photography web pages at http://www.pbase.com/candanceski. Tim Robbins teaches ESL and does freelance translation in Wisconsin. He has a BA in French and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University. His poems have appeared in Three New Poets, Long Shot, Bayou Magazine, Off the Coast, The Tishman Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Slant, Main Street Rag and others. John Timothy Robinson is a graduate of the Marshall University Creative Writing program in Huntington, West Virginia with a Regent’s Degree. He has an interest in Critical Theory of Poetry and American Formalism. John is also a twelve-year educator for Mason County Schools in Mason County, West Virginia. John is currently working on areative dissertation in contemporary poetry, though outside the university environment. He has recent and forthcoming work in Blue Collar Review, California Quarterly, Ship of Fools, Ibbetson Street Press, South Carolina Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Pinyon Poetry Review, Red River Review, Miller’s Pond, Ginosko Literary Journal and The Magnolia Review. Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Robert lives in Massachusetts. Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com. Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. His chapbook is Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible. Leah Strobel lived in Bloomington, Indiana for three years as a Lecturer in Spanish at Indiana University, and wrote this poem as a farewell to the city. She now lives in Wisconsin, teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. Gene Twaronite, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, is the author of six books, including two juvenile fantasy novels. His first book of poetry, Trash Picker on Mars, has recently been published by Aldrich Press. Visit his website at http://www.thetwaronitezone.com. Mark Vogel has published poetry in Poetry Midwest, English Journal, Cape Rock, Dark Sky, Cold Mountain Review, Broken Bridge Review and other journals. He is currently Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and directs the Appalachian Writing Project. Robert Weibezahl is a novelist, playwright, and poet. His poems have been published by Tipton Poetry Journal, Long Island Quarterly, and The Caterpillar (Ireland). He is the author of two novels, The Wicked and the Dead and The Dead Don’t Forget, a play, And Lightning Struck: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Creation, as well as a number of short stories. He has been a finalist for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Derringer Award. Weibezahl has been a book review columnist for BookPage for fifteen years.

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Tipton Poetry Journal Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. His poetry has been published in the United Kingdom, USA, India ,New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria. Dennis Zahm grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and currently resides in northern Wisconsin. He began writing in high school and attended poetry workshops at the summer Split Rock Arts Program through the University of Minnesota. He participates in Open Mike Spoken Word at his local Stage North Theater. Dennis is a retired internal medicine physician.

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Tipton Poetry Journal #34  

Summer 2017