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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

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 48 poets from the United States (23 different states) and 6 poets from Canada, India, Russia, South Korea and Ukraine. Cover Photo: “Madison Indiana Barn” by Barry Harris Print versions of Tipton Poetry Journal are available for purchase through amazon.com. Barry Harris, Editor

Copyright 2019 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 – Spring 2019

Contents Jill Evans ....................................................................................................... 1 Akshaya Pawaskar ................................................................................... 2 Christina Matthews .................................................................................. 4 Gennah Brown ........................................................................................... 5 Jessica Reed ................................................................................................. 6 Ruth Holzer ................................................................................................. 7 Joan Colby .................................................................................................... 8 Katherine Cottle ...................................................................................... 10 Shelly Chang ............................................................................................. 12 Cassidy Bishop ......................................................................................... 14 Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas ............................................................. 14 Michael Jones ............................................................................................ 16 James Tyler ............................................................................................... 17 CL Bledsoe .................................................................................................. 18 Lori Widmer .............................................................................................. 19 Changming Yuan ..................................................................................... 20 Catherine Moscatt ................................................................................... 22 William Bonfiglio .................................................................................... 23 John D. Groppe ......................................................................................... 24 Mary Hills Kuck ....................................................................................... 25 Ed Jones ...................................................................................................... 26 Judy Kronenfeld ....................................................................................... 28 Kathleen Latham ..................................................................................... 30 Kenneth Pobo ........................................................................................... 32 Timothy Robbins ..................................................................................... 33


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Michael E. Strosahl ................................................................................. 34 Mary Christine Delea ............................................................................. 36 Hiromi Yoshida ........................................................................................ 38 Fred Dale .................................................................................................... 39 Dan A. Cardoza ......................................................................................... 40 Marianne Lyon ......................................................................................... 40 Sofia Rybkina ............................................................................................ 42 Daniel Bourne .......................................................................................... 43 Katy Scrogin ............................................................................................. 44 Kimberly Glanzman ............................................................................... 44 Mark Vogel ................................................................................................ 46 Richard Dinges, Jr. .................................................................................. 47 Robert Hasselblad .................................................................................. 48 Patrick Theron Erickson ...................................................................... 48 Dmitry Blizniuk ....................................................................................... 50 Kihyeon Lee ............................................................................................... 51 Jeanine Stevens ........................................................................................ 52 Amanda Dutkiewicz ............................................................................... 55 Robert Halleck .......................................................................................... 56 Laura Johnson .......................................................................................... 56 Anthony Borruso ..................................................................................... 58 Doris Lynch ............................................................................................... 59 Tim Hawkins ............................................................................................. 60 Joe Oppenheimer ..................................................................................... 61 Eric Greinke ............................................................................................... 62 Diana L. Conces ........................................................................................ 63 Lauren Claus ............................................................................................. 64 Michelle Hartman ................................................................................... 65


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Christine Donat ........................................................................................ 66 Contributor Biographies .............................................................. 68


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Ice Jill Evans So much that might someday bloom shimmers with promise in a spring ice storm its cellophane hardens crisp weight on the pines mapping a naked horizon with a metal light while the sun reveals silvery lies about frost igniting telltales of movement where wind has last been a disappearing act that holds life together the way cold holds sway over the future accidental whispers suspending all that changes but time – our most innocent witness like a caught breath a patience within – its thaw that trickles those ticks of new teardrops – the clear-running ones that know nothing of last season’s sorrow Jill Evans, also known as Jill Evans Petzall, makes documentary films, media art installations, writes poetry, and teaches about social justice from a female perspective. She is the winner of four Emmy Awards for her scripts and documentary films. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and started her career in her 40s while raising three young children as a single mother. All her work is fueled by a graduate degree in Philosophy. Now in her 70s, she has just begun to publish the poetry she has been writing all her life (thus far in Tipton Poetry Journal, LIGHT a Journal of Photography and Poetry, and First Literary Review-East.) She writes poetry and makes photographs to hold life still long enough to imagine its outline.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Life or death in her hands Akshaya Pawaskar Dead fishes keep secrets Untold tales die with them So the fish was collected In a trawl net of a coconut shell A best out of waste fishbowl But the fish leaped in the air And landed on its grave as it flapped She watched on. How enthralling was it to see it wrestling with death. We are voyeurs right from birth Seeking pleasure in watching Watching and doing nothing Hypnotized aroused by the scenes So she buried it respectfully And forgot a childish misdoing. Now she rushes in the ER in A white smock, nerves taut Pushing tubes through noses Draining bladders with orange Catheters and putting mouths On BiPap, infusing life desperate. The others stare, voyeurs as they too are, no different. But she is the deer caught in headlights now as the beep on monitor screeches, she wishes to be that fish, with its o mouth and o eyes sashaying like Nystagmus, left to right and back now underground, only fish bones as flat as the line on the monitor.

Birthing art from art Akshaya Pawaskar Will you paint a portrait of my poem? A front with imperfect skull

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Pockmarked, lopsided As unalloyed as the words that I seldom Enunciate with my lips Silence is my mother tongue Mouth of the river is not really its beginning or end but just a comma Be that and draw tapestries Out of my brevity of prose Iet it flow into a sculpture A shameless Greek figurine with marble eyes, with breasts proud and fig-less, with thighs as heavy as sighs, and a pose provocative. As naked as my misspellings. For the river that drained into The ocean will precipitate as rain again becoming one with Its creator, as life will come full circle. The sculpture will inspire a bard for the muses dance around it and those who drank from the Pierian spring will return to unearth its fossil. The skeleton will be out of the poet’s closet, baring her pale and bruised skin beneath all the cloaked pictures, airbrushed, art will return to life again. As one imitates the other. Pygmalion and Galatea. One being mortal but the other amaranthine. Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in India and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry journal, Writer's Ezine, Efiction India, Ink drift, The blue nib, Her heart poetry, Awake in the world anthology by Riverfeet press and few anthologies by lost tower publications. She had been chosen as Poet of the week on Poetry superhighway, featured writer in Wordweavers poetry contest and second place winner of blue nib chapbook contest 2018.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

While Googling Poetry Christina Matthews from a cornfield somewhere in Nebraska (so much Earth searching hard for what is this seeing we do?) I move from space and stumble upon my old professor’s wide breaths and imagine a mahogany desk somewhere so polished his glinting hope beating from the screen: “Remember me?” and I forgot what I owed him is what I’m searching for like at home, how I circle to the kitchen and back picking up a used dish towel a stuffed unicorn attempting to shine up the bruise on the apple—see, it’s still good but it’s not a new lover and all this just days after I decided none of these men

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 have ever been with me here he is with and for and the debt pulsing before and in me hums a softer tune. Christina Matthews is a former English Composition and Creative Writing Instructor. She currently resides in Syracuse, New York, where she is buried in snow for five months out of the year. She received an MFA with a concentration in poetry from Georgia College. Her work has appeared in The Adirondack Review and The Hudson Literary Journal, along with various other journals.

Power of i Gennah Brown i do not like to capitalize my i, and since you don't see a reason, i’ll tell you why. you don't capitalize he, she, they, or you, except at the beginning of a sentence--in which case you do. but god should be capitalized and names of course, to capitalize my i is narcissistic to the source. because to write “I” bothers me more than you know, i feel that upon myself — dominance, i bestow.

Young and hopeful aspiring writer Gennah Brown is approaching her junior year at Berkshire Jr./Sr. High School, located in Burtron, Ohio. Although Gennah does not have any professional writing experience, she is currently enrolled in her third creative writing course and AP Literature and Composition. She has previously partaken in a statewide interscholastic competitive writing league called PenOhio in which she attended the State competition this previous spring. She finds writing to be an amazing opportunity to share her thoughts, ideas, and stories with both her peers and beloved writing coach Mrs. Maria Ritter Koler. Gennah believes that each piece of her writing displays parts of her true self and experiences to the audience; more of Gennah’s work can be found on her instagram account, poems.by.gennah. She is completely euphoric to be sharing her work and is grateful for the eyes, attention, and open minds of her readers.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Antimatter Jessica Reed When an electron meets its positron they dance before death: is it the allure of energy released, though never gone? Annihilation, absolute and sure (and I, infusing them with ecstasy). Why stop for death, when particles endure? To talk of atoms is to talk of me. It’s personal, this atom looking at itself, this investigation, this plea. Each seed of matter has a counterfeit, its antiparticle. Removed and far from common. Matter, and its opposite. The star’s in me and I am of the star: that’s gospel one of this cosmology. Its matter is my matter, but then where— sweet fermions, stuff of the world (and me)— from whence the energy to make hallowed the address of the strange border between?

Jessica Reed’s chapbook, World, Composed (Finishing Line Press), is a dialogue with the ancient poet Lucretius about atomism. Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, North American Review, Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, Bellingham Review, New American Writing, Waxwing, 111O, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Spiral Orb, The Fourth River, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in poetry and a BS in physics, and she teaches a university seminar on physics and the arts. She lives in Indiana with her husband and chickens.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

A Bowl of Coffee Ruth Holzer Of course you think you’ll find in one of the less salubrious quarters, a house with a winding staircase which you climb to the top floor, where a door opens wide upon a circle of poets smoking opium. They recline on divans, their long hair spread upon dark red cushions. Languorous verses issue from their lips. The youngest, barely a man, rises to embrace you and murmurs, mon frère. Of course this must happen some day or other, maybe today, you think, as you sip coffee from a white bowl, savoring all of it, to the sludge at the bottom.

Ruth Holzer’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Slant, Rhino, Southern Poetry Review and Poet Lore, as well as in several anthologies. Her chapbooks are The First Hundred Years, The Solitude Of Cities (Finishing Line Press) and A Woman Passing (Green Fuse Press). She lives in Virginia.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Twelve Joan Colby The 12 apostles at that last supper, All on one side of the table, facing us So Leonardo could reveal their expressions: The devoted John, the sly Iscariot. Each year has 12 months, each with its zodiac sign. The European archer or twins. The Chinese pig or horse. Each waking day has 12 hours as does each night. 12 jurors release the innocent Or condemn the guilty. Or so we’d like to think. 12 is a sublime number with its perfect divisors. This is of interest to mathematicians. The Hindu Sun God Surya has 12 names. This is of interest to the religious Who also compose the 12 Tribes of Israel, Who also celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. There are 12 inches in a foot for those who still resist Metrics. 12 Knights of the Round Table still seek The Holy Grail in popular books Like the ones Dan Brown writes. 12 basic hues in the color wheel From which a testy woman tries to choose The perfect shade for her bathroom tiles. 12 men have walked upon the moon, A fact that is disbelieved By those who think climate change is a hoax And Kennedy was killed by the Chinese.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Clio’s Migraine Joan Colby

Here they come with the black markers Of redaction. The revisionists Inserting paragraphs on Wikipedia. Lines of erasure. The truth of invisible Ink. She sighs. Who does she inspire— The generals dictating their memoirs, Little Peggy crouching at the feet Of old ladies weaving their memories Into fantasy: noble Ashley, rogueish Rhett. A world of entitlement at the end Of a lane of live oaks. Clio opens her ledgers To enter facts finding pages altered Or missing altogether. Swords once Beaten into ploughshares have melted into Fountain pens of falsity. The victors write The final word, that’s the bitter lesson Even a muse must acknowledge. What a Thankless enterprise: keeping it honest When scholars despair And no one else cares. Clio’s head spins Like a lost squadron in the Bermuda triangle. Her duty: to correct the fake news, the urban Myth, the tabloid version that everyone prefers. Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 21 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are Carnival from FutureCycle Press, The Seven Heavenly Virtues from Kelsay Books and Her Heartsongs from Presa Press. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review. Website: www.joancolby.com. Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Photograph of a Girl Katherine Cottle The child is standing tip-toe. Gripping her bare legs against the wall, she reaches for the bottom of the window frame with all ten fingers. Her head is too low to see out, yet she tries, raises her head as if the attempt is enough. To her, the cracked wood sill is not the barrier. She can feel the heat of the world through the wood, smell the sour grip of clover through the closed glass. She can even understand the weak whine of the chained dog, the way he is only asking for dusk to calm his aging legs. Is there ever a way back? I want to ask her, Let me know what it is we forget. She looks at me over her shoulder, tiny face puzzled with thought, as if to say Don't you see?

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Fence Katherine Cottle I dare you, she says, as my brother and I step forward to the smooth silver wire. I cannot tell who flies back from the shock first, only that I am falling like dust, without reflex. My brother seems both near and a hundred years away. Behind us, somewhere in the light, the girl laughs and sticks her toe into crusted mud. On the other side, cows gather to watch, cud dribbling like strings of Christmas tinsel. Almost touching the fence, they twitch their tattooed ears, as flies land, fly away, and re-land, trying to work their way inside. Katherine Cottle is the author of four books: The Hidden Heart of Charm City: Baltimore Letters and Lives (Critical Nonfiction, AH, 2019), I Remain Yours (Creative Nonfiction, AH, 2014), Halfway: A Journal through Pregnancy (Memoir, AH, 2010), and My Father's Speech (Poetry, AH, 2008). She currently teaches writing at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Once upon a Time Shelly Chang It is strangely a shock to learn the magnificent tapestries that graced castle walls in the Middle Ages were hung to provide insulation The woolen material showing colorful scenes full of lifelike people is indeed thick and warm The stone walls behind them needed any help possible in a time when fireplaces provided all the heat And the end of the Medieval Warm Period brought rainy summers and even colder winters On the mountain slopes wheat and grapes could no longer be grown Towns and farmhouses were abandoned to glaciers Famine struck yet people adapted Still, the romantic in me cringes at the thought of my knight in shining armor clattering as he shivers in relentless cold

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Taroko Gorge Shelly Chang Signs warn of falling rocks on the only road in The travelers have hiked many paths along the river famed for its clear water Now they are hungry Torch bearing warriors stream into the dining hall Their hunt had succeeded They carry a roast pig – the centerpiece of the meal Helpful waiters crack pieces of bamboo for the steamed rice within The tribe leader apologizes Their lodges are in a park so they cannot have a swimming pool Instead their musicians will play and their children will dance Traditional costumes white leggings with stripes at the ankles mark them apart from the audience The old tattoos on the forehead for men and across the cheeks for women are now against the law In the morning the busloads of tourists depart The mist burns off the mountains and a cherry tree holds onto its blossoms

Shelly Chang lives in Berkeley, California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Zoodles Cassidy Bishop I once sat next to a weathered man who wore the sea on his arm. Said he, with gladness: “Tell me, oh, tell me! How do you do this lovely first spring day?” I opened my mouth and butterflies of peach danced from my lips. He did know what they meant, and caught them gently. Raising the ‘flies, he let them to sunlight canvas and painted the nearby beams with the blushing color of their wings. And since, each sunny day has passed with the aroma of peaches and sea and it is a lovely spring indeed. Cassidy Bishop is a 17-year-old aspiring poet laureate living in Loveland, Colorado. There, she finds inspiration from nature, her peers, and the artwork around her. When she isn’t writing, she can be found painting, making photos, or skiing.

Dogs-body Days Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas It’s just a midnight ride to anywhere if you close your eyes and dream of God. Nobody knows if there’s a way back from the darkness once you’ve left the light. There ain’t no crime in the unknown

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

if you’re willing to gamble on the journey home. I tell myself it’s good to roam, to seek the answers in your mother’s eyes. My mother’s my hero, my little savior hiding behind a popcorn moon. It’s late in purgatory and someone’s always being kicked out; I see their pennies falling from a halfway climb to heaven. My pockets are full of tumbled coins and some days I’ve got more wishes than money to share. There’s no shame in admitting life is bullshit no guilt in taking the road more traveled where the pretty Frenchwomen meet under the Rue de la Gare. And I close my eyes and dream I’m there, there with a glass of scotch in my hand. Fingers wrapped around crystal. It’s all in the blink of an eye, you know, one quick sleep and maybe Rimbaud will be there when you wake up, his pockets emptied, a coinless vagabond reciting all of his poems to God.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University, where she was an English major. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee, a five-time Best of the Net nominee and the author of the following collections of poetry: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, Letters Under the Banyan Tree, The Wanderer’s Dominion, Breakfast in Winter, and the winning chapbook in The Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, Before I Go to Sleep. Her work has appeared in: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts. She is the Assistant Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal and a member of the Sacramento group of poets called Writers on Air. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Trajectory Michael Jones The boy has never caught a ball like this but, ten years old, he’s sure: he’ll catch it over his shoulder – just like Mays, he thinks, in the photo; like Mays. He glides towards the fence of the field behind his house; the poorly-watered grass’s scent, familiar as peanut butter, persists. The ball descends. Twenty years later and miles away, as he walks to the commuter bus stop, a cloud moves on somewhere behind him. The leaves brighten and his back grows warm. He feels found out, as when his mom would say why read in the dark? and turn on his lamp, and he’d smile to himself, much as he smiles and looks at the clouds now, apparently trying to hold their pose, a moment changing slowly enough to catch like a ball hit deep but still in the park, leather on leather on outstretched hand’s attentive flesh and bone.

[This poem originally appeared on http://thequotablelit.com/]

Michael Jones has taught in Oakland, California public schools since 1990. His poetry has appeared widely in journals ( Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Confrontation, DMQ Review, etc.) and in a chapbook, Moved (Kattywompus, 2016).

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Abstraction on a Rock James Tyler This pebble has flowed down the river of poems so long it doesn’t blink when I say I love you to it, carried in currents, destined for the sea. It is smooth and graceful, a fine catch; however it is ignored by the carp and bass that swim in circles and know the danger of a hook. A little boy threw it into this river long ago, but it still remembers the pressure of palm, how it skipped the surface three times before it sank. There are a million poems about love, but only one about this rock, this stone, this pebble that could be a good luck charm, a projectile in a slingshot. It rests with the sediment until time to pick up and move along on its journey in the river of poems, searching for paradise, a place of significance where it inspires both poets and fishermen on the banks of water with infinite depth with its uncommon smoothness. Let’s say perfection.

James Tyler received a BA in English from Austin Peay State University. He has been published in Mobius, Mad Swirl, Red Fez, Page & Spine, and Poetry Quarterly among others. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

This is How Bad It Can Get CL Bledsoe Your feet will always be cold because of poor circulation, holes in all your socks, severed toes. Everything you’ll ever want to know will be at your fingertips which means you’ll never know anything because you’ll be too easily distracted. Dogs won’t trust you, and those that do will be the dumb ones you don’t want to pet. Children will yell things across parking lots about your weight and race, and you’ll begin to understand that you will never become or even create anything truly beautiful. How could you? The pretty ones were right all along, just being. Intelligence is of no value in this world, but salesmen know the secret of lightning. No one will ever love you the way your mother did, but she died so young, and you’ll live so long.

CL Bledsoe’s latest poetry collection is Trashcans in Love. His latest novel is The Funny Thing About... He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The End of Those Days Lori Widmer A sky the color of promise that day, a migraine the size of my life, which was mid-earthquake – you knew. In fact, you probably always knew, the way you would arc like a downed power line, trying to re-establish a faulty connection. But it was how you kept repeating what I hadn’t yet spoken that made me mourn most the only true connection we’d had that came without effort.

Ashes to Ashes Lori Widmer Let me explain what it’s like when the ashes are touched to your forehead, and of course a few flurry down your nose and rest on your cheeks. It’s the gentle grinding of the thumb into that flat plain between your eyebrows and the way the priest is reciting for the 139th time this particular mass in his murmured intonations Remember man that thou art dust that grips you; the action of connecting with that dust and those words that make you realize this life is just a practice run, and Unto dust thou shalt return is the start of it all. Lori Widmer is a 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories and TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics. Lori lives in Pennsylvania.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

My Crows Changming Yuan 1/ A wounded, fledgling crow Caws invisibly Above its shadowy voice As if to convey the message About the darkness of tomorrow night To the whole world, where a heavy fog Has just started to fall, falling 2/ No, it was It is Not a crow That has just flown by In stillness But a spectre (in a crow’s shape?) A whim (about a crane?) Or a glyph (standing for a cuckoo?) That can actually Flap away Neither from your agitated heart Nor from my meditating mind Like the butterfly In a Zhuangzian dream

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

More Metamorphosis Points Changming Yuan Well, I would Paint my skin into a colorless color, & I would Dye my hair, wear two blue contacts, & I would Even go for plastic surgery, but if ever I really do I assure you, I will not remove my native village Accent while speaking this foreign tongue (I began To imitate like a frog at age nineteen); nor will I Completely internalize the English syntax & Aristotelian logic. No, I assure you I’ll not give up Watching movies or TV series, reading books Listening to songs, each in Chinese though I hate them For being too low & vulgar. I was born to eat dumplings Doufu, & thus fated to always prefer to speak Mandarin Though I write in English. I assure you that even if I am Newly baptized in the currents of science, democracy & Human rights, I will continue to keep in line with My father’s haplogroup just as my sons do. No matter how We identify ourselves or are identified by others, this is What I assure you: I will never convert my proto selfhood Into white Dataism, no, not In the yellowish muscle of my heart

Changming Yuan published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Meeting in my Mind Catherine Moscatt My mind is full today Farfetched worries masquerading As possibilities Project ideas that trip over each other in The recesses of my brain Splintered poems that once held promise I lay them to rest in a shallow grave so I can Free up some space in my head The walls of my head are paint splattered Graffiti sprung from insecurity You’ll never amount to anything I try to paint over the damage with a Mural about the sky There are post-its strategically placed in my mind So I can stay on top of what I have to do Like find a job Write a poem I am happy with Be someone I am happy with I want to run my mind like A corporate meeting We all sit down and everyone gets folders And we take turns speaking And I can faithfully take notes We can address the graffiti problem And double community efforts So that on the days I can’t think On days I feel a little overwhelmed I can stare at the sky and Everything will fall into place

Catherine Moscatt is a 22 year old counseling and human services major who lives in New York. Besides poetry, she enjoys playing basketball, listening to loud music and watching terrible horror movies. Her poetry has been published in several magazines including Sick Lit Magazine, Phree Write Magazine and Muse- An International Poetry Journal.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

I Am Not A Jew William Bonfiglio At family gatherings no one wore his shirtsleeves rolled. No one showed numbers where numbers might have been. None of us attended the synagogue at Ferramonti di Tarsia, or saw our Slav and Croat brothers herded at Rab, or was shipped with our brothers to Gonars. We saw only each other on the island that stretches like a finger out of the clenched fist of Manhattan. We saw and we wore our shirtsleeves down despite it being a perfect beach day at West End Two.

William Bonfiglio is a PhD candidate studying creative writing at the University of New Brunswick – Fredericton. His poetry has been awarded a Pearl Hogrefe Grant in Creative Writing Recognition Award, the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize, and has appeared in Sugar House Review, American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Empty Sacristy John D. Groppe

Photo Credit: John D. Groppe

Fifty priests or more once vested here each day and went out from this bright simplicity to the splendor of the collegiate church with its tall columns and stained glass windows radiating images of Augustine and Aloysius to inspire seminarians with a priestly piety. Then this room, a vestibule between bachelorhood and priesthood, smelled of incense and cigars, the older men with little conversation coughing and shuffling through the routine, the younger checking the daily ordo with care, kissing their stoles, green or red or black as the season or petitioner required, nuns carrying starched linens drifting through as light and as quiet as dust motes. The priests, seminarians, and nuns being gone, only mice, God’s gleaners, congregate here and boldly leave the shadows for open sunny spaces. John D. Groppe’s The Raid of the Grackles and Other Poems was published in 2016 by Iroquois River Press. Mr. Groppe was listed on Indiana’s bicentennial literary map 1816-2016 Literary Map of Indiana: 200 Years-200 Writers. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Joseph’s College and a resident of Rensselaer, Indiana since 1962.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Sunday Morning Mary Hills Kuck I never knew the clock in this room ticked. The kitchen is too warm for the blower, too cold without it. There is one mat on the table. No one sits in your chair. The sky is grey, threatening rain. Leaves are moving slightly like a well-calibrated mobile, but the windows are closed, and I cannot hear them rustle. Birds and tree toads sleep. I am told that silence is good for the soul, so I listen. I hear the absence of my children, their children, and you. A single car goes by.

Having retired from teaching English and Communications, first in the US and for many years in Jamaica, Mary Hills Kuck now lives with her family in Massachusetts. She has received a Pushcart Prize Nomination and her poems have appeared in Long River Run, Connecticut River Review, Hamden Chronicle, SIMUL: Lutheran Voices in Poetry, Caduceus, The Jamaica Observer, Fire Stick: A Collection of New & Established Caribbean Poets, Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Inc. Anthology , the Aurorean, Tipton Poetry Journal, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Retirement Home Ed Jones Mom sits in a chair all day and smiles when we visit. Where have you gone? Once she rose quarter of seven, closed each Bedroom window, started the bathroom faucet running, Put on the coffee in the two-quart stainless steel Revere Ware pot, all still in her long gingham nightgown That blew quiet as early light around her legs, Down the long hall to the far kitchen where sounds Came back muffled and warm. That woman. Where have you gone? The one who brought the white load up from the basement In the yellow plastic basket and held clothes pins In her mouth as she strung broad white flags out Across the line and later folded the fitted sheets With such care I could not tell them from the flat ones In the hall closet. The one who, photos now tell me, Was a pretty woman well into her forties. Where have you gone? Mom, I’m looking for you in your chair as you nod off, Slumped forward, belly bloated from retirement-home food And no exercise except when you guide your walker From apartment to dining room and back, quietly determined, Righting it when it steers you into a wall. Not the woman Who climbed Mt. Lafayette and Mt. Lassen in her forties And belayed and rappelled her way around the Sawtooth range In Idaho in her twenties, slender and tough as a young chestnut. Where have you gone? When you wake and see I’m watching you, you’re almost shifty, As if you know you’re hiding somewhere underneath the Depends And the cataracts and the incontinence and telling the waitress “I’ll have what he’s having” at dinner with Dad and me. So, somewhere between the filet of sole and coffee ice cream, I ask you, what did the fish say when he ran into a wall in the river? And you shake your head—but looking at me—and I say, dam! And you laugh so hard it shakes thirty years off your face, And—until I get back in the car and head north, counting the miles Exit by exit up the Garden State away from you and the long blank of ocean To the East—I breathe easy as when I lay out under a June sky Almost under your feet, the sheets billowing in the breeze.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Nephew Ed Jones Feeling this bad, I must be told, get a hold of yourself–me, the last person to shake my own shoulders, ensure I get a grip. Unfortunate advice, since I’m always getting a grip on the bank statement, letters an ex left, the calendar page long after the month has past. You think too much, everyone tells me or, at your worst, live a little. Something like tossing Flaubert at my two-year-old nephew and saying, here, read this. Which no one would do, of course, though they do think that he needs to beat up his little brother less frequently. They say time out!, or just separate them! On the couch I commiserate with this chubby bundle of less damaged goods, safe in the knowledge that he will not saunter over on his little bow legs and confidentially whisper in my ear, you think too much. Instead, among his blocks, safely on the periphery of language he looks reflective for a moment on the rug, sitting among the wreckage of his real estate empire, comes over to grab my hand, says, go potty. Which I don’t take as a piece of advice but instead accept as you might an invitation to dance where you know none of the moves and your partner couldn’t care less. Ed Jones has been a teacher most of his life, enjoys singing, tries his best not to harm others, doesn't always succeed. He recently published poems in Orbis and Plum Tree Tavern. Ed lives in New Jersey.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Brief Dream Displacements Judy Kronenfeld Who sits with my long-departed father, pillowed at the head of a holiday table? The pillars of memory waver in image-floating sleep. Am I the favored child there in a living room looking onto a New York fire escape above an alley where the bone-and-rag man cries?— the child in the bosom of her tribe, upon whom the rays of familial love pour and kindle? Or is it my own far-flung child I see in this dream, dipping bitter herbs in salt water, under the melting eye of my mother—in California where my parents long ago cleaved to their seed? Some essence fills these emptying dream-rooms, a quintessential invisible atmosphere as if the departed are a structure like dark matter drawing the visible universe together, and their descendants are still racing to embrace ghosts, or escape, my children and I are children bringing them report cards for adulation, I am a child—waylaid by an aunty in the elevator as I return from ferrying kitchen rubbish to the basement—who vanishes for cookies and milk into the dim difference of another nest, whose mother stands frantic on the street corner, fists clenched at her aproned waist,

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 until the distant past—so intimate—mists, funnels, performs its disappearing act— and I am liberated into the eternal ageless instant— where the dog who entered our bedroom as you and I, love, lay down for our naps— and settled her arthritic hips like a low-rider operated by hydraulic pumps—now raises her head as her significant others stir, where the two of us are late rickety nesters, pillars in a household, a country unto itself—this free-standing, light years removed, faintly lonely cosmos.

Judy Kronenfeld’s most recent books of poetry are Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, 2nd edition (Antrim House, 2012)—winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, DMQ Review, Ghost Town, Pedestal, Rattle, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, and in two dozen anthologies. She is Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing, UC Riverside, and an Associate Editor of Poemeleon.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Cranberry Juice Kathleen Latham I should have known you loved me when I got a UTI in a Motel 6 in San Diego and you went out at three in the morning to get me cranberry juice. This was before the days of cell phones or GPS and I imagine you hunched behind the wheel of your old black Honda, eyes magnified by the glasses you wore only in emergencies, peering out the windshield at block after unfamiliar block of darkened windows and empty streets, parked cars crouched in your periphery like lumbering beasts come to water at pools of yellow streetlight. And you, on the hunt. In my mind, you are the only one awake, prowling the city with windows down to ocean air and far-off moans of hidden ships, seabirds who should be sleeping trumpeting your arrival the moment you stumble upon an all-night gas station, an open convenience store, a mega-emporium whose too-bright aisles make you squint at the onslaught of choices—cranapple, cranraspberry, cranpomegranate, crangrape—so many choices that you begin to question the ones that brought you there, to that city, on that night, with the girl whose cries tore you from your sleep. The truth is, I don’t know how you did it. How you do it still. Like so much else, I’ve never thought to ask. I only remember you appearing beside me on the dingy bathroom floor, a cup of red in your hand as if you had conjured it. Like roses from a hat. Silk scarf from a sleeve. It took me far too long to understand that sometimes love is a quiet knock on a closed door. Offering without being asked. Giving, without expectation. Kneeling on the floor, juice in hand, with no mention of what it took to get there.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Enough Kathleen Latham There’s a moment—right before he realizes he doesn’t know whose bed he’s on or where his left shoe has gone—a tiny cusp of a moment when he thinks he’s at the beach and she’s beside him and they’re lying on a towel holding hands and the waves are crashing, they’re crashing, and he’s smiling, he’s smiling, because she still loves him and it’s enough. The waves and the sun and the feel of her hand —they’re enough. But then he cries—or maybe he laughs, he’s not really sure—all he knows is suddenly he’s staring at a ceiling he doesn’t recognize and the sound in his head is the incriminating pulse of a morning after and there’s pain behind his eyes and a stranger beside him and a different kind of wave comes crashing over him as he watches that moment get washed away, watches it slip between his fingers with a flash of scales and escape. And then he’s just awake. And hungover. Or maybe still drunk. He ignores the girl-who-isn’t-her passed out beside him. Ignores the warning heave of nausea pushing up his throat. His hand fumbles blindly on the floor until it wraps around the cool, smooth neck of a bottle. Something to wash the taste away. He raises it shakily to his lips, even though he already knows, it will never be enough. Kathleen Latham’s work was recently shortlisted for The Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Eclectica Magazine, and her short fiction is forthcoming in the Crack the Spine Anthology. She lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts with her family and an ornery cat. She can be found online at KathleenLatham.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Ice Cream Cones and a Crowded Toll Road

Kenneth Pobo The highway smells of a paper mill and skunks. At least for twelve miles. For long stretches it doesn’t smell, stone lifeless. In a hurry, I must get to Aunt Stokesia. She’s summoned us to talk about death. Death will summon us all, but she wants to be first in line. I squeeze between two 18-wheelers and feel strangled. I pull off at an exit and eat two ice cream cones, one vanilla, one chocolate. I prefer Dairy Queen. I thought today’s toll road would be fairly empty—cars keep pouring on. Does everyone have an Aunt Stokesia? Or Death charges up fast behind each of us, the ultimate state trooper. We try to think up a quick excuse. He writes the ticket. We must take it.

Kenneth Pobo, professor of English and creative writing at Widener University in Pennsylvania, has two new books out: The Antlantis Hit Parade and Dindi Expecting Snow. In addition to Tipton Poetry Journal, his work has appeared in Nimrod, Indiana Review, Mudfish, Caesura, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Hepburn and Cavett Timothy Robbins We have no way of knowing if they like each other. Maybe they can’t know this either. She masters her seat with a slouch and mannish relaxation. Her trousered legs and his are in accord and at odds. At our peril, we read much into this. His chair is his by the will of the network, the sponsors, the ratings. No wonder he’s always nervous. We listen and listen and listen but don’t — anyway I didn’t until recently — consider the possibility that willful lies with their hands behind their backs push through the endless interviews that bolster our ties.

Timothy Robbins has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Off The Coast, Bayou Magazine, Slant, Tipton Review and many others. He has published three volumes of poetry: Three New Poets (Hanging Loose Press), Denny’s Arbor Vitae (Adelaide Books) and Carrying Bodies (Main Street Rag Press). He lives in Wisconsin with his husband of twenty years.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

In the Fire of this Water Michael E. Strosahl Inspired by this Serenity Prayer for Native Americans in Recovery: “Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to the world, hear me. I come to you as one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. May I walk in beauty.”

When I drink, I dream myself Into the stories Of my great-grandfather, Where our people were free Living on sacred land, From the river across the mesa And under the flame of these waters I am brave, I am strong, I can stare Red-eyed into the face of the buffalo, Stubbornly snorting The hot breath it expels As it yields and turns away. When I drink, This reservation life Is a bad dream Fading away, These discarded scraps of land Disappear like the dust they are And I can see again Through his eyes The land of the Dine’, People with their heads up.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 When I drink, They say I call out angrily To the Great Spirit, They say I dance up a storm, Flashing and Bellowing with thunder At the stumbling of our people Until I also tumble, Until I too fall Unstable with drink. When I wake, All is still broken, All is still dust and sadness, Ashes of a once proud flight Sun-baked into the faces Of our aimless children, And all I can think of Is my next drink, My next visit with the grandfathers And the dream Dispersed to the wind, Captured again In the fire of this water.

Michael E. Strosahl is a midwestern river-born poet, originally from Moline, Illinois. After moving to Indiana, he joined several poetry groups and travelled the state meeting many members of the Poetry Society of Indiana, also serving on the board for several years. Besides several appearances in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Maik’s work has appeared in Flying Island, Bards Against Hunger projects, on buses, in museums and online at indianavoicejournal, poetrysuperhighway and projectagentorange. He has recently relocated to Jefferson City, Missouri.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Hiding Out in Nevada Mary Christine Delea In this town of and near nothing, I stay in my motel room, its window air conditioner dripping onto the dusty rose carpet. Everything I need is here: plastic cups wrapped in plastic, TV with 12 channels, ground floor view of the desert. I watch the arid ground outside shimmer in the heat, as if bombs from decades ago had just been detonated. The maid passes my room, pushing her cart with her right hip. She wants to enter, but the sign on the door stops her. Privacy Please it wails in plastic, as if my voice has taken tangible form. It should scream Bereavement Inside for more accuracy. The maid and her cart, filled with tools and concoctions to scrub away most anything, or at least mask its stench, have traveled the length of rooms and are back at my door. I don’t want to share my sorrow, don’t want anyone else in this room. I am embarrassed by my weakness, my watery weeping that starts and stops as if someone controls a switch for my eyes. But I know she will wait a long while, her gray uniform stiff in the hot afternoon breeze. She has nowhere else to go. I give in, open the door and we pass. I will cross the street to that dark bar where I will drink one Widow’s Kiss after another, until I no longer care that I am crying in public, as the maid cleanses the only occupied room of whatever dirt my being has created, plus the wastebasket full of teary tissues.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Repressed Mary Christine Delea Suddenly, the thing I forgot returned. Images burned and twisted sepia-toned figures like boney skeletons. The teenager on the squeaky bike who grabbed my breast one afternoon. I understand by walking on the cement slab sidewalk I set myself up for the rest of my life. Now, the tune of an old bike from behind me shatters my ears, churns my stomach until I swoon under tears as if the matter had happened yesterday. Sometimes, I actually vomit, right there on the street as some person rides by to meet a friend, to get to a job, or for exercise. The reminder is bright, as if the sky let in all of itself, lit up those neurons responsible for forgetting, for blocking, and it all comes back: my childhood street, the neighbors’ houses, that noise, that boy, the gray-black bile in my throat. Mary Christine Delea has a PhD in English/Creative Writing from the University of North Dakota and an MA in English from Marshall University. She now lives in Oregon and is the author of The Skeleton Holding Up the Sky and three chapbooks: Did I Mention There was Gambling and Body Parts?, Moving the Language, and Ordinary Days in Ordinary Places.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Ragdoll Hiromi Yoshida Not merely stuffed away in a claustrophobic cradle in a cobwebbed attic, but kidnapped instead [as Gregory Corso says: “A favorite doll knows the pain of a child’s farewell”]. Ginger yarn hair and black button eyes; tiny white pinafore edged with eyelet lace; I’d named my ragdoll “Charlotte” after Laura Ingalls Wilder’s doll. “She is our customers’ favorite item,” I was informed at that Newport RI giftshop where the doll rang up more than $50.00 on AMEX credit on that cash register overflowing receipts and green pennies, but that was not the point when the rapist took her as a souvenir of his needless accomplishment (unlike other bedroom paraphernalia to obstruct justice)—haphazard thing that stood in for the raped woman herself, the cost of the doll itemized in the unclaimed $1,230.00 restitution total, a bloodless turnip. Hiromi Yoshida is a winner of multiple Indiana University Writers' Conference awards. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Clockwise Cat, Work Literary Magazine, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Borderline, Evergreen Review, Bathtub Gin, Flying Island, and the Matrix anthologies of literary and visual arts. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Boy Who Would Be Pope Fred Dale

After Pope Paul VI, on the Feast of the Transfiguration, was absorbed into heaven, I awaited the conclave’s call, the ascending white smoke to crook its finger, give me a chance to work on my Italian, to steer the gilded ship. Sister Norma told us that pope was a job where devotion to Christ alone could win the day. I was humbled to be in the running—me, an altar boy who once overpacked the censor for the Stations of the Cross, enclosing the priest in a thick bee fog, as if heaven had him within its bower. Those days, I was Vatican material, but I feared the balcony speaking, boring visits with heads of state, the walls & ceilings of art—saints who suffered more than me, the guilt of their body-breaking affairs. Immersed in working stars, none of us registers the virtue of size, the enormity of light years upon light years, but it is also true an ocean need be no more than its surface. I figured Cardinals, in their solemn deliberations, would divine how I once used a pocket notebook to catalogue the entirety of the Smithsonian in two days, from Lindbergh’s plane to a Civil Rights lunch counter, the same boy who in a few years would snap the family X-mas tree in two, an emerging drunk tied by strands of lights & garland, nothing holy to see there, just the pathetic effect of an election gone wrong, another son illuminated head to toe by a father, as if from within.

Fred Dale is a husband to his wife, Valerie, and a father to his occasionally good dog, Earl. Fred serves as a Senior Instructor in the Department of English at the University of North Florida, He earned an MFA from the University of Tampa, but mostly, he just grades papers. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, The Summerset Review, Chiron Review, Crack the Spine, The Evansville Review, and others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Counting Fish Dan A. Cardoza Leanne kept watch at the river, she seldom spoke, and if she did it was to request just about anyone in her way to kindly move from her view. She seemed somehow to know how many fish and fins and scales in the river flowed. It was not like counting she just knew. Someone proposed she had a fish net in her thoughts that calibrated movement, maybe notion. Family suggested it was an unproductive bad habit to kill time. Her younger brother, who she often spoke to when they were alone, hesitated to offer suggestions; after all he never learned how to swim. Dan A. Cardoza has an MS Degree, lives in Northern California and is the author of three chapbooks: Nature’s Front Door, Expectation of Stars and Ghosts in the Cupboard. Dan has been published in several journals including Aleola, Amethyst, UK., Ardent, Better Than Starbucks, California Quarterly, Chaleur Magazine, Entropy, Esthetic Apostle, Foxglove, Frogmore Journal, High Shelf Press, Oddball, Peeking Cat, Picaroon, Poetry Northwest, Rabid Oak, Runcible Spoon, The Quail Bell, Skylight 47, Spelk, The Stray Branch, Unstamatic, and Vita Brevis.

Is There A God? Marianne Lyon -

inspired by Stephen Hawking’s book: Brief Answers to Big Questions

Given up on old bearded man in cloud-dimpled sky rewarding punishing gilded palace for only goody-two-shoes

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Even New-Age-Heaven right here, right now is hard to trust Hell—much easier to believe in Is dry flaky skin a foreshadowing of my dust to dust finale? But what of friend’s rapt smile that erupts into wild laughter— a big-bang of merriment? What of my black-hole-self where time stops then miraculously spins into bulging planet of joy with warm brush of furry body wild tongue on my cheek What can I name this proton-happiness-desire I carry with breathless pain battering fear, only to explode into into melodious moments of deep knowing that I am but dancing matter inside a starlit cosmic ballroom? Stephen, can I call this God?

Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters, Tipton poetry Journal and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Little Black Dress Sofia Rybkina I first saw my grandma knitting when I was five. Wool yarn flowing through her fingers, As if it was a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. Magic was happening, giving birth to another sweater, or another scarf, or a dress I was probably going to wear. I first saw a fashion magazine at the age of eight. It was full of clothes, full of bright, extravagant colours, I was amazed by this variety of art it kept inside, a little girl facing her nature, her passion, her desire. I was twelve when I first visited Germany & realised that fashion had never been this far from people. Oaf boots and cerulean sweaters I was seeing everywhere As a complete outsider, an offspring of another world. It was years after that I understood. Clothes are what we see & beauty is what we cherish, But, if it is filth that you carry on the inside, It can never be covered by a little black dress.

Sofia Rybkina is 18 and lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sofia is a poet, professional musician, a member of the French Poets Society and author of the book Speaking in Verse published in Russia in 2016. Her works have appeared in such literary journals as Slovo\Word, La Page Blanche, Berlin. Berega, and Star 82 Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

In The Last Days, Cardinals Daniel Bourne The last days should be short, merciful, the wine good. My parents will come back each morning. Their hands warm in that tiny kitchen with the wood stove, the one that scarred my arm. Always there is dinner. No one has to talk. In those days my mother will even allow our dog inside the house, all snakes outside to live. Fear and temptation will pass from the earth. All images will be blessed. The lion lying down with the soft stubble of the lamb. But I still worry about the birds, their plans to build their nests: To gather a twig means no time to find the worm. The need to kill other birds flying in the glass.

Daniel Bourne’s books include The Household Gods (Cleveland State) and Where No One Spoke the Language (CustomWords). His poems have also been in such journals as Field, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Conduit, Boulevard, Guernica, Salmagundi, Yale Review, Pleiades, Quarterly West, Willow Springs, Witness, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Plume, New Letters, Indiana Review, Many Mountains Moving, and Cimarron Review. The recipient of four Ohio Arts Council poetry fellowships, he teaches in the English Department and in the Environmental Studies Program at The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he edits Artful Dodge, a magazine of American fiction, poetry and essay with a special interest in both place and literature in translation.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

In Like a Lion Katy Scrogin It was like a film-set deluge in the square frame of window, ramrod walls of water pummeling the last hope from the ground, a credit to celestial assistants tumping rows of buckets just so, ceasing on sudden cue for the grand standstill the abrupt absence of sound, the startled air standing sodden and exposed The rain! she marveled. It was just as good as the movies! Katy Scrogin is a Chicago-based writer, editor, and translator. Her most recent work has appeared in The Christian Century, Bearings Online, and The Pangolin Review. She can also be found at katyscrogin.wordpress.com.

Possession Kimberly Glanzman I carry my monsters like babies: smooth brow & dark-slumbering, my arms drenched in scars. My breath a cast-iron bell. Their lips, brittle leaves over a bear trap, flutter against my ears. I cradle my monsters

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 like fairies, wary of wing & nail, never wishing with my tongue. They undress inside the meat of summer and hunt between my teeth for crows. I taste pomegranates and bear witness. Swear treason, a prayer gone to rot. I offer them a drink: a tumbler of wound and moan. I stutter my profession of love; rinse my mouth in acetone. I comb their fur until their eyes, bent stars sewn between branches of crowned oak, shutter closed. I hum. I acquiesce. I carry them home. Upstairs, mirrors and mirrors: exponential teeth; wet, blue-tinged bone. I attempt excision. I attempt control. I lose the battle & the war. I fail to atone. In the morning I dress in sheet music, choreograph new lies. I gut myself for rope to choke the light between my thighs. No songs yet owed. My monsters are my masters. My neck is just a throne.

Kimberly Glanzan is an MFA student at the University of Kentucky, where she is the managing editor of New Limestone Review. Her work has appeared in Iodine, Innisfree, Kakalak, Sky Island Journal, Sleet Magazine, and Stonecoast Review. She was a finalist for the 2019 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize, judged by Kelly Link. That story is forthcoming in Electric Lit.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

After the Flood Mark Vogel Stories fade forgotten on days when fooled again we can’t learn, and wake living in the floodplain muck in the land of rivers on the frontier where strange forces lock humans together, especially for Times Beach, Missouri, nineteen miles west of St. Louis, where pioneers squatted a-jumble, leaving stark evidence in the open for all eyes to see. In the beginning cottages sprouted close to the Meramec River, followed by make-do additions, until thirteen saloons bustled as the town heart for twelve hundred residents who drifted most often downhill like they knew all along they were destined to be temporary. No one noticed when the dioxin sprayed on dusty roads turned the gravel purple with poison so thick dead birds dotted the roads. No one noticed the waste hauler dump one last load on the proposed little league diamond. But when pets came down with wasting illnesses, then died, alarmed residents reacted, though authorities still dawdled, until finally even they panicked and orders spewed like snakes twisting in every direction. Then like sci-fi movie extras city workers in protective outfits discovered contamination everywhere— even in the very dirt the baby played in. As a final insult a year later a hundred-year flood left black mold and the evil stench of ubiquitous sludge. By then the kids were bussed to new schools where they faced peers afraid to touch them. Parents shuffled mortgage payments on property they couldn’t visit, until Times Beach was largely forgotten.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Four decades later new generations on the interstate zip past a fenced jungle with no sign that explains where ancestors lived, or how mud so easily becomes cancerous and lives mutate in absurd forms, waiting for the right moment to scream. Mark Vogel has published short stories in Cities and Roads, Knight Literary Journal, Whimperbang, SN Review, and Our Stories. Poetry has appeared 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.

Awakened Richard Dinges, Jr. Headlights blur gray bright across concrete and deer’s eyes. My chin touches steering wheel between white knuckles. Coffee thermos, books, banana jumble on floorboard. I watch white tail flick in twilight dim. I watch legs prance into roadside ditch. I carry my last breath on its dull dun back into early morning shadow.

Richard Dinges, Jr. an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa, and manages information systems risk at an insurance company. North Dakota Quarterly, Gravel, Old Red Kimono, Writer’s Bloc, and Neologism most recently accepted his poems for their publications.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Following Through Robert Hasselblad Lloyd’s front lawn wears the face of a putting green. Each blade shimmers. None stands out. This lawn lives for delight, not play. His two girls have the back yard with swing set, champion climbing tree; his wife tends her deck garden of basil dill and rosemary. But the front yard belongs to Lloyd. His father’s in the big house for racketeering; his mother has joined AA, moved to another county. Lloyd drives delivery truck, returns home every night. One day stacked against the next he keeps his head down, follows through. Like a man on a putting green focused on slope, the near distance between himself and the hole. Robert Hasselblad has been writing poetry since college days, half a century ago. Recently retired from over forty years in the lumber industry, he lives in Tacoma, Washington and now devotes time to writing, walking, reading and speculative napping. His poems have appeared in OntheBus:The Final Issue, Avalon Literary Review, riverbabble, and the anthology WA 129: Poets of Washington.

Reptilian Patrick Theron Erickson Ezekiel 18:2; Psalm 58:4-5

What is the meaning of this proverb The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

but that it’s the fathers’ fault that their children’s mouths have gone to pot potty mouths you can see it and hear it in the shopping baskets at the grocery store That the venom of vipers is under their tongues the fathers are to blame like the deaf adders which stop up their ears at the enchanting voice of the cunning charmer Open their ears they will show forth no praise though you make haste to deliver them Open their lips and they will hiss.

Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, and The Main Street Rag, among other publications, and more recently in The Oddville Press, Vox Poetica, Adelaide Literary Magazine and Futures Trading.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Anteater Dmitry Blizniuk We hurry to get home before sundown, like wandering ants. We crawl to the sugary wounds of the kitchens crippled by the fatigue, by the crimson bullets of sunset, as if someone released a tiny droplet of acerbic death from a pipette onto our hissing brains – mixed with the news, commercials, soap operas – it's not lethal. And every evening the ball lands in the wrong number on the roulette wheel. Your number is just a bit sub-lucky but you've betted your life on it… Here is the decrepit sperm-whale of a sofa. It doesn't eat squids – instead, it's fed with house slippers, yawns, careful kisses, soup, purring, and hiccups. Our evening is a happy bee, even if it's stuck in the hourglass, or in the sticky lemonade bottle. We measure the eternity with what we've been given: with love, nonsense, offence, comfort, emotional warmth, bliss and concern… But sometimes I go out onto the balcony in my boxer shorts. I look at the lights of the city glimmering at night, And feel like a duped anteater… I feel the hunger of my destiny. I probably shouldn't come home tomorrow. [translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian] Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared The Pinch Journal, River Poets , Dream Catcher, Magma, Press53, Sheila Na Gig, Palm Beach Poetry Festival and many others. Dmitry Blizniuk is the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox press, Canada 2018). He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Through the Darkest Valley Kihyeon Lee From one point to another on a piece of map Took days and nights of endless marching Under the scorching July sun that was parching To drain our limbs and veins of every drop of sap, And, while bearing the dead burden of proof, Not for death’s make but life’s sake, Sometimes we were sleepwalkers only half awake, Treading the ground, dream-drunk, under the heavenly roof, Till, one night, past midnight, coursing through a deep valley Between mountains standing like giants silently watching down, We raised our weary heads to see the starry tapestry, From which those sparkling things all around must have fallen down, Now on Earth to exchange signals for the day of return In a celestial code of communication far beyond ours. Trained to kill and die, and being rushed through the long hours Like cattle heading somewhere past the point of no return, Some uttered a sound or two in childish awe, Finding no tongue for what their eyes saw That was like underground souls all coming alive, As on the Day thus and so promised to arrive, And, despite all those many a broken juvenile oath, I vowed deep inside to myself: that “I pledge my troth To remember this moment for the remainder of my days, Every time my life’s journey enters into a dark phase, Where, my soul, lost yet not found, Shall keep sparkling in the valley of the shadow, With its sorrows, though still earth-bound, Like dew-drops to depart from morrow’s meadow. Kihyeon Lee is a poet from North Jeolla Province in South Korea. His English is mostly self-taught.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Ordinary Light Jeanine Stevens Even in ordinary light, that light around 11a.m. when dew disappears— that light, no one in sight no bearings, no touchstones. Around 11 a.m. when dew disappears, I have not read the morning paper— no bearings, no touchstones, no CNN, weather forecast, or daily horoscope. I have not read the morning paper— no clicking emails, checking disasters, no CNN, Sierra weather or Capricorn. No clicking SPAM, bucket full of trash. No clicking emails, checking disasters. No idea who shared Facebook success. No checking SPAM, bucket full of trash. Strong Columbian sustains me. No idea who shared Facebook success. I could be on the ocean, no land in sight; strong Columbian sustains me. Not one gull or albatross on the stern. I could be on the ocean, no land in sight. No one expects lavish gatherings. Not one gull or albatross on the stern, just chips and dips and BYOB. No one expects lavish gatherings. How did this day begin without sun? Just chips and dips and BYOB. In ordinary light trace the snail’s path. How did this day begin without sun? A dove egg falls from the nest. In ordinary light trace the snail’s path, wonder at the blooming bog sage.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

A dove egg falls from the nest even in ordinary light, that light. Wonder at the blooming bog sage, that light, no one in sight.

Dean’s List Jeanine Stevens How many times did I get caught in school looking at January trees, white tuffs clinging to black bark— where I wanted to be? After reading Green Mansions, standing at the kitchen counter slowly peeling potatoes, wandering in my own mind— Mother said, “Snap out of it! No one talked about ADD or “coping skills.” Was it a different kind of attention? Supposedly we day dream every 90 minutes like night cycles, something in our programming caught in nature’s tick tock. In Shakespeare class, I learned early to have my answer prepared, then gazed from the third story window looking for the bearded man just returned from the Peace Corp in Africa. Go outside, ignore signposts, seek a singing bug, grab a coffee in the kiosk! I learned to read everything twice.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Self-Imposed Sabbatical Jeanine Stevens Four hours with nothing in mind except fresh coffee in a 1960’s green mug, my relentless writing pad and orange ballpoint that says “Dignity Health. Last night’s reading went well, roundtable arrangement. A tourist from Merced, diamond stud in one ear, recited from Rumi, “You have a tablet inside you.” I hear neighbors down the road, something about checking, or is it chicken? How sound distorts sound. How difficult to empty the mind. Perhaps a new collection, sequential inch worms, how to measure the days from here to earth’s core, or how to conjure up Jim Harrison? The rain washes away dusty pollen, little pools of fool’s gold glisten. Along the path to the lake, mule ear sunflowers clump, few signs of the bear sighted last week. Another, comfortable at evening campfires, was euthanized. Sudden wind whips the tamaracks. A lonely jet streams white beyond the summit. The pine sap so overwhelming; I switch to Greek Retsina. Jeanine Stevens is the author of Limberlost and Inheritor (Future Cycle Press). Her first poetry collection, Sailing on Milkweed was published by Cherry Grove Collections. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, The Stockton Arts Commission Award, The Ekphrasis Prize and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Brief Immensity, won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award. Jeanine recently received her sixth Pushcart Nomination. She participated in Literary Lectures sponsored by Poets and Writers. Work has appeared in North Dakota Review, Pearl, Stoneboat, Rosebud, Chiron Review, and Forge. Jeanine studied poetry at U.C. Davis and California State University, Sacramento.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

stone moment Amanda Dutkiewicz i. thank god pompeii is far away antiquity encased in ash because if i were to see the artifacts frozen so delicately in time I’d only be envious that the same has not happened to me Ii. as shortly as a moment comes it leaves your fingertips like a sigh iii. on a bench by the silently roaring seaside we sit like precious jewels too rare to hold each other if this is going to work someone must brave against the hushed air surrounding the flowers, the sand, the afternoon air; we are an atmosphere of mute I shatter the quietude with a quick bursting kiss pop on the lips you never saw it coming Iv. were the flowers purple? yellow? white? there at all? memory sweeps certainty away like fine dust v. this is when and where Vesuvius should have erupted. Amanda Dutkiewicz lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Secret Life Robert Halleck is there, past silence a secret each hides. The side behind the one-eyed jack. A poem in a lunchbox for those who listen, whistle Stardust softly when they write a rhyme sometime. Robert Halleck lives in California and has been writing poetry since 1958. Poetry is more than a hobby but it does not crowd out other activities such as golf, autocross racing, and care giving through Stephen Ministries. His recent work has appeared in The San Diego Poetry Annual, Remington Review, Third Wednesday, St. Ann's Review, Blue Pepper, and Main Street Rag. He is a member of San Diego's Not Dead Yet Poets and hopes to continue as a member for a long time. For a number of years he has attended the Kenyon Review's Summer Workshops.

Koi Laura Johnson I went to the arboretum to read Paul’s epistles. Imprisoned for what he once condemned and knowing what lay ahead, he wrote of seeds— how they couldn’t live until they died. The arboretum trees, all labeled with shiny plaques, intercepted the sun’s glare while I sat by a pond, pondering Paul’s metaphor. At a splash, I looked up and saw a koi— Fire breaking through solemn silence. Then another and another, orange against black,

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 tugged my attention back from the book to the pond until I laid the scriptures on the lawn and watched the koi, writing their epistle. Leaping life, Flames of fin and tail, Artwork of God! And the breeze and the trees breathed on me as well. ~~~~~~~~~~ The note on the gate said, “Closed for repairs.” The pond, I learned, was too shallow which is why the koi kept breaking through, struggling for air. Oh. What I thought was glory was suffocation and death. ~~~~~~~~~~~ And they brought Paul from his cell. The axeman raised his axe. The seed fell to the ground, and fire broke through black. [This poem was first published in Laura Johnson’s collection, Not Yet.]

Laura Johnson is the author of Not Yet, recently released by Kelsay Books and available on Amazon. Her work has appeared in a range of online and print journals and anthologies, including Literary Mama, Snakeskin, Reach of Song (Georgia Poetry Society, 2018) and Tipton Poetry Journal. Laura holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and teaches English/ESOL at Fayette County High School in Georgia.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Ballad of Ted Williams Anthony Borruso Love is loaded with blood thinners and packed in a body bag with dried ice. Love is a charter jet set for Scottsdale, Arizona. A forged letter, a fake pact, to be frozen and reunited in some cryonically contained eventuality. Godspeed Ted, I kid you not your kids are keeping you in a freezer, your severed head atop a can of Bumble Bee tuna. Splendid splinter, love has a simple syntax and words preserve, but there is no crack-proof oracle capable of holding your wholeness. Love is weird. Think Hannibal Lecter, Bonnie and Clyde, think hybristophilia—a guillotine kind of getting off. Love is cruel and cantankerous and crawling like prehistoric insects on top of an ice cream sundae. I know you asked to be cremated and sprinkled off the coast of Florida where the water is very deep, to slowly disintegrate along with the memory of your MVP’s, but love had to, of course, have its way with your corpse, leave you transfixed in a fridge by the desert. Anthony Borruso has an MFA in creative writing from Butler University and has been a reader for Booth: A Journal. He suffers from Chiari Malformation and sometimes examines this in his poetry. Currently, he teaches composition at Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Spillway, Mantis, THRUSH, Moon City Review, decomP, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Endless Journey of Random Objects

Doris Lynch Emily Dickinson’s bedroom, Amherst, Massachusetts

Imagine a second floor room enlivened by a renegade piece of fluff—perhaps, the tiny breast feather of a neighbor’s eider, wafted through a meadow-side window on the day of spring’s first ripening. Or a remnant of rag-paper wedged between floorboards and an inner wall. Slant-written upon it, a lone g or a trailing ory, excised from a phrase that leapt up from deep observation. Maybe caught in a corner web, a snippet of cotton ferried in the hem of a wrapper dress worn by a woman who swathed her mother’s black and blue calves with gauze—while reciting orphan words: Steeples, Bridalled, Amethyst— jewels to be strung later into phrases. Some might consider these tiny objects to be bits of discarded poems flicked away by a pale writing wrist. Better to chew on the nubbed relic of a Thoreauvian pencil than to believe these particles will sail back into history on rays of afternoon light. Doris Lynch has recent work in Frogpond, Flying Island, Haibun Today, and the Brick Street anthology, Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon. Doris resides in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Death of a Colleague Tim Hawkins Because it happened in real time, right there in the break room at the base of the molded plastic bench not far from the non-dairy creamers within sight of the microwave, those of us who witnessed it could barely recognize it for what it was. At first it was inextricable from the banal. I remember a cell phone ringing and someone dropping a spoon, and the violent clacking of heels echoing down the corridor. Then there was a whisper, which brought us up short and in close, and a concentration of fluorescent light shining off his forehead, some spittle and a gagging sound. Of course someone made a call, and someone loosened the poor man’s tie and someone said “Oh, my dear God,” and someone asked “Does anyone know CPR?” and someone screamed (sorry, the company insists on anonymity). But quickly, all of us there came to know a sudden and unspeakable finality, the kind still found in what we like to call the natural world— a re-alighting of the vulture after a young animal has fallen. I recall that we left as a group, escorted out by a handsome young man from HR, bearing away a handful of small and inconsequential possessions, including the iPhone 8, whose screen showed a smiling wife and daughter.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Well, things soon got back to normal and the office returned to its smooth daily rhythms (“Thank, God!”), and after an intensive round of grief counseling there were smiles all around and the inevitable sense of closure. Tim Hawkins has lived and traveled widely throughout North America, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America, where he has worked as a journalist, technical writer, grant writer and teacher in international schools. He has published more than 100 pieces of poetry and fiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2011, 2017), Best of the Net (2018) and Best Microfiction (2018). His poetry collection, Wanderings at Deadline, was published in 2012 by Aldrich Press. Find out more at his website: www.timhawkinspoetry.com

Oh Please Joe Oppenheimer excuse me I shouldn’t have startled. I thought you were the mark of death, yet you are but a sudden sad shifting among these leaves. For 40 years Joe Oppenheimer was a professor of mathematical and experimental social science and philosophy, mainly at the University of Maryland. However, raising kids, he found fiction more compelling than truth. Eventually, he retired to write fiction, poems, and drama. His writings focus on injustice, loss, friendship, nature, aging, and the foibles of life. His work has been published in Origins, Scarlet Leaf Review, Foliate Oak Literary Review, Random Sample Review and Corvus. Many of them as well as further biographical information are on his website: http://gvptsites.umd.edu/oppenheimer/id43.htm.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

The Dead Eric Greinke Alfredo wailed to the cloudless sky when he found his son Juan’s body along the highway outside their hometown. Alfredo had been searching for two days. Witnesses told him that Juan had been taken by the police, on his way home from school. Following a tip, Alfredo borrowed a car & found Juan. His throat had been slit. Juan was nineteen years old when he refused to join a gang. Two gangs fought to control Chilapa, a gateway to the poppy-growing zone, surrounded by lush, green mountains, populated by 30,000 souls. On the Day of the Dead, Mexicans usually stay in the cemetery until well past midnight, draping orange wreaths of marigolds over the family headstones. In Chilapa, people leave after noon. They hide in their homes, doors locked. Alfredo’s daughter Maria had nightmares. Gunfire in the street made her cry. One gang threatened to kill him because they thought he’d joined the other. The other gang threatened to kill him because he still refused to join them. A few months after Juan’s murder, Alfredo’s brother Jesus was abducted by six young men in a black Chevy van. They beat him & left him for dead. Days later, the Federales took his nephew Jose. Alfredo found him dead a week later, dumped in the same place as Juan.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 After that, what was left of Alfredo’s family fled to America for asylum, but his parents refused to leave. They didn’t want to abandon the dead. Eric Greinke lives in Michigan and has recent work in Bryant Literary Review, Ibbetson Street, The Loch Raven Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Over The Transom, Pennsylvania English, Poetry Pacific, Prairie Schooner, Rosebud, Taj Mahal Review and Trajectory. His book For The Living Dead (Persa Press, 2014 and Simon Pulse, 2015) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His most recent books are Shorelines (Adastra Press, 2018) and Invisible Wings (Persa Press, 2019). He is a contributing writer for the Schuylkill Valley Journal (Philadelphia).

Avatar Diana L. Conces Pulling strings and fixing things I see: two hands are not enough. Digging in my flesh—I extract a lump. I pull, shape, carve: fashion my twin and send her out into the world in my stead. She wears a smooth mask; she does precisely what is necessary. She calculates the interest of the many. —She is not real.— All day they talk to my twin and do not know it. They speak my name, my avatar responds. Diana L. Conces writes poetry and fiction from her home in Round Rock, Texas. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, in a major newspaper, and on a city bus. She has won numerous prizes for her poetry. She is also the author of The Golden Feather, a middle grade comic adventure fantasy novel. Her photographs have appeared in Peacock Journal. Visit her blog at https://dianalconces.blogspot.com/.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

After Abuse Lauren Claus I would have waited, would have worn this skin bare, if it suited you. I almost ask the nurses to take their treatments off. I want the lights low, when they ask me. They ask me, and eventually I even answer, even hold my arm to my chest, and start to sit my back to straight. It’s broken, but once I saw an animal, its wings unfurled. Here, the white of these walls refuses the world. Its men are gentle, and I can pretend that I am good when their words wait for my whisper, when the only force I feel is an injection, the trace of his bandage, the only touch.

Lauren Claus is a medical student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a BA in English from Harvard University in 2016. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Briar Cliff Review, Zone 3, Two Hawks Quarterly, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Rise Up Review.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

A poem, a novel and a song Michelle Hartman walk into a bar. The song leaves with a shady promoter. A depressing plot, the novel drinks itself into a stupor. But the poem sips Goldschläger knows only the classy realize the value in tiny bits of gold.

Michelle Hartman’s new book, Wanton Disarray, just published, along with her other books, Disenchanted and Disgruntled, Irony and Irreverence & The Lost Journal of my Second Trip to Purgatory, are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Hartman’s work has been published in numerous journals as well as various other countries. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is the former editor of Red River Review. Hartman holds a BS in Political Science-Pre Law from Texas Wesleyan University and a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Tarrant County Community College. She was recently named Distinguished Alumni by TCC.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 On Understanding a Language That is Not Your Own

Christine Donat Y-intercept and Middle Finger walk into a bar— the former says “I came here searching for my X,” the latter laughing at the line reiterates to piss-off. Elbows greased in tap-beer and soggy tip money, F-Sharp waits for a date who decides not to show a tempo too slow. A-roll and B-roll try to make sense of the act between Frida and her Flat-Brush—the films arguing her intermission that came too quick “we’ll take two Maiden’s Kiss.” Hieroglyphic draws a similar conclusion with a shot of house tequila—no salt and no lime. Beaker leans over the counter fast—to steal booze while the bartender stays focused on the beauty of Flask. A free buzz off barkeep’s distraction, he doesn’t know they work together how clever. Alexander Pushkin’s lost poetry sulks in the corner, then orders Balaklava Nectar at last call a round for all. Then Time rolls his dice making four AM strike: all will leave the bar drunk in anguish, framed only by their own language. [This poem was first published in Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, 2019)]

Christine Donat is from Stony Brook, New York. She enjoys writing, drawing, the ocean, and being active. Her insperation comes from analysis of the inner self, and the beautiful literature that surrounds the world.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 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 was 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.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Contributor Biographies Cassidy Bishop is a 17-year-old aspiring poet laureate living in Loveland, Colorado. There, she finds inspiration from nature, her peers, and the artwork around her. When she isn’t writing, she can be found painting, making photos, or skiing. CL Bledsoe’s latest poetry collection is Trashcans in Love. His latest novel is The Funny Thing About... He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs, with Michael Gushue, at https://medium.com/@howtoeven Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared The Pinch Journal, River Poets , Dream Catcher, Magma, Press53, Sheila Na Gig, Palm Beach Poetry Festival and many others. Dmitry Blizniuk is the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox press, Canada 2018). He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine. William Bonfiglio is a PhD candidate studying creative writing at the University of New Brunswick – Fredericton. His poetry has been awarded a Pearl Hogrefe Grant in Creative Writing Recognition Award, the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize, and has appeared in Sugar House Review, American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Anthony Borruso has an MFA in creative writing from Butler University and has been a reader for Booth: A Journal. He suffers from Chiari Malformation and sometimes examines this in his poetry. Currently, he teaches composition at Butler University and Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Spillway, Mantis, THRUSH, Moon City Review, decomP, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere. Daniel Bourne’s books include The Household Gods (Cleveland State) and Where No One Spoke the Language (CustomWords). His poems have also been in such journals as Field, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Conduit, Boulevard, Guernica, Salmagundi, Yale Review, Pleiades, Quarterly West, Willow Springs, Witness, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Plume, New Letters, Indiana Review, Many Mountains Moving, and Cimarron Review. The recipient of four Ohio Arts Council poetry fellowships, he teaches in the English Department and in the Environmental Studies Program at The College of Wooster in Ohio, where he edits Artful Dodge, a magazine of American fiction, poetry and essay with a special interest in both place and literature in translation.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Young and hopeful aspiring writer Gennah Brown is approaching her junior year at Berkshire Jr./Sr. High School, located in Burtron, Ohio. Although Gennah does not have any professional writing experience, she is currently enrolled in her third creative writing course and AP Literature and Composition. She has previously partaken in a statewide interscholastic competitive writing league called PenOhio in which she attended the State competition this previous spring. She finds writing to be an amazing opportunity to share her thoughts, ideas, and stories with both her peers and beloved writing coach Mrs. Maria Ritter Koler. Gennah believes that each piece of her writing displays parts of her true self and experiences to the audience; more of Gennah’s work can be found on her instagram account, poems.by.gennah. She is completely euphoric to be sharing her work and is grateful for the eyes, attention, and open minds of her readers. Dan A. Cardoza has an MS Degree, lives in Northern California and is the author of three chapbooks: Nature’s Front Door, Expectation of Stars and Ghosts in the Cupboard. Dan has been published in several journals including Aleola, Amethyst, UK., Ardent, Better Than Starbucks, California Quarterly, Chaleur Magazine, Entropy, Esthetic Apostle, Foxglove, Frogmore Journal, High Shelf Press, Oddball, Peeking Cat, Picaroon, Poetry Northwest, Rabid Oak, Runcible Spoon, The Quail Bell, Skylight 47, Spelk, The Stray Branch, Unstamatic, and Vita Brevis. Shelly Chang lives in Berkeley, California. Lauren Claus is a medical student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She received a BA in English from Harvard University in 2016. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Briar Cliff Review, Zone 3, Two Hawks Quarterly, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Rise Up Review. Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 21 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest books are Carnival from FutureCycle Press, The Seven Heavenly Virtues from Kelsay Books and Her Heartsongs from Presa Press. Colby is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Good Works Review. Website: www.joancolby.com. Facebook: Joan Colby. Twitter: poetjm. Diana L. Conces writes poetry and fiction from her home in Round Rock, Texas. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, in a major newspaper, and on a city bus. She has won numerous prizes for her poetry. She is also the author of The Golden Feather, a middle grade comic adventure fantasy novel. Her photographs have appeared in Peacock Journal. Visit her blog at https://dianalconces.blogspot.com/.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Katherine Cottle is the author of four books: The Hidden Heart of Charm City: Baltimore Letters and Lives (Critical Nonfiction, AH, 2019), I Remain Yours (Creative Nonfiction, AH, 2014), Halfway: A Journal through Pregnancy (Memoir, AH, 2010), and My Father's Speech (Poetry, AH, 2008). She currently teaches writing at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Fred Dale is a husband to his wife, Valerie, and a father to his occasionally good dog, Earl. Fred serves as a Senior Instructor in the Department of English at the University of North Florida, He earned an MFA from the University of Tampa, but mostly, he just grades papers. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sugar House Review, The Summerset Review, Chiron Review, Crack the Spine, The Evansville Review, and others. Mary Christine Delea has a PhD in English/Creative Writing from the University of North Dakota and an MA in English from Marshall University. She now lives in Oregon and is the author of The Skeleton Holding Up the Sky and three chapbooks: Did I Mention There was Gambling and Body Parts?, Moving the Language, and Ordinary Days in Ordinary Places. Richard Dinges, Jr. an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa, and manages information systems risk at an insurance company. North Dakota Quarterly, Gravel, Old Red Kimono, Writer’s Bloc, and Neologism most recently accepted his poems for their publications. Richard lives in Nebraska. Christine Donat is from Stony Brook, New York. She enjoys writing, drawing, the ocean, and being active. Her insperation comes from analysis of the inner self, and the beautiful literature that surrounds the world. Amanda Dutkiewicz lives in Brooklyn, New York. Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, and The Main Street Rag, among other publications, and more recently in The Oddville Press, Vox Poetica, Adelaide Literary Magazine and Futures Trading. Jill Evans, also known as Jill Evans Petzall, makes documentary films, media art installations, writes poetry, and teaches about social justice from a female perspective. She is the winner of four Emmy Awards for her scripts and documentary films. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and started her career in her 40s while raising three young children as a single mother. All her work is fueled by a graduate degree in Philosophy. Now in her 70s, she has just begun to publish the poetry she has been writing all her life (thus far in Tipton Poetry Journal, LIGHT a Journal of Photography and Poetry, and First Literary Review-East.) She writes poetry and makes photographs to hold life still long enough to imagine its outline.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Kimberly Glanzan is an MFA student at the University of Kentucky, where she is the managing editor of New Limestone Review. Her work has appeared in Iodine, Innisfree, Kakalak, Sky Island Journal, Sleet Magazine, and Stonecoast Review. She was a finalist for the 2019 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize, judged by Kelly Link. That story is forthcoming in Electric Lit. Eric Greinke lives in Michigan and has recent work in Bryant Literary Review, Ibbetson Street, The Loch Raven Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Over The Transom, Pennsylvania English, Poetry Pacific, Prairie Schooner, Rosebud, Taj Mahal Review and Trajectory. His book For The Living Dead (Persa Press, 2014 and Simon Pulse, 2015) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His most recent books are Shorelines (Adastra Press, 2018) and Invisible Wings (Persa Press, 2019). He is a contributing writer for the Schuylkill Valley Journal (Philadelphia). Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University, where she was an English major. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee, a five-time Best of the Net nominee and the author of the following collections of poetry: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, Letters Under the Banyan Tree, The Wanderer’s Dominion, Breakfast in Winter, and the winning chapbook in The Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, Before I Go to Sleep. Her work has appeared in: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts. She is the Assistant Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal and a member of the Sacramento group of poets called Writers on Air. According to family lore, she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com John D. Groppe’s The Raid of the Grackles and Other Poems was published in 2016 by Iroquois River Press. Mr. Groppe was listed on Indiana’s bicentennial literary map 1816-2016 Literary Map of Indiana: 200 Years-200 Writers. He is Professor Emeritus of English at Saint Joseph’s College and a resident of Rensselaer, Indiana since 1962. Robert Halleck lives in California and has been writing poetry since 1958. Poetry is more than a hobby but it does not crowd out other activities such as golf, autocross racing, and care giving through Stephen Ministries. His recent work has appeared in The San Diego Poetry Annual, Remington Review, Third Wednesday, St. Ann's Review, Blue Pepper, and Main Street Rag. He is a member of San Diego's Not Dead Yet Poets and hopes to continue as a member for a long time. For a number of years he has attended the Kenyon Review's Summer Workshops. Michelle Hartman’s new book, Wanton Disarray, just published, along with her other books, Disenchanted and Disgruntled, Irony and Irreverence & The Lost Journal of my Second Trip to Purgatory, are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Hartman’s work has been published in numerous journals as well as various other countries. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is the former editor of Red River Review. Hartman holds a BS in Political Science-Pre Law from Texas Wesleyan University and a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from Tarrant County Community College. She was recently named Distinguished Alumni by TCC.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019

Robert Hasselblad has been writing poetry since college days, half a century ago. Recently retired from over forty years in the lumber industry, he lives in Tacoma, Washington and now devotes time to writing, walking, reading and speculative napping. His poems have appeared in OntheBus:The Final Issue, Avalon Literary Review, riverbabble, and the anthology WA 129: Poets of Washington. Tim Hawkins has lived and traveled widely throughout North America, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America, where he has worked as a journalist, technical writer, grant writer and teacher in international schools. He has published more than 100 pieces of poetry and fiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2011, 2017), Best of the Net (2018) and Best Microfiction (2018). His poetry collection, Wanderings at Deadline, was published in 2012 by Aldrich Press. Find out more at his website: www.timhawkinspoetry.com Ruth Holzer’s poems have appeared in Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Slant, Rhino, Southern Poetry Review and Poet Lore, as well as in several anthologies. Her chapbooks are The First Hundred Years, The Solitude Of Cities (Finishing Line Press) and A Woman Passing (Green Fuse Press). She lives in Virginia. Laura Johnson is the author of Not Yet, recently released by Kelsay Books and available on Amazon. Her work has appeared in a range of online and print journals and anthologies, including Literary Mama, Snakeskin, Reach of Song (Georgia Poetry Society, 2018) and Tipton Poetry Journal. Laura holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and teaches English/ESOL at Fayette County High School in Georgia. Ed Jones has been a teacher most of his life, enjoys singing, tries his best not to harm others, doesn't always succeed. He recently published poems in Orbis and Plum Tree Tavern. Ed lives in New Jersey. Michael Jones has taught in Oakland, California public schools since 1990. His poetry has appeared widely in journals ( Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Confrontation, DMQ Review, etc.) and in a chapbook, Moved (Kattywompus, 2016). Judy Kronenfeld’s most recent books of poetry are Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, 2nd edition (Antrim House, 2012)—winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Journal, Cimarron Review, DMQ Review, Ghost Town, Pedestal, Rattle, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review, and in two dozen anthologies. She is Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing, UC Riverside, and an Associate Editor of Poemeleon.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Having retired from teaching English and Communications, first in the US and for many years in Jamaica, Mary Hills Kuck now lives with her family in Massachusetts. She has received a Pushcart Prize Nomination and her poems have appeared in Long River Run, Connecticut River Review, Hamden Chronicle, SIMUL: Lutheran Voices in Poetry, Caduceus, The Jamaica Observer, Fire Stick: A Collection of New & Established Caribbean Poets, Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Inc. Anthology , the Aurorean, Tipton Poetry Journal, and others. Kathleen Latham’s work was recently shortlisted for The Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Eclectica Magazine, and her short fiction is forthcoming in the Crack the Spine Anthology. She lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts with her family and an ornery cat. She can be found online at KathleenLatham.com. Kihyeon Lee is a poet from North Jeolla Province in South Korea. His English is mostly self-taught. Doris Lynch has recent work in Frogpond, Flying Island, Haibun Today, and the Brick Street anthology, Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon. Doris resides in Bloomington, Indiana. Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 43 years. After teaching in Hong Kong, she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews including Ravens Perch, TWJM Magazine, Earth Daughters, Tipton poetry Journal and Indiana Voice Journal. She was nominated for the Pushcart prize in 2017. She is a member of the California Writers Club and an Adjunct Professor at Touro University in California. Christina Matthews is a former English Composition and Creative Writing Instructor. She currently resides in Syracuse, New York, where she is buried in snow for five months out of the year. She received an MFA with a concentration in poetry from Georgia College. Her work has appeared in The Adirondack Review and The Hudson Literary Journal, along with various other journals. Catherine Moscatt is a 22 year old counseling and human services major who lives in New York. Besides poetry, she enjoys playing basketball, listening to loud music and watching terrible horror movies. Her poetry has been published in several magazines including Sick Lit Magazine, Phree Write Magazine and Muse- An International Poetry Journal. For 40 years Joe Oppenheimer was a professor of mathematical and experimental social science and philosophy, mainly at the University of Maryland. However, raising kids, he found fiction more compelling than truth. Eventually, he retired to write fiction, poems, and drama. His writings focus on injustice, loss, friendship, nature, aging, and the foibles of life. His work has been published in Origins, Scarlet Leaf Review, Foliate Oak Literary Review, Random Sample Review and Corvus. Many of them as well as further biographical information are on his website: http://gvptsites.umd.edu/oppenheimer/id43.htm.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in India and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry journal, Writer's Ezine, Efiction India, Ink drift, The blue nib, Her heart poetry, Awake in the world anthology by Riverfeet press and few anthologies by lost tower publications. She had been chosen as Poet of the week on Poetry superhighway, featured writer in Wordweavers poetry contest and second place winner of blue nib chapbook contest 2018. Kenneth Pobo, professor of English and creative writing at Widener University in Pennsylvania, has two new books out: The Antlantis Hit Parade and Dindi Expecting Snow. In addition to Tipton Poetry Journal, his work has appeared in Nimrod, Indiana Review, Mudfish, Caesura, and elsewhere. Jessica Reed’s chapbook, World, Composed (Finishing Line Press), is a dialogue with the ancient poet Lucretius about atomism. Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, North American Review, Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, Bellingham Review, New American Writing, Waxwing, 111O, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Spiral Orb, The Fourth River, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in poetry and a BS in physics, and she teaches a university seminar on physics and the arts. She lives in Indiana with her husband and chickens. Timothy Robbins has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Off The Coast, Bayou Magazine, Slant, Tipton Review and many others. He has published three volumes of poetry: Three New Poets (Hanging Loose Press), Denny’s Arbor Vitae (Adelaide Books) and Carrying Bodies (Main Street Rag Press). He lives in Wisconsin with his husband of twenty years. Sofia Rybkina is 18 and lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sofia is a poet, professional musician, a member of the French Poets Society and author of the book Speaking in Verse published in Russia in 2016. Her works have appeared in such literary journals as Slovo\Word, La Page Blanche, Berlin. Berega, and Star 82 Review. Katy Scrogin is a Chicago-based writer, editor, and translator. Her most recent work has appeared in The Christian Century, Bearings Online, and The Pangolin Review. She can also be found at katyscrogin.wordpress.com. Jeanine Stevens is the author of Limberlost and Inheritor (Future Cycle Press). Her first poetry collection, Sailing on Milkweed was published by Cherry Grove Collections. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, The Stockton Arts Commission Award, The Ekphrasis Prize and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Brief Immensity, won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award. Jeanine recently received her sixth Pushcart Nomination. She participated in Literary Lectures sponsored by Poets and Writers. Work has appeared in North Dakota Review, Pearl, Stoneboat, Rosebud, Chiron Review, and Forge. Jeanine studied poetry at U.C. Davis and California State University, Sacramento.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2019 Michael E. Strosahl is a midwestern river-born poet, originally from Moline, Illinois. After moving to Indiana, he joined several poetry groups and travelled the state meeting many members of the Poetry Society of Indiana, also serving on the board for several years. Besides several appearances in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Maik’s work has appeared in Flying Island, Bards Against Hunger projects, on buses, in museums and online at indianavoicejournal, poetrysuperhighway and projectagentorange. He has recently relocated to Jefferson City, Missouri. James Tyler received a BA in English from Austin Peay State University. He has been published in Mobius, Mad Swirl, Red Fez, Page & Spine, and Poetry Quarterly among others. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Mark Vogel has published short stories in Cities and Roads, Knight Literary Journal, Whimperbang, SN Review, and Our Stories. Poetry has appeared 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. Lori Widmer is a 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize and her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories and TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics. Lori lives in Pennsylvania. Hiromi Yoshida is a winner of multiple Indiana University Writers' Conference awards. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Clockwise Cat, Work Literary Magazine, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Borderline, Evergreen Review, Bathtub Gin, Flying Island, and the Matrix anthologies of literary and visual arts. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana. Changming Yuan published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

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Profile for Tipton Poetry Journal

Tipton Poetry Journal #41  

Spring 2019

Tipton Poetry Journal #41  

Spring 2019

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