Tipton Poetry Journal #48 - Spring 2021

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

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 49 poets from the United States (22 different states) and 3 poets from Canada, Ireland, and Nigeria. Our Featured Poem this issue is “Gertrude’s Virtual Salon During a Pandemic” written by Lylanne Musselman. Lylanne’s poem, which also receives an award of $25, can be found on page 30. The featured poem was chosen by the Board of Directors of Brick Street Poetry, Inc., the Indiana non-profit organization who publishes Tipton Poetry Journal. Cover Photo: “Beautiful Purple Butterfly” by Boonchuay Promjiam. Licensed Shutterstock Image # 295992335. http://shutterstock.com/g/BOONCHUAY+PROMJIAM Print versions of Tipton Poetry Journal are available for purchase through amazon.com. Barry Harris, Editor

Copyright 2021 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 2021

Contents Bobbi Sinha-Morey ................................................................................... 1 Joseph Kerschbaum .................................................................................. 2 George R. Kramer ...................................................................................... 2 Peter Grandbois ......................................................................................... 4 Katherine Hoerth ...................................................................................... 6 Marianne Lyon ........................................................................................... 8 Suphil Lee Park ........................................................................................ 10 Tia Paul-Louis .......................................................................................... 11 Yuan Changming ..................................................................................... 12 Carol Barrett ............................................................................................ 13 Richard Spilman ...................................................................................... 14 Judith Skillman ........................................................................................ 15 Richard Krohn .......................................................................................... 16 Eric Chiles .................................................................................................. 17 David Vancil .............................................................................................. 18 Steve Abbott .............................................................................................. 19 Arthur Ginsberg ...................................................................................... 20 Nwenna Kai ............................................................................................... 21 John D. Groppe ......................................................................................... 22 Laura Anella Johnson ............................................................................ 22 Kris Capezio .............................................................................................. 24 Briggs Helton ............................................................................................ 25 Neil Carpathios ........................................................................................ 26 John McKernan ........................................................................................ 27 Karen Arnold ............................................................................................ 28 Lylanne Musselman ............................................................................... 30 Ruth Holzer ............................................................................................... 32


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Mark Vogel ................................................................................................ 32 Cole Depuy ................................................................................................. 34 Michael Keshigian .................................................................................. 36 Tony Brewer ............................................................................................. 37 Joanne Durham ........................................................................................ 40 Peggy Turnbull ........................................................................................ 40 Paul Hostovsky ......................................................................................... 42 M.E. Silverman .......................................................................................... 43 Jonah Bornstein ....................................................................................... 44 Elisabeth Harrahy .................................................................................. 44 Karla Linn Merrifield ............................................................................. 46 Robert Hasselblad .................................................................................. 46 Ellen Goldsmith ........................................................................................ 48 Jennifer L. McClellan .............................................................................. 48 Robert Okaji .............................................................................................. 50 Michael Estabrook .................................................................................. 50 John Grey .................................................................................................... 52 Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda ...................................................................... 52 Edward Lee ................................................................................................ 54 Nnadi Samuel ........................................................................................... 54 Mary Paulson ............................................................................................ 56 Contributor Biographies ...................................................................... 58


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021


Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

My Heart An Amethyst Ocean Bobbi Sinha-Morey Soft May mists are here again and the creamy white tulips are bathed in the quiet stillness of morning sun; all this, and the grass outside my window buttoned with dandelions, my home illumined by God's glowing touch. My heart an amethyst ocean, ready to swell with the love I've come to know when time no longer starts from so far away and I dip into the lake of my youth, taste the sweet fruits of life, knock on the door of an older memory and exalt that I am alive. I long to stand under a silver silken sky, swim in a pool clothed in blue starlight.

Bobbi Sinha-Morey is an Oregon poet whose poetry has appeared in a wide variety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene's Fountain, The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine, Miller's Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red Kimono, and Woods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and her work has been nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and the Best of the Net 2018 Anthology Awards hosted by Sundress Publications. Website: http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Snapshot Joseph Kerschbaum “Would you like me to take a picture of you together?” she asks from behind her mask. Chrysanthemum print & blue eyes. We stand under the campus gates, face westward into the sunset & she transitions into a silhouette. Hands back the phone, she steps on the bus & is gone. There isn’t enough mass to forge a memory when she took a snapshot for two strangers & it would be their last together. Joseph Kerschbaum’s most recent publications include Mirror Box (Main Street Rag Press, 2020) and Distant Shore of a Split Second (Louisiana Literature Press, 2018). Joseph has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission. His work has appeared in journals such as failbetter, Panoply, Flying Island, The Battered Suitcase, Main Street Rag, and The Delinquent. Joseph lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his family.

Nature’s God George R. Kramer Hold this truth and cast your words over the water like Jesus. Your hooks seek minds to snare in a power illuminating and hot as a new sun. Later your form stands at the door of Sally Hemings’s shack, casting a shadow between enlightenment and terror. Only the two of you know in full your honed guilt, your bone-built lies, your deadly failings before Nature’s God’s steady eyes.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 You wake with the ache of the hollow world in your head. Like Moses, you want to lead your people to Canaan, standing on a false bottom, conscience cut at the joint. You seek to be kind, you stroke her shoulder, like a wolf petting a dog. You mull a question raised by Nature’s God. Knowing that all are born equal, you sense a twisted helix of cord, running through every knotted fiber, tying each to all, sewn into the kind, the dull, and a special breed of mean. One night you dream that she left you, fleeing across the plantation fields with your child in her arms. Like Solomon, you stand paralyzed, as your foreman raises his musket. The moment before the shot claps out you burn with shock at your answer to the question posed by Nature’s God.

George R. Kramer hails from Canada, Colorado, Kenya, New York and Alabama, but is a long-time Virginia transplant. He is the child of refugees from Nazism and Communism. All of the above influences his writing. His work has appeared in a wide range of poetry journals. His poetry website is at https://blueguitar58.wixsite.com/website-1, with links to many of his previously published works.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Knowledge of Hell Peter Grandbois I dreamt of my dog last night. He’d come back to me from the dead, where I’d put him two days before. He stood at a distance in a hazy veil as if waiting for an answer I didn’t know. My dog had a problem biting people, though he’d only growled at me a couple times. He had cold, golden eyes that scared visitors, and now those eyes fixed on me. I looked away. Pale light fingered the air about us, and I remembered a saying about how death sneaks up like an old friend. I remembered, too, how he licked my face before they gave him the injection, how I scratched his neck. I whispered brother, lover, father, friend. A pile of words I didn’t know how to say. He continued to stare, panting like the breath of trees that now surrounded us, like the great breath of the world. In the distance a hawk’s cry broke loose. The crack and snap of a branch, of one twig slipping free of another. The color drained to black and white, as if the woods had been ghosted by those eyes. Auguries of smoke and wind. Let me begin again. There’s no escaping the footprints inside us.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

I’ll believe you when Peter Grandbois The discredited gods of America go back to sleep and the indentured moon wanders out the window. But there they sit, staring deep into a dusk that never wanes Old men on the porch in their squandered rockers tottering back and forth to no music but the supernova of capitalist crickets imploding under its own weight, shadows folding to a singularity. The peasants have joined hands. They circle the hole. Watch now—soon they will dip their palms, bring water to trembling lips.

Peter Grandbois is the author of eleven books, the most recent of which is the poetry collection The Three-Legged World, published as Triptych with books by James McCorkle and Robert Miltner (Etruscan 2020). His work has appeared in over one hundred journals, including Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Prairie Schooner. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is poetry editor at Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University in Ohio. You can find him at www.petergrandbois.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Hunger Katherine Hoerth I didn’t see you standing there—outside the dark and desolate café tonight, smoking the butt of someone’s cigarette as I parked my car beneath the streetlamp. I only saw the orange glow of ashes gathering at the tip, the hazy outline of your rugged mane, the bulky jacket hanging from your frame like skin. I thought you might be just a shadow, but I knew that you were real when I heard your howl above the distant sounds of whooshing cars. Hey there, sexy, how are you tonight? And suddenly, I lost what makes me human. So did you. Why did you have to speak? I assumed the posture of a doe: scut in the air and running for her life, two downturned eyes the size of hunter’s moons. I wish I’d had a moment just to think, not to react, to turn into a beast made to be devoured by another. Maybe you saw the sadness in my eyes and wanted me to feel beautiful. Maybe you simply needed to be seen. Maybe you were hungry for some bread, or something else. To me, it didn’t matter. You lit the wick of fear within my bones. It raged. I hurried into the café, ordered my salad, trying to forget what it’s like to be another’s prey. I knew that you were gazing through the window—

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 at me or my plate? I couldn’t tell. We shared this meal of emptiness together— my heart banged in my chest with every bite as you watched me while standing by my car. Probably, you’re harmless—just a man down on his luck, out in the cold, and lonely; probably, I’m everything that’s wrong with this world—the kind of woman who can only see the predator in you, who can’t let go of yesterday, the last vestigial of fear beneath the surface of my skin that burns and burns and burns. What a cruel world we’ve all created— where compassion is a luxury, where fear and hunger seem to conquer all, where seeing you as human is a risk that I can’t take tonight. I’m but a rabbit, holed up in the safety of her burrow, and you’re locked in the role of timber wolf, nose to the ground, awaiting my emergence into the open fields of the night, starving for something I can never give.

Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2021). She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press. Her writing interests include eco-poetry, feminism, and formalism. She is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and lives near Houston.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Puzzle Marianne Lyon My whole dazed life I implored begged wailed for saints ecstatic gurus to awaken rescue instruct how to live teach me to write a psalm that knits pain into comfort shawl draft a map endow guide me from dark chasm walk me into enlightenment Know now I have forfeited precious time drained myself of fortitude believe I have been given another chance today to avow venture trust resurrect myself from the murky quagmire as it presents itself Have awakened to notion I am a puzzle a breathing box pieces big and small each day one or two emerge some clear others gauzed no instructions but over time a painting begins to brush itself

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Now know I am invited to end my stalling estrangement Mark Nepo a wise poet says the earth began as a dish shattering like you dear reader I am nudged to fiercely gently tenaciously glue my pieces together 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 2021

Most Everything that Happens is a Hyphen

Suphil Lee Park We’re apples and oranges = nothing is in applepie order. Just as as if and as in. As in, what’s paperthin seldom makes a paperweight. Say the idea of God arrives in a body as speculators arrive in a body, worried: God willing leave no one at sea when the ship is sinking Joke’s on us. The apple of our eye moves Adam’s apple. Who’s to say an apple doesn’t fall for a Newton far from the tree. Suphil Lee Park is the author of Present Tense Complex, winner of the Marystina Santiestevan Prize. She spent 9/14 of her life all over the Korean peninsula before landing in the American Northeast. She graduated from New York University with a BA in English and from the University of Texas at Austin with an MFA in Poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, the Iowa Review, the Massachusetts Review, Writer’s Digest, and the Yale Review, among many others. You can find more about her at: https://suphil-lee-park.com/

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Separate Affairs Tia Paul-Louis He stays this week. October’s in Australia so he’s obliged to sipping stale coffee, toasted wheat bread, something like a sausage while seated across from a wife who crosses not just her legs but entire self like a possessed nun. She lies next to him tonight—so slim pale in a raven tunic while he imagines October in a tropical swimsuit. She remembers walks by the lake where they last kissed. Lost that taste three kids ago. Her promenades are to and from a nursery room and two teen bedrooms—one profaned; the other gothic. She won’t confess to marrying a man who believes love is a prostitute. Rather, she wears a hiss so long and loud that he doesn’t bother to ask why. Born in the Caribbean and raised in the U.S., Tia Paul-Louis began writing songs at age 11 then experimented with poetry during high school. She earned a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of South Florida along with a M.F.A in Creative Writing from National University in California. Her works have appeared in literary magazines such as The Voices Project, Ethos Literary Journal, and Rabbit Catastrophe Review. Some of her favorite authors and poets include Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou and Edgar Allan Poe. Apart from writing, Paul-Louis enjoys music, photography, acting and cooking, though she mostly finds herself and others through poetry.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

More East Idioms Reviewed Yuan Changming 1/ fei ying fei sheng [吠影吠声] A dog begins to bark at the sight Of a shadow that seems shivering Then all the dogs in the neighborhood Jumped into a chorus like crazy 2/ hu jia hu wei [狐假虎威] All the animals of the jungle Flee in fright from the little fox As it carefully stalks behind In the tiger’s shadow 3/ shu yu jing er feng bu zhi [树欲静而⻛风不止] The oak tree longs to stand still Or sit in deep meditation Yet the wind would never stop Trying to uproot or remove it 4/ sai weng shi ma [塞翁失⻢马] On a snowy evening a poor old frontier tribesman Lost his horse, the only means of living he had While everybody still felt sorry for him a week later The horse returned home with another one wild 5/ han dan xue bu [邯郸学步] In their fondest hope to walk as gracefully as handsomely as the residents of Handan People swarm in from every part of the country to learn and practice the ‘capital steps’ But many have failed to learn the new steps while others forgot their old ways So they all have to crawl back on their fours to where they originally came from 6/ ye gong hao long [叶公好龙] Instead of God, Money, Computer, Sex or Art, Mr Ye believes in Dragon only He loves the legendary animal so much so that he paints it on every surface he can find Deeply moved by his devoted passion, a real dragon comes down to visit him But no sooner has he seen its face than he jumps to flee, with his pants all wet with fright Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, eight poetry awards & chapbooks, as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Gunsmoke Carol Barrett In the cafeteria line between mashed potatoes and fried chicken, she asks me what kind of TV to buy for her husband, now in memory care with a roommate who watches reruns of Gunsmoke. With a second set, he could take in the news, feed his brain, trigger conversation. It must be easy to operate, heard over the horses hightailing it out of town. Her grandson could get earphones, but that’s too complicated. She just wants to stimulate his mind. She pauses on “mind,” peeling an orange. It’s going, yes, but surely the pace can be slowed, like his gait. She is back to the TV: so many shootings, terrible. She has placed orange segments in a perfect circle, offers me one. The others fall in fragrant concentric tilt. I think of those lost, one after another, down on their desks, a dance floor, dusty aisles, who brought this upon themselves only by being there. Maybe it’s better he watches smoke curling from the gun after the swift theft of cattle, a hold-up, stagecoach due west. At least there is a reckoning for the loss. Carol Barrett coordinates the Creative Writing Certificate program at Union Institute & University and also teaches for Saybrook University. She lives in Oregon and has published two volumes of poetry and one of creative nonfiction. Her poems appear in JAMA, Poetry International, Nimrod, and many other venues.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

The Poet Goes to Ground Richard Spilman He began in wonder, spinning stars from their galaxies, raising beasts from the muck, weaving from vision to vision the churning light show at the center of the sun. Like an eremite he sat at the mouth of his cave torturing words into cubist constructions; like a surgeon opened the body, so modestly clothed, to new forms. None of it worked—the stars cooled, the beasts returned to their dens, and the cosmic spectacle bored by its constant brilliance. In time he packed his box of magic tricks and sat, like a child, cross-legged in the gravel of a garden path picking through stones for the ones that glittered.

Richard Spilman is the author of In the Night Speaking and of a chapbook, Suspension. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gargoyle, and Image. He lives in West Virginia.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

In Dream Judith Skillman We never understand the wrongs done to us, the betrayals, and, underwater, other languages, tongues so foreign we are deaf and must ask the other to speak louder. In sleep shrill cries come from our mouths, stories, antagonists’ names. Undress. The meal will be waiting on its plate without its host. The woman will say she’s going to throw you out of Nordstrom as you, defiant, swear and curse how you never planned to steal the purse you placed in your own purse. You took it out to show your sister and that friend who never speaks to you anymore. It had a brand name, it was the one under consideration, just as, a split second before this instant, you underwent interrogation in a committee so large the United Nations delegates, seated on their leather chairs with translation devices in their ears, frowned until you had to slink away, and she, the woman, always the same Directress— meant to have a confrontation, always the same as when she pinched your arm in a remote chateau at the outskirts of Belgium, and had her personal policier drive you to the airport at 1 am. Fiction or reality — the marbled airport floor, the ticket window closed, and those lipped lions standing in front of every full hotel.

Judith Skillman is a resident of Newcastle, Washington and a dual citizen of US and Canada. Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Threepenny Review, Zyzzyva, and other journals. She is the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her new collection A Landscaped Garden for the Addict will be out from Shanti Arts Press in 2021. Visit www.judithskillman.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

The one who comes to clean Richard Krohn enters without knocking before you run the ad, her lips a gloss of floor wax, shocks of hair-mop coiffed by dust spray, wrapped in outraged rags. She laughs at your walls, calls their paper a mockery of buds un-stemmed from gravity, serial perjuries covering for plaster. Blinds? An excuse for not looking, for verbs that refuse to decline. She squints – why does your ceiling choose to slope so low or your vacuum hum so high? -then stages a staring contest with the goldfish, the loser pledging to slide back to the sea. She becomes a feather that tickles the spines of what you’ve left unread, then stiffens into a mannequin, makes naked claims that style is never fitting, donning your clothes to see which ones fall off. Before she leaves she turns into a broom that zooms from room to unkempt room, committing to return only on your most musty day, if ever your motes and you can settle for each other.

Richard Krohn has lived much of his life up and down the East Coast, north and south, but with several years at various times in the Midwest and also in Central America. He presently teaches Economics and Spanish at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In recent years his poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, Arts & Letters, Tar River, and Rattle, among many others.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Salve Regina Eric Chiles The nuns marched us into the pews for weekly mass. Girls on the left, boys on the right, grade by grade, all of us wearing school uniforms. Cooley and I always managed to sneak next to one another and as sixth graders with two years left at St. Anne's, we sat near the back. Once we were all seated in the pews, Mother Helen Augusta, her red face florid against her black and white habit would sternly study her assembly. Then with the ringing of brass bells, the mass would begin and Cooley and I would open our hymnals ready to join the choir of angels. Triumph all ye cherubim! Sing with us ye Seraphim! Heaven and Earth, resound the hymn! Salve, salve, salve, Regina. We unleashed our adolescent voices toward the heavens, unabashed in our pretended sanctity, ignoring snickering from the pews behind us. We weren't singing to impress seventh and eighth graders, but Thrones, Dominions, Virtues and Mother Helen who turned to smile. Eric Chiles lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After a newspaper career he began teaching writing and journalism at colleges in eastern Pennsylvania. He is the author of the chapbook Caught in Between (Desert Willow Press), and his poetry has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Blue Collar Review, Canary, Chiron Review, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

My Name is Durward David Vancil for Diba Azizi Diba told me that in Afghanistan, my name would be Durward. She didn’t say if it was in Pashto, Dari, or some other tongue. She longed to return to Kabul, she admitted. I studied her reddened lips and noted how blue jeans hugged her frame, and I was afraid. “Promise me, Diba, you’ll wait until it’s safe—wait for the Taliban to be defeated.” Diba introduced me to her intended. Rumor had it he was in the PLO and wanted to do battle. I did not think him wise, nor did I think him good. “I’ll tap you on the shoulder someday,” Diba said, “I promise we’ll meet again. I have dreamed scenarios of Diba. She wears a gun on her hip. A scarf swaddles her face. I stare into her eyes. Diba invites me in to drink hot tea. Diba introduces me to her small children. She has named one of them Durward.

David Vancil has lived in Terre Haute, Indiana for over 30 years, but has been writing much longer. As an Army brat, he lived in many different places and enjoyed many cultures but identifies most strongly with his Midwestern roots.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Circadian Steve Abbott From the space station where it’s always some form of night, parts of the planet refuse darkness. Bands of light mark both coasts, a glow matched across Europe, southeast Asia, the angles of India and Brazil. North Korea’s blackout curtains drape a shroud that mirrors its days. Down here, TV’s window to other worlds pulses demands that I stay awake for the nightly must-see, promising distraction that will keep ghosts at bay. When the remnants of Hurricane Ike wandered up the middle of the country, the power was out for days. There was water and gas, and the pantry held enough that I could cook. A candlelit bath allowed the illusion of romance. But TV’s blue eye was shut. I tried reading in the dim circle an oil lamp drew on the front porch. Neighbors waved from their stoops, sometimes strolled over to talk. Still, in no time I was nodding, curling into myself to a primal rhythm, accepting again the small mammal I’ve always been. Steve Abbott was a founder in 1984 of The Poetry Forum, now one of the country’s longest-running poetry reading series, and continues as a co-host. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Connecticut Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Birmingham Poetry Review, among others. He has published five chapbooks and two full-length collections, A Green Line Between Green Fields and A Language the Image Speaks, a collection of ekphrastic poems including artwork. He also edited the poetry anthology Cap City Poets (2008), a collection of 74 central Ohio poets, as well as two anthologies for Ohio Poetry Association: Everything Stops and Listens (2013) and Eclipsing the Dark: Poems from the Sun and Moon Poetry Festival, 2014-2019 (2020). He also edits OPA's annual journal Common Threads. He lives in Columbus with his wife Melanie Boyd and Loki, World’s Best Dog. www.steveabbott.us

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Murmuration Arthur Ginsberg I catch in mid-morning flight a burnished black unison of wings, a seraphim angel guarding God’s throne air brushed across the sky, that pivots as one through sun-split clouds, and sweeps smooth into the next angle against the wind stream on high, wheels and weaves as one balletic wing through sizzled air, driven by silent commands. We are a swarm ourselves, a shape-shifting harmony that is a state of grace, driven by inner swirlings at the edge of a dusky subconscious, mirrored like birds against the sky. To be close to the other, but not so close as to collide. When was cohesion lost? When we hoarded fire, snapped our teeth on animal bones, savaged ourselves with twisted tongues, set a crown upon our brains? Science opines that every seventh Starling signals its comrade a time to turn, as when a platoon on parade abruptly shifts direction. Thus, the entire flock follows; seven upon seven upon seven… In this mid-morning delirium of precision, I stay rooted to earth gazing up, and exalt every divine thing I do not believe in. Stay until that dark shadow no longer shapes my vision. Arthur Ginsberg is a neurologist and poet based in Seattle. He has studied poetry at the University of Washington and at Squaw Valley, with Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and Lucille Clifton. Recent work appears in the anthologies, Blood and Bone, and Primary Care, from University of Iowa Press. He was awarded the William Stafford prize in 2003. He attained an MFA degree in creative writing in July 2010 from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he studied with Dorianne Laux, Marvin Bell and David St. John. His book, The Anatomist, was published in the summer of 2013. A second book, Brain Works has just been released by David Roberts Books. He currently teaches a course, titled, “Brain and the Healing Power of Poetry” at the University of Washington.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

blues for brother Nwenna Kai is it a secret that the man who looks like a boy and likes strawberries for breakfast is your brother? the boy in the corner eating his plum fingers away reading Leviticus “Do not lie with a woman as one lies with a man, that is detestable” he is burning Paris away he shouts i am the rainbow violet, lime green, candy apple red See me run from my own chest like flashes of negro rainbows he is the brother, brother who learned french and went to paris to elope with the moon see that black boy dancing under La Tour Eiffel at midnight eating his crepes away his daddy stuffs his mouth with soap. because the boy likes bubbles? do you ask Giovanni* why he is your brother, brother? do you sleep at day to forget the men who crawl inside his window to moan? do you think about the fevers that may grow inside his skin, brother instead the neighbors bother you when they twirl their fingers in your eyes hollow because you never coddled him or showed him how to crawl *the character from James Baldwin’s book, Giovanni’s Room Nwenna Kai is an adjunct professor at West Chester University and Community College of Philadelphia. She teaches English, creative writing, and film studies classes. Her poems and essays have appeared in Obsidian, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and Heart and Soul Magazine.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Angel, Spare Me Your Message John D. Groppe Angel, spare me your message. Tell me no glad tidings when you smell of lilies and figs and stand there in unsoiled white, your hands uncalloused, your face unbrowned. If you have a message, take this mattock, plod into the muck with me, help me prepare a patch for beans and corn. When we’re done, when the children are fed and you have tasted our soup, with my wife we’ll sit by the fire where you can warm your feet and share our wine. Then tell me your tidings. 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.

Twenty-two Vents in a Polycarbonate Shell

Laura Anella Johnson But the way we laughed, Son, that day we biked together through the hail, cutting windy cart trails, grinning through pain, slicing the gray, pedaling faster with every pea-sized pelt.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 A mother, prying off the safety lids, grabbing at some cheap thrill, or at a moment — a live photo embossed on her brain-her boy on his red and silver Giant mountain bike, forever age eleven, rounding the tree-lined curve just ahead of her, head-ducked, screaming “Ouch” between guffaws, yelping, “Why did they put holes in these helmets?” And maybe I didn’t shield you from the wrong sorts of friends, didn’t insist with consistency on chores and homework before amusement, and a clean dinner plate before dessert, didn’t harp on keeping the house door locked, key safety-pinned to your clothes, lazy parenting some might suppose, this safety that allows a head to breathe, a bit of breeze to add comfort to the ride. And now you’re twenty-five, and I hope that a helmet with holes was enough, that if it has led you to drink too much, drive too fast, smoke things you ought to resist, or kiss some less-than-respectable chicks, I hope that despite and because of the spattering from above, despite and because of the helmet holes, you’ll pedal on —laughing.

Laura Anella Johnson is the author of Not Yet (Kelsay Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in a range of online and print journals and anthologies, including Literary Mama, Snakeskin, Reach of Song, and Tipton Poetry Journal. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and teaches English/ESOL at Fayette County High School in Georgia. Website: laurajohnsonpoet.com

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Chorea: The Involuntary Dance Kris Capezio We called it our Mother's disease. Not yours—certainly not mine. Our mother was the herky-jerky Punchline of our youth and how she swayed when she walked, bumping into things. Your things. My things. Your future, my past. Were we patient? Were we kind? Did we love her in time? On the day of reckoning, we ate dinner at the old Ninety-Nine. You configured your hands around buffalo chicken sliders. Shook them, tore them, twisted hands that dropped them. I looked away. You slid forward and jerked back without warning. I commented on the napkins, the waitress, the service. We nod in unison about what the doctors said, but no one here will confirm or deny. Our dinner is a record player skipping and re-catching; complicit in our avoidance, we keep everything moving but the depth of conversation, which falters at the sight of you. As children, we called it "our Mother's disease" but now, we don't call it at all.

Kris Capezio is a novice poet out of the Boston area. This poem references a time a few years back when her family learned of another's confirmed genetically-inherited disease. Chorea means Involuntary Dance and deals directly with the loss of motor control and jerking movements of a person who is succumbing to Huntington's Disease, a neurodegenerative illness for which there is no cure.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

See That My Resting Place Be Kept Green

Briggs Helton There are only three trees in Sherwood Forest. The merry men and I shoot suction-cup arrows at an invisible Sherriff or Prince. Our youthful band of gallant rebel outlaws dies often: convulsing dramatically, our eyes crossed. When we die, we are dead as long as we want to be. Someone shouts: You’re dead! I yell back: No, I’m not! He responds: Yes, you are! The truth is impossible to tell. Our names are constantly changing. Someone does a cartwheel, turns, and wanders home. I press my dead cheek into the ground, dead tongue lolled out on the lawn, tasting the bitter ryegrass.

Briggs Helton lives in southern Georgia where he works as a law clerk. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Colorado Review, Pif Magazine, Clade Song, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Laundromat Neil Carpathios Let us pretend that we do not care about our separate lives. That we do not for a single second imagine each other’s dingy apartments, the lightbulb dangling by a cord above the kitchen table, flickering, almost dead. That we do not spy on each other’s clothes, the clues they might give, that we do not peek at what someone is reading as shirts and undies cartwheel behind dryer windows. Let us pretend not to eavesdrop on the woman cursing someone on her phone, seething in the corner, dreadlocks like angry snakes writhing from her skull. That we do not wonder who, if any of us, is in love or ever was. Let us pretend while we’re here that we could never know each other, that we’re not all related, having millions of years ago sprung from the same spore. Let us just go about the business of counting coins, pouring detergent, folding sweatshirts and searching for the perennial missing sock.

Neil Carpathios is the author of six full-length poetry collections and various chapbooks. Currently, he is Writer-in-Residence at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

They Stole Everything From My Father John McKernan Hoffman Mortuary filched his gold wedding ring His business lawyer with Power of Attorney plucked $87 from his 1926 paper boy savings account The curtains in that room pilfered the tan from his face and arms A shadow robbed his lungs of oxygen A truck towed away his Buick rusting in winter ice They peeled his name from real estate ads in the Omaha World Herald Someone took the arch supports from his shoes Someone else nabbed his shoes and socks A worker in the hospital grabbed his monogrammed handkerchiefs Weeds hijacked the grass from his Cass Street lawn A neighbor took his ladder one midnight His children used the blue prints of the new house he was going to build for scrap paper

John McKernan, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is now a retired comma herder / Phonics Coach after teaching 41 years at Marshall University. He lives now in Florida. His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust. He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

April Karen Arnold Today in rooms of mauve and quiet light a Yin deficiency swims to the surface This does not surprise me I’m lacking in compliance Voices inside my head hold conversations about needing time needing to write needing to be another needing to be a wife needing to be a mother resisting surrender at every chance In three days trees have gone from stick straight to newly green and fat so new that variegated greens mark roadsides dark grass, brittle with winter’s cold not edged out by fuller growth Inside groves Dogwoods slant plates of petals toward the sun absorbing air and light through branches thickening with leaves – hold themselves like dancers gesturing into late April warmth Perhaps they are model trees who reach full, delicate greenness poised upward toward a promised new beginning

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 They bloom blood red at centers where seeds and pollen mix content to seem fragile insubstantial suspended In weeks this quality will disappear Dogwood Yin balanced between winter’s deep slumber and full blown green year after year surrenders content to raise full graceful forms echo poets in the world grow light rising to fertile branching Yang

Karen Arnold lives and writes from Columbia, Maryland.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Gertrude’s Virtual Salon During a Pandemic

Lylanne Musselman Gertrude Stein goes stir crazy missing those creative salons in her living room, a place where she expresses herself and allows others to join in to show paintings, share writing. She has Alice B. set up Zoom meetings, assigns her as chief moderator, Gertrude not having time for such things. Picasso sits behind the black cube on screen. Alice B. tells him to click his video on so he can be seen. He tells her she must be mistaken as he sees her and her dog. He tells her to move her face closer, as her poodle, Basket, licks her cheek. Alice B. tells Hemingway he’s being too loud as he shakes martinis for himself. He pontificates Mencken, saying “martinis are the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.” He’d rather be sitting in silence, writing a short story about a Cuban woman, petting his polydactyl cat, Snowball. Every time he speaks, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s voice echoes so much that everyone tells him something is wrong with his sound. He signs out and rejoins. Is that any better? It’s worse. Hemingway rudely tells him to mute. “Papa” stands up revealing his X-rated boxer shorts. Gertrude makes her long-awaited appearance, the others see her mouth moving, but don’t hear a thing. They tell Gertrude to unmute herself, no one can “hear you.” Alice B., in the same house, tells her she’s muted. Gertrude swears she’s never been mute in her life – “it’s their problem if they don’t understand what I’m saying.”

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Last Seen at the Nursing Home Lylanne Musselman Mom sees the dead. She’s not a psychic. She doesn’t believe in spirits, instead her mom, dad, aunts, uncles, ex-lovers and my dad are alive, inside her head. When I visit her I pretend the stories she tells are true. I can’t show her how startled I am when she says Uncle Dudley visited yesterday, or when she’s mad because dad has not. She cries when she sees me, she cries when I leave. When I ask her why she’s crying, she says she’s so happy to see me. I see her shrink inside clothes that swallow her once statuesque body. She says she can’t believe I “finally came to rescue her,” to get her out of “this awful place” and into her world, where she believes she still works at my uncle’s restaurant. A world where she feels she can walk out on her own two feet, where she won’t fall flat on her face, crack a few bones, one where she can drive her wheelchair down the road as if it’s her cardinal red convertible, pull into some driveway, declaring she’s home. A world where I’d never worry that I’d see her picture come across my phone announcing her silver alert or worse. Lylanne Musselman is an award-winning poet, playwright, and visual artist, living in Indiana. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, Tipton Poetry Journal, The New Verse News, Rose Quartz Magazine, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others, and many anthologies. Musselman is the author of five chapbooks, and author of the full-length poetry collection, It’s Not Love, Unfortunately (Chatter House Press, 2018).

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

The Bent Fork Ruth Holzer Clearing up after dinner once, he seemed to have had enough of her complaints about the meal he’d made, or perhaps it was something else, but the red mist must have come down for a reason, as it can descend upon even the mildest of natures, and he grabbed the rack of dishes he’d just washed, and dashed it to the floor with a great clashing of knives and smashing of glasses and plates. As he shouted, he stomped on everything, this fork too, that I keep, with its twisted tines, in a box among my souvenirs. Ruth Holzer lives in Virginia and is the author of six chapbooks, most recently, Home and Away (dancing girl press), A Face in the Crowd (Kelsay Books) and Why We’re Here (Presa Press). Her poems have appeared in Blue Unicorn, Faultline, Slant, Poet Lore, Earth’s Daughters, Connecticut River Review and Plainsongs, among other journals and anthologies. She has received several Pushcart Prize nominations.

Smoke on the water Mark Vogel Surreal night fog rises above the football crowd saying this high school is the center of the universe where sufficient love and passion thrive, and

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 appropriate time begins and ends. I join this energy now to scoop up the boy and glide back to streets so familiar I know each turn all the way home. But then, so abrupt behind me blue lights flash. and I pull over, my heart a rattling, uneven engine, as I tremble, fearing interrogations in too bright light, exposure of the past written up, then thrown before a dark wind. So quick authority appears as an inscrutable highway patrolman stands at my window, surely adept at reading feckless lives—capable of seeing to the core. I stammer apologies as he waits patiently, then says: “Sir, your tail-light is out.” And I feel the alive smile, for the book remains closed on my countless shocking sins as he wishes us a safe journey and turns to go. But as we slide away the boy has observed the void that has opened in this night and knows we have emerged on new ground. To help he scrabbles at the radio, and there (as if by providence), with the volume already cranked bigger than our small lives, is Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water—a rich anthem leaking from the ancient vault, now the soundtrack for our shared plan. We sing loud most of the way home as I feel the whooshing dark, the last leaves shaking from the November tree, the New River steady flowing north, the tree frogs digging deep for the coming winter. As the song dies down, a mysterious unseen future waits its turn. Could another once shelved anthem be gathering energy? Though a once coherent shell has cracked, in the lovely dark a vague horizon stretches far, even across the border into Tennessee—and beyond well into the free lands in the great west. Mark Vogel lives at the back of a Blue Ridge holler with his wife, Susan Weinberg, an accomplished fiction and creative non-fiction writer, and two foster sons. He currently serves as Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where he co-directs the English Education Program. Poems and short stories have appeared in several dozen literary journals.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Sense of Place Nancy Kay Peterson Enclose space and create a place. Divide a place and create multiple places. Example: small café in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It’s been there for years. The place had two places. In one, people met for morning coffee, trashed the weather, talked about kids, the price of corn, ill health. They ate doughnuts and apple pie. After school, teenagers came for Cokes and french fries, talked about sports and watched who was with who. Harried parents, going home late, came in to carry out broasted chicken, fumbling with their wallets, joking with the cashier. In the other place within the place, cooks and dishwashers worked, complained, laughed, argued, commiserated over loves gone bad and car problems. Waitresses traveled from place to place through a space between. One day, they tore down all the walls and the places and the space between the places and it returned to the space it really was. Gone were the adults, the teenagers, the cooks, the dishwashers, the waitresses that traveled between the place’s places. Gone. All that remained was a small patch of green linoleum in the middle of an empty parking lot, exposed to space, defining loss. Nancy Kay Peterson’s poetry has appeared in print and online in numerous publications, most recently in HerWords, Lost Lake Folk Opera, One Sentence Poems, Spank the Carp, Steam Ticket, Tipton Poetry Journal and Three Line Poetry. From 2004-2009, she coedited and co-published Main Channel Voices: A Dam Fine Literary Magazine (Winona, Minnesota). Finishing Line Press published her two poetry chapbooks, Belated Remembrance (2010) and Selling the Family (2021). For more information, see www.nancykaypeterson.com.

Reading Literary Theory in my Psychiatrist’s Parking Lot

Cole Depuy My shrink is a bald man with circular spectacles & a Freudian S(l)ip coffee mug. He repeats, What are you not telling me? If he were a liberal humanist, he’d pull his chair up close & know what I was hiding; [

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 a structuralist, he’d find where my life had lost balance & say, There it is!; a post-structuralist, he’d deny my repression & wholly claim it as his own; a modernist, he’d beg me not to tell him; I’d remain motionless. In the parking lot post-appointment, theories’ tentacles through my eyes are electricity cusping my brain. The $10 copay is the same price as a copy of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality with three months of Lexapro. I squint until the words become static. The trees rust at their edges, too. Mid-September: like serpent, like ember. The antidepressants mute my mind, erase my answer. What are you not telling me? [

]

Cole Depuy, winner of the Negative Capability Press Spring 2020 Poetry Contest, is a Ph.D. student at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York & a recipient of the Provost’s Doctoral Summer Fellowship. His poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in The Summerset Review, Offing, Paterson Literary Review, Penn Review, Ilanot Review, & elsewhere. He is CoPoetry Editor for Harpur Palate & instructor for the Binghamton Poetry Project.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

In Black and White Michael Keshigian Upon the old film projector a few revolutions remain, moaning as it casts grainy, matte images upon the portable screen, enabling us to visit a bygone era. Rapt, we stare at the curdled frames of lost memories, departed parents and us, their offspring, squinting at our younger selves. We frolicked under the glow of ancient lights, carefree lunges beneath the cold water sprinkler that emanated from rusty faucets attached to a three-decker abode, the summers unfaltering, we gathered, smaller, more flexible, clowning, our parents, so young, no wrinkles, more hair, all of us summoned for a group pose by the off-screen director. How silently time runs its course, with strange, peculiar hints if the changes are noted. We yearn to climb back, recapture the innocence and joyfulness the calm, silver light exudes. Then it ends, the old reel flapping, the brief nostalgic rekindling has also run its course. Michael Keshigian had his fourteenth poetry collection, What To Do With Intangibles, recently released in January, 2020 by Cyberwit.net. He has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Ten Million Dollar Halliburton Poem Tony Brewer You – holder holding me holding my stock For the holders of shares who mean the world with mean business – its targets & markets We would salute thee were we true military Instead let us dance cross the suq under pale Arab moons – upon blood-red dunes our grunts bust on on anxious sorties plucking like ouds lost souls repurposed for our brave new rendition of a love song – a torch song for firing pallets of greenbacks like stingers cross petro-black fields tracer rounds straight to your heart from Korn-blasting turrets battering erectile adhan-drenched minarets Don’t fret lovelies – this pillow talk of war where all is fair and love is but negotiation as the soft target of the white underbelly of your tru-tru passion exposes where my conflict needs to go hands-deep in each other’s tactical pockets muttering safe words no one will hear

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Our Origin Tony Brewer Tell me a story not how your day has been that you cleaned the cat box took out the trash after clearing the refrigerator of dead uneaten food House spirits care for these details and the piles of spite is takes to motivate your ass to chore away a Saturday I want your legends and myths not the lie-consuming cycle requiring a ladder to properly tuck away or the rumor slouching down Main Sirens going whoop whoop through the intersection have it cammed for their protection Will we be stranded on this rock? Forever? I remember how to make a raft from a movie and the movie in my head where Dad was there to tell me how and do it all himself Where fate got slammed a pool formed I filled it with neat colored rocks I found along the riverbank Not naturally occurring A plot – some action and a truth The eyes glaze over because telling is no substitute for a show reduced in this textual world to merely unbelievably enthralling

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Back in to the stars you go Up up into the cloud with ringing ears from the chorus glory Nothing need be foretold but save us from the random with singular vision and undeniable breath Leave nothing out and make it good

Tony Brewer is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival in Bloomington, Indiana, and his books include: The Great American Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (2010), Hot Type Cold Read (2013), and Homunculus (2019). He also has work in the anthologies And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (2011) and Writers Resist: Hoosier Writers Unite (2017). Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over 10 years, and he is onethird of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Bluefish Lane Joanne Durham The whole west side of the road intentionally wild protecting beach dwellers from the munitions dump across the river. No one tames wax myrtle extending its long fingers towards the street, leaving it to mingle with sweetgum, oak, and dead sticks of something that rotted in last year’s hurricane. You can lean a long time brown and brittle in the woods and no one denies you your place Joanne Durham is a retired educator living on the North Carolina coast. She was a finalist for the 2021 NC Poetry Society's Laureate Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the anthology Spheres and Canticles, and journals including Flying South, Poetry in Plain Sight, and Your Daily Poem, among others. www.joanndurham.com

Highway 40 Rest Stop Peggy Turnbull Strangers wander through my dream, the fragmented dream of the overnight bus passenger protected by her faith. The gray lifting of the darkness, a gradual rearrangement of night into light, and the day awakens upon the curving spine of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It is early April in Durango. The cock crows his triumphs to the pale turquoise morning. The donkey brays for breakfast.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Pinyons and pines entwine their roots into rocks and sand. A dry, cedar scent drifts in the thin air. A few wispy clouds hover and Douglas Firs rise in the ravine behind the station. My mountain grandparents sit on boughs, swinging their legs. They lived among trees like these when I was a child. Together, we breathed air as pleasing as this fragrant oxygen. Floating serenely with huge wings, they whisper that the cordillera is their beloved eternity. They smooth my hair, pet my cheeks, tell me I am strong, while the handful of other passengers, a family of long-haired women who won’t acknowledge me, return to the bus, and the driver scolds me back on board.

Peggy Turnbull is a retired academic librarian living in Wisconsin, whose first chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness, was published by Kelsay Books in 2020. Her poetry has been recently published in Hummingbird, Right Hand Pointing, Mad Swirl, and As It Ought To Be.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer Paul Hostovsky He’s not, but you know what? I prefer a wide butter knife myself, the kind that knows how to spread the good stuff around, the sort that slathers it on, gets some on his nose and chin, then wipes it dopily on his sleeve. The sharp ones put me on edge. They make me uncomfortable. And anyway, they don't live in the drawer-they live up there on the other side of the countertop, their perfect teeth hidden in the wooden slots. But bottom line? I love a long-handled ice-cream spoon, the kind that knows how to plumb the depths of the tapered sundae glass for the last drop of fudge.

Paul Hostovsky has ten full-length collections of poetry, Sonnets from South Mountain (2001), Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), A Little in Love a Lot (2011), Hurt Into Beauty (2012), Naming Names (2013), Selected Poems (2014), The Bad Guys (2015), Is That What That Is (2017), and Late for the Gratitude Meeting (2019). He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He lives with his wife Marlene in Medfield, Massachusetts.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

When you ask about what I Dream

M.E. Silverman Ask, yeah ask. Okay, here goes. My reoccurring dream is not simply standing naked on a crowded street corner or the fight-or-flight scenario, no free falling or catching your spouse cheating. When the background slides by, changes from childhood pool to awkward gym dance, rushes through all those moments we keep in the birdhouse of our minds where they fly from the nest but always return to rest, my dream is always me standing on the sidelines, mid mouth-aching yawn when, well, when I see you, not the you asleep in our bed or the you making our daughter’s school lunch, cutting it in two, removing the crust, or the woman who likes washing-drying-folding careful to create perfect piles, doing the little things you love to do because those are acts of love. I mean You, the girl, all sway and bend, the way light curves around you, how a look shines words in a language I almost understand. That You, who sees me, mouth open, saying nothing, speaking it all. M.E. Silverman is the author of The Breath before Birds Fly (2013), and The Floating Door (Glass Lyre Press). Silverman co-edited 3 anthologies including Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium. Silverman's work has appeared in over 85 publications including: Crab Orchard Review, December, 32 Poems, Chicago Quarterly Review, BatterSea Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Los Angeles Review, Sugar House Review, and other magazines.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Gathering Jonah Bornstein He gathers up news and spreads it across the lawn under the stairs, waters it until he can no longer smell the sentences.

Jonah Bornstein teaches creative writing at Denver University. Book publications include The Art of Waking, Treatise on Emptiness, and We Are Built of Light. Poems have most recently been published in Prairie Schooner and Turtle Island Quarterly. He directed the Ashland Writers Conference in Ashland, Oregon from 1997-2002.

Aunt Kathy Rising Elisabeth Harrahy She is there beneath the fog of drug-induced sleep that weighs heavy on her chest like a wool blanket in summer uncomfortable she raises a finger and the hand slowly follows trembles in the air unsteady there as if feeling out some unfamiliar place I cannot see I see her long, thin, piano fingers are like mine I imagine hers wrapped around the wheel she wanted to steer once more—

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 just three weeks before she had hoped this internal pain killer would allow her to drive away from these wide-open plains where everything is the same shade of brown and the wind never dies beyond the plains to where there are trees beside a deep blue sea and the rain comes down like forgiveness The pump now wide open pours morphine in displaces her soul to the tips of her fingers so there is nowhere left to flow but out beyond the dying cells to some other place above the trees the deep blue sea and the rain pouring down like grace

Elisabeth Harrahy’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Zone 3, Passengers Journal, Plainsongs, Ghost City Review, Pinyon, Drunk Monkeys, 3rd Wednesday Review, Bramble, Gyroscope Review, The Café Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net. She is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Off the Grid but Never Out of Tunes Karla Linn Merrifield No Slotmania, none. I promise. O, but, bingo, guitars! Only Joni Mitchell coming in from the cold. No Facebook, none. I swear. Bingo, guitars! Only Leonard Cohen, hot, in the tower of song. No Yahoo! Finance app, no Huff Po, fo’ sho’. Only Simon & Garfunkle bridging troubled waters. No Google Earth—no Google anything—but guitars. Only Dylan and more Dylan rhyming buckets of rain. No Kindle, no Nook, no whatever ebook, nay. But bingo! Only Lyle Lovett with his pony and his guitar on his boat. No Zynga, no. No Words with Friends. But, but, but: Only Bruce in this one-and-only thunder-road gizmo song. Only an MP3 player is permissible. I’m certain. I win. So I say Yes to shuffle mode, awaiting Leonard. Again. Karla Linn Merrifield has had 900+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, New York).

Fragile X Robert Hasselblad When Crick and Watson plunged into the sweet human microswamp they found in the bullseye of every cell a miniscule Ferris wheel with twenty-three whirling gondolas. One marked with a crimson X. Now we can watch how fate tumbles this lone meddler, roulettes the risk factor generation to generation. Calculate the rotations.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 One in four thousand boys, one in eight thousand girls will draw a cock-eyed shaggy X, be transcribed as fragile. A label will be assigned. So many choices: Asperger’s, autism, downs syndrome, mental retardation. Attention deficit, anxiety, hyperactive, compulsive. Schizophrenia. Whatever we fear, assign the blame to chromosome X. Should the injury strike in our tribe, we search for fault lines. Brush shoulders with superstition; who sinned—this child or its parents? Or their parents? How far back to lay the blame naked at the feet of our ignorance? Understand, when a babe manifests even a glancing flaw the wheel has turned against her; the ghost in the machine stands at your front door. If it wears the face of a wolf don’t raise an alarm. The ghost has always been a predator walks its own tightrope through our false pride. Only it can teach us the worth of wrongness, the weight of hard love.

Robert Hasselblad of Mt.Vernon, Washington, has been writing poetry for half a century. Retired from over forty years in the lumber industry, he enjoys the challenge of observing life as an estuary of trials and opportunities, and seeks to reflect that in his work. Recent poems have appeared in K’in, Avalon Literary Review, riverbabble, and Door=Jar.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Rehab Ellen Goldsmith The hardest part is needing someone else to do everything. Take me to the bathroom. Bring food. What I want is to rise like grass, sway with the wind. Ellen Goldsmith is the author of Where to Look, Such Distances and No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect which won the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center 1997 chapbook contest. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals. She holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and is professor emeritus of The City University of New York. She lives in Cushing, Maine.

Awakening Way Jennifer L. McClellan It was enough to loosen the knot and retie my plans to yours. The promise made between the wind and our voices through the open windows of your red car, moving like a shooting heart along that country highway. It was a State Road, not assigned a creative name, though it deserved one for leading us to freshly colored earth that let me take the first breath of air I chose to breathe.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Poets have a thing for Spring, it’s true; I’m no different because with you I found green and yellow fields that filled my eyes with as much admiration as any city lights. That’s what I believed, only a far away, bigger city could offer me enchantment. But I’d never seen golden blood shimmer in someone’s wrist until you laced your fingers with mine in the sunbeam as we drove, flattening our troubles between your tires and those middle-of-nowhere roads.

Jennifer L. McClellan is an Evansville, Indiana based poet. She is published in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, and an upcoming issue of Green Hills Literacy Lantern. She believes poetry and music are the heart of human connection and is thrilled to share her writing.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Nothing to Fear Robert Okaji Start with a circle and slash a red line through it. Or an X and three dots connected by a blue curve. Repeat this twice to double the impact. Examine the space between line and dot and curve. Translate this as never, or simple, while the intersections become desire and opposition. Place these over a photo of a white tail deer by a mesquite tree. Fill in the blank spaces. Add a former life. There is nothing to fear. Nothing. Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan seeking work in Indianapolis. He once owned a bookstore, served without distinction in the U.S. Navy, and most recently bagged groceries for a living. He is the author of multiple chapbooks, including My Mother's Ghost Scrubs the Floor at 2 a.m. (winner of the 2021 Etchings Press Poetry Prize). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly, Vox Populi, Buddhist Poetry Review, Book of Matches and elsewhere.

Wormholes Michael Estabrook Aging another aspect of the “human condition” amazing how fast 70 years pass by. Can he reverse time return to when he’d take her bowling or to a play or a movie then to their favorite diner for tuna sandwiches and onion rings

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Einstein theorized we could move forward in time but not backwards. He carried her books and walked her to her classes so the other guys knew she was his girl According to Stephen Hawking: “Any kind of time travel to the past through wormholes or any other method is probably impossible.” A time when they dreamed of spending their lives together never apart until the end of time But now string theory mathematics is postulating that we might be able to travel backwards through “geometric structures called closed timelike curves” (wormholes). He’d protect her provide for her entertain her she’d know that all he cared about was her keeping her happy and safe never able to say no to her doing anything and everything in his power to make sure she was always his Wormholes just like they said on Star Trek 50 years ago! None of this has changed for him if only he could stop this slow dying reverse time return to the beginning

Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019).

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Peacock to Onlookers John Grey I am on this earth for one reason – to be the mate and companion of another of my kind. All my bright and colorful regalia, my feathers’ multiple shimmering eyes, my strut, my raucous cry, mean nothing if I’m slighted by a plain brown hen. To that end, I am tenacious and tireless. Sure, I attract your attention as I perform my splendid ritual, move in on the appreciative female. But this is a very private moment. If you want to keep seeing peacocks, close your eyes. John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in the New World Writing, Dalhousie Review and Blood And Thunder. Work upcoming in Hollins Critic, Redactions and California Quarterly. John lives in Rhode Island.

Monarch Butterfly Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda Call me king as I hoist my sails in river winds. Call me sovereign as I sip on sap, frothy as coastal waves. Buoyant, I flit, dart. I dance atop purplish-pink blossoms until seedpods tumble to earth like silken parachutes.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Call me emperor as I absorb nectar on an autumn day. As I lather fragrance onto stalks shaped like arrows, call me tribal chief. Crown me supreme ruler as I fly south to a warmer climate, cling to a pine or a sacred fir tree, paint limbs orange and black, flitter like the tapping of a light rain. In time, I’ll return as your monarch, breed in dwindling grasslands, battle to endure in shrinking habitats. Let me be a leading light – a luminary, destined to survive.

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Virginia Poet Laureate Emerita and abstract colorist painter, has coedited three anthologies and published nine books, including The Embrace: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Her poems appear in the U.S. and abroad in such journals as Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Mid-American Review, World Poetry Yearbook, and Best of Literary Journals. She has won numerous awards, including the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, the Ellen Anderson Award, Virginia Cultural Laureate Award, Edgar Allan Poe Poetry Award, and the Alumna of the Year Award from both George Mason University and the University of Mary Washington. [www.carolynforonda.com]

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Fear Edward Lee The tattoo of your fist on my skin still lingers; some nights I feel it itch and the fear that always comes with it, the fear your fist burst inside me wide. Edward Lee's poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales. His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha'Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He lives in Ireland and is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com

My Father’s Paranoid from various Angles

Nnadi Samuel add a noun stain to him, & he becomes too much to know. hinting this and that, & I sulk at male determiners: curious minder messing our lifetime, or measuring happiness by a radius. the calmest of his paws, full of sprayed lines. I've stirred distance, rehearsing a kick to please an opponent once. a father of straight sight.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 I jest a word to fool my hand shape, & a bird thieves the behaviour— half-baked, in sloped flight: a modest progress. my father knows this journey. the ruralness, taking cramps into his bowed arms. his hairless top: a circumference of split chart, meshed to a mud pie π. Isn't it strange. to own this much formula, & not solve a world problem to it's barest minimum? sometimes, the sum outdoes his bent flesh, to sheath his linear hands spacelike: an obtuse angle, pressed to series of laid lines— messed with a sharp weight. till his reflex picks it: a mud pie, & alternates. & he resumes his Hindu sport on a docile kin, inciting a degree of hatred. his hands, trying the lengths it could go to spoon our luck. I've known this daycare, twenty-one years in a stretch. in a home of small latitude. in my algebra peep through blocks where they forge this maths, to amaze us with some much route, springing a mutual answer.

Nnadi Samuel is a black writer & graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin in Nigeria. His works have been previously published in Suburban Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, Blood Orange Review, The Cordite Poetry Review, Gordon Square Review, Canyon Voices, Journal Nine & elsewhere. Winner of the Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020, Splendor of Dawn Poetry Contest April 2020, and the Bkpw Poetry Workshop Contest 2021. He was shortlisted in the annual Poet's Choice award & was the second-prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. A longlist of the NSPP 2020 prize, & Pushcart Nominee. He is the author of Reopening of Wounds & Subject Lessons (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

We Would Be Gods Mary Paulson Brahma sits cross-legged on a dream of the universe. Christ at the right hand of his Father. Papatuanuku and Ranguini embrace in the only darkness, only Te Kore, the Nothingness from which they birth the world. I can’t stop this wriggling inability to settle in my skin. My friend’s gone overboard, flapping her arms as if they were wings, quickly sinking. My ex sees a star and jumps off the roof. I’d like to sit like the Buddhist monks dangling their brown toes in the dark green current of the Tongle Sap river at dusk. To sit on a star with my mother and watch the moon rise above and below us. But we get bored easily. Invariably, I leave to watch TV. I can only see what’s in my head. Someone is chasing ghosts like a dog chasing his tail. Someone is falling from the sky, wings on fire.

Mary Paulson lives in Naples, Florida. Her poems have appeared in various publications including Slow Trains, Main Street Rag, Painted Bride Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Thimble Lit Magazine and Arkana. Her chapbook, Paint the Window Open, is forthcoming from Alabaster Leaves Publishing, a Kelsay Books publication.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Editor Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and three anthologies by Brick Street Poetry: Mapping the Muse: A Bicentennial Look at Indiana Poetry; Words and Other Wild Things and Cowboys & Cocktails:Poems from the True Grit Saloon. He has published one poetry collection, Something At The Center. Barry lives in Brownsburg, Indiana and is retired from Eli Lilly and Company. He is married and father of two grown sons. 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, Red-Headed Stepchild and Laureate: The Literary Journal of Arts for Lawrence. 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. He graduated a long time ago with a major in English from Ball State University.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021

Contributor Biographies

Steve Abbott was a founder in 1984 of The Poetry Forum, now one of the country’s longest-running poetry reading series, and continues as a co-host. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Connecticut Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Birmingham Poetry Review, among others. He has published five chapbooks and two full-length collections, A Green Line Between Green Fields and A Language the Image Speaks, a collection of ekphrastic poems including artwork. He also edited the poetry anthology Cap City Poets (2008), a collection of 74 central Ohio poets, as well as two anthologies for Ohio Poetry Association: Everything Stops and Listens (2013) and Eclipsing the Dark: Poems from the Sun and Moon Poetry Festival, 2014-2019 (2020). He also edits OPA's annual journal Common Threads. He lives in Columbus with his wife Melanie Boyd and Loki, World’s Best Dog. www.steveabbott.us Karen Arnold lives and writes from Columbia, Maryland. Carol Barrett coordinates the Creative Writing Certificate program at Union Institute & University and also teaches for Saybrook University. She lives in Oregon and has published two volumes of poetry and one of creative nonfiction. Her poems appear in JAMA, Poetry International, Nimrod, and many other venues. Jonah Bornstein teaches creative writing at Denver University. Book publications include The Art of Waking, Treatise on Emptiness, and We Are Built of Light. Poems have most recently been published in Prairie Schooner and Turtle Island Quarterly. He directed the Ashland Writers Conference in Ashland, Oregon from 1997-2002. Tony Brewer is executive director of the spoken word stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival in Bloomington, Indiana, and his books include: The Great American Scapegoat (2006), Little Glove in a Big Hand (2010), Hot Type Cold Read (2013), and Homunculus (2019). He also has work in the anthologies And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (2011) and Writers Resist: Hoosier Writers Unite (2017). Tony has been offering Poetry On Demand at coffeehouses, museums, cemeteries, churches, bars, and art and music festivals for over 10 years, and he is one-third of the poetry performance group Reservoir Dogwoods. Kris Capezio is a novice poet out of the Boston area. This poem references a time a few years back when her family learned of another's confirmed genetically-inherited disease. Chorea means Involuntary Dance and deals directly with the loss of motor control and jerking movements of a person who is succumbing to Huntington's Disease, a neurodegenerative illness for which there is no cure. Neil Carpathios is the author of six full-length poetry collections and various chapbooks. Currently, he is Writer-in-Residence at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, eight poetry awards & chapbooks, as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others. Eric Chiles lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After a newspaper career he began teaching writing and journalism at colleges in eastern Pennsylvania. He is the author of the chapbook Caught in Between (Desert Willow Press), and his poetry has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Blue Collar Review, Canary, Chiron Review, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Cole Depuy, winner of the Negative Capability Press Spring 2020 Poetry Contest, is a Ph.D. student at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York & a recipient of the Provost’s Doctoral Summer Fellowship. His poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in The Summerset Review, Offing, Paterson Literary Review, Penn Review, Ilanot Review, & elsewhere. He is Co-Poetry Editor for Harpur Palate & instructor for the Binghamton Poetry Project. Joanne Durham is a retired educator living on the North Carolina coast. She was a finalist for the 2021 NC Poetry Society's Laureate Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the anthology Spheres and Canticles, and journals including Flying South, Poetry in Plain Sight, and Your Daily Poem, among others. www.joanndurham.com Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being The Poet’s Curse, A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019). He lives in Massachusetts. Arthur Ginsberg is a neurologist and poet based in Seattle. He has studied poetry at the University of Washington and at Squaw Valley, with Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, and Lucille Clifton. Recent work appears in the anthologies, Blood and Bone, and Primary Care, from University of Iowa Press. He was awarded the William Stafford prize in 2003. He attained an MFA degree in creative writing in July 2010 from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he studied with Dorianne Laux, Marvin Bell and David St. John. His book, The Anatomist, was published in the summer of 2013. A second book, Brain Works has just been released by David Roberts Books. He currently teaches a course, titled, “Brain and the Healing Power of Poetry” at the University of Washington. Ellen Goldsmith is the author of Where to Look, Such Distances and No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect which won the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center 1997 chapbook contest. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals. She holds an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University and is professor emeritus of The City University of New York. She lives in Cushing, Maine. Peter Grandbois is the author of eleven books, the most recent of which is the poetry collection The Three-Legged World, published as Triptych with books by James McCorkle and Robert Miltner (Etruscan 2020). His work has appeared in over one hundred journals, including Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Prairie Schooner. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is poetry editor at Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University in Ohio. You can find him at www.petergrandbois.com. John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in the New World Writing, Dalhousie Review and Blood And Thunder.Work upcoming in Hollins Critic, Redactions and California Quarterly. John lives in Rhode Island. 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 18162016 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. Elisabeth Harrahy’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Zone 3, Passengers Journal, Plainsongs, Ghost City Review, Pinyon, Drunk Monkeys, 3rd Wednesday Review, Bramble, Gyroscope Review, The Café Review, and elsewhere. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net. She is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Robert Hasselblad of Mt.Vernon, Washington, has been writing poetry for half a century. Retired from over forty years in the lumber industry, he enjoys the challenge of observing life as an estuary of trials and opportunities, and seeks to reflect that in his work. Recent poems have appeared in K’in, Avalon Literary Review, riverbabble, and Door=Jar. Briggs Helton lives in southern Georgia where he works as a law clerk. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Colorado Review, Pif Magazine, Clade Song, and elsewhere. Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2021). She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press. Her writing interests include eco-poetry, feminism, and formalism. She is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and lives near Houston. Ruth Holzer lives in Virginia and is the author of six chapbooks, most recently, Home and Away (dancing girl press), A Face in the Crowd (Kelsay Books) and Why We’re Here (Presa Press). Her poems have appeared in Blue Unicorn, Faultline, Slant, Poet Lore, Earth’s Daughters, Connecticut River Review and Plainsongs, among other journals and anthologies. She has received several Pushcart Prize nominations. Paul Hostovsky has ten full-length collections of poetry, Sonnets from South Mountain (2001), Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), A Little in Love a Lot (2011), Hurt Into Beauty (2012), Naming Names (2013), Selected Poems (2014), The Bad Guys (2015), Is That What That Is (2017), and Late for the Gratitude Meeting (2019). He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He lives with his wife Marlene in Medfield, Massachusetts. Laura Anella Johnson is the author of Not Yet (Kelsay Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in a range of online and print journals and anthologies, including Literary Mama, Snakeskin, Reach of Song, and Tipton Poetry Journal. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and teaches English/ESOL at Fayette County High School in Georgia. Website: laurajohnsonpoet.com Nwenna Kai is an adjunct professor at West Chester University and Community College of Philadelphia. She teaches English, creative writing, and film studies classes. Her poems and essays have appeared in Obsidian, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, and Heart and Soul Magazine. Joseph Kerschbaum’s most recent publications include Mirror Box (Main Street Rag Press, 2020) and Distant Shore of a Split Second (Louisiana Literature Press, 2018). Joseph has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission. His work has appeared in journals such as failbetter, Panoply, Flying Island, The Battered Suitcase, Main Street Rag, and The Delinquent. Joseph lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his family. Michael Keshigian had his fourteenth poetry collection, What To Do With Intangibles, recently released in January, 2020 by Cyberwit.net. He lives in New Hampshire and has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (michaelkeshigian.com)

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 George R. Kramer hails from Canada, Colorado, Kenya, New York and Alabama, but is a long-time Virginia transplant. He is the child of refugees from Nazism and Communism. All of the above influences his writing. His work has appeared in a wide range of poetry journals. His poetry website is at https://blueguitar58.wixsite.com/website-1, with links to many of his previously published works. Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Virginia Poet Laureate Emerita and abstract colorist painter, has coedited three anthologies and published nine books, including The Embrace: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Her poems appear in the U.S. and abroad in such journals as Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Mid-American Review, World Poetry Yearbook, and Best of Literary Journals. She has won numerous awards, including the Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, the Ellen Anderson Award, Virginia Cultural Laureate Award, Edgar Allan Poe Poetry Award, and the Alumna of the Year Award from both George Mason University and the University of Mary Washington. [www.carolynforonda.com] Richard Krohn has lived much of his life up and down the East Coast, north and south, but with several years at various times in the Midwest and also in Central America. He presently teaches Economics and Spanish at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In recent years his poetry has appeared in Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, Arts & Letters, Tar River, and Rattle, among many others. Edward Lee's poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales. His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. His debut poetry collection Playing Poohsticks On Ha'Penny Bridge was published in 2010. He lives in Ireland and is currently working towards a second collection. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at https://edwardmlee.wordpress.com 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. Jennifer L. McClellan , is an Evansville, Indiana based poet. She is published in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, and an upcoming issue of Green Hills Literacy Lantern. She believes poetry and music are the heart of human connection and is thrilled to share her writing. John McKernan, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is now a retired comma herder / Phonics Coach after teaching 41 years at Marshall University. He lives now in Florida. His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust. He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Karla Linn Merrifield lives in New York and has had 900+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, New York). Lylanne Musselman is an award-winning poet, playwright, and visual artist, living in Indiana. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, Tipton Poetry Journal, The New Verse News, Rose Quartz Magazine, and The Ekphrastic Review, among others, and many anthologies. Musselman is the author of five chapbooks, and author of the fulllength poetry collection, It’s Not Love, Unfortunately (Chatter House Press, 2018). Robert Okaji is a displaced Texan seeking work in Indianapolis. He once owned a bookstore, served without distinction in the U.S. Navy, and most recently bagged groceries for a living. He is the author of multiple chapbooks, including My Mother's Ghost Scrubs the Floor at 2 a.m. (winner of the 2021 Etchings Press Poetry Prize). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in North Dakota Quarterly, Vox Populi, Buddhist Poetry Review, Book of Matches and elsewhere. Suphil Lee Park is the author of Present Tense Complex, winner of the Marystina Santiestevan Prize. She spent 9/14 of her life all over the Korean peninsula before landing in the American Northeast. She graduated from New York University with a BA in English and from the University of Texas at Austin with an MFA in Poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, the Iowa Review, the Massachusetts Review, Writer’s Digest, and the Yale Review, among many others. You can find more about her at: https://suphil-lee-park.com/ Born in the Caribbean and raised in the U.S., Tia Paul-Louis began writing songs at age 11 then experimented with poetry during high school. She earned a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of South Florida along with a M.F.A in Creative Writing from National University in California. Her works have appeared in literary magazines such as The Voices Project, Ethos Literary Journal, and Rabbit Catastrophe Review. Some of her favorite authors and poets include Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou and Edgar Allan Poe. Apart from writing, Paul-Louis enjoys music, photography, acting and cooking, though she mostly finds herself and others through poetry. Mary Paulson lives in Naples, Florida. Her poems have appeared in various publications including Slow Trains, Main Street Rag, Painted Bride Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Thimble Lit Magazine and Arkana. Her chapbook, Paint the Window Open, is forthcoming from Alabaster Leaves Publishing, a Kelsay Books publication. Nancy Kay Peterson’s poetry has appeared in print and online in numerous publications, most recently in HerWords, Lost Lake Folk Opera, One Sentence Poems, Spank the Carp, Steam Ticket, Tipton Poetry Journal and Three Line Poetry. From 2004-2009, she co-edited and co-published Main Channel Voices: A Dam Fine Literary Magazine (Winona, Minnesota). Finishing Line Press published her two poetry chapbooks, Belated Remembrance (2010) and Selling the Family (2021). For more information, see www.nancykaypeterson.com.

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Tipton Poetry Journal – Spring 2021 Nnadi Samuel is a black writer & graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin in Nigeria. His works have been previously published in Suburban Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly West, Blood Orange Review, The Cordite Poetry Review, Gordon Square Review, Canyon Voices, Journal Nine & elsewhere. Winner of the Canadian Open Drawer contest 2020, Splendor of Dawn Poetry Contest April 2020, and the Bkpw Poetry Workshop Contest 2021. He was shortlisted in the annual Poet's Choice award & was the second-prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. A longlist of the NSPP 2020 prize, & Pushcart Nominee. He is the author of Reopening of Wounds & Subject Lessons (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10. M.E. Silverman lives in Georgia and is the author of The Breath before Birds Fly (2013), and The Floating Door (Glass Lyre Press). Silverman co-edited 3 anthologies including Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry and 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium. Silverman's work has appeared in over 85 publications including: Crab Orchard Review, December, 32 Poems, Chicago Quarterly Review, BatterSea Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Los Angeles Review, Sugar House Review, and other magazines. Bobbi Sinha-Morey is an Oregon poet whose poetry has appeared in a wide variety of places such as Plainsongs, Pirene's Fountain, The Wayfarer, Helix Magazine, Miller's Pond, The Tau, Vita Brevis, Cascadia Rising Review, Old Red Kimono, and Woods Reader. Her books of poetry are available at Amazon.com and her work has been nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and the Best of the Net 2018 Anthology Awards hosted by Sundress Publications. Website: http://bobbisinhamorey.wordpress.com. Judith Skillman is a resident of Newcastle, Washington and a dual citizen of US and Canada. Her work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Threepenny Review, Zyzzyva, and other journals. She is the recipient of awards from Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her new collection A Landscaped Garden for the Addict will be out from Shanti Arts Press in 2021. Visit www.judithskillman.com Richard Spilman is the author of In the Night Speaking and of a chapbook, Suspension. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gargoyle, and Image. He lives in West Virginia. Peggy Turnbull is a retired academic librarian living in Wisconsin, whose first chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness, was published by Kelsay Books in 2020. Her poetry has been recently published in Hummingbird, Right Hand Pointing, Mad Swirl, and As It Ought To Be. David Vancil has lived in Terre Haute, Indiana for over 30 years, but has been writing much longer. As an Army brat, he lived in many different places and enjoyed many cultures but identifies most strongly with his Midwestern roots. Mark Vogel lives at the back of a Blue Ridge holler with his wife, Susan Weinberg, an accomplished fiction and creative non-fiction writer, and two foster sons. He currently serves as Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, where he co-directs the English Education Program. Poems and short stories have appeared in several dozen literary journals.

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