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A Jive of Vibrations by Emma Lee

Dance is the creation of a memory through the mnemonic of rhythm, repetition. Music is maths: count, geometry of two bodies shaped to attract, repel, attract again. An index and middle finger make a vee-shape, tap twice. Costumes add a layer. A high ponytail, curled to bounce. She feels her pastel rainbow fringed  dress still move when she stops. The tune, adapted to be heavy on drums and bass so vibrations can be felt. She was nervous about this: quick, quick, quick flick under a quiver of lights. The audience waves its applause. --- Emma Lee’s publications include “The Significance of a Dress” (Arachne, 2020) and "Ghosts in the Desert" (IDP, 2015). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, 2015), was Reviews Editor for The Blue Nib, reviews for magazines and blogs at
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Shopping on Day Seven of the Statewide Lockdown by Ace Boggess

Look at you groping soup, sodas, meat, dairy.  How much you touch: cart & goods, key fob,  credit card, pockets of your cargo pants.  Brushing tops, collecting agents,  lifting a loaf of bread or thumbing fruit.  Might as well splash virus like a body spray  as if trying to attract an attractive mate  to bite your head off in the afterglow. --- Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.

Joseph by Joseph Lezza

My father smelled of the forest; some of that was his nature,  most of it came out  of a green glass pinecone.  My father had big hands.  He used them to skim the pool,  to build me a clubhouse,  and to wrap me in the grizzliest bear hugs.  My father had a series of laughs,  from piercing to growling; all powered by a joy so intense it rattled the earth.  These are the things I remember.  These are the things I miss.  The smell, the feel, the weight of his presence in this world; a presence so great no absence could wash it away.  --- Joseph Lezza is a writer in New York, NY. Holding an MFA in creative writing from The University of Texas at El Paso, he is a 2021 finalist for the Prize Americana in Prose. His work has been featured in, among others, Occulum, Variant Literature, The Hopper, Stoneboat Literary Journal, West Trade Review, and Santa Fe Writers Project. His debut memoir in essays, "I'm Never Fine: Scenes and Spasms on Loss," is due out February 2023 from Vine

A Rose Quartz Heart by Sue Finch

for my pocket instead of all the tissues  I have shredded then needed. The smoothness of it warms to my touch. This will carry me through. It gives me the confidence  to hold my head high in an unknown city, helps me remember  to breathe steadily. The connection to you  across the miles: I will hold you safe in my heart and you can hold this heart to remind you. Day one, my tissues remain intact to be used without inhaling paper dust.  On the second day I find myself just enjoying knowing it is there without even touching it. Letting it work by itself. That night I discover it has gone. While folding my clothes in the hotel room I reach into the pocket to find it, but it eludes me. It isn’t on the floor or in the hallway. It isn’t where I sat for dinner and has not been handed in. The next day it is not on the route I used. I scan all the edges and the gutters to check. Someone else must have it now. Must have been amazed to see it  when they looked down. I wonder how many people’s poc

Lost Terrain by John Short

Coleridge spilt hot milk on his foot and unable to walk in the woods he wrote a poem imagining it. I’ve stepped on a plug while attempting to make a cup  of morning tea in boxers. Now I have to hobble around, furniture-walking in pain. Like Coleridge, I sit in the garden  but it’s getting overgrown and the gardener wants £175 to knock some sense into nature, full of dedicated spiders spinning webs and pigeon poop and the roots  of uninvited trees aiming to undermine the foundations of this house. Nature trying to reclaim the terrain once tamed by lawnmowers and beautified with sheers. I guess I’ll go indoors and live as poets mainly do: by proxy. Visualise a stroll in the country. Let nature return the garden to the way it thinks it ought to be. --- John Short lives in Liverpool again after a previous life in southern Europe. When not writing he still persists in trying to play Greek music. He’s appeared recently in Pennine Platform, Flights e-Journal, Foxglove Journal and the Bosphoru

Tinderbox by John Short

Firewalker faith must be required to hop this white-hot sand and now all zones are tinged with fear of sunburn or combustion. We stretch naked in the dunes until guards arrive on decency patrol, ice cream sellers melt away, persistent surfers finally desist. The sea’s an aquarium of coke cans anyway, and plastic in the throats of birds. Intrepid snorkellers beware: just man-made stuff to find down there. --- John Short lives in Liverpool again after a previous life in southern Europe. When not writing he still persists in trying to play Greek music. He’s appeared recently in Pennine Platform, Flights e-Journal, Foxglove Journal and the Bosphorus Review. His fourth poetry collection In Search of a Subject is due from Cerasus Press in 2023.

About the Author by Robert Boucheron

  One of several children, the author was born in the postwar boom to parents of the middle class. The family lived in suburban New York. The boy babbled early and learned to read spontaneously. Engrossed in a book, he forgot all else. Fairy tales were insipid. He liked ancient history and archaeology—tombs and ruined cities.      Public schools provided an education. He evinced a knack for languages and memorized yards of verse. At Alma Mater University, he studied classic and modern literature, and emerged in a daze. After a year to collect his wits, he attended graduate school in architecture, and got a job.      A lucky chance transported him from Manhattan to rural Virginia, where he worked for the gentleman architect Fletcher Banister. Houses, apartments, schools, and private offices were the firm’s stock in trade. Banister had a rich wife and connections. The grand old man made social rounds and brought in clients. His assistant drew in pencil and solved problems. Professional p