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Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.

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poetry collection

Passing on Grace by George Bishop

Passing on Grace
by George Bishop

The word and the act at dinner became unclear—
the goodwill of allowing everyone equal portions

seemed more meaty, the secret recipe of something-
battered fish closer to the prayer we all prayed

differently. If you kept yours open you could watch
each eye making corrections beneath lightly veined

lids, weighing something, spices maybe. Once, over
dessert, someone even asked me if I believed God

could change His mind—ghost-quick I began
sniffing through my bible backyards where the dog

inside has always buried such bones. Not sure,
I told him without telling him as he told me

he wasn’t sure what he meant, passed on grace,
said some things could’ve been better. I wanted

to know what they were but knew translations
are all that reach us, hearsay our hidden selves

speak. A god-nod filled my heart like a well
deserved belch, heaven moving away in perfect

circles of empty plates. Breakfast soon, eggs up
making more perfect circles, and there’s obedience

at a cave wall painting fire to stone, blowing it
for words. Praise the birds in the morning, all

the sounds they have for light, all the light
in their sounds. Amen.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.

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Last Dance with Mary Jane by Nina Bennett

Last Dance with Mary Jane
by Nina Bennett

Miguel shows me his bag of dope
at every counseling session.
I keep my expression neutral,
refuse to be drawn in when he asks
if it looks like good shit.
We then spend 30 of his 50 minutes
discussing his paranoia. He worries
that he is being ripped off, that his dealer
thinks he is stupid because his English
is poor. I use every maneuver I know
to redirect the session, but each week
we end up gazing at the baggie
he pulls from his backpack.

This week Miguel doesn’t show up,
doesn’t call to cancel, doesn’t answer his phone.
Today I see the article, buried
in the crime section of the newspaper. Shot
in the back, he bled out on the sidewalk,
died alone, three doors from his home.
Outside my window, daffodils bow their heads
as a spring shower cleanses the street.

Nina Bennett is the author of Forgotten Tears A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Requiem, Tipton Poetry Journal, San Pedro River Review, The Summerset Review, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Broadkill Review, and anthologies such as Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS. Nina is a contributing author to the Open to Hope Foundation. www.transcanalwriters.com

The Island Dog by Tricia McCallum

The Island Dog
by Tricia McCallum

He is everyone’s,
Yet he is no one’s.
Vacationers arrive, discover him,
dote on him for two weeks,
then disappear.

He is their holiday project,
a story they’ll tell over dinner at home.
Some allow him in, to sleep at the foot of their beds,
to guard their front door,
Some even toy with the idea of a rescue,
Could we, should we? Shots? Papers?
Questions asked
with the exuberance of the relaxed and the happy,
but as the time to leave draws near,
reality encroaches, the idea stalls.

A new band takes their place.
The island dog waits,
knowing it will take only one,
one, to give him a name that won’t change,
one, to call it out in the dark
should he wander too far.
one, to call to him
and him alone:
Come home.

A Glasgow-born Canadian, Tricia McCallum is the author of a sequence of poems, essays and photos entitled “Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered.”(2011). Her poems “Thirst” and “There’s Always the Guy” were chosen by readers at goodreads.com as the winners of the poetry competition in December, 2011, and in May, 2012. Two of her poems, “Following Seas” and “The Gift of Donovan,” appeared in the first issue of the quarterly poetry e-zine called IMPpress.

Tricia invites you to read more of her work at www.triciamccallum.com

Forecasting Hemlines by M.R. Smith

Forecasting Hemlines
by M.R. Smith

Weather will come
in its own fashion. Dark
evening dress, sharp jewelry
meant to kill,
sometimes light and blousy.
Today it is straight-legged
and lined out clean, a casual
bearing trying to portray
confidence and control
of a situation that could
change at the drop
of a barometer.

M.R. Smith lives in Boise, ID and will have work appearing in the fall in The Red River Review.

Resurrection by Nina Bennett

Resurrection
by Nina Bennett

The first Easter after Dad died
I waited for him to come back to life.
I sat at dinner, silence broken
by klink of fork against china,
swish and crackle of ice
as I stirred sugar into my tea.
I tried to ignore the whispered hypocrite,
you don’t believe in the resurrection
.

I am responsible for my father’s
death. I’m the one who implored
the ICU doctors to convince my brother
it was time to forgo life-sustaining treatment,
to explain that our father now existed
in a realm we could not access.

First child, oldest daughter,
I’m the one who rested my head
on Dad’s chest, strained to hear
his fading heartbeat, pressed my fingers
against the once-pulsing artery in his neck,
pushed the call button and told the nurse
his final exhale was at 5 p.m.

Nina Bennett is the author of Forgotten Tears A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Requiem, Tipton Poetry Journal, San Pedro River Review, The Summerset Review, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Broadkill Review, and anthologies such as Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS. Nina is a contributing author to the Open to Hope Foundation. www.transcanalwriters.com

Dear Park Ave. by Gary F. Iorio

Dear Park Ave.
by Gary F. Iorio

She bought a dog to have
someone
to walk with. But the dog never walked.
He ran, and stopped, sprinted, circled, peed, barked,
pooped (shat), yawned and slept.
Really! He
never walked with her – at her side, like
she dreamed.

The town was waiting for her
and her dog.
Outside the bakery, there was a water bowl on an aluminum stand.
Inside, the doggie treats were free.

The guy who owned the franchise-sandwich-shop had
pictures of a Boxer-mix taped to the register. But behind the counter
there was always a sleeping Husky
lying close to a wall papered with black and white images of the
Subway station at Stillwell Avenue,
Coney Island!

She chased and shouted as
he knocked over the clean, aluminum stand; pleaded with him as
he refused and barked loudly at the doggie treats that were offered and free.

Once, while she waited for her small “Veggie-Local,” he cleared the counter
and landed on the sleeping Husky.

She’d walked past my window carrying the huge, heavy, happy beast.
We all knew she whispered his name each night, last thing, before
she dreamed.

GARY F. IORIO was raised in Brooklyn and Massapequa, NY; he has an MFA from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Mr. Iorio works as a real estate attorney. His fiction, poetry and memoirs have been published in various publications including SAN PEDRO RIVER REVIEW, FICTION AT WORK, THE EAST HAMPTON STAR, THE WISCONSIN REVIEW, THE MISSISSIPPI REVIEW, FRONT&CENTRE MAGAZINE, ECHO INK REVIEW, BLACK WORDS ON WHITE PAPER, CRACK THE SPINE and MUSED.

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