To read the latest issue, click 'Issues by year' in the menu above


Capitoline Hill and Square Rome

Bruce McGuffin: December In The Capitoline Museum

Stone statues without any clothes,
Cold torsos, buttocks, legs, and toes!
I stare at each in turn until
I feel a sympathetic chill.

The beauty of the human form
Is far more evident when warm.
Nude figures perched on frigid blocks
At least need marble woolly socks.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

Don Nigroni: Stiff Competition

The homicide detective said, “He can’t be dead.”
The coroner replied, “He was shot in the head.”
“The door was locked, the window was closed with a latch.
Besides, the gun was found on the lawn, that’s the catch.”
“Impossible case, I just totally agree!”
And then the corpse spoke up, “The killer had a key!!!”

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

Martin McCarthy: Crush

Checking out
the check-out girl,
in the new discount store,
was like walking straight
into an automatic door
that didn’t open.

 ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

Henry Stimpson: Don’t Shoot!

If you
think vaccines are rot,
and it’s quite cool
to go to the ICU,
don’t get the shot,
laugh like a fool.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠

Rana Shabibi: Every Dog

Dogs may err in barking up the wrong trees,
lying down with them might just give you fleas,
you can’t really teach them new tricks when they age.
They’re never seen as quite on the same page
as their red cousins, all cunning and guile,
or their grey ancestors clothed in sheep-style.

But unflattering jibes about Man’s best friend,
won’t stop him from having his day in the end.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠

Claire Booker: Alternative History

Napoleon went missing
on Saturday

and might have become trapped
in a garden shed.

He is small and timid
of strangers

and will be difficult
to pick up.

(Found poem, lamp post, London)

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

Bruce McGuffin: The Musk Ox

The musk-ox bull knows what to do
To meet a musk-ox cow or two.
No colored feathers, mane, or tusk,
He comes equipped with smelly musk.
And every female musk-ox thinks
He's sexy if he really stinks.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

John S. Eustis: Navigable Craft

Chaucer wrote in the vernacular. He thrived
in an age when gals were getting swyved
(instead of laid). Also, Shakespeare used some rough
language, mixed in with all that fancy stuff.

And Robert Frost, my favorite, took the sound
of common Yankee dialect, and found
his poems within. So even a plain raft
of words can be a navigable craft.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

 Wendy Videlock: Said the Finch

In the midst
of emotional

(when faced
with a bird who

swears the earth is flat),
remember that
everybody’s got

their own egg to hatch.

♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   

Dan Campion: Bake It New

Get up a 4 a.m. and stoke
The oven. Mix the dough,
Then knead it, give a final poke,
And shape loaves row by row.

Now slip them through the oven door,
And when their tops cook round,
You’ll have bread, fluffy at the core,
Puffed up by Ezra Pound.

 ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠   ♠  

Paul Willis: Libation

(Marmota flaviventris)

Marmots in the gooseberry,
licking my pee.
They want salts,
and I pray Thee
that my gift
of liquid gold
may grant them youth
while I grow old.     

      –Sequoia National Park

Marmot surrounded by blue and yellow flowers