Jim Cory, “Homage to the Wainwright Building”

Jim Cory’s most recent publications are Birds & Buildings (2019, Moonstone Press), and Wipers Float in the Neck of the Reservoir (2018, The Moron Channel). He has edited poetry selections by James Broughton (Packing Up for Paradise, Black Sparrow Press, 1998), Jonathan Williams (Jubilant Thicket, Copper Canyon Press, 2005) and Karl Tierney (Have You Seen This Man?, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). Recent essays include “What makes a queen a queen?” in The Gay & Lesbian Review, and “Fascinating Asshole (or) How I Came To Love Frank Sinatra” in New Haven Review. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the PA Arts Council, Yaddo, and The MacDowell Colony.

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Homage to the Wainwright Building

From 6 blocks distance it looks like
       someone reworked the Parthenon
               into a giant electric

burner & turned it on High. But
       taller. Sullivan created
               for Ennis Wainwright a ten-floor

temple to Plutus. This sudden
       and volcanic design
               as an outsized erector set

a post & lintel structure of
       steel engineered to carry the
               weight of sandstone, brick, glass & baked

clay. Crusted dense geometries
       of pods bursting, unlimbering
               tendrils of memory engage

the plain wood doors within its re
       cessed entrance. Bands of panels, each
               design unique, wrap the building

tier upon tier in flora, the
       whole effect a rolling surge of
               energy ascending toward the

cornice on vertical lines of
       brick, sweeping skyward to create
               the visual illusion of

solidity suspended in
       air. Completed toward the end
               of the 19th century, it

is sometimes called the origin-
       al skyscraper, but this shrine to
               profit was merely the 1st tall

office building to present it
       self as a gift to the spirit
               & eye. Its power to insist

on the attention of all who
       pass testifies to the success
               of the architect’s mental flash

of fire, translated to shape,
       shade, texture & line, logic grop
               ing thru inspiration’s thickets

toward clarity & strength: as the
       plant grows, so thought grows
, he wrote:
               capital’s hive in the color of

summer’s last horizon, where
       cells once blazed w/the smell of all
               money can buy, & all it can’t.





Jack Powers, “Last Act”

Jack Powers is the author of Everybody’s Vaguely Familiar. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Cortland Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He won the 2015 and 2012 Connecticut River Review Poetry Contests and was a finalist for the 2013 and 2014 Rattle Poetry Prizes. He recently retired after teaching special education in Redding, Connecticut, for thirty-eight years. Visit his website: http://www.jackpowers13.com/poetry/.

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Last Act

I laughed with my doctor at his patient who said,
I want you to be my last doctor, imagining him checking that
off his list of last barber, last mailman, last mechanic—
a dark laugh that ended in a shared sigh at his audacity.
And ours. At 65, I’ve started thinking about my last dog,
my last house. I figure I could have ten good years left
before the marbles go. Time enough if used well
for one last act. One new start. But no time to lollygag.

My yoga teacher says, Breathe. Just be.
My writing teacher says, Cut ‘lollygag.’ Instead I look up
synonyms and linger in the shilly-shally of now,
the dawdle, crawl, the tarry, drag and lag,
the assonance of last act, of sound slowing time, laughing
at marbles and audacity, of planning a last anything.





Grant Quackenbush, “Doing Nothing”

Grant Quackenbush received his MFA in poetry from Boston University. He lives in New York City.

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Doing Nothing

My favorite thing to do is nothing,
which is different from not doing anything.
Some people can’t do nothing. They get antsy.
But me, I could do nothing
the rest of my life and be happy. If I win the lottery
I’m doing nothing with the money. I swear.
I’ll buy a house in the South
and sit on the porch and stare, preferably
in a rocking chair. I’ll drink
nothing but Coke and smoke only steak.
I’ll play the fiddle and whistle.
If I need something I can’t borrow or grow,
I’ll start up my beat-up pickup (no one will know
I’m a millionaire) and drive with my Labrador
to the appropriate store.
I’ll say hello to the owner, stop for soup
at a diner, then drive back home
into the quotidian sun, my dog riding shotgun.
And it will be like that.





Judy Kaber, “Just as it was”

Judy Kaber is a retired elementary school teacher, having taught for thirty-four years. Besides previously having published in Clementine Unbound, her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, Tar River, and Spillway. Her contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest, and second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest. In May 2019 she published two chapbooks: Renaming the Seasons and In Sleep We Are All the Same.

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Just as it was

It’s not enough to know the color
of sky, the bare scratch of branch,

the darkness of earth. I need to wash it
from my hands, to walk the soap

over my palms, between fingers, circle
wrists, slide off the knuckled backs. All

the while, sing. I get to choose the song
as long as it takes twenty seconds.

Disease rides the airflow, ready
to knot lungs, to bruise breath, to turn

life into a blue howl. My tongue fumbles
its way around words. I sit on the couch,

talk on the phone, wait for life to slide
back to its dailiness, to revolve around

the choice between a sugar or a waffle cone,
between coffee or tea, between earrings

or necklace, or maybe not any jewelry
at all. One post falls out and somewhere

there is a small diamond on the floor.
I crawl around among dust and loss

of dignity, searching for a glint, for just
a brief glimpse of something shining.





Michael Hammerle, “Work Clothes”

Michael Hammerle is pursuing his MFA at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where he teaches composition. He holds a BA in English from the University of Florida. He is the founder of Middle House Review. His fiction has been published in The Best Small Fictions 2017, selected by Amy Hempel. His prose and poetry have been published in Split Lip Magazine, New World Writing, Louisiana Literature, After the Pause, and many more magazines. He lives and writes in Gainesville, FL.

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Work Clothes

Don’t judge anyone
by the shirt. On their back
could be the weight
of their family’s well

Don’t judge anyone by
the cuts on their


their leaning

which leans because their dogs
have dug a cave
under one corner,

a man had kneeled
next to his crisscross-sitting wife.

A vibration
squeezed its way through
a thin glass window.

The vibration carried
a well-child’s cry
and found its intendant
between the pool and the leaning shed.


A man held
his enduring wife’s
and she said Don’t
in the bathroom.

In the lap of her dress
was braided grass.


She had quilled
a small circle bare
had not seen

a clay flip-flop key chain in the dirt
barely uncovered.

The man fixated on the flip-flop
and imagined when it was modeling clay:
an inscription
carved by a daycare worker,
or an exceptional child,
captured the child’s will.

The man imagined if he held the keychain,
when it was freshly calcined,
his thumb could brush the words
(it was so real) those little ridges
they felt
like lizard teeth,
or pikes
on a Medieval crown,
and straddled the outline of a well-child’s words.


He brought buckets of pool water to their door.
The time: night rain. The grass was gauze
tied tight in a bag next to an empty pail.
Hurricane bands beating, like a tuning fork,
on the side of a hot house in need of power.