Poetry Spotlight: My Bones Are Growing Out of My Skin

Poetry | Michael Deabold


Parking lots call my name.
They are the only thing as empty as me.
I’ll walk down my block and question life.
Hopeful I follow what’s right.
Dreams die every day.
It’s unfair, but what can we do.
The cars are parked in the street.
It’s a metaphor for how I can’t seem to go anywhere.
I know I’m better than this.
But that’s the breaks, kid.
The glass is half full.
This is not how 21 is supposed to feel.


Poetry Spotlight: Only You

 Poetry | Amanda Davis

I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.

Your soul wasn’t pure.

It needed to be cleansed.

The burning of the alcohol was of minimalist help…

And in the end, it solved nothing.


You tried quitting cold turkey.

The demons inside of you were too overpowering, weren’t they?


Why have you come to me?

Please don’t cling onto me for the answers.

I’ll only fail you…


You stood outside the building,

Looking so sure of yourself.

But, I knew.  I knew it wasn’t as easy for you as you made it look,

My dear.

Boy, how you made it look…


And still I held on as you slipped away.







I couldn’t feel it until I knew.


Until I knew how it happened,


Where it happened.


I desired information.


Like a cold case file.


I was numb.


Wasn’t anybody watching you?


Were you alone?


God damn, I was so young.


I just wanted to see you again, even if it was for one last time.


The torture of not knowing sent me reeling.


The strangeness of finding out on social network.


The paranoia I felt trying to figure out how I’d be able to say goodbye.


It had been months.  That was that.  Could it have been any more surreal?


I’ve failed you.  I’ve failed myself.

Photography Fridays 11/14

Photography by Bryan J Mangam


Poetry Spotlight: For My Mother, Whose Hands Were Once Soft

Poetry | Kelley Rattinger


My mother was a florist.

She arranged flowers in beautiful ways

so that others might fill the gray places of their lives with color.

Her flowers brought joy to new lovers, and

a beacon to old lovers who had lost their way,

they gave a color in common to last minute prom couples

who realized as they stood awkwardly together on a stranger’s front lawn

that they had nothing in common,

and they gave pride to the mother who could now get the perfect picture

of her beautiful daughter and the handsome boy she’d never met,

but who did a great job with the corsage,

they provided a distraction for mourners

who needed something more alluring than the

curiously still body in the front of the room,

and, in time,

warmth to the cold stone

that binds it to the ground.

Sometimes she would bring a flower home to me,

perfectly trimmed and just blooming, so that I might

enjoy it longer.

But her flowers didn’t start out perfect.

Some had thorns and sharp edges,

little dangers that she would remove

so that others might fill the gray places of their lives, without hassle.

She hassled,

and hassled,

half her life through these

little dangers, until her fingers grew calloused

and the dirt beneath her nails got stubborn,

and while I admired my pretty flower, she sat

late at night, the lingering scent of

a hurried dinner still in the air,

scraping away the dirt,

an occasional comment about how

ugly her hands had become.


My mother was a florist, and her hands were once soft.

I wish I could hold them and show her

those gray places, before her flowers came,

so that she might look down and see her hands

in color.

Poetry Spotlight: Fragile Soul

Poetry | Angelica Lombardo


as my fragile soul
took one step closer to you
you gave me one look
with those eyes.
i can’t read your mind,
but i can read those eyes.
you are nothing more
than a scared,
little child
with a callous heart.
you’ve been hurt before,
but haven’t we all?
both of us bound to shatter.
let the past be the past
and the future bring what it may.
i catch hold of your hand,
troubled by the sight
of your heart on your sleeve.
once young,
burning bridges
like they housed our hearts,
we realized that we were human,
that we,

too could not outrun

the blaze.
























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