Outside the Gate
blouse, she stands
to be my
She says she
will do me,
will I let her
in? Her dark
No, I say.
Look at you,
I say. Go
home, I say.
In the city, Stuck
Mornings like this
I am here I am stuck in a city cement monoliths
rise skyward to block sun rays I’d rather have them laid down flat
stretched out into nothingness the open road the endless shore
remember pacific coast highway victory
how the sun was golden streaks through windows
how the sun seemed to sink slower to linger
music laughter rolling wheels
nothing behind everything beyond
Not Looking Back
There is no mention of Lot
ever visiting his wife after
she became a pillar of salt.
When someone changes
so much all of a sudden
what’s left to do but keep
trudging through the desert.
If he had turned around,
her kiss would have stung
his dry and cracked lips.
One hug and she would have
crumbled right in his arms.
And the tears of his daughters.
No, better to not look back.
Sometimes a person knows this
with no warning from God.
Aubade after The End
I put you on a pedestal even Gods wouldn’t reach –
You’re gone and just memories stay:
when you wooed me with your silly smile
your musical charm and every time I said yes
to your beer night I meant yes to you.
But you didn’t date friends and now
you bequeath to me an occupation:
wondering who you really were
and why I didn’t know your pain
or maybe I just ignored it.
Seventeen gathered at Dan’s house,
another twelve online to take turns
offering memories of you
shooting Black Label in your honor
passing the glass as we did
so long ago.
My six a.m. internal clock woke me from deep sleep – too deep
to dream. But you crept in like always,
wooing with your memory, sweet-talking
with a shot of Jack until I woke to the truth.
The sun was breaking through the snow clouds
Dan was shoveling the walk and I remembered
we weren’t twenty again and
you were really gone
singing off-key with the blue jays
that left a mess on my windshield.
Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. He is a contributing writer at Verse-Virtual and in 2015 was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August). Other poems are found at Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Provo Canyon Review, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere.
Tom Pescatore can sometimes be seen wandering along the Walt Whitman bridge or down the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row. He might have left a poem or two behind to mark his trail. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com.
James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Ploughshares, River Styx, The Sun, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.
Emily Vieweg is a poet and playwright originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak, The Voices Project, Northern Eclecta, Red Weather Literary Magazine, WritingRaw.com and is forthcoming in Soundings Review. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she is a mother of two, pet parent, data processor and adjunct English instructor. Emily earned her MFA in Creative Writing in 2015 from Lindenwood University.