The Circular Bar

Sitting at the circular bar with one
glass of red wine I remember the draw
of these places. You’re part of the circle
almost forced to look at everyone else
in the room, you must crimp your curiosity
from staring and comparing
college guys, one lonely.

I saw my reflection in you, I used to be
that person peeking out
from the side of the group
drinking up the courage
to say hi or make conversation
or at least hold eye contact long enough
to decide it’s a good idea and follow through.
We’d go to another bar later, a group of us
girls and maybe if I wasn’t feeling too immature
I’d walk over before we left and say hi and ask
where you’re going
and tell you where we’re going
and feel out your eyes

before my friends walked out the doors
and piled into the cars to go to some place
with the same old music playing, all of us
with different agendas. Maybe you’d show up.

But I’m old now and married
to my dreams amazed we made it through
all those late nights alive and only this broken
and I’m not you anyway

I’m on the other side
of the bar waiting for my friend
on her birthday while she’s Facebooking
I’m reminiscing and not making eye contact
on purpose

with the me in you.

about the author
Whitney Bell lives in Huber Heights, Ohio, with her handsome husband and awesome stepson. She’s a master’s student at Antioch University Midwest. The current Literary Editor of The Antioch Voice, she’s working on a collection of poetry and her first novel. She tries to blog at whitneybellwriting.wordpress.com.

After You Left

I washed the blanket today,
the one I made from cashmere squares
cut from discarded sweaters.

I used the cold water detergent and stomped
on the blanket in the bathtub.
When the water turned grey,

I couldn’t tell if it was dye
that had bled in the water
or dream-dust from your sleep.

When it had dried
soft a bit tattered with frayed edges
still containing bits of you

I wrapped it around myself.

about the author
Maxine Skuba has been writing free verse for the past 20 years. She self-published a poetry book, Jumping into Stars, in 2003, and has been recognized in the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Poetry Contest as well as in the annual Dayton Public Library Poetry Contest. She is presently working on a chapbook.

Planetarium

Sometimes I go into my brother’s room
to deliver a shirt, a letter, a borrowed book
and remember how the space looked when it was mine.

He’s painted the walls a dark shade my mother advised against
peeled every sticky star off the ceiling,
the ones I arranged into constellations, galaxies, shootings stars.

My current room wasn’t always mine but my parents’
I’d seek it out with tipping toes through the dark
to curl up next to my mother in bed after nightmares.

Now, on insomniatic nights I go to my sister’s room
to gaze at her glowing stars, a dazzling planetarium
I envied as a child and tried to imitate on my ceiling.

I wonder if they’ll still glow years and mortgages from now
if new residents will peel each star off the ceiling
and paint over every wall.

about the author
Deborah Rocheleau is a junior at Wright State University, where she studies English, minors in Chinese, and tells anyone who will listen about the great literary opportunities in Dayton. Her work has appeared in local venues such as Flights, Nexus, and The Dayton Daily News, as well as in national publications such as Tin House Open Bar. Visit her at deborahrocheleau.wordpress.com.

Immaculate Hate

Silence has a Sunday face
that serves segregated water
from a white fountain
attended to by a black hand
and a colored ill-kept fountain
were the water is dispensed with
chemicals of truth that will rage
and assault each other in the
blood stream, not knowing
whether the drinker is
conscious or unconscious
brave or careless.
Truth is, when the store is
abandoned to the darkness,
all lips are similar vessels;
water does not speculate
we are poisoned with
the same irony.

about the author
Herbert Woodward Martin will be on the staff for The Antioch Writer’s Workshop teaching the poetry session. He has poems scheduled to appear in The Seneca Review, Plainsongs, Common Threads, and Found Poems. Recently, he narrated Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. His latest volume of poetry is titled On The Flyleaf, from Bottom Dog Press.

Image

The dog
that bit you
foams at the mouth
with a vibrant yellow
like the declining sun
being pulled by the smallest
wave into the dead fish sea.
There is an opening, like a pupil
in the eye of a whirlpool that spells
a solitary fear watching the day’s ease.

about the author
Herbert Woodward Martin will be on the staff for The Antioch Writer’s Workshop teaching the poetry session. He has poems scheduled to appear in The Seneca Review, Plainsongs, Common Threads, and Found Poems. Recently, he narrated Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. His latest volume of poetry is titled On The Flyleaf, from Bottom Dog Press.

Porcelina

Porcelina-v2
black and white photography

about the artist
Libby Ballengee is a classically trained photographer from Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from the Ohio Institute of Photography & Technology, with special honors for her black & white darkroom skills. Professionally, Libby leads a team of artists, photographers and designers to develop creative marketing and publishing solutions. She is also a photojournalist and blogger for Dayton.com and Dayton Most Metro, a co-host of Gem City Podcast, and President of the Dayton Ballet Barre. Libby is an adventurer at heart, and you can keep up with her at instagram.com/venuschild.

Untitled #2

digital photography
digital photography

about the artist
Dan Landis has been interested in photography since, as a high school student, he did darkroom work at Logan Studios in downtown Dayton from 1969 to 1971. In this after-school job, Dan eventually learned to do assignment work, photographing high school events and sports. Currently, Dan is in his thirty-fifth year of teaching English at Northmont High School. Photography has always been a passion. Dan has been inspired by the work of Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstadt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and  Ansel Adams. He loves all genres of photography, and loves to try his hand at nature photography, landscapes, and architecture.  Dan lives in Kettering with his partner, Vicki Hendricks. See more of Dan’s work at landiscapes.com