Category Archive: 25: March 2023

Marie Kondo–Anne Whitehouse

Bringing orderinto home and workplacemakes room for hope.Our clutter of thingsis a clutter of emotionsthat overwhelm us. Marie Kondo arrives like a fairyfrom another realm.Her black hair, cut neatlybelow her ears, shines like… Continue reading


We all know that change is inevitable and the time has come for Masque and Spectacle to bid a fond farewell to two of our esteemed editors, Rob Stauffer and Bill Gillard. Rob… Continue reading

The Horses in Central Park–Paul Hufker

Cast of CharactersSNOWY: A nearly all-white horseHOPE: A nearly all-gray horse SceneCentral Park, a sunny day TimePresent Lights up on:A white horse and a gray horse, both wearing blinders, are drawing a carriage… Continue reading

Toneless Voice of My Mother–Nicole Zdeb

I replay a conversation with my father, the wordsetched on tablets I lug up and down the mountainI don’t think I want kidsYou are a teenager for chrissakesBut I don’t even like kids         … Continue reading

My Life–Michael Lee Johnson

My life began with a skeleton with a smile and bubbling eyesin my garden of dandelions.Everything else fell off the edge,a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.When young, I pressedagainst my mother’s breast,but youthful… Continue reading

Holes in the Roster — Dan Fleshler

During our journey to find sand hill cranes, as we rumbled on Route 80 past the grassy inclines west of Davenport Iowa, Katie and I listened to the Cubs’ opening day game against… Continue reading

Reading bell–S. E. Chandler

I found myself in the pages of her Bone Black childhood,misfit and lonely.But I wasn’t alone. I borrowed bell hooks’ memoir from the library;it was marked with pencil throughout.Through the reader’s notes, I… Continue reading

Friend Request from a Late Artist–Mark J. Mitchell

In memory of Suzie O. Well, I’m glad you asked. Your face blooms. My eyeswere briefly surprised before the sad fact returned me to morning. I get to missyou again, lost sister. I’ll… Continue reading

CHAINS and SNOW and SEX–F. Scott Hess

Snow whipped the highway, viciously, so thick against the windshield anything more than three meters away appeared suddenly, like a terrifying apparition. The wipers swished, barely able to keep up with the constant… Continue reading

Calls–Elizabeth Bates

Eggs stare back at me, distinct blue, like piercing eyes throughthe forest undergrowth. The nest begs for help. To get back where it belongs. To get back to what it is becoming. Out… Continue reading

Cienfuegos — J. Haase Vetter

My father told me it was his mother, my grandmother, who first opened his eyes to the truth. “Listen,” she had said, “what do you hear?” He remembered it was morning, and they… Continue reading

Invisible Deluge–John Paul Caponigro

Well of dark effluence inchoate,the past burns now, the future with it.A present power hunger consumes itselfbloating new waves to oblivion. One fall in the sky;atmospheres river with carbon, shuddering unsequestered descents, relentlessly writhing fevers.… Continue reading

Braving the Brontës–Kristin Czarnecki

Opening my beautiful volume of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre one night, thoughts rushed through my head like winds sweeping over the moors. First among them was that my father had held this… Continue reading

Whereupon I am Visited by the Boat-Master in My Dreams–Jason Ryberg

An old white man with an old banjo, playing Old Black Joein a rowboat, drifting through mist on a river at dawn,somewhere, where water lilies have completely claimedboth sides of the bank, up… Continue reading

Artwork–Michael Lee Johnson

***Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL. He has 266 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally… Continue reading

Disney Movies Ruined My Life–Joan Mazza

The messages promised rescueto the girl who’s been abused, ignored.She’s discovered no matter whereshe’s been hiding, soon revealedas beautiful and wanted, smart. The liberation isn’t easy, with scaryobstacles to overcome: witches, snakes,or poison… Continue reading

Box of Lies: based on the journals of Anais Nin–Karin Diann Williams

An upscale airport bar. OR, a distinguished-looking man in his sixties, sits at the bar with a glass ofwine. ANAIS, a slight, beautiful woman in her forties,enters and sits next to him. She… Continue reading

Two Poems–John Tustin

Take a Moment Take a moment.Take a momentand close your eyes.Close your eyesand pet the cat –the cat you lovedthat died of leukemiawhen you were twelve.Remember when you were sickand she slept at… Continue reading

Sunday on a Whim–Douglas Cole

Squirrels are eating the insulation.The back door is wide open—but the black cloud has passed over.Why so sullen, face on the wall?You need a strategy to get from hereto the car. It’s quiet… Continue reading

At the Wheel–Holly Day

The clay warps and grows smooth beneath my hands, opens intoA mouth I can pour my day into. Inside this pot between my handsIs a prison for the fights I walked away from,… Continue reading