• #11Forklift, Ohio: Issue #11
  • #12Forklift, Ohio: Issue #12
  • #13Forklift, Ohio: Issue #13
  • #14Forklift, Ohio: Issue #14
  • #15Forklift, Ohio: Issue #15
  • #16Forklift, Ohio: Issue #16
  • #17Forklift, Ohio: Issue #17
  • #18Forklift, Ohio: Issue #18
  • #19Forklift, Ohio: Issue #19
  • #20Forklift, Ohio: Issue #20
  • #21Forklift, Ohio: Issue #21
  • #22Forklift, Ohio: Issue #22
  • #23Forklift, Ohio: Issue #23
  • #24Forklift, Oeno: Bin #24
  • #25Forklift, Ohio: Issue #25
  • #26Forklift, Ohio: Issue #26
  • #27Forklift, Ohio: Issue #27
  • #28Forklift, Ohio: Issue #28
  • #29-30Forklift, Ohio: Issue #29-30
  • #31Forklift, Ohio: Issue #31
  • #32Forklift, Ohio: Issue #32
  • #33Forklift, Ohio: Issue #33
  • #34Forklift, Ohio: Issue #34

 

Matthew Rohrer
Joke in a Bank
 
When you try to make a joke
in a bank
it falls flat
there’s an armed guard
standing there
wearing sunglasses indoors
motionless
but no one laughs
in fact my intentions
are misunderstood
no, no, I am just
going to walk out
the door and come back in
to turn my coins
into paper money
fifty-three dollars
in the sunshine
I’m on my way
with my jacket
in my backpack
and the steel
grates over the pubs
early afternoon
my step as high
as the starlings
bickering in the sky
the birdsong
of the city
and the paper lifting off
the sidewalks
goodbye, I wish
the world were different

 
 

Amanda Nadelberg
North Country Concrete
 
Said, find us, alignment
could well mean
please, find us. Control is not
for me. To learn from
all kinds of music! What harm
could be had. The multitudes of
secret handshakes. High hopes
kill every time. Dangerous
accumulations and mistakes
in the weather. I never
saw such a broken in window
but last night it was a yellow
car. The mechanic gets
laid why he smells like that.
We have no control. The screens
bad enough for Japanese
ladybugs. This Land. Where
else is the weather such a
conversation where else does the
weather sound so much
like this. Prophets of a square of a
land this big. They say, big sky go
south and west, they say water, pick your
best hand, drive that way they say, moose
and you would be so lucky
they say corn maze, you say how
high they say Jell-O you
say pretty how beautiful
I could eat this every day. The
apartment, the apartment. The
floor is failing  by the slippers’ count.
O kind fixtures O sweet
light. To have guests to
put it out. Weather make
me talk less weather say the
lovelies. In the dining room it was cloudy
with a dew point of blue flowers.
Said Come Over to the arm chair, won’t
you. What else could I have
said to the shower. The airplanes
audible. What kind of forecast.
What a picture this is becoming.
Shapes are difficult to speak of.
Shiny protective material. Tiny little
mishaps. Quiet! Quiet riot in the city.




Peter Davis
Poem that Addresses the Possibility that You’re Reading this Poem in a Literary Journal

Good for you. I read some journals too, but the odds of actually finding this poem can’t be good. Thanks for making the effort. I hope you feel like it was worth it.




Rachel Contreni Flynn
Barn
She hit a boy
with a shovel
in a barn.  She

saw nothing
but the math
of it.  Ascent,
arc, intersect.

And the shapes:
triangle on oval
in a sun-drowned
pentagon.

A thing in motion
tends to stay. She
hit a boy.  She
grew up to list

numbers in files
in pale rooms
full of dustless
air.  She wears

nice clothes.
She wears
nice clothes.




Alexis Orgera
See June Run
 
June is a better girl than July.
June has chipmunks
whereas July has black squirrels
in a graveyard. June has centrifugal force,
careening outward into the space
of all spaces, a room
full of delicate chaos. The briefest reprieve
from order, that June.
The smallest oxymoron.
July is a nutshell and cloying and wants
to stay close to home.
July is also a whirlpool.
But she doesn’t know it.
July is dangerously close to spinning out
in a race from the center.
But she doesn’t know it.
No one told her that physics doesn’t
really exist, that force is just a name
we give to our own laziness,
that circles are just confused
straight lines. No one told July
about the blackness beating in her heart.
No one told July that her body
is not in a box, it is the box.
While June sits over the grave,
happy little campsite,
July suffocates on the particulates.




Todd Colby
Cherry Tale

Some boys were playing baseball in the yard. A woman went out into the yard and was reaching for cherries. The batter threw back the bat and accidentally hit her on the head. She dropped dead at the same moment the child was born. On the girl’s head there was a bald spot with red skin in the shape of a baseball bat. Storks bring cherries. Cherries eaten by a cat will cause fits. Cherries in the house come from dust. A friend is slain every time you eat a cherry, or ejaculate.




Dean Young
Beloved Escapee
 
Out of longing, you rowed into the horizon,
dented it in fact.  Cringe.  The brain shrinks
at such responses the gulls give the sea,
the sea gives itself, a discourse we
are always on the outside of, even drowning.

Oh, you said known world, not gnome world.
That makes all the difference or I wish it would
but I suspect it’s just a matter of magnification,
whether the mite be giant monster
or the great calamity of an orange-ade spill.

In the meantime as it always is
except in childhood when it’s too early
or always too late, in the meantime
I remain ornament to the miniature
golf course, subterfuged with rain.

The tricky part is how life dissolves
to tics relieved every now and then
by seizures, anemones of light spiking
from your head, a voice from the clouds
plenty loud yet you the only one to notice,

unrepentant truant that you are, sprung,
at large.  Take me with you next time,
okay?  I promise not to tattle.




Christina Clark
Another Poem about Ohio
 
They haven’t been filled in yet. His hat
is empty. No faces. Someone drew them
from behind. A family or a magazine.
They are Ohio. Flat. Heavy machinery
in the foreground. Their hair is solid black
which means their clothes are white.
White and thin as paper. Between front and back
there is some poetry. Sometimes. And fiction too.
Beside them someone wrote the number 13.
This does not mean they are unlucky. Only that
it is summer. They are dressed accordingly.
Perhaps their ankles are cold. There is a son,
a daughter.  I could be making this up. For sure
the sky is blue— it always is in black and white.
And her hair is long. She is the mother. They live
in a small apartment with no dishwasher. This does
not necessarily refer to them. They are a family that
knows how to operate heavy machinery safely.
Maybe they are dead. But this is Ohio— a family,
a forklift— it is hard to say.