Three Sonnets   Robert Thomas
Two Poems   Jennifer K. Sweeney
Two Poems   Sarah Wetzel
Nomenclature   Adam Grabowski
From   Deborah Hauser
Two Poems   Ysabel Y. Gonzalez
Two Poems   Tracy Youngblom
Two Poems   Abigail Wender
Two Poems   Marcia Pelletiere
Two Poems   Geoff Anderson
When we watched Sci-Fi reboots, it meant                        Christopher Carroll Crew
Two Poems   Henry Israeli
Anaphora    Sharon Charde
Lethargy    James Croal Jackson

Visuals by
Allen Forrest 

 Allen Forrest © 2017 All Rights Reserved

 Allen Forrest © 2017 All Rights Reserved



Let the Sunshine in

Summer is the time of year when the line between indoors and outdoors naturally blurs. Here in Brooklyn, where I live, the heat and sun bring the inhabitants out in full force to the streets, parks, public pools, backyards, and outdoor cafes. Life is just brighter, noisier (dare I say muggier and smellier) in a way that, even if not always pleasant, can’t help but remind you of the connection between all beings and things around us—human, leaf, or beast; animate or inanimate (not going to pretend I don’t have a special place in my heart for the fridge or fan these days).

I like to think that poetry does this as well, that one of its most important roles is to engage the reader with both a physical and emotional world outside the self. And, as this country’s political soap opera shows no sign of hiatus, we could all stand the occasional shove out of our shaded, air-conditioned skulls and into the sounds and rhythms, images and insights of someone else’s mind. Call it a little kick in the pants of empathy. 

Though not always lighthearted, and certainly not frivolous, the poems in this issue offer intimate relief from colder, damper times. They are filled with verdant flora and stark light. From sonnets for a loved one distracted by band boys, bumper cars and Acapulco cliff divers to an account of a violently invasive desert world, from conflicted daughterly love over a mother’s bad choices or a father’s bad habits to an unapologetic lack of conflict over the need for physical pleasure, their themes contain, in the best Whitman-ian sense, that song of the self that draws us in rather than separates us. Pineapples and packages and sci-fi movies and death dreams and all sorts of other metaphors posing as everyday things lurk within them. The glamorous city of Rome even shows up more than once (unintentionally, we swear) as a reminder of that 1960’s starlet the civilized Mediterranean summer. 

To complement them, we have the striking, expressionist landscapes of artist Allen Forrest. With their deep blues and greens, their blinding skies and thick foliage, their strong horizons and walls of trees, they are a summer camp for the eyes.  

So I hope you’ll enjoy the poems and paintings we have for you. And while it’s warmer and clearer, how about an easy mental prompt (no writing required): Go outside and look up at the night sky for a moment. Let yourself get lost in a place that isn’t the one you inhabit. Like poetry, this can be a simple, brief vacation from the self and its preoccupations—a reminder of how much else there is out there.

Have a wonderful summer.

from the Ether,

Mary Donnelly