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Katie Kopin-

My Sanctuary

My sanctuary lies in a musty church basement.
It is decorated with uncomfortable metal folding chairs and smells of strong, black coffee.
My sanctuary doesn’t have a choir.
In fact, instead of hymns I hear anthems of despair. Anthems of desperation and, at times, surrender.
I don’t find angels either.
The voice of God sounds exactly like the stranger sitting next to me.
In my sanctuary i find my fellow tribe members. And they will keep me safe from the visions in my head for a short while.
I am sheltered from the monster that whispers, “This time you can handle it.”
This church basement holds
laughter and tears
hope and redemption
death and life.
My sanctuary is no longer in the shape of little white pills.
Now my sanctuary is in me.

_______________

Swimming

The sun cuts like a knife
through the watery surface
and the bottom of the pool suddenly
becomes a place where
brilliant diamond-shapes
come to dance.

someone calls my name from
across a vast expanse
and i leap unabashedly into the atmosphere
secure in the knowledge
of being caught.

Because i am little i do not feel
the iciness of the water as it hits my skin,
for i am wearing an imaginary cape
(if you didn’t notice)
I do not taste the salty chlorine,
for i still have remnants
of hot dog stuck in my teeth.
I can’t feel the sting of water
going up my nose
for i’ve learned enough to
hold
my
breath
upon
impact.

Inhaling deeply i lie on my back
pretending to be a dead log.
The balloons of air tucked deep in my stomach
will be my secret supply of oxygen.
i push my belly above the surface
showing the birds and squirrels
my neat trick

If i wanted
I could roll around in any formation,
wiggling my toes
and somersaulting into oblivion and
watch the blue underwater world spin
round and round like the dryer.

So when did i learn fear?

today
i rip the plastic-y smelling water wings
off my arms
and step to the edge of the world
and i don’t care
if someone is there to catch me
when i leap into the air
because i remember now
what i once knew as a small child:
that
i
can
float.

_______________

Haiku

Drip Drop Drip Drop Drip
You are the watering can
to my thirsty soul

_______________

The Difference Between Us
(for Weatherwoman)

The crisp in the air today made me think of you…
She knows She is a Poet, a fluid syllable–the primary color of fire–
that cannot help but be an element for all things lesser.
A river without a source
that undeniably churns us all along,
for stones and mire must acquiesce to the force of the inherent tide.
I long to be a Poet:
a newborn musical chord whose birth signifies
a consummation of soul and sound
so amorous that we wonder
why it has never been in existence before.
Instead comes a tune that sounds familiar
to one I heard a long time ago– yeah, now I remember,
it’s a cover song.
The original was better, anyway.
I am only a Writer:
disjointed syllables haphazardly strung together
by scotch tape and hope.
I am one of those sad colors of the spectrum
that will never be associated with fire
but rather Campbell’s pea soup.
A Writer’s words disagree and refuse to move.
Maybe if i just braid their hair
and brush their teeth, I think,
no one will notice.
Polishing old penny loafers,
enticing you to taste a spoonful.
Oh Poet, you are the possessor of your creation,
not just a malingering tributary.
You are a sedimentary star
whose words move when she says.
This Writer is made of paper-mache–a hardened shell–fragile, and whose purpose
is merely an afterthought
of a substance that once was there.
I would like to know, Dear One,
how do I get there from here?

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Katie Kopin currently teaches high school English in a mental hospital for teenagers in Detroit, Michigan. She has always wanted to be a writer, but is just beginning to submit her work out into cyberspace. Katie is 31 and has never been published before. Additionally, she is a drug addict with eight years clean.

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Masthead

Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley
June - Ruth Kessler
July - Chanel Brenner
August - Darren Demaree
September - George Moore
October - Joshua Medsker
November - Ralph Monday
December - Howie Good

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2018

January – Simon Perchik
February – Julia Travers

Artwork

Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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