Feature Artist: Linda Rzoska
A Good Cause
TSP Talks to Kristi Petersen Schoonover
TSP Talks to Bruce Mills
Kalamazoo and Beyond
Kalamazoo & Beyond 2
Zinta Reviews
Zinta Reviews 2
Links and Resources
The Editors

"The Green Man" by Linda Rzoska

Kristina Moriconi



Summer, Lake Michigan



There are two lies I tell:

one, about your light blue

Mercury at the lake,

another, I whisper to myself—

this is exactly

where I want to be—

beside a river on another coast;

because, once, like Kingfishers,

we defended our place

along the shore,

I still think the surface tension

of water has something

to do with love,

bodies, dappled

and smooth, skimming

until they sink,

barely substance anymore.


This part is true:


I left you asleep

in the dunes, fistfuls

of cherries bleeding for me.



Kristina Moriconi is a poet and essayist. She received her MFA in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. Her work has appeared most recently in Cobalt Review, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, Prick of the Spindle and Blue Heron Review. She is the author of a chapbook, No Such Place (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

Sally Houtman



oh, father



it’s the way you sit it’s the way you wait with your

tented hands your care-worn hands your faithful hands

your empty hands dark-sipping liquid benediction oh

when I think of all the mad hours mad hours wasted

quibbling with the dead it’s the way you believe oh I

want to believe tell me how to believe in your derelict god

how to feel that jolt that jotting forward some little

stagger in the pulse when something scissors through

the blue oh father my father your father fallow be thy name

how you pistol-whip the scriptures drive each word to its

splitted edge and still you do not say no and you

do not say wait and you do not do not do not ever

no never say love and it’s the way I remain 

earthbound with lifted wings and the

whole world breathing just breathing me in




Sally Houtman is an ex-pat American currently residing in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the author of a non-fiction book and her fiction and poetry have been widely published. Her work has earned four New Zealand writing awards and been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize.

Rachel Rosenberg



He Sits In My Shower



He sits in my shower under the spray

cross-legged and bowed.

He speaks like I smile;


He has no preferences

but grins when I join him and his arms

in his lap

and wherever I sit I am blocking the water

but he'll stay warm and wet nonetheless

and I'll stay lip-happy, leg-happy,

dripping, ensconced and enchanted.




Rachel Rosenberg is a 25-year-old lawyer/recent graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and an alumnus of Kenyon College. She has been writing poetry for 17 years and performing it for the last two. Her poems have been published in a number of online and print journals, most recently in The Leaning House Press and The Sparrow Ghost Collective Anthology of Poetry: Vol.'s 1 and 2.

Daniel Carr



what difference



what difference

does it make

if I hold the door open

or let you find

your own way out?


is there a release

from obligation?

is there some benediction

in the act?


your stride is still the same

you disappear just as quickly


like some cat

gone exploring

into the feral night




Daniel Carr grew up in a literary atmosphere, raised by two English professors. He began to explore poetry in high school.

Michael A. Torok





A trash can I use for raku

blazes with poetry, desire,

I am inhaling the smoke of my past.

Need, men, women,

girls evaporate

into the ash of morning.


I prepare to be

in your embrace without

a past of failed caresses.

I cannot afford

these ghosts,

jeopardy among new fallen snow.



Michael A. Torok calls Austin, TX home. He received his English PhD from the University of Louisiana and has published in the Clackamas Literary Review, Fox Cry Review, Louisiana Review, Red Rock Review, Northridge Review, Southwestern Review, New Kent Quarterly, as well as online in the Snakeskin Poetry Webzine.

Sergio Ortiz



Coming Out


shrouded in mist

I wear a torn place

on my sleeve—

turning like a mirror

on a string


a key

in a lock …

I have

no more tongue

than a wound



of an abacus—

the shed skin

of a snake remembers

what it once held



all the ways I numbed myself

casting minute

after minute into the wind . . .

taking off the mask




Sergio Ortiz is a retired educator, poet, painter, and photographer. Flutter Press released his first two chapbooks, At the Tail End of Dusk, and Bedbugs in My Mattress. Ronin Press released his third chapbook:  topography of a desire. Avantacular Press released his first photographic chapbook: The Sugarcane Harvest. He is a three-time nominee for the Sundress Best of the Web Anthology and a two-time Pushcart nominee.


ŠAll materials, print, artwork and photography on this site are copyrighted and not to be reprinted without written permission by The Smoking Poet.

Feedback or questions? Email