Volume 20 | Spring 2014


Untitled Drawing by Kendra Miller

Six Feet Under Isn’t Close Enough To Hell by Nathanial Barnes


Priest    Elderly man.
Alec    Nancy’s youngest son.
Penny    Alec’s wife.
Jennifer    Grant’s wife.
Grant    Nancy’s oldest son.
Laurie    Nancy’s daughter.
Eric    Laurie’s son.
Mrs. Tillman    Nancy’s neighbor, elderly woman.

The pews on either side of the room create an [...]

The Grumpiness Tax by Whitney Henry

On a normal trip to Rutter’s Convenience Store, during one of my infamous nearly fatal chicken Quesada and frappe deficiency runs, a darker side of humanity revealed itself. I stood rooted to the spot glaring off into an undefined space when a woman approached the counter, pushing past anyone in [...]

Attention and Outrage by Dillon Samuelson

Elegy to Edie by Anonymous

Beautiful, bright, clever and thin.
You were everything I tried to be.
I was so grateful when you promised to teach me
how to deceive the world and be perfect
just like you.

Together we committed to sins
that made me strong and better than others.
We hid food inside napkins
and spewed into the toilet
laughing at our [...]

Nightmare by Jennifer Junggust

Encounter by Dillon Samuelson

Classic Pontiac Dashboard by Patricia Crider

Delaware by Chelsea Bock

Wanderlust by Taylor Gamber

Little Bird by Jess Velarde



The print edition of The York Review Volume 20 shared this image space with the poem that may be found here.

Songbird by Gregory Gable

Sing your heart out, little songbird
Whistle the daily blues away
Fly free, little blue jay,
Don’t let the world hold you back.

Stones may fly your way,
Hunters may want your tail.
Dogs and cats may scream at you,
but your song of joy prevails.

Build a home, sweet cardinal,
For you are so fair.
Skipping to and fro [...]

Reprise by Jamie Schlosser

Is love worth all this?
Can love really be suffering?
Only for a little while
Then it ceases to be love.

Poem 12 by Jamie Schlosser

And the sound keeps crashing against my head
And my brain is tumbling, tumbling
I tuck it under
I tuck it under.
Swallow me up, take me over, black me out, seep in like water
Now it’s over, it’s over.
And the light it crashes against my face
And my eyes they’re opening, opening
But you’re already under, [...]

E by Christiano Myer

when your ocean was new
first, drunk the light.

when your scars, fresh
–raw and not yet
to cover

came round; soft,
white as candlesticks, alight,
in moss.

the sea round the side, swaying
whitecapped and whipping

frothing from the moon’s pull.

Mitakuye Oyasin by Christiano Myer

For my Lakota Friends


wild in the ways of the wind,
come the Indian summer–
and low the leaves of the plain;
shifting and jostling.

comes the Indian summer,
not far from the Hunter’s Moon
that shifts and jostles here.
Moon When The Water Freezes.

not far from the Hunter’s Moon,
close to the trail trees there.
Moon When [...]

Closure by Julian Miller

Why do they go back
to the jungle,
to Vietnam?
“Closure,” Bernie says,
his hand white-knuckling
a Yuengling Black and Tan.
Would you ever go back?
I never got to ask him that.
Thyroid cancer and Agent Orange
took him away
faster than mortar rounds
decimating a village.
“Goodbye, buddy,”
were his last words to me.
Maybe one day
I’ll go back to Rome,
pretend the [...]

For Lost Things by Jennifer Junggust

As a child the world moves
slowly, and time is a concept
left for those whose days run
on schedules. That will never
be my life, I once believed –
and then
I grew up to be the person
I used to wait for
at the kitchen window.

There are days I sit in
my office, tired before my work
has [...]

Lost by Antonina Preis

I take my hand,
off the trigger.
Step back,
and listen to my soul.
Its whispering,
trying to get me to listen.
Scared of my imposition.

This life pulls me down,
every chance it gets.
Im done listening,
to my regrets.
The darkness wants me,
it can have me,
Click load click.

I’m done being an optimist.
My glass got knocked over.
By the wrecking ball,
That [...]

Dreadful Dinner by Stephen Leik

I was climbing up the sliding board
as we undressed each other, communicating in cheeses
I am fooling.
The cold transparent ham is on my fork—Let me explain.
I saw her eat my heart. At Every Meal
Some is set aside. She is invited everywhere, as I pose
with the chicken from last week,
Barefoot and under [...]

Dead Dog by Nina Kensicki

After the dog died, my dad finally put the house up for sale.
Mom had been gone for years, but to see
his one friend dead was the anchor
around his neck. He came in with streaks of salty
tears running down his face. We went out together to see the wind
ruffle the damp [...]

A Mother’s Restitution by Nina Kensicki

In sticky restaurants
with glossed, wooden seats,
I learned to write poetry
by watching my mother
put on cherry red lip stick
and write down words fast
as they came to her like
maybe angels
flying overhead.

She’d quick grab a pen,
the closest napkin,
her lips moved in small gasps
as she mouthed the words she wrote.

In sticky restaurants
I learned poetry
from [...]

Le-Mendiant by Jess Velarde

Generations: A Tapestry by Andrea Linebaugh

It’s just an old rug
with warp, weft, and disintegrating pile.
Woven by gnarled hands of angora steeped
in vats of steaming mordant.
Carried on backs across the Kara Kum,
delivered to my ancestor’s door,
here to our heirloom house, slowly decaying
through the course of generations.

The boots and kitten heels trod familiar trails
over the terrain [...]

Pale Yellow House by Jess Velarde

Fields and unkempt fences too tall
framed the pale yellow walls
that led way to awkward hellos

& questions about how school was going
answered by a little girl not knowing
(you soon wouldn’t be there to ask).

The pale yellow slowly faded lighter
seen less and less frequently by her
and never just the three of you.

Until [...]

On Ending by Jess Velarde

Let me live forever
inside your world
imagined by so many
in infinite varieties of dreaming.

Let me stay with them.
These dear nonexistent friends
better known even than
the closest of tangible souls.

Let me revel longer
in these tame domestic comforts
or be wrapped in anxious ecstasy
at the turning of your plot.

But you are irreversibly bound
by a blank [...]

The Garden by Jess Velarde

She helps me to form my letters
while I gaze through the wobbly pane
of the window at the garden.
My attention drifts to the cat
away from the paper and my lessons -
a worn and common sense of longing.

She gives in – not very long
after I stopped trying to form the letters.
knowing that [...]

Equus by Dani Elizondo

Expressing Sorrow According To A World of Inexperienced Experts by Whitney Henry

Grieving gets easier, they swear.
In time self-loathing will erode
Freeing my soul of bitter thoughts
They tell me to hope for a future I can’t seem to see
Because they insist it will ignite and nourish the empty space in my heart
As time passes, they say, breathing will begin again, with a one…two…three…
Removing [...]

Wilted White by Vanessa Robins

I placed a handful of white daisies on your grave.
They withered in the cool air,
whipping their little heads.
You hated flowers.
They made you cry.
We dug little flower graves in the backyard
they would be reborn

April showers washed away their sins.
Did you wash away your sins before you died,
Did you finally tell your [...]

Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Vanessa Robins

He is someone’s son,
someone’s friend,
someone’s teammate.
He is a human being.

What happened to the world that we now celebrate the violent capture of a young man?
We line the streets congratulating those who shot and killed his brother.
We hug those who injured a 19 year old.

Do not get me wrong,
those killed and [...]

Rough Love by Vanessa Robins

I want to forget those nights
white out these memories of pinkpurple.
I thought it would be fun.
I thought it would be freeing.
I thought I was sober.

Your teeth beartrap my lower lip.
Wanting more.
Needing more.
Our love making reverted to sex.

I’m staring in the mirror
not noticing my imperfections,
noticing yours.
Your bifurcate implanted in my skin— [...]

Origami Life by Nathanial Barnes

What am I to you? An origami turtle? Perhaps a paper swan? I’m still a work in progress. Constantly being folded to whatever someone wants me to be, only to be unfolded by someone else. Everyone has a different vision for me.

Yet I’m never enough.

I’m done being [...]

Pencil Portrait by Jess Velarde

Body by Ashley McManus

Condemned to this body
every day, every hour, every minute.
Dress it up how you like,
it’s still the same underneath.
Some like it,
some don’t.
Those who like it use it.
Sex, sex, sex.
All the time
can there ever be anything more?

Junkyard Art by Patricia Crider

Sight Seeing by Jennifer Junggust

She imagined it was because of the crummy, brown stained ceiling tiles. They were big 2×4 sheets warped in the middle and sagging, like half forgotten birthday balloons. It was even worse in the bathroom. She would sit with her back to the old fiberglass tub and watch as [...]

You Were My Son by Nathanial Barnes

Family is forever, and there are exceptions to every rule.

Linda stands at her bay window, phone in hand, waiting. Anxiously waiting. Her sweaty palms caused the phone to slip once, crashing to the floor, jolting her from her trance-like state. Her heartbeat pulses against the floor through her [...]

Ad Astra by Angela Glotfelter

This is Earth.

Welcome to the Third Industrial Era, to metal and rust and dirt, to red electricity and veins that flow with machine oil instead of blood. Welcome to grey air, to broken skyscrapers replaced by structures that reach in a smooth way towards distant stars. Welcome to [...]

A Road To Happiness by Stephen Wheeler

Follow your orders
Get an education, get a job, support a family, be silent
Follow your orders
Pick up that gun, defend our freedom, bleed the deepest shade of red, be silent
Follow your orders and don’t question where they come from because they mean you no harm.
Harm is exactly what you’ll receive though.
When [...]

Shattered Glass by Melanie King

Idyllic by Jen Adams