October 2015


By Cathy Mason

As I stand at the crossroads
And search all around
I think of the memories
Some desolate, some profound.

I embrace the journeys
Those moments in time
Pillaging through diligently
To reconstruct this unsettling mind.

Grasping for the fondness
Trying to forget the pain
Inching forward slowly
Believing I’m NOT insane

I yearn to be free
Trying to learn to rebuild
Struggling each day
Searching to be beguiled

Cathy Mason is a 46-year-old single mother from Factoryville, Pa., who has been writing poetry since the early 90’s. She writes what she feels, without worrying about which type or structure of poetry she is using. She writes from the soul, and does not know poets, other poems, or different types of poetry.


Playing Dress-Up

By Jess Meoni

Can I force myself to coexist?
Smile dryly while we reminisce
about follies and counterfeit experience?
Open my mouth, unhinge this kiss, detach my jaw,
let the desperation crawl out from the depths
of petty quips, a lack of definite intent.
Excuse me while I interject.
This skeleton of words and wit
has made a specimen transmit
a conversation laid to rest.

Jess Meoni is a graphic designer and community activist from Scranton. She is the editor of Ruthless Zine, a monthly rock n’ roll inspired publication as well as A Rocky Glen of the Mind, a poetry collection. She is the organizer of the Scranton Zine Fest, an annual art and literature festival, Grrrls Night, a women’s-only mic night, and a contributor of NEPA Scene.



I keep giving my all to people who only ever take.
I put myself aside to make sure that they don’t break.
I’ve lost myself in people who’ve never truly cared.
And put my love in someone who was never really there.
I walk around the world with my heart upon my sleeve.
But I’ve let so many people in, just to watch them leave.
I’ve learned that maybe what I’m fighting for isn’t meant to be.
And the people that I’m loving just aren’t capable of loving me.
Now I tend to cling to people only to find myself pushing them away.
I try to make them go before they realize on their own that they don’t want to stay.
So I’m stuck here now to figure out exactly what to do
Because at the end of the day, still all I want, is for them to love me too.

The writer of this poem wishes to remain anonymous and is from Scranton, Pa. 

Just a Romantic Notion

By Isabel Anderson

This is just a romantic notion, but you and me?
The silver lining overpowers the clouds
That hover above your city.
We could sip coffee and discuss House of Leaves.
If we ever held hands, you’d grasp mine so tightly,
And you would not disappear.
The right place, the right time.
A pair of vines to skyrocket towards the heavens.
We’d lay on the rocks that rise over the Pacific,
Waves crashing under us, inside us.
Please realize you put every past love to shame.
From your crooked smile,
I see life with a little more color each day.
I’d play riffs while you would play fifths –
We’d look at each other as equals.
While you write about the beauty that
You see all around you, I’d create songs that
Celebrate just how I found you.
This desire comes off a little saccharine,
Even silly, perhaps.
It’s only just a romantic notion…

Isabel is an all-around writer from Scranton, PA. She is also one half of the local band Science Queen.

Sabina Spielrein

By Iris Johnson

When we met I was buried in your snow.
It blocked the doors, required me
to build inward.
And though I grew exposed to much-
Fire trucks, fried eggs, pink paint-
I loved you for the clouds you conjured.

The surprise when I learned
You have not, as I hoped, been living
In Paris or Berkley.
No furs juuust beginning to shed.
No plump naked babies prying pearls from your dress.

You were supposed to have wrinkles and backaches.
Your hair should have matched your white walls.

So if you’ll forgive me, I hope you won’t mind:
I prefer you my way.
You’re welcome to stay
take up residence here
blush when your daughter declares
the moth (pale and teensy)
discovered by her
will be called Sabinaelis, in honor of you.

Iris Johnston is from Scranton, Pa., and is tired of being asked if she’s a “cunning Linguist.”


by Alicia Kulick

princess you’ve got eyes like a man waiting for the bus
and i’ve got hands that have been waiting to touch
skin that is stretched across bone like a marionette
my moon and my stars and my very own sun
they don’t know the difference
because every night without you is a day
and every day without you is a night
i’m wild i’m sad and i’m ready to fuck that hunger out of you
let it go howling to the other beasts
tonight you’re only hungry for me
one flower pressed in a book
one breath is all I need
to tell you why it’s there
and it shouldn’t be there
but you know we can’t ignore the fact that it is
a pen across a big red heart it says “yes”
sweet child you’re hanging from trees when you’re with me
don’t let me choke you with my roots
don’t look down

Alicia Kulick is from Scranton, Pa.


By Kyle Marsland

Tonight, I will set my soul on fire.
Blister and lift my skin to the sound of the war drum,
To reveal nothing but guitar strings and white noise.
Tonight, I pray.
Singing hymns to the same run away bass line,
Don’t worry I’m fine.
I’m just unraveling.
Tonight, they will set him on fire.
Lighting commandments like matches,
Throwing them onto his bed while he sleeps.
Hiding and laughing in the blanket of night cause after all,
They are all just children,
And they all were taught to pray with a matchbook.
His screams of repentance and salvation fall off deaf ears,
And evaporate into the sky like smoke.
A few generations later we have the audacity to call it oxygen.
When you go to my home town,
If you walk the streets you can hear the music.
You can hear the release as the air around you gets lighter.
If you go into his hometown,
All you will find is an empty bed frame and the words in graffiti what if?
What if he lived in my generation?
What if he lived in my hometown?
What if all he needed was perpetual release,
From the one thing that he ever knew and loved instead of being burned alive.
Tonight, I will rekindle your flame,
Put it in a balloon and send it upwards,
In hopes that maybe you’ll see it and you’ll catch it and send it back down with a message.
Tonight, I will be your message,
I will go to any church and hold a sermon.
I will blast my DIY hardcore prayers in your name.
And when they ask me why am I screaming?
I will answer,
Because screaming is the only way I can be heard over the sound of your fires.

Kyle Marsland is a Spoken Word Poet from Scranton, PA. You can usually find him doing open mic’s around Scranton and the NEPA area. He has done various poetry slams around NEPA.

Elias Doesn’t Play With Toy Guns

By Monica Noelle Simon

daddy brought me candy
a different piece each day
on weekends we’d take walks
or sit outside and play
my favorite game was hide and seek
but i never played with toy guns
my dad told me they were dangerous
and in real life they weren’t for fun
i never saw my dad take his out
until one day in the spring
when i thought i heard thunder
and the alarms started to ring
daddy kissed mommy
and before he said goodbye
he told me he’d be back later and
i believed him ‘cus he never lied
but the days went by
and we couldn’t find dad
we couldn’t even look for him
because the bombs were too bad
i worked hard in school
so if he came back he’d be proud
but soon mommy kept us home
as more of the city burned big clouds
she made that decision
when nazir was sent home
after the bad guys invaded his class
and lodged bullets in bones
last week we decided
the war was just too bad
mommy was a nervous wreck
but we took the chance we had
she sold our three mantel pieces
made up of pure gold
they had been kept in the family
for years and years never sold
but she said it was necessary
and the boat would take us away
to a place where we could find peace
and i’d be able to once again play
after she paid the men money
we loaded the small boat
and for days and days on end
we did nothing but float
i didn’t know it then
but a surprise i would soon get
because our final destination
didn’t turn out to be a tent
instead we ran into a storm
and our boat blow upside down
while i struggled to catch my breath
an angel gave me my crown
just when i got nervous
and bit my lip not to cry
daddy came to pick me up
and lifted me up into the sky
my family is a family again
i play with nazir in the clouds
and i no longer wake up
from the civil war’s loud sounds
to the other families back home
our memory may make them sad
but i’m happy we live in peace
and i can eat candy with my dad

Monica Noelle Simon is a poet, writer and marketing professional from Scranton, Pa. She is the creator of Poets of NEPA. Her writing has been published on Elite Daily and HelloGiggles. On the side, she also has two blogs: and 


By Uma

Life, Thou art an invaluable Gift,
Passion – Thy Might gushes swift:
Thine persuasive charm I call Faith,
Faith – She emboldens me in pursuits brave;
Ecstasy in Freedom I humbly crave.
Success and Failure the unceasing waves,
Threaten to conquer for a pompous rave –
Behold! Perseverance the mystic potion to save,
For man nor destiny – I am no slave;
The Journey continues…Wisdom unveils’

I am Uma. I enjoy creating poems to share my inner joy. When I am not writing for myself, I enjoy reading programs that my 7-year-old son, Kedar, writes for fun! Find out more by visiting

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