Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published in various outlets. One recent credit is poetry at Page & Spine. See more at: www.dennymarshall.com

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always unlucky
involved again in shooting
sixth accidental

everything stays
that happens in Los Vegas
left town in the nude

Doc Ument
starts new medical practice
hates the paperwork

~Denny E. Marshall

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My first experience with art was in 1982 attending weekly art classes at night with my mother that continued throughout the 1980s with established instructors such as Jimmy Peterson. As a family we participated in several art exhibits and events in Georgia during the summer each year. In 1987 I joined the U.S. Army and served for 24 years in locations across the Continental United States and Europe. During my military tours I was inspired by the vast differences in landscape and nature throughout the world and felt compelled to capture that emotion in art. I continued self-study, painted mostly in plein air with oils, and remained active in art galleries and the scene wherever I served as a Soldier. 

I fell in love with watercolors in 2001 when my wife purchased me a set for my birthday. I was amazed at how it was almost impossible to replicate the fluid nature of the medium, as working wet on wet the paint has a mind of it's own. I consider my work both whimsical, impressionistic, and sometimes realistic. Since 2010 I have continued to paint whenever I have time and feel like it provides a necessary balance to my life. My art can be found in galleries throughout the Southeastern United States, in private collections worldwide, and in many publications. My main focus lately has been on around 20 commissions per year from customer photos and my mid-term goal is to further branch out into licensing my artwork.

Sunset Beach Painting

Beach Sunset Painting

Beach with Lighthouse

Bradenton Beach

Destin Beach

Dogwood Tree Flowers

Fort Walton Beach

Indian Blanket Flowers

Modern Flowers

Palm Trees

Panama City Beach Pier

Sailboat with Jet Trail Oil Painting


Savannah River Street

~Derek McCrea

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May/June 2018, Issue #39
Sailboat with jet trail-oil painting-by Derek McCrea

     Welcome back to our first full "all-star" issue of IVJ since our hiatus! This 39th issue contains 39 lovely features from around the world covering topics such as history, racism, addiction, death, love, funerals, and weddings. Two wonderful visual artists are featured in this edition: Derek McCrea (Paintings) and Jim Zola (Photography), be sure to check them out! Annie Proulx once said, "You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write." So read, enjoy, then write, and submit your own work. Happy Spring from all of us at IVJ!






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Michael Kagan is a jazz musician from Toronto Canada. A few years ago he heard a poem in the music and he's now "trying to say it right." He's been published in The Poet Community, Indiana Voice Journal and Leaves of Ink.

Ode to Leonard Cohen

It's quiet inside the life of a monk
seeking oneness with the universe
catching a glimpse of God
turning pain into pleasure,
he felt his own performance unforgivable
how genius suffers in a war with perfection
when he finally heard the monks
vibrating with essence
Leonard's voice
eased out his chest's loosened barrel
unraveling mysteries
in the low rumble of distant thunder
drawing words from a well at his feet
a gentleman with a dapper fedora
and well groomed bespoke suit
a ladies man in a state of grace
that used his mind
to touch a perfect body,
Leonard seeker of seekers
imbibed with the monks
a taste of disorder
laughing at chaos
on the top of mount baldy
discovering peace in emptiness
as we longed for him to come down
carrying new tablets of granite wisdom
forgiving his secrets,
he said
I'm ready my Lord
we heard him deep down.

~Michael Kagan

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In addition to writing fiction and poetry, Belinda Hubert is currently working on a collection of short stories about life in the Midwest. Her novel, Shrink Wrapped is available on Amazon. Belinda works as a clinical psychologist in a private practice in Lowell, Indiana. http://buelasprairiepractice.blogspot.com/

Photo submitted by Belinda Hubert


Sun shades are more golden in the mornings
Enriching  the mature colors of harvest
Breezes are cooler, waving tall branches and stems
Topped with yellow and purple and orange

Grass from hard packed grey/black soil is deep green
Less robust and slower to bolt
Scattered  with blown branches, acorns
And stray leaves just starting to fall

Fields of food are growing as far as my eye can see
Snacks everywhere to pluck off bushes, trees, vines
Every step of the path I walk each morning with a
Silly dog careening to a stop in tall grass, front down, tail up

Crickets hit the screen on the back porch with a metal pong
Birds cry, swoop and eat them
Thousands of calls, whirs and chirps
Leave little doubt every spot up or down is alive, feasting

Chipmunks are tunneling in my flower pots
Racing across my porch when the door opens
Squirrels are scrambling for trees across the gardens
While the dog shoves past my knees, losing his mind with joy

Making my way to the garage in early fall
My blacktopped driveway is littered with fun
Acorn caps make a satisfying crunch under my heel
Right in the center, three steps, three pops in a row

My not-self self is saturated with the bounty
Like a stream burbling over gold nuggets
It doesn’t belong to me, I belong to it
But my goodness it’s heavy with abundance

~Belinda Hubert

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Andrew Hubbard recently moved back to Indiana after ten years in Houston, Texas. He has had five books published, including, most recently, his first book of poetry, "Things That Get You," which was produced by Interactive Press. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2015. His new book, The Divining Rod, is available at: http://ipoz.biz/portfolio-single/the-divining-rod/


Long Time Passing

I know some young people
And when I try to tell them
What my life was like
Before we had a television,
A telephone, a furnace,
Or a toilet—they try
To understand, they really do.
But it doesn’t work,
They glaze over, and compute
My age in centuries.

But the pictures run through my mind
With crystal clarity. I may not know
What I had for breakfast, but I know
About things that they will never know.

We got our water by bucket
From a hand-dug well,
And every August when it ran dry
My father sent me across the road
With two, gallon jugs
That once held pickles
To our neighbors’, to fill them.

They had a beautiful white sink
And when you pulled a lever
Clean water flowed out in an endless stream.
I had never seen anything like it.

When my jugs were full
I walked them back through the barn
That still smelled like horses
Ten years after they got a tractor.

I was always alone in the barn
And on the wall was tacked
A full-color picture
Of the most beautiful young woman
In the world, kneeling on a beach,
Laughing, holding her long, red hair
Off her face.  She was naked.

I was too shy to stop and stare
Or even walk too close
But the feelings she gave me
Are as strong as they ever were.

Our neighbors died.
The barn was bulldozed.

I figure that gorgeous woman
Is now in her nineties.

There is a rueful pain
And an acquiescent numbness
That doesn’t really have a name.

How do you communicate all this,
Or any of this, to people
Born half a century later?
I try, they try—
They sense my tired amusement,
I sense their bored impatience.
Truce.  We call it a day.

~Andrew Hubbard

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Stacey Louiso lives for Christ, and tries to love with a whole heart by constantly studying the heart of Jesus Christ. She aspires to continually be The Potter’s Clay, doing her best to fulfill His will for her life, in ministry and by sharing His redeeming grace to any ears that might hear and eyes that might see. 

In gratitude for transforming her life back into one that is pleasing and usable to Him, she walks toward virtue, praying to embody a woman after God’s own heart! She serves the Lord daily and openly, giving all of her gifts and talents to God, to use for his purpose.
If you would like to learn more about Stacey please visit her website/blog: www.writingdownlife.com  



Something Old: Poetry penned in my youth.

deep into ecstasy
far, far away...
an unexpected surprise.
The beginning—when the flower blooms.
The beginning—an illuminating moon.
Both beginning the new mysteries
Of nature...
Of experience...
reflecting a desire
now and forever mislead
eternally unfeasible
(very clouded)
forever misled
Come and give this old insanity back to its owner in the “real” world.
Show not one’s desire. HIDE.
For that unexpected surprise will follow `till the death of emotion.

Something New: Poetry penned after my rebirth

“How Do I Tell You”

How do I tell you...
the way your presence affects me.

How do I tell you...
your eyes, to me, are shooting stars racing across the night;
making me dream and wonder, cherishing each sight.

How do I tell you...
that my heart leaps at the mere mention of your name.
The thought of sitting near you sends through me, joyful pain.

How do I tell you...
that I pray for your life to flourish and for your light to shine like a beacon,
to all around you.
Unselfishly and unabashedly, sharing you with the world.

How do I tell you...
I don’t require explanation; I understand without a word;
that I accept and care for you right where you are.

How do I tell you...
oh, so many things...simple and complicated all at once.
How can I reveal it; how can I free myself.


How do I tell you...
when I can barely speak in your presence,
of a special something planted and ever growing in my heart.
With every motion from your direction, my heart soars and roars out...

~Stacey Louiso
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W. B. (William Benjamin) Cornwell is an award-winning poet and one half of the writing team known as Storm Sandlin. Since 2014 he has been published in nearly a dozen books. In 2016 he and his cousin, A. N. Williams, co-ran the campaign for Elwood Indiana’s Poetry Month. He is also a featured writer for Goodkin.org, a charter member of The Write Idea, and a member of Last Stanza Poetry Association.

Within a Dream

The air is thick with the scent of her cotton-candy perfume
Flashes of fantasies morph into a temporary reality.
As we ride on the back of a jewel-covered elephant
eating chocolate cheesecake and sipping sodas
we quote lines from 1990’s sitcoms that we caught as reruns
holding hands and sharing kisses

We snatch at cherries as we pass rows of trees
eating the sweet, tangy flesh from around the pits that we toss to the ground.
Her fingertips, stained cherry red, play with the curls in my hair as she smiles

It is hard to say what is dreamier—the scene or her beauty
Her deep-blue eyes, her fiery hair a blaze of color against her velvety, milky skin
made even lovelier as she blushes when I tell her I love her

Cherry Smoke

Pipes that once held his cherry tobacco
sit in an ashtray in the corner of the room.
Not to be smoked, but to serve as a memento—
merely to state that he was here, that he was loved

I long for times that are few and far between
when the air decides to carry the scent
when the sun shines in and the wood is brought to life
releasing the scent, strong and sweet

When I sit here I can clearly picture him
in his old chair, his pipe in hand, a cup of coffee on the table.
A ghost of his smoke leaps from one of the pipes to the ceiling
the air full of that nostalgic aroma


Enter a world of jazz and gin
Where smoke from cigarettes builds thick clouds
Countless strands of beads around flappers’ necks rattle and swing
In one corner, brave men—or maybe just bluffing poker players—test their luck

Music takes hold of all those in this blue-lit den
Drums and their echoing beat, the chime of brass cymbals
A piano’s enchanting melody as hands bring its keys to a climax
A cello’s hypnotizing notes that satisfy each ear
And a sax with its seductive purr, reminding you why you came.
Jazz is a living creature, bold yet smooth, its rhythm consuming all

Time is ignored into the early morning hour.
Life outside of jazz and gin is hard and rough.
They can’t let reality enter this world.
For when reality breaks through the clouds of cigarette smoke
and when the music stops
the truth is all that remains….

~W.B. Cornwell

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Timothy Robbins teaches ESL. He has a B.A. in French and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics. He has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have appeared in Three New Poets, Slant, Main Street Rag, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Off The Coast and others. His collection Denny’s Arbor Vitae was published in 2017. He lives with his husband of twenty years in Kenosha, Wisconsin, birthplace of Orson Welles.

Hand, Eyes, Mouth

The hands that
these drawings
are, strictly speaking,
not mine.

I plucked them
like gloves from
the sidewalk
after a thaw

figuring no one would
claim them and so far
no one has.

They fit - well,
maybe they're just a bit
too large,

stretched by their
careless possibly
frost-bitten owner.

I keep looking at
the faces they

the eyes are
more piercing

the mouths less rigid
so they might look out
at the picture I'm in,

tell me it's not as bad
as I think and how

to make it better.

The Hallway

Down the street from the hallway,
scotch-taped to the door-glass of a
makeshift hairdresser’s, a handwritten
sign instructed: press button and
wait for buzzard

Shelley didn’t believe it. I took
scissors and taffeta from her hands,
hauled her to her feet, pulled
her down the stairs and out,

past the crackhouse and a sad
park comforting its abused gazebo,

past the re-gentrified gingerbread
(the 30-something junior executive
was slapping his car’s shiny hood, trunk,
flanks with a towel that plopped
like a suicidal octopus
on a carbon steel beach).

Out of breath, we pressed the button.
A minute’s wait and there slouched
the buzzard, annoyed we’d shortened
his nap, rude when we admitted
we didn’t want our hair cut.

Tyrone brought me midnight snacks, obligingly
lowering already low jeans. Doris befriended all
who blessed with cigarettes. The English grad
student fetched the paper in his Bengali wife’s
sari. Once at my place, with a telemarketer
on the line, Francie yelled she was being strangled.
Ten minutes later a cop filled my doorway, took
one look and “beg-your-pardoned”
petite, polite, very white me.

For Amelia Who Took
Over Our Lease

Stand with Clementine who means something to you
(I’ll never know what) above Fuller Street. Breathe
the panoptic view of the Amtrak from Detroit to Chicago —
thundering freight to Kalamazoo — tracks like hand-
rails for the tiny who trace the banks of the Huron,

that reclining Cleopatra bejeweled by sun and
security lights, under the guard of starving trees and
gluttonous bushes. Strain your eyes for the floral shop
masquerading as a church, the strip mall small as
Monopoly. Admire the plastic Korean market and

Hindu grocery. I bequeath you the finest landlord.
Treat him gently. He’s more fragile than he appears
when he carves the air with gestures that resemble
Tai Chi and laughs like he’s choking on his own dry
jokes. Treat him with respect when he pulls his face

with his hand, hunches his shoulders and sighs on the
lease. Be lenient with him. He won’t mind if you take
an extra week to drop your check in the lopsided box.
(I liked to think of it as dropping our kids at school.) Be
young and bright. While you regale your friends with the

view he’s in that stuffy basement office with its smell of
lint from laundry vents and a refrigerator door hanging
open as though the fridge has been smothered. Listen
with interest even if feigned to reports of California
grandkids who harbor no love for Taipei.

~Timothy Robbins

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Steven Petersheim is a professor and writer living in the Whitewater Valley region of eastern Indiana, where he teaches at Indiana University East. He enjoys hiking and exploring cultural and natural landmarks with his family. His poetry has appeared in Wilderness House Literary Review, The Wayfarer, and elsewhere.

The Windburned People

They told me this was fly-over country
the first time I flew in to see, to put down
one foot after the other, a way-station on the way
to somewhere else – easy in, easy out, so they said.

But the cornfields (scoffed as they were)
lifted tendrils to wave at me, perhaps to sweep
indifferent cobwebs from my brain and to trail
silky leaves across the sky, combing blue with green –
laughing, sighing to see the busy people trapped
in a world of concrete and metal and other matter
less real than the water that works its way up
into roots and out into air and streams that rise
with the evaporation of the masses crossing
in this country of cows and grass, wind and sun.

And rising out of seemingly nowhere, skyscrapers
and arches and twisting interstates cut the air in two,
mocking the flatness of the land – at least until
a twister levels all to flat again. Then we stop and stare
terribly like the dead, not sure how to live again unless
it means remaking what was made or meant to be made,
some tower to slice the heavens as we clamber up and up
to the tiptop of human achievement, gods of this world
at least until disaster throws us again from our pinnacles.

Out in the country, though, are the windburned people
who work the land, who see its rhyme and reason
in a way our brick and mortar institutions seem to twist
to trophy wreaths and beautiful bleeding thorns and thistles.
The windburned people, living out there away from strictures
that keep out nature, sometimes stop to listen
to the earth groaning, laboring, wiggly-worming
under the weight of a human race that goes on and on
with only the rarest of looks toward the land its mother.

I’m not from these here parts – I think that’s how to say it 
round here – but I’ve come to like the way the land stretches out
like a friendly goddess, more like a rock sanded flat on top
covered with soil. I want what the windburned people keep
around – I want more much more than I know to say I want.

Numb Love
  A Sonnet

When you appear before my burning eyes,
I pause and think upon my blessed state,
with no more need for bleeding sighs and cries,
for you transmute my bitter-turning fate,
your stirring presence like a soft caress.
And I of all my faculties possessed
delight in you who give me happiness
by bringing smiles to me, in thought at least.
Yet when I think upon your sudden going,
the rush and crush of life now in the press
that pours out wine of love no longer growing,
then I can no more think, no more express
the vanished dreams. New life it seems has come,
leaving some part of me breathing numb.


You rarely speak unless spoken in song,
rarely move unless moved toward,
rarely remember unless remembered –
and sometimes that is almost enough.

How can I gesture, with all my halting,
toward epic tones like those you intone?
How can I reach, with all my longing,
the hidden springs from which you spring?
What must I do, with all my wandering,
to dance into the circle which you encircle?

What is it to remember, to make whole again
those dreams you send me, dreams you sent them,
up on your high mountain, searing the souls
of prophets and seers who proclaimed and saw
with body and mind and soul knit in harmony?

What is it to re-member my soul fully in tune
with what you have written into my straining body,
with what you have planted in my human psyche,
with what you whispered me of divinity?

O Muse, send music to my soul –
my soul that aches for words that breathe,
words that weave through my mind, through my body,
through my living, through my moving, through my being.

~Steven Petersheim

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