National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, and according to their website, “April seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry.”  That sounds like malarkey to us here at Rabid Oak, for in our neck of the woods, poetry should be taken pro re nata (“as needed”) for whatever ails you, and if you’ve come down with a sudden case of the spring melancholies, are in the throes of the existential grippe, or find yourself sneezing at the television in a photic response to our current political climate, we’ve got fourteen treatments, none of which has been approved by a licensed physican, per se, but we’ve always trusted more in the snake than the oil, even when the poetry wears the skin of a story, as the case may be.

Finally, we are thrilled to welcome aboard Valeria Espinoza as our resident artist. She designed the banner for our twelfth issue, and we look forward to her future imaginative manifestations.

And now, on with the show . . .

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Adedayo Agarau: “Angel of Small Death” and “Asking a Man about Childhood

Michael Akuchie: “Reflections” and “Absentia of Everything Colourful

Tiffany Belieu: “Shop Therapy

Amee Nassrene Broumand: “Family Gathering” and “Emergent Phenomena

Holly Day: “Circle

Nels Hanson: “Help” and “Show at the Fair

Amy Gong Liu: “July in the Park,” “About Mating Rituals,” and “Morningside

Keith Moul: “Nearby, but Incognito

Dan Raphael: “Morning Nocturne” and “Rain Two Miles High

Joseph Rathgeber: “ISAs

Morgan Russell: “Unrepentant” and “The American Dream

Prem Sylvester: “A Day, a Life” and “growing forbidden fruit

John Sweet: “a fragile place

Ayşe Tekşen: “Life as It Is