Thursday, December 28, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Arvilla Fee


Arvilla Fee teaches English Composition for Clark State College and is the poetry editor for the San Antonio Review. She has published poetry, photography, and short stories in numerous presses, and her poetry book, The Human Side, is available on Amazon. For Arvilla, writing produces the greatest joy when it connects us to each other.

Time Out


I remove myself

from shoulders and elbows

jostling for position,

the stiff staccato beat

of a million harried feet.

I trade traffic lights

for skies pinpricked with stars,

high-rises for pines,

the smell of exhaust and sweat

for the dewy dampness of soil.

I curl cat-like on my blanket,

content to spoon the moon,

and fall asleep to the serenade

of crickets on the bluff.

Oh, Child of Mine


It was the doctor

who cut the cord,

your life blood,

your life bond to me.

It was she

who laid you

on my belly,

just above the womb

that once tucked you away

from the world.

But it was you

who cut the cord,

eighteen short years later,

cut the life blood,

cut the life bond to me.

It was you,

the untethered you,

who floated far beyond

the reach

of my now empty hands.

The Breath


of memories

fog my mind;

I can’t see through the pane.

I can’t see through the pain.


But I trace my fingers

in the condensation

and make a lopsided heart,


a heart that once held

the whole of you,

unbroken by tragedy,


that split second in time

that divided then and now

and left me unprepared


to navigate a world

never quite warm enough.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

GAS Featured Artist and Poet: Ivan Jenson


Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and popular contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Amongst Ivan’s commissions are the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes and a painting titled Absolut Jenson for Absolut Vodka’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spritmuseum, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden. Jenson’s painting of the Marlboro Man was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. 

His novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, illustrate the creative, often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson’s poetry is widely published (with over 1000 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. He has published a poetry book, Media Child and Other Poems, and two novels, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights and his newest thriller, The Tigress

Mundane Miracles, his critically acclaimed poetry collection, hit number 1 on Amazon in American Poetry.

East of Ivan, his memoir, has continuously been on the Amazon Bestsellers List since its release. 

Ivan Jenson’s website:
Twitter: @IvanJenson

Sunken Treasure

Are you planning
to do anything
with the time you
have left?
If not,
could you waste
an hour listening
to me complain
about the service
in this place?
Because I feel like
I've fallen into a tourist trap
or into an alcoholic Santa's lap
or that I could have gotten
a better room with a view
to grass that isn't a greener hue.
And could you set me up
with somebody who believes
the Loch Ness Monster
and Bigfoot are a match
and who might see me
as an old trunk in an attic
that contains fool's gold
when at last unlatched?
Anyway, as you
might have guessed
my weekend is wide open
and I am utterly unattached.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Wendy Webb

     Wendy Webb (she): Born in the Midlands, home and family life in Norfolk, keen gardener and photographer. Published in Indigo Dreams, Quantum Leap, Crystal, Envoi, Seventh Quarry, The Frogmore Papers, The Journal) and online (Littoral Magazine, Wildfire Words, Lothlorien, Atlantean, Radio: Poetry Place), Writing Magazine 1st Prize (Pantoum). Wrote her father’s biography, and her own autobiography. Favourite poets: Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Burnside, the Romantic Poets, Emily Dickinson, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Current poetry collection: LOVE’S FLORELOQUENCE

Fellows, All  

Our fellow creatures,

how to breathe life into fur

or feathers, hair or bald.

I shall, indeed, grow bolder

by each word,

my hoof/claw/footprints

resist sand or rock, 

pools of dreams.

You want to know

cute foibles of movement?

Of course; the large eyes,

depth of vision,

cruelty endured.

So many fellow creatures

demanding support,


cash and endless devotion.

Are creatures animal kingdom?

Can I plead for the flea?

Empathy, the bee, the butterfly,

tree rooted 1,000 years.

Whispers in the stars, seas,

air we breathe.

Stone, Plainly  

closing down sale

due to retirement

after many years

trinkets or art


craft or gifts

pausing ornaments

realistic prices

to treat a special


friend or


green with gazing

not cheap   nor

to wrap   send

bought polished


priced stones 

gave special

wild moment

in friends’ pockets

if every bought

stone given to

embryonic ghosts

I could

not carry

such load

Thursday, December 7, 2023

GAS Featured Poet: Richard Vargas

 Richard Vargas was born in Compton, CA. He earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980, publishing early works by Jimmy Santiago Baca, Alberto Rios, Nila Northsun, Dennis Cooper, Michael C Ford, Ron Koertge, and many more. His first book, McLife, was featured twice in February 2006, on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. A second book, American Jesus, was published in 2007. His third book, Guernica, revisited, was published April 2014, by Press 53, and was featured once more on Writer's Almanac. A fourth book, How A Civilization Begins, Mouthfeel Press, was released in September 2022. His most recent publication is leaving a tip at the Blue Moon Motel, Casa Urraca Press, July 2023. Vargas received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, 2010, where he workshopped his poetry with Joy Harjo. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award, was on the faculty of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference and facilitated a workshop at the 2015 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. He also edited/published The Más Tequila Review from 2009-2015, featuring poets from across the country. His poetry continues to appear in poetry journals and anthologies. Samples of his poetry, videos, and etc. can be found at

leaving a tip at the Blue Moon Motel


i always take it for granted

the dusted chest of drawers and nightstands

the well-made bed with the crisp sheets

folded and tucked at each corner

sure to bring a smile to the grumpiest

of drill sergeants


the snow-white towels, the clean tub and toilet

a commendable attempt to add a little class

with that peculiar folding of the first

square of toilet paper hanging 

from the roll


rarely giving a thought to the women

who roam the hallways in the morning

knocking on doors looking for the empty

rooms ready for them to do their magic


no thought given to

the kids they raise

the bills paid late

the men who leave

and don’t come back


they pick up after all of us

oblivious strangers passing 

through on our way to a better

place than this


i leave a five-dollar bill and loose change

on the table as i check out

my small token of appreciation

for these hard scrubbing angels

doing their best to provide

a place to rest on the long

way home

from leaving a tip at the Blue Moon Motel, Casa Urraca Press, 2023



from inside the breakroom

eating my lunch and surrounded

by co-workers munching on spicy Cheetos 

washing them down with Mountain Dew

staring into their electrical

hand-held devices that

suck out what’s left

of their humanity


i look out the window

see them gather

in the space designated

for their shortened 

life spans and lungs

congested with thick phlegm


a stranger asks for a light

and in the blink of an eye

an arm extends with a small flame

to be shared and appreciated


standing in small circles

they smile and look each

other in the eye

engage in conversation


i almost envy them

talking about things 

the rest of us have

long forgotten


living and dying

as they see fit

from leaving a tip at the Blue Moon Motel, Casa Urraca Press, 2023

anti-climate climax


this spaceship

orbits a hot ball 

of solar blasts cracking

a sky with skin cancers

dried up riverbeds

and whirling dust devils


guardian angels throw

grief and poetry at the walls

watch them stick

blow chops of melancholy jazz

on tarnished horns

in small rooms filled

with clouds of skunk 

weed smoke and 

the clinking of cheap 

shot glasses


it’s almost last call

one more day awaits

their ain’t enough


cool to go around

thanks but no thanks

you avert your eyes
i returned home, damaged goods
your peace has a price