A Very Imperfect Present Tension

Beneath red caps, no blue in sight,
they’ll don their hoods of purest white,
call “Merry Christmas” their birthright,
then shatter crystal in delight
while burning crosses through the night,
proclaiming they alone are right.


Ken Gosse prefers writing short, rhymed verse with traditional meter. Usually filled with whimsy and humor, this poems forgoes both. First published in FLR–East in November 2016, he is also in The Offbeat, Pure Slush, Parody, Home Planet News Online, and others. Raised in the Chicago suburbs, now retired, he and his wife have lived in Mesa, AZ, over twenty years.

Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Public Radio. He was named the poet laureate of Chicago BaconFest, a feat that Geoffrey Chaucer chump never accomplished. His work has appeared in Oddball Magazine, The Offbeat, The Five-Two, Chicago Literati, Dogzplot, shufPoetry, The Roaring Muse, Blue Collar Review, Lumpen, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Pulp Modern, Zero Dark Thirty and elsewhere. He once Googled the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. True story, believe it or not.