Issue 119 — 

Norma Alonzo (ArLiJo#119)
Patrick Theron Erickson (ArLiJo#119)
Bette Ridgeway (ArLiJo#119)
Rebecca Rose (ArLiJo#119)
Margarita Serafimova (ArLiJo#119)

Norma Alonzo

Featured in ArLiJo No. 119

Below and Above

Copyright © 2019 by Norma Alonzo.

About the Artist
Norma Alonzo has always taken her painting life seriously, albeit privately. An extraordinarily accomplished artist, she has been painting for over 25 years. Beginning as a landscape painter, she quickly transitioned to an immersion in all genres to experiment and learn. Visit:


Patrick Theron Erickson

Featured in ArLiJo Issue No. 119


Each bird
its branch
its backlash
whether leafy
or bare
each squirrel also
bestowed with fur
With fur
it meets its mate
its match
and fends off rivals
and snuggles its young
as birds do, alas
with feathers intact!
And I
in my bungalow
with due respect
meet mine headlong
in just plain skin.

Copyright © 2019 by Patrick Theron Erickson.

You Too

The feet of fields
the footloose foothills

And at the head
heedless, headstrong
headwaters rush

Head or feet first

the gleam of winter wheat

the breadbasket full

You know this
because you notice

The reapers
outstrip the sowers

And soon
too soon

you too
are gathered in.

Copyright © 2019 by Patrick Theron Erickson.

About the Author
Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas, a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek, is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Arlington Literary Journal (ArLiJo), Grey Sparrow Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, and The Main Street Rag, among other publications, and more recently in The Oddville Press, Vox Poetica, Adelaide Literary Magazine and Futures Trading.

Bette Ridgeway

Featured in ArLiJo Issue 119

Anasazi Sunrise

Copyright © 2019 by Bette Ridgeway.

About the Artist
In her four decade career, Bette Ridgeway has exhibited her work globally with over 80 museums, universities and galleries, including: Palais Royale, Paris and the Embassy of Madagascar. Multiple prestigious awards include: Top 60 Contemporary Masters, Leonardo DaVinci Prize, and Oxford University Alumni Prize at Chicanciano Art Museum, Tuscany, Italy. Mayo Clinic and Federal Reserve Bank are amongst Ridgewa’s permanent public placements, in addition to countless important private collections. Many books and publications have featured her work, among them: International Contemporary Masters and 100 Famous Contemporary Artists. Ridgeway has also penned several books about her art and process.



Rebecca Rose

Featured in ArLiJo Issue No. 119

untitled for a man or a son

they tell me to eat calcium
for the sake of our baby
so his nails will grow


my own nails are brittle
they never grow
fastened to the quick

my mother starved when I was in her womb
She smoked Merits
and drank Blue Nun
yet her nails were smooth and shined
long enough to seduce each drag of her cigarettes

I am a quick study

I read the instructions
and the ten thousands ways my body will betray him
without these pills
and others
and potions
and exercises
and more pills

I read and I bite down on my nail
dragging a frayed corner across the tip
until the pain pierces my skin
It splits down the middle
I bite to correct it and it tears again
peeled like a dry clementine,
wrapping paper torn apart
in the frenzied quest for your gift

my gift to you is blood
spilling into the cuticle
a curved cup
holding on to all of my mistakes
until it overflows

I try to grow my nails
wax them with oils and promises
but they are coffin-setters

already I feel a clawing at my heart
spiteful bitter bearchild bitter to be born,
born with all my cracks and peels and ridges

He kicks me again.

I remember to take my pill.

Copyright © 2019 by Rebecca Rose.


My father’s ghost hungry inside me
drunk on my blood
Smashing bottles against the cages of my ribs

I know his crimes and I am a perfect mimic

We burned him like a Viking but he was a devil
Set adrift in the sea and born again into my womb

I can feel him
Bobbing for air in my lungs
Lunging to the surface
Proofed against all of my waves.

I am my father’s scar
I am the cinder of his fleshy carcass
Clawing its way out from the pyre back into the salt.

Copyright © 2019 by Rebecca Rose.

Drown Proof

I’m done with all these other women he tells me,
as I watch him put a boot in her face.
He pushes the last of his women down into the drink and swears allegiance to my skin as
she drowns under his bones.
He says I am the only one he loves.
He embraces me
and pulls me down to the sand
where the waves crack our feet
he tastes the blood on my lips and calls me honey
he buries his face into my neck and murmurs for another god.
He whimpers and withers inside me.
Over his shoulder
I watch the bloated corpses of my sisters float in his dark waters,
like jellyfish in so much moonlight;
sea salt-slung sirens,
he hisses.
I am a lucky woman, they tell me
For he has chosen me.

Copyright © 2019 by Rebecca Rose.

About the Author
Rebecca Rose is the Arts and Theatre Writer for the Sun, an alt-weekly based in Santa Barbara County. She was formerly an editor for the website Jezebel and has also written for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Seventeen, Esquire, and more. She holds a degree in Film and Video from Columbia College and was the co-producer of the documentary film Stones From the Soil for PBS.



Margarita Serafimova

Featured in ArLiJo Issue No. 119

In Europe

Shoulder to shoulder,
we take the passage of incorporeal time head on.
November leaves disperse.

Copyright © 2019 by Margarita Serafimova.

Down a grassy slope, we fly,
first my father, then I,
smooth as sleighs, we roll away,
and then we leave the Earth.

Copyright © 2019 by Margarita Serafimova.

About the Author
Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017. She has two collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Poetic Diversity, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Futures Trading, Ginosko, Peacock Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Liquid Imagination, and many other places.