Joe is a 2019 Pushcart Prize Nominee

So proud of this story. Hear me read it here.

Huge thanks to the amazing editors at Glassworks Magazine. My entire experience with that publication has been top-notch. Check them out today!

More on the Pushcart Prize here.

Come Spend a Long Weekend with your writing

Join me at the best writing workshop in the nation!!! Murphy Writing of Stockton University presents its annual Winter Prose + Poetry Getaway.

January 17 – 20th, Seaview Hotel, Galloway, NJ

I will be teaching the Creative Writing Sampler with Mimi Schwartz and Laura McCullough.

Special Guests: Pulitzer Prize Winner Yusef Komunyakaa and Guggenheim Fellow Denise Duhamel. You can choose from workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir and more. Small workshop sizes: most limited to just 10 participants. 200+ writers from across the country participate each year presented by Murphy Writing of Stockton University. Celebrating its 26th year–founded in 1994 by Peter Murphy.

Check out a video here.

Movie Sex by Joe Costal

This poem originally appeared in the 2018 Featured Poets Anthology from Moonstone Arts. Buy a copy here. It also includes work by Toni Libro and Joel Dias Porter.

I’ve only had movie sex once.  

The kind I watched on TV as a kid.  

Seamless Cinemax sex.  

Posed limbs, sweating breaths and whispers.     

Our bodies moved in sweeping motions.   

Writhing. Eyes to the ceiling.  

You coming off on me like new paint.  

We said sexy types of things  

like, “yes, do it to me, baby,” and  

“you feel so good.”  But we spoke

these words like lines read,  

printed in black-ink serif-fonts,  

from chunky white cards

held above our heads.  

We were in your childhood bedroom,  

but we were new adults.  

You steadied yourself against wood-paneled walls.  

Laminate, I thought, from the give beneath your hand.  

Afterwards, we searched for each other’s underwear  

in strawberry sheets. We laughed at nothing  

until our heads throbbed.  

Your marble eyes empty of everything but me.  

And when you draped your legs over me 

like a roller coaster harness, for the last time,

I felt brave enough to not hold on.