“If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

grow more hands if you’re happy and you know it become a monstrosity   If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it give me the skeleton of everything that’s gone extinct   give me the fossil of optimism   If you need water or will wilt and you know it sit still and pray for water   feel yourself wilting and wilt   Look into the night sky tell it I want to put you in a bowl as if you were a fish to illuminate my room as if you were the night … Continue reading “If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

“ligament (loose triptych)” by Lianna Schreiber

    Artist Statement Somewhere between a poem and an internal monologue, “loose triptych” is a contemplation of life, life beyond life, and the meaning in it all. (“What is a legacy?” “Planting seeds in a garden you will never see in full bloom”, to paraphrase; but also to cite a late night conversation, “Before you’re trying to be something, make sure to be.” I find that I’m often stuck on the conundrum of that maybe-false-maybe-true dichotomy of person / artist — I want to leave a legacy as a writer, an inheritance for those I will become a forebear to, yet … Continue reading “ligament (loose triptych)” by Lianna Schreiber

“A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

83. To Make Poor Paper not Flow When You Write on it.      Dip the paper in alum water.  I, Hohman, will hereafter pour a little water on the alum and moisten the paper. Then I will see whether one can write on it.                                                                From “The Long Hidden Friend”, Journal of American Folk-lore (1904)   Again, some kind of alchemy at work retracing speech in the turning color, in the sighing snow.         Dream of the mirror house on another shore,         where a direct gaze is evaded         where one speaks in the winding steps         of a shadow on the far … Continue reading “A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

“IN A LITTLE ROOM WITHOUT WINDOWS” by JOE BONGIORNO

You, patriot. Yes you with sweaty hands on a smooth trigger. Do you appreciate the privilege of your position? The Bureau sends its regards. Right choices are rewarded in this world, don’t you know? We trust your Guantanamo-blue eyes to do the right thing. Where would we be without loyalty? As a family man, you must certainly understand. We’ve taken the liberty of blindfolding and binding Mohamed Doe to a chair. Rest assured he is guilty of something. We have statements from accomplices, witnesses, former maids and disgruntled lovers. They’ve testified directly to the Bureau. Give Mohammed Doe over here … Continue reading “IN A LITTLE ROOM WITHOUT WINDOWS” by JOE BONGIORNO

“another self-deprecating joke about my criminal record” and “Why Quit When You Can’t?” by Nicholas Alti

        Nicholas Alti writes with and about trigeminal neuralgia, depression, addiction, and an affinity for strangeness. He’s an assistant editor for fiction and poetry at The Black Warrior Review. There’s more of his work at Dream Pop Press, Hypertrophic Press, The Hunger, Pretty Owl Poetry, and elsewhere. Continue reading “another self-deprecating joke about my criminal record” and “Why Quit When You Can’t?” by Nicholas Alti

“Evocatoria or Stories of Grace” by Zeny May D. Recidoro

On paper, she was Carmen but for us, she will always be Mameng. Decades ago, the entire family lived with Mameng in the mansion at Balic-Balic in Manila. It had three levels. The base was made of adobe stone, and served as the garage and granary. The two upper levels were made of kamagong wood later fortified with concrete and steel, and capiz windows later framed with ornate wrought iron. There were twelve rooms, five baths, a kitchen, an out-house in the garden where we kept chickens, a pond where Mameng cultured tilapia, a prayer room and a library. We … Continue reading “Evocatoria or Stories of Grace” by Zeny May D. Recidoro

“Landslide” by Amanda McLeod

  rules caught in the landslide swept away in madness and diamond filled rocks   reason is an unmarked map the unfamiliar wild envelops me   I am lost in chaos theory   there is no light on the windowsill to guide me home   I will not be entombed in this bottomless dark   I take my soul and tear it into a million tiny crumbs of ethereal bread each step a dropped morsel a trail of spiritual stars to mark where I’ve been,  so that I never go back             Amanda McLeod is … Continue reading “Landslide” by Amanda McLeod

“Brown Bear” by Bailey Bridgewater

The submissive bulb of the brown Long Island sunset was barely enough to illuminate the silently flailing figure in the water.  The flaming ball stared down at the commotion from beneath its skin of smog, but the girl simply picked the loose sand up in her hands, running the granules through her stubby fingers, fascinated by the way it felt on her palms, but irritated by how it stuck under her bitten nails.  As she dug it out with her tooth, her mother sat up straight, abandoning her usual reclining position and the song she had been singing on the … Continue reading “Brown Bear” by Bailey Bridgewater

“The Place Where You Fell” by Lorraine Wilson

  This is the place where you fell. Your bright swords and old shields faltering. All your angers and all your courage turned the soft earth to mud and the valley must have echoed, it must have echoed to your cries. In the cool dawn, in our houses we can still hear you shouting, and if we come down to the fields, if we listen in the evening, we hear you weeping. When mist lies in the low meadows, we gather our children away and think of risings and despair. Through all the many years, priests have come to cast … Continue reading “The Place Where You Fell” by Lorraine Wilson

A Short Story by Ximena Garcia Hidalgo

They were anxious to lock someone up, anyone or anything, it didn´t matter. I don´t know why. Lenin explained that empires export their contradictions because they can and as a way to stabilize themselves inside.   The monster, the crippled one, the one on top of the hierarchy, locked up a dog in the bathroom. I don´t know why. It was a big dog. I don´t remember its name. I only remember its tragic fate. He locked it in the half-bathroom on the ground floor, that was maybe two meters wide by three or four meters long. I guess it … Continue reading A Short Story by Ximena Garcia Hidalgo