“On Mothers and Daughters” by Rowan Aubrey Sloane

    My mother grew up moving. The only place she has told me about is Dayton, Ohio. She grew up moving, orbiting Wright-Patterson Air Force base where her father, the colonel, was stationed off and on. She grew up orbiting, but people aren’t satellites, and she doesn’t bring up her past much. The only thing she has told me about her childhood was that she moved around, and one time when she was angry she tied her brother to a tree. I try to imagine this. My mother, who goes to church twice a week, who told me once … Continue reading “On Mothers and Daughters” by Rowan Aubrey Sloane

“KEY” by Raymond Gibson

I. shards of a mirror floating downriver the future is a desert you have only what you bring with you I’ll give you one where ice is worth diamonds and honey worth more money is no good here the brazen serpent of the dollar sign has locked upon its tail and greed boundless eats the world II. gold may be deafening but cannot buy silence leave the silver to corpses’ eyes let no metal bind how many silver stars can you pluck from the sky what coin can outweigh the sun let no metal bind throw gold at time you’ll … Continue reading “KEY” by Raymond Gibson

“Reality’s Shelf-Life” by J.T. Hamilton

She died with a virtual reality headset strapped to her face. Jaw agape, cheeks sunken, polygonal patterns of crystallized sweat stuck to the fabric of her clothes. Her body was splayed out on an undressed mattress. A ceiling fan wobbled above. It was hot. Real hot. Alabama mid-summer-sun-expected-to-implode-this-decade hot. Scattered around the mattress, small plastic appliances vibrated and beeped, each displaying a unique blinking pattern of red-green lights. Tubes and wires wrapped around the woman’s torso, entering all orifices of her body, and exiting back into the machines. One was a feeding tube. Another a catheter. Some were monitors. Most … Continue reading “Reality’s Shelf-Life” by J.T. Hamilton

“ouroboros” and “we take after one another” by Alexis Diano Sikorski

  ouroboros i am reborn again &again my toes crawl up to my eyes& plunge fractals apart i am a snake eating its own tail i am eve saying yes and fucking herself silly on her fingers sibilance cries make me whole again, whole again w/ pupils blown — coming full circle . hypnotize, hypno tize me ( moan ) wonder why—? snakes aren’t real              have no legs              sit themselves in circles instead of straight lines .         we take after one another sure venus is beautiful but can she sustain life ? is she … Continue reading “ouroboros” and “we take after one another” by Alexis Diano Sikorski

“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