“Life // slip // stream” by Elisabeth Horan

It’s nothing / hangs / like toile / white gauze / surgery / comes and goes / lab coats I never wore / monkeys & rabbits / guilty / I am always / I hate the inaction / I hate the mascara / raccoons flood my airways / knowing what I don’t or won’t do / embarrassing / I want the chicken but waste her every time / her bones unlovable / her beak / as my tailbone / so broke so broke / the shells too thin / they crack they crack / when I brood / they smash … Continue reading “Life // slip // stream” by Elisabeth Horan

“Portrait of a girl and her films” by Anjali Bhavan

  take a scalpel to my temple and carve out; frame your questions and let my dreams splay out on your petri-dish. ask me what I really want. and here’s what I’ll tell you: sometimes, I want to be framed like a Guru Dutt film, I want to be nothing but cotton balls and luminous umbrellas shadowing lovers with cups of sake. I want to hide, blush and drape myself in my embarrassing ardour. I want to be a black coat and a graduate’s moustache, perhaps the last blot of grey ink on a dying poet’s poem for the muse … Continue reading “Portrait of a girl and her films” by Anjali Bhavan

“On names, identity, and personal mythology” by Lianna Schreiber

  Is it still an identity crisis if what is causing you grief is a fractal self which exists only in another person’s mind? I am hyper-aware of myself at all times, and whether or not this roots in being a woman is a discussion best left for another time and thought piece, but the fact of it stands — I curate my behavior to the best of my ability whenever I am in public spaces, even if they are just everyday internet hang-outs. I treat each word as if it were a museum piece, analyzing its possible implications so … Continue reading “On names, identity, and personal mythology” by Lianna Schreiber

“A Queer Hymn Sung by an Atheist” by Jeremy Mifsud

  During my silent days, your corpse leans its heavy weight against the door. I lie in bed, on the shards of a smashed phone, burning incense, burning the sheets and any bed bug that might have kissed you. I breathe the fumes and hope to kill withstanding memories. I bathe in starry tears to rebirth my soul, knock at heaven to claim a second chance. & what am I if not a vulnerable boy seeking redemption from a Father that had abandoned his son, kneeling in front of him like I kneeled in front of you. I long for … Continue reading “A Queer Hymn Sung by an Atheist” by Jeremy Mifsud

“THE WAIT” by Michael Akuchie

i keep a pinch of soul on the nightstand & leave open the windows of this room plagued with fear of the great unknown of my heart continually exposed to grief stricken events a bible nestles close, perfumed pages advertise ageless wisdom our fleshes meet briefly as stares are visited upon each other my mouth folds up a prayer & holds on until it is perfectly shaped to fly across the night & carry my life on for the next stretch of days because i swallow enough problems to cause incurable bloatedness because everytime of day is a gift to … Continue reading “THE WAIT” by Michael Akuchie

“Damocles” by Jennifer Wholey

A haibun   Brush firmly tangled into a deep nest of my hair, I learned about the sword of Damocles from my father one perfect Hawaiian evening. The sun was a picturesque blur of color bleeding on the horizon; I knew the brush must stay in my hair until it set, or I would surely die. I feared the knives asleep in the kitchen island, the balcony of the bedroom loft, my mother’s too-reassuring smile. I needn’t be afraid, my father said, of a sword hanging over my head by a horse’s hair, lest I waste away wondering when it … Continue reading “Damocles” by Jennifer Wholey

“Dead Trees” by Chloe Smith

You laugh, loud and clear, At my look of pure horror When you tell me what paper is. Careful, you’ll stick like that, love – You said, as I blink at the thin page, As barely there as my pale skin. Not at all rough, like its body outside, That glimmers with bright baubles, Even when it’s not nearly Christmas. There is no shine here, no warmth, Like the pies, golden, and sweet – Or presents, and smiles. Just nothing. The lack of, the after, Empty plates and frowns – It reminds me of the stones, Dry, blank, and rough, … Continue reading “Dead Trees” by Chloe Smith

“Bloodbath” by Aremu Adams Adebisi

    A meal is bought with blood, and then, chaos of hard clay. You linger in nudity, the night   is serrated in embarrassment; rusty mist, absence of flowers, a floodtide of dust & shadows.   Your eyes fall into the crevice of sound & quietude, an escape for boys who pray themselves   into guns of empty cartridges. I write with your life & my own when all is made equal & each   follows the pattern to emptiness. When smells are the carnage of our skins that we bear in vows   to the renewal of paradise. … Continue reading “Bloodbath” by Aremu Adams Adebisi

“Young, Black, Wild & Free is the Dream” by Vanessa Maki

  Unlike a lot of black artists, Janelle has no problem being unapologetic about her blackness. She doesn’t dismiss her experiences as a black woman or make light of them. Nor does she water down the reality of what life is like for her. That’s one thing that often gets left out of the conversation in terms of Dirty Computer. Mainly that happens when non black critics of color and white critics mention the album: that Janelle is being vocal about her struggles as not only being queer but being black too. Since her identity is intersectional – it makes … Continue reading “Young, Black, Wild & Free is the Dream” by Vanessa Maki