“Out-of-Body” by Wanda Deglane

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Out of Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.

 

 

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“liminal edgings” by Savannah Slone

Susie Kim
Image by: Susie Kim

liminal edgings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savannah Slone is a queer writer who earned her B.A. in English: Professional and Creative Writing from Central Washington University and is completing her M.F.A. in Writing at Lindenwood University. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in or will soon appear in Manastash Literary Arts Magazine, Creative Colloquy, Heavy Feather Review, Boston Accent Lit, PaperFox Lit Mag, The Stray Branch, The Airgonaut, Ghost City Press, Sinister Wisdom, decomP magazinE, Maudlin House, FIVE:2:ONE, Foliate Oak, Pidgeonholes, and Luna Luna Magazine. Her debut chapbook, Hearing the Underwater, is forthcoming publication at Finishing Line Press. Savannah lives in Skykomish, WA, where she works a handful of part-time jobs and cares for her toddler with autism. She enjoys reading, writing, knitting, hiking, and talking all things intersectional feminism.

A Conversation Between Three Entities: The Face, The Witness & The Viewer

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The Witness: Why do you cry?

The Face: Because, I see.

The Witness: What do you see?

 

::  The Face stares back for a time where The Witness thought to itself ‘until Kingdom-Come, when will it speak?” The Face’s eyes weld up with the deepest sorrow yet the greatest joy with a mouth closed and an unbreakable silence. Then, The Face let out a heavy sigh. ::

 

The Face: I am a Seer

My eyes pour

So, my third eye may shine

It is the diamond of my mind

It cries…

Dripping down from the center-to-the-center

Into a dewy pastel place of pale blues, greens, teals and pinks

Entering into the richest purples

I am not alone…because, You, The Viewer sees

You too are The Seer with eyes that pours like a prismatic liquid rain

The Viewer: I couldn’t make out what you were trying to say, at first. When you were staring back at me as I defined all of your edges and making you more prominent in form. So you would eventually speak to me. And yes, I said “Eventually”— At least, it would and will happen than never.

The Face: I just wanted to protect you.

The Viewer: From whom?

The Face: You, my dear.

The Viewer: Why didn’t you just come talk to me. Now you seem to have a posed caring condescension in your tone.

The Witness: I am ready to listen to you, now.

The Face: At Last…

You have placed me upon your shelf as I collected dust and you even meshed me up with some prized junk

Just. like. a. leftover…

It is okay that you don’t always know what I am trying to say straight away

Such like Lovers need space in between their intimacy.

The Viewer: I want to know, I want to be aware.

The Witness: But, ‘Mono no aware.’

The Face: You also need to be in a space that is ready to receive me

I will indeed communicate my meaning and you may or may not be in a place to listen

You may pretend like you did not know

You’ve been ignoring me the second you were done with me

Look where my external body rests now

The Witness: How? I work with you almost every day, face to face, hand to hand and I get nothing. Just talk to me. What do I need to know? It’s so cruel. You make me work without acknowledgement to my heart…What about my mind or body?

The Viewer: Too many rules…

The Face: You are only ruled if you are blind

Begin to…

Taste with your ears

See with your tongue

Feel with your nose

Listen with your eyes

Breathe with your heart

The Witness: You’re saddened?

The Viewer: Why so…?

The Face: Perhaps it is tragic when

You have forgotten about you and me

Us.

We are one in the same, we are one

In your forgetfulness, you have forgotten how much I deeply-deeply-deeply love you

I handpicked everything about you

I knew just who you were, who you are and who you have yet to become

Your beauty surpasses all physicality

Your truth goes beyond into other beyonds

You are Love

Your purpose is to love

Your greatest obstacle is to Love yourself as if You were Me and I am You.

 

The Face“The Face” by MMM
 8″ x 10″ Acrylic Paint on Canvas, circa 2018

“Not on my lips anymore” by Elisabeth Horan

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Image by Nydia Lilian

Your sexual preference is the strand
of spider web across my eyes
this morning,

Annoyed, I swipe
it away; it is perfect and persistent;
it laughs at my effort, yet
doesn’t let go.

My wanting you is for what –
I don’t know – as if new clothes
would make me

Somehow happier – more complete –
as if a male outfit
could dress me less like a pauper,

More like the butch empress who shuns the
requisite lesbian clothes

Our time was not for naught but smacks
of chocolate mints after dinner,
you want one so badly
especially after ordering only a salad –

In the parking lot
a well meaning couple,
(whichever one you choose)
says,

There’s a little something on
your face,

And I know it so well, brown and green –
the warmth of it: smears just like our body parts.

I still pray for us, reunited, but your taste is
not on my lips,
not on my lips,
not on my lips –
anymore.

 

 

 

Follow Elisabeth Horan on Twitter @ehoranpoet

“How a Girl is Born Brutal” by Weslyn Rae Newburn

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Image by Ignacio Cobo More

 

 

I spent the summer pretending
my legs were confined in a sheath
of iridescent scales, swimming with
eyes closed, nose pinched tightly shut.

The burn of chlorine in my throat,
greasy shine of sunscreen on my shoulders,
cool juiciness of lemon yellow freezy-pops,
that tasted nothing like real lemons.

That summer my bitterness festered
like the smashed green anoles on the back porch.
Guinea wasps stirred in my Pepsi
and I didn’t feel sorry for them.

Your forgotten girl, I prayed
for the sun to scald and blister you –
make you shrivel up like watermelon seeds
in hot, dry crabgrass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weslyn Rae Newburn lives in Tallahassee, Florida. Her work has previously appeared in The Eyrie, The Blue Hour, The Blue Hour Anthology: Volume Three, Along the Forgotten Coast: Selected Poems, and Alphanumeric. She likes film photography and collecting roadkill to create spooky stuff. To read more of Weslyn’s work, please visit: weslynrae.webs.com.

 

Poetry Demon by Kristin Garth

Listen in on a reading by poet Kristin Garth by visiting the video above. 

 

Poetry Demon

A poetry demon won’t clean a house.
It burrows in clutter, writing it out.
Language is legion. Words only espoused.
Diabolism requires fingers devout.

A poetry demon does not have friends.
It listens to troubles, locating a pen.
Seeks clarification. Won’t condescend.
Emotions, details its ghoulish godsend.

A poetry demon might get you read.
Knows how to write its way into a head.
It charts your cerebrum once it embeds.
Conquers mass consciousness without bloodshed.

When life’s chaos, but words are refined,
a poetry demon’s devoured your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola and a sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked the pages of Occulum, Luna Luna, Moonchild Magazine, Mookychick, Anti-Heroin Chic, Drunk Monkeys and many other publications. Her chapbook Pink Plastic House is available through maverickduckpress.com. Follow her sonnets and socks on Twitter: @lolaandjolie.

 

 

“if there were water” and “Frameshift Mutations” by Shastra Deo

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Image: Sleep Sparrow “Bloom”

if there were water

in lieu of hyacinth garden my
kingdom is a heaven of spilled lilies
-of-the-valley, dead lands empty
is the sea : silent but for breath of

my beloved(forbidden
sight and sun
break)hoards prophecy

of the world and its remaking : years

he has since grown
deciduous—sloughs lashes like fall
teeth, whites
of his eyes sap-speckled with singe : my

shadow no shelter though his
roots still clutch my stone-dry
tongue: in the rivermouth

where they left the king(my

father)the
fish shiver apart, jaws stretched
out of being : omen and
ossuary : all

through the reeds things
no longer
living sink to earth-rot

and wait for spring

 

 

Images by: Ines Longevial

Frameshift Mutations

she did not ask you for jaw and lip
you foe yet kin for era
but you awe the men who ate her
raw roe gut doe eye wet
god his maw and pax was bad for her
nix the rib but you are not her ilk

she can not ask him for jaw and lip
her foe yet kin for era
but hea wes the men who ate her
raw rob gut elk eye dry
god His paw was pox was bad for her
saw the leg but hei sno the ril k

hec ann ota skh imf orj awa ndl ip
zhe rfo eye tki nfo rer a
uth eaw est hem enw hoa teh er
xra wro bgu tel key edr y
god _is was pox was for her
awt hel egb uth eis not her ilk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane, Australia. Her first book, The Agonist, won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was published by University of Queensland Press in 2017. Shastra’s work deals with the intersection of trauma, memory, and self-hood, with a particular focus on corporeality and embodiment. She likes brook trout, Final Fantasy XV, and tea. Learn more at  www.shastradeo.com and on Twitter @shastradeo.

For Someone Who Doesn’t Have to Believe in Monsters by Chloe N. Clark

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I play my cards so close to my chest
they might as well be tattoos
when people ask me for my past
I tell them the things that chase away
the truth, the secret to not lying
is to never get close to needing to
I say I’m scared of horses
and silverfish and leopard seals
I distract with the things they’ll find
funny or if they ask what I want to do
with my life and I change the subject
say some random fact from history:
that Edgar Allan Poe may have died
from rabies, that there were ships
in WWI called “razzle dazzles,” that onions
make you cry because sulfenic
acids are unstable and can rearrange into
gases, that each of a person’s eyes has a blindspot
that is never noticed because the eyes work together
to correct the gap
but here’s the thing, if you were the one who asked me
for some truth
I’d tell you my life, unravel it between us
so that you could see it from above, every
secret I’d give you, until you held them all
in your hands
I think you might tell me
where the gaps are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe N. Clark‘s poems and fiction appear in Booth, Glass, Hobart, Little Fiction, Uncanny, and more. She is co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph, writes for Nerds of a Feather, and teaches at Iowa State University. Her debut chapbook, The Science of Unvanishing Objects, is out from Finishing Line Press and she can be found on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes

 

 

 

SAD SANDWICHES: Baloney & Plastic Wrapped Cheese, no mayo by Moriah M. Mylod

Seeing my mother standing there with all of her grandchildren looking more infantile

Walking around, carrying the infant that is me

Wishing I had a dad that took us fishing not teaching us anything about how to fish

Wishing I had a dad…

Finally in time, I have created a family

A family I have always needed

Though I sought out glimmers of it in friends’ homes

Nobody celebrates the victories that were overcome

But, I did…

Nobody will acknowledge the injustices that were lived through

But, I will…

Connecting it to all of humanity’s sufferings?

So…

No, I am not unique

I am not profound

I am not special like a child

Knowing now what it is like to be a woman as I witness my mother

Applying her makeup as tears drain from her eyes

Reapplying her gritty mascara as it smears her sandy foundation

Readjusting and pulling up her “big girl panties”

Maybe, it was just an Arizona Oppression

Peering outside from inside of the nail salon window

Seeing that we were in a strip mall parking lot

There were brand-new cars spilled over like apple carts

Yes,  SPEND & CONSUME

Because buy shiny, you’re dull

You’re shiny, buy dull

Getting my nails polished the color of Ivy Green Walls requesting to have a golden dot of the Phoenix Sun in the corner of my ring finger nail

In honor of the burn I’ve endured from trying to thrive in this desert land

I served my time here, Arizona, I mean

I  remember a prison that was my home, 12 years long

Where I died

To travel back in time, then slowly re-birthed 8 years later in a nail-salon

Smelling the offense of mercury laced strawberry lotion from China

The middle-aged woman beside me tripped and said that her “middle name is Grace” as she almost met the ground

Wasting my time here was like too many evenings organizing a junk drawer

Wondering if these thoughts I am having were from the Acetone leaking onto my brain;

“What if Santa Clause was Buddha?”

Giving us gifts to remind us that all suffering stems from desire

Want more…

Gratitude, now?

—

Happy New Year!

The Great Depression Coffee in here tastes like eau de toilette

We fight ourselves

In 4th dimensions

Measurements

Juices iced-down

Then, sized up

Smoke break?

Air break?

Which is it?

One or the other?

Or both?

Hyper-cubes

5th dimension

Taking data

Knowing nothing

—

Stuck in space eating mental breakdowns for breakfast in forms of sad sandwiches

AND Stuck in here with Danny, asking me for my socks

I’m glad I gave him a pair of clean ones for Molly

But I didn’t know they weren’t for her

He gave them back to me an hour later

Oh Danny, may God be with you and all the feet you sniff, lick and taste

ARIZONADESERTMYLOD

Sketch drawing in ink by MMM

“Pest Control” and “Dissociative Amnesia” by Kristin Ryan

Kristin Ryan Poems

Pest Control

I.
There are always roaches
in the corners of my mind.
I’m in the kitchen washing cups
at the sink and time skips.
Skips as in: I’m six and splinters
are in my back. Skips again:
roaches crawl over me. Skips again:
the sink is overflowing and
soap suds run down my arm.

This happens more and more.
When I walk down the hallway
to the bedroom, in the shower,
the nights where I’m brave enough
to be touched. My husband’s hands
are always gentle, they always will be.
I know this like I know windows can
be opened and closed. It’s my fault.
I’m the one that triggered you.
I feel like a predator. How do
I tell him hearing this hurts
more than what I remember?

.

.

.

.

 

 

 

II.
It’s during a therapy session
I learn kids mistake hands
for roaches and other bugs
when recalling memories.
The realization stings.
My trembling rattles
her office windows.
My sobs startle both of us:
“I wanted to be wrong.
I wanted to be wrong.”

When I come home,
my husband is packing up
the kitchen for our move.
How was therapy?
I shake my head and cry as
he wraps his arms around me.
“I didn’t want to be right.”

 

 

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image: Ashley Goldberg

 

 

Dissociative Amnesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin Ryan is a poet working towards healing, and full sleeves of tattoos. She is a recipient of the Nancy D Hargrove Editor’s Prize in Poetry, and was a Write Bloody Finalist. Her poems have been featured in Glass, Jabberwock Review, and Spider Mirror, with work forthcoming in Five:2:One, among others. She holds an MFA from Ashland University and works in the mental health field. She tweets @kristinwrites