“Psychic Night” by Lorhenz Lacsa

psychic night your hands have never felt skin that thinks on its own; he intended to trick time, untick the clock, put his clavicle on your lips and you knew.   when he reddened your neck by tracing its shape as if to pin a map for a land to conquer, you quivered. A flag waved, he knew.   then slowly he entered with both a vow for something and a doubt somewhere— what’s missing and found, no one knew.   so you stared at the blank wall as he did, spaced by warm sheets, wounded alone. Smokes warped and … Continue reading “Psychic Night” by Lorhenz Lacsa

“Anhedonis, Anhedonia” by Aïcha Martine

  ` I am tired of worrying my youth away, I am tired of being worried, I am tired You want to hold on to it, that certain lightness of being You said child, child: once it goes, never comes your way again ` Simone says “ain’t nobody perfect ’cause ain’t nobody free” Couldn’t be perfect, lightness forbid, could never be free I am tired of worrying my youth away, I am tired of being worried, I am tired ` Only have my words, warping the Eye turned toward the world Yearn to reach those masterful heights, paralyzed by victory … Continue reading “Anhedonis, Anhedonia” by Aïcha Martine

“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

“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

THE SNAKE BRIDE

When I came into myself, again Yet another awkward re-awakening of this body I saw an imprisoned cage of where a young woman was residing, It was right behind my Mother’sss eyesss A tiny fire lit between the iris of two gazing hazel stonesss One of yearning Death and one of burning Honor Where ssshe might consssume the esssence of the temerity of one’sss own contentment Ssshe dissspels and expelsss the very thought of joy’sss inner dwelling It is an echo to Her very calling That is utterly denied Ssshe awaitsss in the agony that is a finely feathered & … Continue reading THE SNAKE BRIDE

“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

“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

“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

“It’s All Happening at the Zoo” by Amy Soricelli

How odd to be him, here in this place of fierce thoughts and solid fur. All the best games in the sun, the cold windy bars keeping us tight from one another. She says “look up” I see long necks with spotted long lashes eating from trees. Bears with paws settling down into the pounce and fear of our million looking faces. It is much easier, I answer, to be him, here in this place sneaking between blades of grass, cigarette foil, broken glass. There are cages with stripes, wide eyes, shouts and warnings, pellets of food between their toes. The … Continue reading “It’s All Happening at the Zoo” by Amy Soricelli