“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 I am … 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

A Series of 3 Poems by Samuel J. Fox

  An Update from Baptist Country   Like a ghost swallow, Christ was lifted into the wide, empty fields of heaven by the wind. Yes, wide. Indeed, empty.   You don’t want to die before you see the face of God in the eaves of a pink dogwood tree. If you don’t, you weren’t truly here now, were you?   The truth shall set you free: freely you shall set the truth.   In this story, for everything is a story, a boy listens to a preacher speak of hell as a place he will go for loving every mouth … Continue reading A Series of 3 Poems by Samuel J. Fox

“and then She was shipped across the world” and “Document2” by Parag Desai

and then She was shipped across the world to work and produce, and to work and produce, in a fortress of infinite greed, tending slot machines, for donald trump in february of ’93.   She met the man she married after a lapse of two years. his belly had grown since then, his smile had yellowed since then.   and exactly—with mechanical precision—a year later i was conceived. Her belly too would grow. She quit work to produce, and then worked to produce: a clean kitchen, an undisturbed bed, warm roti, daal, shaak.   the tasks never truly added up … Continue reading “and then She was shipped across the world” and “Document2” by Parag Desai