“Bone Collector” by Khalisa Rae

  They say the difference between a hoarder and a collector is that collectors see value in objects others would discard,    while a hoarder believes they need an item to survive. I believe I am a hoarder   of perishable people. Prized possessions my fingers strangled to hold to. Marks left on the throats of those whose labels had expired years   ago. Instead of giving them back to the earth, recycling the salvageable   parts of both of us, I affirm them, polish their scratches and set them back on the shelf of my body. How they rest  … Continue reading “Bone Collector” by Khalisa Rae

3 poems by H.E. Casson

@Mourning Tell us why you are sad/not sad Mad/not mad Conflicted/devastated/glad That ________ is dead (*click here for thread*)   So we can tell you why you’re wrong   It’s wrong to say You celebrate (Would you, in public, masturbate?) The dropping of a megaphone That magnified   (*buffering*)   Your suffering   To die is saintly Faintly praise Or raise them up Or raise a cup But never celebrate/debate Or mirror hate   It’s wrong to say You found your way By looking through the glass Of a villain Once they pass   It’s wrong to dance on graves … Continue reading 3 poems by H.E. Casson

“She” and “Dear Future” by Marc Shapiro

  SHE   She used to like to do it in the morning When sunlight knifed through curtains Highlighting her movements Cat like Like cool easy jazz Then one day something left her Died A single tear tarnishing cheek It rolled down Moving her into the dark Where she continues to do it In silhouette In emptiness Alone       DEAR FUTURE   I am Juan I am barrio I am Washington I am ghetto I don’t ball I don’t bang I am the neighborhood freak And I have the beatdowns to prove it I see a future  In … Continue reading “She” and “Dear Future” by Marc Shapiro

“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