“Cornsequence” by Kristin Garth

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{Editor’s note: we encourage you to listen to the audio file of Garth reading “Cornsequence” here.}

 

The spirit took your eyes away. They did
not blink once yesterday. Contemplation
a mirror lake, self reflection, morbid
mistake. Blind maternal insurrection.

A husk, your body, in cornfields, was grown
for children — brittle mommy/yellow corpse.
Cornsilk brunette, for meadow smiles alone,
the spirit takes your lips. It leaves remorse.

You did not know you were a sacrifice —
harvested hollow to play nice. Cracked skin
still scented of the wild — aroma vice.
The spirit takes the nose, last scents of sin.

A crafted warning is a cornhusk doll.
To love a child requires no face at all.

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola, a knee sock enthusiast and a sonnet stalker.  In addition to TERSE. Journal, her sonnets have stalked the pages of Rag Queen Periodical, Occulum, Drunk Monkeys, Ghost City Review, Luna Luna, Anti-Heroin Chic, Faded Out, Mookychick and many other publications.  Her chapbook Pink Plastic House is available through maverickduckpress.com
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“Verum, n.” by Erin Emily Ann Vance

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Image by Lina Kusaite

 

Verum, n.

This rough star crackling in the
broken pot, slipping the acrid red fumes,

into my eyes
jags in the flow of hot
syrup, like the long nails of a delicate
and unwashed child
trailing her fingers across the glass
of a cool lake
covered in moss,

moss-covered.

The hard bark spiny and
alert, the banks like wounds,
along the mud-red shores,
my nose burns with the acidic
blood lake, the slow spin of the
star singing
‘Oh sink, sink,

sink.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including Contemporary Verse 2 and filling station. She was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction.

Find her at www.erinvance.ca and @erinemilyann on Instagram and Twitter.

“I SLICED INTO MY NAIL BED WITH A RAZOR BLADE BY ACCIDENT WHILE LISTENING TO RANCID AND WASHING OUT YELLOW HAIR DYE, AND DESPITE THIS BEING POSSIBLY THE MOST PUNK ROCK THING ABOUT ME, I STILL SCREAMED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, ‘OH FUCK'” by Kate Wilson

Visitants
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Image: “Oak Creek Canyon” by Kim Knoll

of course this is all to say I collected the droplets of blood in a little glass vial with a cork lid and added plant growth hormones to stop it from

growing stagnant

it smelled horrible like all those times my dad made me go on long, awkward walks with him after it rained and the earth was wet and full of life and I tried to stop smelling it but it became

ritual to open the jar

again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again until the cork

broke off

and I had to do something with it to keep myself from throwing it against a wall or drinking it so I considered

burying it

But didn’t like the ramifications of littering my own blood-jar and burying things makes me very, very sad because I am terrible at letting things go so instead I dumped the blood in the river and I know that makes me a

                        Really Bad Person

Because now of course I cannot stop thinking about where the stream runs to and the final resting place of that water and how maybe I just

poisoned the entire world

With my own blood but I guess it will be filtered out if our tap water comes from that particular steam and my mom used to tell me about how when her dad died they spread the ashes in the ocean so I guess the fish drink enough death anyway but then humans eat the fish so I guess we also

consume our own rot

And I can’t help but imagine all the PETA pamphlets I’ve been handed after punk shows and then subsequently thrown them away and how terrible of a person I am for still eating

other being’s flesh

But when I tried to become a vegetarian it became so hard for me considering I can only afford to eat at my school’s one cafeteria which just reinforces that I am a

Really Bad Person

And also a quitter but my mom also always told me overcommitting oneself is dangerous and also that overthinking things isn’t going to solve anything and I think maybe she was right since my aunt always called me a worry wart which of course is to say a

Very Anxious Person

But it can be very rewarding to worry for example I always finish my homework on time and I usually try really hard but sometimes I think it would all be easier if I just didn’t try at all because then I probably would not be so concerned about where the fuck

my blood ends up

When I dump it into the river just to get rid of it so I can stop thinking so damn much about how fragile we are and how much we all bleed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate is from Mammoth Lakes, California, and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah where they are working towards a BA in English and an MA in teaching at Westminster College. Kate is a Virgo and lesbian who loves swing sets, their dog, and their girlfriend. Their work has previously been published or is forthcoming by Pressure Gauge Press, Write About Now, Rising Phoenix Press, and Rag Queen Periodical, among others. They are currently a poetry editor for ellipsis… Literature and Art. You can send Kate photos of the ocean on Twitter at @pasta_slut.

“The Void Blues” by Harley Claes

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Image by: Ulrich Moskop

My body was seated in my soul under blacklight- bound to analysis though I could bare no judgement as I sit and spin for aural opium.

I had pictured a panorama of my trauma as an infernal, despicable whole.

I made myself sick to purge my past as illness. To forget my incapabilities, I was lenient on rediscovery. But I could not forget the urgency of my depressive, sadist-sucking nature, I was raised a defensive.

Having fallen for an acid casualty- I was mindsick & hallucination dependant, picturing all our visions as prophetic. Realizing as a patient, I was only wracked with delusion.

Now we base the next measly muse

Off of what is stirring within us

An emotional riot

That is streaking across the streets

Begging to be believed

But inside me

Is only a void the size of a fist

 

 

 

 

 

Harley Claes is an experimental poet and novelist from Detroit, Michigan. Her first poetry anthology is titled Pity the Poetics.

“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.

 

 

“liminal edgings” by Savannah Slone

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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.

“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 ThreeAlong 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

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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.