Disappeared

Unkept lighthouses blink electric

at lobster boats, boards on beach house

windows, the stiff crash of wave on cliff

 

The girls under the dunes

beat their palms against the sand

 

The beach pulses with them

if you’ve got the right eyes

 

January is the best time to look:

the restless cold

the pound of the ocean

 

like a pretty mouth

chewing on police reports

like a mother’s heartbeat

pulling them home

 

 


Cassandra de Alba’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Red Lightbulbs, Illuminati Girl Gang, Strange Horizons, and Drunken Boat, among other publications. Her most recent chapbooks are called Bloodlust (No Spaceships Allowed) and Special Bitch Academy. She lives in Massachusetts and blogs at outsidewarmafghans.tumblr.com.

Yellow Bone

 

Yellow bone amid the gunsmoke-

you arise from the pyre of human chaos

and blink groggily at the modern world.

 

You arise from your breathing grave-

from the boarded-up mouth,

from your river of forgotten blood.

 

O, city of orphans,

pay your respects in secrecy.

Tend to your wounds behind the moon

and among the clouds.

 

Ignore the unbroken murderers

who sift through the ashes in your hair.

 

Ignore the last-minute looters.

 

Pluck the skulls from your dress

and wipe the dust from your teeth.

 

Yellow bone among the stars-

a vision, like a saint-

pull your memories up by the eye sockets

and you shall,

with time,

be pretty yet.

 

 

 

Catherine Cimillo Cavallone is a teacher and poet.  Her work has appeared in Four Walls, Sensations Magazine, The Rift Arts Forum Publication, Beyond the Rift-Poets of the Palisades, Red River Review and has work forthcoming in Red Wheel Barrow and Oddville Press.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband, George and son, Michael.

The Last Monarch Butterfly

 

everyone knows the story

of the last man on earth

 

him sitting in his room

the knock on the door

 

I heard a version once:

knock comes right after

 

the poor bastard opens his

mouth and downs a few

 

capsules of cyanide and dies

like an infant wish he was here

 

might have known what to do

now that the flowers are gone

 

we go like this: bees first

crops next then the rest of the

 

unfortunate damned I’m

not sure where the last man is

 

probably been dead for a while

probably never knew what he did

 

probably never been called king

 


Ellyn Touchette is a half-crazed biologist from Portland, Maine. She is on the board of directors for Port Veritas, a local poetry reading and nonprofit. Her work is present or forthcoming in The Emerson Review, Ghost House Review, The Open Field, and others. Ellyn plays roller derby, knows what an electrolyte is, and doesn't want to talk about her age.

 

Texas Lovers: Sarah and Jenny

They mention traveling to Paris, Texas and becoming artists. Their singing isn’t great and they can’t paint at all but their sculptures are to-scale duplications of WWII battlefields, constructed with painstaking attention to detail. Perfect imitations of tiny deaths. The only inaccuracies, it would seem, come from the repeated use of UFOs and mythological creatures. Most scholars agree that extraterrestrials had little influence over the Fuhrer’s master plan, but Sarah and Jenny refuse to remove reptilian features from the soldiers of the SS. They only wish that someone had told them that verisimilitude was so important in representations of the past.

 

 


Jeston Dulin is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University's M.A. English program, and currently teaches composition there. His flash fiction piece, "Prodigal Son" is forthcoming in the May 2014 issue of "Apocrypha and Abstractions." Jeston’s writing revolves around themes of nostalgia and a questioning of reality.

I planted my garden

on the wrong side

of the moon forgetting

tides of ocean

lunar wax wane

 

only madness

was cultivated

there underground

tubular roots

corpulent veins

 

flowers called

despair gave off

a single fruit...

 

I ate it

my laughter

becoming harsh

my eyes grew

oblique.

 

 

 

 


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Poet and Geek recognized her work as their best poem of 2013.  Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses and she has three e-book titles.

The Ancient Map

 

From Babylonia we rode

the skeleton of a camel East

 

you wanted to ride shotgun

so the cleric drew a basket

 

from snakeskin he found

by the light of the new moon

 

if it isn't a new moon

you don’t want it, he said

 

and we believed him and opened

up the parchment tied with

 

a palm branch taken from the last

tree standing on the entire planet

 

it was our map

and it told us we would journey

 

until we reached the end

and the cleric laughed

 

and said it lies

 





Joe Love is an artist, a musician, and a poet and teaches writing and literature in St. Louis on both sides of the arch. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Oddville Press, Crack the Spine, Bangalore Review, From the Depths, Drunk Monkeys, Bellowing Ark, and other journals.

Preterist

This glacis where is leavened frore by frore

and beauty memento mori; to wake

and dream of sleep from adamantine noon

to keloid vesp when not at abattoir

(these factories like life fulfill clichés);

the killall’s ken; the procinct’s penury;

the manse so seen beyond the rye approached

but never entered./  Noses nuchal neath

her porch by spiders traipsed to Az said Bel,

Just stop.  Be still.  Be still.  We’re lucky to

feel them.  One day I’ll smell of ozone; you

too thin to matter.  Ghosts with blood.  No one

will ever touch us.  No.  Except for blood.

So few but us don’t want another’s blood.




 


Joseph Harms is the author of the novels Baal and Cant.  His fiction and poetry have appeared in Boulevard, The Alaskan Quarterly Review, IthacaLit, Out of Our, Poydras Review, Red Ochre Press, Lines+Stars, Bad Idea, SPECS, Mad Hatters’ Review, The American Dissident, Mandala Journal, Niche, Wilderness House Literary Review, Otis Nebula, The Olive Tree Review and, among others, Poetry Pacific. He is currently seeking a publisher for his sonnet series Bel.

you will not be found wanting

your mouth is still open

but your breath is not warm.

it comes out cold like the fog.

it is raining inside your mouth

so you cannot scream even

though it is your birthday wish.


your legs begin to fold under you like a deer.

I try to help you up by tying

silver birthday balloons to your wrists.

they look like little moons

but they will not hold you.


I will carry you home

and you will not be found wanting.

when my head is underneath your shirt

it is like being under the blankets

in my childhood bed.


after I leave

your mother will knock 3 times

on the side door

and your father will come out

to walk with her.


when they walk into the dark

you will wonder about me.

you will look at the space between your

tongue and the moon and say

ah what a terrible waste.

 

 




Julia Rox is a poet from Nashville, TN. She is a senior at Lipscomb University, studying English: Writing and Philosophy. Her work explores themes of creation and destruction--the creation and destruction we engage in with language as well as the creation and destruction we engage in daily with ourselves and our identity. Her work has been published in On the Cusp Zine, Fractal Magazine, and the Lipscomb College of Arts and Sciences Magazine.

the neighborly doll

at those gradeschool sleepovers

your friend's mother always

refused to put away her favorite

doll, that enormous, peculiar-looking

kewpie. why did she leave

it on the guest bed

as if insisting that it sleep

between you and your friend?

after the scary movie,

it would be there waiting

for you, no matter how or where

you turned your head.  it stared right at you

both alive and dead. whether waking up

from a bad dream or sleepless,

even in the pitch black night,

with closed blinds, the plastic eyes

intensely glistening with moonlight.


 

 

Matt Schumacher has published two full-length collections of poetry, Spilling the Moon and The Fire Diaries. He serves as poetry editor of the journal Phantom Drift and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Jack and ?

We both made bad choices,

 everything was wrong right from the start.


Going up the hill hand in hand,

 that should never have happened.


I should have carried the pail,

 you should have stayed at the bottom.


Why we needed the darn water,

 it’s still a big mystery to me.


Perhaps we were an ill-fated pair,

 destined to come tumbling down hard.


But that’s all water under the bridge,

 or more accurately water spilled on the ground.


They say I will be laid up for awhile,

 a CT Scan found a subarachnoid hemorrhage in my brain.


Hope you are doing well too,

 sorry but I don’t remember your first name.

 

 

 


Paul m. Strohm is a freelance journalist working in Houston, Texas. He cataloged the unpublished correspondence of D.H. Lawrence while working at the Humanities Research Center at UT-Austin.  Even the famous begin letters with ‘Dear ******, I am fine. How are you?” His most recent collection of poems was published by the Wellhead Press in 2013.

Les Rois

where they found our bones and yours mixed together

 

We heard your teeth

sink into our sister’s flesh.

Not so far away, you

were pounding and scraping

at the gnawed-off jawbone

detaching the tongue with

choppy slimed strokes

fingers slipping on blood

and settling saliva.

We saw the smoke

rising from your cook-fires

over the hills. We could

smell her sweet sizzling.

Our deep brains growl to us;

our stomachs forgive.

When ever has there been

occasion to waste meat?





Phoenix Bunke is a song-singing, centipede-catching California child currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Since graduating college, she has been up til the sky turns blue most every night, working late at a bakery and writing comics, songs and poetry.

 

Les Rois

where they found our bones and yours mixed together

 

We heard your teeth

sink into our sister’s flesh.

Not so far away, you

were pounding and scraping

at the gnawed-off jawbone

detaching the tongue with

choppy slimed strokes

fingers slipping on blood

and settling saliva.

We saw the smoke

rising from your cook-fires

over the hills. We could

smell her sweet sizzling.

Our deep brains growl to us;

our stomachs forgive.

When ever has there been

occasion to waste meat?





Phoenix Bunke is a song-singing, centipede-catching California child currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Since graduating college, she has been up til the sky turns blue most every night, working late at a bakery and writing comics, songs and poetry.

 

Soft in the Middle

I bless you—

wood splitter

 fire maker

 office builder

nighttime lover.

Seven years

 plus a bit

since we promised everything

in blind & total faith.

It’s all been tested

  (more to come) yet

here we are,

  still married

& happily.

Better than before.

Wiser.

Kinder.

More alive &

 soft in the middle.

I am not afraid of you.

The first step love can have.





Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux is a storyteller, mime and stilt-walker. She lives with her family on the shore of Lake Superior, where they run Art House B+B. Her writing has appeared in Bumples Interactive Magazine for Children, Vox Poetica, and Storytelling Magazine. For more information, visit arrowsmithdecoux.blogspot.com.

ascent

in this visit
to the graveyard
i see that beneath the headstone
is a ditch
and in that ditch
is a box
and in that box
is a body
and in that body
there was a soul
a soul a body a box a ditch and
myself 
alone beneath a headstone

 

Tamer Mostafa is a Stockton, California resident who recently completed his degree in Creative Writing from UC Davis.