Scarlet Ibis Variations
“…It’s mostly that album A Love Supreme. It feels sacred to me. I had a friend once tell me A Love Supreme is convincing evidence for the existence of God. And that’s really stuck in my head ’cause it’s a little bit true to me.” – John Green, in conversation with Ashley Ford and Kelly Stacy
As if the hands that built this were not so terribly human.
As if the stones are not the slightest bit uneven.
As if there is a waterfall somewhere that could kill this song.
As if the call of a bird is grander than all of the laughter we found.
Look, the stars are shimmering – their masses are exploding with joy. Continue reading “Umang Kalra: Sacred You & Me & My GF Will Change The World”
Three Yoga Poems, from the sequence Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha
‘Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha’ writes through the yoga manual Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India, fourth edition ) and various news articles published in The Guardian in 2017.
‘the HEART, by way of the BREATH, to the LINE’: Charles Olson, Projective Verse (1950).
1) ‘I suddenly see that the gesture of a hand could be a poem –
like the mark it might leave impressed in a surface.’
Scott Thurston, Reverses Heart’s Reassembly (2011), London: Veer
2) ‘I offer flowers’ from ‘Offering Flowers’ in Technicians of the Sacred (2017) ed. Jerome Rothenberg, Oakland, CA: University of California Press, p71.
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha is part of the forthcoming chapbook, Atha, Knives Forks and Spoons Press (2019).
Sally-Shakti Willow researches, writes and performs utopian poetics as ritual to open up [r]evolutionary space for positive transformation. She teaches poetry and creative writing at the University of Westminster. Her poems have been published by Adjacent Pineapple, Eyewear, The Projectionist’s Playground and Zarf. Chapbooks to date: The Unfinished Dream (Sad Press, 2016) and Atha (forthcoming with Knives Forks and Spoons). Sally-Shakti’s other writings and reviews are published in The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, The Contemporary Small Press and Northern Review. Find her on Twitter: @Spaewitch
Eric Blix is the author of the story collection, Physically Alarming Men (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2017). His writing has appeared in Best Small Fictions, The Collagist, Caketrain, and other journals and anthologies. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he studies in the PhD program in creative writing at the University of Utah. Eric’s work above are fragments from his novel-length prose collage, scrub lands—works in progress.
featured image: Ruby Anderson
Aaron Kent is a poet and the editor of the small press Broken Sleep Books. He is particularly interested in the films of Godzilla, and has recently given up coffee. He lives with his wife and their infant daughter. He really misses coffee. Twitter: @GodzillaKent
featured image: Bob Modem
We Make Our Instruments
Sitar is the prickle of a recent close-to-the-base
of-the-skull haircut tickling uncalloused fingers. Smooth
grapes on spiked vines—the thrumming heart beats
angry blood, in time, when the pressure elevates.
Calcification of heart-wood is how the tune is created.
Seasoning so sweet, incense swirl sounds these
tiny steps that expand slowly like the step of an animated
fairy. She blesses the room with ever-growing pink loops.
Perhaps, we have heard this and confused her hoops
of sound—the small swelling—the augmentation
of pink into magenta into mahogany as the expansion
of our minds.
And sound does work in this way.
Reverberations change the bearer. The weight of sound
waves are manipulated by air, by ear, by the redwood
walls, by the differentiation of instrument. The string.
Slip and stick. Contact the conifer slick. Heart to palm
rounded vehicles in glass cases, waiting to be touched.
The weight of balance on the bow. The density floods
a linearity of grain, or orientation of rings in her trunk.
A bow’s construction. Heat curves. Time wears
finger-grooves into her ample body. 150 taut hairs.
The timing on goat skin, donkey teeth—the weather
across California’s forests and cities. A reliance on
exhumation of rosewood, pernambuco, blackwood.
The skill of the mouth, the precise shape of the teeth
larynx, fine ear-structures—the blessing offered by
the specific elder to the thick elder at the time
Once sound starts a journey, does it change the
The inevitable die-out which dampens this quality changes
the heart curves on each wave—pumps blood. Bursts the
ventricles. Drives a thick ginger residue spike through
the temple. Then, alleviates with chamomile resonance.
Titian once made the shadow under my eyes famous
toxic—an exported harvest that reclassified unique
sunlight blooms into beans that oxidize with age. Ages
crumble into the dust we made with our heaving bellies.
Our trees have become instruments—hot bows and gut.
As we boil with them, we suffocate.
She gets the precooked
carcass from the supermarket.
It shares her stature—neck
bobbed and folded. Her grin
is the thick slope of one leg.
footless creature; no face—no eyes
to face. Hacked off at the neck. No, face this
meal. She wears
the title—face. No running
from this meat. Grotesque
eloquence in her slashing
lips. Fingers slide. No
running from this, meat.
Nails heavy with the shining
luster of gristle. She gouges out
from tooth. This creature’s salt
fills her cells—changing her to
flesh both gaping and unreliable.
Kari A. Flickinger’s poetry and short stories have been published in or are forthcoming from Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Ghost City Review, Eunoia Review, Riddled with Arrows, Moonchild Magazine, Quiet Storm, and Panoply, among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When she is not writing, she can be found playing guitar and singing to her unreasonably large Highlander cat, as well as obsessively over-analyzing the details of neighboring trees.
featured image: Ellie Anderson-Hawkins
Yvonne Litschel is a writer from Cambridgeshire, England. Previously she has read as part of the European Poetry Festival. Her debut pamphlet Moth Dust was published January 2018 by Sampson Low. She has a forthcoming pamphlet entitled Immurement set for release in March 2019 with Broken Sleep Books. yvonnelitschel.com @yvlitschel
feature image: Bob Modem
Is it dirt or healing?
Here we are now, standing in generalised anxiety. Our buildings are losing breath at the aorta and feeling phantom pains in the basements and where the urapaa (grave) used to be. Your child has muddy hair and long hair and hair now bedraggled to the ground, calling for a reckoning and sounds, (not to be suppressed). We could have been a compost pile, giving up our bodies to grow healthy weeds as limbs. Instead, they pull the plastics out of whale stomachs while clutching our own.
Passionflower Your Sleep Routine
I don’t get nearly enough cockroach. My issue is that all I do is smoke rancid butter and, of course, giggle. I tend to scuttle across the floor until my jaws ache. I’m interested in velvet and rotting orchids. Chalk dust – with its powerful antioxidant activity – is like a choir of creamy darkness. I can’t wait to try the endless lines of products, their mix of golden milk and human scalps. I warm a cup of charred wood to avoid feeling hairy, and instead of Youtubeing digestive health into the night, I go thunderous to bed.
You are a bagpipe of insanity*
Hiding in plain sight,
tribunes of global
scotching our earth
out to offer
2nd & 3rd
*Quoting the dad to Mr. Pickles (Jim Carrey) on HBO’s Kidding
Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built/staffed homeless clinics as well as a Stanford professor/healthcare CEO. He has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards and is widely published including Gargoyle, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, San Francisco Magazine and Los Angeles Review. KADDISH FOR COUNTRY was selected for pamphlet distribution on Inauguration Day nationwide. Amber Of Memory was the single poem chosen for his 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. Collections: Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). More info at gerardsarnat.com
featured image: Bob Modem
In City Parks, In the Sour Void
I am seven skulls screaming
about seven smaller screaming skulls.
Please take my boney hand
& Celine Dion my sinking ship.
Near the capharnum of microplastics
an animal vigils a similar corpse.
By 25 I had figured out fire
but not much else: maybe anatomy Continue reading “Patrick Williams: In City Parks, In the Sour Void and New Age Downloads”
Douze, twelve stakes from these Dark Ages
1: At dawn, in the mist, Paola gathers porcini mushrooms, freshly-sprouted on the Landaise forest floor. Earthy clusters. Ash clay-colored caps. Undersides of bright yellow moss. Paola calls them cèpes.
2: In 2012, in a referendum, the British people voted for Brexit. Brexit is an abbreviation for “British exit,” referring to the UK’s decision, in a June 23 2016 referendum, to leave the European Union. The word ‘exit’ was first a C15th theatrical word, meaning a way of departure from the stage. Leave the network. Continue reading “Susanna Crossman: Douze, twelve stakes from these Dark Ages”
I’ve never seen space but it’s probably a waste, i hear they rent rooms for two thousand apiece, sure they have breakfast but what’s with the lakes? it’s like they filled craters with chlorine and grease. feh! like i said by the time our kids are eighty, they won’t even know Barbra Streisand’s version of Happy Days Are Here Again, the robots will take us all on their shoulders, they’ll remove all our bracelets and eat them all vile we never should have made those smart phones so so stylish Continue reading “Rachel Kass: 2098, Salt, Fire & Yolk”
(the day peace broke out)
it felt like love
the day peace
yet the painter
still played a violin Continue reading “Neil Sparkes: kamikaze grappa (the day peace broke out)”