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Umang Kalra: Sacred You & Me & My GF Will Change The World

SACRED YOU

“…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”

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Eric Blix: Fragments from scrub lands—works in progress

BHP-fragments from scrub lands 2BHP-fragments from scrub lands 3BHP-fragments from scrub lands 4BHP-fragments from scrub lands 5BHP-fragments from scrub lands 6BHP-fragments from scrub lands 7BHP-fragments from scrub lands 8BHP-fragments from scrub lands 9BHP-fragments from scrub lands 10BHP-fragments from scrub lands 11BHP-fragments from scrub lands 12BHP-fragments from scrub lands 13BHP-fragments from scrub lands 14

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

Kari Ann Flickinger: We make Our Instruments & No Chicken

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

She fell—

Once sound starts a journey, does it change the
circumstances?

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.

No Chicken

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.

She cracks

wing from
slick body—burnt

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.
No chicken.

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.

Twitter: @KariFlickinger

featured image: Ellie Anderson-Hawkins

Matthew Haigh: 3 poems

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.

Continue reading “Matthew Haigh: 3 poems”

Gerard Sarnat: You are a bagpipe of insanity

You are a bagpipe of insanity*

Hiding in plain sight,
tribunes of global
warming gone
exotic appear
now spray
painted

scotching our earth
which reached
out to offer
us humans
2nd & 3rd
chances.

 

*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

Rachel Kass: 2098, Salt, Fire & Yolk

2098

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”

Sophie Essex: Snowfield

 

snowfield-sophie-essex1.jpg

Sophie Essex is a softcore bunny existing 120ft above sea level where she promotes her adoration of poetry through Salò Press, lit-mag Fur-Lined Ghettos, & monthly poetry night Volta. Find her @capitanofelixio  & @salopress

featured image: Bob Modem

Aimee Campbell: Hospital

Outside the ward, there were at least fifteen people waiting, some sat in chairs and others stood around. I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my emails looking for something, anything to read. I couldn’t get comfortable leaning against the wall but it would have to do.

Yeah, I’m going to put her bed in the living room, I heard a man say. Could you come down at the weekend and help me move it?

You think she’ll be out on Monday? Continue reading “Aimee Campbell: Hospital”

João Pinho: FETISH FUTURIST

FETISH FUTURIST

A man’s body is his currency
Burning life upon Facebook friend request
Tendency to burn all the wishes for likes
Or the likes for wishes we like

Are we on the rag?
A rug as the tag…
A fag swing song
In mediocritas thong. Continue reading “João Pinho: FETISH FUTURIST”

Dustin Kennedy: Response Ability

When the dust mask is covered in soot I take it off and add it to the sack slung over my shoulder. The rubber straps have left imprints all across my face, sore to the touch. I take another one out of the box and put it on anyway, trying to change the angle enough so it doesn’t dig into the same grooves as the last one. The seal fits poorly over my beard but I already used my last razor and I haven’t made it to the store yet.

I’ve been making progress, though. For example, I’ve almost caught up to whoever is on the road in front of me. I haven’t actually seen them yet, just their sack. Judging from the size, I’m guessing whoever’s pulling it must be twenty, thirty years older than me. For every time I manage two or three steps, they’re lucky to move an inch.

Continue reading “Dustin Kennedy: Response Ability”

FE Clark: Myopia

Myopia

Continue reading “FE Clark: Myopia”

Maddison Stoff: Android Court Transcription

Official – Subject To Final Review

P R O C E E D I N G S

(9 :45 a.m.)

CHIEF JUSTICE GIBSON: We’ll hear argument f this morning in Case 84-2532, Android Rights Coalition verses The People’s Republic of America.

TX-38

ORAL ARGUMENT OF TX-38 Continue reading “Maddison Stoff: Android Court Transcription”

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