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grief

Keeping Apparitions, by Kelly Gray

There is a ghost for each crack of the child’s heart. Her ghosts are neither good nor bad. They bless, they poison, they offer deliverance through wood and poetry, through empty buckets and walking sticks. The ghosts take the form of wild beasts, of her parents, of a long hallway, a warmth pressing between her legs.

They are all things at once while reflecting her nothingness. They are born from her dreams where the she-monsters cry, where the mermaids drown, where the warm rush of his arms in the river made her see God.

Continue reading “Keeping Apparitions, by Kelly Gray”

There Might Have Been Horses by Rebecca Loudon

Oh sad potato wrapped in plastic like Laura Palmer I might have been Caroline Calloway I might have swallowed a yellow sundress a lemon yellow orchid a story to tell by a bonfire at night in a forest in Montana

my tell is a magnetic lie
my tell is a rotting animal
my tell is a broken knuckle
my tell is a tent pitched at Flathead Lake

where I traveled backward into wilderness where fire and blackberries devoured my girl soul where soil and conifers met at the trout mouth edge and blue water and black deep did not restore my sister but we rose her anyway we opened her stone and chanted up her finished flesh and worshiped her little dress her lilac crown her apples her plush rabbit

I played my violin in the forest
I thought music could fix my disease
I thought music could raise the dead

when my face doesn’t unlock my phone I panic I have become Caroline Calloway my life mere electricity I have disappeared into caves among the stalactite’s green glisten the ocean never closer than my memory of Montana there might have been horses there might have been giant hares there might have been my father building a fire raising my sister from the ashes look he said look at her perfection Continue reading “There Might Have Been Horses by Rebecca Loudon”

Exodus II by Paul Bluestein

Exodus II

I climbed up
to shout you from the rooftop.
Fingernails and scrabbling feet
searching for a place to stand
immersed in the visions flowing from
your daydreams and nightmares.

But before I could speak,
the desert heat baked your words
leaving them flat and tasteless.
Bread with no meaning to make it rise.
Alone, watched only
by the blind eye of the sun
I told myself, “Climb down.” Continue reading “Exodus II by Paul Bluestein”

Two poems by Gail Grycel

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A short story by Meryl Baer

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A poem and an essay by Diane Exavier

(Image: Collage by Diane Exavier)
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3 poems by Bojana Stojcic

(Image: barbwire and dark Christian Spies (@seelove) on Unsplash )
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Two poems by Bill Abbott

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Selections from ‘My Flesh & Roots’ by Danielle Hark

(Dissociation: Self-Portrait by Danielle Hark)

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3 poems by Tamsin Blaxter

(Photograph by Tamsin Blaxter)
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A poem by Pamilerin Jacob

(Photograph by Pamilerin Jacob)

Amnesia as First Aid Kit


grandpa’s lips are always moving, praying.
panting after silence. he says breathing is
a type of hunger; he is tired
of its pangs & sits facing the window, daily
waiting his turn. last of his friends,
he speaks only to angels now. at a funeral,
he lifted hands when the priest, with sarcasm said, who’s next?

grief will do that to you.
the year I lost Tessy—my dog—I became a cat person. amnesia
is how we handle loss in this house

death is a type of amnesiac spell,
I crave it too grandpa.


Pamilerin Jacob is a Nigerian poet & mental health enthusiast. His poem was shortlisted for the Ken Egba Prize For Festival Poetry 2017. Author of Memoir of Crushed Petals (2018), Gospels of Depression (2019) & Paper Planes in the Rain (Co-authored, 2019); he is a staunch believer in the powers of critical thinking, Khalil Gibran’s poetry & chocolate ice cream. Reach him on Twitter @pamilerinjacob 

Too fucking late for all that by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton


(Peaks Island view from the rocks by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton)
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Grief is a private island by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton

Grief is a private island. You can only wave to people from it. Even people who have lived on that island, who may understand where you are, can only wave back. And yet the island is invisible so unless someone knows you are on it, they talk to you as if life is normal, and sometimes you don’t have the energy to explain or try to that you can’t understand a damn word they are saying because of all the water and wind between you and them.

A very few can whisper from some place different and make you feel temporarily less lonely because they have had a similar enough experience and an ability to empathize in a certain way, but in the end, it’s you and your island. And there’s no shorting the loneliness and sheer pain of grief.

Continue reading “Grief is a private island by Julia Lee Barclay-Morton”

Reading and Grieving: Review of The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan

“We can forecast nothing. It arrives when it arrives. It disappears when it disappears.” (from ‘Take the Weather With You’)

The stories in this collection by Sharanya Manivannan (Harper Collins India, 2016) undulate – this book is a sea of women, each voice honoring the collective memories, hearts, and bodies of women. Earthbound, the voice of each character rises up from the pages like wind – arriving and departing, breath-giving, season-changing. We see them facing their deepest selves. We see them give space to their rawness and their desires. Fierce and utterly unforgettable.

“It’s like someone aimed a rubber band at my heart and didn’t miss. I have waited my whole fucking life for someone to call me kannamma.” (from ‘The High Priestess Never Marries’)

Continue reading “Reading and Grieving: Review of The High Priestess Never Marries by Sharanya Manivannan”

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