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literature

“Six Degrees at the Movies” by Dennis Etzel Jr.

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

remember Hollow Man?      Kevin Bacon  

stuck in our seat forced     a rapist’s point 

of view     women can’t see him 

we go unseen     reliving through

leading to his neighbor     her apartment 

stuck in our seat     as credits roll

I should have left     before credits

still without closure     Rhona Mitra 

credited     only as Neighbor     

 

 

Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others. Etzel is the recipient of a 2017 Troy Scroggins Award and the 2017 Topeka ARTSConnect Arty Award in Literary Arts. He co-edited Ichabods Speak Out: Poems in the Age of Me, Too with Dr. Jericho Hockett which features poems against sexual assault from the Washburn University and Topeka Community. He is a TALK Scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council and leads poetry workshops in various Kansas spaces.

“Third Shift at the Night Factory” by Stephen Frech

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

Third shift at the night factory

assembles the simple, elegant machine of night.

Workers, like figures in a shadow play,

hammer the fitted parts home,

extend the handle of a wrench with a pipe,

and brace a foot against the stubborn bolt.

 

Engineers pour over the schematics of the moon 

trembling on the surface of oil in open buckets.

In the last of the dark hours,

welders extinguish their torches

while the foreman inspects the welds

with a candle held behind the seams.

 

Pinholes in the bead or casting

fill the factory with starlight,

a constellation of flaws, a myth and map of stars

we made to find our way out.

 

Queued at the gate and parting

at the whistle into morning,

shift workers call to each other:

‘night, see ya, so long, take care 

 

Stephen Frech has earned degrees from Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Cincinnati. He has published three volumes of poetry: Toward Evening and the Day Far Spent (Kent State UP), If Not For These Wrinkles of Darkness (White Pine Press), and The Dark Villages of Childhood (Midwest Writing Center) His fourth volume titled A Palace of Strangers is No City, a sustained narrative of prose poetry/flash fiction, has been published by Cervena Barva Press. He published a translation of poetry from the Dutch: Menno Wigman’s Zwart als kaviaar/Black as Caviar. He is founder and editor of Oneiros Press, publisher of limited edition, letterpress poetry broadsides. Oneiros broadsides have been purchased by special collections libraries around the world, among them the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the University of Amsterdam Print Collection. Stephen Frech is Professor of English at Millikin University

2 poems by Paul Brookes

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

I Hollow

 

out the machineries of cold manufactured delight.

Push broom down aisles of persuasion,

 

Tidy stray cardboard packaging, lost lollipops,

Tab ends, water bottle tops into clear bags.

 

Push sud and scrub machine down

Avenues of enticement, lift shoe scud,

 

rice, sugar, dripped carbonated water,

my own boot print to be released, slopped out

 

into whatever weather drips, ices, the shop car park 

through the detached nozzle of cleanliness.

 

▪¤●○•°■■●○•°

 

Latest Fad Is

making shapes

with the soft robots

under your skin.

 

Caterpillars and pigs

manipulated inside

your transparent skin

and muscle into shadow

 

plays of nostalgic silhouette

cathedrals, medieval streets,

Capability Brown gardens,

rivers tumble from mountains.

 

Only the rich can afford

the best internal silhouettes.

Some prefer strip shows

and a pole dancers writhe

 

inside them they control

with a flashlight. Others

hybrid animal/machine 

fantasy battles. Internal

 

tattoos that some say

rot inside after so much

manipulation. Corrosion

bleeds into vital organs.

 

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018),Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019).Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press).

“centralia, the town that swallows flames” by Kailey Tedesco

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

our feet have bottomed 

out in the earth-slit.

let it be known 

 

buck was once the name 

of a dog, but not a dog 

of mine. my toddler 

 

arms suffered hives 

from his lick, burned 

redhot from within

 

  1. i feared his cleaning 

himself, a nautilus 

my own body 

 

could not shape. in a kitchen 

like any other, the smoke 

left a beeswarm. before

 

fire, i figured allergies, my skin 

blistering honeyblood. a maggot

lived in buck 

 

for nine days before

anyone noticed. when plucked, 

it was golf-sized, full of 

 

dog. mother fed me 

a milkbone for a moment of 

peace, bleached the 

 

sink of its bloodsplatter until

our dishes were 

poison. the sun rises &

 

there is less  

& less of us. we hold

last vigils by the jesus-

 

shrine, ask for him to 

be with us & in us – a 

maggot. how afraid

 

they must be, jesus

and the dog, having never 

seen hell before. we are 

 

constantly feeding; the holes

are already 

in all of us. 

 

 

 

 

 

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing). Her collection, Lizzie, Speak, won White Stag Publishing’s 2018 poetry contest, and her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is forthcoming from White Stag in 2020. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Electric Literature, Nat. Brut, Black Warrior Review, Fairy Tale Review, Bone Bouquet Journal, and more. For further information, please follow @kaileytedesco. 

The Lost Cowboy [A story in 24 tweets] by Mauricio Montiel Figueiras

In memory of Sam Shepard (1943-2017)

1. Under a fat summer moon the Lost Cowboy stops his horse. Stares at the scars in his hands looking for a map to guide him home.

2. Home is the place where you always long to be but which you will never find. The Lost Cowboy still hears the words of his father.

3. Come home, oh sweet baby, come home back to me. Startled, the Lost Cowboy struggles to place his mother’s lullaby in his memory. Continue reading “The Lost Cowboy [A story in 24 tweets] by Mauricio Montiel Figueiras”

Imagine Gertrude Stein Sees by Mare Leonard

Imagine Gertrude Stein Sees

A Blue Nipple

the ten month old 

pushes out, pulls in sucks

Does substitution satisfy*

no there there. 

Continue reading “Imagine Gertrude Stein Sees by Mare Leonard”

Featured Photo Artist – Amanda Ollinik

Our Photo artist for the month, Amanda Ollinik, supplied almost all the featured photos used(except for two or three). She is as prolific as our poetry/fiction contributors, and very well take her talent seriously. We are grateful to her and her partner, Lydia, for making the month as photogenic as it can be. Continue reading “Featured Photo Artist – Amanda Ollinik”

The Artisan’s Defense – Hege Jakobsen Lepri

       The Artisan’s Defense

He’d blame the desert if they ever found him. Golden sunsets were wasted on him, made his eyes dry, clouded his mind. He saw no signs in the horizon, no maps to promised lands. The desert was for prophets, men without a trade, who could do nothing but lift their clumsy hands to the sky and then coil upon the ground, savoring their shortcomings before G-d. Continue reading “The Artisan’s Defense – Hege Jakobsen Lepri”

Water Witching – Jamie Hood

Water Witching

I.

Lend me your ears; I am telling you stories. My cave is empty. I have nothing else to give. There is a mountain in Norway called the Storebalak, where, in March of ’86, an avalanche ate 16 soldiers. This is known as the Vassdalen Incident. Consider the number 16. Consider the numbered dead. This was of 31 of them. Consider the avalanche merciful. Consider I am telling you facts now. Let it be known this is a history. Who Continue reading “Water Witching – Jamie Hood”

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