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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

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loss

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”

Hir Qing Sorrow by Iain Fraser

stilted words
stillborn
slide out
from torn
slash flesh
blood red
lipstick mouth
spews out
bloodless ugly triplets
‘I / love / you’
I choose ‘I’
not love
not you
not seeing eye to eye
but
fighting tooth for tooth
forebears cry out
they see
everything
from top
of swaying
family tree
daant ke lie daant
don’t lie Continue reading “Hir Qing Sorrow by Iain Fraser”

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”

A Poem by Tara Skurtu

RECONCILIATION

I broke you
out of solitary—

I did it because
I could

because it was
a dream.


Tara Skurtu @TaraSkurtu is a two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems appear in magazines such as Salmagundi, The Kenyon Review, Plume, Poetry Wales, and Poetry Review. She is the author of The Amoeba Game. Tara teaches creative writing in Bucharest.

Banner Image “Dream #4” by Robert Frede Kenter. Tweets at @frede_kenter

Two Poems by stephanie roberts

JULY UNDER THE BRIDGE

on the shore the mock orange turned brown spent;
ochre heads of yarrow replaced them;

almost the way a man
swaps out one wife for another.

a protest, not my ex-husband!
but a husband.

Continue reading “Two Poems by stephanie roberts”

ajinde – A poem by Adedayo Agaru

Continue reading “ajinde – A poem by Adedayo Agaru”

3 Micro-stories by Di Jayawickrema

(Image: Simon Abrams, Unsplash)
Continue reading “3 Micro-stories by Di Jayawickrema”

3 poems by Bojana Stojcic

(Image: barbwire and dark Christian Spies (@seelove) on Unsplash )
Continue reading “3 poems by Bojana Stojcic”

‘memory/loss in the key of blue’ by caitlin m. spencer

Continue reading “‘memory/loss in the key of blue’ by caitlin m. spencer”

A poem by Dov Nelkin

Nothing exists but the stories we tell,
True or False, Stories have limits
as do facts
duration isn’t a fact
It’s given only to stories

Continue reading “A poem by Dov Nelkin”

3 poems by Tamsin Blaxter

(Photograph by Tamsin Blaxter)
Continue reading “3 poems by Tamsin Blaxter”

Flash fiction by Tim Agaba Baroraho

Continue reading “Flash fiction by Tim Agaba Baroraho”

Two poems by Sharanya

(Photograph by Sharanya)
Continue reading “Two poems by Sharanya”

A poem by Jen Katshunga

Continue reading “A poem by Jen Katshunga”

The Budgies of Broadway by K Dulai

(Image by Werlley Meira Pexels free to use licence)

My grandmother’s neighbor came over crying and yelling about how she couldn’t find one of her budgies and she was afraid the worst had happened to it.  She lived in the studio next door and I went in not knowing what to expect. I had been in an old lady’s home before, my grandma’s for instance, but I got the sense that once you hit a certain age (and grandma wasn’t there yet) you lose track of things. Things like order, and dustpans.

Continue reading “The Budgies of Broadway by K Dulai”

A poem by Moira J Saucer

Incomplete/Complete

Collage, by Jane Fleming
Continue reading “A poem by Moira J Saucer”

#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

I have ten minutes here,

Less than ten in this press of people, before I go through those gates

to tell you that, Berlin was beautiful, a free celebration of all love

The Self-Owners, The Island, The Girlfriend, The Schwanenberg.

Then under the strict shadow of a worded paragraph I am now a number

Scratched into my skin, my name pressed into records,

between pages and pages of names.

Before Berlin was lights and love and music, gay bars and open study

Here is mud obscuring my identity,

photographed from three angles,

in grim stripes and triangles

we become homogeneous herd, corralled into camps.

Continue reading “#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

The farm will have us always by Richard Winters

Winters.Mother.c

Mother

The air at 4:30 is cool and lightless, the Moon is waning gibbous, low in the south in Capricornus, and in the southwest, Jupiter is descending in Ophiuchus. And Mother came to see the tiger lilies yesterday, they are blooming beside the pond, marking the farm’s July. Continue reading “The farm will have us always by Richard Winters”

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”

Disjecta – Caesura – Membra, from ‘& The Little Light That Escaped (Vedute)’, by Alexander Booth

Disjecta

A face glimpsed as if framed through a space between the lattice-work of a bench, a day-drinking bar on a shade-lined street of turn-of-the-century buildings, Mediterranean maybe, looking for what, lower lip pinned to upper, unsure, a question: a face glimpsed as if framed through a space between the lattice-work of a bench upon which one word was seen: nostalgie.

But back at the beginning: the station was blue. His face a ruin. Rain.

Someone had disappeared. Continue reading “Disjecta – Caesura – Membra, from ‘& The Little Light That Escaped (Vedute)’, by Alexander Booth”

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