When the exiled pioneers stared at the Salt Lake Valley, they drank clean air. A sky framed by Nature’s Bulwark presumed their own. They slept in the open next to trees in the crux of the canyon, and night came. An armistice with ground, as each fire began to smell less and less like Buffalo chips. Crowded by the grid system, I search for a street where I am not spied on by a steeple. Imperfect Zion sleeping in Pioneer Park.
Nor the Sound of pollution voice is heard?
I am the visitor, welcome on the back row with handshake full of grease brought again to sacrament meeting. Ceiling fans spin backward the longer I stare. Hymnodic. I remember as a kid, a deacon, I once put Sprite in the cups for sacrament’s water. Nursery tastes like blessings.
The Great Also,
the Forever Tree: and maybe it’s always
synesthesia, like, look how this word
FREE is green, like GREEN only
blown open by a wind first and
then a fire, not closed off
like the edge of a crayon where
is tempted to think color just stops, boxed
into its predictable shape
at the factory. You’re not
tempted, are you?
(On a lamp post in the middle of the bridge,
a piece of green tape, and hand penciled,
“the factory is out of control”) Yes,
I’m tempted, always tempted to believe
edges like that must
enclose and exclude. For
example, you’re out there, invisible, and I’m
in here, writing this.
Considerations for Maze-Building/Determining an Appropriate Level of Guilt Upon Leaving Someone I Do Not Love
1) The intention of the maze is to disrupt
the intuition of the traveller as frequently
as possible // how often did they hand me the map?
Was I asked politely to navigate? Told?
Permitted? 2) At a fork where within sight
one path branches again and the other does not,
the traveller will assume the branched path is correct.
How convincing the wrong turns should be made Continue reading “3 Poems by Anna Kahn”→
Were incredibly blessed to welcome back the one and only Bill Moran to Speech Therapy after his legendary performance in 2017 – this time accompanied by the amazing William Brian Sain – two of the soundest souls in the whole of poetry – below is filmed footage of the full 30min headline set – a seance with the songs and sutures of soil and sinue – Massive thanks to all who braved the cold and stayed to the end to have heart-stones warmed by the powerful words. Enjoy xX
Joseph Ellison Brockway is a poet, translator, and Spanish professor. He likes to juxtapose words and signs to disrupt the language on the page and to disturb the reader’s thoughts. Many of his poems also experiment with ideas and images that explore the human psyche and existence. Joseph’s poetry has recently been published in L’Éphémère Review, Moonchild Magazine, SurVision Magazine, and Surreal Poetics. He can be found roaming the socialmediaverse at @JosephEBrockway.
I was told (who told me? what voice?) to imagine a porthole, to focus across the blue. Wait
for the glare of clarity to abate, subdue it. Acknowledge the blue, it said, like breathing used to be. It will be cold, like the first snow, as you ease yourself across. There is the sea. Concentrate. I become my focus, which is her. She watches the sky (I remember the sky). I don’t
see her, it is not sight, yet she’s there on the terrace watching the clouds, seeing vertebrae. The voice says, It’s like blowing. I remember breathing, taking in a deep breath. The thought, or what sounds like a thought, makes me smile. (A smile is just a metaphor now.)Focus. I’m entranced with the mirror image. I need the sea
for practice. She’s searching for letters – an L – but clouds
are untamable, they stand on end, wisps trailing away into a spider’s thread that I follow (again,
a metaphor) in wonder (now I know wonder)
and she is no longer on the terrace, no longer
looking, though her ache crimsons the scent of pine and honeysuckle. I translate touch, sound,
sight, want, pain. She is trying to translate, but knows
only blue, sea. Sees only vertebrae, thinks I don’t hear.
I resist dissipation. I dally, imagining our two mists
mingling (what sex used to be?), though I’m becoming wisp already. Her every thought like a blood-red
light flashing in the empty blue.Listen.
Kymm Coveney was born in Boston and has lived in Spain since the 1982 World Cup. Some poems are in Under the Radar, Prole, and The Interpreter’s House. Several flash pieces reside at 101Fiction. Online translations include a poem at Surreal Poetics and a short story at Palabras Errantes.
inside each memory egg a gold inlay of an incident
how the brain compartmentalizes like a chambered nautilus
yet it is all one sand – the brain distinguishes one from the other to understand
i’ve made a career of privacy and compartmentalized objects
i’ve made a career of my traumas
what is privacy here with all exposed and sifting over one another in an endless span
how much of privacy or keeping secret is wrapped up in fears around judgement
light exposures popping up – the privacy book the mean latitudes of reason
a wish to bold concave belly flesh shoulders wrapped in marbled warscape
a wish to stand tall to withstand the seas at the door
i biked all over town in the early dawn popping off light exposures drunk on tall boys and crashed into a lexus
the me then the me
mortal rigor in the fountainin the landscape chasm
to rack focus like an aperture to let light in
object/frame stillness among the raging
majestic orifice right there
alate lion in the yard
these death energetics
i swallow hieroglyphs like a carceral bee
fires all around the island in a glacial crisis
war on my nerves a pallor a fungus
the lens has holes in it
a disintegration of the ephemeral
the segmented abdomen becomes integrated
losing its segments as an insect ages
cerci wave in weapons of copulation
wingless among the deciduous
the sense making
malicious octopus reticular trap
alphabet laughter in the yarrow
when you become the lens itself
so the pallor is swallowed, excreted
the moult can moult
Electra clasp the wretches
wretched the wretches wash ashore
pubic schemaold days of the goddess
stressed bellythe “curved inflorescence”
irascible pharaohegg-shaped coffin
bury me in this alleged
Hers is thefelled hearta sword-shaped segment
when i curve toward you
the air stretches me pinnate
radio neuron electraradial split inquisitive
I splitI fire on all radials
electrons of nostalgiaacquisitive longing
how the “stigma persists at the tip”even though its buried
how trauma persiststhe skins a sun coming through it
wild mouths wild mouths
when the agor settles
when gold dust lament
covers it all
i am a beetle captured
my green thorax aglow
among the amber
my pincers akimbo
like come at me bro
i still believe in a female god
Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at www.apoetlibrarian.wordpress.com.
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 whichfeatures 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.
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
into whatever weather drips, ices, the shop car park
through the detached nozzle of cleanliness.
Latest Fad Is
with the soft robots
under your skin.
Caterpillars and pigs
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
fantasy battles. Internal
tattoos that some say
rot inside after so much
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).
as the missiles launched by the famished, agency-severed headless palmyras make love as yatchan/yatchini in the expansive space above the sea, unusually intense acid rain pours down which enthralls the soft-spaceships orbiting the earth.
‘the upholders of absolute truth say—.’ in the process of putting down: ‘in this wounded era in which a few of those still remain, those who had lost along with their limbs and memories their history to those that call themselves civilized; in this era that makes one wonder how is it even possible to be this much cultured, in this cultured era in which the ancient invisible technology that creates histories out of fictions and makes them myths has meshed itself finely with high technology, truly they say: a society that has not written down and preserved its history proper will be wiped ou—’; in the process of putting down and reading this, does a missile called silence advance up toward my vocal cord and sever my part-asinine chain of thought.
the multiplied yatchi/yatcha missiles fly past mountains and cities invisibly, lighting up electromagnetic spectrum, picking and savoring microwaves, but unsatiated and still famished, they migrate in many directions, departing and arriving toward the targets.
Ahimaz Rajessh (@ahimaaz) has been published recently with Marlskarx, Burning House Press, Big Echo: Critical SF, Paint Bucket, Speculative 66, formercactus, Dream Pop Press and MoonPark Review. He lives in the Union of India.
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 final portion of this poem previously appeared in Caustic Frolic.
Nicholas Beren is a New Jersey native. In addition to his poetry, he has written film criticism and arts features for sundry outlets, online and in print. You can find him on twitter @BerenNicholas. He still lives in New Jersey.
stories only 🡪 this message has no content / i will devour / like a written thing 🡪 loomed untitled. /// The / empathy empathy / the main character should die 🡪 submenu / enter // my question is when u say you are say u are sad, what are you sad about? are you sad about the world? the compounded sadness? is a thought sad? how is happy? whose is it and what is it like? mouseclick 🡪 palpable turn //// thought n. – a reliquary of loss; an open document; a semblance; a letting; a source; everyone who’s there.    🡪 the season nonetheless some evocative partially solid thing 🡪 extra limbic 🡪 carrier wave 🡪 mostly 🡪 really 🡪 and as the subject of / what do you see 🡪 praxis in reasonable portions 🡪 father on religion save / save save the whales 🡪 they sick / from heavy metals (character’s demonstration of preconceived prerecorded a priori desires /// “exist” or 🡪 my biological episode (to descriptor string   blessed end blessed beginning) 🡪 second death / wearing the gradual retreat still heard and felt / Object. / have been the road       see if you put this like this and this like this / you can make / a mouth a mouth a myth / and it’s the same the same same [the question is]
Ian recently finished his MFA in Poetry from Louisiana State University. His work has appeared in the tiny and Aberration Labyrinth and is forthcoming in Always Crashing. He lives and walks his black lab, Gabriel, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
CLYDE: YOU’RE A SCARED HEARTLESS HORRIBLE LITTLE MAN–
EDGAR:you’re acting like a fool–
EDGAR:don’t you ever do that again–
EDGAR:Clyde ((where are you going
EDGAR:Clyde ((i’m sorry
EDGAR:Clyde ((please don’t leave me
EDGAR:Clyde ((i’m begging you
THE LIGHT, RIGHT BEFORE (IT GOES OUT)
we are eating our separate smoke in
your living room: you prop your broken
window open with a weapon-part when
the hot air coaxing us into a fine sweat
my body back into the last jail cell: for weeks
afterwards i wake up dragged out of my car
& my hands cuff-numb again in both our
beds: i’ve decided love is the awkward way
we dance around the word itself: so in the
interest of being transparent i am admitting
i am an expert at pretending to be asleep:
i have done it while another partner fucked
someone else in my bed next to me &
i have done it to stay home from grade
school & i have done it in jail to placebo
myself into stillness: i promise i am not
lying even when i say the same things as
i’ve said into similarly uncertain mouths:
love is me telling you how to devastate me
& you choosing not to: love is you wanting
me to believe all the awful things you assume
would make someone tell you to leave: or, it
is knowing we are pretending not to watch
each other move / liquid-like / right before
the light / goes out.
THE NEW JERSEY DEVIL STOPS BEING A PACIFIST AFTER WATCHING COPS BEAT ITS FRIENDS INTO THE PAVEMENT
The New Jersey Devil is being followed by an unmarked car (again) (today). The New Jersey Devil sits across from the jail-warden and looks at its own mugshot upside-down. The New Jersey Devil watches the camera watching it eat naked shit naked sleep naked sob naked glare back at it naked. The New Jersey Devil finds the only not-Bible book during the one un-solitary hour and it is Hamlet so thus reads each sentence twice then recites it back to itself like it is the Ghost and the voice-crack and the Accident and the scene-change all at once. The New Jersey Devil is told it is unsafe but the jail-warden is not telling the New Jersey Devil how it feels he is telling it how it is classified. The New Jersey Devil does not know how long it prayed to a sliver of sky before realizing it was just a brick wall’s painted taunt. The New Jersey Devil has handcuff scars for months after. Later, the New Jersey Devil learns a prayer exists in a lover’s language that begs the skulls of their enemies cracked open on rocks like brunch eggs. Later, the New Jersey Devil practices the script of its emergency contact number so often it recitals in its sleep. Now, the New Jersey Devil does not have it memorized (yet) (again). Now, the New Jersey Devil gets one phone call and it rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and
L. Reeman is an interdisciplinary archivist and poet haunting highway rest-stops. They are the author of INVENTION OF THE MOUTH (Dream Pop Press, 2019), and BAITED MEMORY (Ghost City Press, 2019), as well as other chapbooks, and they have work in the 2017 Bettering American Poetry anthology. They want to hear about your favorite bridge.