Two Girlarium sonnets:
Sometimes it takes a six-hour drive to meet
another villain to understand why
you became one, too. Girl he used to beat,
consensually, becomes the one you cry
to, discrete, IM introduction: “I know
what it feels like to be his orphan.” Week
commiserating online while you grow
more sure your tenure, little one, is done. Weak
enough to say yes when she suggests you
should take a holiday, Atlanta — there’s
sex clubs. She knows what looks like love — your view
opened door, her pompadour, dark suit,
stare before she zips you in an obscene dress —
feel what remains of his latest princess.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker from Pensacola. Her sonnets have appeared in journals like Glass, Yes, Five: 2: One, Isacoustic* and many more. She is the author of twelve books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press) and the forthcoming Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press) and The Meadow (Apep Publications, 2020). Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website http://kristingarth.com
Banner Image “Pink Bouquet” by Robert Frede Kenter. Tweets at @frede_kenter
I broke you
out of solitary—
I did it because
because it was
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
Gullible eggs (reprise)
My mother lied with tenderness, sweet
aplomb, and range;
she’d seen a century, our crooked sea-swelled house
cost a million, and all babies were born with feathers
that softened the world’s edges
In the suburbs
At night, bodies unfold their pretty scars
and souls start rattling their cages.
Morning, always fresh and unhurried.
Midday is to be lived within itself,
good food, tempered laughter,
a bottle of Amarone.
There is an aristocratic cadence
in the way time punctures the day.
thongs & sand
some days I wake
up hot & he
regrets he’s not w/me
& I turn &
drive & I won’t
tell you about my
drives for then I
would have to show
Tim writes a stork down, the gulls,
and -‘I met a woman by the littoral line.
She played throwing with her dog, claimed,
“I hate everything except cats.”
I saw the waves revealed a skeleton.
Whose spirit did empty it there?
Before Sunday Dinner
My brother scrubs hard
from his two smoking fingers
until they blush
like mortified teenagers
who scream, don’t look at us!
Niall M Oliver @NMOliverPoetry is an Irish born writer who lives in London with his wife and two boys. He takes inspiration from his roots and everyday life, and has previously been published in The Lake Poetry, as well as a couple of anthologies but has yet to meet anyone who claims to have read them.
Banner Image “Siblings” by Robert Frede Kenter. Tweets at @frede_kenter.
Again I come
To the dark room of my heart
From where I form the light
I am a spirit hovering
Yesterday at the riverfront, the water
rose so high a man washed
his socks from the rubble placed along the bank
to guard the walking path. His socks
were filthy from slogging through the Quarter
during the morning’s flood. As hot
as it was, those socks must have felt
divine on his feet, like a river of cool breeze
carrying him to his next shady spot. He did not
rush the washing. He had no need
to leave any of the river behind.