Thom Young: Two Poems

Love 

love came back
to haunt
us
with a gun
in her hands
we sat over
a bowl of cold cereal
and
laughed
at how the world
used to be
I never saw her again
after that
but sometimes
I hurt for no reason
at all.

 

Hell

you can find hell
in many things
in a cold stare of a lady
in a green dress
buying purple onions
and milk for a cat
that hates her.
in a small child pounding
its skull on a concrete wall
somewhere in California.
in the eyes of lovers
walking in a park at night
as Butterscotch lamps
shine on.
yes, you can hell in many
things.

 

 

Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in PBS Newshour, The Wall Street Journal, The Oxford Review, and over a hundred literary journals. He is a 2008 Million Writers Award and 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Anna Teresa Slater: “Forty-Two”

Forty-Two

Milk, mum, nappies, mum, milk, sometimes dad,
blanket wrap, a squeezy duck,
a twinkling tin can with useful words:
tears   broken window   not that,
elephant-shaped milk chocolate cornflakes,
please, something to make them stop.
Pimple-popping machine, mouth filter,
box wine, a joint, true love’s kiss,
that boy at the dance, a seventh chance,
condoms, pepper spray, ice pack,
an eraser to rub it all out,
sometimes dad to hold me up.

A passport, yen, rubles, rupees, pounds,
a real reason to go home,
black coffee, god, Simone de Beauvoir,
a self-slap, a megaphone,
a forgiving church, a midday nap,
a warning before the call.

Old photos of them, alive and young,
something else to hold me up,
hair dye, another day, midnight song,
milk tea, Tao Te Ching, white lies,
a twinkling tin can with useful words:

Accept  Let go   It’s okay.

 

Anna Teresa Slater is a high school literature and drama teacher from the Philippines and is a postgraduate student in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Four of her poems have been published in a local anthology and she has two poems in an online protest lit repository. She lives on a farm with her husband, dog, and cat.

Alexina Dalgetty: “Getting the Cogs to Fit”

Getting The Cogs To Fit

Michelle mixed colours never seen before, golden and fresh green daylights, purple and orange night times. She dusted over old landscapes with new ideas. She shifted perspective. She elongated trees. She owned the leisurely landscape.

Her paintings sold. They sold well. They sold for more money than Michelle thought anyone should pay for a modern day painting. She searched her canvasses for clues to their value. She eyed their competence and plausibility, their creative use of new colour, shadow, and perspective. It bewildered her. But still, she painted.

Her children grew older and left home. They had children of their own. They clattered through her house, demanding she paint their squirming babies. Her colours didn’t mix right for babies. They looked underdone and over roasted. Her children didn’t care. They oohed and ahhed. They paid for frames and hung the awful likenesses.

Her husband stopped working. Instead of packing a lunch and going to an office or wherever it was he used to go – she couldn’t quite remember, so much art in her head – he stayed in bed until late. He did odd jobs around the house and volunteered with the local historic society. He spent peculiarly long periods of time in the garden shed.

Gliding elegant into old age, Michelle woke one day compelled to paint cogs. Dry sandy dust coloured cogs. Orangey, browny, sludgy cogs. Each fitting into the other. Working in harmony. She saw them with the painterly eye that lived in the fibres of her heart. Cogs in motion, an engine to life. Each morning she painted the cogs and each evening she painted the canvass blank. The cogs refused to fit in paint the way they fit in her heart.

 

Alexina Dalgetty lives in Stratford, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Anishnabek, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa peoples. She has recently started writing short stories.

Madelyn Kreienheder: “At Peace with Death”

At Peace with Death

I didn’t wear shoes today–
Despite knowing I’d have to sidestep
Many rocks and grains of glass-
I prefer to feel the ground, even if it hurts.

At first I let my dog choose the way
Until we neared downtown,
And as suddenly as the sun started her descent
I knew our destination.

Flanked by forgotten shop buildings
On a haggard brick road,
The sun teased my eyes
Drifting below the hill

Leaving a trail of light
Through the open doors
Of the black, barbed gate
Brooding over the cemetery.

The sun welcomed me in,
So I followed with my bare feet.

I imagine that I should feel fear
As my toes caress the cool ground others sleep in,

And yet I’ve always felt comfort instead
As I walk between the beds of the dead.

 

Madelyn Kreienheder is a senior English major at Truman State University on track to graduate in December with honors. Following graduation, she will enroll to earn a master’s degree in education to pursue a career as a high school English teacher. In the meantime, she is News Director of Truman’s radio station, a member of Truman’s Honors English Society, and a part-time waitress.

George Freek: “I Dream of My Death”

I Dream of My Death 

after Li Po

A cloud stumbles over
the remaining light,
as day dissolves into night.
A sickle moon cuts into my dreams.
Trees are bent like old men,
huddled around a circle of stones,
trying to warm fleshless bones.
I hear the lake’s waves,
cracking against the shore
like voices of the dead,
calling from their graves.
From the lake’s pavilion,
voices are faraway.
Are they happy or sad?
I no longer care. I can
barely hear them anymore.
Languid anemone line
the barren waste of the shore.

 

George Freek is a poet/playwright living in Belvidere, IL. His poetry has appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, The Adelaide Review, Off Course, The Tipton Poetry Journal, The Ottawa Review of the Arts, and The Sentinel Liteayr Quarterly. His plays are published by Playscripts, Inc.; Lazy Bee Scripts; and Off The Wall Plays.

Robert Beveridge: Two Poems

Decay

When there is nothing left but sky,
but air,
all there is to do
is look up
and wonder

 

Just You Wait Until Your Mother Gets Home

is it the hot dogs or the sense
of existential dread that keeps
us at the kitchen table, awake,
at two AM? We think this is
debatable, but we ran out
of relish three hours ago.
We pull the halves apart, add
the extension leaf, stare
into its starless void.

 

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others.

 

Glenn Ingersoll: “you have to come to a certain place”

you have to come to a certain place

with your eyes closed
your hands behind your back
fingers interlaced
toes pointing in
scarf slipping from your neck
a pigeon on your hat
a booger stuck in your nose hairs
a bead of sweat on the tip of each nipple
knees red
buttocks itchy
a fly’s the only wings on your shoulders

 

 

Glenn Ingersoll works for the public library in Berkeley, California, where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). A multi-volume prose work, Thousand (MCTPub), is now available from Amazon.com; ebook from Smashwords. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Courtship of Winds, Visitant, and Caveat Lector.