Mark Trechock: “Calving”

Calving

Saw Arne at the barber shop
Waiting his turn, seemed
To be nodding off, his
Old truck magazine slipped
Off his lap. He woke up.

Calving, he said, midnight,
three o’clock, six,
And here he was sleeping
Downtown like a vagrant. He
shook his head, rubbed his eyes.

I asked him, could he tell if
He could pick out the cows
That were likely soon to drop,
So a guy would know
To stay and help if birthing was hard.

Arne gave me that look, like
City boys have no brains,
And said, well, when you see
That extra pair of legs dangling down,
You’re getting close.

 

Mark Trechock published his first poem in 1974. He put poetry aside from 1995 to 2015 after more than 20 years as a community organizing. He lives in Dickinson, North Dakota. His work is soon to appear in Triggerfish, Visitant, SBLAAM, and Sweet Tree Review.

 

Katherine C. Frye: “No Gods”

No Gods

when i press my forehead to the ground,
i hear Rushing.
there is no Wind. there is no Water.
in the dirt, i feel Sunlight on my back.
i hear the Earth: she is Breathing.
and beneath her, i hear my son:
Laughing.

when I rise,
I heard Rushing.
the Night is Dark.
the earth is stone.
my son is Stone.
there is blood in my ears, and beyond them,
Silence.

 

 

Katherine C. Frye, currently a theater student at Utah Valley University, began writing in the third grade with a series of ghost stories all titled, “The Shark-Alligator” (none of which contained a single mark of punctuation, which Katherine adamantly defended as an “artistic choice” so as not to receive low marks.) She has been recently published in the literary magazine All the Sins with a short story called “Millie and the Wendigo.”

Layla Lenhardt: “Little J.”

Little J.

I remember un-peeling you like a clementine
under a full moon at the Jersey shore. You were
topless in a beach house kitchen and it hurt
harder than all the skinned knees of my childhood.

We fed each other pocked strawberries, but I never
digested them, they were better stuck between
my teeth. My fingers were in your mouth, my mouth
was on your chest. We were silver and white,
a spider web on a queen sized bed.

Later, I was in a bathtub, watching my hair
float in curls around me like a noose. Your name was a spell
I cast to make myself remember that all the demons under my bed
were silenced when I was under you.

 

Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming poetry book, These Ghosts are Mine, is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.

Darren C. Demaree: Three Poems

amend/amends/amendments #22

skulls don’t blink
our history blinds
just that way

the strength of
our bones works
just that way

the organs split
processing america every
single, damn time

 

amend/amends/amendments #23

the mouth surrounds
the delinquent apple
we should be

a nation of
delinquent apples
our parades should

choke the snake
we loosed before
we remembered gardens

 

amend/amends/amendments #24

your body is
will be i
can promise you

personally definitely will
be cleaned before
your shadow is

tucked away or
put on display
don’t slow down

 

Darren C. Demaree‘s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, Diode, North American Review, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of eleven poetry collections, most recently Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire (June 2019, Harpoon Books). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry and currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.

Cynthia Pitman: “Entangled”

Entangled

Wild briars surround me,
wielding their thorn-barbed wire,
a weapon that threatens to keep me captive.
My hands claw at the sharpened spikes,
but my hands can’t help me.
They can only bleed
from the scratches and gouges
torn into my skin
and refuse to go into battle again.
A razor-sharp scythe would help –
arming me equally,
giving me a chance to make a break
from this bristly prison
and – finally! – taste the sharp-sweet syrup
of my stolen blackberries.

 

Cynthia Pitman is a retired English teacher with poetry published in Amethyst Review, Vita Brevis, Leaves of Ink, Ekphrastic, Postcard Poems and Prose, Right Hand Pointing, Literary Yard, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Three Line Poetry, Third Wednesday (finalist, One Sentence Poem Contest), and others. Her book, The White Room, is forthcoming.

Disha Trivedi: “a marriage vow”

a marriage vow

look
__________across the bridge
where
__________once, two lovers
__________jumped,
hand in hand
for the sheer and simple joy of it.

the water was not deep.
daylight
__________had snuck up on them:
night
__________was for people
bent
__________on secrecy;
their mission
was celebration.

he jumped
__________and she fell;
unevenly
__________they went,
__________billiard balls,
and bowling pins,

dancing
__________in the air
one after
the other
__________till the whoop
__________and splash
rent
__________the water
__________like so many
unsent letters,
ready to accept a
simple correspondence.
love makes it easy

to risk drowning. for
two moments,
__________maybe three,
the people
who have gathered here today
watch and wait,
and then
__________two heads
emerge, sodden.
their mouths know only
the shape of laughter.

 

Disha Trivedi is a scientist-in-training. She currently divides her time between Scotland, New Zealand, and her native California. She has been previously published in The Women’s Issue, an anthology curated by the Harvard Advocate.

 

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.