ISSUE 3

It is December now. The year is ending. The year has ended hundreds of thousands of times. The world has spun and we have lost and been lost. We have struggled and grown and learned new lessons about death and grief and acceptance and how to look to the future. We have learned about the smaller parts of ourselves we could more easily deny before 2020 showed us the mirror daily. Nothing will ever be the same, and now it is time to reflect on the cocoon of this year, and then, become.

Kris Hiles, EIC

The Obscure

M.P. Powers

I’m not interested in hearing the latest gossip
about the Queen of Furs or some Hawaiian-born
health-obsessed halleluiah-peddling
voice actor. I don’t want to hear any small talk,
no trivial factoids, no gridiron scores nor political opinions,
nothing to do with money, empire, big data,
the proliferation of mobile devices in Tanzania or commercial
spaceflight. I want to hear about Heraclites, the unshaven,
mad-eyed hermit, descending from his mountain retreat
in 485 BC and leaving the people four simple
words to chew on for eternity: lightning drives all things.

                                (Everything else is a dream).

M.P. Powers gets people high for a living – he rents out scissor lifts, scaffolding, ladders, etc. In his spare time, he writes books and does artistic things. He tweets here: @mppowers1132

Déjà Vu

Bhavya Bhagtani

City ruins
And, your hands
Felt a lot
Like one another
.
Cold
Abandoned
And, desperate
For something to call their own

Bhavya Bhagtani is a 23 year old poet from Ajmer, India. Her work
has previously appeared in The Alipore Post and The Bombay Review. One of her poems is forthcoming in Airplane Poetry Movement’s poetry anthology.

subscapularis

Shon Mapp

it once felt like home,
a singular dwelling
made of you. invaded by aliens
who laid waste, preyed on muscle
and memory, harvested its waters
made sport of its connective tissue,
expelling something foul, foreign
and altogether identical to the eye.
only my skull, knows the difference

Shon Mapp is an emerging writer with published poems in Fourteen Poems, Ghost Heart, and Kissing Dynamite. Her works typically explore queer intimacy and multicultural identities.

Elegy for Lavender

Yash Seyedbagheri

lavender, lovely and lilting
the color of Mama’s nightgown
and her walls, sharp angled, yet smooth
lavender, the color of smiles at sunset
while she twirled to Tchaikovsky
but then she switched over to black
more power, she said
while her smile slunk away
Mama became Mom
and pursed lips pursued bills and promotions

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA fiction program. His stories, “Soon,” “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” and “Tales From A Communion Line.” have been nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.

Sunday Morning Prayer

Matthew J. Andrews

With head bowed and eyes closed,
I inch closer to the canyon’s rim,
arms spread wide like a bird’s wings:
is it today I will be pushed?

Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer who lives in Modesto, California. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Orange Blossom Review, Funicular Magazine, The Inflectionist Review, Red Rock Review, Sojourners, Amethyst Review, Kissing Dynamite, and Deep Wild Journal, among others. He can be contacted at matthewjandrews.com.

The Great Auk

Molly Knox

Flammable flight on the North Atlantic
Pinguinus Impennis, now crossed
Off the list. Although flightless,
Can they still dream?
To not be smudged
All their ruler sized inches
Off this muddy blue
Globe.

Molly Knox is a music student at Durham University who writes poetry, as well as theatre and literary reviews. She typically explores themes of nature, mental health and identity in her work. Her poetry has previously been published by the Unpublishable Zine.

Husk

David Linklater

By the water in a pair of welly boots
I wander, light a cigarette and pass
the old boat rotting in the shallow. Her
owner left for the war and never came home.
She waits there still, hoping, and on quiet
mornings the old folk say you can hear her weep
in the waves she knows so well.

David Linklater is a poet from Balintore, Easter Ross. He is the author of two pamphlets, most recently Black Box (Speculative Books, 2018). He was shortlisted for the 2020 Edwin Morgan award and is the recipient of a Dewar Arts Award. His work has appeared in New Writing Scotland, Gutter, DMQ Review and The Blue Nib, amongst others. He lives and writes in Glasgow. Twitter @DavidRossLinkla

Juncture Approaching

Mitchell Solomon

Dressed in a pattern of hearts and palms
Clasped, staring forward towards

                                 This is where it all began

A future poorly stitched together, light
Peeks through split seams and crumbling fabric

                                 A place to decide upon and process

A mirage of a tunnel
In this frigid cave

                                 An end. Thank you for the blanket.

Mitchell Solomon studied Writing, Marketing, and Economics at Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned his B.S. in 2011. Since then he has been working in marketing in San Francisco and writing poetry and short stories.

Into the Sea

Anisha Kaul

At twilight, noiselessly, they cross the ocean
Together bid adieu to chaos
Abandon their hearts into the still waters
Tonight, they disappear into the sea of
Dreams and memories

Anisha Kaul is a poet with Masters in English Literature. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Dwelling Literary, The Minison Project, Beir Bua Journal, Small Leaf Press, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, and Visual Verse, among others. You can reach out to her on twitter @anishakaul9.

chimera

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz

unraveling/tangling. and i just want to watch
the twilight become

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz is a Pushcart Prize and Dwarf Stars Award nominee who also works as a professional visual artist. Her chapbooks include: says the rose (Yavanika Press 2019), filth (Proletaria 2020), and tyranny of the familiar (Yavanika Press 2020). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter via @tiffanyshawdiaz.