I Write

I Write

By: Jennifer Fox

I write to examine, to hold
the world with its beautifully jagged
pieces between my thumb and forefinger, and 
rub them smooth like a pocketed worry stone.

I write to create, to give 
birth to new worlds, to give characters life with
the stroke of a pen, to treat the page as
a surrogate for my traitorous womb. 

I write to destroy, to wreck 
walls and slay monsters, to strike 
matches and feed flames, and walk
barefoot through the ashes that remain.

I write to feel, to rip
sutures with my teeth, to rub knuckles into
wounds, and run fingers over the memories that
blanket my skin in scarred topography.

I write to numb, to distract, 
to reverse gravity, to shoot Novocain straight
into the heart, and remain suspended
in a blissful state of indifference.

I write to remember, to forget,
to be everything that was, ever could be, and never
will, and to be all the things that creep
into the spaces in between.

I write to be heard, to reclaim 
a voice once silenced, to stand in
the vibration of its echo, and turn
whispers into hurricanes.

Jennifer Fox is a western New York native and MFA candidate at Lindenwood University. She is a staff reader for Thirty West Publishing House and has had work featured in Across the Margin, The Daily Drunk Mag, The Write Launch, Disquiet Arts, and Anti-Heroin Chic.

Find Jennifer @jennfoxwriter on Twitter.

Clementine

Clementine

By: Holly Zijderveld

content warning : heavy sexual references

I’m not sure when it started. I can’t pin it exactly. The burning is in my chest again – the smoke is filling up my lungs again and I feel more trapped than free. Love is meant to be free. 

I can feel you digging your thumbs into me like I’m a clementine. Two at once, you’re pushing and plunging them into the top, there are juices flowing everywhere, you want to know everything about me. You’re prising me open, flesh against flesh; I just want to feel something again. I am open now, you’re working on removing my segments. There is blood everywhere. You’re skinning me, carefully removing my rind as you set me down on the counter, naked and exposed. 

You pick up the first segment. 

I didn’t expect you to look at me so closely before you take me to your mouth, but yet, here you are. You are just staring; you’re examining me. Tracing your fingers over the ties to the skin that still remain. You’re probing me and prodding me. What are you doing? 

You’re setting my segment back on the table. You do it with such care – you’ve tried so hard not to spill more blood, it’d be a shame to do so now. You’re then taking the next one, and the next and the next. Repeating the same motions over and over; you never get bored of me, baby. The same old lines must look different to you each time. 

Once you have finished viewing me, you set the last segment on the table. They’re all standing in a row, they’re on their knees, they’re pleading with you to know what happens next. You scoop up the peelings in your warm, forgiving hands and drop them on the floor. It’s a long way down, and the floor looks cold and alone. I would gasp if I were human.

Now, you’re walking away. 

The segments of my clementine are all waiting for you.  

Holly Zijderveld (she/her) is currently based in the UK. When she’s not writing or running her own lit journal, you can find her watching too many films, playing Bach, and thinking about the way the light hit that one very specific bit of water. You can find her @hollyzijderveld on Instagram and Twitter.

constellations of love

constellations of love

By: Kaja van den Berg

I want to swallow the sun
bite into it like a fresh apple
sweet like your kiss on my lips

the only place my feelings hide
is in my mother’s good night songs
I echo her features in the mirror
like a scream calling back
from mountain tops

my tears give birth to the moon
rip open the night sky like a present
awaited for so long

I count the stars like daisy petals
hoping that when I am done
they will tell me you are loved

Kaja van den Berg (she/her) is a twenty-something bilingual writer and blogger from Germany. She’s an enthusiast for rain, books, art and people. Her work can be found on her blog http://www.ausdemakörbchen.com, Apropos Magazin, various other lit mags, and on the lithe EP by FRANKLY SAID.

Find Kaja on @Kaja_vdB on Twitter and on @kaja_vdb + @ausdemakoerbchen on Instagram.

Fortune

Fortune

(Tarot, Major Arcana 10)

By: László Aranyi

‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Our living space’s shrinking,
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎earth’s going crappy
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ a castrated Redeemer’s hanging around the morgue.

Washy, foamy spew pouring from his mouth, thick
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏like a horse’s rump.
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏The High-priestess raises her neck-broken head,

‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎the Clown roars with laughter behind them.
The Magician’s crying.

‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏ Fixed in every alteration (since the agglomeration of 
frozen still images
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ that we seem to sense are illusions also).
The wheel isn’t turning,
the question of the Sphinx is the cunning fabrication of Oedipus.

Growing red nipples culminate on trembling alabastrine breasts,
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ a frog’s bouncing on them to and fro, 
there’s a juicy, steaming mouth of a cave
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏ between opening thighs.
A dwarf-size, distorted faun crawls toward her on his four.
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Fresh, floating honey scent alluringly penetrates
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ the full moon’s veil.

The dead cuddles up to the living.
The rotten kisses the living.
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ The first becomes one with the last.
The victor becomes the defeated.

Translated by Gabor Gyukics

Laszlo Aranyi (Frater Azmon) poet, anarchist, occultist from Hungary. Earlier books: (szellem)válaszok, A Nap és Holderők egyensúlya . New: Kiterített rókabőr. English poems published: Quail Bell Magazine, Lumin Journal, Moonchild Magazine, Scum Gentry Magazine, Pussy Magic, The Zen Space, Crêpe & Penn, Briars Lit, Acclamation Point, Truly U, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, Lots of Light Literary Foundation, Honey Mag, Theta Wave, Re-side, Cape Magazine, Neuro Logical, The Daily Drunk Mag, Unpublishable Zine, Melbourne Culture Corner, Beir Bua Journal, Crown & Pen, Dead Fern Press, Coven Poetry Journal, Journal of Erato, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, All Ears (India), Utsanga (Italy), Postscript Magazine (United Arab Emirates), The International Zine Project (France), Swala Tribe Magazine (Rwanda). Known spiritualist mediums, art and explores the relationship between magic.

Find László on Twitter @azmon6, and on Facebook @aszlo.aranyi.3

Coffee

Coffee

By: Jennifer Fox

Take it black, high octane only.
Feel the full weight of it as
notes of hazelnut tightrope across your tongue.
These are the magic beans Jack spoke of.
Drink‎‎‎ㅤㅤ and walk among giants.

Jennifer Fox is a western New York native and MFA candidate at Lindenwood University. She is a staff reader for Thirty West Publishing House and has had work featured in Across the Margin, The Daily Drunk Mag, The Write Launch, Disquiet Arts, and Anti-Heroin Chic.

Find Jennifer @jennfoxwriter on Twitter.

Warpaint

Warpaint

By: Michael Igoe

Few gentle touches,
chosen from infants
are a will to imperil.
Caught up in a stage,
of swirling advances
to forgive the mess
in cries and wailing.
They are all daubed
in various warpaints.
Laying in possession
of an outback space
beside a muddy river.
Vapors recorded,
will come and go.
They beseech you,
to acquire warpaint.
They’ll get broken,
then become clean.
They aimed arrows,
to cure their disease.

Michael Igoe, city boy, neurodiverse, Chicago now Boston. Numerous works appear in journals online and in print. Recents: featherpenblog.org, Spare Change News (Cambridge, MA), subliunaryreview.com. Anthologies: Avalanches in Poetry, The Poets of 2020 (Fevers of the Mind Press) @ amazon.com. National Library of Poetry Editor’s Choice Award 1997. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the night.

Find Michael @MichaelIgoe5 on Twitter and @michael.igoe.397 on Instagram.

The Katherine Factor

The Katherine Factor

By: Michael Igoe

On pain of first light
we made the contact
in sudden misgiving.
Glancing at images
of the ages of faces.
Something is happening,
after what came in April.
It’s easy to see them,
as soon as they whirl
the jinxes in glasses
along with a takeover
of the rosier witnesses.
The timeline specks,
whose detailed magic

stained the pages.

Michael Igoe, city boy, neurodiverse, Chicago now Boston. Numerous works appear in journals online and in print. Recents: featherpenblog.org, Spare Change News (Cambridge, MA), subliunaryreview.com. Anthologies: Avalanches in Poetry, The Poets of 2020 (Fevers of the Mind Press) @ amazon.com. National Library of Poetry Editor’s Choice Award 1997. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the night.

Find Michael @MichaelIgoe5 on Twitter and @michael.igoe.397 on Instagram.

An almost normal Friday, Death sitting on my couch, eating Cheetos

An almost normal Friday, Death sitting on my couch, eating Cheetos

By: Jason Melvin

content warning : death

The text message was odd
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ You doing alright today?
830 in morning     coming from
a nighttime/weekend friend
my first thought     he texted the wrong person

‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ya y?
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ weird dream last night    just checking in
‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ don’t mean to sound weird    just piece of mind

‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ so how gruesome was my death?

‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ You just fell over

there’s really no need for deep contemplation
3 months ago     my brother     just fell over
3 weeks ago    one nighttime/weekend     we discussed it
that doesn’t mean I wasn’t acutely aware of any odd pains 

a coworker calls at 10am   he needs Monday off from work
his brother has a standing appointment with Death     Cancer
and it looks like Death’s schedule has an opening this weekend
a phone call a few hours later confirms it       he passed

at 4pm     at home now    another phone call
a different coworker arrived home after work
to find his wife dead in their bed     unexpected
no appointment on the books

Death reclines back      licks cheese dust off his fingers
watches cartoons      mostly SpongeBob

He sits in the empty chair at the dining room table
while we play cards                            No
We do not deal him in

Why are we always so shocked      so surprised?
when we know he’s always  
       right     
    there

Jason Melvin is a father, husband, grandfather, high school soccer coach, and metals processing center supervisor, who lives just outside of Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in Rat’s Ass Review, Kitchen Sink Magazine, The Electric Rail, The Front Porch Review and Shambles, among others.

Find Jason on Instagram @JasonMelvin5.

Midterm Exam Questions

Midterm Exam Questions

By: Mia Maceasik

For the following sections, please choose the correct answer. 

1. All of the below are true, except: 

a. A binary out of sorts 
b. Pink, blue, yellow, and green 
c. Self-actualization 
d. Grass humming softly as you sleep 
e. What the therapist said 

2. Fill in the blanks using the word bank provided: 

a. On Good Fridays, we wear ______. 
b. Only ______ can redeem us. 
c. When mom asks about your partner, just drink a glass of ______ and make plans for brunch. 
d. When you were a kid you found out that you were born covered in ______. Fortunately, ______ was a fairly safe coping mechanism. 
e. Buy ______ for 50% off of ______! Confess today and receive one salvation for free! 


Pink Shit ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ The Blood of Our Lord ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Alcohol ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Fake Smiles ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Fire‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎ Gasoline ‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎ Queerness

3. If x=awake and y=you, what is x*y? Choose the most correct answer. 

a. Drugs 
b. The smothering weight of productivity 
c. Daydreams(Maladaptive) 
d. Mild to moderate dehydration 

Mia is an emerging poet with work forthcoming in Last Leaves Magazine. Their writing explores themes of temporality, embodiment, and the environment from a queer, disabled and mixed perspective.

Find Mia @hapticpoetry on Instagram.

Plath’s last journal, tossed by ted

Plath’s last journal, tossed by ted

By: Oakley Ayden

Her last one — the mom one
need it want to see it read

it seep deep between its
lines gulp down what

solace i can find
in words our

sylvia left
alive

for us
moms

who spiral

round this lonely
rut of repetition.

Oakley Ayden (she/her) is an autistic, bisexual writer from North Carolina. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Ghost City Review, The Cabinet of Heed, Maw: Poetry Journal, Not Very Quiet,Neologism Poetry Journal, The Minison Project, Sledgehammer Literary Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in California’s San Bernardino National Forest with her two daughters.

You can find Oakley @Oakley_Ayden on Twitter and @Oakley.Ayden on Instagram.