Muted Mixtape by Layla Lenhardt

That winter split me like firewood. I was smaller,splintered, Elliott Smith would play on cassette in my blue Volkswagenwhile our breath coursed through flared nostrils and damaged lungs.  *I hid my pain like a sick dog. I slinkedout, under the back deck, I swallowed some pills.In those hideous places I can still smell the acrid, peaty heat of your breath, reeking like remorse.  *But even though you swore that you left I … Continue reading Muted Mixtape by Layla Lenhardt

This Is Not A Power Play by Janna Grace

My white upper middle-class male professor told me no one is interested in reading poetry about male/female power dynamics.  He shook his head over my pastlike a sad sheepdogand said I should really try to stick to nature and “moments of quiet.” I smiled, marked a momentand left. Another time, with a beer, I said I wanted a roomof my own,that maybe that would help me get it … Continue reading This Is Not A Power Play by Janna Grace

Me and Dorothea and the Rocket Wheel by Hunter Boone

She had a face sopitted by acneshe was the walking surfaceof a cratered moon.I sat kitty-corner across from her inadvanced English class.One thing I noticed:  her body’s shape,an erotic transportshe would offer to anyone. I seldom spoke to herbut one day at a carnivalwe rode the rocket wheel together.Spinning, I put my arm around her and breathed on her face and neck andher two warm … Continue reading Me and Dorothea and the Rocket Wheel by Hunter Boone

Quiet Quandary of the Quill by Joseph V. Pali

He was tormented. His leather-bound chair had, through the hours, curved to the dimensions of his body. It had become horribly dolorous. His fingers grew tired as he twirled his pen between them and sighed despairingly. He was in agony, for an aspect of his being was viciously girdled and quickly losing its functionality. His creativity was being choked and his ability to write was … Continue reading Quiet Quandary of the Quill by Joseph V. Pali

A Letter From the Other Side by Ewa Mazierska

Joanna was a poet, the most poetic poet I had ever met. She was recognised as the best Polish one of her generation. She also thought, talked and behaved like a poet. By that I do not mean that she spoke in rhymes, far from it, but her thinking and talking had the sharpness, directness and simplicity of a metaphor. When she talked, she omitted … Continue reading A Letter From the Other Side by Ewa Mazierska

Brushwork by Victor Marrero

An ancient sweeper stationed outside the museum’s entrance doors. The same one every day. A mute. Diminutive. Crescent back, leathered skin, toothless sunken cheeks. Garb a coarse blue denim sack. Something foreign in her withered face.Her look like a model for avant-garde images exhibited inside,conjures sculpture, oil on canvas, a book of verse. She pushes a wooden broom along. Hard brown bristles. Artful, jerky, syncopated … Continue reading Brushwork by Victor Marrero

Tract by Alan Elyshevitz

If you are end-time man, end-time woman, sick in the groin, half-Jewish on your mother’s side, then this life of chloracne and checking accounts is only a fable of ganglia. Believe not the fine-tuned numbers of aerodynamics nor the poultice warmed by nursing hands (Proverbs 3:5,6). Read the Bible daily: Hebrews, Philippians. In abnegation, testify: I was bored in my limited office space; Christ came … Continue reading Tract by Alan Elyshevitz

The Darkening Green by Martin Parsons

It had been Charlotte’s idea, of course. Beautiful Charlotte. Just so, even in her brown school dress, her hideous brown socks, her red beret. She placed a hand on each of her four friends in turn, an exclusive invitation to appreciate her company. “A game, that’s all. Just a little game.” She could have been her mother, biscuit tree in one hand and lemon in … Continue reading The Darkening Green by Martin Parsons