a church marquee says
in front of it a lone
reaches towards the soy bean fields and barns,
the camera rolls:
Mark Jackley is the author of several poetry collections, most recently On the Edge of a Very Small Town, available free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. His poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Fifth Wednesday, Natural Bridge, Timberline Review, and other journals. He lives in Purcellville, Virginia.
at this party
and someone else
someone told me
what she’d decided,
that she knew
what went wrong
in my last two relationships
and told me how
will be better for me now.
it was something
about how we both knew
how to drink too much
without ever seeming
to get pissed.
about how our energies
complement our livers.
I wasn’t listening –
I was drunk.
I was looking at the walls
of the garden,
and thinking about
crowding out a sea.
I was thinking
about smoking a cigarette
and feeling the cool air
over the hills on either side
as it came down
and took me
and wrapped me away.
it was nice.
like salt on a black table.
against the bank.
then someone put out a punch
as always happens –
someone had commented on a girl
someone else had brought along
or something, who cares, it always happens –
and I was back again
at the party,
watching blood on the carpet
and holding my glass
like a bad dancer
at a wedding,
wondering if I’ll ever
get a chance to just relax,
sit on a riverboat
with a drink
to listen to people.
DS Maolalai is a poet from Ireland who has been writing and publishing poetry for almost 10 years. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize.
to see him drop, reducible, his lips
embracing box of black satin, pointe shoe.
It’s lonely, too, not you — performance
without the benefit of clothes, sinewed
statue, saline demeaning both of you
until you, leaning, offer him your hand. To brush
away these tears, he has to stand, subdued
only by love tempering an ancient lust.
He carries you up walnut stairs, inside
crimson canopy, chestnut curls, that fall
with flesh, upon a cream bedspread. Astride
he finds what’s nested, unmolested, small.
Beneath his body, first time, you will know
love catches you finally letting go.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart & Best of the Net nominated sonnet stalker. Her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2: One, Anti-Heroin Chic, Former Cactus, Occulum, Luna Luna, & many more. She has four chapbooks Pink Plastic House and Good Girl Games (Maverick Duck Press), Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018) and Shakespeare for Sociopaths (Hedgehog Poetry Press). She has another forthcoming, Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Press March 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press). She has a collaborative full length A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony forthcoming (Rhythm & Bones Press) in June 2019. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), and her website (kristingarth.com).
of la mer
rise smoothly over the glassed end,
drawing blue velvets of music,
& i can only hope no valkyries
come rushing in from the west,
because the blooms are so young
& the tide so high.—
the sky beyond is a staggering heap
of skin & air.
silencing eye. question mark.
reek of burnt thistle.
if not for the music,
the morning sun of promise
would be reduced to an empty whole
through whose heart
the arrows would fall
& because if you asked,
i could spend a couple thousand years
trying to say how it feels,
these velvets of desire
like cold moonlight,
to victories of lips upon lips
we keep so close.-
p.s. : RE : milk.
(have you ever looked into a bowl
you can see queen city birds
in flow under an october sky,
ducking & diving through buildings like a threaded needle,
behaving like true electricity.
let the milk stand a week
& you’ll be able to divine the complete history of weather.
this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to stand on water,
but it means you’ll be able to let it fly across your tongue
& create a hurricane of teeth.
& if that weather made a face.
if it was hers,
do you think you could find the coast
in time to pull the salt from below her eyes,
the eyes you spoiled like milk?—
have you ever stared into a bowl of milk
& began to see your face
for what it is?)-
My name is JT Butler. I live in the great state of Vermont with my wife and four children. I work as a cook, a librarian, & as the host of a weekly radio show (found on Saturday evenings at WMRW.org
). whenever there is time (& even when there isn’t), I write. Since I have not yet found anybody to publish my work, I give it away, often paired with abstract paintings. You can find it at: Facebook.com/LongshadowGreenPress
We were sleeping on the lit ship
as it was making way in protean seas.
We were not coming to him, whom I wanted,
we were coming to ourselves.
Margarita Ilieva Serafimova
Margarita Ilieva Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017 and Summer Literary Seminars 2018 Poetry Contest, and long-listed for the Erbacce Press Poetry Prize 2018 and the Red Wheelbarrow 2018 Prize, as well as nominated for the Best of the Net by the BeZine. Margarita has three collections in Bulgarian (the most recent being The Insolubility of Splendour (2018)). Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Orbis, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Orbis, Chronogram, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, Origins Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, Califragile, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Opiate, Poetic Diversity, Novelty Magazine, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Ginosko, etc. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/MargaritaISerafimova/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.
If I glue
plucked cornflower petals
to my eyelashes,
be for beauty.
Rather an invitation
for bees to buzz,
dip tiny toes
in my line of sight, to carry
that bit of elsewhere—
until I can’t
as a honeycomb,
an ever-hardening web.
I would be
a scarecrow burning
in a snowy field
wondering how to spread
Evan James Sheldon
Evan James Sheldon’s work has appeared in CHEAP POP, Ghost City Review, Pithead Chapel, and Roanoke Review, among others. He is an Assistant Editor and Editorial Coordinator for F(r)iction. You can find him online at evanjamessheldon.com.
The skeleton of a king carved from a fossilized mammoth tusk
His bones aren’t his bone; the way mine aren’t and yours aren’t
The way yours are mine and mine are yours
Your back always hurts; I apologize for my bad posture
for posing your infrastructure so sloppily
My eyes sag violet petals; you say you have been too busy
too busy to tend to the garden
I whisper that I would like to do this
We exit the saloon before you notice I never paid
You ask, ‘Do you know good and evil?’
I know evil is good for good, I know good is evil for evil
I know god is the abridged version of good; an abridged bridge that drops off
right when you start to look at your feet, when you start to see how Christ did it
A stroll on the sea is pleasant enough if you don’t think about it
or think about thinking or more importantly sinking
or pray to the sky to be more than blue
When Christ spread his hands to the blue
it made them red just like mine
And they carved a king from a skeleton
like his bones weren’t just his bones
John Maurer is a 23-year-old writer from Pittsburgh that writes fiction, poetry, and everything in-between, but his work always strives to portray that what is true is beautiful. He has been previously published in Claudius Speaks, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Thought Catalog, and more than twenty others. @JohnPMaurer