Memoirs of Infidelity By Meggie Royer

Memoirs of Infidelity

We have forgiven each other for the flood
neither of us wanted, the poltergeists
it left between us who closed their mouths
like thieving crows
when asked to speak.
Her hair still in my bed,
its whimpered red rinsing my sheets
with the appearance of bleed.
Every evening a decision of and/or:
sleep together or sleep apart,
& sex, or the two of us avoiding one another
like exit wounds.
Still the rain comes, & still
when I am beneath you
I imagine you imagining
her face.

By Meggie Royer

Biography:

Meggie Royer
 is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance MagazineThe Harpoon ReviewMelancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.

For All The Girls With Messy Hearts And To The Men Who Have Tasted Mine By Sade Andria Zabala

For All The Girls With Messy Hearts And To The Men Who Have Tasted Mine

Let’s be honest here –

I am not the girl men fall in love with.
I am the girl that men want to fuck.
I am a conquest. A prize. A show.

I could count on five hundred fingers
the number of people that have professed,
“I like you. You’re different. You’re an interesting girl.”
Apparently I’m not fascinating enough for you
to want to hold for more than a one-night stand.

Once
as I finished swimming a sea of blankets
and got left stranded on the shore,
I asked myself:

What’s wrong with me?
What am I doing?
Am I not good enough for anybody?

And right before I could drown again,
the sun woke up and said,

“You are.
You are enough.
Forget the men whose hands have groped your hips
in search for answers to questions
you’ve never even heard of.
Do not settle for people who do not appreciate you,
who do not know how lucky they are.
Remember it is a privilege to be loved by you,
or even just
to be touched by you, and
the warmth of another body does not define your worth.

These men –
they think that they can own you
with their drunken stares and roughened arms, but
I have circled the earth
a thousand times
to feed the light flowing inside your skin.
Do not waste it by illuminating those who
can not even be bothered
to learn your last name.”

So that night when
the moon tried once more to pin me down,
I told him:

I am made of sunlight, crashing waves, and fireworks.
You think you can tame me
and cool my flesh?
I am the girl who plays with matches,
and trust me I play it well.
Lord knows I’ve walked through villages leaving
a pile of destruction in my wake.

My heart is a bushfire
and the next time you try to control me,
darling, make no mistake –

I will burst out and ravage you in flames.

I’ll
burn
you
to
the
ground.

(This isn’t a test.)

By Sade Andria Zabala

Biography:

Sade Andria Zabala is a twenty-three year old Filipina surfer and nomad residing in Denmark. She has a degree in Mass Communications and is pursuing higher education to become a certified English teacher abroad. She has self-published one collection of poems called “Coffee and Cigarettes” and is now working on her second book “War Songs” to be released this fall 2015.

In her spare time she likes to eat words, drink sunlight (or wine), and question her own existence.  You may reach her at http://surfandwrite.tumblr.com.

Loving What Matters By Anita Dutt

Loving What Matters

She is still learning how to cradle self-love; how to
nurse the words that scrape their knees tumbling off her.
Tungsten translates to heavy stone and she wonders
if that is just another name for her heart.
On Sunday’s, she starches her best poem, folds it
precisely into an envelope, and offers it humbly
when the collection bag prompts for a symbol of devotion.
And she never means for it to be a consolation for money,
it is just the most worthy thing she knows to give.
She begins her day with ten tokens.
When she wakes from a restless sleep she knows
she already needs to use three.
When she runs out of milk, when she misses the bus;
when her friends are the epitome of joy and she
is somewhere between existing and trying to live.
She never has enough, never has any spare,
but she learns how to make them stretch like a mother
clothing her family earnestly with hand-me-downs and op shops.
And maybe you will never have enough love.
And maybe love won’t be perfect or brand new.
Maybe love is giving what you have
to something or someone that matters.
And maybe she is what matters.

By Anita Dutt

Biography:

Anita Dutt is not a musician but that has not stopped her from trying to play the heartstrings. Her composition of poetry can be found at ww.aribcagesymphony.tumblr.com. She is an Australian university student studying so that one day she can be a part of the healing.

Fatherhood By Pat Condliffe

Fatherhood

Did he give assent,
That father there –
The one standing
By the swings,
Not as fair as he once was,
Pushing his boy
Towards his youth’s apogee,
As they both smile,
As they both love,
As they both giggle;

That day then,
When he sees
Her beautiful happy face
Drawn, broken with tears
From struggle,
From absent                consent,
As she does cry,
As she cannot love,
As she does fear;

When that father sees her,
With her new dead
China doll stare,
Will he question if his
Was the permission slip
Slipped to his boy
By never teaching
The meaning of ‘No’?

By Pat Condliffe

Biography:

Pat Condliffe is a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia. His field of study is Australian literature. Patrick’s thesis is concerned with hoax literature and the construction of literary identities, and the intersection therein with the appropriation of gender and culture. Of particular focus is how the critical establishment reacts to hoax identity politically at the various stages of a hoax – before discovery, at discovery, after discovery. Patrick is wrestling with the question of whether literary forgery, within the realm of fiction (rife as it is with pseudonymous figures), is grounds for almost certain pariah status – as it inevitably is. Patrick’s other research interests include horror, westerns, science-fiction, and all things genre. An avid collector of comics, he has successfully passed that essential gene on to his young daughters, as well as the superpower of cooking. In a past life Patrick was a chef, before fleeing – in a manner akin to Lord Jim – to briefly become a goatherd in southern Spain. When not teaching, Patrick tries to write poems and genre literature. His critical writing and reviews have been published in SoutherlyGriffiths Review, and Media International Australia. He is a former editor of Philament, the University of Sydney Journal of the Arts.

Rebirth By Rebecca Dutsar

Rebirth

After Theodore Roethke

I have known the mystery of the oncoming spring,
the swept dead leaves from the edges of sidewalks,
remnants of last years chill tangled inside the deadening drifts of winter,
so that if you look hard enough you might mistake it for autumn-
just with greener grass and a sun that grows darker
across your skin each and every day you abandon your desk to work outside,
still finding yourself distracted, head turning at every rustle which could be
either a newborn bunny, or, quite possibly, a murderer in the bushes.
And spring is not just for awakening
or for lovers to realize each other upon a planned picnic by the lake,
rather, a funeral for the springs in the past, lost
in the sound of gunshots we no longer want to hear
each time we close our eyes at the end of the day in winter.

By Rebecca Dutsar

Biography:

Rebecca Dutsar is an enthusiastic 20-year-old from Newtown, CT. She is a junior at Ithaca College where she majors in Writing and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for a campus wide publication, The Mirror Magazine. Aside from writing, she enjoys drinking tea and scrolling through photos of baby animals online. Nothing makes her happier than feeling connected to a writer while reading their work, and it her goal to give others the same feeling as they read her own poetry and short fiction.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpoon ReviewThat Lit SiteSouvenir LitUnbroken Journal, and After the Pause. You can find her on twitter @beccsdutsar.

for some Americans passing By Dana Rushin

for some Americans passing

Before I get too comfortable on your couch,
pull my Bostonian’s off, slide
my feet, still twisting in those brown
dress socks , over the Saxony rug
your mother washed with Tide,
the spot your dad would sit eating his
dinner and rooting for the Pirates

and if you could unearth the origin of everything;
shadows, the refusal to accept as true
that all our dad’s have gone on now,
yours being the last to go
but needed two live in nurses,
to get his story out perhaps. To
document the stuff younger minds quickly
forget.

Then we got the call, and it’s always a call,
not a flyover drone or a Mitsubishi A6m Zero
(where you could see the pilots goggles)
in that battle of the eastern Solomon’s in 42.
Or a glistening sign on the side of a goat
announcing your passing.

Or any  Greek goat, naked but unharmed,
walking thru that order of peonies
then turning to suckle the baby Zeus
as Amaltheia did, nursing him with milk
in a cave on Mount Ida. And like all
the nurses I’ve known, forever

placed among the stars.

By Dana Rushin

Biography:

Dana Rushin
African American Poet,
living in Detroit.
Wayne State University student….current.
unmarried. still looking.

I DIDN’T SPEAK AT THE FUNERAL By Ashe Vernon

I DIDN’T SPEAK AT THE FUNERAL

My father was a Man of God.
My father was a liberal,
pot smoking hippie who cursed like a sailor
and knew two dozen ways to kill a man
with his bare hands—my father was a pastor.
And he had a white-knuckled grip on faith that
I do not fully understand, but
he preached gospel like
him and Jesus were old buddies who
snuck out and went drinking together—
the bail-each-other-out-of-jail kind of friends.
He held hands and broke bread;
he had a way of making a
congregation feel like a family.
He believed in heaven
more surely than I have
ever believed in anything.
My father was just a man.
He had a lot of rage in him.
And when the pills stacked higher
than the pages of a hymnal, he
went looking for god with a spade
and a shovel, he
dug the gospel out of me. Tell me,
what do you call a washed up preacher
too sick and feeble to do the lord’s bidding?
Well. I don’t know what you’d call him, but
I called him Dad.
He had a lot of names for me and
one of them was Ungrateful but
it was hard to be thankful for
the shaking shadow of all the things
my father used to be. See,
my father was a sickness
in a suit of skin. Some days, he
was more pain than person and
he made sure we all knew about it.
I did not grow up in a quiet home.
There was no room for heaven at
the kitchen table, we
had to save a seat for
Pain and one for Loss and
two for all his medications.
They say absence makes the heart
grow fonder and
my relationship with my father
made a lot more sense
after I lost him.
Death makes a space for forgiveness.
There’s lots of space in my parent’s house
without him.
I was never on first name basis with
my dad’s idea of god, but for all that
hurting he held in his hands,
my father was a good man.
Even if he was hard to live with.
And he was hard to live with. Dad,
I am still learning how to forgive you.
I’m getting better at it. But you
were an angry, stubborn son-of-a-bitch and
I guess that runs in the family. And sometimes
it’s fucking infuriating to take after someone
you want to be mad at but
I am my father’s daughter. And
I always have been.
And, if your god is up there, then
I hope he’s playing old blues,
smoking Marlboro reds—
telling dirty jokes and singing
hand-me-down gospel with you.

By Ashe Vernon

Biography:

Ashe Vernon is a produced playwright, an actor, and a poet. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, but found poetry when she most needed it. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in theatre and gender studies. Before she hits the job market with her oh-so-impressive fine arts degree, Ashe is spending the summer on tour doing spoken word with her best friend and partner in crime. Her first book of poetry, Belly of the Beast, was published by Words Dance Publishing and her second, Wrong Side of a Fist Fight, will be coming out through Where Are You Press, this July. She spends most of her time writing her way out of dark places, and looking to the stars. Ashe has featured in venues across Texas, such as The Standpipe Coffee House in Lufkin, Nacogdoches Literary Readings, and Love Jonz Spoken Jazz, in Duncanville. She has placed first at WriteAboutNow in Houston and her work has been published in Word Dance Magazine, and volumes one and two of the Literary Sexts anthologies. Ashe has no concept of the term “inside-voice” and spends every waking hour with her giant bear-cub of a cat. She plans on moving to a big city and covering herself with tattoos. It’s going pretty well, so far.

Almighty By Meggie Royer

Almighty

All day the men speak of the best way
to put a horse out of its misery.
Where to place the bullet,
how to fold the legs beneath the belly
& carry it to the river.
It was a tearing of the mare’s insides
as they stretched to let the colt through,
everything hole & wound,
open & red, so thick it stilled the tide pools.
The whole time
they come up with new ways to end it
I cannot help but think
of my mother.

By Meggie Royer

Biography:

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance MagazineThe Harpoon ReviewMelancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.

Lora Bishop Was Once a Girl By Kailey Tedesco

Lora Bishop Was Once a Girl

Before vines bound the windows,
intrigued voyeurs saw, every
night, Ms. Bishop, sagged and grey
as a Havisham cake, watching
television in the bathtub.

Must have been a hundred years ago-
Lora Bishop: Miss Wichita
Queen at sixteen. She could conjure

a man twice her age
with a flip of blond hair,
but found she couldn’t
speak, and plunged into

her claw-foot sea. Now
she reads the twelve-inch
screen like some read tea,
sipping away the cream
of nine-o-clock

news and swirling the
static in her cup. The
neighborhood boys swore
she knew

death would come, when,
one cold night, she disrobed
to take her bath, and with
a final wink before the window,

sunk beneath the water.

By Kailey Tedesco

Biography:

Kailey Tedesco is currently earning her MFA in poetry at Arcadia University. She is a former resident poet and current poetry editor for Lehigh Valley Vanguard. She also edits for Marathon Literary Review. Her work focuses on perceptions of femininity, often in a surrealistic manner. Many of her poems are inspired by confessional or Gurlesque poetics paired with her own experiences in cemeteries and abandoned amusement parks. You can find her poems featured in such publications asFLAPPERHOUSE and Jersey Devil Press. For more about Kailey Tedesco, please follow her on Twitter: @kaileytedesco.

L.I By Dana Rushin

L.I

during lethal injection you begin to snore loudly.
Then the snores become progressively quiet.
Through the witness window a survivor of the fallen
tries to catch a final glimpse of you lip-syncing words
of forgiveness but pride won’t allow the satisfaction

you could easily be describing what the Gulls do
in August over Lake Michigan. Catching insects
in the air. Nesting in the Hawthorns on the banks
during mating season

because being put to death is like writing your
name in Pepsi or Epson salt where each
indelible syllable rests, then wanders off. Each
sandy beach for the condemned, another dark
pillar of eternal faith.

Last evening, in my armada of joy,
I rode the wind like a warm prostitute
rides the passenger seat of the 02 Grand Caravan.
Shuffling the sliding doors then kicking off
a heel on a clean floor mat. Assuming
that restful, heavenly position.

By Dana Rushin

Biography:

Dana Rushin
African American Poet,
living in Detroit.
Wayne State University student….current.
unmarried. still looking.