GRAND THEFT (AFTER FALL OUT BOY)
where is your boy tonight? i hope / he is a gentleman.
maybe he won’t find out / what i know–
pete wentz writes songs about teenage girls when he is twenty-seven
when i am a teenager, there is a man who spreads me like
a sheet-music cold-read / fumbled awkward under
the pair of tight shorts i always wore because
i thought they made me look older
but i am still a teenager and he still
holds me the way a thief holds
contraband / too fast-grab to be legal
/ so pete wentz writes a song about fucking a teenager /
and this man writes a poem about my ears, or my nail-beds, or
some other part of me he becomes the first to find
/ and pete wentz writes another song about fucking a teenager /
then breaks a cradle in front of patrick stump and patrick
looks at the splinters in pete’s hands and says “i will find
a melody for this” / and i am at a fall out boy
concert with my friends singing along to what i think
is a song about the duality of emotion or the
fragility of time / but every song
i grew into myself loving is written about
a twenty-something fucking a teenager /
so every twenty-something dude in this mosh pit
is is screaming the phrase
“god-complex” / “teenage-vow” /
building a word-church of young-girls every
time they thrust something stained at
the stage / so they are just doing what pete wentz
made a billion dollars doing // stealing // by
fucking a teenager so loud
a generation of other teenagers knew the
sound her headboard made and nothing else /
and i am lucky because the man who wrote about me
is not famous / did not play a thousand sold-out shows
where he told the version of the story where
i was a bitch and left / not the version where i
changed my mind / and i am listening to a fall out boy song
and it sounds like just another song but it is /
actually a song about / a mother learning
what the worst is / the act of being fucked
when you are not old enough to be beautiful / the act of
being so beautiful men will tell you how criminal
you make them / the crime of once being a teenager and
how fucked up it is that someone will probably call me a bitch /
for not letting patrick answer pete with “nothing”
when pete asks him “what have i broken?” /
how there is a teenaged girl who
is not a teenager anymore who i hope still wants
to be beautiful in someone’s backseat /
how sometimes i walk past the walls he stained me up
against / wake up the next morning to find–
where is that girl tonight? you know / you’re not a gentleman.
you hope we won’t find out / what you’ve done–
This performance was filmed at the Last Chance Slam by Slamfind.
By Linette Reeman
Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is a poet from the Jersey Shore who is currently pursuing a B.A. in history from Rowan University. Linette has represented Loser Slam (Red Bank, NJ) at multiple national and regional slams and this is their second year representing Rowan at the college national slam (CUPSI). They have featured at the Philadelphia Fuze Slam and for D.C. Trans Power, have been published by places like Words Dance and Voicemail Poems, and probably want to high five you.
The Girl who Cried God
1. You said your favorite game was
Playing God, so I let my body
Be Eden, my vagina the Tree of Knowledge.
“Ruin will happen here,” you said.
You eat the fruit.
2. You love creation and claiming
What does not belong to you.
You Christopher Columbus down the
Shores of my body searching
For India, but instead fall asleep
In the bend of my arm
Regaining your strength for the
Pillage that will turn me carcass.
3. You entered my castle and
Renamed it crack house,
Picked a mattress in the corner
And made your bed.
My body stinks of frankincense,
Formaldehyde, and myrrh.
4. Our love is a miscarriage of
Still-born words. We stopped
Trying to imitate Gods after
The maggots came and went,
The garden desolate.
5. I wrap my body around the world
Until calloused hands palm Judea.
How many times can I ask
Forgiveness for the same sin?
I say it again: forgive me Father,
I know of what I do.
I say it again.
By Kylee Bagley
My name is Kylee Bagley. I am a 21 year old student who will receive her AA in Journalism in May 2016 and will be moving on to Rutgers-Camden majoring in English in the fall. I have previously been published by Lips Magazine, IthacaLit, and Poetry Quarterly. I view life as a poem in hopes to appreciate it more fervently and aim to show it through my work.
A Discovery of Bones (alternately, The Inventor)
It began softly. She draped herself over them,
matchsticks of perfect wedding white,
and they counted her breaths, the first
and the next and the next and the next.
The whole, in truth, seemed less
than the sum of the moving parts.
Anatomy, mechanics, science, magic
—all cognates. All whispered secrets
under skin. But then she got up
and in that instant, I could’ve mistaken her
for a sonnet to a thunderstorm, a song that races
the lightning to the ground. Years later they ask me
“how did you do it?” (and I have no answer.)
She told me a secret once. It went something like
calcium and loneliness can bond, can make
the strongest substance we inherit
from biology and blood. That day I watched
but did not touch. I saw but did not speak.
I swear she wasn’t so tall at first. I swear
I stayed removed. No one will believe me,
but I didn’t forge her ligaments.
I swear I swear I swear.
No one will believe me, but here it is.
Her rise was of her own making. She lifted
her own skeleton off the ground.
No one will believe me, but what? But nothing.
I swear I only taught her how to stand.
By Christina Im
Christina Im is fifteen years old and attends high school in Portland, Oregon. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Rose Red Review, Words Dance, Strange Horizons, and The Adroit Journal, among others. In addition, her work has been recognized by Hollins University and the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
When you arrive in America
You must not forget the language
We gave to you at birth
Do you remember the daughter of Ahmed?
She returned after two years there
Speaking through her nose and
Rolling her eyes at her own father!
Do not come back, sneering at us
Remember to call your mother often,
The recession has swallowed half
Her once full cheekbones
And she does not laugh
As often as she used to
When you arrive in America,
Do not forget to cook like your mother taught you
And do not eat their food
I heard it tastes like cardboard,
Baba Abdul told me,
You know his son was there for four years
He said the food tastes like cardboard!
You must remember you are a woman
Do not let yourself run wild
Like the daughter of Ahmed
Do not allow men touch you, keep yourself
Marriage awaits you here.
By Ijeoma Umebinyuo
I am a writer and a recent author of my first collection of poems.
I was born and raised in Nigeria.
From A Friend
I didn’t die when I wanted to.
There was a time I was begging the black skies
every other night,
to just take me.
It was the ravaged kind of hunger
that broke right into your bones.
I remember tearing at my skin
like an animal clawing out of a cage.
I didn’t die when I wanted to.
And never for a second could I tell you
I’d imagine being this grateful
There is so much more I needed to see,
people I needed to meet,
and love I had to learn
how to give myself.
I didn’t die when I wanted to,
and now I’m afraid of ever missing a moment.
If anything else,
I hope it’s enough to consider
what’s waiting for you
if you just stay here.
By Schuyler Peck
Born of college-ruled notebooks and the smell of lemon grass, Schuyler Peck was raised in New Jersey, but she’ll never tell you that. Instead, she’ll tell you there are pieces of her everywhere; planted in trees and shipped off to the moon. Her poetry, however, can be found in her book, A Field of Blooming Bruises, Words Dance Publications, Literary Sexts V. 2, Rising Phoenix Review, JuxtaProse Magazine, and schuylerpeck.tumblr.com
When God led me to the torrents
inside my own mind, I grasped
a tree limb and let the prayers
rush past like rapids threatening
to drag me down a river. The quiet
waters reside at the foot of a waterfall,
but I was not willing to let the rocks
beat me until I was merely pulp
bound by skin in need of divine
healing. I could hold my own body
out of the river though people
below only saw how my arms
shook with fatigue. I am still here,
arms stretched above my head
like a crucifixion, but I will not
let this river break me just so God
can have something to heal.
By Allie Long
Allie Long is an economics and English major at the University of Virginia. She began writing poetry in high school and is currently in a workshop mentored by Gregory Orr. Her poetry will appear in the forthcoming edition of Hooligan Magazine.
By Danny P. Barbare
Danny P. Barbare resides In Greenville, SC. His poetry has appeared locally, nationally, and abroad. He works as a janitor at a local YMCA. He has been writing poetry off and on for 35 years. He attended Greenville Technical College.