Ode to Blue Collar Men By Paul Stansbury

Ode to Blue Collar Men

They wear tattered jeans
And sun burnished skin
While whistling the Blues.
Dust melts in sweat,
While backs ache
And souls revel in lusty tales
Peppered with laughter.
Muscles strain against nature,
Unyielding ,
Until defeated by fatigue
Or blood.
They endure long days,
Laid to rest with cold beer
And talk of loves lost.
Lives shortened by cigarettes
And never saying no
To a challenge.
They waltz in deep pits,
Or dance on steel beams –
Choreographed by fate.
With hands numb from cold
and faces creased from heat,
They endure.

By Paul Stansbury


Paul Stansbury is a life long native of Kentucky. Now retired, he lives in Danville, Kentucky. He frequently reads his work in public. His poetry has appeared in Kentucky Monthly. His stories have appeared in the anthologies, Brief Grislys, published by the Apocryphile Press and Neo-Legends To Last A Deathtime published by KY Story. He has a story soon to be published in an anthology by SEZ Publishing. His work has also appeared in a variety of on-line publications.

12th January, 2012 By Moyosore Orimoloye

12th January, 2012

The world stood silent
That day we decided not to march-
For fear of jackboots,
For fear of AK-47 rifles,
When Omar and Esele
Realized they were mortals.
Someday immortals would die
For a free Nigeria.

By Moyosore Orimoloye


Moyosore Orimoloye is a young obscure Nigerian poet, with a few poems published on friends’ poetry blogs and some poems due to be published by Kalahari review. His poetry “bursts out of his soul like a rocket”.

Ekwensu By Ebelechukwu Raluchukwu Ijeoma Mogo


Violence to the language
is violence to the soul
is violence to a people
is violence to their history
is violence to their future
is violence to their identity
is tangible violence

Like Ekwensu
the trickster in our cosmology, simplified
into a white God’s black devil
so chi became a white God
and chukwu became a white God
and ekwensu became evil

this is what they do to us, simplify us
fit our glory into a story
where they are the hero
flatten our hair, our noses, our tongue
whip us into conformity
then blame us for the mess they left
and the mess we have made
of the mess that they left

Sorry ekwensu
for how they destroyed your reputation
how they maligned your character
how, because they did not understand you
they decided to spread vicious lies about you
you go on being you
who cares what they say?

By  Ebelechukwu Raluchukwu Ijeoma Mogo


I am Ebelechukwu Raluchukwu Ijeoma Mogo. I am a writer, entrepreneur and scientist. I blog atwww.streetsideconvos.com

#BigasHindiBala By Saquina Karla C. Guiam


Blue uniform,
badge, baton,
issued firearm,
hat, black and white car.

Right arm raised,
lips shaped the words
to serve and to protect
the people.

Call it duty,
summons to arms,
little glories and
little victories.

Happy April fools!
Put a bullet to someone’s head,
a father and farmer,
his hands cracked
like the fields he toiled.

Put your gun
on his corpse,
tell the cameras and microphones that
he was armed and dangerous.

Witnesses say
the victim only brought
the clothes on his back
and his voice.

Oaths are just promises
disguised as public service,
sweet honey to
unsuspecting civilian ears.

The coming of spring rain
brought metal and blood
and disbelief and rage;

they asked for mercy,
you gave them cruelty.

By Saquina Karla C. Guiam

#BigasHindiBala is Tagalog, and translates to #RiceNotBullets. The hashtag trended recently when farmers were gunned down by local police at Kidapawan, North Cotabato, Philippines.


Saquina Karla C. Guiam (who goes by her nickname, Saki) is 26 years old and is studying for her MA in Davao City, Philippines. When not studying her assigned readings and writing papers, she makes time to write about many things that interest and fascinate her. She is a proud member of Flood Journal, an art and writing collective of People of Color. She is the Roots nonfiction editor of Rambutan Literary, a brand new literary magazine by Southeast Asians to showcase Southeast Asian art and literature.

Mass Puddles By Joseph Ellison Brockway

Mass Puddles

The obfuscated truth of the media
a veil of darkness
the black veil of mothers
grieving their children
reduced to black letters on cold stones
black clouds looming
over a nation in mourning
the veil of mass media
of mass hatred
covering mass shootings
mass projectile excuses
mass constitutional extermination
from the public’s gaze
from a veil of mass yellow tape that
segregates and edits out
mass puddles in the streets
where beauty in all its blackness
once shone brighter than any false
gold star of protection
grieve no more, mothers,
put down your funerary fans
a black flicker remains
its incendiary rise will burn
the veil of darkness
no more

By Joseph Ellison Brockway


Joseph Ellison Brockway is a bilingual poet, translator, and educator. He currently teaches Spanish at Mountain View College in Dallas, TX while working on his Ph.D. in Studies of Literature and Translation at the University of Texas at Dallas. He is the current Managing Editor for Reunion: The Dallas Review, and his poems have appeared in Zouch Magazine and Maudlin House.

Freedom and Justice for Some By Irene Vazquez

Freedom and Justice for Some

I remember
being free
like I remember being born:
everyone says it happened,
but I don’t have proof.

One of my closest friends was born on the 4th of July.
I call him freedom’s child,
boys at our school
say he’s unpatriotic
brand him terrorist
because his last name is Mohamed,
his cinnamon skin the most beautiful crime.
He doesn’t stand for the pledge anymore.

I dream of fireworks
in an America that celebrates me.

Is this what adolescence is supposed to feel like?
A never-ending

Explaining to my white friends who Emmett Till is?
Body and perception,
one and indivisible?

How will I ever see it all?

By Irene Vazquez


Irene Vazquez is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer from Houston, Texas.

Irene was a runner up in the 2016 Glass Mountain Prose and Poetry Contest, and she received an honorable mention in the 2015 Princeton High School Poetry Contest. Her journalistic writing received a first place Gold Circle award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly, F(r)iction, and Words Dance Mag, among others.

Fire By Caitlyn Siehl


did I do with all
the rage he gave me?

How much did I eat,
did I swallow?

What hell did I crawl out

What did I do with all his
flaming tongues?

I burned.
I burned.
I burned.
I burned through the
sheets until I was
clean and new
and strange,
and the fire never
followed me again
after that.

After my new name,
my new face,

my new glowing body
next to the grave that
couldn’t have me.

By Caitlyn Siehl


Caitlyn Siehl is a poet from New Jersey. She has been published in Hooligan magazine and has edited and contributed to two poetry anthologies. She has her own book of poetry, entitled “What We Buried” published in 2014. Siehl is currently a Grad Student at Rutgers University and working on a second book.

The Gift of Life By Kathryn Malnight

The Gift of Life

i see her everywhere.
in every child with a smile on their face,
in the dandelions that grow

through the cracks on the sidewalk,
in the little things that never change.
thirteen year olds aren’t supposed to die.

it isn’t something pretty or nice,
it can’t be wrapped up in a box
with a bow on the top,

but she was beautiful.
even in leaving,
her face lit up the room

like a thunderstorm,
i see her in the rain.
in the way the light flashes,

explodes across the sky,
she was a tornado,
that swept through my body,

gentle despite it all.
i find it hard to live normally.
to accept the fact that she is gone,

i believe everyone gets a miracle,
and that black haired beauty was mine,
so fine, you can take her

but you will never take the spirit,
never quite quiet the music –
this was her story.

she is breathing here still,
for she lived.
and oh, how beautiful that life was.

By Kathryn Malnight

Gone, gone, gone By Sophia Anderson

Gone, gone, gone

Spaceflight as suicide,
as a way to undermine society.

It takes 5 minutes for sound to reach earth from mars.
I want to be dead/finally alive for 5 minutes without anyone knowing.
If a tree falls in a forest/if a girl rips her spacesuit.
What an absolutely terrifying paradox of ideas and human lives.

I left because I wanted to and you didn’t,
because I thought I wanted to be alone when all I really wanted
was to be wanted.

But none of this matters because I’m drowning
in my own love/in the bathtub
and you’re smoking on the balcony with my dead body for company.

Grave robbing in a church torn apart at the seams
because you could never bear to be alone.
Because ibuprofen doesn’t numb the pain anymore
so you’re pretty sure it comes from god.
Because you’ve been peeling away at yourself from birth
and you’ve never been this close
to anything resembling absolution/euphoria before.

Your stripmall religion can’t survive in the north
where everything gentle/radical is left for the wolves.
And someone once told you that freezing is better than worshiping a dead girl.

And even worse,
one who died in love.

God like the sun
and a girl deconstructed.

By Sophia Anderson


Sophia Anderson is a high school poet living on the west coast of Canada. She is 17 years old, an avid reader and in love with the sea and the stars. She draws inspiration from personal experience, dreams and her surroundings. She can be found at jailsongs.tumblr.com where she posts the majority of her written works.

On Girlhood By Alwina Hermann

On Girlhood

opening your heart to pour out a poem
is one of the boldest ways of survival girl
knows. without this golden steam, lending
a dull sound to her bones, girl would have
turned silent a decade ago.

in one scenario girl never gets to figure
out what is wrong with her in the first
place. all that’s left instead are the
feverish dreams of july afternoons
where alleyways stretch over her body
in patterns unknown to human skin.

in another scenario, were more truth has
been spoken than girl had ever
encountered, she spilled the triumphant
aches hiding between her shoulder blades
in this scenario, she stays. and speaks.

here, the sun shines in her dreams and
girl doesn’t want to die like she does on
bad days. she wants to see if she’ll be
able to overcome the next bad day. girl
likes torture, her father is the one in
sheep’s clothing, but at least she’s there.

there to witness her voice being stripped
of credibility, and – at times even the
storyteller seems at loss. apple trees
have lost their innocence and seeing her
irises’ color makes girl scream. but she’s
there, and after all, speaks poetry.

By Alwina Hermann


Alwina Hermann is a seventeen year old girl, currently residing in Europe, who has a strong love for words, linguistics and, unsurprisingly, cats. Most of her works center around trauma, because that’s all she can write about. She’s a strong believer in the kind and soft. You can find her on tumblr (@ohmoonkid).