sorry i ruined the tobias jesso jr. concert. By Julia Gaskill

sorry i ruined the tobias jesso jr. concert.

You ask me
to describe my sadness –
“paint it on the blood moon, love,
so I’ll know what it is I am dealing with,”

but here’s the thing:
my sadness
is a grab-bag of clichés.

My sadness
is a barbed wire fence;
is a wilted peach;
is a fistful of mud;
is a bad hair day;
is a goddamn brick wall;
is the textbook definition of boring.

I imagine an alternate universe
where you get to love someone

who doesn’t cry in public due to
so much sensitivity flooding her veins;

who does not envy all this happy
on strangers’ stupid mugs;

who hasn’t tattooed the word
“sorry” across her forehead.

The blood moon cries:
the world thinks her beautiful but
doesn’t take note how she shows
her innards at every autumn’s turn.

We are both trying
to get a grip on things.

If only people
would stop marveling
at every eclipse
we craft

when really we are just
finger painting
our boring sadness,
hoping we
don’t ruin the moment
again.

First published by Thirteen Myna Birds.

By Julia Gaskill

Biography:

Julia Gaskill is a professional daydreamer from Portland, Oregon. She was both a staff writer and producer for the Pencil Ink Production’s web series “The Misselthwaite Archives,” and she will be reprising both roles on the studio’s new web series “The Cloisterham Case Files.” Most recently, Julia competed in the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured on FreezeRay Poetry, Thirteen Myna Birds, Front Row Central, and Voicemail Poems, and she was nominated for Best of The Net 2015 for one of her pieces. It goes without saying that she loves Muppets more than you. Find her poetry and information about available chapbooks at http://geekgirlgrownup.tumblr.com

Of Separation By Kari Astillero

Of Separation

When it rains, the earth speaks of preparation.
I carry another ruin out of this carved
exterior to the meadow’s belly,
press it until it’s completely one of the roots.
The sickness unfolds through the field,
wildflowers wilting into sand,
into infinite nothingness.
Dusk returns to me, to us,
the banished language of passing
from its homeland—
Of separation.

Dying—nights mantled with snow—
is isolation, a foggy trail
inside the wilderness one has lost.

My coming to the depths of this place
aches my shoulders. I wander
searching for a lake,
to wash the blue fire off
eating my dress’ hem as my eyes wells up
with the fever blowing along dead insects.
Bamboos bows sideways forming
a misty door to somewhere that calls me
but I refuse. Instead, I found my feet
sinking in quicksand of wisteria
with no one, no other,
to hold the orchard I grew in.

By Kari Astillero

Biography:

I am Kari Astillero, a Filipina residing in a city of busy people somewhere in Philippines and a Journalism major. Mesmerized with the universe and a star-stuff who is in love with poetry & nature, I wish to have my own published book of poetry someday.  A non-conformist and mostly alone drinking coffee while reading, writing or thinking (sometimes daydreaming).

sisyphus doubts rolling the boulder in the first place (an effort in self-validation) By Haley Clapp

sisyphus doubts rolling the boulder in the first place (an effort in self-validation)

I.

I was an age I don’t remember/you were a little
older/it’s hard to call someone predator/when
they’re under ten/years older I remember/how
Bambi’s mom bleeds offscreen/how I’m crying
on this beanbag/how I’m here so often I know
when to go home/& uncross my knees to stand
4 feet (and a half!) like the marks on my wall but
do you wanna see something?/blocking the door
you darken the path/you lifting the t-shirt/beaming
like banner-waving/like conquest/like pride
& it’s heavy/weighing white cotton/don’t know
what it is but I know/to cry and flee/home to
my mommy & sister/& remember years later

(this memory doesn’t flash/in my mind when I-T
happens but I remember it like it did/at least
now I remember it/as if I had remembered then)

II.

the dark/dark/darker/in the basement you
hair greasy one-eyed/like I liked it I liked
when we hummed & hid/from my parents
away from my dad/then ??? you moving
my head to go down head to head with
pressure & whispering/blank blank blank
why not why not? blank blank/complicit I
was complicit when you/as if I myself had
bowed my head/yawned it open cavernous
in my memory except/for dead technicolor
tv screen panic/as my lips apart but no/no
longer a part of/me down down up down
like you said/or you don’t say you don’t
speak at all I have hollowed myself first
time I said no but I didn’t say no I didn’t
want my dad to ever know/and you don’t
remember this but I do remember this
in the dark/dark/darker/in the basement

By Haley Clapp

Biography:

Haley Clapp is a recent Indiana University Bloomington graduate and fledgling queer poet who will be attending King’s College London in the fall for her MA in Critical Methodologies. She has served on the Editorial Board of various IU publications, including LABYRINTH and The Undergraduate Scholar. She loves sad songs and horror movies and hopes to end up somewhere in the world between literature/art and academia.

The Problem With Love By Georgie Funnell

The Problem With Love

The problem with love will always be the same:
Simply that the men are born with their love
in the form of a gun,
and the women have always looked like
the perfect home
for bullet holes.

By Georgie Funnell

Biography:

Georgie is a 21 year old woman, who believes in the power of poetry to heal. There are many issues that she is passionate about changing, especially the stigma surrounding mental health and the inequality between genders. Currently she lives in London having just finished a chemistry degree, although one day she dreams of moving to Paris.

Tongue By Ally Ang

Tongue

my father’s english is still broken
after 26 years in america.

when english breaks
whose tongue is cut on its shards?
why is it that I remain unscathed
while my father is bleeding?

my father is losing his native tongue
no longer dreams in bahasa indonesia
falters on the phone with his siblings.

my father never taught me his language
& I am afraid it is too late to cross the barrier
that english has built between us.

I wonder if he misses his village in Lombok
where the sun painted the crimson sky
every night
& he fell asleep to the sound
of evening prayer.

(my father doesn’t tell me these things.
there are some barriers
greater than language.)

every morning, the moon retreats
into the dark mouth
of the universe

& we wait for our broken tongues
to heal.

By Ally Ang

Biography:

Ally Ang is a queer femme of color whose work has been published in journals including The Fem, Tinderbox Poetry, and Rambutan Literary. Ally’s first chapbook, Monstrosity, is available from Damaged Goods Press. Ally is in a long distance relationship with the moon.

Everything Dies By Matthew Kosinski

Everything Dies

One friend said check this out
and it was his own vomit in his hands.

One friend locked herself in a box of water
for a complicated escape display. She didn’t

escape. We held a memorial.
Confetti fell down on our eyes

the way rice does at some weddings.
Which seems like a tremendous waste.

One friend made the switch
from cigarettes to water vapor

and she developed an unrelated cancer.
One friend said hey I’ll be right back

but he wasn’t. Now he haunts
all the apartments he couldn’t afford

in life. Big pianos make us feel
exploited. Our paychecks

even more so.
When we weren’t looking

one friend got really into noise
and enrolled in a Ph.D. program.

On graduation day she climbed
into the commencement speaker’s mouth

the way a lizard disappears
behind a rock in a cartoon desert.

By Matthew Kosinski

Biography:

My name’s Matthew Kosinski. I’m a socialist and poet from New Jersey and an MFA candidate at The New School.

city of fire & fallen angels By sarah kate osborn

city of fire & fallen angels

and i am forever falling in love with the bloodied
reaching with sticky fingers for someone to save
i am forever trying to unhaunt,
trying to erase a thousand histories of violence
trying to renew things that have been dead for so long already

i keep writing poems about the unbirth of tragedy
and he is the friend i always hear mentioned but never have met
i caught a glimpse of him in my steamed up mirror
and another at the mall
and he waved at me at that party last december,
the one where i couldn’t keep the vomit out of my hair

i am at home among the broken
but call myself messiah
call myself savior
call myself healing

what is it that is so haunted about me that leads me to destruction,
to ruin, to late nights where no one is sleeping
i have found the city of fire and fallen angels
i already know my way around

By sarah kate osborn

Biography:

sarah kate osborn is a fifteen year old poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she has been published in the rising phoenix review, words dance magazine, and persephone’s daughters. she can be found at www.allthesinkingships.tumblr.com