One Week By AJ Schmitz

One Week

Monday was the day my mother died & I heard
about it via text after
2 shots of Canadian Club© and 3 Miler Lites©
at a tiki bar on a 32˚ evening.
There were red and blue and green
Christmas lights strung up
but I didn’t see if they were blinking.

Tuesday was my first date with
a girl from whom I bummed
a Parliament©.
We saw Pollack at an art house
& afterward, on the front step, I kissed her
under a security light.

Wednesday was when I rode my bike
home from school.
I flew over the handlebars and
splashed into a pool of
Blood
I saw the headlights of a stranger’s car
& he took me to my mother.

Thursday was the opening night of
Oliver.
A 12 year old Filipino,
in fake beard and make up,
bathed in the limelight as he sang
“pick a pocket or two”.

Friday was the day that Tupac died.
I went to a dance at an
all-girl school.
I danced with a strange girl
& we made out to “Computer Love”
until the lights came up.
As I waited for my dad to pick me up,
someone tried to snatch my chain.
They were not successful.

Saturday was the next day.
Nothing ever happened on a Saturday.

Sunday sounds like a
Velvet Underground song,
or side 2 of “Kind of Blue”.
I French press the cheapest coffee,
smoke unfiltered Camels©, & read
The L.A. Times cover to cover.
Something I picked up from my dad.

By AJ Schmitz

Biography:

AJ Schmitz, a native Los Angeleno, is working on his dissertation on urban representations in literature at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His first chapbook, Ritual de lo Habitual, was published last year through Red Flag Press and his poem “Classic Girl” will be published this Spring through Words Dance. He currently resides in Fort Worth, TX, with his fiancé and two cats.

To never go back / to never have left By Rhys Feeney

To never go back / to never have left

The door I walked through
has shut behind me.
Through the letterbox I peer
watching the bolt slide firm,

one long imperial finger
points and says
son of Albion,
you are but a new wave
a seed
you cannot dissociate
yourself from me.

I lie awake at night
for having traded one
rainy isle for another
I know I can’t go back
but never quite left.

The drawing of lines around
lands and peoples
makes me want to rip open borders
and kick down doors
but I am no marine. I can’t fight
this withdrawal into selves.

You speak funny
you’re not from here are you

and, I don’t know if I am anymore.

By Rhys Feeney

Rhys Feeney is a British-born poet living, working and studying in Wellington, New Zealand. Between studying English Literature and Film at Victoria University, working part time at a cinema and worrying a lot, he tries to write poems to confront his anxiety and sense of dislocation. Rhys’ poetry has previously been included in Blackmail Press 41 and he writes regularly for the music blog, Daydream Nation.

Samuel Waits By Darcy Vines

Samuel Waits

Samuel waits for a girl who writes love poems to colors–
a girl who wears rain boots to the beach.
Propped against his car, he waits
until he can see his pulse beneath
his tattoos. Then he calls her.
If he’s waited long enough, she’ll answer.
Some days, she’s tucked beneath
a willow tree, counting the leaves until she
gets to a million, then begins again.
Others, she’s following a family of geese
to their nest, trying to turn her hair to feathers
and her heart to a flight pattern worth following.
Still more, she’s staring at the sky ‘til the clouds
turn to dirt and her mind can finally walk
on its own two feet again.
Samuel knows all of this.
He knows her soul belongs to unkempt grass
and her toenails will never be painted
and she doesn’t know the first thing about
Romantic lit but her cigarette flickering
in the 2 a.m. blackness is close enough for him.
She says she’ll never have words for the poems
she writes on his too-thin skin,
but she’s close enough for him.

By Darcy Vines

Biography:

Darcy Vines is a 20 year old free verse poet and freelance journalist who has been writing since the early days of her teenage angst. While occasionally covering feminist film festivals and office furniture conventions, she prefers to write about falling in and out of love too easily, gender and sexuality, and her dog named Huckleberry Finn. She cites Kurt Vonnegut, Betty Smith, Richard Siken, and Andrea Gibson as the loves of her literary life and her biggest inspirations. In her free time, she is a senior in the Insignis Honors Program at Aquinas College and studies English, journalism, and writing, all while staring down the barrel of law school applications. She is a staff writer for her college’s newspaper The Saint, and has been published in the first volume of Literary Sexts as well as the 26th and 27th editions of The Sampler. In 2014 and 2015, she was a top ten finalist from Aquinas College in the Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize. Someday, she hopes to write something that makes sense. Until then, you can find her anywhere you can also find a good dirty chai.