Dawn as an Act of Survival – Paul Ilechko

Slurred croak    cracked collarbone

head shaved tight to the pinking flesh

a pure invention of street life

synthesized and wired for direct current

breakfast juddering under ultraviolet

charred and caramelized   with a blast

of woodsmoke as coffee is guzzled   syllables

sputtering from misshapen tongue

the stink of syrup    of hot sauce and vinegar

silence hanging heavy between

the throb of another morning    and the stale

breath of the previous night

no recollection pervades his damaged mind

of how     besotted    the leather drool

of survival staggered him homeward

through greased and gut-churning detour

steel-pinned and bone-plated    with memory

of smoke and gasoline    he lights his flame

in competition with the rising sun

a crimson sky     his furnace. 


Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Inklette and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. FB: pilechko Insta: njscattista

Three Poems – Dani Ferrara

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Photo: Blake Weyland

Music

was it worth it?

shaving your shoulders

the hard echo

 

in the last sip

re-focusing on money

your dress

the absent cigarette

 

skeltering in a narrow hallway

laughter that never happened

maroon carpet with years of saliva

others now ghosts of themselves

 

if you imagined the way it could be

you’d run too far

your stomach would hurt

 

we were friends

i saw you

gliding

while walking by

 

this, a single day.

this, my life.

 

she wants to say more

she wants to re-format

she wants to engulf

she wants to replay

 

the flowers flowing

down your dress

 

Memory

i feel i am old

because i watch myself

as though from the future

i want to give it time

but the worms are back

i am soil made of nothing

i am a fucked ant

i am intolerable to god

 

Swerve

they brushed their teeth

it was alright

we could talk about anything here

 

the books scattered, obviously

or the video games

 

life fades into love

i’ll see you again


dani headshot

Dani Ferrara is a poet, writing teacher, and self-proclaimed ‘pataphysician. She proudly graduated with an MFA from the School of Disembodied Poetics alongside some of the most incredible writers she’s ever met. Her work has been featured in Dream Pop Press and Black Sun Lit. She is in three garage bands: Warm Dad, Bad Bath, and The Spellmans. She is also part of the extended Black Market Translation Orchestra. Dani lives in Denver. [Daniferrarapoet.com]