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]
It sounded like she said,
“Every day when I get home, I find a naked body in the bed.”
And in this light, the lines on her face show the naked worry in her head
As I wonder if the body is awake or sleeping,
there is naked fear inside my chest
And the smell of the other’s cologne in the room is a validation of my dread.
We were always meant to be temporary,
But now I feel as though I am being bled
By a stranger,
One that I thought was a ghost.
A name no longer to be said,
A memory of what once was,
Between the one I love,
And the naked body in her bed.
Veronica Love is a writer of fiction, poetry and editorials. Her work has appeared in several literary journals including Page and Spine and Flash Fiction Addiction. She spends her free times traveling to places rich with culture, reading, writing and laughing. She is always on the lookout for a new and strange adventure and loves dancing in the rain.
Your teeth are falling out. You’ve lost your car. A flood is bearing down on you. You’re being chased through dimly lit streets, and though you repeatedly look back, you can’t even see who is chasing you. You’re trying to scream for help. You’re out of breath. What is inside you is going to come out: your dog’s dead body on a blanket on the floor. Your walls and curtains are covered in chemical formulas. You have no idea at all what you’re supposed to say next. You raise your hand for paper and are given a slice of bread.
Song for Ancient Children
I wake up from an afternoon nap on the couch to the thunderclaps of the younger generation chanting, “Fuck the clown! Where’s my clock?” The place is very much alive. It’s like an archipelago whose volcanic islands rise and fall with the waves. I try to believe we’ll be OK, that no one gets forgotten simply for having scant hair or wearing mom jeans, but I can’t. We see buildings toppling backwards into fire, broken leg bones refusing to heal, shadows crawling out of the ground. Our memories whisper and pulsate. There aren’t even parking spaces big enough for them.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera: 99 100-word Prose Poems from Cajun Mutt Press. He co-edits the journals Unbroken and UnLost.
When the devil drives
The heart takes a backseat
Down a path tread by broken stares
Blades of grass damp and clinging to the ground below
Damp with tears meant to quench the gasps of burning bridges
And clammy hands no longer afraid
To grasp the end
A definitional moment
An end to the anger
Of the peripheral glare of the reaper’s shadow
A tongue finally forbidden to slander
When the devil drives
The heart must relinquish the keys in the ignition
Who I Found Virginia City, Nevada
What are you thinking about when your fingers twitch in sleep?
Thoughts that are voiced with that one whiskey over the tipping point
The phone was dialed
And answered in a ghost town graveyard
Desert wind and your voice
A yearning heart’s medicine
The coyote greeted me at the gate
The scent of sage in flared nostrils
An urge to follow him over the hills and into the brush
Dissolving into his dusty camouflage
Murmur through the phone line
Asks “where will we find our peace?”
Wherever are you whenever your bones are in the bed next to mine?
I find myself lost between the whispers and the dreams
Down paths that do not disappear within the day
And those that I will follow into the night
When did these footsteps appear just beyond the fence?
When my gaze was distracted by the moon rising above the cliff
I heard a deep and and heavy sigh
And decided whenever
I would follow the moonlight wisdom in the shadow’s hair
lauren.napier finds solace in melody and the written word. She has penned a children’s book, All My Animals, stories for NPR Berlin, amongst other texts and songs. lauren is often traveling with her feline, notebooks, and acoustic guitar, exploring her surroundings and sharing stories. WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
All of us jammed
into the back seat
I end up next to you.
The force of the curves
presses me against you
and I feel your warmth
through your coat.
My stomach aches, cramping
as my body
sheds blood tears
aching for you.
And as the city blurs by
Taylor Jones is a conservation biologist by training, and spends her days either trying to save the world or escape it via writing and reading. She is an aficionado of the weirdest things in nature, and hopes to one day meet an alien. She lives in Denver, Colorado, in a house full of plants. Instagram: @tjonespainting
Putting together parched yellow streamers
on a souring, rain-swollen wall has left me desolate
this Sunday, love. The wedding bell decorations sprouting
up under volcanic eyes while manicured talons toast
my efforts make the small hairs on my neck rise
and my shelled ankles are about to take flight into
the drizzling afternoon. The bride-to-be, displeased
with the weather stomps on the conversation and
swallows wrapping paper and compliments with a
spoiled mouth and a flaming jaw. Woe, to our severed
friendship. Woe, to my barbed wire stomach, my
strangled lungs, my battered heart, my kidnapped spleen.
She has won my anxiety and conquered my loyalty,
draining my good intentions like a one-sided blood
transfusion. I am still hooked up to the pumps and leaking
essence into the floor while champagne dribbles at her lip.
December Lace is a former professional wrestler and pinup model from Chicago. She has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Molotov Cocktail, Pussy Magic Lit, The Cabinet of Heed, Awkward Mermaid, Vamp Cat, and Rhythm & Bones YANYR Anthology, among others. She loves Batman, burlesque, cats, and horror movies.
To have a body means you have raised a body. Maybe it was your own that was raised for the last time, here, in one of many places emotion had you. This is how we often receive our own vessels. If you haven’t, you’ve probably done one of many things: wished to and touched it for yourself, held the great flanks of skin like a precious enemy; some animals talk to the moon until they get what they question. Years ago, walking with my mother on a night of a full one, she asked me what I knew about werewolves and I cursed out loud for the first time, right in front of her. I knew much about change, hardly about monsters. They were kept at bay by her own strong hands. She asked me about what kind of man-wolf I would want to become, and I said damn or shit or hellfire until my tongue greeted her with endling, also terminarch. I wanted to be the last one, no more bad than the moons that plagued us. I would only want to be a whisper to the wind instead of great big bad hands, and when the day came that I fit into my father’s old shoes, she took my small body in her wide palms and rocked me with cautious prayer.
N.V. Lott is a poet from the South. He writes about how much he hates summers there.
I have never felt more safe
than the time you drove me home,
and then you drove me home,
and then you drove me home—
always you are driving me home
in an infinite loop
(in one version we stop to investigate
the metal chest left on the side of the highway,
but a new version of the story begins before
we get to see what’s inside—
In another version you pull over
and leave me there on the side of the highway—
another version of you picks me up;
all is forgiven, and this is how the story restarts;
another version of you becomes the ghost
you have sometimes made yourself to be)
as I frantically rewrite our shared history,
as I grab your cigarettes from the glove box,
and try to ignore the gun.
In every version of this story
I am trying to ignore the gun,
which is to say You are tracing the outline of a State we both lived in on my heart, which is to say I am drunk enough to ask you to hold me and I mean really hold me please none of that “Christian side hug” bullshit, which is to say I am drunk enough that you are driving me home.
There is still not a version of this story
in which I don’t want you
driving me home.
I know you are not one for Jesus
so I pose the question instead:
what would John Darnielle do
if he knew you were a rapist?
If you shook hands with your hero
said, “I love the Mountain Goats,
and also I keep going when women
tell me no,”
said, “I love your work,
especially the way associating with it
makes women think I am safe.”
How the hell do you separate the work
from the behavior of fans?
And how the hell do I keep listening
to the Mountain Goats
when you’re the one who got me into them?
Grace Mitchell is a poet residing in Denver, CO, although she has called many places home. She has edited for both Negative Capability Press and the Oracle Fine Arts Review. When not writing, she can be found riding her bike, working the clerk desk at the local library, and hanging out with nuns.
For Jay who didn’t get cable television until he was thirteen and also thinks I’m petty: And how I made fun of how he first experienced the joy that comes with cable like placing snow melt between tart teeth and getting the phantom taste of salt from the sky–or from some truck, more likely–but it’s cool because it’s good anyway. It’s the propulsion of quickly falling ice crystals and thunder from the sky that now lives inside him.
Anyone can be part of the earth’s outer atmosphere, and this is the closest to becoming a cosmic being that Jay’s ever been. And he and I are acting like those two stars in our galaxy who have begun behaving strangely: a cool giant and a relatively hot white dwarf—a stellar corpse. Outbursts of energy like when he couldn’t stay seated and was asked to sit in the corner during middle school because he was being disruptive. Now we’re both warm movement and icy at the same time and are filled with the need to rattle the desktop as the universe cycles through us. And with images being spoon-fed through eyeballs for so many years, it’s like he’s growing and cooling at the same time. Maybe I am, too.
There is the terror of so many choices, like the fear of being in the middle of the crosswalk when an ambulance is coming, silenced and stricken, and how do you run to safety when your feet are stuck to the black top? With every fuzzy sound augmented and amplified, as animated figures grow and lean—continually expanding, cable television is communicating with the divided sky and directly into every and any TV watcher, but him especially.
Jay could and can sit and watch the bleary movements and he knew, and knows, that the universe keeps growing; and when he was just thirteen he had eaten Christmas-in-July-snowflakes: the light changing across wavelengths, both astronaut and astronomer and he got cable and because of that parts of him lives in solar systems light-years away waiting to fall back to earth.
Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She edits HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit. Most recently she is the author of the flash fiction collection Better Bones and the poetry chapbook Marrow, through Thirty West Publishing, 2019. She is haunted by ghosts, all of which she believes are barnacled ships.
Filling the glass with milk or
homes with Hollywood furniture.
Greed they say. The piggy bank
run amuck, the loud chair laced
Humility locates its contour map
of frilly things. This, the next big thing
in show business
because walls become predictable and
daydreams frame digression
with a flexibility of their own.
A briefcase breaks at the corner,
a ballerina’s pillow spreads out
in motion pictures.
Celebrity has a collapsing act.
What she does is her business.
David Welper is a Pushcart nominated poet, has been a featured reader across the US, has been published in a number of zines and has been active in literary communities. He is the founder of Buddy Lit Zine. He is a Psychiatric Nurse in Denver.