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Jessie Janeshek’s first book of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). An Assistant Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Bethany College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008).

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Marius Surleac was born in Vaslui, Romania. He is a physicist completing a PhD in Bioinformatics. He has published poetry in many journals, including: Pif Magazine, Bare Fiction, 94 Creations, Dear Sir, Mad Swirl and Poetry Super Highway. His first collection in Romanian, Zeppelin Jack, was published by Herg Benet publishing house in 2011.

From Light Interpretations: 3

sang: “what a mighty…” disconnect
discharging looks and songs of “lost…”
down lo and swerved to pitch: “do do
not…” with our lifted wares distraught

paper passwords, lockless keys, and pocket knives fill the desk drawer

lonely crypts sigh and stripped lips
mum education foul, magnet keepers
moaning tut tut long in the libraries

our legs gazed the city and country and ate grass and scree delicacies

home wags, they swagger from
the wobbles, a dunk joke for
keys, tiny pin teeth sways in
clickety sorry clacks, the
morning worries, the sweats

all the fire and cooling craft, filling, using, and washing a glass jar for recycling

***

Michael Rerick lives and teaches in Portland, OR. Rerick’s work appears or is forthcoming at Coconut, H_NGM_N, Harp & Alter, Moria, Spiral Orb, and Tarpaulin Sky. He is also the author of In Ways Impossible to Fold (Marsh Hawk Press), X-Ray (Flying Guillotine Press), and morefrom (Alice Blue Press).

What She Didn’t Say Matters Most

You are a ghost and a rock,
your dented skull I want to cradle.

My voice is your tiny screams lost
in the black plastic waves of a garbage

bag, left on the sidewalk the night
before trash day. I could’ve been you.

Mothers who slink down alleys clutching
their purses and emerge lighter one child,

one burden, one boulder
that threatened to sink the whole ship

can be understood, but not by us.
No worries, the good Captain has taken

care of all that. Our mother is a sound
vessel and you are the pebble that threatened to keep

growing. The doctor was not really a doctor.
The man my mother slept with for revenge

was a good man before he met her.
Loose hips sink ships. Now he knows.

You be the waves that rock the boat
and I’ll be the wind that carries you.

This red sky, I made for you. I promise,
the ship of her will never sail again.

***

Crystal Condakes is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. She has also studied at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. Condrakes has had poems recently published in The Prompt (volume 3) and Oddball Magazine. She is a frequent contributor to The Improbable Places Poetry Tour which brings poetry to small businesses in Beverly, MA (the poet’s hometown). Condrake’s poem, “What She Didn’t Say Matters Most” was inspired by “The Abortion Museum” by Amanda Auchter on Madhattersreview.com.

Kifka

Kismet, fate, karma:
not pre-determined—
there is no before or after to one
who stands or wavers or buzzes
throughout and beyond time—
but self-determining,

the net or web or ocean of infinity,
where our senses and abilities
and the extent of our detection
succumb to their limits
and it all rests

on the tip of your nipple, on the pull
of tides within you, on the tide
you are within this, on the systems
in which notion collapses,
experience collapses,

holes disappear

and the air at your lips is the universe
giving you the opportunity
to kiss it,

giving itself lips
and you to do the kissing,

giving itself
itself
to be kissed,

or not.

***
Richard Louis Ray was born in Florida and educated at Columbia University. His work has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies, and he has performed alongside such luminaries as Saul Williams. In 2013, he was the winner of the Ron McFarland Poetry Prize, the second-prize winner of the Whisper River Poetry Contest, and a runner-up in the Georgetown Review Magazine Contest. He lives in New York City with his wife and three cats, where they dream of farm life in an undiscovered village.

Why You Are Not Here

“Roberta: Are you blushin’?”
– John Patrick Shanley

Does the sun softly heft its sallow mug
over the cracked tickles of sandy rocks
because it frets we’ll leave by nightfall?

Please.

The street corner where kids pretend to divorce
grows cold to the footstep. They liked to sell
cookies & lemonades on the street, not to it.
Watching them split up newspaper & love
anew soured my eye with childish things.

Girls would throw tantrums in the rice
if they wound up blossom droppers
instead of the great white bride.

An agreeable boy would accept by show of heart
the excited tugs on his old, rumpled shirtsleeve.
He’d fold his hands as he vowed I will to her.

What will I do when I meet someone
who doesn’t make me feel like vomiting?
The sick will steam from the hushed tongues
of my victorious underdog boy sport sneakers.

I worry I’ll have the money, the hour— what if I joke
proper to her style of flaunting her face of snappy teeth?
Then I’d have to tuck my hands in hers as her mouth swore.

When my turn to say it so came I’d smile & keen serene blue
tears hard like I am now on this curb in Pasadena, CA because
I told another woman I love you all by itself is simply goodbye.

***
NW Hall likes to make poems a lot. Places that like NW’s poems for certain are: Indigest, spork, and Blackbox Manifold.

Frostbite

He told stories at the kitchen table, sitting there smoking thin brown cigarillos, smelling of beer and bacon. His hands weaved the words together, a shirt to be worn for a little while beforechanging into something thicker in the cold. He told of the time you walked home from work in the middle of a mountainous January. How the cold and snow snuck into your feet and the tip of your nose and they had to take you to the emergency room in order for them to save your flesh from mild frostbite. He said you cried when they set the warm water on your toes and wrapped your face with hot cloths to restart the circulation. I can’t imagine you ever crying. You were never the crying type, but he told your secret, that there was indeed enough pain in this world to reduce you to tears.

***

William L. Alton was born November 5, 1969 and started writing in the Eighties while incarcerated in a psychiatric prison. Since then Alton’s work has appeared in Main Channel Voices, World Audience and Breadcrumb Scabs, among others. In 2010, Alton was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has published one book titled Heroes of Silence. He earned both his BA and MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he continues to live. You can find him at williamlalton.com.

Spinning

Spin. Old crone at her wheel, flaxen threads. Your fate in her hands. Spinning. A widening gyre. The center cannot hold, Yeats said. Turning. You lurch against the sink, acid rising in your throat. The floor slants, the room spins. Your heart is. The face in the mirror blurred and unfamiliar. Maiden, mother, crone. Eeeny meeny miny mo.

Falling

London Bridge is. So many, Eliot said. I had not thought death had undone so many. City streets tangled like thread, knotted beyond. Lead you to an overwhelming question. And another, and another. Rushing in your ears. Crowds sweep by. You stumble, stagger to your feet.

Sinking

Sink. Shiny white porcelain. Sink. To your. Knees. Sinking. Your heart is. Sinking. The Titanic hits an iceberg in your brain. Seven-eighths of your story, Hemingway said. Keep hidden. Underwater. Dark. The North Atlantic shockingly cold, twenty-eight degrees the night you sink. The iceberg that kills you so vast, but just ice after all, destined to melt into the ocean without a trace within a year, or maybe two.

***
Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University, East Bay. Her flash and lyric prose have appeared in Sweet, Vestal Review, elimae, Monkeybicycle, The Rumpus, Literary Orphans, Café Irreal, Everyday Genius, Corium, and elsewhere. Her essays have earned Pushcart nominations from Southern Humanities Review and South Loop Review, and a Notable Essay citation in Best American Essays 2013. Find her online at
www.facebook.com/authorjacquelinedoyle

Before Serving, Sprinkle with Cinnamon

When the milk comes to a boil
I watch the mismatched rain throw itself
against our teeth.
Dinner is cluttered elbows and rice
clinging lovesick to spoons.

We dream in three languages, thimbles
and pumpkin seeds
under our pillows, so many maps
creased into birds. One museum at a time
we spend ourselves on the city
as if the curated hunger of others will make us feel more
at home. Lavender,
hennaed wrists, why are we here
is a question we don’t ask ourselves
every night.

The window is freckled
with blue Post-it snowflakes. Simmer
until tender, the brown sugar,
whisk in the egg.
My mother made it with lemon zest
but that was timezones ago and the phone
smells like vanilla. We don’t wait for it
to cool, we eat the whole pot
like there is a bottom to homesickness.

***

Adriana Cloud is a native of Bulgaria who currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has read Harry Potter in three languages. Her poems have appeared in the New Orleans Review, A Bad Penny Review, The Nervous Breakdown, and others. You can find her on Twitter as @adicloud.

Poem For A New Year

She flew over America like a neon billboard for dish soap
wearing a death mask lit like a ball park for a night game.
The pitch was low, the batter blind,
the fans went wild as the catcher
engulfed the ball with a glove wider than China.
She floated toward the halogen bulbs
crazy for joy, cheer, dawn and ivory.
Hurricanes rummaged through deltas while
crickets hung on by their toenails.
She passed a baboon in a tree and touched it
with her hand; their eyes met wide.
There were no more garages and no more left fields.
Only right field remained and the short stop
who had appeared at dawn never came again.
She reefed herself down with guy ropes
toward a place between the miracles,
flashed her day-glo fingernails and smiled.
The earth had grown large and round beneath.
She slid across home plate like a matchstick;
the tall grass burst into fireworks
the park became an empty socket
the players’ hands went dumb.
She dug frantically through a jumble of shoes
and found the ground. It was fine powder,
pulverized chocolate, crushed graphite and snow.
The Empire called her out like an Emperor.
She turned, bathed in the lights, thrust her hand
down and dragged out the earth’s long intestinal skeins.
The crowd went wild.

***

Ann Hunkins is a poet, translator and videographer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hunkins has published poems in many anthologies and journals.

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