Choking – Jonathan Butcher

 

I remember you in the school

dinner room, choking on the

corned beef sandwiches that

the dinner ladies forced down

your throat; waste held no

relevance between those walls.

 

I remember you sat alone at break

times, hands and stones slapped

across your face like whiplashes,

for an injustice you were far from

capable of committing.

 

And you walked home, your head bowed,

through those orange bricked streets

that framed our morning walks, alongside

the neglected grass verges like miniature

jungles we never dared to enter.

 

Those doors opened once again, before

the sun set behind the grey roofs and dust

like trees, you stand and stare once more

in that hallway mirror that hangs rusted,

and only slightly cracked.

 

Foxglove submissionJonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield, England. He has had poetry appear in various print and online journals including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Elbow Room, Your One Phone Call, Mad Swirl, The Transnational and others. His second chapbook ‘Broken Slates’ was published by Flutter Press.

Mushrooms and Onions – Jon Bennett

 

When I first got a kitchen

I baked salmon

and decided, from then on

fish every day!

I only made it once

I’m too impatient for ovens

and still eat from the bag and can

although I do fry up

mushrooms and onions

with my eggs in the morning

I feel this kitchen

has saved my life

although maybe

it’s the soft bed

that came along with it.

 

jon bennettJon Bennett is a writer and musician living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his stuff on Pandora and iTunes. For booking contact jonbennett14@hotmail.com. Most recently his work has appeared in Degenerate Literature, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.

Ode to Bishop – Carl Boon

 

Late September means

the chickens—

 

in summer imperturbable—

scatter at the shack’s wall.

 

They sense a flesh confined

trucks moving away,

 

the ends of all things

hot and strange.

 

This evening the wind

has shifted; the vines

 

have browned, fall against

the boy’s summer plan:

 

a pyramid, a monument

to which he did not pray.

 

Mother tries the door.

The cat has perched atop

 

the Hyundai top,

a kind of porch,

 

and symbols here have pushed

away to need—tin foil

 

makes a drape, branches

of fig to fence the strays.

 

When the rains come,

the girl, barely old enough

 

to lie, will gather armfuls

of rocks, wishing they were clouds.

 

cb-picCarl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at 9 Eylül University. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Burnt Pine, Two Peach, Lunch Ticket, and Poetry Quarterly. He is also a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Neighborhood – Catherine Zickgraf

 

In her blue robe,

Mom would light up beacons from her woes,

flashing on the porchlight among row homes.

 

Needing safety,

I’d leave home after bedtime, and row across

sparkle-snow, and drag my footpaths through

the pines, past a creek bridge, and abandoned

railroad ties. I’d follow telegraph roads under

the ocean, seeking the eternal glow of escape.

 

me-and-grandmoms-picCatherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.com. Watch and read more of her poetry at http://caththegreat.blogspot.com.

Clothespole – Catherine Zickgraf

 

Mother used to spin from the stem of our old clothespole,

except as the paint dried at the first stirring of springtime.

 

Great-Grandpop strung rope from garage roof to porch hook

to shake out the clouds of socks and towels.

 

He built our homestead which still stands after decades—

though he’s long-buried, he’s a hero in mirrors and frames.

 

Great-Grandmom used to pin me too to swing from her lines

and I’d fling legs out and back

in the cirrus shapes stretched where wind flew her flags.

 

Circling our old clothespole in grass dark as pine,

Mother and I, both in our times, scaled the air to touch

the sunshine between us and abundant depths of sky.

 

me-and-grandmoms-picCatherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Amazon.com. Watch and read more of her poetry at http://caththegreat.blogspot.com.

Two poems of hope – Danny P. Barbare

 

Good Days

The
pavement
looks
up

it
sees
the
light

hope
is
the
streets
and
rain
that
shine.

 

The Better of a Rainy Day

Thinking
of
the
light

the
glow
of
a
home

hope
is
the
lamp
shade
beside
the
road.

 

Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. He has been published in Birmingham Arts Journal and Stone Coast Review. He lives with his wife and family and small dog Miley.

win_20150109_224351

Winning the tombola – Maria Sledmere

 

She turned the package over in her fingers. Silken, purple, properly gift-wrapped. The thought of what might lie inside glazed over her mind like the sweetening glow of a bar of milk chocolate, crunched alone on a cold evening.

She had a full hour to herself, before they returned. This kitchen, the room of her life, seemed transformed before her. The bread bin was open, the fridge was bursting with its hoard of treasures. She didn’t need to touch anything, though it was seductive, to think of the carrots neatly lined up like pens in a stationer’s, the orange juice, the dark bitter rye bread, the drawers chockfull of hazelnuts and brazils and the luxurious sugared lemons they’d bought for the festive season.

Earlier, he’d pinned her against the mahogany wardrobe.

“Do it like this,” he whispered. She remembers such words like a litany.

There were seven words to be said for the lottery. The old women tittered at the sight of her skirt, the hole in her tights. It was an unfair judgment; she had done nothing but turn up, as was her right. Seven words to be said. The music was harsh and synthy; dissonant, like the music they play in a mall, only slowed down to a creepy, molluscan crawl.

He poured dark muscovado sugar on her tongue, lovingly. He put his finger in her mouth, swirled it around, till the coarse stuff got sticky and wet and dissolved. It was as if he had drained the juice of her blood and here she was, dried and rasping. Come.

He used to scrunch her hair in his palms, and later it would lie a certain way against her neck, limp and curled, the filaments crushed.

He had been a jazz musician once. He had played the saxophone in her sleep, the shrill buzz of those notes swivelling through the staves of her veins, twisting her organs to a new truth.

The old women drew papers from a golden box. The one with an amethyst scarf waved a number, triumphantly, as if declaring the birth of an age.

“That’s me!” she had shrieked, leaping from her seat. Their eyes had been upon her, and maybe for a moment she had felt ashamed. Still, it didn’t last. The parcel was duly handed over; she treated herself to a taxi home.

What was the use in waiting? She had dallied long enough.

The ribbons fell apart in her fingers. Her heart backflipped, a ballerina. So this was the promise?

What she saw made her vomit.

 

author-pic-maria-s

Maria Sledmere is currently studying for an MLitt in Modernities at the University of Glasgow, and is otherwise an assistant editor for SPAMzine and part-time restaurant supervisor, a job which provides her with many ideas for strange stories. She regularly writes music reviews for RaveChild Glasgow and has had work recently accepted by publications including From Glasgow to Saturn, DataBleed, Robida and Germ Magazine.  When not obsessing over the literature of Tom McCarthy she may be found painting, making mixtapes or writing about everything from Dark Ecology, Derrida to Lana Del Rey at http://musingsbymaria.wordpress.com.

Picture this – Katie Lewington

 

Restaurant shouts from the kitchen waiter answers the phone to takeaway or to collect boss greets guest my name is Ming, yes as in the vase laughs empty tables frosted glass window waiters hover attentive to needs


love is his wine glass
on my side of the table
and his thigh where I drape my leg
and in my lap –
wine glass
and his fork in my noodles
and I am finishing his dish of beef
and he is reading over my shoulder
and I am using his shoulder as tissue –

small pocket of reality shops shut cold night air dusts red faces pubs grow louder full of celebrators crowds of people forming community which team do you support last orders creep to bed
dream.

 

kl-picKatie Lewington is a UK-based writer and has been drafting, editing and rewriting her bio since she started submitting to literary magazines and journals two years ago. It isn’t as if she doesn’t know who she is, she just isn’t sure what is relevant. Her creative writing can be read at https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com. She can be contacted through Twitter @idontwearahat.

Vessel – Ella Kennett

Dive in heart first,

let not your head drown you with worry.

Your eyes are the horizon,

sailing seas of change

Land awaits you lost love.

The boat creaks

beneath your feet

Sharks encircle you,

threatening to bite at ankles

anchored by insecurity.

Fear not.

Storms pass

and the tide changes.

The skies can be bluer than moods,

even in the dark,

when you’re under the moon

the lighthouse will guide you home.

 

ek-picElla is an 18-year-old A Level student from Kent, England who loves music and film alongside literature. She hopes to study English Literature and Creative Writing at university after she finishes her last year at school.

Poem in which I am a Swarm of Cicadas – Lorna Martin

 

we weep out of our old body and leave it

static the crunching of what used to be

our skin is distant like when roots below our

many tender limbs snap there is no

unravelling me from the swarm there is no

untangling but being caught each movement writhes

through all of us each drop of light boils

through all of us we have waited

seventeen years in the earth womb

 

to see the sun and die.

we pile up in gutters roaring

bellowing ourself towards each other

all of it the swarm hot movement

 

the scattered insect our million wings expand

our million eyes on the blur of us

one and the swarm and each tiny beating part of us

moves as one intent and there is no fear no worry

just movement just heat all kinetic and

 

still

my wings tremble

 

Lorna Martinlm-pic‘s work has most recently appeared in A Quiet Courage and Roulade Magazine. She was awarded the 2016 Brunel Writer prize and was shortlisted for the Mslexia Poetry Prize in 2014. Lorna is currently working on her first chapbook of poems. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lornarabbit.

Wok Pak Archillect – Rose Knapp

 

Go, come back home, turn back, you can’t be all alone, just slow down, think of how things used to be. Reminisce on those repressions of you and me, things weren’t terrible; there were some amusing times to be had. Remember the charming ancient cottage house, remember the nonchalant Catalan step, remember the cooling breeze drifting off the luminescent lake, remember the endless emerald lawn, remember the dogs smiling and playing with their daddy, remember the numinous touch of my hand on your face every trite night, remember us making love on polished French windows with grace. Enough. Quickly, swipe away ever building conservative shitstorms that constitute the past, shove away Elle memories from molesting you further yet again. Études brut? Carpe daimōn, clavier Vionysius.

 

cam03096-2Rose Knapp is a poet, producer, and multimedia artist. She has publications in Chicago Literati, Visitant, BlazeVOX, OccuPoetry, Danse Macabre, and others. She currently lives and works in Manhattan. She tweets at @Rose_Siyaniye.

Map logic – Elizabeth Gibson

 

How simple you are: a strip

of land, two big roads going

up like arteries, nothing more.

A thin triangle, a lone figure.

Past your head you crumble,

scattering fragments of earth

and water, hair that is rocky

and damp with storm. I can

place my hand over you and

I can ache for you. Yet I feel

distanced. I wonder whether

you were ever mine, really.

 

Here I am in the hexagon of

dreams. It is like a parachute

stretched out, the sort we ran

under as kids. It is also like a

star, as gaudy and as hot. We

are vast. We are a bloody big

country, you forget how big.

From Paris roads spiral out,

pulsing, like the white lines

of an orange. How can I feel

so alone here? We are so big.

We are connected. And yet…

 

egibson

Elizabeth Gibson is the founder of Foxglove Journal. She is a Masters student at the University of Manchester and a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival. She is a member of The Writing Squad and her work has appeared in The Cadaverine, London Journal of FictionFar Off Places, Octavius, Severine and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She won second prize in The Poetry Society’s 2016 Timothy Corsellis Prize. She tweets at @Grizonne, Facebooks at https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethGibsonWriterPoet and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.