In her blue robe,
Mom would light up beacons from her woes,
flashing on the porchlight among row homes.
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.
Catherine 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.
from twilight skies.
echoes of my
of those days to come.
nodding yellow crocus
there, another, purple,
closed as for night –
these too tell me
water conjures the wet
sound of my name
choking in your throat
like a bite
of rotten peach.
those tears, here
peering iris blades,
pooling onto dirt.
pain feeds growth,
sadness made manifest in these
wet birds dart
into shadowed trellis shelter.
Fritz Eifrig has been writing poems on and off for several decades. He has been published in Poetry Quarterly, and the Hiram Poetry Review. He lives and works in Chicago.
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.
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.
A tremor & a shift,
Kerouac’s Desolation Pops dropped
to my feet by the jolt.
Black tea dyed crescents on the envelope,
tsunamis rushed ashore. My heart
raced & read, reread & raced through
your words with a flux capacitor.
Your letter came today, but
we gathered yesterday
by the flowers during
your calling hours. I thought
you never responded.
Nancy Iannucci is a historian who teaches history and lives poetry in Troy, NY. Her work is published/forthcoming in numerous publications including Bop Dead City, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Star 82 Review (*82), Gargoyle, Amaryllis, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Nixes Mate Review, Poetry Breakfast, Rose Red Review, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon Poetry, and her poem “Howling” won one of Yellow Chair Review’s Rock the Chair Challenges.
I have really tried so hard,
wrote about everything
(but mostly nothing) and kept
my mouth shut.
I got very close to true emotion
once or twice.
A good line on a man,
even a rhyme.
Lately I am face to face with the reality
of losing you
and losing my hunger for this.
I was a better writer when you hurt me.
Whatever I do to myself or let anyone else do to me
cannot come even close
to the beauty
of you twisting the knife in me.
There was something truly poetic in the way
you wrecked me. Every time like I didn’t expect it
or sign up for it willingly.
But I’ve always been fucking good at sorrow.
Now you’re back into my poems
and of course I put my faith in this magic again.
Draped in blue,
still imagining that one day I’ll get to have a conversation with you
tell you to please ruin me forever
for eternal glory.
Francesca Leone is a 24-year-old living in Rome, Italy. She writes in English at https://frellification.wordpress.com. She is currently writing a fantasy novel, but poetry remains her first love.
I found him in a place
with an endless ringing
like the noise of an alarm clock
his body hot as blankets
a bad place
with gaps in the walls that let in a light
smoke and I couldn’t see his face
skin touched my skin
I found you in a different place
and now have two names
and two monograms to prove it
Lydia Allison is a Sheffield-born poet whose current writing stems from a love of weddings and wonky romances. She is a member of Writing Squad 8 and has appeared a number of times both online and in print, including two of Pankhearst’s Slim Volumes (This Body I Live In and No Love Lost). She enjoys a range of modern and contemporary writers, particularly female American poets. Her other favourite things in life are the Yorkshire countryside and cake for breakfast. Follow her on Twitter @LydiaAllison13 and find more poems, stories, and links here: lydiaallison.wordpress.com.
I could put on those shoes there
the little ones
unlock the door and walk out
and not stop walking until I reached somewhere I wanted to be
where I could escape from the inexorable emptiness inside me
as empty as the house I have deserted.
No one need know, as long as I am back by sundown
yet I know I will not
(it’s not what people do)
I know I will sit here and dream of waves breaking
on far-away shores
of sunsets over foreign towns.
And I will learn to be content.