Machine Hypnotism by Jamie O’Connell

on the subway tracks
bodies collide to expose
dirt inside of their souls,
stabbed with cold eyes.

I want to fry
the skyscrapers
and use the ashes
to build mountains,

take out the garbage
into a garden,
sit and stare at
the vaporized smoke.

tyrant explosion
given birth by
closed eyes of
coal and delusion.

we swell to the chords of
a planet drowned in oil,
the sun laughs
and runs away,

orbits into
another atmosphere,
allows our moons to drift,
unbound by gravity.



Jamie O’Connell currently lives in the Bay Area, where she received her MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. Her poetry can be found in Menacing Hedge, Troop Zine, Newfound, and Forth Magazine, and her multimedia work has been exhibited in College Avenue Galleries in Oakland. She spends most of her time with her majestic zebra-striped dog/direwolf, Daisy. Visit her site here:


Photograph by Andrew Gray.

The Toy Room by Trish Saunders

Like the smiling boy in a Caravaggio,
his outstretched arms offer apples and pears.
He steps into our living room.

You know what happens next–overturned tables.
Flames shimmy up a tall mast;
Theseus abandons ship just in time. Amazon
women with impossibly thick muscles wrestle
cowboys to the ground. Fists meet chins.
Ruthless executions follow: by firing squad,
sword thrust, a shove overboard.

At six o’clock, dust motes settle,
we sink into our brocade chairs–cracked china figures
in green and gold. I’ve lost you, little brother, tough older sister.
Our knees ache.
Story hour’s over.



Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.


Bickering Children by Bernhard Keil.

Dubai Days by Elizabeth York Dickinson

The water began boiling for tea and I blew away
leafy steam before tasting.
He doused his face and hands in a bird bath,
desperate to drown the senses.
My breasts absorbed the sun, their reflection echoing
off hundreds of city mirrors. The young, sprawling beauty
left it difficult for me to get up,
until I heard the swoop of curtains.
They would open again. The city has never known damage;
long ago the sun stopped
willing away twilight.

The history of his accented breeze, and serene kindness
was left at our backs.
Time was kept in Mecca, harmonizing with sleep.
The swish of my red taffeta skirt
on the white tiles of the palace floor,
a passage.
It gave me voice, so I removed it.
The chimes were delicate, crystal teardrops
fractured by an ebb.
I twirled to their sharp score
wearing my heart locket
with the weak clasp.
The chant called;
he accepted the profound offering of hand,
and dreamed of swallowing the sun.



Elizabeth York Dickinson received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She was a staff writer for The Costa Rica News and currently resides in Evanston, Illinois.

#MeToo: She Loses Her Memories by Janette Schafer

She swallows them down,
these memories of hate,
with whiskey and pills,
despises the cliche of it.
They drown the slap of
his unwelcome skin and
the sweat that drips
from his forehead into
her blank averted eyes.
She drowns his face
in a haze of forgetfulness
against his whispered mantra,
unhappy women
do not tangle the sheets.



Janette Schafer is a freelance writer, nature photographer, former opera singer, and full-time banker living in Pittsburgh PA. She was a 2017 awardee of the Maenad Fellowship through Chatham University. Her poems and photographs have recently been included in the following: Unlikely Stories V, Event Horizons, Dear America, Reflections on Race, Nasty Women & Bad Hombres Anthology, and Anti Heroin Chic.


Photograph, two woman enjoying a drink, courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. 

Photograph, everyone’s invited, by SuicideGirls. 

Children of Light by Robert Lowell

Our fathers wrung their bread from stocks and stones
And fenced their gardens with the Redmen’s bones;
Embarking from the Nether Land of Holland,
Pilgrims unhouseled by Geneva’s night,
They planted here the Serpent’s seeds of light;
And here the pivoting searchlights probe to shock
The riotous glass houses built on rock,
And candles gutter by an empty altar,
And light is where the landless blood of Cain
Is burning, burning, the unburied grain.


Robert Lowell, 1917-1977.

Photograph Joe Brusky. 

#GunViolence: Revelatory by Ken Allan Dronsfield

In this world of heartless consumption
waste of human life to the whipsaw;
children shot dead while at recess
never did so little mean so much
then when two deer in a field
saw you and you saw them
nothing else mattered…
as neither blinked…



Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, poet and fabulist originally from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. His work can be found in magazines, journals, reviews and anthologies. He has two poetry collections. The Cellaring is a book of 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderfully odd work. His newest book, A Taint of Pity, Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection, was just released on He is a three time Pushcart Prize and twice Best of the Net Nominee for 2016-2017. Ken loves writing, thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.


Photograph by Mucki.

#MeToo: When Courage Finds Me by Alicia Elkort


When Courage Finds Me


Alicia Elkort edited and contributed to the chapbook Creekside, published under the Berkeley Poetry Review where she also served as an editor. Her poetry has been published in AGNI, Arsenic Lobster, Georgia Review, Heron Tree, Menacing Hedge, Rogue Agent, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and many others and is forthcoming in Black Lawrence Press. Alicia’s poems have been nominated for the Orisons Anthology (2016) and the Pushcart (2017). She lives in California and will go to great lengths for an honest cup of black tea and a cool breeze.


Una and the Lion by Briton Riviere, depicting Una of The Faerie Queene. 

#MeToo: The Memory of Snow by Wren Tuatha

Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale

Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale, used by permission. 

The souls of women float just above the ground
as if walking on the memory of snow.
Ready to be air if struck, water if kicked,
stone if belittled, fire if ignored.

The souls of women laugh lightly in most moments,
beaming pinpoints through the skin. It makes you
want to touch. Priestesses and party dresses.

So you touch. Shocked to find flesh, you
notice a bad memory. Soon each woman is the
same woman and her soul is bitter lamplight,
bitter, insatiable lamplight.

The souls of women reel and swoon with
art and moon and business meetings. They
encircle bitter sisters and float just above the ground
as if walking on the memory of snow.


First published in Lavender Review.



Wren Tuatha (Califragile Editor). Wren’s poetry has appeared or is upcoming in The Cafe Review, Canary, Pirene’s Fountain, Peacock Journal, Coachella Review, Arsenic Lobster, Baltimore Review, Loch Raven Review, Clover, Lavender Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Poetry Pacific, and Bangalore Review. Wren and her partner, author/activist C.T. Lawrence Butler, herd skeptical goats on a mountain in California.


Painting Women Floating by Kyle Ragsdale, used by permission. 

Weather by Tony Gloeggler

Weather Ben Newton

When we walk out the door,
Jesse’s respite worker asks him
about the weather. It’s February
in Maine and there’s snow
on the ground. He answers
“Clouds, wind, too cold.”
Still, I have to remind him
to zip his hoodie, ask maybe
we should go back inside,
change his sandals for socks
and boots. He blurts, “No
socks, no shoes” as I dig
my hands deeper into pockets,
trot to the car. His worker
turns down the radio,
shows him his cell phone.
A list of different cities
roll down the screen,
their current temperatures
next to them. The worker
points to one and Jesse
answers what he’d wear
if he were there, a coat,
or shorts and a tee shirt.
When the worker points
to another, Jesse pauses,
then says, “New York, Tony
house” and I wonder whether
he remembers that eight hour
U Haul drive when he moved
to Brooklyn the summer me
and his mom were in love.

Jesse, five and a half years old,
incessantly sweating and still
marching obsessively room
to room closing every window
tight; sitting on my lap, licking
the burnt orange remnants
of Extra Spicy Doritos off
his fingers as I talk on
the phone; subwaying
to the end of the F line
and jumping Coney Island
waves as it grows too dark
to see, playing Rosalita,
We’re Having A Party,
A Good Feelin’ To Know
on the stereo, blasting them
in the same exact order
anytime his mom called
to say sorry she’d be home
late again from work
as I lift him as high
as the ceiling, bounce
him on the bed over
and over until we both
run out of breath, ready
for a Beach Boys lullaby
to close our eyes, hopefully
help him, me, sleep
through the night, please.


First published in Trajectory.



Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in Rattle, The Raleigh Review, Chiron Review, New Ohio Review, Mudfish and Cultural Weekly. His full length books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw press 2002) and The Last Lie (NYQ Books/2010). Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on his connection to an ex-girlfriend’s autistic son and thirty-five years of managing group homes for mentally challenged men in Brooklyn.

#MeToo: The Various Stages of Not Responding by Laura S. Marshall

Catcalling happens to other animals too
Startle blink and freeze
Saliva and metal
It doesn’t have to be a taser
You wait for things to be over with
You stay engaged

Figure out your own body chemistry
And what sets you off chemically
I remember what I wore
I wore this long flowy desert-yellow dress with sequins
I remember that I had a red scarf on my hair
I remember that creaky pleather jacket
Really I was just weighing myself down
The older I get
The more intentional I become

If you ask me if I have a sister I say no
It’s not even a level of I’m lying to you
Everybody has their arch-nemesis, right
We lie to ourselves
The thing I’m doing wrong is telling the truth
Which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal

I wouldn’t probably say it if I was your teacher
But I’m not your teacher so I can say it
There’s a poem that happens in four sections
The words are like duck duck duck duck duck duck duck
I wanted to write a poem about hands, and then I drew a hand



Laura S. Marshall is a writer and editor who lives in New England. She studied linguistics as an undergraduate at Queen’s University in Canada and as a grad student at the University of British Columbia. She has studied writing at the Ashbery Home School, the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass Amherst, and the College of Our Lady of the Elms. Her work appears or is forthcoming in literary publications including Epigraph Magazine, Lavender Review, Junoesq, and the Queen’s Feminist Review, as well as newspapers and trade magazines.


Art by Brooke Warren.


#MeToo: After the Funeral by Caroline Zimmer

because I’d read that morning, “death is a chore”
because our clothes dragged heavy with rain water
because you said I was still a whore
because my mother and my father
because the polaroids were still on the shelf
because my heartbeats were parched and sudden
because my Goodwill mourning dress carried more incidence than myself
because the airless moments were scored button by button by button
because the tall man at the gas station knew someone died
because you told your father its was “real sad”
because I’d watched you stash your muddy sneakers in the hedge outside
because the time we’d thought we had
because I’d seen my grade school teachers
because you apologized for all the animals you killed
because I’d once had a longing for Jesus
because you didn’t chastise me for all the pills
because the draft up the cypress stairs always made me an anxious lover
because you were still selfish after all your talk of being afraid
because I let you undress me like a martyr
because I was sick of being brave
because you said I was such a violent woman
because that same violinist played
because you chewed at my breast when I said we shouldn’t
because you said you should have prayed
because grief’s an arrangement like everything else
because the lurid order death and sex bring
because I cannot forgive God for death
with all these memories of living things



Caroline Zimmer’s poetry, as well as her visual art, has appeared in The Maple Leaf Rag, Umbra and Unspoken magazine. She is a lifelong resident of the French Quarter in New Orleans, where she lives with her Doberman, Iris and her fiancé, fellow poet, David Rowe. Caroline tends bar and reads tarot cards out of her home.

#MeToo: The Farm by Mary McCarthy

No one had worked it
since before the war
when they still plowed
with a horse
owning no tractor
or any machine
powered by more
than their own
arms and backs.
I knew it every summer
before I was nine,
a neglected eden
fields rough with weeds
and white with Queen Anne’s Lace,
a long hill of sweet grass
we rolled down laughing
again and again,
stopped at the bottom
as we came up against
flowering hedges-
the apple tree that,
split by lightning,
still bloomed and set fruit,
the old tangled orchard
where the small pears
my father loved
still grew untended-
and at the center
in the white house
the snake
who did not work
who lived on the first floor
and always managed
like a dog cutting out
one sheep from the herd,
to get you alone
in a corner,
where whispering lies and threats
he forces his rough hand
between your naked legs.



Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. She has had work published in many on line and print journals, including Third Wednesday, Gnarled Oak, The Ekhprastic Review, and Earth’s Daughters. She has been a Pushcart nominee, and has an e-chapbook available as a free download from Praxis magazine.


Photograph by Jerrye and Roy Klotz.

#GunViolence: Maracay by Janette Schafer

The Venezuela of my youth
had a cement washtub,
Abuela’s hands washing away
the heat of equatorial afternoon,

flashed a decadent Carnival
and I, a shy child with
thin hair, waved at the parade
in my clown costume,

joyed at the donkey piñata
at my sister’s first birthday,
children spun and spun
until they missed their mark and fell.

Today in Venezuela, raspy voiced
men walk the streets of Maracay,
rest their hands idly on assault weapons,
load poems into my quaking heart.



Janette Schafer is a freelance writer, nature photographer, former opera singer, and full-time banker living in Pittsburgh PA. She was a 2017 awardee of the Maenad Fellowship through Chatham University. Her poems and photographs have recently been included in the following: Unlikely Stories V, Event Horizons, Dear America, Reflections on Race, Nasty Women & Bad Hombres Anthology, and Anti Heroin Chic.


Photograph by Diosean.

I Long to Join the Conga Line by Trish Saunders


Even Jehovah’s Witnesses turn away from me now,
since I started wearing my fur coat

pervs in the park leave me be
’til some pop tune
reminds them I’m alone
in a world

where a woman can’t be alone
unless she’s lost a kid to a grave

then she will be allowed a little madness
in peace.

Just warmth around my neck,
and kicking my heels in the
chorus–that’s all I ever wanted.

It’s simple–our fathers taught us to dance;
mothers warned us thin dresses
catch fire.

Don’t be afraid.
When a stranger steps forward
with an outstretched arm,
it only means you are not alone.

Even if you are.



Trish Saunders divides her time between Seattle and Honolulu. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Gnarled Oak, Busted Dharma, Blast Furnace Press, Off the Coast, Poets and Poetry, and Here/There Poetry.


Painting In a Fur by Anvar Saifutdinov. 

#GunViolence: Reverse Bachata by Matt Hohner

Latin Night, Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016

The blood sucks back from the dance floor into his
mouth, into his nose, his body uncrumples and he stands,
the round stops bouncing around inside his cranium,
stops turning his brain to jelly, gray matter pulls and folds
back neatly into his skull through his cheek, skin closing
behind the bullet it as it leaves him, backs through a woman’s
shoulder blade and out of her chest, so fast now, spinning back
into the barrel of the man’s AR-15, explosion of gunpowder
re-condensing as the firing mechanism eases away from the
round, trigger moves forward, finger relaxes, and he walks
backward out of the club into the darkness, opens his trunk,
slides his gun back into its case, un-parks his car and returns
home, walks backward from his car to his apartment door,
slips quietly back into bed, time reverses faster, the sun
unsets for a do-over, he grabs his Quran instead of his gun,
reads Mohammad’s verses on tolerance and grace, his pain
lifting like an azan, calls his father to tell him something he won’t
want to hear, but must, because the sound of a father weeping
for a son who has accepted himself is preferable to the sound
of forty-nine others’ loved ones weeping because their sons
and daughters are now dead, and won’t be coming home
late after dancing the night away at the club ever again.



Matt Hohner, a Baltimore native, holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. His work has been a finalist for the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, taken both third and first prizes in the Maryland Writers Association Poetry Prize, and won the 2016 Oberon Poetry Prize. Hohner’s work has been published individually in numerous journals, including Rattle: Poets Respond, Free State Review, and Crab Orchard Review. His book-length manuscript Thresholds will be published by Apprentice House Press in Fall 2018.


Photograph by Orlando Police Department.