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: http://www.jamieoco.com

 

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.

Woman_holding_up_glass_of_green_liquid

 

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 Amazon.com. 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.