person Leah Mueller, two poems

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her latest book, a memoir entitled “Bastard of a Poet” was published by Alien Buddha Press in June, 2018. Leah’s work appears or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Crack the Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.

//

AFTER THE FIRE

After the fire I heard your voice,
low and Midwestern: the syllable
bursts of erratic heat, hoarse
cadence musical, familiar.
Years in the Northwest turned my own
words into monotonous rain. Your clumsy
thrust ejects from my belly, illuminates
my breath with manufactured warmth.

Two Decembers ago, we hiked
to Multnomah Falls summit, and
I showed you the river below. Your face
in the wind, pale from Michigan cold.
That sideways look of appraisal.
Your body as it ascended the switchbacks,
liberated from the tyranny
of asphalt and party stores. Both of us
waking up in the Jupiter Hotel,
spent and wanting more. Later,
you shed airport tears, but I refused to stay.

Somewhere along the path,
your hat flew away: its absence
a mystery after our descent. Though
you searched the parking lot, the hat
was already gone, nestled in the brush
like a terrified animal. In the lodge,
you shrugged over a beer and cut
your losses. We drank a toast
to our own impermanence.

Somebody played with firecrackers,
evergreens erupted into flames.
Underbrush burned to jagged
cinders: trail closed until further notice.
I wonder if the fire rustled
your hat from its hiding spot, tore
the canvas to shreds. Probably
it remained hidden for as long as it could.
You would know a bit about that.

The waterfall continues its plunge
as I wait for the trail to re-open. I
will your voice into submission, but
your ersatz heart springs from
my chest before I have the chance
to extinguish it. You have the audacity
to light matches during a drought, and I
was never much good with water.

\\

THE AFTERNOON OF YOUR CREMATION

Strip from bone
and evaporate
to wherever
the dried blood goes.

Memories seethe:
your abrupt assault,
your terrified love.

Bulbous digits,
teeth in a sawdust box
embossed with
an Indian’s head.

Wishbone and sage.

You always said
I talked too much,
though my voice
never reached very far.

I pretend you were kind,
pretend you wanted our child.

Your father’s
heart attack, then yours.

That boy with curls
becomes your son,
left alone while you sleep.

//

person Danielle Hanson, two poems

Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work won the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub, was Finalist for 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award and was nominated for several Pushcarts and Best of the Nets. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and is on the staff of the Atlanta Review. More about her at daniellejhanson.com.

~~.

Cat Love

The cat loves his kill,
walks around it in
circles, nuzzles it
softly, purrs
into its wounds,
wants to bring it inside
his soft belly.

.~~

Mouse

The mouse
collects footfalls
to make a nest,
gives birth
to a litter of winds.

.~~.

As If – poems – Anna Meister

As If
poems, Anna Meister
Glass Poetry, 2018

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“…I have given myself permission to be

a monster in little ways.” -Anna Meister

As if thumb wars are underway in some temple where the many seek the blessing of forgetfulness, poet Anna Meister tasks the written word to offer a oneness by which a reader can map the interior of any lateness a person may come to in order to dwell upon things unnamed. With its full-bodied interruptions and without decoration, As If is a restorative condemnation commemorated by the local uplift of its verse. It creates, in form, a ghosted extra and summons answer from the echo of its ask. As these are entries of where that give a future to when, the work itself becomes a telling that grows in the story, that speaks to remain untouched.

~

reflection by Barton Smock

~

book is here:

http://www.glass-poetry.com/chapbooks/as-if.html

 

 

person Mike Ferguson, two poems

Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK. A retired English teacher, he taught experimental writing to his students for thirty years.

*

The Philosophy of Being Delayed on a Train

A tannoy does not express a doctrine. Delays are explained – in documentation – through the calm rhetoric of platitude and irony. That Dialectical Theory of Staggered Time is considered a load of bollocks by passengers. The train got delayed presupposes a self-sense of desire and/or expectation. How Bertrand Russell got delayed before getting on his at the Gare du Nord. Simultaneity of timetable / leaving / track / leaves. For me, our tolerance for or sensitivity to delay exists as variables in an expression that looks impenetrably like mathematics. Dickens’ mimetic capture was of the unstoppable forward thrust into death.

*

Painting an Imaginary Landscape

To be able to decorate such restfulness in skylines of baby blue. Essence above capture / no cheating with the greens. If there is corrugation, it is centuries old rather than ploughed. When a horizon shifts into and out of hues. The issue of foregrounding isn’t. Swathe of red axing through is interpretable. Sky affects the land when you spell it correctly. The yellow isn’t necessarily corn grown for colour. Layered in, the darker blue will later rise as advanced dusk. There is pink here, but I argued against when told its tinge glossed my car. Perhaps a Chianti spill. 

*

person J.J. Steinfeld, one poem

Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld is the author of eighteen books, including Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press, 2003), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2009), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2014), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2015), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), and Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States. A new poetry collection, A Visit to the Kafka Café, is forthcoming from Ekstasis Editions.

…..

A Poem About a Man Neither Tall Nor Small

The man, neither tall nor small,
was walking home
from a long day at work
a job that made as much sense
as walking backwards into the night
but he had two decades of showing up
and walking home
the walking home was the best part
because he saw what passed for beauty
and this time composed almost a full poem
a slight song to be repeated with homeward steps
usually nothing more than a few lines
nothing memorable nor forgettable
just the need for justification and verification
the metaphoric paperwork of existence
but then he heard the most vile
mean, miserable insults
and he looked around
seeing no one and nothing out of the ordinary
still, the insulting continued
and he yelled for the insults to stop.

An hour later, as if by design,
his body was found by a young woman
who called the police on her cellphone
then, tearful and dismayed, hurried home
and wrote a poem
about a man,
neither tall nor small,
with an expression of sadness
devouring his face.

…..

person Arushi Singh, two poems

A passionate writer and literature enthusiast, Arushi Singh has been experimenting with free style poetry for a few years. She is from Delhi, India, and is currently studying literature at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore.  She has had her poetry published in magazines like Page and Spine, Literary Yard, One Sentence Poems, Fourth and Sycamore and others.  Her first poetry collection, Deviant: the obscenity of truth, is available on Amazon.

~*~

Whereas,

it was ten minutes since they said my mother was
“probably dead”
Whereas, we walked on bomb craters to find our way back to the
Skeleton of our home
Whereas, it was dark then, it is dark now
Whereas, the ribbons from my gaypride flag exploded in his ears
Whereas, life was lonely when you took it
Whereas, loneliness is still a heartbeat of the soul
Whereas, dreams were still dreams if you woke into them
Whereas, he was perched on a window, naked and done, ready to take flight
Whereas, what if I told you my biggest regret was the lovers I never had
Whereas, I walked the path slowly, tread carefully baby, life is hard.
Whereas, I was a ribbon tied into a bow while around a watch with a time bomb hidden in it
Whereas, I reached for horizon, just a bit too slow
Whereas, I was supposed to read now – writing was hard
Whereas, I was a minimalist of words- so mother’s eulogy was short
Whereas, we finally reached the door, standing upright, as if it wasn’t all that stood between me and mother’s corpse
Whereas, grandmother once told us that they would sometimes lift a child by his (her) legs and turn slowly
Whereas, these were fragments from the collection of toilet paper bits I tore into homes
for the unsheltered
Whereas, I was smelling when the fire split my left side into strips of gold
Whereas, my favourite teacher spilt my agonies into his friend’s ears the way a blood spills the streets of the east
so cold- so neat
Whereas, I was dying then, I am dying now
Whereas, it was time of the day when it was a rainbow seven colours painted onto the sky as if why
Whereas, I was a Howl away from King Solomon’s bloodied throne
I was a slave then (yes), the king asked me to wipe the blood off his feet
Whereas, I was slowly inching towards the edge of my morality, I was a kiss without a home
Whereas, mother always told me- “it’s not a lie if you believe it”
Whereas, I was screaming then, I am screaming now
Whereas, what happened?-

Oblivion

~*~

Ode to Beautiful Men

                                      Who smiled across the street only to be caught
                              Stoned in between the river
            Of pot and endless love
 
Who stepped on doorways of corporate and industrial
          Growth capital capitalism capitalisation growing in her master’s pants
 
Who stripped naked in wildfire and jumped with obscene lines
              Trials and homosexuality
 
Who howled howled howled pleading officer’s belts for another
              Bud
 
Who beaten at 5 raped at 7 stolen at 15 alcoholic at 21
            And saviour at 27
 
Who tread the path of Ginsberg stepping on thorns
          Of obscenity trials with songs of cock and endless balls
 
Who climb on women with a screwdriver looking for the hinges
          Waiting to heal
 
Who covered in Bangalore loved in Delhi swam in Mumbai and
          Fixed in Goa
 
Who loved other men to piss off an angry god to piss off the universe
          As the shit hit the fan
 
Who beaten bruised battered breaking bones to belittle black bars
    Of prison in party pants
 
Who drank themselves silly on the streets of Bangalore watching crazies
    As crazies watched them
 
Who cried in America bolted from Europe broke Australia back to Asia
    With anti-capitalist haze in their eyes
 
Who lived loved learned longed annihilated their own realities for a drop
  Of ink
 
Who met Allen Ginsberg in an angry heaven and pled insanity

~*~

~*~

~*~

person Kristin Garth, from ~Candy Cigarette~

Kristin Garth is a kneesock enthusiast and a Best of the Net nominated sonnet stalker. In addition to Isacoustic*, her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2: One, Anti-Heroin Chic, Former Cactus, Occulum, Luna Luna, & many more. She has a chapbook Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), two forthcoming: Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018) and Shakespeare for Sociopaths (The Hedgehog Poetry Press Jan 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press). Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), her weekly poetry column (https://www.rhythmnbone.com/sonnetarium) and her website (kristingarth.wordpress.com).

*

So slick & quick, they always start. They know
each ventricle of a schoolgirl’s heart, pretenders,
naked, just like you, with lesson plans & homework,
too. Summons, secret, to a bed to play. No strip
club required. They will not pay for a bookish
girl they’ve known for years, before the days
of topless cheers – coquettish in a velvet dress,
punk rock bar, a college girl they pushed too far.
The one who moved you from your parents’ house,
first smoke, first choke, first heart cut out to Jane’s
Addiction, red face, low lights & sweat tell you all you
should have already known. He’s not alone. He’s a
PRIVATE DICK
different than the ones who pay, seek lust & love
in a public, prescripted way. They make the rules.
They know who you are. You can try to change
a made-up mind, but you won’t get too far. They
know all your details. They calculate their words.
Their histories are mysteries. Every last stand, line
in the sand is buried & blurred. They look at you
sometimes, a blank stare you recognize — the cool
calculations of a predator’s eyes. You’ve seen it
in mirrors, some nights at the club when some
out-of-town businessman has fallen in love. He’s
speaking of somedays, a dream that necessitates you,
and you’re counting how many more table dances
you need to do to buy a TV as big as your friends.
How many more twerks & how many bends?
In public, a private dick will preen, compile,
pretty words on display. In private, you’ll see it.
They will make you pay.

*