person Jaewon Chang, two poems

Jaewon Chang is a high school junior living in the Philippines. His works have been recognized by the Scholastics Art and Writing awards on a national level. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cleaver Magazine, Austin International Poetry Festival Youth Anthology, National Poetry Writing Month Anthology (2020), Ilanot Review, Passengers Journal, and elsewhere. During his free time, Jaewon enjoys traveling the city on foot.

*

To the East of Sinhyeon-ro 12-212

There exists a space where the pavement
cups the feet of marigolds, like words
waiting before they are spoken.

On another side, carnations distance
themselves between each other, the way
mother and I lived when people

in plastic gowns took father away. Perhaps
a man will hold a stethoscope against
appa’s chest, and that will be enough. Perhaps

eomma won’t have to leave me and stay
next to his bed. How we dream
when we don’t know.

*

The Exposition of Images

Your fingers coat a land of
photographs: possibly a red horizon
of bodies, where brightness floors
the dark, teaching war and peace
to unlearn their differences, or
maybe a walking stick, the
remnants of grandmother’s only
asset. Some images bruise the scenery
longer than others, but soon, a coda
will hunker us below our skies.
A musician, and
a piano underneath.

*

person Ojo Taiye, one poem

Ojo Taiye is a young Nigerian who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with the society. His poems and works have appeared in journals like Frontier Poetry, Palette, Stinging fly, Notre Dame Review, Vallum, Crannog, Argot, Brittle Paper, Glass Journal, Elsewhere, Eunoia Review, Lit Mag, Juke, Praxis Magazine and elsewhere.

~~

Simple Children or Wild Stars

in the widening field, i become a scholar of persuasion. i have done
things i shouldn’t discuss in a poem: wild stars and a fragment of
dream that arrows in the mist. i don’t want to spend the rest of my
life planting salts, seeding the ground with memories, if the road to
a safe tomorrow is what i’d rather do without. today, i am burning the
names of boys shot at noon. to wake when it’s possible is a good
thinking. each year, my nights pour through me like complaints & the
day becomes harder to live within. we all have reasons for leaving and
i go skyward. i will change your life, a little emptiness says, to
which i say please. it’s hard to know the right way to write the same
poem over and over, i mean i must leave this animal of my body,
without touching the furniture.

~~

 

person D.C. Wojciech, one poem

D.C. Wojciech is the founder of Silver Pinion, and is the author of The Longest Breath (Anvil Tongue, 2020). He resides in the Sonoran desert.

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THIS WORLD

those who sought humane interaction
wherever it can be found
those who chanted the end of art
in flickering rooms of hosanna, out of body & completely alone
those who stood for hours days years on downtown fire escapes without a fire or an escape
those who hummed spirits back to life on the corner of Oak & Everett against the traffic in many dimensions at once
against the time in red on bus transfers
against the bulldozers on Broadway
against inflation, alienation, theft, against the wicked history of cash crops
against themselves if need be
against anything that isn’t love
allow me this one moment of idealism—
for all utopian visions
that begin with the carpals & the femur—
“this world doesn’t know how to end”

/\

person Howie Good, one poem

Howie Good is the author of THE DEATH ROW SHUFFLE, a poetry collection forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

~~~~~

Chili Con Carnage

I wake up in bed alone, with drool and sweat and worse on my pillow. There are crumpled dollar bills and a couple of bucks in change on top of the dresser, enough for cigarettes and scratch-offs, maybe a bottle of Italian Red. History is dead. Scum is all that’s left. The sun keeps showing up regardless.

*

The train was crowded, dirty, excruciatingly slow. I had boarded with the idea of arriving that night in time to be a character in someone else’s dreams. It doesn’t have to make sense, but, for a while, the train ran parallel to an oily black river in which naked corpses floated. None of the passengers traveling with small children even attempted to shield the children’s eyes. And that was just fine with me. Growing up, I spent many hours watching TV alone in the basement in the dark.

*

Still sitting fully clothed on the exam table, I said to the doctor, “I’m dying.” He said, “How’s that my fault?” I’d been in agony for at least a month. The doctor said it was my body attacking itself. “It’ll scald you,” he said in the same cold, calm voice, “peel the skin and muscle right off your bones.” I wondered if this was a joke of some sort and decided it must be. When I opened the door to leave, a man with a bloody face, his hands bound behind his back, was just standing there waiting his turn.

person Danielle Hanson, three 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 has appeared in over 80 journals, 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. Her poetry has been the basis for visual art included in the exhibit EVERLASTING BLOOM at the Hambidge Center Art Gallery, and Haunting the Wrong House, a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. More about her at daniellejhanson.com.

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Meditations on Flame

Light as object, shapeless
shape, necessary
danger, you eat
your home. You are
pure dance tethered
by a tail, dancer who cannot
be held, snapping
with no fingers,
raising your hands
to sun, desperate to
leave earth, throwing
auguries into air,
stealing color, leaving ash.

\/

Meditations on Grass

You gather in
multitudes, wearers
of frost, swords
held up in a charge
frozen in time.
In warmer air, you
cushion picnickers
while holding armies
of biting insects.
Soft hair of soil,
precursor to weave
and nest, almsgiver
to the small, whether
furry or shelled or
feathered. You hide
young from all but the reaper.
Green whistle calling to wind,
you wave to the clouds,
who never give you
a ride. You gather to hear
the speech of the trees, gather
the speech of the trees to bury.

\/

Meditations on Lichens
– for Wendy Truran

Half moons,
fingernails of a tree,
parentheses inside parentheses
inside parentheses, you are
the hidden meaning
unspoken in the woods,
what isn’t heard
when a tree falls.
Alternating dark and light,
like a cloud-filled sky, you always
point north, to the star you love,
you are stairsteps to a
monument of fractals,
the small inside the large,
the stars of the forest, brittle
porcelain of nature,
plates serving air to air,
the erection of a tree
laying down, half buried
shield from a forgotten culture.

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person Niles Reddick, one flash piece

Niles Reddick is the author of the novel Drifting Too Far From The Shore, two collections Reading the Coffee Grounds and Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in thirteen anthologies and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, and others.
Website: http://nilesreddick.com/

~~~~~

SLUG

A slug poked its head and top portion of its body out of the light switch. As he inched this way and that, he left a trail of mucus. His tentacles swayed left and right and back, like a lone slow dancer after many drinks. I wondered how he came to be behind the light switch, if perhaps he had found his way through the outside socket on the porch, inching up electrical cords.

I got a paper towel, reached for him, and he latched on, pulled my hand, then arm, lifted my body, and pulled me into the light switch. He went into the living room. I felt like Mike, the shrunken boy in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but more importantly, I couldn’t believe the slug’s strength. I didn’t know how my wife and kids would ever find me in the light switch, and I imagined the slug might take over my life, wear my flip flops and cover them in mucus, use my toothbrush, and enjoy my new Tempur-Pedic bed.

“Help,” I yelled. “Somebody!” I heard the crunch of mulch in my flower bed by the porch, slid down inside the wall, peeked through the straight blade of the receptacle and saw a toad, its tongue jetting out, hitting the outside of the electrical outlet leaving a wet, sticky residue. “HELP!”

I pulled my way back up the cord and felt a stabbing pain. I whipped my head around, and the wasp’s stinger had gone clear through my abdomen, like a sword in a medieval battle.

My wife poked me several times in the back. “Why do you keep making noises?”

“I was being stung by a wasp.”

“Don’t be a slug. Get up and get your coffee. You’re going to be late.”

~~~

person Andrew Kozma, one poem

Andrew Kozma is a poet whose work has appeared in Blackbird, Redactions, The Baltimore Review, and Best American Poetry 2015. A book of poems, City of Regret, won the Zone 3 First Book Award.

. . .

Like a Host of Blown Bubbles

The flowering crepe myrtles instantly begin dropping their petals.
The whole season the myrtles drop their faces. Their bark crusts
with cicada shells and the soft velvet of spider webs. We all
have half-lives. We never know when we reach them.

. . .

person JC Davies, one short story

JC Davies is a a writer based in London, and was recently short listed for the York Poetry Prize. A short story “Palm” is appearing in Yellow Mama’s August edition.

~

Canal

I have only seen a dead fish in the canal but I went fishing there for thoughts. Fat thoughts with rainbow markings, skinny ideas with snarly mouths, multi-limbed dreams on light-weight line, fast swimming notions like metal exhaust chimneys on school houses, pumping out the smoke of old books and gym shorts from backside furnaces, ruffling the water like ball gown skirts.

A hummingbird broke its neck and the dead pony wouldn’t bury. Richard ate the frog. And the answerphone died slowly so his voice slowed to a slur like blancmange on a hot day.

Out along the canal, a great northern diver dove deep, clutching at food with a beak like a 1930’s trunk chiseled to a point; a chick screamed like a typewriter full of glass beads as it took a worm from its mother’s mouth like Marilyn Monroe kissing Tony Curtis.

If you think of death think of me, death is the thought of me smiling from below the water line. If you think of death think of a tall pine tree and me, sitting up there dressed in a clown suit with a catapult. If you think of death think of the slow sad sand creature that crawls across your thoughts thinking it’s doing well, but with a mortgage and three slow sand creature children bawling. If you think of death think of the crazy water skier and the thin line of rope like a snake in June desperate to be loved, ready to curl up and twist around the heart in an embrace that can never leave whilst the water skier is catapulted in the air and lands in a forest of cacti. Next to a sea of slurry. And it rains.

~~~

person Eve Rifkah, one poem

Eve Rifkah was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder and editor of DINER, a literary magazine with a 7 year run.

She is author of “Dear Suzanne” (WordTech Communications, 2010) and “Outcasts the Penikese Leper Hospital 1905-1921” (Little Pear Press, 2010). Chapbook “Scar Tissue”, (Finishing Line Press, 2017), “At the Leprosarium” 2003 winner of the Revelever Chapbook Contest.

~~~~~

Marrow

wing is scapula, span of clavicle
the lost connection between here and then
deer skull clean of flesh, bird spine
strung on a string for adornment.
We speak syllables into bowls

and bones, rub between our
hands and toss for spells and sickness.
tiny phalanges we caress
as rosary connecting
our breath to what was, what will be.

We keep ourselves together with
thin ossein needles stitching hide
for garment and carved talismans
for fortune and risk. And when our

living bones fracture and craze
we brew a tincture of violet, daisy,
bone-wort for easy healing
and crack a wishbone for luck.

We feel of ourselves –
diaphragm rise and fall
singing our life in tides of air
within ribbed-cage above
the sacrum our holy seat

~~~~~