I’ll Build Us a Home – poems – Emily Paige Wilson

I’ll Build Us a Home
poems – Emily Paige Wilson
Finishing Line Press, 2018


I was soft, and my other was vivid. Check my pulse, and I’ll check yours. Oh, these early games. These asks, asked by children, of the wrist and of the hand. Detail is the orphaned builder. Home a framed dislocation. I’ve come to say as such by way of Emily Paige Wilson’s I’ll Build Us a Home, a book of nervous transit, a work that frames the letter sent back twice by the shape that loneliness adopts. In verses deepened by domestic otherness and blessed with handmade hiatuses, Wilson knows shelter as a thing brought inside by one or two spells said by those who’ve chosen to recite passage to hallways while giving space to rooms. This is a worried and inviting art, and captures the wildness in the wanting to be safe not from, but for, another. As outlived as we’ll be, it is root to read the body back to a grain of sand and to feel one has written a note to all selves reminding each to be lived-in.


reflection by Barton Smock


book is here:

person Amy Poague, one poem

Amy Poague holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University. Her work has appeared in The Cabinet of Heed, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Mantle, SWWIM Every Day, Really System, Rockvale Review, and Mojave He[art] Review. She is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine.


Your Posthumous Life in Gradations of Pink
for M.D.

Inside your obituary, I am a hesitant conservator.

In your portrait, you wear a one-shouldered red dress
you never would have chosen.

Whose wedding? Whose smile?

Can I restore you in your swagger, flushed pink,
clenching with the effort to please?

The internet does not remember.

In 2005, we laughed at a car in the Aldi lot
because it was not pink enough.
“Maddening” you said, returning the grocery cart.

We saw the secret of the car: a dapper white button-down
washed with a new red bra.

You manned the van back to work
laden with off-brand groceries, both of us singing along with Yeah Yeah Yeahs–

my voice parallel to your voice
parallel to the secret of the van:
                                                            silence awash with desire.

Riding passenger side, I wore a magenta shirt and rose-colored sunglasses,
smiled slyly at you. Your whole healthy-pink body smiled back,

nearly swerved into the next lane.

Now marooned in 2019, I listen carefully to no voice, no voice
inside me. The sound (of no voice) smiling.

The (sound of no) voice staining my shirt like insistent lingerie.

You are still singing along somewhere along the line, you insistent lingerer.

Another day you brought me a microphone
so I could sing into my four-track tape recorder–
the promise you followed through on.

This promise came in the original packaging,
a bright pink cardboard box.

If I could rewind the tape, I wouldn’t ask much this time, only
to sing our songs in almost-pink, the point before pink
on color’s numberline.

We wouldn’t sort music from color from integers.

We wouldn’t need to decide.

Our hearts effervesced at points beyond pink.

The microphone didn’t work
but I never gave up hoping that it would, one day.

Dear Sir, I wish I’d kept the box
because you touched it once, and now
your body has no corporeal hands.

You’ve gone to the place sound goes
when a microphone won’t record it,

so I wash my white shirt with red socks
to get ready for a night out.

When I find my love returned by another wayfaring voice,
temporarily singing in a warm human throat,
I will know what you–what color–knows.

I will know how it knows
what shade
will be not enough,

how it knows what hue
will be a gift of decisive refracted light.


person James Lepak, two poems

James Lepak is a poet from Pennsylvania.



Does my Dog Look like Me?

In a ward lay dying
Three intimates
From variants of a sickness
With one name in common speech.
Uninfectious, yet meted
Among each—each whose eyes
Ignited in each echoes of health
Long and lovingly recalled—
As though great dice ephemeral,
Ethereal, effulgent,
Seeing their eventual disunion,
Rolled back obedient Time
Until pips’ proper convergence
Faced up against the stars,
Gathering light in their umbral
Craters, and reflected back
Their winnings in the dark: a blip
Of communal suffering
Wrought together from one and one
And one
To triumvirate all too sudden
And bittersweet.


Lacuna in Spirit

Luke must’ve thought “Golgotha” too vulgar.
No, the son of man mustn’t be crucified here.
“Kranion” suits him better.
Better yet, when English manifests,
Soft, round, there is a calming underbelly
To the horror of the Cross (cross
Whose patibulum stripped from so many
Exhausted Pneuma).
An even newer tongue
Will further the Sanitation.

Place of the skull it is not. It is the thing:
Dig beneath the mound
And you will find pustules of gray matter,
The remnants of earth’s Old symphony
Of Harmony with Flesh.



person Kevin Heslop, two poems

Kevin Heslop is a poet and actor from London, Ontario. He has performed on stage as Creon, Katherine Minola, and Saul Mortera. His first chapbook, con/tig/u/us, was published in 2018 by The Blasted Tree, and his poems have been published by Juniper, No Press, Puddles of Sky Press, is/let, NOON, Baseline Press, Harmonia Press, Occasus Literary Journal, Forget Magazine, and Poetry London.



“Mellifluous” is from the late
Latin for “honey, running.”

“Mellifluous” is from the late
Latin for “honey, running.”

When you left you took almost everything.


The Chronographer

Here is where the woman made of rhythm drinks.
Anastasia cues a Chopin nocturne from her early years
When grace and prodigy and national endowments
Flung her into something second cousins still recall
With quiet pride at home in Volgograd, in Saratov.
“Very simple,” she explains to her new students who
have lingered lithely after evening lessons ended.
“Do not show when you are watching me.”
Gym bags at their hips, ribboned ballet slippers
Dangling from their shoulders, most of them leave
With quiet words or cigarettes; two students sit
In dark and silence; Anastasia, in her helment
Of zinc wire, begins describing running.


person David Capps, four poems

David Capps received his PhD in philosophy from University of Connecticut and an MFA in poetry from Southern Connecticut State University. Recently his poems have been featured in Peacock Journal, Mantra Review, Cagibi, among others. He lives in New Haven, CT.



What if in years
you find yourself
flying as a bird
with one wing

falling as a note
of some far being
who is all-seeing
down to the least

crease you find—
would that be
yourself folded
into one thought

for one thought
less moment, air
you shake off
with a flaunt

of tail feather,
for what awaits?

Our wishes, or
what were ours,
are oars swept
to sea, and small

sky flecks, light
as gulls, points
of possibility,

lines that seem
to tell you, and
speak as softly
as might, to let

that Orestes die
who hides inside
whose signs dive
so null and deep.



At dusk we ate salad:
green leaves enfolded their lives
for us, curled on the tines

of a fork. A cricket you thought
was the ship’s engine sang
beneath your chair.

The song I couldn’t guess
rehearsed in the hull’s massive iron
head, a language to itself.

Evening after evening, the weeks
unbuttoning blue blouses
vanished over sea rifts. Wakes

the ship left of pure white clouds
collided unabridged.
There was peace.



Breezes die
like persuasion:

buds opening
and closing

with waning

a monk’s
bowl, filled

with petals
or rice,

what we find

in time’s keep.



When it was over, I looked
over the sea (the sun half-

full) of prepositions: of
and for rose amid waves,

seemed shadows shorn from
sleeping elbows I knew,

a light-dark light-dark to I
looked forward to.


person Lannie Stabile, one poem

Lannie Stabile, a Detroiter, often says while some write like a turtleneck sweater, she writes like a Hawaiian shirt. Works can be found, or are forthcoming, in The Hellebore, Kissing Dynamite, Cauldron Anthology, Likely Red Press, and more. She is penning a novel and chapbook and holds the position of Project Manager at Barren Magazine.

Twitter handle: @LanniePenland
Writer website: https://lanniepenland.weebly.com


Explaining My Introversion to a Genocidist Sympathizer

My mother spoons strangers into the living room / like heaping mashed potatoes / She has been fasting all year / and her jaw is unsnapped / ready for gravy boats of colonizers / She places strange hands on the bird / says they’ve earned carving rights / just for invading our small country

My mother minces the cloves of her ears / stashes them in the breadcrumbs / with a dash of salt and pepper and blind eye / She will never understand / amid all this feast in my belly / I am starving

My mother awaits the fleet with armfuls of corn / golden and without nutrients / like currency / Every year she offers more / of herself / and they stalk our home / with bayonet eyes / and musket hands / Ever present / they grow in the fields now / god-like and vine-like / crawling all over my body / convinced they can convert our heathenry to a new world / in which we’re swallowed

My mother does not sow grains of solitude / so her artful fingers cannot taste / the poison in the soil


person George Salis, one poem

George Salis has sold stories to The Dark, Black Dandy, Zizzle Magazine, and elsewhere. He has taught in Bulgaria, China, and Poland. He is currently working on a maximalist novel titled Morphological Echoes. www.GeorgeSalis.com


An Echo Echoes Pharaohs

An echo, not the first, metamorphosed by way
of physical ripripples up
from the table of a lost supper.

The caustic causes?
Kamikaze in WW3.
Below, a comical boy who entered through the exit of a tablecloth cave, invaginated.
Enema of venomous nebula.
Above, the mold-man-cloud’s maw opens in feverish famine.
Bivalve drowned in sodium.

All is cause
before cause
after cause.
Sidereal flaws.

Crawling between the feet and legs of evaporated attendees
the cawing boy bumps his brain on table’s bottom.

Echoes, not the last, traversing a metempsychotic byway
of incorporeal underundulations down
from the bleat of last respite:

Spoon in glass stained by purple parfait
wandering peasant woman in search of her face
stunted tower of Babel.

An egg hardboiled till fossilization atop broken bread
crestfallen peasant woman’s sister eyeing callused palms
chip off the ol’ rock of Gibraltar.

A cluster of wine-darkened grapes
supine beggar contemplating levitation
immaculate wall built for the purpose of
measuring its own

The horizon a soiled glass
of settled oil in liquid gold,
delineating no thing.

Pharaohs, not the first nor the last, continue beyond
inexplicable vision in superposition.

upon Einstein’s cross.
All is loss
before loss
after loss.


An ekphrastic poem based on Dalí’s Morphological Echo (1936).