|| OCTOBER 2020 ||


WARNING || DISTURBING CONTENT

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK


Grace Alice Evans
Grace Alice Evans
Dan Bick
Dan Bick
Grace Alice Evans
Grace Alice Evans

HRG

grey matter

Rob Kaniuk

design wasn’t something
you were known for
until you borrowed your father’s 357
and painted his basement walls


Knife

JD Bergstrom

The knife so pretty, I must turn you into an ugly red.
It burst onto you like a fountain covering your beautiful glow.
I wash and wash, but you do not shine the same.
I shall hide your tainted form from myself and the world.
For, I forever have turned you into something ugly.

JD Bergstrom

Rachel Roth

Trapped in an Urn

Sara Dobbie

I asked them to bury me

deep in the woods,

to lay me under layers of leaves

so the trees could take root in my body.

They didn’t listen.

Sara Dobbie

HRG

Slake

Jo Varnish

I ate what happened, choked it down past crumbling teeth, nerves afire
Later – ribs shatter, paper skin splits, the bloody truth corroding yellow
fat and sinew, and I gulp water to cool the burn
I empty the well, lick the sink dry, and head to the cow’s trough
My tongue fat and bloated, a lake-dredged corpse


Killjoy

Kip Knott

Joy is my mother-in-law.
About ten years ago, she danced seductively
in front of me to The Sopranos theme song.
Ever since then, I haven’t been able to watch
Tony kill anyone without thinking of her.


Dan Bick

PERSISTENCE

Max Thrax

My skeleton
shows I exist–

The privilege
of bone
to feel meat
slip off
and drop
to maggot
and crow

In bone
there is no
rottenness

HRG

Akash

Groveley Woods

Rich Giptar

Tie a clouty tight round the tree for us, tight, tighter as
thick hands around a neck

Push your offerings, spitty cigarettes, your dirty pounds
cheap deep into the bark

It won’t make us un-beat, not for the flies that clustered
faces like moving water

Did we fuck them, choke them with thick barnacles, heed the
dead cats stuffed into the rooves?

Girls, you got brains but you drink until they float, fall
hard enough to make our bones dance


SONS OF TWILIGHT

Damian Rucci

Between the hours of eleven at night
and eight in the morning, I ain’t no poet
I am a third shift worker,
I am a nine digit punch code,
I am another lost soul biding time
at a suburban grocery store.
But sometimes I feel it’s worth
feeling good about.
The food for the neighborhood
doesn’t just appear on the shelf,
it’s put there by the sons of twilight;
the time-biders; the drop outs; the dreamers;
the hungry.

Chris G.

Jeffrey Reynolds

The Blood of Angels

Kip Knott

A falcon rips a pigeon apart

atop a hissing street lamp.

Bathed in a yellow halogen halo,

two women pass a glass pipe

beneath a bloody snow of feathers.


Condemned

B.F. Jones

How does she sleep with her baby

beneath –

Devoured by worms

His then blue eyes, now

at the end

of fleshy strings.

Dan Bick

Rachel Roth
Rachel Roth
Stephanie Jacobs
Stephanie Jacobs

Chris G.

ghosted

Megan Cannella

unanswered texts

remind me of my mom

standing at the kitchen sink

just because I say “I love you”

doesn’t mean she has to say it back


Rachel Roth

Elegy for a Small Town

Lisa Lerma Weber

Looking through old photographs-

“He’s dead,” I say. “So is she.”

And repeat.

So many lives cut short and I wonder

if my hometown is cursed,

or if maybe I am.

Lisa Lerma Weber

HRG

Memento Mori

Karen Steiger

The last moment she had to live,
in the middle of the cacophony of screams
and the blinding white light,
she exhaled aloud,
“Goddamnit, I forgot to…”


Sara Dobbie

decay

Anagha Khandelwal

soil uncovers the skull and bones loosen from each other innards drip out of crevices the maggots squirm and cover the remains it was a young boy once it was once you it was once me it is now nothing what can we bequeath save our disposed bodies a bird will fly by, pick it up, and drop the bones each cracking and shattering upon impact these lungs have breathed so much life into someone this heart has been opened and broken and shattered and still when dropped it is empty

Alan ten-Hoeve


Nicki Blake

Cycle

James Lilley

Skull white powder, little plastic bag,

Safe in the cycle, insecure in society,

Forever the last time,

Dawn breaks, darkness retreats.


You said I broke your heart

David Calogero Centorbi

but all I did was ask,

“Do you want an Uber or Lyft

because I sleep better alone.”

HRG

Sara Dobbie

Faith

Donovan Burton

Bleeding, wheezing men

always spend their last dollar

on their first bible.


Daniel Walters

David Centorbi

on a great big clipper ship

Walker James

the metal turns nasty in my head
as the boy I’m with rolls over
I see three spiders smashed on his back
near the dip of his spine
where last night I licked
sake
for free.

David Centorbi

HRG

TRASH BAGS

Holly Rae Garcia

A black plastic trash bag sits in the front yard
snatched by a stump.
Winter left it a shriveled, sharp-edged mess.
The stump, not the bag.
And I wonder if there is a dead baby inside
born in a bathroom stall or in a home
tossed out like a sticky condom.
I can’t look at that Schroedinger’s bag
that does and does not contain a dead baby
I nudge it with my toe but
there are no dead-baby shaped bits
Only the empty bag, ballooned out
by the wind.
I toss it in the bin and
wash my hands and
wonder
why wind looks like dead babies
and trash bags look like
empty wombs


Alkali

Abigail Swire

I snuck down to my husband’s electric chair in the basement. He is the alchemist. I am nothing.

I hook myself up. If just the right current could vacillate between two poles,

maybe I can transmute this darkness into gold.

cimmone

Sara Dobbie

Witches’ Mark

Meagan Johanson

Go ahead then:

Name me witch.

But don’t call me anyone’s daughter,

subservient tongue to hoof, to horn.

I scribe my skin in a language my own.

I light my own fire, fuckers.


Akash
Akash

HRG

New Job

Steve Gergley

Your shift is 3 – 11, monday through friday / your cart and cleaning supplies are in the janitor’s closet next to the pool / your run includes the entire freshman wing, the science hallway, and the bathrooms near the teacher’s lounge / make sure you do everything on the checklist / but don’t jump off the walkway above the lobby like the last guy did / because the lobby is on my run and I’ve got enough shit to clean up as it is


HRG

Specters

Amanda Crum

You looked at me the way a glassy lake
considers a funnel cloud. I knew then
that all the ghosts I thought I’d shed
were still there, and that I had become
the haunted house.


HRG

twin flame

L. Scully

making out with my girlfriend in front of

the Baltimore Museum of Art

a man interrupts to ask me

Do You Want a Picture With Your Sister


Stay at Home Mother Brings Daughter to Work

CL Taylor

She crushed my face in her hands, squeezing cheeks into teeth.
Tasting blood. Tasting tears. I was all of 6 years, afraid.
“Do you see what I see and do you like what we see?”
My image reflected, split down the middle like a funhouse mirror.
And all I’d wanted was a juice box.

CL Taylor

Chris G.

Circus Performer

Addison Walton

The mom on the porch
Balances a cigarette between her lips,
A baby on her hips…
A delicate act.
She must drop one.


cimmone

Lazarus 2

David Hay

I am jobless, nearly homeless
in this middling ex-industrial town;
with nothing to sell except my body
and mind to whichever firm can pay enough,
just so I can eat and sleep
under a roof not made of stars– let’s be clear, 
there is nothing holy about freezing to death
in a car park, in a town built to make you
brain-dead from the start.  


Rachel Roth

Snake Bite

Katie Oliver

I never walk home
without keys forked
through my knuckles:
metal fangs ready
to kill, if required.



Kip Knott
Kip Knott
Kip Knott

AND PEOPLE SAY THERE’S NOTHING TO DO AROUND HERE

Alan ten-Hoeve

at a fair in small town america people descend on games and junk food

a cover band provides a soundtrack to the feeding

arriving home that evening

fair goers collapse on their couches

a little fatter for the slaughter

Ashley ten-Hoeve
Ashley ten-Hoeve

Michael Hammerle

UNTITLED

Armando Gonzalez

I stand before you, king of kings; I bow in respect

I am a demon and know I am denied honors.

You bleed endlessly, but I am damned.

I pray to know what it’s like not to

burn.


Stephanie Jacobs
Stephanie Jacobs

Chris G

My grandfather’s

Stephen J. Golds

shocked blue face

in the morgue

hours after death

taught me everything


Chris G.
Chris G.

Lovey love, love

Tyler R. Martin

I burn, I smolder, I melt,

When she passes by;

My heart speeds up,

My mouth waters

And I can almost

Smell her flesh

Frying in my pan.


Jeffrey Reynolds
Jeffrey Reynolds

Body:

Addison Walton

Her corpse is stiff…

A paper doll set on fire.

Red lipstick and speckled ash

Hides matte blue asphyxiation.

The mortician will fall in love.


Midnight Rest Stop

C.W. Blackwell

We spot the ’68 Buick Skylark from the highway,

blood-soaked foot dangling from the open car door.

Sara thinks it’s a prank until we peer through

the side window and see the blade in the woman’s heart,

baby-blue eyes gazing from the cups of her palms.

HRG

HRG

David Centorbi
Grace Alice Evans
Grace Alice Evans
Grace Alice Evans

MEET THE AUTHORS


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR ART CONTRIBUTORS:


Poetry curation || C. Cimmone
Art curation and layout || Holly Rae Garcia
Editing and perfecting || Versification Team

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s