Sara Dobbie

September 3rd

by Kenleigh Gilbert

Riverside can you hear me?

I’m shaking my pill bottles to make music,

Asheville do you see me, am I real?

I’m sitting in courtyards at night just to feel

prescription happiness

Raining Blood


It’s the Apocalypse probably, but not the Slayer kind

blood levels won’t stop rising and now we’re all living

on top of our houses, grilling dead pets for dinner

always make sure to wave to the neighbors though

This has really helped our sense of community

Sara Dobbie

A Fear of Breathing

by Isabel J Wallace

Disposable; one use only

I save the N95 in my paper bag,
hands nimble with practice
in minimizing contamination,

and I think: yeah, me too.

Sara Dobbie

Jessica McNamee

Rusty Little Me
(An homage to Adrienne Rich)

by Meghan Sutherland

Stressed breasts bear the brunt of

mauling minerals inspired by thigh chasms;

salted mouths where instruments are born.

Yet metal tarnishes, turns blue, green,

variegated by that maw, that chiasmus of self.


by Stephen J. Golds

I see myself –
a ghost in a swinging reflection
where it doesn’t end well:
a silent motel room
a 3 am bridge
or the edge
of this train station.


                                Drink Sick Scared.

by Andrew Valzian

Most who know this feeling      can’t speak of it

for it is lodged in the gut like a fishhook

ready to tear you apart              if you try to

remove it.


The News

by Lisa Lerma Weber

Sometimes while watching the news,
I want to put my fists through the television,
watch the fucked up world shatter into a million pieces—
a kaleidoscope of pain and blood on my living room floor.

Lisa Lerma Weber

First Christmas

by Paul Rousseauu

Our first Christmas,
Eating candy canes and
Fucking in bed,
           Sticky fingers and
           Sticky tits,
Your father knocks
On the apartment door,
Clinking his keys and
Stomping his boots
On stained linoleum
Cracked and curled
By the footsteps of others.

Chris G


La Llorona

by Abigail Swire

Paint myself a cracked happy face;

Remember, you crossed the border to Tijuana?
Sent postcards, left nothing.
On El Dia de Los Muertos, Los Inocentes,
I’ll feed you, decorate altars with tequila and marigolds.
Commune with ghosts.
There must’ve been a time I loved you all.
Before the hate, before I learned to like the taste of pain.
Yes. I’ll set out your plate, love for a day.
I was a mother, if I was anything.

Losing Wednesday

by CG Nelson

When she’s a little off her meds, the globe

doesn’t stop spinning. In this world,

she cannot sustain these revolutions—

Time is elastic.

Chris G


My Limitations

by Scott Bryan

Cannot picture

Kurt Cobain

Driving a car.

suicide watch 

by Julie Easley

there was a pound of flesh 
for each stage – the family whispered  
in corners as the shaving
off of body parts took its toll

they failed to see that all destruction 
has to devour 
the originator of its darkness 

in the end. 

Sara Dobbie

Sara Dobbie


by Claire Denson

the moment you take it in the tub

will never be worse than

the moment you realize

you never plugged it in

Banging Our Blocks Together

by Jerica Taylor

We are ready to have another child.
Counting days, saliva ferning, vial sales, delivery and storage fees.
Off the meds that make me stable and on
the ones that tell my body to lay like a chicken.


Sara Dobbie

David Calogero Centorbi presents,

Honesty has its place and time

It was during a slow dance when you whispered into my ear, “What is your favorite thing?” 

I replied, “Cigarettes and coffee or cigarettes and Maker’s Mark. It’s a hard decision.”

Warning Signs

by Amanda Crum

There are no hills

with enough darkness 

to keep me safe

tender girl-flesh and 

trees flashing amber

like a signal

Sara Dobbie

Hire me 

by Harmony

i scrub off my black 

liner before interviews

capitalist cogs don’t 

hold death at 

the water line. 



by Louise Mather

They kept her in the hayloft

housed her soul in a stone

to crush between their backs

the menstruous scent of leaves

licked until sundown

when she was grown

she overheard them airlessly

wonder why she could not adjust

to the light

Louise Mather

Sara Dobbie

you left this afternoon

by L Scully


I eat pills with granola for dinner

Sara Dobbie

Bum Wine Makes Instant Friends

by Zebulon Huset

In Oceanside, soon before they stopped selling booze at two, a beached 

stranger showed me the empty bottom row in the cooler hidden behind

malt liquor posters. “The Night Train’s normally there, must be sold out.” 

Smile and a fist bump when he noticed a Tropical Punch Kool-Aid packet 

in my palm—universally known to make the fortified wine more palatable.

Sara Dobbie

career day

by Cavar

i have always wanted

just 2  

lesbian. or nun

for simplicity’s sake.

in my town

by Elizabeth Bates

the streets are gridlocked

with homeless drug addicts

instead of cars. the yellow yield sign

and the red stoplight are never enough

to save them.




by Coleman Bomar

Shame is a saggy

man in my head

who stays up late

and masturbates

during the day.


No Escape 

by Claire Marsden

We do the Christian thing and baptise our children,

And still our hearts break.

They fall and fail and fuck

Themselves up.

Strip Themselves

Of Love.

And still,

Their hearts break.

Claire Marsden

Sara Dobbie

This doesn’t count as a poem

by Keith Langston

I’m tired of feeling like life 

has no meaning; And I’m really not 

in the fucking mood 

to write this in 

some bullshit fancy poetic way.

Sara Dobbie

Sophia Al-Banaa

to the starling living in the bush in the tesco car park

by Jake McAuliffe

we aren’t normally like that.

she was exhausted and I can be a cunt,

but when you met my gaze

i wanted to hide with you, grow feathers

from my nailbeds, and squawk at ugly couples too


Brynna Ferguson


by Vic Nogay

i watched him, the hoarder,

crooning at his cats between the wires, sick and dying or already dead.

he’d tucked them in dishcloths under his bed

with a letter to god for each one.

now loaded in vans to be hauled away and revived,

he knelt in the road as if to pray, then pulled out his knife 

and drew meridians down his arms.


by Erwin Dink



on scat

Erwin Dink

This was inspired by the following haiku which is often touted as one of Buson’s finest. I like my version better.

on the temple bell



by Megan Cannella

As a toddler, it was her fault they felt

badly about themselves. They shook

parenting books she couldn’t yet read at her as proof.

Now, she always smiles when she cries.

summer memories

by Jason Love

watching fireworks from the front steps –

my son enjoys


while I spit tobacco juice

into a coffee cup

Jason Love


by James Lilley

Long sleeved shirt, to hide my arms,

Those fucking scars, from when I was sixteen,

Angry kid, nowhere to vent,

I turn up early, to make a good impression.

Sara Dobbie


By Kip Knott

The city sleeps beneath a tangle of black webs. 
When my head hits the pillow, the dreams that float 
out my bedroom window never make it very far.
I find them in the morning on my walk to work,
dangling from power lines like a bunch of used condoms.

We Wanted Our Own 

by Sam Frost

Miniature women rifled through boxes. Slashed 
clothes on the basement floor. Musk is a smell
you cannot un-smell. We nestled our child heads
in old jeans, placed dolls between our child legs. 
Our grunts mimicked television scraps. We pulled
babies feet first. Dangled their plastic skeletons
and used cloth to tourniquet our own child wounds. 

Sara Dobbie

Halima Voyles


by Linda McMullen

Optimists snicker that we live in the worst times 

Except for all those that have gone before; 

Ignoring the glass’s darkling half, the stooping arc of history,

And – amid consummate tragedy – the most grievous part is 

By now, we should have known better.

Baby Teeth

By Meagan Johanson

Nose-pressed to door crack, you watch
as the bottle spits fireworks on the wall
and she cowers to bellows, bells in the dustpan,
while your heart pants wolves in the cage of your chest.
Her words drip limp through a smile surrendered:
“Go back to bed, Little Mouse.”
Your left side dimple is just like hers.
He says you have her freckles too.
In bed, you swallow down your howl,
and wait.


The Writer Thinks

by Sara Dobbie

if I told the truth,
let the words spill like nails
from my open mouth;
the family would shatter.

Sara Dobbie

Lights Out 

By Amy-Jean Muller

It’s hard to masturbate

in the psych clinic

because the lady in the bed

next to you

keeps crying


her dead son


ReD bUtTeRfLiEs

By Sarena Mason

Inside my arm, under my skin, caterpillars cocoon, infection within.

Hatchlings of parasitic veins gnaw at my heart, drive me insane.

Needle in to euthanize, red butterflies bleed into the sky. 

Sarena Mason