There’s someone in the house, I think. I’m being robbed.
No, I’m not. It wasn’t me who shook myself awake.
I’m puking the future you’ve already seen
into existence. This is how I make night
last longer. I sleepwalk long distances over cities
still smouldering from the great fires within their walls.
I trample bodies, cries, silences. I am
the new Jerusalem, the sole survivor, crusader, creator. I am
the Creator. A restrained panic crawls out of me
with a tentative helloooo. Stomach juices run out
of the corners of my mouth. Free from punctuation,
my voice feels its way through the concentric rings of adrenaline
down the hallway. Again, helloooo.
I’ve seen a whole scrapyard
of hi, hello, how do you do? spreading all over the dense outskirts
of the planet, unguarded multiplications of the same cell
pouring out of the horns of plenty.
Listen, this is how I catalogue my chances
for immortality. I’ve also given up my midnight snacks.
I’m bellowing thick acidic clots of blood in the toilet bowl,
splatters of carob-brown vomit break open my chest
like a gunshot wound. I cannot look
inside myself. Not because I’m squeamish.
It just isn’t there. Is it sadness
or unhappiness? The truth is, I don’t know.
Would this have happened if I had a wife
to cook wholesome meals for me?
My throat swells
overstretched with the present tense.
Copyright © Glen Calleja 2016
Glen Calleja is a creative whose artistic research often leads to cross poetry, storytelling and performance. He also designs and makes handmade artistbooks.
I have felt the sun in shades,
crossing creep from lawns shorn in
humming of summer passes, in
pitter-patter of misplaced hair strands,
perfectly-figured dress cuts.
Bathing in the milk-sewn pools of
August starlight, lipstick glint
bright as boyhood’s blood, deep
as bar glass port, you dance
as light as breeze-blown cotton, as humid air.
You’re the kind of person I
want to share 4AM under halogen with.
You’re the type to leave deep echoes
where dreams had taken up their comfort.
Leaving but the memory, but the notion.
Copyright © Carter Vance 2016
Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg, Ontario, currently studying in the Social Work program at Algoma University in Sault Ste Marie. His work has appeared in such publications as The Baird’s Tale, (parenthetical) and F(r)iction. He received an Honourable Mention from Contemporary Verse 2’s Young Buck Poetry Awards in 2015. His work also appears on his personal blog Comment is Welcome (commentiswelcome.blogspot.com).
My Father’s Hands
Upon his death I caught my father’s hands
and sealed them in two boxes. One contains
the rattle of his tools: the stilsons, molegrips,
worms and tamps, a hammer and a trowel.
His rusted trowel evokes for me
the buttery mortar separating, chopped,
grainy yet slippery, infinitely cold –
and desperate to become invulnerable.
The other box contains his book, the record
of his earnest honesty. To Grace
– three tins of white emulsion paint. A soil pipe
trenched and laid. A ballcock. Twenty seven pounds.
These are his only monuments.
Each entry writ in firm blue cursive loops –
like stunt planes, kite tails, swallows on a pond –
and underlined upon completion.
Copyright © John Bolland 2016
John Bolland is a writer and artist based in the North-East of Scotland. His writing has been published in The London Magazine, The Fish Anthology, Pushing Out the Boat, Lallans, Northwords Now, The Poets Republic, Poetry Scotland, From Glasgow to Saturn and Open Mouse. Further details of his work can be found on www.aviewfromthelonggrass.com .
and the tide comes and goes like my foot in and out of the water lowering the gate to oblivion i hold your hand in highest regard in the pantheon we were regal all the modern day utensils utilized today a kind of balled rain if you can hold it without it dissipating you are the master of the clouds a red ladder leading to the top of mount everest where one will never rest among the cozy mattresses i almost assign an acadian victory holding loose the lips of passion and allowing everyone roam free
and the castle moat which floats in some space between imagination and fantasy holds to the gabardine moon just a flick of the lighter away on some space runway eternal light rushing some unmatchable beauty is found in the absence of all other light some unimaginable thing the first time you experience sunshine after birth your first kiss at a high school dance the music swaying both of you two mouths pressed against each other full of the moon like some wakeful sleep how it is as memory
Copyright © James Croal Jackson 2016
James Croal Jackson lives in Columbus, Ohio. He likes craft beer and racquetball. Find out more at www.jimjakk.com.
WISHES FOR A CHILD I NEVER HAD
I would want you not to be weak to the williwaw,
not to be vulnerable to whims of another. To be
girded with the resource to negotiate with niceties
of the nether. May you choose a domain that sways
in cadence to the music of your inscape.
An insight into the arts help salve upheavals time thrusts upon us.
May the marrow in your bones be nourished by the vitamin
of wisdom. May the seed of compassion cultivate a garden
of goodness enabling you to be a giver. May you be agile,
intuitive. May luck and its lustre broaden your borders.
Copyright © Sanjeev Sethi, 2016
The recently released, This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury) is Sanjeev Sethi’s third book of poems. His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Otoliths, Off the Coast, Hamilton Stone Review, Literary Orphans, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.
So, if we are bits of dust,
flecked from explosions
in a sky fitted with starlight
and supernovas, is waking up
a call to leave what we know,
to a Black Hole that is birth,
not death, as we think of it?
Six swans rode through my sky this morning;
afternoon stole my head to beating waves. Geese leave noisily
as I empty tumble drier. The garden hangs in mist.
Needle and thread on desk points out
black holes and how they need sewn up to stop us,
my Mum and Dad, and the sisters,
from being thrown out, broken up.
But falling stars and meteorites
feel cold and hot on my thoughts:
Hooker’s fairy bells
group in garden growing.
The Just Joey rose for Dad,
yellow poppies for Mum,
sit in black hole of death or birth.
Copyright © Christine Ford 2016
I wonder what you wear for the fire,
for the immolation, the cremation –
a suit or dress? A shroud? Nothing?
What does it mean if your burial
costume is embalmed versus
being burned up with you?
Do the cremains look different
depending on the fabric,
synthetic versus natural?
And how do we dress what remains,
what is the proper ritual following,
after all that we lost in the fire?
EDGE OF DREAM
There’s a threshold between asleep
and awake, where the dark and still
segue into the dark and walking,
unguided movement treading the sound
of maps underfoot and overhead, stories
in song-gusts: percussive, wordless, lyrical.
Copyright © Kim Peter Kovac
Kim Peter Kovac tells stories on stages as producer of new plays for young audiences and tells stories in various styles of writing in print and on-line in journals from Australia, India, Dubai (UAE), England, and the USA. www.kimpeterkovac.tumblr.com