Saturnalia | by Claire Hansen

     Every year on the eve of the full Capricorn moon is Saturnalia; a celebration of freedom, a display of unrestricted acceptance and unity. The popular and the pariah become one. The gods and goddesses descend from their lofty palaces in heaven to join in on the jubilation. Even Cronus himself takes off his crown for the night and feasts.

     Sofea finishes her daily rituals to her goddess, Aphrodite. Outside her window, the street signs are being decorated with homemade paper lanterns, and her neighbors are stringing fairy lights through the willows near the pond. The sun has not quite reached its zenith, and she realizes she finished her daily rituals much earlier than she has been the past several months. She is vaguely aware that she should be somewhere else—perhaps down the street—helping prepare the cakes for the festivities later on. She continues to gaze out the window, just for a few more minutes, and plans her Saturnalia, the night of spontaneity.
Continue reading “Saturnalia | by Claire Hansen”

Nimbus Jettison | by Tara Lynn Hawk

With great intended care………….no,
               let me start again
In hand shaky haste, I slid the package,
               all that I had left,
                             through the slot in the cloudy glass.
That chunky glass they want you to think is bullet proof.
Behind the barely transparent smudge wall,
               the man scrutinizes it with a jeweler’s loupe.
Taps it with a small file, snaps at it with his teeth.
“Not interested. Gold plate”.
Seriously?
Are you kidding me?
All these years I so zealously protected it.
Tenderly placing it in it’s velvet storage box.
Cleverly hiding it in a basket of dirty laundry
             whenever I was going out of town.
I had held onto it for so long, cherishing it as
          my most precious of possessions.
Keeping mine whilst my friends and associates had long discarded theirs.
All this time and effort, to find out it is just
              base metal and gold paint.
F#*king halo.
Continue reading “Nimbus Jettison | by Tara Lynn Hawk”

Two Poems | by J.B. Stone

The Differences between Caribou and Man

My boots feel stuck, attempting to grip the crackles of ice, as I take a walk through the bar strip off of Allen Street. I still wonder how Caribous feel, as their hooves transform into icepicks, trying to piece through the frost just to move a few feet each time. We are both walks of mammalian life, we both need the air of to breathe, but that is where the similarities end. The migration of the caribou is for survival, as they nomadically roam from home to home, not settling in one place for too long. Continue reading “Two Poems | by J.B. Stone”

The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono

     I never wanted to sell hands. I had never thought people would want such things until a lawyer told me I had inherited my father’s hand shop.

     I hadn’t spoken to my father in years, so I was surprised that I was even in his will. Then again, who else would have received the shop? He had no other children.

     I wanted to sell the shop, but according to the will, I had to sell the rest of the inventory first. No reason was given. Maybe my father was punishing me.
Continue reading “The Hand Shop | by Christopher Iacono”

Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews

IT MAY SHOCK readers to know that I am a so-called inanimate object.

Please let me explain. While inanimate objects are indeed inanimate, we are skilled communicators. There are varying degrees of communicative ability among inamimates, but for the most part, we excel at and are capable of rapid, clear, and expressive telepathy.

Unfortunately, we can communicate only among ourselves – not to the animates who surround us and, in some cases, like mine – create us.

Humans speak, inflect, and move. They use posture, volume, expression, gaze, silence and a myriad of tools to communicate. Similarly, animals communicate among themselves and, with varying success, back and forth with humans. Inanimates send and receive our thoughts and feelings telepathically. We emote through the air – thick, thin or absent. Continue reading “Graperoo | by Mitchell Toews”

Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon

lemon peel

I want to be soft,
jeweled,
like fine china
sipped antiquity
brotheled smut
I want my navel
to expand
each time I think of you
I want my skin
to turn to sand
and slip between
your weathered hands
I want my eyes to land
inside your mouth
so you can see
I carry innocence
abysmal purity
beside sharp shards
warm milk
old wounds
still bleeding Continue reading “Two Poems | by Ingrid Calderon”

Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst

Surrogate Dharma

I didn’t think I would get lost
or be chained to a contractual victory.
I thought a grain would grow,
become a solid garden. Fires would come, then
firefighters. I would be testifying about
the worth of what survived.
     That is not what happened. I fell prey
to the propaganda of affirmations,
to the volume of control I could contain.
My dream dropped out of me
like a miscarriage. I hoped I could forget:
Tie my shoes, zip up a coat
and kiss the shelter I have. Bridges here and there –
they are not mine to travel.
Vinegar keeps getting injected into my bones,
replacing the marrow with
its potent clarity. Do you see? I am getting older.
It will be over
and I have to be able to say I served well.
My mouth opens and folds like a fledgling wing.
People pass – each one a violin note, a digit, a reluctant
panting pitch. Conversations are ash.
I don’t like living in these elements, my neck
stretched up into the dense middle
of a monsoon. Let me climb,
dragging this dead beast behind me.
Let me live where my father went to school,
on a Himalayan peak.
I am not a petal. My courage is fickle, it fortifies or fades,
dependent each day on mutual obligatory infatuation.
     I can’t keep pretending:
The sun is strong. The night is strong. I am not stronger.
     I am in this hovel with my lamp, tasting metal
of varying textures –
rusted, gold, and other star-erupted symbols –
greeting obscurity, broken toenails
I can’t be bothered to trim. How many rooms, my God?
How much waiting and walking, and the fish?
I could be a fish. Make me
one of those – sliding about, weaving with one full-body stroke
through a lush intricate terrain, mastering
a juicy undergrowth. Continue reading “Two Poems | by Allison Grayhurst”