Hit | by Chance Dibben

Examine the disconnect
examine the fire. A plane crash and government search.
Hit POUND to be found. Hit FIRE to examine

the wrong cheeseburger.
The worst; a prisoner released early
(or was he). Hit HEAD to be there. Hit HEAD to go home.

Plurality of imagined experiences (you had to be there)
fire the examiners. You can do real on your own.
It ain’t your plane that crashed. It ain’t you escaping. Continue reading “Hit | by Chance Dibben”

Two Poems | by James Diaz

4/27/17

born bored left alone in the bleachers blonde and doe eyed the trailer parks were simple in their sorrow storm country minor parts in the corner played one song for a mother who wore her surroundings thin tearing stitches it was a clean break cellular contraction four months in solitude drinking from unsteady hands Dina holds pills steady breathing like you got somewhere else to be and it’s only desolation peaking planted like a thing unsure is it supposed to move introduce itself or scream at the wall paper can’t dance in this public housing sunlight unwatched around boxes how we never were point to the edge of the map scream! and strong men moved in me like furniture reeked but the guards knew my poetry was silent I asked to be loved not held to the floor and hands once cared what they touched ached ate food ached called on the phone what did the lawyer say what did the doctor say am I ever never crazy can I have my comb back it doesn’t cut very deep it’s all on camera they loosed me loaned me my clothes and loop I always thought you were angry and hid it for points girl said in day room but the shouting of a friend trying to die in the quiet white four wall grabbed at the big nurse he’s fatal with his eyes I knew you couldn’t make it alone needed an ally in this ward I stood with you refused to strip he waited us out we were animals to him howling I held you no names just both of us very scared today I journaled like this to reach you with my solitude bum scar I know it got worse I heard the news dead at 18 we never had a chance you were beautiful once I won’t forget… Continue reading “Two Poems | by James Diaz”

Two Poems | by Alexis Bates

The Eyes Dilate Larger Here
after Graham Foust’s “From a Finished Basement”

Your eyes, a hundred lightbulbs,
             throb like drugs.

But from me or the dusk?

Here we are, not
speaking in the loose way.

There is no better silence.
Here we are, not afraid.

Of what?
Are we not afraid of a kiss?
Not to kiss?

       To what
          we are not speaking of,
speak. Continue reading “Two Poems | by Alexis Bates”

Two Poems | by ​​​Raina K. Puels

wet as i am

my sad morphed into a massive wave. i shoved furtive poet toward shore & swam into the deep. water slapped onto my head, pushed me under, & i saw a man yelling & dragging his pitbull puppy across the concrete. i began to sink, body porous & filled with the weight of the zombie-eyed woman sitting outside the 7-eleven; we flipped grilled cheeses together until she came to work on meth, slashed off her apron with a butcher’s knife, & ran out the back door into forever. below the surface was dark & cold & heavy as if each & every street sign bearing a former lover’s name was thrown, stacked, cross-crossed on top of me. i’ve been in therapy long enough to know eventually i’ll gasp to the surface, claw to shore, command furtive poet to stop asking if i’m okay & instead to bend me over a warm rock & fuck me as the sun returns me to a hardened sponge, to fuck me until i forget i’ve ever been as wet as i am for him right now.
Continue reading “Two Poems | by ​​​Raina K. Puels”

Three Poems | by Iskandar Haggarty

dream sequence I

these nightmares don’t behave as they used to / sometimes they get up and walk around the room / sometimes they stretch out, do little jumping jacks in the corner / sometimes they ask politely to use the restroom // on sundays they wake up adjacent / kiss the cheek/ slip downstairs and make themselves coffee. sometimes, sadness as breath / sadness as jackals / smiling with teeth like soil / walking upright / hunting with spears like men / telling their children lullabies at nighttime / and losing sleep over rent. Continue reading “Three Poems | by Iskandar Haggarty”

living is binary | by Caseyrenée Lopez

i’m learning how         to knit         with my fingers
              you’d never guess       how many times
i’ve failed at failing                           i’m bad at talking to myself
              truth is:            who cares                         i don’t
              i’m                     not equipped                   for the long haul
but i’m              well i’m chasing my tail in triangles
& forcing geometry                   to align with my preconceived notions
of how to be a               world finger knitting champion
or maybe         i’ll blossom                       into a round slick bottomed
black & yellow honeybee         haven’t i been telling you           the truth for
years                   if i were a spider,         maybe a lovely black widow
or charlotte                     spinning webs               i wouldn’t
               be a liar & this wouldn’t           be debatable
               everyone wants to         save the bees
& kill the spiders             this is all i have            the binary of life & death
the good & the wicked i could finger knit you a sweater
that’s stained with        my blood & you’d call it what it is:                       ruined
i’ve imagined what i could                    accomplish if i were waking up
              every day & trying on new                     fingers
would there be a sense of urgency that is often missing Continue reading “living is binary | by Caseyrenée Lopez”

Scott says | by Dessa Bayrock

Scott sits in my house after his grandmother dies
and tells me all the ways they might sew her mouth shut
for the funeral.

                             There are three main ways they do it, he says.
                             There’s a kind of mouthguard, and a dermal punch,
                             or sometimes they might attach wires to the gums
                             to crank the mouth closed. And if none of that works,
                             they’ll just sew you up. Needle and thread.

Scott stares into his tea.
He’s been reading a book about mortuaries, which he recommends.
He’s learned all kinds of useful information, especially now,
with both of us considering how we would want our own mouths kept closed
when we die. Continue reading “Scott says | by Dessa Bayrock”