Radio Silence – Juliette Sebock

There aren’t any notes that have meant so much
as a letter of you. Alone in my room;
hyperventilating when the radio flared.

How could you mess up Italian food?

I went to the city to escape the beat
and saw you in the shadows.
You danced next to Gandhi and Church
and crept into my bed when I tried to sleep.

The first lady slept one head over,
struggling to comprehend my static.
Still, I never hoped for much.
Why would Kate want to be my friend?

You followed me in store windows,
a reflection in tinted glass.
You whispered in the roar of the train tracks,
growing louder, white noise forcing me to sleep.

 

JULIETTE SEBOCK is the author of Mistakes Were Made and has poems forthcoming or appearing in a variety of publications. She is the founding editor of Nightingale & Sparrow and runs a lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste.

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Tomorrow Girl – Eliza Webb

tomorrow girl is passionate
tomorrow girl is safe
she is exciting – and exemplary of small chips
on a thrifted, faded porcelain vase
that to you, and perhaps only you
retains its value for the vision
that still shines behind the ghost
of its execution

 

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Sgraffito Skies – M S Clements 

Passion sharpened nails tear the evening sky,
Scraping at the waxy black of dusk.
And across sgraffito skies,
Comes a bitter juice of yellow grapefruits
And sour Seville oranges,
Weeping from those citrus cuts.

Fill my bowl and fill it again.
With tart crepuscular fruit,
All laced with acidic poison,
To feed my sorrow laden night.

Impatience breaks the hold of darkness.
Chased away by dawn’s own bullwhip.
It cracks and snaps at sullen gloom,
With vicious flicks to summon reluctant fortitude.
New scars will lie beside the old,
Those scarlet welts conspiring.
A host of grievous sores
Concealed by diurnal calling

This battlefield life,
Where I am never the victor.
Yet I persist, never defeated.
And forward I advance
My limbs all trembling.
Weighed down by campaign medals,
Pinned upon a fragile psyche,
All jingle-jangling and chiming out,
‘Come to me, Sirius,
Find me once again.’

And that snarling cur returns my call.

With diamond tipped claws,
He slices with savage precision.
Opening the soft skin of night,
Licking at the freshly made wounds
That cross my sgraffito life.

 

M S CLEMENTS is a former teacher of Anglo-Spanish heritage. She recently completed her debut novel, The Third Magpie and hopes to see it published later this year. As well as editing the speculative love story, M has also had a short story published in Cabinet of Heed and another printed in an anthology of women’s writing, Carrying Fire.
She continues to live on a building site in rural Buckinghamshire with her family, assorted builders and a visiting peacock called Darren.

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The Kiss – Ellie Rees

Rupert was sixty-four when he drowned, fifty years ago.
I wondered what such an old man was doing
swimming in the sea, off Exmouth.
He had taken his teeth out; put them in a pocket –
his clothes, neatly folded, were found on the beach.

I remember his eyes – blue, like the sea –
they stared at me, unseeing.
Entangled in his limp embrace,
I throttled him to keep his head above water,
I was saviour and attacker.

Something yellow bubbled from his mouth.

Let the others haul us both into the dingy,
let the swimmers push us back to the blood-red cliffs.
From out of the crowd, wearing a bikini,
a woman with a child perched upon her hip
said she was a doctor – told me I could stop.

Police Station, a statement, then deep shadowed lanes;
the radio was playing a whiter shade of pale.
We stopped in a village, ate scampi in a basket –
sunset blushed the pub a psychedelic pink.
Later, I was sick.

I walk on this shore with my fellow ‘rescuer’,
my husband of forty-seven years;
he takes my arm gently then leans in for a kiss.
You have no idea how difficult it is
to give the kiss of life – to a mouth with no teeth

once you’ve sucked all that yellow foam out.

 

ELLIE REES gained a Phd in Creative Writing from Swansea University this year. In an earlier incarnation she was a teacher of bright young things from all over the world. Now she is teaching herself to be a poet. One of four finalists in Cinnamon’s recent Debut Poetry Collection competition.

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How would you like to bury my soul – Anointing K Obuh 

We girls/what chance do we have against bitterness /the fire raging within our souls/ This war/hands overrated/bathed with our mother’s blood/this grief/fingering us to sleep/Tell your sister/her/ hands will ice over/come may/ she would stop feeling/like a bitch/such revolution in a word/ graffiti painted on streets/ halfway across the world/ let her sing misery/like a lark/ record her pain on a VN/ Before she crosses over/in her dreams/ into the graffiti painted on streets/halfway across the world/ Leaving behind/ a half chewed gum/her favorite bra/ a flower for mother/ and a suicide note/ craftily written.

 

 

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Medea – Dawid Juraszek 

harness a raging fire
arrest a torrent in its rush
bleed the heart of a rock
you can

the gore and the dross
left in your wake
singe as they swell
in the only space there is

flesh blood skin bone
anointed and enhanced
proliferate
beyond the wine dark sea

you may wish to move on
new life awaiting you
in far away climes
but no.

DAWID JURASZEK is a lecturer in culture and literature at a university in Guangzhou, China. His academic background is in English, translation studies, educational leadership, international relations, and environmental management. A published novelist in his native Poland, his work has appeared in The Remembered Arts Journal, Amaryllis, The Font, and elsewhere.

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Drive-by “I Love You” – Ami Hendrickson

“How was school today?”

My daughter giggles through the breezeway.
Secrets, hopes, and guess-who-likes-yous swirl around her.
But I am not admitted into the inner sanctum.
The VIP lounge of her room
Is reserved for soulmates and confessors
With cell phones attached to their ears
And all the sagacity and wisdom
Gained from living
A decade and a half.

Two slim arms wrap around my shoulders
Unexpected as a new driver slamming on the brakes.
A cheek, impossibly smooth,
Baby soft,
Nestles against my neck
For half a heartbeat.

“Fine,”
she says.
“It was good.”

I am thrown a bone: three extra words.
And she is gone.

Her excitement remains in the room awhile,
Eddying in giddy currents
Searching for its source
Before dissipating
One bright atom
At a time.

 

AMI HENDRICKSON writes books, screenplays, and endless to-do lists. She also writes for famous horse trainers. Some of her favorite pastimes involve horseback riding, playing with her dogs, teaching writers workshops, and pining for a working holodeck. Ami lives in Southwest Michigan. She is represented by Lane Heymont.  @MuseInks http://www.AmiHendrickson.com

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Tiny Type – Kristin Garth 

Inside a dollhouse you lose track of time,
explore interiors to occupy
the mind. A week, third floor, you’re self confined,
before downstairs you tip-toe terrified.

You open a library, second room,
auspicious, ovalular discovery,
ride rolling ladder around aged volumes —
pages, torture, absent typography.

You drown your sorrows, low, hand-hooked rug sea,
alive girl consigned to apathy, tears
a spying wizard through window will see.
Pages flutter. He mutters. Words appear.

Elation, turning pages, black on white,
he’s turned your emptiness to tiny type.

 

KRISTIN GARTH is a Pushcart & Best of the Net nominated sonnet stalker. Her poetry has stalked magazines like Glass, Yes, Five:2: One, Anti-Heroin Chic, Former Cactus, Occulum, Luna Luna, & many more. She has four chapbooks Pink Plastic House and Good Girl Games (Maverick Duck Press), Pensacola Girls (Bone & Ink Press, Sept 2018) and Shakespeare for Sociopaths (Hedgehog Poetry Press). She has another forthcoming, Puritan U (Rhythm & Bones Press March 2019). Her full length, Candy Cigarette, is forthcoming April 2019 (The Hedgehog Poetry Press). She has a collaborative full length A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony forthcoming (Rhythm & Bones Press) in June 2019. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie), and her website (kristingarth.com).

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