Jordan Hamel

Port Chalmers Hotel (in memoriam)

There's a magic bus that takes
you on a trip where it’s ok
to drink wine in transit,
the driver is more stoned than you
and white kids argue over 
Kendrick Lamar’s cultural impact.
All of this to be enjoyed or endured,
regardless forgotten, upon arrival 
in the town without trade.
Sailors’ and botanists’ peace disturbed
by the latest local EP release.
Drink more behind 
the neo-gothic irony
watching over us all,
wait in repressed anticipation,
with the rest, dressed better than you
for the opening act
performing pagan rituals
amongst glitter and smoke.
Dance but retain composure.
Love their unknown anthems.
They'll be bigger than all of us one day
Said some guy in dead leather,
putting out his rolled cigarette in a flowerpot.
Apparently their dream pop is revolutionary
and their vinyl is $20 at the door.

Jordan Hamel (he/him/his) is a Pōneke-based poet and performer. He grew up in the south on a diet of Catholicism and masculine emotional repression. He is the 2018 New Zealand Poetry Slam Champion and has performed at festivals across Aotearoa. He has work published or forthcoming in MimicrySweet MammalianBlackmail PressSaltySolid Air ( University of Queensland Press), The Speculative Book 2019 (United Kingdom), Kissing Dynamite (USA) and elsewhere.

Annabel Mahoney

Lucy Goose-Girl

Grey-eyed-girl Lucy
hard to love
loose in the schoolground
and always alone
            In the past, you could see
            yourself hard if you looked right
            a still lake
            (bending to get water)
            a church font
            (when your eyes are fixed on God)
            any glass in any window
                        always a subsidiary thing;
                        nothing made to reflect you
                        nothing made to dwell-
                        the mirror has killed the man
a slack-faced map of
what goes wrong in a
face knew she was made wrong
            she had not seen herself
            in a still lake
            (bending to get water)
            a church font
            (when her eyes were fixed on God)
            any glass in any window
                        because someone noticed and they said
                        ‘Hey, Lucy’s got grey eyes’
                        then everyone noticed & everyone knew
Grey-eyed Lucy goose
always a subsidiary thing;
nothing made to reflect you
nothing made to dwell-
the one time she’d seen her eyes
she’d said:
‘I don’t know. They look like
blue to me’.

Annabel Mahoney is the Editor-in-Chief of the Wellington Street Review and the Creative Director of Royal Rose Magazine.She has been widely published in a number of literary journals and anthologies and shortlisted for poetry and prose prizes by the Human Rights Watch and The Literary Association. Her first collection, Wyf-King, is forthcoming from Lapwing Publications.In October, she will join the English Department at the University of Durham, researching the intersection of touch, trauma and masculinity in exploration and combat literature of the 20th Century.

Sheila Sadr

to the topless photos I took for an ex who asked

when I first took you, the glass illuminated
flesh tone. caramel. with two
crushed raspberries peaking
up at my eyes.
My hands had only
touched me when
he was asleep, away
on the other end &
he warmed us up like leftovers.
in truth, I was never turned on.
he bored me over sext,
what good did it do for me now?
his cock, feeble wet cloth
wrung out in his hands. This, our
top model moment. after all, what more is
commitment than sending naked
flesh, storing it
for second helpings.
in truth, I lied.
if I ever run for office,
I hope they frame you
in the national portrait gallery, or somewhere
in the white house, maybe
where bill’s pictures lie.
title it: body of lady liberty. body
in pursuit of happiness.

Sheila J Sadr is an Iranian-American poet and educator nuzzled somewhere along the coast in southern California. Sheila has had her work featured with the United Nations, Segerstrom Center of the Arts, Write About Now, Nat. BrutTinderbox PoetryBOAAT, and many other gems. Her book Birthday Girl is forthcoming with Not A Cult. You can find her at and @ohohsheilaa on Instagram.

David Spicer


this morning the sun smiled and I said hello
then I heard you’d departed nine decades gone
thousands of souls wistful as cities of orphans
I didn’t know you lived until I turned thirty
your words kidnapped me with truth and passion
held me a willing hostage forty years
I read your books and hundreds of your poems
when I was younger I didn’t unearth their nuances
any more than I grasped Buddha’s teachings
I met you at a reading a seer I loved said you
owned an ancient spirit’s eyes the color of sad joy
the centuries’ mysteries and pleasures married in them
you inscribed my battered copy of The Lice
your swift script beautiful as a schoolteacher’s
you gazed at me with eternal eyes of blue clarity
I was but a moment in your life
one that you forgot the second you flew
to the next room of strangers to sign their books
now that you have journeyed to a new world
and grief for the loss of your light lingers
this dying globe is darker

David Spicer lives in Memphis with his wife and Maine Coon. He tries, but does not always succeed, to walk the neighborhood every other day, where he has observed people climbing into windows, performing handstands on bicycles, whistling “Proud Mary” to babies in strollers, and other normal activities. He has poems in Santa Clara Review, Bookends Review, Reed Magazine, Synaeresis, Hamilton Stone Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Third Wednesday, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His latest chapbook is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree.

Rick White

The Sea keeps our Secrets

Bookends on the sofa
me and you
An ocean of salty words between us
Once we rolled and tumbled on steely black waves
Even did it right here a time or two
Now we file ourselves away alphabetically
and eat our dinner in front of the evening news
We’re the children of the undertow
Sucked down deep where the jellyfish go
Crushed beneath dark leagues of pressure
Silently we glow
We lie in bed on squally mornings
as always I am starboard you are port
Outside our window swallows are migrating
carrying love letters on the thermals back to Capistrano
While we sleep like silent skeletons back to back 
and hide our useless treasures in our underwear drawers
We’re the lonely shipwrecked ghosts
The interference on the radio
Swimming souls diving further
In the trenches down below
We watch TV in reverent silence
drowning in unspoken journals
Perhaps one day we’ll find transmissions
washed up in bottles on our shores
Perhaps we’ll sing with gulls and guillemots
and follow those same vapour trails where they soar
And all the words to have passed between us
will eventually cease to be
Sunk like cannonballs lost forever
in to the heedless memory of the sea

Rick White is a fiction writer from Manchester UK. Rick has previously had work published in StorgySoft Cartel and Vice Magazine, among others. Rick is 34 years old and lives with his wife Sarah and their small furry overlord, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Harry.

Aaron Landsman

Wonder Wheel

Who we were on Coney Island 
in the summer of ‘93: 
You screamed when the car 
ran forward on its rails
toward the impending 
ocean. The pimpled teen 
with his hand on the gears 
suspended us, hinged. 
I laughed at you. I’m sorry 
the world has become
uglier since then, and we 
with it. That couple
of desperate, lurching kids, 
nescient, riven and hopeful – 
we still meet them. We rent
rooms in this old, bare city. 
I listen to you breathe 
when I can’t sleep. 
Your steady murmur 
through the night gives me 
such comfort. The wheel 
should be a signal to us, 
off balance in our press 
and shriek. I came home 
then with a welt from 
the Tilt-a-Whirl, and you lay
on me, belly to belly, looked
at my eyes. I didn’t know 
better than bruises.
You saw a father figure 
for a child neither of us 
knew we wanted yet. 
He’s sleeping now and 

you’re awake again, another day. 
How our bodies drop and slow. 
How we glimpse each other
in the rising light and immanent 
waves. How we hold these kids 
aloft in the possible sun. 

Aaron Landsman writes, makes performances and other events. His writing has been or is coming soon in Public SeminarMudfishHobart, and Theater Magazine. He got a Guggenheim in Theater in 2017. He's working on a book about the performance of democracy called No One Is Qualified. He teaches part-time at Princeton. @thinaar (gram and twit).

Luke Kuzmish

Medicaid Rehab

waiting to find out what price / you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice

Bob Dylan

it was a Sunday in March
we were in the mountains
I was back 
third time in a year
it had rained
I stepped in mud
I didn’t have any cigarettes
nobody seemed to have any cigarettes 
my unit had 40 patients in June
in March there are now 60
we don’t fit in the day room
but when you’re an addict
your complaints always receive the reply
“that's just your disease talking,
trying to find an excuse to leave"
or, the more colorful,
“you didn’t care about elbow room
when you was in the trap house”
the way the overpaid administrators
and underpaid counselor assistants talk
you’d think Pontius Pilate
was in hot pursuit
Sunday was always an empty day
get 60 men out of prison
and off dope for a few weeks,
then give them 4 hours of free time
to sit around and watch the same
10 movies
purgatory is a rehab on Sunday afternoon 
the unit was short a counselor
or two
or three
but that was more of an inconvenience
if you needed to make a call home
for an extra dose of pain and hurt
—the counselors weren’t for talking to
for uncovering existing pain
nor for gaining insight,
they were there to run groups
where they had us color with dried up markers
or perform a skit or
those godawful ice breaker activities
—apparently this is the best chance
you have for getting clean 
if you have the good fortune
of being on Medicaid
when they’ve unlocked our rooms 
for 50 minutes in the middle of the day
I would always imagine taking a nap
but my room was next to the coffee machine
and a boom box
and the stairs
so that was just a dream
and ultimately ended up as
more of that godawful free time
it was on this rainy March Sunday 
that I finally noticed 
the flimsy wood painted soft blue
was also painted with the semen of
whomever had my bed last
I seek out Amy
the head counselor
big saggy tits
and a big Italian nose
she’s a lady
and I’m working on being a better person
so I try to explain the problem
to her in nicer terms than
“I’ve been sleeping next to some other dude’s cum for two weeks,
isn’t this an outrage,
how do I get
this jizz removed?”
she acknowledges the problem
but directs me to the male counselor
as if Amy herself is too delicate 
to orchestrate a cleaning of some loads
the male counselor, Casey,
has had my contempt since last summer
this dude does not give a fuck about me
the other patients
or this job
he does everything he can to show it
stopping short of getting a face tattoo
that says “I support Narcan
because the revolving doors of addiction
pay my bills”
Casey has what the youth today call
a “punchable face”
it’s a large pink oval
with all of his features
close together
making his nose seem like a target
he listens to my problem
even follows me the 100 yards
up the hill to my room
and observes the yellowing trails of semen 
his solution is to find the cleaning lady
and have her give me a warm wash cloth
so I can clean it myself
I do it
that’s what you do when
you recognize a problem
and no one else will fix it for you
Medicaid rehab
is half of what keeps me
from using heroin again
at worst
I die or go to prison
at best
I end up
in the same shitty rehab
hearing the same speeches
3 percent of their patients
report being clean
one year after discharge
the numbers are depressing
just like
rainy days in March
on a mountain
with no cigarettes

Luke Kuzmish is a new father, recovering addict, software developer, and writer from Erie, Pennsylvania. His work has been selected for publication by Nixes Mate,GravelCall Me [Brackets]Anti-Heroin ChicMojave River ReviewFearless, and a number of others. His first full-length poetry collection, Little Hollywood, was published by Alien Buddha Press in 2018.

Micaela Walley


and if there is, where would I store it
in this one-bedroom apartment? How would I carry
such a cumbersome idea around // in a fanny pack 
or perhaps a gallon Ziploc baggie? // anyways, what color
would it be? And who would wear a color like that
anyways? Who would want to hold // stroke a texture 
so soft, so piney, so unbelievably unsure and how long 
could a person stroke it before getting sick 
of its inconsistency? // I don’t think anything of us 
is just like anything else. I think we are all burning 
buildings, wildfires, maybe. Our trees fall, yes // but watch
how none of them are in sync // None of them at all 
concerned about the other ones // if there is a universal 
anything, love, wouldn’t we all be fervently on fire?

Micaela Walley is a graduate from the University of South Alabama. Her work can be found in Occulum, Gravel, and ENTROPY. She currently lives in Hanover, Maryland with her best friend -- Chunky, the cat.

Max Orr

Zeus Negotiates with Hades
Persephone, Silenced

So let’s say she eats it – 
seeds and all – 
this wet and red fruit 
of the dead – and consents 
for a moment 
to wear your rotting crown. 
What then, when oceans 
are born of her grief? 
Persephone is nothing 
to you without charm,
and all those bodies
floating in the salt 
of her tears – that won’t do 
The wailings of the dead 
are enough. Would you add
her sorrow to the din?
So why don’t we split her, hm? 
In the months of her mother’s wrath, 
the humans will know hunger, sure, 
but they’ve grown fat anyway.
While she picks Daffodils in May, 
bronzing in the season of life – 
you’ll recall why the dead 
make such poor company – 
will learn to miss
the way she only smiles 
with half of her teeth – 
come Autumn, how warm
her strange willingness 
will seem – how blessed 
the way she forgets 
you tore a mouth 
of Earth, reached withered 
hands across the breach 
and made of her an unwilling 
Monarch: part-time queen
of the always dead 

Max Orr teaches English in Columbus. His work examines the interactions between the self and the natural world, inside environments, and loved ones. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pudding MagazineMaudlin House, and The Mantle.

Jenna Jaco

All About: Romance!

Did you know?

If you removed all the stripes from a seersucker shirt and laid them end to end, they would stretch from here to your sweaty ex’s apartment—five times!

Did you know?

A Yeti tumbler can keep a human heart frozen for up to nine years.

Did you know?

A coconut is not actually a nut at all—it's a wish wrapped in a scalp!

Did you know?

The man in a windbreaker is a predator!

Did you know?

Well, did you?

Did you know?

An orchid takes six years to grow from seed to flower and another six to realize Jim Halpert was actually a fuckboy.

Did you know?

This will squash you if you let it.

Did you know?

The sum of human regret, represented as pancakes, would take a blue whale only two hours to eat, but the regret caused by eating the pancakes would take twenty years to dissolve in the Atlantic ocean.

Did you know?

Syrup makes it worse!

Did you know?

“Wonder” comes from the ancient Greek word worodorkros, meaning “to fill with bees.”

Jenna Jaco is a technical writer from Texas working in visual programming and the internet of things. Her work has most recently appeared in A Velvet Giant and Peach Mag. She tweets @jennajaco.

Victoria Iacchetta

American Girl Doll

I keep my hair tied-up 
It didn’t fall the way he expected the first time
Like it does in the movies
How a woman’s hair is supposed to fall
He ran his fingers through, or tried
But I’m a different kind of woman 
Oh so exotic, ask me what I am 
My skin could be the topic of conversation
Let me be your caramel-coated novelty 
Your hard-shelled confectionary dream
Claim the pieces of me you’ve proudly conquered
And I will carry on as your fragmented masterpiece

Victoria Iacchetta calls the West Side of Buffalo her home. It's there that she exists happily, consuming bagels and coffee in excess. Her work has previously been published by Peach Mag and Bottlecap Press.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar

Dandelion April

A goddess in a baby blue silk 
negligee, soft lighting skin a glow.
She knows how to have the perfect pout,
will lure you in with a knowing wink 
and cheeky smirk. Her smile will dazzle
like pink raspberry Religieuse.
She’s a sultry siren in the red light with her
rhinestone heart shaped sunnies. 
She’ll play you Bowie on her vintage 45—
style you like a 70’s Penthouse Pet
or one of Hef’s little bunnies.
She is all charm and sweetness—
a honeyed balm for those who are weary. 
Pay tribute to the cutie-pie goddess.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar is a Latina poet. Her work has been published in Dark Marrow, Dear Reader, work to a calm, Chanterelle’s Notebook, and Marias At Sampaguitas. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry. Marisa is a contributing writer at Pussy Magic. She has work forthcoming in The Charles River Journal, The Cabinet of Heed, Horny Poetry ReviewApathy Press, and Yes, Poetry. Marisa is the founder and EIC of Neon Mariposa Magazine.

John Short


He said he was a poet
but his modest recognition
would dissolve in a bottomless sea,
that he often wrote in the dead of night
then washed up on distant shores
where his shoes were seen walking alone.
That he could catch the words
that welled in his mouth
like vagabonds shuffling darkly
towards unbearable daylight.
He said he failed to see the point
of verse which led him through old libraries
to a place that smelt good but offered
nothing more than the next door,
that he once hitched a ride
from a man involved in Switzerland,
down tree-lined roads edged with pink sunset
but they laughed and replied that words
are cheap and money speaks louder.

John Short was born in Liverpool, UK and after studying comparative religion at Leeds University spent some years in southern Europe doing a variety of jobs. His poems and stories have appeared in many magazines in the UK, Spain, France and the USA such as ProleBarcelona InkFrench Literary ReviewThe MetaworkerRats Ass Review and forthcoming in Yellow Mama and The Horror Zine. He reads at venues around Liverpool and beyond.

Maura Lee Bee

Beloved, Legs Folded by a Coffee Table

You run around a coffee table,
chasing the family dog. 
This will be a fear for the rest of your life.
Your palette clips the corner, 
and teeth shrink into your mouth.
The blood is endless,
the beginning of a childhood.
Your bucks grow back crooked,
canines crowding your adolescent 
mouth. You have headgear,
and ice pops make your skin
crawl. You always feel like you’re
walking on aluminum. 
Your best friend ditches school with you,
and you eat ice cream in the 
cemetery. You are sprinkles on
a gravestone, your shoes
leave holes near the catacombs. 
And your father said, “Be where
you’re supposed to be.” So you
stay in your head,
in the shower, 
spray paint on your dungarees. 
Your friends write dirty things
on the drywall of your old bathroom.
Through the paint, you can still see
the faint remnants of teenage boys.
This is the only birthday you remember.
Then, you’re running. 
Through the park,
down the shore,
the only thing is your heart in your ears.
The next day, 
your father sold his gun.
The next day,
a pig called you a nuisance. 
A kinder creature gives you an out.
You got your GED 
and your first period.
There was so much blood.
And you went through jobs like
underwear and men like 
mismatched socks. Your wedding
was precise. Your father had
eight beers. You had three slices of cake
and you worried about it. 
When you played piano, your fingers
looked like bird’s wings. 
When you painted, your wrist bone
was a rest for your brush. 
When you fell in love,
your collarbone was a place for his chin.
You imagined cicadas
burrowing through your bones.
The dog chewed up your grandmother’s doll,
and you heard bad poetry and
hoped for a better start
to adulthood. Instead, 
bulging body. Instead, 
pastrami sandwiches 
and over-easy eggs. Instead,
bed rest and no cigarettes.
But you talked to your mother,
and your best friend nicknamed 
the baby “birth control”. You had
a Buddhist Monk in your yard,
and he handed you a “wedding stick”:
the largest branch 
with a knot poking through.
Even when your breathing was hollow
as the bones behind your eyes, the air
tasted like snow. The family cat sat on your
chest, covered in dirt. 
Your husband took your pulse. 
You were laying in an empty room,
coughing for your life.
Your last battle scar is twenty years-old.
Tattoos cover your arms, 
but your body remains a reminder. 
You look at your knees and think
of the ungrateful daughter—
the girl with the good teeth,
wanting them knocked out
with a black baton. You want to say
you’re proud, but your tongue
swells in your throat.
You sit at the end of a beach.
You watch the phragmites wave
through winter air. 
You can taste your own heart.
You drink a decaf coffee,
with a splash of cream,
to make sure you don’t

Maura Lee Bee is a queer, LatinX writer based out of New York City.

Anthony AW

portrait of an nyu freshman in 2011

i buy a pretty picture,
&stare at the wall.
why can’t we enjoy what
’s right in front of
our faces
my emotional register
then binary, true/false,happy/
in new york, i
took smiling selfies walking streets,
i would watch homeless people
sleep on park benches&
i just sat next to
them, this is normal some
voice would say, several times
over i refuse to be
so i’d buy takeout
binge netflix, &wait for
delivery person to come. if
you can make it here,
you can make it anywhere,
a capitalist once said, writing
i thought, could paint pictures
of me walking down stuyvesant
being rich &loved, 
simplicity of a spotless mind,
numb to pain. starting out
along a wall, thinking blahs

Anthony AW (@an__o__) is an LA-based writer. His work has been published in The Squawk BackDrunk Monkeys, among others, & is forthcoming in Soft Cartel Anti-Heroin Chic. Anthony practiced his writing with Terry Wolverton thru her workshop "Poets at Work" from 2017 to 2018. He currently hosts tête-à-tête, a queer reading series at Book Show in the Highland Park neighborhood.

Elizabeth York Dickinson


They say I wander with a sigh, capriciously,
a cloud walker. 
There is thought in clouds, density,
& I visit often my place in a cumulus nook.
A mind bemused by words & images like
lying on my back watching the sky cast
elephants & roses & imaginings. 
Someone once said, with flat tone, 
“You are one of the only people I consider truly free.”
The dams in nimbus, barred galaxy grey chin deep.
I know this as well as someone.

Elizabeth York Dickinson received her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry and photography are published or forthcoming in GravelFoliate OakKissing DynamiteRoyal Rose, Ghost City ReviewRiggwelter and Ink in Thirds, among others. She currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. Follow her on Twitter @aworldwanderer.

Kate Lewington

mum doesn’t think depression exists
                                                 “it’s a state of mind, of attitude”

the realization that it has been this way 
for years –
patterns of behaviour 
embedded, and ingrained 
the long and lonely nights of 
meaningless sex, drunk 
and stumbling 
from one mistake to the next
the days after with no desire 
to remove yourself from your pit 
with the curtains shut 
and the audience gone, 
alone in stained, crumpled sheets 
smothered in the stink of sweat 
in the pores of clammy skin 
which you simply want to shed 
questions flock, 
and circle 
as if they were vultures
in a cycle of 
poacher turned gamekeeper 
the roulette of solutions 
loads every move
with risk – 
a phone call, appointment,
social interaction
the overwhelming sense of feeling soaring –
a fever  
when you want to shrink from sight 
and cut the ties
of people’s expectations 
hopelessly scrolling through social media websites 
until the battery on your phone 
ends with a buzz –
it is constant repetition 
the endless fields of time 
spent inept 
everyone is so successful
and you are here, waiting
trying to compose an ironic
i am depressed tweet 
like those popular accounts do 
but you just sound pathetic 
and understand 
no one gives a shit 
people will tell you otherwise, of course|

to reach out 
to help you try to gain perspective on the distortion of thinking 
fed to you by depression 
and then when it lifts, for a bit  
you work 
in a fast food outlet, meet friends
for drinks after, attend open mic nights, 
even call your mum each week 
as she asks you to
but you don’t
mum doesn’t think
depression exists
“it’s a state of mind, of attitude”
some weeks
to the outsider
it seems as if you are not even trying 
what is wrong with you 
if only you knew 
if only, if only
the hollowed emptiness 
feels as if it is something
you walk around with 
tasked with trying to fill it 
the ebb and flow of life 
we are born into 
is it that we begin life whole 
and over time 
we lose pieces of ourselves – 
and unable to renew, 
not taught how 
are robbed.

Kate writes with her own brand of poetic insights, based loosely on the subjects of belonging, loss, mental illness, and hope. You can read more snippets of her writing on her blog or in her book Here Comes the Sun.

Twitter/Instagram: k_lpoetry 

Tianna G. Hansen

Medusa masturbating 

submerged in sultry waters
breasts obscured by bubbles
floating candles, flickering light
of flame dancing across tiles
fondle moistness between thighs
hypnotized by jolts of pleasure 
passion long hidden, now unleashed
like a sea monster rising up from the 
bath waters, shimmering flesh of diamonds
rearing its regal head and capturing your 
desires in one hot gulp, pointed teeth 
steam breath on your neck, hardening nipples
clench your cunt and rise up, rise — exalt in
your solitary powers. your womanhood & 
strength. a head of wild hair hissing tongues 
of snakes, a single glance 
will turn a man 
to stone.

Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life, with poetry as her first love. Her debut poetry collection Undone, Still Whole is coming with APEP Publications at the end of May. Her second poetry collection, A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony, is a poetic opera/dark fantasy collaboration with two other poets, Justin Karcher and Kristin Garth, forthcoming in June 2019 (Rhythm & Bones Press) where she takes on the role of The Firebird. Find more of her published work at, check out the small press / lit mag she founded and manages at, find her on Twitter @tiannag92 / IG @tgghansen24 / FB @tiannaghansen.