Paul Sutton

Cyclopean (part three)

Oh muse, show us single trees in a winter landscape, sentinel against the coming storm.

Take us way beyond the outer stars, 
into a freedom of space somewhere

For summary reasons of no interest, I spent years alone at bars, exfoliated by the worst of all conversations. 

Drunken lullabies of English drinkers:

“I worked on Death Row. 

We’d keep things light as possible - I remember Reg Cornelius ‘butcher’ Boswell - the last man hanged in Oxford.

Fantastic sense of humour.

Obviously that last week is difficult. 

We livened things up - hiding the noose under his pillow. 

Reg would toss and turn - and sleep was impossible.

Eventually he’d turn it over - that would corpse him.

Loved it. 

On his last night, we hid it under the mattress. 

He slept like a baby. 

I felt terrible waking him up.

We recited his last poem: 

Oh the bird of night
throws its life away, 
cracking wings over
shopping centres and
endless roundabouts.

How can dawn be so
cruel? The light that
creeps along the
prison wall shows
how time ends.”

Unpublishable perhaps.

Another fool was rambling about his old school. 

(“Who cares?” says the badger serving condemned meat).

“I’m in tears. 

I left but never recovered. 

Of course, it’s more like a motorway service station now - though the form room (we watched a caning from there) is council accommodation.

A fire-bucket for safety. 

Fuck me, I hate conkers

A production that evening, some Shakespeare with multiple gender switches and humour no one finds funny - the more unfunny, the louder they laugh.

And I don’t know my lines.

I’d improvise but the climate has changed. 

I peer from behind the stage curtain. 

Mass reading of the program and incessant laughing.” 

If we craw under a table, 
what a world to explore.


Then I woke up to resent
even the simplest of things,
like old trees in the street,
stuff in those clear dividers - 
unbearable - most curtains likewise, 
suit pockets, people on pavements, 
prize winners, updates on holidays, 
paper under cakes, lawn mowers, 
socks that go up too low and
walking between smilers.   

I could go on, but it seems that writers
ignore all this and paste clouds onto their
eyes then sit in some graveyard to read
the stones and worry about their lives -  
I can barely go through a town without
hitting people, whilst sensitive types
lament leylines or drovers’ footprints.
By the way, ever e-mailed some sod
to got a one word reply - misspelled - 
faking informality? Tiresome indeed.

Paul Sutton was born in London and has published five poetry collections – most recent from UK publisher Knives, Forks and Spoons Press: "The Diversification of Dave Turnip" (March 2017). "Falling Off" (KFS, January 2015) was Poetry Book Society Recommended Autumn Reading, 2015. US Collection "Brains Scream at Night" (2010) from NY publisher BlazeVox.

Eliza Gearty


Everybody’s little dramas
How much a perspective
Can change
In a single afternoon
A change of the weather, waking up at
Instead of noon
A sudden irritation
An Irish senator shot and killed on
the steps of a bloody house
In my dream
The girl’s heart is crushed and squeezed
out through her mouth
and packed away
A girl is such a lovely thing
I love that no-one in my generation cares about gender anymore
Imagine a world in which no one is scared of getting sick
The cures have all
already come
Imagine our strength and our despair
The worst kind
Imagine women in some town on a motorway not giving birth to drug-addled babies
Imagine when love will really be enough
I don’t know if I’ve ever been in love
Or only been in love with someone loving me
Sometimes I worry I’m
psychotically selfish
Then I get distracted
You asked me if you should feel bad
Shopping made you feel better
“not at all” I said
Then you asked if
I cut myself
Because I wanted to feel something
“No” I told you “I only wanted to feel less ashamed
Anyway, I don’t mind that jagged line
All lines are there to mark something
A feeling, a moment, a way to go
A really
fucked up time to be honest”
I’ve never been one for writing poetry
It always made me feel self-conscious
I said
“If you want to feel, go on Facebook
Message that guy we met
In Oceania in Brighton in 2012
Ask him if he still
Wants to fuck you till you die
or if he’s okay now
If it was a rough time
Post an ad on Craigslist
Go up to that boy in Broadcast
And ask him if he wants a threesome”
Now we’re laughing
“Hey there’s no easy way to say this
You, would you -”
Drink a fucking Fanta, watch a famous family
fuck each-other over
on TV
just don’t
hurt yourself for god’s sake
And stop being so dramatic
Always so dramatic
Hurtling through towns and years and my life like that
saying things like that, doing things
Like that
After you went, I took your dream-catcher down
I wanted to


Eliza Gearty is a young writer who grew up in London and is now living in Glasgow, Scotland. She has been published in Peach Mag.


Yuan Changming

At 68th Avenue West, Saturday Evening

All construction noises gone. Except fewer
And fewer cars swishing by. A vegi dinner
I watched wolf warriors. She stared at
Her smartphone. No visitor as on every
Other eve. I thought of making love
I want. No! She is no longer a woman
Let alone mine. No internal communication of
Any kind. So aged we can no longer go to bed
Earlier or later. I wandered awhile online
Trump again. Doklam standoff continued
No fire between Guam and NK. No body
Contact either. No more. The bed is too small
For two big different dreamers. However
Always too large for a small stanza   


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan and hosts Happy Yangsheng in Vancouver; credits include nine Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review, and 1,369 others worldwide. 


Luisana Cortez

My Mother, Myself, y El Espíritu Santo

sometimes, i wish my mother
had not shed her story
onto me.

there are moments, guttural and deserted ones,
in which i do not need her spoken words for their hushed prayers to come ringing. 

easy as the beast-god springing forth from His head,
innate like the halo of moths on the bulbous thing. 

there are the fingers wrapped around the virgin's beads, 
throat-like in their desperation. 

there are the lips, rusted from wear, 
racing against the shadows through the crack under the door. 

i remember her speaking about their thick, mud-mexican walls.
thick enough to hide bodies in,

thick enough for myself.
my questioning being can be found in the craters of my body. 

but, like god, its source is obscure. 
unlike god, i exist in the absence of psalms and verses. 

the beast-god responds by tracking his feet on the unpaved road of the callejon
in the morning, i find the mark of the hoof and chicken claw across my chest. 

it presents itself through my ancestors, those who condemn me for the sour taste
of the treading's refusal between my legs.

i think,
i think that the murmurs began to spill out when the white bugs emerged

from my grandmother's holy-soaked bread rotting in her cabinet—
the manner of god eating god,

like the anguished sound of church bells piercing through—
at times, i blame the pedophilic priest from last summer, 

picture him mixing his semen
with the holy water so that the maggots
were drawn to the bread.
not god eating god, 

but my soiling at the hands of others.
sometimes, i place the blame on myself. 

Luisana Cortez is a Mexican-American, seventeen-year-old girl that plans to study English at the University of Texas at Austin. Her works have been previously published in The Harpoon Review and can also be found at Some of her interests include magical realism, Mexican films, and wearing tacky jewelry.

WK Lawrence

Darkness That bites

Nomad at seventeen, what world
Have you entered crossing the line
Between solidity and strife
Tossing aside those safe crutches
And that’s the problem, they tell you…
Such withdrawal from all you know
Broken ties, lost names, memories
Floating in once in a while
When your teeth are on the concrete
And blood seeps from your stigmata,
Your head pounds, something stabs inside
And you recall who you once were,
With faces of ones you once knew,
Until you’re on your flight again
Falling down to darkness that bites.


WK Lawrence is the author of the novel The Punk and the Professor. He holds an MFA from the Southampton Writers' Program and a doctorate in education from Northeastern University. Born and raised in New York, he has also lived in Oregon, Virginia, Florida, and Rhode Island. He currently lives in North Carolina, teaches writing at NC State University, and directs the NC State Young Writers' Workshops.


Murray Mueller

In Heat

why do I all the sudden feel buxom? & blonde?
my tits burst out this shirt
& enrapture the populace

my sexuality’s on the loose
my puss drips in the wind

I'm a:
boi who cant keep track of their tits
grrl whose dick’s been lost in time

i wanna cut my tits off  
& hoist them above
one of my many fireplaces

point & say, “this is my body, rejoice & be glad”
look to my east tit & blow a kiss
look to my west tit & say, “RIP”

say: it’s been fun!
see you never, knockers! 
hope they don’t come back. phantom like , merleau ponty like

& my fruit bat lover tugs at my sleeve
massages the spare air
where the nips once were

we  can’t  wait
we’re in heat

Christening myself with a name someday

what do i rename myself
on this unblustery day

the air is like really still
& thick & clogging my pores

its like, you know, waiting
wanting to hear my name!

im not ready! (i whisper loud)
give me some time to wander!

for now don't call me anything
call me the scientific symbol for a comet

i’m an orb of light, that gets pushed around by the wind
sometimes i stop to take pics 

at night, i forget to turn the light off
at night, i glow so dreams can find me

i collect them & burp them out every morning
i examine them, turn them over, then set them free

sometimes I sift through the remains to look for a name
but its really mostly just ashes & soot

my name isn't under rocks with squiggly bugs
Nor is it crystalized in amber on some tree

i checked those places already..
no.. my name is probably somewhere i cant go

like inside magma, inside a black hole, inside time itself
like can a genderless wretch catch a break???

imagine this orb knocking on a magma door
like you'd think cause we’re cousins they’d open it

but i doubt they’d keep my name hostage
magma is known to keep to themselves, quietly bubbling & waiting to evolve

ugh, I guess i’ll just sit on this grassy knoll
unnamed & unknown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Murray Mueller (they/them/theirs) is just your friendly, everyday, neighborhood genderless wretch.

Hannah McHugh


How hard is your grip?

The skin sitting on my knuckles keeps lifting / leaking as if
I'm grating them in my sleep

(logically, this is all I can think of)

Walking home from work the long way, I thought I heard you sneeze
from the opposite end of the street
I mean: I'm realizing I still see a little of you in everyone

—a parabolic coping mechanism so that my mind
can keep my body wanting to stay here /
I mean: stay(,) still

I fantasize about texting you a picture of the smashed cherry tomatoes
that flew off someone's high rise balcony

I’d say: 

They made it to the highway overpass
Isn't that crazy?

I'm torn about this fantasy because
sometimes I'll accidentally throw in a "hope all is well!" 
in between the “crazy?” And the “Lol”

As if it's an email or something more formal, 
calculated, performed

I mean: cold

I mean: I'm getting too old to fantasize that we're close anymore


I’m dreaming of two queen size beds and a bathroom (not attached) 
with an Instagram caption that goes something like “don’t feed the dogs.”

“The dogs,” of course, being us—
all of which being allegedly

There’s another not so distant universe where every night before bed I
ask you if you’d like to get married, 
and another where you always say yes.

Do you think your 25-year-old self is dead? 
I guess I’m just tired of always knowing what’s going to happen next.
So lately I’ve been asking more questions like:

Do you really believe there’s such a thing as a smooth transition?

Would you agree that the body’s most accomplished function is none other
than an art of repression?

Where is your favorite spot to grieve, 
and will you ever take me there?

This one is mine, in case you were wondering.

Slam Dunk

Do you remember the first milestone / forked path with a wish at the end /
the part where you decide if you want to become a person or a story or
“the part that becomes a part of something else?”
(Don’t ask your first kiss which one seems most likely)

The cake even said: 

So, there must be some good in having something that’s not
on its way out of your brain
just yet.

Here we go:
There’s a devil and an angel on your shoulders!

The Boney Undergrad from Vassar v.s. The Boy on Tinder Featuring His MFA
(Round One) 
They're both waiting the deck of your parents’ first house
telling you to move it / get the shovel / start digging / 

It took around two decades for me to realize you don't throw wedding rings
out windows, like seeds.

They won’t grow into bigger houses or families anything better really and
digging them up doesn't help much either, so:

What’s the big surprise, Dad? 
The neighbors just look at us real funny now. 

Honestly, what’s more fucked up than fake flowers? 
A good pair of lips? 
Elbows you can wrap your whole hand around?

You know I’m going to keep them in my room for as long as I can help it because
that might just finally do it.

Hannah McHugh is a Chicago-based artist, writer, and recent graduate of SAIC. Her work expands a variety of media including sculpture, book-making, and performance. Some of her creative writing has been published by LDOC and Meekling Press. 

Charles D. J. Case

Moving Sideways in Four Parts

I. I Loved You When

We will find lovers for our improved
selves, that person the other had
wanted us to be. But nobody
will love the old us again.


II. Missing

I like to be hungry
on vacation. I go through too much
of my life well fed. 


III. Sleep, Sex, and Poetry

Repetition doesn't matter. 

The fact that I’ve done each
for decades is no assurance
I can do them again. 

The past is no guide to the future. 

Tiny differences in approach
can be disaster. 

Anxiety is prophecy.


IV. Door

This is no

I just saw it    
for the first time.
This is no invitation.

In the streetlight
it’s always there,
hiding in plain sight.

Stainless steel
and dirty glass. 

A girl acts naturally. 
This is no invitation.

Charles D. J. Case is a writer from Buffalo, New York. His poetry has been published in Peach Mag, An Anthology of Western New York PoetsBeyond Bones, Nomad, and Cholla Needles. His first Book, Nectarines, Vodka, Sundays, and Death will be released in 2018 by Finishing Line Press. 


Julia Caroline Knowlton

Café of Unintelligible Desire

Everything is maybe in the café

               of unintelligible desire.  We 

may become bluer than blue nudes 

             nailed to museum walls.  Our kisses

may be fat peonies.  Lately in the café

               we realize we owe each other nothing,

only two irises & twenty tiny white crescents.  

               Outside, it is quite a different story.  

Clouds begin shaking the merciless air,

               a new sun raising its fist of fire.

What you said & what I heard disappear;

               pure moving, silence slicing.

Julia Knowlton is an MFA candidate in poetry at Antioch University in Los Angeles, where she has been granted a multi-semester creative writing fellowship. She holds an Academy of American Poets College Prize, and is the author of the memoir Body Story (Ohio U. Press), which was named an outstanding title by the American Library Association. She has recently published her poetry in the online journals Spillwords and [5x5]. She is a Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, and has M.A. and PhD degrees in French Literature.


Paulie Lipman

No Returning

The only thing
Hitler and Orthodox Judaism
would ever agree on is that
I deserve to die

Under the Nazis, I
would’ve been forced
to wear a yellow star
and a pink triangle
prideless, point flipped down
denoting my “chosen” path
into Hell

I am Queer in my heart
and Jewish in blood
but my heart will always
shout the loudest

My heart and blood
have been engulfed
enough times to know
the true nature of burning
how small it starts
how little it takes to spread
and the myth that it
will eventually burn itself out

I did not know what
to name the fear I lived in
for 38 years
I couldn’t call it Closet
for it was too small a space
to qualify
Now I call it Coffin
I call it Pyre

If you torch a person at the stake
then it’s just a body
If you then kill the ghost
it’s an Exorcism
holy/ordained/above reproach
and is never considered Murder

Paulie Lipman is a former bartender/bouncer/record store employee/Renaissance Fair worker/two time National Poetry Slam finalist and a current loud Jewish/Queer/ poet/writer/performer. His work has appeared in the anthology We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing) as well as The Emerson Review, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Voicemail Poems, pressure gauge, and Prisma (Zeitblatt Fur Text & Sprache).


Peter Cole Friedman

from Shit Mystic

the mirror 

walks away


shouldn’t do that

to friends

pretend to sleep

when I look

for enough likes 

to love I forget 

that behind the hotel friend is 

a sewage person

puked the mirror 


out of other sewage

to eat of itself

it’s not clear

how it feels

when I smile

does the hotel friend feel

when I smile

it smells it

back for more
the hotel

will miss me

the way a fire misses 

the forest of no trees

or a drone misses 

death can only miss

what it knows

and it has never

burp kissed me

in sewage

or sucked my eyes

dry with its eyes

to look into the mirror is to live

at an angle

in a targeted ad about this

line drawing

of two snails

silvering the earth

with gunk

thousands of snaps worth

and not one recognized face

unless the face is an idea

relieved of ooze and voice

but in your gut

you know your brains

slosh around

you hear them

sloshing like truth

stinking up the filter

the stink almost godly

the godstink truth

memory of god

glow it out

the lowly slop

glow it out

luxe it

the shit out of it

crop the thumb

crop the gunk

the stink

the snails

same shit


but the face

the face is where you are

in the selfie

in the right light

try to hold it

the gunk leaves

a beautiful pearlescent crust

don’t you agree

Peter Cole Friedman is a preschool teacher and writer living in Brooklyn. He is the co-founder of the literary/arts platform glitterMOB.

Siaara Freeman

Someone Asked Me If My Hair Was Mine Today

It’s not. My hair is clumps of dirt
from sacred ground,  a thousand arms
reaching for God. My hair is my nanas
cough.  My hair belongs to Lupus,
it wilts like childhood. My hair stings
at the root like rotten teeth. When they fall
out, I look under my pillow and a small treasure
of weed awaits me. I’m so fucking high, my hair is
clouds, so I guess it’s the skies. Was my fathers
so I guess it’s dead. It used to be a thick anchor, I imagine
the flood was too much. It belongs to the war. A mermaid
let her lover scalp her so she could live. A sphinx sacrificed
her coils to recite the riddle in its entirety. My hair is dust,
so I suppose it’s Gods.


Siaara Freeman is 27 years of dramatic entrances and exits & from Cleveland Ohio. She is a 2016 pushcart prize nominee, 2016 best new poet nominee, 2017 bettering american poetry nominee & a 2017 button chapbook contest finalist. She is the founder of online magazine and an editor for Tinderbox Literary Journal. She is the current coach for the Detroit Brave New Voices team. In her spare time she is growing her afro so tall, God mistakes it for a microphone & speaks into her. You can find some of her work in Crab Fat Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, Black Napkin Press, and more.

Noah Fields

Séance doesn’t rhyme with Beyoncé

[This is a verbatim transcript of a conversation on Tinder]

—I feel a blend of all of my former lives in this life.

—That’s not uncommon. 
Most people feel the echoes.         
Do you still talk to your ghost selves?

—I dream them, so I feel them
Like when I go to bed.

—I feel them when I dance
They take over my arms and legs
And I am convulsed by my own histories.  

Noah Fields is a queer and genderqueer poet living in Chicago. They work at The Offing and Anomalous, and they love house music and avocados. 


Jill Talbot


Lolita exists, I seen her
at the laundromat. Lolita 

has a new purse, she’s
dumpster diving
a new dress. Humbert 

Humbert has been
cloning himself—

the next Great
American novel. 

Lolita—on the cover
of Vanity Fair. Monsters 

can be real as long
as victims are not. 

But Lolita is real, 
I seen her passing 

outside a stroller, 
smiling at the shadows. 

Humbert Humbert
on YouTube and Twitter
talking about 

her fine ass.

I seen one Lolita
coming out
the library discard pile

Getting Started
in Permaculture
A Piece of Heaven.

I picked her up
for a quarter

and sat down to listen.  

Jill Talbot attended Simon Fraser University for psychology before pursing her passion for writing. Jill has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review and is forthcoming in PRISM and The Cardiff Review. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize and 3rd place for the Geist Short Long-Distance Contest. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.


Michael Allen Potter

Carte Postale

In a single bed,
suspended above a street called Moody,
two bodies lie pressed and motionless.
Desolation angels,
with wings of strong shoulders,
hovering in dreams of one another.
The line between them
crooked and interdependent
like the border—
Charlie Parker the soundtrack
to their gentle accord.
like snowflakes
on lips untrampled by conversation,
are spoken through skin.
A passing train
turns the pages of his R.E.M.—
<<Écoutez-moi! Écoutez-moi, bien! Quelquefois, je rêve en francais!>>
And I reply, in a language unfamiliar,
Ti Jean, tu peux me tutoyer. Tu peux me tutoyer.”
He wakes,
muttering of Mingus, Parker, and Miles Davis
and I interrupt to say,
“Everything I do is scrawled between bass and treble clefs—”
But with thick fingers accustomed to holding strong cigarettes,
he touches my face
in a way
that feels like—
And now I look for you,
from Bourbon Street to Broadway,
knowing full well that
“chances are slendah”
that I will ever find you again
between the yellow lines
on the road.

- For Jack


International Orange


“Fight or flight,”
according to Census officials,
“is a typical response
to a childhood spent in a small town.”

Wearing my rollerskates in the car
sometimes makes it hard to drive,
it’s just something I have to do
to prove to myself that I am still alive.

Thunderstorms, at four in the Memphis morning,
beat the horizon in sheets of rain like whisky
from a Tennessee Williams’ sky—

God, the things I think about when you’re not around…

Crossed another time zone listening to a band named
play songs like broken records,

Screamed with Duran Duran over the Rio Grande,
and pulled off the road in Mesa
for some nicotine and
more caffeine.

Skated into the 7-Eleven right past Carole King
at the checkout counter.
She had a far-away look in her eye,
a forty-ounce in her hands,
and I knew she was thinking about you.

I believe that my natural state is silence,
but your answering machine talks, and talks, and talks
when you’re not there because
I can’t shut up—
I’m as lonely as Saskatchewan and I’ve got you on my mind.
I ache to hear your voice at night,
but fall asleep with the phone wondering who will keep me warm
when I feel winter in the California sun.

Speeding towards a city full of fugitives,
Hypnotized by the sound of tunnels, 

Your voice fills the uncharted air with “What did I do?”
and “Why did you go?”

Now I’m looking for answers
in my fortune cookie,
Losing my shit in diners,
And afraid,
because sometimes
people aren’t always
the way you
remember them
to be.

Michael Allen Potter, author of The Last Invisible Continent (Kartografisk Utgaver, 2014), is a poet, playwright, editor, and essayist who holds degrees in English and creative writing from Union College (New York), San Francisco State University, and The University of Iowa. His work has been published widely in journals and anthologies in the US, the UK, and in Canada and he has taught creative nonfiction at Union College, The University of Iowa, and at The Just Buffalo Literary Center.

Daniel Fraser


Our cold hills burn silent
in the night’s mouth,
briar-lipped with forgotten heather.

The millstones hold the smoke
in plural, a hillside too
has its lungs.

We take our words with us,
like churchyard feet
rub smooth the grave-path. 

Our sooted voices
rasp words of inflected mica,
our speech is a stone
a rhythm
shook loose
an unseen pebble
tumbles in  the
windless vault.

Daniel Fraser is a writer and critic living in London. His work has featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Berfrois, Gorse, the Quietus, Music and Literature, Black Sun Lit and 3AM Magazine among others. Find him on Twitter @oubliette_mag. Website:

Ellie White

Unclogging the Shower Drain

I plunge my good eyebrow tweezers
down as deep as they will go,
poke them around in the dark. Mercilessly, 
I yank sticky clumps of hair and wax
from the drain of a shower that is not mine.
Most of the hair is not mine either.
It belongs to the many women
and men who’ve used this house to indulge
their kinky fantasies, then rinsed off
the evidence, be it blood, sweat, or wax, 
here in the shower I use when I stay over.
My orgasms last night were mediocre,
his fingers enormous sausages with nails
that needed clipping. The first man
I let touch my pussy in seven years
had sausage fingers, a soft gut, gray hair.
I ground myself against his hand anyway,
and in the morning, the shower.


Ellie White holds an MFA from Old Dominion University. She writes poetry and nonfiction, and is the creator of the online comic strip “Uterus & Ellie.” Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, The Midwest Quarterly, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and several other journals. Ellie’s chapbook, Requiem for a Doll, was released by ELJ Publications in June 2015. She is a nonfiction and poetry editor at Four Ties Literary Review, and the Social Media Editor for Muzzle Magazine. She currently lives near some big rocks and trees outside Charlottesville, Virginia.


S. R. Aichinger

To Feel Like Jessica Lange

I smoked these long Parliaments
to feel like Jessica Lange for you.
I stayed up
               all night, pearling
our cinder block sky, crowning
our carnival with safety-net stars.
Come morning
               we were still knee-deep
in acid rain. I guess you meant it
when you said "I swear to God."
Our astronomy was
               a tricky language
we never learned to speak, so
I kept throwing up on your Tilt-
A-Whirl. Your laughter
               spun around me
a smeared Molotov mouthful.
I'm the worst kind of carnie:
I play my own
                rigged games
straight down the midway. 
I'm the best kind of clairvoyant;
I remember
               who we were in every word
you'll never say because today
I feel like Jessica Lange:
Bless his heart—
                still believes he'll meet her
one day on his way through Cloquet,
off the highway, in the shade
of the old water mill
                he keeps in his head, 
dipping its hands into that lapping,
endless river, saying,

“I'm sorry,
                I'm sorry, I'm sorry…”


S. R. Aichinger earned an MFA in creative writing from Creighton University. His work appears or is forthcoming in |tap| litmag, Into the Void Magazine, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Gyroscope Review, and others. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.


Matt Duggan

In The Belly of Massachusetts 

Lungs - giant tanks of iron
skyline gathered in cement tracers
traffic lights hovered in metallic yellow huts
above freeways that swerve and breathe,
like obese concrete circles of eight. 
The Liver a swinging hinge
hanging from a waterfall where dead coats of seahorses
danced with dehydrated salmon skins.
Along sidewalks where veterans with no legs
jibe for dollar bits among the shaking junkies
where cuts of beef as large as window frames
simmered on plates of plastic gold.

Matt Duggan’s work has appeared in The Journal, Osiris, The Dawntreader, Prole, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, Algebra of Owls, and The Seventh Quarry. His first full collection Dystopia 38.10 (erbacce-press) won the erbacce prize for poetry in 2015 and in 2016 he won the Into the Void Poetry Prize with his poem “Elegy for Magdalene.”