Category Archives: Gemini

Recalled by Kelly Jones


art by Ranko Ajdinović | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook



Recalled

Late this summer I received a letter
warning me that the car I drove
was defective and its airbag, if deployed,
could shoot shards of metal into my lungs.

It said deployed,
as if a drive is a mission
and highways are combat zones.

I work at a literacy center and the language I use
is surprisingly militaristic.
I give students batteries of tests.
We drill them on phonemes and I recruit volunteers
for days of service. This 9/11
I made a sign on poster board
that students and volunteers wrote on.
They shared what they remembered
and why they were thankful
for those who have fought
terrorism ever since the towers fell.

I didn’t sign it because I couldn’t
think of anything to say
that could sit for a week on a table
between books about heroes and comics about war.
But I did draw a bird flying between
the two columns of signatures and stories.

It has been nine years since he disappeared in the desert,
after an unarmored Humvee exploded.
I don’t have panic attacks anymore but I do say
fuck this a lot and would be pissed off
if I died in a fender bender because safety equipment failed me.




Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones is a librarian in training that currently calls Greensboro, NC their home. Kelly earned their MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans’ Creative Writing Workshop. Three of their favorite things are manatees, glitter, and Wild Turkey. In their spare time, Kelly tries to keep houseplants alive, runs The Gambler Mag, and attempts to come to terms with the concept of infinity.



Giants Like Us by Dakota D. Dusi


art by Ranko Ajdinović | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook


Giants Like Us

these steps were cut
centuries ago

made for tea leaves
and giants like us.

the clouds we can
almost touch, but

it’s the rainy season.
it keeps us just

out of reach, and
i can feel her

feet impress the
earth like

all of those years
before when

she would wake
up first and

tiptoe out of that
old brick

apartment.



Dakota D. Dusi

Dakota D. Dusi is a Midwest native and current expat based in İstanbul. He holds a BSE in English Education and has had creative writing published both in print and around the Web. When not working he can be found traveling throughout Europe and Asia, or sitting in his living room. : @mondegreenshoes



Carry On, Carrion by Kelly Jones


art by Ranko Ajdinović | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook



Carry On, Carrion

I had my hands on him last night in a dream I forgot
upon waking. Some days are easy

but when they’re not I feel like drowning.
The clock has stopped in my mind


we are still wild manes and taut muscle,
entwined. What is the use of being

all racked up over a hunk of meat?
When I drive highways I count

the corpses of animals. The stains they leave behind
on the asphalt are sometimes lovely and it helps me forget

the dead friends and lovers I’ve left behind.
It’s not the animal’s fault when they collide with cars

but we curse them and cry
not for the mess made

but for the cost to clean it up.
It is the same when a drunk doesn’t wake,

when a vein breaks, when a bullet

blows a hole through brains.

I can still hear the sickening thump and tumble.
It has been years since I hit something on the road


and witnessed a thing left unbreathing
and unrecognizable after impact.

It has been years since I held someone’s stiffening
hand in mine. Cold and dry, like this fall day.




Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones is a librarian in training that currently calls Greensboro, NC their home. Kelly earned their MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans’ Creative Writing Workshop. Three of their favorite things are manatees, glitter, and Wild Turkey. In their spare time, Kelly tries to keep houseplants alive, runs The Gambler Mag, and attempts to come to terms with the concept of infinity.



I Think the Answer to the Question may be Zero by Kelly Jones


photography by Amadeus Long | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



I Think the Answer to the Question may be Zero

The gun in Travis’s hand pushed
against Matt’s face and wants him gone,

so go Matt does, faster than New Year’s
booze and resolutions. In the bathroom

a counter groaned with the weight of bodies
thrust together. This is not romantic,

whispered one reflection to the other.
Curled in the crook of Adam’s arm

after one too many keg stands, he told me “I love you,”
I smiled and said “I don’t want to be alone.”

Dead-drunk in the backseat, Matt shot up
and sang boys, boys, all types of boys, then crumpled

back to sleep. Justin let me in whenever I showed up

drunk at 3 a.m. We’d crawl into bed, sprawl out,

each with a foot rooted to the floor to stop the spins.
The picnic table didn’t mean to break the bottle of Jäger,

but Adam and his brother set it on fire anyways

and the cops came to Long Street, but arrested no one.

Travis was evicted but came back for furniture that wasn’t his.
I sat on the couch, 
the morning after a party gone wrong

and Justin wore 
a light blue button down shirt,
messy with blood, as we chain-smoked into morning.

Matt leaned into me once and asked his beer
how many ways are there to forget a person?




Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones is a librarian in training that currently calls Greensboro, NC their home. Kelly earned their MFA in Poetry from the University of New Orleans’ Creative Writing Workshop. Three of their favorite things are manatees, glitter, and Wild Turkey. In their spare time, Kelly tries to keep houseplants alive, runs The Gambler Mag, and attempts to come to terms with the concept of infinity.



Somewhere on Hollywood Boulevard by Mathieu Cailler


photography by Amadeus Long | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



Somewhere on Hollywood Boulevard

Today, on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Rob Lowe
star on the Walk of Fame, I passed a sitting bum
who wore cargo pants and a World’s Greatest Dad
t-shirt. His feet were bare, grimy; and he was eating
an orange like an apple—gnawing right through the rind.
A copy of Les Misérables lay next to him, its pages fat and
swollen, and when a breeze pushed through, the sheets
ruffled; a pleasant sound, like leaves in the wind. I said,
Hello, and the man said, Hey…what’s up, muchacho?
I reached for my wallet. I only had a five spot, but
since I’d already cracked the leather, I had to give him
something. Lincoln, he said. No shit. Good prez.
Better beard. Hell, sometimes I wish I’d gotten shot
in the theatre. Nice way to go out if you ask me—
just bam, right there, while watching Bye Bye Birdie.
True, I said, before walking off. Wanna sit down?
he asked. I got some orange left, he said, and this
book here, that’s depressing as shit. Fucking French
guys, right? Hard to get through even five pages
without tearing up a bit. What do you say?
Uh. Sure. Okay, I said. So I leaned up against a building,
lit a smoke, and listened to him as he cleared his
throat and started in. He had a pleasant reading voice,
especially applied performing dialogue,
so I closed my eyes as his words blended
with the shuffle of passersby, the rumble of engines,
and the day-to-day buzz of honks and hollers.




Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler’s poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. He is the author of Clotheslines (Red Bird Press), Shhh (ELJ Publications), and Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press), which has been honored by the Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, Best Book, and International Book Awards. His poetry collection, May I Have This Dance? (Black Magic Media), is slated for publication in December of 2017. : mathieucailler.com



Beached by Mariel Fechik


the weight of you by Carrie Hilgert | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Beached

My spine was made of sea urchins
that night they found me in the bay,

the angles of me all wrong but still
pointed toward you.

I heard a story once about a couple
who recorded tapes of their secret
affair, as if to leave a marker saying
this is who I loved

and I found this beautiful in the way
that one might find the lights
of a sinking ship beautiful.

When they pulled me from the bay,
they pried jellyfish from my wrists,
excavated you from my lungs,
and left you as a marker in the bay,

a buoy floating in the dark.




Mariel Fechik

Mariel Fechik is a musician and writer from Chicago. She works for a educational nonprofit, sings in a band called Church Booty, and a duo called m&e. Sea creatures are very important to her. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Black Napkin Press, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Rising Phoenix Review, and others.



Maybe Heaven’s a Mulligan by Mathieu Cailler


the Lovers by Carrie Hilgert | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Maybe Heaven’s a Mulligan

Here’s how it might go down in my Nirvana
Not Cobain’s, not Siddhartha’s, nor any other deities’.
Right there, on Interstate 89, I’d find you again at the
Tipsy Fox, making half-circles on the rotating
bar stool; a sweating tequila in your grip. I’d puff
the same joke as last time, the one about Bon Jovi
that made your lips bend hard & your head brush back.
After a few drinks, I’d slam a song on the jukebox,
(E7 probably), & we’d dance again, humid, eyes holding;
shuffling our shoes on the puzzle-piece floor. This time, though,
I’d invite you to back to my room, listen to your heels on the
walkway, the neon buzz of the Vacancy sign, & savor the
bolt of the door as it found its jamb. Then, there on the bed
of Room 18, I’d spelunkle your thighs, weld my hands
to your curves, & drop my mouth to your lips,
that I’ve always imagined
tasted like Friday.




Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler’s poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. He is the author of Clotheslines (Red Bird Press), Shhh (ELJ Publications), and Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press), which has been honored by the Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, Best Book, and International Book Awards. His poetry collection, May I Have This Dance? (Black Magic Media), is slated for publication in December of 2017. : mathieucailler.com



My Mother Is the Statue of Liberty by Mathieu Cailler


Art by Michelle Lanter | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr


My Mother Is the Statue of Liberty

Dragging her body out of the Buick,
grocery bags cradled in her arms,
eyeshadow matching the half circles
under her eyes, she shuffles to the front
door, wedges it ajar with her foot. Her
apron covered in coffee, mustard, some
sloppy-joe sauce (the blue-plate special
on Thursdays at the diner). Setting her
purse down, she shuts her eyes, grabs
what she can of blackness, then asks
about my day, asks my brother the same,
asks about our spelling and math tests, then
asks dad about his truck and if he was
able to find work at the Hy-Vee on I-80.
With one hand, she works off her apron,
mutters in a whisper that she can’t believe
she wore it home, then funny enough, puts
it aside as she prepares a dinner of elbow
noodles and ground beef. No one asks
how her day was, and even if we did, she
would smile and say, “Good. Why don’t
you get washed up… you finish homework?
Want to read together later? Checked
out a book at the small branch.” Her back
hunched, she starts the burner and I
already know the rest of her hour: get
supper ready, set the table, carry out
the dish in red oven mitts, call for us to
get to the table—give me your tired,
your poor, your huddled masses—before
setting the casserole down and holding
out her hands to say grace.



Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler’s poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. He is the author of Clotheslines (Red Bird Press), Shhh (ELJ Publications), and Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press), which has been honored by the Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, Best Book, and International Book Awards. His poetry collection, May I Have This Dance? (Black Magic Media), is slated for publication in December of 2017. : mathieucailler.com



Two Metro Poems by Tanya Azari


Art by Rita Keri | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

two metro poems*

there
annie tells everyone, “don’t ride the train with susanna, she won’t
let you take the window seat, she’ll

put her hands where all the other passengers can see,
write her name on your neck with the tip of her tongue,
talk to you like you’re the only one who can
see her put her mouth on the dirty window and breathe.”
annie whispers, “susanna, i can barely speak—
you’ve taken all the words that were given to me.”

back
“annie feels like facing backward on the southbound train
and in your periphery the world appears,” susanna says.
“she’s the remembrance of a sentence that got lost in your head
and all i want is to write it on her thighs,
compose a symphony of wanting in front of everyone’s eyes
so they can hear the way i need her without it being said.”

annie wishes she’d just love her instead.
susanna inhales. “i’ve made a home inside her bed.”



* “metro poetry” is a concept from the OuLiPo movement, where the writer must create one line for every stop or station on their train trip (not including the starting station). if there is a transfer, the writer must create a new stanza. lines may only be composed when the train is in motion, and may only be written when the train is stopped. no writing may happen when the train is in motion, and no composition may happen when it is stopped.



Tanya Azari

Tanya Azari is a teacher who still uses their student ID for museum discounts. They have been published at The Fem Literary Magazine, Rising Phoenix Press, and The California Aggie, and otherwise self-publishes in several small chapbooks and at heretherebesomething.tumblr.com.



Her by Caitlin C


Art by VH McKenzie | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Her

You, as a field full of flowers growing as high as my hips, high as my shoulders. You, as the flowers, swallowing me up whole. You, as christmas morning—as the lights, as the metaphors. You, as the poet. You, as the poem.

You, as the feeling I get in my chest when that song comes on the radio. You, as the song. You, as the gentle hum of your body next to my body. You, as the warmth— as home.

You, as a point on the map— as a plane ticket—as a grocery list for two. You, as sunlight over water, over pavement, over childhood homes and every picnic table every lover has ever carved initials into. You, as the sun.

You, as a forest fire. You, as a flash flood—as an earthquake—as the first warning cries of the apocalypse. You, as news headline pinned to a wall to mark the day the world changed.



Caitlin C

Caitlin C is a tiny ball of stress and glitter that fancies herself a poet on the good days more than the bad ones. She’s bad at math and would probably rather be showing you pictures of her cats. Visit her at watercvlours.tumblr.com