Category Archives: Pisces

Houdini by Lindsay McLeod


Dive by Elle Moss | Shop | Facebook

Houdini

Sometimes they pass me the key
without even knowing it from
their own mouths, their tongues
on the tip of a kiss, the way out

picking the locks and screwing
the tumblers from the inside
of what we once thought was a
safe as safe in love as houses

teeth to chew through the ropes
of a relationship breached by an
iceberg when only one of us can
fit on the floating door darling

an off ramp on a rocky road
where it all comes down to ice
cream, you scream, the police
come, it’s awkward

but when the plane goes down
this whole contortionist thing
comes in handy for folding
oneself back into the black box

but it’s all so, oh I don’t know…
almost anecdotal why I can’t
fall without breakage now, my
hip or my heart or my horseshoe

‘coz Spring doesn’t spring so well
any more not like it used to leap
from the highest diving board
into a trembling glass of water

the pool is so much shallower
since, and let’s face it so am I,
wrung out and wond’rin’ what
might swim beneath the splash

but still I climb toward a launch,
a hunk of hedonism in my pocket
to see what I might find behind
my cloud on the other side.



Lindsay McLeod

Lindsay McLeod trips over the horizon every morning. He has won several prizes and awards and stuff for poetry and short fiction and published his first co-authored poetry collection, My Almost Heart, in 2015. He currently writes on the sandy Southern edge of the world, where he watches the sea and the sky wrestle for supremacy at his letterbox. He prefers to support the underdog. It is presently an each way bet. : twitter.com/offmcleod



Doing My Roommate’s Hair by Kiki Nicole


by Sammy Slabbinck
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Doing My Roommate’s Hair

in my head, it’s a lot easier.
I imagine my fingers fitting in their hair perfectly.
in reality,
my fingers fit so well around their hair
until they don’t anymore.
every curl is much smoother than my own head
but they still trust me.
they sit in between my legs and it’s almost like Sunday afternoon again.
the heat from the both of us
almost golden.
like Sunday afternoon on the porch steps.
Sunday afternoon, our living room smells like leave­-in conditioner,
Jamaican black castor oil,
and whipped shea.
everything hazy.
in the movie of us, they wouldn’t write this scene.
we be too golden. we be too Black to be soft.
my roommate nestles in the heart of me.
here, they can be small. they Black Girl again,
pink scalped and loose curled.
my hands recognize this beauty but don’t know what to do with it.
my brown hands and thick hair
unaccustomed to soft things.
I am used to raw shea­­–
the thick, yellow clumps hold me together so well.
I pledge allegiance to myself
even though I am all edges.
and the sky is a soft pink and it tells us to keep breathing
even though we are so far removed from the stoops of our childhoods.
in this neighborhood, there are no black women doing hair on their porches
on any given day
but this sun tells us not to worry about missing them.
my hands are so full of it all.
I know exactly what to do.
in the movie of us, we are safe here
and everything calls us Beautiful.




Kiki Nicole

Kiki Nicole is a writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. Their work has been featured in Bitchtopia Magazine, Voicemail Poems, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, The Fem Lit and several anthologies. They work in publishing for Where Are You Press and keep a blog at kikinicolepoetry.tumblr.com. They would like you to know that they are trying.



How To Be Something Other Than by SaraEve Fermin


Photo by Bella Harris
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How To Be Something Other Than

This is how to lick the empty spoon,
blow out a candle, sing Happy Birthday
to yourself, ignore the acid simmering in
your stomach, think of vanilla icing.

How to chew ice, straws, pens,
how to swallow gum and then
worry mass that can never be burned
away.

How to cup your hands smaller,
relearn the size of a playing card, how to
repeat ‘only a little bit, just a taste,
just a scoop, no thank you’ until you
are eating with a cake fork.

How to say you ate before you
arrived, to count the calories in
clear alcohol, how to make small popcorn
last a three hour movie,
spill most of it on the floor
in the dark.

How to smile at your barking dog
every morning that you climb on the scale,
such a smart boy,
to echo the unhappiness resonating in your
barley conscious cranium,
such a good boy,
dissatisfied with your stagnant numbers.

How to retrain your taste buds, learn to love
bitter—black tea, broccoli rabe, pickles as a
reward. How to call sweet a rotting stink,
wrinkle your nose at boxes of chocolate
and cheese fries, fried dough and frozen
cream.

How to tell him your truth.
To peel back your scabs, show him
where you keep the glass ammunition
you never unlearned. To let him
make you pancakes, steak, a seven
layer birthday cake. To cry with the door
open, to cry with abandoned. How to learn
to love a plum again, to taste it sweet
and still warm from the tree. To surround
yourself in something other than damage
and yourself.




SaraEve Fermin

SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from New Jersey.  A 2015 Best of the Net nominee, she has performed for both local and national events, including the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam and for the Greater Los Angeles Epilepsy Foundation 2015 Care and Cure Benefit to End Epilepsy in Children. The Editor in Chief of Wicked Banshee Press, a Contributing Editor for Words Dance Magazine and Book Reviewer for Swimming With Elephants Publications, her work can be found or is forthcoming in GERM Magazine, Words Dance Magazine, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and the University of Hell Anthology We Can Make Your Life Better: A Guidebook to Modern Living,, among others. Her first full length book, View From The Top of the Ferris Wheel, will be published be Emphat!c Press in 2016. She believes in the power of foxes and self publishing. Learn more here: saraeve41.wix.com/saraevepoet



Waking by Allie Gove


Airhead by Bella Harris
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Waking

When I wake you, your eyes open
like moth wings bleating in and out
of the light. You tell me to come back
in ten minutes. And in ten minutes
they open just the same but now a few
balloons canter away from your palms
as you stretch. For a while, before
you stand up and put your glasses on
we lie together in the fluid leaking
of your watercolor thoughts, the kind
of lucid dreaming where the Seattle rain
and early sun make a small blinding
of crystalline circuitry on the windows
and we start over again.




Allie Gove

Allie Gove attends CSUS and is an intern at the Sacramento Poetry Center. She writes both poetry and fiction and her work has been published in The Fat City Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine and is forthcoming from WTF?!



New Year’s Resolution: Kiss Myself at Midnight by Kiki Nicole


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New Year’s Resolution: Kiss Myself at Midnight

2016 sits in a corner somewhere
and I want to ask her out on a date

When I do,
she uses all of my correct pronouns,
kisses me on the forehead at the door,
calls me handsome princess
and this time we both believe it.

I sext her:
what r u wearing rn

and before she can reply,
I send her another text
(because anxiety)

I say,
whatever it is, put a jacket over it
let’s take our Crazy out for a walk

So we do.

We let them hold hands and walk in front of us.
See how happy they are together?
How honest the bleeding

2016 teaches me how to do my makeup right.
She doesn’t believe in shine or gloss,
puts powder over my lips and buys only the brightest of reds for me to wear.

We both know it’s about time I admit to the wounds
closest to my skin.
See, I usually let them fester.

Last year doused my lips in dark wines and velvet reds­­—

anything to look like internal bleeding.
I hinted at my hurt like a subtle pout.
You would really have to get close
and even then,
who could ever tell?

Last year never kissed me goodbye.

Last year didn’t hold me in his arms,
just locked me in his throat.

He texted me:
i’m done with you
a couple of months too late.

Last year said my Crazy was too Crazy
and not as hot as before.
It had grown hungry
and ugly
and so like a woman.

Last year told me I would never be loved again as long as I am in this body.

Yet here I am,
unraveling before another year,

rolling her name around with my tongue
as if I never had a Hallelujah to begin with.



Kiki Nicole

Kiki Nicole is a writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. Their work has been featured in Bitchtopia Magazine, Voicemail Poems, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, The Fem Lit and several anthologies. They work in publishing for Where Are You Press and keep a blog at kikinicolepoetry.tumblr.com. They would like you to know that they are trying.



LOCKPICK by B. Diehl


Brb soul searching by Mercedes Hazard
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LOCKPICK

There will come a time

when the person you think is your soulmate

will turn out to be nothing more

than a background character

in some non-fiction/no-hitter book.



You’ll grow sad, sour.

You’ll get into bar fights and lose.

You’ll hate-fuck strangers.

You’ll hate-fuck yourself.



You’ll get drunk at Hooters and hit on the waitresses.

They’ll all get pissed and the manager will kick you out.

Then you’ll puke out your dinner right there in the street ––

maybe even puke up a few sad poems.



You’ll go home. You’ll strip off your clothes, get into bed.

You’ll read Person by Sam Pink and identify with the narrator.

You’ll start making your way

through all 379 movies in your Netflix instant queue.



You’ll think of your gone-away lover.

You’ll want to pull a stocking over your head

and break into her mind with a lockpick,

just to see if she misses you at all.



But don’t waste your time.



Because she doesn’t.

She doesn’t miss you.

She doesn’t miss you,



but don’t waste your time



rotting.



Take the lockpick and smash up your bathroom mirror.

Take a plunger to your shit-clogged mind.

Listen to the song of your alcohol

as you puke it into the toilet

with another sad poem.



B. Diehl

B. Diehl is a poet, quasi-recluse, and cat enthusiast from Phillipsburg, NJ. He is the co-author of the poetry chapbook Temporary Obscurity (Indigent Press, 2015) and author of the full-length poetry collection Zeller’s Alley (White Gorilla Press, 2016). His poetry has been featured in Hobart, FLAPPERHOUSE, Straight Forward Poetry, Poydras Review, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Torrid Literature Journal, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, Five 2 One Magazine, and more. When he is not writing, you can usually find him at home, hanging out with his cats and/or feeding his social media addiction. He still lives with his parents. You can find him on the web at www.mynameisb.co.



House Party by Emily Alexander

Lil Bird Houses by Norahz Art
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House Party

I am lying in a field behind my house and I am drunk. The poem starts and ends like this, I am still here. I’m tired of doing this, but my chest has hands and they grab at anything within reach; the doorknob, the bottle, the backs of people passing by, the bodies, the bodies.

I am lying in a field and I am drunk and there is a boy who knows my mouth. He lives five houses down. I want to tie a string around his wrist and lead him here, to this, pile of limbs, folding into each other, tents collapsing, ground is safer than wind, ground is safer than him. He has eyes like bees, they buzz towards me, worse, they fly away from me, I am wanting. It is all I am.

I am lying in a field and I am drunk and I am pretending to be the only person in the world. It’s almost believable except for the car engine whisper, the distant breath of a bass beat waking up neighbors. The world is whole, but it is hollow, outlined in glass. I am saying, I am the loneliest letter on the keyboard. I am saying, find a word for this. I am speaking to the glass outline of moon now, saying, count your craters. Inventory your loss. Let me know if you figure out how to write it down.
 


Emily Alexander

Emily Alexander is a student, aspiring writer, mediocre (yet enthusiastic) chef, and nervous driver. She is slowly working her way through an English degree at the University of Idaho, while learning to be a functional human being. More of her work can be found in The Harpoon Review, A Literation, and Blue Monday Review, as well as on Tumblr at youarehomeconstantly.tumblr.com.



Rabbit Heart Season by Rachel Brownlow

The Two Of Us by Norahz Art
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Rabbit Heart Season

This winter we wear frost on our ribs.
Ell uses her soft voice, speaks only to the sparrows.
I pull nests from beneath my fingernails,
drink rain water with cinnamon and try to pretend
it feels like Christmas,
pretend her collarbones aren’t knives beneath
the skin of her neck.
Ma brought the gun into the woods,
came back with two rabbits
and blood smeared fingers.
Ell took her knives, gutted them like fish
and put the skins on the wall to dry,
said they felt like the carpet we burnt last November,
said soon we will wear the furs,
rabbit hearts caught up in our chest like thunder,
frost still decaying on the front porch.
 


Rachel Brownlow

Rachel Brownlow is 21 one year old Irish writer currently living in Spain in her third year of a Creative Writing degree in Galway. She’s had poetry published in The Crannóg magazine and in Dead Flowers poetry rag.



24 by Abby Kloppenburg

Pine Teeth by Kelly Louise Judd
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24

Someday, we’ll laugh through our teeth. We’ll arrange dinner on the table in different colored bowls, and always remember to pick up the bread. We’ll wear heels without blisters, and head home after the second glass. Cheek kisses. We’ll talk about our gardens as if they were children, and never be late for work – even when there’s traffic. We’ll time the metro exactly right. We’ll make the bed before company and own three different pearl necklaces. We’ll invest, and vote and coupon. Always remember to call our mothers. Someday.

Today, though, we’ll laugh ugly. We’ll pound the table until tears are streaming down our cheeks, and spill the water everywhere. We’ll eat Ramen three days a week, and call a salad vegetables. We’ll be late. We’ll finish the bottle and order another, even though it’s Tuesday. We’ll be proud when we remember our purses and cry in hundred more bar bathrooms. We’ll feel lonely and aimless and terrified for the future. We’ll feel unbreakable and alive. Today, the future is only tomorrow, and we’re just doing our best to get there.

 


Abby Kloppenburg

Abby does boring work things by day, and writes to survive at night. She lives in DC and likes funny people and egg sandwiches. See more of her work on aklop.tumblr.com.



The Epileptic Monitoring Unit by SaraEve Fermin

Mélange Fervor by Tyler Rayburn
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The Epileptic Monitoring Unit

And every single fight’s alright/with my brain I just want to feel everything
– Fiona Apple

The 6am car rides. The piercing, promise of the clear blue sky and another day wasted. The GWB. The 12 dollar toll. The 25 dollar parking lot. Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, O, Castle of Miserable, of clinical depression, my twenties and staggering convulsions of darkness. 8th floor, Neurology, The Epileptic Monitoring Unit, with its polished hardwood hallway floors that no patient could appreciate, tethered to the wall by a tangle of electronics, sanctioned to the bed by guard rail for safety, emergency cords and alarms. Home of the wires, the glue, the air guns, the always acetone smell. The crying children, the pulled hair, their haggard mothers praying over their sleeping bodies. The hall always whispering with 24 hour cameras, transfers, the whirring and clicking of the CT scans, the burn of nuclear medicine. The acronyms: PET scans, SPECTS scans, WADA test, VNS implant. No privacy, a tendency to seize in the bathroom, Sorry, we’re short staffed, we have to help who we can get to first. View of the Hudson; same room twice irony, summers smell like stale air conditioning and hospital cleaner, all the meals boiled and never quite reaching my mouth. IV in my left arm. Can’t write. Bruises, nausea, withdrawal, the pounds lost, shaved head, the steel spike migraines. Readmissions. The first DNR. Always Fox News. Vonnegut dies. 15 doctors a day and always alone. My mother asleep in a chair, no spare pillows making do for 19 days and always alone. Keeping myself up flipping through the same 13 channels at 2 AM, watching American Gladiators reruns, laughing at what we thought was strong because sleep deprivation, alone. Fifth medication failure asking God why and getting no response, alone. Recurring nightmares surgical steel shining and MRI backlit, alone. My now husband there every day, holding my hand every time I go into the dark, every time I lose consciousness. Still there are no words for lungs that clench closed, a throat that fills with concrete, the words I love you frozen in a mind that only hears ringing, sees colors as my brain give into the misfiring electrical current running it rampant. I go into every seizure always. Alone.

 


SaraEve Fermin

Born and raised in New Jersey, SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from Union City. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Wicked Banshee Press (2014) and has competed in the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She now features and competes locally, regionally and nationally and is a regular volunteer at National Poetry Slam events. A member of the Poetry Slam Inc. Advocacy Group, SaraEve has facilitated workshops on Performance Poetry and Invisible Illness on both a local and national level. Her work can be found in Ghost House Review, Red Paint Hill Quarterly, Free Verse, Transcendence and Swimming With Elephants ‘Light As A Feather’ Anthology. A Stephen King nerd, she is currently involved in a 100 submissions challenge. Learn more here!