Category Archives: Poetry

Catechumens by Jan Wiezorek

Beastly by Katherine Renee | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram


He is in the niche across from the painting
that says I want to be stolen and sold

for firewood. She rests in the pew
and scratches love letters in the shellac.

Several have found the pain of kneeling
calming in the presence of desire, gold-plated

and on sale in the gift shop. One is leaving
the empty confessional and cannot accept mercy.

I see others running toward the lawn,
cutting their toes on the mower blade.

They scrape the fence and seek balm
to salve the sting. Many choose

to string beads and mark thoughts
to fingerings that float from light

to sorrow to joy, uncertain where each begins
or how to stop this revolve inside ourselves.

Jan Wiezorek

Jan Wiezorek divides his time between Chicago and Barron Lake, Michigan. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming at The London Magazine, Southern Pacific Review, Bindweed Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, Squawk Back, FIVE:2:ONE, Random Sample, Literary Juice, Panoplyzine, Better Than Starbucks, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. Jan is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (Scholastic, 2011). He has taught writing at St. Augustine College, Chicago, and he holds a master’s degree in English Composition/Writing from Northeastern Illinois University. Visit him at

Not Hovering by Martina Reisz Newberry

Surrender by Katherine Renee | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram

Not Hovering

On fire with myself
racing, not hovering,
passing the void
and the word
and the barely spinning
listless earth.
I was here before
and before that too
and I contacted the savage sun
saying, I wish for you
to eat my heart because
I have nothing else to lose.
My wishes are all
gluttonous that way:
the feast not the snack
the dark not the dusk
the full apparition
not the suggestion of spirit.
If it has been too much
to ask then I’ve asked it.
Request that I leave the room
and I’m gone forever.
Just like that.

Martina Reisz Newberry

Newberry’s books are NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (Deerbrook Editions), TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (due out in late 2017 from Unsolicited Press), WHERE IT GOES (Deerbrook Editions), LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions), RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE (Red Hen Press), LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH (E.P. Dutton &Co) Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative.

Drone by Joshua Gage

Fuel to the Fire by Katherine Renee | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram


I am a steel pomegranate
ripe with seeds of fire.
I sizzle your sky, a wasp
eager to sting the geography.
Let the air grow heavy with the taste
of charred bone and scorched blood.
Mosque. School. Orphanage.
They are all just points of light,
coordinates on a stranger’s monitor,
witnesses to implode with flame.

Joshua Gage

Joshua Gage is an ornery curmudgeon from Cleveland, His first full-length collection, breaths, is available from VanZeno Press. Intrinsic Night, a collaborative project he wrote with J. E. Stanley, was published by Sam’s Dot Publishing. His most recent collection, Inhuman: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, is available on Poet’s Haven Press. He is a graduate of the Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Naropa University. He has a penchant for Pendleton shirts and any poem strong enough to yank the breath out of his lungs.

Inheritance by Annabel Chosy

Hands that Bind by Katherine Renee | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram


The means of discovery vary—someone sitting next to me on the bus looks at my legs a little too closely, an unsuspecting friend grazes my knee, a gym teacher asks for my medical history. By now, this is routine. I’m used to their giggle/stare/nosy questions, used to the rush of heat to my face as I try to shrink away, to make myself smaller. To avoid.


Stranger: You have what?

Me: Um, extra bones.


Me: I mean, they’re not really “extra” bones. They’re bone spurs.


Me: Like where a normal person’s bone is straight, mine has a bump.


Me: It’s genetic.


Me: …so this is fun.


Hereditary multiple osteochondromas (HMO) is a rare medical condition in which bony spurs develop on the bones of a child. More specifically, the spurs are benign bone tumors that appear in areas of active bone growth.

The child in question suffers from bones that are not content with just one expansion. Bone breaks through bone.


In elementary school, my peers generally responded with a frightened giggle and sticky fingers grabbing at my skin. Having since grown up a bit, responses vary from a polite “Oh!” to a genuine “What the fuck?”

My eighth-grade science teacher, Ms. Riley, told us that change over time is an important consideration in any scientific experiment.


Frequently asked questions (in regard to my bones):

“Does it hurt?” (Answer: Spurs can cause pain or numbness, vascular compromise, and irritation of tendon and muscle. Alternative answer: Depends on the day. Alternate alternative answer: It hurts like a bitch.)

“Can I feel?” (Answer: Sure. Alternative answer: No thanks. Alternate alternative answer: Get your hands off me.)

“Is there a cure?” (Answer: Surgery, physical therapy, and pain management are the only options available to HMO patients. Success varies, and despite treatment many patients struggle with pain, fatigue, and mobility issues throughout their lives. Alternative answer: No. Alternate alternative answer: I wish.)


HMO is estimated to occur in 1 in 50,000 people. My mom, my sister and I make three in a city of 600,000.

The other nine remain unaccounted for.


The backseat was dark, and I remember being acutely aware of how close we were. My exhale lifted his hair off his forehead.

In the middle of telling a story, his hand brushed over my knee. I felt him feel it, felt him freeze. Shit.

“Surprise!” I said when he didn’t say anything. I smiled, trying to joke it away.

“Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that,” he said uneasily. “What is it?”

I recited my usual speech in record time. “Oh,” he said, “weird.” I wanted to shrink away, but there was nowhere to go.

“Let’s not talk anymore,” I said, leaning into him.


When I had my first surgery, I was eight years old. I only remember pieces—astronaut pajamas, crying as I held my stuffed animal, the medical students coming by my room afterwards.

“You’re very rare,” one told me. I didn’t know what to say.


A patient with HMO has a 50% chance of passing the disorder to their children. “I’m so sorry,” my mom will say to me on bad days. “I did this to you. I’m so sorry.”

My sister has had four surgeries, and is contemplating another one. The doctors are watching one of my spurs to see whether or not it’s going to interfere with my artery. Luck doesn’t run in our family.

“It’s okay,” I say, “just hand me the ice pack.”

Annabel Chosy

Annabel Chosy is a high school student from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work has been published in The Blueshift Journal, Stone Soup and received recognition from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Unveiled by Oliver Moore

What Sighs Beneath by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press


do not watch me:
i do not undress for you.

i) the first layer –
i shred names
and words and ways
that are not my own.
the scraps fall,
my own snakeskin

ii) the worst layer.
two of everything
yet nothing to claim.
two options, no choices
dichotomy, binary, two.
unlearning duality and juxtaposition;
unlearning myself.

iii) i said – don’t watch.
ungaze, engage.
i slip off my underwear
in the moonlight.
flimsy, flirtatious.

a naked spotlight,
a bare bulb ready to grow –
burst forth from the frosty ground
and bloom –

iv) i unname myself
unmould my body
reshape and remake a way of speaking
patched together
from scraps of vocabulary.
speaking without saying.
naming without explaining.
i mince my sentences
butcher myself
tiptoe around topics
become a small child

v) like anything earth-shattering
(or not shattering at all)
it takes time to rebuild.
to painstakingly retrieve
the slivers of oneself
scattered to the winds
in moments of recklessness
and piece them back together
in a new and unfamiliar shape.
and sometimes it is only after
you have gathered all the fragments
that you realise some were not
at all.

vi) please, don’t look
let me keep my contours and crevices hidden
i am not ashamed,
but they are not mine.
together, we hide in plain sight.

vii) i rename, reshape, rebecome
to look both ways when crossing the street,
to swallow a handful of pills every morning,
to return phone calls, to text back,
to remember an umbrella, a jumper, appointments,
to breathe.

my body is mine and mine alone
i have fought for it:
tooth and nail, kicking and screaming
sharpened claws, shackles raised
i have made it myself
my own

maybe one day, i will let you see.

Oliver Moore

Oliver Moore is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Sydney. They have been previously published in Voiceworks, Tide, Hermes, and a myriad of other places. They like books, dogs, and the ocean, and tweet @olliem_.

Miscarriage at Capital Library by Donna DeRosa

Confluence by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

Miscarriage at Capital Library

A small playhouse
was built, in the garden
for firefly nights and long ceremonies
of homesteading and mothering—
for color wheels and vespertine
making long shadows of umbilical
that were unnoticeably thread-bare.

I did not know I am dangerous. I am a
brand new venus flytrap.

Casting spells among volumes, three
behind my spine
I feed my children with my own blood
collected in the hem of my skirt
divining the loss of Goose eggs
this month—
fallen into the cold nests of carnivorous
found like some token within the shelf
of chained books.

I am viperous. I am a dewed Devil
trumpet consuming my seeds.

Rosary peas, dropped from bell
fall into my mouth and hands,
twisted with infant swaddlings and wet
with poison, the fabric is caught on my
barbed wire leg brace,
cutting the pages of folk remedies
that line my hospital room.

I am a flowering hemlock, stamped
onto essays on fertility rituals.

Donna DeRosa

Donna is currently in the process of earning degrees in Literature and Creative Writing at Marshall University, with a concentration on poetry. She will be graduating this December. Though she has had work chosen for readings and has been placed in University Writing Competitions, this is her first time being published outside of University undergraduate publications, such as Et Cetera student magazine. Donna plans to pursue a masters degree in poetry with the hope of teaching and writing. She currently lives in Huntington, West Virginia and has since childhood. Donna is part of a minority culture of Italian-American’s living in Appalachia. She also lives with Multiple Sclerosis and hopes to orient her work towards discussion of disability as well as the silence of miscarriage.

When He Moves to My Neighborhood & His Girlfriend Writes That My Poetry Has No Literary Merit & It’s Just Meant to Make Him Feel Bad by Clair Dunlap

Art by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

When He Moves to My Neighborhood & His Girlfriend Writes That My Poetry Has No Literary Merit & It’s Just Meant to Make Him Feel Bad

what must it be like to stand in the market
gently squeezing peaches in july and see,
out of the corner of your eye, a stranger walk in

and something about their height and the shape of their glasses
and the cadence of their walk is familiar

and not want to run?

what must the body feel like if not taken over
with shaking, fruit falling from sweaty palms as if
from some failed tree? if not hot panic when you realize
the only way out is how they just came in.

what must the body feel like if not
so small?

how is it, in the moment of could be, to feel nothing at all?
is that difficult for you?
to think you see me and to keep breathing?

Clair Dunlap

Clair Dunlap grew up just outside Seattle, Washington, and started writing at the age of six. Now she resides in the Midwest where she is a preschool teacher and MLIS candidate. She is the author of IN THE PLUM DARK BELLY (Beard Poetry 2016) and her word can be found in Sweet Tree Review, Souvenir, The Harpoon Review, The Fem, and more. She is a social media editor for Vagabond City and on several platforms you can find her @smallgourd.

By the Numbers by Samara Golabuk

“Glued To The Grind” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

By the Numbers

The apocalypse will be personal,
and it will take more time than we expect.

It will come in fits and starts—
some drowned children here,
a few demolished homes there.
Tornado alley widens every year, and
we’ve entered the age of the super-storm,
the media pundits agree.

It will be rolling brown-outs and city bus rapists—
warmer winters and dying bees.
It will come upon us slowly
and we will acclimate,
like how the price of bananas
went up one year and never came back down
and we stopped noticing. We always
stop noticing — topped up gas prices
and semi-automatics, half-lives, and zero-hours,
and how toddlers gun down
more people than the terrorists every year.
It will be corporations as people
and GMO crop-fouling Monsanto
weeding out the small farmers, the seed-keepers,
with their mega-conglomerate organic matter
you wouldn’t plant in your toilet.
We will breed the nutrients out of our food,
we will Facebook our post-truth sources.
Heart disease will go up and up, as will
depression, diabetes, the whole she-

The apocalypse will be personal, slow–
has been so for years, starting
before we noticed, until it was
an absurdity of government on
a treadmill of climate change and
a rising tide seducing shore,
licking the toes of sea-grass and brick
and driftwood post and pier
as we step back,
and step back,
and step back
some more.

Samara Golabuk

Samara is a two-time Pushcart nominee whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Inklette, Eyedrum Periodically, Peacock Journal, Memoryhouse and others. She has two children, works in marketing and design, and has returned to university to complete her BA in Poetry. More at

Feasting on Dysphoria and Sparrows by Moira J.

“What The Bird Collects” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

Feasting on Dysphoria and Sparrows

It is almost October in the woods,
            where I am held at an encampment,
                         my room full of heavy mountain
            air that hangs syruped on my jaw.

A man is telling me that I am a woman,
            instead of monstering
            flesh, paled like wisteria
            stacked with smoke that mirrors
            the cigarettes held in his glass bowl.

                                                  I dump the ashes to give water,
                                      to the sparrows, luring them to my
                                                  windowsill, catching them in
                                                  my hands and stuffing them
                                      in my cheeks, my words becoming
                         plumed with promises of redemption—or
                         something like absolution.

                         The birds are so particular as they flail,
                         their erratic song penetrating my wisdom
                         teeth, but still I do not become wiser.

                         The man later removes
                         the scraps, sneaking a
plunged hand deeper to remove innards—
my personal now made public.

I hang his desire like damp blankets on
                         the laundry lines, waiting for
            my bones to turn acrid and unpleasable,
passing the time by pulling feathers free from
my bleeding gum line.

Moira J.

Moira J., or Gaagé Dat’éhe (Quiet Crow), is an Indigenous writer who explores being agender, queer, and biracial. They examine these relationships through poetry, origin stories, and creative nonfiction. Moira J. has been published in Girls Get Busy Zine, Naugatuck River Review, ENCLAVE, Bayou Magazine, and more. They have upcoming publications with Sea Foam Magazine, The Account, The 3288 Review, and 1001: A Literary Journal. You can keep updated on Moira J. at their twitter @moira__j.

The Lighthouse by Jade Mitchell

“To Detach and Hold” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

The Lighthouse

You see, there was a promise I had to keep.
             I was straying South from the river-side again.
I was walking to the edge of where he once held me like
a promise and I held myself, back.
                                        I wanted to be gone. I wanted to be
collarbone. This child-like lie, once broken, now a ridge of
jagged calamity stuck in apology. Things never happen the
way we say it happened. But that doesn’t mean the pain wasn’t
real. That doesn’t mean that for one moment, everything was
on fire and I was screaming. I was stuck. I was two years’ worth
of wanting, of waiting, of pushing my body out to sea and hoping
it’d come back to me.
                                        And I can’t tell you all the ways that I have
made myself a lighthouse for other people’s storms. But I still carry
their salt. I still carry their thunder. After the clouds have cleared and
the damage is swept away, I just wanted to be remembered for the ways
that I have saved.

Jade Mitchell

Jade Mitchell is a poet residing in Glasgow, Scotland. She is a poetry reader for Up The Staircase Quarterly. Her work has been featured in Persephone’s Daughters, Red Queen Literary Magazine, Murmur Journal, L’Éphémère Review, Rising Phoenix Review, and Hooligan Magazine. Her work can be found on her blog: