Category Archives: Taurus

in the wake of a mass shooting: a cento poem by Hannah Norris

art by Michele Maule | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Twitter

in the wake of a mass shooting: a cento poem

guns don’t kill people
people kill people

he was a nice guy

banning things never
solves the problem

stop politicizing the issue

he was crazy

if the good guys
had guns they would
have survived

guns don’t kill people
people kill people

he was unstable

we don’t know what his
motivations were

he came from a good home

people with mental illnesses
are violent

they’re trying to take away
our rights

there was no way
to predict this

guns don’t kill people
people kill people

Hannah Norris

Hannah Norris is a 24 year old PNW native who holds a BA in music production. She spends her time performing in the comedy group she co-founded, Cracks Fics Live, writing, and rewatching The Office. She was recently featured in the newest volume from water soup press. :

Leftovers by Soo Young Yun

art by Ranko Ajdinović | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook


Loss hates leftovers. It always orders too much, and ends up stuffing half of its meals in the fridge, where they lay forgotten and grow moldy in ways they shouldn’t. The scent is strong in the first few months, hitting Loss in the face each time it opens the fridge door. Its cabinet overflows with inked napkins and ketchup packets from dozens of restaurants. And they just sit there, until finally Loss is in a good enough mood to shovel them out and wipe the cupboard with white vinegar. When the fridge and cupboard are finally rid of leftovers and napkins and ketchup packets, the whole house takes a breath, fresh and free.

Soon Loss is at a restaurant again, drifting through the menu, drooling over laminated pictures of photoshopped pastries. It eyes an oversized, dazzling tiramisu sprinkled with pistachio and freshly plucked strawberries. The cake will become another relic in the fridge for the next half a dozen months, but Loss doesn’t care, at least not at the moment. The first bite, when the chocolate dissolves and evanesces into the mouth, makes it all worth it.

Soo Young Yun

Soo Young Yun is a writer from Seoul, South Korea. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Aerie International Journal, Writing for Peace Organization, Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards, among others. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Burningword Literary Journal, DUENDE, Emerald Coast Review, Hawai’i Review, Red Weather, Vignette Review, Watershed Review, among other journals and anthologies. :

What We Talk About When We Talk About by James Croal Jackson

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

What We Talk About When We Talk About

Pepper burned my mouth
and all I could think of
in that salivated flame
was you telling me your tongue
no longer felt the heat
of a moment: meaningless
sex– bite and garment
here between the green
walls of your zen room
your small goldfish
swimming in circles–
submerged flame and hunger
for love so intense
I flicker poems to you
thumbs on lighters
waiting for the matchbook
to catch– combed pomade
hair, designer jeans, and wit–
what I want is origami
and fire– instead
we talk about love
but unlike Raymond Carver
we have nothing
more to say.

James Croal Jackson

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in FLAPPERHOUSE, Rust + Moth, Jet Fuel Review, and elsewhere. He has won the William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest and is founding editor of The Mantle. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at

Blackout Poetry Suite by Colette Love Hilliard

queen of hearts by Carrie Hilgert | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Blackout Poetry Suite

(titles: Solitary, Reveries, Hangover, Infinity)

Colette Love Hilliard

Colette Love Hilliard is a writer and teacher currently chronicling her journey of love, marriage, and infertility through poetry and art. Colette hopes her open and honest approach to such sensitive topics resonates with her readers and inspires them to use their creative talents to heal. Her work has appeared in Harness Magazine and The Cincinnati Review Blog, and a forthcoming collection of poetry will appear in Issue 3 of Beechwood Review.

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.

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_.

A Half-Hearted Explanation on Why I Still Haven’t Completed My Change of Address Forms by Isobel Laine

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

A Half-Hearted Explanation on Why I Still Haven’t Completed My Change of Address Forms

This isn’t lust across the top of a coffee machine anymore.
This isn’t sticking straws in my mouth,
holding hands where nobody can see,
midnight drives
alone in your car.

This is real, dirty, grimy, love.
Gutsy love.
Love not hiding behind a bar counter anymore.

This is me, arriving with sixteen cardboard boxes
and putting all our skeletons into a shared closet.
This is you, with a sink full of dirty dishes,
buying me a new laundry basket,
saying “we can clean the mess up here.”

Maybe we’re not doing this right.

A love so heavy it might crash through the floorboards
and fall five floors.
A love so loud neither of us can fall asleep in the same bed.
A love that doesn’t fit into a two bedroom one bathroom
with city views.

Maybe love only looks good in the dim lights of a nightclub.
Maybe love only works when you don’t say it so loud.
Maybe it doesn’t function when you make scream in the forms of
matching bath towels
and new soap brands.

Maybe love wasn’t meant to share a mailbox.

Isobel Laine

Isobel is a 19 year old Australian born-and-raised poet and political science student at the University of Western Australia. You can find her previous published work in the literary magazine Persephone’s Daughters or online on her personal blog

In the Darkness/ Minus an Abundance of Light by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

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

In the Darkness/ Minus an Abundance of Light

This is no dream for the faint
of heart, ambivalence holds
something back and you are not

you when the darkness cradles
your hand in silence. Sometimes,
there’s a glimmer of light

through a half-opened door
like a vacant womb waiting
to be filled again.

You have no say in this dream,
though it stands looming overhead.
Your father, long dead vanishes

and reappears his voice unfamiliar,
holds your tears in the palm
of his hand. Your pillow damp,

one feather quill pokes through
the other side until your face is scraped
to bleeding. Don’t cry little girl,

you are blinded by the unknown.
Everyone has this dream, until they wake,
until they are finally able to embrace

that which would otherwise be alarming.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is an eight-time Pushcart nominee and four-time Best of the Net nominee. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems:Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, newly released from Aldrich Press. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Classic Girl by AJ Schmitz

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

Classic Girl

Falling in love with you is a feeling
not unlike
stealing milk crates from behind a cafe.
              a little dangerous, but necessary;
              something I use to contain everything that makes me who I am.

Being in love with you is similar to, though
not quite like
chasing waves as they crash onto the shore
              tiring, but dripping in ontic depth;
              it is chasing dragons, or battling windmills.

Falling out of love with you is definitely,
without doubt, like
the feeling one gets when they mix alcohol and meds–
              terrifying, but overwhelmingly relaxing;
              it is the kind of bliss you feel as you slip into death.

AJ Schmitz

AJ Schmitz is a Los Angeleno who has bounced around the country, getting into verbal fist fights and making them into poems. He is working on a PhD in literature and currently resides in Fort Worth TX with his fiance and 2 cats.

War Memorial by Alison Rumfitt

Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

War Memorial

Here, now, I have a pill to stop me from writing this
and it doesn’t work because I’ve been taking them less
and I’m at the end of the box, so here,
I can write again, which feels painful,
the ends of my fingers are like split wood.
Here is another poem about something that makes you squirm,
and I walk far out from my home down to the seafront
where a heavy wind blows and carries gull laughter.
I am wearing jeans, I am always wearing jeans
because the last time I walked down here
I wore a skirt which flapped around my knees.

There is a war memorial. It sits squat and ugly made of concrete
encircled by walls. I find it very relatable.
I once heard someone joke that it looks phallic
and the joke was that war is masculine,
making me masculine, making me phallic,
making me, warlike, I’ve never fought a battle in my life,
I wouldn’t know where to start.
Last time, we all sat in the memorial’s great shadow drinking wine
and I got chips from the shop a short walk away,
a car pulled up: two women were inside,
“My sister thinks you’re hot,” said one of them,
they wanted me to climb in deep with them
and be nestled by their edges.
I ran. This was the first bad thing that happened that day.
The second was the men shouting at me,
“Can’t you just wear jeans?”
and the third was the girl I kissed who then abruptly
shoved her hand up my skirt when my back was turned.
She needn’t have, she could have just gone and touched
the memorial. It would have been better for everyone, I

Can you imagine a better summer for all
and a better time out beside the seaside
where we all ate chips and I didn’t flinch and I
got in their car and they took me home and finished me off,
what a lovely summer’s evening beside the sea
in the shadow of the memorial standing testament to dead kids,
instead we have to deal with all this aftershock,
another little pain to add to my book,
something else to write poetry about.

I can hear the soldiers sing
and I walk to their rhythm:
I don’t know what I’ve been told,
legs in this skirt feel fucking cold,
who will be left,
who was right,
who will be left,
who was right?

Alison Rumfitt

Alison is an 19 year-old transgender writer who lives in the South of England and studies at the University of Sussex. She loves mythology, folklore, gothic romance and neon-lit cinema. Her poetry has previously been published in Liminality, Persephone’s Daughters, TAME zine and Cahoodaloodaling. It featured in Nothing Without a Company’s play [Trans]Formations, and she has (and continues) to work with Lush’s perfumery Gorilla Perfumes. Her twitter is @ironicgothic.