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Blood and Bone by Meggie Royer

I Can Feel It In My Bones 2 by Caryn Drexl
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Blood and Bone

Strange how elbows could turn someone on.
Yours like milk already folding over into wrinkles, beautiful,
how they support you and all those humble bones,
a museum skeleton stitched together into a person I could love,
spilt crumbs, impatient sighs, and all.
You fit inside me like a pulse that first night together,
so nervous the nape of your neck vibrated like a hummingbird,
jeans and blouse coming to rest on the floor
like meat freeing itself from the bone.
Now, I hold onto you like twine in a game of telephone,
waiting to feel the tug on the other end of the string
to signal you’re still with me, never left.
Freud spoke of the collective unconscious, the mind unaware of itself;
you hid there in mine years before we met
the same way small joints of the jawbone eventually migrated
into the ear region in ancient mammals.
To think, you and your elbows were always part of me
before evolution came along and fused us together.


Meggie Royer

I am a writer and photographer from the Midwest who mainly writes about survival, healing, and love. My work has been published in Words Dance Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Hooligan Magazine, and more. In March 2013, my writing portfolio won a National Silver Medal in the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and my poetry collection won a National Gold Medal. :

Poetry by Andrew Collard


I can’t go back to last night anymore

I watched her
holding up her severed lip
as if to speak

at any moment blind
between the pillars of whatever
we mistake for home

I always used to live
somewhere else

The first time that I saw her naked
a farce of lingerie

I was shaken loose
removed in body

whistling songs
old enough to be my dad

her face like a fucking mother’s

Why can’t
those times be delivered

knowing now the steeping
won’t complete

Our fingers trace
pell-mell wrinkles toward
new living rooms

living rooms

without lips
carrying a milkshake never drinking

holding hands anonymously
at the movies

Andrew Collard

Andrew Collard lives in Madison Heights, MI with wife/cats/Outrageous Cherry albums. He attends Oakland University and kind of wishes he had a pet lobster. Recent work can be found over on Exfic.

Books in a Digital World

Along with our paperbacks, all of the books in our book shop have digital editions! You can read them on your desktop computer, laptop or on most any mobile device, including Kindle!

I get the sentimentality that surrounds small press books & books in general, believe me– I used to painstakingly handcraft the zine + all of Words Dance’s books & I loved everything about doing it. Since going digital though, it’s opened up so many different doors in my artistry plus it’s given me the gift of more time & for that, I am beyond grateful.

Though I love building upon my tangible book collection (except when I find myself in the midst of moving!) I’ve become quite fond of my Kindle & the space it frees up! While I love holding books, the smell of books, touching & dog-earring the pages of books, I also love the instant gratification that the digital world allows & let’s not forget the trees that it saves! Here’s a peek at some of our current & planned titles in all their virtual glory:

We are currently taking submissions for Literary Sexts Volume 2, check out Volume 1 here!

Love and Other Small Wars by Donna-Marie Riley

Split Book #1 : I Eat Crow + Blue Collar at Best by Amanda Oaks + Zach Fishel

Shaking the Trees by Azra Tabassum

Coming Soon : Belly of the Beast by Ashe Vernon

What To Do After She Says No by Kris Ryan

SparkleFat by Melissa May

What We Buried by Caitlyn Siehl

It doesn’t matter how you choose to feed your head & heart, by way of paper or screen, all that matters is that you do!

Be Moving & Be Moved,

Poetry by SaraEve Fermin

After Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

In my defense, a poet once told me ‘poets make the best liars.’ In my defense, I slept with a painting of jesters above my childhood bed. In my defense, the painted lady and the razor in hand.

No, he never pried me open, never saw the blade fall from my fingertips. That was my truth. Still, I saved the best of myself for him—when the anxiety of lying with a woman who loved him began to soak through his clothing, I reassured him in kinder tones than I have ever used on myself. I was not a sin, I was a celebratory feast and he was no gentleman. He was a hungry fool with the meat of his last kill still hanging from his teeth. ‘Wipe your fucking mouth.’ I said. The mistake was letting him think I was prey. The mistake was letting him think he chose me.

In my defense, my favorite rides are the ones that spin you around the fastest. In my defense, I love when the floor drops out. In my defense, second place is first runner up.

Distance does not make us stronger, does not make us safer. It breaks down lies so that 
they are digestible by the time they reach the other party. I have loved harder apparitions that 
I have never met the ghosts of people’s quickly whispering fingers. I am a collection of late
 night confession and open door dreams, find myself attracted to old souls and wandering stars. 
When you allow the dreams of married men to unfold into your miles away life, when you start 
to drink just so you can turn your computer on, when the insomnia creeps in, know you have 
simply become a placeholder. It’s time to turn celebration. String memory from neuron to neuron like crepe paper and become welcome party to the grief.

In my defense, I’ve never met a carnival I could just walk away from. In my defense, I’ll always read your letters. In my defense, I tattooed my wrist to keep it safe.


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!

2 Poems by William James


Call me backwoods. Call me small town,
seven-churches-and-no-museums, call me
trailer park. Call me summertime, back yard
call me kickball in the empty lot. Call me
tire swing. Tree fort. Call me boot stomp,
creek mud, call me playing hockey
in the street with asphalt and a broomstick.
Call me brown-bag lunch, mayonnaise & bologna
sandwiches on white bread. Call me
too poor for picnic lunch on field trip days,
call me I brought my own from home, call me
leftovers. Food stamps. Church donations
& government cheese. Call me white trash.
Call me No TV, call me Sweaty Palms,
call me eww don’t stand next to him
his hands are gross.
Call me repulsive.
Call me church on Sunday. Church on Wednesday,
church every night one week in summer,
call me altar calls instead of fireflies. Call me
camp meeting. Revival service. Call me
separate shower after gym class, call me
note from parents, call me religious freak.
Outcast. Call me hey fat boy, hey Jesus freak,
why ya always readin’ a book?
Call me
everyone hates you, you know, call me
Hey man, what’d you get on question six?
Call me not letting you cheat off me in class.
Call me teacher’s pet. Suck up. Kiss-ass. Call me
Fuck you, call me honor roll. Principal’s list. Call me
example of academic excellence, call me unwelcome.
Call me you don’t even belong here, freak. Call me
restless. Wanderlust. Call me getting the hell out,
call me escape. City life. Streetlights, lock your doors,
call me restart. Call me not dying in your
hometown, call me 600 miles away from high school.
Call me success story. Call me happiness is
a new life in a new world.
Call me living free
instead of dying. Call me homesick. Call me


I don’t even know what bands are cool anymore
& the ones I do know, I can’t stand. I want everything

to be 1996 again. I remember what sounds make me
feel safe. I don’t want the latest hype – give me

yesterday or give me death. My waistline hasn’t
expanded since 9th grade, but all my t-shirts

have gotten smaller. I should start working out
or at least replace one or more meals a day

with coffee & existential dread, but I fail to see
the point. All my favorite songs are about things

that used to be, or old factories, or how
there aren’t as many railroads as there used to be,

I belong in a museum. Or a hardware store
full of things I can’t identify & certainly don’t know

how to use. I’ve never believed in the Apocrypha
no matter how many of my professors swore

that it was truth. A girl once told me she thought
my poems are too loud, right before I kissed her.

I don’t want to stop screaming until my lungs are
full of blood.

William James

William James writes poems and listens to punk rock – not always in that order. He’s an editor at Drunk In A Midnight Choir and a two-time Pushcart nominee whose poems have appeared in Word Riot, The Bohemyth, RADAR Poetry, and Potluck Magazine, among others. His first full length collection “Rebel Hearts & Restless Ghosts” is forthcoming from Timber Mouse Publishing.

2 Poems by Lori DeSanti

Light in the Fig Root

I’ve learned that figs hold life
like a vein; imperfect symmetry
when a tiny blade splits it in two.

I watch you pull raw flesh with
your teeth, hold fuchsia seeds on
your tongue, skin coming apart

in your hands. Like all things,
there are layers— but it is never
the outer one we’re searching for.

Hands of a Sun Clock

We sat Indian style
on a plot of land that stretched for miles
over Pennsylvania plane

pulling rusted nails from barn wood—
one by one by one,
sweat sliding down our spines,
dry hay imprinting into the back of our thighs.

He tucked straw into my hair,
white tees soaked in heat, our
mouths finding water in the drought.

He kneaded hands into my skin as if
it was a field that needed working. We
lay under the withering roof waiting for night,

for our bodies to be cool to the touch,
for Katydids to whisper, You outran the sun.

Lori DeSanti

Lori DeSanti is an MFA Candidate for Poetry at Southern Connecticut State University. Her other works are featured or forthcoming in Paddlefish, Adanna Literary Journal, Mouse Tales Press, Wicked Banshee Press, Extract(s) LIterary Journal, Drunk Monkeys, East Coast Literary Review, Winter Tangerine Review, Mojave River Review and elsewhere. She is the recent winner of the 2014 William Kloefkorn Award, a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee and a 2014 Best of the Net Nominee.

Fossilization by Kevin Casey

Our blood-soaked bones 
grow fossilized at night; 

while we sleep,
something particulate,
suspended, seeps
through membranes, 

settles deep
within those posts and knobs
of gleaming ivory.

The soft, surrounding 
tissues ossify,
calcified deposits 
sprout and bloom

in organs, spread 
their chalky webs until 
we’re statuesque, inured.

And then it’s just the waiting
for erosion’s slow exposure,
the sweep and chip
of brush and pick:

cataloged and set
in some eventual display, 
we’re cordoned off 
by stanchions of brass 
and velvet rope.

Kevin Casey

I’m a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received my graduate degree at the University of Connecticut. My work has been accepted by The Orange Room Review, The Milo Review, Small Print Magazine, Tule Review, Turtle Island Review, The Monarch Review, and others. I currently teach literature at a small university in Maine, where I enjoy fishing, snowshoeing and hiking.

Updates from Words Dance!

Hey there, I hope this finds you lovely & sound! I wanted to share a handful of nuggets with you this morning! But first, you may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet this summer but I promise it’s for good reason. As some of you know, I’m a mama & my boys have been home all summer, so things have been kind of lax around here in the Words Dance department (as they should be) but here’s to the new school year & Words Dance kickin’ it up a few notches!

The Nuggets:


As of two weeks ago we changed the format for the magazine. We will posting accepted poetry on the website on a weekly basis instead of in a traditional magazine format. Jessica Dawson (one of our ever-awesome editors) has been reading & selecting poems, & will continue to do so for a bit! You can check out the poem & the poet that kicks off this ongoing party here! You can read the guidelines & submit your work here! Have you signed up for our love notes yet? If so, you will be receiving notice from us every time we post a new poem.


We are also taking submissions for the highly-anticipated second volume of Literary Sexts – read all about that here!


If you preordered the Poem Your Heart Out book rest assured that we are working on it! With over 60 people involved in its publication & it being the first go around for everyone connected, it’s taking a wee bit longer than we anticipated. Robert has been posting the finalists & winners as he receives them here though, look for it in the Fall!


 Our next 3 books are doozies!

  • The first being the start of a series of Split Books! Because it’s the first of this series I decided to team up with Zach Fishel, friend + fellow poet, & work on one with him. Zach & I grew up 30 miles from each other but met through poetry as adults. We were raised in the Appalachian region of Western Pennsylvania surrounded by coal mines, sawmills, two-bit hotel taverns, farms, churches and cemeteries. These poems explore that region & what’s it’s like to grow up hemmed in by an area’s economic struggle from both a male & female perspective. We mine it all, life, love, longing & death — & we’re stoked to release it soon! If you made it this far, well thank you, love & here’s a sneak peek at the cover art for you!

  • We’ve been working on Ashe Vernon’s debut collection, Belly of the Beast, this collection is all guts & heart, smart but accessible, & all of it is balanced so damn beautifully. We are putting the finishing touches on it now & can’t wait to get it into your hands!

  • We will be releasing an expanded edition of Teaching The Dead To Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer by John Dorsey in October! The first edition of this chapbook was released in 2006 by S.A. Griffin’s Rose of Sharon Press & there was only a limited run of them printed — & honestly, it is one of my favorite chapbooks to ever come out of the small press. I am thrilled that we will be bringing back into the world a little thicker!


We have 2 confirmed events coming up in the Fall! SAVE THE DATES! The first will be on Saturday, October 18th in Philadelphia, PA at A Poet Art Gallery on 4032 Girard Ave. There are 6 features confirmed so far + an open mic! The second will be a multi-press book release reading party on Friday, October 24th in Cleveland, OH as part of Levyfest 2014, this is where John Dorsey’s book will make it’s first appearance! More details soonest for both events, watch your inbox! Also, you find me on every last Friday of every month at a local Open Mic here in Indiana, PA! There’s a budding community of lovely writers growing here, come read your work, listen or say hi at The Artists Hand! I’ll be there this Friday, the 29th & all through the Fall + Winter!

Thank you for making it through this lengthy update. Thank you for being here. We appreciate your support beyond articulation.

Be moved & be moving,