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: vagabondly.tumblr.com.



Three Entries from a Fly’s Diary by Cindy Song


“Conclusions on the Wall” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

Three Entries from a Fly’s Diary

[10:03]
I touch people like a monsoon lover nestled in the folds of
shiny valleys. I touch them where the water runs dry, where
God settles down at night. Flit around a fruit market, pulp of
a ripe orange spilling out of velvet lips & splitting concrete.
I touch the fruit but they don’t touch me back. The papaya feels
like a slick leather forehead pulsing under my spindly black legs.

[13:22]
My mind can’t help but wander. It’s part of my nature like flight
& hunger. The birds have it good, they’re all up there digging
holes in space while I’m heavy & hunted like a goddamn whale.
Colors drip out my peripheral vision, blend together like mother’s
fingers as she weaves the spindle round & round, round & round.
Everything spins so fast & it feels a little like blindness.

[20:28]
When night comes, the lanterns descend & I’m scared the fire will
escape & swallow the sky. Look at these humans, look at their skin
glisten pale gold under artificial lights like ghosts, like skinned
scallops, bodies stacked on bodies, tide washing in & out, in & out.
My God, they tuck their secrets away so well: in the caves in their nose,
the hollow of their neck, the crevice between their legs. I hide so well
with their secrets but it’s such a shame there’s nowhere for them to hide.
The moon full & my stomach empty, yearning always yearning.



Cindy Song

Cindy Song is a high school junior from Rockville, Maryland. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Hollins University, and National Poetry Quarterly. When not writing, Cindy can usually be found baking cookies or learning the guitar. Twitter: @cindsong_



LAZARUS WAS A HOUSE ON FIRE (WOMAN) by Audrey Dimola


“Break On Through” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press


LAZARUS WAS A HOUSE ON FIRE (WOMAN)

i.

‘well aren’t you a fascinating creature,’ 

he mouths through mists of drink and i don’t think 

he recognizes the perceptivity of that word choice

and no, i don’t mean fascinating- i mean 

the other word, the one reserved 

for the feathered and furred and 

women like me whose bones

sing songs like fires

in the landscape



in my belly there is a house in

flames and i lit it 

those rarities of space in which

we can stand inside our nakedness

human incantation of the wild

woman, incarnation of the

burning

she was the one who

taught him

he never saw 

the body as an altar

how to nourish a universe

with your own blood, selfless-

WOMAN-

you need no scripture

to remind you 

what is inherently 

yours.


this is dancing in the

temple with feathered

wings

this is the vibration

you came from

grounded



this is the deer you

locked eyes with

in the mists

before sunrise

this is the presence

you came from

persist


this is the ocean

you crashed through

on new year’s day

this is the

shock in the

aliveness

laughing


these are your

mother’s hands your

grandmother’s throat

arms that scale the

walls and legs that

make roads


whether blamed or

exonerated, whose

hand lit the match?

i tell them

i did, I DID IT 

to remind myself

how to be brave enough

to re-birth

how to be whole enough

to remain free


when asked-

what would you save from

a house on fire?

i say-

a torch,

the fire.

me.


ii.

if i took my clothes off

in front of you

would you press your palms

against the windows

in my flesh

try to suffuse the light

always stretching outwardly

try to bind the slivers that

split between your fingers

the smoke that pours from

my bones, each

expression

inside the gesture, 

he said 

is what’s precious

so what lives inside

this moment?- this breath

this hand over hand

earth under fingernails,

climbing, this-

holy stillness 

in the middle

of the night

your 

skin i lull to

comfort, my blood

transfigured as

eternal mother, these

eyes filled with

emotion that never quite

spills, just-

wells, just- stays-

when i met myself in

the bent mirror at

the cloud gate

for the first time!

Seeing, with a capital S,

stretched

like all the light from

windows

like all the restless

fingers like

i know my womanhood

is wilderness and i will

go to the grave defending

that

because i’ve been inside

the ground

i’ve dug that pit i’ve

laid with the mud

uninhabited, i 

know what it feels like

to

surrender your eyes

and your heart and

your throat not to

god but to

nothing.

but i am self-willed.

the word wild is a contraction of

the word willed

and this is self-willed land

this is

bones cleaving so

shoulders can crack and

wings can breathe,

fanned full against the space-

inward, seeking wonder!

i said i saw myself

in the ground

he said, in the gesture is

the treasure, what

do i want my fellow

souls to remember?

see me as the movement

of standing up out of

your own grave

icarus returned as

the messenger

they plucked my

heart from 

inside the ribs

of lazarus

i said

my

womanhood is

wilderness

and i will never

apologize

for that.




Audrey Dimola

Celebrated for her dynamic presence on stage and on the page, Queens, NYC native Audrey Dimola is a poet, performer, curator, connector, and lifelong artist. She is the author of two poetry & prose collections, “Decisions We Make While We Dream” (2012) and “TRAVERSALS” (2014), and curator of a unique circuit of events and creative opportunities marked by a wondrous spirit of empowerment and exploration. She can usually be found: writing on everything, riding her bike, climbing trees, pushing the edges of reality… And of course, stoking the flames. audreydimola.com



Magic 8 Ball Theory by Brianna Howarth


“One Thing Leads To Another” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press

Magic 8 Ball Theory

We play house.
I set the baked ziti
on the dining room table.
You pour the champagne.

                         But I don’t want to pretend.

I mean business.
             Buying a queen mattress,
                                      dreaming next to you.

Your hair stuck in the drain,
my clothes impeding your closet space,
compromising on a couch,
splitting stamp prices,
sharing an address
and the welcome mat.

But I stick to safe sentences:

             How was work?

             I like your eyes.

             Here’s my dream

you starred in again.

But the question I want to ask:
Do you love me?
keeps getting caught
in my throat
like a house key.



Brianna Howarth

Brianna Howarth is an Instructional Designer/Writer, poet, lover of language, beach bum, fitness fanatic, and an appreciator of alliteration. Her work has been featured in South Jersey Magazine, the mobile app Hooked, Artemis, and Port City Review. She loves the rain, chai teas, and memoirs. Wander through her website at briannahowarth.com.



Follow the Tracks #65 : Weekly Song Picks



Found Poem:

killer queen
warranted queen

love on the brain
fall in deep

when we’re high
madness

milk & honey
you belong to me



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Killer Queen” – Fil Bo Riva



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Warranted Queen” – Arum Rae



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Love On The Brain” – Cold War Kids ft. Bishop Briggs (cover)



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Fall in Deep” – BLOW



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
When We’re High” – LP



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Madness” – Ruelle



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Milk & Honey” – Billie Marten



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
You Belong To Me” – Cat Pierce


Founding Editor


Amanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing, an independent press + biweekly online poetry journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in THRUSH Poetry Journal, decomP, & Stirring. She is the author of four poetry collections: Hurricane Mouth (NightBallet Press, 2014), her co-authored split book, I Eat Crow (Words Dance, 2014) & her series of free music-inspired eChapbooks which can be found here: amandaoaks.com. Her forthcoming chapbook, The River is Everywhere, will be published by Red Flag Poetry in summer 2017.


not / knot by Jacqueline He


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not / knot

i. topology

When untying a grief knot, one must
take care to twist both working ends

so as to create an architecture of psyche
different from its conflicted form.

After you left, the cradle sheets began to
edge together, pillowed loosely in sweat.


ii. aveum

Suppose a forest between us. Suppose
the elfin crickets crowning the night firs,

a carousel of squirrels carousing under
the drunken wolves. I dream of small

rodent hands, how one pinched my
kneecap and left a heady numbness.


iii. playground

The slide unpeeled its citrus epidermis
as I sift woodchips for bodies as small

as lemons. Wax rinds snap in halves,
sour juice pooling from a fruitless birth.

Inside the red polymer turrets, I find
curlicues of zest shaped to balls of flesh.


iv. jacquard

Of Mary Magdalene, serene in a cool
blue cashmere top, little buttercups sewn

at the collar. I wore it carefully to preserve
her cleanliness, knotted the baby Jesus

in blankets of tissue paper. Until breath
exited his lungs as fog / water / snow.



Jacqueline He

Jacqueline He is a writer from the Harker School and the Editor in Chief of the Icarus Anthology, an international artistic & literary magazine. She was a prose mentee under Oriana Tang in the Glass Kite Anthology Online Writers’ Studio, and a prose mentee under Lisa Zou in the Quartz Online Writers’ Workshop. She currently serves as a poetry reader for the Glass Kite Anthology and the web developer for Parallel Ink. In February 2017, Jacqueline was featured as a Moledro Magazine Teen Poet.



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.



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 peachweaponary.tumblr.com.



A Baptism For Hannah by Jay Douglas


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A Baptism For Hannah

Have I ever told you how many hours I spent confessing my sins
before I could feel my love’s hands wash over my skin guilt-free? Listen,
kid, I have learned this: we are not pestilence,
we are not cities
burned to the ground by holy decree
or piles of salt where mothers used to stand

looking back
I wonder if my mother’s wine-stained pages were an heirloom
meant to guide me toward or away
from those hard, wooden pews and my Grandfather’s
hard, calloused hands

and callous words
will never be enough to take me
from this new language I’ve learned to speak
that descended – I swear to Christ – in tongues of fire
tongues of freedom, tongues of men and of angels,
scales falling from my eyes, hear me
kid, we don’t need

their grape juice masquerading as bloody redemption
or the zombie-flesh of their bread
I have been reborn, myself, in myself, I am not
            who I was yesterday
            who I will be tomorrow
I am Adam rising from dust every morning, I am Eve
taking that first bite every night
I am Jesus
both ascending from the tomb and dying on the cross every time
they mingle slurs with sacrosanct love
and try to name it as righteous

hear me prophecy
with the wisdom of Solomon
because the Song was never just an allegory
and sex is not a synonym for hellfire
we were not born to die alone
and you are not Judas – you are beloved as John
you are more precious than perfume
doused hair rubbed
onto holy feet

more precious than Naomi to Ruth
than Jonathan to David
don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
don’t let anyone chain you down
and if they ever try
you bring that roof down
right on their Philistine heads

I baptize you now in a new kind of water, a new kind of spirit
so here, take some redemption
on your own terms
you don’t owe anyone an apology
you don’t owe them a damn thing
kid, you are the Garden of Eden
hiding in human skin, but I’m telling you now:
you don’t have to hide anymore




Jay Douglas

Jay Douglas is a senior undergraduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania studying English and World Religions. When not writing, Jay can usually be found honing Jay’s mad yo-yo skills or immersed in a book on queer theory. : instagram.com/monstrous.invert