War Memorial by Alison Rumfitt


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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
think.

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,
left,
right,
left,
right,
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.



Real Talk by Abby Kloppenburg


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Real Talk

I’m grabbing a handful of your skin, telling you to dig deeper,
but just behind your back—I’m the one with the shovel.
I’m starving for your body, I keep drooling, but what I mean by that is
the truth. Show me your bloody, shivering
honesty punched there underneath your sternum.
Show me your fury as it beats
in-out, in-out: yes, even while I’m serving us breakfast.
Slip a handful of tears into my hand—not plastic-wrapped
or candy-covered, just salty dollops pumped
from places that might hurt me to look at—
and I’ll cup them throughout
the whole damn party.
Even by the liquor cabinet buried deep in the
stranger’s bedroom: I won’t let go.
Tell me fuck you or it’s because this one time while
you catch her face in the window,
and later, as a reward, I’ll show you the difference between
a fair and a carnival.
Show me just one glimpse inside your throat,
let me wrap my fingers around its
wet pink
and I promise you this:
I’ll never ask for anything else.




Abby Kloppenburg

Abby is a writer from Philly currently surviving in DC. Her work has been featured on Human Parts and Bodega Fiction, among others. You can find more of her work on aklop.tumblr.com



Lost in Translation by Vidisha Phalke


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Lost in Translation

  1. You wake up with laughter ghosting your gasp. You can’t remember the joke. You can’t remember the setting. But you know there was another person. You know.
  2. There are small moments where he senses it: the moments the world tilts the wrong way, in the way one takes a step for a stair that doesn’t exist. He saves a seat for a person never coming; pauses for a text that will never come; turns to share a story with a no one. Stutters. Moves on.
  3. In the haze after midnight and before sunrise, she feels the curl of an arm against her, the tickle of feminine breath around her ear. She looks at her lover and her nonexistent and the two overlap. Falls asleep next to only one of them.
  4. (The world still rotates, even with the nonexistence of a should-be-existing.)




Vidisha Phalke

Vidisha Phalke is a full-time daydreamer and part-time student. She earned a regional gold medal for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards of 2016. When not writing, she can be found with a book in her hands.



Dimensional by Jacqueline He


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Dimensional

Tonight is a facet of dark
red we’ve never seen before,
the decrystallization of moon
song, whirring slow to the tempo
of your bicycle spokes.
I must admit: in this city the
hours shift into seconds, our
breathing fluid & countless,
complicated to threads
of honey. This cannot last,
I am sure. What my father
taught me about highway
accidents: how metal bodies
lacerate & bunch inwards,
how distorted shapes sling
forward, crackling gold glass.
Somewhere there is a dying
chandelier scattering the
road light, tendons hoisted up
with clothes, pins carded in
steel. Of course there is blood.
It films over the cartilage like
a lover, slips blush-faced under
asphalt sheets. The impact
of mouth upon gravity is softer
than what you may expect.
Just the length of a second,
collapsing into the infinite.
Pain concentrates itself
into the spaces between teeth
& erodes against the bloodtide.
Snapped limbs form shadow
animals against a crested
backdrop: punctured cranes,
skinned canines glistening white,
a city & its pulsing symmetry.




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.



Follow the Tracks #61 : Weekly Song Picks




On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Blood In The Cut” – K.Flay



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Pleasure” – Feist



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Hot Knife” – Fiona Apple



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Oh, Heart” – Tank And The Bangas



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Tiptoe” – Gracie and Rachel



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Something For Myself” – Dark Dark Dark


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   or   


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.


Godot Maybe Next Where by Debasis Mukhopadhyay


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Godot Maybe Next Where

it’s all about a namesake / navel or nasturtium / needle or necessity / narcissus or napalm / just trying to slash up the words like thistle heads / a bloody poem / such jubilance of your mirth bursting out of the masquerade / a flunkey like me needs to withhold the eyes of a warbler / i fear i’ll lose you to the biological worms if i ever sing you / i rather like your hairline / a mended hem around your tabula rasa curling up in the final bluing / over five hundred miles i can think along the same lines as Becket / Godot / no / Godot maybe next where / in the glass it’s just a strewn dust of flesh languishing in a landscape that smells of a roasted map of Syria / o flowering must i say narration or narrow now / the bee will hum around your skull as long as i try to obliterate the ghosts the candid oblivion had laid down in my old youth / today all their candid groans are still buried in the foxholes here & there inside me / you have to squeeze them hard enough to hear never again pogrom never again a bowing skeleton without a country / is a line full of dropsical rosettes shining across a crystalline barbed wire more disgrace as a poem / a poem never asks you for rosy eyes when it begins to stir like a precocial bird / not a single word has existed for your half-moon eyes / just lay down your eye sockets discrowned / there will be beetroots & hummingbirds making up just another poem




Debasis Mukhopadhyay

Debasis Mukhopadhyay lives & writes in Montreal, Canada. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Curly Mind, Posit, Yellow Chair Review, I am not a silent poet, New Verse News, Communicators League, Thirteen Myna Birds, Of/With, Scarlet Leaf Review, Strange Poetry, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net. A chapbook of his work entitled “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in September 2017. Follow him at debasismukhopadhyay.wordpress.com or @dbasis_m on Twitter.



Reunion by Claire Brnjac


Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

Reunion

I want to meet the ocean’s mother,
let her know how big and beautiful
her daughter is.

How scared I am to touch her.

Does she know how many boats she’s sunk?
Does she know she’s a mother to a murderer?
Or a grandmother to millions?
                                              Is she proud?

People cluster in groups just to watch her move.
That is one way of loving— hungry,
watching, touching, feeling her love
bury them.

The ocean talks about her at night.
I listen about their family dinners from my window.
Too close to hear. Too far to touch.

Her conversations keep me up at night.

I hear her mother call at dawn.
I feel the thousand broken boats under my feet
and imagine a family gathering.




Claire Brnjac

Claire Brnjac is a first year student of a university in the Toronto suburbs. She likes pining, writing, perfume, Catholic imagery, and eating good food. Follow her on twitter, @msbeakman.



Follow the Tracks #60 : Weekly Song Picks




On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Demon In Profile” – The Afghan Whigs



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Show Yourself” – Mastodon



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Heart of Darkness” – L.A. Witch



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Wild Love” – Elle King



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Lay Low” – Shovels & Rope



On your mobile device? Click below to open the YouTube app:
Stay Low” – Ryn Weaver


Follow this playlist on:

   or   


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.


hsinchu, usa by Dana Chiueh


Art by Holger Barghorn | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook

hsinchu, usa

i.
in my dreams, there’s a snake
trying to slip through my chopsticks.
I still prefer forks most days, and spoons for rice
even though I used to eat brown rice with forks
in the school cafeteria in new york. back when our car was a bright
green volkswagen bug
and it’s funny, i never noticed how different i looked
black plaits, sometimes monolids drooping over almond-shaped eyes
until i began to fit in

ii.
in fifth grade science, we looked at our hair
under a microscope. mine was the only
mongoloid. a rare specimen.

iii.
‘home’ is a damning word. if only i could get away with writing
Narnia on innocuous school assignments that carve at my core
i try to tie my identity to this window and this bed,
forget the long agos. i tried assimilation once, but–
never mind.
i mean, everything has a learning curve.

iv.
i wish i could write beautiful poetry about feeling unwelcome wherever I go.
i stopped fantasizing about leaving after a while–
time has this uneasy way of making you learn to love anything
or at least accept it. most days, you can hear the collective ache
in the heavy way the air hangs around the trees,
                                                                                  but now, at least
i can pick out the nuances between spring onions and garlic scapes and chives.
and if there are snakes in the garden, i have learned to let them go.




Dana Chiueh

Dana Chiueh is a New York-bred writer and creator who lives in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, as well as several online literary magazines. Her favorite song of the moment is “Paragraphs” by Blackbear, and she can be found at her Twitter at twitter.com/goodnightxmoonx



Grocery Lists and Eviction Notices by Autumn Runyon


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Grocery Lists and Eviction Notices

Baby, some days I make lists of all the things I wanted to say to you but couldn’t. Things that never left the safe haven of my mouth, things I choked back down, things that silenced me. I throw them out like crumpled grocery lists. Words like love and agony, words I used to say without skipping a beat; now they struggle to leave my lips, instead, they come out as your name.

Things like, “I just wanted to tell you that I miss you,” and, “Please don’t leave me,” and “You’ll never understand what goes through my head when someone says your name, like it doesn’t belong in their mouth the way it does in mine.” Some days the lists go on for pages, each page bleeds like an open wound.

Baby, some days I wish you could understand the way my heart aches when you say my name and I wonder if it hurts to leave your mouth; I know you have to tear it from your lips. I know I’ve tried to make a home there, despite there being no vacancy in the hollows of your cheeks. Despite the fact that she evicts me every single time.




Autumn Runyon

Autumn is a psychology student in Florida.