Laced With Silver by Uma Gowrishankar


Laced With Silver

Under the branches of crape myrtle I spread a carpet,
flowers slid into dark corners when I was kissed the first time.
                                                                                    I turned away.

Amethyst is the colour I remember of the evening thick with
nodules of mulberries. The touch,
softness of the skin was the radiant light that spun patterns blinding,
the jasmine flowers drowned me in its raunchy pungency: just for the flowers
I remember the evening,
                 not for the kiss

which did not gather the moon beams so abundant that night,
it didn’t even gather the pale greenness from the stalks of flowers
crushed beneath us.

                – Uma Gowrishankar

Uma Gowrishankar is from Chennai, South India. She blogs her poetry here.

The Typist by Claire Askew


The Typist

We worked together –
two of two-dozen in a warehouse of noise.

My fingertips were black
and slick with carbon film
but swift and deft –
in those days
I could fill a page
in four minutes dead.

He fitted tapes
and fixed machines
hot and ink-smeared
to the wrist;
drank what dreams he’d had
each night and sat all day
amid the stink of his regret.

We never spoke. I flicked
the single vowel of his name
across a wall in lipstick once,
the only clue I ever gave.
At night I wept under the bed
as ack-ack guns chewed up
the dark and spat it out
as rubble, corpses, fear.

He met a girl
with dark brown hair
and skin that gleamed
like scissorblades, then just as soon
he ruined her and went to war.
It’s years now since his bones
went in the ground,
yet typing this, my heart
still misfires, stricken at the sound.

                – Claire Askew

Claire Askew lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she works as a lecturer in Literature, Communication and Creative Writing and hoards manual typewriters in her spare room.

I Wish by Grace Quantock


I wish…

I wish you star-shot nights.
Fevered limbs spangled with the glory of your dreams.
I wish you sunflowers and glitter.
May you live to grow creaky and see the trees bend.
I pray for peony petals for you, for sweet williams, blushing tints.
For bridal gowns, dress up and ropes of pearls.
I wish you an open heart,
I wish you succulent bites, warm from the oven.
By the hands of your loved one.
May you find wild strawberries, sun-warmed and sweet.
May you wash your hands of their sticky blood with mountain water
Like we did as children.
You must remember.

                – Grace Quantock

Grace Quantock : Wellness provocateur, writer and sick chick to trail blazer at gracequantock.com. Connect: Facebook :: Twitter

volcano etiquette by John Dorsey


volcano etiquette

make a muscle
to prove a point.

sing as loud as you like
in your native tongue,
really, it’s fine.

nobody ever said
dr. doom
was a villanelle.

if a tree falls in the woods
help it up.

academia is its own
status mountain.

dance with your shadow.

leave bread crumbs for the sun.

given enough time
we all learn
how to disappear.

                – John Dorsey

John Dorsey currently resides in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), and Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

across the room by Riley Nisbet


across the room

I saw you
in a flower dress
and I wondered where
the other summer
clothes hung
in the closet
during cold months
like February

something happened
between us
and we wound up
lying beside
each other
as I read to you
O’Hara,
Williams, Roethke,
and one by Creely;
and while Bon Iver
played through the speakers
my mind wandered
to your dream catcher
tattooed shoulder
and your postered wall
of Lennon/McCartney
in ‘65.
I like The Beatles.
I like Bon Iver

I like books too
and writing
will you read what I write
if I write it for you?
about you?
my book
could be on your shelf
and myself
in your mind
I’d like that

I like breakfast
I like the one
we had together
this morning.

                – Riley Nisbet

I am a student at Central Michigan University, and I am terrible at introductions.
Twitter: @rileynisbet

transfiguration by Audrey Dimola


transfiguration

there is a purpose
cracking open
inside of me
in the squint of
the sun
the rumble of tires
on road
the electric sheen
of the river
in the morning
with city from end
to end –
this glimpse
of the green in the
gray –
ephemeral spirit
of spring,
it tells me –
you will not lose
yourself to this
season.

and if you do
it will be
to find a side of
yourself
that would otherwise
remain
forever hidden –
and unchanged.
i trust
through the ache
that splits the
heart
as the sprout
heaves its first
breath
of unbearable
newness..
i trust
as i always have
in some corner
of myself
that sometimes pain
can transfigure the
soul
even more than
joy.
                – Audrey Dimola

Audrey Dimola is an editorial acrobat and lifelong lover of words whose mantra is: burn bright, never regret it. She writes, sings, reads, and dreams her way through life in her native New York City, usually wearing leopard print and always rediscovering the magic of everyday.

The Light by Julia Fehrenbacher


THE LIGHT

In this patch of sunlight
she writes
and wants
and waits
for something that will not come.
Steam rises
from the cold, wet grass
a single droplet
lets go
of the oak leaf.

It does not matter
what happened yesterday
or even a moment ago
The trees do not remember.
They do not
wait either, as she
does now.
They know
this full moment
is all
there is
That within it
rests
the Sun.

                – Julia Fehrenbacher

During the small windows of time when her two little girls are occupied elsewhere, Julia paints and writes and contemplates the deep questions of life. More than anything she wants to sprinkle some good around in this world and is always looking for ways to do more of that. If you’d like to join her on this path of shedding & opening and living from a place of truth and authenticity, please visit her at paintedpath.org, she’d so love to have you there.

Just Drive by Ellie Di


Just Drive

Get in the car, drive my love to work.
Pulling away from the curb, I’m suddenly drenched in the need to just drive.
It soaks through to my marrow.
The rising sun reveals the bruises of the sky, heavy with waiting autumn rain and crisping the air to that scent and temperature I’ve always found exhilarating.
The battered and dirty skyline seems oddly new and strange for a city I’ve known for years.
Main Street unfurls before me, the yellow and white lines broken beacons against the asphalt, and just beyond it, I know, is the highway.
She calls to me.
The radio offers no reprieve from the tugging on my being, on my nature: this is my gimmick, I want to win it, I’m selling out, I won’t fight you no more…
The Wanderer grips the steering wheel, white-knuckled, torn in battle with the GrownUp.
I ache to keep moving forward, to straddle the worn lanes of the highway, to Niagara, to Kingston, to New York, to Montreal, to just gogogo.

But I don’t.

I make the left turn onto Caroline and circle back to my house, to my kitties, to my life, the invitation and the power of the moment still ringing in my flesh.

                – Ellie Di

Ellie Di is a headologist, spiritual nomad, compulsive scribbler, literary midwife, and professional pompom shaker who spends her days writing like a motherfucker for The Headologist.

Something Other Than Death by William Taylor Jr.


Something Other Than Death

We wake each day
to all the little things
that kill us

bit by bit

and we take it as best we can.

We have little choice,
really, other than
giving in.

I suppose the trick
is to convince ourselves

we are working towards
something other than death.

We have to believe it,
at least a bit,

in order to continue.

We have to believe
the moment will come

that will transcend
the doubt and emptiness
of an average day

and reveal the missing
pieces of existence,
finally fitting them together

in perfect fashion,

showing us, once
and for all, that our time
has not been wasted.

                – William Taylor Jr.


William Taylor Jr.’s first book of stories, An Age of Monsters is out by Epic Rites Press. You can connect with William on Facebook here.

Cold Water Morning by Gregory Luce


Cold Water Morning

No hot water
on this cold morning
so I rinse my body
and hair lightly,
warm a pan of water
on the stove to shave,
scrape the razor down
my cheeks and gently
move it over my throat,
the tenderness I give
my skin that I deny
my heart.

                – Gregory Luce


Gregory Luce is the author of the chapbooks Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House) and Drinking Weather (Finishing Line); he has published poems in numerous print and online journals and lives in Washington, DC, where he works as Production Specialist for National Geographic. Twitter: @dctexpoet