Because We Are Too Many by Bethany Anderson

Because We Are Too Many

It’s not necessary, he said.
We don’t need that in our lives.
And he closed the door of the car,
Imprints of pollen,
Yellow finger tips.

Inside the leather sweated,
Skin sticking to the seat.
Outside there is no air,
Just suffocating heat.

What makes you think,
That it’s ‘something we should have.’
Just another gadget, another gizmo,
One more thing to have that your friends don’t.

His sandals scuffed against the gravel,
Concrete, gravel, of the driveway.

There’s too many as it is!
Too many in the world!

So he keeps me in constant supply:
condoms and microgynon.

                – Bethany Anderson

Bethany Anderson lives in Edinburgh where she works full time at a supermarket, scribbling poems on the back of till receipts. She blogs at subtlemelodrama.com.

Mithyā by Uma Gowrishankar

Mithyā*

I collect the debris in the hem of my skirt:
stones, glass, clay – they fit into my frame.

Stones go to make the spine, one below
the other like the cobbled path in the garden;

ash settles in the crevices, blown from the sea;
smoke like clouds fills the nose and eyes;

desires crumble, turn powder in my hands.
Then the son that I bore in the depth of silence

faces south, lights fire and pours clarified butter.
The river flows through me, at the murky bed

crowd faces of loved ones, collected like shells
from the lips of seas during my many lives.

* Mithyā , in Sanskrit means illusion

                – Uma Gowrishankar

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

Sadness by Claire Askew


Sadness

“Your sadness has no / lips, nothing to press against my / sadness.” – Heather Bell

You walk in and I can see
you’re defeated — with every
sexy angle smoothed away
you’re cold and sad
as a paperweight.
You’ve tried to hide
behind a clean shirt
and scent that clings like ink
to my hands, keeps me awake
for hours, but I can see
the scraps of sadness’ feast
sticking in your teeth and hair.
It’s on you like a brand, dark
and bittersweet as blood,
my hungry gaze. I want
to haul it out of you
and thrash its sticky blackness
over stones, jealous
of the stifling hold it has.
I place my hands
face up on the table,
their insides pale as flags
of surrender, and say
give it to me to deal with
later. Let me take the midnight watch
so you can sleep.

                – 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.

A Gentle Censure From My Lover, The Librarian by Michael Conley


A Gentle Censure From My Lover, The Librarian

Maybe if you just read more books you wouldn’t be
so damn miserable all the time she said
which I didn’t get
because all I ever do is read books, was in fact
reading a book when she said it,
resting it on flat palms the way I imagine
I would hold a communion wafer
or baby bird
if I were religious or a child
and I looked up from it only momentarily,
long enough to see her shut the bedroom door,
releasing the handle slowly so as not to disturb me any further.

                – Michael Conley

Michael Conley is a secondary school teacher from Manchester, UK. He is currently studying part-time for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Screaming Silence by Zach Fishel


Screaming Silence

No spaces between
teeth

The aftermath of
forgotten
tribulations

A monastic principle
taught,
authorized, and believed.

I want to forget,
minutes
waving like leaves
in a short-lived October.
The blowing
piebald in my vision
as I contemplate
death,
or life as things fall
to the ground
crashing but finally,
speaking.

                – Zach Fishel

Zach Fishel is a recent Pushcart Nominee and UT Press Fellowship holder. When he isn’t editing at Jumping Blue Gods he is hard at work sipping rye and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals.

all hooves and diligence by Miriam Matzeder



Hoofin’ It, originally uploaded by Katford.


all hooves and diligence

no matter my
stillness,

i am always awake
with loving him:

the blood,
ephedrine,

the purposeful
breaths;

where horses go
unbridled
and race to their
deaths;

all hooves
and diligence,

steam rising
from their
bodies.

                – Miriam Matzeder


Miriam Matzeder is from Kansas City, Missouri, where she’s been writing since she was an awkward adolescent. Nothing much has changed.

What Tales by Alan S. Kleiman


What Tales

The old barn captured
in a sunny day-light print
the years of stories
mere hints.

The tires in the loft
four summers, one snow
the spare?
Folks must have left in winter
snow treads still mounted
Heading north out of town.

The summer treads could stay
like bathing suits in January
who could imagine a need?
Hey, were those wheels
from that Pontiac
broken down, sold “as is”
tires forgotten?

If hay could speak
What tales, what tales…

Walls lined like wrinkled brows
keeping silent
what tales.

Out in the field
her small feet earth bound
she stood and looked around
in every direction
searching.

                – Alan S. Kleiman

Alan S. Kleiman’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Verse Wisconsin, The Criterion, Fringe, The Bicycle Review, Pyrta, Eskimo Pie, and The Montucky Review. His chapbook, Grand Slam, is forthcoming in 2012 from Crisis Chronicles Press.

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