Colors

by David Brake

hues
of dead leaves & whitepink—ripening strawberries.
Red and tan and pistachio-green brownstones lit from lackluster sky lit from sun (post sunset).

Smooth-marble girl in Roman rose-garden sits and re: birds on branches
takes pictures.

I want to tell her
that colors go away at night.
Be careful,
I want to say.

What you see as beautiful will be different
come moonfall.

 

Originally from Denver, Colorado, David Brake is an undergraduate at New York University. He writes both fiction and poetry.

haiku

by Gerard Sarnat

the good thing about
being lame is that you do
not forget your cane



Gerard Sarnat’s recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published in Gargoyle, Lowestoft, American Journal of Poetry, and Tishman Review, amongst others.

a love poem for a northerner

by Silvia Oviedo

Bespectacled you
Come to me with that sparking
Dual destiny one shall not deny or renounce.
Elitist, your music evolving as steadily through my ears as through the landscape of vit
you call eternal
Your forehead I have learned to love indistinctively in spite—or because—of the force of
the years,
Gradually slipping into this conglomerate of consciousness we have glued together:
How did this happen, alhaja
How did my tongue become heavier and how did my words learn to lift
themselves from the haze?
Ay, something I have yet to learn is how to read into your advances, requiring
Just the right amount of justification,
Key to the strange ways of our perpendicular hearts.
Let them liaise till they find the light, or the love, or the language,
Min skäraste: [thus I start my letters].
The notion of naming us in any vernacular I pick: nosotros, digo, nuestro, digo, nous.
Cariño, I tell you and I say cosas ñoñas and anchor myself to the tongue that is mine
when feelings burn: yo también llevo la pena dentro.
Pursuing the curves of your lips, plump like the curves on a map when there is a plosive
involved,
Quaint, your mouth a quiverful of harsh echoing arrows,
Rivers crossing the plain, crossing the lines I write when my hand rattles.
Surprisingly, your own name is my svenska shibboleth,
Traversing that landscape of thistled terrains, my mouth, a trujumana,
Unequivocally calling u, u, u.
Victory is the achievement of unpreoccupied learners I say, now verbalizing the insides
with the appropriate volume, out of the vortex leading to the vocabulary vacuum of the
uninitiated. [Also, the notion of naming us in the languages of your side: vi, vi, vi]
You told me that there is ingen w in your mother tongue, holding my left hand (me, an
untranslatable wishful wench — how would you call ‘you and i’, then?).
Extraño, I say about the lack of letters in your alphabet, the overflow of extravagant
dots. Extraño, digo when I miss my homeland but:
Why don’t I recognize that my home are our languages?
Zeugmas, both in language and love, that is what we are, zalamero.

 

Och under allt detta pågår febern, och pennar löper, löper rätt fram…
[August Strindberg]

 

Silvia Oviedo is a translator and writer originally from Spain. She has been based in San Francisco for the last 6 years, after some time in Madrid and Berlin. Silvia received her MA in Translation from Universidad Complutense. Her writing has appeared in several journals, collections and live events in Spain, Mexico and the US (El Perro, El Salón Barney, La manera de recogerse el pelo, SXO, among others), and she has been the recipient of the ‘Ciudad de Aranjuez Young Poets Prize’ in 2006, and selected by Jack Hirschman for the 2016 San Francisco Poets 11 group.

suicide sneaks

by Joan McNerney

thru blue bedroom, a chair
falls across bedspread
spins along random floor
i wander up wall hang
suspended from light bulb
objet d’art

phone rings we speak into
plastic wire did you know
how dizzy i am i am i am
in bathroom blushing curtains
razor blades near sink
now polishing landlady’s
scarred furniture vanity
table cut in my arm
how white!

ahhh furnishedbluebedrooms
insides of existentialessays
televisionscreens
perfectpatchesdepasto
caja caja caja
something hiding important
under coils in back of brain
only this makes me happy
insects busy night&day
i hear them.

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Three Bright Hill Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

A Dead Shark Isn’t Art

by Howie Good

All it takes is that one guy asking, “What if there’s a fire?” And now that room is on fire. The really strange thing is that no one thought this was strange. It’s like you’ve lost your car keys at night in your backyard and you’re looking for them through a toilet paper roll with a flashlight. It’s a horrible way to search. It’s hellish for the hand, if you’re not careful. My daughter asks me, “So, how does the story end?” I want to sound like an organ, to have this regal sense. But it’s just another day in my life. They shot seven people in the head, and then they took the people’s cars and left.

 

Howie Good is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize from ThoughtCrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

furkalarkabattawords

by A. St. John

one day
We, beasts
began to speak
Tho didn’t we         Mean
already?
With an ear, just what
gets messhered?
source     filter
Message        how you dress it up is everything
so the question is

the vessel
is it justified in its duty
if a tongue’s tip sits up
on the ceiling of his or her house and
Ataptaptap
apuhpuhpuh
tuhtuhtuh
kuhkuhkuh
The Muscle-in-the-Mouth make dat
sethy rhyxmic          wave motion
Dudat dance then u finna
gemmein tha mood ta understan
iamma
liabledumumba
but, uh
buhbuhbuh


A. St. John
 is a full-time graduate student and part-time employee whose interests include communication and swallowing disorders, world languages and linguistics, politics, social justice, and food.

Fifteen Days Have Passed

by Andrew Kaiminthang Hangsing

They said it’d be a surgical strike,
Yet, a carpet bombing have we witnessed;
Fifteen days have passed since
And not much talk is heard of success.

As they, in desperation, take steps
To lessen the casualties,
Their rivals smack their lips with relish
For all they see are opportunities.

The people, torn between two poles,
Watch on, albeit not in absolute silence,
As both the day and the queue shorten
And the nation slips into a trance.

And, as the debate rages on
And the blame games criss-cross,
The blunder lies not in the intention
But in the means of putting it across.

Of course, never will us commoners understand
The nuances of running a motherland;
Yet I, for one, wouldn’t burn down the house
Just to eliminate a menacing mouse.

 

Andrew Kaiminthang Hangsing is poet and writer from Haflong, India. He is currently gearing up to publish a collection of his poems. More of his work can be found here.