i’m lying in a body of salt
the universe collapses around me
i breathe atop rolling energy
this is non-verbal communication
an intimate conversation between particles
oxygen whispers down long corridors of waves
traveling from surface level to internal
dead cells swell and expand
our souls become conscious again
i’m floating in the nourishment of a fool-proof recipe
the ancient sun breaks
a smile glides across my face
slntstrwbrry is a writer from the USA. They have appeared in wine cellar press, ink sweat & tears, and misfit magazine. They enjoy guacamole, live music, and sunshine.
Insomnia’s Non Sequitur
Caught in interstitial stuttered times, night will not
follow into day. A gibbous moon grins lewdly as
rankled reveries and shaggy sheep snag wool on lost
back fences. Crickets, stridulating visions, walk
backwards, while in black and silver satin, sequined
harlequins toss pyrite dreams over eyes that will not
close. Dawn is held captive by the caws and the claws
of a williwaw, while limning shadows scrape façades
like pitchy scars, marring finely chiseled exteriors. Old
fallacies sieve through this fissured world; glow,
squirm, and writhe like the frenzied hair from the head
of an antique Pergamon god, around feet that cannot
move forward. Falsetto voices, giggling, stake their
claims, spin on a premise, and conclusions that once
came following, easy as obedient dogs, now squat
like stunned spiders spinning insomnia’s darkest
Pamelyn Casto has articles on flash fiction in Writer’s Digest, Fiction Southeast, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading, and Critical Insights: Flash Fiction. Her poems have appeared in several publications.
Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dali
lady day (for Billie)
it’s true the light
as clear as water
give you that
tremors of sorrow
skip the record
glacial lullabies of lost
scraps of your
handwriting on clean
your words tucked
behind my ear a white gardenia.
Danielle McMahon graduated from the University of Pittsburgh writing program in 2006. She has been previously published in Spinning Jenny and Wicked Alice under her maiden name.
our prayers for rain
the one cloud on the horizon
mushroom-shaped and growing
Tracy Davidson writes poetry and flash fiction. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Mslexia, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, The Binnacle, A Hundred Gourds, Shooter, Journey to Crone, The Great Gatsby Anthology, and In Protest: 150 Poems for Human Rights.
Tiny diamond sparks
Soft crunching underfoot
Peace in the soul . . .
Tree limbs cast in stark relief
Against the white shawl thrown on Earth
Julia Murphey is from Russia, but she is now residing in the US. She teaches English for a living and writes poetry for recreation. For her, writing poetry is a safe harbor to find rest in and draw energy from.
on getting sober
abandoned in the dust
beautiful earth in my heart
caved with roses
dragons in the dungeons of my sleep
esculent roots of the garden
fluted bones fruit into marble toes
God’s silence never break(s)
holding a fifth of whiskey
I crawl like an ant in mourning
jaw unhinged grin crooked
kissing my mouth my nose, wind
like a leopard’s breath
muscle through clean-setting waistbands
nothing is as it should be
out of a chipped white cup
peace comes in the generosity of water
quartz-flake feather of a rose
rising from bed meeting the sun
staring in the round deep eye of a bottle
to think about God
unfolded from the folds
voices around you kept shouting bad advice
with leaves around the edges
except that death is so everywhere
yearning and swelling of heart
Charles Bukowski- Lines 1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 19
Mary Oliver- Lines 2, 7, 11, 15, 20, 22, 24
Sylvia Plath- Lines 3, 6, 9, 10, 17, 23, 26
Walt Whitman- Lines 5, 13, 16, 18, 21, 25
Laurie Kolp loves the great challenge of writing abecedarian centos. Her poems have been published widely. Laurie is the author of Upon the Blue Couch and Hello, It’s Your Mother. She is working on a chapbook about her late father.
Geometric Forms by Jean Arp
The wintry slopes of my thighs collapse into a flat Midwestern prairie as my body releases the tensions of the day. The Word settles into the pocket of my cheek, patient and sweet as a lozenge.
I close my eyes against the comet tail of headlights that streak my window. Laying on my side, my ear fastens onto the strains of the mechanical lullaby of another plane completing its parabolic arch over the Pacific before winging its way back East.
A series of anonymous faces imprint themselves on the backs of my eyelids. As I fall asleep, the night watchman appears — the solitary outline of a crow perched on a billboard against the industrial purple of a dying LA night.
The Word beats out a treble of notes running counterpoint to my REM cycle. I dream a recurring dream of my father’s hands wrapped around a chisel while his back bends into the concentrated curve of a chair leg whirling round the center of a lathe.
I awaken in the predawn to the entomological weight of syllables slipping from my mouth into a glowing silver puddle on the floor. My strabismic gaze framed by a pair of disheveled braids stares back at me.
The crow snaps his beak in farewell. In the milky light, my eyes fasten onto the ludicrous fruit of a rubber sandal that blossomed overnight among the barren branches of my favorite pomegranate tree, its postmodern beauty as iconic as a Warhol soup can.
Marie C Lecrivain is an author, photographer, and curator of Dashboard Horus. Her work has appeared in Nonbinary Review, Orbis, and other journals. She's the editor of Ashes to Stardust: A David Bowie Tribute Anthology (forthcoming, 2022 Sybaritic Press).
The Fine for Littering the Roadside with Marijuana
The girl I love most fogs rumble strips with the aftermath of white lighting. A descendant in a bloodline of forbidden inevitables that first coursed through duct taped copper pipes cause the plumber might’ve leaked of it cause we all work for the highest bribe. The girl I love most tucks the lighter where the bloodline ends and spills through laced lips when an expecting mother dies. My distraction is that it’s night but the constellations look like clothes hangers and the moonshine looks like bleach.