could have seemed more mundane

than an accidental Safeway run-in

after you simply stopped your pursuit

and, instead, went after groceries.

You wore brown, reminding me

of New Yorkers I used to watch,

in grey flannel flesh,

seemingly unfamiliar with sun.

Nothing more mundane.

Just grey and brown and we had to,

or I did, speak. You had been the sun,

the foreign flare, bursting last time

we met with life.


You saw me again and your hands

hung from your jacket

like leaves dead early on branches

in another fall. Nothing of life

was left, neither precious gold or warmth,

or Spanish rhythm. Only packaged meat

and bagged produce. Hands off,

and an explanation I had to buy.


by Alita Pirkopf


Alita’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Caduceus, The Chaffin Journal, The Distillery, The Griffin, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Harpur Palate, Illya’s Honey, Lullwater Review, Quiddity, RiverSedge, Ship of Fools, Westview, and Willow Springs Review.


‘Time to count it out,” said Tommy the gay black manager. I always liked Tommy, he was not stupid, he was good to us and not needy or demanding. The black girls started counting out the chicken pieces and talking shit as usual, I listened in because they were blunt and funny. Some of them didn’t mind pocketing money from customers. I walked across the greasy floor and started counting out the leftover pieces of chicken and bucketing them, planned to take home some original recipe and red beans and rice. One last group of customers appeared at the register, a black dude ordered a two piece chicken and biscuit, by accident he got two boxes but paid for one, a white dude in the crowd called him out, they went out to the parking lot and squared off, the black due took off his belt and started swinging it at the white, this went on for a couple minutes then Tommy told us to stop watching and get back to work.

by Joel Rook

The Molassacre

Rivets from the 50-foot distillery tank busted from the flimsy
metal sheets exploding with molasses onto Boston’s North End.
The two million gallon wave thrashed people
into billiards, freight cars, and stables.
Children who had once collected the seeping sucrose off the tank for
suckers were trapped under its girth and met their gooey graves.
Teamsters and librarians on their noonday lunches sitting in the balmy
climate were strangled by its syrupy brown glaze and swept under it like trash to a dustpan.
The trotting of horses through the city hauling goods came to a stop –
their hooves stuck to the street as bugs to flypaper.
Houses and stores didn’t go unscathed either – being wrenched from their
roots and ensnaring electrical poles, trucks, and the firehouse in its glutinous wake.
Twenty-one died and another 150 injured, but to this today
the air still lingers of the sweet smelling

by Arika Elizenberry

Arika Elizenberry is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been writing poetry for over ten years; some of her favorite writers are Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, and James Baldwin. Her work has appeared in the Silver Compass, Neon Dreams, Open Road Review, and East Coast Literary with forthcoming works in ZO Magazine, 300 Days of Sun, Blue Lyra Review, and Aspirations. She currently has an A.A. in Creative Writing and is working on her B.A.

Internment In An Urn of Hell

“To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. And this

corrodes even the knowledge of why it has become

impossible to write poetry today.”

                                                                        -Theodor Adorno

Follow me,

from fields of white Asphodels,

to Tainaron’s gate,

now open like Hades’ heart.

Hopeless darkness,

fires at our heels,

the brass walls of hell sweat

bullets when we flee,

Me from you, you,

my Eurydice


And if all my love could not turn back

to see such beauty, then I am ghost,

I breathe the airs of hell.

Turn back, turn back, I wish to see

the beauty of Eurydice.


No longer can I write poetry

for all my loss

has stopped my hand just inches from the

parchment. And the songs,

once played for all,

have been lined up, and

damned, one by one,

to the pits


With all my heart I plead

To take back Eurydice.


No Virgil can help my art start bleeding

from the lands I’ve once known so dear,

Mount Helicon’s foot.

In that hell where ash rained

like sand in time,

I try to free myself

from Eurydice.


by Nicholas McCarthy

Ashlie Allen

Terrifying winter night


Plum fog drowns

the winter sky

and frost makes furniture

on the ground for insects

I stagger through the forest,

having just buried 12 possessed puppets

and 17 bloody jabots


by Ashlie Allen


Bees and ghosts


Blue hues of winter

flicker against your pale skin

I remember when you were a child

screaming in the garden

because there were too many bees

and too many ghosts

Now the garden is dead

and the ghosts and bees

reside inside your eyes


by Ashlie Allen


Cactus balloons


Her ghost whimpers

in the flower pot

as I pop balloons

against the cactus she held

the day she sighed, “Sayōnara.”


by Ashlie Allen


“Gothic colors”


The shadow of bats

through mauve fog,

the rattle of violent violin music

through skeletons and wood

I weep beneath

a dead woman’s window

as I pretend the world

is a funeral and I am a ghost

trapped in gothic colors


by Ashlie Allen

Ashlie Allen writes fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in The Birds We Piled Loosely, Blink Ink, The Assonance Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans and others. She plans to become a photographer in the future. Her greatest influence is Anne Rice.

Jennifer Wesle

The Gypsy


Green solar plexus envious

fastidious and plagued in dis-ease



bikes to ride past your house

eye balls on springs and wide open



glued hairs in scrapbook

voodooed photographs and bottled tears



grimaced grew cats teeth and whiskers

grew a warm layer of fur



scratched you+me on my bedpost

and voodooed that too



stole ten dollars from the grocer

stole ten persimmons and thirteen oranges



sold persimmons and oranges on the bridge

sold collages of voodooed photographs



sold tears as divinity potions

glittered the cement with golddust



grinned despite green chakras

and hid envy underneath my shawl.


by Jennifer Wesle



portrait of the lady in a big blue hat


so this squishy underbelly fleshy tender

pescanoce-nectarine tummy

your pink-white fruit


dangle gently


with the movements of limbs

arms    like snake trees

long limbs

fine form         of genetics

praises and salutations

to grandparents with good family planning

generations of high cheekbones

thick shiny hair

straight legs

& fine noses


like thoroughbred

you are agile and conditioned

high strung

high society

with hat (bridle)

hanging precariously

tipped over one dainty ear

you careened

on heels of crocodiles

on carpeted boulevards

into studio

out of navy blue diane furstenberg

you undressed

splashed onto canvass

and became




by Jennifer Wesle


Jennifer Wesle is a Canadian writer/artist/musician. She is working on a poetry manuscript and studying English and Psychology. She leads a semi-nomadic life and is currently living, finding inspiration, learning Italian and eating in Italy.

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