Violeta Garcia-Mendoza is a Spanish-American poet, writer, photographer, and teacher. She is in love with wonder and with the natural world around her. Violeta is a member of Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and a reader for Split Rock Review/Press. Her work has appeared in a variety of venues online and in print, most recently in The Ekphrastic Review and Lily Poetry Review. Violeta lives with her family in Western Pennsylvania, on a suburban third of an acre she planned and planted into a Certified Wildlife Habitat. You can find her online at https://www.violetagarciamendoza.com and on IG @violeta.garcia.mendoza.
Entire environs have become
transmitters of an over-personified manifestation
twisting through the Multidimensional Ether
like counterclockwise wisteria sprouting
from the lungs of ashen children.
It’s the inevitable scorch.
The painful kiss.
The curiosity that intellectualized the cat
before killing it.
Mouths turn the shape of cheerios
and stare at the sky, awestricken,
observing an event
equivalent to some
from a biblical passage.
Heath Brougher is the Editor-in-Chief of Concrete Mist Press as well as poetry editor for Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Awards for Best Magazine. He is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee and received the 2018 Poet of the Year Award from Taj Mahal Review. He also received the 2020 Wakefield Prize for Poetry. He has published eleven books and, after two years of editing the work of others, is ready to get back into the creative driver seat. His book “Where Hammers Dwell” will be published later in 2021.
In the Aftermath
Each body broken, violet wounds, ash,
bullets like fireflies, dozens of caskets
weighted with clay unmade by misplaced rage.
Mourning continues as a vacant ache,
an absence heavier than upturned dirt
while the body’s a miracle of dust
and lightning. Yes, I would like to be scorched
under the umbrella of you tonight,
can’t wait to burn with the mercy of your
fevered kisses. Please reduce me to soot.
Please use me to mark the doltish faces
of those who would deny we are dying
or show me how I can twist grief’s thick neck
into a shield I carry through the world.
Everything good happens in another town.
They’ve got better schools, better teams,
better-looking beauties at whom to stare.
What did those people do to earn
such bounty? At night tears swarm
your cheeks, escape shapes your dreams.
In a field between here & there kids get wasted
on cheap beer and whip-its while snow
complicates someone’s climb up the tower.
They fall & die. You cut off your hair, master
your misery and start to wonder
about other towns with fresher meadows,
how much money you have hidden in the drawer,
how long you can survive on air and straw.
SM Stubbs until very recently co-owned a bar in Brooklyn. Recipient of a scholarship to Bread Loaf, he has been nominated for the Pushcart and Best New Poets. Winner of the 2019 Rose Warner Poetry Prize from The Freshwater Review and runner-up in several others. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Normal School, Puerto del Sol, Carolina Quarterly, New Ohio Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Crab Creek Review, December, The Rumpus, among others.