Hell Had Nothing to Do With Fires by Aidan Chafe

Issue 8

windowless room to perform a stack
of tasks that never goes down

nail a clock to the wall
numbers that connect to nothing

imagining different high places to jump off
despite prayers and effort

dusted the desk with his cuff
think beach when he starts to get antsy

with enough practice and concentration
you could stop your heart at will

the same way you hold your breath
impossibly slow the sound

of ripping paper again and again

Source: Wiggle Room by David Foster Wallace

Aidan Chafe is the author of the chapbooks Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press, 2016) and Right Hand Hymns (Frog Hollow Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, Cordite Poetry Review, Oolichan Books, The Paragon Journal, Scrivener Creative Review and Sulphur. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

X Plus Y By Julie Gard

Issue 8

X Plus Y

One caramel latte. Yeah, exactly, you too.
Heading for 60. We arrive in Salt Lake. No one’s
gotten sick, but it causes diarrhea and vomiting
in a healthy person. Also fatal.

Maybe they’ll be there, maybe they won’t.
I was actually, you know, he’s direct.
When are we boarding? No bridesmaids.
That’s what I’m saying.

The transportation administration has limited
the size and quantity of items. She gave it
to us. Five am. May I see your seat number?
I’m really bummed ’cause last year,

we were gonna get a room together.
We haven’t gotten, I haven’t seen,
I thought they’d arrived. X plus y, x minus y,
what is x squared minus y squared?

She has asked me to do that, to say something,
to give a little monologue if you will at the dinner,
like Winifred and Bob at our wedding. Who else
spoke? With or without the banana?

It has been a week now. It’s a spare banana.
She asked me to give her away.

Dialogue overheard at Gate 14 of the Oakland International Airport.

Julie Gard’s prose poetry collection Home Studies (New Rivers Press) was a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Award, and her chapbooks include Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press) and Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger’s Eye Press). She lives in Duluth, Minnesota and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Okay, Cupid? By Vanessa Peterson

Issue 8

Sorry but this isn’t a Hi, Hey, What’s up?
How are you? ‘Cause that’s wack just like crack.

It’s refreshing to see a Queen such as yourself,
a real woman who knows her worth. You have curls  

and curves for days, huh? Wanna grab a drink,
talk about random shit? You really think Rick’s  

swimmers were beating out weeks of Shane’s plowing?
I love reading philosophy, Eastern Philosophy

(but I’m partial to Sci-Fi as well). I still haven’t
done the Pottermore thing, always hoped I’d be  

a Ravenclaw. Soft-right-out-of-the-oven or
crunchy cookies? Is your last name Gillette?

Because you’re the best a man can get. I’m nothing
like a bad episode of Catfish, I swear.  

If you were a Skittle, you’d be a red one.
I’m going to bed. Text me tomorrow.  


Source: OkCupid Dating Site

Vanessa Peterson received her BA in English from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and is currently attending graduate school at Arcadia University. Vanessa is studying to receive her MFA in poetry and MA in English.  She enjoys visiting her parents’ house in Northeastern Pennsylvania to spend time with her family and two dogs, Mollie and Sasha.

Global Context By A. Ogea

Issue 8

Dimensions provide framework,
a comprehensive compendium
of the world.

Natural, physical, human:
a stylized pattern of destinies.
All nations bound with energy.

The richly endowed age
of exploitation boomtowns,
Such depth dominant in crude lines.

The invisible hand
purely falling
in the nature of relationship.


Source Text: The Journal of Energy and Development, Volume XLI, numbers 1 and 2 (Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016), pages 78 and 79.

A. Ogea is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana and a current English MA student at McNeese State University after having just completed four undergraduate degrees in various fields. Their interests include Decadent and Modernist literature, literary theory, music criticism, and lizard-wrangling.

Becoming a President by Wm. Todd King


Source: Becoming a President  is built on an erasure poem from Cheng, Long, and Jeff Yang. I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action. New York: Ballantine, 1998. Pg. 126. Print.

Wm. Todd King is a found text poet bringing old words to new tongues in the maddening green of North Carolina.   His works have appeared in Short Fast & Deadly, STILL, Found Poetry Review, Houseguest, and Potroast.

Religion by Karen Downs-Barton


Method: Religion came as a washing instruction attached to a T-shirt.

Karen (Downs-)Barton is studying The History of Art with Creative Writing BA at the Open University. She lives in Wiltshire, close to Stonehenge and her occupations have included magician’s assistant and dancer. She is founder and co-editor of Matryoshka Poetry and her work has been published in The Curly MindI Am Not A Silent Poet, Wicked BansheeAlyss Literary Journal and elsewhere.