Kathy Douglas

Issue 19

I go out to the garden, see

I go out to the garden, see
the hummingbird is at the feeder.
The sky is cold. It is dark and rainy
as it should be
and here we are, you,
my sweetbitter
unmanageable–you
were that blue,
lanugo-coated
ball of human
the swollen creek
strains through

There is a pause
and the conversation turns
and here we are, here
at the end of things,
the perched birds,
crying and unseen
among the branches—
they are the hardest
to keep down

Yesterday, anger was a sanctuary.
Every two weeks I came home,
tried not to look at the tree
that leans so far–it was like hunger,
this watching

Today it is the crows who speak, finally.
The splintered oak
has leafed out, the sun
flooding
in our wingless,
salty hearts

 

Source & Method

Cento, source: First lines: Welch, Carolyn. The Garden of Fragile Beings. Finishing Line Press, 2019. Print.



Kathy Douglas is a Bennington MFA with recent found poems in Unlocking The Word: An Anthology of Found Poetry, Lamar University Press (2018). Her current centos celebrate her adult son’s return home after a near fatal 7 month descent into addiction and homelessness in SF.



Photo by Joel Naren

Taylor Byas

Issue 19

Colour



Source & Method

Erasure. Source: “Have you noticed white people never move out of your way?’ The politics of the pavement” by Haja Marie Kanu | FIRST PERSON GAL-DEM | 20th August 2019

Taylor Byas is a 23-year-old Chicago native currently living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received both a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in English and a Masters in English, Creative Writing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is now a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Cincinnati. Her work appears or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, The Journal, storySouth, and others.

Annie Stenzel

Issue 19

Do you need a little darkness
to get you going?

We start with not being ready. The day of my birth
my death began its walk. Time can’t be measured
in days; the good life gives no warning—is a spark between
two identical voids. We forget all too soon; the cradle

rocks above an abyss. The truth does not change
according to our ability to stomach it. Stillness,
silence, serenity are all apprenticeships: why should I
feel lonely? The infinite is not merely a lot more

of the finite. You have to bathe in your own grave. But
thousands of people die every day, and few of them
expected to. It isn’t ever delicate to live.
Nothing is a matter of life and death except

life and death. A person freed of the future
has nothing to fear. We cannot live only for ourselves.


Source & Method

A cento culled from posts on the “WeCroak” app. All phrases gleaned from the following writers, in order: Sallie Tisdale; Jean Cocteau; Jorge Luis Borges; Mark Strand; Irvin D. Yalom; Joan Didion; Vladimir Nabokov; Flannery O’Connor; Federico Garcia Lorca; Henry David Thoreau; Alan Lightman; Pablo Neruda; Sangye Khadro; Kay Ryan; Angela Carter; Milan Kundera; Herman Melville. Title: Mary Oliver


Annie Stenzel lives within sight of the San Francisco Bay. Her poems appear in quite a few journals in the U.S. and the UK; her full-length collection is The First Home Air After Absence (Big Table). See www.anniestenzel.com


Photo by Noah Silliman

Karen George

Issue 19

In the net of dusk,

the stub of day. Guttering sunlight
shifts, creates a screen on a pool of water.

A woman moves through a squat, stone house
dusts frames and ledges slowly, a sore hip.

At the window she stares at the open
field where they spread many a blanket.

The tender stories and what-ifs
bear down like a slab of granite.

She wills the ache to lift, the stars to pool
the dark, collect above the high, hollow tree.

Nothing spreads her longing
like the rustle of corn in wind.


Source & Method

A found poem composed/modified from words in Lucia Perillo’s poem, “Women Who Sleep on Stones.” I selected individual words by sound and image from poems I loved, made a list, found ways they connected to other words. If the source document contained hope, I might modify it to hopeless, or alter she to he, you, or I, or separate heartache to heart or ache.


Karen George, author of the collections Swim Your Way Back and A Map and One Year, has work in South Dakota Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Adirondack Review, Louisville Review, Naugatuck River Review, and SWWIM.


Photo by Keagan Henman on Unsplash

Karen George

Issue 19

The Dark, a Downy Eye

A skeleton key
cores the door open

I enter, clutch
the globe of memory
a string of reasons

sing myself full of his name
pour him alive


Source & Method

Found poem composed/modified from words in Ocean Vuong’s poem, “Threshold.” I selected individual words by sound and image from poems I loved, made a list, found ways they connected to other words. If the source document contained hope, I might modify it to hopeless, or alter she to he, you, or I, or separate heartache to heart or ache.


Karen George, author of the collections Swim Your Way Back and A Map and One Year, has work in South Dakota Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Adirondack Review, Louisville Review, Naugatuck River Review, and SWWIM.


Photo by Linford Miles on Unsplash

Brett Stout

Issue 19

I Have Exposed Ribs On Purpose

 


Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. He is tired of talking about himself at this point and prefers that his artwork speak for itself.

Brett Stout

Issue 19

Occasionally A Saint, Mostly A Sinner

 


Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. He is tired of talking about himself at this point and prefers that his artwork speak for itself.

Brett Stout

Issue 19

Dead Ends And The Gone And Forgotten…


Brett Stout is a 40-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and paramedic. He creates mostly controversial work usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. His work has appeared in a vast range of diverse media, from international indie zines like Litro Magazine UK to Brown University. He is tired of talking about himself at this point and prefers that his artwork speak for itself.

Lauren Linkowski

Issue 19

Astoria, Queens, New York City,
New York State, America

This beauty? For sale.
I honestly don’t know what kind is.
I know sturdy, dinged up, like we all do.
I know the low low price of free or best offer.
It’s kind of fucked, actually.
I’d sell so much of my growing up:
Chicago, college, garbage dump job,
drinking beer. Trying to not get AIDS.
My first assshole, gorgeous
apartment with a balcony.
I wish I had been older. I wasn’t ready
for that kind of life yet. I wanted to be
a skyscraper. I wanted to be in Paris,
the wind ruffling my perfectly coiffed hair.
Those were the good years, for me.
Who am I becoming?
Someone I like? Or just Someone
Who Lives In New York City?
The fact is that I can’t fit in anymore.
Maybe this life-cycle ends here and now.
Maybe the earth needs my energy back.
Wouldn’t that be freaking beautiful?
But maybe someone out there needs
a home, a purpose, a next journey, a partnership.
Offer. Maybe the highest bidder wins.


Source & Method

The source text of the poem is (a craigslist ad that has been taken down.) I used the blackout method and added line breaks to create this poem. There were only a few instances where I had to change a word or tense for flow and understandability.


Lauren Linkowski is a learning specialist in the New York metro area. When she is not writing poetry with the Sound Shore Writers Group, she is hiking, traveling, and spending time her boyfriend and her cat, Mr. Checkers.


Photo by Pascal Weiland on Unsplash

Kathryn Bucolo Hill

Issue 19

Signals

Would you prayerfully join us
For our world-class krill oil
We will enjoy the spiritual feast

Operators are waiting
No, no, these are truth-telling firefighters
Who will take your call now

To cover their butts
An iheartradio station
There’s an epidemic of fatherlessness and

People call me a hero
(That’s not something he gets to dictate)
Standard data and message rates apply.

Find us on facebook
If there is a recording of him he’s toast, it’s toast, we’re done
Fast, easy, and affordable

Possible arson. A nearby school was also vandalized
A big announcement is expected to happen this coming Tuesday
The ultrasounds of third-trimester babies shown on big screens

I’ve suffered the ills and evils of generations of my family
That’s coming up at 4:15


Source & Method

In May 2019 I decided to surf through the AM radio channels on my commute instead of the FM channels. I was immediately struck by the collage of language, contexts, and messages produced when changing channels rapidly. The lines in this poem came from one fifteen-minute period of flipping through AM radio stations, voice-to-texting everything I heard. The order of the lines in this poem is not the order in which I heard them.


Kathryn E. Hill  holds an MFA in fiction from Arizona State University. Her fiction has appeared in venues such as AGNI Online, Juked, Juxtaprose, Monkeybicycle, Pacifica Literary Review, Passages North, and elsewhere.


Photo by Atik sulianami on Unsplash

Cherie Hunter Day

Issue 19

Radiolaria

Imagine you’re a girl with ten-mile stilts
And the wind picks up, the fire spreads,
The ground is glistening.
It’s easier to burn than to build.

So live inside your shades of grey.
The ashes just look pretty on your eyes.
Are you aware of the mess you left behind?
It burns like poison in the pill.

It’s not a silly little moment;
It’s a sign
Like endless rain inside a paper cup.
It’s healing bang, bang, bang!

There’s no time for a warning.
Throw your soul through every open door—
A game called remembering your name.
You’re just a growing beautiful someone.


Source & Method

Pandora playlist, October 2011

1. “Ten Mile Stilts” by The Wailin’ Jennys on 40 Days, 2004
2. “Grapevine Fires” by Death Cab for Cutie on Narrow Stairs, 2008
3. “Sycamore Down” by Jaymay on Autumn Fallin’, 2007
4. “I Won’t” by Colbie Caillet on Breakthrough, 2009
5. “All Good Things” by The Weepies on Hideaway, 2008
6. “Orbiting” by Deb Talan on A Bird Flies Out, 2004
7. “Left Behind” by Zero 7 on The Garden, 2006
8. “Turn Out the Lights” by The New Amsterdams on Story Like a Scar, 2006
9. “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” by John Mayer on Continuum, 2006
10. “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine on Around the Well, 2009
11. “Across the Universe” by Rufus Wainwright on I Am Sam soundtrack, 2002
12. “You’re the Storm” by The Cardigans on Long Before Daylight, 2004
13. “Disappear” by The Gabe Dixon Band on The Gabe Dixon Band, 2008
14. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele on 21, 2011
15. “Steer” by Missy Higgins on A Clear Night, 2007
16. “It’s Amazing” by Mandy Smith on One Moment More, 2004


Cherie Hunter Day’s poems have appeared in a variety of publications including: Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, Moon City Review, Quarter After Eight, and Wigleaf. Her most recent collection is for Want (2017) Ornithopter Press.


Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Cherie Hunter Day

Issue 19

Versity


Source & Method

“Versity” – Paper and paste collage 6 15/16 in. x 5 13/16 in. Sources: Harvard Medicine: Volume 91: Number 2, Autumn 2018; Colloquy, Harvard University GSAS Alumni Magazine, Spring 2017; Harvard Medicine, Volume 90, Number 2, Spring 2017; FLAUNT Magazine, Issue 126, April 2013; Harvard Medicine, Volume 89, Number 3, Autumn 2016; C Magazine – California Style, April 2016. Collage completed December 2018.


Cherie Hunter Day’s collages have appeared in a variety of publications including Blue Mesa Review, Bones, is/let, moongarlic, and regularly in otoliths. Her most recent book of micro poetry, for Want (Ornithopter Press, 2017) received an Honorable Mention in the HSA Merit Book Awards.


 

Cherie Hunter Day

Issue 19

Oracle


Source & Method

“Oracle” – Paper and paste collage 4 11/16 in x 4 11/16 in. Sources: Modern Luxury City Magazine, Riviera Orange County 2007 – 2008. Paper from monthly magazines ripped 12 years ago and stored in a plastic baggie (exact issue information not available). Final paste-up August 2019.


Cherie Hunter Day’s collages have appeared in a variety of publications including Blue Mesa Review, Bones, is/let, moongarlic, and regularly in otoliths. Her most recent book of micro poetry, for Want (Ornithopter Press, 2017) received an Honorable Mention in the HSA Merit Book Awards.


 

Tiffany Washington

Issue 19

Book Club

Tonight I come armed with Kurt Vonnegut
semi-colons, Bokonian phrases,
and vodka – lots of vodka.

Tonight I will speak of ends of worlds
and Dresden, of Hoosiers, and aliens.

Tonight I will disregard time and
listen to a dog barking after some war.

Tonight I will become exhausted of words
scribbled in margins lost on bookshelves
in someone else’s den.

And tonight, you will not think of me twice.

So it goes.


Source & Method

Cat’s Cradle (1963) and Slaughterhouse Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut. These two pieces were read for a contemporary meeting of the minds through our “classic-only” book club. Frustrated with the style of Vonnegut’s writing, I pieced together something of my own from his work.


Tiffany Washington is an 8th grade English teacher, mother of four, and sometimes poet. Her works have appeared in a number of print and online publications including Caduceus, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Artis Magazine, and Long River Run.


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Aidan Chafe

Issue 19

Epistle of the Inebriate

I went to the worst of bars

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxto drink with the other animals,

xxxxlifted the glass to my mouth

and I drank deeply, I drank so deeply.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMy head neolithic,

river of speechless current,

listening to the in-between despite the abyss at the edge of the table.

xxxxxxxxxxxxAs the empty cans dropped out of our paws

something caught inside our throats was released—some old grief,

xxxxxxxxxxxxsprung from the head of a thousand-fisted wretch.

Vomiting it all up on Pearse Street,

xxxxxxxxxxxxtossing off expletives into the sea of cab lights,

xxxxxxxxleaning on one another, too tired to go home.


Source & Method

This is a cento, a poetic mash-up. Each verse line is taken from a line of a particular poet. These are the source poets in order of appearance: Charles Bukowski, Laura Cronk, W.B. Yeats, Jerry Williams, sam sax, Jenny Xie, Pablo Medina, Tony Hoagland, Lee Upton, Safiya Sinclair, Lani O’Hanlon, Wendy Xu, and Hayden Carruth.


Aidan Chafe is the author of the poetry collection Short Histories of Light (McGill-Queen’s University Press). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals in both Canada and the U.S. He lives on unceded Musqueam Territory (Vancouver, BC).


Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash