Daily Archives: December 27, 2015


“The Optical Symphony” by Sreyash Sarkar

I heard the light in all its jubilance:
The tunes, like recuerdos of a passing feast,
The notes, that lingered in the stairs
Encrusted in uncouth undulation,
Lay words deceived and afflicted.

 

Rhapsodical moments crossed woods
Left their ethereal motion
Under shadowed trees,
Bitten words afloat in the air
Disappeared in the land of magpies;
And cotton trees made their roots
Through untrodden paths.

 

My audibility looked upon in solitude-
An illuminated world waited in distress
An extracted existence amidst grandiosity.
An incised tongue, I shall affix
Under the stairs,
Away from the sun,
To arouse extinct desires
To arouse forgotten words
To arouse a deluge…

 

With fingers on the flute,
The cowherd shall play on,
And I shall see how…
Avian words can etherize trees…

 

 

 

 

 

Sreyash Sarkar is a poet, a painter, a practicing Hindustani Classical musician, and studies Electrical Engineering.  Educated in Kolkata and Bangalore, he has been a student correspondent at The Statesman, Kolkata from his school, South Point.  (www.facebook.com/sreyash.sarkar.9)

 


“Execution in Slow Motion” by Joanna Chen

Long before the severance pay, the indecision,
the uncertainty, the closing of foreign bureaus,

 

the need to double up, to do without, make do,
make it work, the pressure to deliver on time,

 

all the time, the deadlines and the dull dread,
my head began to roll. It rolled recklessly down

 

alleyways never visited, down barren hills
where no stories grew and no disasters happened,

 

aside from my own. Motionless, the rest of my body
continued to sit obediently at its desk, trawling

 

the wires and the web for new angles and sharp takes,
yet my head kept rolling down hills and wadis,

 

snags of olive branches tangling in my hair, wild
hyssop catching in the golden twist of my earrings.

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Chen is a poet and literary translator. Her poems, essays and translations have appeared in Poet Lore, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Cactus Heart, and The Bakery, among others. She recently appeared on Transatlantic Poetry and is guest poetry editor of The Ilanot Reviewwww.joannachen.com

 


“The Improbability of Balancing Worlds” by Maureen Daniels

I don’t want you to be so self-controlled.
Unthread yourself a little in my arms.

 

Unfurl your tethers. Trust what I can hold
even when I soften toward your charms.

 

I want the beast in you to launch against me
with your delicious butterfly mouth

 

holding the secrets that make my sex steam.
Little worldly woman, your nether touch

 

and blue slip-stream eyes are voracious,
taut as the tightrope we dare to walk.

 

I want us to reach that difficult place,
that pointed peak where words, where talk

 

becomes the sharing of a shore I never
thought I’d see: an end to dreaded weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maureen Daniels grew up in England and San Jose, California. She has a B.A. from CUNY Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from CUNY City College. She is the winner of The Doris Lipmann Prize, The Stark Short Fiction Award, The Audre Lorde Award, and was a runner up for the Astraea Emerging Writers Award. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Lambda Literary, Global City Review, Nibble, Scapegoat Review, and others. She currently lives in New York City.


“The Atmosphere I Miss” by Sarah Thursday

At this point, it’s not him
I miss, not his back of
red-brown constellations,

 

but my own atmosphere
I knew naked in front
of his flat screen TV.

 

It’s not his goose-neck
car, orange and black
enormity, but the happy

 

surrender of the passenger
seat, not driving, not
road-thinking. Clear-minded,

 

I miss not making plans
on Saturdays and on
Sunday mornings. It’s not

 

his tongue, or its softness,
but the fullness of my
mouth at its opening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Thursday was mostly raised in Long Beach, California. She teaches 4th and 5th grade, is obsessed with music, and has only recently dove into poetry again. She has forthcoming or has been published in The Long Beach Union (CSULB), The Atticus Review, Eunoia Review, East Jasmine Review, The Camel Saloon, poeticdiversity, Chaparral, and Pyrokinection. Recently, she has become the editor of Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets, almost by accident, but completely on purpose.  sarahthursday.com


“The Travel Bag” by Scott Thomas

Let’s go to K-Mart and buy you a cheap backpack.

Tomorrow night before we leave for our trip,

We’ll fill it with Life Savers, Fancy Fruits,

Golden foil packs of Beech-Nut Peppermint Gum,

A game of tic-tac-toe

With magnetic X’s and O’s,

A book of word search puzzles,

Or just your iPhone would be fine.

When we are far from home

With me behind the wheel,

Slowly pull the zipper

And take in the peppermint scent.

I promise you:

On the morning when you

And your fiancée are about

To take your first trip together,

You will remember;

Altoids,

Spare glasses,

Credit card,

Shaving kit,

In your new travel bag.

 

Someday when you have traveled

So far from home,

Like your mom and me,

You can never come back,

Your travel bag stuffed —

Seashells and Viewmaster slides.

We are travelers, can never be anything else,

Always leaving someone for someplace else.

You’ll say good-bye to us someday.

What matters is not how you go,

But who it is beside you,

Whatever horizons may bring;

Cloudless visibility

Or nimbus bearing snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas‘ background includes a B.A. in Creative Writing/Literature from Bard College, a M.S. in Library Science from Columbia University, and a M.A. in English from the University of Scranton.  He has work published or forthcoming in Mankato Poetry Review, The Kentucky Poetry Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Webster Review, Poetry East, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Poem, Philadelphia Stories, Poetry Bay, Floyd County Moonshine, Talking River, Willard & Maple, and Pointed Circle.  (facebook.com/scott.thomas.1675275)


“On Standby” by Holly Eva Genevieve Allen

Parades of foreign faces should’ve been acquaintances by now.

 

Gray Tuesday.
Milky Morning.
In a tide of stand-by minds.

 

The boy with the narrow nose and silent tongue,

perhaps by now we’d be romancing if we weren’t so full of apathy.

 

The girl with the tough skin and long stride,

perhaps by now we’d be unfolding if we weren’t so consumed by self-pity.

 

Sinless Somedays.
Lonely Evenings.
In a world of disconnected hearts.

 

Fears kill possibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holly Eva Genevieve Allen is a current student of Linguistics and English at the University of California. She has been published by various literary journals such as Black Book Press, Suzerain Publications, and Susurrus. Holly Eva is involved with social justice volunteer work for the Native American and LGBTQIA communities. In her spare time she enjoys reading the works of H.P.Lovecraft and studying dead languages.  hollyevagenevieve.wordpress.com


“Maybe I am a Lord of a Ring” by Aaron Lee Moore

Maybe I am a Lord of a Ring;
Maybe my life is fantastic,
Typing away on this slender magic box
–The buttons I press
–The fountains spewing water
–The tiles of rock ripped from mother Earth
–These lighting fixtures glowing like individual Suns
Marvelous machines,
Components stolen from worlds away
And a faint perception of their majesty.

 

Maybe I am in a curious little story
–The crumpled up aluminum foil hotdog wrapper
–The multitude of shining planes paraded about
–The walls of the cubicle magnificent rifts
I can summon rainwater
With a tiny fire starter,
Unleash a torrent and flood the halls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Lee Moore is a doctoral candidate in Sichuan University’s Comparative Literature program and recipient of a Full Chinese Government Scholarship. Two years prior he was a Peace Corps university English teacher serving in Xindu, China. He received an MA in American Literature from Florida State University where he specialized in Faulkner Studies and received a BA in English from Radford University. He is also the chief editor of a print literary magazine, Floyd County Moonshine, which has been in production over 6 years. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, Virginia.


“Birch” by Joanna Chen

This is what I wanted to say to you,
that I was looking for myself
all the time, that I no longer felt safe
in skin that was alternately too tight
or too loose, a covering that simply
did not fit anymore. But the problem

 

was not my pale British skin, it was
what bubbled and rose up under it,
my center lost under layers of other
people’s expectations of what I
should be. And when I found it,

 

this troubled center of mine, at 5am
in the chilly space between night and
light, the dawn birds calling to each other
through the jasmine, through the silver
birch, a thousand undiscovered stars
broke out of the dull sky and shone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Chen is a poet and literary translator. Her poems, essays and translations have appeared in Poet Lore, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Cactus Heart, and The Bakery, among others. She recently appeared on Transatlantic Poetry and is guest poetry editor of The Ilanot Reviewwww.joannachen.com


“Record Scratch” by Sarah Thursday

How many times do we
replay the broken record
How many times do we
get up and jump the needle

 

Do we hold on for nostalgia’s sake
Do those crackle-rich and cotton-
thick grooves sing better songs

 

How many repeats and repeats
until it’s time to retire or never
Just resign ourselves to unrest
get up again and again

 

Records don’t learn new songs
They don’t unscratch or smooth out
Should we pack it up and
store it in our memories

 

Move on to modern times
where everything and everyone
is easily replaceable

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Thursday was mostly raised in Long Beach, California. She teaches 4th and 5th grade, is obsessed with music, and has only recently dove into poetry again. She has forthcoming or has been published in The Long Beach Union (CSULB), The Atticus Review, Eunoia Review, East Jasmine Review, The Camel Saloon, poeticdiversity, Chaparral, and Pyrokinection. Recently, she has become the editor of Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets, almost by accident, but completely on purpose.  sarahthursday.com


“Spoken by a Photograph” by Scott Thomas

We have been called “windows to the past,” but that’s
Not right. Windows show the snow forming a bulb
On the bird bath pedestal while you stay warm.
For us, there is no sleet to keep out, no world beyond
Our pane of ink. It is gone. It does not move.
My task is to show you 1957 as best I can.
On the floor of the cottage porch sits your mother
Laughing and young. Fred is lying on his back
Looking at her, must have said something to her.
(In your memory, Fred had only one arm,
The other one shorn by a sausage machine in 1962.)
Great Uncle Frank is here. His fish net snags
Your memory; the noise of his Johnson outboard
Approaching the dock at dusk, but your memory
Is of the future. He was an old man by then.
My job is to show you his pipe-smoking middle age.
Here is your grandma, some assorted relatives,
And on my right (your left), slightly unfocused, wearing
A wrinkled fall jacket and a skull cap that says Lincoln,
Your grandpa playing a white accordion. Within six years,
You will be alive. Within twelve years, he will be dead.
1957… Long before you swung on the swing
And watched mosquitoes spin
Over the gasoline box with Danger on it.
1957… Longer still before you pissed in a 3 AM drizzle
With your wife and child asleep inside the cottage.
Of the night when the white accordion played,
You remember nothing, and the songs I show you now
Are silent and the channel cat splashes no longer.
Your relations are as immortal as I can render… no more.
If you asked them, if they could answer, I am sure they
Would want to be where you are far into the future,
Well beyond the graceless bounds of their flesh,
And, conversely, if a door stood by my window,
You would gladly step into 1957 with your jacket on
Just to hear the bankrupt train beyond the mountain,
Your grandfather play a lost tune. Take note
Of him squeezing out the meter, eyes
Distracted by the love of song
As verse follows verse into the lost air.
No need to step through. You’re already there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas‘ background includes a B.A. in Creative Writing/Literature from Bard College, a M.S. in Library Science from Columbia University, and a M.A. in English from the University of Scranton.  He has work published or forthcoming in Mankato Poetry Review, The Kentucky Poetry Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Webster Review, Poetry East, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Poem, Philadelphia Stories, Poetry Bay, Floyd County Moonshine, Talking River, Willard & Maple, and Pointed Circle.  (facebook.com/scott.thomas.1675275)


“Another Beach Day” by John Grey

It’s almost dusk,
the tide is leaving;
from cooling sands,
sea retreats,
except for watermarks;
a red-faced merchant
clambers over sharp rocks
to sell his last soda;
young girl in bikini
whispers to her lover,
words lost to the
car-park and the gulls;
the sun’s lids slowly close,
on the horizon,
once glowing bracelet of light
now shimmering hairpin;
and I hurry home,
head full of sand,
shell collection forgotten behind,
through the same winding streets
up the hill, past the cafes,
for dinner, shower and bed,
that cry of the moon,
the ocean’s veiled dream answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Grey is an Australian born poet.  He has been published or has work forthcoming in Slant, Stoneboat, US1 Worksheets, Bryant Literary Magazine, Natural Bridge, Southern California Review, and Soundings East.