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ISSUE 1

to where do these artists walk?

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cover art by Dominique Elliott

Contents:

Federico Federici

this is an abandoned text i return to

ich kann nicht schlafen

what the xxx sad

Chantel Schott

Kite

Yellow

Aïcha Martine

Richard Greenfield

Storage

Crocodile Tears

Charles Rafferty

The Problem With Conquistadors

From the Atheist's Handbook

The Problem With Luxury

Marj Hahne

Nancy Drew the Line 14 Times, Then Flipped

The Proverbial Actions Speak

Elegy for the Mouse Trap Game

Election Night 2020, Ending with a Text from the Friend Who’s the Emergency Contact on My Medical Forms

Dylan Thomas Loses His Sh*t, Borrowing Post-Postmodernist Epithets from Richard Marx’s Twitter Feed

Steven O. Young Jr.

Confission to My Prooofreader

Elisha Oluyemi

of dark rooms & fires

Circumgyration

Brent House

Augur of Heap & Mess

Vanessa Couto Johnson

tectonic testudinoidea & other heads-on

deadpan spray

Topographic lap dunce

Joseph Byrd

Marlovian

SOMETIMES THIS HURTS BECAUSE YOU

At the cantina with Frida and friends

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer

editors note: some pieces are viewable docs out of necessity because tech hates me

Federico Federici

this is an abandoned text i return to

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Federico Federici

ich kann nicht schlafen

uno-2.png

Federico Federici

what the xxx sad

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Federico Federici, physicist and conceptual artist. His works in «3:AM Magazine», «Jahrbuch Der Lyrik», «Sand», «Poet Lore», «Diagram», «Art in America». Among his books: “Liner notes for a Pithecanthropus Erectus sketchbook”, “A private notebook of winds”, “Transcripts from demagnetized tapes”, “Biophysique Asémique”, “EIS”.

Chantel Schott

Kite

Kite_Chantel_Schott_Feb_2023.jpg

Chantel Schott

Yellow

YELLOW_CS.jpg

Chantel's work is indicative of the automatism technique fused with conscious thought; together to reveal an inner truth and connection to nature. Filigree-like hand drawn archival ink on paper. Chantel is a Brisbane-based artist with qualifications in graphic design, which has influenced her work. She has been finding her style since 2008, exhibiting mainly in Australia.

Richard Greenfield

Storage

Richard Greenfield is the author of Subterranean (Omnidawn), Tracer (Omnidawn), and A Carnage in the Lovetrees (University of California Press). Recent poetry is forthcoming in Conjunctions and The Minnesota Review. He lives in New Mexico.

Aïcha Martine

Crocodile Tears

Aïcha Martine is a trilingual/multicultural writer, musician and artist. She's been nominated for Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions and The Pushcart Prize. She’s the author of AT SEA (CLASH BOOKS), which was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize, and BURN THE WITCH (Finishing Line Press). Follow her work: www.amartine.com.

Charles Rafferty

The Problem With Conquistadors

I’ve seen them in paintings, trying not to fall into the Grand Canyon, and always they are wearing their armor, their metal helmets. It seems unlikely in that heat, and of course they had to turn back because, for days, they couldn’t find a way to taste the water they’d been following. It wove through the rock without a sound — the channel getting deeper as, grain by grain, the desert set out for the sea.

Charles Rafferty

From the Atheist's Handbook

1. As they are being burned, the saint and the atheist smell exactly the same.
2. Beware — any voice you hear coming across a great distance is likely your own echo.
3. The difference between religious and spiritual is the difference between airplane lights
and stars.
4. A skeptic is someone whose wish to believe does not exceed his wish to be certain.
5. When the priest built the church, he made sure it had a door. How else to charge
admission?

Charles Rafferty

The Problem With Luxury

There was a time when whitewall tires were a luxury, and people used to dine on ortolan buntings
— pickled in brandy and eaten whole. The fact that it was repulsive meant nothing. It was a way
of gorging oneself on what others could ill afford. Lately, the rich have been buying glacial ice
found floating in the Prince William Sound. It is shipped cross-country to chill their Scotch with
a bergy effervescence, releasing a sky that used to float above the dire wolf’s brief dominion.

Charles Rafferty’s most recent collection of prose poems is A Cluster of Noisy Planets (BOA Editions). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review. He has also published the novel Moscodelphia (Woodhall Press) and short story collection Somebody Who Knows Somebody (Gold Wake Press).

Marj Hahne

Nancy Drew the Line 14 Times, Then Flipped

Marj Hahne

The Proverbial Actions Speak

Marj Hahne

Elegy for the Mouse Trap Game

Marj Hahne

Election Night 2020, Ending with a Text from the Friend Who’s the Emergency Contact on My Medical Forms

Marj Hahne

Dylan Thomas Loses His Sh*t, Borrowing Post-Postmodernist Epithets from Richard Marx’s Twitter Feed

Marj Hahne is a freelance editor, writer, and teacher, and a 2015 MFA graduate from the Rainier Writing Workshop. She reads poems to dogs and pairs poems with craft beers, spirits, and coffee for her YouTube channel.

Steven O. Young Jr.

Confission to My Prooofreader

Steven O. Young Jr. is something of a recluse submerged within the Great Lakes' mitten. Before turning hermit, he earned an MA from Oakland University and still may occasionally be spotted slathering soundstages with layers of paint. His latest works can or will be found within Lucky Jefferson, New Note Poetry, Clepsydra, Reunion: The Dallas Review, and Great Lakes Review.

Elisha Oluyemi

Circumgyration

Elisha Oluyemi

of dark rooms & fires

the moment the day squinted its eyes shut
father parted mother's thighs.
he was without help, alone, trying to call me out.
out of the deep.
see, I'd learned to push and work
right from my formative years.


say, what could be worse than a wisp of a
human
struggling before the first cry?
a child is passed from father to mother,
in the dark,
amid giggles and moans of relief,
but he sees no light, sees no face.
he's come from the dark, and now he
sits in the arms of the same.


in the world where they laid me, children
don't have parents
i saw pharaoh changing the command:
parents are lights. parents are rooms.
put off the light, close up the doors


hey, i learned two things the devil loves:
whispers & growls—antitheses that thrive in
darkness.
a child runs to a mother, a whisper stops him:
put off the light, close up the doors


do you get bitten twice?


a child runs to a father, a growl stops him:
parents are rooms, close up the doors.


and what do you do when a father holds your face
in his hands?
you should gaze at him & smile,
hold his face in yours, too.
& when all is done, rest your head in his bosom


no, this child doesn't know love.
father has an arrow sticking out his chest.
it whistled past me. it dug out a growl.

don't ask for the blood. we are in the dark.
how do I stop looking at the fire that
burned my door, the water that drowned my sun?
where do I rest my head?
how do I hold a face?


i'm still learning to understand the night.
i'm hiding in my dark room. so that when the
night comes, i can see it creeping over me.


I've stored some of the fire that burned my door.

Elisha Oluyemi won the 2022 Lagos-HCAF Writing Contest (Prose Category) and came second in the Shuzia 2022 Flash Fiction Contest. He has writing published/forthcoming in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Mystery Tribune, Brittle Paper, SprinNG, and elsewhere. Elisha writes in the psychology genre and us fond of asking obvious questions.

Brent House

Augur of Heap & Mess

Brent House is the author of The Wingtip Prophecy (April Gloaming, 2023) and a contributing editor for The Tusculum Review. His poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Third Coast and Kenyon Review.

Vanessa Couto Johnson

tectonic testudinoidea & other heads-on

Bald tires easily


accident, free
-way through.
Cost lives


here. And the tortoise


as centennial movable isle
explodes the lettuce. Go then
you who eyes


when the odds are even.


Sort the roundabouts
by entry points and exist
what yields possible.

Vanessa Couto Johnson

Deadpan spray

Flowing with the goo


, the science is
repeatable. Good


things welcome with s-


mall pack
-ing strips. The in


-jury is out-


side stems
of care, the bleating


hungry grabbing.


Twisted kick
-ers slow the mom


-ent to a pared one.

Vanessa Couto Johnson

Topographic lap dunce

Hills cannot
die and have eyes on
you: friendly remainder,


we can forever polka
dot an x, chalk
-board an accident


too confident
-ial. Earned the chair
your butt cakes. Gnaw eight as two.

Vanessa Couto Johnson (she/they) is the author of the full-length poetry books pH of Au (Parlor Press, Free Verse Editions Series 2022) and Pungent dins concentric (Tolsun Books, 2018), as well as three poetry chapbooks. Most recently, Vanessa's poems have appeared in The Shore, The Broken City, Vagabond City Lit, and Rough Cut, among others.

Joseph Byrd

Marlovian

From people of no renown, and from
Parents undegreed, though schooled by Grandpa’s
Husband-switching sisters; and that rubber
Tomahawk, a 4th-grade Christmas gift
Of no protection from the thieves who came
To batter down Dad’s trailer door at 2
AM, man of the house at 9 years old,
My dear old Mom and Dad were much like his.
Survivors, both; mercurial with rod,
(Oh that I’d been spared a time or two),
And raw in gut laughter and jokery.
No thing, including Grandma’s panty hose
Which hung obtusely from her dragging legs
That day she swayed her way up toward the Host
And, falling flat for all the church to see,
Put the “Holy S***!” in Eucharist,
Nothing was above guffaw, as we
Shook with gasping laughter in our pew.
Like Christopher’s innate dramatic wit,
Everything was staged, from Mother’s wake-up
Song (“Laugh, and be happy...” which effects
The opposite) to Father’s midnight phone calls:
“Someone’s just been shot, lieutenant. Help us.”
And though well-schooled, I have yet found no kith
Besides my Kit. His wanton grin would win
Someone like me, versed in double under-
Standings, and trained in the treachery of
Seeming to be a guy for either side,
All while being weaned, like him, from elders’
Ignorance and shame. Oh, what I’d give
To sidle near and slip beneath his arm,
Redolent with musk from those before me,
Desperate that my Marlowe would adore me.

Joseph Byrd

SOMETIMES THIS HURTS BECAUSE YOU

Joseph Byrd

At the cantina with Frida and friends

One wants me to exercise my spirit and re-break my leg
one wants me to sing in a cupboard and eat sardines and bleed
one wants me to notice the glass he broke, the trees he cut open, the blood
one wants me to drink orange-blossom water while not looking at her
one wants me to remember a moaning choir: Jesu dulcis memoria
and my mestiza, who rolls in sweaty bedclothes and banging streetcars,
she wants me to vomit watermelons
and she is my favorite because
I’ve exercised until my heart sweats and no one has turned their head, panting
I’ve lived in a box where onion is served and Ass Wednesday says it all
I’ve tried to climb garden walls and write black sonnets, but firing squads stopped me
I’ve averted my eyes from holy citrus breasts only to find pulp on my lips
I’ve groaned in my bed for a sweet memory of manly perfection
but what only works, what alone draws me again and again
after the eyelid-twitching and the tongue-numbing
is my mixed up one, my sleeper anywhere, my
lovely eyebrow bridge to fresh canvas peace, who brushes against me,
who paints me backwards while I write her, which is a
sweet, sweet memory, dear Jesus

Joseph Byrd

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer

Joseph Byrd’s work has appeared in Fatal Flaw, South Florida Poetry Journal, DIAGRAM, and forthcoming work in WAXING & WANING and Tilted House. He’s a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee, and was in the 2021 StoryBoard Chicago cohort with Kaveh Akbar. An Associate Artist in Poetry under Joy Harjo at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, he is on the Reading Board for The Plentitudes.

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