From Wreckage To Mercy by Lana Bella

Think mercy balanced on its
treble notes, apotheosis tipped
soft-soled, petal-skin sheaved
like pressed beads on salt flats.
Hidden for years under pious
slabs, it stirred halo-hooked
with silver scratches of sundials
caught ineffably dearth, fertile
soil spread rot like seven years
farmed out in beetles and rain,
sucked in scent of burned drift-
woods. Then the glowing hours
streamed from the ends of their
fingers wreckage torn salient
pale, with the dark already gone
out of dull eyes, drifted back
to the terminus of annihilation
on taut, splayed wings, allayed
as a graceful arc of light cast up
nerves’ panoply, between buds
of resilience and yielding, as
the earth returned to the folds
of gospels and prayers, forklifted
serpents to its wingspan mouth.

Lana Bella
A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016) has had poetry and fiction featured with over 360 journals, 2River, The Acentos Review, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Grey Sparrow Journal, Notre Dame Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, San Pedro River Review, The Ilanot Review, and Westwind, among others. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever frolicsome imps.

Emptiness, or A Romance Concerning the Poet and the Dulux Paint Catalogue by Simon Cockle

At the beginning,
you were Almost Oyster;
pale, but still precious.
I ran my fingers across
the straight lines you presented.

By the spring, you’d changed.
Then, you were Elderflower Tea;
warm, in the morning’s chill.
I leant my back against you;
we could stay like this for hours.

All through the summer,
I named you Egyptian Cotton;
cool, but not distant.
I prostrated myself, my cheek
resisting your flatness; as one.

But, by the winter,
you’d returned to Soft Stone;
shadows engulfed you.
I reached out in the morning:
what returned was emptiness.

simon-cockle
Simon Cockle is a poet and writer from Hertfordshire. He writes as part of Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in iOTA, Prole, The Lampeter Review, An Algebra of Owls and the London Progressive Journal, amongst others. He was invited to read at last year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival as part of the Poetica Botanica event. He teaches English in a local comprehensive school, and has a wife and daughter who nod reassuringly when he reads them his poems. More of his poems can be found at https://simoncockle.wordpress.com/ .

When Neither Of Us Exists! by Katharine Battistoni

I will gladly pump my fist
I will jump and wail and jive
when not me nor you’s alive
I will sing and dance and bray
when we’re underneath the clay
when we’re underneath the dirt
I will faun and flounce and flirt
I will flirt with all the worms
when we’ve both lived out our terms
when we’ve gone to see our maker
I will play the drum and shaker
I will play the flute and fife
when we’ve given up on life
when we’ve gone to meet saint peter
I will buy a half-liter of coke
and we’ll mix it with rum and get drunk and make love after we croak

katharine-battistoni
Katharine Battistoni lives in Austin, TX, with a typewriter, three guitars, and the complete works of e e cummings, if possessions designate character. She can be found here: crunchyfatt.tumblr.com and here: katiesolo.bandcamp.com.

The Way by Wayne F. Burke

a telephone call wakes me
7am
while I am following some jackass
across a busy highway,
both of us dodging cars
foreign jobs
some foreign city;
I lost the sandals off my feet
sand ankle-deep in the road,
the jackass leads the way;
what is “the way”?
I do not know,
but know
sure as shit
that this is not
it.

wayne-f-burke
Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications (including “In Between Hangovers”). His three published poetry collections, all from Bareback Press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in Vermont.

From Any Nightmare by J.J. Campbell

you remember you
were told as a child
that you can always
wake up from any
nightmare

forty years later

unemployed

overweight

and alone

just more bullshit
from your youth

J.J. Campbell
J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) has given up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Easy Street, The Stray Branch, Pyrokinection and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days bitching about only the things he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Ficelle by Andrew Taylor

Descending stairs
past nightly webs

windows open
breathe it’s cooler

watch glass
has scratches

It needs replacing

single copy
sent to Liverpool

collected on
an overnight stay

read it where
it was written

temporary desk
its spilled streak

of varnish picked
out by a slither

of sunlight

Feed the stray
that door stares

it shows heart

andrew Taylor - Copy
Andrew Taylor is a Liverpool born, Nottingham based poet. His latest publications are: Air Vault (Oystercatcher Press) and Liverpool Warehousing Co. Ltd. (zimZalla). His second full collection, March, is forthcoming this year from Shearsman Books. http://www.andrewtaylorpoetry.com

 

Our Daily Routine by Katie Lewington

in-between moisturizing my forehead
and shaving my legs
a letter fell through the flap
of metal
onto our hallway floor

still

you screwing
undone
that jar of
Colman’s mustard

in the kitchen

smearing a tipped knife
onto a stale bagel
and eating it

your feet shuffle
snuffling in those day of the week socks

to retrieve that letter

and to bring it to me

showering me in crumbs
I read the date given
for my doctors appointment

the unspoken lingers

in the air

you break it
‘I’ll be off then’

Katie Lewington
Katie Lewington is a UK based writer and has been drafting, editing and rewriting her bio since she started submitting to literary magazines and journals two years ago. It isn’t as if she doesn’t know who she is, she just isn’t sure what is relevant. Her creative writing can be read at https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com or https://gumroad.com/katielewington She can be contacted through Twitter @idontwearahat