Skip to main content

Posts

The Tattered Sock Monkey by Ian Brunner

waits at the Hungarian border.  Listening, it hears a smörgåsbord of languages.  Cries in Magyar, Polski, Romani, Russkiy, and Ukrainska  among many, many others.  As its boy’s train pulls away it sighs as if deflating. Accepting that it will never see him again.   Quarantined, despite possessing the appropriate papers.  The monkey waits.  Listening to passing children laugh.  Hearing gunshots and       answering with smiles.  Hearing screams but       trading in laughter.  The monkey has not forgotten its boy  but, it has a new job now.  Watching the future come and go.  Come and go  on trains that have been  coming and going  for years. --- Ian Brunner is a writer from Buffalo, NY. He has most recently been published in Ghost City Press, Selcouth Station, and the Comics Cabinet, and is the author of the  chapbook: Ruminations published through the Cringe Worthy Poet's Collective. Along with this, he is the short fiction editor for Variety Pack Magazine and can be found at Twitter
Recent posts

The Night Guardsman by Jesse Miksic

Autumn has called this rugged child dog out of sleep when the sun is still just flexing her fingers.   He has been a restless sleeper lately, two days ago he was chasing something in his doggy slumber, and   we didn’t wake him, because who would do that, or undo it, bind his little wildness? But yesterday   it must have been a nightmare, because he leapt suddenly upright, growling, terrified in our quiet bedroom but   furious to protect us from his transient intruders. He is a loyal boy, fully dedicated to his life’s work –   to the vanquishing of all the small noises at his great noise, to the unbroken light at the front window.   This will be his first autumn, the first ever in the whole world to a doggy, and thus, I guess, his restlessness:   big paws in the leaves, trusted teeth on dry wood, cotton ball head,   tail like a plume he flies, waking suddenly into triumph. --- Jesse Miksic is a graphic designer and writer living in the suburbs of  Philadelphia. He spends his life writin

Clearing the Shelves by Jesse Miksic

I’m not entirely convinced that these bodies have memory, which is the type of thing people tend to say in poems.   Mine barely remembers how to do the Macarena.   But my dog (bless him) has no memory but his body’s memory of the forest.   And just this past week my son’s body remembered how to roll over, back to tummy, and next I hope the reverse.   Perhaps the body is a temple dedicated to the earth that it has disfigured.   Perhaps forgetting is a gift, bitter chocolate always arriving.   Perhaps my pantry is empty. Perhaps my pantry is full. --- Jesse Miksic is a graphic designer and writer living in the suburbs of  Philadelphia. He spends his life writing poetry, ruminating over  philosophy and pop culture, and having adventures with his endlessly  patient wife, two awesome children, and hyperactive dog.  Recent  placements include Pink Plastic House, Moist Poetry, Selcouth Station  Press, and Hearth & Coffin. His work and musings can be found at  @miksimum on Twitter and Inst

And in Other News by Ed Roffe

Freya, a walrus, named after the goddess, Norse, of beauty and love, chases a duck, provokes a swan, feasts on molluscs, shrimps, crabs, lounges on pleasure boats  that strain under her bulk. The Oslo fjord is chosen as her summer residence after a long European tour: the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, making headlines between twenty-hour naps, so far  from the northerly latitudes of the Arctic, so far from home. People love a spectacle, a curiosity, and so, they flock to photograph the six hundred kilo beauty, everyone’s beloved Freya, stray too close, condemn her with affection, rob her with a grin and a flash. “The decision to euthanise was taken  on the basis of a global evaluation  of the persistent threat to human  security. We carefully examined all the possible solutions. We concluded  that we could not guarantee the wellbeing of the animal by any of the means available.” We end this bulletin with pure anti-news, a constant, like a stagnant war: beastly ego will scalp the ear

Fetch by Ben Banyard

At top of the path to the beach I show him the tennis ball. He crashes off a little way, jerks to a rigid stop, alert, envisages its flight ahead of him as it bounces down the steps to shingle. I launch it as far as I can and he darts away, wolfing the metres between him and his quarry. He pounces on it, already panting. I call to him, clap my hands, half believing it might work this time. After a thoughtful chew he clutches it in his jaws, trots off to where the waves lap, barks muffled by the ball. He drops it in the sea, bobs it like a Halloween apple, enjoys the taste of salt before the tide catches it, draws it away, back, then further, beyond the limit of his courage. --- Ben Banyard's third collection of poetry,  Hi-Viz , was published by Yaffle Press in November 2021. He edits  Black Nore Review  and blogs at  https://benbanyard. wordpress.com . 

I Wear Lipstick for the Following Reasons by Wendy Allen

I am proud of wearing something superfluous, I don’t need to reapply Ruby Woo, but I do, habitually, after coffee, after crying, when I fuck you, which I don’t, this is pure fantasy, something I want to do. I meet you in a car park of a National Trust Garden, hold your face, tell you I love you, stand between outstretched legs, reapply Ruby Woo . I want to see the red of my lipstick smeared on your face, for people to know just how much you make me red inside. --- Wendy Allen has been published in Poetry Wales and Ambit, and has poems forthcoming in Banshee, The Moth and The North. Her pamphlet, Plastic Tubed Little Bird, will be published in May 2023 by Broken Sleep. 

Body Weight by Julie Stevens

When a body backfires, spits tar doesn’t work for you, take it off. Pack it with no light the shiniest ribbon, or it might whistle, start singing for escape. Now wait. Move away slowly, stop all clocks and listen − feel the mould, feel the surface of nothing. Know you’re safe. Take four glides and don’t look back open the door to outside, sail through, enjoy the release swing with it. --- Julie Stevens  writes poems that cover many themes, but often engages with the problems of disability.  She is widely published in places such as  Ink Sweat & Tears ,  Fly on the Wall Press  and  Acropolis Journal .  She has two published pamphlets:  Quicksand  (Dreich, 2020) and a Stickleback  Balancing Act  (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021).  Her next collection  Step into the Dark  will be published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press later this year.  www.jumpingjulespoetry.com