Lorelei Bacht

pond / reflecting (1)

pond / reflecting /
the red eye of the morning sun / this
is now / is elation /

is a meaning made
birds ablaze / is a place for orange
increments /

hear our call to green /

those who escape

pitch dark /

with limb numbers the same /
gather here / rejoice / rejoice.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (4)

pond / reflecting / a web of branches /

tireless work of water boatmen /
on oily surfaces /

to catch / to consume / to catch / consume /

they will be here all day /

provided that /                fish /
                                        keep to themselves /

                                        it is not their intent to do so /

                                        fish / must / catch to consume.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (7)

pond / reflecting /

delicate dances of mayflies /

we do die /                  but provide a parenthesis /

for the time being we avoid brutality /

weightlessness /

is an armour / is an incantation /

air resplendent / air replete with our simple intent /

to make /            more /            mayfly.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (10)

pond / reflecting / nothing

tonight /

night moonless / a dark monochrome /

fish-bait hiding within
the sleep of fish /

in layers congealed /
water slabs immobile /

a wait             a wait             a wait /

we do not measure time /

but believe it passing /

hence our wait for / dawn.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (12)

pond / reflecting /

slow /               low /            walking /                    shelled silence /
of masked turtle /                knee-deep in silt /      mud /

the decaying of yesterdays / of old
reed / old
fish /

old / another word for / young / for new /

living in offers of minuscules /

we make small / big /

we make dead / living.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (13)

violence gotten and given /
caught / catching / eating and eaten /

we / form collective / form ensemble /

shapes swapped endless /

shaped ensemble / form collective /
catching / caught / endless / swapped /

ensemble gotten caught catching.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (17)

pond / reflecting /

a tall blue heron /

i am    everything          i see /
           everything          i hear /

my multiple forms /

me   as a frog /
me   as a snail /
me   as larva /

me tadpole /

me twigs tangled into the nest of
me / feeding young vulnerable

me in-to large capable me /

hunter onto me.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (19)

pond / reflecting /

transient pokes /                                        air
harvested at the surface /

need                 air /
need                 more /              air /

to cover the body before we dive /

we use              strategies /
                         a hairy leg /
                         a tube /
                         a hook /
                         inner and outer storage /

insects harvesting air /

a stratagem / a home /

a patient bubble.

_ _ _ _ _

pond / reflecting (27)

pond / reflecting /
scents of the air we swallow
whole / my mouth

a circle newborn /
a hunger for the surface /

i build a body with whatever life
is found there / life
of larvae / life
of flies /

i grow them into        a backbone /
                                  a dorsal fin /
                                  an eye /for hunting
                                  more.

pond / reflecting (29)

pond / reflecting /

a bloated fish in dresses violet / a

fall / an accident / nobody’s
fault / an incident

devoid of meaning /

when i live /       i live /
when i die /        i die      but live on
                           as fungus / worm / and firefly /

we do not cry     over dead fish /
                           gut spilled /

                           into new chances.

Lorelei Bacht enjoys tinkering with words. Sometimes, beauty happens. Some recent / upcoming work in Harpy Hybrid Review, Beir Bua, Backslash Lit, Sinking City, Mercurius, The Selkie, Abridged and elsewhere. Also on Twitter: @bachtlorelei and on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer

Sofia Bempeza

I don’t play with Bomba

You have been one of the others at the garage next to the garden
Your mother was ill coughing the whole day
Your father was missing – went missing – nobody seemed to miss him
His absence turned out to be non-hereditary

You have been misgendered for couple of months
My brother called you Bobos, the small booby
My brother made the deal, so I met you
Take Bobos, it’s a good one!

His favorite pastime is to deal for money, drugs, and escorts
I am so grateful to him for this deal
Loving a stray creature came out of the blue –
Bomba!

We sat next to each other on the concrete ramp
I didn’t bother you a lot, you didn’t bother me either
We stayed just there for an hour, touching each other

You didn’t enjoy the pink spaceship-like backpack
You looked panicked through the porthole while I was driving a friend’s car
One traffic light after the other towards down-town
I kidnapped you from the western suburbs of Attica

You are the ticking bomb on my desktop, on my bed, on my couch, on the coffee machine
You jump on my boobs early in the morning
You pressed the power button during the public talk
You plopped on the flocata

You had been screaming of lust in early March
No one listened – I was yelping too after another separation
We are flat mates, lovers, buddies, fairy bitches, bimorphs almost a year now
We have been valiant through the long, dong, bong quarantine

Bombita mou, Bobaki, Bobi mou, Bomba mia!

Reading loud poetry to you is my fetish!

On Sundays you learn German watching Tatort, not weekly
On the evenings you are hyper – I am mostly in high-spirits during the day
You can’t afford my workload, so be it!
You drink my water – You wear my earrings
You nibble the liliums in the vase

In your vase standing pose you study my eyes
Majestic yellow, flamboyant red, ambrosial scenes of non-violence
You liked The Assassin by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
You lick my fingers on your street-tiger-skin

You watch kinky people on site with popcorn in the bedroom
We are boxing with our hand-gloves
Nails, Sluts, Buttocks, Fairy Lights, Teeth, Brats, Tales and Feet
I don’t play games with you

You strewed blue glitter on your back – a fabulous revenge!

You visit female places when I am not in town
You escaped to meet a crazy woman in pyjamas
You are jealous of my girlfriends on jitsi
My niece scared your hair to death in our flat
My niece begs you to love her on first sight
She wishes to set you free – she doesn’t favour living indoors either

You watch me through the transparent bath’s curtain
You cushion all cruel affects
disapproval, taunt, scissors, envy, toxic narcissism, butchers in costumes
you don’t like bureaucracy, just the bureau pencils
you don’t fancy the great masters of art either

You talk to birds in alien words – early morning tittle-tattle
You are digging through the walls – I lock you out while teaching
You mock me behind the door – late noon and hungry
You attack the paper bats hanging slanted
You mumble the sequined pillow – Bowie is starring at your cheek!

You give a leg up for spicy actions – I give my velvet hands to collectives
You give me your belly to lie on
You broke two full-length mirrors in three months
Writing non-writing, performing non-performing, dropping non-dropping out
No one is blaming you for my fortune
Our hair colours do match – our limbs taste salty
We fly together on a tiny carpet without handlebars – cruel optimism needs night air
The Tube, Heartlands, Low Key, Field Recordings, Labyrinth
We sound familiar but we tone aloof

<yk ̈^’üö<<mjjj co-writing!

Expansion of powers in the crap – the trap – the wrap.

Sofia Bempeza is writing, teaching, performing, curating, and working on dissent, polyphonic aesthetics, and situated productions often in collective forms within and beyond institutional frameworks. Her* texts are published in German, English and Greek while living/working in Berlin, Zürich, Vienna, Lüneburg, and Athens. She is a member of the She-Dandy poetry gang in Athens.
https://sofiabempeza.org

MALCOLM DIXON

Originally from Liverpool, I studied literature as a Graduate Student at the University of Minnesota. My short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including The London Magazine (the UK’s oldest literary journal), Aesthetica and many others, and they have been shortlisted for the prestigious Aesthetica Fiction Prize, the Strand Short Fiction prize, the Creative Futures Short Story Prize 2019 and the Iron House Chapbook Prize 2020.
My YA Novel, The Little House on Everywhere Street, won the 2019 Acheven Prize for Young Adult Fiction, and will be published by Fitzroy Books in February 2022.
I now live near Canterbury (UK) with my wife and two daughters.

Kara Dorris

Why I Could Be An Octopus

We eat our arms when bored

Our arms are sucker-covered                    with stalagmites & want

We spit paralyzing venom when tasting what we touch

We have blue blood & three hearts

Our neurons are in our triceps & forearms               not our heads

Only some of us have been seen using tools

We use coconut shells like mobile homes & open childproof bottles in less than five minutes

We change color in three-tenths of a second

Like to mimic undersea objects & reach into small glasses

Our mouths center our limbs

We are boneless & expulse inky threats

Sex is a death sentence

Males arm with sperm & after birth females live cellular suicide

Some of us prefer to crawl—if we swim too fast, the organ delivering blood stops

We siphon, expelling water & breath, live                      in abyssal depths

Kara Dorris is the author of two poetry collections: Have Ruin, Will Travel (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and When the Body is a Guardrail (2020). She has also published five chapbooks: Elective Affinities (dancing girl press, 2011), Night Ride Home (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Sonnets from Vada’s Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair (dancing girl press, 2018), Untitled Film Still Museum (CW Books, 2019), and Carnival Bound [or, please unwrap me] (The Cupboard Pamphlet, 2020). Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, DIAGRAM, I-70 Review, Southword, Rising Phoenix, Harpur Palate, Cutbank, Hayden Ferry Review, Tinderbox, Puerto del Sol, The Tulane Review, and Crazyhorse, among others literary journals, as well as the anthology Beauty is a Verb (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). Her prose has appeared in Wordgathering, Breath and Shadow, Waxwing, and the anthology The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016). She earned a MFA in creative writing at New Mexico State University and a PhD in literature and poetry at the University of North Texas. Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor of English at Illinois College. For more information, please visit karadorris.com.

Jeremy Allan Hawkins


Jeremy Allan Hawkins is the author of A Clean Edge (BOAAT Press, 2017). His poetry has been selected for the Best New Poets anthology series and the extended program of the Venice Architecture Biennial. He lives in France where he researches writing practice and spatial design.

Matthew Klane

A Sheep

Egg Men

First Class Giraffe

Makes And Models

Renaissance Man

Steak Knife

Toy

White Meat

White Tipped Reef

Matthew Klane is co-editor at Flim Forum Press. His books include Canyons (w/ James Belflower, Flimb Press 2016), Che (Stockport Flats 2013) and B (Stockport Flats 2008). An e-chapbook from Of the Day is online at Delete Press, an e-book My is online at Fence Digital, and a chapbook Poetical Sketches is available from The Magnificent Field. Recent collages can be found online in Afternoon Visitor, Breakwater Review, Dream Pop, and Sixth Finch. He currently lives and writes in Albany, NY. See: matthewklane.com.

Evangelos Kyriakos

OYSTER

Evangelos Kyriakos is a jewelry designer. He has studied graphic design and jewelry design and making in Athens. He continued his studies on jewelry in Italy. At the same time with the occasion of jewelry, he has experimented with the image in a broader context. He considers that the creative procedure is not liable to any predetermined rules & norms. Each time someone can invent any way to serve the idea. He has presented his jewels in exhibitions in Greece and abroad, which include “A Jewellery made in Greece” (Μuseum of Art and Design, New York), “Chemcraft” (gallery Εspacio, London), “The Essentiality of the Form” (Palakiss center, Vicenza), “Biennale of Arts” (Santorini), “Cross the line” (Genesis gallery, Athens), and the solo show “Τhe Constellation of the Face” (Marnery gallery, Athens). 

R. Sam Ross

Bliss Zone Fish in a Global Pond

palmetto bug          panorama

    silly phone          post-coitus

        teal deal          pink couch

   humble this          figure that

  splinter this           mess age

make smooth          quilt cover

   calisthenics          water pony

A Scandal Feeling

Feeling not alive deactualized
simplicity seems to be that thing that
is the bedrock of design, 
unattainable

crossing mismatched traffic in its headlong frenzies 
rafter men on strings pixelate at their respective podiums
to grin & do so 
cloyingly, emptily
us listening begrudged against our squandered focus
 
they will agree on most things one
will scream play one
will not voice agreement there
is a war on our imposition on our birth
on our right to bludgeon the pest who
wants to have the meal we did not eat in
the trash we do not finish every bit

(These & the new age inquisitions)

gesticulations, geriatrics
two martyrs splayed across a dotted line
intertwined in violent roots of thought

(in fact not roots) the strategy 

of the barb, the shout to make the show so
noteworthy
i am writing this after all as a note to you

It’s the pidgeon you need to listen to, the masked bandit: Procyon lotor
signified to death, the possum who
cannot see but senses its end clearly when it comes

would love to lie in the lot you tend like
a chamber of the heart. will love to clutch
wing in paw in paw in
the plot the pecans fall like cracks in the roof
not knowing one bit such strange theater

R. Sam Ross is a poet living in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. He has a B.A. in American Studies from Fordham University and has worked in law, retail, and most recently education. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Dream Pop Journal, and TERSE. Journal.

Angeline Schellenberg

Marimba

If nymphs on enoki
      and snails with toes

If dwellers in glass houses
      if these stones stay silent

If ichor droplets
      the size of hamsters

If two birds in the sky
      see one in a hand

If the earth crumbles
      between your fingers

If life hands you lemurs
      or you smell truffles

If you could
      choose your own trance

Ukulele

A tickle, wrapped in a parody,
inside a chinchilla.
Flaps here is a flea.

Lament of the primeval,
by the peashooter,
for the free gull.

I have a stream.
But I didn’t email.

School me, balmy charm.
For sure, and Kevin hears a goat.

Viola

In the shadows
a pearl glows
a mourning dove
I spread my wings
and sing the still small
lung awake
though no one
knows my name

Angeline Schellenberg is the author of the Manitoba Book Award-winning Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick, 2016) and the KOBZAR Book Award-nominated Fields of Light and Stone (UAP, 2020). Her micro-fiction has appeared recently in Fewer Than 500, Café Lit, and The Drabble. She hosts Speaking Crow, the longest-running poetry open-mic in Winnipeg, Canada.

Stacy Szymaszek

From THREE NOVENAS

VI.

          Ave, o Maria, piena di grazia,
          il Signore è con te.
          Tu sei benedetta fra le donne
          e benedetto è il frutto del tuo seno, Gesù.
          Santa Maria, Madre di Dio,
          prega per noi peccatori,
          adesso e nell’ora della nostra morte.
          Amen

we are the point of oscillations
between the moon and the tides

a fine line between being
banished and banishing
myself from all human rooms

the hermit corpus made of two
opposing triangles joining
to create a star

let us give up our trips
your votive light whips out voyage
upon the wall you make lucky
the person who hears luxury
in the ringing of ears
there is a public for poetry
but not a world

the midwife had a halo
of outgrown purple hair

these new and ephemeral sensations
like other onsets
your body is changing everyday

I have it
on female
authority


…let me show you

I’m from the South
when we see a snake
we kill it

are you Christian…

the garter snake in pieces in the fallow
garden and a tale of local revenge
18 snakes under a woman’s bed

an odd job
completed at dusk he alluded to
a past he got out from under (holy
spirit
) a moment of silence
instead of daring to relate
and for snake

smoky sun haze
shadows of leaves slithered
against the foyer wall

obtain/become untied

empower candelabra
mother of thousands
aka devil’s backbone
whisper to the old captain
petitioning you
the answer to the riddle
to hide your weaknesses
physically projects them


VII.

          Ave, o Maria, piena di grazia,
          il Signore è con te.
          Tu sei benedetta fra le donne
          e benedetto è il frutto del tuo seno, Gesù.
          Santa Maria, Madre di Dio,
          prega per noi peccatori,
          adesso e nell’ora della nostra morte.
          Amen

is it wrong that I eat?

it is wrong that I eat

stomach turns to teeth turns
to stomach to give up
even as experiment
just beyond me

now I say beware of tomatoes

fasten mirrored goggles
and jump into the pool
of consommé


torrent of tears
in late capitalism
to the tune of Pac Man dying

ruinous effects start to show up
let us now celebrate
sanctioned language
so poets get the message

when what you need starts
to disappear
in the zeitgeist

help me to understand loss
as a way of life

day ended watching heat
lightning through Venetian
blinds where there is

injury
pardon

petition
for ancient water
passed to the young
little frogs and clay clams

to not imagine
a reader

to literally impact
space with style

a comfort zone


on the Feast of Saints Anne
and Joachim I arranged
animal figurines
around the books

never make a living aging
are just the age of all the aging
and will un-age and live again


I received an envelope of gravel
from East River Park
and poured it through a hole
in my hand like a lost
way of life
the video zoomed outward
from St. Mark’s past
the iron gate and stone
lion which struck me
as a visual pulp
of the approximately 3,200
times I left the church
for the night

but also offering
me getting no free-er
from history
a feeling
of highly formalized
tranquility

I dedicate/obtain

Stacy Szymaszek is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, A Year From Today (2018).
Two books are forthcoming in 2022, Famous Hermits and The Pasolini Book. From 2007-2018 she was
the Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC.

Maura Way

Sty

There’s so much time to be swinish:
both to forage and lift mortgages. I

will succumb to depression if no 
one speaks my language. Even 

the company of cats cannot keep
me from the memories of lipstick.

When I go feral you will fear my
prolific teats. I was born pregnant

in a peach orchard. The poke spills
open a muddy cornucopia of pearls.

Wall Fish

An august body is made 
for the pursuit of certain utopias. 
Wisconsin itself must await most
mollusk delivery. Still their land-snails 
are not without a love dart. Consider 
me a viable option! When the first 
escargot farm flooded, generations 
settled new islands. It began as a dream. 
Venerable feelers seek out calcium in bone, 
fortify shells, then grow themselves for some 
beauty or cuisine. The product is now very 
highly regulated and mostly canned.

Hubbub

The behemoth became
the hippopotamus, the
cataract a waterfall. My
desert bloomed and then
exploded. How’s yours?
The back-scratcher is
made of bamboo. Panda
fodder grows rhizome
wise. Don’t ever give the
dog rhubarb or vice-versa.
My ketosis will save us all.

Feral

My pigeon is English. He wears a monocle
and always carries an umbrella. Not kosher

like the dove, his juggernauts rolled over
the devoted. I’m in the business of being

part of this kit. See how I hootenanny all
the live long: prefix, root, suffix, and Bob’s

your uncle? The bird has an iridescent
chest, and if you ignore the mythology,

he’s quite beautiful. I’ll make them squabs
savvy chop-chop, no matter what you say.

Intrinsic Luminosity

The birds used to notice
me. The dog star. Former
children develop shark eyes
if you ask them to read or
write. I don’t have the heart
for it. I just put on a movie.
I used to create hand-outs
but these are obsolete. They
want to pretend to read in
other ways. I wish them luck.
I’ve heard that college has
changed so no one really
needs my kind of preparation
anymore. Send the links. 
These oblivious orioles 
seem to ignore my once 
robust comings and goings.

Fussy Cut

I want to already know 
how to quilt. A confused
mourning dove slowly 
spins on the blade of a 
porch ceiling fan. Marcus 
Aurelius, keep me from 
the ranks of the insane. 
It’s always just a bird, 
never a visiting soul. 
Contain yourself.

Tesserae

When yaks get scared, they
panic. It takes a toll on some
of the herd. As a young adult,

I did not think of remaking my
world. I wanted to fit in, to
pretend my way to invisibility

or at very least be a helpful bit
of bright broken glass composing
a shaggy fur shirt, a smooth horn.

Lady Cardinal

rule the world magnanimously 
for me. I’ve gone gray and have
no face mask. He fed you seeds
atop a dogwood tree. Seven states
strong, I trust both your executive
function and spiritual instinct. You
earned your bright biretta crushing
twigs until pliable, creating bends
around your body. Pushing them into
cup shape with hops. My song is 
mimesis. What better could I do?

Originally from Washington, DC, I live in North Carolina, by way of Boise, Idaho, in the U.S. ANOTHER BUNGALOW (Press 53), my debut collection, was released in 2017. My work has recently appeared (or is forthcoming) in: Poet Lore, Hotel Amerika, Puerto del Sol, and Eratio. I have been a schoolteacher for over 20 years, most recently at a small Quaker high school.