Chiara Crisafulli


day 7

That summer night,
a year after Aris left, like
a brave sober drunkard
I dared ask why. Why did
you disappear? Why did you
leave all of a sudden?
                    (I left because I’m young, he said,
                    ten years younger than you.
                    What do you want from me?)

Our first night replayed in my head.
‘Do you feel safe?’ he said, staring at my tears.

So many unanswered questions
and ringing Sunday mornings.

All the shooting stars draw
a path heading for the
green –

I look at my feet.
I think maybe I should have worn
a different pair of shoes.

day 14

Today, after
a run and wrinkled
cravings for Kalamata
olives, I left
the peels of my avocados
and phantasies over a trip to Spain
leaking in a big
black, garbage

my violet
white H&M running shorts
down the stairs. The

touch of my
                 skin on the steps. The taste of
                       my bones on the shiny wooden
                               floor. Beyond the heavy

building door, wind
grabbed my body. Kicked it,
made it scream.

I saw Aris. Unexpected,
ghostly, unreal.

Eyes warm and frozen.

He was sitting next to the gate.
He was texting with his phone.
He lifted his chin and smiled

but I had to let go
of the garbage.
I had to
close the door.

day 28

These days I sleep
less, dumb thoughts
ovulate: heated,
salty eggs for
breakfast, fine leather
biker boots. Cooler,
nail polish
Bulky breasts as
church bells,
loose black locks

shutter my

thirsty,                                                                                                                                               stinging,

darker nipples — like shepherds on plateaus
                    tending to their goats too early at
                        sunset. When I digest my

period cramps,

breath crumbs

like truths

I knead with my bare hands to
strawberry cheesecake. This is how I
                                                                surrender to my body:
to its language so far unknown. There’s no
migration of cells but
rather, in-house
talkers — like hens. They gather close to my cheek,
sometimes it’s my hip or my
left ankle, and lift a

red, thick curtain to
show me a toddler in a
stroller. He squeaks,
laughs and when sucks his
big toe I see he has no
                                                      Then I read. A gig. Around you.

Your voice// your lips// move fast /

then slower / and slower /          and          /                    slower       /
                                                                                                                            warming / juicy flow/
saliva / us / moaning /
                                                                                                              brushing kissing/
                                                        …what was I doing…again?

Your stomping chest is no distance I can bear. Ache

pours into
wombs, weeps
dyed words       now

drying —
over the shell of this
full moon

Chiara Crisafulli juggles words, space and un-structures with no desire to restrict forms and/or genres. Her dream is to see ordinary things turning into art—plastic garbage bags, scratches of paint, glimpses of light. Before being a body of work, art is a way of observing (ourselves in) the world. Originally from Sicily (Italy), Chiara wrote her first poem at age 7 inspired by the moon, boredom and loneliness.Her academic background is in journalism, philosophy, teaching English as a second language, playwriting, travel writing and contemporary poetry writing. In the past eleven years, she has experienced living, travelling and volunteering in different countries including Ireland, Holland, Greece, the Canary Islands (Spain) and Portugal. She currently resides in Lisbon working as an interpreter and at her first experimental hybrid poetry book in English.

Jeremy Allan Hawkins

Paper Project Suite for Prospective Trees

Jeremy Allan Hawkins is a French-American writer, educator, and researcher. A former NYC Teaching Fellow, U.S. Fulbright Grantee, and Fellow of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Program, his work includes poetry, criticism, architectural writing, and arts-based research in spatial design. He is the author of A Clean Edge, selected by Richard Siken as winner of the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize. His poetry has been included in the Best New Poets anthology series, the extended program of the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the Rencontre Mondiale de la Poésie, along with literary magazines in the United States and Europe. 

Linda Kemp


analyses indicate increases in loneliness predicate inconsistencies
through externalising suggestibility the adolescence of developmental
highlights the unpleasant variety of negativity the paucity of
distrust in outcomes particularly recent leading relationships the
adaption of has been & the well documented risk achieved of
increase in the not the number of investigative clauses
hypostasised interpersonal increase the greater the final together these
actual lack in the circumagitate indications of risk rate peak & norm the
focus on poorer phases of intervention the expansive waste of influence
consistent across the middle-childhood the behave exists
longitudinal into not because the lone of during affect & respectively
in these between the base & how the inclusions exclude the found statistically
constituting thoughts endorsed endorphins report attempt
measuring widely used & subscale liminalities the problem
combines in computational reflections the displacement across adolescence
investigative decreases in ratings to change the during thought the hold
& risk of participative indications to sample external the
conduct with demonstrations through binary logistic regressions see
not associations the idea increases the specifically alone with both
middle indirectly demonstrating extremes fizzing out behaviour
modelling the particulate thus in demonstrating
time intent to seriousness conflating risk with delight &
distinction to attempt the however is to adverse the logic to high-
light relationships implications for undergoing finally the find to
negligence in investigative change continually to displace

Linda Kemp‘s publications include Lease Prise Redux (Materials, 2016). Other poems can be found in DATABLEED, Erotoplasty, Front Horse, Splinter, Tentacular, Zarf and elsewhere. They edit Enjoy Your Homes Press.

Daniel M. Shapiro

THE NEST ISSUE | Daniel M. Shapiro

Daniel M. Shapiro is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh, PA. His poetry books include How the Potato Chip Was Invented, Heavy Metal Fairy Tales, and the forthcoming (This Is Not) a Mixtape for the End of the World.

Zebulon Huset

On Tables Named Lack

We were drunk and played the floor is lava
                          while the world outside was on fire. You
              came home and made the bold claim that
                                         imaginary friends are for children like cartoons
              or believing in Santa or eating your vegetables.
Just because flat-packed tables aren’t real wood
                          and they don’t use real screws and we got a real
              gash on the shin. You were essential, selling
                                         houses to rich people. 100,000 have died, we said
              but you said you didn’t want to hear it. Old news.
True, we replied like a Greek chorus. It’s up
                          at least another thousand since this afternoon.
              While some locals fight their facemasks,
                                         last night, a guy kidnapped his three year old
              twins and full-on Duke’s of Hazzard-ed his truck
into the Pacific because his estranged wife
                          was getting the police involved. We won
              with rum and fruit juice and you joined the jumping,
                                         crumpling cheap tables and chairs to the molten
              floor like they were the furniture for paper dolls, lava
everywhere, setting fires and shifting the ground.
                          They said the Yosemite super caldera was overdue
              for a huge eruption—wipe out the dinosaurs
                                         huge. But who’s got the decades to wait on that plug.
              We’re not on geological time here—this
is something different entirely.

Jessica Tyson, Nolan Hutton, Zebulon Huset

Quarantine Exquisite Corpse Project* #1

it was impossible to tell if the neighborhood kids were shrieking in terror or joy
         the siren was like a baby down a pitch-black hall
                     sitting on the back of the garden chair in the rain
the Chinese elm tree hissed leaves roiling before
                                                         the exasperation of poverty
and                          is this the peace you seek?
         Only ever                sings for you,         if it ever does.
Discovered in Budapest without shoes
the sound of a small motor and metal grinding and zydeco music down the alley
                     as ants carry more weight than any of us.
Before the calves got ornery, as they say—
         the pericos, as Pete called them, erupted from the branches
                                                         without a ticket or fare—we proceeded
                 filling the sky behind the siren—
                                         truth that bleeds into the space between your breaths
         he believed that wood milled on a full moon was somehow stronger.

  • A series of exquisite corpses completed by poets online, from their various nests.

Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Louisville Review, Fence, Rosebud, Atlanta Review and Texas Review among others. He publishes a writing prompt blog Notebooking Daily and is the editor of the journal Coastal Shelf.

Robert Sheppard

From British Standards:

An overdub of The Dancing Girl by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

this is the darkest time though colour fields                                    I
  flex and shimmer in the retinal pool eyes                                    don’t
    shoot dance through thin surfaces this is                                     want
      a weary world flattened indoors into                                        to
           fresh-faced images of fresher faces seen                                  just
               (as they seem) less clearly for our lesser                        make
                   looking she takes the breath she slices moulds form
               its feeling vibrations in creaking knees she                      the
           lifts the line of poetry to shift the limbs                               plastic
      we open the shutters to let in light                                                 hope
    to sharpen all the hopes to harp-notes                                         of
  and unshackle the air and shape the ear she                                    hope
stretches in crooked space to bend it                                             itself

11th April 2020

Robert Sheppard is a poet who lives in Liverpool, England. His most recent publication is Charms and Glitter (with photographer Trev Eales), out from Knives Forks and Spoons; before that was Hap: Understudies of Thomas Wyatt’s Petrarch. This poem is part of a long project transposing sonnets entitled ‘The English Strain’, this part ‘British Standards’. His selected poems, History or Sleep, is available from Shearsman, which also publish The Robert Sheppard Companion, edited by James Byrne and Christopher Madden: this carries essays on his work. Co-editor of the Arc anthology Atlantic Drift with James Byrne, he is also a critic of contemporary poetry. The Meaning of Form is published by Palgrave, and he has published studies of Iain Sinclair and Lee Harwood. Emeritus Professor at Edge Hill University. Web:

Hunter Gagnon

Quarantine poem #60 yes mama Ellen I look at Johns Hopkins every day too

1,724,736 confirmed 104,938 deaths 390,335 recovered (April is moving)
503,594 US It takes convincing unfortunately for this
                                                                        to be all it is
                                  the report / the diligence
IN ITSELF a humiliation
              before vast math
                  the required bowing of the human
    but all it is, really is, is
            for the American: “I’m concerned about russian viral propaganda
      during this pandemic. Their main goal
                        is to lessen trust
        in our institutions. I have tracked the web of this. The prism. The
    lines unfolding
                it is like a flower”
for the American a cigarette in a sunburnt
                                                  in a crème pickup truck
                          in the grocery parking
                               lot leering at the many-colored masks
                                                                        of walking others
                  steps “Uncertainty should be despised. As should any
                        productive action. In this prison. Any action is just labor
                        for the warden’s hand. We only want what dignifies us which
                        is contempt
                        with certainty.” the individual
            is easy
                        to remove the solution
            is easy
                              to doubt
                                          for the American
        play ultimate frisbee outside
              FEMA hq a change
                                            from the menthols and black&
                  of New Jersey, the superstructure brown + slumping “Our death
                                        is greatest now
                                                                  [10 years late]. This
                                                                                            is the last time
                                                                  we win.
                                                                      Appreciate it.” For

Quarantine poem #18 on how verified facts reach for the day

407,485 confirmed 18,227 deaths 104,234 recovered
49,768 US (3rd place) 3/24/20 in the morning Johns
On wifi signal, then
The day came the night came
It fed on stars
fed itself
and all the wheels of the night
rode the sheep field
the big house threw its glow like copper spears
thudding into the body of the woods
shelter in place more strict as of now
spilling yellow blood
all over
screw in hooks
grab head
walk back and forth
bed not
made in clumsy dark
3/25/20 —,— confirmed Johns
Hopkins be
good go
to work buy
a stock sleep with
your head on the bars it’s a
pillow you funny
animal it

Hunter Gagnon lives in Fort Bragg, California where he has worked as a State Park Seasonal Aide, a bookseller, and as a poetry teacher for local elementary schools (before the pandemic). He holds a degree in Philosophy and has served in AmeriCorps and FemaCorps.

Babak Ahteshamipour

An Accumulated Moisture in the Walls

The dawn of a latter forenoon,
Afterwards you have vanquished,
Oftentimes brings you into realization,
The circumstance that you have never existed.

Occasionally asking is more semantic than spelling,
In another occasions the sky casts us out,
Howling from the depths of existence.

You are thither,
I am hither,
You are incapable of apprehending me.

Factual marionettes,
Are similar to pins which gravitate towards,
The heart of a black hole,
Where the grenade is, waiting to detonate.

The roaring silence,
& the streaming nullity,
In which they leave you with,
Disintegrating your exoskeletal carapace.

Alike criminals
Having all of the anarchist fun,
Alike the lifeless shirts,
Embroidered by hollow molecules.



Babak Ahteshamipour (born 1994 in Arak, Iran, lives and works in Athens, Greece since 2000), is a multidisciplinary artist, whose focal point in his research is the organic subject and its interaction with the Real. Meaning, how an organic subject unable to comprehend the universe completely, interprets partially fragments of it, based on a limited sensory system, creating erroneous generalizations and prejudices. Triggering a mechanism of Becoming, transforming individual components of a system through an observatory procedure – which varies depending on diverse parameters – into organs which retain a whole body, rather than being perceived as autonomous and self-referential. He works with painting, video, sound, writing and sculpture. He has participated in various exhibitions, launched few events on his own and has done numerous live performances mostly in small and cozy venues and spaces, and holds a MSc degree in Mineral Resources Engineering (Technical University of Crete).

Oz Hardwick

One Million Years BC

The spaces behind the furniture are the last places to explore,
so I put on my childhood, rope myself to the dining table leg,
and lower myself into the geology of forgotten things. There
are cowboys and robots, a bear with glass eyes, cars with
doors that open and close. There are eggshells and snakes,
dogs scowling behind chained gates, cigarette stubs littering
cinema aisles and the top decks of buses. The air smells of
coal smoke and sour mash, a bleached commode, bubble gum,
and green vegetables boiled out of existence. Deeper down,
there is no light, and I navigate by touch through pencil stubs,
scabbed knees, the raked marble chips on recent graves,
sawdust on the butcher’s shop floor. My knees need patching
and my shoes are too tight, and I feel the rope loosening its
grip. I remember a song about dinosaurs, taste sour meat on
my breath, feel an animal sigh across my soft, pale belly. It’s
too late to reach for watch or compass; too late to pack sweet
tea and sandwiches. There is no land that time forgot; it simply
doesn’t care.

No News

I have turned the television off, silenced the radio, sealed the
letterbox against daily papers. The only tweets are garden
birds. The sun is the same as yesterday, unbroken by aircraft
trails, and the breeze carries the same hint of spring. I am
rereading pulp fantasy for the first time since my teens, and
listening to 70s albums on which I know every word and
intonation. From the next street to the far side of the world,
there is breathless pain and chaos, death and angry dispute. I
cut a simple cheese sandwich into precise quarters, steep a
green teabag for a precise duration I don’t even need to count.
I turn up the music and sing off-key. Today – just today – there
is no news.

Commercial Break

Footsteps in the hall, and the Moon taps on the stiff casement.
The weather’s warming, but we’re letting nobody in, whatever
their gifts or promises. In every room the furniture has become
so familiar that we don’t recognise it anymore, and we leave
the televisions and radios on to keep themselves company and
offer comfort in the dark hours. The street is jammed with
empty taxis vying for non-existent fares, and flour and
tomatoes are lowered by helicopter like a James Bond fantasy
of 60s chocolates by an out-of-work actor disguised in black
PPE. Our cultural references have cross-contaminated, and we
are sit-com and soap, news and nostalgia, adverts for
discontinued products with catchphrases and promotional
badges that we pin directly onto our skin. The Moon is heavy
with refugees from a future that didn’t happen, and the Earth is
remembering how to breathe. There are footsteps in the hall,
and there is more beauty than our eyes can hold, but we’re
letting nobody out, whatever their gifts or promises.

Oz Hardwick is a determinedly European poet based in York (UK). He has published eight collections and edited several more. His chapbook Learning to have Lost (Canberra: IPSI/Recent Work, 2018) won the 2019 Rubery International Book Award for a poetry collection.

Kevin Canfield


The line to get inside stretches
North on Lenox and snakes
Past a desolate playground
I stand beneath a sidewalk
Oak tree, alive with
Pink and green buds on
This April Saturday in 2020
A woman in front of me
Tugs at the scarf
Stretched across the
Bottom half of her face
She exposes her mouth
And takes a phone call
We are all wearing masks or
Improvised cloth face coverings,
As our mayor calls them

An hour passes before
I reach the entrance
My shopping list says:
Tuna, vegetables, coffee,
Pasta, mint chip ice cream
This last item requested
By my daughter, who
Arrived in this country
Three months ago
And attended school
For nine days
Before people started using
Words like epicenter and
Infection hot spot
To describe New York,
Her new home city

The were out
Of mint chip
I got Neapolitan
She didn’t mind

Kevin Canfield is a writer in New York City. His work has appeared in Bookforum, Cineaste, Cabildo Quarterly and other publications.

Richard LeDue

One Of My Many Hourly Updates

A crow hops through the snow,
always thought those birds
looked wise as clowns,
then tiny black eyes stare back at me,
and I feel naked,
dumb as a feathered dinosaur
ready for an ice age.

The promised rain of spring
a lie, while winter holds on
like a beak clasps string,
never knowing why,
and when the crow flies away
towards a destination
made meaningless by tomorrow,
I realize how much I hate
three day old socks,
covering feet that stink of the ground.

No Answer

Should be easier to turn the phone off,
look out the window,
count dancing snowflakes like they were blessings
falling from a sleeping god’s beard,
then I wouldn’t envision a hospital bed,
no visitors as lungs fill with fluid,
family waiting for a phone call-
someone has to not look away,
remember that person
who dies alone is more than a statistic
updated daily on news websites,
and that their life ended
because vacations were too important to cancel,
while words like wages, profits, bills, rent, budgets, economy,
boot straps choked us,
and everyone was left with nowhere to go
but on their phones.

Richard LeDue was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, but currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba with his wife and son. His poems have appeared in various publications throughout 2019, and more work is forthcoming throughout 2020, including a chapbook from Kelsey Books.

Thomas Osatchoff


No more secrets….
De-densifying closets/railroad spikes….
While we are still in this world. We are still physical
right now     opening
               despite. This plastic sheet
on the buttons controlling the doors being cleaned.
This plastic sheet is cleaned 120 times every two hours.
A cleaning consists of spraying continuously for 60 seconds.
All sheets disappear as soon as the spraying is turned off.
Completely abandoned to itself. Us. Increments.
Each day a little more is revealed. Projected nests
within dilating time capsules currently being swallowed….
We say Jenifer Chang and we say Brian Wilson. Someone
swallows what they want to say with mutilated directions.


A test of the test? Quick little flick and the radio is listening to itself.
What if we didn’t have to want to be liked? Do we?
Bad people don’t wear a sign saying, “I’m bad!” We have to be careful.
The burner is hot and what if we forget forget forget?
Long /u/ sounds coming in different forms.
What if the test causes what it’s testing? Pause in a sequence; paradise
beneath us. Enclosed Field with Rising Sun.
My brother’s bedroom is next to mine. So close it’s like one room.
Dear Customer, it’s better to stay at home now.
We know what’s expected of us. Trauma helping us revise past events.


If death is what appears to be unmoving.

If we cannot reveal without occluding.

If we could live without praise or blame?

If we have time—we can tell a new story.

It’s funny: the stroller’s called Looping.

Is it easier to count by groups? Lumps,

do a good job & we can build the robot.


From inside unseen levels to no opposition outside the op banning seeds and community gardens
switched out multiple times into other people. How did it happen? Dementia is already setting in. Replies to this message will not reach us, so please do not answer this message. Willingillness?
Homeschooling, also known as home education, is the education of children at home or a variety of places other than school. Home education is usually conducted by a parent, tutor, or an online teacher. With school closures happening across the world due to the rhinosaurus outbreak, some have chosen to start homeschooling their children. Many parents wonder how best to organize everything for homeschool. Creating a relaxed and flexible homeschooled atmosphere while allowing a child to have a sense of security and predictability about the day is a balance to achieve. In addition, parents have to decide which curriculum to use, how to keep children engaged during the lessons, etc. Do you homeschool your kids? How do you organize
your homeschool days? Share your ideas with fellow teachers in the discussion. How is that underground infrastructure coming along? Seeing through attempts to destabilize our identity.
Dear Dominate, covered over with all these things. Now that there’s no ground beneath our feet.
Dear Denmark, how could you? Please explain. From upon high of all highs. Cominground gain.




Rhinosaur’s gift of basic income

         built back. “I agree.” Engineered. Selflessly, you whispered, it feels like a new world.

很好的老师,细致有耐心。这段时间Phil不用去学校, 待在家里上网课。 多了很多自己的自由时间,上看电影都是他所喜爱的!遗憾的是电影院仍在关闭中。
Class Time 2020-04-05 18:00 (Beijing Time) Unit 3 – Lesson 8: Kwanzaa and Ramadan 2.
Translate in English—
Very good teacher, meticulous and patient. During this time, Phil didn’t have to go to school.
He stayed at home to study online. He has a lot of free time and enjoys watching movies! Unfortunately, the cinema is still closed.

         Getting with the program. Emerging….

I guess July 4th this year will be Ironic Day.

Just stumbled upon this. And it’s like for just a moment, even with everything going on
with our world, things just kinda felt right. Thank you for this relief. Wish we didn’t need to

speak in code.

Thought all the dinosaurs were extinct but still this lingering one-horned rhinosaur.


Bruce Beasley: And I know it’s not intended to sound that way, but every time I hear it I cringe because it sounds appalling. Keep your distance from everybody else. It’s everybody
for themselves. It sounds that way, even though I know that’s not how it’s intended.

And they’re like, “Are you sure?” And I’m like, “Oh, I’m sure, because I did it myself.”
Aimee Nezhukumathatil: And they also know Mommy doesn’t have the answers to everything. Mommy doesn’t always make the best choices about everything. (BREEZE SOUNDS.) But it is hard, you know. They have a lot of questions, of, “Mommy, when is this gonna be over? Why
are there no tests?” A lot of questions that I don’t have an answer to. And they’re not panicking, but I can see that they’re for the first time realizing, you know, kind of, Mommy and Daddy don’t have the answers and this is all brand new to everybody. And sometimes they’re not wondering at all about this virus stuff. Sometimes they’re wondering about the bluebirds that are nesting right now. (BIRD CHIRPS.) So that’s been kind of nice.

Laurel Salinas-Nakanishi: Technically we’re not supposed to go to the beach.

Amit Majmudar: So I’m very, very terrified of kind of bringing it home with myself. So when I go there, you know, even weeks ago, before the panic took hold everywhere, I was like the only guy in the whole hospital with, like, full gloves, full mask, you know, walking down the hallway. You know, in terror.

Aimee, are you also speaking in code?
Aimee Nezhukumathatil: You know, honestly, I’ve been reading the birds in the backyard, right now. They’re all coming back from wintering. And we have some bully birds coming through and trying to take over our bluebird nest.

Thought it was straw but bricks for that. Thought, the wind blows through.
Warns the tree.

Matthew Zapruder: Life right now is meetings about the best way that we’re gonna be able to do meetings. I mean….“It’s too Daddy for cold.”

Thomas Osatchoff, together with family, is building a self-sustaining home near a waterfall. Recent poems have appeared in Abstract: Contemporary Expressions, Cold Mountain Review, CutBank Literary Journal, and elsewhere.     

Amy McCauley

Malady Nelson’s Kitchen Cabaret


i feel so connected to money money’s everywhere money’s nowhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)
i feel so connected to death death’s nowhere death’s everywhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)
i feel so connected to the internet the internet’s everywhere the internet’s nowhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)

congratulations on yr uterus (congratulations on yr destruction)
congratulations on yr womb (congratulations on yr destruction)
congratulations on yr reproductive orgasm (congratulations on yr destruction)

i feel so connected to privacy privacy’s everywhere privacy’s nowhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)
i feel so connected to god god’s nowhere god’s everywhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)
i feel so connected to collateral collateral’s everywhere collateral’s nowhere
(congratulations on yr destruction)

congratulations on yr fallopian tubes (congratulations on yr destruction)
congratulations on yr ovaries (congratulations on yr destruction)
congratulations on yr healthy relationship w/ intimacy (congratulations on yr destruction)


       mum mum swabs flesh holes
       mum mum wipes pus pus
       mum mum does dressing up like nurse


i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands while mum mum makes nice hygiene.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands while mum mum makes nice hygiene for neighbours.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands while mum mum makes nice hygiene for neighbours who are distancing.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands while mum mum makes nice hygiene for neighbours who are distancing who don’t deserve to die.
i have the problem of mum mum’s hub hub who makes me cry then softly softly touches my bum bum with unsanitary hands while mum mum makes nice hygiene for neighbours who are distancing who don’t deserve to die tell me what do i do.


       mum mum’s got head troubles
       mum mum’s got gooey
       mum mum’s got dum dum for hub hub


i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum i feel so connected to god i squishy like god i orgasm like god.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum she does BUM BUM with hub hub like people: people who don’t deserve to die.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum i feel so connected to death i smell like death i taste like death.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum she does GOOEY with hub hub like people: people of all ages.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum i feel so connected to money i bluegreen like money i crazy like money.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum she does PUS PUS w/ hub hub like people: people who were dying before.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum i feel so connected to the internet i got head troubles like the internet i dressing up like the internet.
i am thirty nine years old i live with mum mum she does HYGIENE with hub hub like people: people who are dying.


       neighbours make nice hygiene
       neighbours of all ages
      neighbours use me to wipe bum bum, oh neighbours!

       neighbours do bum bum in window
       neighbours are distancing
       neighbours connected to neighbours, oh neighbours!

       neighbours make stock market crazy
       neighbours who don’t deserve to die
       neighbours go squishy squishy furnace, oh neighbours!


‘Congratulations on your destruction’ is a line taken from the poem ‘Killing Kanoko’ in Killing Kanoko / Wild Grass on the Riverbank (Tilted Axis Press, 2020) by Itō Hiromi and translated by Jeffrey Angles

Tony Iantosca

The Couch

The people I got
the couch from
live in a condominium,
drink cocktails
or something at the top
or on the balcony. The couch
was heavy and they didn’t
help carry it down
the stairs. It wasn’t
a problem, it makes
me better, the truck
was parked illegally.
Normally this is a
fact to be appreciated
and admired but in this
case it remained
boring. The flashing lights
off, I drove the truck
home. The couch then
revealed itself to be
stained and a bit faded
but quite comfortable
and most of all free
but for the ache
of my body for a few
days after. The condo
building is regrettably
still there, the couple
now married and maybe
with a newborn and probably
a newer and better couch,
but my new old couch
is still here and the aches
have migrated to other
bodies who move
things for other
reasons. The older I get,
the more reasons accumulate
to sit on a couch
and not work,
the older I get the more
couches pile up like
football players on the curb, taken
to a landfill by morning.

Seltzer Water

I have seltzer water
in the fridge. This
is a good thing: to
have seltzer in the
fridge. All are
dominated somehow
or another
to varying degrees
and it gets worse.
People get publicly
smashed but I have
seltzer water
in the fridge,
inside an apartment
where I live. The bubbles
help when I get sick
to my stomach.

tangential daylight

swell breeze
to its breaking
this is how fast
I lost a wire
pollen’s tangent
gathers a daylight
elegy and adds it
to the sad math
reducing movie hours
to a paycheck’s
daily salad green
where the air is
better than what
we get for poems
and intrigue
can I enjoy airline
inhale over espresso’s
polished lens
I brush failure’s
remaining hair
whisper of some
bullet nobody
likes to talk about

Not looking

I used to sleep
to fire’s special
purchase on whatever
commerce I thought
would stab the
world dead but then
the gates the fingers
did shatter
registered ancient
animal cries for
a responsible antonym
balancing the moon
so blindness could rent
some headspace
when we’re not looking
or looking something up
antagonistic to what
I really wanted
the electric sleep motel
stepped out
hosting the inner
tundra on this side
while the trains go
and the trains come
and the desires
rattle their own
hearts misspelling
my name on the way
to the bank

Tony Iantosca‘s poems have appeared in 6×6, a Perimeter, Lungfull!, and Third Factory, among other places. His first full-length collection, Shut Up, Leaves (United Artists Books) was published in 2015. His second book, To the Attic is forthcoming from Spuyten-Duyvil Publishing in fall 2020. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he also teaches writing at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY).