Donna Dallas – 1 poem

2019 is like this

 

 

I need a savior lord

knows                     I need a slick

gin and tonic to slide smoothly

down my throat          vape cigarettes through a blue filtered pen  

could trade places with sweet-at-home wives instead I

grind over and over but

all I really want is a cat

on my lap as I listen to the night

owl as I listen to the sharp cracks

in the fire when the logs pop and watch

the sparks fly out like shooting

stars                    I am a mother / a workhorse / the under-dog

I, the ample giver

caretaker

a getter

not a lover (……..well maybe sometimes)

I fold the sheets sloppily and I think

fuck it

 

🍃

 

 

Donna Dallas

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Tobi Park – 1 poem

AI

 

I try to catch dreams with the green of a butterfly net,

They always seem to evade me,

Falling through fibers

Like stars

I suppose I lose dreams as fast as I find them.

I lose my nets,

I find them creased into dreams

Dreamed into creases,

They unfurl in my hands

And I see my mind in binary code

Like cracked circuits

I spark,

And as I don a skirt of electric fires

I dance to the broken time of a broken beat of a broken wire of a broken net

Like a broken butterfly

I slip through the green until

All I taste is chlorophyll.

Overhead, stars.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Tobi Park is a sophomore at Orange County School of the Arts. She was the youngest speaker for the 2016 TedxValenciaHighSchool. She is a member of NHS, Project Director in World Religion and Philosophy Club, and She runs an intracurricular club, WAV, that helps other students to write creatively. She has been published in Adonis Designs Press, Basil O’Flaherty (2 pieces), Phosphene Literature Journal, Chautauqua Journal, Panoplyzine, Rattle and SOLA. She is a National Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, having recieved one Honorable Mention, one Silver Key, and three Gold Keys. She also won 3rd place with her team in the slam poetry competition, OC RYSE. Tobi writes for many reasons; one of them is to inspire change. She wants to change the world, and in her opinion, change doesn’t have to be big. Maybe she can bring a new perspective to light. Maybe her words can bring joy. To her, any small shift can be change.

Edwin Segal – 2 poems

A State of. . . .?

 

 

The time has come: emergency
but not urgent; danger, but golf
first to ease the tensionless strain.
Who needs to read reports?  Facts are
always replaced by our nonsense.

 

I have already promised you:
someone will pay, but we won’t.
Hard choices, some one must, but not us.
Great strain, with turncoats all about.
The world is safe without our might.

 

Ask those we left behind; they have
new partners, and no one asks us.
We are free; no more mooching; our
treasure is ours, for our comfort,
and we will be great, but alone.

 

🍃

 

 

Na’amah:
Noah’s Wife
(Genesis 4-8)

 

 

They said he was righteous in his
generation, but that was all.
He stuffed me into that boat (he
heard a voice he said), animals
as well, and so we endured that
journey, sweaty, dusty, dirty,
smelly. We endured – no options.

 

Then it ended; I kissed the ground;
he planted a vine; I planted
crops, cooked animals and fed us.
A year later he made wine for
the voice in his head, and drank it,
and it took control of his body,
exposing his mind’s disarray.

 

Two of our sons tried to protect
him, while the third ran to tell me,
and then I realized I was alone.
No one speaks to me or of me.
I am Na’amah, daughter of
Lamech and Zillah, bringer of
sweet songs of praise to all voices.

 

My mother was a shadow, but
I am not; others hear me sing.
I speak my mind and the heavens
stay in place.  And so I left the boat
searching for the queen of demons,
Lilith, who has much to teach us.

 

🍃

 

 

Edwin Segal has been writing poetry since college (late 50s). Fortunately, he says, everything before 1974 has been lost. Some of his published poetry has appeared in Poetica Magazine , Bindweed Magazine and Verse-Virtual; a lot is out of print or has never been published.  He is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Louisville and has conducted field research in Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan and Oman. Apprentice House published his chapbook, Heritage, in 2017.

Layla Lenhardt – 2 poems

Mammo 

 

At first, the grief was bare, an unsheathed sword,
its presence sharp. But then it turned, slowly,
into a faded tattoo on a hidden part of my body.
I tried calling your phone last night.
I don’t know what I expected, but I was scared.

 

When I’m dripping in too much darkness,
that same profound, welling of sadness finds me.
It appears in the strangest places; in the back
of my throat, at the roots of my heart. These moments
are punctuated by the smell of oolong tea, memories

 

of getting drunk off Blue Wave Vodka at Brian’s house, hiding
from the cops in your car. But you’re gone, you’ll never read this.
When I found out, I ate an edible and laid on my couch for 20 hours,
trying to wrap my mind around it, but it was just you,
swallowing lemons seeds, presenting your empty mouth,

 

tongue drawn out toward me, the pride you had in that moment,
the laughs that filled our empty stomachs, the crows feet on your
face when you smiled, like footprints in the snow.

 

🍃

 

 

Life Science

 

 

If only I was older, wiser
than gapped tooth, golden haired
twenty-two, I wouldn’t have wondered,
what whiskered man is this? 
His hair like a peppered moth,
he sat stubbing cigarette butts
into the ancient ruins of the bar
ash tray. There was a familiarity
in the corner creases of his brown eyes.
I could smell the paste and chemicals
of the yellow-glossed paper of
textbooks, I could feel the dull
cuts on my index finger.

 

Then all at once, I remembered. Him,
younger, fuller faced, unburdened by
the history of public education,
teaching life science to 7th graders.
My memory of how he once stood
tall at the blackboard, now mocked
the curvature of his spine over his
beer glass. I made my move.

 

We talked about David Byrne and what
bones I’ve been digging up the past
nine years, what wood he’s been cutting.
All the whike, his tongue was a metronome counting
measures he’d take.

 

His garage had a tennis ball on a string,
a warning, a one-way telephone, a pendulum
swaying, magnetic compass, living on an iron mine.
We listened to the song The Weight,
we smoked, I took my inhaler. I
wanted to fill my gaps with IPAs
and I crossed my fingers that I’d stay whole.

 

But how could I  leave? My mouth was filled
with moon stones and marbles, my chest
was filled with bees. I unfurled unwillingly
on his corduroy couch.
Oh come on, you’re not tired.
He was a meme, he was a joke, yellowed
by the Walmart light fixture in his townhome.
He flipped me over while I swallowed the blood
from my lips. I didn’t open my mouth again,
so it wasn’t his fault. That night I’d lost a lot
more than the button on my skirt, than that twenty
dirty dollars at the bar. But I was a shell, floating
weightless in flattery’s ocean, I didn’t realize
that gravity was the school of hard knocks I’d
attend in my nightmares for the next ten years.

 

Is consent just a story we tell ourselves on the drive home
with a white knuckled grip on the steering wheel? On Alvernia
Street, the oak trees held their arms above their head in surrender
as I passed. I felt them judging me as I lit a joint and drove on,
as if the past was just an etch a sketch that could be erased.

 

🍃

 

 

Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming Poetry Book, These Ghosts are Mine is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.

John Zurn – 1 poem

The Dead of Night

 

They
wait and shiver,
at the
rear of the taco stand,
hoping to
beg
a leftover meal.
They
tread
carefully
so as
not to piss off the
night manager.
When he finally
appears,
like Moses in the desert,
They
bow their heads,
submissively
and
religiously,
waiting
for scraps of food
like
a
dog.
But too
soon
the protective police,
shoo them
away
or
worse.
So
these hungry
throwaway people,
move
back into the
darkness.
They will
return
later
in the
dead of the night,
to retrieve
their
rotting dinner
from a
slimy
garbage can.

 

🍃

 

John Zurn has earned an M.A. in English from Western Illinois University and spent much of his career as a school teacher.  In addition, John has worked at several developmental training centers, where he taught employment readiness skills to mentally challenged teenagers and adults.  Now retired, he continues to write and publish poems and stories and recently has had two stories published by cc&d magazine, poems published with FreeXpresSion magazine and a play published by Off the Wall Plays.  As one of seven children, his experiences growing up continue to help inspire his art and influence his life.