R. Gerry Fabian – 1 poem

The Crazy Man


 never ever begs.

 He speaks religious tracts

 in mystical tongues

 that once

 would have made him

 a soothsayer.

 The nether zone

 tempts him often

 but he is so far gone

 that those

 who glare and scold


 desire his immediate





R. Gerry Fabian is a retired English instructor.  He has been publishing poetry since 1972 in various poetry magazines. His web page is https://rgerryfabian.wordpress.com  He is the editor of Raw Dog Press https://rawdogpress.wordpress.com His novels, Memphis Masquerade , Getting Lucky (The Story) and published poetry book, Parallels are available at Smashwords and all other ebook stores. Seventh Sense, his third novel has been published by Smashwords.  He is currently working on his second book of published poems.

Hannah Rousselot – 1 poem



We begin the day

by taking off all of our clothes

so that we can be weighed.

(When I’m having my period,

they let me keep my underwear

as a flimsy sort of protection.)


As we wait for the meal to be ready,

we say our prayers.

“I feel like I’m having a heart attack.”

“Today, I will be 100% meal plan compliant.”

“If they make me go in there, I’ll go nuts.”


I don’t say anything because

I’ve already become a corpse today,

and those don’t talk.


The doors open, and the prayers cease.

It’s time for worship.


The food on my plate

is an offering, an investment,

a test. It was created just for me.

I don’t know by who; I just know that when

we walk into the dining room, our plates are waiting for us.

The other initiates and I play our favorite game:

who will be the most devout? Who will avoid eating

as long as possible?


My petinence was decided for me Monday:

1fat1fruit1protein1grain (for breakfast)

2fat1protein3grain (for lunch)

2fat2protein2grain1vegeteable (for dinner)

and 1protein1fat (for each of the three snacks).


We have 30 minutes for services, but I finish at fifteen.

They tell me to leave if I’m not going to continue to better myself.

I leave, my hunger a holy symbol.


Before lunch, they ask me if I want to help the staff make my food.

My therapist tells me that it will make me feel “in control.”

But I don’t want to see all the fatfruitproteingrain

that goes into my meal.


I would rather blindly follow

their faith than become a convert myself.





Hannah Rousselot is a queer DC based poet. She has been writing poetry since she could hold a pencil and has always used poems as a way to get in touch with her emotions. She writes poetry about the wounds that are still open, but healing, since her childhood and the death of her first love. Her work has appeared in Voices and Visions magazine, PanoplyZine, and Parentheses Magazine. In addition to writing poetry, Hannah Rousselot is also an elementary school teacher. She teaches a poetry unit every January, and nothing brings her more joy than seeing the amazing poems that children can create.

Louise Wilford – 1 poem



Attaching the brittle globes to wire –

lime green against sky blue against blood red –

I think of how their shine picks up the fire

of the candle flame.  ‘I hate Christmas,’ you said,


‘It’s so lightweight – the emptiness, the  greed.’

You made me think of hollow rooms,

of risen soufflés, sky-blown seeds,

of fluttering sparks left spitting through the gloom.


I hang the cards, suspend the wassailing balls,

drape tinsel, fit the glitter-ball in place –

it slowly turns, its glinting mirrored walls

shedding fractured glimpses of my face.


We never could decide which stuff was yours.

The emptiness? The greed? The bubble burst?

As I blu-tack tinsel over all the doors,

I wonder which of us was actually the worst.






Yorkshirewoman Louise Wilford  is an English teacher and examiner.  She has had around 60 poems and short stories published in magazines including Popshots, Pushing Out The BoatThe Stinging Fly, Acumen and Agenda, and has won or been shortlisted for several competitions.  She is currently writing a children’s fantasy novel.