Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon – 1 poem

Late Love

 

We met against the odds
as a door shut gently on your prime.
And me? I was five short years behind.

 

I glimpsed, almost touched,
your virile thrust before you softened
much against your will. Now I know
my desperate desire tugged at your loss.
Hurt –
love’s prospect often made you hide
remote and knotted.

 

Both bewildered,
fraught with singular longings.
Why did our parallel paths
fail to cross when our skin was supple,
our blood hot.

 

Yesterday, at last,
you told me how you felt

 

and undefended: I fell in love. Shed
twenty years of straining at the leash
in one connected moment.
Both of us, joined in shared pain.
I understood truths I’d missed
found beauty in our twilit, struggle-led devotion.
We kissed, stroked and warmed our age-thinned blood.

 

🍃

Ceinwen lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been widely published in web magazines and in print anthologies. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition [Spring 2018],  won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’. [August 2018] and was shortlisted for the Neatly Folded Paper Pamphlet Competition, Hedgehog Press [October 2018]. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University (2017). She believes everyone’s voice counts.

John Grey – 1 poem

THE LONG TERM ABOUT TO TERMINATE

 

He doesn’t rest or sleep,

merely occupies that hospital bed.

Same with his brain, his body.

They’re just death’s waiting rooms.

 

Our bewilderment is contagious.

Is this really our father?

Conversations with dad lately

have been like twisting and turning the radio dial

and merely cranking up the static.

Our mother says he’s been reliving his childhood.

And he’s taken to singing nursery rhymes.

“Ding! Dong! Dell!”  is not what we came to hear.

 

Sadly, she’s not much better.

But she knows our names at least,

even if, from time to time,

she connects them to the wrong face.

But she insists, in heaven, it will be different.

They’ll be together, in their prime,

and remembering every last detail.

So, to her, he’s a date in the future.

To we kids, he’s a presence,

so like him and yet so unalike,

but enough of him still alive

to block our better memories from kicking in.

 

And he makes me conscious of my own vulnerability,

how life was not designed to hold together

the way I wish it to.

Not in the long term, at least.

And he’s at the very end of that long time,

one ruinous breath, one discredited heartbeat away

from the obituaries.

His dying is ruining it for the living.

The more he forgets, the more we don’t want to know.

🍃

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review.

 

Peter Magliocco – 2 poems

The Now Trending Neuters
 
 
 
I warned you Khloe was only a sleaze
& her silicone breasts were just a con
for her doctor husband’s implant clinic!
To think it ended in mastectomy-blues 
anyway, all sweet matter voided
by the coming waves of neuter sex.
Don’t worry about the horseshit experts
trying to debunk sexual assault by males
as an inveterate chauvinistic art form
somehow weakening the worldly rat race
swimming through the nexus of time.
She wore cheap jewel-encrusted panties
that were, she said, “marvelously trending”
& would drop them unannounced for me,
laughing at my sit-com face’s reaction. The
colorful & varied underwear once belonged
to a bordello courtesan — now quite deceased
— who flourished in the old Southwest
during a time of rapacious decline.
“Sociopaths, terrorist, mass murderers, &
rapists inflicting venom on society,” she said,
displaying her panties like front page news.
They had the word EAT flamboyantly there
emblazoned in bold neon letters. I sat there
meditating, Hamlet-style, on the heirloom-
fetishes we must all fall heir to, knowing
I was beyond obscenity in contemplating
any such underwear or unusual vestments,
then pulled them over my head
like a sleazy Vegas lounge comedian
& followed the written instructions.
Lost in the hyper-maze of daily (un)reality,
never mind how we rant between commercials,
the messenger is still the medium of holy fools.
 
 
 
 
🍃
 
 
 
Horoscope in Old Cat Eyes
 
 
 
The heart is a dead fetish.
Wind exacerbates old skin
on the earth’s violated face,
moths circle the light of ages
slowly fading out with sunset.
From breathing scent night caresses
in the alcove of spent dreams
I wake to see the rock altars
within a crucified mind’s lament,
spirits still trapped in trilobite brine.
Chanting slow feral rhymes now
for your guitar’s gentle strumming
unheard melodies winds transport.
The mind is a token relic
of what second thoughts become,
a spectral mote to witenss what
Giotto’s god-children are doing
on cave-frescos dripping blood
like the graffiti of sweet angels.
They wait so long in museums for
the rain to beatify cold statuary,
or the sun to warm bare greenery
in our afterlife’s al fresco palace.
How they gambol with fey offspring
almost animal like our past selves
on the fallen tree of geneaology
where branches bear our lost faces,
cleft by eyelids
winking shimmers of rain
the old caretakers will mop up;
careful not to disturb you,
an inertly antiquated form
losing your once human identity.
The soul is a digital mechanism
to be wired like a smart phone
when ringing deafens you:
morbid harbinger of banishment
for a spirit-trap no one lives in,
we marry into the otherworld
like the sightless children
of our former selves.
 
 
🍃
Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he occasionally edits the lit-zine ART:MAG. His most recent novel is SPLANX from Cosmic Egg Books. He has poetry at DEGENERATE LITERATURE, MIDNIGHT LANE BOUTIQUE, THE GREENSILK JOURNAL, WHISPERS, POETRY LIFE AND TIMES, and elsewhere. He’s been Pushcart nominated several times along with Best of the Net nominations in poetry.

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah – 1 poem

Communication Strategist

 

Giving one shot to the point for a reason very different from soft wax in your stamp on the ground, I apply your eyes with both my hands at once to hold up the room a minute when you may suppose I am not able to walk as fast as you drive the sandstorm and pursue your short breath to overcome everything I guess with your brain. I begin to go backward and forward not to conceal from myself what I have done at short intervals, I mention your name. You are hot and cold, and black and white, all at once when you are a young libertine in everything I have experienced, I wait for your next questions which are surprised and inconsiderate for elders who are still learning to rewrite their names.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah is the author of the new hybrid work, Z. His individual poems are widely published and recently appearing in Rigorous, Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, The Meadow, Juked, North Dakota Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Sandy River Review, Strata Magazine, Atlas Poetica, Modern Haiku, etc. He is algebraist and artist and lives in the southern part of Ghana, Spain, and Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.