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.

Richard Bentley – 1 poem

YOUR CALL IS IMPORTANT TO US

 

 

Certainly you did not phrase it as

“Isochronous access”

That night I first met you in

That most advanced

Antiviral sound terminal.

I lived in it

and so did you.

We were trying to start

something, not end whatever,

as we messaged unmelodiously

from your sound organism

Holding me deftly

in conversation.

Then the enormous, quiet

Alarming device,

So it had to be quite hush

compared to

The squabble of the

Musical background.

When you departed,

We were

sound organisms

and we exchanged

communications concerning

your call is important to us so please hang up.

I wanted to deeply

know you,

your ears were wired to everything,

there were

exchanges, interactions,

Difficulties

with consumer culture

as we discussed

Art, music, and literature,

messaging unmelodiously

from your sound organism, trouble deftly held in conversation.

I was glad to know a transforming electrode-

cryptographic messaging syntax

with you,

with each other,

with God and man,

over and out.

Thursday, then.

How will I know you?

By listening.

 

🍃

 

 

Richard Bentley has published fiction, poetry, and memoir in over 200 journals, magazines and anthologies on three continents. His books, Post-Freudian Dreaming and A General Theory of Desire, are available on Amazon, Powell’s Books, or at www.dickbentley.com. His new book, All Rise, contains recently published stories, poems, and graphic “wall poetry” that has been displayed in art galleries.

He has served on the board of the Modern Poetry Association (now known as the Poetry Foundation). He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. He was prizewinner in the Paris Review/Paris Writers Workshop International Fiction Awards. In 2012 and 2013, he gave readings of his poetry at the famous Paris bistro, Au Chat Noir.

Before teaching writing at the University of Massachusetts, he was Chief Planner for the Mayor’s Office of Housing in Boston. He’s a Yale graduate with an MFA from Vermont College.

Submission response time delay – apologies!

As you may know, Bindweed Online 2019 has an ongoing submission call for poetry and fiction, with a note on our Submissions page to query after 2 months. In June, Bindweed Magazine Editor in Chief, Leilanie Stewart, received the exciting news that her debut fantasy novel, Gods of Avalon Road, will be coming soon from Blossom Spring Publishing! Over the summer, she has been busy working with her publisher to edit the manuscript.

Gods of Avalon Road - Cover1

Gods of Avalon Road - Back Cover JPEG

This has also coincided with fellow Bindweed Editor, Joseph Robert’s latest poetry collection, Brexit Brokeshit, being released.

Screenshot_20190327_144619

IMG_20190905_114427

As such, both of us here at Bindweed would like to apologise for the delay in responding to new submissions. We are delighted that Bindweed Magazine continues to be a popular choice for writers seeking a home for their work, and we indeed read each and every submission sent to us. However, we’re experiencing a backlog at the moment due to our own current publishing projects. We’ll get back to you all as soon as we can and in the meantime, all accepted work will be published on the Bindweed homepage, as usual.

Thanks for bearing with us, and for keeping the Bindweed blooming!

Leilanie and Joseph

🍃

 

Holly Day – 3 poems

The Future Critics and Judges       

 

Someday, archeologists will uncover the door of our home, make wild guesses

about the exact placement of the house number, and how

to read the characters that make up our address, write papers based upon theories

impulsively grasped at our lack of a doorbell, deduce our financial state

at our time of death by the words scrawled across the tacky dimestore doormat.

 

Someday, the clay ashtray I keep at the table next to my bed will become

a relic in a well-guarded museum, complete with a plaque attempting to decipher

the chicken-scrawl imprints made by kindergarten hands, the paint blob

on the inside that only I know is supposed to be a heart.  Children like my own

will stare, bored, into the glass case, led by some museum docent, loudly announce

to each other that people from the past were stupid, that they

could make a pot as good as that one

in an afternoon.

 

Someday, future hands will stroke and catalog our furniture

wonderingly, mutter incessantly, much as we as we do now, at the way

we must have contorted our bodies to fit comfortably on chairs

too short for you and too tall for me, and on the way

no one piece matches another.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Soft Tissue

 

The mummy comes to my door, tells me

he’s moved in down the street, only now realized

we were neighbors, we should go out for coffee

sometime, we should catch up. Startled, not expecting

this shambling wreck of my past to just show up

on my doorstep as though nothing had ever

happened between us, I just nod my head

say that would be nice.

 

I shut the door and my daughter asks

who I was talking to, asks why

I look so funny, so strange. I say nothing

can’t find the words to explain that sometimes

the dead can crawl their way out through layers of dirt

breathe life back into their rotting limbs and

stop by for a visit, without any sort of warning,

no polite warning at all. I struggle

 

for an explanation, finally tell her

that it’s really none of her business, that even mommies

have things in their past

that nice little girls shouldn’t know about.

 

 

🍃

 

 

When Freedom Becomes Unbearable

 

We invite the government to read

our minds, the aliens to beam

new instructions with jagged

fingernails and broken glass

 

Give us a purpose! we shout

into the night sky, praying that

at least one cruise vessel bent

on world domination is heading

 

for Earth. We want to make wallets!

we plead, eyes on the stars in

supplication, heads matted

with drying blood, fingernails

 

ripping at our tin-foil hats and flinging

them into the air. One of the tiny moving

pinpricks of white above us must be

an alien spacecraft, aiming subliminal

 

messages into our prefrontal cortexes–we dig

into our scalps with the hope of making

mind control that much easier for our oppressors

the communications satellites circling overhead,

our hands outstretched, cracked and broken.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Plainsongs, The Long Islander, and The Nashwaak Review. Her newest poetry collections are A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press),  In This Place, She Is Her Own (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), A Wall to Protect Your Eyes (Pski’s Porch Publishing), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), The Yellow Dot of a Daisy (Alien Buddha Press), Folios of Dried Flowers and Pressed Birds (Cyberwit.net), and  Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing).