Zara Young | 2 Poems: “Dandelion” & “Purgatory”

Darren C. Demaree | 2 Poems: “Emily as the Iron is too Thick” & “Emily as Flat with Desire”

Reena Prasad | Poem: “Voodoo”

Tonya Eberhard | 2 Poems: “When, How” & “Good Friday”

Sudeep Adhikari | Poem: “The Noise of Becoming”

Ojo Taiye | 2 Poems: “Motif of Pain” & “Memory and Grief”

Sheikha A. | Poem: “Evil Eye”

Lana Bella | Poem: “Grey Chicago”

Issue Three: Lana Bella

Gray Chicago

When there is nowhere else to walk,
either down the park or the nearby lake,
the night is as violent as gray Chicago
and stymied as a decade-long hangover.

 From inside the glass house, my eyes
gaze past the frosted garden, out the lane,
then beyond the horizon’s wings that
stretches thick and wide like a velcro
igloo domed over the ground of ice-
capped thorns. 

I watch the gray city take in more snow
from the incensed sky, marking it a paler
gothic version of dream and thought’s
dovetailing, when the powder pour
on the earth’s heart like triumphant

A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016) and Adagio (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 250 journals, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, The Writing Disorder, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere, among others. She resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.

Issue Three: Sheikha A.

Evil Eye

Cotton-wrapped camphor
burns on the stove again

supposed remedy for this –
ward off the name,

the spirit
ward it off, don’t bathe

on Tuesdays and Saturdays
don’t go near sea water

on days you should sully prayers
don’t step on stray garbage

especially a shred of black cloth
or a sealed envelope of lemon

and chilli – ward them off
cover your hair, don’t let them

eyes fall on its beauty
those that never praise the lord

those whose tongues are spotted
of curse

those that summon premonitions,
they who eat

your soul in nibble-sized bites,
don’t stare – don’t watch –

don’t let a cat smell your blood
and take away your womb

I have been recounting my steps
as my hair falls out in full,
undead strands

what belief did I override

for the spirit to escape
the cloth that tried to ensnare it

and return on the stove,
gleaming red eyes through

the fast burning camphor

Issue Three: Ojo Taiye

Motif of Pain

the scramble letters of
life, converse in diglossia
that its dead weight
mutters two syllable:
salty puddles, or

Memory and grief

Some things mama left undone:
a suckling who needs an urgent un pair
a galley attendant
a cotton ball to
Papa’s ichor
Some things papa left behind:
a red bank note
a tattered monument
all the things they both left behind:
memories marinated
in a bowl of grief

Ojo Taiye is a twenty- three-year-old microbiology graduate from Nigeria. She loves books and Anime, in that order. Taiye has some of his muddled thoughts published in a few e-magazine.

Issue Three: Sudeep Adhikari

The Noise of Becoming

This all starts with a river
It always has;
I don’t know
if I am listening
to water
or seeing its sound.
A hydraulic high
of pure becoming
is the grammar
gone batshit drunk.
Psycho-sonic knots
deflecting ripples
on sonosphere
is the love-story
of our God-sweetened
I am not a preacher
call me a hummingbird
or Merzbow’s noise
playing non-stop
on a ghetto phonograph;
or the unheard infinity
of Cage’s 4 minutes
and 33 seconds
of solitude-multitude.
It’s better
if you call me noise
a ghastly recursion
of absence and presence
a sexed-up fuzz
of explicit-implicit
call me any-sound-whatever
but a poem, a symphony
or a thought. 

Sudeep Adhikari is a Structural Engineer  from Kathmandu, Nepal.  His poetry has found place in many online literary journals/magazines, the recent being Kyoto (Japan), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada) and Red Fez (USA). 


Issue Three: Tonya Eberhard

When, How

Before the evening meal:
chicken, rice, grilled mango
charred diagonal stripes on
yellowed juicy skin.

Just as the thunderstorm rolled
into scorching heat

A voice read each letter aloud
under hot whirls of a ceiling fan
so no lines would be skipped,
no words could be missed.

After writing out each letter
that formed words that created
a letter. Trying to capture the
feeling behind every stroke of the
English alphabet—

Everything in life an
I don’t know
A lightning bolt with no telling
where it would strike next

During dinner
too shy to pick the chicken carcass clean
as knives and forks scrapped
across ceramic plates

After the sign of the cross was said

Good Friday

At nine o’clock the gummy bears were baptized in vodka.
Night was a baby barely out of the cradle. Oh, Eucharist,
Holy Communion taken with mascara wands and eye shadow
palettes in hand. Rap music, pre-gaming shots shooting down
the throat, hot and startling. Jesus Christ, you take forever
a goddamn day to get ready. Squeals running out to the
parking lot, passing the boys smoking, poisoning their lungs
with toxic inhales outside the dormitory. The sinners who
wanted to bite the coffin wood early. Static blasting in the
car. Speeding to the top of the hill, tires screeching over
patches of ice. The party was glamorous—beer pong out
on the balcony, white circles floating on alcoholic ponds.
Chug. Chug. Chug. Goes the music. Hookah pipe passed around,
chalice of Christ’s blood as vaporized smoke. A conversion.
A change. Indeed you will drink from this cup. The flesh
and blood was real. It was all Resurrection until two disciples
left the apartment. There was a winter coat stirred by the wind,
talk of broken families, fruitless prayers to the dead.
Unrequited attraction, a tempting offer only the other had
to consent to, to make complete. Finally, the truth: It was all a
story about memories that were never made, a salvation that
was only granted to those who stole it for their own.

Tonya Eberhard‘s work has appeared in Algebra of Owls, The Commonline Journal, Dirty Chai, Yellow Chair Review, Open Minds Quarterly, among others.