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Poem by Gia Grillo

 

Anniversary

This house wasn’t a year
emptied out boxes thick of you
each memory fumbled through fingers
unfortunate
I walk this place
a funeral of opened empty doors
blank walls confront me
pugilistic as a concussion grenade
pictures picked out with wire
silhouettes in dust
I walk the carpet
dimpled furniture ghosts
shrouds float in dust moats
between where we used to be and where I am

alone
nature slithers over thresholds to tangle up with carpet fibers
turn this place water logged and brown
all out doors crept up
soft footsteps up the path so blur the edges
make everything sound numb

this house wasn’t even a year long away before carved wood notched initials
turned to murky scars
half hidden under moss beards
this scar passed three anniversaries
when they said it’d fade in one
wood rots
paint chips
my bones squeak like swing chain rust
wading out among the willow branches
broken
straining my eyes to watch your
truck kick up the drive dust
to see the lips
that mime a kiss
That says
“Goodbye”

 

” Walk Away” ©vStacy Esch

 

Gia Grillo is a poet living and working in the shadow of New York City. She has helped run workshops for local high school and grade school students, hosted and participated in a community workshops and open mics, all focusing on poetry as a cathartic and accessible art form. In March 2015 her poem ‘Haxan’ was published in Black Heart Magazine.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo including (Save My Place and Placemats.) and illustrations for When The Light Turns Green from Spruce Alley Press.

 

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Poem by Anne Whitehouse

 

A Backward Glance

In tiny color transparencies,
these images swim up from the past
into the oval of my magnifying glass:

My grandparents squint
into the sweltering Alabama sun
next to long-lost relatives
visiting from Australia.
I am eight years old.

My mother lounges by the pool
in a one-piece bathing suit
looking younger than I remember
on a Florida vacation,
while my sisters splash in the pool.
I am thirteen.

Flash forward half a dozen years
to my sisters holding bouquets
as if they were bridesmaids
standing next to their dates at a dance
under an arch twined with artificial flowers.

In these captured moments
everyone is always smiling,
and yet I want to weep
for what will happen to us,
for what has happened already.

 

“On the Horizon” “News of the World” © Stacy Esch

 

Poet, fiction writer, journalist, and critic Anne Whitehouse’s books include poetry collections The Surveyor’s Hand (Compton Press), Blessings and Curses (Poetic Matrix Press), One Sunday Morning (Finishing Line Press), The Refrain (Dos Madres Press), Bear in Mind (Finishing Line Press), and Fall Love (novel). Recentpoetry and fiction publications include The View from Here, Art from Art (anthology), Istanbul Poetry Review, Pain and Memory and Being Human: Call of the Wild (anthologies), riverbabble, Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, and others. She lives in New York City.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.

 

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Poem by Katie Lewington

 

When you do meet the one

Nobody knows how you feel
And you cannot do fuck all about that
Until you are old enough to deal with it

So in the meantime
You react to it
Screaming, whining and lashing out
This naked emotion is embarrassing
You learn to curb it
Feel nothing
And in the hormone fueled years
You cut it out on your flesh
In bed at night whilst sobbing

Learning to stay silent
On how you are feeling
Growing up and becoming independent

Feeling shunned
By the world and all of the people currently on it

Until somebody shares your bed
And listens like deafness is only a word away

Walls lower
Weapons put down
Truce
Freedom in the unburdening.

 

"The Storyteller" © Stacy Esch
“The Storyteller” © Stacy Esch

 

Katie Lewington loves her boyfriend, bacon sandwiches, poetry and reality TV. She is a published poet. She also writes book reviews and the odd (very odd) story, which she shares on her blog. Don’t be shy and get in touch, she likes to hear what people think about her work. Or if you have a book you think she would be interested in.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.

 

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Poem by Deeya Bhattacharya

 

Diamelen’s Illness
( After Conrad’s The Lagoon)

Today I would write a tale
a tale of lost love
a betrothal
of brightness and grey

Today I will write about us
our foliage
how we beguiled our loss
about our roots in an alien soil
about a flood
which indelible carried us away
among fresh green bamboos
and ripe brown paddies

I would write about a girl
addicted to loss and wilderness
about half-moon nights
above silvery streams
about the parched lips
which sang of fireflies
the ‘ jugnu’ at her nape
and of vague stories in
rough traces

Today I would speak at noon
about the calm pool in your eyes
about every hushed breath
emanated out of the sampan

about taking you hostage
from Inchi Midah.

*Jugnu- firefly
*Inchi Midah- the wife of a noble in the short story The Lagoon.
*Sampan- a relatively flat-bottomed Chinese wooden boat

 

"Balloon' © Stacy Esch
“Balloon’ © Stacy Esch

 

Deeya Bhattacharya is an internationally published poet. Her works have been anthologized widely. She read poetry in Fests. She is a Haikuist too associated with Poets International, Bangalore, India.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.

 

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Poem by David Leo Sirois

 

Lullaby
            on the occasion of Paris attacks, 13/11/2015

The stars revolve around our heads,
& this moon is no fake –
I just cannot help but give,
but am I authorized to take?

        I know we love our pretty city –
        but one day we all have to go.
        Will I stay here with my pigeons?
        We all unlearn, just to know.

I am older than the Seine –
you are youthful as new snow.
Oh, but it don’t snow here in this town –
if it did, outdoors you’d go.

        I know we love our pretty city –
        but one day we all have to go.
        Will I stay here with my pigeons?
        We all unlearn, just to grow.

Well, you could make a shadow laugh,
& I am much in debt
to your luminous kindness
& crazy alphabet.

        I know we love our pretty city –
        But one day we all have to go.
        Will I stay here with my pigeons?
        We are heavy with what we know…

Please, please, please…
Sing me to sleep. Sing me to sleep.

 

 

David Leo Sirois was born in Edmundston, New Brunswick, and grew up across the border in Madawaska, Maine, the northernmost town on the East Coast. He attended Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, majoring in Literature and Languages. He has served as a staff writer for The Better Drink: A Sparkling Wine and Living Magazine, contributing poetry, essays, fiction and film reviews. His poems have also appeared in journals including Silo, Poesy, Ibbetson Street, I Left This Here For You To Read, and Echoes. He currently resides in Paris France where he hosts the open mic SpokenWord 2 – Open Secret.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.

 

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Poem by Ajise Vincent

 

Truce

The cadences of our love are apogees of ploys
Drowning in the gourd of lust
They are bonfires within the mesh of conundrums, cracked

The cadences of our love are whispers of myths
That ride on shadows of silence
Their nodes are sprouts on the root of winds

The cadences of our love are calabashes
Pilfered by spears of droughts,
They thirst for the blood of goddesses
Enshrouded in the shrine of virulence

They cadences of our love are realities of aborted fantasies
Cuddled by dews at dawn.
They are litanies that hear the rust of crows.

 

"Lost" © Stacy Esch
“Lost” © Stacy Esch

 

Ajise Vincent is a Nigerian Poet. His poems “Song of a Progeny” was a shortlisted poem at the Korea-Nigeria Poetry feast, 2015. His works have been published in London-grip magazine, Eureka Kalahari Review, Sakonfa literary Magazine, AfricanWriter, Indian periodical, Jalada Africa, Harbinger Asylum and various literary outlets.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.