Tag Archives: Dramatic poetry

Prayer

By Matthew A O’Shea

Arms spread eagle
screeching parables
preaching, avian, predatory.
Pontiffs upon pulpits
direct the huddled mass.
All plans, all plots, all schemes.
Fire, brimstone, no between,
“Welcome to His lair”

Warriors kneel
awaiting blessings
silent, bloodshot, solemn.
Divine sovereigns
salute thirsty deities
with bone, with sinew, with regime.
Death or glory, no between,
“Give the ferryman his fare”. 

Desperate men
begging gently
broken, pathetic, guilty.
A thousand voices
glide into the void.
All fears, all hopes, all dreams.
Wishing, pleading, sacred screams.
All of them in prayer.


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

The Anatomy of Distance or: A Study of Cartography

By Matthew O’Shea

if cartography is the study and practice of drawing
conclusions then surely   distance is the pen and 

parchment   time spent mapping every freckle is
time lost observing the external landscape   oral

traditions have a peculiar way of sucking   all of the
tension out of the usually revealing geographical 

attractions   an unbalanced compass often implies-
-magnetism   which as you know   can lead only to 

bias analysis   the depth of the trench   is best
observed from an   impartial angle  or one may risk     

a prepossession which haunts our professional
detachment   and honest cartography should be art

not seance   exploration of the anatomy of volcanoes
at ground level   can cause third degree friction

burns    instead the budding cartographer should
record the physical characteristics of any given

phenomenon   and place them to    one side in favour
of the abstract    and vastly more pragmatic

toponyms or political boundaries which separate
man from beast and allow the patient to trace

mistakes made by amateur    land lovers who
were too distracted by the   beauty   of the world


Matthew A O’Shea is currently having his existential crisis in Scotland. He studies Philosophy and Theology at Glasgow University, which he believes isn’t helping. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

E.T. In Florida

By Daliah Angelique

they gut the corpse of the ferris wheel
from the defunct Toys “R” Us in Times Square
and excavate the smiling
licensed* characters from their metal tomb
and gift the iconic crew
to a non-profit resort in Florida.
the resurrected characters
will play again
to the delight of sick,
healed or healing
children** and their families.

*due to copyright reasons, E.T. must remain hidden from sight. You can still see the misshapen mass of his alien body from within the giant Christmas stocking beside Geoffrey the Giraffe.

**Corporate is sure that the weekly holiday parade is a welcome opportunity to explain intellectual property and lawsuits to your convalescent child.


Daliah Angelique is a lesbian poet chronicling memory, trauma, and queer joy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Oyster River Pages, Off-Menu Press, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Spilt Milk, Anti-Heroin Chic, and NTCH Mag. She lives with her wife in Maple Valley, Washington. You can find her work on Instagram.

Crow in mulberry, the darkest eye of all

By Peach Delphine

Day thick, soggy sponge stuffed in the mouth, a kitchen 
where all things are on the table, mockingbird rendering 
another borrowed song just off the porch, lamentations
ride the breeze. Who has not wished to live in a crown 
of palms, lithe, shimmering, skink knows the weight 
of eye, gaze of another ocean. Having stood over 
myself, fluid as creek, lacerations in hand, salt of my salt,
face to sky as wind eats words off my tongue in shade 
of cypress and moss, we summon ourselves out of 
floorboards, we speak from behind lath and plaster, 
in kitchen garden we turn rows, pull weeds, our parenting 
was of rain, of dirt, your words flower along the river,  
we breathe a mother tongue, text of soil, intonation
of verdure, what some call erosion, a return to the sea, 
a tide governed by a different moon, what some call night 
a different incandescence than what illuminates
your hands, planting each day anew, sowing black earth,
lifting salt wind into song, raising river into flower.


Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Former cook infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast and blackwater rivers. Delphine can be found on Twitter.

Icon

By Allison DeDecker

To be desired is to be worshipped; 
a thing
of precious lifeless stone.
Living life on display behind
shatterproof glass,
brought out only on holidays
to be adored at arm’s length. 

Better to be cherished; 
rubbed shining smooth by loving hands
tucked in pockets, purses, backpacks,
hung from rearview mirrors, 
perched on car dashboards.
To have front doors left unlocked as invitation,
a place set at every household table.


Allison DeDecker is currently based in Yuma, AZ. She draws inspiration from day to day life, current events, and the natural world. Her work has been published in the Colorado Crossing Literary Journal and is forthcoming in Pile Press. She can be found on Instagram

Visible Light

By Allison DeDecker

‘This little light of mine’ may not glow as bright 
as a lighthouse burning over miles of brine,
or an ancient beacon roaring a warning cry.

But even a spark in the dark will shine;
scatter the shadows, 
give sight to nightblind.

What seems a firefly streaking the sky, 
fractures heavens
reveals itself as meteorite.


Allison DeDecker is based in Yuma, AZ. She is inspired by day-to-day life, current events, and the natural world. Her work has appeared in Colorado Crossing, Perfumed Pages, Goats Milk Magazine, and Pile Press, more forthcoming in Space City Underground and Glitchwords. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Waiting

By Rachel Maria Geo

Eyebrows are plucked out by nervous hands
as restless dart between the clock and the floor,
as though attempting to make time rush ahead.

Anxiously do their feet tap against the ground, 
tip-tap, tip-tap, toes crushed against shoes’ fronts,
as the clock takes its own sweet time in moving.

And in this waiting hour, which everyone does despise,
does the mind pick up tremendous levels of activity,
questioning the worth of the person that is you.


 Rachel Maria Geo (she/her) is a student, writer and a life-long nerd from India. She writes poetry and stories sporadically as fits of inspiration dawn on her, followed by stormy days of the dreaded writer’s block. You can find her on Instagram, and if you want to read more of her work, check her out on Young Writer’s Society.

death bouquet

By Tohm Bakelas

i pick up fallen 
petals and place them 
in my hand as if this 
withered arrangement 
could breathe life
into the flowers before 
the warm rain did
what warm rains do,
before spring and summer 
ended, before the weather
turned, before it died
in the fall. 


Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 10 chapbooks. He runs Between Shadows Press.

cold spring

By Tohm Bakelas

throwing rocks at the sun
never mattered anyway,
you could never come close
to hitting it

the bones of the typewriter 
covered in dust
rests upon a table 
rarely touched

there are no horses here,
no horses you can 
see anyway

trains come and go
and our limbs settle
for this


Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 10 chapbooks. He runs Between Shadows Press.

everything so far

By Aimée Keeble

I miss America in 1992 
and plastic clothes and every accessory smiled 
and I was afraid of the music videos 
that showed the world ruled by snarling men with mermaid hair 
I live in a time hiccup
I’m Abraham’s Sarah- womb like a treasure trove emptied of light and eggs 
but I’ll die looking 22 
All the important men in my life loved heroin more than art 
and I love art more than coked up boys with 
white chests and concave wrists and 
disproportionate blades
All these rushing years clipping my shoulders as they pass on by 
and you make me feel good enough to crack my back teeth
I miss being shown how woman I am- 
it spurs me to rage and without my rage 
I am an abandoned moon, sun-hunting and knife fingered
I am afraid of my ineptness at using a colander, buttering rice, using sugar just for me
The importance of soul feeding
When I smile at babies I want their eyes to glow
to see my reckoning because they are closer to whatever music fills me 
inbetween my dreaming

What country, shades, is this? 
This is the New World, no room therein for fantasy but the newness of blue & green eyed travellers 
They like to s p r e a d themselves until the color between things is pure 

I am lonely in the dying world holding my half page out 
to coax angel dirty tread/stamp on its blank, guide me to a 
newer crash, some ivory wet tower I can dissolve in
I don’t talk about love anymore because everybody else does
and so what can I give you, except my promise to be early on 
whatever platform your body glides in on,
no matter the weather
I miss a marble being passed instead of language, from the French palm of a girl to mine-
there is a remembering god that sleeps in my ear and wakes sometimes to whisper me
small poems of times when the sky was bathwater and off I warmed into perfect 
Now memory batters me the way I wanted love to
I am only on fire when someone shouts my name,
as if it were the last thing I’d hear 
before I tumbled upwards into a warrior’s ending 
We don’t know where it is best to be, but crawl
with your heart nearest to the ground,
if you give nothing in this life, at least give your
best beat to the world 
Here, we are here and I am unraveling in strings of gold, 
white hot sound 


Aimée has her Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow and is represented by Ayla Zuraw-Friedland at the David Black Agency. Aimée lives in North Carolina with her dog Cowboy and is working on her first novel. She is the grand-niece of Beat writer and poet Alexander Trocchi. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, or her website.