Tag Archives: Poetry

DNC CROCODILE DUNDEE

By Matthew A O’Shea

My friend felt so sorry for alligators
that she wanted to die. Suicide — 
death by croc. And she tore into me 
about not wanting to come along. 

She said that I had benefited just as 
much as Lincoln and Irwin and the other
privileged few. I said I would attend but
not participate. Gonzo martyrdom.

She leapt up onto the pulpit besides
the enclosure, with a bat that’s never 
seen a ball and a cigarette holder 
that’s all no-smoke and mirrors. 
exclaiming Pluto’s not a planet anymore.


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.

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.

Late Night Early Morning Broadcast

By Douglas Cole

Coming to you live from burnout station. 
You’d think it was the Bikini Islands 
looking out this double pane bunker glass, 
desert, blown down homes and skeletons 
frozen mowing their lawns forever.

No news is good news, and you fly 
with angel dust and death ash 
on your wings. Come here. 
I want to look down 
the tunnel of your eye 
into the universe beginning.

One bone here, one bone there. 
I left a delivery note hanging 
on the atomic string, 
a stone at your door 
as if it were an accident, 
no hidden key, 
but a map to the spring.

Microdot secret handshake 
in and in and in 
like the incredible shrinking man 
standing on the head of a pin, 
riding an arrowhead of light 
to the cradle of your brain 
with an awesome record collection 
and late night patter like a gentle rain.

Oh, and I almost forgot: night-cable 
winter-black forest-deep tree limbs, 
timpani and cymbal brush in the wind, 
mystery voice in your head on entering 
the solar drive-through. No need to knock 
when you get here, just come on in.


Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella called Ghost, and the highly praised, well-reviewed novel The White Field. His work has appeared in several anthologies and journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, and Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. Read more of his work on his website.

Into the Zone

By Douglas Cole

We go deeper and deeper into the building. 
People wear smocks and masks. The corridors are dim, 
overhead lights flickering, with sounds of voices and moaning, 
overlapping streams of music. An aid pushes a gurney 
with a body on it covered with a sheet. I hear a buzzing. 
Someone asks me for directions to the department of…what, 
I couldn’t hear, that mouth muffled, but I nod—yes, yes, 
and point down the hallway and to the left.


Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry, a novella called Ghost, and the highly praised, well-reviewed novel The White Field. His work has appeared in several anthologies and journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Poetry International, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Chiron, Louisiana Literature, Slipstream, and Spanish translations of work (translated by Maria Del Castillo Sucerquia) in La Cabra Montes. He is a regular contributor to Mythaixs, an online journal, where in addition to his fiction and essays, his interviews with notable writers, artists and musicians such as Daniel Wallace (Big Fish), Darcy Steinke (Suicide Blond, Flash Count Diary) and Tim Reynolds (T3 and The Dave Matthews Band) have been popular contributions. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle, Washington. Read more of his work on his website.

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.

Your House

By Francine Witte

The street lamps, their hunched necks bowed in prayer, your car rust metal-red, dark as old blood, the porch with its raggedy wicker chair, where your grandfather sat for hours, the morning paper petaled into a flower at his feet. The smell of browning grass, musky and damp and overgrown. The sky since you left me, a bulge of rain, a cotton of clouds filled with the air they forgot to exhale. 


Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books.) Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction), will be published by ELJ in Fall 2021. She is the flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal. She lives in NYC.

Girlhood Gothic

By Daliah Angelique

we are petty girltime criminals,
all guts and guile,
all schoolyard blood pacts
and slumber party rituals,
queens of our dilapidated hospice town,
precocious and feral.

your yellow mothball house
four houses down and across from mine.
do you remember?
on Tuesdays you climb through my window,
fill the room with skunk weed stink
and cotton candy body spray
swiped from the pharmacy.
you always tease me
for my cluttered shelf of Breyer Horses,
and i forgive you because
i know you like my own shadow,
have memorized your freckles
and chipped teeth like a prayer

balance me on your handlebars
and take me down to that old pink chapel,
where we learned cats cradle
among the soggy bibles.do you remember?
my pink sinew elastic around your fingers,
your body like a fresh grave,
warm and alkaline,
holy and breathless.

i once wrote
till death do us part
in your yearbook,
but you’re
not
here


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.

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.

Red Rover

By Daliah Angelique

in 6th grade
i ran into the girl’s fist
Because we were playing red rover
and her laughter came so easy
and i was fawn legged and tongue tied

my mom was always complaining
that i never paid attention
but the problem was i did:
to the outline of training bras beneath t-shirts
and i’s dotted with tiny hearts 
and glossed lips
and the exact moments in Super Smash Bros.
i needed to pause and tilt the camera 
to see up Peach’s dress

in 6th grade
i ran into the girl’s fist
because it was the only way i could
touch her


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.

The Angernaut Management

By Dominic Loise

The Angernaut Management steered for the siren calls
raging rocks clashed together in the office pool 
not keeping the ship steady while the pigs ran wild 
as long as the bacon was brought in
swatting away morsels of truth, they picked and harped
blind to any vision other than their 20/20 hindsight 
never learning to stop and wait for calmer seas
losing others overboard, waterlogged for decades 
clinging to life rafts in the wake of past tempests till 
we stopped circling the waters of that odd odyssey 
and rowed away from The Golden Fleece 
that we could have made any difference 
finally pulling up our anchors to sail on


Dominic Loise is open about and advocates for mental health awareness, as seen with his essay writing for F(r)iction. Dominic’s poetry has appeared in multiple journals, and he was a finalist in Short Editions’ “America: Color it in” contest. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.