Tag Archives: Prose poetry

She used to be a Manichean

By Cassandra Moss

So. And it was the way he stood behind her, unpressed, that meant contact was imminent because he looked at her like her mind was invisible, which it was, and she stumbled, her vodka slapping the floor, his hand went to her arm and they, she guesses, moved away and drew closer and really the solid curve of his chest overpowered the solipsism of her days of removal, her voyages to abstraction when she’s an inner imprisoned in an outer imposter that gets mistaken for her, but in the club there was no horror, horror that usually lives in secretions felt on her brain and ministrations inhaled through her eyes, but no as they are now in his room, starlight slathered over black with the moon watching her through the skylight, watching him and her, ogling them together and this, she thinks, is the business of living as she is undoing her buttons, guided by universal direction, a one way, a summoning, cosmic force pushing her towards, splits torn together. Of course, it’s hardly always like this, she hears herself intone in her mother’s voice. But, she thinks, it sure is hard being a dualist when your glands are gaining prominence.

Cassandra Moss was born in Manchester, England. She moved to London to study and subsequently worked in the film and ELT industries. She now lives and writes by the Irish Sea. Her writing has appeared in numerous journals, including 3 am Magazine, Squawk Back, Posit, Sunspot Lit, KAIROS, The Bangalore Review, The Closed Eye Open, and is forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys.

Mortal Soil

By Anic Ulrope

Reptilian old soul 

you follow me, like rabbit 

like trick, like another bad habit 

crawl, glowing on the golden brown brick lay

embossed dirt in dermis, not soiled

Walk with you, lapping scales undertow 

like weighted sand over scalded toes 

like coarse bubble bath, like mortal coil 

Halt swift, the breach before the dunes 

near the edge of the sea cliff steadfast

Waves hiss back the sand, foam at the shore 

you walk behind me closely today  

like faceless, candid

like imagination, like mortal soil 

Brazen beyond horizon, flash green shadow

Anic is a free thinker. A reader of obscure fiction. A writer of selfish convictions and harsh truths. When she is not reading or writing, she is selling books and roller skating, simultaneously if possible. Her writing background is a mixture of public-school English literature teachers, journaling, and collecting dreams, visions and thoughts since she was seven years old.

Her poetry holds space for subjects such as but never limited to mental health, sex, femininity, race, and individuality. She is currently exploring African ancestry and the complex consciousness that generates the African diaspora within American society.


By A.E. Vogt

There’s salt water in the fields,
tree sap in my hair and
my own bloodied lip was the only honey I tasted all year.
The branches of a dying season claw through my sleep.

Everyone who has touched me
held a hook behind their eyes.
I used to cry to the bile-pale sky for warmth
but the ice won’t hold you, the snow refuses to forget.

Everyone who has held me
carved their name into my tongue
and I swallowed with gratitude.
As it bows over my shape –
sparse as the knee-high forest in winter’s grip –
the chimney shudders and spits more ash
than it’s never known.
If you follow the tracks beyond my blackened bone
you will find the catalyst on his belly,
begging the underbrush for shelter.

If you’re looking for a place to lay the blame:
tie it around my ankles.
If you’re searching for the killer:
don’t look at my grey tongue.

The match in my charcoal fist is still warm.

A.E. Vogt began writing poetry three years ago. She often draws inspiration from her childhood, growing up on the Canadian prairie. She is passionate about writing pieces inspired by elements of nature, folklore, religion, and her experiences of womanhood. When she is not writing, she is busy being a freelance photographer, painting with watercolors or getting lost in the forests near her home in Germany. To read more of her workcheckout her website.

Claudia, I have this poem I need to write

By Rachel Kuanneng Lee

and it’s supposed to be in the tradition of the New York School, which
my instructor says is where the “joy” in the course’s Crisis, Joy, Time
title comes from
and because I’m finally starting to write about Korea
and because we both know the crises that chapter was for the both of us
and because this means I have to find some joy in it somewhere (and I
want to find joy)
I thought about you

remember when we went to Seoul Forest
(which I still think they should call Seoul Manicured Park)
and we saw the two apartment buildings right smack in the middle of it
Galleria Forêt—we laughed about how all truly luxurious things
must have French names and then we said,
“Let’s live there someday” like Big Bang’s G-Dragon and
Kim Soo Hyun from You Who Came from the Stars
now it’s 2020 and GD doesn’t even live there anymore

remember when I moved into the hasukjib on Yeonhui-ro and
we went to Ikea together so that I could get new sheets and a pillow
the largest Ikea in the world (c. 2014) and you got scented candles
and then we waited twenty minutes at the Ori-ro bus stop in early winter
struggled onto the too-warm 505
clutching too-full bags of bedclothes
smelling of winter spice and vanilla essence

remember when you brought me to Seo-Hye eonni’s
studio apartment and she had these huge oil canvases
with her wild-eyed carousel horses on them and the staircase
up to her loft bed, which she lined with empty liquor bottles
and we got all bougie, drinking Johnny Walker Blue
with hot water, eating goat cheese from Nepal
with honey and mini sachet after mini sachet of wasabi
until midnight oh god
to be twenty-five and to realize we’re alive!

it’s hard to believe it’s been four years
we were trying so hard to build our homes and our big little dreams
in a foreign city and even though you’re back in Milan
and I, in Singapore, we must’ve succeeded there
with our own little joys
which is why when I need to think
of something happy about that time, I think of you
and so I think of you, and I write this,
in the five o’clock evening glow of a Sunday

Rachel Kuanneng Lee writes poetry. Her work appears in or is forthcoming at Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Tiger Moth Review, wildness, and the Live Canon 2020 Anthology. She is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow. She is also co-founder of a data science startup and hopes that someday, she might be able to make a coherent narrative out of her career choices, even if today is not quite that day. You can find her online at rachel-lee.me.