Month: August 2018

“The Stained Confessions of an American Wino”

“The Stained Confessions of an American Wino”

Brett Stout is a 39-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates mostly controversial art usually while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment known as “The Nerd Lab” in 

“Ode to Lakapati”

“Ode to Lakapati”

                “Lakapati, pakanin mo yaring alipin mo; huwag mong gutumin.”                     “Lakapati, feed thy servant; let him not hunger.”                   — ancient supplication, once proclaimed before 

“Genetic Predisposition”

“Genetic Predisposition”

Our lovely daughter
is reading a book on magical jellyfish
& one on the history of the human world.
She is even more kind than her brother
though she’s a sore loser.
Her brain’s like a falcon,
the way it flashes & swoops, how fast
she does long division.

Our lovely daughter
might inherit the disease,
be anointed in her late teens.

She is already better
than her father at chess,
a master at 13. She plays soccer,
runs quick, interrupts people &
loves her birthday
the way you love yours.

In the future, she might fashion
herself a prophet
a real one,
shun sleep
on her way to a hospital
bed & antipsychotics
because What if I never wake up?
I hear her say.

& what a laugh she has,
how it is a home for our hearts
with its fig-like sweetness,
its sound like a wind chime.
Remember how she would give you & me
kisses without asking, the unparalleled gifts?
Or how her tiny hand
would move her hair
out of her face as a little girl,
like drawing the curtain open
on this city’s finest stage.

It would be pain
to see our daughter
lose grip of her irrepressible mind,
watch her thoughts jump around
like a battalion of bullfrogs,
see her confused at what day it is,
her eyes redden from exhaustion,
the circular flares
propelling her higher to a different world,
away from here & us.


Nicholas Reiner is a Latino poet, sports writer, and chess expert from Southern California. He holds degrees from Stanford University and University of California, Irvine, where he completed an MFA in poetry. His work appears or is forthcoming at Spillway, B O D Y, and Connotation Press. He lives in Santa Monica, CA with his wife.

“Lineage”

“Lineage”

I claim direct descent from those born from the depths of soil not the ones who fell from their thrones. Fatima Siraj is a Liberal Arts student and a part-time facilitator based in Pakistan. She conducts poetry workshops in schools to encourage young students toward 

“Mother Daughter”

“Mother Daughter”

My mother overshares with me transferring scars through stories that do not leave a mark if my listening brings her healing should I scratch her wounds? Fatima Siraj is a Liberal Arts student and a part-time facilitator based in Pakistan. She conducts poetry workshops in 

“Seventh Harvest”

“Seventh Harvest”

The lady pitching a tent by our apple fields turned out to be the one who was almost your mother. I sensed somehow that there wasn’t yet a mold for which this particular news should reach you so I gathered a few cotton swabs and packed your ears, so soft. I wondered as I began to whisper (biology, abandon) whether you knew yet that your body interrupts things, that is to say, to have a frame is in part devastation. I have watch you with our group of fat chickens, pastel arm finding saddle with meticulous kindness. The limb, the fowl, the glut.

Which part of this have you considered yours, and how long.


Jordana Solomon is a lover of lemons. Originally from a small town on the Hudson River, she currently studies at Middlebury College and has previously attended The Breadloaf Writers’ Conference as well as interned at the Poets House in New York City.

“Ghazal for Girl”

“Ghazal for Girl”

when my mother says I am a universe in the shape of a girl it is to say I inherit her chemical tears        a moon-sad girl star-blossoms sprout from my eyes        perfumed black holes I swallow dark matter    

“Lineage or Lullaby”

“Lineage or Lullaby”

I am at a loss because I am at a doorway and it is both my door and a child. I am here and I am on my grandmother’s lap twenty years ago, and she is singing a dry creekbed, because of course she never 

“Swamp Sparrow as Housewife”

“Swamp Sparrow as Housewife”

In the morning I come to you
like a baby sparrow—my eyes
can’t see straight. Where is our son?
What does it mean to be a woman or person
or bird or bed or falling chunk
of sky? When you go,
in the heat of the night, the sound
of my voice is a hammer
sticking an empty metal barrel.
Even the crocodiles
are reverent. I think,
this is what God feels: lonely,
afraid of his own sound.
I am unhappy with the way
my stomach wants you.
I am unhappy with the things
my hands do—curl around each other,
shiver. Ache. Look at the hundreds
of bones on the back
of my palm. This could be
a broken wing.


Sara Moore Wagner is the Cincinnati based author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Gulf Stream, Gigantic Sequins, Stirring, Reservoir, The Wide Shore, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and was a recent finalist for the Tishman Review’s Edna St Vincent Millay Prize. Find her at www.saramoorewagner.com.

“Things We Need To Speak Of”

“Things We Need To Speak Of”

Antlers half-buried in the mud like a cabin shut deep in the woods that nobody enters a grizzly hibernating within that dream of the salmon who never returns to the drying river a farmer must look away from the harvest the cities are not meant