Monday, July 31, 2017

Going Deaf, a poem by Mary M. Brown

Going Deaf
by Mary M. Brown

For a while it’s mostly bliss,
swimming a lovely, negotiable
lake, the hush of small fish,

or like resting inside a shell,
a turtle, a nutmeat, a swaddled
babe, pacified and riding

the sweet blurry line between
stillness and sleep. But later
you wonder whether the lake

is a roiling ocean you are
alone in with sharks, other
predators, and water pressure

or a kind of padded cell, you
the slow prisoner who wonders
if anyone else will show up

to bring you poetry or mass or
whatever you yearn for—a bible,
cigarettes, kisses, a knife in a cake.

About the poet: Mary M. Brown lives with her husband, Bill, in Anderson, Indiana. She’s a Hoosier not by birth but by long residence and disposition, and she enjoys proximity to all six of her grandchildren. Retired now, she taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan for many years. Her work appears on the Poetry Foundation and the American Life in Poetry websites and has been published recently in Christian Century, The Cresset, Quiddity, Flying Island, and Justice Journal.

Silent, a poem by Nicole Amsler

by Nicole Amsler

My skeletal fingers tent over my chest
A makeshift cage for my aching, thrumming heart
Pain can still slide in
Like a fume, a moth, miasma
But my fingers clench, at the ready
To beat back that which threatens.
Futile dispersion.

But they do not reach, do not beckon, call
They do not beseech or even pray.
My hands only bear witness, gnarled and still.
They do not speak the anguish
Instead words perish, congealed and unknowable
A barnacle, a lesion, an ectopic pearl
The unspoken, Brailled in scar tissue.

From Nicole Amsler: Seldom a poet, I write stunningly dull marketing copy as my day job and magical realism fiction at night. I am a writer conference groupie, a middle aged cosplayer, and a book pimp. I've moved eleven times in my 20+ year marriage and Indiana is the only place I've lived twice.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Pale Horse, a poem by Alex Schnur

The Pale Horse
by Alex Schnur

Death comes not upon a pale horse,
but riding on a blood clot,
prowling through an artery.

It hides in piles of filth
and the insides of microbes,
on the wings of birds
and the dust of a coal mine.

Death waits in the wings of our vices,
swirling in the bottoms of bottles
perched upon cigarettes
packed into pills
dripping from needles
and homogenized into trash food.

It lurks in the oceans,
both the shallows and the depths.
It waits on the mountains,
in both snow and stone.

Sometimes death takes to stage
and you see it coming,
as fast or as slow as it likes.

Other times death is a thief,
quick as lightning,
and before you can hear the thunder
your life is gone.

About the poet: Alex Schnur is currently working to achieve a bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University - Purdue University Columbus, with a concentration in creative writing. He only refers to himself in third-person for the purpose of crafting biographical statements.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Stella Rosa, a poem by Chrysa Keenon

Stella Rosa
by Chrysa Keenon

Why does the poison
Make my words flow easier?
The burn through my veins is like
the lightning of God
cursing me with the pain all humanity has wrought
I hate the feeling
but the elixir makes me see stars
Dancing across my skin, like when you’re around.
If I could touch one, I would
crush it into my bones
and make it part of me, not letting it
flow away in the morning
like my dreams of you.

Bio: Chrysa Keenon is a student at Taylor University, studying Professional Writing. She has been published in various newspapers and magazines, including Changes in Life, The Echo, The Fictional Cafe, and Evangelical Church Libraries. She spends the time she is not writing reading and perfecting her knitting skills.

shots found, a poem by Kristine Esser Slentz

shots found
by Kristine Esser Slentz

i found you in shot glasses dotting the dark wood of an irish pub bar; sadly, among the tiny cup wreckage you couldn’t find me.

About the poet: Kristine Esser Slentz is originally from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, accent and all. She is a Purdue University alum that studied English literature and creative writing while working at the independent student newspaper, The Exponent. After college Kristine has written pieces in publications such as the HuffPost; Pattern; and Nuvo, Indy’s Alternative Voice. Currently, Kristine is the Assistant Editor at Unfold and has published poetry in Sweater Weather Magazine and The Unprecedented Review.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Violets, a poem by Rebecca Berry

by Rebecca Berry

When I pull off my shirt I see it again

Flowers blooming

Violets, always violets

No daisies or sun flowers

Just violets that whisper


Just violets from you

So dark, round and often misshapen

Tattooed over my breastbone

To the small of my back

And the crevice of my hips

Always nesting like a tiny bird

Some days it’s just the one

Curled up tight into the crook of my arm

Where I barely notice

Other days it’s like my body is a field

Where you scattered those dark blossoms

You never asked me if I wanted them

Never told me where you’d inherited yours

But I promise I will try to keep them

And not let them spread to someone else’s skin.

Rebecca Berry: “I am originally from Indianapolis. I graduated from Earlham College last year with a bachelors in Comparative Languages and Linguistics. After graduating I devoted a year of service with an AmeriCorps program, and since have been devoting my time to beginning my career as a writer.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nikumaroro, a poem by Andrew Chapman

for HRC

by Andrew Chapman

Sand and salt, no 
landing strip to speak
of little girls in goggles,
they waited, they still do.

400 miles short, horizon 
won’t reveal the sun 
boils, spits bitterness, 
leaks gas on the 

sand. Faded photos, un-
built statues fill fake 
memories, we wrote down 
too soon.

What remained you 
gave to the crabs, buried
nothing for us to find, to
point out and say was yours.