Recipe for Free Speech by Sena Chang

This piece was previously published in Daruma. recipe for eternal suppressionof free speech (9.2 million ratings)​1 by joseph stalin, 1929  ingredients ½ cup of journalists 2 cups of censorship (disguise as cleansing of the media)high gini coefficient (works best with >0.5)a pinch of elites and a generous amount of peasants (1 : 20 ratio)skyrocketing unemployment rate (the higher, the better) vast land area to hold crimson ink spilled … Continue reading Recipe for Free Speech by Sena Chang

Abecedarian of Loss by Claire T Jennings

Apples lie rotting in their cottage garden as she falls asleep upstairs. Sweetbabes torn prematurely from the arms of their mother, now battlecorpses buried in shallow graves. Theirdead flesh and yellow leaves areeaten by maggots, railroad flies who pass out drunk,fat with honey fungus and cider. Her husband lights a bonfire,grabs the wheelbarrow, filling it with the maggoty bodies once ripe likehers. Meanwhile upstairs she … Continue reading Abecedarian of Loss by Claire T Jennings

How Are You? by Amy Stewart

I’m alright, thanks – although now you ask I do feel a bit,you know,skinned –like the last layertougher than the reststretched tight over my drumhas ripped – and out comeall the things I can’t sayunseen thingsthat can’t find the words to fit themshapeshifters –I can’t pin down in any tonguea whole sea of shapeundulating and erupting – painless, silent Sorry, thanks for asking This post … Continue reading How Are You? by Amy Stewart

Leftovers by Ceinwen Haydon

Wine-careless, you try to wipetacky, viscous stuff off our soiled floor.Still my feet stick. I can bear no more.I begged you to take more care when spillingnourishing meals, everythingI’ve ever cooked for you. Now I know, with your plummy Rioja you prefer snacks, salty and sweet, rather thanbalanced main courses. Our fridge is rank,full of leftovers, things you’ll throw outeventually. Wasted food, lost hours.  I … Continue reading Leftovers by Ceinwen Haydon

Cleopatra’s Needling by Karen Ridley

Age shall not wither her I think someone said. Well, that was a bloody lie for starters; I wither like a plant in a winter bed.  Now gnarly hands twist like roots around my head, where fingers once played music on myriad lovers. Age shall not wither her I think someone said.  In memories I dance, I move with grace he said. A tortoise: I totter, I twist, I tumble, I … Continue reading Cleopatra’s Needling by Karen Ridley

Phosphorus by Jordan Aramitz

There’s a firefly warmth to your wry eyesthat I want to capture in mason jars,to make string lights out of them,out of memories better left behind. 3am is the bewitching hour. My circadianrhythm scours two continents to bowto a heartbeat I can’t hearacross an ocean I can’t cross.I buy a dream [or two] of youand in my mind, the curves of yourphosphate lips glow and … Continue reading Phosphorus by Jordan Aramitz

Fall’s Belly by Kehinde Winful

Growing stripes.Vertical like the feelings that never left leavewater-sized marks on the hills of my cheeks. Growing in vain.Still reminiscing on yesterday, please somebody come lie with me.There are no fresh starts – only leaves. Concave bulge simile.Normal bodies on easy street, phase outlike the clear sky. Fire flies directly over me. New size, turn and see. Fresh eyes watch. Stay longer and wade with … Continue reading Fall’s Belly by Kehinde Winful

Shades of Black Don’t Hide in Shadows by Larna Bobby Lou

Black is the colour of my velvet suit Grandmother dressed me in for baptism,Black is the colour of carbonado, a natural diamond in its purest form,Black is the colour of Olbers’ Paradox which holds everything possible in the entire universe,  Black is the colour of my chest. The first shade used by Palaeolithic artists to express their innocent joy, Black,The sweet pansy seeds on small plants, … Continue reading Shades of Black Don’t Hide in Shadows by Larna Bobby Lou

Ode To A Dream Catcher by Makaila Aarin

At the Arizona market, I perusean array of crafts and relics in booths.My hand reaches for a Sacred Hoop of willow wrapped in rose coloured leather:a frame for a woven web of sinew,an anchor for gemstones and feathers. Now hanging from my purple painted wall,a talisman between the night skyand my body curled under Grandma’s quilt. Each night, new terrors haunt sleeping hours:my body plunges … Continue reading Ode To A Dream Catcher by Makaila Aarin

Plaid by Lindz McLeod

Luminosity among the pine  needles; silken-sided peers.  They fell him with twelve flannel shirts  sewn into wings, feed him his own  wolf whistle until his teeth blubber.  Good boy: cubbed mouth eager and malleable. Good boy: fit for purpose and factory fresh. They take to the skies again,   having picked clean  the carcass of a compliment,   and scour their teeth with scorn. This … Continue reading Plaid by Lindz McLeod

Matches by Debbie Hudson

Stood terraced in this limited Lowrylandscape, monochrome-matchstick lads liddedvermilion and blue. Like the bruise from yourdad, when he’s seven pints bittered on anil-one score. Blunt swipe of your fringe, blank face,buttoned coat. You’re a naïve oil painting,this sketched-scanty Saturday afternoon. This post is brought to you by PoetryBri Creating personalised & bespoke poetry and assisting with any writing needs. About The Author Debbie is a … Continue reading Matches by Debbie Hudson

Walk Towards the Whisper by RG Thomas

Spin is a whisper,a quiet collusiondressed up as fact, paraded as truth. Bias murmursabout the wayyou look or walkor think or talk. Prejudice shouts,behind your back,in your face,inside your head. Tyranny is dumb.No need to speakto the disregardedand dispossessed. Freedom is a cryfrom the streetsby those who failedto walk towardsthe whisper. This post is brought to you byAJ Editorial Services Offering editorial support to indie authors. … Continue reading Walk Towards the Whisper by RG Thomas

A Burning World by Erica Abbott

The television set sizzles with static while the world burns at your feet – a war that’s been seen before is teetering on the precipice of unhinged jaws and fingers cut off from the electrical charges of the brain. Here lies all the truths that were kept buried while every lie hums just outside the window, glowing with the warmth of a firestorm. If you … Continue reading A Burning World by Erica Abbott

In Real Life by Rachel Tanner

Let’s talk about the newness of it all, of thebeginnings that followed me homethe entire hour drive back from your housethe morning you heard me throw upfrom last night’s wine and tried to kiss me goodbye anyway. The night was warm. I mostly remember how I was shaking when I took your handand put it on my knee while we watchedsome old horror movie you’d boughton Amazon. … Continue reading In Real Life by Rachel Tanner

My First Strand of Grey by Michael B. Keane

It happened today: my first strand of grey.In my bathroom’s bright light, I felt shock, then dismayas my fate flashed before me: arthrosis, infirmness,decay, the faint footsteps of Death on his way.I felt hopeless already: aging, unsteady,and struggling to think. “What about me won’t shrink?My backaches? My future collection of hair dye?The length of my soon-to-be thousand-yard stare?” Istepped backwards, then forwards, then turned to … Continue reading My First Strand of Grey by Michael B. Keane

Two Poems by Haley Byer

Parting the Red Sea The bog – bolbus berries blistering red, burst ripe in the late September sun. I, captivated, carried courage in my life before – carelessness. I returned home from the coast of clams to find Pa had become one of the ghosts of the bog. I wade through red water and I wait in my waders  wondering how long it took the wolf spiders to eat him. Ma says that I’m wrong but I never … Continue reading Two Poems by Haley Byer

Three Poems by R. Gerry Fabian

Just Waiting For A Title I have a song in methat doesn’t have a title.It has a Tastee Freezclosed for the winter sadness.The song occurs in late fall.Even though there are lovers;it is not a ballad.The refrain is stabbedby saxophone urgency.But I goose bump to the lyrics.They are exceptional wordsthat go together so wellI always wonderif they were really writtenor if they have been togetherswirling … Continue reading Three Poems by R. Gerry Fabian