Expelled Love

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Contributor: Daipayan Nair

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Love breathes its last
when life
breathes its first air
in an air full of 'my love'
and continues
to be loved for love
and not because of love
as it grows up
to be a 'his love'
that repeats its life
and ultimately dies
or a 'her love'
that continues after a death,
extending the death
or a 'our love'
that keeps ignoring a death
all in a nostril
whose love is just the
attraction of an
expelled commodity.


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Born on 1988 in a small town of Silchar, Assam, India, Daipayan Nair is a freelance writer/columnist, poet, fiction writer and essayist. His works have been published in a lot of anthologies and poetry journals like The Poetry Breakfast, The Galway Review, Tuck Magazine, 1947 Literary Journal, Duane's PoeTree Blog etc. He was recently awarded The Reuel International Poetry Prize 2016.

Negative Approach

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Contributor: Michael Marrotti

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I keep
searching
for words
that'll
out live me

Doing the
right thing
even though
it's not
reciprocated

Obsessing
over my health
most of the
time mentally

I've done more
bad than good
nobility is
overlooked
through my
transgressions
I'm remembered

Names like Hitler
or Dahmer still
ring an alarming bell
to millions of citizens
bring up Jonas Salk
and most of the time
people are dumbfounded

I'll be deleted
like outdated porn
taking up space
on a hard drive
if I keep up
this positive
approach

I better change
my ways
before I lose
my ticket to
immortality

I'm denigrating
my poems
since bad
is so alluring


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Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh, using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His new book, F.D.A. Approved Poetry is available at Amazon.

Immunization

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Contributor: Scott Thomas Outlar

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I learned how to bathe
in the light of God’s love
while tragedy
tried to torture me
with temptations
toward annihilation.

I learned how to forgive
even the most cruel attacks
because the thought
of holding on
to the knife in my heart
was far too bloody even for my imagination.

I learned how to dance
while the moon cycled red
with my head to the sky
and my mouth open wide
to taste the slow drip
of poison as it poured.

I learned how to laugh
both first and last
so that the inevitable crash
would never cut
too close
to my protected core.


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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and books can be found.

TOMORROW

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Contributor: Bruce Levine

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Tomorrow.
What if we may love?
Tomorrow.

Today.
Our love burns with a fire
That the fires of Hell
Never equal.

Yesterday.
We met.
Innocently we found
Each other.

The day before.
Our loves apart
And alone.

Tomorrow.
We love.


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Bruce Levine is a native Manhattanite who now lives in Florida with his wife and their dog Daisy. He’s spent his life as a writer and a music and theatre professional. His shows have been produced in New York and around the country and his works have been published in a variety of media, including Brimfield Publications, Heuer Publishing, Rodale Press, Every Writer, Eskimo Pie, Friday Flash Fiction, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and a soon to be released story in Visitant.

Funeral for the Last Parent

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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They were never one
always two
yet they had five,
adults themselves now,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew,
wondering still
after all these years
why the two
were never one.

It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They were galaxies apart.
They had no answer
yet they still had five,
adults themselves now
who can celebrate
they're here at all,
bowling pins today
upright in the front pew.

No need to wonder why
the two who loved them
were never one.
It's not a story
the two would tell
even if they could.
They're galaxies away.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Song of Storms

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Contributor: BL Blackwood

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Naiad and dryad peer from copse and cove
To see, the west-blown sigh lifted on a breeze,
To greet a flow of ships with down-furled sail,
Blown in from distant foreign lands, across

Amber waves carried, cargo to unload.
Sheets of music spill forth on parchment;
Ebony and ivory hulls expend themselves.
They pour from their holds onto the dry docks.

Admiral Beethoven commands on high
The quiet rumble of an armada spread
Groaning on the waves, a marching army
With boots striking the grey stones of their path.

Covert overture to be overheard,
Unattended as arranged by him to be.
Strings build up on one another, raising,
Rising in anticipation of a third movement,

Climbing, coming, surely rising like a tide.
They bear their sonic burden up the steps
Standing to his innovations, to clash,
To crash down like the roar of ovation.

Ludwig poses with pride atop a mountain.
His limbs flail to mirror his hair unruly;
He casts them off in cardinal directions,
Tossed, arcing across the summer sky.

The composer stops. He breaks in repose.
He pauses to rest, arrests, resting his arms.
They quiver as he quivers, a moment
But a moment, the beat of a wing—


He broods. He gathers composure like static
To himself, tension building, growing, rising
The air thick enough to pour, to drink,
To hold like a bird, a breath in his hand.

The composer rests; he pauses but a moment,
A moment but a breath, and then to resume.
Silence stretches like a hush on a crowd—
Then bolts the knife! It strikes, harsh and hard.

His heart spills its contents like a shattered wineglass.
As Ludwig reels, falling back from his post,
His very breath exhales, in sputters, in fits,
A toccata of spiccato notes shredding the bow.

He folds. His creases increase in measure.
He drops sail, a white flag at half mast,
A tree struck and split down the charred middle,
Severed in two, no direction no form

On the splintered chamber plays in tumult
As sirens sing discord through jagged teeth
And rush up to meet the fallen musicmen,
A jazz-deaf crew in drunken stagger.


- - -
I'm a 23-year old artist, poet, and Science Fiction author. When I'm not writing, reading, or painting, I can be found driving for Uber and Lyft.

Paleontology

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Contributor: Sarah Henry

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I remind him of a fossil.
I follow him around.
I follow him down the path
in the park which leads
to a playground.
I am imprinted like a baby
duck following its mother
in a straight line.

What has he done to
bring this on himself?
Every man knows
what he’s worth.

Leaves drop all around us.
They are thick with squirrels
and rotting hazelnuts.

A stone monument stands
at the entrance to the park.
It holds a time capsule
designed to be opened
in fifty years. I wonder
about the contents,
possibly sour, petrified,
or congealed.


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Sarah Henry lives near Pittsburgh, where she is retired from a newspaper. Her poetry has been published locally and farther afield.

Seven Haiku

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Contributor: Jennifer Y. Montgomery

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Shame

India ink on
the white rug. So many towels.
Still damp, grey after.


Sign

That morning the damp
on pavement is bleeding round.
Fleeting crop circle.


Fragments

An unripe apple.
Cold, chapped hands. Draft beneath the
Piano room door.


After

After the fire,
Smoke caught in her hair, ensnared.
Tears poured forth at will.


Anachronism

She felt out of time.
She left the wash on the line
And now this downpour.


Truth

The indent from too
tight gloves. Manifest as skin
goes pink. Ache then hum.


Preparation

Rust bleeds through the paint
with every coat. She must strip
it down to the bone.


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Jennifer Y. Montgomery is a poet, visual artist, pie baker, and attorney who lives in Connecticut with her daughter. She considers writing poetry to be a meditation. Her poetry has appeared in Red Weather and Haiku Journal.

When a Debutante Marries a Troll

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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The problem is, Priscilla grew up
in a penthouse having parties while
Biff came of age under a bridge

fighting other trolls, he remembers.
When Pris calls his office and says
we're having guests tonight

the chasm in their marriage grows.
The guests go home sauced and smiling
but the chasm stays behind, snarling.

Biff can't make the leap to kiss Pris
and some day have 10 kids.
The next time she invites guests

he wants to be told at dawn.
Biff plans to skip feeding the pit bulls
and introduce them to her guests.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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