Sans America

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Contributor: Eric Carl

- -
I'd like to take you home
make something of you
with you
of us
(not there)

I'd like to welcome you
to my country
to my family
to my life
to a life
we could make
(not there)

I can be yours, here
(not there)

where every smile is hiding a frown
where every cost hides a tax, a fee
where every ad sells hard and bright
where every thing is crumbling
and no one seems to see
couldn't be.

- - -


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Contributor: John Lambremont, Sr.

- -
Don't get a boob lift,
and don't get a tummy tuck;
you are such a gift,
and I am still dumb-struck.

Don't color your hair,
those colors are nowhere;
I see you out there,
in the lake's open air;
you're now and forever
my lovely lady fair.

- - -
John Lambremont, Sr. is a poet living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His poems have appeared most recently in A Hudson View (2010 Pushcart Prize nomination), Boston Literary Magazine, Notes from the Gean, Foundling Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Raleigh Review.

Look At The Sky, Nothing

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
This day it belongs to no one
this evening’s night the same.
Only when you are happy
can you claim that life’s a game.
I only own what is inside me
the rest merely gets in the way.
Flowers, sunsets and peacocks
now all seem the very same grey.
We all dance to our differences
we each struggle to survive.
We try to better everything else
it’s what keeps us all alive.
But is it all really worth it
I often ask my troubled self?
Would it not simply be better
to jump off society’s shelf?
There is nothing to believe in
there is no waiting tranquillity.
Look at the sky, there’s nothing
just take a look you will see.

- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.


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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Sometimes like butterflies,
words land on my ear
and sit there

wings idling till
with straight pins
I attach them

to a page
without disturbing
the dust on their wings.

I watch them and then
name them before
I release them to soar

on a zephyr as if
they were my creation.
What a fool I am.

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

Free Fall

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Contributor: Seawytch

- -
The feeling of forever falling
moving so fast
I try to hang on to something
anything familiar
but things race past me
All I can do is watch
and feel

I feel you
like the thunder of water falling
Your heart beating
against mine
falling together
eat me!
Drink me!

The taste of possibility
My soul grows with it
Your kiss, your eyes
I am branded by them, by you..
I go to life's greatest mystery
with a trembling heart

I realize
laid open
I am more innocent than I thought
I have returned to wonderland
like a child I am in this way
discovery and curiosity
hold me in rapture

This is not to say
I don't have my own Jabberwocky to slay
Indeed fear, doubt..
hold sway
but the light of potential, of possibility
are the light
that guide my way

Free fall
the feeling of falling forever
opening, flowing, hopeful
down the rabbit hole I go
what will become of me
I do not know
all I know for sure is
this journey has just begun
and that I must go

- - -


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Contributor: Alyssa Nickerson

- -
I will not set foot in this new
millennium. You heard me.
I will not go, though to you
I will seem old. This zombie

generation holds no merit
for me, this obscene parody
of a population ignorant
of life outside LCD screens.

Modern obsession feeds
the hordes who need only
the newest great invention
and think only of the Joneses:

a mob who would sell their soul
or another’s for the false gold
trinkets of our go-go gadget age.

I’ll stick to the page and abstain
from the pledge of Allegiance to
Google and the weekly shame
of America’s carnival celebrities.

Your face is haunted by digital
light, a blue glow that floats
about your desk and lounges
in epithelial nests gouged out
by age. You ask in a voice like
rattled chains: how can we waste
the time it might take to peel
our sight away from the maze
we create through veiled waves
and the latest Youtube craze?

We cannot be expected to turn
from the familiar, fatal hum of
cell phones to attend to the mortal
moans of our crippled civilization.

And I cannot begin to answer you.

No, though I may go against the grain,
I will not go forward into this new age.

- - -
Alyssa Nickerson is the product of wonder and wanderlust. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and plans to move to Georgia to study writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been published in Word Riot, VAYAVYA, Poetry Quarterly, Camel Saloon (including Editor's Choice), Eunoia Review, Downer Magazine, and other journals.

Pillow Talk

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Contributor: Ben Rasnic

- -
As you lie in bed,
lay your head gently down
and dream
of black & white feathers exploding
against a background
of clear blue sky
from shotgun pepper spray;

gathered and stuffed
into factory sewn cloth
by slave wage employees
from some third world nation
to deliver
the finest plush down pillow
money can buy
so that you
may sleep well

- - -

Truth, Spirit, Future (Hope To Gain)

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Can you see the truth
that dances free
(so sweet to see)
the truth
that dances free

Can you hear the spirit
washing through meat and mineral
(washing through it all, through us all)
the spirit
like a tide within us all

Can you breathe the future
simple love and life we hope to gain
(simple love and life free from pain)
the future
we all hope
and hope (and hope)
to gain

- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Prayer For Us

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
Keep us safe from wishes
that would tear us apart

bind us against the fleeting joys
that lead to regret and despair

tie our hands when we reach
for the tools of self-harm

deny us the chasing of dreams
that would sunder us completely

give us only pain
that we can easily overcome

strain us, restrain us
only to save us, maintain us
the sweetness
that make each dawn
worth waking up
to watch.

Let us love,
As Lennons do

Let us live
As Buffetts do

Let us lie together
in the end
As Yeagers and Mosers do.

- - -
John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

Capulet's Coffin, Pre-Composed

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Contributor: Alyssa Nickerson

- -

There’s a frigid force behind your directionless escapades.
A tidbit of scheme, malice, design – the manufactured magnanimity folded
in your filed pleats fills the aisles. Unintentional and partial, a tepid following haunts
the forked riverbed. Review the ruckus rendered less candid by purposeful distance.

Part man, part deity – hands melded to guitar and grilled cheese (unmade) –
shakes grace from cacao mane (perched haphazard, poignant in silhouette pose).
A debonair allegiance to ambivalence invokes exotic penumbras like inverted dust;
an innate tattoo to recycle a breath spent sucking on pleated flesh.

Tongue flicks itself over and under frills and folds,
through feral forest, the dry pine needles
now faded to shades of cinnamon.


Don’t believe me yet, but you (as curator) held quite a stash of cures.


I saw your sinews shake.
I made your muscles grind, boy.
I filled your taut latex flesh until it could hold
no more rapture. And I saw those vibrations too,
the undulation absent only from boudoir eyes.

I savored the tip-tap-flicking of your avid
tongue and I tasted with relish (eventually devoured)
the slightly-curdled effusions you allowed escape.

I saw things you perhaps did not see – or saw and abandoned:
a capacity for love, or at least
an honest and aimless devotion –
these things you cast aside
like half-used condom, clammy
as neurotic’s palms and pockets.

I saw truth, as I am wont to do.


Muse, we both knew your prerogative
or the inquiry would not have halted
hands bequeathed to demons at will of impulse
and idiotic lust. I see myself now a whore. Used.
A one-night-stand? A filthy concept. An inspiration
left unanswered – unpenned, unpinned, unexcavated nor even
explored. An instinctive call to intrigue, insidiously ignored.


Don’t believe the wayside advice;
most of all, that bullshit about epiphanies.

Say what you will about elegance, their poise, and
that elusive element of denied perfection –
results of expanding an all-too-enlarged mind.

We know:
found ecstasy fades in a flash,
like Superman in a cage
with nothing left to do but masturbate
to thrice-folded photographs of nymphettes
who laugh at your sacred curves and protrusions
(sweet to taste, with afterglow of old resignation).


Promise me anything, so
long as the layers keep peeling
like the skin on your swimmer’s body –
I could not forget! Such sensation, the tickling
thought-trains, the trite terms entertained for not long enough.

I saw things worth a glance, worth a fevered fumbling fuck or two,
and I will, in cyclical nature, see more than I should:
more than the lies you spewed in ink (a melody I mistook for mine).

In that, I saw the absurdity of naked confession booths
and polygraph ribbons hanged by your inexplicable trills
and the rhythm you cannot yet decipher,
a less vapid way with words.

I see now your affinity for duplicity.

I saw revolutions
you will never ignite.

- - -
Alyssa Nickerson is the product of wonder and wanderlust. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and plans to move to Georgia to study writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been published in Word Riot, VAYAVYA, Poetry Quarterly, Camel Saloon (including Editor's Choice), Eunoia Review, Downer Magazine, and other journals.

Paradise Found

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
You have a choice, Abner.
You can drop your anchor
in the foaming sea
and stand on deck

until you die
and then fall overboard
for eternity.
But that's not me.

I'll swing my anchor
above my head
like a madman's lariat
and let it fly

above the clouds
and beyond the sun.
It will land, I swear,
in paradise

and take me with it.
Paradise is the only place
for curs like you and me.
So pull your anchor up

and swing it round
and let it go.
If you believe, you'll soar
along with me.

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

White Wedding

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
Eyes wide and full of wonder,
Remembering when he was younger,
When dreams were big and days were long..
─he snaps out at the sound of a song.

There she is, all in white,
Tears of joy blur his sight,
Is this real? It cannot be─
He says to himself so quietly.

She takes his hand and his grip tightens,
Perhaps he is a bit frightened,
Shaking, he smiles as her face lights up,
Oh, dear me, this must be love.

Memories flood his racing mind,
The first kiss, her shining eyes,
Come so far from where they were,
He knew from the beginning it would be her.

- - -
I am 20 years old, married and attending Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I enjoy reading and writing in my spare time.

Just A Slice

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Contributor: Lyla Sommersby

- -
Searing joy
in the heat of summer
in the heat of life.

for an instant.

The fullness of sweet grapes
spilling from silver plates.

The abundance
of wanting


the whole pie

instead of

just a slice.

- - -
I am a student in Miami, Florida. Painting is my other love. My first book, Sketches of Someone, is available through Thunderune Publishing.

Escape Plan

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Contributor: Alyssa Nickerson

- -
Abscond with me
to those states of stupor
aligned on the cusp of dawn,

where you answer
the vaudeville babble
of seashore with makeshift
riddle snatched from a poet
society will overlook.

Let your heels slap the pavement
like an invitation to a duel.

Forget the nagging constants,
the see-saw whining of
emotion between ribs.

You see:
it is not the death of
light that haunts you.

It is not silence, but a
brutal ambivalence
that knots sheets at base of bed;

that ties thighs to headboard
with burn-pocked bandanna
& sings nervous litanies
in whispered slang;

that flutters in your periphery,
arriving softly as buckskin
& lace to settle beneath
skin like a worn lover.

It is your indecision
that knocks fabled egg from
fence, a fallow comprehension
of miracle and madness.

It is a stalwart devotion
to choice, half-invented,
that slips about your neck
& collapses Orphic logic
like a young man’s pride;

only anxiety can flood
your skull with reverie
(in the hope of drowning
more than time).

- - -
Alyssa Nickerson is the product of wonder and wanderlust. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and plans to move to Georgia to study writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been published in Word Riot, VAYAVYA, Poetry Quarterly, Camel Saloon (including Editor's Choice), Eunoia Review, Downer Magazine, and other journals.

Frozen in Time

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
His hand on my cheek
─I’m lost
In a place where time stops

Where magic thrives
─Where love is never lost
In a dream that is so real

I won’t wake up
─Not after fifty years
You’ll still be here

Your hands in mine
─Our eyes locked
In a place where time stops

- - -
I am 20 years old, married and attending Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I enjoy reading and writing in my spare time.


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Contributor: Kate Bounds

- -
Why do I write?
I have demons, nay…angels
left shoulder
right shoulder
whispering whispering
truths in form of whys?
chatter chatter so poetic
mental meanderings
turned dark
questioning questioning
striking down applause
watering seeds of doubt
suffocating vines destroying my voice
and I’m left with a without.

- - -
Mother, Grammy, Daughter, Sister, Friend
I write because my head talks too much
and I take pictures so I can remember.

America in 4013

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Is that lava or simply mud
dripping from the cheeks
of this old woman asking me
why this library has no books.
I ask her where she's been
for the last 2000 years.
Under a rock? In some cave?
After all, the year is 4013

and now the only book extant
is the Bible and the only copy
of the Bible is in Rome where
a few monks older than she is
sit in catacombs all day
copying pages of it

onto yellow foolscap, hoping
to create another Bible
no one will read, as was the case,
I'm told, when dusty Bibles
were in almost every home
and computers were a luxury.

But then I soften up because
I can see this woman was born
without a cell phone in her ear.
I tell her if she wants to read
something wonderful online,
as soon as a computer comes free

I'll call her even though she has
no cell phone in her ear.
First, however, she must show
a number, not a name,
tattooed above her navel,
the only form of identification
accepted in America in 4013.

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

A Life of Searching

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
An angel forged in stone,
Yes, that’s what I’ve been,
Throughout my time, a constant fight,
Waiting for my life to begin.

Along came a soldier,
Not the kind that battle war,
A more gentle, caring creature,
Just glided through the door.

Eyes of fire and hope,
A body built for protection,
A heart so strong, yet fragile,
Just right for intense affection.

He caught me off-guard,
This was not what I was expecting,
Though, throughout this life,
For this, I had been searching.

- - -
I am 20 years old, married and attending Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I enjoy reading and writing in my spare time.

You See This Monster?

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Contributor: Instamint

- -
In all
My years
Of living,
The lines
I drew
As a
Child, are
For the
First time,
Blurred. I
Cannot see
The boundaries.
My morals,
My mind
Are blurred.
You pushed
Me farther
Than I
Could have
Ever imagined.
And now,
Now you
Say you
Don't know
Me, but
You see
This monster?
It was

- - -
I write because I feel happy when I do, I can say what I want with out being shunned. From Glasgow, Scotland.

We Share The Air

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Contributor: Dustin Murdach

- -
A man stands, outside in the dark

In a busy part of town, he quenches the vacancy of a dark parking lot

A dead end

The empty dumpster behind him, his only friend

The only thing in this populated, well lit, busy town that is even aware of the man's existence, this dumpster

The whole world completely unaware of this man or what has brought him here

It's dark

He carries three heavy bags tied all around him, he is a bell hop of loneliness

One on his back, one hanging from the front

And one held at his waist

The heaviest one, making it obvious that the ground is an old friend that hasn't been seen in a long time

The bag craves to let gravity do its job, but the man refuses

Until he reaches his new acquaintance

An empty dumpster, in a dark parking lot, at a dead end, in a busy town

Well lit and populated indeed

He carries 3 bags

With all that he has

He drags his whole life, his existence, inch by inch, step by step

Avoiding any set destination

For upon arriving at a chosen location, the reality hits that there's nothing there

Nothing more, than where you were before

And where you'll be, eventually

No guess work, no trying to think of where to go

Direction deceived this man long ago

Drifting with the wind


An honest friend

Maybe this way better than that

Either way, you are where you're at

Standing by an empty dumpster, the man waits

For guidance, for feeling

For the sake of not moving

The breeze light, warm, and unafraid to embrace a total stranger

It gathers him up, wraps around him like a trauma blanket given at the scene of an accident

Reassuring him

Telling him he's lonely, but not alone

For the man has no way of feeling others

For they know not of him

Yet the wind is known, and felt by all, but can never feel a single one

How fragile the embrace of something that can only give, not be seen, asks nothing in return, and keeps us constantly reminded of its existence

For the breeze has touched every man, woman, and child who has ever walked atop this earth

And is connecting everyone, at all times

For the gust that just brushed your face, was the very same that helped build this place

That soft breeze flowing through your hair, is a universal blessing that we all share

The very same that Jesus, Einstein, Da Vinci, and all the great men of history, is now, and always, embracing a perfect stranger

The same breeze that graced every great man, is embracing you now, just wave your hand

For the men who have been written as having the greatest impact on the world, are all but strangers to the breeze

They are but the same to the wind

Men who were worshiped by millions, even men, with only a dumpster as a friend.

- - -
Hello my name is Dustin Murdach. I'm 25 years old and live in Southern Illinois. Thank you for reading.

Objects of Memories

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Contributor: Zulema Payan

- -
I typed the script by 10 and the sky looked old and gray
My hands were shaking—
I contemplated on drinking once again,
I’ve been sober for 3 whole weeks, but like it matters…

So I poured some whiskey and ice, my eyes wandered on left and right, I think the insomnia turned 4 days old tonight.
I'm wishing on the same stars, choosing a new dream.
Remembering the past rides, smiling from the jokes of...
Wait who am I speaking of?
Past lovers ride a long and I can't even fathom on,
What is this idea of love?

- - -
A Phoenix, AZ born artist.

I Chose The Darkness

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Contributor: Instamint

- -
The darkness surrounds
Me, suffocating me.
The white noise
On the television
Illuminating the demons
Hiding in the
Shadows. Flames building
In the sideline,
Waiting for me
To give in.
To grab the
Lighter, and set
Alight my frail
Body. To break
My ready broken
Mind, and laugh.
Laugh at my
Stupidity. To think
That I could
Give up. To
Think that I
Could stop it.
To think I
Could love you
And be loved
In return. No.
It was a
Stupid thought. It
Was nothing more
Than a Dream.
But it brought
Hope. The best
Hope I've had
In years. But
I saw the
Truth and I
Picked up that
Lighter, I did
What I vowed
Never to do again,
Again. I felt
The flames lick
My ready burned
Flesh, I felt
The pain. It
Felt real. The
Only real thing
In my life.
It brought truth.
I can't go
On like this,
Burning away the
Happiness and hope,
But it's gone.
It's too late.
The only thing
Left now is
To get out
Of this mess
I've made. I
Have no other
Choice. It's either
Die in the
Dark, or live
Long enough to
See your light
Go out.
I chose the
But before I
Go, I want
To look into
Your eyes one
Last time and
See the absence
Of love. Those
Oceanic blue eyes
I've always loved,
Washing away my
Fear. I wonder,
Will you even
Miss me when

- - -
I write the things I'm too afraid to say to any one, hence why my name is "Instamint" also, check me out on Tumblr!

Failed Attempt

| Filed under

Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
Ten, Fifteen,
No response, no reply,
It’s been thirty minutes,
Not even a goodbye.

The shaking starts,
Tears fight to fall,
Keep holding on,
They’re sure to call.

What was it they said?
They’re done, thank you,
They love you both,
But it’s over, they’re through.

How much did they drink?
What did they take?
Please, you plead,
Don’t let it be too late.

At last, a reply,
A shining light of relief,
It didn’t work,
No need for grief.

My friend, please,
Hold onto life,
You are not alone,
You can win this fight.

- - -
I am 20 years old, married, and studying at Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I love reading, writing and photography, and am a pretty cheerful person.


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