Issue 4

Father Dear

By Olivia Agostini I couldn’t take it anymore, his booming voice and wrath. I’d cower, cover ears and pray his fire’d die, he’d go away.I’d sob and hide up on the stairs, my mother’d guard me well, But as his face went crimson red, he’d throw my suitcase, words unsaid, And I and mother huddled …

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Tori Kingston’s Gallery

By Tori Kingston

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Memories Keep Coming Back to Remind Me of Your Love

By Julia Martyn Around 1954, I’d walk home from schoolIn the afternoonsI’d stop and sit by the little streamAnd rub my fingers on the pebblesI loved the raw circles I made on their tipsCircles as red as the skinUnder the plump bubble of a blister.Around 1960, the year of Bach, especially on bad nights I’d …

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The Last Sandcastle

MJ Bujold It was early July,1967. I was turning thirteen in eight days. I was getting my ears pierced for my birthday. My mom said I would be almost a woman and I would be expected to behave like a lady from then on. No more climbing trees or exploring expeditions in the woods behind …

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Adverse Reactions

Katie Durant Partial list of things I am allergic to: ·         Pith – all, orange in particular ·         Mousse – all, chocolate in particular ·         Caterpillars – Fuzzy ·         Dust – all ·         Pollen – all, ragweed in particular         On my daughter’s initial pediatric visit, my mother asked the doctor if she believed in …

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Papa the Jungle Warrior

By Karie Ociepka, One Lux Designs

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The Person Behind the Mask

By Abigail Duffer You see my tears, you see my scarsYou don’t hear my cries, you don’t see my painYou see my smile, you hear my laughYou see my suffering, but you do nothingYou heard my story, you said they were liesYou watched as I fell apart, but still did nothingYou watched as my grades …

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Winter Transitions

By Thomas Laughlin

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Happy New Year

Destiny Donahue Dad can’t have tequila;I guess it makes him stripAnd dance on top of tables.Mom can’t have vodka;She gets angry, throws glass,And stomps up the stairs.That’s okay, though-I’ve learned to pick up the broken piecesWithout cutting myself anymore.Today I learned something new though;Mom can’t have tequila either.It doesn’t make her strip like Dad,But instead, …

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No One to Hear My Screams

Destiny Donahue Breathing is the only thing hinting that I am actually alive.It comes out in huffs, freezing before my eyes. Running my tongue along the length of my chapped lips,I feel my ripped skin snag and sting for moisture.My hair is in tangles like a garden of snakes,but he will be here soon.He’ll take …

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Into the Nothing

by Robert M. Mendonsa For Ken Your shade is lost, drifting alone      Amid forgotten waves that breakAgainst shores distant and forgone.     Lost echoes, their tolling,Incarcerated undertones–     Cut off in a void, worlds apart,Leaving behind only this gravestone. Remnants stand together in a field, still,      Yet I am so utterly …

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I Saw You Across the Room

Michelle Davis I saw you across the room-A spark,A kindred soul.When I got closer, I saw so much more…The journey has been a whirlwind-Feelings,Adventures,Souls dancing.Suddenly the earth shakes-A mistake-You are on the other side-A crater deep forms between us.I’m scared,lost, alone.I look into your eyes. Distance,Disappointment,Heartbreak,I reach out-Desperate to touch you.Fall to my knees,Begging,Clawing at …

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Kenneth Brown’s Gallery

By Kenneth Brown

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4 Snapshots of ’99

Zach Rahed ISaturday morningsWatching Looney Tunes in Red Sox pajamasCasual drives down Lake StreetSummer of ’99Pancakes whisked and flippedOldies whistling “The House of the Rising Sun”The Animals strumming resonant chordsLike ruby-throated, jet-planed wings outside the glass“Boys, come quick!” Grandpa’s adamant“A hummingbird! Ooooo!” he gawksA spatula caked with pancake batterClacks against the floor“Kenneth!” Granny scornsFeet stomp …

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The Air So Thick

Michelle Davis The air so thick It crushes my lungs With each labored breath I walk forward.To the unknownTo a world without youThe sun burningMy eyes and skinHeart bleedsLeaving a trail of sorrow behind.I don’t dare look back to see you To see her in your armsShieldedCradled Loved Taken my place by your sideI travel …

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Dreaming Driftwood

by Robert M. Mendonsa Amber doors of dawn      Wake me from sleep Dark as death,     To roam from warm, hazy streets      To the cold moors of dread,Past the frothy window panes sheathed      From the breath of all these undead;They march along the shore, unable to weep,     …

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Aesthetic Ire

by Robert M. MendonsaThis incessant dark instillsA rage beyond capacity.Trapped, I beckon the gloomIn a longing, wrathful pondering.A vermilion mist, its droplets stingLike the burn of a viper’s kiss,Pours from whence it cameBeyond the brimstone barsOf this intolerable alteration.Vaporous fiends, they dragTalons clawed into my cogitation,Their eyes lost in opalescent leersWhile I’m pulled from the …

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Crystalline

by Robert M. Mendonsa For AshleyWater ripples as she treads toward me,A reflection dancing in the wavelet;Reeds tethered to a rocky beach, its sands outshinedBy a glowing primrose sun, A heart of haloed fire.I glimpse that same dazzle in her eyes,Where her innermost light flickers and shinesAzure and crystalline.  

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The Leaves Are Changing

by Robert M. Mendonsa ‘The leaves’, she said. ‘The leaves are changing.’ Dylan woke to the droning hum of a vacuum cleaner. It resounded from the other side of his bedroom door, originating from the living room of his campus apartment. He crunched a pillow over his ears, tempted to throw the pillow into the …

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The Harvestman: Murder in the Town of Wayfarer’s Rest

by Raymond Anganes Once upon a time in the dead of a warm night in July, four boys sat around a campfire in a graveyard at the edge of town. The breeze threw patterns into the tongues of fire, and the shadows of the night danced across the skinniest boy’s face. He was the haunted …

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Random

by Alizeh Khawaja the rhythm of my heartdoesn’t ask for forgivenessit yells for considerationthat maybe this timeyou won’t turn your words into bullets and shoot the valves that make me this lividBut who am I kidding,you’ll just be another witnessto the divine chaosthat my heart has to live in

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Forged Dreams

by Alizeh Khawaja I am on a searchFor a place filled with loveWhere the rain leaves a rainbow at every chanceWhere our minds are parallel not divergingWhere the desire to be seen as equal doesn’t existWhere boys can cry freely and girls can run the world without being underestimated (Where pineapple doesn’t go on pizza)Where …

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Visions

by Alizeh Khawaja I look at eyes Like how I look at the skyI look for ensconced tiny stars Behind the grey bars,The lines jet planes create when theyScrape the light polluted atmosphereJust being aware of your risk makes you less likely to fall

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Lost Memories

by Alizeh Khawaja I keep forgettingYour blue eyes rolling whenever you got madThe way your sneaky smirk made my eyes light upi keep forgettingThe times you held me when I felt worthless Sharing secrets thru the taste of your soft lips I keep forgetting yet I know what every single moment that I loved you …

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Firsts

by Alizeh Khawaja Do you remember how it felt?The first time the sun rays gleamed warmth on your skinThe first time you felt the raindrops slide down your armsThe first time you felt the breeze squeeze through your hairDo you remember?The first time you fell in love with the worldDo you remember who you were …

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Body Parts

by Alizeh Khawaja the things you saymake me look awaymy eyes are left to straylooking for the rights wordsfor your mouth to sayyour hands are the onesthat keep me from running awayand your tongue spills outnasty news that pierces right throughmy ears have no sudden wayto block those words of betrayalbut your eyes speak truthand …

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Future

by Alizeh Khawaja stop ravaging this worldby thinking you can make it your ownthis world needs hopenot another disaster to copepeople are differentDesirousImportantFascinatingFierceEagerRareEfficientNoticeableTrueembrace the newembrace the freshembrace the originalityin those who are differentthey are not dangerous in any waythey are just made this waydon’t undermine themjust because you want to be them

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Boutique – Don’t Ever Change Your Beautiful Self-Controlled Dancing – EP

https://robinrougeboutique.bandcamp.com/album/dont-ever-change-your-beautiful-self-controlled-dancing-ep Dedicated to Steve Strange

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Alizeh Khawaja’s Photo Gallery

By Alizeh Khawaja

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Abigail Duffer’s Gallery

By Abigail Duffer

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Dead River

Tim Bleecker Dead River, Dead River, let’s make a reviewof all the trash you absorb from us,the burdens we sink in you.In the scum of an eddy a baby carriage squats,one wheel just straining above the slime.The gleam of bottlesinterrupts your mud,and snagged in your weedsare papers covered with crime.Dead River, Dead River, inexorable flow,where …

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The Killdeer

Tim Bleecker Inaptly named, though dagger billed,the killdeer shrieks her plaintive cry,bobs her body—tail dipped, head high—in pacifistic vehemence, filledwith guile. Who taught her to be wise?How thrilling to watch her flashing blackand white as the object of her attack,pinned down by her orange-circled eyes.Quicker than the leap of my heartshe’s in retreat, has lost …

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Frailty and Spring: A Farewell

Tim Bleecker This is the brown-leaf muskinessa man might smell if he were newly lying in his grave.Above that chord of rich decaythere wafts a harmonyof buds and grass and hope.Lying outside, alone at lastin the generous clasp of spring,I give myself to the bell-likecrinkle of old leaves, to last year’scrunchy grass and the damp …

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A Soldier’s Prayer: For My Dearest Valentine

Julia Martyn Pretend there is a movie,And in that movie,We are the stars,And we fall in love,We are separated—–There are many troublesperhaps the world is on the brink of war,but we struggle on,for months or even years.At last the struggle ends.The music starts.I am in your arms,The rain stops, a train leaves,And we kiss.After the …

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My Rural Christmas Childhood: In Memory of my Father and Mother

Julia Martyn One side of the potato pit was white with frost-How wonderful that was, how wonderful!And when we put our ears to the pailing- postThe music that came out was magical!The light between the reeks of hay and strawWas a haven in heaven’s gable, an apple tree?With its December-glinting fruit we saw-O you Eve …

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Dedicated to my Muse

Julia Martyn His voice was as deep as the ocean,Years of medication came in-handy now.Listen to the humming birdwhose wings you cannot see.Listen to the butterfly.Listen to the mind of God.Don’t listen to me.

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Judged by a Cover

Amanda Bordenca In a world of such uncertainty,Hope is all we have.Be kind to those around you,And the ones you have not met.Sympathy and empathy,Qualities hard to find.But when you meet those special peopleBe sure to pay some mindOr you won’t see their value.Your eyes are blind when looking close,Open up and take a read.You’ll …

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