By Lynn White
We see the sights, gawp at the spectacles,
go on expensive excursions to view them.
We have forgotten that they were built to subdue us,
to shock and awe
make us feel small
to know our place in the scheme of things.
But we take for granted the everyday enormities,
the skyscraping giants of utilitarianism
towering over our Lilliputian selves.
We have long ceased to wonder,
to be impressed by their scale.
We play our games,
and live our lives
under their shadows,
and we don’t even see them.
It doesn’t matter our subjugation is complete.
“I write to let the words escape.” – the writer
By Nick Pipitone
I feel like a conquistador when I walk down Wharton Street in South Philly. Do I belong here? Construction crews clang steel and kick up dust, pushing out black and brown people the city doesn’t want, making room for pet stores, record shops, and other novelties some in the neighborhood see as red flags.
I walk gingerly. We want unity in our pluralistic cities, but is this possible? When the neighborhood’s transformation is complete, and the city’s unwanted pack dusty photo albums in battered boxes and bitterly relocate, the cycle repeats like a doomsday playlist.
Nick writes because, if he doesn’t, he “may sponatneously combust.”
By C.R. Daugherty
The man lay,
dying in his hospital bed.
For weeks, they had
unseasoned food with salt on the side,
a saline drip over his bed …
He rose from his retractable mattress
and began to chant, a long litany
of words often sung, though
not often together …
Buildings around the hospital began to fall,
yet his hospital and bed still remained.
He rumbled evanescence to the mountainsides,
only to have them fall in the wake of his words …
They came in, the orderlies, and plastered
masking tape over his mouth.
He died as the hospital fell,
“I write for illumination, exposition, expression, and aesthetic portrayal of a beautiful world.” – the writer
By Mary Butler
Thirty years ago today
My mother died
Far too young
In the middle of a night.
You will be thirty
In two weeks’ time,
Son. Born, golden-haired
In the early hours.
So Far. So Near.
“I write because I can’t play the violin and because running is transient. I have had short stories published and one book, Born to Die?, about the short life of our amazing second child.” – the writer
By Henry Bladon
Tom has a new neighbor across the street. She’s what he calls gorgeous. He says you can’t help noticing her. He knows her routine well: Every evening about 10pm, he watches her in her bedroom. She can’t see him behind his blinds as she unzips her dress and lets it fall to the floor. After wiggling out of her underwear, she goes to her window, pauses, and closes the curtains. Tonight is no different, and Tom watches the cabaret in his usual spot. Only, after her usual pause, she waves across at him. Tom quickly snaps shut his useless blinds.
Henry is a writer of short fiction and poetry based in Somerset in the UK. His work can be seen in Poetica Review, Pure Slush, and Truth Serum Press, among others.
By Grant Armstrong
And the morning
Of this wedding
Where we will
Go down regretting
What we said
We would never
Ever do today
We did today
And we are
Okay and happy
With the births
With the deaths
Your silence and
My screaming is
Enough for us
Grant Armstrong writes, he says, “Because I cannot stop.”
By Giles Montgomery
It’s the heft of you I miss, nestled against my chest, making me feel so vital. You were about the same size and weight as this bag of dry food that I’m hugging in the pet food aisle of the supermarket. A young woman with purple streaks side-eyes me as she passes, no doubt on her way to buy snacks for a party where she’ll briefly mention this weird old guy she saw earlier before the conversation flows on. We got a dog to fill the absence of unconditional love, but how long do they live, anyway?
“Writing is magic.” – the writer