‘Beyond the Stars’ by Jason Waddle

The stars are the freckles that
press their cheek to God’s cheek.
This creates the energy we
witness at night when our cheeks
are pressing lovingly against our
lover’s cheek, and this
causes a rumble in her belly
where another life is the
signature between two lovers
that forms the universal womb
of creation that is written
beyond the stars.

 


JASON WADDLE writes poetry and fiction. Since 2017, his work has been traditionally published 18-times. In the summer of 2019, his first book was accepted for publication by a New York publishing house. ‘Awake in Dreams, Sleeping Death Away’ comes into the world on February 28, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by Jason Waddle. All rights reserved.

‘I Took All the Spoons When I Left You’ by April Ford

And yes it’s true, I took all the forks, too.
But taking all the forks isn’t as cruel as taking
all the spoons and here’s why: Forks can kill you.
Their tines can blind you, like, if you tug too hard
on a piece of sinewy steak and your face gets in the way.
(The media gravely under-reports how often faces get in the way.)
Not to mention, forks are the freaks of tridents. Their extra
prongs aren’t cute like the extra toes on polydactyl cats.
But spoons, but spoons. Listen up: If forks are for tearing things,
then spoons are for holding things together. Spoons are for bowls
filled with soup your mother used to make; they are for balancing
on the tip of your nose to make your first childhood love laugh.
Spoons are smooth landings, branches bowing, ballet dancers
contouring. They are for gathering and for nourishing.
Taking all the forks when I left was my way of making sure
you wouldn’t get any ideas (because grief can do that to a person).
Taking all the spoons when I left was my way of making sure
you would notice.

 


APRIL FORD is a gender fluid author living in Verdun with her feline rescue family. She’s the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her short story “Project Fumarase,” and has held fully funded residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ucross Foundation. Her debut novel, Carousel, will be released on May 14, 2020 by Inanna Publications. aprilfordauthor.com

Copyright © 2020 by April Ford. All rights reserved.

Poems by Pam Seaton-McLean

FORGETTING

November days of
low light and flattened sky
thick with heavy cloud
reduce to neutral tones of
white, grey, and beige
both the land and the air.

Stubble fields, tangled branches
and grey light close in,
proclaiming their permanence.
With little to see, we walk on
head down, disbelieving
the fact we know…

That climbing through cloud
from stratus to cirrus
to a breach of the final bank,
we arrive in a parallel world
where the sun blazes
and the sky is blue.

 


 

THE ICE WALKER

Like the walker on a winter creek
who hears a hollow crack,
the bearer of a shattered heart
knows the risk in stepping back.

A bigger chasm might open wide
sucking down to blackest cold
with memories of rights and wrongs
those tedious arguments of old.

To step ahead spells danger too
as the splinters travel out
threatening a deeper plunge to
depths mired in muddy doubt.

When groaning shakes the river ice
and any action exacts a cost
the safe way is to stay unmoving,
suspended midst the breathless frost.

 


PAMELA SEATON MCLEAN lives in Bright’s Grove, Ontario with her husband and cat. The insights delivered by observing nature inspire her writing.

Copyright © 2020 by Pamela Seaton McLean. All rights reserved.

Poems by John Drudge

Alfama Summer

The sun reflects
Off the blue tiled wall
Of the house
On the steep
Spiraled street
That twists its way
To the point
Where we sat
And looked beyond
The river
Over the terracotta
Rooftops
Of the old section
Of the city
With our dreams
Stretching out
And trailing off
Toward the clouds
Above the distant hills
Of our burning

 

Boulevards

When quiet
Slows the night
And anticipation
Quickens the pace
Of echoing steps
Through heavy-eyed
Boulevards
Down to the wintry river
To wait for the memory
Of you
In the place
Where we once were

 

Summer Rain

In warm soft places
Summer sun
And verdant spaces
Every time it rained
It was a big
Sudden rain
Resolving into
Glints off sea glass

 


JOHN DRUDGE is from Caledon, Ontario, Canada. He is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology. John is the author of one book of poetry (published in 2019) and has appeared in the Arlington Literary Journal, The Rye Whiskey Review, Poetica Review,  Literary Yard, Drinkers Only, The Alien Buddha Press, Montreal Writes, Mad Swirl, Avocet, Sparks of Caliope, Harbinger Asylum, and the Adelaide Literary Magazine.  John is a Pushcart Prize nominee and his Book “March” is available in Independent Book Stores across Canada and on Amazon.com.

Copyright © 2019 by John Drudge. All rights reserved.

 

Poems by Sophia Magliocca

“Somebody Else” by The 1975: Up Next

Midnight city, chocolate lit, hopeless romantic,
Borderline July, the sound of night mistakes.
Settle down. We met alone, Paris. He’s American.
Sucked the blood out my gums for dinner.
Electric feel. Chlorine. I came out for a good cry.
Cradled his tongue behind my ear for sex. He said
Give yourself a try Cinnamon Girl. Sit next to me.
Kept rubbing me down with that metal handle.
Destroying my bed peace with good morning.
Before he left, took the neighbourhood robbers
For a run around my Daddy issues.
Pumped up strangers slow dance, don’t worry.
He’s danger. He’s reckless. He’s restless.
Sincerity is scary but he felt like home.

 

1999-2017

Forgive my bedside manners, for I am not preconditioned
To twirling and swirling my hips around in modest pirouettes.
You say I’m pink and pleasant. A pretty toy bent for your pleasure.
My perception polluted by your poor penetration.
The pinky promise of swelling around your veiny pulse.
The pattern stained to some pillowcase by your lips on my labia,
Is reflective, sponged up of plain filth, unfit to wash away.
Come a little closer; I’ll let you mess around my circus.  

Chest whipping breaths cut short spelling your name with my spit,
Interrupted by the foamy burst spilling down the mushy part
Of my thigh: a washcloth, another dirty rag.
Pardon me while I press myself.
Please, if you care to intervene,
Rave my afterglow and ruin me once more.

 


SOPHIA MAGLIOCCA was born and raised in Montreal. She is an English Literature and Creative Writing Honours student at Concordia University. She has had her poem “Petals” published in the 2016/17 edition of the Dawson English Journal. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, Sophia plans on attending graduate school to earn her MA in Creative Writing.

Copyright © 2019 by Sophia Magliocca. All rights reserved.

 

‘Cambie Poem’ by Taylor Gray Moore

The grey beast of Cambie,
with all its angular teeth,
eats up the old homesteads
and spits out 3D ink creations
for the bright things to move into.
Some kind of feet move
along the pavement
toward the mysterious fog
that crossed the harbour
during the storm last night
and whispered things to
teams of developers
who have since been laid off.
Some of them wrote memoirs
detailing the incident,
and these have sold well.
I had meant to include more
concrete information
in this report, but the noise
from the street below
is too oppressive,
and my dog
has just been spayed and neutered.
Please send more money:
the project will be completed
and sent homewards
as soon as the ocean thaws.

Yours truly,
Juan de Fuca

Appendix:
this poem is about
the somewhat embarrassing
redevelopment
of Cambie St in Vancouver,
or, at least,
how I imagine it,
for I am in Montreal
and have never seen it.
Lola wrote me a letter
describing it
in fearful syllables
and my jailor
passed it to me
through a crack in the wall.
I read it again now,
feverishly, and with great sorrow,
as the vermin
gnaw at each other
around my feet.
My naked body,
clutched tight around itself,
withers like a grape on the vine.
Lola, please burn this letter.

 


TAYLOR GAY MOORE was born in Vancouver, BC, in 1992 and has lived there for most of his life. He attended McGill University in Montreal, where he obtained a B.A. in English Literature. His work has previously appeared in Graphite Publications, Pulp Magazine and the Spadina Literary Review.

Copyright © 2019 by Taylor Gray Moore. All rights reserved.

 

‘si difficile’ by April Ford

i wish that i could speak to you
in a language other than love,
speak about you in a language
other than loss. for whenever
i think about you, i become
someone i’m ashamed of. bright
incandescent shame that shows
how foolish i am, my blood
luminescent with recidivism,
my breath sour from deceptions
i told myself to protect you, when
you are as safe for the lover’s heart
as antibiotics on the unsuspecting gut.

 


APRIL FORD is a gender fluid author living in Verdun with her feline rescue family. She’s the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her short story “Project Fumarase,” and has held fully funded residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ucross Foundation. Her debut novel, Carousel, is forthcoming Spring 2020 with Inanna Publications. aprilfordauthor.com

Copyright © 2019 by April Ford. All rights reserved.

Poems by Valeria Timbalari

So Dark The Con of Man

I can nearly speak five languages
And what good does that do for me?
If My heart knows one tongue only
And it is that
of yearning.
But it would be inhumane
to blame it for such a helpless thing
because I am the one
who it’s learned it from
And it hasn’t talked about
anything else
ever since.
Imitation Game

The cry of seagulls
imitate those of orphans;
Man’s fate
imitates the absurdity
of a mathematical joke;
A woman counting her money
On the edge of the bed
with one of God’s men besides her
Imitates a child
learning how to count to ten
on his frail fingers;
Life imitates death
far more than death imitates
Life;
An old man
ripping out his last good bone
to feed a stray dog
imitates motherhood;
A heart that has been left
untouched and unspoken to
imitates hunger;
And my oldest of aches,
I couldn’t tell you
what repulsive thing it imitates
for we still haven’t crossed paths
just yet.

 


VALERIA TIMBALARI is a sixteen-year-old Moldavian poet. She documents Life through her somber pieces. The good, the bad, the ugly, and everything else that comes along. Moderately inspired by metaphysics, religion and the Beat Generation, she hopes to become a notorious writer some good day.

Copyright © 2019 by Valeria Timbalari. All rights reserved.

 

‘Agitation’ by Zav Levinson

I live an agitated silence
like a cat that’s spotted a dog.

It comes now and then uninvited
and cannot be turned away.

It transforms my rooms to great chambers
where talk is coffined in corners.

I wear my dis-ease like mourning.
Like a sentence I do my time.

*

My likeness approaches with robes.
I would shout or run

but I turn instead heart whole
and don the proffered stole.

We are not a handsome couple
though the years have softened us

like brothers, born of the same mother
betrothed to different Gods.

*

He tells his story breathless
long and winding, dry

probes my eyes for secrets
I would not care to share.

My spirit gleams at the window
white as winter light.

I stand in agitated silence
a cat caught in the gaze of a dog.

 


ZAV LEVINSON is poetry co-editor of Jonah magazine (https://jonahmagazine.com/). His poems have appeared in Poetry Quebec, SWEPTand Umbrella Factory. His chapbook, Trelliswork, from Sky of Ink Press, was published in October 2017. He is currently at work on a second chapbook.

Copyright © 2019 by Jaco Fouché. All rights reserved.

‘To a Fallen Leaf’ by Ahmad Aamir Malik

You remind me of the dead and
photographs I dread to glance again.
For, perchance, there are many of
your colour, nature, being, and breath…
None glisten in the dawn dew
for none of them are you.

 


AHMAD AAMIR MALIK is a Pakistani student currently studying Political Science and History at McGill University who believes in the power of poetry as an exploration of the universal emotional core of humanity. His interests span writing, history, politics, and cricket. He has been published in Cambridge’s Notes magazine, was Highly Commended in the Away from the Western Front Poetry Competition 2018, and was the winner of the World Historian Student Essay Contest 2018.

Copyright © 2019 by Ahmad Aamir Malik. All rights reserved.