*The full journal will be available in print October 2017*
The love of…. (poem)
Tongues + Shell Shock (poems)
Requium + Last Call (part of the Elder’s Tale) (poems)
the Void (prose)
S. Barr –
Vampire Mermaids (short story)
Before Your Mastectomy + Black Ice, After the Crash +
Daughters, What I Want You to Know
Crate – You
Never Could + Imbeciles Like You + Not as Pathetic as You (poems)
Elae – The
Question + Untitled + Fatal Substance (poems)
Dionne Lausberg -- Untitled (artwork, oil on canvas)
Waffles (short story)
D. Rose – To
Someone + O. Aleppo (poems)
Gherlone – The
Hiss + On the Mend + Plateau (poems)
An Abundance of Cake (non-fiction)
J. Anderson –
FOR THE LOVE OF…
Never have I witnessed
such a love;
so tender and sincere.
My mother's eyes
had turned cheering and dear.
I shiver when I think
forced to let her
To send away
she will not know.
Her only consolation
found in thoughts
of their next meet.
It keeps her going,
for she shall see
her children soon.
But all the while
she bears the pain
of being lonely and confused.
Cause whose to say
while shes away
her children are not abused.
ever present helplessness
This woman of fury
loves her children
from this loss
If given a wish,
she’d wish to have
her children back.
Forever and ever
the joy of days to come.
Her struggling battle
her goal to win
Its so unfair
she doesn’t care,
of her children.
To her mother,
her daughter's children
for finer things.
As days go by,
she cries inside,
and the villain
Copyright © TMC 2016
Miller was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island. She was born and raised in
Rhode Island but now resides in the country part of Florida. She has been
writing since grade school and has been published in the Awakened Voices
literary magazine and Silver Birch Press.
electric shocks: physical
hooks of disorders
lined in public domains.
difficult to pigeonhole
the distinctions belong
everywhere: on streets.
they weep for our world
this, and the other ones.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta believes all writing is
a form of dissent. Her work has forthcoming in Fallujah Magazine, 7X20 mag, In
Between Hangovers Magazine, Sahitya Akademi, Noble/ Gas Qtrly, Epigraph
Magazine and the print anthology of Peacock Journal. Her work has been
published in poetry anthologies such as Dance of the Peacock (Hidden Brook
Press, Canada), Suvarnarekha (The Poetry Society of India, India) and
elsewhere. She is a GREAT scholarship awardee pursuing her second postgraduate
degree in literature in the United Kingdom.
Elisheva – Requiem
A son, a daughter
then six more sons.
Mom used to joke
she’d keep trying ‘til
she had a second daughter.
Thing about jokes,
you shouldn’t, with peoples’ lives.
Had her second daughter, was sick
and couldn’t nurse her. Baby cried
Allergic to the
Figuring up to mom.
Doctors on strike?
Who lives in such a place?
Days, nights, weeks, still
cries. They call it projectile
vomit. Something very
wrong. Not growing,
development behind. Still
cries. Finally, sleeps
through the night,
hope wakes from quiet.
New day dawns to peace.
No vomiting all day.
Mom sleeps. Baby sleeps
until she doesn’t.
Early morning from
across the room
she is still, too
Exists a sound unique
rises from center
of the body, shreds
it’s way up and out
unbidden keening howl,
savage—the soul’s sole
Thing about joking
with a life. Had her
daughter, couldn’t keep her.
Finally, at peace,
was lost to her mother
who still cries every once
in a while prompted by some
random thing, these
twenty-five years later.
Evans started writing poetry in the second grade and has continued off and on
for the last 45 years. Her first published poem appeared in the literary
magazine of her high school when she was only a freshman. Ellen lived in Israel
as an Orthodox Jew, with her (ultimately) nine children from 1979-1991. While
in Israel, her poetry was translated into Hebrew, and appeared embedded in a novel by David Ben Yosef. Her work can be found with Lost Sparrow Press and Silver Birch Press. She currently lives in Providence, RI and
is working on a chapbook of poems about migraines, while in the midst of
of the Void
big for bones,
water rushes in between. Women is the shape of the mouth of the void. That’s
what everyone’s afraid of, that’s the fear that sets in when we try and write
honest poetry. I didn’t write for a long time, said Charles Bukowski. Everyone
forgave him. I didn’t write because I can’t find the time, said the woman. You
keep locking away personhood through veils and secrecy, productivity apps and
digital time. I hope some people will forgive me.
big for bones, but too sublime for any sort of stoichiometry, transfiguration,
or divine bone casting. All I want to do is write. So I get up early mornings,
and I grind myself, I grind my coffee, I try to set things right. This isn’t
anything new- women have been doing this for years. The anglerfish have been
dissolving into each other for a millennia. How can you even write when you’re
in love? You want to keep everything in a close, water-tight system. If you
write while in fulfilling love, you end up losing part of yourself and become
legion, pantheon in something else.
year I read legion; I read in a series of lists. It was the year of only female
authors, free of contamination or contagion from male eyes. Right as I was
graduating college, I realized I really didn’t have a grasp (as much as I
wanted) on the body of work by female authors. I wanted to know the real
reasons why we make a distinction at all. Women’s bodies of work have part,
all, and nothing to do with the physical embodiments of their bodies. I’m
somebody obsessed with embodiment, the “what does it mean” to be female and
thus inscribed as sexual content and not base note of human being. In a sense,
I wanted to see the aftermath of what it meant to be woman in the world, the
what comes after. It was the year of Simone Weil and Rebecca Solnit, unlikely
bedfellows, sister saints, and sidewalk sitters. It was the year I craved Milan
Kundera like a cigarette fix and bit into Ursula K Le Guin instead for some
satiation of my hunger. This is the part where I say I learned something about
myself, my writing style. The problem with self-knowledge is that you are the
self that is giving and processing knowledge so it’s a bit difficult to grasp
the shape of your whole while still being that whole. (It seems a bit like
writing your auto biography but only writing “I am writing… I am writing….”)
I’ll tell you who I am when I am no longer that person. I’ll tell you what
womanhood in the age of Trump means when we are destroyed or freed. I’ve
learned about science fiction. I think in the end only women can save us.
cannot step away from the context of my surroundings, but I can tell you about
the mouth of the void. I’ll tell you the true weight of the patriarchy when I
can walk home at night. You only know a weight by the absence when it’s gone.
Melnick is an educator, writer, and tofu scramble lover who originates from
Jupiter, Florida. She currently is a 2017 cohort member of Mississippi Teacher
Corps, and has settled in the Delta.
Marleen S. Barr
Patriarchy Submerged Or Vampire Mermaids Make Enormous Sea Changes
At The Last Minute EXCERPT
Professor Sondra Lear, a feminist science
fiction scholar par excellence, was vacationing in the Florida Keys. Anxious to
take full advantage of her respite from grading papers and attending English
Department meetings, she joined the afternoon cruise organized by the attentive
staff at the Hotel Gilligan. She walked up the gangplank of the U.S.S. Minnow
while enjoying her view of flying pelicans and fisherman angling for a grouper
or even a mackerel wahoo. Suddenly the sky darkened. The weather started
getting rough. The tiny ship was tossed. Despite the courage of the fearless
crew, the Minnow was lost. The Minnow was lost.
Sondra was thrown overboard. She was sunk. As
her feet hit sand with a thud, she saw two mermaids swimming toward her.
“Wonderful. Another human is in our midst. Just
in time. I’m starving,” announced one of the salivating mermaids to her
“Not so fast. It’s a female human. She’s
inedible. Let’s throw her back,” said the other mermaid.
“She could be interesting. Hurry up and bite her
so that she can breathe and communicate with us.”
The mermaid did as she was told. Sondra felt
fangs chumping on her neck. Relieved that she was miraculously able to stop
drowning and start talking, she decided to rely on her scholarly expertise.
“You mermaids can be generically classified as
fantasy literature protagonists. But biting mermaids are very unusual. By the
way, I’m Professor Sondra Lear.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Salmonella and this is my
friend Clamydia. We’re vampire mermaids.”
“Oy, vampire mermaids. I should have known. So,
are you going to suck my blood?”
“Not at all,” answered Salmonella. “We only feed
on male humans. The presence of the Y chromosome is necessary for us to derive
nourishment from human blood. When our saliva gets under human skin, the human
is able to breathe and talk under water. We love to gossip with human women.”
“What happens to the men?”
“Perhaps our leader should explain that to you.”
“Is your leader named Countess Dracula? Does she
have large fangs?”
“Although we all have large fangs, our dear
leader is most certainly not named Countess Dracula.”
“Take me to your leader.”
(Read the FULL STORY IN PRINT VERSION Available August 2017)
Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering
work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of
New York. She has won the Science Fiction
Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction
criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction
and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and
Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, and Genre
Fission: A New Discourse Practice for Cultural Studies. Barr has edited
many anthologies and co-edited the science fiction issue of PMLA.
She is the author of the novels Oy Pioneer! and Oy Feminist Planets:
A Fake Memoir.
Night Before Your Mastectomy
Ever since you told me
that cancer was taking your breasts
I have suspended belief in my own breasts
shelved all feeling, all sensation
to a place over there, away from this body
I call mine.
My breasts became non-existent
as I avoided mirrors,
wanting to be one with you in this loss
in this farewell to the piece of myself
that had nourished four daughters
in rocking chairs, church pews, toilet stalls.
And I thought what I might do tonight
if I knew of the surgeons coming toward me tomorrow.
I would spend time with a mirror,
a long, full-length mirror,
admiring the roundness of my breasts,
touching the softness,
reminding my hands to remember.
I am a touchable painting
not in a frame or an album
but in my own fingertips.
I would notice how my breasts
are only one or two brush strokes
of a Monet impression, water flowers scattered on a pond.
I would remember my nakedness
in a field of lilies
waltzing to wind chimes
with one soft lilac
between my breasts.
Then I would bathe in lavender water
and build castles of fragrant bubbles
on my thighs, my hips, my stomach,
and my breasts.
I would sprinkle warm, lavender water
over and over again on my breasts,
watching the water cry in rivers,
cry in streams,
cry in farewell.
Marianne Peel is a poet and a flute-playing vocalist and budding
ukulele player, all while raising four daughters. She taught middle
and high school English for 32 years. She won first prize
for poetry in the Spring 2016 Edition of the Gadfly Literary Magazine and won
the Pete Edmonds Poetry Prize. Marianne has been published in Muddy River
Review, Silver Birch Press, Persephone’s Daughters, Encodings: A Feminist
Literary Journal, Mother Voices, and Metropolitan Woman Magazine just to name a
few. She is currently doing Field Instructor work at Michigan State
not as pathetic as you
i know you chose her, married her; cheated on me;
and tore my heart through the most painful hell i've ever endured—i know that
you are an uninterested, taken man full of nightmares and darkness and thoughts
that are tedious never lending wing to imagination; but i don't want you—i want
your body on mine, in mine, by mine; feeding the flame of my desire and my lust
and my passion—i haven't had anyone but you and four years can leave a heart
hungry for some morsel;
the mind becomes forgetful in it's need—it's true
i mostly resent you, but there's a part of me that bleeds for you; mostly in
winter when my loneliness shrieks it's loudest discontent and my instinct is to
go back to what i'm used to; and the sex wasn't even good, i just want your
body on mine until i can satisfy this longing in my bones—i must sound
pathetic, but then again; i could be you.
M. Crate was born in Pittsburgh and raised in the rural town of Conneautville.
Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a
myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published
chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox
Press), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon ), and If
Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications) and is the author of
fantasy novels, Blood & Magic, Dragons
& Magic, and Centaurs & Magic.
what lasted for four and a half minutes
2-hundred and seventy seconds-
did you have on...?"
is an author, poet, and spoken word performer from Indiana. She has a
Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a certification in Victim Assistance
Training. She is a victim’s advocate and provides assistance to individuals
affected by sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. She has a
forthcoming book on the subject. For more information or for any inquiries or
questions about human services you can contact her on social media, Instagram
and Facebook @B.Elae
Dionne Lausberg has a Bachelor of Design from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She is currently living and studying paining in New York City, NY.
lying in bed wondering why the wall paint is bubbling like that. This feels
like a remnant of a dream. Something that I tear off and hold tight in my fist
while I travel back to consciousness. My eyes aren’t quite focusing yet so I
hope it is a trick of light and shadows. Rubbing and blinking, the pattern is
still there. Such an odd pattern too. There are little shapes, ovals. Maybe
it’s nothing. Maybe my stupid neighbor just put up some nouveau wall art or
something and drilled too far into the paper-thin walls. He likes to pound
things into the walls but mostly just his fists. He has said I make too much
noise, even when I’m reading.
can’t stay in bed all day because I need to go to my crappy job to pay for this
crappy apartment in this crappy part of town. My righteous indignation at what
my life has become, through no fault of my own, gives me the strength to cast
off the weight of the sheets and the courage to swing my legs over the side of
the bed and stand up.
sit back down very quickly. It looks like each tiny shape is trembling.
it’s just my nerves. Maybe an optical illusion. I’m going to get up again, just
slower this time. I stand up.
shapes are quivering. They flutter open and so many eyes stare at me. The whole
room is beginning to darken and spin and I know I am about to pass out. I sit
down again quickly and see all the eyes shut. I am breathing deeply and
counting backwards from one hundred. Ninety-nine. Ninety-eight… (Read the FULL STORY IN PRINT VERSION Available August 2017)
Maxine Kollar is a wife and a mother of three. Her writing has
appeared in Mamalode, SpeckLit, Gravel Mag, Route 7 Review, Clever Mag, Funny
in Five Hundred, Rat's Ass Review, Gambling the Aisle and elsewhere.
Your poems show that you’re insane.
Do you like that?
Is that the name you call yourself
under your blanket of words
hiding in the dark to write them out
like a blaze?
Because let me tell you—
You’re fucking lucky
that you can write like this
and no one knows.
There are some who have done nothing
yet have endured more.
K. D. Rose is a poet and author. K. D.’s book, Inside Sorrow,
won Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Poetry. She won an Honorable Mention in
the 2016 New Millennium Writings Poetry Contest. She has a B.S. in
Psychology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. She is a member of Poetry
Society of America, Poets and Writers and the Academy of American Poets. Her
poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Word Riot, Chicago
Literati, Poetry Breakfast, BlazeVOX Journal, Ink in Thirds, The Nuclear Impact
Anthology, Stray Branch Magazine and others. Publication is forthcoming in
Literary Orphans, Eastern Iowa Review, Santa Fe Literary Magazine, Northern
Virginia Review, Hermes Poetry Journal, Maintenant Contemporary Dada Magazine,
and The 2016 Paragram Press Anthology. Her latest release is Brevity of
The Falls EXCERPT
She pauses to listen halfway into the ascent.
The forest speaks to her in a language that is not at all foreign.
She has grown accustomed to its dialect, but on this day, she cannot trust her
own ears. They have been tainted by painful words. She is alone. The solitude
amplifies the words. Foraging squirrels sound like approaching demons. Dark
thoughts fill her head.
Her heart beats out a rhythm of warning. The partridge drum in
succession, alerting to a battle that is not their own. There is danger here.
There is danger everywhere, but rarely here. She finds solace in the dark
places of the wild. Perhaps it is she that is the danger.
The world sways. She drops down and covers her head. Her throat
draws in shallow gulps and her hands grow numb. The still air comes to life.
The trees sway back and forth in a violent dance. Dust devils swirl into the
valley, scattering dead leaves and bending branches as they whistle through the
pines. “Go back,” they howl. “It’s not too late.”
(Read the FULL STORY IN PRINT VERSION Available August 2017)
Kristy Gherlone was born and raised in northern Maine, where she
attended the University of Maine. She spent several years working on Mt.
Katahdin and as an Early Interventionist for children with autism. Currently
she resides in New Hampshire and is the self-published author of three novels.
I am neither winged nor hoofed; but small
tan, dappled, and lacking venom. Though
my kind comes in manifold colors, the
faintest glimpse of me conjures the huge
black serpent of nightmare and lore.
My motley skin I shed to become anew,
but I can never eclipse the curse.
I tend to keep to myself. Sometimes I crawl
into the vexatious pit of my kin; though I
prefer adding mystique to the garden.
I slither on my belly in search of some
small pulsating prey then a cool shadowy
place to rest. Most things are grand from
my vantage point since I seldom rise above
the heel. Occasionally, when I inch up a
tree, I wonder what it must be like to roar
or soar from there.
Progress licensed Adam to slay me.
Eve avoids my presence unless I am
couture. Children are taught to fear me
yet some appreciate my beguiling charm.
While too naïve to know that fertility, eternity,
and wisdom I symbolize, the innocent quickly
learn that I am delicate, playful, and necessary.
Camouflaged by nature, I creep to my fate.
Should trouble happen my way, my tiny head I will rear
and launch my best defense.
I will hiss.
Cathy Clay is a Houston, Texas native. She has a Bachelor’s degree
in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and a Master’s in English
from Texas Southern University. Her scholarly reviews have been published in
the Facts on File: Companion to the World Novel (Columbia University
Press) and her short story, Cecil, appears in Eclectically Criminal
(Inklings ). She is the author of Agatta, a novel.
An Abundance of Cake (For T) EXCERPT
A sign saying Bundt Cake Shop was hanging above a door that,
prior to being adorned with a large caricature of a Bundt cake, had remained
closed for about a year after the questionably useful oxygen bar that
previously occupied the storefront shut down.
“They must sell Bundt cakes,” my boyfriend said
as we walked by one evening after dinner out and noticed the unequivocal sign
for the first time.
“They must sell other things too,” I replied.
“Let’s go in and see,” he suggested. I cupped my
hand against my forehead and peered into the window.
“They’re still under construction.” I turned
away and we started walking home. “Do you think they know that Bundt is a
“They probably do and they are using it
purposely and subversively to avenge Nordic Ware’s plagiarism of the Bundkuchen cake shape
that by all rights should be credited primarily to the Jewish-German women who
brought it with them when they immigrated to North America.”
(Read the FULL STORY IN PRINT
VERSION Available August 2017)
Jade Wallace works in a legal clinic in Toronto, Ontario. Her
short stories and poetry have appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Nashwaak
Review, Draft, Feathertale, A New Ulster, Acumen, Pac’n Heat: A Noir
Homage To Ms. Pac-Man, and six chapbooks from Grey Borders Books.
sister buried her first husband a year ago. Her feelings were another matter.
called me early that January morning with news of Liam’s death. She’d received
a midnight call from the person her first husband’s heart belonged to—Joel the
Troll, a moniker she had given her rival because of his compact stature and
apparent lack of commitment to proper oral hygiene.
news stole my words. I held the phone to my ear, listening to my sister’s
had just seen Liam at Christmas. He and Joel had come to my home for dinner—a
first for Kat’s fractured family since the divorce seven years earlier. It was
civilized and everyone seemed to enjoy having all of our grown sons,
significant others, and Kat and Liam’s two grandchildren together under one
and Liam came bearing gifts, both appearing happy to be part of this new
incarnation of Modern Family. And now Liam was gone?
feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest,” Kat’s voice cracked the
silence between us.
could be having a heart attack,” I warned. “Do you remember Mrs. Danneker—from
church? The one with the doctor-husband and seven perfect children in the front
pew every Sunday with no embarrassing incidents?”
could I forget Noreen Danneker?” Kat asked. “We couldn’t get through one
service without her turning around to see which one of our boys was causing a
ruckus. Remember the time I gave her the finger?”
didn’t flip her off. You slid your reading glasses up your nose with your
still counts as giving her the bird.” (Read
the FULL STORY IN PRINT VERSION Available August 2017)
J. Anderson holds a Master's in Creative
Writing from Towson University, and is an award-winning teacher of English and
creative writing. She has also worked in advertising, promoted punk rock music,
managed a suite of law offices in Beverly Hills, and taught at the Columbia
School of Broadcasting in Hollywood. Susan writes fiction, nonfiction and
poetry. She blogs at foxywriterchick.com, and lives in Maryland with her
husband and three sons.
Marjory E. Leposky
Through Words EXCERPT
When I was in pre-school my teachers caught on to
the fact that I wasn’t learning my numbers and colors like my classmates. Back
in the late 1970s, many children with learning disabilities weren’t diagnosed
until high school or college, if ever. I was one of the lucky ones to be
diagnosed so young and my mother was my activist until I was old enough to take
over for myself.
In elementary school, despite my disability, I fell in love with reading.
Through books, I was able to travel and meet new people. Other children
were so cruel with bullying. The minute they found out that I was not good at
something simple, like spelling, they held it over me. Even today, some people
don’t understand. They think I have dyslexia, which I don't. I just have
learning disabilities. (Read the FULL STORY IN PRINT VERSION Available August 2017)
Marjory E. Leposky is a filmmaker and children's
chapter book author with more than 10 years of production experience on a broad
spectrum of projects including TV commercials, music videos and feature film productions. She has degrees in television and
media production from Miami Dade College and Florida State University.
To learn more about Marjory, please visit her Web site at http://www.ampersandcom.com/chatterbox/.