3 Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife

3 Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife

by Alex Stolis.






Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 1 – St. John, N.B. Canada

I keep all your letters in a cigar box under our bed
next to grandmother’s wedding dress. This is a city
of ghosts of bars of brown pastures. You send me
postcards from all the places I’ll never go. They are
on a map I do not own. I am left with ink on fingers,
smudges of black on white on an unpunctuated loss.
Truth is something only paper can be witness to. I’ll
never wear that dress. Instead, I’ll meet you where
the earth is covered in blues and greens.


Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 2 – Woodstock, N.B. Canada

I’m a girl on a dragon-fly on the back of a horse heading
straight into the wind under an unbreakable sky. You are
not here. You are made-up words in an invented language
spoken in whispers. I remember every detail of the world
we created from scratch. I remember that day the moon
eclipsed the sun and for a moment the earth turned cold.
The sky turned deep green no stars in sight. You wrote me
of a dream you had; lost, afraid and miles away from home.
You heard the low beat of wings. You felt the steady pound
of hooves and I readied myself for flight.


Postcards from the Knife-Thrower’s Wife
August 3 – Edmundston, N.B. Canada

Disregard my last letter. If you have not yet received it
bury it away when you do. I’ve tried to stop loving you.
It’s easier than I thought. Miles and time only sharpens
every memory. You would no longer recognize the land
but the sky is the same. I look up at your moon and your
stars. Imagine a blanket of quiet descends on us. I close
my eyes, can almost hear nothing. I’m an experiment in
exile. We don’t ever really lie. We believe and then find
out later we were wrong.

Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals. Recent chapbooks include Justice for all, published by Conversation Paperpress (UK) based on the last words of Texas Death Row inmates. Also, Without Dorothy, There is No Going Home from ELJ Publications. Other releases include an e-chapbook, From an iPod found in Canal Park; Duluth, MN, from Right Hand Pointing and Left of the Dial from corrupt press. The full length collection, Postcards from the Knife Thrower was runner up for the Moon City Poetry Prize in 2017. His chapbook, Perspectives on a Crime Scene was recently released by Grey Border books and a full length collection Pop. 1280, released by Cyberwit and available on Amazon.

Firmly Planted by Streams of Water

Milo Gorgevska lives in the dreary suburbs outside of Toronto, Ontario. Nonbinary and queer, they identify as a menace to society’s traditions. As a jack-of-all-trades, they are an author, director, poet & screenwriter. Previously, their writing under the pen name ‘Kara Petrovic’ has been published in Philadelphia Stories, Train: A Poetry Journal & others. TheirContinue reading “Firmly Planted by Streams of Water”

Meshwork

Meshwork by Soramimi Hanarejima In the cozy diner, breakfast with you is its customary languid affair of savory omelets and occasional quiet conversation—until coffee has coaxed me into greater wakefulness. Then I notice a lavender filament extending from you towards the tech district—a direction none of your strands has ever gone in. I know theContinue reading “Meshwork”

Houseplants

Houseplants

By Jan Ball


The houseplants thanked me
in their particular green way,
for your unexpected aspirations
on the climbing philodendron
in the guest room where you slept
last night and for your fragrant exhalations
of carbon dioxide on the spiderwort
potted in the living room
when we companionably watched
The Kominsky Method with Alan Alda
and Michael Douglas, laughing together
at Douglas’ frequent visits to the bathroom
as an aging male.

The grandchildren went to sleep on the study’s
yellow fold-out futon where there are no plants
but plenty of fresh air from the open windows
where ivy clings tenaciously to the wall outside.


Jan Ball has been published in various journals internationally and in the U.S. including: ABZ, Mid-American Review, and Parnassus. Finishing Line Press published her three chapbooks and first full-length poetry collection, I Wanted To Dance With My Father. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize in both 2020 and 2021. When not traveling, or gardening at their farm, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends.


Opossum

by Zach Murphy Pete and Richard’s orange safety vests glowed a blinding light under the scorching sun, and their sweat dripped onto the pavement as they stood in the middle of the right lane on Highway 61, staring at an opossum lying stiffly on its side. Richard handed Pete a dirty shovel. “Scoop it up,”Continue reading “Opossum”

Unlatched

Written by Lucy Wallis Illustrated by Lucy McDonald I held your diary in my hand but I didn’t read it.  I imagine stored there within tiny fragments of your days, a kaleidoscope of being. Daily weather reports, and bird sightings, jumbled up with the minutiae of thought that flickers along the inside of your eyesContinue reading “Unlatched”

Magic Carpet

Joseph Turrent (he/him) is a London-based poet. His book The Moth Apocalypse (HVTN Books) reprocesses the language of Twitter to imagine various cataclysmic scenarios as they might appear on social media. Recent
work has appeared in Firmament magazine, and The Mouth of a Lion, an anthology of visual poems published by Steel Incisors.


Mid Wales

Mid Wales

by Bernard Pearson


Driving through the girth
Of Powis in new July
I see the land set
As a table for some banquet
This is a Marie Celeste County
Groaning under nothing
but the green.
Full of people not there now
resting in the care
Of some churchyard yew,
Seeded in the time before
Merlin’s first spell was cast.
Following the Vyrnwy
And the Tanat even though
They too sometimes
Have to ask the way
Through the leafy glade
And past the humpy hill
You are the biggest county in Wales
Unsure how to begin
And where on earth to end.

Bernard Pearson’s (he/him) work appears in many publications worldwide, including; Aesthetica Magazine , The Edinburgh Review, Crossways, and
others. In 2017 a selection of his poetry ‘In Free Fall’ was published by Leaf by Leaf Press. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize. His first novel Where the Willows End was published in 2021.

The Long Light of Morning

Flowers radiate
with the sun’s teeth
opening
the sky shining
with sleeping
stars’ hopes
and bright red
seeds’ echoes
buried in the dry dirt.
After long nights
in a lonely cabin
I drive my children
through crooked roads
to a high mountain
overlooking
the desert city
and watch them
sled on new snow,
seeing once again
the pink pointed
dawn.

Natalie Marino (she/her) is a poet, physician, and mother. Her work appears in Barren Magazine, Bitter Oleander, Dust Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist in Sweet’s 2021 poetry contest. Her micro-chapbook, Attachment Theory was published by Ghost City Press in June 2021. She lives in California.

Kintsugi with Weeds & Moss

by David Wilberforce

I’m pulling weeds and moss from the cracks in the patio
Even though I know they will grow again.
It feels important to pay attention
To these spaces
The in-between places
That overgrow and can be hidden,
Neglected
Their meaning lost in relation to the whole.

And I think of you
With your neural network of old fine cracks
A barely visible history
That could shatter the whole
With too firm a press
And leave a broken confusion of pieces.

I am consoled to know that
The porcelain vase could be repaired
With powdered gold
Leaving the fault lines like precious scars
On show
Making the new whole more beautiful
And stronger than before.

And when I have had enough of bending
Some tufts and roots remain
Between the paving,

But I don’t mind.


David lives near Hull in the north of England, retired from the NHS but still working as a psychotherapist (which is a bit like Kintsugi perhaps) amongst other things like being a dad & writing occasional poetry. Having only recently
discovered the big wide world of Lit Mags he only has one other piece published thus far but hopes there’ll be more to come! Can be found on Twitter @Davidwilberforc. Say hello sometime!

Play Life

by Grace Hui

You utter grievances of restrictions
from holding a friend’s child. You keep him
at a safe—safe—distance, laughing
as he chases you.
Home is a bunker detached from reality.

You suffer under a warm, gentle glow;
my sunlight is filtered through glass,
splintered into fragments on my skin.

Your loneliness echoes in open fields,
reverberating from people two metres apart;
mine rings within these walls, clanging
louder, and louder,
and louder,
tightening around me
with each breath of fresh air you take,
your body expanding to occupy the space.

You leave me to watch from the windows
in what you deem
Play-life;
a step removed
from your open fields.

Grace Hui is a University of Cambridge graduate and a disabled Asian immigrant making her home in London. She writes free verse poetry, flash fiction and contemporary fiction novels. In her spare time, Grace coos at dogs, bingewatches TV and makes cards for her friends. She tweets at @gracehuiauthor and you can learn more about her at gracehuiauthor.com

Cheat Codes – A Found Poem

by Lucy Heuschen

I find a single sheet of A4 paper, printed on one side in cheap ink.

Unlock All Arenas
Unlock All Bonus Stages

He must have done it at school, or maybe a friend gave it to him in the playground.

Unlock All Concept Art

I like the idea of concept art. I do. Although: it’s the kind of thing we feel we should say we like, when in reality we don’t know what it is.

Unlock All Duel Characters

Sounds simple enough, unless you’ve known any.

Unlock All Moves
Unlock All Powers and Moves

Now we’re talking. Can I clarify – are Moves / Powers and Moves mutually exclusive? Can I have all of them? I’d like to have all of them.

Unlock All Story Levels

Unlock Super Light Saber Mode

Unlock Tiny Droid Mode

Uh, Tiny Droid Mode?

Unlock Quick Health and Force Refill

Yes

Unlock Infinite Health

Yes

Unlock Infinite Force Power
Yes.

Lucy Heuschen is a Londoner living near Bonn, Germany with her husband, sons and dog. Lucy is a former lawyer, cancer survivor, avid reader, poet and anti-plastic blogger. She is the founder and editor of two poetry initiatives, The
Rainbow Poems and Sonnets for Shakespeare. Lucy’s work will appear in the next issue of the journal Beyond Words. She has appeared on the poetry show on Hope Radio Birmingham and on Poets For The Planet #beginafresh.
Find Lucy on Twitter @Rainbow_Poems and Facebook @RainbowPoemsUK.

Caught Napping

by Simon Alderwick

the bird on the roof; the lamp pointing
upwards; the pen going on a journey;
the keys; two pink clothes pegs a long way
from the line; an acknowledgement; the
books that stick out from the shelf;
the waiting weights; the thigh that
moonlights as a writing desk; the lady
who organised this; the taste of the
coupon; the wave; the flip flops that
miss spending all day on the beach;
the parts of her that are all mine;
the rain that might fall; the old man
terrified of retirement; the old lady who
never got to; the bed that was made
only to have unfolded clothes dumped on it
almost immediately; the echoes of the next
line; another rejection; missing my daughters;
all those moments that we’ll never live again;
the approaching; always the approaching;
forgetting to indicate; glad of my skin shade
when I get pulled over; no idea of my origins;
Liverpool, Bristol, possibly some Irish; when it
all collapses will it be permaculture or The Road?
letting the size of the page dictate the
length of the writing; feeling artificial;
missing those days I can’t remember;
welling up and moving on; can we do something
else now?

Simon Alderwick is a writer and musician from the UK. His work is featured or forthcoming in Whatever Keeps The Light On, Re-side, The Daily Drunk and the Squiffy Gnu anthology, among others. Follow him on Twitter @SimonAlderwick.

Middle Child

Middle child

by Emily Uduwana


My mother used to say that I fell
between a rock
and a hard place,
as if my body
had grown crooked
to accommodate
the boulders that huddled
around me
and she promised:
the Lord is your rock
as if the weight
of limestone
that settled
upon my chest
had not placed
a single foot
at the base of my throat,
like the elephant
in those Godforsaken
asthma commercials
that played on a loop
between episodes
of Veggie Tales
and the Emperor’s
New Groove.


Emily Uduwana (she/her) is a poet, short fiction author, and graduate student based in Southern California. Most recently, her work has appeared in spring and summer issues of Stonecoast Review, Rogue Agent Journal, and
DAYBREAKING. Emily’s debut chapbook, Knotted, was published with OrangeApple Press in September 2020.