Julianne Neely received her MFA degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where she received the Truman Capote Fellowship, the 2017 John Logan Poetry Prize, and a Schupes Fellowship for Poetry. She is currently a Poetics PhD candidate and an English Department Fellow at the University at Buffalo. Her writing has been published in Hyperallergic, VIDA, The Poetry Project, The Rumpus, The Iowa Review and more.
A man asks me if I have ever seen
Picasso’s Woman Ironing. Yes
and no, it depends on what you mean,
man. I have seen my mother ironing
my father’s shirt while he watches TV,
no willingness to smile, an unruliness
that kicks you in the teeth. Yes, I have seen
a friend, a woman’s face through hot
steam. I have seen myself growing
inside of tree, a root, that’s it. I
count them, the women who I have met
with polymer fiber materials in their chest.
Man, yes, I have seen the painting and no,
I have not and did you know, man,
that modern doctors suspect Picasso
was a sufferer of a disease called Meniere’s
and that is where ideas for his paintings
came from and leave it to a man to make
a billion dollars off of it. I am a woman
and yes, I am bitter while I lose my hearing
and the room spins, and I tell the neurologist
my vision looks like a Picasso painting
and he nods because Picasso paintings are so
damn famous and mercy never arrives
on time to save such grief and I wish
I could see straight but moreso I wish I
could tell the doctor my vision looks like
a Kusama or a Bourgeois or an O’Keefe
but no, it looks like a fucking Picasso
and so back to you, man, yes, I have seen
women ironing and no I have not, but I have
seen women give an hour for every minute
and I am a woman and I have watched
as we have overdrawn a revolution
and I have looked in the mirror as if I am not
supposed to be there so no, man I have
never seen the woman ironing and I never
will run alone at night and never forget
the sound of men laughing and yes, man,
I did see the woman ironing my tongue
smooth so I could not scream, and it is
the little things I hate about his pictures
so small I have nowhere else to store them
but my eyes and to hell with men who make art
I really mean this go ahead and inhale
my saccharine scent and yes, man,
of course I have seen the woman ironing
of course I have not seen it
and if Picasso were here with us, man,
in this room I would see nothing
but he would see me ironing.
How Do You Take Your Coffee, Mr. Armstrong?
Twelve men have pressed airy boots on top the pubescent surface of the
moon. Forty-six years and twelve men have pressed airy boots on
top the pubescent surface of the moon. O irony! O opportunity to construct
metaphor of man’s hulk yet ethereal foot traipsing upon the budding face of a womanly moon!
Though, one must keep in mind, they say there
lives a man in the moon. Who they are I do not know nor
care to hear what else they have to say. If Earth’s natural satellite
were a man, then surely I would have seen him opening up
[jars for lesbian households and wearing] cologne trilling brotherhood. I
would have seen the moon breaking things with his mouth. Yet, it is suspect
only coming out at night, glaring center attention of
a vast sky. Maybe I am seeing it—the man in moon
pulling on a cigarette, floating down to a woman walking in the park,
twisting his lips with a har har. O Moon Contrite, look
at your hands, I wouldn’t eat off them! Perhaps no women have
been to the moon because it does not need cleaning yet or because
the moon does not want to deal with a bitch on her
period or because strawberry daiquiris are not served on the moon
or because the moon prefers a man’s firm handshake or maybe the moon
just doesn’t want to get married or because [women know nothing about]
sports and everyone knows the moon loves a good game of football. One small
step for earth, one giant leap for mankind. I wonder what they found on that whaling
leap for I wouldn’t know I am still drowning in the deep end of
the shallow puddle they jumped. Scientists say more is known about the moon
than the deepest parts of ocean. I find this hard to believe. Us
women have been bustling across floors of unlit seabed for years bearing pressure
on chest until developing gills to breathe and have found
something prolific in sinking over flight.
Jake Bailey is a schiZotypal experientialist with published or forthcoming work in Abstract Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, Constellations, Diode Poetry Journal, Guesthouse, Mid-American Review, Palette Poetry, PANK Magazine, Passages North, Storm Cellar, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. Jake received his MA from Northwest Missouri State University and his MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles. He lives in Illinois with his wife and their three dogs and you can find him on Twitter (@SaintJakeowitz) and at saintjakeowitz.wordpress.com.
Dial Z for SchiZo
I peeled my face to fuck the snow
The raptors at the door
They want more / To snare the toe and eye
The lie is in the loin / The coin / The calf / Sea parts staff
Parts per million
Lead paint contains what’s part-of-a-balanced-breakfast
A mess / Is the mind in retreat
See mouth and mound / Found / Can’t forget
They peeled my face to watch the show
Barrier of Barb
The body is a barrier of barb
For wandering light upon the lawn
Citrine cinders coat the expanse in fire
Light unseen in jostling maws
They declawed the bears
But they stare all the same
Being is a chore / When there’s more
Of you than is sane
The body is a barrier of barb
Of bare, of sound
The driver swerves over root and stem
He doesn’t know these grounds give rise to crack
We lack whole, the hole is bulbous knife
Life is what undoes the shell
And hell is wrought in wrangled snarl
It mars the making of the soul
Your role is cast
The body is a barrier of barb
The body is the scarier of sins
The body is the body is the brain
A fucking stain
Catherine Weiss is a poet and artist from Maine. Their poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase, Fugue, Okay Donkey, Birdcoat, Bodega, petrichor, Counterclock, and elsewhere. Their debut full-length collection Snarl of Wildflower (Game Over Books, 2021) will be published later this year. More at catherineweiss.com.
Tonight I wrapped a blanket around my shoulders.
I hid in the dining room from a movie I knew would stress me out.
I am not writing a song. I am not stitching an embroidery.
In general, I like to lie face down
on the sofa. I like to eat snow.
I like when people remember I exist. I clip my nails.
I wear a ring. Sometimes I even like the sound of my own
singing voice, sweet and uncertain. My desk faces a window.
The reflection: my round face. A downturned mouth. Glasses.
I wish I believed in life after death.
I could try to brute force my way into faith.
It occurs to me I maybe heard somewhere scientific
that there is no free will because all events have already happened
and time is an illusion. I extrapolate: I will always be me.
I extrapolate further: perhaps I will be reincarnated into June of 1986,
the same. I like this. I have a nice existence.
Sure, I have spent too many nights drunk and calling my mother.
And more texting friends who don’t care to hear from me past 8.
I can’t stand myself alone. But I would like to keep on going.
What about the babies who died babies.
They remain in very small loops. The unjustness
of the theology I have made up
for my private comfort is disturbing. But since when
does anything have to be fair to be true.
Or believed. If I am its author, I must write it beautiful
and also good. I will try again.
"End-of-World Scene in Which We Don’t Make Love with a Backdrop of Fire Because I Have Low Sex-Drive, Depression & We Could Have Avoided This" by Camille Ferguson
Camille Ferguson lives in and loves Cleveland, Ohio. Camille recently graduated from Cleveland State University where she received the Neal Chandler Creative Writing Enhancement Award. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Rabid Oak, Madcap Review, Jam & Sand, Drunk Monkeys, and Okay Donkey, among others.
End-of-World Scene in Which We Don’t Make Love with a Backdrop of Fire Because I Have Low Sex-Drive, Depression & We Could Have Avoided This
I’m always babbling about the flowers, flowers from my throat¾but my mouth blooms into wounds. Orchids open like stars; holes open, in the sky, like mouths. I can’t open my heart, speak from it, or get off the couch. I love you, but it’s unimportant. Look, outside—the sky oranges all the way from California. You want more--not of me but from me: my body a distant planet. My touch—'nonexistent.’ I wish, I wish, I wish. I’d love it--to cease--to go out like a light. Decay, destabilize, vaporize. I’d pummel everything in reach like enraged bees, bloated star that I am. I wish it, upon the most beautiful of stars—bright memoirs left streaked on a tar-black canvas. I’m done with passion, it’s emaciating. I wonder if I’ll make it to see us wasted.
Outside, sirens sing unending, elated. Maybe, finally, I have been annihilated. I am strange & spent. On bitters brewed of my own pessimism, I drink like the world is ending.
Outside—the world is ending. I love you, but it’s unimportant.
Fargo Nissim Tbakhi (he/him) is a queer Palestinian-American performance artist. His writing can be found in Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Mizna, Peach Mag, The Shallow Ends, and elsewhere.
For My Little Wooden Fisherman
Laborer, little life-
Bringer. You dangle
Off the precipice
Of meaning. Stranded
Without anyone to feed
Or teach. Out to sea,
Gazan fishermen are restricted
To fifteen miles of water. You have
No vessel to care for. No kin
To lose. You are no island,
Little tree. A string alone
Is a map to one fish. Together,
Knotted in love and conflict,
We are maps towards plenty.
Little wooden fisherman,
I took a piece of bark
And carved for you a boat:
A place to sit, a way to float.
My life is now joined with yours.
May the two of us use it well, and learn:
Give a man a revolution
And he will eat for a day. Teach a man
Travel Log: Visit Palestine!
after Steven Duong
When they let me out of that black site on the Mercury settlement,
I roam a spell. Break knuckles for a laugh.
Try to phone my mother but no answer.
Time stretches out and I do too, I fall in and out of a good thing.
Thank God they never fixed the gravity, for my knees
are piss-poor after the beatings and the lightness helps.
Somebody offers me transport to Earth. Decline.
I spend my days drinking and trying to get close enough to someone
with a passport to rob them. No luck.
Days were, I used to be honest. Days changed.
Try my mother again. Still no answer. I wonder if she’s floating
somewhere outside of range.
Visit Abu Khaled outside New Jerusalem. He is dying so I pray with him,
then pocket some cash when he’s asleep.
So something broke in me. So what.
My feeling is God never wanted me on this planet and so he isn’t paying
too close attention.
Back at the bar someone asks me about mercy. I say it is like ghosts a thing you want
to believe in but never can feel you deserve.
They tell me no it’s a drink, have I tried it.
I sleep the sleep of a bad person. I believe the things they say of me
on this planet of cells so close to the sun.
In dreams I see my mother aboard the good ship Palestine
A bucket of bolts but it’s ours and it drifts, it moves
And I’m running towards the port but my knees split like knuckles
Somebody asks me about home, I say I’ve never tried it
Mom’s at the porthole smiling like she’s happy
And I’m at the door fumbling through
my wallet, hoping I’ve held onto enough to go inside
SO WE GOT THREE THINGS GOING. WE GOT SOME GRAPE JELLY,
SOME HOMINY GRITS, AND AN EXTENSION CORD.
Frequently people be impressed with some shit that I did that isn’t impressive
For three hours a week, my nana in her usher uniform
People like to fabricate nouns so white you can’t work in them
No one rouged her cheek, none ran her or her stockings
Or stepped on her tennis shoes, sweated her lapel
A cloth I have to launder once I wipe
my face has no stamina
Her man was dead or not your business
I come to the table up, washed like I already ate, painted like I already
Baking soda somewhere seething among my bequests
Frequently people mean to look like (that’s they) money
Framed by a wicker-back I’m spooning
Bleach and black share an etymological base
sugar sheer as pestled glass from stainless
Spent hours cleaning out, daydreaming cresting waves
Stayed knives of a starched collar, whole moons stuck in the lobes of
By the time we make love I’m exhausted and starving
A stunning lover
A contrived still life
Who fingers cherry entrails
With hive of muscadines
While two thick peaches cleave to their pits
And six-piece bone china set
A set designed
Daisies spectate from a standing planter box
Xs and checkers
of decadence rebranded as evident style suggest
Sprays of metal petals, unwilting
color happens at crossings
Madam, I came with the house
If you burnished all this we’d have a different conversation
I mean shit I could go with it, too
AND I LOATHED MY BEAUTY FOR THAT.
this was always sposed to be a story of carnage. copper stripped from a
basement. walls barged down the river, ruddy as the stain on the sister’s seat. 
that day in the rain & the frame still smoking. in the chainlink fence’s revenge,
it split her sole. rust grit & brick dust gripped in her prints. brush hisses in
dense brown hush. horseshoe kicks what you tryna say (trap shut.) into
snowbank the cricket twinkle renders. bring in the big evening. in its black
continuity, we are outnumbered & maneuvered by memory.
her beauty excruciates, emphasizes the cardinally directed reflections affixed to
Marlene Clark’s face. we stop the motion of molten metal & beg it, frozen,
reveal us intrinsically. the child born (e.g., Rosso), as creation, is a solicited
solidification of interior crisis, a temporary & meaningful clot. someone
chooses ruin for the wood. from that shot to this, both a cross cut & rip cut in
which classical sculpture is an anachronism & a parallel becoming: 
grave(n) woman / “wonderful girl.” “barbie doll,” the father calls the mother’s
portrait: blush background, collarbones, curls, tinted lip. easy, the sands of his
pharynx romance: waterfall, rose furls, cinnamon stick. this blood coupling’s
a because of me, its symmetry & fuckery. thou art with me & once fine &
ordinarily poured your good years into systems of profit, piecemeal pocket-
booking stolen feed. grief, grief, relentless thrift. you suffocating burgundy
 What does it mean to me to be firstborn versus the first conceived? Little kidneys. I coax my fuel out of roasted beans. Often I write like a fossil, meatless & downplaying what died to get it done.
 Gunn blackens “Western” time, or Gunn restores flux to the Real amid a fabrication of narrative etiology.
Weniger, aber besser (Less, but better)
It’s fun to blame ourselves for things.
It’s a relief.
The puff of big dreams
shrivels back to normal size.
You think, Probably not.
Probably I won’t get that done
and it won’t matter.
I’m not up for that today.
It’s great to wrap our arms around No
and stay put. I’m fine with failure.
you didn’t do.
My grandmother knew
the real treasure of the world
was a pink line on the horizon.
Owned by none,
commanded by none.
Every evening she climbed
a rickety wooden ladder
to the flat roof
of her very simple home
to gaze out over stolen hillsides
The valleys were small
next to the sky.
Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Believer, New England Review, and Ploughshares. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.
To have a mind as categorized as a cupboard of song,
to reach into a dark place and usher forth the exact tone
of your infant's yawn, to hear completely your gone mother's
bedtime song. And then to click the memory back into place.
To even lift the same song twice.
CAConrad has been working with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. They are the author of Amanda Paradise, forthcoming from Wave Books in 2021. Their book While Standing in Line for Death won a Lambda Literary Award. They also received a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, and a Believer Magazine Book Award. They teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please view their books, essays, recordings, and upcoming events at bit.ly/88CAConrad
satellites into space
the military points
them down at us
the inverse relationship
between love we offer
and what we give
this on and
we wanted this
a taste tasting us back
snorting lines of coke
off the biggest cock
breathe like you
read your poems
what the hell
does that mean
I'm breathing it
look at our hands
baked into being
by a fleeting magic
bark with dogs to let
the neighborhood know
you can go to
knock all you want
no one is there now
where the exit signs
are burned out
A Bronx, New York native, Roya Marsh is a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Roya’s work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, the Village Voice, Nylon Magazine, Huffington Post, The Root, Button Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, Lexus Verses and Flow, NBC, BET and The BreakBeat Poets Vol 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018).
In Spring 2020, MCD x FSG Originals published Roya Marsh's dayliGht, a debut collection of experimental poetry exploring themes of sexuality, Blackness, and the prematurity of Black femme death--all through an intersectional feminist lens with a focus on the resilience of the Black woman.
for (insert name)
never knowing how to label a dream
until you want to tell your children apart
you'll forget how
to tell your children apart
not wanting your baby
to die on a cross like (insert name)
or in a cross walk like (insert name)
not wanting him to be like (insert name) lying in middle of the street
not another (insert name) crying he can't breathe
or (insert name) shot at the doorstep
'cause black fist against door
equates fist against body
'cause guns ring out
more than doorbells
or (insert name)'s brains
in that alley 'cause a cell phone could be a lot of things in the dark
but an unregistered 9mm semiautomatic fired over the shoulder
can only be one thing
a broken taillight in broad daylight
eye contact, a counterfeit bill
a death wish
you ain't gon let your son go out like
how they let (insert name) run
just far enough to think
before they shot
you won't let the last time you see him
be like when
they threw (insert name) in the back of that van
hands cuffed behind his back like (insert name) but he still managed
to shoot himself like (insert name)
his spine in pieces like (insert name)
you want him home
like putting curfew on (insert name)'s soul - too black to be out at night
you ain't gonna be asking the news
why they say (insert name) when they really mean (insert name)
got Obama and Kamala callin' us (insert name) like they don't sit around
callin' him (insert name)
'cause isn't that the right word?
‘cause you know ALL lives matter
except (insert name)
how lucky am i,
to have (insert name)
in my bloodline
holy the way (insert name) keeps pushing my pen from heaven
i flap my gums
show the world the fist in my throat
in honor of (insert name)
but my mother begs me home from the protest
says she can't go through what she went through with (insert name)
says this hype over (insert name)
will die just like
and i tell her
i'd rather die for (insert name)
a million times
than die like (insert name)
Jenny Irish- Rusalka
Terri Linn David-
For the Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits
Darius Simpson- 2 Poems
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach-
When my son says...
Kaleigh O'Keefe- Autobiography of Joan of Arc
Timi Sanni- In This World of Mysteries...
Anna Attie- We Lose Her Over Facetime
Ruth Baumann- 2 Poems
Rob Colgate- Remember These Tulips
Tasneem Maher- Pilgrimage
Aerik Francis- Bebop
Emily Blair- The best ham...
Adrienne Novy- 2 Poems
Daniel Garcia- 2 Poems
Brendan Joyce- moving day
Sanna Wani- 2 Poems
Raphael Jenkins- 2 Poems
Ava Gripp- Your Grandfather Had Secrets
stevie redwood- abolish the dead
benedict nguyen- 2 Poems
Gabrielle Grace Hogan-
Girls Night at the Saturnine Aquarium
Devin Kelly- 2 Poems
Danielle P. Williams-
Alan Chazaro- In a Vernacular of Speculation
Deema K. Shehabi-
A Summer's Tale with Fire Birds
Kayleb Rae Candrilli-
Julianne Neely- 2 Poems
Jake Bailey- 2 Poems
Fargo Tbakhi- 2 Poems
Justin Phillip Reed-
Naomi Shihab Nye-
Keith Leonard- Jukebox
CAConrad- 3 Poems
Roya Marsh- for (insert name)
Stephanie Kaylor- LONG DISTANCE
Tongo Eisen Martin-
A Sketch about Genocide
Despy Boutris- BLOODTEETH
JinJin Xu- Days of Hourless Mothers
Ashley M. Jones- Flour, Milk & Salt
Sam Herschel Wein- How To Cook Your Family
Marianne Chan- 2 poems
Jason Crawford- PReP
Geramee Hensley- Redundancy Limit
Dustin Pearson- My Brother Outside the House in Hell
DT McCrea- On occasion of my own death
Noor Hindi- Unkept
Linda Dove- Mid-Life with Teeth
Stephen Furlong- I Don't Know About You, but Mostly I Just Want to be Held
Dorothy Chan- Because You Fall Too Fast Too Hard
Kevin Latimer- MIRAGE
Taylor Byas- Rooftop Monologue
Matt Mitchell- FINE LINE TRIPTYCH
Todd Dillard- Will
Heidi Seaborn- Under The Bed
Heather Myers- A Rainbow, Just For A Minute
Donna Vorreyer- In The Encyclopedia of Human Gestures
Conor Bracken- THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO TO A MAN
Ben Purkert- 2 Poems
Emma Bolden- What Women's Work Is
Chelsea Dingman- Lockdown Drill
Raych Jackson- Pantoum for Derrion Albert from the Plank
Elliot Ping- in the eighth grade
ii. dance moves
D.A. Powell- Sneak