A poem by NATALIE RUSSO. Yes, I’m at a point in a young life where I’m stitching a sort of patchwork of my past. Snags in the fabric–affirmative–but what you do is gently brush your hand over it, can only accept it. From now I’m learning to work my love, see what lasts and gets born when I break off for tomorrows. At these crossroads I remember very well, but memory blips too. Jump starts and quick flicks. Yes, sun-setting times of old have been stored and simultaneously don’t exist in our adult world if I lived them at 8 years old, a small adult all too old for 8–it’s ok, no one can help divorce and all that trails behind it. If I was 10. A muggy adolescent. Around here, healthy people heat up parts of their past selves on stoves and feel them evaporate. They say I need…Continue Reading

Graduating

A story by SHELBY DE ROND. There is nothing so sweet as gingerbread. This is the first thing my grandmother taught me, and the only one that has lasted the slow decay of time. There is nothing so sweet as gingerbread. Not syrup. Not mildew. Not even fruit picked fresh from the tree. Of course, you have to get it right; what is the use of gingerbread that is too coarse, or too limp, or too small? Gingerbread dreams, beats, breathes when you make it right: full of love, full of ghosts, full of cinnamon and flour. The batter is mud like we were once mud. Strange dust, full of time and memory and the scent of a forgotten god, spins flavour into the waiting air. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg: these spices match the fire Prometheus once stole. Sugar, too, but that is not what makes it sweet. That is in the…Continue Reading

Gingerbread

A poem by JENNA HAM.   These drops beat on the floor of my mind, in sparkly whirlpool chimes.   It’s part imagined and part experienced: this glittery sensation of hām. The whole day has been a space in time, as the tick-tock of the clock is drenched in rainfall, and tyres beat the ground relentlessly. I can’t tell whether it’s day or night, summer or spring, April or November. Today is faceless in the rain, and so am I. Blot it out of the calendars! It’s too rainy a day to be today. Featured Image courtesy of Jenna Ham.

Rain

A poem by IVY GAO.     plucked from the depths of the cosmos, snug as a pea, pearl-soft, toes to the moon, mind a starry sea. a twitchy hatchling, a tickly tadpole, a wriggling fish, soft as cookie dough. damp as a lilypad bathed by a sun-shower, velvety as the belly of a cherry-flower. slick as raw yolk, and twice as sunny, jumpy as a wood clock, pink as a bunny. hairless as an onion, a tulip bud scampering across the sky, a happy bug. warm as a kiss in the morning mist, a loaf of bread rising, damp with yeast. in the midsummer sun, a springy sprout curled like a question mark, tummy to the clouds.     Featured image courtesy of unsplash.com

i’m baby

A poem by JENNA HAM.   This is a day.   This idyllic space, though, might Disintegrate before my eyes Like a frame I’ve dropped on the kerb, If I’m not too careful.   This time in my life, Roof-bathing in sun spots, Is on the brink of ending.   I don’t feel so good, Mr Stark.     This all withers and fades in the stillness of a summer day. These trees firm in their roots, even, Are turning white in front of me. To be uncouth, un-cuð, to cut right down.   The shuttle of birds past my left side Reminds me to walk On this cable-car line that I take on every day.   Even my poems are starting to sound the same; Same the sound to starting are poems. My poems are losing their face.   But I’ve never seen the leaves look so dewy: Shiny,…Continue Reading

Instructions: Frame This

A prose piece by NATALIE RUSSO.   He had told his daughter not to bother with this scribbly drivel, but: What if we brought our crafts together, you slot your slats, I scratch out letters? I’m going to paint your portrait. Lend me cement and watch exactly how I make a house of your day in day outs, unqualified—yes, and the cement already burns my hands as I saw down images too confusing, search for metaphors in the skip skip skip. God, many men on this building site.   He repeated that his daughter should really not bother detailing any of it, confiscating my materials so I could barely jot down with pencil-behind-ear that He was already out the door moving with steel-capped boots (DeWalt) a-clomping. Dawn in the UK. Those big loud boots warn me: I must be literal, no drivel now so OK whatever you say, watch! My commentary’s…Continue Reading

He Had Told His Daughter Not To Bother, But

A story by YOSHIMI KATO. The Magnolia tree was dead once, and then it was alive. I gazed up at the infinite branches, constantly winding up into the dark heavens. The lush leaves rustled, sighing in the nonexistent breeze. The sprawling blossoms overhead glowed as always, illuminating the bark in rose gold light. I breathed in the sweet air, then exhaled, calm washing over me. Little did I know that the sapling I received that cold evening twenty-three years ago would lead me to the life I love. ❦ ❦ ❦ The sun had just set, casting the streets of Camden in murky shadow, my boots click-clacking as I rushed to the bus station. I had only meant to stay inside CadGoddeau Bookshop for a few moments, just to run my fingers down the roughened spines along the shelves, turn the pages and breathe in the smell of faded ink…Continue Reading

Taliesin

A poem by NICOLE FAN.   it has been a while since i awoke to the salute of a sunrise accustomed to darkness before dawn unused to seeing coral-tinted skies   and too long since the dining table was this full layers of dust wiped away making homes once empty now lived into     wanting to move forward with wistful prayers to go back we desperately crave a recent past while distant memories we forget   that there was a time before we’d severed the veins within when this was our normal and not the earth paused mid-spin   as the seconds stretch forward with hands past the clock so too does each day’s yearning but stay for now and remember this interlude, when the world resumes turning.     Featured image courtesy of S L on unsplash.com

a brief moment in time