Archive for July, 2015

was it Dad
sending me
under houses
because I was small

or my brother
holding me down
under a blanket
until the panic
gripped me so tight
I lost my sense of being

it could not be water
I still love sitting
at the bottom of
the pool or
gliding under water

maybe I was born
that way maybe
I couldn’t wait
to escape the womb

it explains why I
don’t like to be touched
why seeing pictures
of people huddled
with their faces touching
shivers me

except by my
one lover
and then I
still need
a space
time alone

and why I’m not
afraid of death
where I am no more
or I am so
much more
a spirit
free from
all fear

thomas Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Thomas R. Thomas likes people, usually one on one, and prefers deep complex friendly conversations. He likes his brother, they are friends.


Corpse Flower by Alex Vigue

Posted: July 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

This is a sun
but it is also a jar
a container
twenty-sided cylinder

this is a wave
a flask
for questions to sit in
a rhubarb pie with no idea what it is capable of

this is another sun without a father
this is a cry for help
this is a mother sobbing floors
this is the quiet

a wave of rushing and whooshing and solid things
carry corpse shells of hollowed unicellular organisms

a sun breathes heat into the nape of a corpse
flower’s broad neck
it opens and the air molecules excite
they rush in to be transformed

they exit
a wave of stench
a sign the flower is blooming and beautiful
Alex Vigue is a Washington State writer with a degree in creative writing from Western Washington University. He is the fiction editor for Dirty Chai Lit Magazine and you can find him on twitter @Kingwithnoname

Next by J.K. Durick

Posted: July 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

The TV news tonight was about the weather
Severe weather in the Midwest this time
Thunderstorms, torrential rains, hail, and
Tornadoes setting down, “cutting a path”
Crushing barns, dropping trailers, houses
Turning to scrap; one they showed had its
Roof torn off and we could see, from this
Helicopter angle looking down, the shape
Shape of their lives, there was even a guy
Moving around, one room to the next
Perhaps he was searching for a family
Heirloom or a pet he forgot in the rush
The last minute or he might have been
Trying to remember things as they were
Safe, secure, private, and now an audience
Is watching him try to make sense of
Bigger questions: why his house and not
The neighbors’? Why now, after all these
Years? Is being alive, surviving, enough?
The commentator never mentioned it, but
This guy, walking through his ruined house
In the Midwest, is an everyman, represents
Us all, as we sit watching him on TV, while
The elements of our destruction wander
Around us, randomly choosing who is next.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Eskimo Pie, Black Mirror, Poetry Pacific, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

I remember how we fought
when I was anemic and six and wouldn’t eat the food Mom put on my plate,
the food you paid for and said I’d damn well eat.
I don’t remember buying or stealing candy
or sharing someone else’s brown bag lunch.
I don’t remember being hungry.
What I remember is
refusing you.

You forced me to sit in the dark at the kitchen table
until I’d finished all the food on my plate.
My dog snuck up to my side
ate the meat and bread,
even she couldn’t stand the congealed peas and potatoes.
So I mashed them under the cushion I sat on to make me Big Enough.
Of course I got caught.
It smelled.

Then the pediatrician said, “Let her eat
whatever she wants.”
So each night I ate hamburgers, french fries and malts
until I gained enough weight and red blood cells
for you and I to move on to other wars.

I gained more weight
and more
except for the times sickness and surgeries shrunk me.
The same thing
happened to you.

We made a troubled peace.

Our last time together you tried so hard not to criticize me,
didn’t say a word about my weight
then you went home,
lost 40 pounds in two months
and died.

Daddy, am I big enough now?
Will I live my last two months in agony
like you?

From where you are now – is there enough of me?
Too much?
Do you frown each time you see me
asking for more?
Barbara Ruth is a photographer, memoirist and poet living in San Jose. She is older, wiser and fatter than she used to be.