East Through California by James Jackson

EAST THROUGH CALIFORNIA

I argue with the music in my car again

those rock’n’roll pots and pans clanging

in the soup kitchen of my imagination

the Steel Reserve of my rumba rumblin’

stomach unfilled from Maruchan ramen

 

really I’m running from anything but home:

in the apartment of my car the desert’s

a sandstorm of faulty A/C and mountains

obscuring the view of my future and

there’s nowhere else to go but here

 

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Rust + Moth, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. He is a past winner of the William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest and edits The Mantle. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com

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The Theory and Practice of Rebellion by Robert Okaji

The Theory and Practice of Rebellion

Such small lives we’ve led,

diffident, quiet, until

provoked.

 

Remove our words,

we become steel

and sharp stone,

fletched softwood

splitting the air,

string reverberating,

singing resist,

resist.

 

Fear not

who we are now.

 

Consider tomorrow.

 

Robert Okaji is a half-Japanese poet living in Texas. He served in the U.S. Navy, once owned a bookstore, earned a BA in history, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in La Presa, Rat’s Ass Review, Reservoir and elsewhere.

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Promise by Neil Slevin

Promise

I promised you
I’d speak as Gaeilge
so I took a stranger’s words inside,

held each one close to my chest,
filled them with love
then let them float

into the Galway air.

Neil Slevin MA, BSc is a writer from Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose poetry has been published by various Irish publications, including The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, and Into The Void, and numerous international journals, such as Scarlet Leaf Review and Artificium: The Journal. His flash fiction appeared in The Incubator. He is a founder and editor of Dodging The Rain.

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Language Barrier by Eve Lyons

Language Barrier

In sixth grade I learned my first Spanish

“Chinga,” I told my friends

not knowing the full potential behind the word

are words my savior or a weapon?

 

“Chinga,” I told my friends

his parents found his books

are words my savior or a weapon?

her parents read her journal

 

his parents found his books

distressed by the subjects they chose to fuck

her parents read her journal

no comprendo

 

distressed by the subjects they chose to fuck

la niña aprende para amar

no comprendo

el niño aprende para querer

 

la niña aprende para amar

don’t expect her to stay within your lines

el niño aprende para querer

he doesn’t like your rules

 

don’t expect her to stay within your lines

your language has a hundred ways to hate

he doesn’t like your rules

your language has a hundred ways to hate

 

your language has a hundred ways to hate

crumpled words, wet paper on the floor of my car

your language has a hundred ways to hate

teach us how to love

 

crumpled words wet paper on the floor of my car

not knowing the full potential

teach us how to love.

 

Eve Lyons is a poet and fiction writer living in the Boston area.  Her work has been published in Lilith, Word Riot, New Vilna Review, Mutha magazine, Hip Mama, and many other literary venues and several anthologies.

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A Plague by Hanoch Guy

A Plague
 
Crumbling Lines.
Inside the veins
a small bowing black boy
flogged by a giant,
hammered by heart beats,
falling forward and backward
growing paler and paler.
 
Sliding trees in a storm
fading lines into darkness.
Vanishing darkness-
collapsing spaces into themselves.
little infinities in agony
dying children in a plague.

Hanoch Guy Ph.D, Ed.D spent his childhood and youth in Israel. He is a bilingual poet in  Hebrew and English. Hanoch is an emeritus professor of Jewish and Hebrew literature in Temple University. He has taught poetry  and mentoring at the Musehouse center. He has published poetry in Genre, Poetry Newsletter, Voices Israel , the International Journal of Genocide studies Poetry Motel,Visions International. He has published his poetry in the U.S, England, Wales and Israel. He won an award in Poetica. He has also won an award in the Mad Poets Society. Hanoch is the author of : The road to Timbuktu-travel poems, Terra Treblinka-Poems of the Holocaust, We pass each other on the stairs; 120 imaginary and real encounters, Sirocco and scorpions: poems of Israel and Palestine, A hawk in midflight, A green cow (Hebrew).
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