Saturday, April 1, 2023

Two Pieces, Giorgia Pavlidou

A Vampire Called Eurydice  
How comfortable the warm darkness of caskets --
Doubtlessly finer than nowadays’ low-quality blood
Still much to my surprise,
Orpheus eventually arrived.
I followed his back for a little while,
bumping against a shadow or two    (more to stay true to the myth instead of really
wanting to)
Yet I was curious: “Will he succeed this time around?”  
As was to be expected, he turned his head once again --
Tired, stuffy, dark circled eyes looked at me for the umpteenth time.  
He didn’t impress me much; I feel forced to confess.
Or was he a she? Or a they? Difficult to say, today:
Even genitals have minds of their own -- on this present day.
Relieved that my hero had so blatantly failed once more,
I returned to the comforting darkness of my sepulcher  
(apropos: my relationship with light has never been exceptionally bright).
Hades isn’t such a bad place after all, I thought, while my coffin welcomed me back inside.
The embittered Goddess, Persephone, stared at me with her usual pitch-black eyes.
 I drooled gazing back at her magnificent, mean-pale and perforating face.
And before I could even think of rising up, and lick her splendid but insipid dark lips,
her hungry tongue, deep inside my menial and brittle little mouth,
was already done circling around mine:

So-so comfortable - I was mandated to think - the convivial darkness of my casket.
Much-much more exquisite and finer than nowadays’ low-quality blood.

Fun Republic
Fun Republic was the name of my favourite mall. One of the reasons I loved going there was that it had both a butcher and a bar. The bar was on the top floor. The butcher was on the first.

A few days after I began frequenting what would become my favourite bar, a young female journalist committed suicide. The girl jumped from an indoor bridge on the top floor where the bar was. While I was enjoying my sixth or seventh tequila, I vaguely remember that the bartender tried to convince me that the girl wasn’t a regular.

“Besides,” he said emphatically, “she was sober.” While he was telling me all that, I remember thinking, wow, this man has a huge head. And why does he have hair sprouting out of his ears?

Slightly tipsy and while holding my big plastic bag of meat, I wobbled to see the bridge. I wanted to feel how it is to walk around the spot where someone had just experienced a massive amount of anguish.

Imagine you’re trying out new lingerie, I thought, or enjoying an omelette when you suddenly hear this strange loud thud close to you.

Pacing back and forth on the bridge with my dripping bag, I don’t remember feeling much. I quickly returned to the bar. I needed another tequila. Much to my dismay, however, the bartender refused to pour me one.

A handsome young man with reddish and unusually long hair sat a few stools away from me. A colourful three-to-four feet tall half-human half-monkey hybrid figurine stood next to him. I made sustained efforts to not wonder why that was. When he looked in my direction, I asked him if he knew why no drinks were being served. He told me that the owner didn’t want people to think the girl drank in his bar and then jumped. Other customers who were drinking suspicious lemonades said that this was out of respect for the deceased girl.

It all irritated me. I implored the large-headed bartender with the hairy ears to pour me a drink: “please, bro, I’ll pay you double or even quadruple for another tequila.” He looked at me in a sad way, wobbled his head and made a shrieking sound, perhaps saying something in his dialect, I wasn’t certain, but he surely didn’t offer me a drink.

Feeling disappointed, I decided to leave.
Exiting the mall, still dragging around my dripping bag of meat, I saw the artist and his apelike figurine at the parking lot. They were sitting on a stationed Harley Davidson. When I approached them, he suggested going up for drinks.

“But you just said they don’t serve alcohol out of respect for the dead,” I said.

He ignored me and played with his long red tresses. Next, he smiled at me and touched the forehead of the statuette.

“What do you have in this big black dripping bag?” he asked next. I didn’t buy meat that day because the butcher shop was closed, so I agreed to go for a drink with him.

At the bar I refused to drink alcohol. “I rarely drink during the day,” I lied. “What about coffee?” he asked. He looked sexy in his extremely tight jeans. His crotch was bulging out. The figurine, he and his bulge looked wonderful together.  

“Please, if possible, very strong coffee,” I asked the thick-headed bartender. I glanced at the artist, but it seemed as if he looked right through me into nothingness. I did my very best to not wonder why.
I used to drink double or triple espressos back then, but as expected, when it arrived, my coffee wasn’t strong.

“Through the coffee, one shouldn’t be able to see the inside of the cup!” I yelled, upon which a short little man ran off to bring me extra instant coffee on a little plate.

“Don’t worry,” the artist said. He played with his tresses some more and smiled looking out the window. The figurine seemed more figurine-like than earlier, but the handsome artist’s bulge less bulge-like. Taking a sip, I tried observing the bulge through the corners of my eyes. Alas, even with the extra instant coffee it all tasted bland.

Feeling disappointed for the umpteenth time, I left. The artist and the figurine left as well.
Crossing the bridge, I saw that in the meantime a net was spun on one side of the bridge but not on the other.

“Work in progress?” I asked the artist.

“Nope,” he said. “The net will be spun only on one side. You see, I’ve heard that the mall received just enough money to spin a net only on one side.”

He seemed to find this fact funny and laughed loudly. I could clearly see that he didn’t miss any teeth.
I laughed as well and tried observing his crotch a little more, to see if it was still bulging out. What I saw tickled my groin.

“What’s going on,” the artist asked, “your face has turned red.”

“Nothing,” I said, “absolutely nothing. It’s just that I’m experiencing the world being perfect just like the way it is.”

His almost-black melancholy eyes stared at me with this look people have when they don’t understand what is happening, and they’re assessing whether they’re in danger or not.
Nevertheless, he offered to drive me home.

We drove through a slum at breakneck speed. The road had more potholes than asphalt, but that didn’t seem to surprise anyone.

I kissed the artist and the figurine goodbye, entered my apartment, and dropped myself on my bed. After putting the dripping chopped-up body parts in the fridge, I contemplated my day at my favourite mall. I thought of the butcher, the bar, the bridge, the young female journalist, and the strange loud thud at least some customers must have heard. I thought of the artist and his woody friend, the potholes, the slum, and the net spun only on one side of the bridge.

“The world is perfect just like the way it,’ I said to myself, and I smoked some more, observing through my window a crooked yellow laser springing up behind the silhouette of a man standing straddle in between a few wild bushes growing at the side of the potholed street in front of my apartment.

Originally trained in clinical psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, Giorgia Pavlidou is an American writer and painter intermittently living in Greece and the US. She received her MA in Urdu literature from Lucknow University, India and her MFA in Fiction from MMU Manchester, UK, (though her meetings with visionary LA poet-philosopher Will Alexander have been and still are exceedingly more impactful). Her work has recently appeared in such places as Caesura, Lotus-Eater, Zoetic Press, Maintenant Dada Journal, Puerto del Sol, Entropy. Additionally, Trainwreck Press ( launched her chapbook inside the black hornet’s mind-tunnel in 2021. Ireland-based Strukturriss Magazine selected her as the featured visual artist of their January 2022 issue 3.1. She’s an editor of SUL╬ŽUR online literary magazine. 

Anvil Tongue Books published Giorgia Pavlidou's debut collection of poetry in 2022. Copies can be purchased by navigating to the 'Books' tab to the right. 

Selected Works, Soleil Yakita

Absent Father 

Pocketed, whisked away—absent, Father, 
You were suddenly an ensnared creature 
Blank eyes blazing with animal terror 
Gasping, gargling, against the biting steel. 
As the compass needle knows North, Father, 
A great agonal force stirred within you, 
A gnashing, sweeping, unceasing machine 
Indiscriminate, wholly unseeing. 
And later in the yellow dim, Father, 
When moon-pale skin shone mercifully breathless, 
My lips brushed a cool form like a statue 
And sensed the dead air; the emptiness. 

cleansing, mending 

Today my pen is a paintbrush 
cradled in the sleight of my hand. 
It no longer chokes and sputters 
on yesterday’s noxious thoughts. 
I do not wield it as a dagger, 
carving red into my journal. 
Today words unspool in gold ribbons 
from the lithe movements of my wrist. 
Gentle, dancing loops fill the page: 
raspberry jam. . . warm marmalade. . . 
Sleepy-eyed autumn. . . silk sunsets. . . 
today my pen rests. 


Under the rev’rent hush of the pre-dawn morning, 
the muted whistle of the witching-hour train 
trails in a sleek silver streak through the blue darkness; 
the station awaits in cool adularescence. 

A magic is dream-caught, webbed through the quietude: 
one secret among passengers and observer 
each of us guarded and snuggled comfortably 
against the velvet night’s lust’rous underbelly. 


Today my body a bloodied gash 
against the faded paisley of my bedsheets— 
pit-marked by the half-moon digs of my nails, 
I weep scab-fluid like a bark-stripped tree. 
I murmur to myself, little blue lies 
just askew from the pulsing vein of truth: 
deoxygenated capillaries 
that bitter my mouth like underripe fruit. 
But a sleek algal film clings to my skin, 
in guarded seclusion it flourishes; 
I revel in the slick cocoon of grime 
with no promise of metamorphosis. 
Yet soon I must shed this warm shroud of filth,  
and beneath it seek some semblance of self. 


In rev’rent prayer and on my tired knees, 
I suckle Death’s slender, icy fingers. 

I lick them until my lips fall numb, 
And my stomach curdles with hot acid. 

Until my mouth tastes of bitter-black ash, 
My jaw slack and my restless mind placid. 

sonnet no. 2 

Do whisper gentle things against my lips,  
that which would fracture, burst, in open air;  
Sweet Nothings—stolen, golden spheres of bliss, 
that float between us fragile, warm and bare. 

Caress my skin with faint and feather touch, 
as rushing breezes rustle flaxen grain; 
Do drench me in a wash of scarlet blush, 
as sunlit forests blaze with amber rain. 

Beneath my circling rings of ribcage reach,  
and press your palmprint flush against my heart; 
Its silken form do gently cup and squeeze, 
to choke the pulse then feel it hard restart. 

Do whisper hidden words into my ear,  
Sweet Nothings lustrous, tender, soft and dear. 

grey matter 

a brooding lethargy like victorian rot: 
all plague masks and posies, corpses and consumption 

words trail soot on the walls, thoughts stain with putrid grease; 
tongue tastes food as if spoonfed from the ashtray 

fine, gritty granules like gravel, sediment, and 
misguided sentiments, unspoken resentments 

swiftly accumulate like thick glacial refuse 
in the warm crannies flush against the optic nerve 

and down the curving corridors within each bone: 
pebbles crowd like teeth in the carnal catacomb 

Soleil is a recent transfer and undergraduate Creative Writing student at Stockton University, and she has just begun to familiarize herself with the local literary community. She works as a library assistant, English tutor, and (unofficial) printer repairwoman at Atlantic Cape Community College. Soleil is also a clarinetist in the Atlantic POPs Community Band, where she can happily immerse herself in wordless rhythm for a few hours each week. She is just beginning to send work out for publication. 

Soleil's poem, grey matter, was originally published online via A Thin Slice of Anxiety:

Skinwalker, Lauren Scharhag

It’s not like in the werewolf movies
where I wake up naked in the forest,
not knowing how I got there or why
I have the taste of blood in my mouth.

It’s not like the stories where curses
make beasts of men. No, it’s more akin
to those Eurasian primordials of whose tree
I am but another branch, where turning men

into wolves was the rite of hunters and
warriors. No moon governs me, and I know
exactly what I am and where I’ve been. It’s in
my very name, by means of it, it goes on all fours.

Some say it started when the Spaniards came,
and if you don’t know the story of those years,
I probably don’t have to tell you the story
of those years, the age of ruthlessness and

conquerors. Sometimes, I think it must be because
for so long, we were nomads, and you don’t just
shrug off three millennia of wandering, trekking
across ice bridges and down the rugged coasts,

but only the Creator knows for sure, they
who conjured light from the east, and Earth
from a single yellow grain. Sometimes, I think
I was born to this, that I only unleashed what

was already there, my nature mutable as the
golden tortoise beetle, the snowshoe rabbit,
or certain tree frogs. Nothing in my cosmology
says I must forgive. There is only balance

and imbalance, and imbalance must be corrected.
The sort of trauma that washes down through
the generations, like litter in the stream of our DNA,
and it’s not as if the atrocities ever stop. I am

the endless Night Chant, waiting for the world to heal,
the tireless ceremonial dancer, the ultimate hand trembler,
for surely we must remove the source of the malady.
I take the darkness into myself, and when our enemies

tell us we are less than they, I am ready
to fling it back at them. I am ready to don
the forbidden animal skins, to sow terror and
harvest a crop of bones. You could see why

I would trade the Pollen Way for blood, why
I would call upon the powers of wing and
fang and claw, why I would become pitiless
as the hawk’s unblinking gaze. I pray you

never know the pain that drives someone
to become this, that you never have to pay
the price to become this, the agony of
transformation: my fingers, once so skilled

at weaving, hardening into talons, canines
overtaking my omnivorous mouth, forsaking
forever the taste of corn and beans, my feet
into paws, and then the aftermath of becoming,

in which I am no one, neither living nor dead,
perpetually half human, half creature, all monster,
the stench of mass graves and privation. Once you
start down this path, there can be no turning back.

And yes, I can be dog, coyote, wolf, bear, cougar,
owl and crow, but I would rather be the deadly
bacteria destroying you from within, the brain-eating
amoeba lurking in the water, the compulsion

that seizes people to pet a wild thing that could
maul or trample them. The medicine men try
to pray us away. Those who know of us do not
speak of us, for fear we will hear. Admittedly,

we are not hard to distract. There’s always some new
imbalance to chase down. Dip your bullets in ashes,
and if you know the Skinwalker’s human name,
then speak it, and they will be destroyed. If you know

my human name, then speak it, and I will take you
with me. Unlike you, I don’t fear the world’s end.
I know more are waiting if we could but rise
to meet them.

Lauren Scharhag (she/her) is an award-winning author of fiction and poetry, and a senior editor at Gleam. Her latest poetry collection, Midnight Glossolalia (with Scott Ferry and Lillian Necakov), is now available from Meat for Tea Press. She lives in Kansas City, MO.

Skinwalker was originally published via Mitchell Pluto Artzine:

Three Poems, Amy Hoskins

Faith Forward, Democracy


Because you see a flower, it changes your day. 
To make a sacred space, you don’t need money.
The Earth is sacred as the Heavens, you and me.
Your body is a temple. Your heart a flowing flower.
Reality is milky, relative to your experience, 
your perception.

Please come sit with me, and just be.
Tell me from the heart, your story,
What shaped your life up to now.


Is it poverty of the spirit that causes you 
to destroy what is good? 
You’re jealous of goodness.

Goodness grows. 
Thrives despite attempts at eradication. 
We’re all born with it, but hatred is learned.
Everyone deserves genuine love. 
Unconditional. Respectful. 
Everyone deserves a life that gives them joy.
And ye harm none, do what ye will.
Blessed be, all beings are worthy of love.

All the angels came. All the demons.
Pandora’s Box split asunder, irreparably. 
It only seems like the end of the world, 
in this epic battle for our souls, 
our shared future.


Phone calls come in that I don’t answer. 
Australia. Afghanistan. Malaysia. Peace.
Please leave a message.

Things are happening at such a rate, 
it becomes difficult to describe the times.
What Bardo of Bardo’s is this?

When mythology fails, the fight for vision is brutal. 
Reality is not a movable feast.
What do we replace old mythology with? 
Respect, but new thinking for new times? 
2023 seems too far into the millennium to be 
defending old ways of thinking.
Unless your old thought be eternal, grace. 
Kindness from the heart. 
Do Justice, do kindness, be humble.

Faith deserves a reality check. 
All people deserve human rights. 
Faith forward, democracy. 
New faith meets old faith. 
To love is to resolve this. 

Anything is possible. 
Why not choose progress over destruction? 
You can’t escape the news if you’re a statistic.
Neither can your children, your children’s children.

Loving Oneness

And so it begins, nurturing mini beings.
Seedlings to get misted every day.

We will only have crazy weather now. 
Stormy weather that leaves us puzzled, in awe. 
Perplexing climate change is upon us. 
Leadership is maddeningly slow to act.
How many ways are there to say
The world is on fire?

What is it? What is it you’re chasing with that 
chaser? The knowledge doesn’t go away.

Seahorse, lion, both tender and fierce.

What would you do? Run away? Don’t run! Does that mean 
fair game for death by beating, taser, gun? Don’t even breathe. You’re not free. 
Yet. Ancient injustices are coming to the fore. We speak out for resolution.
Change is incremental. We need changes to flow creatively, progressively.

It’s a delicate balance we find. Surviving.

Why hide women’s faces, even the 
mannequins in the store? 
What is the power of a face? 
A woman’s face? Is it fear?

Facing death in the lives of 
three dear friends. Mortality is in the room.
Inescapable but each a brave fight with 
chemo and radiation side effects. 
Hope in the darkness. 
This too shall pass. 
Life and death are in delicate balance. 

So many set ups, traps, deals. 
Inescapable as death, credit cards. 
Buying your money twice through lending programs. Who would poison the Earth for more money? It’s never enough. It’s not infinite, abundance of Nature.

Time zones hit in waves across the planet.

Palms up, straight from the heart.
It’s ok to pray. All that good energy can heal. A ripple effect of love is on its way.

The corners of my mouth have found a new smile, on top of a blue sunny day.

Today the Sun is shining but I can’t find my smile deep down.

To love is to be there, for you, loved ones, Nature that sustains us. To love is a path filled with art, music, literature, film. With human endeavors to be better. 

To love the world and watch it spin toward death, this illusion of consumerism that keeps us wanting more, is but killing us. My heart aches to see a better world survive and thrive.

I’m learning to pray with all my might that it will not be the end of what we know as life. To rest, eat, exercise. To learn as long as I live.

Love is seeing the good in yourself, others, Nature. Love abounds if only we believe and see it all around us like magic.

It is magic. We are wizards, crones, poets, painters, healers. We breathe. We learn to love Oneness in time. There is still time.

Deep Thoughts from the Bus Stop

I have to wait until the sirens stop. 
My breathing is interrupted.
The breathless waiting to exhale.
Breathe in dust and fumes from the 
main streets. If dust could talk.
We do our best at the windows. 
Portals, reflections, lenses. 

How the whole landscape is altered
without a car. An opportunity to walk
In the rain with an umbrella. 
You won’t melt.
Why not take the bus?
Simple and efficient transit system. 
Reality of so many without means. 

Meet nice people on the bus, 
on the way there. Feel the wind on 
Your skin while you walk. Hear songbirds.
See shadows and light from the
Ground up to the trees and clouds. 
Walking changes everything.

In cars we seem to be floating above
People walking in the weather.
It’s an illusory distinction.
The world seems infinitely accessible
As long as you can afford gas, maintenance.
Drive your car for now, not forgetting the 
planet needs less, not more.

Stay tuned. 

We are blessed with abundance from the Earth.
To siphon resources instead of nurture
Is the old Industrial model. 
Instead, every bit of Earth could be
growing yummy fresh produce. 

Creative intelligence. Create your life. 
Recycling. Inventing. 
Make peaceful waves. 
Focus on your personal best.

Frida says, Hey, with flowers circling her head.
Surrounded by bones, blood, fruits. 
She’s furious.

A hurricane has been forming, swirling. 
Societies, networks, a web. 
We are bound to each other for best and for 
worst. Opposites of belief, opinion. 
Or opportunities? The storm is among us 
all despite how often we check the news.

Stellar zeppelins became obsolete. 
That one film of the tragedy was enough to 
force a way to new technology. 
Admit failure. 

Blimps now give us views with 
Precision cameras. 
Drones and Go-pros do the same. 
We are a society obsessed with visuals. 
Now drones can kill a mass of people.
Do we see that visual?
When has it gone too far?

Water. Resources. 
We are on a precipice. 
Can we evolve together? 
Where are we without our smart phones? 
Without electricity, without water, 
We know how to be without for a time. 

What is redemption now? 
To be absolved, to be free, 
but with a moral code? 

So many sharks in the tank, 
even they deserve kindness. 

We are all irrevocably connected
As a spider’s web, a tree’s roots. 
None of it is neatly tied, but complex as
Glowing highway trails at night. 

Peaceful breathing gets us back in place. 
Safety, clarity, moments of peacefulness. 
Up and out with feelings. 
Down, and grounded in the body. 

Whether we have a car,
Modern amenities, or not,
Sometimes breathing through it 
is all we have.

Amy Hoskins is a poet and visual artist creating with disabilities from her home in South Nashville, TN.  Hoskins has hosted the monthly Gestalt Poetry Open Mic, which is virtual for now, since 2017. She has had more than fifteen poems published in the US and Amsterdam.

Selected Works, John Guzlowski


Kafka and Me at Starbucks

He scratches on a notepad
And I ask him what he’s writing.

Nothing, he says, just some words.
Blue, lunch, Mildred, faith, and love.

Why these words? I ask.

He looks at me and smiles and says
For a writer, you ask too many questions.

Kafka on War

Let me tell you
What you already know. 
Man is a beast.

Look at him 
standing next to you.
One minute 
He’s laughing.
The next he’s eating 
your mother’s 
Tits and belly.

All you can do
Is shoot him.

Then have some coffee
And a donut.
You’ll feel better.

Kafka Alone at Starbucks

Kafka sits at the table 
drinking coffee 

He wonders 
why it's so quiet here 

He remembers all the coffee
He ever drank

and stirs the star of words
into the cup

Kafka Pauses

Kafka waits by the door.
There’s something on the other side.

He can hear it.
A breath. A scratch. 
A foot moving back and forth
Almost as it were dancing.

He wants to open the door.
But he’s enjoying the fear too much.
If he opens the door, 
The fear will scatter like a cat.

Kafka and God

Kafka passes the temple,
Wonders what he’d do 
If he were God for a day.

He knows he would drink
More coffee and eat
A bigger piece of pie.

Kafka’s favorite song?

It was California Dreaming,
though he never heard it.  
He died before John and Michelle 
ever wrote it, even before 
they were born, but Kafka knew 
the song, the cold that wouldn’t stop, 
the church a Jew could never enter.  

The sense of a gray street 
that leads nowhere.

Over a writing career that spans more than 40 years, John Guzlowski has amassed a significant body of published work in a wide range of genres: poetry, prose, literary criticism, reviews, fiction and nonfiction.

His poems and stories have appeared in such national journals as North American Review, Ontario Review, Rattle, Chattahoochee Review, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Marge, Poetry East, Vocabula Review. He was the featured poet in the 2007 edition of Spoon River Poetry Review. Garrison Keillor read Guzlowski’s poem “What My Father Believed” on his program The Writers Almanac.   

Three Poems, Dana Trick


Time . . . 
Why are you sand,
So much infinite in everywhere 
But always slipping through my fingers. . .? 

Life . . .  
Why are you a politician,
So fill on your majestic promises
Yet leaving behind broken things and people. . ..? 

Love . . . 
Why are you a rose,
So engraved with thorns 
But so blessed with soft beautiful petals . . .? 

Wisdom . . . 
Why you are a paradox,
So needed and desired
Yet always hated then abandoned . . .? 

Wonder . . . 
Why are you a child,
So full of joy and awe 
But constantly, always, so fragile . . .? 

Death . . . 
Why are a dream,
So full of dread and fear,
Yet so yearned for. 

Chained Girl

I'm just a chained girl
Who lives in a perfect indoctrinate life,
Limbs constantly dragged to the beat 
Of a performance that can’t see me.

I’m just a chained girl
Who can no longer feel—or believe in—
Her wings under the cold web of chains. 

I’m just a chained girl 
Whose mind and heart continue 
To dream of the freedom and happiness
That comes from being and loving myself.

I’m just a chained girl
Who can longer be satisfied with dreaming happiness
And now fights back against the chains 
That froze her wings since she was a babe.

I’m flying girl now,
My wings, scared and bruised,
Carrying me to my dreams and happiness
That are mine and mine alone.


Choose all that apply before reading the rest of the poem below: 
{Disabled, Indigenous, Asian (East, South, Southeast), Latinx, African, Mixed, Poor, LGBTQA+ Female, Immigrant, First-Generation, Refugee, Any Religion} 

Why must a {insert here} 
Have to work so hard to prove their humanity they already have
To the powerfully parasitic privileged who is so eager to take it away
By any means necessary? 

Why must a member of that {insert} 
Have to spend their entire lives navigating though 
Trapdoors, puzzle rooms, walls, cages, chains, and laws
That only preserve the institutionalized inequality of the powerfully parasitic privileged 
While they promote hard work and determination would fix everything in their lives? 

Why must a member of {insert} 
Are forced to morph their personalities, their identities, their communities
Into the monstrous majority monotony society/status quo
Of the powerfully parasitic privileged  
That always condemn, criticize, scapegoat, stereotype, harass, assault, murder them
At every chance, at every crime, at every tragedy, at every minute of them trying to live? 

Why must a member of {insert},
After surviving through the oppression obstacles, 
Have to constantly inhumanly, impossibly, infinitely
Be perfectly good and civilized 
So their communities would eventually encounter 
Less torment from the powerfully parasitic privileged? 

Why does the {insert}
Be even more tormented after their minority-hero—
So chained and crucified to the ballet burden of role model—
Is discovered to have done something wrong, immoral, evil,
Therefore giving the powerfully parasitic privileged excuses to continue
Their discrimination, scapegoating, harassment, attacks, murder, dehumanization
Till the end of time? 

Why does the powerfully parasitic privileged 
Claim that only they have humanity in the world 
Even though their actions and words are synonym of humanity
Even though everyone on this earth
Like the said historically marginalized minorities 
Has humanity from the very second they are born?

Born a first-generation Mexican-Canadian-American autistic biromantic-demisexual with ADHD, Dana Trick lives in Southern California where it is clearly foolish to wear black any day. Besides writing, she spends/wastes her day by either reading weird books; researching history because she has a history degree; drawing art and comics that she posts on deviantART under Silencedbook9; and watching cartoons, anime, and Youtube videos. Her work has been published online--Art of Autism, the Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Kolkata Arts, The Writer Shed, The Writers Club, and The Ugly Writers—as well as in print anthologies: the 2018 Moorpark College Print Review; the Poets’ Choice Realm of Emotions; Other Worldly Women Press’ Behind Closed Doors; Free Spirit’s Historic Tales; Wingless Dreamer’s My Glorious Quill and The Book of Black; Dragoon Soul Press’ Organic Ink Volume 5; and The Ravens Quote Press’ Balm 2. She wishes the reader a nice day.

Three Poems, S.C. Flynn


Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean

This is where life’s journey ends, 
the deepest well of the world’s mind,
mother earth’s vagina
and darkest subconscious.
The outside pressure would crush you flat;
remember what it’s done to the creatures
we passed on the way, the world’s deformed children
that it hides away for shame, floating nightmares
of tentacles and hard flattened bodies
that stay by their mother’s side and do no harm.
But maybe you and I are the disgraces,
the ones who were born in the shallows above
and then crawled up on land and grew wild;
without the discipline of deepest water
our brains ballooned out big and empty
and now the clever wandering children
descend in technological incest.


The arctic terns will soon be gone
to seek the endless daylight in Antarctica,
passing over Cretaceous cliffs of gulls
and then, while the sun grows hotter, 
rivers of Serotonin drained from cities;
diasporas of isolated minds
locked inside, dreading arrest in the night.
On they go, away from the darkness
that covers interrogation and famine,
above the fires and record temperatures
until they reach the melting ice of Dayworld.
When the days again get shorter they return,
craving the insomniac sun,
longing to sleep but fearing to dream.

Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin

Six men descended in this diving bell
while the colours in its extra thick windows
dropped an octave lower. On the riverbed
they were double-pressured, low tide pirates,
close to the surface but far from its rules.
A different, distinct sense of time
must have floated down there; uneven,
gulping down entire empty intervals.
In the impatience of their seclusion
they surely hungered for strangers’ faces
but only saw the nameless press of twilight,
lingering sediment of isolation;
fluid forming something out of chaos
then instantly discarding any shape.

S.C. Flynn was born in Australia of Irish origin and now lives in Dublin. His poetry has been published in many magazines, including The Honest Ulsterman, Cyphers, Abridged and Orbis.