numb – Anna Antongiorgi

I only cried when they arrested
your killer on the tv freeway. 
In a past life the three of us 

all walked the same high school hallways.
Our Spanish was terrible
but Señora liked you and I because

we spit fire and hated all the same 
people. My mother and I are still 
fighting because she asked me 

to make this for you. She is worried I
am wooden. She is used to my melting.
Thanks for believing I could

compete with all the crimes
of the human race. I’m sorry
I couldn’t compete 

with yours. I hope you still post 
crunchy Instagram
photos that everyone worries about.

I know you were joking
for the aesthetic 
and, if you’re honest,

for the validation too. 
You have a Wikipedia page now
that, like this, I cannot un-see.

We were experts at pretending
not to care about anything.

You would be proud at 
how good I’ve gotten at it. 

 

Anna Antongiorgi is an aspiring writer, choreographer, and dancer originally from Redondo Beach, California. She graduated from Harvard in 2019, majoring in English. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the New School. You can find her on Instagram @embodied_poetry and at https://annaantongiorgi.wixsite.com/akantongiorgi

“Please Don’t Tell the Hospital it Was the Dog; They’ll Put Him to Sleep” – Lannie Stabile

Calves plump like a shoulder roast,
adrenaline thumping in a wolfish room
Have you ever seen a fibula 
picked clean of its fat flesh and prickled skin
Teeth tore so cleanly
Teeth worn so manly
           -forks in a famine

And mother howls more over the fate of the fangs
than the wound

 

 

Lannie Stabile (she/her) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Glass Chapbook Series and semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 Chapbook Contest. She is a three-time Best of the Net 2019 nominee. Works are published/forthcoming in Entropy, Glass Poetry, 8 Poems, Pidgeonholes, Okay Donkey, and more. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine.

Back on It – Hailey Saga

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Hailey Saga is a filmmaker and photographer who goes to the Orange County School of the Arts in California as a senior. She enjoys claymation, cinematography, and TV and film producing, and has been studying film for four years and hopefully will continue to for four more in college. Her Instagram is @hxilcy, whereas her Youtube is WonderInk Productions. Her website is https://haileymsaga.wixsite.com/wonderink.

Women Writers We Love: Mary Sims

This week we have an interview with the lovely Mary Sims. We featured her poem “Lavender Lazarus” back in September of this year.  You can also find her latest poetry on Peach Mag and The Rising Phoenix Review. 

 

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What got you started as a writer?

I came across some horror books at a book-fair as a kid, and soon after I tried to write little horror stories of my own with friends. Eventually, I started moving away from plot-centered stories and became more interested in individual lines. 

Poetry turned out to be exactly what I was searching for. When I stumbled across Literary Twitter, I found poetry magazines and became immersed in the genre.  

Do you feel closer to a certain genre or style? Why? How does this inform the way you see/experience the world around you?

Poetry. It has the power to give things a second meaning and shows you countless perspectives. I believe it’s made me more empathetic and opened my eyes to ideas, forms, and styles I never thought possible.

Are there times in your life where you feel drawn to other styles? What draws you to them? Life events, moods?

Sometimes I do feel drawn to prose poetry or flash fiction. Poetry is beautiful in all its indirect complexities, but sometimes I want to read the direct nature that flash fiction or prose poetry deliver. Normally, I’m more drawn to these styles during hard times, when I know a certain piece will give me a specific feeling I am craving. It can be nice to address things directly at times rather than trying to piece together meaning indirectly.

Who are you reading right now?

Kristin Chang’s Past Lives, Future Bodies, and Louise Glück’s Vita Nova. I love how Kristin Chang plays with form and language. She intertwines them in a way I hadn’t previously thought possible. She also plays with spacing in a way that gives each poem another level: an element I’ve tried to incorporate into my own writing.

Louise Glück’s ability to manipulate simple objects, such as plants, into large emotions is a skill I cannot read enough of. I spent the summer reading a collection of her first four books. I feel there is still so much I can learn from her about poetry and language. 

Can you tell us a quirky fun fact about yourself?

My friends say that in everything I do, I have a grandma style. For example, when when we go shopping, a lot of times I’ll choose the skirt with the couch print you’d find in your grandmother’s house. There’s just something hypnotic and comforting about the oddness of the patterns. This goes double for any floral sweater I’ve come across. 

You can follow Mary on Twitter @rhymeofblue.

Strangers Feel Welcome in My House – Andrea Jefferson

I meet them at gas stations, grocery stores, even Facebook. They ask interests they won’t remember if they ever see me again. They come to my weekend job and ogle my skin while I bag their groceries. When I tell the stories, others that weren’t in my body at the times I talk about think I’m on an ego trip. My ego feeds off acceptance from a father I never knew how to please, off my paintings that blend just so. It doesn’t feed off men that want to come in my house and track water in because “raincoats just don’t feel the same.” 

They feel entitled to just walking in without bothering to ring the doorbell because no one taught them the importance of that doorbell. They probably wouldn’t even know what to do once inside but stomp themselves to lethargy and then ask if my house liked the shakes. My house probably wouldn’t budge. 

Even when I insist there’s already a tenant (sometimes one I’ve fabricated so the issue will drop, rarely one that really resides there), they say he isn’t nearby, that he’s a fool for letting me drag my lawn fixings around without him. The bolder ones say he’s so lucky he gets to water my lawn and eat at my table. It makes me wish my grass was dead so they’d stop asking to come in. 

It makes me lock my doors for weeks at a time, never venturing out past necessity because the strangers will want to follow me. I do everything possible to prevent break-ins, but deep down I know if someone wanted to break in, they’d find an entrance. Even deeper down, I know I’d be blamed for not somehow having unbreakable windows and a pitbull and a fucking dome. 

They say I’ve had people over before, so why not them as if dinner invitations are hand-me-down sweaters. I’m tired of explaining why they’re not welcome. I don’t know what’s scarier: their confusion or their anger. I just know strange men shouldn’t feel entitled to be inside my walls, inside me. 

Andrea Jefferson‘s work has appeared in Eunoia Review, trampset, littledeathlit, Bridge, and others. Find the author on Twitter @honeydreee.