blooming into the night sky

 van swearingen 

This month, we offer detoxification, the subtle art of forgetting, mood swings, darkness, and how love becomes a part of it.

If you would like to support our work, we would be grateful and humbled. You can do so here.

Next month’s theme is:

       heat

Submission guidelines can be found here.

love,

 amanda lezra 
Editor-in-Chief

amethyst shimmer

 van swearingen 

Teaching my reflection the subtle Art of Forgetting

 

Let’s talk through my mirror, what it has to do with

unremembering. The magnolias sprouting in my throat

 

turn my breath to rosewater, painting my speech with

lavender. An admixture of colors. Same glass. God knows

 

how much my lungs are saturated with the carbon monoxide

of my past. Uncultured species of oiled apostrophes, crawling

 

near, to mount arrhythmia. Leaving me; to scurry into the

twinkling of starlight. In another universe, I begin to teach

 

the man in the mirror how to bleach his past. The labyrinthine

politics in my head leaves me befuddled, so i take a pause to

 

decipher. To string a song out of stutter.

In the knowledge of a prism, I view recovery;

 

a deflected ray still harboring shards of realities.

In another universe, I curtain my heart with the warmth

 

of the morning sun. Tell it to photosynthesize happiness

even without chlorophyll resting in my bones.  God knows

 

what occupies my lungs but I’m learning the

process of detoxification, too.

 

I still teach my reflection the subtle art of forgetting

& the benefits of wearing a smile even backward.

Joshua Effiong [He] is a Nigerian writer and a lover of literature. His works has appeared in Eboquills, Kalahari Review & Shallow Tales Review. He is an author of a poetry chapbook Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed. When he is not writing, he is reading, watching movies and listening to music. An undergraduate of Science Laboratory Technology. He lives in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. And here he writes from. You can find him on Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong.

spiraling pebbles in the path

 van swearingen 

Mood Swings

superglue in my lungs-swing
a multitude of tongues-swing
captured wind in jars;
cloudly, lightless suns- swing
euphoria inducing debt;
delirious for weed crumbs-swing
a shower left dry for days;
an unclean bed that shuns-swing
scabs that never heal;
devouring my own thumbs- swing.

Hannah Rousselot (she/her) has published two long works, Fragments of You (Kelsay Press) and Ocean Currents (Finishing Line Press). She also reviews other poet’s books on hannahrousselot.com and is the host of Poetry Aloud. You can follow her work on facebook.com/hmrpoetry, @hannahrousselot, or hannahrousselot.com.

A splash, a splatter, a rushing tumble.

 van swearingen 

Something About Grief

/in the cool of the day, God came down as

sound, and walked through the garden. is it

nudity when there’s something to hide, or

nudity if there’s nothing to see? when all i

see is darkness, love becomes part of it. i

will not remember that you once loved me.

dust, has both life and death in it. what is

dust made from? no, that is not the

question. the question is: what are we made

of, if not dust? yet we are quick to wipe it

off our shoes when it comes to become one

with us. is that not death calling on us

when dust comes to rest on our shoes? the

body cannot reject air. the soul does not

love. who said so? that loving is more of

the body than of the soul? love is spiritual.

it is of the soul. what will be will be. i want

to accept my being dust but not today. no

matter how i delay the inevitable. one day,

it will come. one day i will love. one day,

unnoticed by me, i will work things out

with death. we both will move mountains

together/.

Precious Uwen resides in Calabar. He is a student of History and International Studies, University of Calabar – Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous places, including: Eboquills, Kahalari Review, DoteofFlane, Fiction Niche, Okadabooks (an anthology titled, Christmas and Candlelight), Aceworld Publishers, Paper Crane Journal, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. He recently emerged 1st runner up in the just concluded Essay Writing Scholarship Competition, 2021 organized by the Executive President, Faculty of Art and Students’ Association, University of Calabar Chapter (FASA – UCC).

Van Swearingen

“I’ve been making photographs for more than 20 years. I have shot commissioned portraits, events, episodic video stills, interior design, architecture, and botanical rarities for scientific texts.  This in addition to my own personal everyday wonder at the glory and misery that is our existence. I am compelled to photograph what catches my eye and my attention. Design, history, and intent inform my pictures to capture an instant of eloquence in balance, form, depth, and color. To look and to see.”

blooming into the night sky

 van swearingen 

This month, we offer detoxification, the subtle art of forgetting, mood swings, darkness, and how love becomes a part of it.

If you would like to support our work, we would be grateful and humbled. You can do so here.

Next month’s theme is:

       heat

Submission guidelines can be found here.

love,

 amanda lezra 
Editor-in-Chief

amethyst shimmer

 van swearingen 

Teaching my reflection the subtle Art of Forgetting

 

Let’s talk through my mirror, what it has to do with

unremembering. The magnolias sprouting in my throat

 

turn my breath to rosewater, painting my speech with

lavender. An admixture of colors. Same glass. God knows

 

how much my lungs are saturated with the carbon monoxide

of my past. Uncultured species of oiled apostrophes, crawling

 

near, to mount arrhythmia. Leaving me; to scurry into the

twinkling of starlight. In another universe, I begin to teach

 

the man in the mirror how to bleach his past. The labyrinthine

politics in my head leaves me befuddled, so i take a pause to

 

decipher. To string a song out of stutter.

In the knowledge of a prism, I view recovery;

 

a deflected ray still harboring shards of realities.

In another universe, I curtain my heart with the warmth

 

of the morning sun. Tell it to photosynthesize happiness

even without chlorophyll resting in my bones.  God knows

 

what occupies my lungs but I’m learning the

process of detoxification, too.

 

I still teach my reflection the subtle art of forgetting

& the benefits of wearing a smile even backward.

Joshua Effiong [He] is a Nigerian writer and a lover of literature. His works has appeared in Eboquills, Kalahari Review & Shallow Tales Review. He is an author of a poetry chapbook Autopsy of Things Left Unnamed. When he is not writing, he is reading, watching movies and listening to music. An undergraduate of Science Laboratory Technology. He lives in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. And here he writes from. You can find him on Instagram @josh.effiong and twitter @JoshEffiong.

Spiraling pebbles in the path.

 van swearingen 

Mood Swings

superglue in my lungs-swing
a multitude of tongues-swing
captured wind in jars;
cloudly, lightless suns- swing
euphoria inducing debt;
delirious for weed crumbs-swing
a shower left dry for days;
an unclean bed that shuns-swing
scabs that never heal;
devouring my own thumbs- swing.

Hannah Rousselot (she/her) has published two long works, Fragments of You (Kelsay Press) and Ocean Currents (Finishing Line Press). She also reviews other poet’s books on hannahrousselot.com and is the host of Poetry Aloud. You can follow her work on facebook.com/hmrpoetry, @hannahrousselot, or hannahrousselot.com.

A splash, a splatter, a rushing tumble.

 van swearingen 

Something About Grief

/in the cool of the day, God came down as

sound, and walked through the garden. is it

nudity when there’s something to hide, or

nudity if there’s nothing to see? when all i

see is darkness, love becomes part of it. i

will not remember that you once loved me.

dust, has both life and death in it. what is

dust made from? no, that is not the

question. the question is: what are we made

of, if not dust? yet we are quick to wipe it

off our shoes when it comes to become one

with us. is that not death calling on us

when dust comes to rest on our shoes? the

body cannot reject air. the soul does not

love. who said so? that loving is more of

the body than of the soul? love is spiritual.

it is of the soul. what will be will be. i want

to accept my being dust but not today. no

matter how i delay the inevitable. one day,

it will come. one day i will love. one day,

unnoticed by me, i will work things out

with death. we both will move mountains

together/.

Precious Uwen resides in Calabar. He is a student of History and International Studies, University of Calabar – Nigeria. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous places, including: Eboquills, Kahalari Review, DoteofFlane, Fiction Niche, Okadabooks (an anthology titled, Christmas and Candlelight), Aceworld Publishers, Paper Crane Journal, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. He recently emerged 1st runner up in the just concluded Essay Writing Scholarship Competition, 2021 organized by the Executive President, Faculty of Art and Students’ Association, University of Calabar Chapter (FASA – UCC).

Van Swearingen

“I’ve been making photographs for more than 20 years. I have shot commissioned portraits, events, episodic video stills, interior design, architecture, and botanical rarities for scientific texts.  This in addition to my own personal everyday wonder at the glory and misery that is our existence. I am compelled to photograph what catches my eye and my attention. Design, history, and intent inform my pictures to capture an instant of eloquence in balance, form, depth, and color. To look and to see.”

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