This month we offer a bookmark, a blurred world, broken seashells.
Next month we look for the
Submission guidelines can be found here.
the blurred world
like an oil slick, without glasses
all bright and dizzy,
and mostly noise,
so when the branch falls
she does not see it, only
feels the shockwave of leaves,
crystal-clear, crunch down towards
the ground, inevitable, infinite,
and the sound is lightning,
with death, woven with weight.
the impact is the quietest part;
it’s the break that is loudest.
this is true
not just for tree branches.
and blinks again.
the world is no clearer
than it was before.
C. C. Rayne is a creator based on the East Coast. A lover of all things discontented, C.C.’s work blends the magical with the mundane, and the silly with the strange. You can read C.C’s stories in places including Bowery Gothic, Crow & Cross Keys, Sublunary Review, and Grim & Gilded. More of C. C.’s poetry can be found in places including Soft Star Magazine, The Dread Machine, and Eye to the Telescope.
folklores, music & war
i sit by the shore/ waiting to be returned/ to the cradle of my hometown/ an existential crisis in an estrangement theory/ my bane calligraphed in ink/ in fossils kept in old libraries/ in photographs of a people wearing raffia skirts/ above acacia leaves shrouding the map of lesions on their bodies/ what does it feel like to breath in the breadth of a war?/ to survive in a a pillage of carnage/ like hearts nurtured in nurseries of wildflowers/ a sad song plays in reversal in the ocean’s throb/ my heart a tadpole swimming in salted desires/ i gather broken seashells by the oceanside/ and make them into a necklace/ there is a story here/ & yet the past owes us nothing/ know this/ to be beautiful is to be hunted/ i am running in time/ into memory/ into every moment where my body is an elegy/ the gore keeping you witness/ a blackbird atop a burning city/ brushstroke of ruin painted with crimson/ i am a child of bone and blood/ & here buried beneath my mouth / is the unspoken story of the dead/ i carry loss on my tongue like a dialect tongued in sigma/ say i/ an ampersand in continuum/ a child trapped in memory/ walking off the threshold of his body/ i / a lost animal/ hunting like a prey in this jungle of survival/ the forest wobbling under my feet/ know this/ the war doesn’t choose its own/ the war doesn’t choose its victims/ it’s 2030/ i am still sitting by the shore/ waiting to be returned//
Adesiyan Oluwapelumi, TPC XI, is a poet/essayist from Nigeria. He was the winner of the Cheshire White Ribbon Day Creative Contest (2022) and the 1st runner up in the Fidelis Okoro Prize for Poetry (2023). His works are published in Poet Lore, Tab Journal, Poetry Wales, IHRAF, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. A 2023 Adroit Journal Summer Mentee and a 2023 Fellow of The SprinNG Writers Fellowship, he reads poetry for the Kitchen Table Quarterly and is the Assistant Editor of Lean and Loafe Poetry Journal. He is the author of Ethos (forthcoming from Ukiyoto Publishing). He tweets @ademindpoems.