Month: July 2016

Featured: $20 Taxi Ride

Olivia Vande Woude

Listen to the poem below:

 

Wears a Nike hat

Scar on his left wrist

3 centimeters long.

Inserts the key

of a chain with a yellow pig dangling

among other
5 carefully serrated pieces of gold.

We are a lot of people in this country,

Ethiopia

I am from the Northern part.

Likes the quiet

of Alexandria

says it’s good for old people.

Told him I do too.

That’s good, that’s a great feature.

Yellow wool lined teeth
Sweater vest

Camel colored shirt, striped
Coffee and cigarette breath

Receipts lie

endless

on the floor.

Clock says 5:15
forever.

My wife works at a school for grown people,
Financial aid department.

Has lived here

7 years

his mustache informs
and eyebrows tell.

“Morning Fresh”
pink car
freshener sways

Unfolds glasses

with a plastic rim

to gently rest on dark ears.

Sits on a throne of 2 pillows

worn, sun faded

one of a taupe color
other a cheetah pattern
still comfortable.

Car cuts in front of us on Whitehurst Ave.

Complicated, no?

He chuckles.

City traffic bad, I go around
you see

I know the streets

more or less,

Parking problem? I inquire.

You’re right, it can happen that way.

Smiles.

Pass homeless people under bridges
Easter Egg baskets strangers gave them
roll on their sides
in the bit of wind
Winter’s exhausted.

One time I got lost with a client
You miss exit,
I’m telling you, I’m telling you,

you’re lost.

Didn’t charge her the whole cost on the meter
when I went the wrong way.

It’s better like that
You have to be human, yeah.

Bad destination otherwise.

I live my life like that, it’s fine

Thank you God.

One man, he decepts me,
gave me $20,
made me give him $10 later,

I say, Honest,

straight

is better.

Don’t worry about others, they must change

themselves.

I agree.

Thank you, thank you.

Folds and puts down glasses gingerly
Pats finger on the crinkled spine of the map
Reassurance of our arrival.

That’s good, That’s good,

Whispers quickly.

Shall I go in?

 

 

 

IMG_4384Olivia Vande Woude is a 17-year-old writer who has been featured in Literary Orphans, Stepping Stones Magazine, Poetry Space U.K., Five 2 One Magazine, The Sacred Cow Magazine, Carnival Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Canvas literary magazine, and other publications. She is an intern at Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center, where she is co-editor of the Crossroads IV Anthology.

Featured: Last Train to St. Pancras

John Stocks

 

The last train is waiting at the station

With all tension, all motion stilled

On this night of grey- ice, hoar frost,

Know this

Sometimes it is enough just to exist.

On the longer journeys time stops

Is as fixed as every station clock

Under starlight, when nothing stirs.

Perhaps you were the green eyed girl

Who sighed,

As if weary of life’s travails

As if weary of all your lives?

Briefly we shared

Our parallel lines.

Perhaps on some other track

We know each other?

Have shared our dreams

And sit together

Watching the snow flurries come and go

Where the last train waits; forever on the platform.

JOHN STOCKS is a poet based in the UK. New work will be featured in an upcoming anthology for Seamus Heaney. He is the poetry editor for ‘Bewildering Stories’ magazine.

Featured: A Horse Like an Old Zippered Suitcase

Ariane Mass

 

I said you were like a horse who was an old zippered suitcase & when you asked why, I said it was because when I was massaging the musculature under your skin, imagining how those parts must have once performed astounding feats & carouseled from caravan to caravan, I thought about what must have happened out there under the billow’s blow because I could feel your muscles flexing for the suspense of a suspended fall in the shroud of a shadow of a circus whisper,

& your nerves —those bundles of fiber— told my prying fingers of your elongated cells longing to be lither, they spoke of when you used to clench into silk cocoons only to open & bloom ribbons of elongated fabric & filament, your very same wilting tendons & ligaments once bent to contortion’s underworld as you twisted into arabesques, crucifix climbs, & human windmills that spun ribcage bound,

& just by running my hands along your spine I could make out the shape of what your regal equine posture was & I could feel all of the rond de jambe en dedans that you kept hidden like treasure behind the zipper,

& now that you are oh so very still you let me knead my knuckles into the soft dough between your bones & I tell you with touch that if you’d prefer, you can keep your Trojan secrets hushed under the striped tent of your skin

 

 

ArianeMass headshotAriane Mass studied English Literature at Carleton College where she received distinction and the Sigrid and Erling Larsen Award for her creative writing thesis. Her work has also appeared in Leopardskin & Limes. Most recently she has been teaching English and translating for an animal rights organization in Northern France.