PC: Lexi Jude
when I visited my mother I was haunted by new life
bred in the skull covered in red eyed rats left out
since last last Halloween, these little eyed lifelings
peering through plastic ocular sockets, or the jumper
hovering on the walkway, cannot find its nest, please
do not touch me. The next next day a bird flew inside
could not perch on the bleached walls, made a plunge
for the fan, wanting to become busted feathers too
got trapped in a dark bathroom for hours, waiting
to breathe, clung to frame, cornered until body
smothered with towel, two living hands making
a pouch to carry you out of rat house, where they
chew under doors to taste your sweets, their gnaw
marks the same manner of nails to the insides of
escape that is my own mode of living hell, making
wings out of stolen newspapers and barbed wire
and heading for the window
Super Blue Blood Moon
At the trifecta luna I was in a
depressive awakeness, inside the
house and not realizing a once in a
lifetime or so cosmic event was transpiring,
missing it no less, and sleeping my afternoons away.
My bed is both prison and solace,
both stranger and intimate other.
I touch my computer more than I touch other people.
It should be left off that way, but it never bends to me,
just slowly deteriorates and makes it harder to delete what
I don’t want to be seen, buttons stuck or just forgetting their
purpose along the way.
New tidings but the same old habits and
habitat dissipating soon, appearing more
monstrous than it really is, and still the eclipse
asks me to shed part of sustaining wine waves,
these veined rivers making the moon the color of
a mad planet, and a few more centuries will have to pass
before you ever forget being here too.
About the Author - Nikkin Rader
Nikkin Rader writes and breathes and tries to find a reason to keep going. She is in between states and jobs and continues to wander. Her works can be found in Pussy Magic, Occulum, the Cauldron Anthology, Anti-Heroin Chic, the Mojave Heart Review, and other notable places.
PC: Lisa Toboz
Peaks and Troughs
The person that I present to be
Differs greatly from how I perceive me
Deep in the pit of my stomach they are alive
A colony of excitable butterflies
Emotions knock me off my feet alike a tidal wave
Unaware of the reason I find myself afraid
My heart beats like thunder crashing
Tears fall like rain alashing
In my grasp I believe that my goals can be achieved
Then my Demons are freed and for freedom I grieve
Beyond the clouds I dance in ecstasy
Then slump and drown in Lethargy
in a world of perfection
Then of darkness and rejection
A pendulum my life to which side will it swings
Will I be a peasant or will I be a king
I explain my apathy whilst they assess my risk
My suicidal thoughts and intentions are dismissed
Which direction for me next? Exhausted all that they suggest
A simple request for help becomes a desperate protest
I want that answer, that fix that I know does not exist
50 simultaneous voices bellow in my head
To move my limbs like hauling lead
Surrounded by irritants
Disregard or compliments
Plagued with guilt for my feelings
For my self-inflicted bleeding
Relationships appear fractured though for nobody else
Can any more confusion be caused by my mental health?
About The Author - Sarah Strutt
An insight into the journey of a person living with emotionally unstable personality disorder through exploring some of the difficulties that may be faced in daily life. Described by the constant rapid fluctuations associated with this diagnosis, I have outlined the testing challenges of managing intense elation as well as the remaining difficulties faced due to the unpredictable nature of the condition.
PC: Lisa Toboz
Nothing is more condescending
than a person who knows
what's best for you.
They stand ready to show us
how to live the good life
just like they do.
They are our
shiny new mentors,
choosing us so graciously,
even though we don't
They think themselves
modern day martyrs,
ready to make sacrifices
for our betterment.
More than seeking universal
values of love & justice
that gentle humanity lives by,
They define absolute truth through
a myopic lens of a culture,
born out of exposure to nothing
more than suburban provinciality.
While intentions remain pure,
egos won't permit
intimacy with noble savages
in need of improvement.
To them we're
a project to perfect,
not a person to know.
Learning our sorrows and dreams
to our well-studied saviors.
Happily Ever After
They said they lived "happily ever after"
That's what the story said.
The abused step-child
employed as a domestic slave
losing her parents
suffering intimacy issues
unable to attach easily
huge gaps in formal education
originating from the lowest
of the socio economic classes
The palace steward suspects
possibly drug related,
as she told her story of
the fairy godmother,
mice changing to footmen,
and a pumpkin to a coach.
While she probably
stole the dress
that doesn't explain
Married to a member of the ruling class
a pompous classically educated prig
strutting about in a military uniform
complete with sword
when he has never even been
in a fist fight
After the honeymoon,
she tried to get used to
the new form of slavery
Dressing up every day
putting on a show
like a prancing pony
for this ambassador
or that king
At first the staff didn't like her
"putting on airs…"
"imagine the cheek…"
"not a proper princess…"
but as time went on her kindness
won them over.
They even helped hide her pet mouse.
About The Author - John Homan
John Homan is a poet and percussionist from the small town of Bend, Oregon. A graduate of Indiana University, John's work has appeared in Chiron Review, Mojave Heart Review, and Quatrain.fish among others. John lives in Elkhart Indiana with his wife, daughter and two cats.
PC: Jeanine Leblanc
Make Love With A Smoke
i kiss a mentholated cigarette stray light splits darkness
one half i keep the other i collect as nightmares
i don't hear myself scream in a quiet space insanity is quick to possess
i am not anybody's fault i turned my back on god
i can be summed up in a question mark inquiring — never quitting
happiness is a slippery word tongue fails to grab some flesh
& i sneak into a palace of smoke i rule country of spent ash
sons & daughters that once burned someday, i will be the one to go
slathering saliva over unlucky cigar smoke escapes in incensed splodges
i don't return to what broke me former lover is caked in dissatisfaction
love is toxic body always wears a mask
pain= BESTFRIEND i guard my body against rejection
society asks for an encore of your loss sorry, i don't replicate fire &
i don't sell laughs sans apologies
body unfolds slowly proud unwelling of personalized wreckages
About The Author - Michael Akuchie
Lagos based Michael Akuchie is a university undergrad who writes poetry and random stuff he doesn't know what to name. His works have appeared on Ngiga Review, Vagabond City Lit Mag & elsewhere.
Armando Cabba is a Canadian born artist currently based in Paris where he operates his own independent gallery/studio Atelier Cabba. After completing his degree in Painting and Drawing, he moved from Montreal to Florence, Italy where he began to evolve into the artist he is today. Branching off through traditional portraiture, Cabba’s body of work explores his intimate emotional anatomy within himself while opening the dialogue of mental health.
"I create for myself especially when it comes to the self portrait series. By capturing myself in different states of mind, I’m opening up a dialogue on what it is to be human and mental health. In today’s social media driven society, we tend to hide away the more vulnerable sides of ourselves and project an image of happiness for the world to see. Inspiration comes from the act of feeling regardless of it being a positive or negative emotion"
One is never and can never be the same person twice. The self-portrait captures a moment beyond a physical depiction of the artist. It’s a record of one’s state of mind that projects a glimpse of their temporary identity. As much as an emotion can reoccur, the way we experience it is never duplicated. The resulting work grants the viewer a glimpse of who the artist sees reflected back at him.
To see more of Armando's work, go to http://www.armando-cabba.com/