Categories
Anxiety Poetry

everything is fragile except this anxiety by Samantha Duncan

that opens me from the top
by the language’s body, where

the blood eclipse we don’t talk about
is calendar-event beautiful
(woman hood or hooded woman),

preceding the labor of being read
as bodily and I am everyone’s garden,

using the heart reaction
for a petrifying romance
between feet and ground and hum.

love me because you don’t have to
and extract the patterns, I’ll make

capsules to ingest twice weekly.
take my crescent cycles
to the supermarket with the coupons.

discount my flying spells or
wait until I’ve boiled and cooled

and crafted the earth to stretch
for us and us-plus and really just me
being able to breathe.

you can love me, you don’t have to,
you can close me from the end.

Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2018) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her work has recently appeared in BOAAT, SWWIM, Kissing Dynamite, Meridian, and The Pinch. She is an Assistant Editor for Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and lives in Houston.  

Categories
ADHD Anxiety Prose

Leaving the Apartment by Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

Leaving the apartment is both a recipe and a spell. Ingredients in a certain order set in threes to unlock the doors that lead to the front stoop. Three cats to find. Three items I need before I go. Three doors to lock and unlock and re-lock in threes to guarantee the cooking incantation of leaving’s labor holds. Half-finished spells are spoiled milk and the number of rideshares that have come and gone while I re-work in threes maps the city in miles lost. Inside. Outside. Inside. A magic wand finger swipe to re-order Uber. Re-find the three cats. Hold my face to their faces and tell them I love them three times. My hand on the doorknobs advancing one twist after the other to complete the cooking spell of loss that comes with leaving. At each door, I say the final words to complete the magic meal of going into the world. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She is the editor of HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, as well as the author of Better Bones and Marrow, both published by Thirty West Publishing House, and The Guessing Game published by BA Press. She occasionally drinks wine out of a mug that has a smug poodle on it; she believes that the poodle is the reincarnated spirit of the television show Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Panic Attack in the Umass Yellow Lot by Adam Grabowski

Spring, 2003

Riding the margin
the guardrail sings its sad,
   sad song.
The windshield will not punch back,
hair stuck to the wheel while the blood
   swells in your wrist.
Bald stare in the closing heat,
the blue unmerciful around lines of glass
that shatter spectacularly,
but stay intact.
Another odd fate,
tracing the cut glass that cannot cut you,
nothing can keep the beauty from
   finding your fist—
but what light spills from such things?
There is nothing now save the sweat
   in your throat;
you blink your eyes,
the hazard lights, your heart.

Adam NYC

Adam Grabowski holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the recipient of a 2020 Parent-Writer Fellowship from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. His poems have been featured or are forthcoming in such journals as Hobart, jubilat, and Sixth Finch, as well as the anthologies What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Rage in the Age of Trump and Alongside We Travel: Contemporary Poets on Autism. Adam currently lives a life of stern comfort, alongside his wife and two daughters, in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Three Poems by Warren Longmire

Roast

Every curious eye movement

               is a joist, there is a horse between my legs

               that always moves forward,

                my body is a weapon

                before it is mine.

That is when I learned

                 to speak in my father’s slur

                 of nods, off-center stares, and nervous jokes.

When I started to observe his spasming knee

                watch him watch himself fall again

                and for the rest of his life.

I don’t return anything at department stores.

I always look like I know where I’m going and go.

I know the cock of a head dissecting my voice

          detecting the shade of strangle inside my skull.

The Demon (I)

A lack of love perverts things,
shrivels all that was moist, cakey innocence into a corpse. Into worst. A ghost. A laugh turns into a weapon 
at what hour of the night? The toothy smile that doubles

as a bear trap. My father doesn’t exist. The kindness
wrapped in male that smells like surrender. Corner mother values life more than love now. 
Barks like a cop because that gets results.  Yields silence and is the best way to stay invisible, 
                                                                          alive.
Lock yo doors.  Hide yo kids, hide yo husbands. Cover legs and heads and mirrors because The Demon stares back 
every time I forget who’s looking.

The Demon (III)

Hey.
Just let me curse a little.
Just let me laugh at the thought of a thought.
My shame is obese today.
I just don’t want to talk.
It looks like hell outside.
My face looked like hell this morning.
I can’t tell the difference between a scar, a scab, a patch of psoriasis, and a prison tattoo.
The cave of my bedsheets. What can I say?

A push is a jump is a release.
What is outside of sleeping but waiting to sleep?

warren

Warren Longmire is a writer, a software engineer, and an educator from the bad part of North Philadelphia. He is the co-founder of the Excelano Project Spoken Word Collective and the current Program Director of the Nick Virgilio Writers House. You can find his writing in journals including Toho, American Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and The New Purlieu Review and on his instagram @alongmirewriter.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Landmine by Anisha Narain

I call to myself from the front porch   /   I don’t hear an answer   /   I am a house with rotted guts  /  a flickering garage light  /  I would rather swallow fireflies to spark the abyss in my stomach than pills  /  self-medication  /  your memory is scorched earth  /  a place I return to unwillingly  /  I ask myself  /  what is this past  /  running rampant  /  flash before my eyes  /  hummingbird heartbeat pulsing faster  /  than the time it took  /  to take cover against the blow  /  shelter is pointless when you are  / everywhere  /  which is to say I can make  /  a landmine of any voice  /  I juice myself like  /  a ripe lemon  /  stir bittersweet lemonade under a  /  blunt sun  / the landline shook my foundation today  /  your breath on the other end  /  I taste the singe of every time I howled myself  /  hoarse like it’s stuck between my teeth  / chew it like raw meat snap a wishbone in my cheek  /  pretend I swallowed the longer side  /  I slip back to your nails screeching  /  against sand  /  hung up hotline dial tone beeping  /  farther and farther in the distance  /  I am racked and wretched  /  wrung out  /  a towel beneath a tire  /  I keep the colander inside my mouth  /  how easy is it to tell a stranger that you are not only a lit match  /  but a bonfire  /   warmth to house cupped hands  /  I strain to remember  /  how much of me to burn  /  I bet you still like the smell of gasoline

Anisha Narain (she/they) is a queer Tamil-American poet and creator studying computer science and creative writing at the University of Illinois. They have poems in or forthcoming in perhappened, giallo lit, and 433 Magazine. In their spare time, they like to sing, act, and add to their collection of quirky jewelry. Find them (always) on Twitter and Instagram @anarain00.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

White Walls by Aleah Dye

[a Golden Shovel poem after a line from Kitchen Sink by twenty one pilots]

 

I am so full of a

bitter idea— that I could dress my kitchen

with all my friends, one leaning on the sink,

all laughing, while I’m left to

stare up at the dead ceiling with dead thoughts, you

three feet away, but three feet is

nothing like what three feet should be, not

even close because like everyone else, you’re a

live-wire, and I’m just a fixture in my own kitchen, 

and I sink

to

the tile, and all above me,

I see the wet lips and laughter and chaos and I think Okay,

who here is really my friend?

image0

Aleah Dye (she/her) primarily writes poetry, tending towards topics of morbidity, love, social justice, and philosophy. She is dreadfully afraid of imperfection and spiders, in no particular order. She has a one-eyed cat named Ivy and a one-track-minded (food!) cat named Rosebud. Aleah hopes to make hearts grow three sizes with her words. She is a 2020 Sundress Publications Best of the Net nominee. Read her latest work via POCKETFIRE, The Daily Drunk, and Lucky Pierre Zine. Follow her @bearsbeetspoet on Twitter.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Before Poem: Excerpt by L Scully

(I never want anyone to know how sick I am but maybe I do without having to tell you in words) 

I walk into the metro to a torrential noise storm pounding my headphones — could be drums or could be death

Glory to God, I think,

This beastly hurricane has finally come to claim me. 

I look forward to the kisses I will get if I avoid being institutionalized, but

Is this train even moving? What’s the word for color blindness except it’s whether or not your body is in motion 

I enclose a prayer to my godless self that I don’t get sent away tonight or the next— I think of my grandmother in a box and feel the color leave my cheeks but everyone always says if you don’t look at the body you live to regret it

And I’m scrunching up my face because maybe it will feel like an invitation.

IMG_0886

L Scully (they/them) is a queer writer and double Capricorn currently based in Madrid. They are the co-founder and prose editor at Stone of Madness Press. Find them in the ether @LRScully.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

You Suffer With Me and Premature Emergency by Rami Obeid

1.

One human body suffering

Two amphetamines to wake up

Three am alarm clock

Four am shower

Five o clock the bus leaves

Six days before the weekend

Seven hours before I can leave

Eight dollar lunch

Nine minutes to wait for it to start

Ten minutes before it’s over

Nine times I asked what bus is this

Eight buses at the station

Seven trains at the station

Six ways it can go

Five minutes before my bus leaves

Four minutes stuck in traffic

Three minute walk home

Two benzos to sleep

One human body suffering

 

 

 

2.

His bones are on

Fire

Take heed

To my words

I say

His bones are on

Fire

 

Ashtray knees,

Fortify his ground

And when that isn’t enough,

He calls in his superiors:

 

Expired orange juice, cheap cigarettes, drug overdoses,

loud neighbors, dusty water, and abscessed teeth

 

These things,

Made a man out of him

And killed his boy,

In the process

 

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Rami Obeid is a poet from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Animal Farming by Maurice Charles

My feet are Peking out the squad car;
I assume the position to hog tied;
Apple in my mouth
It’s a shame I got a Charlie Horse
They didn’t want the ticket to see a Bull on Parade
I kid, I kid
I Triumph, I Triumph
Ativan…

 

0

Maurice has been battling mental health issues since 2016. He has been attempting to balance his activism with his personal care while finding ways to heal his anxieties, pains, and depressions. He had been trying to make sense of the sociological context of “race,” while questioning systemic institutions using economics to wage war-fare. This is his first published work with a publication; his poem depicts when “peaceful protest” and inability to demonstrate disparity of class/genus went terribly wrong.

Categories
Anxiety Poetry

Gut Reno by Mackenzie Moore

I hope you don’t have buyer’s remorse

for a house looking pretty good

when you signed the papers

worst case: some flaky grout

 

Only after months of padding around

learning the sounds of a fixer upper

did you find yourself lingering

on the same creaky board

 

Jump once

jump twice

you hit the dry rot

 

You’re not going to fire sale

but, if the right buyer

could put money down to fix it,

Well.

moore_photo

Mackenzie (she/her) is a writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles who currently writes for podcasting and television. Her first chapbook is forthcoming with Kelsay Books in early 2021— she believes bagels heal most wounds.