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
Depression Poetry

Leaving The Ruins Of Yesterday by Rahma Jimoh

The sun journeyed into the moon
Another time to leave the ruins of yesterday
And the shackles swiveled in for aeons
It’s time to dance with the singing breeze
As it leads on to a night orchard
To climbing life’s rocks & hills
With the rainbow as a ray of hope.
 
Hope, now a ringtone in my world
As I am a diamond in the making
And I am gold in the furnace
Why I brew now to burn brightly later.
 
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Rahma O. Jimoh is a poet and essayist. An ardent lover of nature and tourism. She has been published in Sub Saharan, SpringNg, The Quills, The Mamba, Poetry Pea, Hedgerow and elsewhere. She hopes her works leave footprints on the sand of time. She blogs @ dynamicrahma.wordpress.com
Categories
OCD Poetry

Eggwhites by Nathan Dennis

Isk isk isk isk rattle that whisk

        My mom says use the hand mixer

Isk isk isk isk isk isk isk isk 

        But I stiffen my peaks by hand.

Eggwhites, four is a good number

        To beat eggwhites in isks of eight,

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

        To unfold the proteins of thought

Is six, find two more, bowl and whisk

        To make meringues less intrusive:

Whisk count isk four isk isk to eight

        To bury eight custardy fears.

Isk repeat return to eight isk

        To hold, to eat, to own, to weep…

Isk isk isk isk isk isk isk isk 

The meringue weeps. It always weeps.

Nathan Dennis is a playwright and poet of Floridian extraction. He is the Vintner-in-Chief of Wine Cellar Press, a poetry press dedicated to free and formal verse in equal measure. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch Department of Dramatic Writing. His work has appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic, The Cabinet of Heed, Neologism Review, Crepe & Penn, Rat’s Ass Review, and Unscooped Bagel. His most recent play, Circle of Shit, was produced at Dixon Place in March, 2019.

Categories
Insomnia Poetry

night reading mode by Cynthia Arrieu-King

she gestures toward a pink cloud inside digital forest wallpaper and says:

this is my cloud. it contains all my data

 

uncle moon sees the white screen in my glasses

and he kicks on night reading mode–

 

everything white turns black, saves energy, and the print turns white.

small van icon moving alongside the round white switch

 

happening inside the diaphanous

the radical / frieze of clouds

 

a conscience / collective unconscious / collective

it stirs smaller, repeats its circuit ceaselessly

disconnects from variation

disconnects from vary

A polar bear walking backwards through a door repeatedly

 

gets rid of “I” and moves branches

sighs along the crunch

the ball dropped to the street doesn’t bounce

a dead path, footsteps stopped mid-stairs, an immovable string on a guitar

Cynthia Arrieu-King teaches creative writing, literature, and general studies. Her poetry books include People are Tiny in Paintings of China, Manifest, and Futureless Languages. Her poetry book Continuity is forthcoming from Octopus Books and her book of experimental memoir The Betweens is forthcoming from Noemi in 2021. 

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
Bipolar Poetry

Prescriptions and Dread by Stephen J. Golds

Prescriptions

 

These pills, they don’t work. 

They kill me, resurrect me into 

a walking fragment of memory

half remembered on 

a Sunday Morning.

 

They ask if I’m taking my meds? 

I seem tense, they worry.

I want to say that 

being tense 

is better than 

being past tense. 

 

Dread

 

The gut ache that doesn’t ease, 

the dishes unwashed in the sink,

the laundry murder 

shapes on the floor. 

Windows left open for the rain. 

The fever in the night,

all too black & too bright. 

The telephone unrung.

The bills sealed by the front door. 

Waiting on tomorrow 

like it’s the goddamned

firing squad.

image0

Stephen J. Golds was born in London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His novel Say Goodbye When I’m Gone will be released by Red Dog Press in October 2020 and another novel Glamour Girl Gone will be released by Close to The Bone Press January 2021

Categories
Bipolar Poetry

spiraling by Sarah Huerta

i spin my disorder into words, ever present in everything i produce, in every plant i rehome and inevitably kill, in every relationship ended because my extremes were too extreme, every burnt out lightbulb in my small apartment, every acquaintance scared of my highs and every sibling scared of my lows, every picture i paint with too-vibrant colors, haphazard brushstrokes ending up on walls. i used to write that dating while bipolar is like throwing a brick through a window tirelessly over and over i used to write that being bipolar is a life sentence i used to write everyday i write everyday with my disorder.

it never leaves, never ceases to hunger, never leaves never leaves me us it never will.

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Sarah G. Huerta is a Chicana poet from Dallas. They are pursuing their MFA at Texas State University and they currently live in Texas with their cat, Lorca.

Categories
Poetry Trauma

Same by C.C. Hannett

We sit at a diner / Two West Coast ladies / Once known for sophisticating the Monaco / We sit at a diner / Two West Coast ladies / I’m a recent swat / My wings no longer fashioned with petal pinch / I wear pink instead / My apologies to you / Your Stingers for Antenna, loaded with triggers / I should have told you why I gave up the lamp / It was a zap machine / You’ve always known /  I’ve always been a nonbeliever / My apologies to myself / For looking back / You abused mental health practices / Monopolized trauma / You listed point-by-pin-point your account and dropped your mic expecting grovel / Having never questioned what I might be expecting from you / I lie with my smile smeared on the table, my body on my wings, kicked in the ribs figuratively and then, later, more fucking real / You manipulated our history / Denied the dumb union / Because to accept it, you’d have to accept what you’d achieved / The scale you’d tip / The bowling ball on your head / You’ve choked me out / You choked me out and ripped my shirt and bruised my already sore legs because I wasn’t open minded enough to follow through with our plan of having a threesome / Sorry for being a bitch lol / What about the time you fucked me in my sleep and wrote a letter, breaking down your disgust with me / You advanced in the academy of monstrosities but never finished, placing the guilt on me / What about the time I could hear you two fucking / You’d come in after and force your southern party onto my moaning lips / Funny / It was always about what you had survived / My hell was inherently deserved / You always knew the pain I was born into and how it carried itself into the scene of humping the couch during the pilot episode of Power Rangers / I told you my theories / I told you my truth / Austin Powers one night, my idol brother threatening to have me taken from my mother the next, because he would never, ever, do that to me and I were dreaming and, I were dreaming; I were having gay fantasies and it’s okay but they had a lawyer / And so what if personal is embarrassing / And so what if none of this makes me better / Thx for making me feel the same 

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Barracuda Guarisco / C. C. Hannett / Kris Hall is a bisexual crybaby obsessed with cheesesteaks who enjoys absurdity at varying levels. Barry is the author of several books, including Uncomfortable Music (Vegetarian Alcoholic, 2021) and The Gold Boys Are Back In Gold Town (Really Serious Literature) with Joshua Robert Long. He is the Founder and Editor of Really Serious Literature. His work has been placed with Maudlin House, Silent Auctions, Dream Pop, The Night Heron Barks, South Broadway Ghost Society, Thirty West, DREGINALD, among others. You can find him if you want to and it’s pretty easy.