Issue 1.7

perpetual motion 

tip-toe is a word i like 

she walks on tip toes 
no ⸻ she tip-toes from 
the bathroom to the kitchen 
to the music of Piaf 

as i sit in my corner 
with Tom Waits hooked to my ears 
and wait for her to ask me 
what i’d like to eat. 

her floating feet remind me 
of first spring: green tapestry; 
an exploding cosmos of 
petals twinkling down on me; 
the earthy taste of fertile 
land baked beneath my two feet 

i see it all: crawling dawn 
across our fettered bodies 
eyes doused with her sky blue toes
and reply to her 
like a shy little 
boy talking up his 
dear mother: make those 
eggs you like so much. 

Hanna Abi Akl is a Lebanese-born English writer. He writes contemporary poetry and prose. When asked to define his writing style, he says the main ingredients to his works are “music, paintings and a little bit of literature”. Hanna’s writing continues to be featured in literary magazines, poetry journals, and anthologies. He published his first novel in 2017 and has since published another and two volumes of poetry.

Dirk Diggler Runs the Voodoo Down 

 This is the sound of Marky Mark   
stretching himself, plugging in,  
sketching out the violent shapes  
of tidal waves, electric pianos  
weaving wide lapels, a roller skate  
for each channel. Mr. Cellophane  
slips between sheets as thin smoke,  
a bass clarinet that steals measures.  
We are watching sex performed   
as a busted opera, lyrics repossessed.  
Marky Mark will do anything   
to forget how many partners  
he has had, how many times   
he has had to get hard on command.  
He simply wants to listen, to hear  
the beats of eight hands at once,  
how brass and winds sandwich  
the fuzz of a guitar. This music  
that probably wasn’t meant to be  
works significantly better than drugs,  
but it’s so much harder to score.  
This is the pizza delivery guy scene   
with pizza delivery guy removed,  
a woman eagerly answering a door.

Daniel M. Shapiro is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh. His books of poems include How the Potato Chip Was Invented,Heavy Metal Fairy Tales, and  The 44th-Worst Album Ever. 

I can’t dance  

I unscrew the top of my head and three little bluebirds fly out and they chirp and they sing and they circle just above my head and  I can see them like this in my mind’s eye and just as I shut my mind’s eye I open my eyes and they see a ceiling attached to three walls four if I roll my eyes back far enough and in the foreground of my sight I see my pillow with his head resting on my shoulder and I see my blankets covering my legs shaped like a four do you ever lay with your legs shaped like a four and you know how the leg that is the bendy part of the four her toes are pointed perfectly at the knee of the leg extended to be the spine of the four and the toes of that leg are pointed perfectly at a floor that doesn’t exist a floor that runs perpendicular to the floor that does but maybe in a parallel universe they have a floor that runs perpendicular to our floor and in that universe they are looking at my perfectly pointed toes and they are thinking “wow”  

Mariah Marquez is a graduate student at San Diego State University, pursuing an MA in English, specializing in American Literature. She has been published in pacificREVIEW’s 2020 annual Synchronous. She doesn’t know much, but what she does know she writes poetry about—love, art, and falling apart. Follow her on Twitter @theeldercap. 

All Wrongs Reversed

Is there a divine grove?   
A discretion  
to revel? 

Revelation artistry:  
One must inhale with the mouth open  
when nosing the strong stuff. 

There was a wayward I knew, who couldn’t help but start a 10,000 page memoir of his thought. I thumbed his pages, a plaintive anti-classic for insomniacs. Everything had water under it. Cloudy tap, tamed and filtered, accustomed to the vessels required for consumption. One notes the accessories—short strides, curly locks, glum looks—worn as distracted composures.  

Dystopian songs  
carry the weight  
of wasted style.   

And the ending,  
the delta of the man- 
made river itself. 

Aaron Lelito is a visual artist and writer from Buffalo, NY. In his written work, he is primarily drawn to explorations in consciousness that take the form of short stories, microfictions, and poems. His work has most recently been published in High Shelf PressThe ScriblerusAbout Place Journal, and The Aurora Review. He is editor in chief of the art & literature website Wild Roof Journal. Find more at and on Instagram @runic_ruminations.

God’s Eye Is My Priest  

my heart is a temple  
where the sun comes   
to pray  

in her voice hundreds  
of civilizations wear  

they are  

buried beneath  
the ball she gives light.  

Onuoha Munachiso is a poet and a first-year student of law at the university of Nigeria, Nsukka.