Introducing Joey Gould: The One Time You Take Her to the Lake

It is easy to love one who stares so hard.
She speaks to the breaking water,
eyes ninety degrees away .

You know the vowel structure,
the tongue tuck, the flick of lighters,
the grey solution slowing your veins—

alternately, there grew the lump
in her chest. Then she flew away
from sureness, pale sojourning.

A speedboat’s wake splashes here by a private dock
neither of you owns. Neither of you owns
much. As for any sort of kissing, she
is beautiful but already swimming away
into a blinding sunburn cooked into the pond,
into the flesh-gap between the stories
inked into the skin of her narrow shoulders.
She needs them touched up. She once had

much longer hair, when she forgot
for seven years—consider yourself
also a side-effect of the chemo.
You never learned to swim.

This story poets tell you to read,
it is beautiful & aloof, it runs out
of pages, will not listen to you begging.

Someday you will see her
finally in the ocean, too far away,
too unconcerned with the jagged shore.


Joey Gould is a long-time contributor to Mass Poetry, for which he assists the Poetry Festival Planning Committee, leads workshops for Student Day of Poetry events around Massachusetts, writes web articles for MassPoetry.org, & judges slams for Louder Than a Bomb MA. His work has been printed in Paper Nautilus, Drunk Monkeys, The Compassion Anthology, Memoir Mixtapes, & District Lit, amongst others. He has twice been nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize. Since his first public reading as a fellow of Salem State University’s Summer Poetry Seminar, he has performed in The Poetry Circus, Elle Villanelle’s Poetry Bordello, and The Poetry Society of New York’s Poetry Brothel. In addition to his Mass Poetry work, he has taught workshops for the Salem Poetry Seminar & Salem Lit Fest. He coedits Golden Walkman & writes 100-word reviews as poetry editor for Drunk Monkeys. Most important, he likes Pusheen & painting his nails.

You can follow Joey on Twitter @toshines

Lettered jailer – Iulia Halatz

You look so sane

potentially careful and serene

Smirk-at-arms

atoning for

the perfumed gaiety

and colorless skies.

The fire in the autumn

dictates the ice in the new moon.

My love,

When are you going to make up your mind?

Set me free

word upon word

I throw in your face

unsubmissive of your bars…

When are you going to break the gloom?

Sorrowless

is your world

You grow your stamina

from my pain…

Minstrels sing of legendary lands

You sing of the legendary cavern

lettered for me.

Some words are

like the spring wind

building with

cherry blossoms

the library

of scent…

Some words

tell

the snows of June

makeshift

a gilded cage

Lit only by a shadow…

Your words are the haze

that glimmer in the distance

Dystopian love

ruling

over eight kingdoms.

One day

I am walking

in a field of poppies

with a sun

that clears

a golden path for me.

The next day

I am bleeding

on thistles and thorns.

You are betrayer

of words

and pilferer of dreams…

Your love expires

every time we drink

the shade of the evening

and the rumours in the stars.

 

“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

The noise of this brain – Devika Mathur

 

And so I crumble in my own jaw line

Leaking from the iris,

A stoned mahogany stuck

Beneath the frivolous sky,

I lie like a pond, open and scarred,

Rummaging through your eyes,

To seek something that belongs to my lip.

I fail.

I fail the second day as well.

My mind talks pills and potions

A volatile adamant touch of burps.

A ripple lost and secured.

My mind is insane, forever.

 

Devika Mathur blogs at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

Nil- Mitch Green

Blame the damp easing lost in and out of color.
Pledge it a danger to all and castrate the panting cure
that swells all out of gusto; dead waxen grit.

Taboo are the lianas molesting the edible and transfigured
binary pulpy necrophiliacs riling creed.

Their decay is that which we overdose on.
It is like clutching your breath in frigid water,
decades deep, pronouncing gestures in silent to the unheard.

It is the portrayal of humid southern color and the half
empty animals crossing soil and sun only to become living
landmarks in roadkill country.

The sweating thermostats hang on wooden triangles of glass
in a square foot isle of the shaved and shared.

These avenues of dirt road romance feigns
roving women; sanctuary of nil.

Lay undone, unwed and undressed on
stinging rocks to become prey.
A carnivorous obstruction to mollify.

This is the humid color of summer.
The fox red wife in obscurity chanting invisible.

Be nothing if not marble – quoting the diamonds
that distress the uncanny wire sneaking round her.

Once more this avenue squeals without a name.


Mitch Green founded Rad Press Publishing in September of 2016. He is an avid artist in visual design and literature. Published in various literary journals and magazines: The Literary Yard. The Penmen Review. Vimfire Magazine – Mitch aims to seize the narrow line between all artistic mediums.

A few of his known poetic titles are: “Flesh Phoenix” “Monsters” “The Wolves Howled”.

Offering his hand in graphic direction – his book design portfolio can be found here.
Follow Mitch and Rad Press Publishing on Instagram.

Rhyme Lapse- Nicholas Gagnier

Think I need a new kind of dream.
I used to think
it was wife and
house and kids,
two cars and
white picket fences.
I used to think
fulfillment was some
kind of
cookie cutter but I prefer
to smash the dough into imperfect spheres and watch them
rise like a kid willing to burn
both palms.
Only difference, I put
weed in them now.
Yeah, think I
need a new
strain of ambition,
because I’ve
been finger
lickin’ the
blades of
knives just to
taste me
something worth the
blood rolling
off my tongue.
I’ve fallen out
of love with
these
intricate
rhymes and
relationships that
benefit no one.
There we go,
we call that
relapse, and
rather than
get my
fix of
coupled sounds,
I’ll break down in
my car listening to
the five o’clock news.
I ain’t a
one-trick pony,
just a workhorse of
self-doubt in dire
need of a new fucking
dream, and no
love poems can
placate me
now.
Look, I quit drinking
and im a manic
goddamned mess but im
just holding it together
until it all
falls apart
again,
because gods fucking dammit,
sweetheart, you
know it will, because
i can’t
live without
the chaos

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet. He is the author of Leonard the Liar and Founding Fathers, as well as the creator of Free Verse Revolution, and co-founder of Blank Paper Press. Nicholas is an avid poet and his next release, All the Lonely People, will be available in 2019.

Eric Syrdal’s Pantheon Now Available in Both Paperback and Kindle Editions!

Eric Syrdal’s epic novel told in free verse, Pantheon, is now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle additions.  Weaving together mythology, science fiction, fantasy, and the deepest of human emotions, Pantheon is an enthralling and impactful read.

Dee by the Sea – Kristiana Reed

This piece is a continuation of Kristiana’s former piece “Dee”

 

Dee’s tea has been sat on the counter for fifteen minutes and I am yet to take my eyes off of it. It is surely now cold but I refuse to remake it. Five times I have called, to no avail. I boiled the kettle, let it whistle a little longer than usual. I made a racket with cutlery and dishes in an attempt to wake the sleeping lion upstairs. Nothing but the sound of my own discomfort.

 

I am pouring the tea into my stainless-steel sink when Dee appears, disheveled in the doorway. She is wearing a blue denim romper – a get up of chaffing ‘comfort’ – and a bird’s nest on her head.

 

“I thought we might go to the beach.” I state – saying ‘might’ to be polite but with no intention of having a conversation. Dee shrugs her shoulders and then begins to weep about how nowadays the sea and its existence only appears to her in dreams.

 

The beach is deserted. After all, it is seven am and in hindsight, perhaps I had been cruel waking Dee up so early; her tears not yet salty, still fresh like a baby’s. She is quiet in the majestic presence of the sea. Our breathing, gulls screeching and the waves calmly crashing transformed into a melody about life and the inevitability of death.

 

I wrap my arms around my shoulders, cradling my body in my hands. Dee slips off her shoes and leaves the lumpy sand behind to paddle along the shore. Her ankles glisten in the rising sun and surf. She looks as beautiful as I feel.

 

I visit the sea to find peace; a single dove looking to retrieve a misplaced olive leaf. There is something about how when the tide is out, it is already beginning to return. Every shoreline kiss, the opportunity to start again.

 

I hear a splash. Dee is stood waist deep in the sea, her romper discarded, blessing Neptune with her nudity. She is smiling, like I’ve never seen before and her hand is extended out toward me. I blush, my hand resting on the buttons of my dress.

 

“Come on, it’s seven am, no one will see… except the sea!” Dee giggles and it’s all she needs to say to me.

 

Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.