Three Poems by Giacomo


here is a twitter thread about the books i’ve been reading:

i am 27 & i have been trained to feel more accomplished when i have notifications on my phone than when i do absolutely anything else.

i only seem to move places when my phone has red battery
& i can’t find a plug.

i spend more time wanting strangers on the internet to love me
than i spend time doing anything that i’d include on my dating profile bio.

i go to cafes and buy coffee even though it tastes very bad
& the coffee at home tastes good and costs me less money.

just so i can sit quietly,

to read my phone with a book open on my lap,
or on the table,
or on the other chair — face down.

when i am at home i sit on my phone too,
with all my books closed in my bookcase
& i text new friends about how

i love to read.

when i am 28 i will still want strangers to love me through the internet
(vomiting their little white numbers on red balloons across my screen).

today a parcel arrived with a book from america
i hope the author retweets my photo.

Can I hold your hand when it’s dark?

If i promise to like all of your Facebook statuses and if i promise to favourite all of your tweets and maybe even share the ones with your face on Facebook and to retweet your opinion and if i promise to double tap tap on all of your Instagram photos, even the ones you post with your friends while you’re drunk that you’ll only end up deleting over brunch with different friends and if i promise never to follow any of those other friends so that you always have more friends than they do and if i fav your mixtapes on Soundcloud and if i promise to comment on your posts with trending hashtags so you don’t have to and if i promise to give you 5 stars on eBay and buy your clothes off Depop and put you in my top 6 on Myspace and if i promise promise promise promise to never say hello to you in public, to look you in the eyes or to turn my body as we pass; will you acknowledge me when we’re alone?

I tap tap you

When I double tap on your face
I imagine my thumb
pressing your nose.

I think more people would
follow you if you let me push
your nose through your face.

People follow ugliness.

Like Tuna, the dog.
Who is followed
by 1.9M people.

I would love you,
you would breathe through your mouth.

Please let me push my thumb
through the back of your skull.

Two Poems by Steven Harz


Broken heart surgery

Since you are not here,
and haven’t been so in a while,
I am left to take one of our old sheets
and find a spot on the east of the river summer grass
that slopes toward the water
and lay down on my back, close my eyes,
and wait for the dream of us to return.

When I was young and closed my eyes
I would be treated to an internal
kaleidoscope of joy and colors
but now all I see is black and nothing,
as my head take turns dodging
demons and the Holy Ghost.

Once our dream arrives I sneak out a smile
as I watch a replay of all that was good,
but when what went wrong begins to show
I pin the vision down against the ground with my knee
and with a knife made by my grandfather,
wooden handle and burnished blade,
I cut out, with stealth and precision,
the painful memories and many mistakes
before wiping the blade clean against my shirt.

And after I perform this broken heart surgery
I bury the remains by the bank of the Connecticut
with a hope that the tragedy of us will no longer haunt me.
However, I am fully aware, that if given another chance
I would gladly allow you the opportunity
to one day break my slowly healing heart
all over again.


We sit with a battered blanket,
a bottle, and a pair of paper cups,
talking in the summer shade
of an abandoned lighthouse,
with its long-extinguished beam
aimed at the waves of the bay,
or maybe at our past, and what could have been,
and what was missed.
We discuss how we’ve been
shortchanged by time and circumstance,
having not first met during our youth
when it would have mattered,
and together then we could have stopped,
or at least avoided,
the bruising and bleeding from beginning.
After you leave I stay behind in the Chesapeake dusk,
climb the dusty tower,
with its missing steps and creaking boards,
and once at the top I use all of my force,
a little sweat, and a lot of tears,
and turn the invisible light away from
the water and towards the next time.
Because, less than an hour ago,
I told you that I would find you on the other side,
and I promised.
With a box of wooden matches, I strike them,
head against flint and toss them, one by one,
around the dry wooden floor and wait.
Because I made a promise,
and I want to get there first.

Steven Harz is the author of multiple collections of love stories and is a multi-time winner of The Iron Writer Challenge. Originally from West Virginia, he grew up in Maryland, and now lives in New England. You may recognize these places in his stories. 
His series, “Backroad Love Stories,” covers various topics and moves between stories that, on one end of the spectrum resemble the lyrics of a country love song, to the other end where his words cut into the reader, reminding them of the pain caused by loves gained and lost. 
Steven’s words have been highlighted in in Inwood Indiana Press’ Tracks, The Pangolin Review, Voices 2, Donut Factory, Words+Pictures, Amethyst Review, Ink Monkey Magazine, The Germ, The Voices Project, Pocket Thoughts, and Indigo Rising UK. 

‘My Fault’ by iukinim


I don’t plan on coming tomorrow
Forgive me for bothering you
This fog of uncertainty
icing every particle in my bones


I know it may be sweet
Forgive me for ignoring you
But I can’t think about tomorrow
It’s unknown nature
Imprisoned me alone


I was once ready for tomorrow
Forgive me for leaving you
These lasting worries
Entangled in lovecraftian fears

I eagerly waited for tomorrow
Now that it’s here
I feel a bitter taste
A black foreign tea


I heard it’s certainly coming
This losing battle
Dust inhabiting the floor
I still have nothing to sweep


I once lived tomorrow
It wasn’t as expected
It wasn’t as sweet


I know I will be sleeping
Tomorrow, on a different bed
In colorless sheets

I thought it would be brighter
But I have become incapacitated
Like wooden trees

I hope you understand
It’s pushing against my nature
I have no power
I am not whom I wanted to be

Tomorrow wasn’t as planned
I didn’t mean to hurt you
Amputate these bloody hands


I witnessed you choking
On left over treats
Was a sad melody
That you couldn’t feel

Forgive me for escaping
You’re not who they want
It’s the murderous pig
Trying to break free


I fostered this ghost
In a cabin named tragedy
Protect him from tomorrow
Horrors he couldn’t see


In my head
Was a sinking ship
Sails are tearing
Lost in the dead sea

There was a kind man
Ridden by fear
Is that how he felt?
St. Augustine



I want to stay in today
Forgive me for scaring you
I am not asking for much
I hope we never meet


I am sorry for abandoning you
Words are decomposing
Forgive me for writing this
I just think you should leave

‘Hourglass’ by Vincent J. Fitzgerald


In the second before my last grain falls, through neck, from bulb to bulb,
my life will project on the lids of my eyes, and I’ll live our days again.

I’ll savor your glance as we meet in a hall; and inhale your vanilla hair.
Aware we’d yet to share a day, yet sensing you always there.

I’ll relish our coffees and late-night calls for the bedrock formed under our feet,
And how a crack I feared might shatter the stone, instead gave birth to a tree.

I’ll thank your eyes for lighting my way; your words that served to mold,
and how you breathed in me a confidence and dared me to be bold.

I’ll seize the day I cut your chains; freed you from torments past;
And how you taught me tears were born of strength when I fought mine back steadfast.

I’ll feel your breast heave against mine as you laugh at my eccentric ways;
Those parts entrusted only to you who secured them deep in your heart.

Then, while at my most rapt, a memory will storm of a day demanding its due;
One pissed away through foolhardy rants, and lapses of reason and mind

A day we deemed superfluous, as if a day could ever be;
Kicked to the curb, expelled with our trash, sentenced to vagrancy.

We had endless chances to alter its course, if not for mulish pride,
But instead we banished it to the chill where it succumbed to cold and died.

I’ll spurn the shields we yielded and swung, as we each deflected blame;
Detest my crippling, toxic tongue once curative, and loathe to maim.

Though we mended our rift at the next day’s dawn, and vowed to stay our road,
I took brief pause to mourn the day we cast out from our abode.

Now as the grain kisses the glass and offers eternal reward,
I’m fated to stir, and toss, and turn, and grasp for the gift I ignored.

While I wander in limbo, and curse my regret, desperate to feel consoled
Will I find you there, also bereft of the day that died in the cold?

Three Poems by Walker Storz



To help the
descendant of
madness who
does and does
not need your
who is
“how can one
be both
too near
and too far
and be repulsed
and attracted at
the same time”
Pierce the
clammy veil,
go to the
Garden, start
there is sin
like a sickness,
deep, dig
deep, eat the
wretched grass,
eat the
dirt, a
small amount
of a
poison is
poison, a
large amount
is a


Then start
anew, because
you cannot
bear to see
her face
again with
between you,
tear the
But these
things cannot
be done
heart like
marble. If
you fail,
you remain.
Your heart
was never
pure or
enough, you
sinner, you

Read More »

Two Poems by G.B. Ryan



Hands at side, on your back
on a sliding table
headfirst into a tube,
panic button in reach,
you know you must not move.

The electronic sounds
begin, warble in twos,
go solo, disappear,
reappear as combos
in minimal rhythms,
unplaceable thumping.

Baby bats are crying
for their mothers who call
back, their gaping mouths full
of trapped squealing insects.

A calm tech assesses
the amount you can take.


Despite a huge head and thick skull
a bison can run
up to 35 miles per hour.

At Yellowstone Park
bison injure more visitors
than grizzly bears do.

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department
recounted how Standing Rock protestors
against the Dakota Access Pipeline
rode on horseback behind a bison herd
to stampede it toward law enforcement.

You know they had to see how it would look –
a posse of white dudes fighting the Sioux
get themselves run over by buffalo.

G.B. Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin.  He is a ghostwriter in New York City.  Elkhound published his WHO YOU NEED TO START A RIOT in May 2017.   His poems are nearly all about incidents that involve real people in real places and use little heightened language. 

Three Poems by Melissa Kelly


Little City Girl

Black boots brown shoes
Walking the sidewalks
Little legs big feet
Talking on phones
running to catch up
The large building
Looking high big lights
Windows and floors
A little girl watches
Too small so large
Rushing each step
Another working day
One of many
In the city crowd

Last Summer Night

As the pinks in the sky
And the reds draw down
The last warm breeze
And salty beach foam
Wave its final
Summer goodbye
The birds stick around
For signs of the first freeze
Before flying to
Their southern homes

The Dance

I can dance in my room
Spinning around and around
In those moments of alone
I’m free to be wonderfully bad
No one to judge my missteps
It’s me, just me
loving music and life
The way I know how
Singing too loud, and
Stepping on Invisible feet

Melissa Kelly is a Poet and Short Story writer from Long Island, NY. Most recently, one of her poems was published in the Westward Quarterly Magazine.