Out of State… by Kyle Hemmings


Out Of State

He sent her a text: Winters in Jersey. Living in cork-lined

rooms. Stripped down to my inner ear. I’m hearing things.

She replied: You have Michigan on your night trains. Waking up

with a crick in my neck. My days are split personalities in fogged mirrors.

He texted back: Quartz veins. Anti-muse in tunnels. Wolverines limp

in subways. fall asleep in imported armchairs. Leave dreams in wet tar.

She replied: They’re laying off the Kings of Grease. Another yellow

slip, I’ll be rancid meat. Come Home before I go short on snowfall.

End of Text.


Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has upcoming work in Primal Zine and Matter Press. His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes and The Truth about Onions.

Copyright © 2013 by Kyle Hemmings





Persephone Meets Hades… by Imani Sims


Persephone Meets Hades

He tossed a smooth coin in his hand. “So, what do you say,” he asked? I turned to face him, Acheron at my back. A black boat that smelled of sulfur and sweat bobbed in the water. A demon waited—shimmering like a labrodorite gem in the sun, an oar heavy in hand —for me to make a decision.

“What’s in it for me,” I said as raised an eyebrow and tossed a braid over my shoulder.

“An entire kingdom my love; you’ll be queen.”

I must admit, he was persuasive. I wanted the obsidian crown that rose to the clouds. I wanted the flowing robes. My twelve year old mind was filled with enchantment, rationalizing this decision. And he said I can have the dogs too!

But with pursed lips and a flounce, I said, “mmmm nope, maybe next year.” I turned on my heels and wandered back to the house.

This stranger never failed; he came every year around the end of August. He would bring me a gift. Bow and kiss my hand. Tell me how I was the fairest of Demeter’s daughters. Then the bargaining would begin.

Every time, my mother gave me the same advice: Stay Away From Him. Don’t get lost in his golden eyes and tilled earth skin. If you do, we will never see you again.

I couldn’t imagine why she felt this way. He was so nice. He treated me like I was his queen.

For three years, our little game of cat and mouse continued. Each year, his gifts got bigger and more extravagant. A trunk overflowing with jewels, satin robes as far as the eye could see; he even brought me a harp and notebook, so that I could write down my songs.


The fourth year came. I sauntered out of the house, ample breasts and curls playing in the wind. I knew today was the day he would be here. I always knew. It was like I could feel his breath on my neck and his arm wrapped around my waist. I shivered, remembering how great it felt to have him near me, how soon I would have him again. Only morning turned to noon and noon turned to dusk. He hadn’t shown up. I stood, from dawn until dusk, feet digging patterns into the banks of the river, arms crossed and my huff becoming more and more of a whine. Until my mother’s voice broke the silence, “Persephone! Get inside! Your dinner will be nothing more than coagulated gravy if you stay out here any longer.”

I silently turned to face her, let the first tear of rejection slide down my face and replied, “I’m not coming in mother, I’m going to find him.”

My mother stood in the doorway, shocked at first. Then she began to run full force towards me, enraged at the thought of me defying her and for what? A man? She couldn’t believe it. As her feet hit the earth, my toes were already in the water. I dove.

My head hit the cold water with a jolt and all of a sudden I felt nothing but sorrow and regret. I felt as though every tear I had ever wept were washing over me, trying to sway me to turn back. But the burn in my heart kept me going. My arms kept slicing the water, my mother’s wails somewhere in the distance, I drew closer to my love, my king.

The first yellow leaf hit the water, as my sorrows turned to lament. My fingertips splashing into the river Cocytus.


Imani Sims is a Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has developed an infinitely rippling love for poetry in all of its forms. Imani is the founder of Split Six Productions (splitsix.com) in Seattle, WA. Her book Twisted Oak is available on Requiem Press



Who Knows Best… by Morgan Collado


Who Knows Best

They thought
They had trounced me
Forced me
To relinquish
My secrets
Bent me
To their blood soaked
They thought
That their dun colored
Could subdue me
Their corrosive pigments
Reduce me
Their all-too-human desires

Consume me

But I am forever
Of days filled with rainbow
I am forever
Acorns of chaos-ridden
I am forever
The chaff of stupidity

From the wheat of sagacity

Those children that resist
In the marrow of my bones
Gathering hidden
In moist dark corners


When seasons shift
Regimes die
And Mother always
Knows best


Morgan Collado is a queer Latina trans woman who lives in Austin, TX. She has a degree in Philosophy and hopes that her writing inspires radical action. She’s been published in QWOC Media Wire, xQsí Magazine, The Urban Resistance, and Northeastern University Journal of Undergraduate Writing. Her blog is www.atriptothemorg.wordpress.com.

Copyright © 2012 by Morgan Collado





Renewed… by Linda M. Crate



stagnant waters
loves flowers dried past
the death of it seems inevitable
as autumn fading into
winter, the seasons have taken
everything they had come for —
yet i’ve come to learn
that nothing comes as expected,
is sometimes not in vain;
you fell over me
when waves of bitterness eroded
me into ocean rocks,
you took me to a new horizon
breathed life into the old star dust made
me dazzle in the sky again the
diamond i was always born to be —
i took moon silver threads
to sew up your fissures,
our kiss so passionate it startled the leaves off trees
words flow between us unspoken yet i’ve
heard every word you ever meant to me,
and i know you feel the same
sometimes silence speaks louder than words
like snow psalm upon trees.


Copyright © 2013 by Linda M. Crate