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Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.” - Charles Bukowski


by A.V.

They put me in a room full of curious eyes

Speak up, and curiosity becomes judgement


They put me in the front row, where eyes bored holes into my back

Speak up, and the holes will grow bigger


They put me beside someone I deemed untrustworthy

Speak up, and you’ll become an outcast


They put me in front of a crowd, even though they saw my nervous face

Speak up, and you’ll become a disappointment


They put me in a room to talk about how I felt

Speak up, and just pray they will understand


I put you in my head so that you can understand

What it’s like to live in fear and loathing


I put you in my head so that you can understand

To never put us in the spotlight, for our voices will tremble like our hands


I put you in my head so that you can understand

We don’t speak up, because our mouths force themselves to shut

Cosmetic Testing on animals By Tessa.C.

they test on animals because they’re like us,

they harm animals because they’re not us

the line between testing

and torture

is a tightrope

between morals

and money


like a strand of frayed hair

the hair they shave off helpless animals

creating a canvas out of their red, raw skin

to paint on their poison


like the millions of innocent animals they kill each year

souls so voiceless,

it’s like their mouths were sewn shut

sealed almost as tightly as our ignorant eyes

while the ones of bunnies blister and bleed red

everything is red

but the scientists must be colorblind

because everything is red

but all they see is green

how much is that doggie in the window?

By ella t.

How much is that doggie in the window?

The one with nobody to care

How much is that doggie in the window?

I do hope that doggie’s for sale


I want a little baby puppy

Not like that old one over there

I want one with a pure golden coat

Not like that mixed one over there


How much is that doggie in the window?

The one with a mother locked in a cage?

How much is that doggie in the window?

I do hope that doggie’s for sale


I want one that costs a fortune

Not like that free one over there

I want one who isn’t scared

Not like that one over there


How much is that doggie in the window?

Oh why is that doggie for sale?


By S.j.r.

It all started with a picture


But then there was the first comment


Which turned into a conversation


And everyone thought it was alright


But everyone couldn't see the faces behind the screens


Or the eyes that looked in the mirror at the end of the day


The eyes, now full of tears


And to think


It all started with a picture

the sponge forest

andrew kawam

A pellucid and crackling screen

Of ice

With a mammoth and fidgeting bulk

Encloses with its drifting, divided sheen

The sand

Speckled grey under the chilled water’s hulk,

Folds dormant like a vat of collective rice

Over the archaic land.


Suddenly from the calloused earth,

There thrusts

A cluster of stalks tinged green

With the texture of a gelatinous firth

Of lime

Dimpled with dark pores that preen,

With their canals cutting deep through unhindered flesh,

The water pulled into their bowls.


Each miniscule speck of life,

Each flake

As pale as the far-off sky,

Is escorted through a crystal portcullis rife

And alive

With the pounding of slick, sliding cells,

Some pouncing with tendrils dispended and flayed

On these lively stars of the connective waves –

On this plankton all bulbous and hived –


While others with sinewy tails, as glee

And as thin

As the mine between life and tough slime,

Beat their whips with laborious energy

While their heads

Are stuck tight to the oscillating mass and the grime

From the outside stick tight to the fins

Of their collars, the gates to harsh death.


All under the howling boreal wind,

The cold world’s gelid breath.


andrew kawam

Sliding down botanical blades,

The orbs of fluorescent dew,

Glowing with the refracted rays of light

Piloted from cavernous space through

The drizzle remaining from the night,


Glister their omnipresent domes

On the feathers of filamentous moss,

Beating under spore-filled sepia aeries

Mounted on towers as finite as floss

Above liverworts’ flayed knees


On an amorphous roadway adhering

To the delicate skins of dark green –

A ribbon of pellucid mucus released

From the furrows of a foot contracting and keen

As the lifeblood that has never ceased –


A tank with a saturated skin

And a couple of recoiling dots

Set on top of a pair of translucent stalks

Unleashes a blade full of hooks, like ingots

Of silver, forming the swaying locks


Engulfing the unraveling glades

Of grass and of leaves succulent,

Flaunting their venous and moving cards

Giving off an aroma so inflorescent

Even when the light will sink and fade.  

best friends forever?

bella crysler

Two girls crying on the corner,

Where what went wrong,

And what comes next,

Meet at a four way stop.


Next to the park they mixed love potions in,

And all the trees they climbed,

They sit vigil on the curb,

As the summer sunlight dies,

Listening to echoing memories,

Bouncing off stop signs,

Of their size four footsteps on the pavement,

Running home from monsters,

That didn't exist.


Now their tears splash the worn streets,

For the monsters they couldn't see coming,

And the everything they'll leave behind.


 - Best friends forever?

venus' flower basket

andrew kawam

On the crumbling grains of a precipice –

A pedestal of dissociating dust

In a night sightlessly bespeckled by the flakes

Of marine snow harvested to combust

The enzymes in the ravenous cells that must

Extract succor while the bright world awakes –


Glinting out in a web of slick swords

Of white silica in crossing hatches,

Is a sponge like an artistic archer’s sack

Of arrows with solidified patches.

As the millions mouths stall, the dimmed matches

Conduct on their continuous train track


Paths of ecstatic, nearly weightless electrons

And rid the beast of the clogging muck.

Trapped by the neck of the flossy, polished glass

An entwined pair of crusty shrimp is stuck,

Eternally whisking away offspring with luck

That kneel through the instars that blossom and suck

In and out muscles circled tight as grass.


vanessa ippolito

the moon at a glow

radiance bestowing light

brightly blinding beauty 


right then, she was happy

basking in the night air

without a breath of spell 


lighting bugs arrive

bringing her much, much joy

welcome home, they murmur


bouncing off her skin

a luminosity inexplicable

fingers tickle with magic


sprinkled with delight

at once, she drops her cast

peace has reached her

Mince my words

by zineb nour

It’s that spot that I often run to.

That “already” home, that my mother meant to rent.

That key she had lent.


And while it’s a short trip,

with no glasses chipped,

nor chess pieces spent poorly,

my mother still locked the door.


Now this was apt, but my naivety found nothing

except fault and somber mistake.


This Hoax, this spot, that I would eagerly run to,

it’s just whimper filled shores, tinged with blue.


Just an “already” home.


And while my mother will gloat and speak with nothing but rancor.

(she would say there is no time to mince your words) and

my father will sit and say:

The time spent in this haze,

will still feel like days on the drive back in


our car remained becalm,

in the “already” streets of my “already” city,

a statement my brother should balk at.


But instead we sit silent, watching the moon set.


by vanessa ippolito & claire keenan

I love the way you never vacuum

I love the way you ignore my tattoo

I love the way you were late when meeting my parents

I love the way you're condescending

I love the way you answer the question "How was your day?"


I'll love the way your face will look after realizing what this all meant

I Love it when it rains

by Grace Macgarvie

I love it when it rains

Those are the days when everything quiets

There's no noise

No people

No static

Merely the sounds of pitter patter

The wind seems like it's gently sighing

And the rare whoosh of an approaching car

Seems to ease the world around

When the sun just can't peek through the clouds

It's almost a warm sort of grey

That makes you want to cuddle up

As you watch the fire

Glowing from ambers

It grows

The warm blues and yellows flicker

And the fire seems to dance

As you sip on a warm tea

Taking a deep breath

Steam with an infectious smell

Rush through your whole body

That fire makes you want to dance too

And the rain gives you a sort of glee

That air that it brings

Fresh and clean

Like the first bite of an apple picked straight from the tree

And all of the sudden you want to feel

The way you feel when you dance alone

And the world is silent around you

All there is is the softness of rain as splashes onto you

It's cold but not a bitter cold

You're moving so fast that the whole world stops

The rain it's falling in slow motion

Panting you can see your breath

The storm takes you whole

And you are soaking wet

Your shoes squish as you run back inside

Your wet hair whips you in the face

But you don't care because your hearts beating so loud

You can actually hear the thumping

Your blood being pumped through your whole body

Every sense is heightened

You feel so free

And it seems like you're the only person in the world

You love the rain

Those are the days when everything quiets

There's no noise

No people

No static

Merely the sounds of pitter patter

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