After

By Kaitlin Schaal

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Above the clouds is the space for restless minds,
And after each beat of their wings, you kiss me.
Pearls fall from our mouths when we breathe.

But the day you left was not yesterday –
The ice-cream-scoop hollow in the back of my throat remains,
Or so I tell myself, to exist.

In my fingertips, there is a fire.
Has it never scorched you, lying in your bare skin between my knees?
You smile, and in the corners of your mouth rests every wanton promise.

The air carries a scent of lemon;
The soap you used in my apartment sits heavy in my mind.
Wherever I walk, the grass turns to ash and drifts away.

Only in the rain, now, is there a hand against my cheek,
When ripples still lace together across the surface of the lake
And from the stars, I turn my face to the side.

Kaitlin Schaal

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A Joyful Terror: Meditations on Writing

By Jarred Thompson

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1.

There is a joyful terror to writing, to scratching an itch that doesn’t want to be scratched but must be if any comfort is to be sort.  Writing is an abject feeling that, before the act, leaves one hollow-mouthed and begging.

2.

 What lies in the undergrowth of our lives can be felt without words, in emotions that appear more like atmospheres superimposed upon the world than anything factual or real.

3.

Words have a pleasure that’s hard to deny. A putting down that solidifies on one side while opening up on the other. And what’s on the other side but endless interpretation, a hinterland of fragments and dreams left up to readers to stitch together with the resources of their minds.

4.

What is so terrifying is the fact that one’s words may appear faulty, lack-luster, or clichéd; that your innermost world is riddled with soap-opera fantasies whose presence on the page expose one’s own faulty mechanisms of imagination. But is it really originality that we seek in our writing?

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ab initio

By Ng Yu Ci

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i)
it looks, at first,
like a place we’ve been before,
that stray silence
where things unravel
and we begin,
shaky breaths and cautious
hands negotiating space,
souls spilling onto the floor,
making the carpet moist.

ii)
we move to the rhythm of
each other delicately,
careful to avoid eye-contact.
we convince ourselves
a glimpse of the unknown
would be the last thing
to save a life. go on
closing your eyes, darling,
walk into bright rooms with
the blindfold on.

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Sit Awhile

By Dan Lucas

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Along the path I stop and smile,
to sit awhile among the trees,
and see the air and ground agree,
no argument beneath the sky,
is why I stop to sit awhile,

Along the path I feel the shade,
to fade into a distant glow,
and show just what the day has sown,
warnings of a peppered sky,
is why I stop to sit awhile,

Along the path I stay to dream,
believing I have ransomed grace,
alone to face the night’s embrace,
sheltered under sunless sky,
is why I stop to sit awhile,

Along the path is respite calm,
leisured on the days unrest,
investing in the silence kept,
muted stars in quiet skies,
is why I stop to sit awhile,

Along the path I talk to God,
applauding what He’s given me,
in meanings of the truth we seek,
solemn whispers to the sky,
is why I stop to sit awhile,

– Dan Lucas

Author’s NotePeople have a tendency to have stronger reactions when taken out of their comfort zone. If a person can read my poems and say, ” That’s exactly how I feel,” then I think my job as a writer is only partially done.

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Cover to Cover with . . . C.M. Crockford

By Jordan Blum & C.M. Crockford

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C.M. Crockford

C.M. Crockford is a Philadelphia writer with poetry, genre fiction, and criticism published in No Recess Magazine, Oddball Magazine, and Dead Gothic Resurrected, among other zines and journals. His work has also appeared in Nasty Women & Bad Hombres: A Poetry Anthology.

In this episode of Cover to Cover with . . .,  Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum speaks with Crockford about the intersectionality of being a Philadelphia, creative writer, and music critic, as well as current pop culture hot topics like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the controversy surrounding Channel Awesome, and more!

C.M. Crockford

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