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New Poetry, Fiction, Essay

Poetry by Ash Slade and Melissa Mulvihill

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My name is Ash and I’ve been a poet since middle school. I was 12 when I started, and it’s been 13 years going strong. I was first published in the high school paper called the “Eaglet.” My work has also been published in “Circus of Indie Artists: Nevermore Edition November 2016, Edited by Dale Bruner and a writer’s blog “a writer and her adolescent muse” run by Carrie Ann Golden. I live in a small New England town in Connecticut that never seems to change. In addition to writing poems, I enjoy collecting poetry books, and regularly read at a poetry open mic that also hosts poets across the states as features.

 

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Lipogram On “I”

 

rhythmic, dim, skylight. night rising. first lights. spring wind.
gin tin. thirsty. lit sign. hip, slick. chips, dip. lyrics-
link, string, swing. wild-
flying. wings in flight.
ninth inning. hitting pitch.
will fight. slip in ditch.
zips, twists, cliff.

dirty trick. shifting ship. kiss lips. blitz trip. drink list.
slightly bright. pinging pin. lily-shining. kin din-din. birds sing.
birthright. kind mind. rising hills. twinkling spills. biting chill.

misfit fits. slips rip still. skip, hit, miss. nix
drift. spin, risk, find, bind. lips sip. which first, tips?
frigid wind nipping skin. ski
lift. high sights. sick.
risks stick. first hill.
chilly milk. fill, spill, rich.
bliss still finding.

 

 

 

A Harsh Winter

 

flakes falling at an angle. snow plowed –
into colossal mounds. roads treacherous-
unkempt…impassable. pine needles coated,
with blanket of white. branches snapping…
from bitterness in chill. wires sagging –
off poles, heaviness causing them –
to nearly give in. trees down, at top
and bottom of hills-
unable to withstand storm.
power outages that last for weeks.
warm water non-existent. snowed in back to back
days wondering, when normalcy
will be regained.

 

 

 

Melissa writes from northeast Ohio where she lives with her husband, two in progress sons, and her labradoodle, Luna(tic). She earned her B.A. in psychology from Kenyon College and M.A. in counseling from John Carroll University. She has recently been published in the June 2017 issue of Poet’s Haven Digest, Strange Land, in the upcoming Poet’s Haven Digest October 2017 issue, The Distance Between Insanity and Genius. and in multiple issues of The Blue Nib.

 

 

 

I Hear Them Bleeding Hope

Being buried in a crate with just
enough space between
the slats
for damp earth
to trickle in on me
at a tortuously hideous crawl
used to be my first worst way
to die
alone in the loam while a grimy
suffocation
claims my breath

Captured by a blaze
ignited unaware
with every nerve ending
scorched
charred
by a merciless murderer
ashing me utterly
completely reducing me
to my smallest parts
consummation by fire
used to be my second worst
way to die

My third worst way
to lose myself
used to be
drowning in one
enormous desperate
gasp for oxygen
before submitting to eternal bloat

But then I
learned about
these people who are left to
crumble

growing shattery at the mercy of
endless ennui
half wound down
confined to a box within a box within a box
stagnant with
mortality
relinquished
discarded
in the dim

I hear them bleeding hope
in the Old Folks Rest Home
where we go
on the last Thursday of every month

jilted
extinguished
left to haunt airless hallways
curdled thick by anguish
abandonment
fairly begging for the exit
through motionless
decomposition

this is my new
worst way
to
die

 

 

 

Bolstered by the Flask

 

Calm circled the lake
looming evening
parsing peace on the horizon
glowing our star
red hot

Waves spent
washed out in the
glassy reflections
of the afternoon heat
cicadas clicked
in the leftover
doves cooed
in the leavings

When his hand
slid into his jacket pocket
emerged
with flask glinting silver
head thrown back
swallowing
over and over and over
loneliness crept off him
into me

Staring
through the fade
chilling
past the pale
he ground
his cigarette
into the sweet potato vines

Whether
he was seeking
courage or spending it
bolstered by the flask
his legs summoned him
weaving him elsewhere
hauling
something or someone
raking and reeking
behind him
like a hideous haunt
deadened by days that
wouldn’t be ignored

Restlessness
folded me in
pilfering peace

Life was coming for me
and my
flask.

 

 

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