Be Mindful Of || Terry Severhill

using poetry and music
to ensnare the mind
soft spun words worming
into the psyche
words to please
words to appease
polished rounded edges of
slithering syllables

ideas meant for all
or none
how to discern
between or betwixt the
two is not listed in the index

using the mind
to think
to form
the word
the syllables
the sound
then more

poems by the gram
by the ounce
by the page
by the chap-my-hide book
not by the kilogram

poems to make you think
poems to heal
poems to make you think
yeah, ok, imagine you,
creating a library filled with seditious poetry

books about free thinking
thinking on your own
thinking for beginners
thinking for dummies
thinking for mac users
revolutionary sonnets
holy haiku
unholy iambic pentameter
creative nonfiction
sorta like white lies
or a white Christmas
or… Jesus Christ where was I?
ahh yes,
downshifting to granny gear up a long grade
and you thought
you were finished
with grades didn’t you?
reality doesn’t grade on a curve
slippery when wet
set as in
singing in the rain
poetry and music

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.

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A Solar Apogee of Indigo Mystics || Catherine West

a kind of freedom lives in yellow and indigo
     a bit of hate remains
in the stickiness of sidewalks
on small brown, slick, freeze-pop fingers

balls of gold glow less and so too inhibitions
of bare-skinned limbs in mangled jeans
from long party nights and lusty red lights
living on sweaty cocoa skin

chalk-stained sidewalks fade, old mascara
     on grey eyes and silver seams
snaps of double-dutch ropes, scurrying gym shoes
hide and seek where we vanish as ghosts

cotton wraps lie one on top of two on top of three
enshrine bodies and trap movement
where humid longing remains entombed

trills of bells, clicks of computers, squares and grills
     easy peace and easier violence
clustered frames and bunched buildings
small steel projectiles shattering glass and lives

taken all into some languid equation of existence
stripped of ballads and romantic words

we stand here waiting for all that is next

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.

Birds || Brandon Best

I believe birds could be louder
if they tried a little harder.
All this requires that they leave
their fragile homes
cloistered by the trees
and really use the air
in their plush breasts.
Robins could wail
and swallows could scream.
We’d watch the birds waddle,
heaving, but for once,
they’d have something new to say.
Their new slang would be
the material of nightmares and dreams.
I’d wake to robin wails and
the thundering of swallow screams.
In essence, every bird would be a
rooster, waking every morning with a
single purpose: for the love
of hearing the loudest bird.

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.

The Demented Dance || Ryan Curcio

Floral patterns in crisscrossed lines, externalized
where misshapen boulders crush impious still sitters.

Locked to the earthly dew resembling crystalline spheres
forming a massive network attack, sprawling
across the driest ramps of sands in Gobi mirages.
Gaia screeches in resistance, but retreats to slumber inside herself.

Each fleshy figure of civilizations, near and destroyed,
lines up to loop back to the beginning of time.
Unzip the void. History unfolds at breakneck speeds
where the archaic and civilized are marked by a schism,

a translucent line, unseen in the Gobi mirage.
Zip the void back up.
Spaghetti strainer wormholes and tearing your hair
out in the midst of chaotic splendor.

Ring twice for sanity:
the bell is broken and the demented dance commences.

The Spring Parade || Edward Hemstreet

Boy shakes a branch
for Sakura confetti,
beginning the Spring parade,
the vernal celebration—
floats of bustling bees
hop with breeding hares,
sway to surging songs
within the throats of birds;
and all throughout the grasses,
a tremulous design:
sweet and freshened breezes
to cool all heated hearts.
and to end the jubilee
a glass of Sky champagne—
sends the fauna fleeing,
the Boy back to his home.

This was originally published in Spring 2018 edition of The Helix.

In My Youth || Lindsey Jablonski

I skipped along the sidewalk,
my sandals clacking along the cement.
I run through the sprinklers,
allowing the water to destroy my hair.
The sound of laughter sings
as well as the ice cream truck.
I dig into my pockets,
searching for some change.
I stop when I see the truck.
A smile spreads across my face.

Fresh ice cream plastered on my chin,
I skip back towards home,
making sure to not step on the cracks,
wouldn’t want to break my mother’s back.
I run through the sprinkles again,
this time
allowing it to clean my face.
My sandals now scuffed,
the clacking continues.
I stood in my front yard.
I couldn’t hear the ice cream truck,
the sounds of laughs faded.
The sun descended,
allowing the night to consume it.
I ran back into the house,
hopeful for tomorrow.

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.

On Carlo Carrà’s Leaving the Theatre || Brandon Best

We all arbiter each other’s deeds.
I can never see where some people
end and others begin, or how to tell
whether someone is my nascent
friend. At the theater, on the streets,
in the mall, if everyone was
penetrated by the same light,
wouldn’t all people look the same?
We do that to each other, inevitably,
but still, sometimes I imagine what
impression they took from me.
They could’ve chosen anything.

This was originally published in Fall 2017 edition of The Helix.