2017 Best of the Net Nominations

Congratulations to our nominations for
Best of the Net!

The Comrade” by Kathleen McClung

The Mermaids” by Erinn Batykefer

This Is a Serious Consideration” by Megan Merchant

All-American Roommate” by M. Wright

L’aurore” by Meg Drummond-Wilson

She Called Me a Dirty Jew” by Phyllis Wax

I Curse Because” by Wang Ping

To Gorgeous, From Sis” by Chuck Nwoke

For information on the Best of the Net anthology, visit Sundress Publications.
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Issue #23 – Up Yours!

You deserve to be angry. If you’re questioning yourself, if you think you should magically acquire a hyper-masculine stiff upper lip and stop “overreacting,” if you find yourself feeling diminished just by walking on your college campus or at your office job or sitting down at a family dinner—I promise, what you’re feeling is valid.

Read the full guest editor letter from Hannah Hamilton

Up Yours! Cover

Guest Editor’s Spotlight:
Mindcunt by Alison Rumfitt

End Game by Nancy Ludmerer

The Comrade by Kathleen McClung

Tears from a Frontline by Arusha Topazzini

#PinoyPride by Sade Andria Zabala

Diagnosis: Super Dick by Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Boat Guy by Joe Dornich

Mass Media by Sierra Schepmann

Biggest Fan by Christopher T. Werkman

Waterless Cooking by Karl Williams

Role Model by Barbara Nishimoto

Angry Giraffe by Jessy Randall

I Curse Because by Ping Wang

The Mermaids by Erinn Batykefer

Cover Art for Up Yours! by Dorthy Ray

Rachel Nix Interviews Dustin Pearson

 Rachel Nix Interviews Hannah Hamilton


About Our Guest Editor
Hannah in CarHannah Hamilton lives in Baton Rouge, LA, and is currently finishing up her last year of undergrad at Louisiana State University. More importantly, she makes killer stir-fry, is terribly concerned with the exploitation of imbalanced power dynamics, and enjoys writing vaguely autobiographical werewolf poetry in the margins of all her notebooks. Sometimes she takes naps on her lunch break at work.

cahoodaloodaling is excited to announce that Hannah will be remaining on staff as our new assistant editor!

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PPP&P #3 Spring 2017

PPP&P3

PPP&P spotlights recently published work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.

 

Pretty Owl Poetry

In “Room of Rind and Pith“, Grace Arenas waxes about the ‘room of discord’ and the beauty found in decay:

     half-chewed and spat.
Room of weeks-gone bread
and rainfall, egg shell,
forsaken seedling

Choose a little glorified subject and wax poetic on its power.

*

In “The Sensorium of the Cyborg“, Laurin DeChae introduces ‘i’ the machine. Notice the tug between the familiar ‘I’ and the unfamiliar ‘i’.

where there is _______ i sees _______
now you see her, now, now,
i doesn’t want to be here.
i doesn’t want to be
but i was made to machine,

Redefine or introduce a conflicting doppelganger.

 

Rogue Agent

In “Timetable“, McKenzie Lynn Tozan talks of split second decisions that can mean experiences lost or g(r)ained.

I gazed at a tree
and knew if I didn’t start climbing,

I’d never get another chance.

Write of an instance where you ‘seized the moment’.

*

Alessandra Braya‘s “Rebirth” had me musing: How to render her line:

You flayed me and found a hummingbird perched as a
pendant amid my ribs,

Lean into a flight of imagination.

 

Stirring

Andre Collard begins his “Elegy with a Red Wagon” with:

In floodwaters, the fire ants
of South Carolina will link their bodies
to form an island, floating
over drowning cars and streetlights
like a funeral.

This is such an evocative beginning, that I looked up this phenomenon. Now I am all ears for what the poem has to say.

Share a local phenomenon so the reader can vicariously travel.

*

In “J’aime La Règle Qui Corrige L’Émotion“, Michael Sandler‘s writing moves from

guise and form, billowing
to winged image then back to cloud

This perfectly matches the image which inspired this poem: George Braque ‘reviving wings’ in his illustrations.

Think Einstein’s love for music and physics and build a bridge between writing and a different art form. Contrast or draw a parallel.

 

Wicked Alice

Cassie Ciopryna provides a respite from the ordinary life with an astronomical statement in “That Would Be the Cure“:

                                               leak
meteors out of your skin onto mine

Put your telescopic ‘powers of 10′ lenses on to discover something anew.

*

In “I Lose Him Near the Lumber“, Amy Lee Heinlen shows both the highs and pitfalls of hazardous occupations in brief and simple language.

smell of potential
and death

Write a poem with a tone contrary to the subject.

 

 

Feel free to reply and share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments!

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2017 Best New Poets & Bettering American Poetry Nominees

Best New Poets Nominees

Best New Poets is an annual anthology of fifty poems from emerging writers. The anthology takes nominations from literary magazines in the United States and Canada, graduate-level writing programs in the United States and Canada, and entries from an annual open competition. For more information about the Best New Poets anthology and eligibility, visit bestnewpoets.org.

Morning Song by Marina Carreira

Driving home from the Stop & Shop, you glance over
at the Clorox and pretzels and get the urge
to wrap yourself around a pole

like a snake
like a stripper
like an SUV yearning for the hot crush of metal

Holding her as she coos
like a bird seeing the ocean
for the first time, a part of you

wants to tear yourself to pieces,
pull: intestine by intestine,
smolder the liver you no longer

destroy but fuck if you don’t
every now and again
sitting at your desk

looking out the window
you think how close the planes get to the top of buildings
in this city, you remember the last time you flew,

the last time you faked an orgasm
the last time you rode him like a ghost
in the wind, you rode like the wind

and only looked back to make sure
every part of you was still there
in that moment

When there is a shooting
in an elementary school
you drop to your knees, thank God it wasn’t her

in her classroom you run
to the bathroom and throw up,
you throw your hands up in the air

Google “statistics of school shootings in New Jersey”
Google “where can I buy a gun fast”
Google “post post post post partum depression”

MARINA CARREIRA is a Luso-American writer from the Ironbound area of Newark, NJ. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Acentos Review, The Writing Disorder, Naugatuck River Review, Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora: An Anthology (Boavista Press, 2015), Bluestockings Magazine, THE FEM, Rock&Sling, Paterson Literary Review, Paper Nautilus, Pif Magazine, and All We Can Hold: A Collection of Poetry on Motherhood (Sage Hill Press, 2016). “Morning Song” was published in issue #20, Trigger Warning.

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The Prologue by Imaani Cain

i.
at age six, you are helen of troy
with a stripe of sunscreen on your
cheeks. in this life, paris has the same nose as you,
has taught you how to breathe underwater
and how to spit seeds across the expanse of the lawn.

in this life, paris watches you dress through the crack
in the door, cataloging the tender shape of your
back. when you catch him, he does not apologize
but you offer forgiveness anyways.

ii.
beauty is not the gorgon you had
hoped it would be. there are dreams
where the men all turn to stone,
their hunger frozen
into marble and with you
always out of range.

iii.
when paris’s brother asks you to strip,
you wonder if that is just some form
of love that your mother has not explained to
you yet. his teeth flash in the dim lighting;
he says that you are the prettiest
thing he has ever seen.

iv.
your body is a land you have never
explored. it is the house you do not
have the key to–you can only look
at yourself with your head
half turned away.

v.
when he puts his hands on you,
you are six years old
in a frayed swimsuit.
forgiveness is already waiting
at the tip of your tongue.

IMAANI CAIN was born in San Diego, California but grew up in New England. Currently, she lives in Boston with a shaky bookshelf that is crowded with far too many novels. She is an editorial assistant for Talking Writing Magazine and has been published on both Thought Catalog and www.Exsistentia.net. In her spare time, she studies French and paints watercolors. “The Prologue” was published in issue #20, Trigger Warning.

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Bettering American Poetry Nominees

Bettering American Poetry is an annual anthology of American poems which jam dominant systems of taste and resignify the very phrase “American poetry” with the languages that it so desperately lacks. This anthology centers voices of resistance, subjectivities that emerge from the radical margins, artists whose Americanness transcends nationalism and other borders, perspectives historically denied institutional backingin short, poets and poetries that are urgent and necessary but do not get along nicely with Power. For more information about Bettering American Poetry and eligibility, visit betteringamericanpoetry.com.

A Reclaiming by Siaara Freeman

the hood can yell for itself. does not need your voice
to introduce its own. your quick mimic is a quiet crime
& a loud sentencing.

this dialect, the ebonics, is not a case study not a thesis statement
a sociology report not a buffet not a welcome
mat. your children have full mouths
of my children & you call it rebellion
instead of theft because rebellion looks better
with blood. you can learn every dance
& you will never know the sweat of needing to move
with nowhere to go. you can listen
to every rap song & you will never
live the lyric be the drug deal gone good be the love story gone
bad be the shit talk be a bar-b-q of good intentions
you can come to the house-parties & go
home. before the cops come before the song ends before you actually have to
understand. you can recite every line to Friday & never laugh
at the right parts. you can say “bye Felecia” without knowing her
crack addiction. without knowing the droop of her shirt & the beg
of her braids. how love & shame can be sisters
& look nothing alike. how hungry is always around the corner.
where survival comes without the guide or loses it
too soon. you can be the Huxtables or the Bradys
either way you don’t know a damn thing about this. who you know
hiss like a hot-comb on the back of yo’ neck? who you know really
trappin’? who you know trapped? whatcha’ know bout reckless? who you know really
wrecked with no insurance? who you know riding dirty? who you calling dirty? who
you won’t bring home to yo mama? who you think you foolin’?
who you think a fool?survival is a sticky sap. slang is what happens when you eat it
every day & wake to lick the corners of your lips.

“our children play together” you say,
“picking up your children’s bad habits.”

you convince them they are eating dirt
instead of telling them to stop taking
candy from                                                   strangers.

Siaara FreemanSIAARA FREEMAN is your friendly neighborhood hope dealer. If the something in the world saves you, you should try and save something in the world with whatever it is you got. She’s got poems. Siaara’s chapbook, Live from District 11, is available on Kindle. “A Reclaiming” was published in issue #20, Trigger Warning.

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The Only Trans Girl at the Party by Alison Rumfitt

Saturday night’s a black hole
you’re the probe, lost in nothing, falling, negativity
crushed out of existence in your
knee-length skirt, white shirt and tights
and your make-up which other girls say
looks better than they could ever do
and you laugh and say, “I watched hours of youtube tutorials
to get to this!” and they laugh (what you said was true)
it’s like make-up is their country
you’re something strange, like an Hollywood horror
you’re a reanimated corpse, something from the black lagoon
and you’re a fun-vampire all in one
but you’re a girl, wearing the dress better
kissing slicker and sicker because you’ve got to
how dare you
intruder, monster, weirdo
The only trans girl at the party
the only starry anomaly
standing outside photographs just in case your parents see
got shouted at by strangers walking here
even though you hid your adam’s apple with a collar
You want to be part of the fun but
however hard you try it’s like
You’re a circus act or something at the end of the pier–

Ladies and Gentlemen, roll up, we have the
Wondrous Transgender
Ask it questions, find out
why it’s like this, it doesn’t look it, it doesn’t like it
what kind of trauma made you live like this?

The crowd looks on, laughs
this is wholesome entertainment
You wonder if, at some other party someone here
will tell your story
such an inspiration!
Yes I met this trans girl once
probed her for questions, she looked lost in space, lost
in the space between the kitchen and the bathroom floor

This is where it gets ugly, it’s the event horizon
although you don’t know that yet:
someone thinks they’ve got you
you don’t see their face but they feel
between your legs
You see a person in a mask, a rabbit’s head
tells you that you’d be better off drowned and dead
blink and they’re gone into the crowd
blink again and the crowd change
sometime’s they all look like animals
it’s hard to see them as people when
they all see you as an object
as simply a trans girl at their party when really
you have a girlfriend, like films
go to coffee shops every weekend
No, they move in, pitchforks, Guy Fawkes faces
grins and burning torches after Frankenstein’s monster
(that’s you, a person made of pieces)
All they want to know is where you come from
they all need to know your story
they need to know what your body looks like
and the blood, your blood, does it
taste the same as theirs does?
There are so many hands
and they grab at your stitches
The Black hole finally rears its head
sucking you in from the other side of the room
it’s mouth is rows of yellow teeth
You slip, you fall
the angry mob watch as Saturday night
eats you whole
spits you out
Sunday morning takes you home

Alison RumfittALISON RUMFITT is an 18 year old writer who lives in the South of England. There isn’t much to do there. Writing seemed like a good option. When she isn’t doing that she’s standing around in the kitchen at parties, or running away from things, or trying to formulate a life philosophy built on chips n dips. Her poetry has previously been published in Persephone’s Daughters. “The Only Trans Girl at the Party” was published in issue #20, Trigger Warning.


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Elegy for a Child Bride by Lakshmi Mitra

i.

three pre-dawn bathers see her first on the ghat
arms stretched out towards the river, eyes closed, a single
gold bangle sheened red on her left arm.

she could be sleeping; but she
is not.

ii.

in the days to come, she wanders in many forms many shapes
into my night dreams. but always, her eyes are wide, crimson-clinging-lashes
there is nothing in them – no tenderness, no abhorrence
and no pain.

my mother tells me horror stories of girls younger than I
who bathe in gasoline then swallow fire. they burn their histories from their bodies
and carry their unshed nightmares into the afterlife.

iii.

ten houses down the road, a young man will leave
come tomorrow morning, just to be sure.

the cops think she took a knife to herself, and no one
disagrees. i think tomorrow a girl whose name i cannot know
will give herself to the sea. maybe the same evening
another will bleed out over her mother-in-law’s floor
and give bitter thanks for it.

iv.

in the evening the temple doors part and someone
kills a goat on the steps; blood on water on stone, it feels
much the same.

they carry her ashes to the ganga, the river, fractious,
already brimming with ghosts of girls who
died fast and young like flies. their mothers lament
by the river, not just for their daughters, but for
all the ghosts to come.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetLAKSHMI MITRA is a 19-year-old college student living in Calcutta who occasionally frustrates herself into a bout of writing. When not doing so, she can be found reading, studying, craving sleep, and complaining. She is mostly polite, a lousy conversationalist, and doesn’t like sudden movements. Therefore, it comes as a great surprise to her that her cats still don’t like her. “Elegy for a Child Bride” was published in issue #20, Trigger Warning.

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Issue #22 – Of Distance and Discord

What then are the seeds of non-spatial distance? That which isolates one from the world? The haunting pieces in cahoodaloodaling’s Winter 2017 edition attempt to unearth the answer…

Read the full guest editor letter from Sade Andria Zabala.

Of Distance and Discord Cover

Guest Editor’s Spotlight:
This Is a Serious Consideration by Megan Merchant

Ourland by Sue Hyon Bae

Drifting Across Town on the Top Deck by Vicky Waters

Wrong Number by Michael Brockley

Freeway Sex by Alexis Rhone Fancher

To Gorgeous, Love Sis by Chuck Nwoke

All-American Roommate by M. Wright

Kansas by Ana Prundaru

Elizabeth’s Request by Maggie Blake Bailey

Brieftrager by Robert Bharda Ward

Below the Line by Ryan Harper

How to Drive Across the Country by Vivian Wagner

No Eyes by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam & Peter Brewer

L’aurore by Meg Drummond-Wilson

Tarots & Irony by Klarisse Medina

Our Escape by Diana Hurlburt

In-Season by Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll

She Called Me a Dirty Jew by Phyllis Wax

The Favorite by Kelly Flynn

Some Place Not Here by Jessica Barksdale

Cover Art: Of Distance and Discord by Julie Chua

Rachel Nix Interviews Shinjini Bhattacharjee

Review of Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager by Janet Garber


About Our Guest Editor
Sade Andria ZabalaSade Andria Zabala is a Filipina mermaid living in Denmark.

She is the author of poetry books WAR SONGS and Coffee & Cigarettes (Thought Catalog Books, 2016). Her writing has appeared on Literary Orphans, Words Dance Publishing, Hooligan Magazine, and more.

When she’s not busy watching Survivor or having a knife fight with her anxiety, she writes for Thought Catalog. Follow her Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram.

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sade-andria-zabala

Now on Tap: Submission Calls September 2016

Home Brews

Homebrew: Issue #22 – Of Distance and Discord

“It is wicked & useless, — all these months & months apart from you, all these years with only a glimpse of you in the face of everybody. —Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Distance was a dangerous thing, she knew. Distance changed people.” —Rohinton Mistry

We calculate a stretch of space in kilometers and miles, but sometimes distance is constructed invisibly within society and relationships. From lovers in bed falling out of love, to immigrants assimilating into a new language and culture, to lack of accessibility creating inaccessibility for those with disabilities—distance persists even when physical length is absent.

For cahoodaloodaling’s winter 2017 issue, give us literary and visual art about what isolates you from other people. Give us burned bridges, diaspora, visa stamps, i-miss-yous, anxiety meds, awkward frustrations, and ugly-crying loneliness.

Tell us what your distance is made of. We want to see the spaces that don’t exist to the naked eye, and the spaces that do. Come those with long distance: expats, nomads, overseas workers; come those who experience distance through societal constructs, through privilege and disadvantage; come armed with people made for leaving—everyone is welcome. So think “Distance in Translation”; think “The Art of Separation”; think “Distance up Close.”

The distance between people have untold stories often left to hang open. In this issue, we want you to close the gap.

Submissions due 12/17/16. Guest Editor Sade Andria Zabala. Issue live 1/31/17.

 

#TeenTuesdays

We are seeking teen voices on a rolling submission basis. Find out more here.

 

Guest Taps

 

Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction and Photography Contest at New Delta Review. NDR is now accepting submissions for the annual Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Flash Fiction and Photography. For this contest, NDR seeks short fiction (1500 words or less) that stunsa full narrative in a small package, where every sentence contributes something necessary and integral to the whole. NDR is also seeking a series of photographs that will serve as the online cover pages for their journal’s winter issue. Together, the photographs should tell a story, or be centered on a unified theme of the artist’s choosing. Submissions due 10/1/16. Read more & submit at newdeltareview.submittable.com.

Sundress Publications wants your exceptional, non-featured AWP panels! We are seeking a wide variety of perspectives on topics such as publication, graduate school, craft, and more. Our goal is to showcase these panels by hosting roundtable discussions on our official blog. We believe in fostering conversations that inspire, educate, and engage with the writing community in substantial ways. In 2016, our annual roundtable discussion event reached a wide audience, and we are excited to continue and expand upon those discussions with the submissions we feature this year. We value the hard work you put into your panels, and we hope you consider sharing your dedication and expertise with us. Submissions are rolling. Download the press release for more information.

Melancholy Hyperbole is now open for book review queries.

The Afterlife of Discarded Objectsa digital collective storytelling project that curates and archives memories about playing with, collecting, preserving, or making art from what we might label as trash, waste, or unwanted itemsis looking for nonfiction narratives, personal essay/memoir, diary entries, short stories. Contributions can be of any length from a brief recollection (either from childhood or adulthood) of your experience with and memories about a particular object or collection of objects (simply an “I remember when…” kind of entry) to a lengthier piece that takes the shape of an essay or story. Currently no submission deadline. More information at theafterlifeofdiscardedobjects.com.

Pokémon Anthology—edited by Rob Stephens. We are looking for superb poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and art that is inspired by, reacting to, imitating, or otherwise related to Pokémon. Perhaps you write acrostic poems using the names of Pokémon, or non-fiction about how those Pokémon Go kids have taken over your favorite skate park, or fiction inspired by Team Rocket. However closely or weakly associated with Pokémon your work may be, we are interested so long as it is stellar. We encourage parody and criticism of Pokémon. We are not looking for fan fiction, or anything else that might make the good people at Nintendo or Pokémon angry with us. This would include stories in which people or Pokémon are characters, or poems in the voice of Pokémon or Pokémon characters. Submissions due 12/31/16. Read more & submit at pokemonanthology.weebly.com.

And don’t forget to submit to one of our Sister Journals!

Pretty Owl PoetryPretty Owl Poetry is open year-round for submissions of poetry, fiction, and art. Pretty Owl Poetry is an online quarterly journal that publishes new, emerging, and established writers in poetry, fiction, and the visual arts. We support all approaches to writing, be it collaborative or individual. We’re interested in experimental and traditional forms and flash fiction masquerading as poetry, all with a lyrical quality. Please submit all work through our submissions manager, which can be found on our website: prettyowlpoetry.com.

wickedalicemainFounded in 2001, wicked alice is an online journal dedicated to women-centered writing and art. Published under the auspices of dancing girl press & studio and a member of Sundress Publications, the journal seeks to publish work that is fresh, innovative & exciting in a number of creative genres, including poetry, fiction, essays, visual art, multimedia, & hybrid works. Full guidelines can be found at wickedalicezine.tumblr.com.

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2016 Best of the Net Nominations

Congratulations to our nominations for
Best of the Net!

The Hired Man” by KateLynn Hibbard

Brown Tissue Moth” by Carrie Albert

The Dinner” by Ron Burch

Scheherazade” by James Gallant

 

The following are nominations from our Trigger Warning issue. Please download the PDF to read:

“Snowstorms and Trigger Warnings” by Krista Cox – p. 6

“In the Woods” by Lisa Chavez – p. 36

“Elegy for a Child Bride” by Lakshmi Mitra – p. 76

“Morning Song” by Marina Carreira – p. 119

“A Reclaiming” by Siaara Freeman – p. 166

“Our Family Quartet” by Jane Miller – p. 191

 

For information on the Best of the Net anthology, visit Sundress Publications.
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Issue #21 – Give It to Me E-gain: The Chapbook Review Issue

I adore chapbooks. Usually themed, they can simmer a story down to its bare emotional essentials, while at the same time displaying a keen sense of language. Like a full length collection, their forms of self-expression run the gamut from poetry to fiction to nonfiction and even hybrid works—all in a delightfully consumable-in-one-sitting package. In our Give It To Me E-gain issue you will find a sampling of this diversity, and like a chapbook, this spotlight of works selected by our staff is designed to be a brief read. Their impact though is anything but ephemeral.

Raquel Thorne

Give It to Me E-gain Final Cover

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The BureauThe Bureau
Les Kay

Poetry
30 pages
Sundress Publications (2015)
FREE pdf

On the conference call, Rimbaud complained
from Vladivostok that several ventures would suffer
languid sales and laughable costs if the training staff cannot
convey the softer side of capitalism

(from “An Apple That Falls”)

A narrative which is both disjunctive and invasive, The Bureau imagines a systemic corralling of the everyman in a world with a capitalist governmental run organization loves its populace into assuming compliant positions. While not quite detailing a dystopian, at least not from the viewpoint of our narrator, who may or may not be losing his mind, the manuscript is eerie and makes poignant connections to our own society. The Bureau is also playful, incorporating elements of magical realism and occasional humor with characters such as an iguana who consults, a boss who may or may not be Satan, and a Spanish-speaking collie, who is, after all, a bitch. Published in a typewriter font and incorporating redaction, the presentation is as smart as the writing.

Read excerpts from The Bureau

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Call It a PremonitionCall It a Premonition
Jess Feldman

Poetry
18 pages
BOAAT Press (2015)
FREE pdf

What is the Voynich Manuscript? A complex code, some lost language, or a hoax? (Or, as this reviewer previously believed, an excuse for a medieval doodler to draw fantastical plants, astronomical musings, and naked ladies bathing?) Voynich Manuscrit Naked Bathing

By offering us a translation, Call It a Premonition does what scientists, linguists, and even a team of WWII code breakers have not been able to do. Feldman’s author of the Voynich Manuscript is a young woman growing up in the 1400s and an avid diary keeper. Starting with an account of how “sir gawain won’t look at me/ even though I wore my best frock,” this wildly charming echap, full of smart side-eye, walks the line between the gender expectations of middle ages and a modern feminist lens.

Read excerpts from Call It a Premonition

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Forensic ForagingForensic Foraging with Crawdaddy
Cover Artist William C. Crawford

These photos embody the forensic foraging technique of photography Crawford developed with his colleague, Sydney lensman, Jim Provencher. Whether in color or black and white, they feature extensive shooting of everything encountered, bringing Main Street Americana and abroad alive in their most base, everyday state. The images are then selectively presented with heavy contrast and saturation, with minimal computer manipulation. This genre borrows heavily from Stephen Shore and his color post cards from Amarillo, as well as the photographic DNA of Walker Evans on the move (foraging?). Read more about this technique in the essay “Forensic Foraging Embraces Minimalist Throwback Techniques To Unlock An Evolving Photographic Genre,” co-authored by Provencher.

View Art Feature

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In the Voice of a Minor SaintIn the Voice of a Minor Saint
Sarah J. Sloat

Poetry
38 pages
Sundress Publications (reprint 2016; originally published Tilt Press 2009)
FREE pdf

If the moon comes out bearing nicks and bite marks,
you’ll find me smoothing my skin of its cares tonight.

Under a halo the size of a ring, the old
arguments sit splitting their oldest hairs tonight.

Look at me crooked. Mistake me for Eve. If looks
deceive, who knows which mask our maker wears tonight?

(from “Ghazal with Heavenly Bodies”)

In the Voice of a Minor Saint highlights the extraordinary in ordinary moments: the golden of a shaft of wheat, the heavy buzzing of bees at the end of summer, the sadness of a barren womb. Her language is rich and musical, never overbearing and always tonal. Sloat gives voice to the forgotten, the disenchanting, the wallflower of the world; she unwraps her universe carefully and lovingly. Each poem is always delicately woven, each word carefully picked; it is difficult not to be moved and charmed by the recurring themes and feelings conveyed in this book, not to elevate to sainthood what may seem insignificant. I was delighted to discover not one but two Ghazals in the folds of this chapbook, a form we do not often seeone more minor saint brought to our attention by Sloat’s clever writing.

Read excerpts from In the Voice of a Minor Saint

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The Marriage BedThe Marriage Bed
Elaine Ford
Fiction
62 pages
Wordrunner eChapbooks (November 14, 2015)
FREE to read online, $2.99 Kindle & additional formats on Smashwords

The seven stories in The Marriage Bed examine the ways that romantic relationships are complex, risky, and disappointing endeavors that people can’t help but enter into. In the collection’s third story, ironically titled “Rita Lafferty’s Lucky Summer,” an unnamed narrator tells the story of her thirty-year-old female coworker’s love affair with a man who proves not to be what she initially thought. Ford develops the boyfriend’s deceit skillfully. He is purportedly a train conductor, yet is always available to pick Rita up after her work shift, no matter what time she gets off. When the narrator questions this, Rita naively answers, “He has a lot of seniority. He gets first crack at the work sheet.” In response, the narrator tells us, “Well, I believed it if she did.” Ford crafts her characters with compassion. Even when the two young women discover the boyfriend passed out in his apartment after failing to pick Rita up after work, and his drinking problem is exposed, no judgment is made of him. Or of Rita, for becoming his fiancée.

Read an excerpt from The Marriage Bed

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Medicine by Tomas BirdMedicine
Tomas Bird & The Madman’s Cabaret
EP (2016)
3 Songs
£1.50 GBP  BandCamp any and all proceeds donated to charity

Redemption for me I think,
Is now slim.

(from “Meteoros”)

Previously published in our Trigger Warning issue with his song “Senses,” Bird is back with a new EP Medicine. With a haunting ambient quality, Bird seamlessly mixes folk and psychedelic qualities together with his own soulful lyrics. Although only three songs long, this EP is a burning mix of contradictions, providing a stunning breadth of the human experience.

Take heed of the warnings,
But follow your heart.
                ***
The only aim you see,
Is to live.

(from “Draw in the Dirt”)

Listen to a sample from Medicine

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NeilNeil
J. Bradley
Flash Fiction
26 pages
Five Quarterly (2015)
FREE Issuu

Neil asks where the photos are. I hand him a sheet of paper, his favorite green crayon. “What do you want to remember?”

“Mom.”

“You know what to do.”

The crayon hits my collarbone. “I know you have to have at least one photo of her. Where is it?”

It’s better you forget. It’s better to learn to quit missing her.

(from “Habitat”)

Simultaneously sweet and creepy, Neil creates parallels between father and son. First our narrator about he and his son (the titular Neil), and then he and his father. Parenting techniques that go from “straight out of Parenthood magazine” to “curious but effective and clever” to “worse than The Great Santini” to “something isn’t right” actually serve a narrative purpose. Intergenerational kidnapping. In both: A motherless upbringing. A call to be absolutely average to avoid attention. A call to simultaneously remember and forget. For the narrator, this is second nature and, for whatever the reason, he continues his father’s tradition. No explanation offered. No explanation ever given. Not by his father to him nor one from him to Neil. Cleverly written, this is a piece full of questions with no answers. Infer and guess at your own risk.

Read excerpts from Neil

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No Ghost Goes UnnoticedNo Ghost Goes Unnoticed
M. Drew Williams
Poetry
21 pages
Leaf Garden Press (2016)
FREE pdf or name your price epub/mobi

No Ghost Goes Unnoticed is sure of itself, and aware of its distance from the world at large and its curator’s core, though as the poems progress, it becomes clear: it was not always this way. Its enticing medical metaphors slowly color in the story with hints of the poet’s empathetic, and often self-deprecating, character through poems about seemingly insignificant things as is highlighted in “Comparison.” While the cold, removed voice generically gives little away about the underlying story, there are refreshing moments of sensitivity as with “An Elegy for Daytime.” The author offers many metaphors for his distant voice in, “The Desert is Decidedly Quiet,” “Image of a Stranger,” “Conquistador,” among others. The work showcased in No Ghost Goes Unnoticed gives away how visceral the experiences that led to this book were, to house the startling awareness they give the reader. “Palabras” gives the most insight into his interactions with people, eloquently, using wordplay about a designated number of words recycled to get through the author’s day. No Ghost Goes Unnoticed explains depression, loss, and numbness in both exceedingly vulnerable and impassive, if unfeeling, ways.

Read excerpts from No Ghost Goes Unnoticed

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The Persistence of BonylegThe Persistence of the Bonyleg: Annotated
Sarah Minor
Hybrid
48 pages
Essay Press (2015)
FREE Issuu or pdf

126. Narrator: Maybe I will have a little child for a while. Then, when she gets too big, when she first starts hurting, I will eat her.

127. Narrator: She will only ever be the right kind of alone.

This hybrid essay explores the manner in which our patriarchal society has historically, and currently, talked about women, particularly those existing outside of the normative expectations of heterosexual marriage. With many irons in the fire, The Persistence of the Bonyleg juxtaposes the real-life history of the Lykov family, a Russian family of Old Believers who moved deep into the wilderness to avoid prosecution, with the mythology of Baba Yaga, elements of traditional fairy tale narrative, the writings of Croatian writer Dubravka Ugrešić, and the narrator’s own interjections. Agafia Lykov, the last surviving family member and an unmarried older woman, is placed center-stage. Stylistically, The Persistence of the Bonyleg splits its narrative between two collocating writing styles. Even pages recount the Lykov’s family’s struggles and religious practices in the taiga, chronicled in poetic passages which are narrated by a tree stump (one recalls The Giving Tree). Odd pages take inspiration from the Bible by numbering their verses and script conventions (most likely an influence from the documentary Far Out: Agafia’s Taiga Life) where each line is voiced by a character. Rather than lead the reader directly to a single thesis, Minor’s feminist essay asks the reader to confront the text and allow their thoughts to take part in the conversation.

Read excerpts from The Persistence of the Bonyleg: Annotated

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PortagePortage
Sarah Ann Winn

Poetry
21 pages
Sundress Publications (2015)
FREE pdf

I was made to portage, by Portage, a girl raised by reservoirs,

lifted from one lake and carried to the next,
made to find joy in journeys.

(from “Alma”)

Stringing together vivid tellings from youth and discovery to loss and regaining wonder, Winn reminds us of the fluidity of our lives, however jagged moments seem in the now. There is movement, always some sort of progression. The highlight of this collection is simplicity: the poetry is both relatable but individual with focal points such as apples, a hammer, or camera lens. These seemingly trivial objects add tremendous depth to the poemsas we notice there’s always an object in our recollection that seems insignificant to a broader picture but was, in truth, the center of a moment.

Read excerpts from Portage

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Revisiting Dreamworlds
Revisiting Dreamworlds: Art Feature
Eddy Martin Graham

Graham’s artwork is about individuals becoming their own selves within their dreamworlds, the facing of hard facts within reality, and how by intertwining fantasy with the day to day, humans manifest their own destinies.

View Art Feature

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Shake It Up & Throw It at Something Hard
Shake it up & throw it at something hard
BT Shaw
Hybrid
30 pages
Essay Press (2016)
FREE Issuu or pdf

So you think creating a baby makes someone intelligent. I would say the opposite may be true. Why would a peaceful person like Jesus create a baby?

(from, “If Jesus was perfect, how come he couldn’t solve calculus problems and equations and create the atomic baby?”)

A game of mad libs gone awry (“Babies for bombs! Bombs for babies!”), Shake it up and throw it at something hard does more than cause some silly imagery. In the process of finding humor in a thousand babies pelting down on an unsuspecting city or swaddled-up bombs given names like Kimmy or Bryan as they are presented fresh and pink and blinking to the world, the reader is forced to give pause. In the midst of this laughter, there is a deeper contextual possibility. Overpopulation. Humans waging war. Bombs created. Bombs as tools…but only for war. (What else could bombs be? Even fireworks contain danger.) Lack of sexual education. Romanticizing war; downplaying destruction. Accessibility, accessibility, accessibility. In short: A strange yet marvelous read.

Read excerpts from Shake it up & throw it at something hard

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When Minerva's Knees Hit the Ground
When Minerva’s Knees Hit the Ground
Amanda Oaks
Poetry
55 pages
Words Dance Publishing (2016)
FREE pdf

but my mind
was made
for the game
it plays,

it lives
for the bluff

(from “In This Room We Can’t Touch the Floor”)

Oaks nods to The Deftones with this collection, but whether you dig the band or not isn’t a huge deal; these poems have their own appeal, while maintaining the rhythmic and emotive draw of music. Where that likeness ends is the conversational approach she takes to point the pieces inward or toward a lover, all while keeping things curiously anonymous. The erasures come across blunt, but show intent, whereas the original poems they’re paired with bounce between the chaos of infatuation, admissions of flaws, and the way hurt contributes to self-awareness. This layout gives the book a unique posture: strong, with earned fragilities, but ultimately resilient.

Read excerpts from When Minerva’s Knees Hit the Ground

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Reviews & Interviews

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PPP&P #2 Summer 2016

PPP&P3

PPP&P spotlights recently published work from our sister journals at Sundress Publications: Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Stirring, and Wicked Alice. Much like the astrology practiced in Telangana in which a parrot is used to pick some cards as luck for the customer, Prasanna hopes her picks will bring luck (and inspiration) to our readers.

 

Pretty Owl Poetry

Kami Westhoff‘s “No Thought of the Surface” has the lure and mystery of nature, enigma of La Belle Dame Sans Merci. I have found myself after talking to a friend, rushing to the cafeteria for coffee, and analysed why only to find that it was the bands of light brown and cream of her shirt that took me in coffee trance. It made me question who issues the commands here.

Think of an incident where you were surprised by what you did like you were in a trance. Make a poem of who or what was the influence.

*

Tyler McAndrew‘s “My Trip to the Zoo” is an internal dialogue in the face of limelight barrage. It took me to a moment in a science fair and make believe. A world where a cardboard can be fashioned to mean anything.

Think of a moment that resonates with this blurring of the real worlds and other, silence in commotion. Bring it out to the poetry world.

 

Rogue Agent

Steven Sanchez‘s “Califia” shows what it is for a human body machine to creak. There’s repair by Kintsugi and the repair within the body.

our bodies spend our entire lives
destroying their own cells,
its only method of healing.

We know our bodies only when they are off. Write of a time when you heard your body make itself known.

*

Heidi Czerwiec‘s “Doggerel” is a description of Puella pilosa a woodcutting in Monstrorum Historia by Ulisse Aldrovandi, in which the poet slides into the antique curio.

Write from a curio’s point of view.

Stirring

Emari DiGiorgio‘s in “Elegy for the Old Thinking” does a thought duet with theoretical physicist James Gate, making parallels between birth of a baby and theory. Even though an elegy, the dark is crossed over and that weight is carried on by life.

the branches and roots cancel out each other

Bring out your best metaphor for the cycle of life and death.

*

Kathryn Paul‘s “In the Year of No Mother” brings a raw energy to the jaggy edges of a mother-daughter relationship, its swivel doors recalling maternal loss and yet still finding her presence in everyday life.

so I dump the overwrought bouquet
into the largest vessel I can find:
the jar from my blender,

Write a poem in the memory of a lost loved onebecause it says to.

 

 

Feel free to share your responses to Prasanna’s prompts in the comments below!

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Tandem Reader Awards is a FEE-FREE post-publication award for chapbooks, where the award will be given to both the author and editor of the winning chapbook. TRA began as an idea in 2015 when we noticed a deficit of reader awards for chapbooks and a similar deficit of reader awards for editors. As we discussed these needs in our community, we realized an additional and more prevalent need in our community for more accessible awards.

TRA believes it is important to acknowledge the hurdles, including submission fees, impeding accessibility to many awards in our creative community, especially for minority and marginalized voices. We asked ourselves: What if we could award the special relationship between writer and editor, while pledging our commitment to being broadly accessible within the literary community by maintaining fee-free nominations? The answer was clear: We can. These ideas work beautifully in tandem and you can help make it happen.

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