Category: Uncategorized

Lisa Verschoor

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A multidisciplinary studio artist, writer and art historian based in Montreal, Canada, Lisa Verschoor references form, pattern, and materiality to evoke psycho-explorative rumination. Verschoor’s collage-papier compositions parallel physical phenomenology and obscurity with images of scientific discovery, historic investigations, and elements of art and architectural and object design. Verschoor applies a diverse collection of two-dimensional material, often employing studio-art practices in collaboration with imagery from historic and current publications. Verschoor bridges themes of social influence with contemporary feminism, offering re-evaluative depictions of traditionally constructed identity systems through tangible components and visual spectacle.  

Desert Meeting

On the spined arms of Joshua trees, the night
birds flip their side to side heads like bolts.
The panel of sky lit as though by one stray
beam through cracked curtains. When Yael drove
the tent peg through the temple of the general’s body—
did it matter what happened before, now that it was
done? The tent saw everything. It always does.
We pass back and forth across desert as simply
as a lemon changing hands. Each memory a hard
stone’s throw across the water, to prove you’ve still
got an arm. The tent rounds over us as (somewhere)
the forest drapes rain on its back. Bags double-zipped,
we light the little match again, which has nowhere
to go, which can only serve to bring the tent down.

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Kate Partridge is the author of the poetry collection Ends of the Earth (University of Alaska Press, 2017), and her poems have appeared in FIELD, Yale Review, Pleiades, Blackbird, Colorado Review, and other journals. She received her MFA from George Mason University, she is currently a doctoral fellow in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California.  

A Conversation About Dicators

My son and I were talking about dictators, the sign that
Says “vacancy” hanging on their chests like a medal, a hollow

Space, a room with no furniture, derelict, abandoned. The rest of us
Have no trouble moving in, putting our bed in the corner, our desk

By the window, turning on a light—the emptiness is an invitation
To want things, people, sunlight reflected in waterdrops, the moon reflected

In the pupil’s depths. But, my son and I were talking about dictators,
Men who know there’s a country inside them, who can see its borders

Clearly, who set up checkpoints and fences, watchtowers, and machine guns.
The machine guns point out toward everything else, the country on

The other side of the fence, the lights of the city they can see in the dark,
They always have very good vision; they eat carrots to see better at night.

Their eyes are always pointed in the same direction as the machine guns.
If anything moves or stirs in the wind, they give instructions to fire, to Fire the machine

guns that point outside the fence. The tree trunks are
Splintered by bullets. There are no birds left in the forest. My son asks what

Are they protecting, behind the watchtowers and the fence, and I
Tell him “nothing.” They are afraid to look there, frightened by the acres

Of rubble, rough pieces of stone, by the dust and the wind that doesn’t
Stop blowing, by the sound that’s not a sound. Think of it like ringing in

Your ears that never lets up. It’s a place where no one speaks. If words
Could be formed there, then that place would be no different from anywhere else,

But it is different. Words never make it past the fence, past the machine guns,
Past a dictator who barely sleeps for fear that dreaming he’ll see the space

Inside his chest, the horizon of rubble.

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George Franklin practices law in Miami and teaches poetry workshops in Florida state prisons. His work appeared in Issue #20 of Matter and more recently in The Threepenny Review, Pedestal Magazine, B O D Y, Salamander, Cagibi, and The Wild Word, and translated into Spanish in various journals. A bilingual collection of his poems, Among the Ruins, is forthcoming from Katakana Editores.

Dream Where I Am In A Bathtub With Ivanka Trump

I lie in deep water,
inhaling cedar as I cleanse my wounds,
a swirl of red.
Because some part of me wants to believe
woman is woman,
I beckon her come in,
fold my knees to make room.
I think if we could only—if—
if some camaraderie of body parts
could fasten breast to breast,
and entwine ovaries like vines
on ancient brick,
wouldn’t she understand?
But as she comes closer
I see her body is not body, but
a swirl of sparkling white fragrant smoke.
And so it is not hard
to drag her in,
to pull her corn silk head
beneath the water line
and hold her down.
She doesn’t even fight.
Before I know it she evaporates;
she doesn’t even drown,
just dissipates into the humid air
till there is nothing of her perfume left.
I settle back into the liquid warmth,
dyed the hue of my blood,
and soak it in.

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Emily Banks lives in Atlanta, where she is a doctoral candidate at Emory University. She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Muse/A Journal, storySouth, Free State Review, Cimarron Review, Pembroke Magazine, and Yemassee.