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Letter From The Editors

When asked why we decided to start a poetry journal, our answer has always been: Because we can. So here we are. An aquarium full of poetry. Dont tap the glass, but if you do, mind the saline.

Samuel Rowe & Alessandro Mario Powell


Dara Arad is a 21 year old palindrome. She is a permanent Literature and Creative Writing student at the University of East Anglia, and a temporary one at Berkeley (University of California). Lucile Barker is a Toronto poet and activist. When not stirring up trouble, she goes to the beach on a daily basis and stirs up gulls, ducks, and mean swans. There are no whales, although there are several obese gentlemen. Emily Brock is a south London based poet, and Norwich based American Lit student. Currently busy schooning about the US and falling in love with Portland and the Pacific North West. She now feels great affinity towards The River Thames Whale. Jesse Friedman is a student in the Newcomb College at Tulane, and an actor around the city of New Orleans. He is a lover of poetry and whales. Titus Groan recently moved to Melbourne, hailing from the sunny town of Rochdale. He is a Central Saint Martins trained illustrator and has exhibited work in several shows and galleries, including the Venice Biennale. Natasha von Kaenel is a student at UC Berkeley. She enjoys picking her nose in bathrooms and not getting pregnant.

Ollie Kane is an aspiring bonsai tree tender. You can find him drinking sake on a Suzuki in Osaka Bay. Rajiv Mohabir is a Kunidman and VONA fellow is a little obsessed with whales. When he's not writing about them he is underwater listening for and mimicking humpback songs. Mariana Alexis Muravitsky is AWOL.

Vanessa Saunders is a graduate from the University of East Anglia. She enjoys green tea and Paul Celan. Roger Sedarat is a whaler, ghazal gamer, prize winner, and has his own Wikipedia page.

Andy Stallings Andy Stallings lives in New Orleans with his wife, Melissa Dickey, and their three children. His first fulllength poetry collection, To the Heart of the World, is due out from Rescue Press in fall 2014. He is a co-editor of THERMOS. Chelsea Weller as a Jedi Knight, she enjoys writing poetry when shes not wielding the force, and sometimes, often, even when she is.

Justin A. Picard is a student at Tulane University, studying English and Communication. He is passionate about music, beer, and the outdoors.

Chelsea Weller
I reach into a moment, through its silver sheen, flexing around my arm grasping against the laws, letting me look like chilled mercury the night convolving above us as we walk through the parking lot aligning the rifts in the asphalt with the rifts in the sky some cosmic river that people once searched for climbing over grooves in far-gone deserts coming to fertile land dropping to their knees worshiping like waves planting seeds with their kisses that grew into plants that grew seeds that the wind spat into further lands & again into further lands seeds rising and falling the orbit a needle sewing life spitting growth through time into now holding your hand I turn in the lot catch a seed & swallow it lean back open my mouth let it shoot from my stomach tell you to climb no matter what to climb towards the gorge in the sky mend the crack in our marbles center vortex of color bandage our leaking light


I bend to the beach to pick up shells pick up plastic instead nothing has weight I bend to the beach to shield bloated teal pouch from grainy squall expanding in my cove around a single seam in movement, blue brain the wind wrapped in kelp

can mask the small life of everything else you have to shelter to see it wreathe from bending

build a wall to stop in a single direction; out forced like

how an exhale in the wind becomes wind our breath is small outside the city wading in the wake, wanting to be against my own what is my own this tide slipping around my ankles chicken-bone water I wish away from the sharp edge of the shore : condos tower under rolling in, I bend to the beach to look at my toes and the sand opens in swell overcast bulge


Andy Stallings
Point Clear
In Alabama I tell you that depth is the apprehension of depth & that everyone might just as well touch their phones three times a minute as not on the beach or the boardwalk poolside or not the luxury hotel on its tailored pathways achieves total lucidity I can believe I'm looking into the radiant face of someone's manifesto & it all feels fresh like there's not even a website yet but then also my great-aunt wrote me a letter about this particular duck pond in 1996 & rather than engage the continuum along which conventional & deviant aesthetic positions antagonize & infiltrate one another I propose that moving back & forth perpetually between any two poles is the same as doing nothing nothing is what happens in all my favorite films the cinematography exudes despair as a depth to be entered & the actors just go to sleep anyway who said they were actors? I tell the class that Shia LaBeouf is the forward edge of aesthetic thought today & though I don't mean it that no one disputes it makes me very hopeful about the future it's not beautiful at all to feel like the future has a face worn & creased as though there were a blueprint & an architect & a marketing team & 32 residents already committed to build it's not beautiful at all to apprehend the future as a place where anyone lives I'd rather come breathless into it as into desire moving beyond us both that grows a skin around itself when touched so as to feel & the screen goes dark so how come all this brightness?


America put your swimsuit on the jacuzzi's open forever it's true I don't live here but you don't live here either

Rajiv Mohabir
Colonial Trauma of Alienation
Consider the orca mother screaming for her calf on the flat bed of a truck driven to Florida; saline songs now bleached with chlorine. My own kin, Lakshman led a revolt against the Scottish planter recently taken up with his wife in the new sugar colony. At Seaworld an orca caught from the wild performs tricks until a trainer is dismembered. What is it about being bound that causes a coolie to bear his cutlass as teeth?

Who is at fault: the hacked planter clutching his arm, the woman caught in the net of survival in Skeldon, her former husband shooting blood like piss from his neck in the street, or the orca raking another orca with its teeth? Every bind is every bind Exactly how long does it take for a dorsal fin to bend into the black rainbow of servitude?


Lone Orca
Some are lonely before they know. Separated from his pod he cries out every night from the harbor as scientists listen underwater to his song break against Vancouver rocks, shattering into smoke. What song do I scatter in my sleep; tuck as polyps into the salt quiet to root and reef in shallows? Who hears me bottom in the Pacific, and is it singing if no one speaks Bhojpuri? What is a curse; what is (re)union if there was never a pod?

Cumulonimbus threaten in low sonar. A pod of pilots offer flower after flower to the sky. I race along the rise and fall, in between the kingdoms of language and thought, splashing winter foam. Femurs fusing at the knee into fluke and plume after plume: dissipating bodies of spray; I shoot daisies into the clouds That gallop off as whales.


Natasha Von Kaenel

Kangaroo Guilt, also known as (aka) the Marsupial Version Of The Killer Whale Guilt, also known as (aka) Kangaroo Guilt
I woke up this morning and I was ! A bird was popping and Hopping on my roof and She whispered tweet and Twerk and Tweet and They dont love you and Started to sing and I started to sing and Jumped out of bed and I was naked and My skin felt like oranges and I bought a kangaroo and Had him popping and Hopping around and Telling me to believe and It is time for the second third and First American Revolutions and He wrote my manifesto underground and Rode on the railroad and He loved me and The glass was half full and The shadow of the glass had rainbows and Hope ||and Prizes and Tweet and He would nuzzle me and Nuzzle me and Nuzzle me in his small brown pouch and We saw the future and Maybe then and But only then and Where did the glass go and Why is it that and Only people that have and Seen hell and Can still hop and Hope and

My skin felt like plastic and I miss you and I miss you and My glass is broken and I cant hop and Where did you and The bird and The revolution and The popping and The tweeting and The rainbows and The faith and The prizes and The oranges and The roof go ? and Nuzzle me and Nuzzle me and Nuzzle me and Nuzzle and Nuzzle and Nuzzle and and and and and and


Justin A. Picard
rhetoric like pink medicine oozes weak greetings she chose this blacktop and name tag ball point pen vision he pulls his glasses off, on: are you at ease yet? she pulls at his tie, his shirt silence the podium grows light flickering clap slap back his hands later one martini its just good business right.

water panama slicked back. hat let this sinner be reborn we watched the iris grow clementis jackmanii & idle expression thump shackles crack open?



Lucile Barker
African Art Exhibit
The people in this tribe are noted for their masks. Ebony polished into black sunlight, white shells carved into patterns of love, hate and arrogant gods. The gods stand in glass showcases where I expect malevolent cracks to appear and show their images. I think youre a member of this tribe, your patterns are fashioned of enamel eyes, coconut hair, an image of arrogance, a god who has created a mask that shows a heretical belief.

Candle Beacon
A month past Christmas, we see a flame at the airport, a beacon distorted by fog and dawns steam. It seems to flare, then hover, in this misleading sky that no longer tells time. If it burns downward, is the day passing. We drive closer, still on the mainland, trapped by gravity, hoping for a balloon that runs on hot air to lift us from this gloom. If there were more beacons, the island could be a candleholder, its rough contours a floating menorah. The ice floes in the channel melt, vapour rises, the smoke from an extinguished candle.


Jesse Friedman
You know intuitively by now that the splayed mouth of the last buttonhole at the end of your shirt runs horizontally and this saves you time unbuttoning You know since the first time you tried it that the bottom of the door on the handle side grates the floor if you shut it too slowly and it soughs and it scratches The cast-iron handing-board on the wall above your bed post in the shape of a lumpy heart has stuck there crooked cocked for weeks and you glower at it and you bite your cheek You read the pockmarks in the brick on the walls from the last stair to the dressing table so you stay upright when youre pushed and inching backwards


Youve known for a while that freckles multiply in the sun and stipple across the bridge of your nose like breadcrumbs so you take off your glasses You curl your toes in expectation at the glop of thunder on your window and the slurs of dark your heels dig in Ive never heard real quiet not the kind where things stop breathing You said I like the caw in your voice

Vanessa Saunders
There is something surely dead about autumn. A member of the audience closes the window. We have reached an understanding already that everything dies, collapse the elms will eventually crash, so why am I surprised to watch the white clouds separate a mouth filled with pearls


do you think every year has a few seminal weeks? you found a dead deer by the side of the road bleeding lungs heaving. well it was like running uphill in a blistered heat breathless, unkempt

The seed of the dream is rooted in fear of the patriarch, manifested by the Father. The patient recounts the Father as threatening to torture, but never tangibly harming the dreamer. The death of the brother seems random, absurd. Most transparent is the dreamers thematic inclination towards escape, symbolized by a number of strange landscapes. Their surfaces appear malleable: a dream world seemingly infinite


Dara Arad
Ponderation of a Palindrome
Its all I want. Its all I want. Repeating because a) I want it and b) We are creatures of habit Usually get fucking board until a new habit forms I used to form poison from nothing particularly formidable Forum for the lack of getting: it Make witch potions and wait for my sister, 9 years older and more in the know, To pour the potion out and return the empty bowl To the table where it rested or stood or chilled or wasnt Because it doesnt think and therefore it isnt A trick I was wise to but still played along with never needed to believe Just tended to write letters to god like: Dear God, I dont believe in you But what was was, was was as tourists say And the only sentence with five consecutive ands involves paint Because when you make the sign Fish and Chips You need to be careful that you have measured evenly The spacing between the painting of the words Fish and and and and and Chips AND youve never felt English because youre the daughter of immigrants But you can paint, thats for sure Paint a decent case for him to leave his girlfriend of 4 years And all hes ever known For four fore foray / forbid / forbade / forbear / foreshadow / formalize Or more simply, for you. Paint a rainbow with those seven shitty colors that you see every shitty day And smell and spend and use ROY G BIV How do you think it felt to grow up a palindrome? Id say a bit more specific than growing up an anagram I devote and he vetoed oceanic cocaine Every Sunday night and sometimes Tuesdays too Wed play Boggles. Can you imagine? Dinner table discussions About guacamole + an f Camouflage within the text Having no middle name? Because unless it was POP It would fuck up the effect And when they ask for a middle name You have to leave the line blank

A living pattern With the opposite effect Im happy really, male or Persian or Irish Either way Keeping my maiden name, naturally I affected my accent the least I could do 3 letters to my name Wait, thats RAD Never odd or even No lemons no melon If I had a hi-fi Do geese see god? A Toyotas a Toyota Rise to vote sir I saw I was DNA AND saw I was I Senile felines Evil olive UFO tofu And I know Im not alone. Mum, dad, sis.


Mariana Alexis Muravitsky

A Flaw, A Flake, A Vision, And A Vacuum
arched shoulders and furrowed brow, an indication of

non-surrender to the haunting void, the terrorizing intangibility of

absolute Truth, so antagonistic to a topology of

realness, itself a paradoxical layout of vernacular change

turning on the axis of faith, like a

fish in water or a bird in space, thinking not of provenance or fate but

only of its own elegance, itself the meaning of this moment,

realizing its one true purpose in the uplift, a conduit for all the

yearnings of valiant sentience, the harbinger of grace,

overtaken by a foolish will to control with all the

urgency and immediacy of a melting snowflake, hovering, refusing to fall.

Roger Sedarat
doubt sonnet of the word lamb
doubt that the woolen clouds can scratch the sky doubt razor consonants can sheer the moon doubt levinas wont kill that which has eyes but never doubt that word lamb is a loon he started cutting himself in high school and writing no life in books with his blood such bio-graffitis unethical but word lamb never cared for words like should since shakespeares sonnets are so sacrosanct he marked them with his personal red ink the corpus of the square that he blood stamped was born again with his thematic link this word lamb fancied himself lamb of god by baptizing tradition with his word


Emily Brock

blush crac ked lips beat back cocooned voice. speech stut.ters muted letters mut.ter murmured moments unsaid racing head fed to throat caught spinning phosphorous cages to choke trochees in trochaic trachea {the match strikes} nested sparks wrestled from slumber by cold fire whispers awaken rested blunders, I erupt under lacquered veneer trapped flickers t-tremble, escape in flames and white licked cheeks now flood with the dancing feet of flame laced scores

soar empty - for a moment

but torpid tongues tie breaths in knots as sleeping caskets wake baked airwaves blocked. unbound gasps escape I cough burnt butterflies returning to smoulder in mute fires, unwinged, singed fumes ! !

spitting silence.





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