Issue #27


Arielle Tipa

up the stairs

it goes again.

why couldn't we

have quiet children.

a boy with

orange peel

and playtime

or a girl born

in ribbons,

mouthful of gateau.

with each passing moon

i pray for


Arielle Tipa is a writer / poet who lives near a haunted lake in New York. She is the Founding Editor of Occulum and author of Daughter-Seed (Empty Set Press, 2019). 

Twitter: @sadflowerpoems

Instagram: @arielletipa

Sounds like Fornication

Cathy Carlisi


But it’s a spider scuttling

down my arm, a thread of web

breaking across my face.

A type of parenthesia,

sensations with no cause

say the men who have studied women’s health

hardly at all. Tactile hallucination

like the clitoris. In the 1800s,

they removed it to cure hysteria.

In the 1600s, called “the devil’s teat,”

they used it to find witches.

Anatomically studied in 2009

with its first 3D model.

Formication; from the Latin,

“formica,” ant. It can feel like insects

crawling underneath your skin.


New studies, by women, say formication

comes from hormone receptors under the skin

disrupted with changes in estrogen.

Estrogen makes women peace keepers,

sex givers, pregnant. When it decreases,

women can become less submissive,

less tolerant, less compliant.

Formica—the counter top my mother

prepared thousands of meals upon.

Cathy is President of the Americas at BrightHouse, where she helped found the Purpose Movement in business. She is a widely published poet and has exhibited her paintings in individual and group shows. She has gone piranha fishing in the Amazon, survived a two-day 150km bike race with a night camping at the Jack Daniel’s distillery, and got married in Rome with a Papal Blessing. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Joe, and daughter Lia.


Janet MacFadyen

Down the long driveway

Snow splatting in soft baseballs

A dark van rolls and yaws like a whale

Inside: a blonde woman and child crying

They are no one I know

I only know who I know

The man at the steering wheel peers through one cleared square of windshield

I know that scowl 

Snow pelts the sides of the van which is now slabbed in it like blubber

I am running behind, blubbering

The sliding door is ajar, the child looks back 

I would get in but I can’t run fast enough and besides

snow is as heavy as cardiac arrest, blood pooling, the motor sputtering

My father is driving into the storm  My father 

has always been leaving, always drowning

The steel gray van slides out from between my thighs

No one is surprised

There is the stop sign at the end 

There is the traffic signal spinning on its broken wires 

I hang it around my neck, a blinking amulet 

I don't know why

I don't know why

Janet MacFadyen is the author of five poetry books, with a new collection, State of Grass, due out from Salmon Poetry. When she's not writing about rocks, she's writing about hunger, dirt, the body, dreamscapes, and power. She was a writing fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and is the managing editor of Slate Roof Press.

You can find her at or