Issue #5

    a song for my winter blues

    Madeline Freedman

    Footsteps pinked like October leaves.

    Pillow deep, chords soft as dead wood

    wash all over me, too heavy to leave

    my body behind for good.

    Beg for something from that blue

    heaving, lifting with my lungs

    or my legs. Some kind of star, or blue

    clicks of guitar, peels me. Wrung


    A drum.

    I become a whistling pot

    burning steam and cups of tea

    to fill the sink. Why this urge

    to sink my fingers in a red rolling

    boil, why this ache to submerge

    a body in miles of river

    spoken for now, papered with ice.

    I miss dizzy. Geese

    form such perfect

    V’s. Something about a storm.

    Madeline Freedman is entering her senior year at Macalester College, where she’s studying creative writing and data science. She currently divides her time between her copyediting internship and writing escapist fantasies. Originally from upstate New York, her hobbies include hiking, baking, and feminist embroidery. This is her first published work.

    [excerpt from It is not my hand, it is not my mouth]


    Janet MacFadyen

    That time again when nothing

    stops the body from turning inside out. The teeth

    in the stomach grind and grind,

    the waxed moon bloats.

    The body

    drinks black milk, swallows nails

    thirsting after iron, obsesses

    on phosphorous, magnetite, kermes,

    transfusions of quicksilver and lead. By now

    it must be magnetic, and yes

    I am attracted to screwdrivers

    and chain link fences, the burr

    of cold metal on the skin.

    So the blood comes. So the scarlet

    alchemic stone is wrung

    from the cone of the volcano.

    What should have healed and dried up

    trickles around the dam, spurts, and floods.

    Sometime—not now—when the earth

    no longer needs blood sacrifice,

    the iron goddess beaten into gold

    dropping her pups kits calves colts kids

    two by two from the leaky ark

    when I

    have learned to comfort myself

    wrapped in a simple woman’s body,

    then the baby will come

    head first and howling

    out of the flood.

    Janet MacFadyen is the author of five poetry books, most recently a photo-poetry collaboration Adrift in the House of Rocks (New Feral Press 2019). 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 on Facebook