Issue #6

    Love and Light

    Isabel Rae McKenzie

    dad worries i’m having a miscarriage

    but i’m just bleeding in weird ways

    that went unlisted in god’s bodily SOP.

    when editors accept my work and publish

    as-is i feel like i’ve duped someone,

    using phrases like “vintage leather suicide letter”

    in reference to the old samsonite i keep

    empty bottles in.

    god, are you listening?

    you didn’t give me directions for any of this.

    i waited for a golden light

    and all i got was parking tickets.

    so many fucking parking tickets.

    [i joke about being the reckless child

    because that’s easier than admitting

    i don’t understand parental love.]

    i walk to work and throw the bottles out,

    choking on love and light

    i’m so loved it’s unbearable

    that’s not why i drink it’s why i drink i don’t know why

    i drink.

    i drink.

    because i’m bored or lonely

    or bored, mostly bored,

    because everything, nothing, something,

    evening, morning, light, love,

    nothing, fear.

    Isabel Rae McKenzie is an essayist and devout Chicagoan. She is a regular contributor to Queen Mob’s Teahouse with forthcoming work at Plough Quarterly. You can find her on Twitter at @birdpoems or at

    Women’s Work

    upon viewing Dark Iris No. 1 and Calla Lillies on Red by Georgia O’Keeffe

    Vanessa Vigneswaramoorthy

    The artistic scientist put her findings

    on a plain white canvas to be viewed

    by a general public. Grabbed her

    subject by the throat, pulled it apart,

    splayed it on vibrant reds, dark greys,

    pinned it down. Used blood and laurel leaves

    and charcoal to recreate

    Mother Nature’s body in detail, a sign

    of daughterly affection, and put it out to the world,

    where men in suits cry out

    about a woman’s sex on the page.

    Vanessa Vigneswaramoorthy is a Tamil-Canadian community organizer and writer. She is currently working on a chapbook through the Poetry inPrint Artist Residency at inPrint Collective. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram as @vandoesthings

    Four Frogs

    yuan changming

    For the past half century, I have never seen

    A single frog in this city, not even in the whole country

    But there are four big-mouthed frogs leaping around

    Afar in a ricefield of my native village, four frogs

    Squatting under the rotten bridge on the way leading

    To an unknown town, four frogs playing on a big

    Lotus leaf in my heart, four frogs calling constantly

    From the dark pages of history invisible at midnight

    Four frogs meditating under a puti tree transplanted

    In a nature park, four frogs swimming into a fish net

    Like bloated tadpoles, the same four frogs whose

    Monotoned songs resonate aloud in different tongues

    With different pitches, yes, the four frogs still there

    Yuan Changming  published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.