Gruff. Demonstrated flaw coined in the forge, buried;
what weighs hidden shall rule country and city alike.
Registered bureaucrats understand stripped system,
though oil hasn't been applied for millennia. What if
the land dropped its pants, and sea rushed the square?
Old technologies, garaged and dormant, labeled undead.
Archaeologists look for the big one proof of systemic
failure in the spears, a sphinx for every drafting table.
Spread out the collected soils. A microscopic mirror
of what I look like early in the morning before I'm aware
of being awake: a collective unconscious that signals
with the branches of light and flights of rabid theories.
Like turtles sunning their shells on a log in the lake,
we let the dead cool conversation, not knowing an out.
Clayton Couch lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lauren, and his feline familiar, Gretchen. His most-recently published poems have appeared in Big Bridge, can we have our ball back?, moria, muse apprentice guild, The Pedestal, Pierian Springs, Shampoo, and Tin Lustre Mobile, with upcoming work to appear in Word For/Word and xStream.
"Abbey" Kristi Wilson
The Guitar Lesson
The same hands that felt the Velcro of high nettle, blanket
the seashells of my un-pierced
ears. Heavy trenches dug deep in brown skin
lead me across a mapped face
to mirrors that reflect days of rain and
flooded rice fields, which have somehow fought
their ways to homes in your head
through soggy hair and un-ironed feet
A foggy turntable wobbles Buddy Holly
through “Peggy Sue” and your
seashells catch fire - it’s a slow burn.
of a clock can target the stench
of napalm that sleeps under gray hairs
on your upper lip. But even now, you walk
with the base line across the shag carpet to shut off
the record, bring back your faded
blue Telecaster and two shell-shocked words
Courtney Ivey is a senior attending the University of Texas in Arlington. She spent two years studying creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi where she also played soccer for the Golden Eagles. Courntey will graduate in May and plans to attend graduate school at the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall to continue her studies in creative writing.