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~Between Fingers like an Instrument~



There are

Nights of primal scratching

 At the page~ Scrawling like a woman

Scorned~ The clawing of animals which

Refuse to be named~ Bleeding the ink of

Catharsis like spilled wine~ Scribbling

 Madness over white pages of


( insomnia )



Are gentler days

 Of lucidity that rise with the

Sunlit dawn~ Rolling out words like

 The tangled limbs of lovers~ Undulating

 Letters that dip & arc~ Threading stars of

Punctuation~ This yoga of poetry, subtle as

A chakra song~ Calligraphy of all creation


Yet, sometimes I spiral like sacred geometry

Sketches from the rattling subconscious~

Feather-stroke whispers of echo &

Trace, scrolling patterns from

Esoteric worlds~ Faint

And scattered


( ephemera )


There are seasons of drought when the ink runs dry

Tapping Morse code to some distant inspiration

Where words have become endangered

Species or runaway slaves

And I am alone

On the




 ( unbearable silence )


~Ever yearning for the poem yet to be written~





Leila A. Fortier is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet, artist, and photographer residing in Okinawa, Japan. She is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society; pursuing her BFA in creative writing through Southern New Hampshire University. Her sculpted poetry is often accompanied by her own multi-medium forms of art, photography, and spoken performance. Known for her contributions to humanitarian causes through the arts, selections of her work have also been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, and German in a growing effort to foster cultural diversity and understanding through the voice of poetry. She has most recently initiated the venue Poetic License to support other writers through book reviews, feature interviews, articles, and inspiration. Her work in all its mediums has been featured in hundreds of publications globally in print and online. Numinous is her second book of poetry newly released through Saint Julian Press.  A complete listing of her published works can be found at:












Don’t Expect the Sun Again Until Next Thursday



Tonight, as predicted, stars crisp

in the sky after a week of cloud and rain.

The weather channel is a frightful shaman.


Ancient depictions, such as cave paintings

and petroglyphs, represented only what

needed to be known of the past and present—

where a successful hunt was had,

which path a portion of the tribe chose

on their inland, summer move,

so they could find their way

together again


which is, contrary to whatever

the Weatherman says, the only future

that matters, how you find your way back,

welcomed into the tented animal skins of others.





Lynn Marie Houston’s poems have appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Poydras Review, The Hartskill Review, and others. Her first book of poetry, The Clever Dream of Man, is due out from Aldrich Press in the fall. When she isn’t teaching English, she enjoys renovating her vintage Airstream camper and kayaking local waterways











Scoundrel Sonnets





More than lust or thunder, tenderness 

is lacking in my life (although it is our great capacity).

Large, orographic, world-dousing fountain of mist am I;

and though I have yet to come to love as repremand 


for dalliances in created things and wit, I long 

for force I have no force to pull away from. 

Ourself is a particular set of entanglements: mine

amorous, various, green, beholden; one with nothing


but of all things created; part cilantro, part marrow,

part effervescent kiss almost remembered. Treat me

as if I could be made tender, as if the cut grass of me

would render you as ever you wish. If I, pulverized,


would be among you pulverized, hammer me.

Render me hyperbolic. Steal my last fresh image.

Taunt me, and hurt me. Decieve me. Desert me.

Force me to talk about forever and the stars.




Ferns outside the institutional window –

I am suddenly giddy and impossible after years

of confident talk. In school, school was not like this.

Even then I had words. The walls of the world


had not yet degraded. Even Yeats’ walk

among schoolchildren was not stranger;

you finger your hair from your face, and I’m thrust

into Furdydurke. Who will catch and laugh


at me for thoughts of you? Which administrator

or policeman wedgie me? Who stuff me

in which crevice (and not yours), for notes,

crude and spurting, on the construction


of your haunches? Oh my, your gams! Goodbye;

the guard is coming. It’s Science now, Mohs’ scale.

I have forgotten, and they’ll rap my hands. Young love!









Matt Prater is a poet and writer from Saltville, VA. His work has appeared in journals on four continents, including in Appalachian Heritage,drafthorse, Floyd County Moonshine, The Hollins Critic, The Honest Ulsterman, The Indus Streams, James Dickey Review, Kudzu, Motif, Now & Then, The Pikeville Review, Revolution John, Still: The Journal, Town Creek Poetry, and West Trade Review, among other publications. A graduate of Radford and Appalachian State University, he will begin work toward an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech in fall 2015. His first chapbook, Mono No Aware, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press (Georgetown, KY). 

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