Dear Hiring Manager by Sarah A. O’Brien

no, I don’t really consider myself
proficient in a design program I
can’t afford

I have never met a deadline,
but I’m sure I would be polite and
we’d hit it off right away

am I the ideal candidate for
this position? well, I am experienced
in many creative… positions

skills, skills— I have some.
I hope to grow in this company,
2 whole inches, maybe

attention to detail,
except for the detail that I’m broke, but
that’s why God created credit cards

to be honest, no desire to work here,
already bored, don’t like your décor;
send prompt payments please

(living at home is a huge drag.
I’d much prefer to wake up
nude beside my boyfriend)

thank you for your time
I look forward to hearing
great news from you.

Sarah A. O’Brien enjoys dark chocolate and light wordplay. Sarah’s work has previously appeared in The Alembic, Every Writer, The Screech Owl, Snapping Twig, Ampersand Literary, Third Point Press, Unbroken Journal, and is forthcoming in Allegro Poetry Magazine. Follow her adventures: @fluent_SARAcasm.

Arriving at the Edge by A. J. Huffman

Arriving at the Edge

of a mind, I knocked twice on a door
that might have been a wall,
painted to look like a door. If it opened,
the mind was mine, and I was
free to make a home among the illusions
of cracks that were really crevices
leading nowhere in particular. If it remained
shut, the mind was a mine,
an illustrious trap set to explode at my touch,
which would also make it mine,
I guess, though in a temporary trespassing
kind of way. So I stood, fist raised like a gun,
aimed at a frame I might enter
or shatter, and I realized as the wind came
to coerce the initial contact
between flesh and focal metaphor
of stability, that in the end, follow-through
was really all that mattered.

A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and amazon.com. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. http://www.kindofahurricanepress.com.

Thunder Moon by J. Archer

1. Thunder Moon

Tonight, we see the Thunder
Moon stretch a shallow arc
Across the sky. My children
Are safe in their beds, all of
Them still awake; still
Whispering summer secrets.
And that moon is the color
Of tea stains on a white
Paper napkin, where my
Mother has laid the Lipton
Tea bag to rest- the liquid
Slowly spreading to a rough
Approximation; or the color
Of her fingers, years of
Smoking Tarrytons and the
Messes of child-rearing; the
Grease and the tar and the
Sin. She found Jesus, way
Back when- when her teeth
Resembled that color, before
We were monied enough for
Cosmetic fixes- during the
Times when we were thrilled
That the essentials were
Covered- back then, we’d
Sit in the back yard on Coyle
Street- a ten by ten haven from
The ravenous city, behind our
Brick row house- with our
Neighbors all around, and we’d
Lift our arms when the wind blew
And crack jokes about the heat.
Once, while playing trivial pursuit,
My mother told me “Son,”
Over cup of Lipton tea and
In a haze of cigarette smoke,
“Be patient.” “I know, I know,”
I said, an astute six or seven
Year old, “patience is a virgin.”
And how the neighbors laughed
And laughed, because every joke
Is better when you’re outside in
The heat, below the summer moon-
Even the unintentional, or maybe
Especially. But I’ve never seen a
Moon quite the color as this.
Maybe I needed my Mother
to have died for this moon-
For the tea stained, cigarette smoked,
Kiddos-tucked-safely-but-still-
Whispering-Moon to mean what
It means tonight.

Writer, Poet, Songwriter James Archer believes that contemplation leads to revelation, and that somewhere between most and all revelations are things that are obvious, or should have been. He likes the ocean, and dislikes rules, and is very fond of both cheese and fudge, separately. He is stuck in the middle of this beautiful and terrifying culture, just like you.

The Fancy Football League by S. Kay

Stadiums
Ms. Hilton loves to date football players, admiring their big muscles, but hates their uniforms and those beer-sticky stadium seats.

Dividends
Using some of her third quarter dividends, she creates the Fancy Football League for players and fans seeking a higher quality game.

Marble
She builds a marble stadium, decorated with gilt and crystal. Protestors decry elitism, so she sends them kobe hot dogs and truffled chips.

Salaries
The first team in the league is made of her salaried ex-lovers, paid by nondisclosure agreements. Rivalries still exist among players.

Gold Silk
NFL players make an exodus to the FFL, attracted by waterfall showers, organic towels, and stretchy gold silk pants designed by Ms. Hilton.

Tickets
The announcer welcomes a full stadium to the inaugural game, at $5,000 a seat. Many attendees won tickets in charity fundraising raffles.

Bling
In the sun, bejewelled helmets and gleaming pants make it impossible to look directly at the players. The field is glittery anarchy.

Jewels
After a season, the concussion rate is quadruple that of the NFL’s. Blinded players are hit so hard, gemstones chip off their helmets.

Sex
With too many medical lawsuits, Ms. Hilton is forced to shutter the league, but keeps the uniforms for her future boyfriends’ sex play.

S. Kay writes one tweet at a time. Her work has appeared in Nanoism, 7×20, Ex Fic, the EEEL, Monkeybicycle, and more. RELIANT, her debut book, is due October 2015 from tNY.Press tny.press/reliant You can also follow S. Kay on Twitter, or check out her tumblr.

The Things We Lose in the Forest by Seamus Brady

multitasking
office bound consciousness
tight shoulders
eye straining computer screens paper
photocopiers
more paper
goal orientated decision making
structural planning
helplessness, learned or otherwise
fire exits
fire wardens
cubicles
assembly lines
factory decibels
tyre on tarmac noise
team meetings
illusions of separation
cosmic homelessness
fragile identities
chewed up ballpoint pens

Seamus Brady lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He has had poetry published in Dark Mountain Journal and The Trumpeter Magazine.

Molly Gone Cold by Michael Garrett Ashby II

Slipped into a solution of clear
and teary white,
those egg-soaked left-over waters.
It’s a vessel or a test subject,
a body plunged into
salt and soil dissolved.
Are the results as you planned?
Or did life itself turn belly-up
gargling the spices, irritating the throat
closing in rapid contractions sending shockwaves
through the cities and skies.
Each subject envies the deaf
and fears the mute,
and the salt brings out the suburbs in me.

Michael Garrett Ashby II is a writer and poet based in South Florida. His works have been published in literary magazines and journals such as Spark Anthology, Digital Papercuts, eFiction India, Touchstone Magazine, and Coastlines Literary Magazine. You can keep up with his current projects and publications on his website at Mute Publishing

You can also follow Mute Publishing on Twitter.