Mathias Svalina



Every dollar bill bears the same beautiful child. Every time a dollar bill is touched it gives birth to itself, though the father be shameful or a sandbox full of bright plastic trucks. It is fear that makes the world so solid.







My lover is a quilt made of tinfoil. A full description of all the superior qualities of this quilt would make readers doubt that any quilt could have such extraordinary qualities. The writing on it is in perfect ancient Greek. It is a really great quilt. I am not exaggerating. I am stretching myself into two writers so that I can tell you more about this quilt. If the quilt ever has a boy I hope to be able to see my reflection in its shiny side, no matter how warped & crinkled I may look.







What I left in love was never mine, a winter coat I shed from fear, a chunk of yellowcake kept as souvenir. I let my four tongues grow slack. I trip as I walk the dark trail. Sometimes writing poems is easy & sometimes it is complicated & neither ensures a good poem. After you lover leaves & you are still in love with him & he is still in love with you a settling occurs. The leaves, they get magnificent. The piled pills, split moons & gel-caps, rebel. Blankness becomes hope & what is hoped, glue. There is a blankness in each solitary bed, that’s where love sleeps.





Mathias Svalina is the author of three books, most recently The Explosions from Subito Press. Big Lucks Press will release his book Wastoid in 2014. He is an editor for Octopus Books.

Alexis Pope

Behind My Never House

Years ago, the puddle grew. My hell-
shape looked like a place he
might enjoy. Spent some time,
made some memories. He knew
the possibilities were varied. But there
behind the house lived the thoughts
that make us grow old, not happy
where the swing rusts, the apple tree
only blossoms to brown. (The swear
word of colors.) Notice the blisters,
the shade of head on the uprising
of flesh. Stance with a slight bend
of the joints. Rust growth of the never
summer where my fruits grew supple
and hateful. An anger as pretty
as my face. Wrap the hell around
his fingers, he did. Same sun
with a different sky. Screams to wake
this morning no different. I did not come
here to make him love me. I came
here to turn this off.


Alexis Pope is the author of three chapbooks, most recently BONE MATTER (The Lettered Streets Press). Her first collection was selected for the Joanna Cargill First Book Prize, and is forthcoming from Coconut Books later this year. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Octopus, Washington Square, Pinwheel, and Sonora Review, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.


Kendra Bartell

2. Beets

This is the lesson of the beet: going, gone, undone.
You haven’t spent the time calculating
the length of time to fill your mouth
with marble. This is that time spent waiting.

This is the mouthed vowel
and the rush of air after.
This boundary does not exist and you
are an unclean angle.

Water drips behind you and you
Don’t have the patience to collect its penance.
The blush of the beet stains your fingers
While you undo your dress and smooth the pleats.
Do you need a reason to keep going?


Kendra Bartell is finishing her MFA in poetry at UW Seattle, where she teaches poetry and composition. She has poems in or forthcoming at UtterSo to Speak, and Vector Press. She also writes reviews for