Aleathia Drehmer

I am folded
into this neat
of newly adopted
friends of friends.
they lend
into my hands
that I will surely
take for granted.


David LaBounty
This, the Second World

there are credit cards
and satellite dishes,

new cars in the driveway

a mortgage payment due
on the fifteenth along with

cell phones
internet connections
magazine subscriptions and
whole bean coffee
waiting to be ground
in to a fine morning dust.

your sheets are
clean, the roof
over your head is
solid, it keeps out
the wind and the
rain and the rays
of the growing sun
but still

you’re hungry all of the time.



Misti Rainwater-Lites
Now He Tells Me

after six months of Hooters ice hockey porn warehouse courtship
he tells me he can never really love me
because I won’t let him fuck me
up the ass
and I don’t believe in keeping animals as pets
I knew he was still hung up on the chick who left him
five years ago for that white trash wrestler from Oklahoma
but I thought I could win him over with my exceptional
cock sucking reality escaping abuse accepting abilities
like a country and western song
I was wrong so wrong
and now I’ve got the Jack Daniels Lone Star beer hangover
and horseshoe tattoo
to prove it



Ben Ashwell
A Symphony United by Faith

It has always been tradition in my family to go to church on Christmas Eve. Its not that were a devout Christian family, none of us go to church at any other time of the year, but there’s something authentic in celebrating the birth of Christ in a church.
Over the past few years I have begun to pay more attention to the hymns and the sermons, often asking myself the question: “What do they really mean?”, and invariably coming out with the cynical answer of “convert to Christianity”.
This year I sat down next to my Grandad and questioned why I was there, surrounded by elderly people with fraying silver hair, while all my friends were starting a pub crawl across the town. I was selective with my words whilst singing the hymns and reading the prayers, making sure not to say anything that might suggest I was a real Christian.
After a few hymns I was taken in by the whole event, something that hasn’t happened in the more recent years that I’ve attended. The choir’s voices swarmed around the church, swooping in and out of the arches and past the Saviour himself; each individual voice circling the next to create a symphony united by faith. The candles danced in exultation, revelling in the church’s warmth.
During the next sermon I looked around to properly examine the people who were sat in the church. I was right in my first estimation, that the majority of them were at a similar age to that of my Grandparents, but I was struck by the solitude they were all experiencing in the church. I’d heard it said a million times that the church was the place to go for salvation and I’d never really believed it. But sure enough, everywhere I looked I saw people with their heads bowed, saying a silent prayer, genuinely believing that it would do them, and their loved one’s, some good.
It was then that I came to question my own position within the church. I asked myself why, in the face of so many people who believe in something so powerful it can create life, the only belief system I have is that if I drink away my problems and hope they won’t be there in the morning?
“Hark the Herald angels sing,
Glory to a new born King”
I thought about those words very carefully on the way home, hearing the choir’s voices lifting me up to new heights of optimism and hope. I went to bed a happy man on Christmas Eve.

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