What Life Is / Kent Bramble


Something there is in life detests the sun.
In deep womb-darkness woman bears her child—
Enveloping this darkness whence it comes,
Skin-fastened and bone-riveted, undefiled,

That child will grow, and pass it on the same,
By processes occurring in the dark.
The life is blind within us, without aim,
And is precisely that which moves a shark.

We have received it from our ancestors
Pre-human, pre-historic, pre-divine;
And life is, in a strange and simple word,
One darkness which has been kept from all time.

Kent Bramble is a Sci-fi writer (hobbyist), living in Indian Village, in Detroit.

Cigarette / Apple by Shane Ingan


Now comes the temptation
to quest after essences,
to lift the veil and
uncover what is hidden—
puff : headrush ::
crunch : honeyed tongue
smoke and sweetness, I
manipulate them, combine
them, then place them
at odds with one

another puff, another crunch.
It becomes me, the way I talk
about such things, I am told—
“attractive” “penetrating” “poignant”—
I furrow my brow, I say something
about the nature of smoke and about
sweetness, this satisfied smile
as I puff on my cigarette
then crunch into my apple,
chew, savor, comment upon
the eye that has opened up, revealing
the core: a little black seed visible now.

O Vanity: I was lost before
I ever began. Butt : core ::
Self : object of contemplation

The velvet cloak has been folded
over upon itself, its span
unaltered, its magic immune
to such feeble incantations.

I huck the apple core out into
the tall grass, the cigarette butt
smush into the ashtray,
the smoke and the sweetness
dry on my tongue.

Shane Ingan is from Indiana and lives in Detroit. His first book of poetry, Lost Loves, will be released early 2023, through Forsythia Press.

A Little Spider Thread / Vincent Tice


The red leaves that hang suspended in the woods
and tremble or turn or pivot at a breeze
always console me. I tiptoe and shift
to slide the little sunlight to and fro
adhering quietly to the spider thread,
no more than slips along a damp eyelid
turning away, or rounds a drop of dew—
thin shuttles of the sun’s fingers these
that ply so many and such perilous strings,
and sew so many unnecessary things.

Vincent Tice is a poet from northern California. He has been living out of a backpack for several years and working on farms. He has been recently published in PANK, and Rattle Press.