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Poetry Winter 2017    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Winter 2017 issue


Cover Thought-Forms

Laura Apol
On My Fiftieth Birthday I Return
& other poems

Jihyun Yun
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Red Jetta
& other poems

Sarah Blanchard
Carolina Clay
& other poems

lauren a. boisvert
Save a Seat for Me in the Void
& other poems

Faith Shearin
A Pirate at Midlife
& other poems

Helen Yeoman-Shaw
Calling Long Distance
& other poems

Sarah B. Sullivan
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Metro Messenger
& other poems

Gabriel Spera
& other poems

Zoë Harrison
Pattee Creek
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Alexa Poteet
The Man Who Got off the Train Between Madrid and Valencia
& other poems

Marcie McGuire
Still Birth
& other poems

Kim Drew Wright
Elephants Standing
& other poems

Michael Jenkins
The Garden Next Door
& other poems

Nicky Nicholson-Klingerman
& other poems

Doni Faber
Man Moth
& other poems

M. Underwood
In Other Words
& other poems

Carson Pynes
Diet Coke
& other poems

Bucky Ignatius
Something Old, . . .
& other poems

Violet Mitchell
Deleting Emails the Week After Kevin Died
& other poems

Sam Collier
Nocturne in an Empty Sea
& other poems

Meryl Natchez
Equivocal Activist
& other poems

William Godbey
A Corn Field in Los Angeles
& other poems

Don Hogle
Austin Wallson Confesses
& other poems

Carson Pynes

Diet Coke

For Ruth

She wakes,

too early each morning.

Drinks a cloud of cigarette


a silver-lined

can of Coke.

No sugar,

just Aspartame,

the chemical name

of withdrawal,



Her once-blonde hair

is spiked gunmetal,

An ex-Marine-


with solder in her voice,

her mani-pedi,

her Oklahoma manners,


battery-acid blue

over imperfect


I’m awake,

too early

on a Saturday




She’s lost one

breast to cancer,

an Amazon,

my best friend’s mother

is the sunrise

at the end of the world.

Honey, she says,

when life hands you lemons,

you paint that shit gold.

I Was a Teenage Mean Girl

For L, and for who we used to be

I don’t need your malicious charity,

a vile and multipurpose contraption

fake like the holographic portrait of Jesus Christ

for sale at a kiosk in the mall where we meet boys.

It’s hard to forget your face,

Sloppy, bland, (I fix your mascara)

violent and slick as you call me “whore”

a banshee screaming at a Halloween house party.

You: a bare-midriff baseball player,

me in booty shorts and butterfly wings.

How could I forget our years spent

living in, like, the high-school language ghetto?

The empty bottles of Bombay Sapphire,

your fake fingernails endlessly flashing like

witch-lights in the desert.

Then there was lunch at the Wildflower Cafe,

salmon caesar salad with capers and a lavender-peach smoothie,

while outside it was snowing and you offered me a cigarette

from a crumpled pack of 27’s. I inhaled,

and thought about the rhythm and blues of malfunctioning lungs.


For Mom

When I was very small

you took me outside, at night,

to photograph the moon.

I wore duct-tape shoes,

you carried a tripod.

I have never told you this,

but with your lens pointed to the sky,

I thought you were taking a self-portrait.

I still believe that.

Carson Pynes has a BA in English Literature from Northern Arizona University. She is an ESL educator currently living in South Korea. When she isn’t teaching English, she is usually writing elfpunk fantasy, or hula-hooping.

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