Damaged : IX

by Daniel Suarez


Abuela used to look into my eyes and tell me : tu vas a romper muchos corazones

but what becomes of the broken hearted


it is 4:00 a.m. and I am writing you to let you know that my heart mends daily

since your passing

I have come to realize, that if not for you, I wouldn’t know what it means to love

and to be loved

unconditional, you were and . . .

it is 4:00 a.m., I still have your phone number on my cell-phone

I am tempted to dial it : six years without a voice at the end of the line and this is not the first time I have wanted to call you


when you died I was two years and two months sober and still uncertain

but if losing you didn’t cause me to relapse, I know I have it in me to never kiss the bottle again


Daniel Suarez is a first generation Cuban American born and raised in Chicago, IL, currently living in San Francisco. His poems can be found in the Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO, Gesture, Be About It, and other places.

photo by felipe galbadon

As We Lay

by Cassandra Dallett


and lay and lay
somewhere someone
is getting a slow screw
not here
you snore
and I rearrange pillows
think about rubbing one out
somewhere they are listening to water
instead of bad television
somewhere they will wake up
wet mouth
on hard body part.

Here everything is hard
and not in a good way
hard like backache
old mattresses
lost jobs and missionary position
is it called missionary position cause missionaries did it
or cause it’s a fallback
I’d like to fall back on it
but not till after
I cum.


Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has published in extensively online as well as Slip Stream, Sparkle + Blink, Hip Mama, Bleed Me A River, Criminal Class Review, among many others. Look for links and chapbooks on

photo by KathyC81


by Ananda Jaisingh


An anaesthetized touch and
where do I begin?

The piercing of skin, oozes,
Blood flows, liquid ruby clouds
On an onyx sky

A membrane, translucent, so thin,
Hiding flesh embedded with red
Rivers and streams,
I dream of sculpted beings.

The removal of bulging, sagging flab
With surgical precision
I stab, at beings and at
Unwanted things, I stab and stab
Till all my demons melt away.

I stare into the sunlight of
Anticipated fate:

The glories of fame and sculpted looks
On an edge of a precipice I wait
Held down with heavy books
And weighted thoughts

I awake bandaged and less
No, not like a wasted chip but a
Gleaming sapphire, late
While others wait.


Ananda Jaisingh is a song writer and poet in India writing in English. His songs are classified as folk rock.

photo by manwithface

Quick, Create Distance

by SB Stokes


I often feel other people’s moods and emotions, but I’m blind to their comfort levels, or immediate desires. Meaning no offense to the vision-impaired community. Image is a  language that I speak, that’s all. A soup can is not just a soup can. This is not a pipe, et cetera. (Justin Etc.) Maybe I can say it in a different way. For you. In an attempt. It’s like Bootsy stretching out. Over Bernie Worrell’s rainbow ribbons of synth? They made a whole funky world. Let the cat out the bag. Nope. Slipped into the visual again. Is this too close? Should I stop now? From the microphone, to the speaker, to you. Yes, it’s a loop. Is this too close? It is? Sorry. The fact that I can’t tell is off-putting, I know. A little creepy. Yeah, I can feel you too. Now it’s awkward. These are the kinds of things I should probably keep to myself. Okay, that was rhetorical.

Poet. Artist. Designer. Teacher. And Music Freak. A fourth generation Californian, SB Stokes has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area all of his life. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University and is a former poetry and art editor for Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. He is a founder, producer and designer for Oakland’s Beast Crawl and recently guest curated Quiet Lightning’s third anniversary show with poet and QL board member Meghan Thornton. His poems can be found in print and online in SEX + DESIGN, Bare Hands, Eleven Eleven, Red Fez, and elsewhere. He has produced the blog MASS COMMUNICATIONS since 2004 and his first manuscript is forthcoming from Punk Hostage Press.

photo by bejesus