Phillip Spotswood






PHILLIP SPOTSWOOD was born into a Catholic family and turned out queer. His work can be found in Heavy Feather Review, Cartridge Lit, SunDog Lit, and is forthcoming from Hobart. He is a MFA Poetry candidate at LSU, and is the upcoming editor-in-chief of The New Delta Review.

Jon-Michael Frank

my brain fizzing is more my life than I want it to
what’s inside introspection that erupts into annihilation
the pretty side of a cliff is the side you can die off of

elusive girls donning unnatural patterns
reality is the language of fear
I’d rather feel it virtually

distant relatives smashed at a funeral
when I think there’s no such thing as the present moment

the sun masquerading its mug shot behind a headstone
aphorism is the hand-me-down of human ruin

the void oozing its tooth under your pillow
I live inside a perspective I gild by the dumbness of heart

chasing the tail of a reverie
the more vivid the hunger the more private it feels

it’s glum to know too much
my obsession speaks to the obsolescence of things

rotting hydrangea exiting a vase
what is it about loss I can’t get enough of


JON-MICHAEL FRANK is the author of two forthcoming poetry chapbooks: Nostalgia Flower (Sad Spell Press) and TBD (Birds, LLC). A book of poetic comics How’s Everything Going? Not Good is out now from Ohio Edit / Cuneiform Press. He is the acquisitions editor for the small press Birds, LLC, and lives on the Puget Sound.

Stacey Tran

garden ocean kindness

In the morning I unfold the dirt from my hand
My lover is putting me through a silent retreat
Designed for compliment recipients who are unable to accept gifts


table chair window

Maximalist etiquette requires stationary wheels
The idea alone of some train is no longer good enough for me
Often I wonder what can I do with a $20 bill


string fabric sleep

It’s a circus up there where I try feeding myself yarn
There’s no pattern to follow just one foot in front of the other
Worried I’m wearing anything at all that slightly resembles pajamas


time money water

I could sleep for one more hour but my eyes won’t shut
I keep refreshing my online banking summary, nothing changes
A water bottle is my least favorite thing to carry


tree speech listen

If a woman’s shirt is longer than her jacket, leave her
I want to write and be read anywhere
There are no words you don’t know


mouth ear hand

There are no words I would use that I normally would not
Why would I
Be proving the sticks of fashion we hold together


metal glass pavement

Dragging an elevator outside
It won’t be photogenic maybe but you will feel something
What’s it like to run way over to the far end of the opposite of clarity


paper cloud metal

I can’t trust myself in the moment of looking up a definition or the weather
From here I predict
An aftertaste of shiitake mushroom drying on the evening rack of my tongue


concrete water oil

One doesn’t have to decide
Between a block sale and a ladder made of cards
I am asking you to show me how wet your fingers are


wind cloth cloth

There’s no worse sound than a door that opens immediately once it has closed
If the scarf comes down past her waist she’ll hang up before you do
What other article of clothing are you a little too good for?


STACEY TRAN lives in Portland, OR.