Alana Solin


My worried floor a ceiling, I am low
& close by. The clock’s four digits
have a reverent sum.

The tell is order given, decoy
pitched by a sourceless wake,
angle pushed through segments,
seeking pattern, settling for shape.

The door becomes a wing,
the room its battered crane,
& the drum a hum.



Memory clenches solid, men clamoring, men quiet like fallen coins. That’s commitment, he insults me. True, I wanted to be everybody you touched at once. I wanted to slam the door open and the gale to pin us both. Life goes on, my quarter sticks in the slot, dream machines sieve fine the soil of your plot.



Where I’m frank, I can’t keep doing this; why the receptor shivers, bears its shoulder against the door. Who lives, who ties up the excess of strings, who welds the circle back into place? Into columns, the words frightened into shape, into prizefighting the press and, hapless, reversed. My foot fused to my rushing mouth. Contained, can’t take it, the gutting against the structure. Lieu of hail untouched by the wipers. And there’s trouble below. Go long.



These landscapes fill to coherence and combust upon exposure. The eye is a doctor, pockets of gauze, unavailable for the foreseeable future. Any figure would recede, a square into plaid, if I could anticipate the failure of my hands. If I could mete out my dexterity, find its average and distribute. Instead, a city on red waters, pointe shoes hanging from a post on the dock, birds reappearing where the stars dry clear. The snake swallows the house, the glue loses stick, the exit is right here.



Preset names rig the pictures together. A tear in the linchpin, its eye gone transparent; why wry, raised voice? The ilk which one settles upon. It’s on her like pollen, like her head on her neck. It’s near her like an adjacent well. The bridge is clear but the air is misty and together they are stark.



Tell me what taps my way

on thousands of rubies
chafed to a surface.

When the weight is enough, where

the face comes off
with pressure, where

the pillar breaks the picture,
why the plan has changed again.

Tell me lodestone to lodestone

the distance I pend, the color
and powder of my streak

when scraped, and
the genius I apple for

to take the apple, along with my hand.



ALANA SOLIN is a writer from New Jersey. She graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2022 with an MFA in poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Afternoon Visitor, Second Factory, Tyger Quarterly, jubilat, and elsewhere. You can find more at



used to say slough like slow but more
ow, not slough like trough, or slough like slew,
but slough like snuff, like death’s voyeur.

violence or knowledge might be the throughline.
knowledge grasped through violence.

the things i’ve learned: epitome is not pronounced
like tome, but me. what’s found at the base
of the scalp is scorn. secrets are visible beneath the nails.

light is not the only directional. the body is to be
listened to. commands are avoidable.

everything you run from will find you.
what’s waiting for you outside the window
can be found behind the mirror.

if you reach inside yourself eventually you’ll find truth.
the body is tangible but the self is not.

the only thing worth repeating is
everything. last night, i watched myself open
and wished myself closed. daybreak taught me

regret. moonlight taught me consequence.
afternoon heat bled into me, taught me to resist.

water taught me imperfect reflection, taught me slake,
taught me slow. i haven’t learned anything
well enough to pause.

i learn best from the sediment glow
held in my throat. burn. smoke.

the voice of me was born in the coal forest.
the rest of me was born in absence.
i don’t know where all i’ve been,

but i know the names that each place called me.
every definition of till has homed me. land. time.
supply. i’m still learning.


fear and what makes it

it’s not that i’m afraid of dying, i’m just afraid
of what comes after. not afraid of heights, just falling.

not afraid of ghosts, just hauntings. not the dark,
just what’s in it. not what’s gone, what’s left behind.

both everything and the concept of nothingness.

never played bloody mary or ouija. hid under blankets,
not sheets. convinced myself thinking about dead people

meant they could hear you. never stopped believing,
think of them at the worst times. a ghost can be anything

that lingers longer than its welcome, i’ve always known this.

any shadow longer than the light. anything moving
while you’re asleep. anything that wakes before you do.

anything eliciting fear. etc. i’m not afraid of being alone,
just being left. i’ve ghosted and been ghosted and so it goes.

i’m not haunted by memories, just remembering.
i’m not haunted, just feel a presence. it never leaves.

not when i check the mirror and see nothing,
not when i look behind me and see nothing,

not when i lock and unlock and lock my door,

not when i test the knob, not when i check the peephole.
i watch myself weep and know i’m not the only one.

i cover the cameras because i know there are eyes behind them.

when i hear wailing it comes from inside me. when i hear whispers
it’s often my own. when i lose time i know where it goes.

when i lose myself i know who takes it.


my brother; bronzed grackle

here we are again, two sides of the mirror.

i still hear the desperation in your voice as you beg
i still wonder— here, there’s no need for wonder.

i shed my fear like an overwarm coat. i followed
the tether of your voice into the dark sea. we
were two bodies floating. i lent you a life raft

and you took it. the voice from beneath the water
was a stranger’s. muffled by lungs full of what
does not belong. brother, can you swim?

short distances, maybe. when you were young
you filled my lungs with chlorine, didn’t blink.

the coin of your eye like the moon disappears.

nothing to guide us out of the water. brother,
are you drowning? are you wading or waiting
for me to pull you out? here we are, two sides
of the mirror. you above water and me below

or me above and you below and both of us
trading water for air back and forth. brother,
i do not know how to save you. i do not know

where you’re going or how to follow. brother,
here, in this dream, i broke through my fear
like the surface, gasping for air, hands flailing

reaching for you, my shore. and you reaching
for me in the distance. both of us searching
for land. brother, have you landed? how far
must we go to find shore? i heard your voice

today and it came so close to breaking me
out of this dream i’ve been stuck in since
that night you called. brother, i’m tired

of treading water, relaying messages, replaying
the fear that led you where you are. the release
of air into what could hold it was all you needed
and hearing the shatter of your voice, i refused.

brother, forgive me. neither of us know how to
swim. neither of us have webbed feet. enter the
water only in search of what could sustain us.

brother, nothing can sustain us for long enough.

brother, the water cannot hold us, but neither
can the ground. brother, do you know what

it feels like to carry wind beneath you? brother,
you have outran everything that’s ever chased
us and still been caught. brother, does your cage

remind you of who put you there? brother, do
you blame me? brother, do you think about
that night, the water in your lungs and me

drowning in my fear? brother, have you ever
feared me? brother, have you ever seen me

in your reflection and been scared? brother, have
you ever scared yourself? brother, are you there?


after Abbie Kiefer

because my life is unmoored, my schedule is unknown. because my schedule is unknown, my mother has scheduled video visits with my brother during my last two workshops. because my workshops are reducing my credit debt, i have chosen them over my brother. because my brother is in prison, i must choose between him and my schedule. because i have chosen my life over my brother’s, i’m reduced to guilt. because i have never been anything but guilty, this is not uncommon. because i define guilt as emotion rather than sentence, i must acknowledge the distance between my life and my brother’s. because there is distance between our lives, my brother is in prison. because i blame myself for my brother’s imprisonment, my life is on pause. because my life is on pause, i have no requirements. because i have no requirements, my life is unmoored. because my life is unmoored, i am here, i am writing, i am performing the act known as creation. because creation comes naturally to me, it doesn’t feel like a celebratory feat. because i do not know how to celebrate my creation, i discount myself. because i discount myself, i devalue myself. because i devalue myself, i reduce my workshops to their effect on my credit debt. because my credit debt is constantly accruing, i reduce everything to its effect on my credit debt. because i get daily emails asking if i want to raise my credit limit, i am constantly thinking about my credit score. because i am constantly thinking about my credit score, i am constantly thinking about money. because money is needed to live, i reduce the concept of living to what i can afford. because i cannot afford to live, i rack up credit debt. because i want to live a life i enjoy, i ignore my credit debt. because i ignore my credit debt, i choose only credit cards with introductory no interest. because i choose cards with no interest, my debt doesn’t feel like debt. because the no interest period ends, my debt begins to feel like debt. once my debt begins to feel like debt, i begin chasing my tail trying to reduce it. because i am not a dog, i know what to do once i catch my tail. once i catch the tail of my credit debt, i clench it between my teeth, i search for a card with no interest, i open a new line of credit. i don’t know when i forgot my brother in this poem, but here at the end, i remember.


solar system inhabited

planet sickness: stark. a web of scars, a volatile
surface. a year is three days. the sun comes out once
in two years. in a lifetime, ten days of light. life
unsustainable. sleepless, sick, forsaken, lost.

planet health: transient. a habitable
surface. a year is a year, everything is
what you expect. give it time, you will
lose what you thought was permanent.

planet between sickness and health: an unbreathable
surface. fluid in the air, in the lungs. crushing weight. once,
a year consisted of two nights. now a year consists of constant
empty loss. temporary, passing, essential, trapped.



BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. their portfolio can be found at

Jared Daniel Fagen


you broadcast
and with
the sickle
of the moon
every night
your light
bisque as
i wallow
the hither side
of an aurora
to us



i speak
you speak
did you
not hear
the trilling
conducting succulence
the serrated blade
giving the gift
of breath
a sheen
to seeds
a sarcophagus
that performs
its haptics
how sad
i was
to miss it



in what
kind hush
has its
beauty held
and does
allow to
listen of
soft hums
the hope for
untold blossoms
enters but
another solstice
to make room
for that same
shameful garden
a wilderness
of wilt
hitherto stalks
my starry
eyed palm



with myself
i lost
my reason
to abrasion
archiving ancestor-
strewn valleys
dimly passable
& cached
the third-
of another
shares my
blood type
after years
of siege
and a western
resides still
a part of me



for the dishonest
the number of
the riot
wielded by
flight attendants
bike messengers
& mercenaries
humoring appetites
for the journey
reach deceivingly
the laughing
the ipse
a minor accident
an apology
looking for
to say
of repair
that would
save us



JARED DANIEL FAGEN is the author of The Animal of Existence (Black Square Editions, 2022). His prose poems, essays, and conversations have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Fence, Lana Turner, and Asymptote, among other publications. He is the editor and publisher of Black Sun Lit, a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center, and an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York. Born in Jeollanam-do, South Korea, he lives in Brooklyn and the western Catskills.

Eric Tyler Benick

from “fox hunts”


somewhere hidden on the high line

fox has weaponized pastiche

like an x-man or john cassavetes

and can harness the red light of a summer squall

fox possesses the great animal genius

the flemish painters sought in slaughter

everyone knows a fox

in new york is a bad idea

and none more so than fox

who’s gone transcendental among the tulips

resplendent in his raiment of rain

conducting sorrows and shadows

like a lotus of bodhisattva

the wet wind off the hudson

making maelstrom of manhattan litter

fox is a fixed object

stripped like an orange

as an answer to the rain


from “vole clock”


quietly coughing thunder
braised the air of alabama
as the bronze effigy was pulled
from the public square
like a rotten tooth
the third in its likeness
a hat trick of justice
albeit retroactive
vole is a tender artichoke
bleary below a buick
from a bad season’s nap
but fistbumps the air
in celebration hoping
there will be a party
which is a pity
no one gave him the news

we don’t party anymore


from “mothman retrograde”


everyone’s favorite porcine capsule

unctuous mothman takes the wheel

with all their vitamin strength

eyes inert like miami neon

hungry for the insurrection

their dreams black as goyas

a ballroom of billionaires hang

from their own balustrade

and sway in nocturnes

mothman so horny for revolution

they’re nearly inept but who else

to reverse the tidal swells

the curse of federal negligence

these odious engravings of men

on mountains each world

more onerous than the one it survives

and mothman’s seen them all

both as fact and phantasm

every single soldier of art killed

or subdued basquiat became a glove

of money and bob dylan peeled back

his amphibian skin and what happened

to lil kim who could have castrated

an army with her cadence

loaded on long island iced tea

mothman has lost all practical function

and clings to a few explosive frames

of diegetic action because like keanu reeves

mothman is immortal and can leave the sequence

from points a and b to special effects and bad writing

still greased up from the barbecue and blissfully sunk

by benzodiazepine the night is a cherry in their jowl

the rich lights of the art basel soon to be subsumed

by the solid fats of a forced animal



ERIC TYLER BENICK is a writer, publisher, and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of the chapbooks Farce Poetica (Spiral Editions, 2022), I Don’t Know What an Oboe Can Do (No Rest Press, 2020), and The George Oppen Memorial BBQ (The Operating System, 2019), as well as a co-founding editor of Ursus Americanus Press, a chapbook publisher. More recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Copper Nickel, The Harvard Advocate, Meridian, Southeast Review, and elsewhere. His debut collection of poems, the fox hunts, is forthcoming from Beautiful Days Press.

Darcie Dennigan

The Pill vs the Springhill Mine Disaster

We walked into the pharmacy.
(Oh. I’m starting with “we.” Oh well.)

I bought the pill. It cost me 3.5 times the hourly wage of the clerk who unlocked the case and handled the transaction. I contemplated standing in the pharmacy for 3.5 hours, so as to better “earn” the pill.

He took my pointless contemplating, my body’s stance as it housed that pointlessness, for worry over the pill’s cost. He offered to split it.

Then I contemplated us standing in the feminine hygiene aisle for 1.75 hours. Would rather have spent double that time alone.

It was his whispering. He was whispering a word. It was one of “ours.” One that hadn’t seemed to exist: the word for children one might have had with one’s lover but did not.

He had coined a word for it. Well I’d asked him to. But I had never, ever requested that he say it aloud at an apropos time.

From the pharmacy, to a cafe–

I had bought the one pill. But I’m a nervous eater. Emotional eater.

I was NOT nervous about taking the pill. It was what was happening across from me that I felt…unable to bear.

At the cafe table across from me he was reciting a Richard Brautigan poem. The one that goes something like, When you take your pill I think of all those people lost inside you.

That was the poem he was reciting. To me. For me? It’s not a long poem. One sentence I think. And yet, the stress that this poem’s recitation by the man across from me was occasioning… I decided to chew the pill. A little mastication session, a small violent crush in the grooves of a molar. A commensurately small relief.

I brought my palm to my mouth to take in the pill. But it wasn’t a single dose. It was a handful. Like a whole bunch of tic tacs. Should I–

I had to. Off his loving look, I popped a good dozen into my mouth.

Down there in my sweaty palm a few remained, and so I chewed them too.

I definitely thought, needing at that point to align myself with anyone but him, of texting Kate: “i’m eating morning after pills like candy!”

He was still there, across the cafe table. How was it possible that the poem was still going on…What’s this poem called, dear. He was asking me as if I knew. I did know and he knew I knew. He was, therefore, asking me to be intimate with him. He smiled. Oh how we both loved poems.

–I gave the title to him sweetly, with chipped bits of pill stuck in one corner of my bottom lip. I hoped he would comment on how pale (powdery!) my lips looked.

Ahh yes. He smiled. Sadly. He was very happy to be this kind of sad. All rollicking in hypotheticalness.

He was not– he was. Repeating the poem.

I picked up the cookie on his plate. He loved sweets and sweetly sad things. I was going to let a bite of the cookie just sit in my mouth. Chocolate chip cafe cookie, rather gooey. Let it get stuck to the roof, let it take away all danger of smiling back.

I was going to nod all the way through this second recitation of the Brautigan poem. Mouth closed all over the cookie so as to better contain my despisement.

This despisement was a huge crisis and I needed to work it out quickly. Only hours ago, I’d–
felt so connected that i’d wanted to have with him a theoretical baby?
why had i been like, yeah sure come inside me?
did i want the male’s experience– the fun frisson of uh-oh?
really, no
why did i invite semen into an obstacleless… reticule
and enjoy
enjoy the idea it was roiling around in there
already had kids, already knew then… what?
something about space and time, how time was an annex to space but with kids there was no
…relationship? — between space and time…?
was it a youth-harkening thing
ugh maybe

One by one the chocolate chips in the cookie were turning into white pills.

It did not occur to me to not continue eating the cookie. Ate the whole thing. (the stress)
By now must have had what? 20? 25 pills?

The first noticeable effect was his head.

I could no longer see around it. It had grown larger. Had become sculptural, a bobblehead that accentuated certain of his features. The haunted sockets. The straight nose reminiscent of the cover drawing on my high school copy of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

The mouth on this head had not been constructed to open. Still the poem blared.

It blared from the large head and yet came across as a murmur. He was a murmurer.

The third recitation of the poem may have only been an effect of the pills. The bobblehead began: First the title, then the poet’s name. Then he reached across the cafe table and took my hand, the skin of which was a demurely chalky dry.

When you take your pill…

Parade loudspeaker volume. Yet the delivery was bedroom.


Afraid to open my mouth lest I find out I was eating even more pills, I nodded along to the poem.

I nodded. My head now also huge. I could picture what my own benevolent smile looked like when stretched to bobblehead proportions.

Another natant mound of bitterness in my mouth. Somehow three more pills were there, melting.

Sweet love, I asked, can we return to the hotel?

Gigantic nodding all around.

After our nap I knew something might still be different. Nearly 30 pills, maybe more, all in a few moments… Perhaps my uterus itself would be languishing between my legs on the hotel sheets.

Or it would be the city’s landscape that had changed. The streets covered in a dusting of hormone, pedestrians’ gonadal activities declining as they waited for the walk signal… And the trees’ remaining leaves– it was November– would be the little foil peels from each pill’s mini blister pack…

But I could see out the window from the bed. The trees had dead chlorophylled matter, not foil. There was no pilldusting of the streets.

There he was, lips very close to my ears, murmuring, murmuring. My uterus was still inside. It was him between my legs. All was the same.

I keep thinking about the word “and.”
This and that.
He and I.
Space and time.
                   and                    are what he had wanted to name our hypothetical children.

Days and weeks. He was uncircumcised. His foreskin seemed to have a slot, as though for small coins. Doll coins. It was not a leap from there to pills. I pretended to fall back asleep until he actually did.

When a man recites a Richard Brautigan poem to a woman who is no longer a teenager, little progesterone pills pop up everywhere. Mushrooms after rain. A law of nature.

All I had to do was reach my hand beneath the pillow and feel for three more white pills.

There they were.

I put them one at a time into his coinslot. Like a little jukebox. One song, three pills. (inflation). Maybe his penis would grow as big as his head had. No matter which one I played he was going to say it was “our” song.



DARCIE DENNIGAN‘s manuscript Forever Valley was a finalist for the New Directions novel prize this year.

Stephen Ira



STEPHEN IRA is a writer and performer. He is the author of the chapbook Chasers (2022, New Michigan Press) and the zine This Zine Has Everything (Victor Mature Memorial Press, 2023). His poetry and prose have appeared in Poetry (Chicago), the American Poetry Review, DIAGRAM, Fence, the Paris Review, and the Poetry Project Newsletter.

Joel Dailey

for Milos

Even the dawn here is self-congratulatory
Tuesday the counter-insurgency begins
Here’s to the extinction of all ilks
Semiotics w/semi-automatics
Megadoners pet dog owners
Disambiguation of trees
Or is your brain ok?
Shiver me pundits
Multiple guest
Tripod Elvis
Par is 13


for Scoots

So the working life of a plastic bag is 15 minutes
We are stuck in the Autobiographical Phrase
@ the intersection of Formalism & pjs
The paparazzi face the wrong way
Is unprecedented or car dented
90% of the game is ½ mental
Willows weep cafeterias
The Mechanism yawns
So much to delete
All wires down


for Ludmila Novikov

Atomic Fireballs
Fossil fuel propulsion
The very air
Long shot predictions: 2032 will see a Rottweiler elected President
Viewless wings
Speaking of the drivel, tongue & groove
A mishandling of documents
Optical delusions
Weighing the options on a not-so-grand piano scale
The milliseconds left



For every entrance an EXIT
Yes to spontaneous eels
All joking aside we debunk the non-existent cushy
Formica calamity
The semi-annual Fraudster Surge
The extended butt call
Who knew in walking not to walk but to sometimes run
As every fact turns faucet
Bidirectional hair
The Deep State demands another tweet
Incomplete fraught
Control remoto headbanging robots break camp outside DC come dawn
Broadly speaking, amphibious



JOEL DAILEY divides his time between New Orleans and Toronto. His most recent book is New Details Emerge (New Books, 2023). From 1983 to 2021 he edited Fell Swoop: The All-Bohemian Revue, which has since morphed into SWOOPCARDS, a series of letterpress poetry postcards.

Ficus Interfaith


We love jelly beans. Introduced in 1976, the eight original jelly bean flavors include Very Cherry, Root Beer, Cream Soda, Tangerine, Green Apple, Lemon, Licorice and Grape. Today, the Very Cherry flavor still reigns supreme as the favorite flavor for all ages in the United States. There was a short period of time (1998-2003) when Buttered Popcorn jelly beans won the popular vote. These are some of our “Dream Jelly Beans” as well as a template for anyone to imagine and illustrate their own dream jelly bean flavors.


FICUS INTERFAITH is a collaboration between Ryan Bush (b. 1990, Colorado) and Raphael Martinez Cohen (b. 1989, New York City).

Their work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Deli Gallery, New York; in lieu, Los Angeles; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Prairie, Chicago, IL; among others including Noplace at P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York, NY and In Practice: Total Disbelief at SculptureCenter, Queens, NY. In 2018, they were artists in residence at 2727 California Street, Berkeley, CA and Shandaken: Storm King, NY and in 2022, they were visiting artists at Longform at Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, MI.

Lindsey Pannor

LINDSEY PANNOR is a poet based in Brooklyn, NY. You can find their current and forthcoming work in bæst, Diagram, 240p by 1080press and elsewhere. She’ll begin an MFA at Brown University this fall.