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SPECIAL EDITION

MARCH

2021

HEAR THE VOICES BEHIND THE MEDICATION

Each poem includes an audio recording of the poet reading their work

WARNING DISTURBING CONTENT

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NOT INSANE (RIGHT NOW)

Feeble hands hold tiny pills, so much 

 

power in the convenient size of a grain of rice.

 

Distorted reflection opens wide, swallows the

 

chemicals to hide the mania, hide the 

 

crazy for one more day

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

Jaecyn Boné

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

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A Trauma Left Unresolved, Please Send Affordable Therapy

Neurotransmitters are guns and mine go automatic (I can’t put them down). My Mom 

 

brushing my fucking hair so hard there’s no breaking a baby’s broken bones, and 

I don’t know if it gets better. Empty and bored, I can’t decide if I’m empty or bored

since no new words work in any damn ink, I just live towards death and learn how to look without feeling. 

 

Prescriptions and poems, they pair well with PTSD, but mom I already mourn your death as my mother. So put the gun down.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

KDK

PHOTO BY RAMI OBEID

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ECZEMA

The bow tied 

dandy with the Dictaphone 

smiles and dictates 

his diagnosis. Later, 

I weep.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

MICHAEL MCGILL

PHOTO BY MICHAEL MCGILL

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BROKE WOMAN

Lower Spine

Deformation

My Mind

Infestation… cracked open

Full of bugs, and the like

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

ELISABETH HORAN

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

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HOMILY

If the Devil

invented nicotine

I guess God

did nothing

to stop him

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

MAX THRAX

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

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BLOOD TEST

The nurse leaches blood from collapsed veins.

I bleed into her cup-of-soup,

Iron starved

                            Snarling anorectic,

Swirling in her spoon

And slipping down her throat.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

NAOISE GALE

PHOTO BY CHRIS G

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COMICS AND BOOZE AND LOOKING DOWN

I don’t have a drinking problem 

 

But I do know

 

A Sponsor  

 

Who’d be mad at me for saying that

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

SCOTT MITCHEL MAY

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

ON THE PSYCH WARD

the details are what

weigh most on the mind: window

slats, stairwell bars, cheerful locks

to keep your spirit from

flying straight off into the sun.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

BRIAN JERROLD KOESTER

PHOTO BY HOLLY GARCIA

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NOTHING REALLY BOTHERS ME

I’m better than just ok 

things are all just swell

When I take my flouxetine caps

twice daily 

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

JAMES LILLEY

PHOTO BY HOLLY GARCIA

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HOME

If people were homes;

I have only lived in ruins.

Built from beehives whispered in my ears,

created by hornets’ nests burrowed in my hands

Yearningly, achingly wishing myself away,

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

SHIKSHA DHEDA

PHOTO BY SHIKSHA DHEDA

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NEW DOSAGE

i plant the blue pill like a lone lifeboat 

in the sea of the body i’m trying to escape

& wait for the waves to wash off the dead,

but signals send symptoms of another fire

as everything just burns, wet with promise—

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

KARA KNICKERBOCKER

PHOTO BY HOLLY GARCIA

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YOU USED TO LOVE 'THE DARK KNIGHT'

But Batman films haven't been the same      for us

 

Ever since 

 

Ben         Affleck       took over

 

& you nearly                         overdosed 

 

on              Klonopin

 

at the Justice League premiere    

 

     years     

ago.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

SHAWN BERMAN

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

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ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY AND ME

When they seized my brain 

I thought I heard God
but it was just the nurse 

whispering 

It’s okay now.

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

ASHLEY SAPP

PHOTO BY HRG

WASTING

five reduced-fat 

crackers for lunch 

and you salivate over 

the withered meat 

i have become 

WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY 

TIFFANY SHAW-DIAZ

PHOTO BY SARA DOBBIE

AUTHORS EXPOSED

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SHAWN BERMAN

Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. He once ate 100 spicy chicken wings because of a dare. It was a terrible decision. He tweets a lot about Adam Sandler @sbb_writer.

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Jaecyn Boné

Jaecyn Boné (they/them) is a disabled, queer, Asian-American writer and artist. After writing fiction for most of their life, they recently branched out to poetry, much to their surprise—they failed the poetry section of their fourth grade language arts class because they spent the whole time doodling. They live in Billings, Montana, USA with their spouse, 2 year old, infant, and possibly a ghost or two. Find them on Twitter @thefaerth.

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SHIKSHA DHEDA

Shiksha Dheda uses poetry(mostly) to express her internal and external struggles and journeys, inclusive of her OCD and depression roller-coaster ventures. Mostly, however, she writes in the hopes that someday, someone will see her as she is: an incomplete poem. Her work has been featured (on/forthcoming) in Forward Poetry, Aerodrome journal, Poetry Potion, Visual Verse, The Kalahari Review, Brave Voices, Glitchwords, Neuro Logical and Resurrections Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @ShikshaWrites

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NAOISE GALE

Naoise Gale is an autistic, bipolar, socially anxious, ex-anorexic mess of a twenty-year-old who, when she isn’t sleeping from all the meds, loves baking wonky cakes and writing poetry about her experiences. She has been published by Cephalo Press, Rabid Oak and Anti Heroin Chic amongst others. She was also runner up in the Parkinson’s Art Poetry Competition 2020 and commended in the Poetry Space Competition 2020. You can find more of her work @Naoisegale13 on Twitter.

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ELISABETH HORAN

Elisabeth Horan is a poet, mother, and small press publisher living in the wilds of Vermont. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Animal Heart Press. Elisabeth is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. She is also a fierce advocate for those impacted by trauma, mental illness and addiction. Follow her @ehoranpoet and ehoranpoet.net

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KARA KNICKERBOCKER

Kara Knickerbocker is the author of the chapbooks The Shedding Before the Swell (dancing girl press, 2018) and Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her work appears in or is forthcoming from Poet Lore, HOBART, The Dallas Review, Levee Magazine, among others. She is always escaping Pennsylvania to travel somewhere more punk rock. Find her at www.karaknickerbocker.com or on Twitter: @karaknick.

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BRIAN JERROLD KOESTER

Brian Jerrold Koester’s favorite color is purple, and his favorite poet is Lorca. His collection is titled What Keeps Me Awake (Silver Bow Publishing), and his chapbook is called Bossa Nova (River Glass Books). Koester is lucky to live ten minutes from McLean Hospital.

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SCOTT MITCHEL MAY

Scott Mitchel May was born and raised in DeKalb, IL where at the age of 15 he began working for a now-defunct independent punk rock record store. He ran the soundboard for basement shows and was paid in King Cobra 40s.

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MICHAEL MCGILL

Michael McGill is a poet from Edinburgh, Scotland who has recently been published in Lunate, Write Now, Dream Journal, 433, Lucky Pierre, Stone of Madness Press, Dreams Walking, Milly Magazine, Rejection Letters, The Daily Drunk, FEED, The Cabinet of Heed and detritus. His overheard comments and photopoems regularly appear on Twitter @MMcGill09 and Instagram @michael7209.

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ASHLEY SAPP

Ashley Sapp (she/her) resides in Columbia, South Carolina, with her sweet dog, Barkley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Carolina in 2010, and her work has previously appeared in Indie Chick, Variant Lit, Emerge Literary Journal, Common Ground Review, and elsewhere. She is an avid bibliophile who surrounds herself with books and typewriters, but she also enjoys traveling, photography, and of course, a pun or two (or three). Ashley has written two poetry collections: Wild Becomes You and Silence Is A Ballad.

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TIFFANY SHAW-DIAZ

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz is a nocturnal soul who can be found haunting her local library when not writing or wrecking havoc. Follow her on IG and Twitter @tiffanyshawdiaz.

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MAX THRAX

Max Thrax lives in Boston, MA. His stories and poetry have appeared in Bristol Noir, Punk Noir, Shotgun Honey, and the Daily Drunk. Find him online at www.maxthrax.com or on Twitter @Thraxmaximilian.

THANK YOU FOR READING