Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

Contact Tracing by Yrik Max Valentonis

I use my favorite songs as ringtones because I don't plan on answering...
telemarketers don't keep me company
Spam Likely is my only contact
I grew up with Green Stamps but my friend had the Green Book
My family isn't Jewish yet my Grandparents spoke Yiddish at home
Esperanto was supposed to be the language of the future
	Ebonics at school
	Spanglish on the streets
	Pinyin at the shops
It is too easy to allow a title to become a definition and a definition be exclusive
My Grandparents lived through the Great Depression and World War 2
	Fascism
My parents lived through the Korean conflict, Vietnam war, and the Cold War
	Communism 
I lived through the trickle-down economic recession, the dot-com bubble bursting, and housing market crash
	Capitalism
Ebola, Avian Flu, and a reemergence of the Bubonic Plague, AIDS, and COVID-19 pandemic
	Anti-Vax
my house is painted green and blue to disappear into the lawn
there is no doorbell only a camera to watch you
a locked obelisk door in a field
I have withdrawn

BIO: Yrik-Max Valentonis’s poetry collection Cranium Theatre and novella 120 Days of Gomorrah are available from Alien Buddha Press. He has work in several anthologies including Heat the Grease We’re Frying Up Some Poetry from Gnashing Teeth Press. His photo essay about writing an erasure poem is available on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl5NLz8FIEw

young woman with red hair smiling at the camera with a white paper umbrella behind her

like pretty tulips by linda m. crate

everything has been hard and heavy, as of late; in my world and the world at large— so yesterday i was drinking in small wonders like pretty tulips dancing out

What I Can Offer You by Rich Orloff

I cannot fix your pain I cannot solve your problem I can’t prevent the sorrow you’re feeling Or even guarantee I’ll make you smile However, because I’ve known Joy embracing

by Natalye Childress

*this poem is in .jpg to preserve formatting *this is the unformatted text of the poem after rainer maria rilke you, the poet, have become world weary, word-wrought. and god

guy with a dark beard and moustache wearing a black graphic tee

Orchards of Udders by Jon Wesick

dripped on the blanket while air rustled tamarind trees. Chekhov drank a Thai iced tea and plummeted out of this poem. A flock of circles twittered in the hacksaw bushes

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