Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

[Surviva|lNotice] by Toby Grossman

My friend is rushed to the ICU
and I am [worried|jealous].
The nurses flush out her death
wish with charcoal. I have offered
my chest as a [cutting|white] board
over and over and still
no one leaves
any [gashes|marks].
[Sometimes|always] I can’t breathe.
Won’t [someone|my mother]
unhook the [cross|sunlight]
weighing my neck?
Forgive me for being
[morbid|honest] but every time
I scrape poison
off another arrow
mouth, I chop my own
[arms|history].
When the [knife|fact]
is pressed metal against
my sternum, I have nothing left
to [say|save].
The poke of my ribs
is a [shipwreck|answer]
but only treasures
drown. I’m looking for
my [mother|story]. She left me
for better [children|plots].
What can I tell my half
gone [past|god]?
I am not ready to abandon
this [planet|hurt] just yet
but I am so [weary|alive].
An ambulance siren wails
from my throat
but my friend is already
[better|known].

Bio:  Toby Grossman is a poet exploring the absurd and the paradoxical in between games of backgammon and scrabble. She often writes through the lens of her experiences with mental illness and alienation. Her work has recently appeared in Kissing Dynamite and Anti-Heroin Chic and is upcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch.

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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