carve | feature: “accept/decline”
When you’re an emerging writer still figuring out your voice, this is usually how submissions work: you send your words out into the void and put them out of your mind, assuming nothing will come back. Except something had come back for this one.
under the gum tree | personal essay: “bodies of water”
I hear my mother calling me from somewhere nearby, but I don’t turn to look for her, never turn your back to the water. As if to prove this point, a rogue wave sneaks up on me while I stare toward the hazy sky, and I shriek as it soaks me all the way up to my knees. Then I laugh. I’m still standing, still watching the ripples move onward and outward, and in this moment I feel as though there is nothing wrong with me.
sweet tree review | personal essay: “uprooting”
Test the forest’s strength. Figure out which trees will hold your weight and which branches will snap with one wrong step, sending you crashing to the ground with two scraped elbows and a temporary but passionate fear of heights. Find the warm spots of sunlight where no one will interrupt your soliloquies. After all, the only way to make yourself a home somewhere is to go out there and find it.
geek out! anthology of queer pop lit | personal essay: “out of the closet!”
It’s time to come Out of the Closet!™ Are you looking for a way to start a difficult conversation with a family member? Do you like taking on controversial topics and confronting scandalous stereotypes? Whether you’re gay, bisexual, genderqueer, or just a good ol’ Ally looking for validation, Out of the Closet!™ is a game that will have everyone talking (and passing judgment!) for years.
the big windows | poetry: “january”
i tell myself this
after years of living among tall grasses, years of letting
that sadness build up
and i know if i just leave the house
things will be better.
tiny flames press | poetry: “vacant”
polaroids are scattered across the windowsill
my bare feet trip into grayscale
and you are not listening anymore.
oyster river pages | fiction: “silhouettes”
Astrid digs her fingernails into the bar of soap, making tiny half-moon puckers in the glossy white surface, then sets it back down on the lip of the tub. Above her, the showerhead sputters. The heat falters and edges toward lukewarm.
wizards in space | personal essay: “by any other name”
At times I feel quite at odds with my old self, when the name appears on my bank statements and a sudden wave of cognitive dissonance makes me briefly forget where I am. It’s so easy, especially in the narrative of identity that recent discourse has created, to see your origin as your enemy. What have I been doing if not running away from that ghost at full speed?
rowan glassworks | flash nonfiction: “barnacles”
When I go to the beach nowadays, I spend most of my time on land: scrambling across rocks, peering into tide pools, picking up bits of kelp and threading the rubbery strands through my fingers. I used to be a total water kid. I wanted nothing to do with the sand and sun, instead spending my time bobbing up and down with the motion of the waves and seeing how long I could hold my breath.
jeopardy | lyric essay: “tweeting [in2 the void]”
My hands might tremble, but the pads of my fingers are steady as I hit the nonexistent buttons I’ve memorized by touch, more familiar than my own body. I let the letters fall into place and then I gently tap the blue rounded square and then it’s out there, throbbing like a papercut behind the glass.
occam’s razor | academic paper: “spectres of the past”
When capitalist systems fail, the restoration of the environment falls almost exclusively on the people whose culture and lives have been equally exploited. They have lost their environmental self-determination and ability to define the human-nature relationship, left only with a collective cultural memory of what has been lost.
wizards in space | personal essay: “second star to the right”
To walk past the mirrors with eyes squeezed shut is the only option, because the alternative is to get caught in the reflection and stare in heart-beating terror, paralyzed by my own reality and unreality. I know too well the persistently imperfect lines of myself, and I know that refusing to look does not make them any less real, but what other option did I have? Dysphoria cannot be made into a story, and it does not come with an instruction manual.
the western front | guest editorial: “i am trans, and i am tired”
The crowds cheered uproariously, whistling and raising their fists to the sky, and I knew I was supposed to join them. After all, wasn’t this a victory? But at that moment, all I could feel was weariness: a bone-deep exhaustion at the reminder of what had almost come to pass, paired with a sense of trepidation of what would come next.
I don’t believe in a god but I believe in the cycles of life; I believe in the invisible energy that holds us all together and inspires me to bend down, bury my fingers in the dirt, let myself feel the pulsating heartbeat of creation–not ‘created by’, but creating and recreating itself and us through night and day and rain and sun and summer and winter. I believe that these seeds have just as much power as any real or imagined deity.
wizards in space | poetry: “dysphoria aka wings”
when my eyes reopen, i pick up the unfinished bird
and slowly, carefully, gently crumple it in my palm
until it is smaller than a gum wrapper on pavement,
until it is so tiny i could put it in my mouth and swallow.
my grip relaxes.
madlab young writers’ short play festival | short play: “late flight home”
I promise you that I didn’t mean to do this to you. This…. this wasn’t supposed to happen. I had no idea you would be here. But you are, and neither of us can leave now, so can you please let me try?
the fox hat review | poetry: “song for myself”
you are not glass or mirror or tsunami,
you are flesh and bone and three-fourths miracle –
made from the same ingredients as the stars and fresh cantaloupe
madlab young writers’ short play festival | short play: “in love and war”
You know who is the only person left in the world, in my world at least? You. And maybe I’ve never met you before, but that doesn’t matter because you are all that I have.