• Two Skinny Poems by Tyrean Martinson

    Shift After eight attempts, the poem begins toShiftWeight.WordsConsideredShiftPlaces,Refract,Distort.ShiftTo the poem begins after eight attempts.   Apertures of Thought Refraction bends light and thought asitpassesthroughanglesitrevealscolorspectrumitbends refraction and light as thought. * * * * * * * * Learn more about the “skinny poetry” form in The Skinny Poetry Journal* * * * * * * * Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound, usually in the outskirts of Gig Harbor. Normally, she writes in the weird worlds of fantasy and science fiction, but she likes trying new poetry forms for fun and frustration. An old-school blogger, she can be…

  • Aftermath by Heather Pilder Olson

    Earth tilts on its axis.Disease takes away life.We’re still here, we are tryingto rebound after strife. Pandemic post-mortem:What’s the latest report?How’s the weather today?Are we coming up short? After pandemic, we’ll fix it in post.I just want to tell you: I love you the most. Take this chance to re-setto rest, to reflect.Find ways to do better,treat the Earth with respect. Did you notice the birds,rabbits up on the hill?How the animals thrivedwhen the humans were still? After pandemic, we’ll fix it in post.I just want to tell you: I love you the most. What is that thingthat you most want to do?Where will you go next?Who will travel with…

  • From the Earth to the Moon by Richard Wilkinson

      Richard Wilkinson is a Tacoma-based poet. His poetry excavates the layers of meaning in everyday events. He owes a twin debt to A 2013 Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference and Seattle’s Hugo House writing center for his development as a writer. In 2020 he published his first chapbook, “Electricity, Chemistry and Air.” “From the Earth to the Moon” was inspired by a prompt to write a moon poem, inspired by chapter Poetry and the Moon in Mary Ruefle’s collected lectures, “Madness, Rack, and Honey.”

  • The Bay Ate My Brother… Almost by Ken Malich

    In the winter of 1950, I lobbed a rubber ball off the kitchen wall. The aroma of spaghetti sauce filled the room and nook. I slid across the linoleum floor and chased my seven-up ball. I never could reach more than ‘foursies.’ Mom, housebound by Gig Harbor’s record blizzard, tired, 24 inches of snow or not, frozen bay or not, decided to get outside. Didi, my grandpa, sat at the metal-legged kitchen table in the nook and sipped a small glass of red wine. An overhead schoolhouse light lit his Croatian newspaper, which sprawled flat as he clasped his glass. Dad was down at Pete’s tavern. No relief for mom.…

  • Nostalgia is a Taxidermist by Christopher Allen

    Nostalgia, the original taxidermistStuffs skewed memories into happinessHides imperfections of pain under varnishRevives distorted stories from barren time.Nostalgia bronzes the few remaining butterfliesand prepares to glue shadows of solidarity. Familiarity is the head mounted on the wallIt stares at the jumpy microbes in your souland begs for one last cigarette to self-combust. Nostalgia, the decorated taxidermistTraces the shapes to immortalityWhile it plucks off strands of animosity;Nostalgia sculpts pride from muscles of tradition. Nostalgia, the avant-garde taxidermistPlasters heredity into redacted erasPlants modern ideology into extinction. Nostalgia captures the breath of perfectionAs lavished desires break frigid glassAbsorbing fingerprints of tasty dreams.   Christopher Allen believes poetry is a defibrillator for the mundane.…

  • Two Love Poems by Mariesa Bus

    And Hera sent gadflies in pursuit Tethered to the tree, Iocould speak onlywith her great eyes.And so I never wroteyou many letters, thoughwords rose up throughmy fingers like unbornBraille, though I strungsentences by their feetlike dead pheasants,it was too late—words were not privy tothis new language.             While I loved you,             I remained a beast. O heavenly powers, restore her! 1852: the Studio of JohnMillais, her cavernous earsholding echoes underwaterlike sea caves, Lizzie Siddalhears the muted rattleof her own shallowbreath, holds stillin spite of her shivering,as she has practiced.The last time her eyesstrained to see downthe length of the tub, toeswere…

  • CC Reads: October Thrills

    SO. WHAT ARE YOU READING? Reccs from the CC Community & Staff Here’s what some of our board, our featured writers and readers, and generally wonderful humans in attendance at the 8th annual Creative Colloquy Crawl had to offer for Good Spooky October Reads. Enjoy! PSSST: Here’s your reminder to find or order these books at your favorite independent bookstore whenever possible. Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera ~From Cameron, CC author & self-proclaimed Public Library Nerd. “Awesome, scary graphic novel with a kickass protagonist.” My Best Friends’ Exorcism and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix~From Beth, Halloween-hearted CC editor.…

  • In the Bellows by Mariesa Bus

    Foggy-breathed and hand in hand with you, I am aware that as we watch over our sleepy city like a set of mossy gargoyles the trains below are not bustling, but laboring in the slow and judicious way of sheep through the slaughter chute, old women in museums, the trauma in our bloodlines. You are silent and near me, a hermit returned from the mountain whose thoughts I savor like honey at the bottom of a tea cup. Your deep voice is a beginning: the pinball sprung and rolling, and it is an end: drunken ghosts in an old saloon, shot down, reliving their quarrels unceasingly. In the middle, we…

  • Pauly Peacock (excerpt) by Alice Kinerk

    This is the story of an orphaned peacock in Washington State. He did not know about his parents and their tragic encounter with a coyote, their dreams for him, the traditional peafowl lullabies, the bedtime stories of great peacock adventurers. And he did not know anything about the world outside the little hobby farm where he lived. But still, Pauly had a lightness in his bones, a happiness in his heart. Although he couldn’t have put a feather on how he knew, Pauly knew that he was destined for great things. Chapter 1: Something Other Birds Can’t Do Pauly Peacock was born on a hobby farm on the dim and…

  • The Rat House by Mian Bond Carvin

    Gypsy moths crept through my window as I dreamed. The only draw being the pixie night light at the foot of my bed, given to me by some woman I no longer know. I recall chubby arms lifting me up and holding me with tenderness. There was a sweet, powdery smell to her soft, crêpe-like skin. She may have been a babysitter or, perhaps, someone more to my young life. There were others like her, back when mom worked at the A&P, ringing up and bagging groceries for the local mill families. I hated when she left me. I would often run down the road after her, the Ford Falcon…