Featured Writing

Sun shining over a mountain range.

My Mother’s Words

By Phibby Venable All my mother’s words live around here,and I am always placing them in whatever orderI can remember.They hold the door open each morning, and suggestI have a better gratitude and attitude,for being aliveI stretch my eyes all over the sky, I lean upand look over the mountainsMy…

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Author Archive

Basket Mess

by Christy Bailes I fell through the mirror into a basket of rubber arms, as if lovers had become repeated doll limbs, reaching for me at every angle. I twisted my body to catch one, then another, but their fingers bent to forearms in darkness that stretched so loud, I…

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Anne Sexton’s Winter Asylum

by Christy Bailes Silky froth seeps through the window cracks and battles with a 1950s cast-iron radiator heater. The smell of vanilla frosting wakes Anne from two-hour’s worth of slumber. Still dressed with last night’s clothes, she sits up in bed. Vodka and pill bottles tumble off her legs and…

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She Left in Night

by Christy Bailes Inspiration has black eyes that cut colors, floating in aged wisdom so ripe others misunderstand dark for evil, when it is light, missing enormous heart pouring warm knowledge so silently, so slowly, so perfectly that only once she has gone, can I see what she left in…

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C-5

by Christy Bailes With an ear tag, a chest hole, and six knives in my throat, eyes balloon in love-hate rain, falling so violently I can’t see the C-5 fly past as slow as her last smile, although I hear the plane, drumming a military farewell with such force her…

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Academic Scratch / Chop Walker / The Screeching Bird and Snorting Dog

by Christy Bailes Academic Scratch Literary Criticism they call, as I play desert Jenga with Abbey’s books, spurring academic scratch into my elbow, while his words keep piling anarchy blocks that hiss from post-it tongues, charming words on paper. I can’t stop digging Cactus Ed’s life, even though prickly criticism…

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A Sonnet to Shakespeare / Salmonella Mouths

by Christy Bailes A Sonnet to Shakespeare If I be your mistress, hand me the sun; let my red lips leave a kiss on your skin. If I be snow, touch my sweet cherry breasts, crisp delicacies for you to taste. If wires be rough on your scratchy face; let…

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The Sweat Bird

by Christy Bailes Drought-rain slips off the predator until five-hundred wet pounds make him stand ground, spread like a picked-apart fan. Yellow beads turn his oily, spiked head, as I fly past, sweating ocean salt; it runs like interrupted feathers pulled from God’s washing machine, that dries now in cellophane…

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Photo by Junior Libby

Crossed Bones

by Christy Bailes My drywall ears shook from French mumblings, like a Mass without God, continuing until her lips tasted coffee with hidden crumblings that replaced church talk with asylum laughter, so long, I bore a cross in my texture, waiting for God to shake religion on her head, but…

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Yellow Body

By Christy Bailes My walls have seen forty years, with each layer more concealed than the last, and I wash, scrubbing nicotine-stained body, so full of memory that I measure time by yellow, once white smoke, swirling elegantly about the room, looking visually pleasing until I smell burnt tar. I…

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Growing Wild Imagination/ The Jersey Shore/ Skeleton Shadows

Growing Wild Imagination By Christy Bailes Imagination grows wild over my life, like the grape less vines I found, wrapping red circles around wood branches, so tightly pulled, I couldn’t cut through the tendrils without the stem folding, as the firewood pile, anchored so heavy to earth, didn’t move, oblivious…

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