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Michael Sikkema :: [alien music effect]


[piano in other room]

[cash register dings and closes]

[blood pounds in the ears of the planet]

[agonized groans]

[microscopic laughter]

[microscopic laughter continues infinitely]


[snarling at opposite window]

[operatic candle flame]

[metallic jangling]

[electronic rattling]

[sudden silence]

[staticky sports announcer details all of your personal shortcomings]


[deep tragic sighs]

[furious typing]

[nerve clusters sizzle]

[ice clinks in glass]

[whiskey pours]

[sun melts down to the left, bubbles]

[knocking at the door]

[packages ripped open]

[gleeful giggling]

[fabric tears]

[furious typing]


[tires screech]

[bells chime]

[organ playing]

[water runs down the walls, humming]

[summer boils in the tamaracks]

[a demon is spun out of a turnip]


[pupils dilate]

[loud hissing]



[door in the figure’s chest slides open]

[the bells of 6-7 horns slide out]

[anthems dilute birdsong]

[birds vibrate, transform into black pears]

[pears open, play pop country, classic rock, and the feel good, light hits of the ‘70’s.]


[smoldering child pukes buttons on keyboard]

[gonorrhea in F major]

[sharp pebbles drop from clouds]

Michael Sikkema is the author of 4 books of poetry, several chapbooks and collaborative chapbooks, and 3 country songs. He edits Shirt Pocket Press.

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Elidio La Torre Lagares :: Six poems

walking in Rome
male cicadas foretell the sun
the distance of rain as we walk
through Rome on the 25th of July:
the history of Empire

i touch the breath of fireinside
my mouth birds peck at
dormant words under my steps

roads lead into alibis for an idea of time
when tutte strada vanno a Roma

lady Cicadas, on the other hand, treasure
silence around the marbled stories
of Villa Burghese

Sophie walks beside me painting
the air longing dreams
the world conforms a canvasher voice
a ripe fruit that floats
on the Roman landscape

from the hills of Villa Medici the city
spreads like the wings of an eagle of light
constantly diffusing emergingsomehow
the impending clearance of dependences
melts with the gradation of memories the precise
clockwork of stages

with loss and life to gain

clouds travel homeless


The Roman Colosseum-
round as a certainty
or the eye of a hurricane-
was once one of the
seventh wonders
of the world. But, little
is known of it compared
to the years it has outlasted
time and earth…

issue four :: March/April 2018