Hiyoowi Hamainza

Mereo-Logical Cybernetics

I am a cybernetic vector  
towing this domain (and it’s orbit)
about my immovable centrality.

Bounded polytopes, (deceitfully [inert]),
clutch their geometry,
announce their vertices,
in a topology of laminated pigments,

and my [sensor arrays]
ping echo ping echo
in sensorimotor feedback loops.   

This ambient plenum
which embeds my extension
into non-Euclidean manifold
warped by depth and volume. 

Where forms update their evolutions
& stitch memories
into the groove of the substrate… 

But at each iteration
the output is always
[nil]** [nil] ** [nil]


Hiyoowi Hamainza is an emerging poet who resides in Cape Town, currently working on his debut novel. He has a poem previously published in ANMLY. He works as an English editor, studying psychology and philosophy part-time.




Isa Pickett

John Wayne Carrying A Baby

pretty boy,          i can’t be 
               your swollen cow       you won’t touch 
my belly but to plug
               the gunshot        i’m a different 
kind of man—a woman, of rib

giant plastic cactus         my pregnant 
               stomach              the yip 
of my dog           hurt paw           clean bed
             my partner’s partner plays 
the harmonica         poorly, slowly

             in my negligee, the baby kicks
violence in the xbox      my mom while pregnant
             felt like John Wayne
i felt like a tired fool in her womb—
              violent like an egg
bandana dirty

               the first time i wore a skirt
i was told give us a spin                he pushed
                                 a spoon into my mouth, 
               sent me to the bus
to be spanked in accessible seating
               while off-duty historical
reenactors snapped photos 
               it was humiliating           i loved it
i’m stuck
               on true imagination, attack horses,
what it feels like to give

                 your body a body

these days i’m crying
               at tender graffiti, wondering 
about the fears                 of my grandfather’s
                            childhood best friend
                waking at night he checks 
under the bed swearing                 he felt a kick

i feel like a globe with no land
               like a mother in danger
my baby              will look
              nothing like me


I Am Not A Woman Today

Today I am an  ailing       femboy              with an orange 
               cough    waiting               for God to spit 
                               rain into my car wash

Hawks at dawn abscond 
              toward a bluer freedom                A lonely flagpole slaps 
its own thigh                    My thrifted pants are too tight & I’m angry 
                at the weather                   All sun, no cream

The Virgin Mary                           statue in the Catholic suburb               of the cemetery
               toppled in the storm                                                            Lifting with our knees
Pam and I can’t budge it                                       We place the snapped head 
               tenderly             near the neck
I pray like I’m hiding                   a frog from the class

             When I forget to say thank you                 the gas station attendant puts 
out a cigarette             on her arm          The burn forms an image of Christ 
                            if Christ looked like nothing

Let’s say what we feel like            I’ll go first:       I feel like a puppet 
              with a wet bulge                           like I’m helplessly watching
a golf cart die                  in a sinkhole                  I can’t love right
              I’ve got all this leg hair               and small tits 
                             A lousy milk cow           A buffet              of coleslaw

I dreamt I found my lost rings
                You were there forgiving
me like a mirror rehearsal
                             I sobbed in your arms
               and said I just want to be happy
but those are your words—You gave the dog her pill
                            and rubbed my neck       until it went down
Of course          I worry               I won’t wake up                I always do


Isa Pickett (she/they) is a trans writer, musician, and educator. Her work has appeared in Five South, Philadelphia Stories, and is forthcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch. Their work has been nominated for Best of the Net and made the long list for Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets. She lives in Philadelphia. Follow them on Instagram @isapickett_ or Twitter @pickett_isa.




Aerik Francis

Mourning Meditations

after Cameron Awkward-Rich

I wake up to the rubble & ruin of broken hearts, another day of pandemic & aftermath – my gut sinks. I stay inside my bed a little longer & check my phone – my gut sinks. I lift up my comforter, lift up my morning body, walk to the bathroom & sit on the toilet – my guts sink. I contemplate my rebellious body, my only religion. My gut sinks. I gaze longingly out the window – I see a fence. There is a dream I have in which every cage melts. I gather carbon dioxide in the air like it is pollen or nectar & I am a hummingbird or a bee & I feed it back to the Earth. There are no borders, just flora. I sigh & swat the stupid toilet paper roll. Hand on my stupid guts. Hand on my shit-lipped hole.        

“Mourning Meditations” is written after Cameron Awkward-Rich’s poem “Meditations in an Emergency”, itself an “after poem” written after Frank O’Hara.


Aerik Francis is a Queer Black & Latinx poet and teaching artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They are the author of BODYELECTRONIC, their debut poetry chapbook now out with Trouble Department press. They have poetry published widely, links of which may be found at linktr.ee/Aerik or via their website phaentompoet.com.




Hideko Sueoka

Scenes from a Bullet Train Journey, 2022

For a moment, all I see is ochre: a sequence
of amber rice fields and weeds.
After the harvest, everything
is waiting for the next season
before the descent of cool air at Mount Ibuki.

All persimmons are gone, all maples are gone.
The white train slithers across the emptiness
where watery mirrors reflect such verdant leaves.
White mist. A colder place.

Out of nowhere, flow and blend in my mind
short pieces of K-pop and J-hip-hop.
The mix of small tunes with train’s rattling rhythm.
Outside, the fleeting images of sheep.
Flowing scenery without scent or subtitles.

All I hear is the grating wheels.
Speckled spaces in foggy frames.
Abstract images move forward, losing
all previous meanings.

A quick shift of the subsequent view:
we are leaving the area of hard frost and edging closer
to mild air. We enter an unknown season.
No more snow-capped roofs and electricity towers.
Farewell, sudden snowy world: 銀世界.

The sun follows our train carriages as we travel past
the copper-colored bridge across the River Kamo.
We think of our friend on the platform waiting for us.
Imagine what a feeling to hug someone after three years.


Golden Pair

for John Skelton

Canary and curry
are yellow treasure
for the Indian diner.
Masala, this powder
as heavenly spice,
an addictive substance
like Pernod with ice.
Bird, your beak or
throat so hungers for
oat groats and fresh water.
Your clapper on standby for
a closer contender:
your pals; a rooster;
and a diner customer.
What a spirited
and social bird!
Your voice trained by
the chef as a chary guy
with Youtube via wifi.
His recipe of
spice mixes having clove,
coriander with love.
Red chili guiding
the tongue to an exciting
sense. Mesmerizing.
Your favorite is cannabis.
Your singing appearance
seems to be a trance.
Your body is syrinx
shaking as if with drinks.
With the menu and bird’s blinks,
chicken curry,
vegetable curry,
fish tikka and samosa.
Color of mimosa
so sparks. Paradise, Ah!


Hideko Sueoka is a Tokyo-based poet and translator born, raised in Japan. Her translation on photography, Shigeichi Nagano – Magazine Work 60s, was published in 2009. Her debut poetry chapbook, Untouched Landscape, was published from Clare Songbirds Publishing House (New York State, US) in 2018. Her poems were published in British magazines such as Stand Magazine, Porridge, Ink Sweat and Tears, etc., Canadian magazine long con mag, various anthologies and zines. She is now writing poems towards a debut full-length collection.




Michi Cabrera

immigrant story

In 1969, Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic, 
he worked as a mechanic for an American company
mining for a mineral called bauxite. 
Balaguer was president. Mucho gente no lo queria.
Tu Abuelo fui al cine. They started showing previews
and were demonstrating the good he was doing in the country.
Many people started booing. 
The military came in and said whoever was booing stand up.
No one stood up. They picked five people at random.
Lo dieron golpe mucho golpe. Lo encarcelaron. 

El Capitan del ejercito era amigo del tu Abuelo. 
He would fix his car. 
Pero el no fui a ayudarlo. 
It came out in the newspaper: 
5 communistas arrestado por estar contra il gobierno. 

The only communication she had with him was over radio.
She lived in the Capital and was 15 hours away by car.
The principle office was in the Capital and she brought
the newspaper there and asked them about it, they said
they were going to send an attorney over there to find
out what happened. 

Tu Abuelo fui con su camisa lleno de sangre.
He was certain that they were going to kill him.
He spoke to the judge and defended everyone.
Tu sabes como eres tu Abuelo.
El tenia una cortilla rota y mucho golpe por todo parte pero
mucho en su pecho encima del corazon.

They sent him home for 15 days
and told him to come back to work after resting.
He quit.

Tenia mucho rancor
y por eso decidió
por venir acá.

agricultural landscaping
Claverack, NY
August 14, 2017


an old jacket with missing buttons and yellow paint

Why did you send this to me? Essentially, is what Guillermo said. He expressed concerns that someone
was trying to steal his identity. What
an odd
package. -he DMed me on Instagram.
My friend said you would bring it to Argentina—she’s in Bariloche. My friend Che from la
Mandala—she lent it to me when she lived in New York City.

It was five years ago now.

We watched the fireworks on a Greenpoint rooftop that summer.
Have you ever had Ethiopian?
There’s this place called Bunna in Bushwick.
We had the feast for three there
with another friend. It comes with six rolls of injera instead of four with the feast for two.
I like the butecha selata and the shiro.

One weekend, she
wore a
black and yellow
Pirates cap
and met me at Dweebs. I drove local and took us to Fort Tilden.

One night, we
saw her boyfriend play
jazz bass
Coca Cola Club.
And this brown boy about sixteen came out at the end playing the saxophone.

Floyd Mayweather won a big fight that night.
The waitstaff was talking about the bets they placed.

Anywho, she
said her brother Nils works with you. Michi, Willie (Guillermo) knows about
the jacket!
-she texted me
on WhatsApp.

This is the second time I sent it to Utah.

Tell him

“the first time I mailed it,
we got the zip code wrong and it came back to me a few days
later, but
by then you had already left.”

I was wearing a white linen button up the night she lent it to me
and these navy colored…
these navy colored…
these navy blue swishy pants.
It made a great oversized blazer.
It was also navy blue.
She told me it was her mothers and showed me where she got paint on it. Let’s paint the town red. Or at least the neighborhood.– she said with a grin.

Did I mention I just had major knee surgery?
It was five hours long.
I spent six weeks at my mother’s recovering. I’m just starting to walk again. It’s actually my mom who
mailed it. I couldn’t walk to the post office.

That’s all to say
no one is trying to steal your identity. Yes, he said,
it makes sense now.
I remember now.
I’m going to Argentina today, I’ll see Nils tomorrow.
Thanks, Willie

Bushwick, NY
October 11, 2014


Michi Cabrera is a Puerto Rican-Dominican New Yorker, writer, and wellness practitioner. Her poetry and essays explore sensuality, the passage of time, kinship, and presence. They reference stories from her adventures abroad, and canvas her NYC hometown and Caribbean motherlands. Michi (pronounced Mickey) is a real estate attorney. Her favorite paddleboarding spots in the world are in Condado Lagoon, Puerto Rico and La Boca, Dominican Republic. She has a daily meditation practice and drinks 80-120 ounces of water a day. She lives in the Bronx and has six plants. You can find more on her website at michifaye.com.




Letitia Jiju

This Too is a Poem is a Prayer, Unclasping

over the crest of memory:

O gold-rimmed matzo: tremble.
O teeth; stigmata—

then I peel the hard-boiled egg of my own grief.
& what is life but a breaking in

                    someone’s hands?

                   fireflies limn the shore of 
his limbs celestine. I rend as I remember 
I no longer god-walk this sea. 

                          Nor rest the weary hind legs of 
a kiss by his ear

                           breath unbridled 

from the silt-slippery conch-shell of my body:
                                   listen. Hold me and listen 
to an ocean 

How to wring myself out of this washcloth of remembrance? 
I have sopped up the last of his gravy. I am

                            stained      by his laugh.
On my skin on his skin.

& what is love but a seeping in

of sorts?

A running under water, 

                    a gentle rub

                                                a squeeze,

a laying out?

Originally appeared in Tigers Zine.


Letitia Jiju is an Indian poet who through her work explores the intermingling of mother tongue, religion & generational trauma. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in trampset, ANMLY, The Lumiere Review, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She reads poetry for Psaltery & Lyre. Find her on Instagram/Twitter @eaturlettuce.




j. kleinschmidt


First there was the moon. Almost like I could touch her just out of reach. Sometimes I felt like I could do anything. Did you ever howl at the moon did you ever show her your self your full Self did you ever surrender to her? She knows. She listened. In the night she watched me nurtured me like a mother her child she took care of me she kept me safe. And how she kissed my nose and cheeks and the crook of my neck and my collarbones my breasts the knuckles on my fingers my hips and feet and knees. I stood. I stood. I kneeled. And got up. She likes when I look up at her but she hates being above me. Always out of reach and just close enough to never touch but I swear she is here. In the way I drink her in. And how she wanes. And is gone. But she will. Come back, she always comes back for me I don’t need to ask where she’s been for when I stand beneath her cold white light I am safe forever and there is no past and there is no future and I am hers. 

Then there was the sun. He comes between. And burns. My skin he touches. Glowing hands. He breaks you down. Forces. How you like it. He is far away when I can look him in the eye but so close when above dizzying he is all encompassing and I cannot stand I always fall into. Red on my body where he touches the burn on my skin forever. Yes. And sometimes hiding for days he doesn’t show. Himself like a ghost but they say he is always there even when I can’t see him I can not take it sun burn me again for the absence of pain is the absence of. You. Desire. Please but. Stay longer sun you are so bright you are everything the world kneels before you you. Need you. Stay forever but he’s going again but what a spectacle he leaves. Purple and orange and red like sun-kissed skin. He always comes back for me I don’t need to ask where he’s been for when I kneel beneath his fiery hands I am small and there is no past and there is no future and I am his.

The moon stands high on the horizon, quiet. 


diary #1: self

Dear diary the other
day i said people
online aren’t real because
it’s the same thoughts and feelings and words
and then i went
and pretended i didn’t. so maybe
i’m not real because
i keep coming back for
more but diary we already know
i have a problem. with
substance because i mean the things i say
but that’s about it really

i say i’m a nihilist because i’ve
gotten used to saying so but i
really am searching for meaning
in the forest song about the witch and the changing of my bedsheets
and the five letters when i cum and how i end things
without changing. how
i let them in and out of my life
in and out in and fuck. out
like how i keep objectifying myself and
how i write in blue ink although blood is
supposed to be red.

I guess there’s meaning in my falling
canvas hearts and blood baths in the way
i’m calm and loving but if you’ve ever
heard a pig screaming
on their way to slaughter then i’m afraid
you know the deepest parts of me
and you’re braver than i am because
i haven’t been there in at least 162 days but
anyway what a shame
the machine keeps on going
like the pulsing under my skin and the ocean rain


j. kleinschmidt is a writer and university student. In their writing, they draw from their experience as a queer person growing up on the internet to explore the spaces between love and obsession, desire and pain, and the occasional love letter to the moon. Follow them on Instagram @dancing.sirens.




Alison Zheng


Perfect Blue (1997), a film by Satoshi Kon

These women who perform as idols, who feel like friends, enter the stage. The white ribbons on their bare shoulders and the pink of their crinoline skirts flutter as they dance and sing. 

These women who perform as idols are ballerinas— I mean, schoolgirls—I mean, Sailor Scouts—
Do they know that this audience of exclusively men—and me—have a soft spot for women who wear bows in their hair, who smile with enthusiasm? 

These women who perform as girls dance in perfect unison, crooning their siren song: Look! Can you see her white wings? Those eyes gazing at you. That sweet voice, and those gentle hands. They exist only for you. 

All the men are watching and some of the men are taking photos and some of the other men are holding camcorders, recording every breath and every twirl.

I’m no better than these sallow, indoor-skinned men—just more beautiful—After all, don’t I have an affinity for small hands too? Doesn’t the fire in my body long to know the fire in theirs too? 



Perfect Blue (1997), a film by Satoshi Kon

The actor says I’m sorry before the scene begins.

The actress smiles a dazzling smile and says It’s okay.

A camera crew surrounds them. The flashing lights are relentless. 

The director yells Action and it begins. He towers over her. Her body flails.  

The director yells Cut and it stops. He towers over her. Her body lays limp. 

The director yells Action and it begins. He towers over her. Her body flails.

The director yells Cut and it stops. He towers over her. Her body lays limp. 

The director yells Action and it begins. He towers over her. Her body flails.

The director yells Cut and it stops. He towers over her. Her body lays limp. 

The director yells Action and it begins. He towers over her. Her body flails.

The director yells Cut and it stops. He towers over her. Her body lays limp. 

The director yells Action and it begins. He towers over her. Her body flails.

The director yells Cut and it stops. He towers over her. Her body lays limp. 

The director says It’s a wrap. She puts her clothes back on and goes home quietly. 


At night, when she believes nobody’s watching, the actress cries over her dead fish still floating in the fish tank. She thought about the camera crew, her management team, the writers, the producers, the directors, the other actors. People always talk about speaking up as though it’s obvious. She couldn’t think about herself. She tears her soft white comforter apart. She curls into herself. 


Crying Whilst Listening to 90s Cantopop

I take a Hong Kong Film Class thinking
I’ll meet someone like me

Instead, I meet a bunch of gwai lo
who want to fuck Faye Wong. 

               / / 

We watch 2046. Wong Faye plays 
a broken robot train attendant—

Her functions have been exhausted
from overwork and thus, her emotional

expressions are often delayed. 
Still, men love her—or at least, what she represents.

She stares at her reflection in the train window.
Her doe eyes. Imprinted onto my mind.  

               / / 

I sob through every movie that quarter,
even Rumble in the Bronx 

which seems to confuse a classmate
though it doesn’t stop him from hitting on me. 

What disturbs me the most is me
I’m flattered by his inquiry. 

               / / 

I look up reviews for Infernal Affairs
One of them says The Departed is superior,

because despite being a copy, at least it has soul.

               / / 

On Youtube, I watch some Mandarin bitches
stumble their way through Leslie Cheung’s

“Love Of the Past” from A Better Tomorrow
and I seethe with jealousy—My accent is perfect,

according to my mom, but I cannot read so I will never
Cheung K in the way that my ancestors want me to.

               / / 

My favorite Wong Faye song is a Mandarin song. 

It’s called 悶 which means bored or depressed. 
悶 is 心 (heart) with 門 (door) surrounding it.

Depression or boredom is when something,
such as a door, has closed on your heart. 

               / / 

If Mandarin were skin
it’d be the milky white supple expanse
of a maiden’s midriff

Cantonese is more like 
the frizzled plumage of a Silkie chicken 

               / / 

My research says one should sing to speak in Cantonese: 
si ( → ) is poetry
si ( ↗ ) is history (or poop)
si ( → ) is try
si ( ↘ ) is time
si ( ↗ ) is market
si ( → ) is be 

               / / 

Everybody, including myself, forgets
that English is my Second Language.  

“I didn’t learn English until I was five” feels like a lie.

               / / 

My parents said we had Aaron Kwok’s
對你愛不完 on cassette and that I loved dancing to it 
and that I kept dancing until one day I realized 
people could see me and then I stopped.

Listening to 對你愛不完 now, 
it sounds familiar 
though I can’t tell if I’m unearthing a memory or if it’s just my desire to remember
projected onto a pop song that sounds familiar in the way that all pop songs do. 

               / / 

You can save space on Apple devices
by offloading memory. This means

deleting an app’s data whilst keeping
any documents or settings tied to it.

Cantonese has been offloaded from me

The texture of the language is still there
and not much else. 


Alison Zheng (she/her)’s writing is published or forthcoming in The Margins (Asian American Writers’ Workshop), Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, and more. She is a MFA Candidate and Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at University of San Francisco.




Nandini Dhar


This return is a wilted and brown lemon rind–the deafening 
memory of how I have evaded one war after another. 

A slow crumbling evening, and  beneath a billboard
where starlets pose as obedient daughters to army generals, 

I imagine: what it means to try to shut one’s eyelids
while being bombarded by something as simple as street lights.

I suck a copper coin, my tongue numb and cold
against the metal. The city’s rickshaws honk

breath across my knees. 
On the pavements, rickety little girls learn to play with their fingers

touch the aroma of the coffee-cup along the glass walls, commit 
to memory. Commit to memory the fact that walls can shine

from inside, that walls can invite one in, without offering
anything real to eat–this city, indeed, 

is an exercise in staring. 

When chased away, the girls leave behind–the hint
of grease, the imprint of their nose–tips 

on the irreproachable glass. Do not worry. That 
slight etching, too, would soon be wiped away– 

the teenager who would perform 
the act of erasure, has lost 

his village to a legislative burial. 
Before stepping into our city, 

his tongue was a stranger 
to the taste of coffee. 


Nandini Dhar is the author of the book Historians of Redundant Moments (Agape Editions, 2017). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Epiphany, Fugue, diode, Memorious, New South, Best New Poets 2016, and elsewhere. She teaches literature and gender studies at OP Jindal Global University, India, edits the bi-lingual journal Aainanagar, and divides her time between Delhi, the national capital of India and Kolkata, her hometown.




Travis Chi Wing Lau


At first flush,
I could not tell if it was

a fever or the heat death of the world,
so I confided in you

about my burning
only to learn I was a nuisance,

a worm your ear never craved but
came to nurse

because you pity little things
like a voice that carries

its hurt modestly, that covers up its
shame with its own hands.

But those hands cannot cover what
exceeds them—

this body now put in its place
but teeming with other burnings

that beg your pardon
as much as your attention

(a care that cannot be


Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) is Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. His research and teaching focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, and disability studies. Alongside his scholarship, Lau frequently writes for venues of public scholarship like Synapsis: A Journal of Health Humanities, Public Books, Lapham’s Quarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, and Hypertext, as well as in three chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019), Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020), and Vagaries (Fork Tine Press, 2022). travisclau.com.