Jacquie Harris
Emily Corwin
Ashley Mares
A.R. Dugan
Chris Holdaway
Karrie Higgins
Logen Cure
Meghana Mysore
Shannon Connor Winward
Isaac Pickell
Tammy Robacker



Jacquie Harris


I’m looking for the place
where I’ve put my anger –

             {energy cannot be created or destroyed}

only transferred, beaten down,
knocked around


this had nothing to do with my pancreas, but here we are – hyperglycemia

from the super saturated sugar solution in my blood
that I use to counteract the
the ubiquitous bitter

there’s nowhere else to put this overcompensation
of my continuous estimation

            {for every action there is an unequal and opposite reaction}

candying myself over

like a dipped and over ripened apple

what was once sticky
and so difficult to move
has hardened into the shell that will explode

adhesive shrapnel in your flesh
a wound that neither of us could have expected;

I didn’t know that
to make myself survive you
I became a bomb

Emily Corwin


I surfaced from the pot like a bobbing apple, a first squishy vertebrate.
the afterbirth ladled into goblets—tart sip, vinegar. they swaddled me up
—cheesecloth over my nubs, tentacles flinching in a dry world. and so I
was made, pickled with the best ingredients and brought writhing into the
crust. they prepared for me a crib, a sugar cube, a pocket mirror in which
to study myself—fine specimen—to watch the big show as I turned into
pink, into legs and breast tissue, still thirsty—limbs basting in the tub.

Ashley Mares



I’ll tell you what he desires: this double jointed
girl knee deep in flower petals. This skin carved

with scripture. A man is amused with bare bones
polished in pretty. This dead flower uprooted

from his abdomen. He promised that bone ruins
could be put back together. This purely devoured

body. He said pain is merely something our flesh
walks toward. These red lips pressed against pillow

cases. He tried to memorize how her limbs look
emptied. This vessel of pretty. He said climb into

me. This girl that got under his skin. This deboned girl
pressed her fingernails into her thighs. It won’t kill her.  

A.R. Dugan



Now that there are no patients to envy / my beautifully shaped skull, / they put me

in the next waiting room, / alone this time. / Debris had peppered / the windshield

and it turned into sounds, / I tell the technician. Try not to move / your head, she

says. / I try to think of a new / beginning, but always come back / to the sign on the

door: / remove all metal objects / before proceeding. Then my head / starts to sting. /

I’d be invisible, but for the IV in your arm, / the tumor says. I’m really good at hiding. / I

thought we only used / like ten percent of our brains, / I tell the technician. / That’s

true, she says. / But you still need the other / ninety percent or your head / would

look weird.  Now, try not to sneeze, / or cough, or blow your nose. / Maybe I’ll just

hold my breath, / I think. But, / the tumor laughs, says I’m really good / at killing you

while you think / you’re resting. Tell me another / joke. Make me laugh / while you wait.

While we / both wait. 
Debris had peppered— / the tumor screams / with laughter. 

Chris Holdaway



Karrie Higgins








Artist statement:

These three photos are part of a series called Parallel Stress, inspired by Dennis Oppenheim’s classic 1970 performance of the same title. In Oppenheim's performance, he stretched his body in plank position across the gap between two unfinished concrete brick walls, his abdomen in a deep u-shape, straining his spine to the point of greatest physical stress. It was an investigation into the body’s relationship to the built environment—or more specifically, an able body’s relationship to the built environment. 

Dennis Oppenheim, 1970. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Dennis Oppenheim, 1970. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

I wanted to explore the disabled body’s relationship to the built environment and the points of greatest stress—often gaps in accessibility created by ableds. So much of performance art demands extreme bodily distress, even to the point of injury, and I wanted to explore a question: Does performance art self-select for inherently ableist images? For example, my performance where the sidewalk ends: I have Syringomyelia, most likely caused by cerebral spinal fluid buildup as a result of my neural tube birth defect, Chiari Malformation. The fluid forms a syrinx or cavity in my spinal cord:


It causes a host of problems, including poor balance, dizziness, motor deficits, numbness, and pain, which is why I use a walking cane. And yet, nobody knows I have a hole in my spinal cord just by looking at me, and on a "good day" when I can walk in a straight line without stumbling, the only sign of disability might be my walking cane. For me, the position in this photo is excruciating and dangerous, and yet, would it ever be considered “extreme” the way Oppenheim’s was? Or because ableds find it easy, will it be written off? I collaborate on these photos with my husband, Alan Murdock, and it introduces further complexities regarding caretakers and their role in a culture that generally grants them greater credibility."

Logen Cure



I don’t fantasize
that it didn’t happen.
I wish it made me
prim and distant,
the sort of girl
who never smokes,
never drinks herself
sick. Some girls
manage it, so
buttoned up,
their smiles
straight and pretty
as grandmother’s pearls.
Of course it happens,
that isn’t strange at all.
Some girls don’t turn feral;
their sharp red jaws
snap shut. I drag myself
starving, mad,
all ribs and claws, I don’t
believe anything I can’t
sink my teeth into,
flight is never an option,
I am fight-filled.
This is the fantasy:
a body quiet
as an empty house,
still like a bowl of peaches
ripening on a table.

Meghana Mysore



I awaken in a glass jar of lemons,
the one my mother uses for decoration. 

The yellow fruit stains my skin
with sour juice, soaks my lips in citrus. 

To be a decoration is to be lonely,
to tap on glass walls knowing

you can't be heard. My mother
throws a party at our house today

and the neighbors are here. 
They see the glass jar at the center of the table. 

What a beautiful jar of voices, they say.  
What a glorious decoration.

I wonder if they know I'm here, if they can tell
the lid is closed or that my voice

shrivels with time, lips now yellow
and spotted in brown.

Mother notices the decay and replaces
the old lemons with new, fresh ones.

She sets the jar at the center of the table
so the neighbors can marvel in their beauty. 

Shannon Connor Winward



You think it's funny that I fly so low—
this belly makes me vulnerable.
They keep coming at me with their
needles, their cameras, trying to see
              what keeps me off the ground. 
I am beyond them.  I'd be snuggling with
falcons if it weren't for you, this is you
inside me, this is you weighing me
down, this is you.  Is it any wonder
I brood up here alone.

Isaac Pickell


follow with quiet steps / follow two longest fingers wound together / follow
crevices, not yours in memory swabbed

with stiff white cloth politely smooth
linens over cardinal silence

swept the entire cavity / swept away chance refusals / swept
in piles, questionable colors examined.

He sends you
wishing for failure every seventh day. cleansing

inspection lingers on
the wrong prayer
to right god’s promise.


Tammy Robacker


Amazing Graceland, in the ICU room
where Elvis shakes. Still a devil in all-white
sheets, now he croons opiated gospels.

Church of the aging patriarchy,
an austere place family gathers
to celebrate a legend. My dad

used to dance like Presley and slicked
his black hair back tight on the sides.
Wet with sweat and limp with gray,

now his tendrils flop—After the chemo craze.
They’ve tubed his fluids and criss-crossed
lines around the room. Subdued streamers

in bile and sputum. The monitors knell
bell tones and blip green screens, keeping
final time on his rhythm and hymns.

Issue Seventeen Contributors


Emily Corwin is a Midwestern girl who loves all things pretty. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Winter TangerinePainted Bride QuarterlyRust + Mothsmoking glue gun, and Word Riot. Her chapbook, My Tall Handsome was recently published through Brain Mill Press, and in the coming year, she will serve as Poetry Editor for the Indiana Review. You can follow her at @exitlessblue.

Logen Cure is a poet and teacher. She is the author of three chapbooks:  Still (Finishing Line Press 2015), Letters to Petrarch (Unicorn Press 2015), and In Keeping (Unicorn Press 2008). Her work appears in Word RiotRadar PoetryThe Boiler, and elsewhere. She's an editor for Voicemail Poems. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Texas with her wife. Learn more at

A.R. Dugan is a MFA candidate in creative writing at Emerson College. His poetry can be seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary magazine and reviews, most recently The Merrimack Review. He taught high school English in southeastern Massachusetts for nine years. With a passion for writing, A. R. reads poetry for Redivider and Ploughshares. He currently teaches English at several Boston-area colleges. 

Jacquie Harris has no idea what it means to be inside a body or how to use the one in which she is trapped. She writes poems in her spare time. She lives in Southern California with her girlfriend, a guinea pig, and a french bulldog. You can find her on twitter @femslashlatte. 

Karrie Higgins is an essayist and psychogeographer from Salt Lake City. She earned her MFA from Antioch University, Los Angeles, but she has also cut keys, cleaned hotel rooms, filed tumor reports, written textbook chapters and taught college composition. Her work has appeared in such venues as Black Clock ReviewWestern Humanities ReviewDIAGRAM, and the Huffington Post, among others. She loves the Salt Flats more than any place on earth. Find her on the web at

Chris Holdaway is a poet / editor / from New Zealand, where he directs Compound Press. He received his MFA from Notre Dame. Recent work in Cream City ReviewEntropy, & The Seattle Review.

Ashley Mares' poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Absinthe Poetry ReviewDirty ChaiHermeneutic ChaosWhale Road ReviewWhiskey IslandWhite Stag, and others. She is currently completing her J.D. in Monterey, CA, where she lives with her husband. Read more of her poetry at and follow her @ash_mares2.

Meghana Mysore lives and writes in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards two-time National Medalist, a fiction finalist in Columbia College Chicago's Young Authors Competition and an Honorable Mention recipient in the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest. Her work appears in Alexandria Quarterly, Burningword, Crack the Spine, Really System, Third Wednesday and other journals. In the fall, she will be a freshman at Yale University.

Isaac Pickell is a two-time college dropout, master's student at Miami University, and poetry editor of Oxford Magazine. He works with his partner, writing poetry that reaches for the reparative aspects of language while allowing an unpleasant narrative to breathe relevance beyond its linear timeline. 

Tammy Robacker won the 2015 Keystone Chapbook Prize for her manuscript R. Her second poetry book Villain Songs is forthcoming with ELJ Publications in 2016. Tammy published her first collection of poetry, The Vicissitudes, in 2009 (Pearle Publications). Tammy's poetry has appeared in TinderboxMenacing HedgeChiron Review, The LakeDuendeSo to SpeakCrab Creek ReviewArsenic Lobster, and Up the Staircase Quarterly. Currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program in Creative Writing at Pacific Lutheran University, Tammy lives in Oregon. Find her on the web at

Poetry by Shannon Connor Winward has appeared (or is forthcoming) in AnalogGargoyleThe Pedestal Magazine, and LiteraryMama, among others. Her debut chapbook Undoing Winter (Finishing Line Press) is a 2016 Elgin Award nominee. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association and a poetry editor for DevilfishReview.