Kazem is a Kurdish musician and poet. He has been held hostage in Australia’s black site on Manus Island for 4 years where he continues to compose and write.
Un-passable bridge 

My guitar is my soul mate nowadays
I don’t care for the world anymore
I play my guitar with a heart full of sadness
My eyes drizzle like rain.

My heart is absent minded.
It’s going to tell the secret words.
It has a heavy pain to reveal.
It is profoundly sad,
sad like someone who has lost his sweetheart.
It has many words to say
but there are no worthy people to talk to.

My restless heart wants to fly
to take a message to someone.
But what benefit is there when there is no way to fly?
My heart is exhausted from waiting and effort.
It’s breathless and alone.
It’s become weak.
It’s looking for a way to fly.

My heart with a hidden secret
and a world full of wounds in a jail
has no path to freedom.
It’s been condemned to a sorrowful separation.

I wish there was a kind person to give an opening to this prisoner,
Give him a smile as a gift,
To let him free from fetters and alienation.
What a pity that it’s all a dream!
My helpless heart has never seen bliss.
The jailer is bringing new chains to fasten.
This is a different prison
Oh, banish the sorrow of my unblessed heart.

I’m like an iron, you know, I am strong!

The white demons have arrived with anger
to promise another Reza’s death.
They have sharp claws
They are roaring
The ground is wet from blood
though no-one has been killed yet.

They want a volunteer.
Someone like Reza Barrati.
Someone to be annihilated again.
The white demons are starving again.
They want to feed themselves with my own body
and celebrate until the next day.
They have no sorrow, no sadness, no pain.

My mother, my love, be strong.
I know it’s hard to say goodbye to your son.

Without seeing it, I can read the verdict:
My young body must be killed.
There is no sign for humanity.
There are no rights for humanity.
Power is in the hands of wicked people.
They have made the world
an un-passable bridge.

(mid August 2017)

– translation from Farsi to English Moones Mansoube (primary)

and Janet Galbraith

Adam Day

Adam Day is the author of the collection of poetry, Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Emerging Writers Award. My work has appeared in the Boston Review, Kenyon Review, APR, AGNI, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. I also direct the Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden, Scotland, and Blackacre Nature Preserve.


Neighbor is lilac white and doesn’t mean
a thing. Life dissuades him with shabby

armchairs, cocked soldiers. Stashed
eyes. First alive fifteen minutes before

his death. Has a bicycle that like his conscience
gives him only a minor pain in the balls,

racks his rectum crossing road bumps, pumping
his legs in escape from the delusional

narcissistic wood fox and the nymphomaniac
nun. Here are his Prussian gray

polyester pants, his cheap mailman’s boots
that march. His ratcheted hand apes a trigger pull.



Past the skeletons of textile factories
boy with a moth’s mind floats in the cold

shallows, dodging leeches while men
do the wash. Breath and body, waves

and sea, everywhere
currents. Cattle on the sand

beneath the wheeze of seagulls. Mother
checks him – lifts his penis

from the drift-white and tightened
scrotum, an elegant example of free thought.

In the scalp of dark hair one little witch
marooned, slick and sucking. Mother

fumbling at it, a concentration-vein
like a taproot in her forehead, crumbs

of light at the crotch, the smack of spades
in the distance. Out the window, cow drops

green dung wet over a bucket of cherries
left by the spigot – in rain it smokes a little.

Darren C Demaree

Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing).  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Trump As A Fire Without Light #340

The ocean is full of motherfuckers that believed they were the ocean.

Trump As A Fire Without Light #341

Winter beneath my shirt, my nipples have become very political, and the one on the right has refused to acknowledge that winter is here.  The wind howls and the fabric I’ve chosen is enough for my right nipple?  How could one body swallow a season so completely, and have one nob in one quadrant maintain that this is the summer we’ve been waiting for?  I have no desire to lose my own nipple.  I am going to cut a hole in my all of my shirts to see how long the right can take this new discomfort the rest of the world is experiencing.  I refuse to lose my body because one nipple is unfeeling, but I am willing to give up my whole wardrobe to make this point.
Trump As A Fire Without Light #342

The wind is a wall, and it never marks any territory for long.  It will touch your blood to claim your blood.  It will dazzle your soul as it changes your name.  I don’t think this man understands nature.  I know he doesn’t understand how a wall can turn on you at any moment.


David Drayton

davedraytonDave Drayton was an amateur banjo player, Vice President of the Australian Sweat Bathing Association, a founding member of the Atterton Academy, and the author of Haiturograms (Stale Objects dePress) and Poetic Pentagons (Spacecraft Press).




bleachers on beaches

events transcribed in                      keyboard hiss
the therapist’s arena                      confiscates organisms

                            happens here

at the corner store                      now is all for none
a price on fun rises                      the thirteenth chore is unforgettable

                            alongside the cost
                            of a Callipo

beneath the stands                      what resembles soreness
bleachers on beaches                      resembles shock


details time that doesn’t fall
       from glass bell
         to glass bell
            but scatters
              is built and thrown and urine soaked and flicked in


white meat

you are in no state to learn
to differentiate between
panic or heart attacks
while experiencing either

this turns out was the former
found in deep sweat
an auntie’s Christmas kitchen
while your vegan partner senses
something wrong so tries
to guide you through the carving
of flesh and of breast

a turkey that can only
be foreign in this heat
to a person who won’t eat
whatever’s got the
ability to smile produces

bite me, it seems you can

merry Christmas, you filthy animal