John Dorroh — Arthritis

Poetry

Arthritis

The bicycles at the next-door apartment haven’t moved since I was last here six weeks ago, a pile of rusting wheels and chains, metal bones sadly draped across a rack that’s seen its better days. Five bodies riddled with varying degrees of arthritis, useless joints and pedals, hopeless without motivation of some sort, crippled by weather’s cold invitation, tarnished by intentions of making something happen.

Next April, perhaps, when the sun returns and brings new blooms, a portion oil from heaven, an elixir to rejuvenate stiff muscles, aching joints, and bent spines; the bikers will emerge from their cocoons and experience a holy resurrection, liberating souls and breathing life back into bodies and bikes, making the breezeway between yours and theirs a less doleful place.


john-dorrohJohn Dorroh may have taught high school science for a couple of decades. Whether he did is still being discussed. His poetry has appeared in about 65-70 journals, including Dime Show Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Red Dirt Forum, Selcouth Station, and Piker Press. He also writes short fiction and the occasional rant.


We’re publishing Issue 06 weekly, in parts. We’re doing so to keep our readers, and ourselves, interested and occupied. We need to #StaySafe in time of this pandemic, and we can only do this together — by staying inside. (We’re also always open for submissions.)

Cocooned: A Book Review of Russell Jones’ ‘Cocoon’

Book Review

cocoon, russell jones

Cocoon is a grand setup of a place – or, in this case, places – where things begin. It is a collection of recollections from the past, often from childhood through the present, and set in places that are not always the best (“with tracks real as death;” “the streets littered in heads / spiked during the commute”), but Jones knows how to inspire awe.

Most of these are small poems, easy to read, each fitting lightly in a palm, and yet revolving around the world with “the pink river dolphins in peru,” a “lyceum,” a “kintsugi” and other wonderful things. Four of the poems in Cocoon appeared earlier in Jones’ chapbook Dark Matters (Tapsalteerie, 2018) – one of these, “An Official Guide to Surviving the Invasion,” which is also a comic poem among several others (now a characteristic property of Jones poetry), is so correctly timed, now more than ever, that the whole collection becomes timeless in its own manners.


shattered bottles

she

dragged

them

through

those glistening fields

– “cat out the bag”


Touching majorly the notes of philosophy, humour and nostalgia, this new collection filled with a vast range of characters, while bleak, also emanates hope in its very own ways. And so, Cocoon deserves every bit of praise for all it slowly, gradually achieves page by page. It is a collection ready enough “to make a sound in a world of noise.”

Also, read it to say hello to numerous types of birds, animals and other organisms. Say hi!

Cocoon by Russell Jones (Tapsalteerie; £10.00) is out on 15 April. Here!


R Jones HDRussell Jones has published six collections of poetry and edited three poetry anthologies. He is the deputy editor of Scotland’s only sci-fi magazine and was the UK’s first Pet Poet Laureate. Russell also writes books for children, young adults and supposedly-grown-up adults. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and occasionally blogs here.


jayant-kashyapJayant Kashyap is the author of Survival (Clare Songbirds, 2019), and a Pushcart Prize-nominee. Among other achievements, one of his poems was featured in the Healing Words awards ceremony, and several others won places in Young Poets Network’s challenges. He is an amateur photographer, a book reviewer and often a food blogger.


We’re publishing Issue 06 weekly, in parts. We’re doing so to keep our readers, and ourselves, interested and occupied. We need to #StaySafe in time of this pandemic, and we can only do this together — by staying inside. (We’re also always open for submissions.)

Zach Murphy — Sierra to the Extreme!

Fiction

Sierra to the Extreme!

 

Sierra liked to eat ice cream during blizzards. She’d make snow angels and draw funny faces on them.

In the Spring, she liked to bask in the grass for hours and hours, as if the insects were her friends. She’d talk to trees and will rainbows into the sky.

In the Summer, she’d run to the edges of town and party until the morning sun greeted the horizon.

In the Fall, she’d dance through whirlwinds of leaves, watch horror films on rainy nights, and read scary stories in the dark.

When the worst Spring came, the doctors found something growing inside of her body. Sierra thought it looked like a tulip.

When the worst Summer came, Sierra couldn’t spend much time outside, and she could only dream of being in a different place.

When the worst Fall came, Sierra lost all of her hair. She dressed up in a different Halloween costume every single day of the month. And the next month, too.

During that last Winter, Sierra went into the hospital and never came home. The weight of silence was strong enough to shatter mountains.

Every time I see a snowflake, I think of her. Every time a flower blooms, I think of her. Every time the heat swelters, I think of her. Every time a leaf falls, I think of her.

My name is Stella and I miss my twin sister so goddamn much.

 


zach-murphy-edZach Murphy is a Hawaii-born writer who somehow ended up in the often chilly but charming land of St. Paul, Minnesota. His stories have appeared in Peculiars Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Fat Cat Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, and the Wayne Literary Review. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly and loves cats and movies.

 


We’re publishing Issue 06 weekly, in parts. We’re doing so to keep our readers, and ourselves, interested and occupied. We need to #StaySafe in time of this pandemic, and we can only do this together — by staying inside. (We’re also always open for submissions.)

Alec Solomita — The Hill

Poetry

The Hill

 

Pinned on an elementary easel,

adrift, befuddled, out of joint,

Yeshua resists a rushing sense of dread

and turns his weighty head toward

his doubles, first to his left, then his right,

where Dismas offers a gentle word,

a hint of hope mingled with gall,

“Your father will remember you,” and the two

look up as one. But while all below is ferment —

pawing horses, dicing soldiers, weeping Marys

— the sky is still, silent, and growing dark.

Yeshua breaks the mute heavens open with

an infant’s howl: Eli Eli lema Sabachthani!

The soldiers glance up, and then, out of pity,

or maybe boredom, a couple swing iron clubs

to fracture the legs of the thieves, ending

their suffering. They turn to Yeshua but he’s gone.

 


alec-solomita

Alec Solomita’s fiction has appeared in the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, and The Drum (audio), among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal, and named a finalist by the Noctua Review. His poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Anti-Heroin Chic, FourXFour, The Galway Review, Panoplyzine, The Blue Nib, Red Dirt Forum, and elsewhere. His chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published in 2017. He lives in Massachusetts, USA. // Twitter


We’ll be publishing Issue 06 in the upcoming weeks in parts. We’re doing so to keep our readers, and ourselves, interested and occupied. We need to #StaySafe in time of this pandemic, and we can only do this together — by staying inside. (We’re also always open for submissions.)

Updates: Issue / Nominations / Info | Early 2020

Updates

Dear writers,

It’s been a month since our Fifth Issue was published, and we wanted to share that in the first ten days after the coming out of the issue we received around 2000 visits, which is very enthusiastic. While beginning with Bold + Italic, we sure had been naively ambitious in expecting such a number of visitors after each issue – but our naivety has also been rewarded with this issue.

So, this post is put up here to celebrate all that it signifies, and to inform our (regular and upcoming) contributors about several other things:

  • With the help of the brilliant number of submissions we’ve been receiving for every issue, we’ve been able to nominate poetry and prose for several awards – and now we’ve created a page for that here. We’ll be updating the nominations list every time something new happens.
  • We’ve also created a contributor’s directory now, here – and we’re also working on arranging the links everywhere.
  • And the most important notice is about an upcoming Ekphrastic Challenge – we’re working to update it online soon (we may take a fortnight or so). For the challenge, we’ll be putting up an artwork from a favourite artist at times and you’ll have to respond to it in your very own manner; the best responses will show up in an issue at some time in respective years.

Please rest assured, we’ll be updating our pages accordingly with every little information we can share with you.

With regards,

The Team

PS: If you’re wondering, the most read piece from this issue is Audrey Molloy — 3 Poems, with over a hundred views alone. Have a look!


* Cover image, by Jayant Kashyap