Constellate literary journal

Welcome to Issue Three of Constellate Literary Journal. We are now accepting submissions for Issue Four. Please be aware our website is not yet compatible with mobile, please use desktop to browse our site.

Content Warning: Please be aware some works cover sensitive topics.

Issue Three, Jan-March

Featured Poet

“You will lose your country” she shouted in the canned goods aisle, Jeni De La O

what pretty, manicured lawns.

         Kentucky blue eyes, I heard.

 

to discuss the root veining through soil,  

and not the snapping sound

                                                       of excision

is a cultivation of mirrors.

Darina Muravjeva is a freelance illustrator and artist. They love abstractions, space and dreams.

Rock City Steel, Chris Milam

The factory died two years after my father punched out for the last time. One moved to Mexico, the other to a ceramic urn inside a curio cabinet. Management chose to auction off the hydraulic presses, forklifts, welders, and other equipment to local companies and the public. A blue light special for the blue collar crowd.

Before We Carve The Meat At Thanksgiving Dinner, Courtney Tala

We bow our heads so my dad can bless the food

we are about to eat. When he finishes, I mouth

              amen

with the rest of my family so as not to look suspicious

and we start to fill our plates.

The Great Lonely, Joseph S. Pete

In the video store night after night,
perusing The Salton Sea, Orange County, Mulholland Drive,
all the same shit, all the same familiar covers scarred into your retinas
from lonely visit after lonely visit
to this empty void of a sad sack video rack
in a fluorescent-lit gas station on the edge of this woebegone town.

Norris Yim is a self-taught painter born in Hong Kong. He creates abstract portraits with varying colors, each pigment choice representing his current feelings or mood. 

Reticence, Lorraine Carey

I called mid-morning with your paper,
your focus at the table until lunch.
Saw you hunched over,
trying to thread a needle
without your glasses.
Refusing my help you persevered,

Peaches, Brigid Hannon

Today we went to the fair.

We walked together through a kettle corn-scented cloud

and you bought me a bracelet that

matches a set of earrings

that I already lost.

Balletomane, Kristin Garth

He binds you naked to a barren tree,
balletomane, smoke rings. Squinched eyes still sting.
Patient philosopher of cruelty
purchased boxed tulips to watch you practicing.

Driving Home, Dr. Ehud Sela

Driving home that Easter Sunday
The setting sun imbued the cables
Between the power poles
With brighter hues.
The sky, anemic blue

At Dusk in the City, Paul Robert Mullen

you will hear the sirens

and think they are for you               snap your

          retinas back and forth in haste

searching for the sound

This Evening, in Dorchester, Shirley Jones-Luke

A blues song came to me.

My mouth opened to sing

 

& out floated morning glories, sun-kissed mangos.

The blues needed me to create a garden.

Kajika Aki Ferrazzini is from Paris and is 25 years old. She loves repetitive tasks. 

Salt & Pepper, Rizzalyn Bernarte

Over dinner, the salted wounds. The loud slurping of misua soup filling up the room. Over dinner, fourteen hands on one table, trying not to touch. A chilly weather. A family of ghosts. Over dinner, the slicing of silences, 

Six Butterflies and a Moth on a Rose Branch, Thomas Stewart

I see you, moth,
fluttering about
in that electric blur
at night,

I watch your strength
with every beat of your wing,
I watch you steadying yourself

How do I want to drown? Marisa-Silva Dunbar

I’m in my head tonight;
tomorrow I will be too much
for even you. These fixations
seep out of me, creating a tsunami
of paranoia and delusions.

Random Trigger, Karen Shepherd

Wet road on a Saturday evening.

Black hole behind my eyes
consuming me from the inside out.
Unstoppable. I don’t even fight it.

The beauty of Language, Sarah Battison

Our love was evanescent

it lasted only a short time

but the sound of ‘ I love you’ from your parted lips was

like Beethoven to my soul

Ignorance, Edward Lee

Hard to shut a window
that’s never been opened,
yet many try,
fearful that the indifferent storm outside
might invade privacy,
or rearrange lives,

Nina Popovic is a street art graphics illustrator. Her art is defined by its bright and colourful palettes, she often integrates animal entities into her work.

People ruin beautiful things, Aishwarya Javalgekar

She wore her pink earrings. The bright pink ones that looked like tic-tac clips hanging from her ears. She wore her yellow kurta and her white leggings, her blue eyeliner and her red lipstick. And after she was done wearing everything she wanted to wear, 

Blood and Birds, E. Anna Keith

Gram cut her leg leaving the wheelchair. Moving

toward shadows in the yard. Hospice to the hospital

and stitches to close the wound. Erasure.

Upstaged, Tianna G. Hansen

Nothing like the burn of lights swaying
across stick-thin body, muscles wrapped tight,
a flower waiting to bloom, petals held like fingers 
gripping, reaching constantly to consume

Autumn Reading, Lisa Stice

one pair of feet, crossed at the ankles
one body, bent to the curve of a chair
one pair of hands, rested on an open book

of course, I would meet you here
in a room upstairs in this house
at world’s end on a November night

Amor, Emma Stevenson

and the windows clattered to a close          shutting out the wind          the outside

world from entering into the sanctuary                the warmth          of our little home

and darkness flooded in  

The Handkerchief, Gianluca Avanzato

“Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons” – Shakespeare, Othello

 

Pause a bit too prolonged, a laugh

without explanation, handkerchief

oddly misplaced. 

Californian artist raised on badly dubbed kaiju films and fairytales. The artworks above are from her mermaid collection.

Pretty on the Inside, Fee Johnstone

The smoke from Jamie’s rollup entombed us, sealing us off from the rest of the world. It nipped my eyes and made me wheeze but I didn’t refuse the one offered to me. I tucked in my lips to hold it steady while Jamie leaned closer to light me up, floppy hair obscuring one eye. The twinkle of the exposed eye made my insides twinkle. 

[Trauma], Jennifer Wilson

the department

of social services

typically

finds fault

with the children

 

so they take

the milk teeth

Some hearts fall harder than October, Geraldine Fernandez

On our worst days,
we would still kiss

find ourselves too lost
in each other’s dark alleys
to remember the color
of our country homes

At River Wadi: Someday the Dead Will Speak About Their Hurting Knees, Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau

the other day                we mistook sunflowers for nightingales         mistook

bodies lost in the abyss of a river        for debris         in between

And So Say All of Us,
by Frederick Pollack

Whether it’s in the wide bland sky
of DC, or that
of New York, nibbled by towers,
the view is of everything;
but few of the men and fewer women
look. If they gazed down and saw
the funny president 

Looking for Beauty, Jeremy Mifsud

She tells me
to find beauty
in ordinary things:

            acorns & oak trees;      
            bluebells & snapdragons;        
            butterflies & bees.

TV, Elfie

Would you rather watch static?

If indistinct figures moved in flashing

black and white, no gender, no sex

identified, would you still care

who they are and if it is acceptable

for them to love before your eyes?

Playground Ouroboros, B.A. Williams

We’ve been here before, this renovated playground
Downhill from the church and the swimming pool
The children have swung in these swings
Dug this sand, scaled these rubber-studded walls


What is Flash Fiction? Robert Boucheron

Flash fiction is a story that contains less than one thousand words, according to a common definition. It is a complete story, not a fragment, told in language that may be concise and poetic but is still prose. It uses the techniques of fiction—dialogue, plot, characters, development, symbols, a clear narrative voice,

Life Hack, John Homan

Life Coach, self-anointed mentor, power blogger regurgitating your newest blog entry Fifty Ways Your Life Can Be Amazing. Professing to know the secret of life, whilst marketing those same success secrets stolen, reworded, and replayed in weekend power seminars from time immemorial. My pain is not your profit.

Dollar store sonnet, Jessie Lynn McMains

I would like to say when I look upon your face my soul blooms a redolent proliferation of wildflowers, do-you-like-butter yellow, softpink and white and purple-blue like the May fields and forests, the knot of bluebells bursting through the dead leaves

“You will lose your country” she shouted in the canned goods aisle, Jeni De La O

what pretty, manicured lawns.

         Kentucky blue eyes, I heard.

to discuss the root veining through soil,  

and not the snapping sound

                                                       of excision

is a cultivation of mirrors.

Womi Klaus

Artist based in Tokyo. Womi’s style is defined by its colours, line art and the blend of real and unreal. 

Logwire

Logwire is interested in capturing emotion without the presence of the human face.

Monica Blatton

Monica Blatton works from a studio within her home in Warsaw – the capital city of Poland. She prefers to speak through her surreal paintings.

END OF ISSUE THREE

 THANK YOU FOR READING

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