About the author: K Weber is an Ohio poet with 4 self-published books of poetry. She graduated with a Creative Writing degree from Miami University in 1999. Find “cling as ink,” “i should have changed that stupid lock,” “bluest grey,” and “midwestern skirt” online for free! These works (2003-2018) are available in PDF and audiobook formats at http://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com along with her writing credits and more!
Surviving winter sky with a-ha by Nadia Gerassimenko
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About the author: Nadia Gerassimenko is the founding editor of Moonchild Magazine and proofreader at Red Raven Book Design. She is a freelancer in editorial services by trade, a poet and writer by choice, a moonchild and nightdreamer by spirit. She tweets @tepidautumn.
From the opening notes, “Exchange” sounds like butterflies. Like getting back together and falling in love again and staring at someone like a moron for 100 hours in a row while groping each other over your clothes in an effort to make sure you’re not making a mistake by getting physical too soon this time around.
Are you warm? I’m warm. I’m just going to take off my sweater.
It’s been 3 and a half years since Bryson Tiller’s first record was released and you’ve still probably only heard of him because of DJ Khaled and Rihanna and “Wild Thoughts” or maybe that’s just my friends over here on this island of Idaho.
I started listening to Exchange on repeat, and hearing the lyrics “I’ve been driving back and forth from Louisville to Lexington — Mileage,” I showed a picture of Tiller to my husband, who’s from Louisville, and asked, “DO YOU KNOW HIM?!” I’ve also done this with all the members of Nappy Roots and Jennifer Lawrence and that’s why my husband thinks I’m a fucking idiot. But it’s fine. He loves me anyway. And always will. And maybe that’s why I love this song that makes me yearn for a time when I yearned for something.
I know it seems daft to romanticize the uncertainty of the tumultuous relationships of my past, but it was something to wonder — to put myself out there to someone who I knew still loved me too, or at least wouldn’t mind coming over at 2am to assuage our loneliness.
About the author: Michael Akuchie is an emerging poet from Nigeria. He studies English and Literature at the University of Benin, Nigeria. His recent work appears on Nitrogen House Zine, Barren Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ghost City Review, TERSE, Mojave Heart, Kissing Dynamite, Burning House, Neologism Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He is on Twitter as @Michael_Akuchie. He is a Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine.
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About the author: Aubri K. Adkins is a writer based in Detroit, MI. She is the founder and curator of the East Side Reading Series, a literary series featuring writers of all genres. She has had memoir published in Gravel Magazine and Stirring: A Literary Collection, as well as fiction published in the Tusculum Review.
When I was a little girl, I knew that, if I ever met the man of my dreams and he asked me to marry him, I would be wearing a pair of white sneakers with ribbons for laces when I walked down the aisle. When I got older (and discovered Pinterest), I had the exact shoes picked out, too.
I’d never really been the little girl who dreamt of her wedding day, but I knew those shoes were a must. Aside from simply knowing it would help keep my utter lack of coordination from ruining the day, I had a specific inspiration in mind: Annie Banks (Kimberly Williams) in Father of the Bride(1991).
Father of the Bride is one of my mom’s all-time favourite movies, which means, as with many in our relationship, it’s become one of mine. From the brilliance that is Steve Martin to one of the funniest characters I’ve ever enjoyed in Martin Short’s Franck Eggelhoffer, this movie has a list of great qualities that I could ramble through for an essay all its own.
But, for me, the soundtrack was always special. Of the songs, I, of course, have my favourites and “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” is one of them.
In the film, the song plays the night before Annie’s wedding, as George Banks (Martin) remembers his daughter as a little girl through to the grown woman he’ll be giving away in just a few hours. The scene itself is fantastic and drives home George’s emotional reaction to Annie’s getting married and truly “leaving the nest.”
The song, though, is what makes it. Darlene Love’s vocals are beyond compare and the optimism and adoration in these lyrics are what I imagine everyone wants to feel when they think about the person they’re gonna marry:
“Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry
He’s all I wanted all my life and even more
He smiled at me and the music started playing
Here comes the bride when he walked through the door”
I’ve always been partial to the “oldies but goodies,” and this is the perfect upbeat example. It’s hard not to smile at just the opening chords. And if it makes you think of that special someone? Even better.
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About the author: Jeffrey Yamaguchi creates projects with words, photos, and video as art explorations, as well as through his work in the publishing industry. His writing has been published by formercactus, Vamp Cat Magazine, Nightingale & Sparrow, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Spork Press, Quick Fiction, Pindeldyboz, Eyeshot, Word Riot and more. His first book was 52 Projects, and he recently released the short film Body of Water. @jeffyamaguchi (https://twitter.com/jeffyamaguchi) | jeffreyyamaguchi.com
About the author: Angela Caravan lives in Vancouver, BC. She is the author of the micro-chapbook Landing (post ghost press) and was 2nd runner-up for Pulp Literature’s 2018 Magpie Poetry Award. Her work has also appeared in Cascadia Rising Review, Sad Mag, and Longleaf Review. You can find her on Twitter at @a_caravan.
I grew up in western Montana where getting from anywhere to somewhere means a long drive. It means stretches of freeway where the speed limit is a suggestion. Two lane highways that take you through reservations, eye blink towns with one traffic light swaying from a wire tether, a church, and a bar. Bigger towns might have a feed store and a Dairy Queen. Dirt and gravel forest service roads lead into the wilderness, dead ends and secret passages. Snow-capped mountain ranges touch the sky, peaks slow dance with clouds. Glacial lakes, roaring rivers and crystalline creeks wind into the promise of jump in summers.
A Montanan’s DNA includes the need for wide open spaces and the urge to move. A family outing meant loading into the station wagon with a picnic lunch to visit cousins, hike a new trail, pick wildflowers or pitch a tent. It meant peeing in the trees because there were no rest stops. It meant spotting wildlife, irritating siblings, and endless rounds of rock, paper, scissors. It meant singing along to the radio.
It made sense that the person I would settle down with would be from Montana too. I’ve been in the same relationship for 26 years. There is nothing that we like better than exploring new places. Our courtship was in the front of my pickup on highways and back roads listening to music and getting to know each other. The soundtrack to our life together is comprised of love songs, winding wheels and wind through rolled down windows.
You can’t be with someone for that long without question. Life requires balance. The good times can’t be held to the light without the shadow of trouble. When we get tired and even gas station coffee and snacks don’t take the edge off, the song we turn to is “Pretty Mess.”
Trigger Hippy falls into the category of lesser gods of super groups. The first lineup included Steve Gorman, Guthrie Trapp and Nick Govrik from the Black Crowes, Jimmy Herring from Widespread Panic, Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene. Their 2014 self-titled album still finds its way to regular rotation in our home. It’s bluesy Americana, sexy and sad. Osborne and Greene are featured on “Pretty Mess” a duet about mad, frustrating and beautiful love that you can’t leave behind.
Turn the key, press the pedal and go. Stick your hand out the window, let the fresh air lift and carry, add this tune to your road trip playlist and turn it up.
About the author: Samuel J Fox is a non-binary, bisexual poet and essayist living in North Carolina. They/He is poetry editor for Bending Genres, a cnf reader for Homology Lit, and frequent columnist/reviewer for Five 2 One Magazine. They/He appears in numerous journals, online and print, and haunts dilapidated places, coffee shops, and graveyards depending. Find Them/Him on Twitter (@samueljfox).