ISSUE SEVENTEEN: My Salty Reels | next poem →

Castle bakes casseroles for the masses & ties

Rachel J. Bennett

Castle bakes casseroles for the masses & ties
old string into wicks for candles, & the family
sells these for magazines. It’s about keeping up
with the latest ways of winning, training the eyes

from resting too long in any one place, especially
forests & empty lots. Castle goes to the capital
on business & drinks wine to soothe an upset
stomach. The papers have nothing but sentences

to give, & birds string the same glass beads
into song as if nothing has changed. Everyone
wants a candle for a séance or a memorial, &
the family thinks up new slogans to sell more

burning. Boom times, thinks Castle, & works
to forget as much as possible. Children look
to Castle for tips on sports strategies & snazzier
vocabulary, husbands & wives do the same

for different ends. & the news just keeps coming,
through fog & friendship & glass, the world
everyone settled for from the beginning. One
day Castle notices white roses blooming where

they already made their little exclamations
earlier in the year. Castle decides not to tell
anyone in case it is a trick, buries the roses with
all the other lights that can no longer be chanced.

Rachel J. Bennett ( wrote On Rand McNally's World and Game, both from dancing girl press. Her poems have lived in journals like Big Lucks, BOAAT, Bodega, Five Quarterly, inter|rupture, LEVELER, Pith, Rattle, Salt Hill Journal, Sixth Finch, and Vinyl Poetry. She hails from the Illinois-Iowa border and roams in New York City.

ISSUE SEVENTEEN: My Salty Reels | next poem →


Arielle Tipa

Lori Moseman Anderson
   life jacket made only of sleeves torn from cloaks

Megan Mealor
   Recurring Daymare

Sáshily Kling
   History of the Hurricane

David Brennan
   no.22 (Whiteout)

Rachel J. Bennett
   Castle bakes casseroles for the masses & ties

Evelína Kolářová
   beef steak

Jessica Mehta
   The Weight of Secrets

J.D. Anthony
   and only through walking do you arrive.