Why I Stay Up Late in August

Marri Champié

Why I Stay Up Late in August

We imagine each year the Perseids come to us, so we lie on the lawn and gaze upward, wrapped in a quilt, to the delight of the dogs who believe we’ve come there just to be with them. and listen to the drone of mosquitoes over […]

Detail of Silence

Carol Dorf

Detail of Silence

Encircled, in a ghostly frame, the face drops its mask, only two fingers to the lips as protection from the monster balloon of perfectibility. Infinite progress another heartless notion, like bright trains passing through landscapes littered with old leaves and strips of peeling paint.

Here the doors that put the […]

Hall of Mirrors

Bruce Majors

Hall of Mirrors

There is no pain, you are receding a distant ship, smoke on the horizon Pink Floyd

Walking down the narrow hall, mirrors set so that it is possible to walk into eternity, getting smaller and smaller till I do not exist. The char of burnt-out days, compel me […]

In The City of Broken Umbrellas

Alexander Lumans

In The City of Broken Umbrellas

The sidewalks are mirrors she searches into. The coastal rains aim straight for her head. Her roadmap says all things meet at the downtown Axis Mundi. Leaning into the wind, she does not know where to go, only to go against. (Her cottage: too small for one […]

The Black Unicorn

Bruce Majors

The Black Unicorn

The clock, hanging on my drawing room wall, never sounded so loud, the eccentric ticking, monotonously, reminds me of days past. I tell myself, the terrible days are passed.

Ghosts share this silent house, their tiny sounds personified by the noise of age and failing wood. Floorboards moan with each […]

A portrait of the witch at sixteen

Marian Rosarum

A portrait of the witch at sixteen

My sister learned to raise the dead when she was sixteen— a number associated with story-shaped girls who tumble into the underworld by caressing the length of a spindle or by stealing the prizes from a fairy king’s table. At sixteen, one can believe that it’s […]

The Crying Tree

Laura Madeline Wiseman

The Crying Tree

The fairies have begun crying. They’ve cried wolf, stood as the town crier to give the general cry, the far cry, the cry from the heart, for the moon, within cry of you standing there watching where you think she’s gone, a dark corner of your office where you […]

The Alley

Jill Angel Langlois

The Alley

In the dark fog of night, in an alley in a forlorn neighborhood, a boy is naked and crying. His pants are around his ankles. Four hands explore his bruised and trembling flesh. His smothered sobs go unheard by folks sleeping in apartments overhead. He squeezes his eyes shut and […]

The Visionist

Chloe N. Clark

The Visionist

She reads the temperature of storms in the dance of pine needles and the way light falls through windows—is it plummeting? Leaping? Accidentally tumbling?

When she finds thumbprints on pieces of glass, she counts the whorls, knows the lives these ridges lived upon

Once she tried to help, explained the […]

Introduction to Abyss & Apex Poetry, Issue 54

Hello readers of good poetry,

I am delighted to present another excellent slate of poems to you from various regions of the country. The poetry in this issue is heavily surreal and fantastic.

It opens with a sixth-sense type of poem, “The Visionist,“ by Chloe Clark (Ames, IA). The chill she leaves is intensified in […]