Beyond Words Magazine, Issue 40, October 2023

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T h e oct op u s w i l l h i d e an d seek . T h ey p l ay an d toy, T h ey squ eeze an d sn eak i n si d e y ou r m i n d . L i ke y ou . T h ey ?r e ch an gi n g col or s al l th e ti m e, T h ey h u n t an d eat th ei r p r ey al i ve, col d B l ood p u m p i n g th r ou gh th ei r vei n s. L i ke y ou r s. T h ey h ave t h r ee h ear t s. Cou l d n ?t y ou h ave h ad a sp ar e on e, Ju st t o l ove m e w i t h a l ov i n g h ear t? T h ei r l i m bs gr ow back . I f I eat a baby octop u s al i ve, W i l l i t gr ow i t s ar m s i n si d e m e, p i er ce m y f eti d f l esh an d scaly sk i n To r ev i ve m y w i t h er ed w i n gs? W i l l i t h eal t h e d r eam s y ou ?ve sh att er ed i n t o sh ar d s? T h e f em al e oct op u s w i l l star ve to p r otect th e eggs sh e?s l ai d . T h e of f sp r i n g ou t, h er goal f u l f i l l ed , Sh e w i l l be gn aw ed to p i eces h al f al i ve. M y eggs u n l ai d , I w i l l si t sti l l to f eed of f O f m y sever ed w i n gs an d sl i d e i n to a l i v i n g d eath .

A r tw or k : Rach el K avan agh


A r b i t r ar y H ab i t s D u sti n W h i te th at m ap l e w e p l an ted som e 15? y ear s ago bu r n ed u p f r om th e r oots tod ay scr eam i n g al l t h e w h i l e l eaves l oosen i n g on e by on e th e st ar s y ou gl u ed to m y bed r oom cei l i n g cr ash i n g t o ear t h bu r i ed u n d er 12? y ear s of st r an ge w al l p ap er Fi r st , I see i t r ef l ect ed , l i ck s an d sol ar f l ar es squ i r m i n g u p Fr en ch w i n d ow s l i ke r ai n d r op s r et u r n i n g h om e. ash an d soi l u n d er m y f i n ger n ai l s gr i p p i n g st ai n ed bed sh eets p u l l i n g m y h ai r ou t f r om th e r oots tod ay f l am es accen tu at e m y 23? y ear s of i n h al i n g f u m es N ex t , t h r ou gh gr een catar act h aze, w h er e th e k i tch en r ag cl i n gi n g to m y f ace sm el l s l i ke baby r ed p otat o sk i n s an d ex tr a- v i r gi n ol i ve oi l . p r y i n g t h e t i l es f r om y ou r sh ow er ju st t o see w h o l i ves beh i n d y ou r 34? y ear s of bu i l d i n g w al l s gr ou t u n d er m y f i n ger n ai l s l i ke gr i p p i n g w et d en i m I see i t f i n al ly i n t h e p al m of m y h an d , cel est i al d ebr i s, w or th l ess th an m y r ecy cl i n g an d m or e th an a l i f et i m e of u n l ear n ed l esson s.


OUR EDITORIAL BOARD A hearing impaired writer and artist adopted in Luxembourg, Kelly Sargent is an award-winning author of two memoirs in verse, a haiku and senryu poetry collection, and a children’s storybook. Recent honors include: Firebird Book Award winner, The Rash Award in Poetry finalist, Eric Hoffer Award nominee, Touchstone Award for Individual Poems nominee, and Best of the Net nominee. Her other works have appeared in more than eighty literary journals. She also serves as the creative nonfiction editor of The Bookends Review. Visit to learn more about her. Callum Foulds is a poet, recording artist and an Arts and humanities graduate based in Nottingham, UK. Their work has been featured in Beyond Words Magazine and their debut pamphlet, Morning, grey sky is out February 2023 on Electric Frog Ltd. In their free time they enjoy writing poetry, consuming copious amounts of gorgeous coffee, releasing music as ghost orange and scaring themselves silly watching horror movies. They are most passionate about innovative forms of poetry and prose. Diliana Stoyanova is a Bulgarian-Finnish spoken-word and sound poet, and PhD candidate based in Helsinki. A 2019 Finnish national slam finalist and an avid performer, she writes to take ownership of her own narrative. Her poetry moto is 'Sometimes I do the words, and sometimes the words do me.' She has been published in magazines and anthologies, most recently in the "Poetry and Settled Status for All" published by Civic Leicester to support refugees and migrants. K.D. Zwierz is a lecturer, musician and poet. His poetry was recently featured in the anthology Ukraine in the work of international poets (Literary Waves). His writing explores themes of displacement, cultural identity and historical relativism, explored through the analysis of his own experiences growing up in a migrant farming community. Of Polish-Italian descent, he lives and writes between Croatia, Kuwait and the UK. Colby Flade (he/him) is a queer writer, artist, avid drinker of coffee, and student based in Chicago. He is the author of The Smell of the Light Blue House in Summertime (2021), Menthol (2022), Fear Home (Oyez Review, Vol. 49, 2022), Short Sweet Simple: Love Poems (Bottlecap Press, 2022), Ignis Fatuus (Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Issue 35, 2023) and The Fly & Odor (Beyond Words Press, 2023). Colby’s work can be found online, at bookshops like This Old Book in Grayslake, Illinois & The Book Teller in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. Flade attended DePaul University, studying Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse, and is currently pursuing

a degree in Early Childhood Education. Find him on Instagram @theflade and on Erin Challenor (she/her) is an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, studying creative writing, political science, and American studies. Originally from Portland, Oregon, she likes pennies, sticky notes, slam poetry, and cats. She likes writing about the Generation Z experience and is Managing Editor for the literary magazine The Jupiter Review. Noah Evan Wilson is a writer and musician based in New York City. His stories have been published in Beyond Words, Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine, and Prime Number Magazine, among others, as well as the anthology, Ten Ways the Animals Will Save Us, from Retreat West Books. Noah is currently an MFA candidate at Rutgers University-Newark. His latest record, The View from the Ground – EP, is now available on all major streaming platforms. Candi Martin is a Creative Writing tutor and published writer/ editor who writes on social equality and our roots in this world. She holds MA Creative Writing and Wellbeing from Teesside University and has always written for her own wellbeing. She can usually found listening to BBC6 music with a huge cup of tea. Insta @candi_says_ @writingforwellnessrossendale Brian "Brie" Sheridan is a writer and editor existing on the East Coast. They are currently trying to publish their first chapbook. In their free time, the enjoy playing nostalgic video games, planning out tattoos, and drag. Roberta Laurie is the author of Weaving a Malawi Sunrise. She holds an MA in Environmental Education and Communication and teaches in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University. Roberta writes about writing, nature, sustainability, and sustainability communication. She is currently writing a memoir inspired by a box of letters left behind by her father. Sam Burt is a tutor and proofreader living in London. Since finishing a master’s in creative writing, he has edited for Exposition Review, Bandit Fiction, F(r)iction, and Beyond Words. Off-page, he volunteers with an LGBTQ+ charity and runs the East London Indie Book Club. He is always thinking about working on a novel.

WRITERS Jennifer Newell has enjoyed a career spanning from Broadway to nonprofit administration to corporate executive. She finds joy in learning, experiencing, nature, people, animals, food, travel, music, art, literature, and writing. Érico Melo Silva lives in Philadelphia, PA and works as a mathematician. Elizabeth Adilman, @eadilman earned her MFA in poetry at the age of 60. A Canadian author, she is inspired by nature—the nature of who we are, how we got here and how to live fully with each moment. Her work is forthcoming or has been published in anthologies: Voicing Suicide; The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling; Island Writer Magazine, Minerva Rising Press, and VanIsle Poetry Collective among others. Patricia Cannon is a registered nurse. She has worked in cardiac critical care, neurointensive care, hemeoncology, school nursing, and currently, in research. Her passion is her faith, photography, and the written word in all its forms. She would like to thank Mike Coleman and Marsha Ziff for their valuable input on her poem Under the Rainbow. Dick Altman writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, NM, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, Landing Zone, Cathexis, Humana Obscura, Haunted Waters Press, Split Rock Review, The Ravens Perch, Beyond Words, New Verse News, Wingless Dreamer, Blueline, Sky Island Journal and others here and abroad. A Pushcart nominee and poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition, he has in progress two collections of some 150 published poems. His work has been selected for the forthcoming first volume of The New Mexico Anthology of Poetry, to be published by the New Mexico Museum Press. Janna Wilson is a Vancouver-based poet whose recent work has appeared in Paddler Press and Discretionary Love. Her first chapbook, The Octopus Hunter, was published by Leaf Press in 2010. Claire McGoff grew up in Colorado and Texas, and has lived in Maryland for years now. After her children were grown, she had the privilege to return to school for her Master's in writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. In March 2022, her debut collection "From These Outskirts" was published.

Lina Buividavičiūtė was born on May 14, 1986. She is a poet and literary critic. Lina is an author of two poetry books in the Lithuanian language. Her poetry is published in "Matter", "Masters" and “Proverse Poetry Prize" contest anthologies, "Drunk Monkeys", "Beyond Words", "The Dewdrop", "The Limit Experience", "Beyond Queer Words", "Maudlin House", "Cathexis Northwest Press", "Poetry Online", "Red Noise Collective", "Sad Girls Diaries" magazines as well as "Versopolis" poetry platform. Upcoming publications include “New Millennium Writings”, "Cathexis Northwest Press", "Red Noise Collective", "The Stardust Review" and “Beyond Words” magazines. Liv Amiri is a highschool poet currently living in Los Angeles. She has been previously recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as well as Just Poetry. She is always on the hunt for a new book recommendation, and always has one at the ready. Mary Paulson’s writing has appeared in multiple publications, most recently in Sparks of Calliope, The Pomegranate London, Vita Brevis’ ANTHOLOGY IV, Hare’s Paw, VAINE Magazine and Cathexis Northwest Press. Her debut chapbook, Paint the Window Open was published by Kelsay Publishing in 2021. She lives in Naples, Florida. Claire Lancaster is a Creative Writing and Professional Writing and Rhetoric student at Elon University. She has won multiple awards for her writing at her university: namely, a Frederick Hartmann award and a Philip Carret award. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a Master's in English. Janet McMillan Rives lives in Oro Valley, Arizona. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Beyond Words, Lyrical Iowa, Raw Art Review, Ekphrastic Review, MacQueen's Quinterly, Crosswinds, Creosote and Canary. She is the author of two chapbooks: Into This Sea of Green: Poems from the Prairie (Finishing Line Press, 2020) and Washed by a Summer Rain: Poems from the Desert (Kelsay Books, 2023). Laura Bota is an emerging writer who has been shortlisted for various writing contests, and whose poems and short stories have been published in multiple international journals and anthologies. The main themes she addresses revolve around the human condition, existential crises and social injustices, mostly situated in a troubled pre- and post-communist Romania. Garrett Davis is a plumber by day and a writer whenever he can muster the courage. He lives in B.C, Canada.

Dustin White is a queer, non-binary graduate student in Colorado working toward a doctorate in molecular biology and neuroscience. When they’re not dissecting brains, they try using theirs to uplift LGBTQIA+ people through creative writing. Born and raised in Texas, southern queerness is a subject they particularly enjoy exploring. Emma Schmitz studied creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and is now a halfway homesteader at 6,000 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada mountains with her partner and a couple of pit bulls. She's currently living her seventh life of nine as a small business owner in the financial sector and, separately, a beer writer, judge, and educator with the mission of evolving the craft beer industry. Her creative work has been published in The Good Life Review's Micro Monday, The Tiny Journal, and The Closed Eye Open's Maya's Micros. See what she's fermenting @wildbeerwriter. Jazmine Becerra-Green (she/her) is a Jewish, Chicanx writer whose work has been published in The Boston Globe, LA YOGA Magazine, and She hosts a podcast called First Words, which explores the messiness of parenting and writing. Jazmine is working on a memoir. M.M. Kelly holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, where she studied cross-genre in fiction as well. She also holds an A.B. in Political Theory from Princeton University and a J.D. from Virginia Law. Her poetry has appeared in Hanging Loose, The Shore and Quarter after Eight; her work is forthcoming in The Asheville Review and Jabberwock Review. She lives on a farm in Virginia with her shepherd dog, Huck.

VISUAL ARTISTS Cover art: Self portrait in a landfill by Melissa Lockwood. Melissa is an interdisciplinary artist, design science researcher and conceptual art performer. Her current ongoing performance art work is one that influences the fashion industry to lower its waste on fabrics during production. Melissa’s work has been shown Internationally, Venice Biennale preview Weekend, Vogue, on runaways in print and online. Denise Grossman, Existential Edge. Denise is a visual artist working in the medium of soft pastels on textured surfaces such as paper and wood. She is basically a self-taught artist. However, for the past five years she has studied formally and informally with professional fine artist online and in-person workshops. Her work is created intuitively which is facilitated through, prayer and meditation. Her goal is to provide art work for the viewer in ways that nurture the human spirit and brings comfort to one’s heart and soul. Alexx Mayes, Alchemist; Welcome to the Future. Alexx is a fine art portrait photographer holding a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno with an emphasis in photography, cinema and art history. Alexx has specific interest in exhibiting the human psyche being altered by technological singularity using cinematic-style photography as a medium. Velibor Baćo was born in Bosnia and came to Austria as a war refugee. After studying law in Salzburg, Austria he worked in the banking industry. Currently living in Vienna, Austria he paints abstract art and writes German and English poetry and prose. Claire Gordon, Weaver. Claire is a chainsaw-wielding poet and painter located on Vancouver Island. She works in the backcountry of Strathcona and Cape Scott Provincial Parks, where she likes to take photos. Her written work has appeared in Canadian Yogi, The Navigator, and Portal Magazine. Adeet Deshmukh, Solo Flight. Adeet is a photographer based in New York City. His images capture the interplay between light/shadow and emotion/composition—in the streets of Manhattan and Mumbai, in the faces of family and strangers, and in the fields of Iceland and the Midwest. Adeet has had shows in Chicago and New York, and his work has appeared in various print publications. Most recently, his photography was featured in a group show at the CUSP Gallery in Provincetown.

Deb Chaney, Tangled Heart. Deb has been creating and exhibiting her mixed media abstract paintings for two decades. Her work is composed of many intriguing layers and textures and inspired by her healing and spiritual journey back to her authentic self. Her work appears in corporate and private collections and exhibits nationally and internationally in galleries, public art, TV and Film.; IG - debchaneyartist; FB – contemporaryabstractartist. Janice Phelps Williams is a writer, illustrator, and painter who has been involved with the launch of 200+ titles. She has a BFA in Studio Art. Visit her website:, and on social media: FB: janicephelpswilliams.paintings, IG: janicephelpswilliams. Daniel Atyim, The Exception to the Copy Rule, 2023, 30 x 22 in, ink and aluminum tape on paper. Originally from Southern California, Daniel received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and an MFA from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. His studio is currently located in western Wisconsin where he is incubating artwork to be hatched soon. Jack Bordnick, Facing It Together Series. Jack’s sculptures and photography incorporate surrealistic, mythological and magical imagery often with whimsical overtones — aimed at provoking our experiences and self reflections. Aiming to unbalance our rational minds, the predominant imagery deals mostly with facial expressions of both living and “non-living” beings, and things that speak to us in their own languages. They are mixed media assemblages that have been assembled, disassembled and reassembled, becoming abstractions unto themselves. Lawrence Bridges, Footprints After the Storm, Malibu, California. Lawrence is best known for work in the film and literary world. His photographs have recently appeared in the Las Laguna Art Gallery 2023, Humana Obscura, Wanderlust a Travel Journal, the London Photo Festival, and the ENSO Art Gallery in Malibu, California. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Tampa Review, and Ambit. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums (Red Hen Press, 2006), Flip Days (Red Hen Press, 2009) and Brownwood (Tupelo Press, 2016). Marine Fonteyne, Drift. Marine has been a successful international professional photographer for more than 20 years and recently felt the need to move beyond her bidimensional work. She started to build new tactile stories using embroidering over photography, and experimenting with fiber sculptures, textile installation, and printing her meaningful images on intricate fabrics to express in a more compelling way her visual narratives.

Tanya Wischerath, Interiors. Tanya is a painter and printmaker based out of San isco, California. She has been honing her oil painting skills since 2003 and is certified to teach in the Atelier style of painting. All of Tanya's paintings are autobiographical; she uses her community as models, their depictions vacillating between literal and allegorical and depict an intimate and surreal landscape of gender fluidity and contemporary queer expression. Lior Locher, Alchemy #2. Lior is a nonbinary mixed-media artist, mainly working in acrylic and collage and printmaking. After having lived in 6 countries on 4 continents and being homeless at some point, they are now based at the English seaside. They are fascinated by people’s inner lives and how we make sense of our own inner journeys as humans, and the inner dynamics and stories we tell ourselves. Kala, A Calling Forth. Kala is a visual artist and poet based in Chicago. Her art is meant to attune people to the infinite power of the imagination. Kim McNealy Sosin, Sentidos de Uxmal. Kim lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Her poems and photographs have appeared in such journals Raw Art Review, Good Life Review, Beyond Words, Fine Lines, Failed Haiku, Daily Haiga, Voices from the Plains, Landscape Magazine, The Heron’s Nest, Ekphrastic Review, and Sandcutters. Her photographs were featured as the cover for several of these journals. Rachel Kavanagh, In Between. Rachel is a queer artist based in Belfast, Ireland. Her work examines queer experience, using the mediums of sculpture, lens, installation and illustration. Tajla Medeiros, Bonfire. Tajla is a Brazilian multidisciplinary artist currently researching queer ecologism. She grieves for the world's last forest by embodying its verbs. Her artwork has been recently published in Wild Roof Journal, Rawlit and has been selected for Beyond Queer Words 2023's anthology. Barbara Sarvis, False Security; The Evening of the Blood Red Moon. Barbara is an artist, writer and educator. During the last ten years, she wrote, illustrated and published five children's books in addition to having 3 paintings published this year by literary journals. At present she works as a Gallery Teacher at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts and lives in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Cherloria Maskell, Beloved. Cherloria has cerebral palsey. Her mind works differently. Art and novel writing is her therapy.

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