• #11Forklift, Ohio: Issue #11
  • #12Forklift, Ohio: Issue #12
  • #13Forklift, Ohio: Issue #13
  • #14Forklift, Ohio: Issue #14
  • #15Forklift, Ohio: Issue #15
  • #16Forklift, Ohio: Issue #16
  • #17Forklift, Ohio: Issue #17
  • #18Forklift, Ohio: Issue #18
  • #19Forklift, Ohio: Issue #19
  • #20Forklift, Ohio: Issue #20
  • #21Forklift, Ohio: Issue #21
  • #22Forklift, Ohio: Issue #22
  • #23Forklift, Ohio: Issue #23
  • #24Forklift, Oeno: Bin #24
  • #25Forklift, Ohio: Issue #25
  • #26Forklift, Ohio: Issue #26
  • #27Forklift, Ohio: Issue #27
  • #28Forklift, Ohio: Issue #28
  • #29-30Forklift, Ohio: Issue #29-30
  • #31Forklift, Ohio: Issue #31
  • #32Forklift, Ohio: Issue #32
  • #33Forklift, Ohio: Issue #33
  • #34Forklift, Ohio: Issue #34

 

Weston Cutter

Another Tattoo I’ll Never Get

 
reads just enough butter, just
enough knife. I don’t know
what it means but I’ve been misunderstanding more
+more gratefully as the days
swim merrily away and no
thing’s the fish you think it is: last night’s sushi
was listed as tuna but tasted
more like the wondering I do
near daily lately about the people I used to chew
through experience with
but now are gone, small recalled
bits of living that catch in brain’s periphery while I’m
trying to stop the daughter
from removing every jar of spice
from the cabinet and making a trail across the floor.
Perhaps she’s right +what
these steps have lacked
has been cardamom, turmeric. +why not step in pepper,
grind flavor into paths—
it’s not as if anything lasts:
every step washes away. The best-built anything’s
a scratchpad the cat
of experience or time
or whatever will gouge away, each face+ punchline,
all the vivid ink we try
to press into things
to mark the fleeting sentiment, the flavor barely
leaving trace on our dumb
beautiful tongues.
 
 
Erika Meitner

Funkchance

 
is the name of a wireless network
that pops up on my phone
as we drive 250 near Wooster
in flurries, in almost-dark,
 
while cops wave us past with
lighted batons that signal incident,
that motion please-look-at-this-
catastrophe.  And there it is,
 
framed by silent fire trucks
banked on the side of the road:  
a candy apple red car flipped
in a ditch and crushed,
 
roof flattened, windows
blown out. The lights
of emergency vehicles
flash yellow, blue, white
 
make the night dangerously
festive, give the surrounding
houses, with their inflatables
and LED icicles, their luminaries
 
and their radiant nativity sets
a run for their money. The men
with neon flares windmill
their glowing arms to assure us
 
we are all under the care
of strangers—earlier, the IHOP
waitress with the whiskey voice
named Mary who told us
 
we brought the sunshine,
then the hostesses dressed
as elves smoking in the parking lot
of the next-door Pilot, flirting
 
with truckers.  Was it an Amish
buggy that distracted the driver
of that car?  Deer dashing
across the asphalt at dusk? 
 
It is almost Christmas
and everyone is in on the act,
even the radio, even this accident.
On an overpass nearby in red
 
spray paint: I LOVE YOU BABYDOLL.
We love you babydoll. We love you
person on a gurney. Get well soon.
We drive past your wreckage
 
without stopping while everyone’s
signals cross:  default, linksys, virus,
GodisGreat, youfoundme, getlost,
JEMguest, batcave, funkchance.
 
 
Amelia Ferguson

Mud

 
As it all wells up
I’m sicka welling up.
Sky pregnant
from the clouds.
Sicka being lonely.
Dim lights, dumplings
for one. Sicka being
okay with it. What if
sadnesses weren’t stone?
Sicka being a bag of stones.
If I were rain, if I were all but mud.
Sicka being mud.
Sicka weeping like rain
and I’m swept by the clouds.
Sicka this height. If my brittle lips
could talk you into salt I wouldn’t
talk you into salt. Still,
if I were rain I’d still be mud
sicka ruining your shoes.
 John Findura

Pancakes in a Small Town

 
I watch the pancakes
absorb the syrup
as fast as I pour
 
If there was much else
to do I’m certain we
would be doing it
 
We will walk around
the block again, the air
still so very cold on
our newly warm faces
 
You stop, clear your throat,
finally ask me what it is I
want, more than anything
 
I am overcome with emotion:
I long to be cash-only in a
no-credit-accepted world 
 
 
Layne Ransom

Heavy Weather

 
The wind is basically stupid.
I shove a scarf down my throat and crocodile
cry, then for real cry because that option is available
most Tuesdays. Bicyclists of a certain disposition
zoom on past like a car could slice me open into a geode
of blood right now no big deal. Like a fairy tale cartoon
where a fox tries to escape a bear trap, it isn’t clear
yet whether the moral of my life will center
around friendship or death.
 
 
George Kalamaras

I Taste a Range of Loving

 
I hear the symmetrical reasoning of orangutan orange.
I know you keep rock salt on your boots, just in case of winter prairie fires.
 
I have followed the swathe of your foot until I no longer bleed.
Yes, I hated my childhood, but now I’m abrupt.
 
Adult talk seemed about confiscating the heart.
How many scoldings, largely in my chest, planted feedings of great black birds?
 
The locomotives of public connotation suggest a scratching, at the door, of private wolves.
I said grass but didn’t mean green. I meant seaside hermitage in Puri, but said eelgrass on the altar of the spine.
 
Sometimes, meditating late into the night, I taste a range of loving not unlike ice caked on the winter candle’s window reflection.
No, I do not have a clearer way of rendering paradox, even if I wasn’t partially dead.
 
It’s there, not so confusingly, among every primate with some degree of hair.
Each day a brother or sister brings me a jeweled sack composed either of angry leaves or kind inventions.

 
 
Kallie Falandays

Hear Stable Stable

 
M says that he has a mast on his lungs,
not a mast, he says, a mass.
 
I picture a church splitting open over his lungs,
the choir shifting from leg to leg to stable
themselves: I say stable and he pictures
 
wood burning on the side of a mountain,
all of the people from the rhyme spinning out
like an ocean.
 
He says open and I hear broken,
the bedroom that we are lounging in is not
a bedroom, it is a woven maple.
 
 
 
David Rutschman

The Unnaming

This evening will be the unnaming. Will you join us?
 
We will begin with the newest things—this is no longer
an iPhone, this is no longer a text message—and we will
work our way back. The process may take many years;
we aren’t sure. This is no longer a highway. This is no
longer a kite.
 
We’ve been wanting to do this for as long as we can remember.
 
This is no longer a radiator; this is no longer a spoon.
 
All the way back: this is no longer your mother. This is no longer the dark.

We really hope you can make it.