“But you can see me under this green mesh” by Renée Francoeur in Squawk Back
Francoeur covers her tenacious heroine with objects throughout this direct and hearty first person narrative, creating a highly charged set of cohesive scenes filled with symbolism and emotion. From family jewelry to “nuzzling swan necks of white sheets,” the presence of these things near, on, and covering her act as a force for solidity after she announces, “I’m going to Yellowknife for surgery.” I really like her use of sensory details here—vibrant and gritty, yet honest with vulnerability. Francoeur is a storyteller I definitely want to continue to follow to see where she will lead. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor
“To Marvell, In The Fall” by Lanette Cadle in Rat’s Ass Review
Cadle’s poem is a perfect way to start autumn. It is delightful with lovely language, making you optimistic about the coming season until the very last line chills you to your soul. Get ready for the coming cold by reading this piece and filling your belly with its food-related imagery. It’ll keep you from starving this winter. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant
“Crocodile Tears” by Sarah Sorenson in Five:2:One
Sorenson hooked me with the very first sentence of this story, and I loved it all the way to the very last word.
If you could have a conversation with a risen-from-the-dead Sylvia Plath in a donut shop, wouldn’t you? There is such grace, humor, and kindness wrapped in the spot-on dialogue and lovely visuals. This short fiction piece truly goes by in a flash, but thankfully, Five:2:One includes an audio clip of the work as well to make you feel more full. Full of donuts and transcendental connection. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor
“Getting Mary Out of the Way” by Natalie Solmer in The Fem
Solmer’s poem makes me both ache and smile. It is so well crafted that I can feel the emotions it brings up in my very bones. It brings the story of Mary and Joseph to a brand new, modern light, filling the story with basement bars and condoms. Solmer makes it connectable to today’s lives and stories, just like all the poems that hang on over the centuries do. I feel like this poem might be one that will be around decades upon decades from now, still being reread and reread. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant
“faint-lit photo-thought” by Stephen Massimilla in POSIT
The style of this beautiful poem seems to, via my eye/mind, frame an instructed lightness to the deep emotions of the protagonist. Filled with generous italics, parentheses, lowercase letters, Massimilla’s intention is empathetic, even sympathetic with her. As I read and feel her inferred longing, I also get the urge to teach her to love herself more —and think less. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor
“Little Deaths” by Nicole Rollendar in Queen of Cups
Rollendar has a knack for imagery with phrases like “secret bloomers hung drip-drying in the basement.” She makes you see things, touch things, and hear things. Her words are magic, utter magic. I can’t wait to read more of her work, as she is an incredibly impressive writer. ~Emily Ramser, Editorial Assistant
“Festival of the Cranes” by Elizabeth Cohen in Tallow Eider Quarterly
When I think of fall, I think of changes, colors and movement. Cohen’s poem mixes a love of nature and a human memory with a comparison that flows like the flight of the cranes in her work. She knows the lessons we can learn from the natural world and describes the scene in such a way that is at once romantic, yet still grounded in reality. ~Laurel Dowswell, Features Editor
Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.
Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collectionI Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.