Pocket Thoughts

Issue 1

Letter From The Editor:
Dear Readers, It is important that all of you know why I decided to create Pocket Thoughts. For years, I have been consistently improving my skills as both a writer and an editor. Through the hard work required by both facets of literature, I have summarily determined that one cannot exist without the other. Sure, a lot of us may find it easy to criticize work that we come across, but I guarantee that most of us could not thoroughly explain why what we found was incorrect. On the reverse side of this Plato and Aristotle coin, editors are not often able to fully comprehend the diversity of literature. Perhaps this is an arrogant idea, but I am simply referring to the amount of magazines available. One after another, magazines are created to be genre-specific, and it is not difficult to understand why. There is usually a lot of success in genre-targeting-magazines, because these magazines – especially with today’s marketing capabilities via social media – can easily keep readers as long as they keep up with the fast pace of entertainment. This means that quite a lot of editors become specially tailored to their interests. Only a few excellent magazines are able to rise above narrowed talents and become their own “zine” so to speak. Pocket Thoughts aims to do this, because it simply does not acquire a bias based on genre; This magazine will never become genre-specific. You will notice that the first issue of Pocket Thoughts does not have any short stories, but I want to make it clear that Pocket Thoughts accepts short stories. Many of those who submitted work to the magazine submitted poetry and various styles of experimentation. I applaud your efforts and want to make it known that it was not easy to become one of Pocket Thoughts authors. Approximately 38% percent of the submissions were accepted and no multiple submissions from one author can be found within the current issue, which – incidentally – will never change. Depending on the amount of submissions at the end of this month, I will decide whether to continue publishing an issue each month or step back to allow more diversity within the types of submissions. I also want to note that I have received a few applications for the two editorial positions that are currently open. Each looks promising, so I can guarantee that Pocket Thoughts will continue to grow and offer more excellent work in the future. When I say that this magazine will grow, I do not mean that you will be offered tons of work in each issue. Just like you cannot fit a large book in your pocket, I doubt that any of you will want to stuff your minds with too much “kibble,” and I am positive that Philip K. Dick would agree.

Ultimately, this magazine is certainly my baby, but I want everyone to know that Pocket Thoughts is your baby as well. Without support and constant interaction from readers, the magazine will become forgotten. It is up to you to make this magazine great. Take pride in the knowledge that you can keep these thoughts in your pocket – wherever you may go. Enjoy the talent that is offered and share Pocket Thoughts with everyone you know. After all, everyone should know your thoughts. Don’t just keep them in your pocket. Read well and Read again, Joseph L.M. Sturm Chief Editor of Pocket Thoughts P.S. You can follow Pocket Thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. Keep checking for tutorials, quotes, contests, and more!

Tightrope by Valentina Cano It’s unending, this line I walk across. It is too dark to see in front of me, a coffee bite to the air around me. The world is throbbing with words you’ve already said and will say again, moments multiplying like echoes, so that I can’t feel my way through anymore. There’s no light. None to guide me out. And I know I will fall, grappling for sheets of your voice.
 Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her work has appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus, White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I'm Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize. You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com

Drove his sedan into the surf by Alex Damov Drove his sedan into the surf and set there sipping hooch beyond oil tankers hollered at sperm whales soft and huge the tide set in the heart caved in small crabs of pink and blue note was frank she ever was I know you will pull through
 Alex Damov is a poet residing in Woodinville, WA. His work has been published Bricolage Magazine (UW), quiteShorts Magazine and Ruckus Among Earl Grey's OverEasy.

Hundreds of words by Steven Harz

In my head and mouth, there are 26 letters that I’ll use to form hundreds of words that tell you and the world and myself that I need you or I don’t or some other lie

Back by Allison Grayhurst Carelessly moving from place to place but changeless as a brick under a porch and strong as that brick: A taste of stagnation, purified by the bonds that have kept you from fulfillment. But there is heat drying your light, dead things that have been making their way beside your immaculate arms and I have been trying to lift them with my hands. But my hands are made of thin glass. And these things have thighs and impenetrable open eyes, looking at you – wondrous lover, missionary of the current. It is only them between us, between the wall and the way out. Take this mortal thinning and give nothing to regrets: We sing for each other and you are free. I feel it in the sparrows lined along the roofline and in your tired features morphing into winter branches – richer brown, moist – like just before a spring bloom.
 Allison Grayhurst’s poems have been published in over 115 journals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, including The Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Wascana Review, Poetry Nottingham International, The Cape Rock, Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry, and White Wall Review. Her work was also included in the Insomniac Press anthology “Written In The Skin.” Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995.

what they call memory by David McLean this is what they call “memory,” where all the dead come to speak to us of nothing and a world outside all the windows, still turning as history grows on it like plants growing hairy on paper tables, and this is what memory is: dead worlds where dead men whisper behind windows their provocative history of silence, while everything else lives
 David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with his partner, dog, and cats. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Cadaver’s Dance (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), Pushing Lemmings (Erbacce Press, 2009), and Laughter At Funerals (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel Henrietta Remembers is forthcoming. More information about David McLean can be found at his blog http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com/

Trust Me by Natalie Miller They only told you it was normal so they wouldn't accidently meet your stare. That really is the only reason they reassured you so many times, you know. They were afraid of what contact with your eyes could do. It's really not normal to mold all those little bits of used eraser into a giraffe or alligator, and they were staring at your sculptures, not a bird that flew by the window. Normal people don't mumble poems to themselves, either. The mouth isn't especially hard to keep shut, at least in my experience. When you walk, try not to skip or drag your feet or spin around or walk over to the other side of the hallway; it's obnoxious and people are bothered by it. You could try wearing real clothes, too. You don't need to put on the rainbow every morning to express yourself. You'll never really fit in, though. Once you've become different, there's no going back. Am I lying to you? Of course not. I promise. But then again, so did they. There's really no one you can trust, but believe me when I say that you are crazy. Maybe not even crazy. But certainly not normal. You were never normal and you never will be.


A malicious circle of light shined on a gray sidewalk; a staging area for the lost and strangers to pass through.

A neon diner light flashed open, welcoming the late and weary, the hopeful and hungry; the door creaked open, releasing the aroma of fried peppers and burnt toast. A curious wind slapped at a used car lots ‘grand opening’ banner. A city bus hissed by; tired heads leaned heavily onto dirty windows. A car door opened, releasing a flurry of voices from its cramped space and then sharply closed, allowing the sidewalk to reclaim the night.

Codeine Christmas Eve by Dave Hardin Tires on Lakeshore Drive sound like damp skin peeled clean of an endless adhesive bandage unwound to reveal no visible wounds. A dull razor riding along the contour of patrician chin that juts into Lake St. Clair below Vernier Road taking the utmost care to avoid nicking the thin skin of exposed neck stretched tight above Windmill Pointe Drive. Menthol splash from the curling sheet off Canada swept in to soothe abraded estates grown lush and full from the stubble of French ribbon farms, a bracing slap in the face to sting flood-lit Mary’s

and Joseph’s, huddled trio’s of prostrate wise men warming their hands, thawing their myrrh over drums of burning pallets, a lava flow of colored lights, bulb after bulb homing in on a targeted neuron, rendering the season in crisp pixilation. Bygone Rx stringencies demanded both a wink and a nod, “A bottle of your best, Lloyd” to nurse a pertussint cough persistent enough to draw mother’s and father’s attention, exacting draftsmanship demanding persistence, devouring pencils like pretzel rods, easier in the end to render the wandering magnetic pole in a half-hearted sketch, only beginning to limn dim icebergs off the starboard bow towering over the deck where they rearranged the chairs and prescribed a double quelling dose. Tires on Lakeshore Drive echo across the years the faded sound of a late night drive trailing a falling star, wallowing in frankincense, swaddled in self-righteousness, wreathed in dull eyed oh woe is me.

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