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Dear Readers, 

As we enter our third year of publication Spare Parts Literary has undergone a stage of very exciting expansion. In the last few months we have welcomed to our staff two new Editors; Poetry Editor Oladejo Abdullah Feranmi & Flash Fiction + Art Editor Jonathan Darren Garcia, both in permanent residence, as well as a fledgling team of enthusicastic readers.

One of our chief concerns at Spare Parts Literary has always been that the works which we publish never eclipse the artists themselves, and we take our commitment to supporting our network of contributors and Editorial Team seriously, after all art in whatever context is and will always be a vehicle for communication. So we encourage you to explore our
masthead to get to know the Spare Parts Team better, and to explore the links provided in our creator bios to discover more of these incredible creatives' portfolios.

I cannot overstate h
ow edifying it has been to witness this magazine growing from strength to strength, not only behind the scenes but in our readership, our submissions count and our budding, broadening branches
The Desk & ART/ificial. Both of which will be releasing new material alongside this Volume.

True to form, Volume 8 writhes with mesmirising works of art, fiction and poetry, each new voice a current, an undertowe, an engulfing wave. This collection is fully immersive, intoxicating and inspired, and arguably one of our most potent publications to date.

It is humbling and affirming to Edit for this magazine and daily encounter and collaborate with a global community with such unlimited talents, thus it is, as always, with profound gratitude and pleasure that I present, Spare Parts Literary Volume 8.



Oak Ayling

(Editor in Chief)

VOL 8.


by Nolo Segundo


I miss the big navels when they are not in season,

but almost any orange will do when I really want to see God.


But it must be done right, this seeing, this apprehension of the

Lord of the Universe, Lord of All the Worlds, both seen and



First I feel how firm the orange is, rolling it in my hands,

the hands of an artist, the hands of a poet, and now the stiff

and cracked hands of an old man--

then I slice it in half and look at its flesh, its brightness,

its moistness, its color--

if the insides beckon, urging my mouth to bite,

I first cut each half into half and then slowly, carefully--

as all rituals demand-- I put one of the cut pieces between

my longing lips and gradually, with a sort of grace, bite

into the flesh of the sacrificial fruit.


I feel the juice flow down my throat and recall the taste of

every orange I ever had, even in my childhood—or so it

seems, with this little miracle of eating an orange.


As I finish absorbing, still slowly and gracefully, its flesh,

the last bit of what had been one of the myriad wonders

of the world, I look at the ragged pieces of orange peel

and I see poetry-- or God-- it’s really the same thing,

isn’t it?



My old friend and I went to a restaurant for lunch,

a ramshackle little place, but my friend told me

the food was great—and it was! Three different

chicken curries, a lovely lamb curry, and a half-

dozen veggies, and mango drinks to wash it down.


I suppose we visited the buffet more times than we

should have but we were talking philosophy as we

always did when we got together and speaking of

God and the soul and the meaning of life really

can make you hungry--then my friend said he

believed in God but had trouble with Eternity--

it seemed scary, terrifying even to think of time

going on forever, endlessly, a road never ending.


I laughed a little, then smiled at my old friend--

‘THIS is eternity! ‘ I told him, ‘Right now, this

moment as we eat this delicious curry and try

to figure out the meaning of our existence’.

I swallowed a mouthful of lamb korma and

laughed again-- ‘wherever we exist is eternity,

and we always exist somewhere, and time is

an illusion, time does not exist, except as a

moment’-- And the next moment, I asked him

if he had room for the rice pudding….

Nolo Segundo, pen name of L.j. Carber, 76, became a published poet in his 8th decade in over 150 literary journals in 12 countries on 4 continents. A trade publisher has released 3 book-length collections: The Enormity of Existence [2020]; Of Ether and Earth [2021]; and Soul Songs [2022].  These titles and much of his work reflect the awareness he’s had for over 50 years since having an NDE whilst almost drowning in the Winooski River in Vermont: That he has—IS—a consciousness that predates birth and survives death, what poets for millennia have called the soul.


Homage to Derek Walcott

By Cordelia Hanemann


birds fly out as the wheel turns

on its axle     grinds out change

in waves of heat     the slow burn

            undoing fixity


floods proliferate     deserts expand

     lands shaken by earthquakes    

            engulfed by lava cinder and ash

    air poisoned      waters choked

            with the detritus of a careless people


hear the howl of cries

across days and nights

pages of human history


torn birds and shredded butterflies

blown off-course fall into the gulf


the impartial Arctic     defeated

melts compelled at last to release

all it has held in tireless marble solitude


preoccupied minds cannot grasp

the significance of each mosquito's wing-beat

dragonfly's whir     flocks driven

into the sky     but having no harbor     


black wings darken the clear eye     

a world which we have made     

our pages writ in the Book,

our memoir      a lethal legacy


pages of torn birds

strewn across our

vanishing tundras

Cordelia Hanemann, writer and artist, currently co-hosts Summer Poets, a poetry critique group in Raleigh, NC. Professor emerita retired English professor, she conducts occasional poetry workshops and is active with youth poetry in the North Carolina Poetry Society. She is also a botanical illustrator and lover of all things botanical. She has published in numerous journals including, Atlanta Review, Laurel Review, and California Quarterly and numerous others; in several anthologies including best-selling Poems for the Ukraine and her chapbook. Her poems have been performed by the Strand Project, featured in select journals, won awards and been nominated for Pushcarts. She is now working on a novel about her Cajun roots. 


By Eugene Stevenson


Just when the Cattaraugus

filled its banks with the last of

winter, & the winds from

Lake Erie no longer could

knock a man down, you would

call with listless, distracted voice,

recount a visit of the humors,

announce their hold on

your limbs & your psyche.


Exorcism of these life threats,

these mysteries, sometimes

came at night: the paring knife

traced a line from temple to

jaw; or in the afternoon:

fingers flying over the

guitar strings in a fury until

blood from raw tips spattered

shirt & rug & wall.


Recuperation, months at least,

the summer at most, came

slowly as you nursed your body

& your brain to health with

a plan, a regimen: a dozen

bottles of pills aligned on

the countertop for breakfast,

hours in the sun, more hours with

barbells, bench, still more

reading esoterica & your work.

Just the need to rest after

the mayhem of winter: readings,

a long poem, broken love affair.


By the time the Cattaraugus

could be crossed with one stride,

you would find your health again,

then wear it like a uniform. You

would remind us of all that we

had not accomplished, were

not likely to, futile laborers, us.

We, thankful for playing in

this drama, looking for grace,

would listen to you for hours.



Play. Feet crackle on grass & weeds,

turned to hay, across fields where piles of

pruned branches & dried blossoms stand,

a hedge against efficiency & the neighbors.

Earth so sun-steamed, the lungs heave as if

thick wool blankets were draped over

treetops despite the heat of early afternoon.


Work. Hawsers bind legs, arms, mind to

the window, rain falls from the wires, pours

from the gutters. Face so riveted to the glass,

the eyes wonder what they are looking for.

Breath quickens, fingers tap incessantly,

expectant, no particular tune or rhythm,

as the sun sinks too quickly in early evening.


Black dog jumps from the shadow of

a back yard a block away, hurls bold threats,

through a register of growls pitched low,

through the muted megaphone of approach.

Black dog’s voice grows distinct, present,

though not here yet, but on the move over

hedges, fences, walls, on the move, this way.

Eugene Stevenson, son of immigrants, father of expatriates, is author of Heart’s Code (Kelsay Books, 2024) & The Population of Dreams (Finishing Line Press, 2022). His poems appear in Atlanta Review, Burningword, Delta Poetry Review, Door is a Jar, Red Ogre Review, San Antonio Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, among others, & have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. More at


By Daren Schuettpelz

That was before he glanced outside and shielded his eyes silently mouthing, “What is that?” and then turned around to see his daughter, dessert spoons in hand, vanish.

Routines are the glue that keep Neil together like some kind of Humpty Dumpty come to life. It has been that way since his wife, Estelle, gave birth to their daughter Elyse and everything changed. His child became the spotlight of his attention. The parenting books made it clear a father should be involved, not merely a disciplinarian or an absent workaholic bread winner. No. He would attend all the sports and arts performances. He would never enter a doctor’s office without knowing his daughter’s weight, height, and the names of her doctors, dentists, and emergency contacts. His social life, previously quite robust, dried up and his friendships shriveled on the vine, but his daughter thrived. She smiled. She laughed. She learned.

That was before he glanced outside and shielded his eyes silently mouthing, “What is that?” and then turned around.

Nothing summed up Neil’s love of routines and structure more than household chores. His favorite was any he could complete with his daughter. She didn’t share the love of chores, but the least offensive of these was setting the table. Neil saw meals as his family's version of communion. Holy and intimate, but in their case, not at all quiet with an effervescent child.

Neil would hand Elyse the plates with a flourish as if he was a Victorian butler and Elyse would somberly carry them to the table while Estelle brought the glasses. Neil laid out the knives, Estelle the forks, and Elyse would complete the settings with small dessert spoons.

That was before he glanced outside and shielded his eyes.

Today, and every day since all the children on Earth vanished, Neil pedantically continues the tradition. He doesn’t’ deviate from the ritual, except for the small dessert spoons. As he sets the table, he allows his hand to graze the imperfections on the table’s surface. The indents from writing too hard on homework assignments or pock marks from craft projects they completed together. Each piece gets placed just as it was when he had her to help him.

That was before he glanced outside.

The spoons were her responsibility. She held a certain ownership over those diminutive tools. While recounting the day’s events, Elyse guided those spoons like a renaissance festival puppeteer as they danced and soared through the air, acting out her apocryphal and fanciful stories.

He sometimes opens the silverware drawer and runs his fingers across the slot where the spoons used to rest. The spoons vanished with her and yet Neil continues to set the table as if this act of place setting will bring the spoons back. That this will bring Elyse back to him.

That was before.

Daren Schuettpelz works as a teacher for US military connected children stationed overseas and enjoys reading and writing short stories in his free time. His work has found homes in several literary magazines and he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. @darenisjustateacher (Twitter/X and Instagram)

By Mark Antony Rossi

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Mark Antony Rossi is a poet and playwright with work published in Another Chicago Magazine, Ariel Chart, Bombfire, Big Window Review, Yellow Chair Review.


By Michele Mekel


It was the summer of cucumber mosaic virus—

// summer of fuzzy-edged insomnia //

// summer of creeping suicidal ideation //


Blistering temperatures, tears, treatments

were followed by the fall of misaligned incentives—

// fall of restless legs and unrepentant souls //

// fall of cremation without burial //


Brutal, these times, temperaments, trajectories,

all led endlessly to yet one more—

// another season of despair //


So, I simply stopped—

// keeping calendars // 



Lupine mother

to a den of squalling regrets

lopes off

: bereft :


No prey

can sate such

                                                            : hungry sorrow :


Knit together
with leftover lines,
second-hand stanzas,
this poem—a fragmentary map
of the road to the Sun
stolen from gods
and golems.

Living in Happy Valley, Michele Mekel wears many hats of her choosing: educator, bioethicist, poetess, cat herder, witch, and woman. Mekel has more than 150 poems published, as well as a recently-released chapbook (Under a Quiet Moon). Her work has appeared in various academic and creative publications, including being featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac and nominated for Best of the Net. Her poetry has also been translated into Cherokee. She served as co-principal investigator for the Viral Imaginations: COVID-19 project (viralimaginations).


 By Frederick Pollack


When the disaster happens, nothing matters

in moral terms for a moment.

Bright light and/or dark, pain, then

the unwanted universal brotherhood.

But if you’re out of the blast zone or reach high ground,

the goddamn questions start even while you’re running:

Should I drop him? Could I have saved her?

Should I run into that building

where there are screams but no (never again any)

firemen? Did I mean anything?

Let’s say that beneath a sky which has cleared

of rain or ash and whose indifference grates,

you find yourself in one of those spaces

(a gym) our civilization

still more or less provides. The light in here

is still too great, not to mention

the noise and your internal noise,

so you walk on hills, among trees. Encounter

people, who weep, tend your wounds

and feed you. Still adrenaline-wracked

and troubled by those questions, you wander

farther. There’s a barn, a mill?

and an old man sitting in shadow.

You explain what happened, run on too long,

ask who he is. That doesn’t matter,

he says. It is, however, true that

what matters occurs in shadow.




It wasn’t true that he paid for a seat

in a lifeboat, though there were rumors later.

More likely that, despite impeccable dress,

unnecessary cane, and cigarettes he

looked younger than his years;

his dissipations on the Continent

had left no trace. An officer

apportioning seats may have thought that

at least the best of the race

would be saved. In the lifeboat,

in the last light of the foundering ship,

he huddled, cold and damp, clutching the cane.

People who had jumped, or were at last

washed from the bow floundered near

the full boat and – as many

survivors have described – uttered

a last, faint, surprised

gasp as hypothermia killed them and

they sank. Aboard the belated

Carpathia he was silent.

In New York he had no trouble

establishing himself; his father

died the same year, on a hunting trip in

the Highlands. He traveled,

always inland. Enjoyed the mountains,

deserts, badlands and cities of

the New World, never again went home.

Nor did he renew his excesses. Ignored

completely the hysteria

of the last years of the decade; was seen

with many women at many clubs, then

speakeasies, but seldom drank

to excess. Attended shows, museums;

dabbled; is mentioned in several

forgotten memoirs; his path crossed van Vechten’s,

Fitzgerald’s. But the sound stayed with him.

He began to talk too loudly, less

amusingly, with a generalized contempt;

adopted fashionable hatreds. Most

of his fortune was lost

in the great wave of the Crash.

He clung to his cane, was placed in

an asylum where, eventually,

he welcomed, laughing, the war.

Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS (Story Line Press; the former reissued 2022 by Red Hen Press), and three collections, A POVERTY OF WORDS (Prolific Press, 2015), LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018), and THE BEAUTIFUL LOSSES (Better Than Starbucks Books, September 2023). Many other poems in print and online journals.


By Robyn Braun


Pop rocks















      Leave this skin,

      With the collar bones.


On the sidewalk


For someone else

To find


I am an artist and writer living at the northern edge of Canada's Treaty 6 territory with a kick-ass 12-year-old and a cat named Fuzzy. I earned an MFA from UBC's School of Creative Writing in 2022. My poetry, prose and art have appeared in Literary Mamas, Ink in Thirds, samfiftyfour, Coin Operated Press Zines, Wrongdoing Magazine, Nightingale&Sparrow Lit Mag, Backwards Trajectory, Parakeet Magazine, little somethings press, Academy of the Heart and Mind, and my essay, "The Stutter of Emmett's Stutter" won subTerrain's 2021 Lush Triumphant Prize for CNF. My science writing has appeared in Today’s Parent, Scientific American, Discover and New Scientist.


By Clem Flowers


thin, calloused fingers

that used to play

piano in the boomtimes

traced a river

in the red


towns bloomed

alongside it

like the way

the apple orchard

used to


the road is an

endless, faceless

pit of tar & quicksand

that pulls the tired eyes

along eternal


never once

getting to

lay eyes on

what they



but that's ok


you're never supposed

to see your legacy

Clem Flowers (They/ Them) is a poet, low rent aesthete, gorgeous monstrosity, pizza man lover, and generally queer as hell cryptid, living in a cozy apartment with their wonderful spouse & sweet calico kitty. Found on Twitter @clem_flowers & on Bluesky at

By Jacelyn Yap

fragile_jacelyn 2.png

Jacelyn (she/her) recently started focusing on her art proper, having persevered through an engineering major and a short stint as a civil servant. Her artworks have appeared in adda, Chestnut Review, The Lumiere Review, and more. She can be found at and on Instagram at @jacelyn.makes.stuff


 By Laura Cooney


            It all started with a Harvest Moon. Delusions of Love on an Autumn Evening, that’s what you’d call it, if it was a novel. I basked in the glow that emanated from every corner of the room, not from the moon, but from you. We sat across, you smiled, lazily strumming the strings. We sat across, I breathed. Our fingers met briefly in the mending of a note and I then was lost in that warm yellow light for a while. When the moon gets that big, it vanishes. It has to, that is astronomy. But, sure, love is like that too. Where it once shone in splendour and magnificence there is only black, inky darkness.


            And empty space.


            I stand now, waiting, at the crossroads where skinny black dog carelessly pisses on a lamp-post. The ground has been so dry lately that the yellow trickle begins to form a small steamy stream in the dirt. It edges near to where I am standing and although there’s no way it’ll touch my shoes, I move to a spot further away from the path than I’d like.

            Today it is not the moon, but the sun that mercilessly shines. Fervid, intense heat. Is this what it feels like to be corrugated iron? It’s that tense. Maybe the nerves are getting more of me than I thought?


            I await you.


            More than a few moons have passed and I’m sure I’m not the same. You’re, surely, not the same. We’re not going to be the same. I’ve missed you, but I’m not going to say it.


            My stomach! Is this what it feels like to be candy floss?


            I want to float up, but not like Icarus melting wings on the scorching sun. I want to be the frog, who fishes gently from the moon, while eating soft cream cheese and watching the Owl and the Pussycat sail away to their hill.


            I want to be happy again.


            But what I’ve got is a river of dogs piss and a headache from waiting.


            In the shade, it’s still 30 degrees, but it’s quite dark under the Elms. You’d be forgiven for getting sleepy. But I’m standing so there’s no chance. Strangely, if I sit - I may leave. But, I’m rooted to the spot and I’m resolved not to move. Does that man knows that lamp-post  he’s leaning on has just been blighted by canine?




            I remember the day he told me that he owed me nothing. He owed me, not a lot, but something. The cloak of selfishness, which doesn’t suit, by the way, had better be gone. It’s too warm for it anyway. I wonder how this will go. Will we slip into the homely coat of friendship, the soft embrace of lovers or stand behind the lines of an invisible wall that we’ve created?


            I see him. We stand across.

            He waves.

            I see him. We stand across.


            I breathe.


            And then, with the last of my skittering strength, I do an extraordinary thing… and step back.


            I’m as shocked as he is.


            He’s clearly lost the cloak, but it would appear, that I am now wearing it. Perhaps that is why it’s been so warm and the waiting so heavy. And while I am happy to see him. It would appear that I’m finally free. Free. Though it is hardly possible with foliage this dense, a ray of warm yellow sun shines though the trees, at the very spot where we’re standing. And, suddenly, we are drenched in light once more.

            And as we walk side by side and I float to the sky on that warm summer's day a busker by the bandstand plays three familiar notes and I can’t help but laugh.


            It ended there too.

Laura Cooney is from Edinburgh. Her first collection Motherbunnet is out courtesy of Backroom Poetry. Find her on Twitter: @lozzawriting and @lozzakidwriting. When she's not writing she'll be with her daughters, close to the sea. There will be ice-cream!


By Emma Conlon

this body is

                   a temple, a worship space

                   to toast the nectar of the divine

this body is

                   a battleground grown over

                   with bloodshed-fed grass

this body is

                   a motel, a neon sign flickering in

                   dust, smudge in a rearview mirror

this body is

                   a duffel bag of flesh and bones

                   rotting in late august’s heat

this body is

                   an ancient tomb stripped

                   of all its burial finery

this body is

                   a temporary home,

                   rest stop for the world-weary

this body is

                   a traitor, an enemy,

                   occasional fickle friend

this body is

                   a baptismal font

                   reborn with the dawn

this body is

                   a graveyard of old lovers

                   and cigarette and bullet casings

this body is

                   a cage, and I’m gnawing

                   at the bars, baby!

Emma Conlon (she/her) is an emerging poet and a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. Her work is published or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Pen & Pendulum, Merak Magazine, Red Noise Collective, Sweet Lit, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Changing of the Tides & Other Poems, was self-published in 2022. Find more of her work at


By McKenna Ashlyn


tear the weathered nametag off daughter won’t stick to anything nomore

mushed limp under shoes i tie together stained-black shoelaces stand


atop the toilet seat scream ever try sticking pearls in your gums

and pretend you have a name wish those dandelion seeds


away birthday candles care to crumble childhood’s misremembering 

mother said eat your veggies or not at all maybe i’ll stuff myself


small and believe in something too what if it's you?

today isn’t the first existing with these clattering


pasts all warped bloated skeletal but still i am inching forward.

making eye contact with whatever moves i am one


with rattlesnakes and tarantulas evolutionary fear trickles

small to parasite of people now unknown tunnel


underneath the ocean your breath is my echochamber

old enough now all these bodies come with disclaimers


scars laid face up to the sun and i am resentful for it see me

and all the ways i am trying to remember? be remembered?


if i am a statue cold to the touch i plagiarize her smile his nose

all eroded i think there is somewhere better unapologetic


candy-coated ours full as hair on knuckles chest press for a life away from

here i will prophet every religion if we’re together


in a million afterlives you hold my head in your lap hands

in my hair and everything else is a pinprick

McKenna Ashlyn received her BFA in Creative Writing at Boise State University. She gravitates toward queerness and girlhood in her poetry. Their work has been featured in Progenitor Art and Literary Magazine and Sage Cigarettes Magazine.


By Allen Seward


when I look at my hands

and they are still on my wrists, I think

to myself, I am lucky.

there’s no need to be here, or

not be here, so here we are.

I’m gone with the hot air

and the mineral-taste



and I am glad to be here

for this day, for the last, for the next.

this flesh houses

soul, and soul is white-heat,

and the gut grows

butterflies, the butterflies

never leave.

we contain multitudes

and we are doomed

but the feeling is not so bad

when we can sit back,

you and I, sip wine

and watch it come for us.

I’m glad

I’m an idiot. I’m glad

I don’t know anything.

this magic is not to be taken


these brains of ours have moved these temples

so close together, against

impossible odds, so if anything

is to come from my place

in this encroaching time

then let me be a light

for your darkness

as you have been the light for mine.

let me be fireflies or bonfires

or cigarette tips so that

the dark

can only ever be so dark.

in this garden of words

I have picked what few

I could bear you seeing, the clink

of our glasses is much prettier,

but given enough time more will sprout,

poking up their heads to be



or cut down.

these words don’t grow as fast

as the butterflies. maybe

it’s the soil.


there was something here

but it has moved on

the crows know it

the buzzards stopped circling

a hush fell

frogs hopped into the brain

and music began to sound


soiled rags

slapping the floor.

there was something here

but it was not recorded

so we have no idea

if it was beautiful or not

a lily frond maybe

or a drooping rose,

a stained chopping block

a pile of fish heads

a necklace of teeth,

or cursive messages or

newborn eyes open afirst, maybe.

an eagle pulled the skull up

to drop it on the rocks

spurts of color became dreams

and dreams tasted of

browning lettuce,

it has gone

and the foxes have left

back to their holes under sinking


the elephants have all but forgotten it

a giraffe has eaten a lion

and we have been left shaking,

our mouths dripping,

our skin cracking,

the world smelling of bad meat

left out in the sun

but oh

the sun still rises and shines

and the moon

still twirls its mustache.

god has built a new home

somewhere in Hoag’s Object

where the flies are conversant

in French

mice and rats wear tuxedos

and top hats

and penguins can fly.

Allen Seward is a poet from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. His work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, Skyway Journal, Backwards Trajectory, Big Windows Review, Apocalypse-Confidential, and the Charleston Anvil, among others. He currently resides in WV with his partner and four cats. @AllenSeward1 on Twitter, @allenseward0 on Instagram

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