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I slid open the capiz-paned windows
and howled as if I was answering
the far-off cry of a demented dog.
My frustrated father said
I would be conjuring the aswang.

All night I remained awake on the hard floor,
the woven mat etched lattice on my back.
At the corner, between the hanged clothes,
there was a man standing, with moon-translucent face.
Outside, empty bottles whistled and bamboos creaked
but the nocturnal bugs were silent.

The next morning Father asked me
to fetch some water from the clay jar.
Through its opening, I noticed someone's head rising—
with glutinous seaweed hair.
I quivered as ice pick-tip nails scraped
the clammy earthenware.

* aswang—a vampire-like ghoul in Philippine folklore



Romalyn Ante has been a member of Writing West Midlands Room 204. Her poems appeared in a variety of magazines such as Cannon's Mouth, Southlight, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears, amongst others. She has also prize-winning poems in The Yellow Book (2015). Her first novel, Chasing Deimos, was shortlisted for The Asian Writer Chick-Lit Competition in 2014.
Current Issue
16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Wednesday: The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe in Contemporary Culture by Mark Bould 
Friday: Spear by Nicola Griffith 
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
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Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
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Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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