Kallisto Gaia Press nominated 5 works from The Ocotillo Review Summer 2017 for the Pushcart prize. These represent the editorial epitome of our vision. The editors want to thank these literary artists, as well as all who submitted to our journal, for trusting us with their creations. We will feature one artist per week each Monday through January 1st. Today we feature Elijah Allred for his poem,



Long fingernails, digging

into the fiber of that rope;

far off, a shock of wild roses

burns on the open grassland

the heat lightning having called

their interdicted name.

You are that you are,

You may have even been there:

gripping that knotted lariat

to heaven, longest hair of god

reeling like line from a break

in the great ribcage of overcast sky.

Wasn’t it a strange way down?

Loneliness, too, is a kind of escape.

Beneath the thunderhead,

Something bends but doesn’t break;

the grassland is heaving now,

a sea of broken legs

trying to waltz.

Your tea is getting cold

on the stone bench in your garden.

Your roses have a few short months

Before the summer comes. Honey

leaks out from beneath the

closed door of the mausoleum;

it almost rains for you;


Elijah Allred is a University of Texas graduate living in Austin, Texas. He currently works for a major social media site memorializing the accounts of users who have passed away. Previously, Elijah lived in the desert and worked at the front desk of a motel. Elijah has no children. Elijah is normal.


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Tony Burnett is an award winning poet and songwriter. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in over 40 national literary journals and anthologies including, most recently, Tidal Basin Review, Fringe, Texas Poetry Calendar 2014, Red Dirt Review, The Vein, Toucan Magazine and Connotation Press. He currently serves as board president for the Writers' League of Texas, a 1200 member non-profit supporting Texas writers in all stages of their careers. He lives in rural central Texas with his trophy wife, Robin.

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