To the Woman Who Said I Was “Too Normal” For Therapy

Crystal Stone

I.sleep is stale grass I lay in no blanket no silkmy eyes swamp their own mud dry, moisten the ceiling fogthere are days I don’t move my stepmom told her friendthis place is so lonelyshe only visited me a few hoursno one stays here for long I stopped asking the public is tooheavy to hold my lungs would have teeth before they had a voiceII.I stopped eating dinner without salt I don’t makemusic anymore, I break strings.The backs of crawfish.Men I want buy me more or don’t I’ve stopped breathingin my sleep if I make it there he said I scared him some nightsbut he wasn’t ready to run out of stories even though he didrun,III.I am the blankat the book’s beginning I never endthem but I am wide openthe unfinished zombies goodfriends a memory I admit that I don’t recognize mostnot even men I thought I loved I’m unfair to the treesI used to write them off when I’m so good at forgettingand everywhere isa place I feel I’ve never been

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Crystal’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in BONED, Eunoia Review, isacoustic*, Tuck Magazine, Writers Resist, Drunk Monkeys, Coldnoon, Poets Reading the News, Jet Fuel Review, Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, North Central Review, Badlands Review, Green Blotter, Southword Journal Online and Dylan Days. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Iowa State University and gave a TEDx talk called ‘The Transformative Power of Poetry’ the first week of April. Her first full-length collection, Knock-off Monarch, is forthcoming from Dawn Valley Press. You can see her Ted X talk, The Transformative Power of Poetry, here:


Issue 7

Editors in Chief
Lorcán Black and Sherrel McLafferty

Oliver Tatler and Roseanna Free

Anomaly Literary Journal, founded by Lorcán Black, Oliver Tatler, Roseanna Free and Joseph Birdsey, came into being from a conversation in a beer garden in Covent Garden, London in 2015.

We wanted to create a literary journal that, from the outset, selected only the best of up and coming poets, artists and writers. In an online market flooded with literary journals of all kinds, we realized something: it's been a long time since any of us read a journal that contained pieces where each one gripped us and made us wish we'd written it, where not all the poets sounded the same, where there was variety of all different sorts of writing, not just one or two decent poems and the rest were filler, but hosted a succession of decent, skilled poems one after the other like a series of bangs in the distance.

The idea was to create a journal where lacklustre writing had no foothold. Poetry is an art. It is not a thought, or a description of emotion formed into a collection of stanzas that merely resemble a poem (which we think is all too common) and nothing deeper. A real poem, is a weapon. It is the arrowhead sculpted from flint, finely honed, sharp and focused.

We wanted a journal that did not limit its writers too much. We will not request that a poet keep his or her poem to a limit of 40, or even 100 lines. If you send us a 150 line poem, all we ask is that you make every line count. Every single word, in fact.

We want deep, dense, blood-fueled poems that do not apologize for having impact, or intelligence or intensity. We love imagery and metaphor, we demand poetry and fiction that makes us think, that leaves the cogs of our little minds churning to keep up with it.

We want writers who have honed their talent through hard work and persistence, writers who are striving to find their voice, hone it or perhaps already have it and continue to hone it further. The only writers who we wish to hear from are those for whom writing is a compulsion, who will not stop attacking a poem or a story until it is fashioned into the finest possible version of itself, in short, we want writers who bleed words.

From our desire for this, and the lack of it, we founded Anomaly. We will strive to be the journal that does not shy away from truly good writing, or a dark edge but welcomes talent when it sees it.

We are paying for Anomaly with only our time, and we hope writers and readers will pay us back with their time.

We hope you read, if you write we hope you submit but mostly, we very much hope you enjoy.

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