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Please note we are not accepting unsolicited submissions at this time. Manuscripts submitted via this contact form will not be read. Please submit via our Submittable portal if you'd like your work considered, or if you would like to apply to The Writer's Hotel writing conference. Our contests in fiction and poetry will reopen in January or February. Please check back then if you'd like to enter a contest. We do accept submissions year-round for our BANG! online author feature. 

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BANG! authors are showcased individually here online for a month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for a month. All work on must be previously unpublished. Submission period runs all year round. BANG! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work should be very short: flash-short. Pieces on BANG! are meant to serve as a kind of calling card for the author.  $22 submission fee. :: Our next installment will be posted on August 5, 2019. ::


Colleen Rose Sullivan is a BANG! Selected Writer. 

Colleen Rose Sullivan.

Colleen Rose Sullivan.

Colleen Rose Sullivan is a writer currently living in Boston. Her work has been featured in such publications as The Onyx and The Journal of Critical Thinking, out of Framingham University. Articles can be read on Medium at Visit her website at

POETRY BY Colleen Rose Sullivan



the dress I left behind

a-line, floral, your favorite shade of blue

I left it spread out across my bed

deflated, spent, pilling sticking to the sheets.

the first time I wore it, you fastened up the clasp

you smiled at me, your eyes shiny and warm

how I’d managed to fold myself into it

and smooth out the wrinkles best I could

I’ll never know.

but maybe you do. you knew a lot of things.

you who fastened up the clasp, and cinched up the belt

who knotted up my hair, and buttoned up the neck.

you pulled me to the mirror

where my skin reflected back mottled, stained

dark circles under eyes, chin, ears

you said I would be okay in a day or two


it wasn’t so very bad.

aftertaste like glue


her voice was hoarse

like she had spent a lifetime

forcing the words to claw their way out

and now they didn’t want to.

if I thought it could help

I would send her time

wrapped up in a neat little bow

to pour down her throat.

see, I have too much and it could expire

so I’ll try, I will, if time allows

but when I tried, the time refused

to unstick from my fingers.


I licked them clean instead

and sent her honey in a bottle

dressed up in a neat little ribbon.


I thought maybe it could help.

pinning time

you look back on that time and you laugh at it

not about it—at it.

wondering all the while if you even should trivialize that time when

Everything was mesmerizing, fresh, oppressive, expressive

when Everything was heavier than it’s ever been since.

you? your voice just crackles,

splits while you carry yourself forward, while we laugh together at It.

It’s many things, times, places, spaces

unable to clearly name or categorize but then—

I wouldn’t want to anyhow.

It’s all just spare space, pauses, for laughter

the longer since time’s passed.

It’s all just time past the further you are from when the weight of every moment was

absolute. Final. do you remember that?

if maybe you’re now the monster who didn’t understand you back then,

when everyone else (read: you) equates the weight

with romanticism, with hunger, with flair, with fun,

(with rampant self-indulgence)

but I’m still here begging for anything indulgent.

I’m still here trying to convince everyone else of the weight.

Poetry © Colleen Rose Sullivan, 2019.  All rights reserved by the author.