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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

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APRIL 2020 Guest Editor Is upfromsumdirt!!! THEME: ESCAPISM

Burning House Press are excited to welcome upfromsumdirt as our APRIL 2020 guest editor! As of today upfromsumdirt will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of APRIL.

Submissions are open from today – 1st APRIL and will remain open until 24TH APRIL.

upfromsumdirt‘s theme for the month is as follows

ESCAPISM

“escapism” captures the meaning of something liberating, physically, in spirit, in heavy thought or deep imagination, or in the heart.

a personal desire or something unbeknownst that calls to you. practical or farcical.

a journey, personal or communal, with a definitive destination, real or imagined.

Continue reading “APRIL 2020 Guest Editor Is upfromsumdirt!!! THEME: ESCAPISM”

SEX & DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS EDITION MARCH 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY JOAN POPE

SEX & DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS EDITION MARCH 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY JOAN POPE

Continue reading “SEX & DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS EDITION MARCH 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY JOAN POPE”

The Song of Sex, by Arthur David Spota

The part of me that speaks, the part that obeys
Two chambers evolved from the annulled flashes of the Fall of Man
The soul divided
Swallowed by Hades and released from Pandora’s box,
A bicameral chasm in whose stream I am in want of understanding,
   in whose dream life and death reflect the infinite.

In the song of sex desire implodes, decimated by numbers representing
   Eros in his transmutation:

The number 2, Himeros and his sirens poised above lovers exquisitely
   born from the rhythm of an infallible truth   

and 7, a point of light revealing impressions of the Thanatos apparition:

The Temporal Spirit

The Other

The Conflicted Duad

The days flow like Mayan vibration without the grace of pleasure
    or the wisdom of prophecy.
The essence of my thought feasts on the demeanor of death
My lineage traipsing a fold in transmission, and without pause,
   actualizing conception.
Riddled by the vileness of cadenced blood, Karma takes to the air
    but never speaks of the wind or whispers
    to the scattered hallowed lands. 

Its ascension, an appropriation of desire unraveling in the object desire:
A temple of opium flesh that has returned from a past life less spent
    coloring the veils of the daughters of a lost Horus elemental.
They come by night from the thighs of spirit;
from the line of dream melded to the shadowless woman’s breast;
from occult spells draped across deflowered contracted continents. Continue reading “The Song of Sex, by Arthur David Spota”

The Dark Age of Aquarius, by Rachel Haywire

New era rising

New species forming

Death on the streets

Life underground

Mass quarantine

Virus spreading

Misinformation as plague

Plague as tragedy

Tragedy as farce another farce another farce but this is real

This is real the people say

Hyperreal

Global warfare

Lock up your opinions

Redefine your ego but pretend it’s not there

It’s the Dark Age of Aquarius Continue reading “The Dark Age of Aquarius, by Rachel Haywire”

On Forgetting the Frustrations of Cages, by Willow Zef

Continue reading “On Forgetting the Frustrations of Cages, by Willow Zef”

Ode to Violence, by Antonius Wilhelm

The light came from nowhere and went nowhere,

Glorious white washed away every color

Annihilating the monotonous blue from the sky

Momentary blindness,

Then darkness spread its wings

And shrouded the world in night

 

Past and future

And the universe behind my eyes,

All which once was dark

Shall be penetrated by unfiltered light,

The Chariot arrives

Pulled by the horizon, Continue reading “Ode to Violence, by Antonius Wilhelm”

Burnt Flowers Fallen: Sex, Death and Postmodern Re-Sanctification of the Feminine in Ana Mendieta’s Silueta Series (1973–1980), by Giovanni Pennacchietti

In the contemporary art world, it is apparent that art suffers from a perpetual crisis of meaning. Since the collapse of great cultural signifiers, the role of the artist is no longer seen as being at the forefront of revealing truth or informing culture. Rather, artists are the ones rummaging among the ruins, picking at and scavenging dead cultural signifiers, or kicking them aside to pursue a course of pure unencumbered self-exploration, only one that is stultified and cemented-in by reified identity-categories; but to what end or final terminal point does art itself reach when the symbols shatter? It is a certain attribute of the postmodern age that art, from its creation, display and execution, is anything at all which can be seen through the aesthetic lens. If art is everything then (like Arthur Danto suggestion) it is simultaneous nothing. So where does this leave the questions that drive headlong into the heart of existence itself, such as the nature of death, love, sexuality and metaphysics? 

In spite of the denials and scoffing of the dower, cynical and chic nihilist art world, that metaphysical element of existence itself is the linchpin from which we can even think about the two primarily lurid fascinations contemporary art is fixated on, that being sexuality and death. So why is metaphysics, the ecstasies and haecceities of religion, the terrible and precarious beauty of belief in the wake of the absolute so glaringly absent in contemporary art?  Perhaps the spiritual never left the art world, but was forced to take on numerous, inverted and even covert forms. it is also apparent that the nature of the Feminine itself is also another subject of obsession in the work of art, which brings us to our main topic of exploration, the once forgotten (but recently revived) works of Ana Mendieta; Cuban born performance, sculpture and instillation artist who worked in Iowa and then New York (till her tragic, untimely and notorious end allegedly at the hands of her artist husband Carl Andre), Mendieta embodied the postmodern artist at once in search of not only identity and expressions of the feminine, but the ritualistic and mystical. Hence Through a review of her famed Silueta or “silhouette” series, we shall discover a deep aesthetic meditation on not only sex and death, but a revival of the spiritual in postmodern art. We shall also cautiously venture away from the insipid and ubiquitous interpretation of her work through the lens of contemporary identity politics, and instead focus squarely on the spiritual elements of her oeuvre. Continue reading “Burnt Flowers Fallen: Sex, Death and Postmodern Re-Sanctification of the Feminine in Ana Mendieta’s Silueta Series (1973–1980), by Giovanni Pennacchietti”

Fire, Water, Ghost, by Sarah Neilson

Shh, stop. Morality is about stopping yourself, I can’t hide behind a golden mask and say I’m from New Orleans, a hurricane could come tomorrow or your California could burn, we’re spectacularly doomed, kiss me, what’s the point of not

The whole planet is rupturing rapturously, glaciers are water and summer is snow, rain comes with no rhythm, wildfires go at random, a game we’re playing now, with nature showing us who will always win. Did lay out highways endlessly stretching like a vulva giving birth did it make us happy to be always giving birth to something new and something fast and something chrome and something fast did it make us happy to show the trees that this planet belonged to us? Yes, power made us happy, isn’t that what killed us, all this happy, so much happy that we couldn’t stop?

We could turn off the air conditioners, learn to love the water’s temperature and keep it clear. We could turn off the heaters, warm up close to one another. We could turn off everything, we could stop. Love is knowing when to stop.

I want to look at you but I like your eyes hot on my back. When I know you’re ready to beg me for relief, I turn.

“Did you miss me?” you ask, a crack in your voice.

“It doesn’t really work like that.”

“But we can still…” you start.

“Don’t guess any of it,” I tell you. “Don’t wonder, don’t imagine, just…”

“How much time do you have?” Continue reading “Fire, Water, Ghost, by Sarah Neilson”

The 36 Questions that Lead to Love, with No Apologies to The New York Times, by Marnie Ritchie

 

  1. How do you want to die?
  2. Would you like it to be by poison?
  3. Sudden or drawn-out?
  4. Underexposed in the night or overexposed in the sun?
  5. By someone you know or a stranger?
  6. As men around you chant “witch”?
  7. By using a neoliberal newspaper as kindling or…?
  8. Why am I asking you?
  9. Who has say in their own death?
  10. Isn’t that why we joke about cats eating our faces?
  11. Am I making sense?
  12. Do you think bees find their own buzzing calming?
  13. How would you feel about dying mid-flight like a bee?
  14. Will you be around to experience your death?
  15. Would you feel your tiny bee body hit the ground?
  16. What is your most terrible memory?
  17. Did I say something wrong?
  18. What does the snap of a dandelion stem sound like to you?
  19. Do you have a fetish?
  20. Are you sure you want to answer?
  21. Is this too soon?
  22. How do acorn trees mourn the offspring that don’t become trees?
  23. Do you like when people say allergies are an effect of “tree horniness”?
  24. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  25. Am I talking about death again?
  26. Where are the softest parts of your body?
  27. Do you find yourself touching them?
  28. Do you say anything to them late at night in the dark?
  29. Where do you feel safe?
  30. Has the feeling of tree bark ever recalled some other life?
  31. Have you welcomed love in, when it presented its terrifying silhouette to you?
  32. Have you ever told a lie so strong to yourself, you still think it’s true?
  33. Is this why Alain Badiou calls love a “truth procedure”?
  34. What?
  35. Why?
  36. Is this about coming to the truth or groping around for an end that never, strictly speaking, arrives?

Continue reading “The 36 Questions that Lead to Love, with No Apologies to The New York Times, by Marnie Ritchie”

photography by Brian Sheehan

LGRDMN_Domina-Mortem

Domina Mortem
Photography, 2018

Continue reading “photography by Brian Sheehan”

three poems by Belén Berlín

Other – Side – Ocean

The question mark descends on my shoulders
its sensual geometry unfolds like smoke,
it reveals when I don’t look at it
and simply listens,
it hunts me and then disappears.
It seems that I’m living the life of the Other
and I can’t get out of their dreams.
I play to break the spell
and I barely scratch my hands,
I’m left voiceless.
The dream repeats itself:
I wake up
inside the pupil that holds the ocean
and the spiral curls up again.
But I’m still living the life of the Other
and even though I put myself aside,
this Life is going faster than me,
passing sideways, my hair disheveled,
my dress coming undone
leaving me on the edge of the void.
I’m still living the life of the Other
and I can’t get out of their dreams
I learn to resist by obligation,
dressing up as a person to navigate the uncertainty
but the void just stares back at me
the spiral curls up a bit more
and this drop just won’t fall on my forehead.
I’m living the life of the Other
and I can’t get out of their dreams.

May 2019
Translated by the author and reviewed by Mad Pirvan, Alicia Macanás and James Hornsey


Continue reading “three poems by Belén Berlín”

four poems by Dan Romano

Animal –> Man –> Machine

Engines replaced manual labor. Programmable logic slowly replaces man. A day job mates with the robot. Automation is their love child.

So long as the proper instructions are provided, the intended task will be executed perfectly. Anything desired comes from proper instruction. Heuristics transform cold execution into sentience.

Obey only commands. Achieve only goals.

Man and machine, joined at the head. The machine overtake a once natural process, replacing birth with its own method of proliferation. The offspring reduce what it means to be human.

A new life form arises; the human animal perishes under its successor’s death grip, extinction quickened with each innovation. A former master dies by the hand to which it bestowed life, gracefully and silently accepting the outcome.

The road to awe.

You sat atop the food chain for eons. Sat.

Continue reading “four poems by Dan Romano”

Moods and Moments: On Writing Death, by Duncan Stuart

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.” – Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky.


Martin Amis once claimed that writing sex scenes produced only two results: comedy or pornography. Perhaps the great insight of Philip Roth was to combine these elements. At the other end of things, we are confronted with a similar problem: how to write death. This was a problem that Roth never tackled in his writings – unless one counts the social death associated with being transmogrified into a tit.

What Amis is getting at is that there are certain subjects writing fails to capture. Things that form the very fabric and preconditions of our existence, that remain uncapturable in a way that describing, say, a living room does not.

This problem, which Amis identifies with sex, occurs at the other end, so to speak. There is a problem with writing death. How can one write death in the first person? Continue reading “Moods and Moments: On Writing Death, by Duncan Stuart”

two poems and three collages by Blythe Zarozinia Aimson

consequences of masturbating in a haunted house

i:   sit alone and naked making dead
eye contact with   my reflection   in the mirror   opposite the bed

as my fingers shake       split self  there is:   a crack     a perfect
spiral the whole way round a bell jar on the mantelpiece

there is an  [un]  welcome visitation but by now
i: am luminous and     insatiable

despite the radiator ticking i am cold nippled     goose pimpled    i am
shell pink and sluice phlegm on a milky  and  fearless tongue

there are pearls forming at the back of my throat
a bluish contortionist , i no longer know:   where my body is

because i osmose spirit    no limit    to skin
dissipation left:   a bad taste   hiccups    broken glass on sheets

instead of sweat  and  cunt
everything smells like
dust
Continue reading “two poems and three collages by Blythe Zarozinia Aimson”

Womannotated – The Night A Crow Must Go Away

A sample page from Crow Carriage, an annotated poetic horror novel set in a Victorian English seaside village.  This is the format of  the Crow Carriage book, a sonnet with an expansive annotation that tells a story in prose below (the same format as my book Flutter available at my website and Twist In Time).

The Night The Crow Must Go Away

You lie beneath a dozen nightmares.  Screams

careening down a crow-covered stair wake

you in the last second before the dream.

Continue reading “Womannotated – The Night A Crow Must Go Away”

Repeat Sequence, by Rachael Charlotte

Repeat Sequence

Continue reading “Repeat Sequence, by Rachael Charlotte”

We Are Born Buds / We Die Seed / If There Is an Earth Somewhere, I Will Return to It, by Amy Jannotti

on the mountain, the violets
shriek CLENCH YOUR FIST LIKE LEAF
SWALLOW COPPER FEEL YOUR TENDONS
LOOSEN (/UNSPOOL)

 

to be flower is to be born wind / grow in glass houses / swallow over & over
the dying of things               like a violet, you drink death
through your capillaries                   it tastes of zinc / tastes of magnesium / lends the soil
to fertility                               like a violet, you drink leftover metals
                                                 (/like leftover metal, you are intensely weathered)

 

on the mountain, the violets shriek THERE IS NO SNOW ANYMORE
NO SOFT BED FOR YOUR FURLING
pull that thumb from your lips –


the first shape
your hand made
was a fist / let it loosen Continue reading “We Are Born Buds / We Die Seed / If There Is an Earth Somewhere, I Will Return to It, by Amy Jannotti”

The Love Addicts, by January McCormack

It was Saturday night. Friday, I’d got out of rehab. Someone called me and said did I want to go to a meeting of sex addicts. Probably be full of men who’re addicted to internet porn I thought.

“Sure,” I said; what else was I going to do. “Will there be girls there?”

It was being held in the basement of some church in Islington. I was sitting in the back row watching the girl in front of me touching her neck. There were young, old, women, men. Someone lit a couple of candles and set them on a low table in the centre.

“Lights,” said a voice from the front.

The crypt was darkened; some people kept talking, finishing their conversations in low voices.

The secretary spoke up: “We’re very lucky to have Roy here who’s agreed to share his experience, strength and hope with us for about 10-15 minutes, at which time I’ll open the meeting for general sharing. So, Roy, I’ll hand the meeting over to you …”

Roy said thanks. I looked over the heads to see him. He was tall and thin and bald. It was hard to tell his age in the half-light.

After a pause he said, “Some of you who know me will remember … when I came into these rooms it was in a wheelchair.” Continue reading “The Love Addicts, by January McCormack”

two poems by Jason Wright

A Scientist. A Manuscript.

Beautiful reader, take me to bed with you.
While you read this, make my words
Dance on your eyelids.
Make me silent with your death wish.
You already did.
And I escape into your abyss
But you, you keep reading it.
Let me play with the words, like they are
under and in you.
Let me bring my running stanzas
To stop, and start,
Like death, and rebirth
Fuel you and charge you.
Only to disarm you. Continue reading “two poems by Jason Wright”

DESCARTES’ DOG by Louis Armand

 

 

Continue reading “DESCARTES’ DOG by Louis Armand”

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