Burning House Press are excited to welcome SHE SPEAKS UK as our October guest editors!!! As of today She Speaks will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of October.
Submissions for She Speaks are open from today – 1st October and will remain open until 24th.
She Speaks Theme/s for the month are as follows
GENDER & REVOLUTION
She Speaks have introduced their theme/s for your guidance:
Gender & Revolution
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
“No real social change has ever been brought about without a revolution… Revolution is but thought carried into action.”
Emma Goldman (Writer and Anarchist)
What does gender look like to you? If gender is a construct, how would you deconstruct it? If you could re-write or reframe gender norms, would you? What would your world look like? What changes, if any, would you like to see?
What does revolution look like? Why is it important and what changes are needed?
We want you to use words or images to investigate gender, revolution, or both. You could draw on personal experiences, historical / her-storical narratives, imagined environments or cultural commentary. We welcome voices that represent different worldviews, beliefs and geographical locations.
We want art that breaks rules; that challenges patriarchy; that expresses personal struggle; that exposes the impact of cultural norms. Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and push the boundaries.
We can’t wait to see your submissions.
What a month! Burning House Press would like to thank September’s Guest Editor RACHAEL DE MORAVIA for selecting, curating and presenting an INCREDIBLE array of writing and art on the theme/s BELONGING//RETURNING//RETREATING – and for all of the endeavour and hard work that has gone into managing the high volume of contributions received over the month – and the wonderful way Rachael has engaged with, and encouraged, submitters to BHP – THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING, RACHAEL!!!
Massive thank you also goes to everyone who contributed to Rachael’s theme/s and all who continue to send BHP your writing and art – we are so happy and grateful that you entrust us with your work, thank you!!! xX
Here it is, the BELONGING//RETURNING//RETREATING EDITION – every selection in one place for you to read/peruse – enjoy!!! xX
Your consciousness is homeless and itinerant for quite some time in a significant physical journey. And you must build it its home, or its redoubt. That redoubt is specific to the journey. And like a tortoise’s shell the redoubt accompanies you on the journey even as it grows. Its construction is excruciatingly frustrating and failure-ridden. Accept this. Construction of the redoubt is the journey.
Arrival takes place much later cognitively.
Continue reading “Redoubt by John Trefry”
An old man puts up a ladder on the face of the mountain of bedrock and cuts trees. To be precise, he is cutting ferns. Spring water is bleeding out through the gaps in the rocks. He throws away the leaves and vines entwining persistently to the roots of the trees. From 3:00pm until sunset. The mountain is small and flat, once a quarry. The rocks from which the leaves and vines of ferns were stripped became bare. Continue reading “Mayonnaise (at 3:00pm) by hiromi suzuki”
this is fragmenting.
He hears the father’s voice first, a cracked whip across his senses, an involuntary flinch. He lifts the arm, the song begins again. It doesn’t stop the girl from appearing, flopping to the floor, crying. Pastel dust sticks. He remembers scurrying away from the aisle, he didn’t belong there. He’s not one of them, how could he intervene? Eyelids. Alone, alone. Five letters etched. Beat away these colours. Continue reading “under there, somewhere by Andy Harrod”
¿A Dónde Vas?
She asked watching me
float farther away through
the Great Lakes as I crossed
rivers in Mississippi… Rios
Grande, passing through oceans
Atlantic, in France it was all
about the Seine even the Salton
could see… I would drift further
inside every time with every wave
hoping with each low and high
tide, I could finally find the current
flow of my own rio. Although
I would sail alone, I felt her stirring
aviso’s as I rowed, I always paddled
deeper rippling to create surges
of poems skin pruned, frio waves
her treasured reminders always
carry me sailing towards
home. Continue reading “Three poems by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda”
If shadows are the two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional objects, then does it mean that three-dimensional objects are shadows cast by things in the forth-dimension?
My shoes made a tapping noise in the rain as I walked towards the house. Stepping inside the white noise of the downpour was unnaturally and quickly severed, along with the sound of my steps. At first, the house looked exactly the same as on my first visits, as a child, a long time ago. It was, however, dimmer than I remembered and it took my eyes some time to adjust to the darkness and find the light switch. Once they came slowly on they didn’t seem to make much difference, as all the lights had been diffused by various pieces of cloth shrouding them. Though it did allow me to begin seeing certain curious changes. At one time it had been immaculate, with every surface polished to a fine sheen, but now it looked tired and forgotten, a cover, as I later learnt, for a calculated and careful state of disrepair. Continue reading “The House, Cogitatio Amphibolia by Matthew Turner”
I WILL SURVIVE
Where I come from, they still bury girls alive. Yet my father went and gave methai, sweet fat-fattening nourishment, to everyone he knew when he found out his first born was a girl. Then came the reality of teaching his girl how to make it as a female in a culture where older men, sometimes even in one’s own family, grab-a-feel of a prepubescent girl if they so choose. The easiest remedy was to turn me into a boy. I can’t recall if my wearing shorts, no make-up, very short hair came from a desire to be like one of the boys or to survive. I learned to curse very young and I trusted no one for a very long time. I learned to be the sun that can rot you from my father; I learned to be a woman who knows the man in the moon from my mother.
Continue reading “Exile is a Fire No One Can Put Out by Annie Q. Syed”
Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by energy worker and artist/writer DHIYANAH HASSAN explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. You can read the rest of the series here.
While our Northern and Southern hemispheres exchange weather, monsoon rains pour its threats and blessings on the equator. Toasty lands find relief with aid from migrating clouds, storm winds push the haze in and out, rising mud ring in flowers along the roadsides like celebration, bursts of heat and humidity break any rhythm we might try to tame with reason – the combination is calming, chaotic, and languid. Our eyes are sleepy from rain then watchful for floods and typhoons while our trees and shorelines swell with volume. Sometimes an irrational anxiety stirs our body, coaxing us to consider our roles with each other in unexpected ways. Other times a cloud inside us wrings itself dry, releasing its burdens and we find ourselves drained from feeling it all.
Rain drumming against awnings, earth, and windows bring old lullabies back to the heart.
As seasons change, so do our daily habits, our bodies adapting and compromising with us. Temperatures shake up circadian rhythms, stunting or catalyzing growth within the myriads of topographies making up our bodily beings, emotional terrains, and mental health. Our pendulum of awareness may swing from one side to the other with frightening intensity. We breathe to find our center, then we keep breathing – devoting ourselves to Earth’s gravitational pull to keep us steady.
We were made to feel our seasons, our weathers, personally.
Does it haunt your dreams, or become like a pebble in your shoe?
The dark glossy leaves of the jeniparana,
The bright pink flowers of the bougainvillea,
The explosion of sugar of the banana ouro hacked from the tree?
Remember hiding in hammocks pretending to nap,
Chasing sandcrabs and stepping in pitch,
Visiting your sister’s pet monkey at the animal hospital—
An extended veranda filled with macaws screaming?
My pearl-crusted tutu for Carnival, the drumbeat of the sambas,
The pelting of the rain against the windshield with no wipers,
The salt of the ocean and the syrup of grape Fanta?
Explain choking on Cornflakes and powdered milk
Or taking the bus to the favela to pick out a live chicken
To our kids with American grocery stores.
How many times have I driven the same stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway? It’s hard to say, but enough times to have incorporated its curves into mine. I look at the palm of my left hand and I wander while I follow the life line, tracing it lightly with my right index finger. Up and down, down and up. There I go, edging the Pacific Ocean, winding and unwinding along the PCH under impossibly blue skies.
The Watersteps are ruins now, but you can still see what is left of them by walking through the dank forest on the edge of town, over the train lines and then down to the crease where two wave-like hills meet. The steps sit half-swallowed inside a wide clay gorge. A little further up the gorge, there’s a stream at least half as wide as the gorge itself. It drops down an accidental waterfall caused by the collapse of the Watersteps. A sheet of tarpaulin wafts, hit by the unravelling crystal carpet of water. For the most part, the stream disappears amongst the rubble and soft ground at the foot of the waterfall. Only further down does a meagre version of it reform, bypassing the steps entirely.
The Watersteps have haunted my imagination for a long time. The first poem I ever wrote was about the steps. I hated it, re-wrote it, destroyed it and started again. I have been repeating each step ever since.
Continue reading “The Watersteps by BR Williams”
February 29th 1933
The saddest thing for the English to bear, is not what they have lost, but instead
what they know has not yet been found, but is nevertheless enduring in the shadows.
– Derrick Adderage
The house has slid here
to this wide street-middle; it floats
like a dark ship on smooth wet tarmac; it splits
the road that seems to flow slowly
either side of it.
The houses lining the street shrink
as this one house inflates
with where it came from.
I am not from here. I am from somewhere in between push and pull. I am a thrust not yet experienced by what people usually call ‘home’. I am exiled. I am exile. I reside not in my consciousness, but in the lingering smell of last night’s cigarettes and rain drops. In the burning of pages. In the hunger for belonging, which I feed with matches, flames, and the ashes of what were once my journals, my essays on the flesh of the world, my notebooks, my manuscripts, my resolutions, my shopping lists, my thoughts on the nightstand. Exile. Soft, felt in my hands. Felt in yours. Grasping its shape, fingering its texture, sensing its temperature. Exile, mingled with memorabilia and all the angers of the world. I live with it as one lives with a strong sense of physical presence, something to cling to until I get better. Something to keep me going. Being a gesture, becoming an extension of its flesh. That’s what exile is to me. A grave. Luscious. Infinite. Sarcophagus of blessed souls. I am pulling you into the depths of it. Exile, exceptional euphemism. Continue reading “Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri”
The road was cunning under the tires, slipping and pulling as I turned onto the forest service road beside Stave Lake. I was crunching over the gravel with plumes of dust filling the air behind me. It smelt more like desiccated mud than grit or ash. It was hot for May, and I had no idea where the road would lead. I was between two guides: the GPS and a nineteenth century memoir exhumed from the archives. Both were illuminating the screen of my phone, and I was alternating between the two when I would pause.
1890 – As I learned more of the country and surroundings I realized what wonderful fishing and shooting was to be had in the different lakes and streams not far distant from the City. The Pitt River, the Lillooet River, the Stave and Harrison Rivers, and the lakes from which they came, although well known to the timber cruiser and trapper, had not yet been explored by the great majority of the young men of the City. Continue reading “Stave in the Autobiography of Sidney Ashe Fletcher by James Gifford”
Peel open and peek:
inside the flapping, lolling mouth
of our mother’s photo album.
laminated with a sticky-wash skin
in grainy, colour-locked glamours.
encircled as we are, backlit and gypsy-like,
upon the retina of her old kodak.
Leaf through and look:
at our mother’s postgrad bungalow,
and the cats she found and raised alone.
and here, in burnout red, our ex-brothers,
with their lucid, low alley guitars.
and these polaroids of nameless children,
in some backyard mummery we long forgot.
Browse, then burrow:
deep into this picture house novel,
framed by weddings. birthdays. sleepovers.
reunions. divorces. second-hand toyotas.
painted kitchens. political borders. the first dog we ever got.
Then her final photo. Book ends.
The film roll clicks.
And our lives rewind again.
1. There is nothing soft in the universes.
2. There wasn’t at the start, certainly, unless you count the unexpected wobble that got us going to be some sort of expression of care from a creator we will never see nor hear from ever again.
3. All the energy unleashed becoming skids of hot gas becoming swirls of hot rock having what we will later describe as celestial pub fights, no there is no softness there. Continue reading “Softness as a cosmology by Rishi Dastidar”