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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

Confessional by Meeah Williams

It’s a bad habit I picked up

when still living out my pack of lies

& can’t quite shake

attention like a drug

I keep shooting

down the highways of my wanting veins

exposing myself to men

like a circus curiosity

the Amazing Chick with a Dick

you wont believe your fucking eyes

the married guys crowd round

the screen in secrets hushed

sad hungers in their glowing

clownish faces

their fingers typing too quick

for spell-check

got ta hard d 8 inches fory u

gotwat u need right here4 u baby

to clean my soul you’d need

the kind of rain that rained

the last day of the dinosaurs

you’d need a meteor to fix me

that left a hole the size of earth

you’d need a childhood

that was better

than the birth of Frankenstein

you’d need to teach me

to say “no”

with a whip & chair

because there are eleven tigers inside me

who’ll tear us both limb from limb

& they’re just waiting for you

to make a mistake

for you to let your guard down, baby

watching over me through alien yellow eyes

with cold moon patience for their chance

to escape the man-sized cage

you put her in

since the day I crashed to earth

 


 

authorphoto3pinkglasses

Meeah Williams’s  work has appeared in Otoliths, Phantom Drift, Uut, The Conium Review, Per Contra,  Petrichor Review, Stone Highway Review,  Dirty Chai, Shuf, *82 Review, Skin to Skin, Wilde, The Milo Review, Meat for Tea, Angry Old Man, The Ginger Collect, Former Cactus, Anti-Heroin Chic and others.

She lives in Seattle and tweets @pussy_nagasaki

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Don’t Say I Did Nothing For You by Meeah Williams

Because I stood up & threw half-hearted punches

at unimpressed bullies for you

I got beat down & climbed back up

spitting blood & seeing stars for you

I struck out, dropped routine fly balls

& ran to first base like a girl for you

I looked at your skin mags

& confused tried to masturbate for you

I drove 120 mph through a brick wall

& lived at the bottom of the ocean

all through high school for you

grew gruff & distant & a little crazy

to prove I wasn’t a momma’s boy,

got married, divorced, and finally

even tried to take my unlived life

for you.

 

When I failed even to die as I should

I decided it would be the very last thing

I ever did for you.

 

The next morning

I rose before the sun

& washed the puke & shit

of birth from my body

& I dressed in the clothes

that suited me

& I called myself by a name

I could honestly answer to

& I left the door open behind me

though I didn’t expect

you to follow

 

& I got in the car & I drove

Continue reading “Don’t Say I Did Nothing For You by Meeah Williams”

We are Women by Emma Miles

I walked today.

 

I stared a man dead in the eye

Bit down on a banana

Right through it

Snip

(while he told me how he wished it was my lips around him)

(while in a public space, he crowed at my discomfort)

(while he graphically described me gagging on him)

And I grinned manically

Dead in the eyes

And bit down

Through

Snip

Snip

(fuck you.)

 

And sometimes I wish I could bite through

(and they call me the crazy one)

 

Disclaimer: my male friends are fucking terrified of me.

I don’t really blame them. I’m pretty scary,

all things considered. I am angry and

I am ferocious and I am violent

And I am competitive and I

Am impatient and I am

Decisive and I am

Strong and I

am

 

Bossy

Strong

Dominant

 

Masculine. In all but name and all but body, I am masculine.

If it weren’t for my madness

(my hysteria, that wandering womb that chases me wherever I go)

If it weren’t for my madness

I would be a man. I would be a man.

 

I sometimes wish I could be a man.

 

It is easier that way, because then,

Well.

I wouldn’t have to wonder about

(snip)

Biting a man’s cock off between sharp, pointed teeth.

 

And of course, this is where I am told I am a misandrist.

That I generalise.

But no, no.

(not all men)

No.

 

It isn’t misandry

To be afraid.

 

And that’s the devil of it.

The crux of the matter.

I don’t care that I’m mad.

I don’t care that they’re angry.

I am not afraid of the dark or

Of their anger, their sharp shouts

And screeching voices that tell me

How perfect I’d be if I’d just suck their

 

Which hey, is maybe why I gave up men a while ago.

And why I fell for somebody who doesn’t care that

I’m angry dominant bossy impulsive impatient strong.

 

She sees me as the disaster area I am.

 

She is my revolution.

She is the person I call when

I look a man dead in the eye and

Wish I could bite his cock off in full view

 

of everybody present.

 

Touches my skin with impossible softness

Breathes against me

Breathes so cold, so warm

And I cannot think but exist

Surviving on threads of comfort

And the dream of a thought that never

Quite transpired.

 

(Is it wrong to dream of kaleidoscopes?)

 

So tell me, sweetheart: when was the last time you were crowed at?

When you felt like your skin was prickling off your bones in

A moment of such intense discomfort, of such

Absolute repulsion that bile rose in a

Steady rush and you realised

This is what it means to

Be female?

 

This is what it means to be female.

 

And isn’t that fucking depressing?!

 

I didn’t sign up to be mocked.

I didn’t sign up to be undermined.

I didn’t sign up to be treated like a madman

for the fact of being crazy.

 

If a man saw the things I see, perhaps he’d be a visionary.

Inspired, maybe.

The convulsions of worlds, inches from fingertips

Those things, they aren’t mine.

They aren’t allowed to be be mine.

 

Me, I’m just a woman.

A girl.

I hold no power, no sway, I do not exist.

The things I see, the things I touch and taste and see and

Feel

 

They do not exist.

 

And of course, I could be wrong.

But

But

 

I cannot help but wonder.

 

After all: I watched men and women. I sat in a ward full of men and women and saw a disparity and this may be me, just be me, but I wasn’t the only one to comment that somehow, for some reason, the men seemed to be hallucinating Jesus while the women saw the husbands that hurt them and that seemed to somehow be normal.

 

When demons were spilling out of the skin of different women, all colours and all creeds, the demons were all male.

 

(yet when gods were gently crooning, those voices were soft, those voices were kind and gentle, those voices were female)

 

We are the gods that nobody notices.

We are the goddesses of legends long since gone.

We are the figures of creatures that terrify the life out of some.

 

We are women.

We are beautiful, brilliant, terrifying, awful.

We are everywhere and nowhere all at once, the forgotten and the unwanted.

 

We are women.

We are disaster areas in motion, we are messy.

We will whisper truths in your ear when you’re least prepared to hear them.

 

I am a woman.

I try.

(we all try)

(we are all just trying)

 

I am a woman.

 

And I walked today.


 

Bio: Emma Miles is a English graduate and writer, with a particular interest in typography and all things experimental. Most commonly found pretending to be other people.
Theme: Gender and Revolution

Children of the Revolution by Emma Ireland

we, the children of this revolution

who came to it all from fields afar

not born beneath a dissident star

of parents dressed in shades of green

but found we belonged only in between

and here we stand, and here we’ll fall

and we’ll die together

or not at all

we, the children of this revolution

who carry our books instead of swords

who taught ourselves, despite it all

who search for truth wherever it lies

and see the world through suspicious eyes

here we stand, and here we’ll fall

and we’ll die together

or not at all

Continue reading “Children of the Revolution by Emma Ireland”

Painted Legs by Juliette van der Molen

it won’t do,

grandmother said,

to show bare legs.

you need smoothness

and muscle tone—

not to mention the

barrier between

the hands of men

or even their eyes

and your flesh.

 

no silk to be had,

and there’s a war,

by the way.

but, still—

the illusion must

remain intact,

nothing’s changed!

Continue reading “Painted Legs by Juliette van der Molen”

She Speaks by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

When she speaks, the penny bomb drops,

When she decides to say #MeToo #TimesUp

When she remembers, but doesn’t voice it out loud,

When the Ace woman speaks and says ‘Don’t touch me there’,

When the Bi woman speaks and says ‘Actually I’m happily married’,

When the drag queen speaks and says ‘stop bothering me’

It isn’t a challenge, a threat to your identity,

She’s telling you her boundaries.

They are not up for negotiation,

negation, conquering, obliteration,

her body is not your inclusive space.

She doesn’t need your arrogant attempt at re-education.

 

When she speaks, the penny bomb drops.

  Continue reading “She Speaks by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

S(mocked) by Juliette van der Molen

puckered tight,

disapproving lips,

where threads have

pulled and gathered

red and white gingham

checks across a chest

that doesn’t know how

to expand, just yet.

tennis shoes tied

in double knots,

sun licking pavement

until it is gooey,

spongy with heat. Continue reading “S(mocked) by Juliette van der Molen”

A Song From a Straight Ally by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

I am a straight ally.

And I choose to make an oath to all that choose to hear it

I will defend the different dissonance, I will stand with

those told who to love and when to love and how to love

those told that they cannot have.

Those told that they are somehow lesser, that being gay is a joke

That being Trans* is just convenient cover for a pervert

Those told that simply being anything other than straight is not normal, Is deviant, is ‘other’

I make this oath because of the things I see

I see forty-nine threads cut short, I see the right to pee safely being ruled by fear

I see the rules of divorce still governed by straight law

I see secure employment being based on your sexual orientation

I see religion twisted into hate, I see corrective rape, I see murder

I see you, queer girl, your slip shed soul constantly bruised from unwanted advances

When a man reeking of arrogance says,

“You’ve never had a real man, bet I’ll give you a good fuck”

Continue reading “A Song From a Straight Ally by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin

I have ten minutes here,

Less than ten in this press of people, before I go through those gates

to tell you that, Berlin was beautiful, a free celebration of all love

The Self-Owners, The Island, The Girlfriend, The Schwanenberg.

Then under the strict shadow of a worded paragraph I am now a number

Scratched into my skin, my name pressed into records,

between pages and pages of names.

Before Berlin was lights and love and music, gay bars and open study

Here is mud obscuring my identity,

photographed from three angles,

in grim stripes and triangles

we become homogeneous herd, corralled into camps.

Continue reading “#7952 by Suzanne Fraser-Martin”

To My Daughter by Zachary Payne

oh 200 grams of you

today they told me you will be a woman

a girl, a girl

we are having a baby girl

I will be a father

and with this great news

I’m hurt by the privilege

that exists

that continues existing

that besides all of the battles

will exist when you are born

 

remember

you don’t have to be a princess

or wear pink

(unless that be your desire)

Continue reading “To My Daughter by Zachary Payne”

Rapid Eye Movement by Kevin Jackson

He who may be she

used to think playing piano

was a way to touch god, or at least

 

something beyond the window

not made of  tarmac, livid body

 

parts. Such a god, music-mother,

swaggering-string-weaver, hip-horn rooster, took him

(as teachers then stamped her,

with the authority of corridors

going nowhere), took her mind off

Continue reading “Rapid Eye Movement by Kevin Jackson”

Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge by Amee Nassrene Broumand

Broumand_Gorge1Broumand_Gorge4Broumand_Gorge5Broumand_Gorge6Broumand_Gorge7 Continue reading “Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge by Amee Nassrene Broumand”

October 2018 Guest Editor/s are SHE SPEAKS UK!!! Theme/s: GENDER & REVOLUTION

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.”

  • Audre Lorde

“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.

Love,

She Speaks

x

Continue reading “October 2018 Guest Editor/s are SHE SPEAKS UK!!! Theme/s: GENDER & REVOLUTION”

BELONGING//RETURNING//RETREATING EDITION – SELECTED/CURATED/PRESENTED BY SEPTEMBER 2018 GUEST EDITOR RACHAEL DE MORAVIA

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

Continue reading “BELONGING//RETURNING//RETREATING EDITION – SELECTED/CURATED/PRESENTED BY SEPTEMBER 2018 GUEST EDITOR RACHAEL DE MORAVIA”

Redoubt by John Trefry

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.

01.jpg
Skjerdal, Norway, 9:00 PM, June 9, 2015

Arrival takes place much later cognitively.
Accept this.
Continue reading “Redoubt by John Trefry”

Mayonnaise (at 3:00pm) by hiromi suzuki

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”

under there, somewhere by Andy Harrod

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”

Three poems by Adrian Ernesto Cepeda

¿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”

The House, Cogitatio Amphibolia by Matthew Turner

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”

Exile is a Fire No One Can Put Out by Annie Q. Syed

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”

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