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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

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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.

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Skjerdal, Norway, 9:00 PM, June 9, 2015

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

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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”

Saudades de Rio by Eva Rosenn

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.

Continue reading “Saudades de Rio by Eva Rosenn”

Pacific Coast Highway by Yanina Spizzirri

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.

Continue reading “Pacific Coast Highway by Yanina Spizzirri”

The Watersteps by BR Williams

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”

Three poems by Mark Goodwin

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.

And him. Continue reading “Three poems by Mark Goodwin”

Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri

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”

Stave in the Autobiography of Sidney Ashe Fletcher by James Gifford

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”

Three poems by Mingji Liu

Rewinds

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.
Snap shut.
The film roll clicks.
And our lives rewind again.

Continue reading “Three poems by Mingji Liu”

Reunion by V.C. McCabe

The sickly stomach heat
of inescapable guilt
pushes me through the door,

brick in belly, heart on sleeve,
succulent hors d’oeuvres for
ravenous vultures waiting

to cannibalise with freshly
sharpened fangs and claws. Continue reading “Reunion by V.C. McCabe”

Softness as a cosmology by Rishi Dastidar

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”

The Green, Green Grass of Ceredigion by Laurence Mitchell

The final nine miles into Aberystwyth were a soothing amble through dappled green light – the disused railway track partially shaded by the overhanging branches of limes and oaks, the gravelly river close enough to be an audible murmur through the trees. Continue reading “The Green, Green Grass of Ceredigion by Laurence Mitchell”

By the Water’s Edge by Susanna Crossman

Henceforth, every line and every color of Picasso will exude the spirit of this rough land; will have the savor of dried figs or of cracked olives, the vigor of the olive shoot, the light of an almond tree in flower, the perfume of a sprig of lavender. And in St Petersburg and New York, in Barcelona, in Paris, in Berlin… they will collect and admire beautiful fragments of this enamored gaze.  —Angel Querol, son of the mayor of Horta Sant Joan
Continue reading “By the Water’s Edge by Susanna Crossman”

Familiar Road by Daniel Fraser

Icy evening, drunk but not too drunk,
a blur of lights round Hollingworth, where blue
unhappy boats skim the winter lake.
Your breath gleams up the window of your
unkempt Volvo estate, the dark red hulk,
snug vessel which covered our childhood miles,
expanses doled out in weekend tropes:
car-boot sales, bacon-sausage-egg,
scalds of tea in Styrofoam and
fish fried in brown batter. Continue reading “Familiar Road by Daniel Fraser”

Fifty Years Later by Kate Wooddell

Whiteness.
Walls gleaming stark with
fresh paint against dusty old tiger murals
while white hairs stroll the halls.  Artificially
whitened
smiles, untanned
skin, some hospital pallid, all
sans melanin.  The most distinguishing characteristic
we share. The pallor
of our segregated shame. Continue reading “Fifty Years Later by Kate Wooddell”

The farm will have us always by Richard Winters

Winters.Mother.c

Mother

The air at 4:30 is cool and lightless, the Moon is waning gibbous, low in the south in Capricornus, and in the southwest, Jupiter is descending in Ophiuchus. And Mother came to see the tiger lilies yesterday, they are blooming beside the pond, marking the farm’s July. Continue reading “The farm will have us always by Richard Winters”

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