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MARCH 2020 Guest Editor Is JOAN POPE!!! THEME: SEX AND DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

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

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

Joan‘s theme for the month is as follows

SEX AND DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

Continue reading “MARCH 2020 Guest Editor Is JOAN POPE!!! THEME: SEX AND DEATH IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS”

STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC EDITION FEBRUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY OLIVIA CRONK

STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC EDITION FEBRUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY OLIVIA CRONK

4TH FEB

In bed, by Rhian Sasseen

Mommy, by Nikki Wallschlaeger

The dark should be safe, by Emma Lee

Continue reading “STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC EDITION FEBRUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY OLIVIA CRONK”

Mommy, by Nikki Wallschlaeger

        

           For Sage 

Mommy, I need some help. Watch cartoons with me, Mommy. You my mommy. Henry’s a nice pup. I’m hungry, Mommy. I want some pizza. I want some juice. Mommy, I got poop pants. I come outside with you, Mommy. Thanks. Read books with me, Mommy. Snuggle with me. I don’t want to take a nap. Mommy, help, help. You a nice Mommy. When is Daddy coming home. Where is brother. It’s yucky. I don’t like it, I don’t like it, Mommy. Nice dog. Fast race car. My bike, my bike, Mommy. No doggy. Henry’s a nice dog. Give my Mommy a kiss, carry me Mommy. Where is bus. BUS! Find a different one. This. Come on, Mommy. What’s that noise. Go find treasure for you. Mermaids, sharks. Mommy what you doing. Daddy’s at work?  Brother is at school. Take a bath. I want to take a bath, Mommy. Splash Mommy. Boats. Submarine. Mommy, I got owie. Right there. How about some cookies. Fine. You stop it, you do it. I found something, Mommy. Open. Yummy food. I want blue, yellow. I want to help you, Mommy. Mine.

________________

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work  has been featured in The Nation, Brick, American Poetry Review, Witness,   Kenyon Review, POETRY, and others. She is the author of the full-length collections Houses (Horseless Press 2015)  and Crawlspace (Bloof 2017) as well as the graphic book I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (2019) from Bloof Books. She is also the author of an artist book called “Operation USA” through the Baltimore based book arts group Container, a project acquired by Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Her third collection, Waterbaby, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2021. // @nikkimwalls

_________________

Banner image by Olivia Cronk

In bed, by Rhian Sasseen

I.

In bed, I am writing this to you in bed. I spend so much time here: eating, sleeping, fucking. Waiting for the day finish. Longing for the night to begin. Wishing that I were someone other than myself, that I was somewhere other than my bed. “I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying in bed…” Supine. Sleepless. In bed there is only the passivity of time. The comfort of duty. You’re supposed to lie there, you’re supposed to lie in bed and wait for sleep to come. Dreaming, dreaming is the one thing I don’t do in bed. There are no smells in dreams, no tastes. A horizontal life.

Continue reading “In bed, by Rhian Sasseen”

FEBRUARY 2020 Guest Editor Is OLIVIA CRONK!!! THEME: STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC

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

Submissions are open from today – 1st FEBRUARY and will remain open until 23RD FEBRUARY.

Olivia‘s theme for the month is as follows

STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC

Continue reading “FEBRUARY 2020 Guest Editor Is OLIVIA CRONK!!! THEME: STUDIES IN THE HIGH (GAUDY) DOMESTIC”

VISION EDITION JANUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY REVERSE BUTCHER

VISION EDITION JANUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY REVERSE BUTCHER

Continue reading “VISION EDITION JANUARY 2020 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY REVERSE BUTCHER”

JANUARY 2020 Guest Editor Is REVERSE BUTCHER!!! THEME: VISION

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

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

RvB‘S theme/s for the month are as follows

VISION

Continue reading “JANUARY 2020 Guest Editor Is REVERSE BUTCHER!!! THEME: VISION”

LABYRINTH EDITION DECEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY DHIYANAH HASSAN

LABYRINTH EDITION DECEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY DHIYANAH HASSAN

Continue reading “LABYRINTH EDITION DECEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY DHIYANAH HASSAN”

[Again] / [To surge, rise] by Sue Scavo

suescavo[again][tosurgerise]1a

Continue reading “[Again] / [To surge, rise] by Sue Scavo”

3 Poems by Juliet Cook and j/j hastain

[CN: mention of rape/assault]

Ravenous Bird Brain

He thinks you’re a rape magnet,
a strangled portal for revenge,
but you aren’t. Really you are
a ruptured dome filled with crows.

A dream moving through a book
held by a local pagan,
in which every bookmark can fly
and bite the lines of what tried to kill it.

If he thought he could ban us for life,
wait until he sees all the pages under his bed
at night, crawling up the ceiling and then
dive bombing his ears.

Revising his neckline
into a pathogenic birdbath.
The only real way to sleep. Do you believe
rainbows come from atlas? So do stars

but stars are dead. So is God.
What sort of constellation
will forgive him or form a concentric shape
that rains down upon men?

Continue reading “3 Poems by Juliet Cook and j/j hastain”

4 Visual Poems by Angela Rodriguez and Joseph Ellison Brockway

Gargoyles-Brockway+Rodriguez

Gargoyles
Watercolor on paper, 2015

Continue reading “4 Visual Poems by Angela Rodriguez and Joseph Ellison Brockway”

Exodus II by Paul Bluestein

Exodus II

I climbed up
to shout you from the rooftop.
Fingernails and scrabbling feet
searching for a place to stand
immersed in the visions flowing from
your daydreams and nightmares.

But before I could speak,
the desert heat baked your words
leaving them flat and tasteless.
Bread with no meaning to make it rise.
Alone, watched only
by the blind eye of the sun
I told myself, “Climb down.” Continue reading “Exodus II by Paul Bluestein”

2 Artwork by Thomas Osatchoff

1 Find Your Way Out-thomas

Find Your Way Out Continue reading “2 Artwork by Thomas Osatchoff”

NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST EDITION NOVEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY MAUVE PERLE TAHAT/ARTWORK BY MORIAH M. MYLOD

NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST EDITION NOVEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY MAUVE PERLE TAHAT/ARTWORK BY MORIAH M. MYLOD

Continue reading “NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST EDITION NOVEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY MAUVE PERLE TAHAT/ARTWORK BY MORIAH M. MYLOD”

“Cryptocerebral Digital” by Joseph Ellison Brockway

1573477744462_momylodphotographycecilia2016
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

Cryptocerebral Digital - CropHIGHresolution

 

Joseph Ellison Brockway is a poet, translator, and Spanish professor. He likes to juxtapose words and signs to disrupt the language on the page and to disturb the reader’s thoughts. Many of his poems also experiment with ideas and images that explore the human psyche and existence. Joseph’s poetry has recently been published in L’Éphémère ReviewMoonchild MagazineSurVision Magazine, and Surreal Poetics. He can be found roaming the socialmediaverse at @JosephEBrockway.

“Attached:” by ⑆ka⑉t⑇

IMG_3155
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

An Overview (Log A.0003)

The greens, the greys, the ocean waves—together cross.

Enveloped within infrastructure, like an orb with swirling insides: the waters settle in the center as trees surround them. Three oceans connect through a narrow river; these oceans huddle close. The architecture: high-rise. Sky-high, arching over the oceans, shielding them. The buildings reach out to one another through pathways (connected, like the oceans)—and these know no time. Similar to skip travel, almost. Each piece in this machine of a home fits and functions as planned, always.

The fresh breeze, the silvers, the tides—these are what make up home, and yet, home would be incomplete without its inhabitants. This Realm has always been known for its residents’ hyperosmia: heightened olfactory senses. Other neighboring Realms are known for other things. Hyperosmia plays a vital role in the circulation of energy.

All this Realm’s energy is generated from its very own oceans. There are the tides: natural, relatively predictable, but insufficient and intermittent (the oceans cherish their quiet time, too). There is the concentration of salt: with hyperosmia, energy management poses no challenge. In other words, apart from the tides, the oceans must have an exact percentage of salt for the energy to be distributed evenly in the Realm. An exact percentage, a very specific scent. Each piece in this machine of a home fits and functions as planned, always.

Amidst distinct realms, here lies Elesphal.

*******

The Oliques and Their Ancestral History (Log A.0028)

    Elesphal was once led by the Scentress for ages and ages as tales go. Essentially, she was the founder; the scholars of the Realms speak of her oneness with nature and how she foresaw the need for Elesphal to live upon such providence.

    The Scentress began, along with a few others of her time, to construct the Elesphal of now, from its architecture to its energies. She is the sole reason for the inhabitants’ hyperosmia; from her the idea of mastering the sense came about and hence, her name.

    However, since her passing, the Olique family—the Scentress’ descendants—had taken over. The Oliques maintain order in and ensure the needs of Elesphal. All have equal roles: mother Morea takes the general governance over the Realm, father Lesthe takes interactions with the other Realms, older brother Iressen takes infrastructure management, sister Midence takes energy monitoring, and younger brother Alsgne takes nature development.

    Even in the seamless machine of Elesphal there exists widespread rumors of the Scentress. As indicated in the records, she has transformed into an ancestral ghost, roaming around Elesphal, soul stuck for reasons unknown. As much as all inhabitants sand the Olique family would like to further study this and assist in sending the Scentress to fulfill herself into a higher, more peaceful being, everyone fears what she might do to them or their Realm. She later on became detached from the residents after achieving hyperosmia herself, tales tell.

*******

 

The Scentress Herself (Log C.0147)

    The oceans are off, Midence mutters.

    All seems well to me, sister, Iressen assures her.

    I agree with brother. It might just be your nose, sister, Alsgne has a light laugh.

    Midence ignores her little brother, looks away. Had all really meant well, her nose should not be twitching as it is now, should it? Midence tries asking around, but to no avail; the rest of the inhabitants seem fine. Not even her mother and father side with her.

    Midence sets her eyes on the oceans once more; she tears away from the waters almost immediately, the scent too powerful for her to even look

    If the oceans are unwell, might this lead to overconsumption, and possibly ruin Elesphal? The worry rings in Midence’s heart. She leaves her brothers and rushes to the records hall, in hopes that the scholars might shed light onto this disruption. As quick as she can, she goes through any and every log in her immediate sight—she fears no time can be wasted.

    Midence, nearly drowned in all the books, discovers an eccentric dent in the brick walls. When she touches the dent, a slip of paper falls into her hands and it reads:

If someone were to call for me aloud, or if these very lines were to be found out,

I assure you—have no doubt:

Visiting one, you have my blessings. And now, to you, I shall call out.

    Midence resumes her research to look for more answers. She finds that those lines are a message from the Scentress herself. Further research tells Midence that the Scentress, at certain circumstances, chooses to appear to whoever calls for her or discovers that particular message. The scholars inferred that the Scentress appears to the chosen in either episodes of erratic voices and visions or through her unique aura projected onto ordinary objects in the Realm.

Never had Midence feared knowledge until this moment. The Scentress might—oh, the thought alone is awful, Midence winces—play around with her, haunt her, torment her. There is no way to rewind, and Midence is well-aware of that fact. She continues on, averting the ocean crisis while convincing her kindred of the Scentress’ words.

    I’ve never heard of this before, Iressen says.

    The scholars might have made mistakes, too, sister, Alsgne taps his finger on his chin.

    And in those moments of skepticism, obscurities arise: glitches, bright sparks appear before Midence’s eyes. At first only she was directed by the Scentress, then the latter began making contact with Iressen and Alsgne as well. Obscurities—yet clearly of the Scentress’ mark—and other times the most ordinary objects in the oddest of ways: tree branches intertwining, reaching out to them, intertwining, and repeat, and more. The three siblings share the same fright in the beginning. Her motives incomprehensible beyond compare, they believe the Scentress made her presence a curse for having found her message, a supposed secret.

    Midence continues with the oceans. Moment after moment of the Scentress’ calls upon the three, at long last, she appears fully to the siblings.

    “Visiting one—and her company—you have my blessings.”

    She is…at best would be to say: light, albeit a dim one.

    A silent nod, a greeting from her to the three. The Scentress proceeds to explain the behavior of their oceans:

    “Our marine energy has been fluctuating—too strong or too weak for the established scent—due to the lack of light. Have you ever considered the light?”

The three shake their heads in sync.

“Elesphal, truly, and I discovered this only upon my passing, is a world of light. Elesphal…comes from light sphere, you see? For our Realm to continue with its marine energy at normal levels, we must intersect it with our innate light capacity. Both energies must work alongside each other, yet this light energy has been neglected for so, so long. And that is one of my deepest regrets as the Scentress—not having utilized our truth.”

The three siblings look at the Scentress in awe, still trying to process her words.

“This architecture is my fault. Too completely enveloped, trapped, shunning ourselves of our open sphere and the oceans that yearn to sparkle.” The Scentress looks upward, then down in dismay. “Midence, and Iressen, Alsgne: you have always been doing well—the Oliques truly never fail. And so I must ask of your assistance to set this all anew.”

“Elesphal has,” she tries to disguise her brokenness with soft sobs, “it has become a machine, all too rigid. We directed our focus to the oceans…if we do not solve this, I foresee the oceans may lose their power and Elesphal will, in turn, fall.”

“Here, visiting ones,” the Scentress says and this time, faint and friendly glitches surround them. “What we must do is make use of both light and waters. With the warmth of direct sunlight, we will utilize the temperature of the surface of the waters. In other words, visiting ones—”

“Now, not only the scent matters, but the heat from the light as well,” Midence interrupts.

“Indeed, indeed,” the Scentress smiles.

Elesphal, with the guidance of the Oliques, turns anew: the architecture opens up, allowing light to spread onto the oceans. The energies return to the usual, but with a faint—warm—change.

Elesphal lives with the ocean and the light, now a true home to its inhabitants, to the Scentress, to itself.

 

    *******   

 

The Scentress to the Olique Children (Hidden Log)

    Every exhale is an act of devouring space and time.

Now, it is one hundred percent clear. Absolutely.

Visiting ones, here I must send my deepest thanks, and bid my farewell. I shall rise.

The ancestral spirit of the Scentress disperses and brightens, light above Elesphal. She is finally fulfilled into a higher being.

The Scentress is dearly missed by the inhabitants of Elesphal. Scholars say she makes appearances from time to time, to those who call out to her, or to those whom she wishes to call out to.

 

 

 

 

⑆ka⑉t⑇ is a BFA Creative Writing student very much into unreality. She tries to channel unreality through her works and her fashion. She can be found as typeflux on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram.

“While My Widow Searches the Clouds for a Sign” by Kymm Coveney

IMG_2948
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

I was told (who told me? what voice?) to imagine
a porthole, to focus across the blue. Wait

for the glare of clarity to abate, subdue it.

Acknowledge the blue, it said, like breathing
used to be. It will be cold, like the first snow,
as you ease yourself across. There is the sea.
Concentrate. I become my focus, which is her.

She watches the sky (I remember the sky). I don’t

see her, it is not sight, yet she’s there on the terrace
watching the clouds, seeing vertebrae.

The voice says, It’s like blowing. I remember
breathing, taking in a deep breath. The thought,
or what sounds like a thought, makes me smile.
(A smile is just a metaphor now.)    Focus.

I’m entranced with the mirror image. I need the sea

for practice. She’s searching for letters – an L – but clouds

are untamable, they stand on end, wisps

trailing away into a spider’s thread that I follow (again,

a metaphor) in wonder (now I know wonder)

and she is no longer on the terrace, no longer

looking, though her ache crimsons the scent

of pine and honeysuckle. I translate touch, sound,

sight, want, pain. She is trying to translate, but knows

only blue, sea. Sees only vertebrae, thinks I don’t hear.
 

I resist dissipation. I dally, imagining our two mists

mingling (what sex used to be?), though I’m becoming
wisp already. Her every thought like a blood-red

light flashing in the empty blue.    Listen.

Kymm Coveney was born in Boston and has lived in Spain since the 1982 World Cup. Some poems are in Under the RadarProle, and The Interpreter’s House. Several flash pieces reside at 101Fiction. Online translations include a poem at Surreal Poetics and a short story at Palabras Errantes.

Blog: BetterLies Twitter: @KymmInBarcelona.

3 Poems by Melissa Eleftherion

20140317_124919
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

conch/sea

 

I am and I become

abecedarian as a personal charm

to am and become

to be and become

remind me     to be light

 

inside each memory egg a gold inlay of an incident

how the brain compartmentalizes like a chambered nautilus

yet it is all one sand – the brain distinguishes one from the other to understand

 

i’ve made a career of privacy and compartmentalized objects 

i’ve made a career of my traumas

 

what is privacy here with all exposed and sifting over one another in an endless span

how much of privacy or keeping secret is wrapped up in fears around judgement 

light exposures popping up – the privacy book the mean latitudes of reason 

 

a wish to bold concave belly flesh        shoulders wrapped in marbled warscape  

a wish to stand tall to withstand the seas at the door

 

i biked all over town in the early dawn popping off light exposures drunk on tall boys and crashed into a lexus

 

the me then the me

mortal rigor         in the fountain        in the landscape chasm

 

conch/sea 

to rack focus like an aperture to let light in

object/frame             stillness among the raging

 

majestic orifice right there

alate lion in the yard 

 

these death energetics 

i swallow hieroglyphs like a carceral bee 

fires all around the island in a glacial crisis

war on my nerves a pallor a fungus 

the lens    has holes in it 

a disintegration of the ephemeral 

 

the segmented abdomen becomes integrated 

losing its segments         as an insect ages 

cerci wave in weapons of copulation

wingless among the deciduous

 

the sense making 

malicious octopus reticular trap

alphabet laughter in the yarrow

 

when you become the lens itself

so the pallor is swallowed, excreted

the moult can moult

 

 

 

 

electron nostalgia

 

Electra clasp the wretches

wretched         the wretches wash ashore           

 

pubic schema    old days of the goddess

    stressed belly            the “curved inflorescence”

irascible pharaoh        egg-shaped coffin

 

bury me in this alleged

Home

receiving familiar        Legend

Hers is the        felled heart            a sword-shaped segment

 

when i curve toward you

the air stretches me pinnate

radio neuron electra            radial split inquisitive 

I split            I fire on all radials

 

electrons of nostalgia        acquisitive longing

how the “stigma persists at the tip”    even though its buried

how trauma persists            the skins a sun coming through it

 

kletic

 

wild mouths wild mouths

when the agor settles

when gold dust lament

covers it all

i am a beetle captured

in glass

my green thorax aglow

among the amber

my pincers akimbo

like come at me bro

i still believe in a female god

 

Melissa Eleftherion is a writer, librarian, and a visual artist. She is the author of field guide to autobiography (The Operating System, 2018), & nine chapbooks, including the forthcoming trauma suture (above/ground press, 2020). Born & raised in Brooklyn, Melissa now lives in Mendocino County where she manages the Ukiah Library, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series. Recent work is available at www.apoetlibrarian.wordpress.com.

“Six Degrees at the Movies” by Dennis Etzel Jr.

sketchbook2015
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

remember Hollow Man?      Kevin Bacon  

stuck in our seat forced     a rapist’s point 

of view     women can’t see him 

we go unseen     reliving through

leading to his neighbor     her apartment 

stuck in our seat     as credits roll

I should have left     before credits

still without closure     Rhona Mitra 

credited     only as Neighbor     

 

 

Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others. Etzel is the recipient of a 2017 Troy Scroggins Award and the 2017 Topeka ARTSConnect Arty Award in Literary Arts. He co-edited Ichabods Speak Out: Poems in the Age of Me, Too with Dr. Jericho Hockett which features poems against sexual assault from the Washburn University and Topeka Community. He is a TALK Scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council and leads poetry workshops in various Kansas spaces.

“Third Shift at the Night Factory” by Stephen Frech

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

Third shift at the night factory

assembles the simple, elegant machine of night.

Workers, like figures in a shadow play,

hammer the fitted parts home,

extend the handle of a wrench with a pipe,

and brace a foot against the stubborn bolt.

 

Engineers pour over the schematics of the moon 

trembling on the surface of oil in open buckets.

In the last of the dark hours,

welders extinguish their torches

while the foreman inspects the welds

with a candle held behind the seams.

 

Pinholes in the bead or casting

fill the factory with starlight,

a constellation of flaws, a myth and map of stars

we made to find our way out.

 

Queued at the gate and parting

at the whistle into morning,

shift workers call to each other:

‘night, see ya, so long, take care 

 

Stephen Frech has earned degrees from Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Cincinnati. He has published three volumes of poetry: Toward Evening and the Day Far Spent (Kent State UP), If Not For These Wrinkles of Darkness (White Pine Press), and The Dark Villages of Childhood (Midwest Writing Center) His fourth volume titled A Palace of Strangers is No City, a sustained narrative of prose poetry/flash fiction, has been published by Cervena Barva Press. He published a translation of poetry from the Dutch: Menno Wigman’s Zwart als kaviaar/Black as Caviar. He is founder and editor of Oneiros Press, publisher of limited edition, letterpress poetry broadsides. Oneiros broadsides have been purchased by special collections libraries around the world, among them the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the University of Amsterdam Print Collection. Stephen Frech is Professor of English at Millikin University

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