If I am made
in the image of God no wonder
I have a black hole head boundaries
blurred my body unfolding shape
shifting some days I look in
mirrors thinking Jesus Christ is
that my face other days I see through
my lover’s eyes a shade garden
in my throat bleeding heart dicentra
collarbones dripping with corydalis lutea
each blossom ink I read only birdsong
my chest an aperture to root to ground Continue reading “3 Poems by Jericho Hockett”
[CN: suicidal ideation]
There is an anger inside of me
that claws its way out of me
One that tears apart the demon asleep on my tongue
My lungs are a raging lava
My blood boils
My self-control is not so loyal.
What if I just unleash the beast
Sometimes, I wanna show them my claws
I wanna show them I can stand up for myself
no, fight fight fight
I wanna sink my fangs into the throat of their ignorance
Drag their egos through the mud because dirt does not
discriminate against –
And all flesh tastes the same to the maggots
sometimes I want to crush their bones
They think of themselves gods
but everyone is the same height when
their faces are in the ground
sometimes Continue reading “Anger by Amal”
Sing Me the Song
after John Lyon
When the exiled pioneers stared at the Salt Lake Valley, they drank clean air. A sky framed by Nature’s Bulwark presumed their own. They slept in the open next to trees in the crux of the canyon, and night came. An armistice with ground, as each fire began to smell less and less like Buffalo chips. Crowded by the grid system, I search for a street where I am not spied on by a steeple. Imperfect Zion sleeping in Pioneer Park.
Nor the Sound of pollution voice is heard?
I am the visitor, welcome on the back row with handshake full of grease brought again to sacrament meeting. Ceiling fans spin backward the longer I stare. Hymnodic. I remember as a kid, a deacon, I once put Sprite in the cups for sacrament’s water. Nursery tastes like blessings.
But where shall we find this fairy vale
Where the naked are clothed and the hungry fed Continue reading “2 Poems by Jeff Pearson”
Not everyone enters
their maze on a mission.
Some of us wake one day
curled inside a darkness
that stretches in all directions
for countless miles caught
in a lacework cage reaching
we wander half blind
through rotting corridors
searching for signs of life
stumbling over pits that beckon
beneath wearied feet
in the yawning velvet dark
with dead ends that glint
with knives and chains
slamming shut doors
that open silently
voices not our own over
floors that sharpen suddenly
into spikes through
mirrored courtyards where
we glimpse our aging faces
catch sad minotaurs
behind our eyes.
We become adept
at surviving stripped
of all but our existence
at times weaving
the gleaming edges of pain
into armour and amulets
fortifying our bones Continue reading “Labyrinth Song by Lucy Whitehead”
Just a Thought
For the warming comfort of snow,
to thaw that which has been left frigid,
to repress is to die,
refrain and move on,
this is life persisting,
death meanders on,
a salivating void of all emotion,
numb to escape,
place distance between what happened
and any attachment to it,
two contradictory planes of existence,
abandon “your” self, rid the vessel of “my” anything, Continue reading “2 Poems by Kevin R. Farrell, Jr.”
This [bread] is no other than
This [horse’s open mouth] is
This [word] has
A magic power
This [fish head] brings
Courage & posterity
This [fluid] cures
This [sequence of syllables] drives away
All evils & devils
This [ritual] ensures
Good weather & good harvest
This [hat/hood] guarantees
This [flag] leads right
This [man] is Continue reading “2 Poems by Yuan Changming”
The Great Also,
the Forever Tree: and maybe it’s always
synesthesia, like, look how this word
FREE is green, like GREEN only
blown open by a wind first and
then a fire, not closed off
like the edge of a crayon where
is tempted to think color just stops, boxed
into its predictable shape
at the factory. You’re not
tempted, are you?
(On a lamp post in the middle of the bridge,
a piece of green tape, and hand penciled,
“the factory is out of control”) Yes,
I’m tempted, always tempted to believe
edges like that must
enclose and exclude. For
example, you’re out there, invisible, and I’m
in here, writing this.
But the Great Also, in the details
where everything numbingly the same
is stunningly various, and vice versa, secretly
runs the out-of-control factory. Yes? Continue reading “The Forever Tree by Kyla Houbolt”
Considerations for Maze-Building/Determining an Appropriate Level of Guilt Upon Leaving Someone I Do Not Love
1) The intention of the maze is to disrupt
the intuition of the traveller as frequently
as possible // how often did they hand me the map?
Was I asked politely to navigate? Told?
Permitted? 2) At a fork where within sight
one path branches again and the other does not,
the traveller will assume the branched path is correct.
How convincing the wrong turns should be made Continue reading “3 Poems by Anna Kahn”
Burning House Press are excited to welcome EMMA SzH as our APRIL 2019 guest editor! As of today EMMA will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of APRIL.
Submissions for EMMA are open from today – 1st APRIL and will remain open until 23rd APRIL.
EMMA’S theme/s for the month are as follows
VIOLENCE, LINES, THE END TIMES
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11
Art across all media is sought to build a mosaic of that most inner integument: bodily, socially, earthly; we strive to name our communal, personal element, the river that pegs us; the promise and the curse that binds us.
What was blood to you when you:
lived, died, returned, repaid, restored, hurt, lied, taxonimised, identified, glorified, fled
What does it mean when it comes every month? What does it mean when it doesn’t?
EMMA SzH lives in Cambridge and is working on her PhD ‘Selfies at Auschwitz’ at the Royal College of Art, London. She writes on various subjects, namely at the intersection of religion, gender and digital visual cultures, and has been published by Bloomsbury, the Paulist Press and the Catholic Tablet, among others.
* * *
For submissions, EMMA is looking for your poetry, short stories, flash fiction, prose poems, art, collage, painting, photography – as well as non-fiction submissions: essays, reviews, commentary, features, interviews – and all hybrids, fragments and cross-forms.
All submissions should be sent as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please state the theme and form of your submission in the subject of the email. For example: BLOOD/POETRY
Poetry and Fiction
For poetry submissions, submit no more than three of your best poems. Short stories should be limited to 1,500 words or (preferably) less. We encourage flash fiction submissions, no more than three at a time. Send these in as a .doc or .docx file, along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.
Submit hi-res images of your works (drawings, paintings, illustrations, collages, photography, etc) with descriptions of the work (Title, Year, Medium, etc) in the body of the email. Files should be in .JPEG unless they are GIFs or videos, and should not exceed 2MB in size for each work. File names should correspond with the work titles. Video submissions can be uploaded onto Youtube or Vimeo for feature on our website. Send these submissions along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.
Non-fiction submissions (essays, reviews, commentary, interviews, etc) should be no more than 1, 500 words and sent as a .doc or .docx file along with your third-person bio/and optional photograph.
Submissions are open from 1st till 23rd APRIL – and will reopen again on 1st MAY for our sixteenth guest editor.
BHP online is now in the capable hands of the amazing EMMA SzH – friends, arsonistas, send EMMA your magic!
Burning House Press are excited to welcome BOLA OPALEKE as our JANUARY 2019 guest editor! As of today Bola will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of January.
Submissions for Bola are open from today – 1st January and will remain open until 24th January. Continue reading “January 2019 Guest Editor Is BOLA OPALEKE!!! Theme/s: FAITH // FAITHLESSNESS // DIVINITY”
This is not a violin, it is a doorway. I know this, because I read a lot. My notes and references are usually very detailed breadcrumb paths. But, as Brion Gysin said, the mice can get into the larder of language (and I add to his point, memory). And, well… I have no control over legions of mice.
“This is is not a violin, it is a doorway.”
Over the Threshold
We laugh like newlyweds
as you carry me over the threshold
into a house rife with the spirits
of former tenants-
a lonely caretaker, a childless couple,
a single mother-
their DNA peeling off the walls
like chipped paint.
Tachypsychia. The word we use for defining the neurological condition which alters our perception of time. Time lengthening, time moving slower, time contracting. A blurred vision of time as response to a traumatic event. Time as a collection of unrelated passages. Time as red lines on the temptation to exist. Time as well-captured intentions, the same throughout all journeys. Every inked reflection, a paradise lost. Continue reading “Christina Tudor-Sideri: PASSING THROUGH THE HOME OF THE DYING”
Proper Entry and Exit
After Listening to “Canvas”
One must know what it is to be in and out. How to properly enter and exit. “Properly,” not in the sense of the bourgeoisie or uppity, but in the sense in which Robert Farris Thompson wrote about. Writing as he did about the ways we be.
There are ways of being in and out.
But how to enter and where to be once inside and how to decide when to no longer remain—what makes those decisions, those moments?
Can we ever reach the inside without entering?
And can we reach the outside without exiting?
Composition: Mixed Media
I paint to learn what my eyes barely see,
things hidden to me: cast shadows, a latch,
my mother’s ghost floating behind the drapes.
I study the image I shot, its hues and patterns:
copper door, stained windows, the stone of walls
and sun faded stone, the blur of a doorway’s curve.
I was thinking about Brutalism, cattle and passage tombs. Form, currency and death.
Walking the fields of North Cork and the headlands of Galway, casting cow-sheds as signs.
Homes for people, now homes for animals. Cycled forward by occupation, migration and forecasts. Radio broadcasts. Concrete and local stone piled into walls, supporting cold tin rooves. Corrugated steel. Cheap and functional, galvanised wave forms. Tin, iron and zinc combined and beaten thin. Weather resistant not weather proof.
My brother’s childhood room and mine connect through paired doors, at three different points. Walk out my room and and ten paces would take you to my brother’s door, next to the AC control, across from the panic button. We also shared a bathroom, each room opening onto the sinks where we would brush our hair, or teeth, or forget to, side by side. With both doors open, you could have seen from pillow to pillow if you tried hard. Continue reading “Dov Nelkin: 6 doors and One Slammed”