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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”

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

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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

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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.

“centralia, the town that swallows flames” by Kailey Tedesco

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

our feet have bottomed 

out in the earth-slit.

let it be known 

 

buck was once the name 

of a dog, but not a dog 

of mine. my toddler 

 

arms suffered hives 

from his lick, burned 

redhot from within

 

  1. i feared his cleaning 

himself, a nautilus 

my own body 

 

could not shape. in a kitchen 

like any other, the smoke 

left a beeswarm. before

 

fire, i figured allergies, my skin 

blistering honeyblood. a maggot

lived in buck 

 

for nine days before

anyone noticed. when plucked, 

it was golf-sized, full of 

 

dog. mother fed me 

a milkbone for a moment of 

peace, bleached the 

 

sink of its bloodsplatter until

our dishes were 

poison. the sun rises &

 

there is less  

& less of us. we hold

last vigils by the jesus-

 

shrine, ask for him to 

be with us & in us – a 

maggot. how afraid

 

they must be, jesus

and the dog, having never 

seen hell before. we are 

 

constantly feeding; the holes

are already 

in all of us. 

 

 

 

 

 

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing). Her collection, Lizzie, Speak, won White Stag Publishing’s 2018 poetry contest, and her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is forthcoming from White Stag in 2020. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Electric Literature, Nat. Brut, Black Warrior Review, Fairy Tale Review, Bone Bouquet Journal, and more. For further information, please follow @kaileytedesco. 

“Telling” by Ian Schoultz

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod


stories only 🡪 this message has no content / i will devour / like a written thing 🡪 loomed untitled. /// The / empathy empathy / the main character should die 🡪 submenu / enter // my question is when u say you are say u are sad, what are you sad about? are you sad about the world? the compounded sadness? is a thought sad? how is happy? whose is it and what is it like? mouseclick 🡪 palpable turn //// thought n. – a reliquary of loss; an open document; a semblance; a letting; a source; everyone who’s there. [] [] [] 🡪 the season nonetheless some evocative partially solid thing 🡪 extra limbic 🡪 carrier wave 🡪 mostly 🡪 really 🡪 and as the subject of / what do you see 🡪 praxis in reasonable portions 🡪 father on religion save / save save the whales 🡪 they sick / from heavy metals (character’s demonstration of preconceived prerecorded a priori desires /// “exist” or 🡪 my biological episode (to descriptor string [] [] blessed end blessed beginning) 🡪 second death / wearing the gradual retreat still heard and felt / Object. / have been the road [] [] [] [] [] [] see if you put this like this and this like this / you can make / a mouth a mouth a myth / and it’s the same the same same [the question is]

 

 

Ian recently finished his MFA in Poetry from Louisiana State University. His work has appeared in the tiny and Aberration Labyrinth and is forthcoming in Always Crashing. He lives and walks his black lab, Gabriel, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

 

“Close Encounters of the Second Kind” by Phillip Spotswood

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

I’ve been circling lakeside for years

   

    cypress knees are fine    fine        thought 

    they were a breathing mechanism, but recently 

    researched into support        marginal buttress

    more waist-high concealment 

 

Every loop a filmed apocalypse held

the length of a lizard’s tail

easy to detach

I’m     sprung aloof 

 

By the end, memory is        abandoned 

                    & I’m still speechless

        swaddled in a thicker gunk called glow

        say gray diligence 

 

                                    Nothing emerges

                                    from perfect repetition    the loop

                                    devours all possibility, gurgling 

                                    warm at the center    everyone still

                                    blank where I left them 

 

Here I am, laying out the longest 

waiting room – red carpet gone to sun-bleach

 

I watch the lake for displacement, 

though I’m not sure anything can live 

in a constructed hollow;

fishers line the sides, though I’ve never seen them move            a landscape 

                                            I can’t totally trust 

    because I keep coming back 

   

Recently, objects have been vanishing, or simply 

giving up the ruse

cattails reared in absence

nimble false bearings 

 

There’s a stranger yet to arrive – summoned back         to me;

We’ll shake hands, I’ll ask where they’ve been, though I know the answer  

I’ve only ever emulated the business of obfuscation 

 

What is the opposite of water displacement? When a thing erupts from deep volume? 

The belief is there, but in practice I’m another statue     sweat

fastening fissures 

 

Nobody has fallen from the sky in years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Spotswood is a poet from Alabama, and a PhD Creative Writing student at Illinois State University. His most recent work can be found in baest, The Wanderer, and Tagvverk. He is the recipient of the 2018 Robert Penn Warren MFA Poetry Thesis Award judged by Tonya Foster, and the 2017 William Jay Smith MFA Poetry Award judged by Daniel Borzutzky. He tweets @biometrash.

“Voyeurs: After Viewing Picasso’s Le Reve” by Mare Leonard

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod 

on canvas she’s shaped like an Easter egg

in life she’s young and sexy

Marie-Therese at 17

                        wakes from an erotic dream

                        moves her fingers

                        over and under her body

we watch Marie Therese

shift  see her

eyes close   her hips lift

                        she spreads out on a divan

                        she stretches over the canvas

                        we hear lullabies

                         sweet Marie sweet

he rocks the egg

he moves his brush

Picasso’s soft touch

shakes her yearnings

                               she rolls into life

                               far from Pablo’s hands

 

 

Mare Leonard’s latest chapbook was published in 2018 at Finishing Line Press, The Dark Inside My Hooded Coat. Read some reviews on her face book page: Mare Leonard Poet and Teacher  and  send a message with comments and if you would like a copy.  She is also searching for home for a chapbook of ekphrastic poems

“An Ethereal Tethering” by Stephen Wack

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

. . . something about a man and his dog (in the grand, non-linear scheme of reincarnation) as being one in the same. Soul, that is. Ethereal transient dweller, is another. Here now, there they are: Situated between two distinct, bloody meat husks, between two separate states of existent being — at once, under one roof, simultaneously — with one foot in man, the other, a dachshund-terrier mix. 

 

 

 

. . . is comprised of both end and endless, singular and infinite, of omniscient oblivion, bright-dark heavy-light, of both shape and void, each with their own distinct name. As a man: Brandon. In dog form, she is Mocha, among countless others (i.e., Mochi, Mookie, Monkey, Chunky, Chubbers, Chunkmonster. . . ). As mutual entity, root identity, as timeless core incarnate, a loose translation: Daielaareux. 

 

 

. . . will spend seven months at the shelter, gone unadopted longer than any other dog, before rejoining herself again. Meanwhile, she cries her jaw off. Starves herself down to a coffee-boned silhouette. Even draws blood from the hand of a guileless child, to make clear the message: I will never be yours. She waits patiently for what she already knows will eventually be.

 

. . . remembers what, on pure impulse, will drive him to the shelter in this manic grasping for purpose, going on six days without medication. He will come upon himself, caged separate. His ovaries scooped clean. Groggy with shots to keep him quiet, stagnant, alive. Not even finding himself to be particularly cute, or unique, or enthralling, yet feeling instantly connected, just the same. Might he’ve recognized then, in those muted eyes, himself? She knows the next years ahead of them together will be nothing so glorious — that they are in no way ready or responsible enough to take adequate care of themselves. They will ingest things that will make them violently ill. They will be too poor, too careless, to seek medical help. Will endure vast chunks of boredom, chewing holes through themselves, incapable to leave the house. Will watch themselves from the foot of the bed sulk and rot away for days on end, treading the grey wash of their skull, directionless, besides down. Will be the only life force to keep them afloat, strong enough to pull themselves upwards, and eventually, out.  

 

 

 

. . . yanks on their leash in unruly directions, and, out of sheer spite, he tugs them back the opposite way. Each will struggle to tell themselves what to do. He instructs her to obey: Sit. Heel. Eat. Fetch. Up on the couch. Now, off. But she refuses to listen. Years later, their heart crushed by a lasting love, lost — the one who used to (she now learns) smack them in private, but still loves her, despite the abuse — two months out, having still not washed the pillows or sheets, incubated with the tortuous scent of their ex’s shampoo, she has no other choice than to piss on the bed. She instructs him to: Be calm. Go for a walk. Know your self-worth. Move on. But he refuses to listen. He tells himself: No. He calls herself: Bad girl. They scream as themselves: Shut up shut up shut up. 

 

 

 

. . . Daielaareux, in countless other forms: A bridge in New Zealand. A strip mall in Detroit. An unbuttered croissant. A great big pile of leaves. A spanned lineage of prehistoric, neon-colored crabs. A comfortable silence. An impossible dream. The 37th Annual Miss America pageant. A one-hit wonder. An impotent king. A fortuitous accident, recognized only in hindsight. The Divine Mouth taking the earth like a vitamin. A newborn horse’s first step. Another one biting the dust. 

 

 

 

. . . forever amounts to, returns back to, self-love. 

 

 

 

. . . just seconds before the New Year, 2018. Time hibernates. Thoughts shuffle like a deck of cards. Head loud. Skull turned inside out on psychedelics. A blubbery, sunken, self-contained mess of fleshy slop packed inside a transient shell. A dark stain on the carpet, on a mother’s pelvic floor. He rushes to the bathroom, convinced an empty bladder will cure him. It does, then doesn’t. Grime sits in every wrinkle. Gravity’s tandem held hand lets go. The universe’s veil pulled down like a shower curtain, their many forms spilling out over the linoleum floor. On their knees, hands, back, she perches on his chest and he catches it — a quick glimpse, the uncanny resemblance, atoms stacked like dodged shoved in a cage. He holds herself behind the ears, kisses himself on their wet, hot stinking teeth. Noticing it fully, this tethering between them — an ethereal cord, conjoined. He she they them are all was once will have had we become continuous as one day slips seamlessly into the next without a clock, as the crackling bursts of fireworks resound from outside, at last. They have made it, for now. 

 

 

 

. . . in the same windowed timeline, will cease just as abruptly as its start: The man, at the tender age of fifty-six, from an untreated pulmonary obstruction; as a dog, age nine, a pack of stale Oreos left accessible at the top of the trash. And yet, both still remain incapable of saving each other, themselves, from what must be in order to happen again.

 

 

 

Stephen Wack is an Atlanta-based writer. He earned an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Georgia, where he briefly interned at the college’s literary magazine, The Georgia Review. His work has previously appeared in Five:2:One, Rougarou, and Cleaver Magazine, and is forthcoming in The Hunger and New Flash Fiction Review.

“Every Room Whispers Itself into Your Ear” by Juliet Cook

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

In this diorama, an intermediary exists in between

the good and the bad, but it’s hard to tell the difference

and sometimes the forces combine. 

 

This room is for the disobedient whores

to be stabbed and wrapped in plastic

and then placed in an ornamental circle.

 

In this room, tiny log shaped ornaments 

sometimes change color 

or shape or size to warn you

the next fire is about to begin.

 

In this room, someone will tell you she can cast a spell

in order to reveal who your real friends are,

but what if you find out you don’t have any real friends? 

 

More broken hearts will sink under the ground.

More spells will turn your life invisible.

Everyone has their own interests at heart

to be rearranged into good, bad, evil, dead

 

 

Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.

“Roadblock/Family Curses” by Jessie Janeshek

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

blood-red nails        tiny ferns    or creek-side bloodletting

    he swears rain is coming

and, oh yeah, she’s pregnant

    and they name all their kids    after each other

    ink changing color, blend in

and their defense is to present me

            as a wild woman in red on fast horses out of our time

but I know every minute of every week

        toward the moor or the seashore.

You say I’m futuristic        but I’m cloyingly nostalgic

    well-read in the gothic        abandoning

the conga line of bleached blondes    to forcefeed the dying cat

        Christmas crackers and charades

and wink if it’s a murder    plaid pants and my father’s failed guillotine trick.

    If you have time I’ll teach you        stuffed with sweet pecans

otherwise you can look in the clear purse

    with the blue gingham pocket for secrets

            vampires haunting New England

        and Vampira on late-nite TV.

I wear a wig like hers    but I’m not starving you

    in my smart suit    in my flowered shell

        and all the good noirs take place by the Hollywood Bowl

a minute per page in the trick house we hear them

    except the one where the girl falls off the boat

in her stolen furs

        and you gut a dog to switch on your sex drive

        and I waterski to our eroding island

sex twice in the summer    a middy dress play

    fat caterwauls

so even when her coat’s shiny        I won’t forget she’s dying.

    I pray for an earlier night no matter what

I pray to come in the storm in a full-skirted green dress. 

    I’m saving it up for the riverbed chase scene

            for the wasp-waisted Los Angeles rainbow

        for the end is immortal/immoral

        for the femme fatale exits unscathed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Janeshek’s three full-length collections are MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019), The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017) and Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbooks include Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, forthcoming). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.

“in the house of my body” by Mela Blust

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

in the house of my body the light is mostly low

the rooms filled with ghosts performing an orchestra

of sorrow about all the broken glass

 

once, in high school, a girl i had never talked to

taught me how she held her breath until she passed out.

“after the light goes dim, you don’t remember anything.”

 

in the rooms of my body i wander, shuffling papers into

boxes made of songs i can’t always remember the words to

because i held my breath so many times

 

once a man held my balled-up fist in his own and

compared it to the size of the human heart. i noticed

how he held them both and i could breathe

 

in the cathedral of my body undulating rays of light

spell hope on the cracked facade and sometimes

i remember the words to every song

 

 

 

Mela Blust is a Pushcart Prize and three time Best of the Net nominee, and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Rust+Moth, The Nassau Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Collective Unrest, and many more.

Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available with Apep Publications.

She is Head Publicist and Social Media Manager for Animal Heart Press, and a contributing editor for Barren Magazine.

She can be followed at https://twitter.com/melablust.

NOVEMBER 2019 Guest Editor Is MAUVE PERLE TAHAT!!! Theme: NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST

Burning House Press are excited to welcome Mauve Perle Tahat as our NOVEMBER 2019 guest editor! As of today MAUVE will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of NOVEMBER.

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

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

NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST

Continue reading “NOVEMBER 2019 Guest Editor Is MAUVE PERLE TAHAT!!! Theme: NO MACHINE WITHOUT A GHOST”

SIGNALLING THROUGH THE FLAMES EDITION OCTOBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY Johannes Göransson

SIGNALLING THROUGH THE FLAMES EDITION OCTOBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY Johannes Göransson

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ALTERED STATES EDITION SEPTEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY YANINA SPIZZIRRI

ALTERED STATES EDITION SEPTEMBER 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY YANINA SPIZZIRRI

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Two Collages by Shloka Shankar

memory (n.)

Title: memory (n.)
Year: 2019
Medium: Collage on paper, digitally altered

Continue reading “Two Collages by Shloka Shankar”

Apocalypse Poems [Visual Poetry/Collage] by Jeremy P. Bushnell

apocalypse 1

 

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Artwork by Bobbi Lurie

many eyes altered state

M.R.I., 2019
Drawing on paper

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Pruina, Sleeping Soul by Jaisha Jansena

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SEPTEMBER 2019 Guest Editor Is YANINA SPIZZIRRI!!! Theme: ALTERED STATES

Burning House Press are excited to welcome YANINA SPIZZIRRI as our SEPTEMBER 2019 guest editor! As of today YANINA will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of SEPTEMBER.

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

YANINA’S theme/s for the month are as follows

Continue reading “SEPTEMBER 2019 Guest Editor Is YANINA SPIZZIRRI!!! Theme: ALTERED STATES”

VOICES EDITION AUGUST 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY JAMES KNIGHT

VOICES EDITION AUGUST 2019 GUEST EDITED/CURATED BY JAMES KNIGHT

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