Bury bereavement in cellar below with buttercup onesie, Château Pétrus Merlot — a godless sacrament you know is mortal sin. Silicon reproduced to simulate skin so your spouse can begin, maternal virgin, again. Sleep walk through mutual grief she countermands, rationing love, plastic in pale hands. Keep cries deep in your throat until she’s asleep. A baby monitor projects its first weep — graveled, full grown. The hell two have reaped, one remembers alone. Insatiable thirst nursed by propped-up bottles inside brownstone, She suckles a doll while you drink alone.
In vermillion lipstick, a Dorothy blue dress, borrowed ruby, ring finger, beaus to impress, submit to a coy lady’s request for your red shoes before she goes another night to Oz, woos a tasteless Lothario. Leave you with a boy, shrewd serpent in a kitchen sink. First, you finesse, send for something red to drink. Latter, you will batter until still quivering, peel. Boy who prepares, serves eel on a plate rues the bell which summoned him, the man of steel who waits to throw him out; you must stroke his rage. At the grownup table, you will come of age.
is unavailable in stores. Believes in Christmas trees, Taylor Swift Evermore with little distinction between the motifs — cute aesthetics without fealty sworn. Like dollhouses dissected their families, some pink plastic posed preternaturally replacing puritans overcome with prayers, prurience, pageantry, incest upstairs. A ripped Sunday school dress, nothing beneath, long hair dyed forever noir, fresh balsam wreath. Believer in kindness and twinkling lights, blessings in boudoirs, tempestuous nights. deprived of her breath. Nothing is deeper than sex, not even death.
In middle school, bullied for body hair. Matched hair, eyes, contrasted fair skin, a shroud I wear everywhere. Was so scared to shave above the knee. Was told no one should look there anyway. Was whispered of so many days in locker rooms by some with blonde peach fuzz which was what love looked like, at this time, to me, Florida yellow/tan uniformity. Was called a fiend, witch from another place, not of the beach I breach, a plaited pouting pall their boyfriends chased, animal they want to taste, shadow to hide inside this golden place.
Keith Raniere and Allison Mack poetry by Kristin Garth and Marisa Silva Dunbar
by Kristin Garth
divides women and the men, considers mind control at ten when he learns listen is not the same as care. Schoolgirl Skippers are chatty, everywhere, dripping poison from lonely little tongues. Learns to use it against them young. Can do it with a dad bod, sweat- band, night volleyball game with lessons condensed — marketing, pain. Boss Barbie in hand, he will walk home tonight. Tomorrow she will ask him before she takes a bite, now hungry only for what she deserves. Holes he fills before the next underhand serve where she waits on bleachers for it to happen again — molded obedient female companion.
The Introduction: November 14, 2006
by Marisa Silva Dunbar
We are now witnesses to the origin —here is where he ensnares you. You are mesmerized—girlish—giggly, and desperate for your worth to be seen by this man in a sweatband and kneepads. We know it’s just a seedy facade. Some of us have at one point, wanted to be loved by a mediocre man
As the adventurous person talks on, I am struck by a sense that they are confident and unperturbed by minor setbacks. I find myself specifically interested in the banal logistics of what it means to be that way, more than being interested in their actual stories. I feel that there’s no way for me to think cleverly about what it means to live an interesting life, or what it means to be fluid and graceful as you move through the world. Continue reading “Essay by Rosa Jones”→
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 innatelight 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.
After Morticia Addams describing Wednesday’s role model (“Wednesday’s great-aunt Calpurnia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They said she danced naked in the town square and enslaved a minster .. but don’t worry. We’ve told Wednesday: college first.”)
Young girls require a patron saint — aunt’s
abysmal ashes antiquate entwined,
Massachusetts grave, with God’s servant
whom she enslaved. Impious mind
in clerical cravat a town square dance
(performed in only raven plaits) bewitched Continue reading “Womannotated – Calpurnia”→