My Ariadne can see the future.
(My Ariadne. This is my version of the story.)
She spins her red thread, and it twists into shapes before her eyes, hearts and nooses. It tells her that Theseus turns out to be an asshole.
Seven young men and seven maidens arrive on the island, and Theseus outshines them all. His eyes are the sky blue of someone who believes he cannot fail, who believes he has no darkness within him. Those eyes make Ariadne dream of flight.
Theseus wonders how such a creature as the minotaur, half-beast, half-man, could be allowed to exist. Ariadne doesn’t tell him the last of the halves: the monster is her half-brother. In the evening she dreams of blue eyes, but her hands twist and turn the red thread. At midnight she dreams of mazes like arteries and veins, running red and blue.
Ariadne gives Theseus a coiled ball of thread the size of a heart. She tells him the thread will guide him out of the labyrinth.
Drawing/illustrations made in Procreate, spatial VR remix poem made in Tilt Brush, and overall design/collage by ReVerse Butcher.
Original linear poem, and flower photography by Kylie Supski.
Orbit if you follow, if you quit
the rail of Cassiopeia.
Point the toe if you flow
backward from the altar.
Be appointed dirt to an Easter scene,
breathe as low
as an overbearing ceiling.
The ankles for the trees,
the kestrel square and trim,
as a kestrel is begotten
and bent inward from the rim.
A microscope slide of masonry
plied with ocular fluid, Continue reading “Phobos Lab by Edwin Evans-Thirlwell”
HELL IS REAL
warns the interstate billboard
between pastures and pig slaughters
this landscape of disturbance
smells like home to my soul
the sun’s pollen heats
a body of cows
invisible behind dirt devils
mooing in another language
hell is a gas station
of glaring bony-leered eyes
the giant sky turns to me
with cornflower irises
through titanic turbine lashes
across unblinking horizon Continue reading “3 Poems by Kylie Ayn Yockey”
I plan ahead
Preparing for the best outcome
I stay alert for the minotaurs
that live in my maze
Each day I puzzle and calculate
But in the woods
Why do my decisions come so easily?
I step off the trail
feeling my way around
Barbed wire fences
Picking up deer trails
I follow them without knowing where they’ll take me Continue reading “Strategies by Lisa Fazio”
When I first decided to move from Austin, TX to Los Angeles, I was leaving behind my friends, family, two jobs, and cat all in Texas to go finish school in a big, new city. I was freshly single after a relationship of two years, and I felt isolated, alone, but empowered to say the least.
The week before I moved from Austin, I said several goodbyes. To the job I worked for 3 years, to my students who I worked with in an after-school program. I moved everything out of my apartment and picked myself up after long sad nights.
During this transition period, talking about all the swift changes and new rules of the adult world proved difficult. I was only beginning to learn how to navigate my own mental health, and I went through my days carrying the weight of the breakup pain plus the grief of moving while others appeared to function and lead happy, perfect lives. I watched my 4 year old cousin turn 5, and we painted his hair pink. I went to Chicago by myself to visit an old friend. I packed up my belongings and dealt with the process of moving like a grown woman. Continue reading “Big Moves/Changes/ Feelings by Lauren Weik”
She sleepwalks in your washi house in crin-
oline, emaciated mouse weeks you
forget to feed, a nibbler, toenails, skin,
until feet bleed free, soil sheets, bamboo
floor, trafficked hardly anymore except
somnabulistic scarlet toes who
map labyrinths, shake off bedclothes, accept
razored teeth in pale furrows. Ankle chewed
until, unconscious, she seeks the ground. Bandage,
next time you come around — rose macaroons
gunpowder tea — into a paper cage
fantasy, unbolted door, girl you freed,
six months ago, believes enough to bleed.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna, and more. She is the author of fourteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), the forthcoming Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Shut Your Eyes, Succubi (Maverick Duck). Follow her on Twitter @lolaandjolie and her website kristingarth.com
swallowed hope: an erasure diptych
For all the good it did
It was me. Should I go on?
The dark doesn’t affect
your nose. Never wake up
A fraction of an inch— Continue reading “Remixes by Shloka Shankar”
Oh sad potato wrapped in plastic like Laura Palmer I might have been Caroline Calloway I might have swallowed a yellow sundress a lemon yellow orchid a story to tell by a bonfire at night in a forest in Montana
my tell is a magnetic lie
my tell is a rotting animal
my tell is a broken knuckle
my tell is a tent pitched at Flathead Lake
where I traveled backward into wilderness where fire and blackberries devoured my girl soul where soil and conifers met at the trout mouth edge and blue water and black deep did not restore my sister but we rose her anyway we opened her stone and chanted up her finished flesh and worshiped her little dress her lilac crown her apples her plush rabbit
I played my violin in the forest
I thought music could fix my disease
I thought music could raise the dead
when my face doesn’t unlock my phone I panic I have become Caroline Calloway my life mere electricity I have disappeared into caves among the stalactite’s green glisten the ocean never closer than my memory of Montana there might have been horses there might have been giant hares there might have been my father building a fire raising my sister from the ashes look he said look at her perfection Continue reading “There Might Have Been Horses by Rebecca Loudon”
“The poem surpasses the other literary arts in every way: in its depth, potency, bitterness, beauty, as well as its ability to unsettle us.” Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Unsettlement is a recurring theme in Tony Messenger’s debut collection ‘poems to be found in the desert’. Colonial unsettlement, traversing an uncomfortable environment,
d i s l o c a t i o n and the blurred lines of imaginary \\\borders///. \\\Boundaries/// & limits that appear, settle and dissolve.
This conflicting duality works to unsettle the reader, forcing them to ???question??? their place in the vast Australian →landscape←, an environment where nothing seems as it appears.
The epigraph for the opening section of poems comes from Ely Williams “I find that out in the desert my words wander too because here thoughts and words are things unleashed.” A warning that the collection is peppered with thoughts and words unleashed, a cryptic murmuring, a maze of ideas that circle, repeat, fade and reform. It is easy to become lost in this text, thinking you’ve already experienced an image, but a refresh and a re-read show slight differences, an erosion, a morphing of concepts.
This is the desert where the obvious is not so obvious.
The collection opens with the poem “longifolius” (the scientific name for the spiky spinifex grass that is abundant in the central deserts). The poem can be viewed as a metaphor for Australia itself. The grass grows in a ◌circular◌ clump, and as it ages its shape becomes nest like, with the centre ►dying◄ off as the grass uses all the available nutrients in the soil, the newer stems sprouting on the outside forming ◌concentric◌ patterns. The inner “►dead zone◄” is a haven for ants, who feed on the ⸙seeds⸙, and reptiles and birds, who feed off the ants. Hence the ◌circular◌ shape of the poem. Something that may appear barren is in fact teeming with life. Look to the centre not as an ⸔inhospitable⸕ place, look for details, enquire with a local pair of eyes.
bloodless ugly triplets
‘I / love / you’
I choose ‘I’
not seeing eye to eye
fighting tooth for tooth
forebears cry out
daant ke lie daant
don’t lie Continue reading “Hir Qing Sorrow by Iain Fraser”
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”
Watercolor on paper, 2015
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”
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”