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no machine without a ghost

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”

“Attached:” by ⑆ka⑉t⑇

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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

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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.

2 poems by Paul Brookes

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

I Hollow

 

out the machineries of cold manufactured delight.

Push broom down aisles of persuasion,

 

Tidy stray cardboard packaging, lost lollipops,

Tab ends, water bottle tops into clear bags.

 

Push sud and scrub machine down

Avenues of enticement, lift shoe scud,

 

rice, sugar, dripped carbonated water,

my own boot print to be released, slopped out

 

into whatever weather drips, ices, the shop car park 

through the detached nozzle of cleanliness.

 

▪¤●○•°■■●○•°

 

Latest Fad Is

making shapes

with the soft robots

under your skin.

 

Caterpillars and pigs

manipulated inside

your transparent skin

and muscle into shadow

 

plays of nostalgic silhouette

cathedrals, medieval streets,

Capability Brown gardens,

rivers tumble from mountains.

 

Only the rich can afford

the best internal silhouettes.

Some prefer strip shows

and a pole dancers writhe

 

inside them they control

with a flashlight. Others

hybrid animal/machine 

fantasy battles. Internal

 

tattoos that some say

rot inside after so much

manipulation. Corrosion

bleeds into vital organs.

 

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Port Of Souls (Alien Buddha Press, 2018),Please Take Change (Cyberwit.net, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019).Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press).

“this wonder of an era” by Ahimaz Rajessh

       

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

       as the missiles launched by the famished, agency-severed headless palmyras make love as yatchan/yatchini in the expansive space above the sea, unusually intense acid rain pours down which enthralls the soft-spaceships orbiting the earth.

 

        ‘the upholders of absolute truth say—.’ in the process of putting down: ‘in this wounded era in which a few of those still remain, those who had lost along with their limbs and memories their history to those that call themselves civilized; in this era that makes one wonder how is it even possible to be this much cultured, in this cultured era in which the ancient invisible technology that creates histories out of fictions and makes them myths has meshed itself finely with high technology, truly they say: a society that has not written down and preserved its history proper will be wiped ou—’; in the process of putting down and reading this, does a missile called silence advance up toward my vocal cord and sever my part-asinine chain of thought.

 

       the multiplied yatchi/yatcha missiles fly past mountains and cities invisibly, lighting up electromagnetic spectrum, picking and savoring microwaves, but unsatiated and still famished, they migrate in many directions, departing and arriving toward the targets.

 

 

 

Ahimaz Rajessh (@ahimaaz) has been published recently with Marlskarx, Burning House Press, Big Echo: Critical SF, Paint Bucket, Speculative 66, formercactus, Dream Pop Press and MoonPark Review. He lives in the Union of India.

“LA COLLECTIONNEUSE” by Nicholas Beren

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

1.

California mouth sore

gas station brass

 

where a rich black mass

is still in the window

 

The phone 

I use 

crackles 

and never 

makes much 

sense

I feel like 

I’ve read

the internet

too many 

times

and now I know

how it ends

we have 

plans 

to meet 

at eleven

But 

come eleven 

I’m the 

only one 

waiting

underneath 

the crumby 

don’t walk sign

that really 

just says walk 

in either orange

or blue

I always wonder 

what her cruelty means

She tells me 

it means nothing

 

3.

Hauntings take time 

you cannot haunt 

somewhere 

all at once 

and if you ever tried 

you wouldn’t understand 

what it truly means to haunt 

like a horse in the jungle 

the cool smell of chlorine 

the nearness of your dress

 

The final portion of this poem previously appeared in Caustic Frolic.
Nicholas Beren is a New Jersey native. In addition to his poetry, he has written film criticism and arts features for sundry outlets, online and in print. You can find him on twitter @BerenNicholas. He still lives in New Jersey.

“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.

 

“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.

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