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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

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Personal Myth

Womannotated-Girlarium

Two Girlarium sonnets:

Continue reading “Womannotated-Girlarium”

Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz

Cherry Pit

 

My mouth is a bowl full of pitted cherries. My stomach the bucket for all the swallowed bloody pits. Every word tastes sweet and dark and tart on my tongue, rolling against my blushing cheeks. And when I smile, red love dribbles down my chin.

When I speak, I am tempted to sing like the way the bright pink blossoms burst into bloom in the springtime. The air is fragrant with love and sweetness and honeybees. But at the lightest breeze, fragrant with daffodils and shadows, my flowers fall

in clusters trembling, and I remember the splinters in the black bark of the cherry tree, the amber sap dripping down the exposed inner rings. The long weeping, the unfurling of flowers. And while the axe is out of sight I fear for other trees, and my branches still shake hearing lightning Continue reading “Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz”

Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed

this song makes your kisses so wet

pull the moon out just to watch me win again

cover me in sleep and ticket stubs

and message sent

i was better when my haircut was so tom petty ‘89

i knew all i needed from open pages on your floor

remember sketchbook boy with the nice lips

when intentions only tried to find us

the overestimation that

we weren’t dumb enough to return

again & again & again

a cement truck tipped off on your street

centripetal forces and spells broken

 

i’m so loose after that fever left

pull the moon out to see my shower filled with wristbands and beer cans

this trajectory doesn’t promise much but when i glance up i receive enough vindication to continue

and enough light to see my name on endless married middle-aged women full of regret or curiosity or boredom or

 

sometimes i’m sitting in front of a horizon 5pm to 7pm lovingly watching a water skier all poised all shore to shore like it’s the most natural thing and i ask my soul if she would still know smoke signals even if neither she nor anyone else at a reasonable distance could possibly decipher them

 

Continue reading “Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed”

Two Pieces by Erin Calabria

Ten Sentences

 

I. Rowing

I am setting out on this water not to drift but to row, since this not loving you has drawn from me almost as much as loving you once did, and nothing is as full as a boat by itself in a sea that does not end.

 

II. Barn Ruin

We found it at the edge of the woods that August you wouldn’t touch me, just a skeleton of walls and poison ivy climbing all the way to the caved-in roof, triple leaves bigger than hands and glossed to the point of dripping, and it was almost pretty, all those edges hooked against each other, baring back a tessellated light, just as long as we didn’t come close.

 

III. Tide

I was not afraid you would hurt me, but that you never would, that you would never even peer between these ribs I’ve hinged apart for you, until the wind will do to me what it does to all soft creatures left behind by the tide, and the only sound my throat can make will be the sound of robin nests unraveled in a storm.

Continue reading “Two Pieces by Erin Calabria”

Three Poems by Samuel J Fox

Bubble-Wrap Boy

 

I fall in love with every girl I float by next to on the street. I was born to die, and, though everyone is, God must hate me. My skin is made of the thinnest material. It resembles bubble-wrap. I’m bumpy: a translucent boy opaque, cloudy, with lust. I’ve been punctured before. All my hot air, all my inner workings, pour out like confessions. I’m absurd and yet I want what everyone else wants. I had a date the other night with a girl with eyes like needles. She probed my life and found nothing but wrinkles. She hasn’t called. If I ever feel the pressure of a pair of lips, the fingers dangerous along my malleable spine, the soft, rose quiet of pleasure and the death at its end, I think I might die anyway. I can’t hold scissors and run. I can’t hold anything too beautiful for too long because I know, if I trace its edges, I can die; then again, I feel this should be a common thing. People might consider the way it changes us, if more people were murdered by the sharpness of beauty.

Continue reading “Three Poems by Samuel J Fox”

Two Poems by Kate Garrett

When you converted to vampirism

 

you took me with you like a schoolgirl crush

and renamed me in her image. You carried your

 

halo well—a wisp of cloudlight through the pub

window when you told me I belong in the chapel

 

of bones, that making a pilgrimage to the town

built on death would suit my medieval fixations.

 

But with ink held under our tongues like cyanide

– Camus, Pessoa – we hadn’t grown up. Your voice

 

was a needle skip around a pistol grip, while I cider-

drenched wraiths only I could see. We based ourselves

 

on bloodstains, never let on we’d sunbleached them to dust;

we never let on these winding sheets were lifted

 

from a well-mannered airing cupboard, the emperor’s

new shrouds – hiding inside them with hearts that still beat.

  Continue reading “Two Poems by Kate Garrett”

Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble

I am small in the sea, pushed around

by waves that care not for any grain of sand

or stuff that floats in old men’s heads.

 

Arms held wide and high, that reach and cling

like a child to a parent when things get rough,

when routines fail and muscles waste.

 

I hesitate, recoil, cower; skin so thin

these cold water blades could spill these guts

for waiting gulls and wash away this name.

 

I am caught like the sun, falling

and hoping to rise again, the horizon watched

from a base of arched feet, soft soles and toes

 

exposed to the hidden sharpness of shadows.

And though these whispered sea breezes,

with caresses would show the way,

 

for that bastard time waits not for me,

until I learn to surrender, immerse this body,

allow these legs to float and lay back this head,

 

could I ever take in the whole of the sky?

 

Continue reading “Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble”

Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen

Even if you were not born yet

the matter from which you were made

is in this picture

 

and I cannot decide if this means

that nothing really matters or that

everything matters.

 

Sunday morning silence.

 

Self-imposed solitude

contemplating an unaccompanied cosmonaut.

 

Left in lunar orbit

to keep the systems running

while Armstrong and Aldrin are Moon-bound, Glory-bound

Collins loses all communication with the Earth

and takes a snapshot.

 

No earthly loneliness could match such isolation

and yet

sometimes I feel like the sole survivor of a mission that failed

and I never even got the chance to walk on the Moon.

 

Continue reading “Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen”

Three Poems by Ivan de Monbrison

Another Journey

 

It’s still early

you’re through with work now

you go home and the streets are crowded with passers-by

there is like the deafening sound of a song in the headphones over your ears that isolates you more or less from the others

so you take off the headphones

but it is not you that I see in the street

but a stranger

and I don’t know if I am dreaming or not

as you have deserted me

so I don’t care anymore about anything

and I walk back home like a ghost Continue reading “Three Poems by Ivan de Monbrison”

L’Idole by Laura Izabela

Oblivious,

you pray for the cure at dawn whilst the light melts off your skin.

Icarus, hopeless bird-child,

you put a knife in your back, twist,

fall off a bridge to vex the sun, tranquil.

It is meaningless

whatever you decide to do.

Shame clouds your judgement now, it consumes you as

you feed on your soul, always: search for the heart.

Thoughts destroy structure —

on a moonless night, with two dark stars,

they are the makers of the world.

Continue reading “L’Idole by Laura Izabela”

Plastic Eggs by C.B. Auder

Our parents were

not perfect but they qualified.

Unwrapped an egg every third June

and found a fresh baby the following spring.

For the rest, Mother relied on The Joy of

Cooking, Similac and Dr. Spock. Dad’s double-

starched dress greens. Precise and crisply

calibrated rules. Yellow JELL-O our standard

bone-and-hide treat. Annual portions

of Betty Crocker meted from any birthday

hopes we could pour neatly into a nine-inch pan.

 

A home that ran on time and solid logic, not some wild

moment’s unexpected demands. Nine rooms, all safe.

All quiet. Childhood without a care. Funny,

that I once believed we somehow shared

a superior brand of family

rites. I ate it up head-first, the hollow

bunny who gave its only chocolate life

to sweeten our spic-and-span Easter feast.

(And weren’t they healthful, those boiled

carrots? Weren’t they dependable, those

finely-grated feelings and well-peppered fears?)

 

Forty years later, Mother still tries.

The kitchen calendar says MARCH

so she hustles to baptize the fresh baby

asparagus to mush. She forks a ham

before our childless eyes. Hacks

with knob-fingered vigor at its unnaturally-pink

cloved flesh. Half-blind, she still rises

to measure every oinking slice. She will die vying

for control of all the mashed notions of the perfect

adults she’s somehow gathered

we have become.

Continue reading “Plastic Eggs by C.B. Auder”

Three Poems by Laura Potts

The Body Broken

 

Mass and Sunday mourning pass the chancel black

and chalice-back of I, spire-spined and last to part

my plumping bud to take the nocturne wine. Mine

 

the softly hills, mine the spill and steeple-swing

of fruiting breasts and bells, yes. We break the bread

and bless. Lady in the lancet holds the apple mocking red.

 

Dappled chant and dark, ahead the blood-bright night

and first-light glass of gasping Eve, winter’s heave

hangs always here with heads that bow before the vow

 

to never grieve the leaving eyes of youth. Truth

is lost and winterworn. Borne away on snarling winds,

the greening drop of spring falls from my hair. The cleric’s

 

cloak is a darkly thing. My deeper, deeper throat

receives the gloaming sermon there, heir of the berry

dreamt to burst in his hand. Damn the vestal

 

up-and-swung of lust that Woman loved, budblood

and the Garden singing skin and pink bouquets, but

turn the tongue beyond the Book and in the darkest

 

places hold the harvest fruit and look above and long

to lasting-touch the apple that is loathed so much.

Such is Sunday mass and curse of we, the curled

 

Madonnas kneeling with a screaming in our skirts.

The weakly bread we break and nurse. And vow and

kneel and slaughter one more godless book of verse.

Continue reading “Three Poems by Laura Potts”

Charon’s Amusement Arcade by BR Williams

It really messed me up, it did. For months after my discharge, even the sound of my own farts would send me, you know, wherever it was I went. I would just freeze up. Go into a kind of dead-face trance. I was a big lad back then, and it was difficult for people to get me moving again once I’d stopped. So I’d end up staying there for a while like, in the street, wherever, just staring at the grey clouds on the horizon. At one stage, it got so bad that when I was offered a job at the local arcade – one of them bandit places – my counsellor practically begged me not to take it. She said the flashing lights and the noise of the coins dropping would be too much for me to handle. She made it sound like I’d end my shift fitting on the mucky carpet there, like some sort of fucking fish. But I had to give it a try. It was the only job offer I’d had since landing back on civvy street, and staying in the house all day with my parents tip-toeing nervously around me, well that was sending me another kind of crazy. I was starting to feel like one of them fucking bombs I was so Continue reading “Charon’s Amusement Arcade by BR Williams”

Three Poems by Jared A. Carnie

Memory

 

The offices merge, and the

dinners and the nights out.

 

Even, embarrassingly, the aunts

and the children of friends.

 

But never the sunrises.

Each one mapped distinctly

across my veins

like a new and still-blossoming love.

Continue reading “Three Poems by Jared A. Carnie”

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