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BURNING HOUSE PRESS

Not For Profit/For Prophecy

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poem

2 Poems by Dhiyanah Hassan

moriahmylodearthmandalafall2016.jpg
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

The Electric Keyboard Dreams

 

I take the notes out, I take the sounds away.

This is how I unravel the piano player.

When I let her fingers travel me, 

The treble clef trembles.

The bass weeps for the silence

Descending between

One scale and the next —

 

And this is how I’ll play,

This is how I play.

 

Heavy ghosts pour down,

The swimming pool’s full.

Gelatinous grubs wriggling myopic war dance.

The drum behind the keys

Throbbing against the head of a child.

Piano player with a guillotine

for a voice. Squelching arteries. Shine the jugular,

Upside down the garments

Of the Sun. Right-side up now,
Watching her light spill out.

 

And this is how I’ll play,

This is how I play.

 

She knows more than she can handle,

She knows more than me,

A girl-child child-self holding a program for the apocalypse.

She dreams of heaven every night she runs away.

She dreams of heaven every night she can’t run away.

 

And this is how I play,

And this is what we play —

 

A symphony the susurrus of ancient leaves,

Worn down by a million solar winds.

Spines lying bare at the mother’s feet, 

the poetry slipping out her teeth.

Us lying awake — him reaching, she running, we becoming 

little nothings, all over again. Smash the keys. 

The stars shine, all over again.

The seas rumble, the F Sharp screaming

against D Minor’s weeping –

all overwhelming again.

Emptied bellies growing fangs, together

The kids gang up on the weather.

Heal the ice caps by melting their knees into hot tarmac.

No ancestral fevers now to wipe the ash of the world with,

Just these songs. Just these songs,

 

Sang into the hollowed-out trunk

Of a dead tree. A prophecy

constellated in the stars. Brightly now

the fingers of children

dreaming themselves alive

between arpeggios and wet bed sheets.

The planet’s heart strings

 

asleep 

in every child’s unheard

shriek.

 

 

°•○●□°•○●□¤°

 

 

A Strange Joke

 

Sometimes you bruise a fruit

To make sure it’s real.

 

The songs of plastic

Have nowhere to go

 

But back into the

The hollowed-out hearts of their

 

Price tags. A scratch on this orchid

Won’t release the same 

 

Geometry into the air

The form of bliss, the shape of scent.

 

The sugars in these melons

Won’t attract ants, not even in decay

 

Will they be squashed. If not for the

Fire the winds wouldn’t sing

 

Through them. She told me, “Here,

This flower, token of our

 

Love, look. It won’t ever die.” She placed it

in a vase full of water, a strange joke. Alone, I said,

 

“But it smells like nothing. Can we really

Call it love without ever having breathed life

 

Into it, without having gardened

Through debris and detriment, building from nothing

 

The roots needed to feed

The stories we shape – or is this enough,

 

A slide across the screen, the slippery

Borders between attraction and rejection,

 

Handing our love over to the anxiety

That nothing here was built to last past

 

The twenty-first century, so why should we ever

Get real flowers for each other? Why should

 

Anything living be kissed

into the lonely water of the flower vase,

 

To grow old, to wrinkle up and dry,

To die. Why risk it,

 

When all our foods have turned

More lifeless than stone?”

 

I want to be fed by the heat

That comes from fears overridden not

 

By staying somewhere in the middle,

Draining the feelings out of every sentence. I want

 

To be a vessel for the kind of dreams

That grow through even the worst decay —

 

But she never heard a word I said

As she sunk her head back into a pixelated wall

 

Further away than I could see. And that

Was the last I heard of her, for my phone never

 

Rang again. The apps stopped their pulsing for my attention

After I drowned the old thing in sugar and spice

 

And everything nice. The ants cling desperately

To the floor, the vacuum cleaner we bought

 

Isn’t strong enough to clear out

All this rot.

 

 

 

 

Dhiyanah Hassan is an artist, writer, and energy worker whose practice explores the relationships between art, storytelling, and healing. Her work seeks to connect the soul and soil of the internal worlds orbiting within us, finding transformative expressions of the wild, the mystical, and miraculous through artistic and multidisciplinary mediums, facilitating spaces and conversations where creativity is utilized as a catalyst for healing and trauma recovery. Dhiyanah’s poetry has appeared in sister-hood, OCCULUM, and Rambutan Literary. Website: http://www.bydhiyanah.com

 

“Blind Devotion” by Nick Quaglietta

20130720_140311
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

All crowd in the church-

A lifetime of suffering

For the sake of gossip.

 

Found poem, remix technique.

Source text: Pike, Christopher. Falling Into Darkness. New York: Pocket Books, 1990.

 

Blind Devotion

Nick Quaglietta began writing poetry as a teenager, with his first work in print appearing in his 1985 college yearbook. More recently he has become affiliated with a few local writing groups, including Connect and Heal in Chandler, Arizona.

Resurrection – A Poem by Kolawole Samuel Adebayo

Resurrection

Again I come
To the dark room of my heart
From where I form the light
I am a spirit hovering

Continue reading “Resurrection – A Poem by Kolawole Samuel Adebayo”

OTHER THAN DESIRE – A Prose Poem by Courtney LeBlanc

Continue reading “OTHER THAN DESIRE – A Prose Poem by Courtney LeBlanc”

Attesting To Your Mother’s Hypocrisy, a poem by Visar (Rabiu Temidayo)

Attesting To Your Mother’s Hypocrisy

Demons invoked in the house by
sneezing — we’d call the electrician.

He’d know the psalms to be sung for it,
and the white costumes to wear.

Floating in white across the fields
of morning glories and corn, swinging

an incense burning, and a keg full
of salt water.

Continue reading “Attesting To Your Mother’s Hypocrisy, a poem by Visar (Rabiu Temidayo)”

Border Works — Julia Beach, Janice Leagra, and Heather Derr-Smith. A Poetry, Mixed-Media and Video Collaboration with Additional Images by Robert Frede Kenter

woman in pink dress and wolf
Janice Leagra

sudden the homecoming

coyotes have learned to build traps
made of endings from the center of the earth

dressed as wolves they give them
to their loves who live in houses

with pink curtains and weather
warped floorboards

dictionaries and streaming services

Continue reading “Border Works — Julia Beach, Janice Leagra, and Heather Derr-Smith. A Poetry, Mixed-Media and Video Collaboration with Additional Images by Robert Frede Kenter”

Elephant Slide in the Exclusion Zone – A poem by Laura Wainwright

Elephant Slide in the Exclusion Zone
After David McMillan’s photograph, Pripyat, Ukraine, October 2002.

To forgive
can sometimes mean to think
of them as a child: a wisped head
turned in a wheaten basket. Soft fists.
A bumblebee in a foxglove flower.

Continue reading “Elephant Slide in the Exclusion Zone – A poem by Laura Wainwright”

The Taste of Rage by Susan Richardson

The Taste of Rage

Laden with hungry fingers and a thirst
for Jim Beam, you skulk through
murky nightclubs looking for a dimly lit
blonde to awaken in the middle of the night.
You eat up the thrill of drunken sex and 
fuck in hotel rooms paid for in cash,
twisting beneath sheets stained with indiscretion.

Continue reading “The Taste of Rage by Susan Richardson”

“Shade Garden” a Poem by James Pate

Memories from the uncoiled exterior. 

The ones with sharp familiar names  

playing Gray Fern among 


billowing tents and pool fires. Red wax 

dripping

across upraised fingertips

in the mist season. 


Continue reading ““Shade Garden” a Poem by James Pate”

“Instructions” a Poem by Sarah McPherson

Don’t eat too much on a first date

and nothing messy – spaghetti’s definitely out.

(There’ll be time enough for mess later.)

Continue reading ““Instructions” a Poem by Sarah McPherson”

“wisteria//wisp-eria” by Janice Kang

This is a poem dedicated to my witch girlfriend, who has been teaching me about witchcraft, history, and art ever since we met. It is a simplistic tale in commemoration of beautiful, cunning witches that disguise themselves as something–someone–more… and so these words can be imagined as the secret, invisible text across the gloss of a tarot card.

the lone raven in the warm forest turns into a bedside angel //with demon wings. & //this is nocturne academia //sheet music draped in dust & //little//lithe sparrow bones. someone hooks her wisteria-vine limbs //over my shoulders //whispers something about noxious selves & //falling stars. god, ye are terrible. //we //these veiled fawns so sweet & //cruel. fogged & misted //godly antlers sprouting from where we had bloodletted to coat pinky //fingers in post-sacrificial abel //we //the raw-mouthed cains //chests heaving & //tight white blouses //THIS is cruel//crude, abels melding with obsidian sadness //making promises with girls who speak //in ancient greek //EUASTEROS //sapphic blood pacts & //we try to bring sappho & aphrodite back to life to guide us //but we cannot.

Continue reading ““wisteria//wisp-eria” by Janice Kang”

“Spell to Reverse Hopelessness” by Lisa Lermer Weber

Turn off the television, the computer, the phone

and anything else that might scream obscenities

at you as you take away their power.


Take the newspapers piled at your feet

and crumple them up.


The article about the little girl whose

body was found in a trash bag

on the side of the road,

the little girl who likes My Little Pony

and reminds you of your niece.


Continue reading ““Spell to Reverse Hopelessness” by Lisa Lermer Weber”

“A Hex On All Your Houses” A Poem by Juliette van der Molen

a bit of thread, black

tied tight around this

Hathorne1poppet who cares

not enough to know my

name, but removes me

from the world, all the same.

Continue reading ““A Hex On All Your Houses” A Poem by Juliette van der Molen”

Three Poems by Thomas Houlton

Perestroika

you sing like him,

notes glittery, dragged,

made-up, maquillaged 


– perfect face – like his,

fey gestures arching the air,

curving neck of the snow-falling

frozen air – twice kissed – 


Continue reading “Three Poems by Thomas Houlton”

“To The Crossroads, Go” A Poem by HM Barrett

The the Crossroads go,

Eat apples and honey under swollen moon.

Listen to the drums,

Fumble in confused sexual liaison,

With your heart beat.

Stand. Ever so still, so all that moves you,

Are the Earth’s vibrations.

Continue reading ““To The Crossroads, Go” A Poem by HM Barrett”

Two Poems by Lucy Whitehead

Spider Magic

I have woven a web

around you, as if of gossamer

or blown bubble gum,

If anyone should force

their will upon you

it shall be strong

as steel though invisible

and fine to the touch.

Continue reading “Two Poems by Lucy Whitehead”

“emdemdaa (a hex in three parts)” and two hex images by Theodoros Chiotis

incantation no. 1 (banishing) 

tangled up in the jewelry

dressed up in fabrics not worn 

in years

all bought on credit & 

paid off

 in memory

   (look at the curve of time –

            the kitchen of the ship now spotless)

Continue reading ““emdemdaa (a hex in three parts)” and two hex images by Theodoros Chiotis”

“Leading Indicators” a poem by Joyelle McSweeney

A descent

in the price of dishwashers

A rise

in the striations

in the teeth

of child-skeletons

in a pit

beside the workhouse

There is so much we can learn

by how obediently a child

takes up this work 

how its small jaw will unhinge

as it eats its way

out of the grave

Continue reading ““Leading Indicators” a poem by Joyelle McSweeney”

“Hex” by Kushal Poddar

Sometimes you remove all those sheets, 

rescue me- all wet, requiring 

an emergency mouth to mouth.

Those are the days I give you all my pears, 

all those things bothering me 

and turning shiny with my blood.

Continue reading ““Hex” by Kushal Poddar”

“Flying Devil Oil” a Spell Poem by Jenna Vélez

Uses: banishing, protection, cursing/hexing, reversals, uncrossings, etc.

CAUTION: Do NOT apply on skin, it will burn! 

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Chili oil
  • Patchouli essential oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
Continue reading ““Flying Devil Oil” a Spell Poem by Jenna Vélez”

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