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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

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“Cryptocerebral Digital” by Joseph Ellison Brockway

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

Cryptocerebral Digital - CropHIGHresolution

 

Joseph Ellison Brockway is a poet, translator, and Spanish professor. He likes to juxtapose words and signs to disrupt the language on the page and to disturb the reader’s thoughts. Many of his poems also experiment with ideas and images that explore the human psyche and existence. Joseph’s poetry has recently been published in L’Éphémère ReviewMoonchild MagazineSurVision Magazine, and Surreal Poetics. He can be found roaming the socialmediaverse at @JosephEBrockway.

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.

“Third Shift at the Night Factory” by Stephen Frech

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

Third shift at the night factory

assembles the simple, elegant machine of night.

Workers, like figures in a shadow play,

hammer the fitted parts home,

extend the handle of a wrench with a pipe,

and brace a foot against the stubborn bolt.

 

Engineers pour over the schematics of the moon 

trembling on the surface of oil in open buckets.

In the last of the dark hours,

welders extinguish their torches

while the foreman inspects the welds

with a candle held behind the seams.

 

Pinholes in the bead or casting

fill the factory with starlight,

a constellation of flaws, a myth and map of stars

we made to find our way out.

 

Queued at the gate and parting

at the whistle into morning,

shift workers call to each other:

‘night, see ya, so long, take care 

 

Stephen Frech has earned degrees from Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Cincinnati. He has published three volumes of poetry: Toward Evening and the Day Far Spent (Kent State UP), If Not For These Wrinkles of Darkness (White Pine Press), and The Dark Villages of Childhood (Midwest Writing Center) His fourth volume titled A Palace of Strangers is No City, a sustained narrative of prose poetry/flash fiction, has been published by Cervena Barva Press. He published a translation of poetry from the Dutch: Menno Wigman’s Zwart als kaviaar/Black as Caviar. He is founder and editor of Oneiros Press, publisher of limited edition, letterpress poetry broadsides. Oneiros broadsides have been purchased by special collections libraries around the world, among them the Newberry Library (Chicago), the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the University of Amsterdam Print Collection. Stephen Frech is Professor of English at Millikin University

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.

“centralia, the town that swallows flames” by Kailey Tedesco

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

our feet have bottomed 

out in the earth-slit.

let it be known 

 

buck was once the name 

of a dog, but not a dog 

of mine. my toddler 

 

arms suffered hives 

from his lick, burned 

redhot from within

 

  1. i feared his cleaning 

himself, a nautilus 

my own body 

 

could not shape. in a kitchen 

like any other, the smoke 

left a beeswarm. before

 

fire, i figured allergies, my skin 

blistering honeyblood. a maggot

lived in buck 

 

for nine days before

anyone noticed. when plucked, 

it was golf-sized, full of 

 

dog. mother fed me 

a milkbone for a moment of 

peace, bleached the 

 

sink of its bloodsplatter until

our dishes were 

poison. the sun rises &

 

there is less  

& less of us. we hold

last vigils by the jesus-

 

shrine, ask for him to 

be with us & in us – a 

maggot. how afraid

 

they must be, jesus

and the dog, having never 

seen hell before. we are 

 

constantly feeding; the holes

are already 

in all of us. 

 

 

 

 

 

Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing). Her collection, Lizzie, Speak, won White Stag Publishing’s 2018 poetry contest, and her newest collection, FOREVERHAUS, is forthcoming from White Stag in 2020. She is a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine. You can find her work featured or forthcoming in Gigantic Sequins, Electric Literature, Nat. Brut, Black Warrior Review, Fairy Tale Review, Bone Bouquet Journal, and more. For further information, please follow @kaileytedesco. 

“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.

 

3 Poems by L. Reeman

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

J. EDGAR (Dir. Clint Eastwood, 2011)

 

I.

 

i don’t

 

i don’t

 

i don’t         like to

 

i don’t like to        dance,     mother,

 

i don’t like to–

 

EDGAR GO LOOK IN THE 

MIRROR TALK THE WAY THE DOCTOR

TAUGHT YOU TO BE MY LITTLE SPEEDY

 

((i can spit my         words out with    ((with 

((i can spit my words         out with 

 

mother,     mother 

 

i don’t like to dance

i don’t like to dance with     anyone 

((but mostly 

i don’t like to dance with     women

 

–ODD BEHAVIOR

–DO YOU KNOW WHY –ITS SHORT FOR

DAFFODIL HE SHOT HIMSELF–

SIX WEEKS AFTER

–I’D RATHER HAVE A DEAD SON THAN 

A DAFFODIL […] SON

 

II.

 

EDGAR:    you know i care so very much for you […]

CLYDE:     IS EVERYTHING OKAY–

EDGAR:     yes i’m fine–

CLYDE:    DON’T YOU MAKE A FOOL OF ME […]

CLYDE:    HAVE YOU BECOME PHYSICAL–

EDGAR    yes we have–

EDGAR:     do you want me to be half a person–

CLYDE:    IS THAT WHAT I AM TO YOU– INCOMPLETION–

CLYDE:     YOU’RE A SCARED HEARTLESS HORRIBLE LITTLE MAN–

EDGAR:    you’re acting like a fool–

 

[…]

 

EDGAR:    don’t you ever do that again–

 

[…]

 

EDGAR:    Clyde     ((where are you going

EDGAR:    Clyde     ((i’m sorry

EDGAR:    Clyde     ((please don’t leave me

EDGAR:    Clyde     ((i’m begging you

 

 

 

THE LIGHT, RIGHT BEFORE (IT GOES OUT)

 

we are eating our separate smoke in 

your living room: you prop your broken

 

window open with a weapon-part when 

the hot air coaxing us into a fine sweat 

 

[triggers] 

 

my body back into the last jail cell: for weeks

afterwards i wake up dragged out of my car 

 

& my hands cuff-numb again in both our 

beds: i’ve decided love is the awkward way 

 

we dance around the word itself: so in the 

interest of being transparent i am admitting 

 

i am an expert at pretending to be asleep: 

i have done it while another partner fucked 

 

someone else in my bed next to me & 

i have done it to stay home from grade 

 

school & i have done it in jail to placebo 

myself into stillness:  i promise i am not 

 

lying even when i say the same things as 

i’ve said into similarly uncertain mouths: 

 

love is me telling you how to devastate me 

& you choosing not to: love is you wanting 

 

me to believe all the awful things you assume 

would make someone tell you to leave: or, it 

 

is knowing we are pretending not to watch 

each other move / liquid-like / right before 

the light / goes out. 

 

 

THE NEW JERSEY DEVIL STOPS BEING A PACIFIST AFTER WATCHING COPS BEAT ITS FRIENDS INTO THE PAVEMENT 

 

The New Jersey Devil is being followed by an unmarked car (again) (today). The New Jersey Devil sits across from the jail-warden and looks at its own mugshot upside-down. The New Jersey Devil watches the camera watching it eat naked shit naked sleep naked sob naked glare back at it naked. The New Jersey Devil finds the only not-Bible book during the one un-solitary hour and it is Hamlet so thus reads each sentence twice then recites it back to itself like it is the Ghost and the voice-crack and the Accident and the scene-change all at once. The New Jersey Devil is told it is unsafe but the jail-warden is not telling the New Jersey Devil how it feels he is telling it how it is classified. The New Jersey Devil does not know how long it prayed to a sliver of sky before realizing it was just a brick wall’s painted taunt. The New Jersey Devil has handcuff scars for months after. Later, the New Jersey Devil learns a prayer exists in a lover’s language that begs the skulls of their enemies cracked open on rocks like brunch eggs. Later, the New Jersey Devil practices the script of its emergency contact number so often it recitals in its sleep. Now, the New Jersey Devil does not have it memorized (yet) (again). Now, the New Jersey Devil gets one phone call and it rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and rings and

 

 

L. Reeman is an interdisciplinary archivist and poet haunting highway rest-stops. They are the author of INVENTION OF THE MOUTH (Dream Pop Press, 2019), and BAITED MEMORY (Ghost City Press, 2019), as well as other chapbooks, and they have work in the 2017 Bettering American Poetry anthology. They want to hear about your favorite bridge.

“If the Dead Were in the Room I Would Say” by Jill Mceldowney

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

When we started I thought 

                    —so that’s the way light tastes. 

I called light—future. 

 

            Now I feel its loss in my teeth, jaw, hands.  

My hair still smells like your hair.

I can’t think of my own body

                without thinking of yours, 

 

without thinking of swimming pools lit 

            by waves of lightning so close I can taste

their ozone and how there was a time when that taste was hope. 

 

How many dawns did I greet hoping 

            you had not stopped breathing in your sleep

 

or whatever we should call the blear

                between high and not high?

 

My love for you kept me awake—

       what little I knew then—

          watching over you, thinking that 

                if you died I would want to die too. 

 

I tried to love you like this: all or nothing

How many times did I shake you back to me? Do you remember 

 

what I said? I said

    here is my only life—take it. 

 

I mean if you’re breathing, stay with me. 

        I mean if you’re not

                stay with me. 

 

            If your hand is in my hair, leave it. 

If you are this hurt, 

            let it hurt. I can take it. Don’t ever

be done with me.

 

 

 

Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbook “Airs Above Ground” (Finishing Line Press).
She is a founder and editor of Madhouse Press. Her previously published work can be found in journals such a Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, Muzzle, Whiskey Island and other notable publications.

“Close Encounters of the Second Kind” by Phillip Spotswood

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

I’ve been circling lakeside for years

   

    cypress knees are fine    fine        thought 

    they were a breathing mechanism, but recently 

    researched into support        marginal buttress

    more waist-high concealment 

 

Every loop a filmed apocalypse held

the length of a lizard’s tail

easy to detach

I’m     sprung aloof 

 

By the end, memory is        abandoned 

                    & I’m still speechless

        swaddled in a thicker gunk called glow

        say gray diligence 

 

                                    Nothing emerges

                                    from perfect repetition    the loop

                                    devours all possibility, gurgling 

                                    warm at the center    everyone still

                                    blank where I left them 

 

Here I am, laying out the longest 

waiting room – red carpet gone to sun-bleach

 

I watch the lake for displacement, 

though I’m not sure anything can live 

in a constructed hollow;

fishers line the sides, though I’ve never seen them move            a landscape 

                                            I can’t totally trust 

    because I keep coming back 

   

Recently, objects have been vanishing, or simply 

giving up the ruse

cattails reared in absence

nimble false bearings 

 

There’s a stranger yet to arrive – summoned back         to me;

We’ll shake hands, I’ll ask where they’ve been, though I know the answer  

I’ve only ever emulated the business of obfuscation 

 

What is the opposite of water displacement? When a thing erupts from deep volume? 

The belief is there, but in practice I’m another statue     sweat

fastening fissures 

 

Nobody has fallen from the sky in years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phil Spotswood is a poet from Alabama, and a PhD Creative Writing student at Illinois State University. His most recent work can be found in baest, The Wanderer, and Tagvverk. He is the recipient of the 2018 Robert Penn Warren MFA Poetry Thesis Award judged by Tonya Foster, and the 2017 William Jay Smith MFA Poetry Award judged by Daniel Borzutzky. He tweets @biometrash.

“Voyeurs: After Viewing Picasso’s Le Reve” by Mare Leonard

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod 

on canvas she’s shaped like an Easter egg

in life she’s young and sexy

Marie-Therese at 17

                        wakes from an erotic dream

                        moves her fingers

                        over and under her body

we watch Marie Therese

shift  see her

eyes close   her hips lift

                        she spreads out on a divan

                        she stretches over the canvas

                        we hear lullabies

                         sweet Marie sweet

he rocks the egg

he moves his brush

Picasso’s soft touch

shakes her yearnings

                               she rolls into life

                               far from Pablo’s hands

 

 

Mare Leonard’s latest chapbook was published in 2018 at Finishing Line Press, The Dark Inside My Hooded Coat. Read some reviews on her face book page: Mare Leonard Poet and Teacher  and  send a message with comments and if you would like a copy.  She is also searching for home for a chapbook of ekphrastic poems

“You Were Once Girl” by Kristin Garth

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

they make a receptacle of pins — 

pale proxy still proximate to him, palmist 

whom they proffer pathology (absent

middle finger valleys mean they’re ruthless)

these cunning folk he sends away, to your

village, though you’re allowed to stay behind 

stone parapets in plaits, a veil demure,

a pupil with a higher left heart line 

deemed pure.  Sequestered, then you feel the sting,

the first of countless cuts.  No one is there

besides the chiromancer, your shrieking.

He asks if one of them did braid your hair.

It was the elder, her ominous palms recalled.

You were once girl they make a voodoo doll.

 

 

 

 

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 http://kristingarth.com

 

“Every Room Whispers Itself into Your Ear” by Juliet Cook

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

In this diorama, an intermediary exists in between

the good and the bad, but it’s hard to tell the difference

and sometimes the forces combine. 

 

This room is for the disobedient whores

to be stabbed and wrapped in plastic

and then placed in an ornamental circle.

 

In this room, tiny log shaped ornaments 

sometimes change color 

or shape or size to warn you

the next fire is about to begin.

 

In this room, someone will tell you she can cast a spell

in order to reveal who your real friends are,

but what if you find out you don’t have any real friends? 

 

More broken hearts will sink under the ground.

More spells will turn your life invisible.

Everyone has their own interests at heart

to be rearranged into good, bad, evil, dead

 

 

Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.

“Roadblock/Family Curses” by Jessie Janeshek

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Art by Moriah M. Mylod

blood-red nails        tiny ferns    or creek-side bloodletting

    he swears rain is coming

and, oh yeah, she’s pregnant

    and they name all their kids    after each other

    ink changing color, blend in

and their defense is to present me

            as a wild woman in red on fast horses out of our time

but I know every minute of every week

        toward the moor or the seashore.

You say I’m futuristic        but I’m cloyingly nostalgic

    well-read in the gothic        abandoning

the conga line of bleached blondes    to forcefeed the dying cat

        Christmas crackers and charades

and wink if it’s a murder    plaid pants and my father’s failed guillotine trick.

    If you have time I’ll teach you        stuffed with sweet pecans

otherwise you can look in the clear purse

    with the blue gingham pocket for secrets

            vampires haunting New England

        and Vampira on late-nite TV.

I wear a wig like hers    but I’m not starving you

    in my smart suit    in my flowered shell

        and all the good noirs take place by the Hollywood Bowl

a minute per page in the trick house we hear them

    except the one where the girl falls off the boat

in her stolen furs

        and you gut a dog to switch on your sex drive

        and I waterski to our eroding island

sex twice in the summer    a middy dress play

    fat caterwauls

so even when her coat’s shiny        I won’t forget she’s dying.

    I pray for an earlier night no matter what

I pray to come in the storm in a full-skirted green dress. 

    I’m saving it up for the riverbed chase scene

            for the wasp-waisted Los Angeles rainbow

        for the end is immortal/immoral

        for the femme fatale exits unscathed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessie Janeshek’s three full-length collections are MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019), The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017) and Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbooks include Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, forthcoming). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.

“Doors” by Lucy Whitehead

IMG_20131016_175633
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

the planchette spirals out 

of control      a giant dog howls 

in the coffee reading cracks

shadows swirl in the crystal 

ball      all the tarot cards are blank

 

the runes have shattered

the mirrors broken

the petals I burnt with our names 

come back      dead moths fly 

through the dollhouse windows 

white eyes flutter

in the palms of your hands

 

the moon has dimmed

the dolls are awake

your crystal pendulum

catches fire      the divining

coins land on their edges

the scrying bowl opens 

to an infinite well

 

the threads unwind

the trees are yawning

a light is shining 

from a split in the yew

tonight is the night

now is the time

this is the place where 

 

the souls pour through

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy Whitehead writes haiku and poetry. Her haiku have appeared in various international journals and anthologies and her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Amethyst Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Barren Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Burning House Press, Collective Unrest, Electric Moon Magazine, Ghost City Review, Mookychick Magazine, Neon Mariposa Magazine, Pink Plastic House, Pussy Magic, Re-side, and Twist in Time Magazine. You can find her on Twitter @blueirispoetry.

“in the house of my body” by Mela Blust

20140320_142405
Art by Moriah M. Mylod

 

in the house of my body the light is mostly low

the rooms filled with ghosts performing an orchestra

of sorrow about all the broken glass

 

once, in high school, a girl i had never talked to

taught me how she held her breath until she passed out.

“after the light goes dim, you don’t remember anything.”

 

in the rooms of my body i wander, shuffling papers into

boxes made of songs i can’t always remember the words to

because i held my breath so many times

 

once a man held my balled-up fist in his own and

compared it to the size of the human heart. i noticed

how he held them both and i could breathe

 

in the cathedral of my body undulating rays of light

spell hope on the cracked facade and sometimes

i remember the words to every song

 

 

 

Mela Blust is a Pushcart Prize and three time Best of the Net nominee, and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Rust+Moth, The Nassau Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Collective Unrest, and many more.

Her debut poetry collection, Skeleton Parade, is available with Apep Publications.

She is Head Publicist and Social Media Manager for Animal Heart Press, and a contributing editor for Barren Magazine.

She can be followed at https://twitter.com/melablust.

2 Poems by Mauricio Montiel Figueiras

resistance and i
Art of Moriah M. Mylod

“Out Come the Ghosts”

The ghost of Guillaume Apollinaire writes on the walls of dilapidated buildings. His calligrams get lost amidst the strangest graffiti.
The ghost of Jane Austen wanders through the Roman baths at Bath. In the steam of time she glimpses people that fall in and out of love.
The ghost of J.G. Ballard watches airplanes coming in and out of Heathrow Airport. In the names of airlines he discerns a secret code.
The ghost of Roland Barthes writes love letters without recipient. He tears them into pieces in order to keep only certain fragments.
The ghost of Charles Baudelaire keeps on hiding from his creditors. He moves from loft to loft when he sees dust dancing in the sun.
The ghost of Felice Bauer likes to take long walks through empty streets. She wears a pair of small boots wet by the August rain.
The ghost of Samuel Beckett keeps looking for crossroads. In each one he sits down to wait for who knows what while he examines stones.
The ghost of Roberto Bolaño works at a closed down detective agency. He goes thoroughly through the files of all unsolved cases.
The ghost of Jorge Luis Borges walks up and down the corridors of enormous libraries. He looks for an encyclopaedia that describes the limbo he lives in.
The ghost of André Breton wanders slowly through flea markets. He searches for uneven objects to marry them in dreamy ceremonies.
The ghost of Max Brod rescues papers that are thrown into the fire. He reads them all trying to find the signs of a masterpiece.
The ghost of Italo Calvino hunts for old maps. With soft, deft fingers he draws new cities on top of beautiful ancient metropolis.
The ghost of Albert Camus goes to bars to watch soccer games. The screaming passion of the patrons makes him smile with nostalgia.
The ghost of Raymond Chandler takes advantage of the happy hour at melancholic bars. He orders gimlets even if they come in empty glasses.
The ghost of Agatha Christie specializes in tasting poisons. She writes down her opinions in a small notebook bound in the nineteenth century.
The ghost of Arthur Conan Doyle designs nets for hunting fairies. He tests them in ancient forests where silence is the one and only king.
The ghost of Julio Cortázar smokes blond tobacco by the side of the Seine. In the flow of the river he glimpses the hair of suicidal women.
The ghost of Simone de Beauvoir sits in her usual chair at the café Les Deux Magots. She flips through a book with only blank pages.
The ghost of Gérard de Nerval takes his lobster out for a walk when the day dies. Amidst the shadows the red pet keeps changing form.
The ghost of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa likes to go to seafood restaurants. He gets drunk on the different smells from the sea.
The ghost of Charles Dickens writes long love letters to the ghost of Ellen Ternan. He trusts in certain birds to deliver them.
The ghost of Marguerite Duras writes on a bench in a park covered with dry leaves. Her ideas materialize in Chinese characters.
The ghost of Sigmund Freud dusts his divan every afternoon. He sits on a chair in silent wait for a patient to knock gently at his door.
The ghost of Gabriel García Márquez stops beneath a storm of yellow butterflies. In the distance he sees the immortal glow of ice.
The ghost of Patricia Highsmith distrusts the calm of Switzerland. In the boats that cross the lakes she sees bloodstains.
The ghost of Christopher Hitchens argues against the existence of God. His audience are paintings of different divinities.
The ghost of Henry James explores vacant mansions. He calls dead children and servants by their names to keep him company.
The ghost of Milena Jesenská picks up letters from empty buildings. She looks for love stories hidden between the lines.
The ghost of James Joyce wanders lost through the streets of Dublin. He looks for guides that show the way to Molly Bloom.
The ghost of Franz Kafka hates insecticides. He tells himself that nobody knows which metamorphoses the night will bring.
The ghost of Pier Paolo Pasolini drives a silver convertible. He takes off his dark glasses to admire handsome young men smiling.
The ghost of Cesare Pavese haunts the house where Constance Dowling died. He keeps looking for the eyes of the actress.

■□●○•°■□●○•°

“The Dead Sailors”

[A ghost story in 20 tweets]

1. The old port groans at midday. Dead sailors come out to watch the sun strike the waves. Eyes full of longing salt and terrible dreams.
2. Dead sailors get drunk on air and stale beer. Hands following routes drawn on forgotten maps. Voices hoarse with nostalgia and foam.
3. Dead sailors wait for the swirling mist to rise. “Something’s coming,” they whisper among themselves. Skin crawling with anticipation.
4. Dead sailors stare at a broken moon. Hoping it would give them a subject to speak of. Mouths agape with a thousand words unsaid.
5. Dead sailors dream of being alone at night. Dark waters around them like cold blankets. Fireflies swimming through the enormous silence.
6. Dead sailors walk slightly hunched over. Carrying the weight of gigantic invisible ships. Feet leaving prints full of muddy water.
7. Dead sailors usually get moonburned. Skin crawling under the light of a million distant stars. Air full of stinging bees of freshness.
8. Dead sailors like to read bedtime stories to themselves. Childhood memories shimmering in the shadows. Words floating like dark pollen.
9. Dead sailors pray for rain. Looking for dark, heavy clouds inside themselves. Palms turned up in order to feel drops caressing them.
10. Dead sailors watch the sun rise over the sea. Old songs pouring from their parched lips. Eyes blinking against the first light of the world.
11. Dead sailors collect messages in bottles. Never reading them but just staring at them. Hoping their content will be revealed in dreams.
12. Dead sailors have nightmares scorched by thirst. Waking up coughing in the middle of the night. Tongues filled with the taste of sand.
13. Dead sailors keep waiting for the flood. Hearts beating slowly in their sunken chests. The smell of imminent disaster in the air.
14. Dead sailors grow tired of staring at the ocean. Hands clutching rusty compasses and torn maps. Wind howling around them like a madman.
15. Dead sailors sing to attract sirens. Voices full of iodine and foam, longing and regret. Lyrics talking about forgotten languages.
16. Dead sailors bathe in moonlight. Hands massaging tired arms and feet. Ancient beads of sweat glistening like perfect diamonds.
17. Dead sailors walk backwards. Hairs at the nape of their necks bristling with fear. Distant footsteps getting closer and closer.
18. Dead sailors listen to old radio tunes. Ears pricked up to catch trembling voices of ancestors lost at sea between bursts of static.
19. Go with the flow, dead sailors pray. May it take you far away from home. End of the air or end of the sea. Whatever comes first.
20. Who rules the deep blue sea? dead sailors sing. Amidst the waves, amidst the storms, amidst the rage. Who rides the chilled wide sea?

 

 

 

Mauricio Montiel Figueiras (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1968) is a writer of prose fiction and essays, as well as a poet, translator, editor and film and literary critic. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has been Resident Writer for the Cheltenham Festival of Literature in England (2003) and The Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy (2008). In 2012 he was appointed Resident Writer for the prestigious Hawthornden Retreat for Writers in Scotland. Since 1995 he lives and works in Mexico City. Since 2011 he has been working on a Twitter novel, The Man in Tweed, in part through the account @LamujerdeM. Instagram: mauricio_montiel_figueiras.

“Song for Swan Elias” by Danielle Notaro

065
Art of Moriah M. Mylod

There was a girl named Swan Elias. I don’t remember what grade she turned up in. She was overweight, nice and sweet, and had blue, cool blue eyes and light, wavy brown hair. I would watch her erase her paper. It seemed her hand and the eraser were made of the same textures, gummy soft. And warm. It seemed she could erase her paper or incorrect markings so effortlessly. Because there was, in my mind, this special oneness between her hand and the eraser. A certain chemical reaction which made the eraser really malleable.

Sometimes, when maybe I erased, I erased too hard and could leave a mark. A streak. But she could erase really cleanly. Leaving no tell-tale sign. Not that it mattered. We were allowed to erase. But it was a kind of magic she possessed and performed and for some mysterious reason it caught my attention. I would become transfixed and allured by her head turning toward me with what I now imagine to be a seductive and sweet smile while she worked her wonder. I wonder if she was doing something to my heart and mind in that moment. Hypnotizing me slowly, warmly, and softening my heart, relaxing my zaniness, and releasing my uncontrollable urge to please. It was like a you can be near me look she gave, and back off a little and watch. You can swim in my electrical, starspinning aura. All those things kids, we kids were attracted to. Sparkles, bangles, gold, magenta, azure, rainbow colors of glitter swirling in Swan Elias’ aura while she smiled at me. And I swirled with them. I was them for that moment and then would land in a pure stream of milky-colored happiness.

Blue eyes, plump, warm hand. Clean white paper. Pink eraser. Charcoal pencil shaped to a fine point. A cylindrical hive of possibility humming at the tip. A cylindrical hive of possibility humming into a fine point. Shavings and curls of shavings resting sweetly in a metal canister—future beehives. No, future bird nests. And I swear, I think Swan Elias wore a head band with birds and baby birds hatching from their nests. Her clothes are in my mind now brushed into a fine velvet. Everything was fine about her. Her sweat beads, her chewed lips. She was good enough to eat. I must have been in love with her, though I didn’t know it. Her big, strong marks of letters, cursive on her paper. Her wrong answers. All of it was acceptable to me. All of her. All of Swan Elias acceptable to me. Swan Elias and her golden heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danielle Notaro grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania and has been writing, acting, & directing for a zillion years in the Lehigh Valley. She also taught acting & playwriting to kids in the Lehigh Valley as well in Boston where she studied acting with Reality Theater. She participated in several Les/Bi writing workshops. In  NYC, she studied with Karen Malpede, Jean Claude Van Italie (Open Theater Playwrites) and at the Henry St. Settlement she studied with Crispin Larengeira. In Vermont she was in a longstanding writing workshop led by Cora Brooks. In 1982, she joined The Feminist Writer’s Guild and started a theater group, The Onsemble Theater. She has published poems in Women Spirit, Gaia, Womankind, Juxtaposition, Love Your Rebellion, Ovungue Siamo and written a few pieces for Healthy Living (a Rodale newsletter). She published her first book of poems and some prose in 2013 entitled, Limn the Mask. In 2019, she released a CD of pieces from her book w/ improv music entitled, Limn the Chord and won Outstanding Spoken Word Artist from the Lehigh Valley Music Awards.   

 

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