Bryce Jones is a former child comedian. Email him at email@example.com if you would like to be pen pals.
An old man puts up a ladder on the face of the mountain of bedrock and cuts trees. To be precise, he is cutting ferns. Spring water is bleeding out through the gaps in the rocks. He throws away the leaves and vines entwining persistently to the roots of the trees. From 3:00pm until sunset. The mountain is small and flat, once a quarry. The rocks from which the leaves and vines of ferns were stripped became bare. Continue reading “Mayonnaise (at 3:00pm) by hiromi suzuki”
this is fragmenting.
He hears the father’s voice first, a cracked whip across his senses, an involuntary flinch. He lifts the arm, the song begins again. It doesn’t stop the girl from appearing, flopping to the floor, crying. Pastel dust sticks. He remembers scurrying away from the aisle, he didn’t belong there. He’s not one of them, how could he intervene? Eyelids. Alone, alone. Five letters etched. Beat away these colours. Continue reading “under there, somewhere by Andy Harrod”
August is second-degree burns / from hands grazing against metal / it is waking from sweat-dripping nightmares / and no more room for intimacy / August is a silent scarring / a tension you can taste / stinking rotten in the air / it is a dozen new bruises / peppering my limbs every morning / how my mother wished she could see / a little more color in me / so I show her my arms / my legs / my neck / I beg her, make him leave / please / I won’t come home unless he’s gone / her smile is thin but gorilla glued / she says, I’m just so tired of fighting / can’t we pretend a little more instead? / I board myself up forty miles east / I eat this fake-happy like smoke-staining fruit / soft hair after downpour / and dreams of scissor-stabs tucked neat between my ribs / my brother no longer speaking to me / and forgetting to wake up tomorrow / it’s rush hour in hell / a car swerves to miss me / driver screaming, watch where you’re going / are you trying to die? / I look back at him, doe-like / his honks still blaring in my ears / I have nothing to say.
I am a sample of millions, billions. I am this sample soaking in these vivid visions and complexities of minds lost at sea. These eyes gaze long and absent mindedly at nothing, and for moments on end, realize that everything is familiar and alien at once. These eyes, tormented by meaninglessness, seek that which they know not. What the hell are we doing here? Who are all these beings floating through these spaces? Once upon a hazy memory, home was a shape-shifting mask bent out of proportion. Once upon a memory blooming, home was the love of life, the love of this life. Continue reading “Strangers in Strange Spaces by Mercy Ananeh-Frempong”
I know you are tired of hearing me talk about my complexion. How I quiver when I flow out of my house with a tabula rasa and see skins recoil with revulsion. Some do it with fear, others point, ripple, and giggle and call me dirty, ugly, but quite pretty for my race. My face. My hair. Oh! She’s surprised that my dreads smell great. Who would ever have thought that anyone with dreadlocks could smell so nice! I know you are tired of hearing me talk about how the gatekeepers of this world have a different set of hoops set aside purposely for those packaged like me to leap through. How like the video games I play, there is always a higher hoop to scale, impossible levels to complete… so I can enter your countries, so I can enter your schools, so I can find love, so I can get a job, so I can dance like you. Continue reading “They Think Me Dirty by Mercy Ananeh-Frempong”
15:20 backlit wisps and railroad tracks in the sky. flashes of starlings’ wingtips. I look at the river too long, and now see it every time I blink. Continue reading “Writing A Winter Sunset by Oliver Cable”
Dirge of the Dying Year
My first thought was, “Run!” Others chose suicide. Soon I was stumbling around like the bad kids who huff glue. Mothers dumped raw meat out into the street in protest. Sirens began to woo-who, woo-who. I was in a headspace that was pricked with stars I couldn’t identify, 50 by last count and all of them always promising to return to their wandering orbits. Now what do we do? There’s just too much in the workings of the world that’s hidden and unknowable, even by a person with an education. And that person was standing where the bullets began to rain into the limousine. We’re living in a boisterous age. Velocity is advancing everywhere, the walls covered in flames and the flames behaving in ways no one thought possible. I’m afraid of human beings. We run things in the forest while the wolf isn’t around. Eyes that don’t want to close at all times ruin everything, pretty much every word. The sadness will last forever. I can’t remember now why I ever thought it wouldn’t. Continue reading “3 Prose Poems by Howie Good”