Ryan Madej is an experimental writer of various fictional/non-fictional narratives and other literary ephemera. Also a middling sculptor of ambient soundscapes from forgotten dimensions. Books, music, hashish: my three inspirations. Twitter: https://twitter.com/blurtbleen?lang=en
Your consciousness is homeless and itinerant for quite some time in a significant physical journey. And you must build it its home, or its redoubt. That redoubt is specific to the journey. And like a tortoise’s shell the redoubt accompanies you on the journey even as it grows. Its construction is excruciatingly frustrating and failure-ridden. Accept this. Construction of the redoubt is the journey.
Arrival takes place much later cognitively.
Continue reading “Redoubt by John Trefry”
If shadows are the two-dimensional projections of three-dimensional objects, then does it mean that three-dimensional objects are shadows cast by things in the forth-dimension?
My shoes made a tapping noise in the rain as I walked towards the house. Stepping inside the white noise of the downpour was unnaturally and quickly severed, along with the sound of my steps. At first, the house looked exactly the same as on my first visits, as a child, a long time ago. It was, however, dimmer than I remembered and it took my eyes some time to adjust to the darkness and find the light switch. Once they came slowly on they didn’t seem to make much difference, as all the lights had been diffused by various pieces of cloth shrouding them. Though it did allow me to begin seeing certain curious changes. At one time it had been immaculate, with every surface polished to a fine sheen, but now it looked tired and forgotten, a cover, as I later learnt, for a calculated and careful state of disrepair. Continue reading “The House, Cogitatio Amphibolia by Matthew Turner”
The Watersteps are ruins now, but you can still see what is left of them by walking through the dank forest on the edge of town, over the train lines and then down to the crease where two wave-like hills meet. The steps sit half-swallowed inside a wide clay gorge. A little further up the gorge, there’s a stream at least half as wide as the gorge itself. It drops down an accidental waterfall caused by the collapse of the Watersteps. A sheet of tarpaulin wafts, hit by the unravelling crystal carpet of water. For the most part, the stream disappears amongst the rubble and soft ground at the foot of the waterfall. Only further down does a meagre version of it reform, bypassing the steps entirely.
The Watersteps have haunted my imagination for a long time. The first poem I ever wrote was about the steps. I hated it, re-wrote it, destroyed it and started again. I have been repeating each step ever since.
Continue reading “The Watersteps by BR Williams”
I am not from here. I am from somewhere in between push and pull. I am a thrust not yet experienced by what people usually call ‘home’. I am exiled. I am exile. I reside not in my consciousness, but in the lingering smell of last night’s cigarettes and rain drops. In the burning of pages. In the hunger for belonging, which I feed with matches, flames, and the ashes of what were once my journals, my essays on the flesh of the world, my notebooks, my manuscripts, my resolutions, my shopping lists, my thoughts on the nightstand. Exile. Soft, felt in my hands. Felt in yours. Grasping its shape, fingering its texture, sensing its temperature. Exile, mingled with memorabilia and all the angers of the world. I live with it as one lives with a strong sense of physical presence, something to cling to until I get better. Something to keep me going. Being a gesture, becoming an extension of its flesh. That’s what exile is to me. A grave. Luscious. Infinite. Sarcophagus of blessed souls. I am pulling you into the depths of it. Exile, exceptional euphemism. Continue reading “Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri”
The road was cunning under the tires, slipping and pulling as I turned onto the forest service road beside Stave Lake. I was crunching over the gravel with plumes of dust filling the air behind me. It smelt more like desiccated mud than grit or ash. It was hot for May, and I had no idea where the road would lead. I was between two guides: the GPS and a nineteenth century memoir exhumed from the archives. Both were illuminating the screen of my phone, and I was alternating between the two when I would pause.
1890 – As I learned more of the country and surroundings I realized what wonderful fishing and shooting was to be had in the different lakes and streams not far distant from the City. The Pitt River, the Lillooet River, the Stave and Harrison Rivers, and the lakes from which they came, although well known to the timber cruiser and trapper, had not yet been explored by the great majority of the young men of the City. Continue reading “Stave in the Autobiography of Sidney Ashe Fletcher by James Gifford”
The final nine miles into Aberystwyth were a soothing amble through dappled green light – the disused railway track partially shaded by the overhanging branches of limes and oaks, the gravelly river close enough to be an audible murmur through the trees. Continue reading “The Green, Green Grass of Ceredigion by Laurence Mitchell”
Henceforth, every line and every color of Picasso will exude the spirit of this rough land; will have the savor of dried figs or of cracked olives, the vigor of the olive shoot, the light of an almond tree in flower, the perfume of a sprig of lavender. And in St Petersburg and New York, in Barcelona, in Paris, in Berlin… they will collect and admire beautiful fragments of this enamored gaze. —Angel Querol, son of the mayor of Horta Sant Joan
Continue reading “By the Water’s Edge by Susanna Crossman”
The air at 4:30 is cool and lightless, the Moon is waning gibbous, low in the south in Capricornus, and in the southwest, Jupiter is descending in Ophiuchus. And Mother came to see the tiger lilies yesterday, they are blooming beside the pond, marking the farm’s July. Continue reading “The farm will have us always by Richard Winters”
Grief is a private island. You can only wave to people from it. Even people who have lived on that island, who may understand where you are, can only wave back. And yet the island is invisible so unless someone knows you are on it, they talk to you as if life is normal, and sometimes you don’t have the energy to explain or try to that you can’t understand a damn word they are saying because of all the water and wind between you and them.
A very few can whisper from some place different and make you feel temporarily less lonely because they have had a similar enough experience and an ability to empathize in a certain way, but in the end, it’s you and your island. And there’s no shorting the loneliness and sheer pain of grief.
I probably shouldn’t write this.
Reading Faulkner on a balcony in Melbourne. A cold morning, as they usually are. Yesterday read Joyce by the bay, feet bare, the sand chilly and soft as snow, thinking that maybe we will have kidney. We? Who is we? You are not here and, last I heard, you are afraid I will find someone else in these small days.
I sit on the balcony with a hot coffee and a story about a funeral. Baudelaire in the suitcase. In pain and I can’t concentrate, let me tell you why. I am on street level, rocking back in a dirty weatherproof chair. Messy empty bed in the room behind me. A woman stands in the sun across the road, hoody on, smoking a cigarette fussily and checking her phone. I shouldn’t write this because these are secrets I wouldn’t tell anyone. Continue reading “Faulkner on the Balcony by Tristan Foster”
Burning House Press are excited to welcome JOHN TREFRY as our seventh guest editor! John will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of August.
Submissions for John are open from today – 1st August and will remain open until 24th August.
John’s Theme for the month is as follows