Nameless Lake (c.1412)
Farther, and farther away,
And My brain is cider; rum, and jewelry — attics, bracelets, music, speakers, beds,
Inside of a Nail polish dream catcher i play a willow signature maker / willow branch, and Ink brush:
& couches, conifers. teeth are fixed on vagina water ~
light headed, black mist
in a cylinder of a phone call
& a tooth is so cunning – its so motorcycle course it’s so
. three wing, flapping four ways, into pots.
Ice cream drips green sun _
Helps Hang radish
pauses thin eyes for beer –
Zachary Scott Hamilton is the editor for Mannequin Haus. His work appears at Queen mobs teahouse and in the modern anthology of surrealism (Salo press 2016) www.Infii2.Weebly.Com
TO THE METHODIST
I look at the man looking at the cat
while a gentle storm robs the curtain
of its sleep. I have learnt to fear
To stroke your heart with the tender bones
of my failings, so that you are hurt, but less
So that you are hurt and I fear never losing you
Giving you away to the poor sun
that eats the darkness of my balcony
sometimes the leftover of my body
I have learnt to fear you; fear the method
of your silence, your surgical breath that splits
the rain ball open and usher cottony stars
That’s what they said when they debated
the atrocity of arsenic mingling with the blood
They warned the poor villagers to stay safe
of their loved ones going into the paddy,
rinsing face in the arsenic and drinking often
To keep blood and life separate
To not contaminate. To stay afar and cry
till grief quits gravity in our aquarium bodies
Ours is arsenic love. We mean poison.
I have felt like the world was going to end before
It felt like a phone call from my mom telling me my friend hanged herself
At her funeral we talked about souls and light
How Jocey’s light was still in the universe and that it would never leave
If the world ends tomorrow will we all be little lights?
Will I still be able to touch you?
My sister’s favorite memory is of the day contractors tore up the floor in our kitchen
Our mother gave us two fat sharpies to scribble all over the checkered linoleum
Before the ripping and breaking started
I want to hold on to how happy this memory makes my sister feel
How strange it is that I can barely remember it
I am thankful and happy
But worry I spend too much time thinking I am not
Explaining why I can’t be
I took too much time deciding it was unhealthy to talk to my father
And when I finally stopped I felt guilty for years
But I also spent so much time saying what I felt
Arguing and laughing
I have lived with people I love
And my favorite thing in the world is when my mother laughs so hard her whole face scrunches and turns red
Sometimes I meditate on how it feels to hold the hand of someone you love for the first time
Sweaty and a bit rushed
I love the idea of palms and how they feel pressed against each other
I could never say anything that felt as good as love
As good as dinner with my family, swimming in lakes, lying next to my best friend
Today I spent all day at the beach and if it is the end of the world I want us all to go to the beach
Lie in the sun and maybe the ocean will swallow us at the very end
But until then we can dig our toes into the sand
Let all the good ions from the ocean soak into our skin
If the last thing I smelled was the ocean I’d be happy
Emma Tasini-Koger is a sophomore at Pitzer College. She grew up in the Bay Area and used to work and write at Youth Speaks in San Francisco. She loves the way poetry creates intricate webs of connection.
The Beauty of Tonight
In the moonlight fog and moonlight
Me lady’s flowing hair over her darknight
Dressed in black lips red watching the sky
I have feathers people jealous
Shiny moon silver stars
Shoot an arrow right to our hearts
Making two equals one
Dreams sneak crystal stars sing
Kissing your hands eyes and cheeks
Singing hearts seeking love
Ziad Aksamawati dit Arja is a poet who has been writing since an early age. I have published my first poem more than a decade ago. I vie to provide pieces written with audacity. I strive to blaze the love of Poetry in the hearts of all my readers.
In the voice of a bird
Out in the courtyard
having spotted the muse
her vocal folds bloom,
shifts shape, hues,
feathers of weather
with a chestnut skirt
& deep purple top
before it mirrors
the descending oop-oop
of the mate-chasing
Its eyes – drunk red, lucid,
like arils of a fruit – now
in a tangle, fidgeting
the flesh and the seed.
Shopping for veggies and roots
I keep gawking at the fruits:
Apples from Simla, Anars
from Afghan that the friendly
vendor says will cost me a bomb.
One of them
open-wound red, calyx-crowned
shows how easy is it for a knife
to get drowned
In memory’s bitter-sweet flesh:
Of a pale Mathalam plant
that grew behind
my grandfather’s home.
It’s tender boughs
weighed down by red
tree ants and fruits – sparse, scarred
permanently by insect bites,
Symbols of fertility vows.
Of colours and metaphors in movies
by Sergei Paradjanov. The name
of a certain Mughal princess in love
and the ditch-in-the-heart sickness
that found a pun for grenade in
the Pomegranate form.
When cut open
If it gives your hands
A deep red & purple tan
and doesn’t go Kaboom,
It’s got to be a fruit
If it pulses like a piece of art
It can be cruel: a high-speed
photograph of a thigh
hit by projectile exploding arils
of bone marrow and blood.
Binu Karunakaran is a poet, translator and journalist based in Kochi, India. A recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship for writing, some of his poems were part of a group anthology A Strange Place Other Than Earlobes published by Sampark, Kolkata, in 2015.
Sam had that weird series of dreams again. He did not fly or swim in great rivers, he did not discover hidden rooms in places he once lived, he did not open doors to rooms full of long dead relatives silently watching television ,eating pie. Those dreams were the regular passengers of most nights. He dreamed he checked his email, he hung out on Facebook, he lurked Twitter and its snow of things and bots, he did his taxes, he checked the weather in cities he would never visit. The weird thing is it really felt real this time, mundane and in real time, that little fireworks flourish of tasks completed too.
“When mother spoke out loud, the first word was blue.
Blue was the color of a confession given under the sign of the fish.
Swimming wildly under golden glints of sunlight, the fish only knew to embrace the sorrows.
Sorrow is mother is the utterance of a embrace that is the color blue.”
– The Sky Isn’t Blue
Hey! Let’s talk.
Ok, back in 2003 there was this band called Poison the Well. Right now we’d call them screamo, or ~post-hardcore~, or whatever, but in 2003 we called it emotional hardcore (which might be the actual worst, but screamo felt like a loaded word with super negative connotations in 2003–in fact, in my ~scene~ it was only used for derision).
So they released this album on Atlantic Records, and it was on the endcap at Target, and I bought it with my allowance, and I listened to it a lot. And here’s why it matters: it was produced by the same guy (Eskil Lövström) who produced all of those great Refused albums that are super influential on ~post-hardcore~ and other snobby forms of emo/punk/metal/whatever, and it’s got these superb, spacy interstitial bits that were unlike anything I had heard before and they rocked my Slipknot/Misfits-loving mall-goth heart.
Derek Miller from Poison the Well also went on to be 1/2 of Sleigh Bells, so that’s cool, too.
So, anyway, I was on Facebook this morning, and a high school friend reminded me of the Refused, which reminded me of this album, and I fell into a YouTube hole and thought I’d tell you about it. IDK, some of Poison the Well’s songs still sort of hold up… and at the very least they’re a good document of their time.
This has been fun! Let’s do it again soon.
My presence so far, does then my world ever end?
How hazy my presence has been,
Walking secretly through people’s affairs
Like phantoms strolling through midnight lectures
Of two young intellectuals sitting by the street,
Of politics, religion, cinema, and JNU,
How they talk endlessly as if to add meaning
To the Beckett-y long nights that offers us
Nothing but a glint of Godot’s summoning us,
How hazy has my presence been
When unperturbed by the tall street light
Glowing through the night in an attempt to
Compete with the moon’s ever-praised glory
That can never fade, we never choose the
Street-light for poetry but the moon,
How golden the street –light while only
Surrounded by tiny insignificant insects,
How hazy has my presence been
When I loiter but fuse into everything
And every person’s becoming,
Through the mist that clothes me to the dreams
A vagabond stitches to think of new ways to live
Another morning that shall be tomorrow,
How hazy has my presence been
Although I have been here whirring with every move of the wind!
Gargee Baruah: She is currently a final year student of Masters in Literature (English) from University of Delhi. She is a freelancer by the day. Apart from scribbling, she likes reading (mostly outside her course), has a thing for good random conversations, travelling, blogging, indulging herself in music and singing, loves to be theatrical, likes to soak in the spiritual feeling dancing brings, identifies her dominant shade of personality with mysticism (but not sure).
“That the present is undying yet death awaits us all”
If the world were to end next week, what do you have to give?
(world may end tomorrow)
express love for my family; also ask forgiveness
*forgivenessè all my friends + family + the boys I’ve hurt
I’m sorry I never communicated well, ever. I was nearly
always trying to do the right thing
I’m sorry for all the judgments I’ve made towards
those who in no way deserved them. Even though
I don’t have tomorrow I will still be learning and
growing tomorrow. I’m sorry for all the mistakes I made &
never apologized for. I’m sorry for lying.
My life, the adventure, the love
the places I’ve been, seeing the world! exploring
support of my creative mind + my dreams from my
family, love of literature + art + theatre + grass
SOCCER and my sisters
my house and my home; inspirations that are my dad
and my mom & my grandma & my brother
food + shelter + nature + nurture + the ability to experience
the earth before it’s all gone – Montserrat &
wine at the beach + bunkers moto adventureè alive
“Maybe this is the poem”
Emily Segal is sophomore at Claremont McKenna College majoring in literature, Spanish, and gender studies. She enjoys reading about color theory and drinking pear green tea.
Would it were a relief, the life leaving the body
With the tenderness of water, the mad rush of waves
To cover and uncover the shore with its fixedness, fierce
Attentions, determined efforts, come to stillness. No less,
The resting of the ocean while the moon ceases its pull
On our weighted rope. We would all know that what came before,
What is coming now, is unfurling like birds across the sky,
Snow tracked along the floor, a bolt of cloth, a parade of cars.
And as for the rush of sea that swallows, the tidal wave of particulate
Matter mixed to make us now busy with the unmaking, I could accept it,
But for you. There would be sorrow at the tearing apart of things,
The searing end sending us careening back into the anemone cave of our coming. There would be a longing to hold to the disappearing earth’s skin,
A drive to find a way back in, to grab you, finding ourselves on the edge
Of a bus, about to leap to pavement that’s no longer there,
Calling to the driver to stop, and there’s no driver. For loving you,
I would regret this.
Meghan Sterling is a writer and writing teacher who lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband and cat. Sterling’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Red Paint Hill, Fredericksburg Art and Literary Review, Chagrin River Review, Lingerpost, Yellow Chair Review, Cladesong, WNC-Woman, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Clementine Poetry Journal, the Chronogram, Stone River Review, and others.
Day 1: woke up at 5:00am to catch an early flight. Put on a v neck t-shirt featuring an all over print of kitty cats doing various things, a gray loose knit cropped sweater, new blue jeans from old navy, my signature cross cardigan, Sorel boots borrowed from Isobel O’Hare, and a winter coat with fur trim hood borrowed from Isobel O’Hare. Walk, train, plane to Chicago O’Hare, picked up by A.J. Binash, car, stopped in Madame Zuzu teahouse with A.J. to see if I could drop off a copy of I Will Always Be Your Whore [love songs for Billy Corgan] for Billy Corgan (I wasn’t allowed to), car to Wisconsin, open mic, went to sleep in sweatpants and kitty cat t-shirt.
Day 2: woke up in a puddle of sweat bc the bed I was sleeping in was directly over a heating pipe or something so I changed into a blue and white striped long sleeved v-neck. Showered and then changed into black turtleneck, black sweater tights, red wool skirt, cross cardigan, and black Oxford platforms. Performed at the Pump House in La Crosse, WI with A.J Binash, Olivia Gillingham, Tegan Daly, Thomas Tucker, and Jay Grays. Karaoke, doing dabs, not sleeping, left La Crosse, Wi at 3:30am with A.J. Binash to drive to Chicago O’Hare to get a morning flight to Toronto.
Day 3: still wearing red wool skirt, black turtleneck, black sweater tights, and cross cardigan. Changed into Sorel boots borrowed from Isobel O’Hare because they were too bulky to fit in my suitcase. Arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport around 8:30am. Sat by an outlet on the wall next to the restrooms to charge my phone. Quick and uneventful flight to Kitchner airport. Realized on arrival that Kitchner is a lot further away from the home of Stephen Thomas, my host in Toronto, than I had previously thought. 30 minute taxi ride into the Kitchner city center then 90 minute bus ride into the outskirts of Toronto and then a 90 minute car ride with John Liberty, a friend of Stephen who was kind enough to pick me up and point out local landmarks and talk local history to me on the ride. Showered at Stephen’s house, changed into maroon high-waist corduroy pants, blue oxford shirt, gray knit sweater (it’s actually black and white threads but looks gray), black oxford platforms. Performed on stage at The Great Hall with Ashley Obscura, Beach Sloth, Rachel Bell, Stephen Thomas, and Guillaume Morissette. Performed wearing the coat I borrowed from Isobel O’Hare because I felt like a character from Quadrophenia and Canada is cold. Spent the rest of the night wandering around a rave then someone’s birthday party and then went to bed after 4am.
Day 4: woke up sweating again, wearing sweatpants and gray tank top. Showered and changed into maroon high-waist corduroy pants, a light blue sweater with an image of the backs of Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s heads holding each other like they just finished making out knitted into the sweater, a thick jackety-type blue and black plaid snap button shirt, and black oxford platforms. Walked around with Beach Sloth, Astory Felix, and then Kira Michael came over to Stephen’s house and we hung out and then I got picked up by Stephen’s friend John Liberty again to get taken to the Buffalo airport after midnight.
Day 5: got to the airport and remembered that I left the Sorel boots I borrowed from Isobel O’Hare at Stephen’s house. Slept a little bit at the Buffalo airport wearing the same outfit with the blue Mickey/Minnie sweater. Changed my flight last minute because I was supposed to go home at this point but I wanted to go back to Wisconsin and I had packed enough clothes for a few extra days on the road. Plus there were several days I wore the same outfit for more than one day without changing. Flew to Chicago O’Hare and then got on a train to meet up with Carleen Tibbetts and Russell Jaffe and Jeanette Gomes. Got on a bus to Madison. Walked for an hour with suitcase and backpack to a Super 8 motel. Showered and changed into black leggings and the gray sweater. Passed out.
Day 6: can’t remember if I showered again or not but I put on a red plaid collared shirt with the light gray loose knit cropped sweater on top, the new blue jeans from old navy, and the black oxford platforms. Walked around Madison all day and got a jean jacket with tan corduroy details at a thrift store and then realized I had booked my flight for the next day out of Minneapolis and that I would have to find a way there and realized buses didn’t run frequently and that Madison is a hell of a lot further away from Minneapolis than I had previously believed.
Day 7: took a cab to a megabus pickup location outside of Madison and boarded a bus around 2:30am and got to Minneapolis at around 8:00am. Found my way to the airport and wanted to disintegrate completely. Waited around for hours at the airport for my 3:00pm flight, flew to LA and left the cleared area to go outside to smoke and then went through security again to get my flight to Oakland. Train from Oakland airport back to my neighborhood, walked home. Passed out in all of my clothes.
I’ve been a terrible contributor to this amazing community blog. This is how I figured I can best participate–in a way that is simultaneously shameless, shameful, shame-inducing: my to-read pile. Pleasure reading only. I will update (hopefully) monthly. Here goes.
Top to bottom, left to right:
The Egyptian Book of the Dead (my mom’s copy from when she was a kid, discovered while home for the holidays)
Making this list is actually kind of terrifying. It doesn’t seem nearly as long as when I look at the spines. Hopefully I will be shamed into reading some of the titles I have had on my shelf for over a year. Ho boy.