“Reality’s Shelf-Life” by J.T. Hamilton

She died with a virtual reality headset strapped to her face. Jaw agape, cheeks sunken, polygonal patterns of crystallized sweat stuck to the fabric of her clothes. Her body was splayed out on an undressed mattress. A ceiling fan wobbled above. It was hot. Real hot. Alabama mid-summer-sun-expected-to-implode-this-decade hot. Scattered around the mattress, small plastic appliances vibrated and beeped, each displaying a unique blinking pattern of red-green lights. Tubes and wires wrapped around the woman’s torso, entering all orifices of her body, and exiting back into the machines. One was a feeding tube. Another a catheter. Some were monitors. Most … Continue reading “Reality’s Shelf-Life” by J.T. Hamilton

“ouroboros” and “we take after one another” by Alexis Diano Sikorski

  ouroboros i am reborn again &again my toes crawl up to my eyes& plunge fractals apart i am a snake eating its own tail i am eve saying yes and fucking herself silly on her fingers sibilance cries make me whole again, whole again w/ pupils blown — coming full circle . hypnotize, hypno tize me ( moan ) wonder why—? snakes aren’t real              have no legs              sit themselves in circles instead of straight lines .         we take after one another sure venus is beautiful but can she sustain life ? is she … Continue reading “ouroboros” and “we take after one another” by Alexis Diano Sikorski

“If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

grow more hands if you’re happy and you know it become a monstrosity   If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it give me the skeleton of everything that’s gone extinct   give me the fossil of optimism   If you need water or will wilt and you know it sit still and pray for water   feel yourself wilting and wilt   Look into the night sky tell it I want to put you in a bowl as if you were a fish to illuminate my room as if you were the night … Continue reading “If you’re happy and you know it” by Nicholas Alti

“ligament (loose triptych)” by Lianna Schreiber

    Artist Statement Somewhere between a poem and an internal monologue, “loose triptych” is a contemplation of life, life beyond life, and the meaning in it all. (“What is a legacy?” “Planting seeds in a garden you will never see in full bloom”, to paraphrase; but also to cite a late night conversation, “Before you’re trying to be something, make sure to be.” I find that I’m often stuck on the conundrum of that maybe-false-maybe-true dichotomy of person / artist — I want to leave a legacy as a writer, an inheritance for those I will become a forebear to, yet … Continue reading “ligament (loose triptych)” by Lianna Schreiber

“Ghost Writing: Carceral Legacies, Haunted Bodies and Spaces” by Mauve Perle Tahat

One of the most terrifying ghost stories the U.S. has is incarceration. The prison is a haunted grotto. Prisons and prisoners are haunted by traumas caused by white supremacy. People admitted to these spectral spaces are part of its phenomenological architecture. When prisoners leave they are forever escorted by phantasmal histories. Most tangibly they will be cursed by restrictions like probation, employment and housing discrimination, voter suppression; the philosophical underpinnings of the prison itself are part of this ghost story. Prisoners, then, become ghosts themselves, observing society without a place in it, destined to float around disembodied until something sets … Continue reading “Ghost Writing: Carceral Legacies, Haunted Bodies and Spaces” by Mauve Perle Tahat

THE SNAKE BRIDE

When I came into myself, again Yet another awkward re-awakening of this body I saw an imprisoned cage of where a young woman was residing, It was right behind my Mother’sss eyesss A tiny fire lit between the iris of two gazing hazel stonesss One of yearning Death and one of burning Honor Where ssshe might consssume the esssence of the temerity of one’sss own contentment Ssshe dissspels and expelsss the very thought of joy’sss inner dwelling It is an echo to Her very calling That is utterly denied Ssshe awaitsss in the agony that is a finely feathered & … Continue reading THE SNAKE BRIDE

“The Power of PYNK // Logging Off” by Vanessa Maki

“Pynk, like the lips around your… maybe Pynk, like the skin that’s under… baby Pynk, where it’s deepest inside… crazy Pynk beyond forest and thighs” – Janelle Monae   Much like the vast majority of Janelle’s work – “PYNK” was radical in the most unapologetic way.  The music video is most importantly the most controversial aspect of the song. Just listening to the song isn’t necessarily enough, so you have to watch the music video. The most simplified description of this song is that it’s about vaginas.  It’s about being bold about having one (if you happen to). All of … Continue reading “The Power of PYNK // Logging Off” by Vanessa Maki

“A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

83. To Make Poor Paper not Flow When You Write on it.      Dip the paper in alum water.  I, Hohman, will hereafter pour a little water on the alum and moisten the paper. Then I will see whether one can write on it.                                                                From “The Long Hidden Friend”, Journal of American Folk-lore (1904)   Again, some kind of alchemy at work retracing speech in the turning color, in the sighing snow.         Dream of the mirror house on another shore,         where a direct gaze is evaded         where one speaks in the winding steps         of a shadow on the far … Continue reading “A Clove Scented Winter” by Zeny May Dy Recidoro

The Embodiment of Hyper-Reality and Healing (A Reading List) by Jordannah Elizabeth

“…would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light. But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice [blessed]: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” – William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, sc. 1. “Falling is simple, if you don’t think … Continue reading The Embodiment of Hyper-Reality and Healing (A Reading List) by Jordannah Elizabeth

“IN A LITTLE ROOM WITHOUT WINDOWS” by JOE BONGIORNO

You, patriot. Yes you with sweaty hands on a smooth trigger. Do you appreciate the privilege of your position? The Bureau sends its regards. Right choices are rewarded in this world, don’t you know? We trust your Guantanamo-blue eyes to do the right thing. Where would we be without loyalty? As a family man, you must certainly understand. We’ve taken the liberty of blindfolding and binding Mohamed Doe to a chair. Rest assured he is guilty of something. We have statements from accomplices, witnesses, former maids and disgruntled lovers. They’ve testified directly to the Bureau. Give Mohammed Doe over here … Continue reading “IN A LITTLE ROOM WITHOUT WINDOWS” by JOE BONGIORNO