“Landslide” by Amanda McLeod

  rules caught in the landslide swept away in madness and diamond filled rocks   reason is an unmarked map the unfamiliar wild envelops me   I am lost in chaos theory   there is no light on the windowsill to guide me home   I will not be entombed in this bottomless dark   I take my soul and tear it into a million tiny crumbs of ethereal bread each step a dropped morsel a trail of spiritual stars to mark where I’ve been,  so that I never go back             Amanda McLeod is … Continue reading “Landslide” by Amanda McLeod

“Brown Bear” by Bailey Bridgewater

The submissive bulb of the brown Long Island sunset was barely enough to illuminate the silently flailing figure in the water.  The flaming ball stared down at the commotion from beneath its skin of smog, but the girl simply picked the loose sand up in her hands, running the granules through her stubby fingers, fascinated by the way it felt on her palms, but irritated by how it stuck under her bitten nails.  As she dug it out with her tooth, her mother sat up straight, abandoning her usual reclining position and the song she had been singing on the … Continue reading “Brown Bear” by Bailey Bridgewater

“Black Girl Magic, They Really Can’t Stand It” by Vanessa Maki

“Remember when they used to say I look too mannish Black girl magic, y’all can’t stand it” – Janelle Monae Janelle doesn’t just wear many hats in a literal sense but also in a figurative one. In “Django Jane,” she raps about women’s rights – especially black women’s rights, which is undoubtedly a different speed than what we’re used to. Mainstream rap doesn’t always offer this type of truth spitting. While some people just want mindless music – Janelle’s not here to give you that. Just like the whole of Dirty Computer she’s digging deeper and deeper into issues that you might … Continue reading “Black Girl Magic, They Really Can’t Stand It” by Vanessa Maki

“What the Hell is Hauntology?”: A Reading List for 2019’s Theme by M. Perle Tahat

2019’s theme for TERSE. is hauntology: nostalgia for lost futures. As our columnist Jordannah Elizabeth bluntly asked, “what the hell is ‘hauntology’?” Hauntology, as we’d like to explore it, is a way to describe a phenomenon related to resonances of traumatic events; a coming to terms with “what’s been done” in the present based on the arc of the past in order to reclaim the future; an examination of futures lost but remembered in fragments like deja vu. Afrofuturists position the concept of hauntology as discovering “countermemories” through history and situating them in full view. What if alternate futures and … Continue reading “What the Hell is Hauntology?”: A Reading List for 2019’s Theme by M. Perle Tahat

“The Place Where You Fell” by Lorraine Wilson

  This is the place where you fell. Your bright swords and old shields faltering. All your angers and all your courage turned the soft earth to mud and the valley must have echoed, it must have echoed to your cries. In the cool dawn, in our houses we can still hear you shouting, and if we come down to the fields, if we listen in the evening, we hear you weeping. When mist lies in the low meadows, we gather our children away and think of risings and despair. Through all the many years, priests have come to cast … Continue reading “The Place Where You Fell” by Lorraine Wilson

“Braving the Days: Spring and the I Ching” by Jordannah Elizabeth

There are five I Ching cards sitting on my bookcase. Out of 64 cards, five jumped out at me…or I should say, they were pulled by a vivacious one year old who was visiting my home with her mother. It was a chilly Saturday morning and we all took a walk to get breakfast and “baby mimosas” (Perrier and orange juice). Once we arrived back to my place to eat, the little girl and her mom took naps while I wrote, daydreamed or worried about one thing or another. Before they rested, we joked about the child being a young … Continue reading “Braving the Days: Spring and the I Ching” by Jordannah Elizabeth

A Short Story by Ximena Garcia Hidalgo

They were anxious to lock someone up, anyone or anything, it didn´t matter. I don´t know why. Lenin explained that empires export their contradictions because they can and as a way to stabilize themselves inside.   The monster, the crippled one, the one on top of the hierarchy, locked up a dog in the bathroom. I don´t know why. It was a big dog. I don´t remember its name. I only remember its tragic fate. He locked it in the half-bathroom on the ground floor, that was maybe two meters wide by three or four meters long. I guess it … Continue reading A Short Story by Ximena Garcia Hidalgo

“The Transfer” by Julie Rea

Hannah’s husband, David, was watching a live interview of the deceased creator of Transference. “Hey,” Hannah said, her long, red, threaded-with-grey hair braided close to her head. She collapsed onto the couch, tired after a day of teaching. “Oh, right,” she said of the interview. “I heard that she died.” “Yep,” said David, scratching his beard. Although Dr. Jimenez was dead and had Transferred in her eighties after becoming terminally ill, she appeared on the monitor in the news studio as a deeply tanned woman in perhaps in her forties. Dr. Jimenez’s daughter, actually in the studio and looking like … Continue reading “The Transfer” by Julie Rea

“Gothic, Colorado” by Zachary Kellian

The snow crunches like stiff leather under his boots. He winds through the scrub pine and aspens, stragglers along the mountain tree line. An aspen trunk, bone white and skeletal in the winter, becomes a perch on which to steady himself. The snowpack is unpredictable here and he needs the rest as his lungs ignite with each gulp of freezing air. The sky above him carries the clear delicateness of winter and one, lone bird — a blush of winged red and orange against the startling blue. It is cold today, but not as cold as it should be. He … Continue reading “Gothic, Colorado” by Zachary Kellian

“It’s All Happening at the Zoo” by Amy Soricelli

How odd to be him, here in this place of fierce thoughts and solid fur. All the best games in the sun, the cold windy bars keeping us tight from one another. She says “look up” I see long necks with spotted long lashes eating from trees. Bears with paws settling down into the pounce and fear of our million looking faces. It is much easier, I answer, to be him, here in this place sneaking between blades of grass, cigarette foil, broken glass. There are cages with stripes, wide eyes, shouts and warnings, pellets of food between their toes. The … Continue reading “It’s All Happening at the Zoo” by Amy Soricelli