“Life // slip // stream” by Elisabeth Horan

Arsenic Hour

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It’s nothing / hangs / like toile / white gauze / surgery / comes and goes / lab coats I never wore / monkeys & rabbits / guilty / I am always / I hate the inaction / I hate the mascara / raccoons flood my airways / knowing what I don’t or won’t do / embarrassing / I want the chicken but waste her every time / her bones unlovable / her beak / as my tailbone / so broke so broke / the shells too thin / they crack they crack / when I brood / they smash a million pieces below my tired wide ass / unfeminine to heap one’s load upon a pile of baby trash / I pray to God… Please make it last / keep it in / give it life / he cares not / he kills things / easy as life floats in unwanted/ so it goes out out with the bathwater / sesame seed / so wanted / first term ova / non teen abortion / the rainbow baby / the dead squirrel / this mad woman / just has questions of life and the mercy of the Lord / might as well ask the tree trunk / what or why the hell / is all this praying for—

 

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is Co-Owner of Animal Heart Press. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique and a 2018 Pushcart Nomination from Cease Cows. She has books coming out in 2019 with Fly on the Wall Poetry Press, Twist in Time Press, Flypaper Magazine, Hedgehog Poetry Press, and Cephalo Press.

 

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“Not on my lips anymore” by Elisabeth Horan

Arsenic Hour
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Image by Nydia Lilian

Your sexual preference is the strand
of spider web across my eyes
this morning,

Annoyed, I swipe
it away; it is perfect and persistent;
it laughs at my effort, yet
doesn’t let go.

My wanting you is for what –
I don’t know – as if new clothes
would make me

Somehow happier – more complete –
as if a male outfit
could dress me less like a pauper,

More like the butch empress who shuns the
requisite lesbian clothes

Our time was not for naught but smacks
of chocolate mints after dinner,
you want one so badly
especially after ordering only a salad –

In the parking lot
a well meaning couple,
(whichever one you choose)
says,

There’s a little something on
your face,

And I know it so well, brown and green –
the warmth of it: smears just like our body parts.

I still pray for us, reunited, but your taste is
not on my lips,
not on my lips,
not on my lips –
anymore.

 

 

 

Follow Elisabeth Horan on Twitter @ehoranpoet

Yum Yum Time by Elisabeth Horan

Arsenic Hour
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Image by Becca Stadtlander

Hello shattered baby. Lie down – and come, I want to be free with you – I want to be something new for you – to be your new pet. I’m so fun: you drinking / me drinking fun. I want our party to be the kind they love – they covet our things, our makeup, our thighs, our non-existent pantilines. We are goddess lovers / we are body-snatchers. We are what love wishes it could be – calls us up and asks for advice on her asymmetrical nasal profile and pesky mustache whiskers. Bitch. Serves her right. Took yum yum from us all that 90s time. We are the light bright ponies lip sync karaoke twins – short skirts Timbalands hot as hell white light black jack tattoos Rosie Rivet – holsters for our whips on hips – Lesbians? Hell yeah. You butch, me femme, all tongue. Both of us, both of them. Canigetayesma’am? Shattered baby, Lisbeth lovely, tongue pierce kitten purr, purr lilla whisker pet – come, to momma, one more time and stay here: safety arms get paid in sex to protect you. Fun times love times come n get me some of this yum yum time.

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Arsenic Hour: my middle aged women troubles by Elisabeth Horan

Arsenic Hour
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gif by Nancy Liang

This is the debut of Elisabeth Horan’s column, Arsenic Hour. Here is its namesake poem.

 

 

Here comes a bad one. Pearled teeth, gnarled hands, knife fingers, bomb breasts, snake limbs, tortoise pelvis, wolf anus, pronghorn genitals. Here comes the malfeasance. Ivory ban, fingernail grind, tusked cheeks, flat bill palette, five toes times five legs, monstrously amphibious, heat seeking whore platypus. Squat and jealous. Here comes the lady in red. Competitive. Hormone pinch hitter, estrogen wane, progesterone filler, wants things of testosterone nearby her; a dildo toy killer. Hypothyroid gets her best, statin spies through this fat girl’s dress. Here comes young queen bee, she’s queen till tomorrow’s sorrows. Hippocampus dehydrated, frontal lobe sliced mango, cortex, correct me, umm, sliding unstable, emotions hostage, child for ransom. Speaking of gloves, here’s the kid, here’s the mother. More immature this ovary banter, this Questcomm demeanor; Elvira thong, Judge Judy pants, this earth-bitch wishes for a pod like Mrs. Jetson’s. Dishes, cuticle crack, thumb condom, mustache wax. Pajamas, pantiliner, low slung breasts, boring penis, always Mr. Right: flaccid. Middle age mayhem: anemic theater. Of war and love, no date is cheaper than this female, dullard woman; dial up trauma-hype and penitence; frugal.

We who are lost; Mmm, Nope; Neurotic Lullaby by Elisabeth Horan

Visitants

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Three poems by contributor Elisabeth Horan

 

We who are lost

Find each other in warehouses

Too late sometimes, it’s in graveyards.

Always emaciated,

dumpster diving for attention

 

Overweight on alcohol

anorexic acceptance rates

like High school anxiety

shave the head

try on personalities

 

We who find each other

and save some last hope

from each self we carry

give momentus hope for

self care, for having less

 

Night terrors,

the bruises calming

from catalyst snarls

aubergine pockets to mottled

Eye sockets

 

Mottled to moss

moss blankets earth.

bury the hatchet,

you’ll

bury the hurt

 

We who are lost.

We who are found.

Hold fast my hand

 

My dirt. My coffin,

You’ re under ground now

to find me; you’re

diving in

head first.

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Mmm, Nope

If all is human nature
and I am part of that

You say it all just comes from it
the good the sick the bad.

Then what of the abhorrent?
The tired two-timing tricks I invent

To make things into feelings
which they are not. And how/what

The fuck are feelings, anyway?
If all is natural behavior, then do

Not mark me as present, for I’ve pushed the
virtuous to drown, the heroe to bite

Off his own hand. For lack of better synonym,
I demanded him to eat a bone;

I once told a child I’d adopt him –
then promptly left town… see?

Collapse improvise TNT concrete
swinging ball chain mimic war cry.

If I am human – let the
dogs be gods, if I am natural –

Shall water be the poison grog.
If I am something you can swallow,

Whole, not choke upon – even
actions of desertion, MIA if me=treason

(which you readily accept),
no questions, asked, not even a

Background check, then I caution, rather-
strongly advise the baby steps

Toward my person, toward my slick
granite gargoyle creepy crawlies tone deaf

Cackling cheeked broom rider
co-dependent needy; a drinking fish.

I wish for any awesome kind of cigarette –
quell my lack of self-care messiness.

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Neurotic Lullaby


I’m lost in smoke
Bombastic
snake gardens
Bats come, I am one

Snake sickness,
Shodokon shadow:
haunts. Hunts. Bats are
my friends I belong
with them

Lost in caves
deep in your mouth
a cave, your heart, a cave
your throat, and art

My heart, concaving
bleeding out
lowest white count
little lamb
         this is the year of the snake

I deny swallowing shadows
I deny I am too good
all I did is so sickness

Knows to grow inside the coils;
heating mold up to base temp;
kill temp

Rocking rocking
bye bye

Frightening the babies
bats in closets
me in your throat
swashbuckling snakes

This is sickness.
Bat shadows envelop
and hide fangs
which eat things in caves

I am one I am one
rock knee rock knee
grab on to me –
I grab you, hungry.

 

Follow Elisabeth Horan on Twitter @ehoranpoet

And I Loved Them by Elisabeth Horan

Visitants

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A poem by contributor Elisabeth Horan.

 

 

Is it my turn to use them?

I asked, in doe-eyed chin up hopefulness –

 

Not yet, replied father-fuhrer.

Maybe tomorrow.

 

I never really got a chance to play

with them – they were under lock and key

behind the rum, above the crackers

 

They were shiny, mysterious, like magic:

twinkly, yet smooth of wooden grain.

The smell of pipe and strawberry always

floated about them, then remained.

 

Daddy and Sissy didn’t know that

I took them out one day.

 

I snuck them out and ate of them –

skinned each one by lascivious one

with my devilish, thorny, rasping tongue –

 

Young me, shoved them in my pants;

cried upon their backs:

 

I love you, Dancing Faerie Queen!

I love you, Freddy Mercury!

 

Bored stare and low resolution glint

flickering in their multi-faceted

eyes of diamond cut me through – and through

 

Like they had somehow

seen this coming out of others before me,

like none of this was new –

 

Still, I behaved.

Promised never to break their arms

and their legs apart

 

Nor to paint their semi sweet

ribbon mouths lipstick and shut. Or

rip their necks out, like sluts.

 

But Daddy knew.

Daddy and Sissy knew.

I don’t know how, but they knew.

 

Didn’t whip me, but bore me a silence; their fear

of me almost worse than their ignorance.

 

I gave it away in my guilt leaden eyes;

rode astride a glimmer-wave of hope.

That’s how they knew I was all shiny new.

 

I didn’t cry over so many

little things after.

For I had witnessed,

had learned their secrets –

 

With blouses open I tasted them as

tarts and berries entranced with

a sexual elixir toward heaven,

or hell – who cares for the compass!

 

And I loved them.. It was worth

all my lives prior or none in the future –

 

It was even worth

trading away, in an unplanned way,

my family.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Elisabeth on Twitter: @ehoranpoet