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The Family Project by Julie Sokolow

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Julie Sokolow is a musician, filmmaker, and writer whose work has been acclaimed by Pitchfork, The Washington Post, and Wire, among others. She’s a 2012 recipient of a Creative Development Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation towards her first feature-length documentary, Aspie Seeks Love, about an Aspergerian writer looking for love on the internet.  The teaser was recently featured by Boing Boing.

Film / 3 Comments
June 11th, 2013 / 1:38 pm

HTMLGIANT Features

New Exercises in Style

For its 65th anniversary, New Directions has just released an expanded edition of Raymond Queneau’s classic Oulipean text, Exercises in Style, featuring 25 previously untranslated exercises by Queneau, as well as new exercises by Jesse Ball, Blake Butler, Amelia Gray, Shane Jones, Jonathan Lethem, Ben Marcus, Harry Mathews, Lynne Tillman, Frederic Tuten, and Enrique Vila-Matas. If you’ve never experienced Queneau’s encyclopedia of ways to write the same scene over and over, each time new, there’s never been a better time.

On Feb 21st, at 8:00pm, there will be a launch party for the book in Brooklyn, info here.

Below, we’re happy to feature a few of the new exercises from the book.

COQ-TALE (first published in Arts, November 1954)

Ever since the bistros got closed down, we just have to make do with what we have.  That’s why, the other day, I took a pub bus, at cocktail hour, on the N.R.F. line.  No point in telling you that I had a terribly hard time getting in.  I even had a permit, but IT WASN’T ENOUGH.  It was also necessary to have an INVITATION.  An invitation.  They are doing pretty well, the R.A.T.P.  But I managed.  I yelled, “Coming through!  I’m an Éditions Julliard author,” and there I was inside the pub bus.  I headed straight for the buffet, but there was no way to get near it.  In front of me, a young man with a long neck who hadn’t removed the Tyrolean hat with a plait around it that he wore – a lout, a boor, a caveman, obviously – seemed set on gobbling down every last crumb that was before him.  But I was thirsty.  So I whispered in his ear, “You know, back on the platform, Gaston Gallimard is signing contracts.”  And off he ran, the sucker.

An hour later, I see him in front of the Gare Saint-Bottin, in the midst of devouring the buttons of his overcoat, which he had swapped for some

—Raymond Queneau

Translated by Chris Clarke

2 Comments
January 31st, 2013 / 2:25 pm

Rich Uncle by Terese Svoboda

Manhattan between the wars was not made dull by death or dread: it sang. The pink-lipped living strode past the fresh monuments mounted over the new mica-glitter sidewalks, exclaiming over the stars at their feet and around the park, trolley conductors competed in bellringing as they took and mistook actual stars from far off California. Although liners could be heard moaning clear across town, exiting and entering with abandon, ironshod hooves no longer rang, only the occasional garrulous fruit vendor sang from his horse, making its last rounds, or a carriage-driver cursed at his plumed nag dodging motorcars, the last harnessed for the park pleasures of rubes or Frenchies–so much noise was made on the street that the pink-lipped living shrieked their gossip as they walked in twos and threes over the glittering sidewalks.

An odd couple shrieked down the street in tandem, not quite together, not quite incognito, one of them a deb. New York debs were covered by the press just like Grable, cited in columns and flashbulbed beyond blindness. With assets considerably less physical than fiscal, Dot had been debuted but not suitored. She directed the two of them south along the mica, south to where one could get a seat, more specifically, a seat on the stock market. A woman with a seat would be new. Toothpaste was new, most all of what stacked up beside a pharmacist’s till was new. Father, owner of all the sugar in the world, would know what a stake in clean teeth was worth and that she could handle such a transaction, and handle it best with a seat.

Today a company selling women’s items, Dot said, napkins they called them as if you would have them at table, was about to make a public offering of stock, and Father thought she might handle the delicacies. She had handled them, and then Father. Bid it up, she told him at lunch. Women aren’t having children anymore. A coathanger company could produce piles of profit too. READ MORE >

Sunday Service / 2 Comments
July 13th, 2012 / 2:29 pm

Watch the ALT LIT GOSSIP 2011 Awards Broadcast

ALT LIT GOSSIP ran a live awards broadcast hosted by Steve Roggenbuck. Below you can watch the archive footage.

Web Hype / 21 Comments
December 28th, 2011 / 9:00 pm

Laurel Nakadate’s Untitled : Pornstars reading poems

We are very proud to house Untitled, a film of pornstars reading poems, directed by Laurel Nakadate, based on text by Dora Malech.

Following the break, an afterword by our own Jackie Wang.

READ MORE >

Film / 18 Comments
November 23rd, 2010 / 12:19 pm

Lynne Tillman Story

[The following is a story originally published in Bald Ego magazine, and will appear in Lynne Tillman's forthcoming new story collection from Cursor in April 2011, titled Someday This Will Be Funny. The piece's title comes from Clarence Thomas's words in his testimony during the hearings, October 1991. Recently, Mr. Thomas's wife allegedly left Anita Hill a voicemail asking for her apology. The story makes interesting use of popular media snafu as subject matter, which made me wonder more about what other great books and stories are able to incorporate such into their bodies in a fictional sense fluidly. Thoughts? - ed.]

Give Us Some Dirt

On long, summer nights in Pin Point, the Georgia air hung still as a corpse, and they’d wait for a breeze to save them. The heat felt like another skin on Clarence.  His Mother would say, Clarence, what have you been up to? Playing by the river again? Oh Lord, we’ve got to clean you up for church, but aren’t you something to behold? And his mother would clap her palms together or spread her arms wide, like their preacher. Oh, Lord, she’d exclaim. Sometimes she’d point to sister and lovingly scold, “She doesn’t get up to trouble like you, son.” Clarence scrubbed the mud off until his knuckles nearly bled, while his sister giggled.

These days she wasn’t laughing so much.

The dirt couldn’t be washed away, not after Clarence kneeled in their white church, and they slimed him with derision. They couldn’t see who he was, how hard he’d worked, what he’d had to do, but he knew how to act. Behave yourself, boy, Daddy would say. Clarence’s grandfather, Clarence called him Daddy, was a strict, righteous man, who never complained, not even during segregation times, didn’t say a word, so Clarence wouldn’t, either. Those days were over, and they had their freedom now. He set Daddy’s bust  on a shelf near his desk in his new office.

The D.C. nights mortified him, the air as suffocating as Pin Point’s. Clarence couldn’t free himself of history’s stench. On some interminable evenings, he nearly sent that woman a message, made the call, because she’d dragged him down for their delectation. He would pick up the receiver and put it down.

The noise of the ceiling fan assaulted him like a swarm of bugs. Clarence’s jaw locked, and his strong hands balled into fists. Every pornographic day of his trial, Clarence’s wife, Virginia, sat quietly behind him. She barely moved for hours on end, didn’t betray anything, and he worried that, if she had, the calumnies would have spread even further. The sniggers and whispers would have ripped her and him to pieces. He rubbed his face, recalling her startling composure. Rigid, at attention, a soldier in his beleaguered army.

He didn’t tell Virginia what the senators whispered — if he’d tried to marry her, if they’d had sex before the Court decided Loving v. Virginia, they’d have been arrested, and wasn’t it ironic — the Court made Clarence’s dick legal in Virginia, in Virginia? The Capitol’s dirty joke. Their dry Yankee lips cracked into bloodless grins.

The room’s high ceilings dwarfed him. Clarence glanced at a stack of legal  papers. His wife was unassailable and white, but under their vicious spotlight her skin looked pasty and sick. She clung to him through his humiliation, even when disgrace lingered like the smell of shit. And now she bore the tainted mark with him.

Clarence wouldn’t say anything. He’d absorbed Daddy’s lessons, he could keep everything inside, all of it. He watched his grandfather’s bust, half expecting it to move, but it only stared down at him from the shelf. Clarence picked the receiver up again and put it down again. He was in that weird trance, and breathed in slowly, to calm himself, and breathed out slowly, to stay calm, and then closed his eyes. Clarence would leave that woman alone, leave her be, and, anyway, what was the sense, what was there to say years later, and there’d be consequences.

He was weary of scrubbing.

When he won, when the seat was his, he watched his friends’ joy, black and white, and they embraced him, slapped him on the back — remember what’s important, what it’s for, our principles, it’s all worth it. Clarence was the blackest supreme court justice in the land, the blackest this country would ever see. He knew that and held that inside him, too. Nothing and no one could whitewash that.

Clarence patted his round belly. He liked to joke about his heft, his gravitas, with his friends and the other Justices. When he delivered his rare speeches, he occasionally mentioned his girth, which drew a laugh, since his body was a source of mirth. Sometimes his hands rested on his stomach during sessions, when he was courtly if mute. The court watchers noted that he never asked questions, they remarked on it until they finally stopped. Clarence felt he didn’t have to say a word. He’d talk if he wanted, and he preferred not to.

When his hair turned white, like Clinton’s, that other fallen brother, Virginia said he looked distinguished, not old. Still, she worried about his weight, she didn’t want to lose him. He hushed her. He intended to be on the bench as long as he could, at least as long as Thurgood Marshall. He looked at Daddy again, eternally silenced, and sometimes talked to him, telling him almost everything. Clarence could hear Daddy, he could hear his voice always.  He knew what he’d say.

Clarence’s trial bulged fat inside him. He’d never forget his ordeal, not a moment of it. He closed his briefcase and felt the urge to push Daddy from his perch. He would never let anyone forget his trial. Clarence chuckled suddenly, and a harsh, guttural noise escaped from him like a runaway slave. He’d have the last laugh, he was color blind, and they’d all pay in the end.

Lynne Tillman has published novels, story collections, and works of nonfiction. Her novel No Lease on Life was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006. Her most recent novel is American Genius: A Comedy.

Sunday Service / 2 Comments
October 24th, 2010 / 3:52 pm

Melissa Broder Poem

Supper

Everyboy comes to me at a church potluck
perfumed with frankincense and lasagna.

He believes I am a gentle bird girl
in my tulip sweater and raincoat.

I am not so gentle, but I act as if
and what I act as if I might become.

He says: Let’s be still and know refreshments.
Tater tot casserole is wholesome fare.
Let’s get soft, let’s get really, really soft.

I do not say: I am frightened of growing plump;
something about the eye of a needle
and sidling right up close to godliness.

Instead I dig in,
stuff myself on homemade rolls,
tamale pie and creamed chipped beef with noodles.

I eat until my bird bones evanesce.
I eat until I bust from my garments.

I become the burping circus lady
with meaty ham hocks and a sow’s neck.

Everyboy says: Let’s get soft, even softer.
We vibrate at the frequency of angel cake.

Our throats fill with ice cream glossolalia.
The eye of the needle grows wider.
There is room at the organ bench.

I play.

Melissa Broder is the author of the poetry collection WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER (Ampersand Books).

Sunday Service / 25 Comments
September 26th, 2010 / 8:15 pm

Tim Jones-Yelvington Short

Clean Babies

While we fucked, I’d hold his baby. To keep the baby off the dirt. Clean babies are happy. I’d hold the baby out in front, and he’d fuck me from behind. The baby never cried. The baby wandered. I mean its eyes. The baby appeared unfazed. I mean by the fucking.

We fucked in the park, in the tall grass. When my arms that held the baby bounced, the baby laughed and laughed. And while I got fucked, while I was holding the baby, I’d wonder about the baby’s other daddy. This was what I assumed, that the baby had another daddy, because unlike his first daddy, the daddy who fucked me, this baby was brown. I figured the baby was adopted. Something about the daddy, I could just tell, he seemed like the kind of man with a man at home. Even though he never talked about himself, he didn’t seem like he kept any secrets.

I wanted to ask him, Bring the other daddy to the park! One daddy to kneel on the ground and take me in his mouth. The other daddy to fuck me. And me to hold the baby. To keep the baby clean. But I never had the guts to ask.

That was a few years ago. That daddy disappeared. Now that park has fewer babies. Now those babies toddle. Oh man, those babies are getting big.

Tim Jones-Yelvington lives and writes in Chicago. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Another Chicago Magazine, Sleepingfish, Annalemma and others. His short fiction chapbook, “Evan’s House and the Other Boys who Live There,” is forthcoming in Spring 2011 in “They Could no Longer Contain Themselves,” a multi-author volume from Rose Metal Press. He is editing the October issue of Pank Magazine to feature Queer poetry and prose. He contributes to the group blog Big Other.

Sunday Service / 60 Comments
September 19th, 2010 / 7:41 pm

Nicelle Davis Poem

(click to enlarge)

Poem text first appeared in an e-chap published by Gold Wake Press.

Nicelle Davis lives in Southern California with her son J.J. Her poems are forthcoming in, Mosaic, The New York Quarterly, Two Review, and others. She’d like to acknowledge her poetry family at the University of California, Riverside and Antelope Valley Community College. She runs a free online poetry workshop at: http://nicelledavis.wordpress.com/.
Sunday Service / 3 Comments
May 23rd, 2010 / 11:28 pm

Rauan Klassnik Poems

To do it she sits on the floor, and presses a talon against her clitoris, and then rips upward. Tearing up through her navel. Up to her neck. It’s the most intense orgasm, brilliant and chic, and she just absorbs it—lying back, arms spread, like a crucifix. Her eyes brighten. Then close. She bleeds out. Hardening. Paled. A carnivorous flower.
The back of his neck’s red, and badly wrinkled, and I want to touch it and make him young again. We sit down in the living room. And we talk about nothing. Then about her. His daughter. My wife. And I can see me breathing down on her. To heal her. I breathed all over her. At the funeral I imagine us together. And, in my arms, she’s changed into a corpse. And I’ve entered her. And I’m fucking her harder and harder. And my tears splash down on her cold white neck. The light’s dazzling. A garden of statues throbbing.
In the Louis Vuitton storefront windows there are birdcages. And in each one there’s a shiny handbag. Or a glinting shoe. And, then, the maimed raccoon in the park—hunched over like it’s about to crap. It came towards us. Slumped over. And rolled on its back. This happened over and over. And the whole time it looked like it was smiling. I didn’t sleep well. I dreamed I shot you and ground you into powder—and the wind just swept you away. Elephants were chasing me, too, I think, and I woke up frantic, and horny, and you ended up having a tiny climax. The tiniest ever. A diamond stud. In a giant cage.

Rauan Klassnik’s book “Holy Land” (http://www.blackocean.org/holy-land/) released from Black Ocean in April 2008. Rauan’s currently working on a book of monsters, pacing back and forth in a fever, pitching up higher and higher: “slave ships moor inside me. And daisy rashes.”

Sunday Service / 32 Comments
April 4th, 2010 / 5:13 pm

Berger/Schneiderman Story

Note: This is a collaborative short story. The authors produced it by sending work back and forth over email, based upon the authors’ experiences with the most ridiculous intellectual posturing of the academy. This story will be incorporated into a larger text called The Book of Methods, featuring a series of collaborations between Schneiderman and other writers, all powered by “machines” particular to each writer.

a matter of degree

Exhibit A: This book hurts. Like it’s made of sand. Coarse sand. I can’t finish it, because it hurts so much. Sand running over my gums. Emotionally, physically. A durian fruit lodged in my pyloric valve. I just have to stop reading and sit by myself all slugabed in the dark with a tumbler of ice-cold, mint-infused faux-Darjeeling listening to Charles Mingus’s Ah Um, no, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, and whispering my oh-so-calming mantra.

The first time: Oh yes, the new Chair of Graduate Studies. Yes, him. Can’t you see that he’s a minion of the University’s privatization plan? I don’t care if he is a “Marxist” mother-fucking editor of Radical Teacher. I’ve written a poem where he appears around town: at the Laundromat advising you on how to get your whites even whiter while he fondles your unmentionables (I struck the line where he licks your undies); at the grocery checkout—no, not Shop N’ Save, but Aldi—bagging your generic navy beans, and there’s a good chance you’ll find cricket parts in there. It happened to the retired classics professor with the glass jaw. He found the whole thing strangely thrilling, and I kissed him at the Halloween party. Yes, him.

II. I went on this, like, really life changing journey to the Taos Pueblo and I could really feel the power of the land there. Everything was so colorful—like living inside of Frida Kahlo’s head if she was possessed by a really wise animal spirit. A Pooka. Like Harvey the invisible rabbit. I took this jar of dirt because it has magic healing properties. Every time I start to feel sick I just sprinkle some of this dirt in my water bottle and hold a swig in my cheeks until it mixes completely with my spit and then I drop a little into my palms and rub across my cheeks while swallowing the rest with my eyes closed.

Alpha: It’s like the end of Finnegan’s Wake, where the two women narrating the universe weep in their Guinness like children—turn to stone—and then feel like the calcium-rich lampreys running thick through the Liffey jump into the effluvia of language permeating their own experience. That’s what this book you’re reading now reminds me of in a weird way.

Item C: What do I find funny? Sometimes when I listen to Ravel, certain movements take on personalities. They just have this jaunty sort of persona that reminds me, for some reason, of certain Dostoevsky characters. Especially Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, or the father in The Brothers Karamazov, you know, the one whose serfs choke him with vodka passes through a funnel. I always imagined him as looking something like Julia Kristeva with Rosacea. When I hear those characters channeled through that music, I smile to myself a sort of knowing grin. I’m very content.

For consideration: I like to add Toni Morrison, maybe Song of Solomon, to the syllabus to spice things up a bit. It’s not as good as Deliverance with that piggy-squealing ream action, but hell, I’ve been teaching that one so long I can almost see Ned Beatty getting all glassy eyed. What’s that you’re humming? “One toke over the line”? Yeah, I like that (singing): “One toooke ooover the liiine…” Ok, my eager grad assistants, let’s get back to the lecture class. I think those kids have had enough time to talk among themselves.

4. At first I wanted someone to ask him to speak louder. But then, the musicality of his voice, I felt myself being lulled in. He spoke so softly I loved having to really focus, like I’m in a small cellar trapped by someone whose footsteps move so across the floorboards that they may not be there are all.

&: We’ve got to take a stand now, my brothers, my pistol-whipping mutineers, against the administration’s limits on our constitutional rights involving photocopying. Bullshit capitalist marionettes trying to squelch the free speech of our mimeograph machine. They are brainwashing the undergraduates by the omission of knowledge and withholding the symmetry of the dialectical materialist critique. We’ll strike, we’ll refuse to teach, we’ll write a strongly worded letter that begins, “Dear Sir or Madam,” but then, get this, goes completely hard-core anarcho-syndicalist on their asses. Fight the father-fucking powers that be….boooyeee!

Article E: I put his handouts on my fridge at home. I look at them every day, each time I go for the milk or to grab leftover coq au vin. He’s been to prison before. I really respect that.

6) I think I need a personal drummer, some sort of iPercussion section to really tie me into the spirit world. Cause I think I am—you know—tied in to a spirit world, but not this one yet. I’m riding with valkyries, doing the star-scattered two-step in the vaikunta with Ndjambi when I need to just be rolling a phat blunt with Manabozho. Right? A repetitive beat could really focus my energies towards the eightfold path the golden mean the middle way a sort of laid-back nirvana where everything is brilliant whiteness.

*: No, it’s not ‘hate’ on the other knuckle, it’s ‘true’. My knuckles ground me and remind me what’s important in life. They’re like gravity stabilizers for when I feel myself getting caught up in other pursuits. All I have to do is look down and see ‘true love’. That’s what it’s all about. What’s that? Yes, sometimes I do wear gloves.

**: When I read Blanchot, it really makes we wonder, why write at all? I mean, why fucking write? Why construct a sentence if it’s only going to get fucking deconstructed? Do you fucking understand what I am fucking saying? There’s like no fucking point. And reading? Well, I guess that’s a fucking steaming fucking load of shit too.

READ MORE >

Sunday Service / 9 Comments
March 21st, 2010 / 12:45 pm

James Davis Poem

Spiritual Warfare

–for the Nintendo Entertainment System, by Wisdom Tree, Inc., 1991, unlicensed

Your enemies are not killed; they are converted.
Occasionally, a convert will leave behind Spirit Points,
which you can use to purchase things like fruits.

Each fruit has its own unique method of attack.
Pears, though weak, come in handy in the Slums,
since they can destroy large weeds and junk piles.

Vials of the Wrath of God: these are basically bombs,
purchased in groups of three or seven. Samson’s Jawbone
acts as a boomerang. You’ll need this to get the Raft.

To begin, enter the red door and receive an apple
from the Christian Helper. The basketball player
you come across in the Park is of no consequence.

Do not go into the Bar in the Shipyard; you will lose
the Belt of Truth and have to go to the Pawn Shop
in the Slums to retrieve it. Using the Raft, cross the lake

and search out the Grey-Haired Man in the Airport.
He is slow and weak; it takes only three Vials
to convert him. He will drop the Helmet of Salvation,

which renders you invulnerable to dynamite.
The Church is to the east. Here you can buy grapes
for 75 Spirit Points. Grapes travel through solid objects.

Once you have beaten the Man in Black Robes
and obtained the banana, pass through the Woods
and enter the Prison, under which lies the Demon Stronghold.

The demons are vulnerable only to the banana.
You will now be in a blue room (aren’t you glad
you brought that key?) with the Demon Master.

He can be defeated with persistence. You will know
you have damaged him when his color flashes from red
to a lighter red—an almost imperceptible change.

James Davis was Mr. December in American Short Fiction’s Pinup Series. His interview with Idra Novey will be up on the Subtropics website any second now. He is an MFA candidate at the University of Florida.

Sunday Service / 52 Comments
February 28th, 2010 / 10:41 am

The HTMLGIANT So Many Books Contest

HTMLGIANT is holding a writing contest.

The prize is the Dalkey Archive 100 books for $500. If you want to contribute to the prize pool, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the package.

We want your writing, up to 3,500 words however you want to assemble them.

The theme: love stories, however you interpret those two words. The numbers 100 and 500 should also somehow be involved in your writing and not just as an afterthought.

HTMLGIANT contributors will select 10 finalists.  Special Guest Judge Rick Moody  will determine the winner of which there can be only one.

The winning entry as well as the work of the finalists will be published on a sweet website to celebrate their words.

Send your entries both in the body of an e-mail and as an attachment (.doc/.pdf/.rtf) to contest@htmlgiant.com.

There is no fee to enter.

You do not need to submit a cover letter.

You do need to include your name and address so we know where to send your prize(s) if you win.

Deadline is Midnight, Sunday March 21. Winners will be announced on Tax Day, April 15.

Questions? Ask them in the comments or e-mail contest@htmlgiant.com.

Contests / 81 Comments
February 21st, 2010 / 10:49 pm

Jeremy Schmall Poems

from Jeremy Schmall & the Cult of Comfort

Andrew Jackson
finished off the Creek Indian
civilization after fighting beside them.
Why Andrew?
& he puts his finger in my nose.
To the gods goes my excess asparagus,
linoleum tabletop & coffee-bruised newspaper.
I say the mountain’s not coming.
I say “the traffic,” and shrug.
There’s just not enough Vaseline
for the whole room.
I do apologize.
If the presentation never ends maybe
I can keep this laser pointer.
Rabbit under truck tire
by the high school
already cold.
Socks up to my teeth.
Electric drill to the avocado.
Striped wallpaper behind a plastic folding chair.

It’s certainly not always the case
that infidels will stalk the dumb hallways
rimming the family manor
but we’d like to believe
our cheap picture frames & outdated
electronics are at least worth stealing.
There is an exercise inside everyone’s skull
that forces them to stop slathering
lotion on their hands and wonder
what we can’t know until next March.
The assignment now is to ruin the face
of your opponent with a grapefruit spoon.
There’s a certain trick to remaining
calm while a grizzly claws
through the meat under your ribcage
but no one’s ever lived to tell it.

Jeremy Schmall is the founder & co-editor of Agriculture Reader, and author of “Open Correspondence from the Senator, Vol. 1: But a Paucity of His Voluminous Writings” (X-ing). His work has appeared in PEN America, The Laurel Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Juked, and Forklift Ohio. He lives in New York City.

Sunday Service / 10 Comments
February 21st, 2010 / 3:08 pm

Noah Cicero Form Letter

Valentine’s Day is coming again, so i’m going to write a love letter. Anyone can use this love letter for their lover.

Dear Lover,

There are a lot of butterflies on the planet. But none in the winter. You are my winter butterfly.

I want to lick the inside of your belly button. I want to lick the lint out of it and then kiss you. Then you have the lint in your mouth. We are naked and you laugh.

[If you are a straight man or lesbian] I want to grab your pussy. I want to cup your naked pussy in my hand. Your pussy is like a leaf with dew on it on a July Morning. That means I like when your pussy is wet. I like your pussy more when it is wet than when it is dry.

[If you a woman or a gay man] I want to hold your soft penis in my hand. Then I want to caress it until it becomes hard and then I’ll call it a cock. I want you to do things with your cock that will make me moan and make strange sounds.

I want to eat candy with you and check our facebooks sitting close.

We need each other like poor people need food and politicians need votes.

We need each other like cell phones need signals and books need readers.

Right now I’m yearning for your genitals to be near by, for your laugh, for your arms, and your legs to wrap around me and pull me deeper.

I can never get deep enough into you.

I want you have my babies. I want our babies to look like us.

We will raise our children to be nervous and strange and to love music like we do.

I keep seeing your belly in my mind, your belly flat, I rest my head on your belly, your belly is soft and we watch a movie. A movie staring Will Ferrell. Everything is right with the world. We have good credit and our grades are good.

I want to fuck until both of our genitals are chafed and sore.

There are a lot of butterflies on the planet. But none in the winter. You are my winter butterfly.

Sincerely,
Your Lover

(Originally posted here.)

Noah Cicero has several books published on several small presses, The Human War, The Condemned, Treatise, Burning Babies and in a short while The Insurgent will be released. Noah Cicero is currently spending his days snowblowing his driveway. Noah Cicero stands in the snow, in the freezing cold weather, looking around, he likes at night in the winter, when it is quiet. There are no birds, sometimes the wind brushes over the snow, making that sweet sound that politely touches the soul of the kindest and even the meanest of souls. If you ever meet Noah Cicero you should first fist bump him, then give him a hug, he likes fist bumps and hugs. Noah Cicero voted for Barack Obama because he smokes.

Sunday Service / 13 Comments
February 14th, 2010 / 12:38 pm

Chad Hardy Poems

from Zapatagraphy

29

An hour passed, and soon
my mind, and yet, in the

mouth is in an order. One could
be one, it is true, sensibly

in mathematics. It cannot be
more. The expression is what

will say it is not telling
everything, in a certain

sense—that from the dark red
trees—all this makes that sun.

30

He was then outline, a single
form of wax or a little boat

with a sheet. The dead
instigated me and hovered round.

What there is of consequence
was not in the boat. Zapata felt

gratitude towards those shores which formed
a calm far more monstrous.

“The streets // resounding and empty // are rivers of shadow // heading
toward the sea // and the sky, threadbare, // is the new // flag // that flares //
over the city.”

MANUEL MAPLES ARCE

31

This state of active occupation
stood in the house and sometimes

with the blood from it. After all,
its productions and features may

be called a precipice.
Gaze on the trees, all the firmness

of deformity. A curve, no
doubt, of the church. And in it

no peace. “We have failed” they shout.
I grew feverish. It stood.

32

When he returned to us, he was
bigger, not merely a

petty experimentalist.
He did not feel for those

on the top of affairs
who could perceive his calm

in leftover bundles.
I sat up much longer,

conversing with his desires
like a flood of strangers.

Chad Hardy is a contributor on the Gnoetry Daily website (gnoetrydaily.wordpress.com) and blogs infrequently on his own Male Cousin (malecousin.wordpress.com). In 1999, he voted for Jerry “The King” Lawler in Memphis’s mayoral race. He is currently completing an MFA at Purdue University.

Sunday Service / 17 Comments
February 7th, 2010 / 11:50 am

David Peak Poem

The Destruction Loops, Parts 1-8

I’ve let my blood out in a steamy bath

I’ve jammed a butter knife into the toaster

Lied down on my back and dropped a shot put on my face

I stuffed balls of newspaper print in my mouth

And spelled the state capitals in alphabetical order

I allowed myself to be hypnotized at the count of 8

The snap of my neck like the snap of a hypnotist’s fingers

The hypnotist showed me the earth as the angels see it

The streets are a twisted maze and we are lost in the maze

We are born walking into the world’s maze

At the count of 4 you will forget your confusion

The bathroom is filled with steam and the mirrors are steamed over

You cannot see yourself or your face in the mirror

The maze is all right angles

You are born into a confusion of angles

You will realize your confusion at the count of 4

1 – turn right

2 – turn right again

3 – turn right again

4 – turn right again

You are where you began

You must make this circuit twice

You are no longer lost in this section of the maze

I hear the snap of fingers like the snap of my neck

I am alone in a great square in a gray city

There are clouds adrift in the swollen sky

The clouds are swollen with acid rain

The gray city is one of many on an island in the ocean

The ocean is green

Its green waters are a bath of acid eating away at the coastline

You cannot see yourself in the mirror

Soon the clouds will open up and let loose their rains

You will strip naked and let them eat away at your skin

In the morning your skeleton will be found by a group of hungry lions

The lions will have ribs like wishbones pushing out at their fur

And they will pick you clean

You have given them a fullness

The meat on your bones will have completed its circuit

You will feel that you have done the right thing

You will feel an angel place a heavy hand on your shoulder

You will close your eyes and count to 8

You are clean now

You have smeared jam on your toast

You are no longer hungry

It is warm here in the lion’s den

David Peak is the author of a novel, The Rocket’s Red Glare (Leucrota Press), a book of poems, Surface Tension (BlazeVOX Books), and a chapbook, Museum of Fucked (Warm Milk Press). He lives in New York City and blogs at davidpeak.blogspot.com.

Sunday Service / 76 Comments
January 31st, 2010 / 12:07 pm

Gregory Sherl Poem

The Oregon Trail is a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas Eve

From Independence it’s a shit ton of miles
to the Kansas River crossing.

Child #1, Christopher, has a broken leg.
Christopher is sad he has a broken leg.
He’s like Shit, my leg hurts something awful.
He’s like Shit shit shit.

We ford the river but the river’s too deep.
We ford the river & you’re like Why
the fuck are we fording the river?

The oxen can’t breathe. The oxen can’t
breathe under water. They’re chewing
their tongues off trying to breathe.
Wendy, child #2, her face is a waterfall.

Christopher is vomiting from a fever.
He’s vomiting all over Wendy’s grave.

On the seventh day God rested.
Christopher has died of dysentery.

Gregory Sherl’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, Columbia Poetry Review, NOÖ Journal, and PANK. He currently lives in Virginia and blogs at http://gregorysherl.blogspot.com/.

Sunday Service / 33 Comments
January 24th, 2010 / 10:04 am

Kendra Grant Malone Poem

All The Ways I Have Failed You

1.
finding him under the piano
was not the most alarming part of
the day, that day
finding his waifish
six year old body
in my underwear and
costume jewelry was not
the most alarming part
either
what worried us all the most
was his inability
to pronounce the syllables
that didn’t really
exist anyways

2.
various things are real
the cloak he wears while
walking down lake street
the antipsychotic pills
i’ve seen them,
they are pink
his inch long finger nails
humming birds that move very
fast, yes we saw that together
your arch angels
the ones that tell you
that you are beautiful
okay okay
yes I will always believe you
they are real
and that time you
stabbed me
hysterical
screaming in tongues
that was real too

3.
hey juan?
where is zack?
did you leave him
in the courthouse
again?
but its christmas!
he needs to be here
for christmas
so we can
sit in front
of the fire
and build the alamo
together one more time

4.
the rainbow wallpaper
was mine
but we all knew
that all the rainbows
made of light
belonged to you
everyone could see it
especially father
because the secret
was hiding in your teeth

Kendra Grant Malone lives in Brooklyn with her cat Delores Grant Malone. She has been widely published in web and print magazines and has an assortment of e-books and chapbooks including Conor Oberst Sex, Rape Children, and Love Your Friends And Not Your Lovers. You can go to her website, www.kendralovely.blogspot.com, to read more about her, her cat and her work.

Sunday Service / 33 Comments
January 10th, 2010 / 3:03 pm