haiku about the biggest question of my youth
should i masturbate
tonight? i thought as i puffed
on a black n’ mild
haiku i thought of while hooking up with my ex-girlfriend
i knew you would find
a way back into my arms
like a homing pigeon
haiku to my ex-ex girlfriend
you keep coming in
to my life and finding new
ways to hate me
haiku about being depressed and single
nobody wants to
date a depressed person
why did god do that
haiku i wrote after seeing a guy and a girl talking provocatively on a bench outside of a party
can’t deal with the
pressure of “getting a girl,”
where’s my ex-girlfriend
haiku i thought of after waking up with my ex-girlfriend after spending a night together
woke up and thought
“i finally have a real
human in my hands”
Bio: Zach Schwartz is from Cleveland, Ohio. His work has appeared in Vice Magazine, Thought Catalog, Rap Genius, and more. His website is www.zachtwotimes.com and he can be followed on Twitter @zach_two_times.
I left him unfinished. I just wanted to.
The snow outside fills the sewers
and like my drive for power will stop abruptly
and soon. Starting now, I’ll drop picture frames
down the hole. Drop food processors and Le Creusets
and my chaste little letters. It’s due to my interest
in godless practices that undoes the ritual.
I have a hole where I store my absent typographies,
I have a hole that will never move outside my body.
When he is beautiful, he adapts to a you-state,
thous his way into my pants to mortify my skins.
He draws me over in charcoal, my dull empty sternum
pinks with creation. I have a hole capable of erasure
and his jaw hangs like a mantis there, there.
Then I make him just once pierced with hundreds of holes.
I make him to preen and prick and prune his skin til he bends in his beautiful stalk.
Then I make him to crave my every sustenance as I fill him with clay and stone and ink.
Here is a mirror to wander through, a hallway to crack over his knee.
I make him to tender my strong arms as I spread him open with my knee.
I give him bloomers. I give him diamonds. I give him my desiccated brainstem
and ask if he’d like to go home now. He digs a hole in the ground and gets in and this makes him mine forever.
One definition of a hole is
When men accidentally kill endangered wildlife
they fill the beasts with holes, sew in rocks, sink them in larger holes.
One definition of a hole is
I used to use maxipads against my hole, and I could smell
the perfumed cotton-rot when a man slipped in through my window.
One definition of a hole is
The men have been wiped out. I’ve been given certain allowances
to provide for my species. I miss them. I am Ursula fat and witchy under the sea.
One reason I fantasize about the re-creation of men is because they always admit having loved me when they’re done with me, the heartsick goat in my stomach slaughters itself I am so grateful to fill myself with godawful certitudes as I bleed out. I don’t hear them in the vents. I don’t hear them over me in the dark, emptying. I starve my body still in case it drives them back.
I store them in the hole outside my body. This isn’t my hole but it’s a decent one, keeps them veal-dark and veal-alive. Vials and vials worth of DNA. All these sad engorged wads of dead ocean.
My poor man, so full of addendum,
driven through the asphalt to occupy the space
of a shit lake, shit river, shit rat god.
When you are mine you become animate
only capable of burning selfies in the shit lake.
I say when. I say.
And when I close the sepulcher it is done and
you are he again, the agnostic whimpering he.
I place a hole over you, under you, fill it with rock.
Can’t wait to return to my dumb bitch couch
where he is the empty border outside where he is the hole.
The dog presents her dead
to an amnesiac who claims
she was touched by a man
and the touch felt like power
Power is a couch that covers a great hole
The holes I poured you in are becoming legible,
can be read from left to right, up to down, under to over—
The beauty of holes is that I cannot enter one without ceasing to
exist in the seen world. That a body can disappear and become
subsumed by a space suggests that the body is nothing but an act
of spectral negation. My cunt is a star with its darkness pressed to the floor to temporarily light me, to lighten me.
So the channels of men close. The lines of the men close.
I have a sample of spit from the hate of my history and I hock and
I hock and I hock in the holes of my men.
To call a woman a hole is to suggest immediate use.
To call a man a hole suggests grave incivility.
Incivilities I place like a knife at the windowsill to cool.
I’ve set a wishbone in boiling water to watch its holes appear.
When I weep, my calcium brittles. My men limn in sinkholes
until they are again important, until their duress makes me faint in my delicate sovereignty.
History is a papertrail that leads to a hole.
My personal history is always such that and that which, a dreadful taxonomy of raining men.
Hallelujah I’ve dug up this adorable patriarchy and it wants to live!
The classrooms of girls offend me with their careful thinking.
Thinking is an act of dipping your hands into a hole that you hope will form a skin.
I have crowned my foreskin a philosopher its rhetoric is so dry.
When he is homely, he is a leader of men and glimmers a brawny integument of he.
He is drawn from the rocks. He rapes a hole in me to fill me with rocks.
My consent is my sinking to the seafloor. Sally sold seawhores by the seashore,
I hum and I hock to the bottom.
The hooked descending albatross is a beauty to behold and I place its carcass like a key
in his gray bloated sternum to bloom itself dry.
When he is homely, a hole forms in his throat for him to speak.
Stones fall out of his crude syntax.
I make him hundreds of times, drill holes behind his temples to make his future exterminations simple. I make his cock hundreds more times, I freeze them mid-revision.
I make him hundreds of times for he is homely and I’ve made him to desire the keen white scalpel again and again.
I make him hundreds of times, let his holes grow dusty from lack of speech.
I make him hundreds of times and he sits on a rock all bashful and glitz.
I make him hundreds of times until he is pretty and worth his weight in flesh.
And in his flesh, I see him, the delicate sovereignty of his limbs.
And when I see him, I scoop out his throat, I take it in the hole and the look in his eyes tells me he’s grateful. I thou him so hard I can feel his fingers wrapping their worth round my neck.
My love is a hole I can only make once. I make it hundreds and hundreds of times.
Bio: Natalie Eilbert’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Tin House, Handsome, Guernica, West Branch, Spinning Jenny, Sixth Finch, STOKED, and many others. Her chapbook, Conversation with the Stone Wife, is forthcoming from Bloof Books. She lives and writes in Greenpoint, where she is the founding editor of The Atlas Review.
high profile search and seizure: a compendium of bizarre hazing rituals the fbi never wanted you to know existed
i am currently a very different type of heartbroken and alone
compared to when i was heartbroken and alone in the jungle
or heartbroken and alone drunk in the mouth of a volcano
or heartbroken and alone in a city i’d lived almost a year in
or heartbroken and alone on drugs in some field in a storm
or heartbroken and alone on a street with a high murder rate
or heartbroken and alone in bed with someone in a mansion
or heartbroken and alone with no smartphone, different mansion
or heartbroken and alone with no money in a desert
or heartbroken and alone in an empty high school skipping lunch
or heartbroken and alone in bed, two weeks pneumonia
or heartbroken and alone at night in the catacombs of a church
or heartbroken and alone playing sega in a basement
or heartbroken and alone being forced out of a womb
i am a very different type of heartbroken and alone
heartbroken and alone on the internet with you
Editor’s note: This poem initially ran as an FB post, so it is technically a ‘reprint’, but it is so fucking good that who cares?
I Don’t Get Home Much Anymore
Cancer stink on interstates through Missouri and Illinois
No dreams induce sleep
what’s closer to grass and trees
a mind away from smoke
The home I lived in
all the streets coordinate
paralysis in a shot of strychnine
Now I prefer stoned mountain roads
I live in a box in the mountains, yes
but my parents don’t cry in
their words there
I broke their mouths against my door
I locked myself inside with my daughter and her laughter
the shotgun I hold to my head
My light-crazed head
grins in the trees
shining through the window
I’ve been told to stop talking about light
To think money language
To think military-industrial complex squid children shudders
To drop drones everywhere
But light, friends, enters through the windows without breaking anything
Light makes the trees and light makes my daughter laugh
Not a weapon
when the world is made of light
guns and money made of light, too
and everything made of light dissolves in light
salt in salt water
glows a thick light
Mind glows its own solution
Mind not like moon, not reflecting
But origin, a child
laughing when her daddy laughs
one bird laughing after another
I don’t go home
What fire alights has burnt out
What has resolved in its ash foundations hardly holds anything
A house will not stand after emptying
Places away from the disasters
let me breathe out
I open the door and let my daughter
run down sidewalks full of commerce
bio: Matthew Henriksen is the author of Ordinary Sun (Black Ocean, 2011) and a few chapbooks, most recently “Latch Down the Dark Helmet” (Wildlife Poetry, 2013). Recent poems appear in Toad Suck Review, N/A, Apartment, and Yalobusha Review. For Fulcrum #7 he edited “Another Part of the Flood: Poems, Stories, and Correspondence of Frank Stanford.” Since 2003 he has with Adam Clay co-edited Typo, an online poetry journal. He runs The Burning Chair Readings and works at the Dickson Street Bookshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
u mad bruh?
i am so not mad
like, at all
like, this is the most fun the lit scene has had in minutes
i mean, have you ever been to a poetry reading?
long live mellow pages!
who do you want to see step in to fill the gap and sponsor mellow pages?
here are my top choices:
1. Hot Topic #teen #mellowgoth
3. Red Lobster
5. ‘Bojangles Famous Chicken n Biscuits’
7. Anshan Heavy Duty Mining Machinery Co Ltd
You were at my wedding. You stood
in a doorway and smiled at me. Music
was playing in another room, and a
huge white cake, the size of a fat little
man, awaited us on the table. The phone
rang and you answered it. It was
the priest looking for money. We
tried to get him drunk. Night fell
inside while day raged outside.
We noticed how ridiculously long
your sideburns are. There are
no photographs to prove any
of this. There is no way to know
what really happened. We drank,
we ate, we danced a waltz. We
fell asleep in the hotel, and when
we woke up thirty years later
our friends were old people,
with, like, white hair and health
problems, and the entire country
had fallen into ruination.
bio: Terence Winch, originally from the Bronx, has lived in the DC area for many years. His recent books include This Way Out (2014, Hanging Loose Press), Lit from Below (2013, Salmon Poetry [Ireland]), and Falling out of Bed in a Room with No Floor (Hanging Loose, 2011). He also plays traditional Irish music.
In the panopticon we lived in tunnels, and the smell of petrol was pervasive. Food consisted of small hard rolls flavored with onions and potatoes. There were beets that smelled of tragedy and scraps of fatty meat that was hard to identify. We had not known seasons for years. All the papers were forged. All the fingers were blackened by ink and smelled of something pungent that may once have been alive. Alcohol was plentiful mixed with slices of lemon and lime. Everything was delayed. Cells were alienated and wouldn’t knit. We didn’t know the rules for touching.
In a room we could not see into, a woman looked down at us. She had trained the world to regard her with importance, and the world had changed. People pushed back at her after a point, but the point kept shifting. She resembled a cat with thin lips and a nose flattened to a button. Her hair twitched nervously as she hopped from foot to foot, her dead eyes waiting for a moment to pounce. It was surprising how compliant we were. In the dim light, we heard dripping.
I remembered a man on a train who was standing against a pole with his large suitcase and a smaller bag stacked on top. His hair waved off his forehead, framing intense eyes that were also kind and lost in thought. The seat beside me became vacant, and he sat, and I had a chance to study his long fingers with their wide nails. His skin was a little rough from long-ago acne. It heightened his beauty, allowing a space to enter. My life was like Chernobyl in that I could see but not touch the ordinary objects left behind. Flowers were growing up around abandoned things. Nature was coming back. It was coming back different.
In the house that traveled you woke up each day in a familiar place. In the house that traveled you could not be exact about appointments and the truth was harder to turn into a weapon. In the house that traveled your old life looked like girls getting dressed to go out. In order to be heard, you went deaf. In order to study at a university, your body ceased to produce insulin. There were people on the train and people who let the train pass. A woman wrote that people, naturally, consider suicide, finding the world too cruel. It was never going to stop, so why not step away? You heard something. You heard scraping.
As we approached the origin of our fears, we lived in several time periods at once. People of the future could watch their earlier selves in movies, and the various selves could communicate through a scrim that felt like foreboding or déjà vu. When we didn’t have language for something, the feeling was a shudder or a smell. It was what we did, bringing back the dead.
Bio: Laurie Stone is author of several fiction and nonfiction books. Her shorter work has appeared in such publications as Open City, Anderbo, Joyland, Nanofiction, Creative Nonfiction, St Petersburg Review, and Four Way Review. In 2005, she participated in “Novel: An Installation,” writing a book and living in a house designed by architects Salazar/Davis in Flux Factory’s gallery space. She is currently at work on The Love of Strangers, Micro, Flash, and Short Fiction by Laurie Stone.
when I burnt my fingertip
it was because I wanted to turn the candle
into a tiny trashcan. because I don’t know
how to make people pay attention to me
without acting like a wastebin set on fire
outside the park
like people need something
for people to swerve around
and then video with their phone
like there is a voice inside you
that you actually can’t turn off
by arching your feet
the lamp I ordered from eBay
turned out to be a dollhouse lamp.
you have to order a tiny adaptor
to make it plug to a usual outlet. it sucks.
I still want to be a doll though
birds in the engine
I don’t feel that hopeless
Dropping my luggage
with reckless abandon
Isn’t it funny that there is a monk in the airport?
Everyone is quietly trying to take his picture
without giving themselves up
bio: Lucy Tiven is an MFA student at San Francisco State University and a contributing writer for The Fanzine. She is currently working on a chapbook about Mark Rothko for Plain Wrap and trying to get hired as a sales associate at Pet Food Express.
I knew a boy named Dove
I never touched him
The rest in the park beneath
The shining bottoms of seagulls
Came out of the gated housing estates
Where nobody ever did touch him
Still the homegrown closed in on him
Their arms always came away with nothing
Oh how he would work a crowd of war daddies
With those Dove eyes he’d give a waitress
When he’d order waffles at midnight
Coffee and pie on the house
Poor Dove couldn’t help it
He’d say goodnight to the officers
To every convict and then to me
Good night everybody Dove would say
There’s no more to what I saw
What’s more is everybody went hungry
Brooke Ellsworth is author of the chapbook, Thrown (The New Megaphone 2014). She has recent poems in gobbet, Pinwheel, and ILK. She teaches at The New School.
Foxxcan Suicide (Stylish Boys in the Riot)
La Anaconda. A hooded black teenager. Teen upskirts. Such happy spirits! Sosostris of da liver. Jaws yack beer around and around and. A 1000 little deaths over a pic of Mr. Starnbergersee. Death n’ obstruction in town. In’t town. and gown. Can’t go left! LIMBO! 3 p.m. 3.16 p.m. Sergeant Snare on Pussy Patrol. Keep da Game Genie far fence, that’s fo’ mensch. If your not rreading this. I juice wanna surf the nite away. Turn it over and watch what REALLY happens. 199*: did you choose something else? Sumfin else?
White man came. – Maiden
Apocalypse as hook. What’s your Legacy, Russell? Requiem***.
It’s so easy, but nothing seems to please me. – Axl W. Rose
The audience knows this by heart. The audience know this by heart. She got big ol’booty an’ bloodshot eyes. A black Blondie. Underage. Overage. Walking stick.
Die in your class, I’ll die inmine.
Russell Bennetts is the editor of Berfrois. He lives in Kentish Town, London.
WE DON’T HAVE ALL NIGHT
Above us is the moon. It is huge in the sky
and it is bearing down on us
there was no tomorrow
because tomorrow there will be nothing but the moon
up in the sky and looming
all ominous and heavy and bright
and that is just fine with us. Listen.
We could use a sense of menace around here.
We could use a call to action Or a house
Or a barrier. A magical barrier.
like a fence. We could use a fence.
Why a fence you ask?
Because of reasons, which are as follows:
demarcations, unwanted elements,
property values, taxes, building codes,
civic duty, creepiness, and bears. Dear bears
we built these fences for a reason. Dear reasons
we do not care. Sincerely, the bears. The bears
have learned to compose letters
and nobody cares. Dear food let us eat you
Dear ocean full of menace let us eat you
Dear terrifying ocean full of menace we mean it
Dear wolves we have already eaten you and now we sit here
by the ocean wearing your torn-off faces like masks
until the ocean full of menace gets the picture. Dear ocean
full of menace
we are right here. Under the moon. We are waiting.